Tuesday, 20 June 2017

#300kmJune Week 3 Recap

Hey! This past week has been a lot more chill than the previous weeks of the month. I was settling into being back at work, and also understanding what actually is 10 kilometres in terms of areas and walks I knew. Turns out, 10 kilometres surprises me daily with how far it is. Unfortunately, I done a lot of similar walks, and didn't take the camera out so there is less photos this week.

Tuesday, 13th June
I was still off work this day, so I decided to walk down to Upper Hutt city from my house which I thought would be a decent amount of kilometres. Boy was I wrong. It only just pushed 10 kilometres. It was a great walk though along the riverbanks of Upper Hutt and we stopped off at this wicked little cafe in town called Grind Coffee Lounge. The lady that works (maybe owns) it is the nicest woman I have ever met, and every time I have been in there she has been a pleasure to speak with. She also thought Diego was a beautiful creature so that made me like her even more. Plus, the coffee is delicious. Armed with that coffee I then walked home.

Wednesday, 14th June
Another day, another thought that I would get more kilometres in than I did. What I had planned to do was walk through Birchville and Timberlea in Upper Hutt in a loop so I could get back home. That turned out to be less than 5 kilometres, so I added in a walk to Maoribank Bridge and then around Totora Park. Still didn't make it to 10 kilometres. This walk was also freezing, and because it was a beautiful sunny day I didn't wear my most warm outfit. Bad choices were made. I don't think I will take this route again as a lot of it forced Diego to be on lead through the streets, and it wasn't overly pretty.

Thursday, 15th June
I really didn't want to walk this day. I got home from work and despised the idea of leaving the house to try and walk for two hours. I managed to force myself out of the house and ended up having one of the best walks of the month. We walked along the river bank to Upper Hutt City again, going a bit further along the riverbank this time and there was the most incredible sunset. The sky was lit up in all different tones of orange, pink, red and yellow and made my heart so happy. I was also listening to a super inspiring podcast (Let me know if you want to hear about my podcast recommendations) so I really was feeling on top of the world for this walk. The great thing about this route is that Diego can be off leash for a lot of it, and if I didn't leave it so late in the day and need to walk the main road for their lights, it probably could turn out to be a full off leash walk.

Friday, 16th June
This day is one of those days that you hate. My friend had said that she will go for a walk with us after work (she finished at 4pm) so I waited around for her. By 5pm she still hadn't got home so Diego and I decided to finally start our walk at that hour. It was freezing. My face felt like it was going to break off in the air, and with a quick strut around in the dark, I decided to call it a day and crawled back to bed. I think this was the worst kilometres for the month, but I won't make that mistake again. Friend, no more waiting around for you ;)

Saturday, 17th June
I planned to finally complete the Rimutaka Rail Trail on this day, and not really thinking things through properly decided to go to what I decided must be the other entrance. How wrong was I? Instead, I went to a different car park which led to either the Rimutaka Rail Trail or Tunnel Gully. The trek to the Rail Trail was up hill for a lot of the way, so that wore into me especially as I had all my camera equipment with me as well. Diego and I did manage to get 17kms done, and I am proud of that effort but I do have mighty sore legs and back still to this day! The Rail Trail is a beautiful long walk, and if you go to the right car park is a flat, easy walk. A definite recommend of ours.

Sunday, 18th June
Diego's Birthday! We were lucky enough to be invited to a pet photography course of Carol Howell's where Diego was to be the model, so we headed into Wellington city for that. We parked quite a bit away from the studio (Mt Vic) and made the most of the stroll through town. Diego performed amazingly, and was an absolute star. I had been a bit worried that he would be nervous in a new area, with so much excitement going on but he took it all in his stride and I am super excited to see the photos. After that, we strolled down to the Rouge and Vagabond where we met up with Richie McPaw and his wonderful mother for a quick drink. After that, we headed back up Mt Vic to our car, and home to meet up with my best friend for birthday wines (Me drinking, not Diego).

Monday, 19th June
I am still sore from the Rail Trail walk on Saturday, as well as training legs at the gym in the weekend, my legs feel like jelly. I also have a terribly painful back that I can't seem to massage away which I think was from my camera bag on that same walk. With that complaining out the way, it meant that what was meant to be the Cannons Point walk, turned into a walk to the dam, me giving up and letting Diego go see his brother for a play and us only getting half of the kilometres we should have. What really matters though is that Diego had a great time as most of the walk was off-leash allowing him to run around like a nutter and smell all the smells. I did get some footage from this walk which will be put into a vlog shortly.

So the horrible part where I have to tally up how far behind I am. Although this week we did manage to do quite a few walks where we were at the 10 kilometre mark or above it, we had just as many days where we done half, or lower than expected. The end of week 2 we were sitting on 103.13 kilometres, and this week we hit 61.77 kilometres. This puts us at a total of 164.90 kilometres which is just over 25 kilometres short of where we are meant to be. This means to complete this challenge we need to be doing an average of 12 kilometres a day for the rest of the month. Wish us luck as we crack into the hardest part of the challenge!

Remember, all this hard work that both Diego and I are putting in is all for HUHA. This is kind of like a fun run, where wonderful people like yourself donate for the struggle that we are putting ourselves through. All donations are going straight to HUHA, so please donate now to our Givealittle Page.
Also, to say thanks for supporting us and HUHA I am also hosting some giveaways to be drawn at the end of the month. 
Every Donation to the GiveaLittle page will get you five entries.
Every comment/share on our Facebook page will get you an entry.
Every comment on Instagram will get you an entry.
Unlimited entries and some amazing prizes up for grabs :D

Thursday, 15 June 2017

#300kmJune Week 2 Recap

Hello! Sorry for this being up so late, but gosh it has been both a busy and hectic past few weeks. My sister and I started our North Island road trip with Diego and Ollie, and during the week of travels managed to get four flat tyres. This meant a lot of trips to the tyre store to get it fixed, and then eventually had to go to a mechanic to get the actual bolt replaced. This meant that we didn't get to go to Auckland like originally planned, and I am so gutted we missed out on that experience. Apart from that, the last week has been an amazing time, and a true eye opener to what this month has in store.

Tuesday, June 6th
After such a long walk on Monday we wanted to take a chill day and kind of relax. First off, we headed for a walk down to the lake that is close to my dads house. It was such a beautiful day and both dogs enjoyed being able to frolic and swim in the lake. As you may know, I have been having ankle issues since a hike in February where I ripped my ligaments in my ankle. On this walk, I rolled my ankle within the first two minutes. Thankfully, not badly and I haven't had much pain since.
We also done a small walk along the main lake in Rotorua, which at the end we found out was not dog friendly, so had to quickly scurry back to the car. Not the 10kms we needed to do in the day, but each walk was enjoyable and the dogs had a blast.

Wednesday, June 7th
We headed up to Tauranga on Wednesday and went for a walk at the Puketoki Reserve. Online it said it would take about an hour, but even with plenty of photoshoots it only took us forty minutes. This meant it was a lot shorter than I had wanted. Although the walk itself was beautiful, in a deep forest with a range of different plants and bird life. After this walk we came back to the car to another flat tyre so instead of heading to our camping ground we had to go into Tauranga to get the tyre fixed. Since we were already in town, our second walk of the day was down at the beach between Mount Maunganui and Papamoa. It was another lovely day, and it was nice to amble up and down the beach meeting other dogs and watching the dogs interact with others. I even got out my book and settled in to read as Tammin and the dogs continued playing in the sea.

Thursday, June 8th
Thursday we were meant to be heading up to Auckland, but as I mentioned above we didn't make it because after spending the night in Omokoroa Motor Park we awoke to another flat tyre. We went straight back to get it fixed, had breakfast at a wonderful cafe (full blog post on that will be coming up) and then went on our way to Auckland. Once we hit Waihi, I realised I had a terrible feeling about it all, and didn't want to risk anything bad happening while up further North or while driving. Instead we took a detour to Karangahake Reserve and explored the awesome area. It is an old gold mining area and a lot of the old machinery parts and railway lines are still intact. As well as a kilometre long tunnel through the hills! It made for a lot of awesome photos, and we had actually visited here when Diego was a young pup so I am so excited to compare the photos.

Friday, June 9th
We braved the Redwoods again! This time we done the Purple track which was a casual three hours instead of eight and followed a lot of the same tracks as the Black track. It was a beautiful day, we were lucky to have sunny days for all of this week, and was a lot more enjoyable with that better weather. After completing the Black track, this Purple one felt like a walk in the park and I loved it. Afterwards we stopped in to the Coffee Club for a coffee and some fries, and received some of the best service! The dogs got delivered a water bowl, with a treat each, and we were given polite, friendly service and banter.

Saturday, June 10th
On Saturday we were headed back down to Whanganui for the last leg of our journey. Before we left, dad wanted to have one last walk with us so we all travelled to Taupo and explored around the Spa Thermal Park. This was a spectacular walk where you trekked along the side of an impressive green river and at the turn around mark you got to view Huka Falls. This track was an easy walk, with a range of short up hill and down hill bursts on a dirt path. It wasn't overly busy but those that were there were in packs of people or did have dogs with them. Spa Thermal Park was a huge expanse of grass with areas to explore and look around. Unfortunately we were short on time so couldn't keep looking around so I would love to go back another time to see more of the place.

Sunday, June 11th
This was the date for the Great Global Greyhound Walks where people all over the world all meet up with their Greyhounds and go for an organised walk at the same time. The Whanganui meet up was a blast, with 18 Greyhounds + 1 Diego there! I did take a bunch of pictures which I will have up in a blog post shortly. Diego and Chico were both super well behaved, and Diego even made friends with Greyhounds who were usually scared of little dogs. The next walk we did was a quick stomp around the Whanganui streets, just Diego and I. This was a chance for us to unwind from such a hectic long road trip, and for me to chuck in some headphones and just stomp the pavements. I didn't keep track of where we went but I remember going and exploring streets I had never seen before.

Monday, June 12th
This day Diego and I were meant to be heading back to Wellington, and I had already planned to stop in Foxton to do our 10 kilometres of walking. Unfortunately that took a twist when we went to leave and I had another flat tyre. To make matters worse, the bolt snapped so I had to take it to a mechanic to get fixed. A wonderful truck driver by the name of John stopped on the side of the road and helped me out, he also called ahead to the mechanic which not only meant I got an appointment that day, I also got a discount on the work completed. I am in awe that there are such nice people out there. Back to the walking... the first walk was along a part of the Whanganui river we had never explored before while we waited for the mechanic appointment. It is part of their walkway from hills to sea, and was absolutely breathtaking. We even met a very friendly schnauzer and his owner along the path. Then, while waiting for the car to be fixed, Diego and I strutted down to a cafe and grabbed a bite to eat and a coffee. This was only a short distance away but meant we got to be adding some kilometres to our total while we waited. The last walk of the day was with my mother, and all three dogs down at the local park. I thought since the universe wanted us to stay in Whanganui for some extra hours we may as well squeeze in some more time with the family. All three dogs had a great time rushing around after Diego's toy and generally just burning off the days extra calories. 

This week has been hard. I am realising more than ever what a feat I have taken on, but also, how more than ever I am wanting to prove to myself I can do it. So at the end of week 1 we had hit the 55.86 kilometre mark, and this week we managed to get up to 47.27 kilometres. For 7 days, that is well behind schedule, and I am quite disappointed in myself. That makes the grand total for 12 days sitting at 103.13 kilometres when we should be at 120 kilometres to be on track. This just means I really have to push the second half of this month to clock up those kilometres.
Remember all this struggle we are going through is for a good cause which is HUHA. Please find it in your heart to donate to our GiveaLittle page where every donation not only puts you in the draw to win some amazing prizes, it means you are helping another animal have a great chance at life through HUHA

Monday, 5 June 2017

#300kmJune Week 1 Recap

Hey! This is the first update in our #300km June series, and let me just start with saying that this is going to be a harder challenge than I originally thought. After five days I have really realised how much ten kilometres a day is, and I am in for a long month.

Thursday, June 1st
When I originally came up with the number of kilometres to do this month, I had based the distance of ten kilometres on this first walk, however this walk was closer to the 7 kilometre mark. I also had some technical difficulties with the GPS tracker which made Diego and I walk across the river at multiple points. It was a great first day though, the sun was shining, and it wasn't terribly cold compared to how it has been. Diego also met some young toddlers who he let pat him, and rub their faces on his back.

Friday, June 2nd
After work, Diego and I headed up to the Rimutaka Rail Trail to complete a bit of that trail. It was sunny when we set out, but as we drove further up the hill the rain started to set in. I didn't wear a rain jacket so just slowly got soaked as the walk progressed. I encountered some more problems with my Fitbit tracking system, it counted my steps, time, calories but didn't record my kilometres. Thankfully, I thought this through and took a photo of Diego and I at the 4 kilometre mark, where we then turned around making the full walk 8 kilometres. Still not the 10 kilometre mark we need to get at daily, but I think a good achievement seeings as we weren't prepared for the weather conditions.

Saturday, June 3rd
Early in the morning we drove up to Whanganui to start the first leg of our road trip so decided once we got there to hit it off with a hike up at Waitahinga Trails which is about a forty-five minute drive out of Whanganui. The walk itself was a lot shorter than I thought, but gave all three dogs a chance to run and explore and burn off a lot of extra energy. Like last time we hiked this trail, it was too foggy to see the mountains that we were promised, but did get a few good shots of the view. You will be able to see more of this walk in our first Vlog.

Sunday, June 4th
This day was a chill walk, Tammin and I walked all three dogs along the Whanganui waterfront down to Mud Duck Cafe to meet up with mum once she finished work. This is a great little cafe that allows the dogs to sit outside with us while we enjoy a coffee, and they make a great coffee! The walk itself was good, the dogs got a bit of a run around and it is always beautiful scenery around Whanganui. Once again, I had technical difficulties (This seems like a common theme) but I googled the length of our walk and it said 4.5km on Google maps.

Monday, June 5th
On Sunday afternoon we drove up to Rotorua to stay at our dads for a couple of days and had already planned to do the Black walk at the Redwoods. This is a 34km, eight hour hike through a stunning Rotorua backdrop of bush, and lakes. Let me just say, this was the hardest walk of my life, and will probably be the longest of the month. It was breathtakingly beautiful, but a lot of hard work. We stopped at the Blue Lake for lunch, and managed to come across a cafe to supply us with a coffee mid-hike. Unfortunately, we got caught in a lightening storm at the five hour mark, and although the rain was sporadic, we all got soaked through our coats. We also set off quite late in the morning, so the last hour of our trek was in pitch black with only our phones for lights. Also, at one point as it was starting to get dark we lost Diego who had chased something further into the bush. Five minutes of calling and there was no sight or sound from him, it was the worst feeling in the world. Thankfully, he came back and onto the lead he went for the rest of the trip. This was a hard trek, and I now have ailments and sores all over my body but I am so happy to say we accomplished it. I was doing so well with tracking the walk, until near the end I accidentally pressed finish on my Fitbit and it stopped tracking. I am not sure how far along I done that before I started it again but all up our hike would have been 35 kilometres, because of the extra little bit that we done around the Blue Lake to get to the cafe and it took us 9 hours.

To be on track at this stage we would have needed to have walked 50km already, at the end of week 1 we have walked 55.86 kilometres! I am happy to say that the long, terrible but worthwhile trek through the Redwoods has really pushed us forward. Now, we have to keep this lead by walking at least 10 kilometres a day and powering through. Wish us luck.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

#300km June Introduction

Hey! Last year we completed #150kmJune where Diego and I walked 150 kilometres within the month of June. I wasn't working at that point last year, and found that 150 was quite a challenge. I really had to push myself to make it to the end of the month.

Well, me being the crazy person I am, decided to up the ante this year by challenging myself to walk 300 kilometres within the month. The major difference from last year is that I will also be working a full time job while trying to complete all the kilometres (minus a week where I will be travelling throughout the North Island). I will also be continuing to go to the gym, have a social life, home life and remember, June is the first official month of Winter. Because of the challenge I have taken on, I have made this a fundraising event for my favourite charity HUHA. I am aiming to raise $2,500 for this charity, and this is all thanks to the amazing donations from people like you, reading this blog. Every cent counts, so please look into your heart and donate to this amazing cause.

I am going to be documenting my adventures through the month, so that you can follow along with the trials and tribulations that come with this kind of fundraiser. My sister and her dog, Ollie; Diego and I will be also doing a road trip in the first week of June around the upper North Island. We are going to be meeting up with other dog owners and dog company owners, and then trying out the local dog walks and cafes. You can view the list of all posts and videos I have currently posted by visiting the #300km June tab at the top of the page.

I also want this to be an event that others get involved in. I want this to inspire you to leave the house, walk your pooch, explore the places in your area that you have never visited before. I would love to see others photos, and experiences so please use the hashtag #300kmJune on social media so that I will be able to see them. If you don't want to publicly post, feel free to email me on daisypets@hotmail.com and tell me your exciting stories and adventures! There will also be a sneaky giveaway at the end of the month with everyone who shares their experiences, or joins in by commenting/sharing our posts and content. There will be more information on that a little bit later on, but make sure to follow our Facebook Page, Instagram and Youtube Channel.

I would love suggestions on walks in the Wellington region that I should go on, or if you live in the Wellington region I would love to have some company on some of our walks. I have quite a few already planned, but walking this many kilometres in a month, I am always open to new suggestions.

I want to also give a shout out to WonderWoof who sent us a dog activity tracker to track Diego's activity levels during the month. They were kind enough to send that out free of charge for us to test out, and enjoy during our walks. I have been playing around with it for the past month or so and so far, so good!

Thank you also to Fitbit for sending us their FitBit Blaze so that we will be able to accurately count the kilometres we have walked during the month. All my tracking is going to be done on this, with screenshots posted during the month so you can keep me accountable. If you own a Fitbit I would love to connect on the application, our email address is daisypets@hotmail.com. Add us as a friend and let's have some competitions!

Thank you for reading, I am excited for June to start and to get stuck in counting down the kilometres. I hope you can help us out by donating, sharing our posts, or just getting involved by commenting and liking our stuff! Stay tuned for all the crazy posts to come!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

HippyHound Collar and Leash Set

Hey! Recently, I dug deep into Diego's draws and found his HippyHound collar and leash set. This of course meant he had to add this duo to his rotation of 'outfits' that he wears during the week. I was about to re-post my review of the combo to my social media accounts, but realised I never did post a review even though we got these around a year ago now! So here's the long awaited review of our HippyHound collar and leash.

HippyHound is a New Zealand company that makes handmade collars and leashes from fabric sourced at local opshops and garage sales to get a truly vintage, rustic look. This makes their collars and leashes stand out from the crowd, and have originality you wouldn't find elsewhere. Not only are these leashes eco-friendly by using recycled fabrics, you will also be helping a good cause as 50c from every item sold is donated to dog shelters in Christchurch.

We got sent this awesome blue polka dot pattern collar and leash set. The quirky thing about this set is that half way up the lead it changes fabric to a blue checker design, but the colours are so similar it is hard to tell. I love this, it makes for an interesting leash! Both leash and collar have the HippyHound fabric attached in white writing on a black background.

Starting with the collar, it is the same fabric on both sides with a sturdier material in the middle of the fabric pieces. It has plastic hardware, with a silver leash hoop (where you connect the leash. Not sure what to call that piece). For a plastic buckle, it is quite sturdy and is hard to open. Where you re-size the leash is strong, and doesn't loosen during use. I sized it to Diego once and haven't had to re-size since.

The leash is one of my most comfortable leashes to hold while out on a walk. It is made in a similar way to the collar where the fabric is on both sides with a sturdier material in the centre. The stitching is of a very similar colour to the fabric, and is nearly lining the leash. The clip is a decently weighty silver, swivel clip.

This combo is not recommended to be allowed near water which does limit the amount we use it as Diego's favourite walks involve the river and beach. I did ignore this rule for a while and used the leash as my main leash because it was so comfortable, but after time it has meant that the clip is stiff and hard to open and close. This was mainly due to taking it to the beach, so if used as recommended I don't think this would happen as fast, if at all. Also, a note to mention is that in the place where the clip swivels, it has got some rust. Again, this is probably due to my own fault, but does mean that the clip isn't rust proof. The visible parts of the clip do not have surface rust though.

These are not ever going to be the most durable combo due to the fabrics used, and I think when buying them you need to remember that. However, I love this set for when doing a street walk, or when going out in public to cafes or around town. It is a set that is often complimented on when we are out and about, and I think it looks amazing on Diego. Also, if the leash is that comfortable for me, I figure that the collar must be nice for Diego to wear also.

Would I recommend them? Yes. I think for people who have multiple collars/leashes these would be perfect. They are quirky, individualised, make an impact and are friendly to the environment by using recycled materials. You probably wouldn't want these as your daily collar as they are not as hard wearing as other ones on the market but as part of a rotation, they really are great. I would 100% recommend the leash as I have previously said, it is amazingly comfortable in the hand. Just make sure it doesn't attend beach trips.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Wolves of Wellington Bandanas

Hey! I am a person that has multiple pairs of shoes, each a different colour to try and match whatever sport gear I am wearing on a certain day. I also now am trying to extend that into Diego's wardrobe because he needs to be as much of a fashion mogul as I. He does have a couple of different collars and leads, but my new favourite way to change up his look is with bandanas. I feel like they give him an extra kick to his look, and really increase his street cred. We also always get compliments when he wears bandanas out in public.

If you have been following our blog for a while you would know that we absolutely adore Wolves of Wellington. They are fellow Wellingtonians and are an awesome brother sister duo, with some pretty sweet dogs. They offer a range of quirky products that are not usually available in New Zealand, and are finally bringing New Zealand up to speed with the rest of the world in regards to cool new dog products. They also have a range of products called 'Pay it Forward' in which a portion of the profits go towards HUHA, a local animal charity. In this range they make amazing bandanas, which Diego has slowly been getting more and more of.

These bandanas are made in New Zealand, and are offered in a range of sizes to fit any dog. These are tie bandanas, which means that they are easily adjustable and can be worn alone or in conjunction with a collar. They are also offered in a variety of quirky and original prints to really stand out from the crowd. They also have the most incredible vegan leather patch with their logo engraved into it. Makes the bandanas a hundred times cooler. Diego owns three of these bandanas, and they recently released more prints which I have my eye on so it won't be long til that number increases. I have also purchased my sisters dog, Ollie one for while he is completing #300kmJune with us.

I have a few bandanas from a few companies and I think that there is a couple of main points which make the Wolves of Wellington ones stand out. The first is the fact that they are tie up. This makes them so much easier to chuck on, as I have them pre-tied and I just push them over Diego's head. I like how I can also put Diego's onto other dogs just be re-tying it and it looks snug and is a perfect fit for either dog. I find I can easily interchange them between Ollie and Diego, even though there is a huge size difference between the two dogs.

The other thing that makes the Wolves of Wellington bandanas stand out is their range of fabric prints. They find quirky, interesting fabrics, that you don't see at any other bandana company. I have had so many compliments on Diego's Mambo Bandana with people saying they love the colour combination with the pattern.

The bandanas we own have stood up to true tests with Diego often running through mud or swimming in the river. They still look as good as new, and have shown no wear or tear just yet. I think the true test will be during our walks of June as they will be worn for a lot of the walks. However, they are easily hand washed, and can be ironed to remove any pesky wrinkles if you feel the need.

If I were to suggest anything from Wolves of Wellington to first time buyers, it would definitely be any of the bandana range. They are inexpensive, with a cheap shipping option if you are only buying bandanas, and I have found arrive within the week. You also have the pleasure of knowing you are not only supporting local, but also helping out an animal charity that does amazing work for the animals of New Zealand.
If you purchase any of the range I would love to see photos of your pooch repping their new Wolves of Wellington Bandana, so use the #daisypets when posting photos to social media so I can get my Instagram stalk on.