Thursday, 16 February 2017

LIFESTYLE: How to get the left over wax out of a candle

The art of burning candles is something that I have only recently got into thanks to the girls and their passion for Yankee Candles. Who knew candles were so much more than just lighting them! Sweet & Salty Caramel has by far been one of my favourites, so much so that it's the first candle that I have ever used up completely. 
I was annoyed at how much wax was still left at the bottom of the glass jar and with the price of these candles being on the higher side for my liking, I didn't want to waste it. So I got straight on iMessage to Shelley to find out what she did with the millions of amazing candles she owns. Turns out that it's pretty simple.
 *Carefully* fill the jar with boiling water.
With the darker coloured candles you will see a little separation in colour at the top of the water but this didn't affect the scent of the wax left at the bottom. 
 The remaining wax will float until the top after a few minutes.
Remember that the wax will be so hot so I used an oven glove because, ouch. The happened much more quickly than I expected, I thought I would have to leave this for at least 30 minutes to release the wax, but this was done after about 3-4!
Using a spoon poke out the metal wick holder.
You don't have to bother with this step if you aren't going to reuse the wax, I wanted to use the remaining wax as a melt in my burner. Although this does create a hole in the middle which made getting the wax out of the jar really easy.
Pour out the water and remove the wax.
Don't make the same mistake I did and leave the sink covered in wax, try having some hot water already running or pour the water into a container you are happy to throw away. I really wanted to keep the glass jar for cotton wool storage but there is so much wax residue inside. No matter how many times I've repeated this method the glass jar still isn't clean. But I have managed to get four good sized melts out of what was left! 

Monday, 30 January 2017

ANIMALS: What would I feed my dog?

As the date to move into our first house draws closer, the more time I am spending wondering if we will ever find that four legged dog friend that will fit in our lifestyle (and that won't make Matt have an asthma attack!). 

I already know where his/hers cage would go, where I'd keep the lead and have pictured our daily routine over and over again. But one thing I am still unsure of is what I would feed it. I had always been bought up with family feeding their dogs the standard dog food but recently my eyes have been opened to the world of raw feeding. The dilemma is since going Vegan - could I do it? 
Indy - Charli's Puppy!!! 
There are so many different options for dogs food to consider; raw feeding, the generic popular brands (which I wouldn't ever feed my dog, heard too many horror stories) and natural dog food. Ultimately I know it's going to be down to the dog that we adopt that will decide, so I've been reading a fair few feeding guides and wanted to share what I had learnt below.

Protein

It's widely know that protein aids growth and repair and it's an important energy source for everyone, not just dogs. In dog food this is usually sourced from meat and fish as it is the most natural and digestible form for canines. However this can be expensive so there are cheaper dog foods with vegetable protein and there are some vegans will choose this over meat sourced protein. 

Fats & Oils

These are important for dogs as not only are they a source of energy but they also keep the dog's skin and coat healthy. I'm part of a dog walking group on Facebook and there are regular discussions around what oils owners feed their dogs. The most popular are omega 3 and 6 and are usually added into the food. 

Fibre

There is some debate around the benefits of fibre in a dogs diet however, it's widely believed that it helps to aid water absorption and prevents diarrhoea. Fibre can also do the opposite and prevent constipation by drawing water into the digestive system.

Minerals

Something which I am already aware of with Bertie and Rocky, each have mineral supplements and a salt lick. In dog food this is often referred to as "ash" apparently because of the way that its nutrient content is measured. Important minerals for dogs include; calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. 

Vitamins

Again, something I am used to with Rocky in-particular as guinea pigs need additional vitamins. There's a trend for dog food to be cold-pressed now because there is a difficultly in preserving vitamins when you heat food to high temperatures. 

Darlow - Cardiff Dogs Home
As I will be adopting a dog, most likely from Cardiff Dogs Home, a transitional period between foods will be needed. At the home they are fed on very bland food to be on the safe side, unless there are known health issues. It's suggested that you follow the method of a 75:25 split between the old food and the new. Keep it like this for a couple of days, before changing the split to 50:50 then 25:75 old to new.

We are having a huge kitchen so our dog will have their own cupboard and I can't wait. There will be numerous airtight containers of food and treats. Unless we go down the raw feeding route and then it is recommended that you buy a separate freezer!
If you own a dog I'd be really keen to here what you feed it. 

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

FASHION: Casual Trainers

1 // 2 // 3

Once upon a time I would only wear converse with my jeans as a casual outfit. I wouldn't even venture into colourful ones, I would only strictly wear the white version. Fast forward to today and I've recently been sat in the office on a dress down Friday and noticed that more and more girls are wearing actual running trainers as womens shoes.

This isn't limited to just my office, all over instagram, blogging and just in general there is this huge shift to wearing trainers again as shoes. Although, the only problem is the trainers I own are bright purple with neon pink laces or grey with neon green. Not quite the look that I think is fashionable now and both would be too hard to wear with a colourful top. 

The common trend is that most of these trainers are Nike and as I like to be a little different I have found three from Sketchers that I'd happily wear as shoes. I think iI would get the most wear out of  the plain black ones, even though my favourite is the ombre (is that still fashionable?!) pair. 

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Sunday, 8 January 2017

LIFESTYLE: Days out with dogs

One of my favourite past times is dog walking. Something that I always enjoyed no matter which dog I was walking and now I am lucky enough to call that my hobby. I would never rack up the walks I have done in the past two and a half years without being with a dog!

Highlights for me include the days where we would take the dogs to the beach. They would get absolutely exhausted (and dirty!) in the sand and we knew that we would be taking them back to the kennels for a comfortable nights sleep.

 Annoyingly I haven't been at the dogs home recently and it's something that has really been playing on my mind. With the house renovation being all consuming physically and mentally, I just haven't had the energy to get there and I really feel like I am letting the dogs down.

 I've been spending a lot of time looking back at photos from my time at the dogs home and it's sparking the excitement that I have when I'm at the dogs home or with a dog. My Saturdays were a routine for me and a trip to the dogs home was embedded into my week. But as soon as this changed and I spent a couple of Saturdays away, it was hard to go back.


Hopefully we will be moving into our home within a month and then my routine can fall back into place because I miss it, I really do! I can't wait for the weather to clear so that I can plan some days out with dogs - especially the beach. Watching a dog pretty much eat the mud is hilarious, I managed to capture it in one of my youtube videos - watch it here.

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