ANIMALS: What would I feed my dog?

Monday, 30 January 2017
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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FASHION: Casual Trainers

Tuesday, 17 January 2017
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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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LIFESTYLE: Days out with dogs

Sunday, 8 January 2017
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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LIFESTYLE: Looking back at 2016

Monday, 2 January 2017

2016, what a year! I think most people would agree that it was one of the worst years portrayed in the media. So, in a bid to remain on the positive side of life - here are the good things that happened to me in 2016.
We became homeowners! A huge achievement for anyone given the prices of houses and how much of a deposit needed now. We still aren't moved in yet due to renovation works becoming a *little* more of a project than anticipated! I've been updating on here and on youtube, there's  couple of updates that I need to post. Hoping to be moved in by the end of this month.

I am 100% not looking forward to the packing, but I am looking forward to making memories in our home.
I became an Auntie again. Amelia was born and she is the apple of my eye. I couldn't love her anymore, even if I did miss the birth after months of preparation! You can find out why in the video on my youtube channel. In other news, she's going to become a big sister this year and I am hell bent on not missing my Nephew's birth!
After two really meaningful posts, here's something very materialistic but with a meaningful intent. In 2016 I went completely cruelty free with my makeup so I'm having to find new favourites, luckily most of them were already cruelty free, however my foundation wasn't. Enter Charlotte Tilbury. 

After attending an event all about the brand I was hooked on the Magic Foundation, annoyingly I love it more than my £6 NYX foundation - but it's so worth it.
Muffin got her home! I posted about this dog many times, but she was my girl and I loved her through and through. Annoyingly she was so overlooked but it worked out in the end because she's in the loving home she deserved.
One that I can't not mention here really, in March I went Vegetarian and throughout the year I've gradually been making more and more vegan choices. I am loving it and can't ever imagine myself ever eating meat again. 

After watching a documentary I made sure that I educated myself on the subject and as of now I have stopped reading about it, I know enough to know I will never eat meat again. It was this research that made me determined to be vegan and I am well underway into that.

I do find eating at others houses difficult so the majority of the time I am 100% happy to be catered for as a vegetarian, I'm even bought dairy free ice cream now. Everyone has been relatively accepting of my choice, even though I have been quizzed about it, and I hope that it does become more mainstream.
The picture that I never thought it would upload. In 2016 I lost 2stone (I've put on half a stone over Christmas, but F it) and I am now wearing tight clothing and feeling much more confident. 

I've never had body confidence, even when I was barely 8 stone after recovering from glandula fever, I hated how I looked and was always covering up. Towards the end of last year comments started coming in suggesting I'd lost weight so I weighed myself and it turned out I had!! My trousers weren't loose from wearing them too much, they were loose because they were too big. 

I went shopping for pencil skirts and have had a complete mind shift. This was all done without the gym so in 2017 I'm going to get fitter and be the healthiest I can be. We are putting a gym in our garden shed (it's huge) so this will get me on my way. 

What were your favourite parts of 2016?





LIFESTYLE: 2017; Page 1

Sunday, 1 January 2017

There seems to be a lot of controversy around setting New Year's Resolutions all over the place at the moment, but to be honest, I am a huge fan of having a defining moment where you want to create change. I don't mean changing who you are as a person, unless you are a complete cock, but making the pathways to become the better version of yourself you can be. What are your thoughts? 


Today I sat with a very large cup of coffee, made with my new favourite oat milk and with one of my new diaries in hand I started to write. My resolutions have evolved into a bit of a yearly to-do list and there is currently 29 items across four categories and it's probably not going to end there.

I want to add to this throughout the year and evolve the list into a working itinerary for the year. I know this will be completely against what people say about lists and goals - you should have a timeline and they should be specific, but mine aren't. 


The four categories I have are Health, Financial, Personal and Career, whilst I won't share all of these on here, an example of some are: 
  • Go on a photography day trip
  • Drive on a motorway
  • Make more vegan choices
  • Complete courses to supplement my career
There are lots more as I said, but some are really personal so in my diary they will stay!