Thursday, July 2, 2020

Berry-licious Frozen Kefir Treats



When sharing Murphys raw bowls over on Instagram, something I am regularly asked is 'What are those paws?' or 'How do you make them?' 

The short answer is: They're nothing more than Kefir and berries and they're super simple to make! 

For those who have never heard of Kefir or it's benefits for dogs; it's basically a healthy fermented milk drink. It can be made from cow, sheep or goats milk and the health benefits for both human and hound are huge and include: 

  • Antibiotic and anti-fungal properties.
  • Aids prevention of allergies.
  • Promotes healthy skin.
  • Strengthens the digestive system.
  • Helps with upset stomach.
  • Can counteract bad breath.
  • Helps with joint disease.
  • Potentially reduces the increase of cancerous cells.
How much Kefir should I give my dog? 

I give Murphy around 3-4 paws a week, but as a rough guide: small dogs 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon daily, Medium dogs 1-2 tablespoons daily, Large dogs 2-3 tablespoons daily. 
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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

ACAI Activewear - Comfortable, practical and Stylish


I first Purchased a pair of ACAI trousers last year and they have been a staple piece of my walking wardrobe ever since, so I was absolutely delighted when they approached me and asked me to be an ambassador! 

I had long searched for a pair of waterproof trousers that were flattering and feminine, whilst still being comfortable. Lets be honest, most of us would rather get soaking wet in leggings than wear those baggy waterproofs that look like bin bags...literally. 

It's like all of my prayers had been answered when I came across ACAI, functional whilst still being stylish their skinny outdoor trousers are made using water repellent soft shell material with breath ability and freedom of movement, a figure flattering solution that stretches when you stretch. Being 5'11 I was so impressed that ACAI cater for every shape and size of women, offering petite, regular and tall ranges in sizes 6-22. The sizing is a question I've been asked a lot and I can say it is completely accurate and true to size, just because they are 'skinny fit' and figure hugging this does not mean they come up small! They're high waisted meaning they give a flattering look whilst filling you with confidence when bending or climbing. 


As well as empowering women of all shapes and sizes to feel comfortable and confident outdoors, I also love that ACAI are committed to sustainability and their products are made with as little environmental impact as possible. All trousers come packaged in a mesh laundry bag as opposed to disposable plastic which also helps care for your garments when washing, win win!


It's all well and good trousers looking the part but do they do the job when it rains? Over the past 8/9 months of wearing my ACAI trousers I've been caught in many rainfalls from light showers to heavy downpours! They are fully shower proof and as you can see from the photo below, the rain settles on the surface of the trousers. 

Even in the most torrential downpours I have found the ACAI trousers are super quick drying which has meant I'm not uncomfortable on the drive home or when the rain does eventually stop!

As a dog owner I'm sure you'll all appreciate how useful pockets are, whether it's for your phone or poo bags the ACAI trousers have 4 really deep sized pockets, one with a zip. They're much deeper than average pockets on trousers and comfortably fit my large smartphone in, something I've found so useful when I don't want to take a bag out with me. 


The ACAI trousers have passed the muddy paws test, meaning they don't need washing half as much as regular trousers. However, when I do wash them I use the 'Grangers Clothing wash and Repel' which is a wash in product designed to maintain the water resistance of the trousers. This can also be purchased on the ACAI website under 'Accessories'. 



Pictured throughout are the 'MAX Stretch Skinny Outdoor Trousers in Khaki' these are slightly thinner than the 'Mid-Weight' trousers which I also own. 

With the UK weather being so changeable I wear these even on a clear sunny day, and they just look like normal trousers/leggings! I really can't recommend them enough, they've been such a game changer and whilst this pair was gifted I have purchased in the past and wouldn't hesitate to do so again! 




Love Kelly & Murphy x x 










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Friday, May 29, 2020

Pet Safe Travel with MIMsafe





For the vast majority of pet owners, the health and safety of our companions is paramount and something we often think about even more than our own. Since having Murphy, I've always had a small hatchback car and how he travels is something I've thought and worried about often. He's always been the perfect passenger and will always quietly settle, so I opted for a seat belt and cover on the back seat, believing this was the safest of the options available to me given the model of car I owned. I had looked into crash proof crates but gave up the idea when I was told by one well known company they didn't make them to fit my car (and had no plans to!) 

Did you know: Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: "When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. "A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."

As Murphy got older I began to travel with him more frequently and for longer distances, which made his (and my) safety even more important than before. I was again troubled by how safe he was in the car should the worst ever happen. A sharp and unexpected break could send him tumbling into the foot well even with a harness and seat belt on! Hearing of dogs that had been killed in a car accident which hadn't been serious for the driver spurred me to once again spend hours scouring the internet for options. This is when I came across MIMsafe.

Captured by Jessica Coates Photography


I recently did a poll over on Instagram, and a staggering 88% of you had never heard of them. This is what compelled me to write this, because I really do think how your pets travel is so important and there are probably many of you who are like me and would have purchased a crash proof crate long ago if you knew there was one to fit your car! MIMsafe make a range of different sized crash tested, crush proof crates to fit most cars...including hatchbacks! They have documentation from hundreds of crash tests including many videos to demonstrate which can be found on Youtube for those interested. 

Captured by Jessica Coates Photography


Once I had found the MIMsafe, I literally didn't think twice about buying one and honestly it's one of the best purchases I have ever made. I'm not going to lie, they are expensive and this probably puts a lot of people off, but such a worthwhile investment for something which could potentially save your dogs life. They do offer a finance option to help spread the cost over a set amount of months which is definitely what I'd have done had I known about this at the time I purchased! Also featuring a rear escape door, in case the front is blocked the MIMsafe really has given me that piece of mind when travelling, I had been lacking. 

Captured by Jessica Coates Photography


Besides the obvious safety aspect I have found countless other benefits. A dog hair and mud free car for one! Don't get me wrong, my car is pretty much a roller skate, a shed on wheels, only The Flintstones have a worse ride than me. However, that being said I still have OCD where the upholstery of my car is concerned and dog hairs is a big pet peeve. Those things grip to your car floor and seats like their lives depend on it. Also, the typical spaniel that Murphy is means he can't ever get back into a car as clean as he left it. Having the MIMsafe means that all the mud, foxpoop and god knows what else (once rolled in a dead seagull, as you do) is contained in his own space where he can happily wallow in the stench, away from me and my clean seats. 

As mentioned above, these crates (as any crash tested crate is) are pretty pricey. However one HUGE bonus of the MIMsafe over some other brands is that they are adjustable. This means when I do get a new car (hopefully soon!) I wont't have to shell out all that money again buying a new crate to fit, it also means Murphy will get extra space (yay). 

The door of the MIMsafe is lockable and whilst not a feature I'm likely to use I know many who compete in agility etc find this handy. It allows you to safely keep your dog in the car whilst being able to leave the boot open and keep them cool. 

Captured by Jessica Coates Photography

I hope this may have helped a few of you to think about your pets in the car and if you have any questions I will be happy to try and answer them as honestly as I can. I'm not working with MIMsafe, all opinions are my own and I purchased my cage entirely. 


Love Kelly & Murphy x x





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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Crufts 2020 with Zoflora


Murphy and I were very kindly invited by Zoflora to attend Crufts this year!



It was a completely new experience for the both of us, never having been myself either, but we loved it! I think Murphy thought all of his doggy dreams had come true, a day filled with endless treats and belly rubs from anyone and everyone he met. What was not to love?! 


Our first stop was of course Zoflora, the best smelling stand around! We were super excited to check out their new Coastal Breeze scent and can confirm it smells amazing! Murphy was treated like a true VIP and I can't thank the guys enough for making us feel so welcome and showering Murphy with cuddles. We also took their Doggy Cam for a little spin (wish I had £1 for every time I heard "That dogs got a GoPro on him!" as we were walking around.) We can't wait to see all of the footage they got with this from over the weekend so be sure to check that out! 

The best piece of advice I was given before visiting Crufts was to try and write a list of the stands you know you want to visit along with their hall and location number. We found we were constantly referring back to this list and definitely would have missed certain things had we not had it! 

It was great to see so many brands we already know, love and regularly use but it was also nice to be introduced to some new brands we haven't come across before. We picked up the most gorgeous drying robe from Harbour Hounds a new company but one that I think will really take off! As I walked past I was drawn in by the nautical colours of their robes and obvious high quality. Featuring an opening for the tail, underbelly and good hindquarter coverage as well as a turtleneck for those ears I found this to be a better design than other drying coats/robes we already own. I was sold when I found out the company is conscious of their impact on the environment too. Deffo one to check out guys!

Other brands we made purchases from that we haven't tried before but are excited to, are: 




After a long day of shopping we stopped for a bite to eat at 'The Little Owl', a dog friendly pub less than a mile away from the NEC. It was super cosy and Murphy definitely appreciated the log fire they had burning! 


I really couldn't have been prouder of Murphy yesterday and want to thank everyone we met, for the treats, the cuddles and the kindness.


Love Kelly & Murphy x




 


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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Festive Five: X-Mas Gift Ideas for the Dog Lover in Your Life.


With just 49 days until Christmas it’s time to start thinking about what to get our loved ones this year. For me, the very best gifts are always the ones with some thought behind them, something unique and personal. Watching your loved ones reaction when they open such gifts is priceless!
I’ve put together five of my favourite finds that would make a truly special gift for anyone this Christmas. Please note that these are in alphabetical order and by no means in order of preference, I love them all equally! 

Afternoon Tea for Human and Hound

The perfect treat for yourself or your loved ones and you can now include your furry best friend in the experience too! There are a number of places up and down the UK that now offer delicious afternoon teas for humans and a dog friendly version for their pooch. The Stratford Park Hotel and Golf Club offer vouchers priced at £35 which includes afternoon tea for 2 people and a dog and can be found here 

The following places also offer afternoon tea for humans with a dog friendly version for the pups:

The Blue Whippet Café in Hull

Cheddar Paws in Cheddar

Coed-Y-Mwstwr in Bridgend

Egerton House in London

The Fish Hotel in Worcestershire

Angelcasts 

Ami creates the most stunning pieces of jewellery from the print of your pets paw or nose texture. Classy, subtle and discreet these keepsakes are truly one of a kind and the perfect way to keep your pet close forever. As each item is completely bespoke the choices are endless, from dainty stacking rings to statement necklaces, Ami can create exactly what you have in mind. There is also the option of engraving names, dates, initials or a short message to make the item even more unique and special.






A gift that will be worn and treasured for a lifetime. The prints are super easy and safe for you to get yourself at home with the kit Ami sends out in the post and are completely mess free. The full range can be found here. Ami is also currently offering 15% off to all those that sign up to the members area.



 


Emma Gadd Pet Portrait

Emma is a professional colour pencil artist with a talent that just blows me away! Specialising in pet portrait commissions she uses high resolution digital photos as a reference to create her drawings. Emma captures the unique character and personality of each and every pet she draws, with an attention to detail like no other making her drawings truly lifelike. A piece to display and treasure forever. 


Mounted and ready to frame with a hand signed certificate of authenticity from the artist this truly is a special gift. 


Emma is currently fully booked for 2019, however you can purchase a gift certificate to give on the day to be claimed in the new year. 



Jessica Coates Photography 

Is there anything better than looking back over photos of your pup and remembering a special moment? Jess is currently offering a range of different packages to suit every budget including special human and hound shoots designed to capture that special bond between you. Whatever you have in mind whether its a favourite place, season or event Jess captures the moment perfectly. Jess is easy going and patient and really makes you and your pup feel at ease making the whole experience fun and enjoyable for all. 





More examples of Jess' work can be found on her website and the code MURPHY10 will save you 10% off your booking. 

Vistaprint Photo Gifts

Vistaprint offer a wide range of quality and affordable gifts that can be customised with your own text and photos. From mugs and wall calendars to cushions and blankets there is something for everyone. I am often guilty of not printing photos as regularly as I should and if you're like me the photobooks are perfect! Print all of your cherished photos in one place and give a unique gift that will be enjoyed again and again. The website is really user friendly making the gifts easy to create and the steps straightforward to follow, meaning you can create your gift within a matter of minutes! 




You can create your own gifts by visiting my link here You can also use my code '50XMAS' to save 50% off one item until the 23.12.19 (Max savings up to £250)

Please note that this blog post is in no way sponsored by Vistaprint and all opinions are my own. 

We hope that you all enjoy the lead up to Christmas and have fun finding the perfect gifts.

Love Kelly and Murphy x x





















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Saturday, November 2, 2019

A week adventuring with Vauxhall



This week Murphy and I were lucky enough to adventure around North Yorkshire in the new Vauxhall Crossland X. An SUV packed with style and driver assist features, which really did make this a dream to drive. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm used to driving a tiny hatchback so I was a little nervous about getting behind the wheel. I didn't need to be, with a 180° panoramic rear view camera and front parking sensors I was able to park like a pro (for the first time ever!) 

When travelling with a dog, for me, space and safety are paramount and the Crossland X ticks all of the right boxes. With up to 520 litres of flexible load space there was plenty of room for Murphy's crate and accessories in the back. 



                                 
                                     

With the early nights drawing in, it was dark when we set off. Our destination; Beech Nut Shepherds Hut, located on a working farm just outside of York. With a little help from the fully integrated European SAT NAV system (OK, a LOT of help) we were able to find our destination. That's not to say I didn't take a few wrong turns along the way (even with the best technology in the world this is still me we're talking about.) One wrong turn took me down a very narrow dirt track heavily lined by trees, it didn't take me long to realise this was probably the direction to the wolves house and not my idyllic Shepherds hut at all. The only option was to reverse, in the pitch black I didn't fancy my chances but luckily for me the camera worked amazingly well, and myself, Murphy and (Thank God) the car all came out unscathed. 

Staying on a fully working farm at this time of year there was understandably mud, and a lot of it (sorry Vauxhall) but the Crossland X handled it well and thankfully I have no stories of getting stuck to report! 


Beech Nut Shepherds Hut is a wonderful place to relax, with the closest neighbours being a pair of donkeys it's a truly peaceful escape. 



With a rustic shabby chic country feel the hut is decorated simply and elegantly and was surprisingly spacious with a double bed, day bed and dresser. Despite visiting at the end of October, the fire made the hut warm and cosy and there was freshly baked bread to wake up to in the morning, can you get any more perfect? 


Whilst here, we took the Crossland X to Whitby. Navigating the winding country roads with comfort and ease. I found the car to be so smooth and responsive I was able to relax and really enjoy the drive. 


The sun shone but that's not to say there wasn't still a chill in the air, so returning to the car it was great to be able to crank up the heated seat and steering wheel and warm up quickly. 

It's safe to say I fell a little in love with this car and had the best time adventuring in it with Murphy by my side. 




Thank you Vauxhall for the gifted rental, all opinions are my own.

Love Kelly and Murphy x 





 






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Monday, September 16, 2019

Rutland Water Sports Canoeing and SUP

Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography

I’ve wanted to try canoeing and paddle boarding with Murphy for a while now, so I thought what better way to celebrate his birthday than going with friends! As it’s recently become quite a popular sport to do with your dogs, finding somewhere that was fairly close by and dog friendly was actually a lot easier than I thought! We were originally supposed to be going to Rother Valley to do it but unfortunately, it’s currently closed due to blue green algae on the lake so we went to Rutland Water instead (both are dog friendly)

With four different car parks Rutland Water is a big place, so if you’re going for the water sports centre it’s the Bull Brigg Lane, Whitwell car park you need LE158BL. Located in the most picturesque setting it’s the perfect place to try something new for yourself or with the pup! Offering everything from sailing and windsurfing to kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding there really is something for everyone to have a go at whether you’re a complete beginner like myself or an expert (which I hope to become!) 


An up to date price list of everything available can be found HERE all of the prices are per hour and include the hire of life jackets (essential) and wet suits (optional) They do ask that all dogs wear a life jacket or harness themselves too and can supply you with a doggy life jacket if it’s not something you own. 


Murphy wears his Blue Atoll float coat from Ruffwear. Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography


We were so incredibly lucky to have such beautiful weather this weekend but they do offer hire all year round for those of you who are incredibly brave (or stupid) and don’t mind getting out on the water in the colder months. 

I cannot fault the staff on the day who were really helpful and laid back and nothing was too much trouble (even when Graham accidently pushed a paddleboard back out into the water in his excitement for treats!)

We started the day canoeing; we split into pairs and shared a canoe. They were easily big enough to comfortably hold two adults and two dogs. All of the dogs loved it, minus Graham but he was very brave for giving it a go! To say how busy the place was it was so peaceful and relaxing out on the water and felt like you were a million miles away from the rest of the world. 


Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography

Having worked up an appetite we had a break from the water sports to enjoy a picnic by the water. The dogs were fully included in this too (their food actually looked and smelt better than ours)

We were very kindly gifted the most amazing doggy picnic items from Cheddar Paws Bakery 



which included doggy scones which I filled with cream cheese and strawberries (to look like clotted cream and jam) a rainbow birthday cake, personalised biscuits and doggy doughnuts. Needless to say, every item went down well and the pups couldn’t get enough of them!   

                    
                    
                                                                                                                               Images captured by: Jessica Coates Photography
Murphy literally stole as many biscuits as he could fit into his mouth once he realised I was giving them away to his friends (evidently he loves them, but not that much)





After lunch it was back to the water to enjoy an hour of paddle boarding. This is the one I was most looking forward to and have wanted to try for so long! In all honesty I was fully expecting Murphy to jump from the board into the water and opt to swim alongside me but he really surprised me and stayed on the board the whole time! 


Captured by Emma edited by: Jessica Coates

He did seem a little nervous at first so I took him back so that he could jump off and have a little run around solid ground but when he saw me heading back out into the water without him, he quickly jumped back on and was a lot more settled after that. He is a typical spaniel though so didn’t sit still on the board, intrigued by everything and what everyone else was doing he was constantly moving around which made it impossible for me to stand! 


Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography

(Can’t fully blame Murphy, I had a little go without him on the board and still didn’t manage it...it’s a lot harder than some people make it look!) 

For people wanting to walk their dogs there, the place is huge and you could easily walk for miles, however due to the nature of the place and wildlife there is a strict policy that dogs have to be on lead at all times. There is a designated dog walking area at Sykes Lane car park 5 minutes down the road where they can run free in a secure woodland area if you do want them to have some off lead time. 

I literally had the best day and it’s definitely something I will do again and would recommend to anyone. I can’t thank Jess and Echo, Abby and Binky and Emma and Graham enough for joining us and making the day so special and memorable. We really couldn’t have asked for a better group of ladies and pups to share the day with. 


Captured by Emma edited by Jessica Coates


Love Kelly and Murphy x

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