Wednesday, 15 February 2017

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR DOG HAPPIER (& HEALTHIER)


1. Up the vitamins! Try to include at least one fresh (preferably organic) vegetable with every meal. Carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, green beans and peas are good for dogs in small servings. I give Riley a small chopped vegetable with every meal along with his dog food. I also like to add a bit of hot water so that it is moist, gives him something warm in his little tummy, and hydrates him further too. I also only give Riley organic, GMO-free and gluten-free kibble, I have really noticed the difference in Riley's energy levels since I have adapted his diet this way. Apples, blueberries and bananas are healthy snacks for a dog and a great alternative to unhealthy shop bought treats. A healthy dog is a happy dog! 

2. Take them someplace new as often as you can! Change up your dog walks and refrain from taking them on the same route every single day. I take Riley to new places every week. Just as humans like to be in new surroundings, so do dogs. Variety is the spice of life after all. I love seeing how happy he gets running through the fields or woods smelling new smells and exploring new parts of nature.

You could treat them to day trips and staycations. You could even take them away with you if you're going for a good length of time. Riley does have a passport but I haven't used it yet because I have only been on weekends away. Due to the fact Riley can get quite nervous, I am only taking him on a staycation in the near future because I know he will hate a flight. Dogs may well need to get away and have a break like we do. I know Riley hates the hustle and bustle and we live in a busy area at the moment so going into the country will be his dream. I also take him to pubs, pet superstores and anywhere I can bring a dog for days out too - it seems to keep him happy!

3. Brush their teeth - every single day. Now, this is something I didn't always do but last month Riley had to have his teeth taken out and not only did it cost a whopping £450 - it has also left him a gummy bear. He has about four teeth now (that's a slight exaggeration but there are so many missing now) and it makes me sad because if he should have to lose those - then I don't know what we could do. Before his teeth were removed he was in so much pain too and no one can be happy when they're in pain so let's make a conscious effort to ensure the dental hygiene of our furry friends is as good as our own! I brush his teeth once or twice a day with a dog tooth brush and paste. You only have to quickly brush up the sides and around the front and their tongues will do the rest of the work for you. You can get special flavoured toothpaste too which I know Riley would enjoy more but if they suffer with bad breath at times - I'd recommend opting for the minty kind.

4. Take them to the pooch parlour. You can try and do this yourself as I have before with clippers but it is never as neat and I cannot squeeze his glands in his bottom to get any excess faeces out like a professional dog groomer can. When my dad used to have Riley he gave him so many home haircuts to shock me - he was once a lion, once had a mohawk and once I came home to a Beethoven-like collar made of hair. Haha! My dad was funny but I like my little babzy to be prim and proper. They may not like going to the pet groomers but afterwards, they will look, smell and feel 100% times better and you'll have a very happy pampered pooch.

5. Let them play - every day. Riley's personal favourite is fetching mini tennis balls. He is absolutely obsessed with them and it doesn't take much to play fetch for half an hour or so every day. I sometimes do it while I am on the phone or doing something else and he still loves it. You can even buy one of those ball throwers if you don't wish to play but I guarantee your bond with your dog will grow if you take the time to play with them and giggle at their funny little ways! You'll also see how happy it makes them so you'll want to do it for longer; it'll be worth the achy arm I swear!

I hope this blog post helped spark some inspiration or was somewhat helpful! 

Peace out Potatoes! xo

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

30 BEFORE 30


1. Go on a hot air balloon ride (proof)
2. Go on a boat along the Nile and explore the pyramids of Giza in Egyp (proof)
3. See turtles hatch and wriggle into the sea
4. Do a fun water sport, so, flyboarding/ paragliding/sailing/skiing/ going on a sofa boat  (proof)
5. Do a massage therapy course
6. Visit Stonehenge  (proof)
7. Ride the Trans-Siberian express across Asia (Moscow-Ulan Bator-Beijing)  (proof)
8. Visit China and climb the great wall  (proof)
9. Visit Mongolia and learn about Buddhism and listen to Mongolian throat singing live  (proof)
10. Teach English in another country (proof)
11. Choose where I want to live longer-term 
12. See the northern lights (aurora borealis) (proof)
13. Take Riley on a staycation  (proof)
14. Visit Las Vegas
15. Visit a traditional Moroccan Hammam(proof)
16. Start making videos of my travels 
17. Go to an escape game  (proof)
18. Visit Edinburgh
19. Create and build my family tree
20. See Ben Howard in concert 
21. Visit Mexico and explore Mayan ruins ✔ (proof)
22. Spend a Christmas somewhere hot (proof)
23. Visit the Harry Potter Studios in London
24. Travel solo (proof)
25. Complete a higher teacher qualification - TESOL or PGCE 
26. Visit Croatia (proof)
27. Visit 'God's own' junkyard in London  (proof)
28. Go and see Phantom of the Opera in the theatre (It was my Dad's favourite)  (proof)
29. Visit South America
30. Visit Italy.  (proof)

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

JANUARY GRATITUDE DIARY


So, January was a hard one for me due to the fact my father died and everything was and still is, to be honest, such a blur and all a bit surreal but I am still finding things to be grateful for through all the tears, heart sinks and belly pangs...

Riley is my absolute babes, I love him and he is probably the only reason I get out of bed each morning at the moment. He makes me smile, laugh and gives me a purpose to go on. He is my tie and connection to my Dad too as we both trained him together, have lots of memories with him and spent a lot of time together with him. He adored my Dad just as much as I did and my Dad adored Riley just as much as I do too. Riley and I have also been exploring lots of new places together recently and seeing him happy fills my heart with so much joy and I get the warm belly feeling each time he walks by my side. Wherever we go, we'll go there together.

Being outside in nature makes me feel SO much better. I love walking in the woods, fields, moss, leaves, by water, rivers etc. It's the best and if you're ever feeling shit I suggest going and finding a quiet place to be with nature. Up until recently, I thought my hometown didn't have anywhere to walk in but I have found so many new places to go recently, all of which are hidden away and beautiful. I was thinking on my walk today 'imagine if you didn't take the time to be with nature' - we are nature, we need it! It's so uplifting and reviving. 

Hearing the birds sing and seeing the squirrels scuttle around both make me so happy because I feel as though it reminds you that life isn't so bad after all. There is always something to sing about and always something to be happy about and move towards, no matter how dark a time you are having - It also reminds you that there is so much more going on in the world than your little sphere of it - so why get absorbed and negatively wallow in things? Life itself is still very much alive.

Brown eyes - granted, this is a strange one, but I love brown eyes so much. My dad, in his body here on earth with us, had the most beautiful deep chocolate brown eyes and I have always loved them. I just love brown eyes on anyone - be it a dog, a child, an old lady, a friend, a family member - brown eyes are amazing. They're so comforting to me and make me feel even more like we are all one and connected. Isn't it bizarre that our eyeballs are literally how we see the world but have a lot to do with how the world sees us - in terms of kind eyes, shifty eyes, angry eyes... our eyes are amazing. Let's shove those in the gratitude diary too - eyes to see and be seen with are brilliant.

4OD has been my best friend for the past two months. I love a bit of escapism but most recently my concentration span has been horrendous so programs are better than books for me right now. I have been specifically loving coach trip because it shows you new places and gives me inspiration for all the fun things I want to do when I am ready to do them. I have also been loving first dates hotel because it reminds you that we all have our own little battles and insecurities and one way or another we are all very much in the same boat.

Peace out potatoes xo








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RILEY's RAMBLES: SHIRLEY WOODS & VIEWPOINT


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