Lily's kitchen.

31.8.13

I know dog food isn't the most exciting topic in the blogging world but as a dog owner of two very greedy dogs who can often has sensitive tummies to certain brands of food or food that's too rich, I'm always on the lookout for products that are kind on the pocket but also kind to them.

Lily's Kitchen offer "proper food for pets" in the shape of natural and organic wet food, dry food and treats. In addition to their natural ethos (they're the UK's most ethical pet food company) their products also have the most adorable packaging and their range of dog treats come in flavours that sound appealing even to me (okay, maybe not the liver flavour but cheese and apple sounds pretty tasty!)


What do Lily's Kitchen say about their recipes? 

We call our range of recipes ‘proper food’ because that is what our food looks and smells like. We make each recipe with wholesome, natural ingredients packed full of nourishing ingredients to keep your dog or cat in peak condition as well as build a strong immune system to fight disease.

Our products are unique in the world – we are the first company to produce and launch grain-free and meal-free foods. We only ever use 100% fresh meat in our recipes – no meat meals.

What's the verdict from Lily and Lola? They've absolutely loved being taste testers. They've trialled three boxes of treats (Forget Me Nots, Power Flowers and Bedtime Biscuits) which have all gone down a... well, a treat. They've also trialled the dry dog food which they've had in the morning and evening and they had no qualms there either.


Sometimes when I switch their food it can cause problems but they have both been absolutely fine making the transition to Lily's Kitchen and having checked over the ingredients I'm really happy that they're both keen to eat such nutritious food.

Lily's Kitchen is stocked at a pet food store not too far from us, as well as Waitrose in Sheffield which we do occasionally pop to for items we love but can't find elsewhere, which means we can stock up once we have finished the bags we received.


The products I received were sent to me on behalf of Tesco Pet Insurance (a big thank you from Lily and Lola for the tasty treats and thank you from me for introducing me to such a great brand).

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered, and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc

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Walk for All.

20.8.13

On Sunday my alarm went off at 5am and I woke, bleary eyed, ready to take part in a Jane Tomlinson Walk for All event. After getting ready and having a bit of breakfast my friend and I made the 2 hour journey to the Yorkshire Dales. 

We were signed up to "The Blockbuster", a 14 mile walk which took us through Malhamdale and past the curved limestone cliffs which was a location for one of the Harry Potter films (hence being called "The Blockbuster"!)

We both knew it would be tough and nothing like our usual walking routine round the pavements where we live, but nothing prepared us for how tough it really was. 

The first hour was extremely windy with heavy rain which was being blasted at us from all angles. My waterproof jacket failed me so I was soaked to the skin, and our shoes/socks were completely soaked through.


Eventually the rain subsided but the damage was done, we were pretty much drenched from head to toe and all we could do was plod on and try to think happy thoughts! The sun made an appearance later on in the morning which helped us to dry off a little and made things much more bearable/warmer!

Half way round the course we had to make our way up 418 stone steps which was as tough as it sounds. My heart was beating out of my chest as I tried to pick up some momentum to get to the top as quickly as possible. Some of the steps were the same height as the tops of my legs so it was a real effort to climb up each one.

I'd say around the 11 mile mark my hips started to ache, and every time I put one leg in front of the other it hurt. Not an unbearable pain by any means but I knew I'd be sore for the next few days, and sore I definitely am!

It was a great experience. It's not often I do scary things so I feel really proud of myself for completing the challenge and also, most importantly, raising £115 for charity (Parkinson's UK to be precise).

I hope this is the first of many times I push myself into doing things that scare me and going past my comfort zone to achieve something really great.


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Isle of Man photo diary (part 2).

17.8.13

If you missed part 1 it's here!

Our next and final full day (last Saturday) saw us heading to the Royal Manx show to check out the best of the best from the people on the Isle of Man. We saw terrific turnips, creative crafts and good looking farm animals. We had a good nosy round the different tents to see who had won each category. My favourite tent was the pudding tent which housed an array of scones, cupcakes, cakes decorated with fondant icing and swiss rolls (to name just a few).

We walked round the rest of the show, stopping to say hello to the animals. A tiny little lamb with the most adorable underbite caught my eye, snoozing next to his mum.


After the show all that fresh air got the best of me and I had a nap on the sofa while the boys walked the dogs (Snowy and Peanut). We went out for dinner again that evening before another evening of games, beer, Big Bang Theory and carrot cake!

We flew home on the Sunday so had a steady morning and a big brunch of homemade pancakes with syrup, sausages (veggie for me), eggs and toast which went down a treat washed down with a big mug of tea.

I was sad to leave as we had a great time but hopefully we get to visit again soon.


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Isle of Man photo diary (part 1).

14.8.13

Last Thursday Jonathan and I flew to the Isle of Man, on a flight so short I didn't even manage to read one chapter of my book, to visit my sister and her husband who live over there.

Our flight landed at around 4.30pm so by the time we got to their house, had a grand tour and a catch up it was time for dinner. My sister cooked for us and for dessert made melt in the middle chocolate puddings with vanilla ice cream which were simply divine! The rest of the evening was pretty chilled with a game of Cranium (my favourite!) and a few episodes of Big Bang Theory on the go.


Friday was our first full day so after a cheeky sleep-in (something we don't get very often with two little Pugs around) we headed out to explore. We were driven round the island and managed to see quite a bit as it's so small and easy to get from one place to the next. Everything was so picturesque so my camera definitely came in handy while we were exploring. We had a lovely time stopping off at various places to walk around and take in the surroundings.

We stopped for lunch and rested our feet for a little while before having ice cream (rum and raisin for me, Mr Whippy topping for Jonathan) and heading off for more driving/sightseeing.

That evening we walked into Peel for drinks and dinner (bread followed by three courses plus champagne - oh my poor little big belly!) before having a steady walk home to have a Cranium rematch! I do love a good bit of board game rivalry :)

Next time: part 2!


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Working 9 to 5.

12.8.13

It's not often I get home from work and don't immediately put on my workout gear or stick my pjs on but there was one night last night I didn't do either of those things. Instead I whipped out my camera and Jonathan attempted to make the tea and take photos of me simultaneously. I'd like to add at this point that I did brush my hair before these photos although you wouldn't think it to look at me...

This work dress is one of my favourite things to wear and not just because it makes getting ready on a morning a no-brainer. Tights, dress, voila! I think it's really pretty and it makes me feel smart but there's also plenty of room for maneuver as I'm often running round and dashing up and down the stairs at work. Plus I always get a couple of nice comments when I wear it which is never a bad thing. (It's from Next but I got it on Ebay).


You may also notice a pair of rather special shoes on my feet in the form of my black Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Divine SP Ad pumps that were delivered recently after I picked them out with one of my ambassador vouchers.

The thing I really like about the rubber Vivienne/Melissa pumps is that I don't need to worry about wearing them when it's raining. I've lost many a pair of nice pumps through unpredictable weather!

They are a tad on the snug side due to my usual side being too roomy so I switched them for the next size down, but I can live with that as they're so pretty. I can't resist that gold Vivienne logo!


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Uggs, but not as you know them!

7.8.13

When you think of Ugg Australia you probably think of sheepskin boots which are a bit like Marmite. People either seem to love them or hate them. However, Ugg Australia also sell a variety of shoes that aren't thick woolly winter boots as well as shoes for men and kids and accessories too. I only wish I had known about all their lovely things sooner as I've been missing out!

I was recently given the opportunity to pick an item from their website which was rather exciting as it's one of my favourite brands. I already own many pairs of Ugg boots which have all been such good quality and seen me through some wet and wild winters.

I was tempted by the classic mini boots in navy or grey which I have had my eye on for a while but I decided to drag myself away from my comfort zone and pick something a little bit different. Plus a girl can only own so many pairs of boots!

I opted for a rather chic pair of pumps (which I later discovered on the listing are described as indoor/outdoor slippers!) which looked like they would offer all of the usual comfort that comes with Ugg footwear but more suitable for Spring/Summer/Autumn weather.


First things first, they're lined with fur which makes you feel like your feet are resting on fluffy clouds which makes total sense if they're meant to be slippers but I'm not sure who would deprive the outside world of their beauty. This is the second time I have accidentally ended up with slippers thinking they're shoes but I think I can totally get away with wearing them outdoors with skinnies and an oversized top.

It's totally worth having a nosy at the shoes, trainers and accessories on the website as there seems to be a far bigger variety than you see in the shops. My other top picks are the tweed trainers, studded pumps and the quilted trainers.

Have you seen anything that has caught your eye? Ever come across Ugg trainers in the shops?

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