Monday, 28 August 2017

Review - Amy's Kitchen Rice Macaroni & Cheese Gluten Free Ready Meal

I received this product free of charge for the purpose of an unbiased review.


Amy's Kitchen Gluten Free Rice Mac & Cheese

Product Description 

At Amy’s Kitchen we do not believe that “free from gluten” means “free from flavour”, so our chefs created a gluten free version just as tasty as the original. First they make a roux by browning gluten free rice flour in pure creamery butter, then add fresh organic milk, stirring carefully until the sauce is just the right consistency. After that they add freshly grated mature Cheddar. Then this lovely sauce is gently combined with gluten free rice macaroni to create a dish that everyone can savour and enjoy, whether they are gluten intolerant or not.

Amy's Kitchen website link


Price

Currently £2.20 at Waitrose (prices may vary at other stores)

Stockists

You can find a list of stores and online retailers that stock Amy's Kitchen products here:


Reviewed by

Sue

Rating 

5/5 stars 

Review 


Amy's Kitchen Rice Mac & Cheese is a gluten free ready meal and I have to say that's is delicious! Although this was officially Mum's dinner as she's the one who is gluten intolerant, I may have pinched a couple of mouthfuls! Macaroni cheese is a big favourite of mine, but I'm notoriously fussy about it - rarely do I like a ready meal version. In the words of Simon Cowell, I didn't like it - I loved it! I was most upset that Mum wouldn't let me eat the rest! Anyway, back to Mum's review:

We initially had trouble finding a local supermarket that stocked this range (we live in a rural area and most of the supermarkets are quite small), but we eventually tracked one down using the store locator on Amy's Kitchen's website. 

First impressions of the Mac & Cheese were great - the sauce looked creamy and it smelt lovely, very cheesy. We would never have guessed that this was a gluten free meal, both the pasta and the sauce tasted authentic. Often gluten free pasta can have an odd, slightly off-putting feel to it, but the texture of this rice macaroni was perfect.

Portion wise this was quite generous, especially for the very reasonable price. It would make a lovely, filling lunch, or if you add a salad or maybe some gluten free garlic bread to it, this makes a very satisfying main meal. The price of this product varies from store to store, but they all seem to be good value. It's nice to find a company that doesn't charge extortionate prices for free from products.

Amy's Kitchen do a wide range of gluten free products, including soups and other ready meals. Some are also dairy free and suitable for vegans (the Rice Mac & Cheese is also available in a gluten and dairy free version).

This is the best shop bought Mac & Cheese that we've ever had - and I don't just mean gluten free varieties! It beats all other Mac & Cheese ready meals that I've tried, including some from premium supermarket ranges. Amy's Kitchen Rice Mac & Cheese definitely deserves five stars!

International Blind Dog Day: RSPCA celebrated disabled rescue dogs

Last week saw the first ever International Blind Dog Day and the RSPCA encouraged all dog owners with blind pets to embrace the day and celebrate their special and unique pooches.
Wednesday (23 August) marked the first #InternationalBlindDogDay and the RSPCA is getting in on the act. 

This is my rescue boy Henry, who sadly passed away earlier this year. He wasn't completely blind, but he lost most of his sight. He was also completely deaf. He was remarkable and coped extremely well with the lost of his senses.

The International Blind Dog Day has been launched by Cambridgeshire dog-lover Sarah Horne, owner of 10-year-old blind Jack Russell terrier Shammy, who lost his sight due to untreated cataracts.
She said: “I wanted to raise awareness of blind dogs and dispel misconceptions around their abilities, for example when I first adopted Shammy many people asked why I'd get a dog I couldn't walk! Shammy, and lots of other blind dogs, run, jump, play and swim like their fully-sighted counterparts.
“Many blind dogs are unwanted and end up in rescue centres such as the RSPCA and people will be put off rehoming them. Yes, they can come with their own issues and challenges but these can be overcome.
“I wanted to launch International Blind Dog Day to show the world what blind dogs can do, not what they can't!”
 The RSPCA - the UK’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity - rescues dogs from cruelty, neglect and abandonment and, sometimes, the dogs in our care may have serious, lifetime health complications such as losing their sight. 
At Derby RSPCA, staff have been caring for three very special pups - all with no sight at all. 

Photo credit - RSPCA 

Angel, Leo and Lexie (pictured above) arrived with the branch from a breeder who couldn’t cope with them. 
 Supporter engagement officer at Derby RSPCA, Sadie Brice, said: “Unfortunately, as a defect of breeding merle with merle, there is a 25% chance puppies can be born with issues such as being blind or deaf. This breeder had eight puppies and three were blind. She was unable to cope with the extra needs of the blind puppies so they ended up with us in order to try to find them suitable homes.”
Luckily, both Angel and Lexie have been reserved and staff are confident Leo will find his paw-fect match. But this adorable trio aren’t the only blind pooches the RSPCA has helped. 
Delphine
Photo credit - RSPCA 

A blind springer spaniel who was abandoned - left tied to a pallet of bricks in Kent in 2015 - was rescued by an RSPCA inspector. 
Delphine was dumped in a remote lane in Maidstone in May and cataracts had left her virtually blind. 
Despite being safe and well-cared for Delphine did not like life in kennels and rarely wagged her tail. But the glum little dog’s life has been transformed after her story was spotted on Facebook by her new owners, John and Anne Hopkins.
And she didn’t have to wait long to go off to her new life with the Hopkins’ in Wokingham, Berkshire. They use voice commands to help her up and down steps and have put mats around the house to signal when she is going into a different room. 
 John added: “She has grown in confidence and finds her way around without a problem. She’s an absolute treasure, she lifts her paw up to let us know she wants a tummy rub. 
 “She really is part of the family. We are so lucky to have her.”

 Pooch
Photo credit - RSPCA 

Poor Pooch had to have both of his eyes removed when he arrived into the care of the RSPCA in January 2016 after his neglectful owner had left him suffering with a congenital condition that had gone untreated for five years. 
 Luckily, the Staffordshire bull terrier soon learned to get by without his sight and staff at RSPCA Block Fen, in Cambridgeshire, found him the paw-fect home.
 Pooch - now renamed Hooch - is now loving life with retired couple Tina and David Osler who admitted they hadn’t imagined they would adopt a blind dog - until they met the lovable 11-year-old. 
 The couple, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, said: “He’s brilliant and has settled in really well. He’s coping very well without his sight too. He still bumps into things occasionally but on the whole he is brilliant, he’s adapted brilliantly.
“We try and make life easier for him. We live in a bungalow so he doesn’t have to tackle stairs. We were also told not to move the furniture around so his surroundings are familiar.”


The winner is

Thanks to everyone who entered our Secret Life of Pets DVD competition.

The winner was chosen at random using the Gleam app and an email has been sent to them.


A new competition will start soon.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Review - Nutri Advanced Magnesium Glycinate health supplement

I received this product free of charge for the purpose of an unbiased review.


Nutri Advanced Magnesium Glycinate 

Product Description 

High strength, well absorbed Magnesium Glycinate tablets providing 100mg of magnesium per tablet.
Magnesium is such an important mineral – it’s essential for literally hundreds of reactions within the body. Also known as “nature’s tranquiliser”, it has a calming effect on muscles and nerves, but it’s also necessary for energy production too.
As with all nutrients, what’s important is how much you actually absorb and assimilate into the body. Our magnesium tablets use magnesium glycinate as it is a superior form of magnesium that is very well absorbed. It is generally well tolerated and makes these magnesium tablets especially suited for those with sensitive digestive systems.
  • Magnesium is essential for the production of energy within every cell in the body – it may increase energy levels and help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
  • Magnesium contributes to the electrolyte balance within the body.
  • Magnesium is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system and psychological function. Low magnesium levels may be associated with irritability or confusion.
  • Magnesium contributes to normal muscle function.
  • Magnesium contributes to the synthesis of protein. Proteins are needed for every single function of your cells, organs and in fact your whole body.
  • The maintenance of normal bones and teeth need magnesium - it helps keep calcium within bones and teeth.
Price

£17.95

Purchase Link


Reviewed by

Julie

Rating

5/5 stars 


How can magnesium help you?
Information from Nutri Advanced 
Magnesium is involved in over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body, and suboptimal intakes of dietary magnesium are common. Magnesium Glycinate provides 100mg of magnesium as bisglycinate per tablet.

Magnesium bisglycinate is a very well absorbed and tolerated form of magnesium.

Magnesium contributes to:
 • the normal functioning of the nervous system and muscles.
 • energy-yielding metabolism and to the reduction of tiredness & fatigue.
 • electrolyte balance.
 • normal protein synthesis.
 • the maintenance of normal bones and teeth.


Review 


I'll start off my saying that I am seriously impressed by the Nutri Advanced Magnesium Glycinate tablets, they have really helped with my fatigue, headaches and restless legs. Here is my full review:

Until I started to research this product I didn't realise how important magnesium is for your body. Symptoms of magnesium definitely include physical and mental fatigue, poor memory and concentration, depression, anxiety, insomnia, tension headaches, muscle weakness and muscle cramps. I unfortunately suffer from most of those, so I suspect that I don't have enough magnesium in my diet. Magnesium is naturally found in green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts such as almonds and cashews, beans, pulses, lentils, tofu, soy milk and whole grains such as brown rice and millet. Other than leafy vegetables, not many of those ingredients feature in my diet so I was keen to try the Nutri Advanced Magnesium Glycinate supplement to see if it could help some of my health issues.

I took the tablets for three weeks. You need to take two tablets twice daily with your meals, and I soon got into a routine of taking them. I have quite a sensitive stomach so I was a bit worried about introducing a new supplement, but the Nutri Advanced Magnesium Glycinate tablets were very gentle on my digestive system, it didn't upset it at all.


I've recently developed problems with my throat which affects my ability to swallow some solid foods and larger tablets. Because of this I found the tablets a little tricky to swallow as they are quite big, but they had a line across the centre so I used a pill cutter to cut them in half. They cut cleanly without crumbling everywhere. Being able to cut the tablets into two pieces made it a lot easier for me. These tablets would be easy to swallow for a person without throat issues, but if you do have swallowing difficulties like me it's simple to cut them in half.

I have numerous chronic health conditions, I am very medically complex according to my GP, so I wasn't expecting miracles with this supplement. I knew that it wouldn't cure all of my health issues, but it has significantly improved at least three of my symptoms.

Three of my health conditions cause chronic fatigue, and it severely effects my quality of life. Since I started taking the magnesium my energy levels have definitely increased. Not just by a small degree either - I am needing a lot less naps during the day, my concentration has improved and I'm generally feeling better in myself. I have also noticed that I had a lot less headaches during the period that I tried the Magnesium Glycinate.

If you suffer with restless legs syndrome then you will know how frustrating it can be. Every night I would lay down in bed and soon get the horrible twitching, burning feeling in my legs. It often felt like my blood was bubbling away under my skin, and sometimes it felt like thousands of insects were crawling over my legs. It's extremely irritating and it's impossible to get comfortable enough to get a decent nights sleep. After about two weeks of taking the magnesium supplement I suddenly realised that my legs no long felt like they had ants crawling all over them! I initially thought it might be a coincidence, but now that I've finished taking the supplement my restless legs symptoms have unfortunately returned so it was definitely due to the magnesium. I'm not sure why this supplement helps my restless legs, but I'm guessing it's because it helps make your muscles and nervous systems healthier. To be honest I don't really care about the technical stuff - all I know is that after years of trying different 'cures' I've finally found something that helps relieve the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Yay! It may not work for everyone, but it definitely works for me.

I haven't noticed an improvement in my chronic pain or in my muscle spasms, but I wasn't expecting the supplement to help that as they are so severe. But I'm extremely happy with what the magnesium did help with. More energy, less headaches and a vast improvement in my restless legs symptom - that's definitely a win to me! In my opinion the Nutri Advanced Magnesium Glycinate tablets are definitely worth the £17.95 price tag as they really have made a difference to me. I'd definitely recommend this product and have given it five stars.

It's National Dog Day! #NationalDogDay

I'm Today is apparently National Dog Day, which gives me a perfect excuse to post some dog photos! 

Introducing the teams' dogs - all nine of them! We'll start with the youngest and work up to the oldest.

Dottie
Breed - chihuahua 
Age - 1 year old 
Owned by - Bev 
Dottie is a very sweet little girl. Both Bev and her husband are disabled and Dottie instinctively knows when they're in pain. Dottie spends hours comforting them when they are poorly. She also loves playing with her toys and has just discovered a love of swimming!


Rolo
Breed - chihuahua cross Yorkshire terrier 
Age - 2 years old
Owned by Bev 
Rolo is a big character is a small body! He's a fun loving and caring dog - and he also has spectacular ears!


Elgin 
Breed - Labrador 
Age - 3 years old
Owned by - Julie
Elgin is my assistance dog. He's amazingly clever and has given me back some independence. Elgin also saved my life earlier this year by raising the alarm when I was choking and losing consciousness. His favourite things are food, toys, water and mud!


Cherry
Breed - beagle 
Age - 4 years old
Owned by - Julie and Sue 
Cherry was rescued from a puppy farm in June 2016, where she'd been living in appalling conditions. Cherry was extremely nervous and scared of everything and everyone. She's made huge progress in the last year and now a happy dog. Cherry is very cheeky and naughty but she's also very lovable.


Devon 
Breed - collie cross Staffordshire bull terrier 
Age - 6 years old
Owned by - Alan and Sarah 
Devon is a rescue dog who has unfortunately been passed from home to home a lot in his life. As you'd expect with the two breeds he's crossed with, Devon is a real live wire. He has a lot of collie traits and is totally tennis ball obsessed!


Skipper
Breed - lurcher 
Age - 7 years old
Owned by - Alan and Sarah 
Skipper's mum was found straying whilst she was pregnant. Skipper was born at a rescue centre, but all of the pups were very weak. Two sadly didn't make it and Skipper himself was very lucky to survive a serious illness. Skipper is quite a shy dog, but he gives the best cuddles ever!


Scooby 
Breed - Pomeranian 
Age - 8 years old
Owned by - Bev
Scooby (aka Prince Scooby) thinks he's royalty - and who's going to argue with those regal good looks! He's an adorable little dog with a lot of love to give. His best friend is his 13 year old human sister who has always called him her Twinnie as they have so much in common, he misses her when she's at school.


Bandit 
Breed - lurcher 
Age - 12 years old 
Owned by - Alan and Sarah
Bandit was found wandering around Somerset as a stray in 2009. He spent nearly a year in kennels until my brother and my sister in law adopted him. He was a bit of a hooligan at first but he soon settled down to become a great pet. His partner in crime is Elgin, they are best friends and love playing together.


Bo
Breed - Scottish deerhound cross
Age - 15 years old 
Owned by - Alan and Sarah 
For the first twelve years of his life, Bo lived happily in a family. When the couple got divorced neither of them were able to keep Bo. The wife wanted Bo to be put to sleep, but thankfully the husband took him to a rescue centre. He's an old man now and is frail at times - but at other times he behaves like a puppy! He's a huge dog and a huge character.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Review - Adonis Low Sugar Nut Bars (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo)

I received these products free of charge for the purpose of an unbiased review.


Adonis Low Sugar Nut Bars

Product Description 

Pecan Nut Bar (Box of 5)

Meet our new pecan bar with large crunchy pecan pieces, rich pecan-cocoa flavour with a hint of cocoa and goji berry flavour. 

- Ultimately low in sugar and carbohydrates
- Less than 2g sugar and 2% impact carb*
- Vegan friendly
- Gluten free
- Suitable for paleo and ketogenic diets

Warning: Product contains nut.

Impact carbs are simple carbs and have fast release energy. Complex carbs such as natural erythritol we use in our products minimally impact blood sugar levels.


Vanilla Nut Bar (Box of 5)

Meet our new crunchy vanilla nut bar! The rich combination of vanilla, coconut and acai berry will make you feel like exotic vacation even on a busy day.

- Ultimately low in sugar and carbohydrates
- Less than 2g sugar and 2% impact carb*
- Vegan friendly
- Gluten free
- Suitable for paleo and ketogenic diets

Warning: Product contains nut.

Impact carbs are simple carbs and have fast release energy. Complex carbs such as natural erythritol we use in our products minimally impact blood sugar levels.

Mixed Nut Bars (Box of 5)



Mix and match! Specify how many Pecan and Vanilla nut bars you want in your box and have the customised mixed box delivered at your doorstep.

Purchase Link
Price
£9.90 for a box of five bars
Reviewed by 
Sue
Rating
5/5 stars 
Review 
Can a snack manage to be tasty while also being low in sugar, low in carbs, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and suitable for paleo and ketogenic diets? Well if it's an Adonis Nut Bar then it certainly can! My daughter, Julie, had initially planned to try these herself, but unfortunately for her she's developed problems with her throat and jaw so can only eat soft or liquid foods at the moment. Unlucky for her, but lucky for me as I got to try these yummy bars!
I find it quite difficult to find tasty, sweet snacks as I'm gluten intolerant and I'm also trying to cut down on sugar as I've recently been told that I'm pre-diabetic. It's shocking how much sugar is in some so called 'healthy' cereal or nut bars. A lot of 'free from' products also seem to be full of unhealthy ingredients.
Both the vanilla and the pecan bars are absolutely delicious. It's hard to choose a favourite but if I absolutely had to then I'd probably go for the vanilla one as it also contains coconut which I'm a big fan of. The bars are packed full of nuts and other healthy, 100% natural ingredients. The vanilla bars contain acai berries, and the pecan bars contain goji berries - I admit to being a worried about these ingredients as I've never tried them before. I shouldn't have worried though, I absolutely loved the exotic tang that the berries gave the bars.
The nut bars are ideal to keep in your bag for a mid morning snack as they gave me a nice energy boost when I felt myself flagging. I checked my sugar levels after eating the bars, and unlike more sugary snacks it didn't cause a spike in my sugar levels. This is important to me as if my sugar levels rise too quickly my body then works extra hard to reduce them and they then go too low which leaves me feeling awful. The Adonis bars gave me energy without a sugar crash, and they kept me full until lunchtime.
Cost wise, these bars are a bit more expensive than nut bars I've previously bought, but I feel that they are worth the extra pound or two. For the quality of ingredients, as well as the delicious taste, Adonis nut bars are good value for money.
Adonis Smart Foods also make brownies in various flavours, and they look very yummy! For more information please visit https://www.adonis-foods.com

Friday, 18 August 2017

Meet Our Pets - Lexi


Name

Lexi

Age

6 years old 

Species

Leopard Gecko 

Likes

Attention and cuddles. Food - meal worms and wax worms are her favourite. She's a bit fussy and doesn't really like crickets, which leopard geckos usually love.

Dislikes

Baths!

About Lexi


Lexi is a rescue gecko, we adopted her from a reptile rescue centre in 2014. She found herself in the rescue centre because her previous owner got fed up with having her and was no longer able to look after her. She was in poor health when she arrived at the rescue centre, and it took them a few months to nurse her back to peak condition.


Lexi is a very friendly gecko. She loves people and always want to come out for a cuddle. She's very tame and happily climbs up your arm to sit on your shoulder - I'm sure she thinks she's a parrot! She's not fazed at all by the dogs -  she's often sat on her warm rock in her vivarium watching the dogs' antics!

I think Lexi is absolutely beautiful and she is a real pleasure to have as a pet. I'm really glad that the rescue centre allowed me to adopt her as I love her to bits.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Review - Globenfield Limited Edition Steel Men's Automatic Watch

I received this product free of charge for the purpose of an unbiased review 


Globenfield Limited Edition Steel Men's Automatic Watch

Product Description 

  • BATTERY-FREE MASTERPIECE - Enjoy this Automatic Limited Edition Antique Blue Steel watch with over 110 individual intricately moving parts and 20 jeweled movements that do not need batteries, designed as one of the finest timepieces in the world in the automatic style of master watchmakers since the 18th century
  • TIME-TESTED SOPHISTICATION - This mens automatic watch is the true epitome of class and style with a Centurion White Croxley Textured Dial and matching steel blue-coloured hands, indices with a polished round bevel to embellish your style with any wardrobe
  • MINIMALIST DESIGN - Additionally, the appeal of this blue steel mens watch comes from the simplicity of minimalist steel blue-dotted indices and blue & gold coloured Sun and Moon display to express the night and day
  • LEATHER PERFECTION - A High Grade Tobacco Brown Leather strap anchors the jewelry casing of this luxurious men leather watch for comfort and ability to adjust the clasp to size; among leather strap watches for men this watch is perfectly lightweight in size to make a great gift, so if you're searching for a classy men's watch for that special birthday or holiday gift, look no further
  • GUARANTEED WARRANTY - All of our watches are results guaranteed and come with a 90-day money back guarantee, no questions asked - because we believe in the quality of each of our world-renowned watches, Globenfeld also offers a platinum warranty for a period of 5 years from the date of purchase

Purchase Link


Price

£79.99

Reviewed by 

Alan

Rating

5/5 stars 

Review 


Wow! This Globenfield automatic watch looks and feels so much more expensive than it is - the quality is absolutely outstanding. As soon as the parcel arrived (quickly and well packaged) we were impressed by the presentation. The watch comes in a lovely box which is wrapped in a cardboard sleeve. The box looks impressive and makes this watch an ideal gift for the special man in your life.


The watch is lightweight and comfortable to wear. I have quite large wrists and not all watches fit me well, but this watch wasn't tight at all - equally it would also fit much smaller wrists as it could be tightened by several notches. The straps are thick and made very well, they would definitely last years before they became worn and needed replacing. The stitching and workmanship of the leather is top rate.


The watch face itself is exquisite. The dials and other details all look fantastic and work together well. Unlike some watches, it's not cluttered up with pointless decoration - it's clean, clear and super stylish. It's easy to see at a glance exactly what time it is as the hands and time markings are clear to see. It really does look great on your wrist - it's a watch anyone would be proud to wear.

Even the back of the watch looks great! You can see the works inside the watch through the window at the back of the watch which is a nice added feature. It's fascinating to see how everything inside the watch works and moves.


I've heard people say that automatic watches aren't accurate, but this one certainly is! I've been wearing it for a few weeks now, and it's not lost or gained any time. 

Globenfield offers an amazing Platinum 5 year warranty with this watch, which shows you how confident they are in it's quality, accuracy and overall performance. This watch is of extremely high quality and is very stylish - it's by far the best watch that I've ever owned. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.

Meet our pets: Cherry

I've realised that I blog a lot about my assistance dog, Elgin, but I don't feature our other pets often enough. So I thought I'd start a series of blog posts that introduce you to my pets and those of my co-bloggers. We start the series with Cherry.

Cherry. This photo was taken a few days before she had her second eye surgery.

Name

Cherry

Breed

Beagle 

Age

4 years old

Likes

Absolutely any food! Playing with other dogs. Cuddles.

Dislikes 

Cherry is nervous of a few things due to her history. She hates fireworks, vacuum cleaners and cardboard boxes

About Cherry 
Photo credit- St Giles Animal Rescue. Cherry arriving at the rescue centre.


Cherry spent the first three years of her life living in squalid conditions in a puppy farm where she had at least one litter of puppies. When she developed medical problems the owners decided she was no longer of any use to them and planned to send her and several other beagles to an animal testing laboratory in France. Thankfully, Cherry, the other beagles and some basset hounds were saved by a rescue charity and were brought to Somerset.

These dogs were all extremely nervous, and Cherry was one of the most nervous of them all. These dogs had spent their whole life in a dark, dirty pen. They'd never been on grass, never walked on a lead and never known love and affection from humans. They didn't even have names - Cherry was named this by the rescue centre because she had a cherry eye. The world must have been a scary place to them.

Cherry on her first night in our home.

They arrived at the rescue centre in June 2016. By November 2016 most of the beagles had found homes, but Cherry was still in kennels waiting for someone to choose her. In those few months she had eye surgery (and she has since needed two further surgeries) and the rescue's staff and trainers helped her learn how to be a normal dog.

At the end of October 2016 our mastiff cross Great Dane, Jessie, suddenly passed away aged just 7. Jessie was Elgin's best friend and he missed her terribly. He got extremely depressed and we knew that he needed a new friend to keep him happy. I asked our local rescue centre if they had any dogs that we could immediately foster (I used to be a trustee for them and were already home checked etc). The only suitable dog was Cherry, so we went to meet her. She instantly got on well with Elgin and was respectful of our frail, elderly spaniel Henry (who has since sadly passed away) so we brought her home with us.

Henry, Cherry and Elgin one month after Cherry came to live with us.

When Cherry arrived in our house she was scared of everything, she was completely overwhelmed. Luckily she quickly bonded with both Henry and Elgin and really followed their lead. She learnt that people were nice and that hands weren't to be feared anymore - they now meant tickles, cuddles and her favourite thing of all, treats! Elgin taught her how to play and she soon beam a fun, happy dog.

One of her bad habits!

It's not all been plain sailing. Cherry was extremely nervous when she arrived and got spooked on a walk. She pulled the lead from my mum's hand and went missing for nearly twenty four hours. This was a traumatic, terrifying experience for Cherry - and us. Thankfully she was found hiding under a hedge by a gardener and came home wagging her tail like nothing had happened! After this we couldn't bear to let her go to another home, and went from fostering her to officially adopting her.

Cherry is a big character in a little body, she makes me laugh so much. She's a sweet dog and is now extremely affectionate - so different to how she was a few months ago. She does have some naughty habits and house training her has been difficult, but she's worth the hard work! Cherry still is nervous is some situations, but she's gaining in confidence every day.

She's a special, cheeky little girl and we love her so much.



Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review - LaRoo Squeaky Rugby Ball Dog Toys (pack of 2)

You receive two ball in random colours 

LaRoo Squeaky Rugby Ball Dog Toys 

Product description 

  • A Good Elasticity with Steady Squeeze Sound: The dog ball with sound is just the right weight with enough heaviness to throw far, no extra strength needed to play with, it is ideal dog daily toys. With built-in a special sounder, this ball can produce the instant sound to grasp the dog's attention and excites the dog when chew or press it, and also bounce and allow your dogs keep playing it and have a joyful life.
  • The Unique Rugby Design and Bright Color to Grasp Dog's Attention: The unique Rugby-shaped design, lovely and flexible to play with, the bright color is most suitable for the dogs chewing or playing with, have fun with it and meanwhile improve their intelligence and agility, prevents boredom and creates happy dogs when we are out or not around the dogs.
  • Build More Healthy Chewing Habits: This dog treat egg can help the dog to build healthy and non-destructive chewing habits instead of chewing the shoes/furnitures, have more happy and healthy dog. Also a great agility trainning tool and interactive toys with our dog friends.
  • Easy to be cleaned and Keep Fit for Your Dog: This squeaky ball is washable and easy to be cleaned with worry free. The dog will like it and improve its health via running, chewing and doing sports daily. High Standard Eco-friendly Safe Materials: This dog ball is made of high quality and food-graded materials, environmental and non-toxic. It is gentle on a dog's mouth and dog owner's hands, but also super strong and durable, can offer safety of dog bite for chew toy purpose.
  • LIFETIME PRODUCT WARRANTY (MONEY-BACK OR REPLACEMENT): 100% satisfied GUARANTEE, no query asked refund or replacement (Just feel free to contact us via Amazon message if you are not 100% satisfaction).

Purchase Link


Price

£12.99 for two toys

Reviewed by

Bev

Rating 

3/5 stars 

Review 


Bev's dog Rolo is ball crazy, so I thought he was the ideal candidate to review these squeaky rugby balls for us. The LaRoo squeaky balls come in four different colours - blue, orange, pink and lime green. Unfortunately you are unable to choose the colours you want, you are sent two randomly coloured balls. Rolo received a pink ball and a lime green ball.


I expected Rolo to love these toys, but unfortunately they were too heavy for him to pick up (he's a chihuahua cross Yorkshire Terrier so he's quite a small dog). They were also too heavy for Dottie the chihuahua and Scooby the Pomeranian. Bev feels that due to the size and weight of these balls, that they would be much better suited to larger dogs.

There are some definite positives about the toys though. The colours are lovely and bright so they are easily spotted in the grass when you throw them. They are also very bouncy, and as they are rugby ball shaped they bounce in random directions which is great fun for the dogs. Although Rolo and his brother and sister couldn't pick the balls up, they did enjoy chasing them around the garden when they were thrown for them.

The toys look to be quite tough but the dogs haven't tried chewing them so we can't comment on how long they'd last with a dog that chews toys. 

Overall we wouldn't recommend the LaRoo rugby balls for small dogs, but larger dogs would enjoy them as they are fun and very bouncy. I do feel that the price is a bit high - £12.99 for two squeaky balls seems quite expensive to me. Bev and Rolo have given the rugby balls three out of five stars.

Review - Billy + Margot Dog Food and Treats

I received complimentary products in exchange for an unbiased review.


Billy + Margot dog food and dog treats 

Product descriptions and purchase links

Venison Chew Sticks-

100% Venison meat (prepared from 250g per 100g of finished product) collagen casing. A healthy snack, high in protein. Sticks can be broken into smaller pieces if wished. Hypoallergenic. Do not feed to puppies under the age of 14 weeks old

Honey & Banana Training Biscuits 

Product Description

No Wheat
No Additives
Pure Fruit
Linseed Oil
Seaweed
Lovingly hand prepared and oven baked in Britain. Billy + Margot nutritious biscuits are wheat gluten free and are lovingly oven baked in Britain using the finest ingredients. With the help of our pet nutritionist, we have carefully selected each ingredient for their nutritional properties. Composition: Oat, Barley, Chicken Fat, Honey, Seaweed, Linseed, Cinnamon, Banana, Yeast Extract, Turmeric

Fish Skin Cubes

Made from 100% whitefish skins (nothing else), these natural low calorie treats have a rough texture which helps remove tartar from dog’s teeth.


Venison Complete Canned Wet Food

Made in Britain – Grain free complete food for dogs
A nutritious complete wet food for dogs made with 60% Venison, pure vegetables and fruits, milled flaxseed, seaweed, Omega 3 rich salmon oil, herbs, plus all the essential vitamins and minerals your pet needs for a truly healthy and nutritious diet.
As with all our treats we only use pure ingredients: no rendered animal parts, carcass or derivatives, no GM, no artificial preservatives, no colourants, no taste enhancers or sweeteners. No grains (not even rice!).
We only use wholesome fruits and vegetables – the proof…. you can see the carrots, green beans and blueberries. The result is a delicious and nutritious meal for your dog.

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Prices

Venison Chew Sticks £4.99

Honey & Banana Training Biscuits £2.69

Fish Skin Cubes £3.25

Venison Complete Canned Wet Food £2.45

Reviewed by 

Julie

Rating

5/5 stars for all products tested

Review 

Elgin waiting to try his Billy + Margot goodies

I first discovered Billy + Margot at a large dog show in Kent back in 2012. The dogs we had then, Henry and Jessie, absolutely loved Billy + Margot's iced treats which are fruit based 'ice creams' for dogs. Billy + Margot now also make a wide range of natural dog treats as well as complete canned pet food. They kindly sent us a few of their products for Elgin and Cherry to try.

The Honey and Banana training biscuits were very popular with Elgin and Cherry. They both have a sweet tooth, so these treats were a big hit. My brother's lurchers, Bandit and Skipper, also tried these biscuits and they both really liked them. Skipper is a fussy dog and he rarely likes non meaty treats, so I was very impressed that he liked these biscuits. These treats are gluten free so are ideal for dogs with sensitivities.

These honey and banana training biscuits were great for rewarding Elgin.

Elgin tried the tin of complete wet food - he usually has dry food so he was very excited when he saw meat in his bowl! The flavour he tried was venison with carrots, green beans and blueberries. I must admit I'm not usually a fan of feeding tinned dog food, quite simply because the look and smell of it makes me feel queasy (one of my health problems makes me extra sensitive to strong smells)! But the Billy + Margot food looked completely different than other wet dog food I've used in the past. It smelt meaty, and it was a much more pleasant smell that than of more widely known tinned dog food.

The meat looked a lot better too, you could tell it was of a very high quality just by it's appearance. You could even see the bits of vegetables and blueberries in the food. Elgin devoured this food very quickly - I don't think he's ever eaten his dinner this fast before! At £2.45 a tin to feed a dog of Elgin's size just on the tinned food it would work out a bit over my budget. But I would definitely buy it as an occasional treat to put with Elgin and Cherry's dry food and it is reasonably priced for a very high quality food.

If you have a fussy dog, then I would suggest that you give Billy + Margot wet food a try as I really think that they'd like it.


Elgin and Cherry trying the venison chew sticks.

The venison chew sticks were definitely Elgin and Cherry's favourite Billy + Margot treats - I think they may even be their favourite treats ever. These meat sticks can be broken into smaller pieces if you wish, but I gave them to the dogs whole. Elgin and Cherry went absolutely crazy for the venison sticks, their little faces lit up whenever they saw the packet. The only thing I wasn't too keen on was the smell of the treats, but this is probably what made them appeal to the dogs so much, so it's not a problem. I think I'm definitely going to have to buy some more of these, as the dogs enjoyed them so much.

Cherry was impatient to try the venison sticks!

The fish skin cubes were also very popular with all of the dogs. My brother's deerhound, Bo, also loved these. He's fifteen and has lost sone strength in his jaw, so I wasn't sure if he'd be able to eat these crunchy treats - sometimes he decides harder treats aren't worth the effort to chew them - but he really enjoyed them and kept asking for more!

Billy + Margot are passionate about using high quality, nutritious ingredients in their products and this shines through in the quality of their treats and food. The treats are reasonably priced and are good value as they they are of such high quality, they are definitely worth the price and I would even pay a little bit more. Our dogs are now big fans of Billy + Margot - and so am I! I definitely recommend Billy + Margot to other dog owners, and I will be buying some more treats for Elgin and Cherry.