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My Dogs

Source: My Dogs

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Pedigree Dog Food Trial


I am currently taking part in a 6 week food trial with Pedigree dog foods and as part of this i was invited to the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in a lovely part of the country in Leicester.


The day started out with a meet and greet with some lovely hospitality. Next we had a tour of the facilities including the lab area which is as up to date as anyone would expect in nasa this is where most of the nutritional and other  testing happens. Next onto the animals, met some lovely happy well trained dogs currently Waltham is home to Labradors, Beagles PBGV, and Yorkshire Terriers. I admit like most i was concerned about dogs being kept at facilities, being owned by 3 myself but all my fears were foundless all the dogs are extremely well socialised and trained by experts. They are kept in the most amazing kennels where any private boarding facility would be proud to have with plenty of greenery to run around on and the kennel block rather than being a long corridor type building is hexagon shaped with a central entry point so the dogs can see who is coming and going.

Next onto the cattery again the cats are well cared and catered for and very friendly and some even trained to give saliva samples in return for treat. yes even the cats are trained!

All the way around the tour we stopped at different points where there was information regarding Mars, Nutrition, Dental Health and other interesting facts that were explained to us by one of the resident vets Jo  Gale. After the tour we went back to the meeting room where Jo gave a talk on Nutrition and Dental Health. We learnt lots of interesting facts some including dogs have a 3rd less enamel on their teeth than humans, which was a shock to me after owning dogs most of my life.

After Lunch we had a talk about the ingredients used in Pedigree pet foods, which again full of interesting facts 1. All the products used in their pet food is food from the human food chain meaning its all fit for human consumptions just its parts we dont eat.Then we had a slides and a talk from a member of the Product pane team re manufacturing all food is tested routinely every 2 hours for colour, smell, and quality i personally dont know of any human manufacturers who test like this.

To finish off the day we had a talk and slide about Human and animal interaction and the new feeding brighter futures which is the new pedigree initiative.

The one thing that shone through on the day is the passion from all involved with Pedigree from the factory to the animal care to the vets they are all passionate about the animals which makes the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition a place to believe in.

I for one will now think of Pedigree in a more positive light.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher in return for writing this post






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Tech Wish List,Panasonic

As my regular readers will know im off to University in Sept to study Media, and im in need of upgrading all of my techy gadgets including a new camera or 2. So i thought id share with you my wish list which the more i read the more i need.

Firstly im in need of a new camera, my previous dslr although was great at the time is now a little dated and im also looking for a point and shoot camera that i can take everywhere and just keep in my bag so its at hand.The first camera ive looked at in the point and shoot range is the Lumix DMC-TZ100EB.


This camera is by Panosonic classed as the ultimate travel companion, and i can see why nice handy size that will fit into any bag or pocket wieghing just 310gm, but this in no way makes this camera feel to delicate. The camera packs a whopping 20.1 megapixel punch, and with a type 1 high sensitivity mos  sensor  and 10x optical zoom, ensures high quality pictures whatever the weather. The lens is a  LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT, to me Leica have always set the standard for quality lens and its a name i always look for in a camera.

With a range of features including

optical image stabiliser

Digital Zoom

AF assist lamp,AF Metering including face detection Various recording modes all at the touch of a button there is a creative control mode with 22 different features

continuous shooting mode so you dont miss a beat

motion picture recording and a continuous recordable time for those on the go moments giving a whopping 55 minutes record ideal for any would be journalist like me.

these are just a few of the many features this camera boasts. and i think ive already convinced myself this is a must have camera to carry with me.

If you would like to read more about this fab camera check it out here wehre you can also see the full range of Panasonic cameras



Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC-TZ80-Camera-18-1MP-30xZoom/dp/B01AAU7RWI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459236775&sr=8-1&keywords=panasonic+dmc-tz100eb where you will also find the best prices.

You can also read about my back to school adventures here https://dailybrewreviews.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/back-to-school/


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Back to School

Well after a lot of humming and arghinnnnng and persuasion from my other half and daughter i have taken the plunge and signed up to go to university in Sept 2016. I said for a long time if they done media when i left school i would of jumped at the chance, so now im between jobs and at a loose end ive enrolled on the Extended Media course at Sunderland Uni and i cant wait to start, ive already begun the task of applying for student loans for which you need a degree to follow without uni.

What do I hope to gain from the course well its a bit of a personal mission as at 54 i dont think its going to be a career move but as i enjoy writing id love to be able to add a more proffessional angle to my writing any work that comes from the course will be a bonus.

Next Wednesday 9th march is the open day to see where i will be studying and meet lecturers etc so looking forward to it with trepidation in case im the oldest one there.

so watch this space to see how my journey progresses and if you have any stories or been there done that please let me know how you overcame any obstacles. Your’e never too old to learn said I.


Update, Wed 9th march i  went along to the experience day as Sunderland University, where i met lecturers and fellow prospective tutors  and despite an anxiety attack about going along on my own i was made to feel welcome and not like a fish out of water at all, Ive now done the online student loan application and have forms to send and im very much looking forward to September when i begin the Extended Media course.

Have been accecpted onto my chosen course, ive sent off my student finance application and bought my student nus discount card, is it September yet?  will need to buy stationery etc ready for my big day which brings me neatly to National Stationery week coming soon in April if any companies are looking to work with bloggers id love to collaborate just get in touch thanks.

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spring has sprung or has it

woke up today the car was white with frost but now the sun is shining, still a chill in the air but better than being grey and miserable even the old man in our house Harry managed to find a spot of sun on the sofa.12596360_556836264480129_548512943_n

Harry is a special wee man, last yr he was found abandonded and tied up to a washing line in a cold miserable back yard,weighing 3lb wet through. as we do a lot of rescue work for dogs we were asked by a friend if we could foster him, we didnt think he would make it through the night, he was a mess of matts, eyes streaming so much he could barely see and coughing. We gave him the night in a nice warm bed and by morning he had improved tenfold so we fed him on a decent dry food which he could hardly eat as his teeth were so bad, so off to the  vets it was to have him checked over. His teeth were so bad they all had to come out and as he got neutered at the same time poor lad didnt know if he had headache or A** ache, he had to be hand fed on dog food that had been blended to resemble baby food this lasted a couple of weeks as his gums began to heal he was able to eat more on his own, now we are 9 months along the line Harry is a fab little fella now spends his time snuggled on the sofa usually on a fleece blanket which he loves he is so loving and well behaved and can now eat most things with no help from Hoomans. Would we do it again in a heartbeat yes it was so hard watchng him come through that operation but the love he gives knows no bounds.

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Mothers Day

Mothers day a time to pay homage to that special lady in your life whether your male or female young or old,  all you see is adverts for flowers and chocolates, jewellery and meals out on mothering sunday and rightly so, but no one gives a thought to those who have loved and lost alongside xmas this is probably The hardest day of the year,

I lost my mum when i was very young to Asthma, so have very few memories, but i can empathise with those who have lots of memories and no one to share them with so this post is my way of saying if for whatever reason your mum, mam mother even mother in law is no longer in your life on Mothering Sunday i for one will be thinking of you all.

memories of mothers

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New lingerie

I dont know about you but i find lingerie shopping a bit of a chore and not enjoyable, im slightly overweight and very self conscious, so when i was asked to review a new bra i jumped at the chance. The bra i was sent was by Triumph a very well respected company with years of experience so i knew i wouldnt be dissapointed.

I was sent the  non wired bra in black as i’d requested  (shown here  in white so you can see the detail.


The cup has 3 section support and 20% stretch to eliminate bounce and if your like me a bit busty you know how much of a problem that can be. The Doreen is the worlds best selling bra, not only does it offer outstanding support to help ease back pains its is comfortable to wear with no  awkward wire, broad straps that dont cut into our shoulders, and easy to adjust,  available in sizes to fit even the fussiest women from a 34dd to a 46j and in 3 colourways white, black and lemon the Triumph Doreen is a bra i will be buying more of in the future.

Triumph Classic Doreen

Non-wired Full Cup Bra
Colour: Black

  • 2 Hook Fastening B Cups
  • 3 Hook Fastening C-K Cups
  • Perfect bust shaping for a slimmer silhouette
  • Fully elasticated bands enclose and shape the bust for secure support
  • Addtional side support feature
  • Larger cup fittings have wider straps for extra support
  • Straps adjust easily at the front
  • Fabric: Lace (80% Polyamide, 13% Elastane, 7% Cotton

And as a final note dont think this bra is in anyway old fashioned or out of date check lingeriebyvictoria where you can buy the “Doreen” and other fab lingerie.





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FAll In Love With Prague

Ive not been much of a traveller but as im getting older and considering a bucket list one of the places id love to visit is Prague, but out of my comfort zone i need all the information regarding travel, places to see eat etc to hand to save having a panic attack.

Holiday company brochures are useful but also fill me with dread at the same time so its a refreshing change to read “real peoples” holiday hints and tips.

This is where Travellove come to the fore, formed by  sistersLada Kičmerová and Katka Mikulková who are both from the wonderful city of Prague. with a passion for travelling and writing they have compiled a list of top tips to make booking that longed for trip as relaxing as possible.

1. Read as much as you can about your chosen destination
Start with learning. Read guidebooks, online blogs, watch documentaries and absorb as much knowledge as you can about the place you’re going to visit. Put the stories you hear and the facts you’re told into context.

2. Search for off-the-beaten-path things to see and do
Hopefully you’re good at googling, because that’s one of the best ways to search for authentic places to see and things to do where you won’t bump into tourists on every corner.

3. Ask everybody: friends, friends of friends, online forums…
People who have travelled to the place you want to visit will already have some insight, but if you can reach somebody who lives there long-term, even better. Ask for unique things to do, practicalities, and what to avoid.

4. Read a few books and watch some movies
Now this is perhaps the most fun part unless you’re travelling to a location that’s only covered by uber-artsy movies. Getting into the culture and reading/watching stories, albeit fiction ones, will help you relate to locals more easily.

5. Buy maps and study them
Believe us, it’s too late to have a look at a map only once you’re on the spot. You’d lose precious moments that you could dedicate to immersing yourself in the environment. Make sure you know the layout of the city or an area and generally know hot to navigate it.

6. Find accommodation
Use more than one booking site and look at reviews. Do you fancy a hotel or something more authentic? Perhaps there’s a nice inn or a traditional house you could stay at? If your budget is tight, you can solve it by trying Couchsurfing – a friendly local will offer you his/her couch for free. An apartment rented through Airbnb might be a nice alternative as well.

7. Search for locals on the spot
Some Couchsurfers are used to taking their new international friends around and showing their city to them. You can also hire locals for guided tours or other activities. We often use some of the websites listed below. Just be careful – the guides can be of varying quality. Some of the big portals are Viator, Vayable, EatWith etc. We prefer smaller portals that are oriented on specific countries and offer true locals experiences such as trip4real, Localers, Bonappeteur, Guidilo etc.Getting in touch with a local person who might be willing to help with the planning is another option. There are portals specialising in this such as Likealocalguide or Plansify. You can also try a short volunteering activity to reach out to the locals in a very memorable way. Check out e.g. Grassrootsvolunteering for that.

8. Solve transport
Of course you could get around by a taxi. But is this what you really want? If locals use tuk tuks, you’d be a fool not to try them out. Research what options there are.

9. Double-check everything
Use review sites like TripAdvisor to check the credibility of a place you want to stay at, of a local you want to meet, of a service you want to try… you don’t want a lousy hotel room ruin your impression of the city you’re eager to visit.

10. Use planning tools…
… otherwise you’ll spend too much time putting a good itinerary together. Examples are Tripomatic or TripIt.

Once there, ask at your hotel’s front desk for recommendations (even though they might recommend rather touristy things). Go visit a local tourist info center, where they might give you further assistance. If you’re not too shy, just stop people on the street and ask them. 

If you want to save time with all this check out trips designed by locals at MyTravelove. You just pick what you want to experience and the final suggested itinerary will be delivered to you on a silver plate and all the searching, booking and organizing will be taken care of.  Before your trip you will receive a custom guidebook made just for you, you could call it your very own, personal Lonely Planet.

Now a lot of this seems like common sense but if your like me and not been abroad much knowing where to start when booking a holiday is a daunting task so i for one will be using travel love when i get around to booking a well earned break in 2016. Prague here i come–


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Vision Direct

If like me you get misty eyed when you see doggy adverts on tv over the festive period then have a look at this years campaign from Vision Direct. Vision Direct worked with Bespoke Film and Communications to bring us the story of Gizmo the glasses wearing pug and his best hooman friend.

Incase you havent seen the original advert yet maybe you need to visit Vision Direct too, its been on our screens since December 1st but just in case you missed it here it is- tissues at the ready. But read to the end to see the very funny behind the scenes video of one dog and his Bitches, sorry entourage.


Vision Direct are Europes leading supplier of contact lenses  since being founded in 1998 renowned for quality lenses at affordable prices delivered direct to your door, offering leading brands such as Acuvue, Focus Dailies and Biofinity to name a few.All delivered the next day if ordered by 5.30pm. They also have their own in house optician alongside an award winning customer service team available to answer any queries you  may have.

And if you thought the ad was sad it really does have a happy ending and here hopefully is the funny behind the scenes video which im privelleged to share with you all.

If  your in need of Contact Lenses check out visiondirect.co.uk

Brought to you from the lovely people at vision direct and Gizmo the pug, Merry Xmas








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Advent type competition

Starting 1st November for 12 days im having an advent type competion on a page i write for Gransnet.com as a local editor, i have managed to get some fab prizes from some really nice people check some out below.


rug courtesy of Rugcouture

Personalised Hello Kitty Clock

personalised hello kitty clock from vivabop

cds, vintage

selection of vintage music on cd from past perfect

rufus and ted

fantastic for little ones is this Rufus & Ted rocking horse from little bird told me

vanroe compact

not one but 3 gorgeous compacts from Vanroe

pic stop headphones

sony headphones courtesy of me

rocking duck

a rocking duck from Hibba toys

tablet cases

selection of ipad and kindle cases from lente designs


address stamps from Stamptastic


xmas recipe tea towel from Rock Bakehouse.

for more information on any of these prize check out the website below but first check out the competiton post on facebook #https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gransnet-Durham/152610418223807?sk=app_228910107186452

All the above prizes have been donated by the companies listed below