Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Product Review: Chow Bella spaniel bowls

We were delighted recently to be contacted by Chow Bella, to review their beautifully handmade spaniel bowls.  We are not new to Chow Bella at all - I have been dining out of their bowls since I was a pup, but jumped at the opportunity to have some beautiful new bowls for our beautiful new home!

Chow Bella is a name known to many a spaniel owner, and was set up by Claire Pearson 10 years ago, who was trying to find a bowl that wouldn't leave her cocker spaniel Bella's ears crusty and/or wet.  Hooman knows the feeling - being a diminutive cocker myself, the bigger spaniel bowls don't really have the desired effect!  So Claire, a skilled potter, took to her wheel and created her first spaniel bowl.  She shared her creation on a well known spaniel forum and was suddenly inundated with requests from equally wet and crusty eared spaniel owners, and ten years later it is now a full time business!

Claire and Bella

Chow Bella produces all sizes and shapes of personalised pet bowls and treat jars for both our canine and feline friends, but her spaniel bowls still remain her best seller, and we are a huge fan.   They really are personalisable - you can select your colours, patterns, lettering, and even have them blinged up with Swarovski crystals.   I have had them since being a puppy and my two old ones have lasted us three years, with nary a chip, and the added bonus of being dishwasher safe.  You hoomans do moan about the washing up.....

Chow Bella was named after Claire's blue roan cocker, Bella, who is now 11 years old.  She also deserves a mention for fighting malignant melanoma, and is now in remission - keep it up Bella! Claire has more recently branched out into personalised treat jars, and now also does different size spaniel bowls, to cater for springers and cavs.

The beautiful Bella!

What did Chow Bella send us?

We received two of her bowls, beautifully made as ever, with her more recent polka dot design which we love.  Hooman chose the colours and the lettering, and they are just gorgeous, sturdy bowls. All bowls are good bowls, as long as they are full of food, but these really are extra special, and we love the little bone prints that Claire put on for us.  But really, words can't do these justice, so here are some pics!

Posing with bowls

Why is it still empty, Hooman?

An "ear" demo!

Each bowl is individually signed

Where can I buy them?

You can order Chow Bella bowls directly from the website, where you can select how you want your bowls personalised, by clicking here.  The standard spaniel bowls start from £26.99 - remember these bowls are handmade, and custom made for you, plus if looked after, they will last a lifetime, and are totally worth the investment.

You can also now order bowls directly through their Facebook page by clicking here!

Chow Bella did send us bowls to review, but we are a delighted existing customer, so a truly honest opinion!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Crufts tickets giveaway time!

As you know, we were thrilled to be contacted by the Kennel Club to attend Crufts again this year - we had a wonderful time last year!  And of course, this year is a special year for Crufts - it's their 125 year birthday!   This was me on the pink carpet last year, and another having a massage at the Canine Massage Guild stand.  Oh it was lovely....

To celebrate the worlds biggest dog show, the organisers have been splendid and given us two pairs of tickets for a giveaway.   This entitles two lucky winners to a pair of tickets that you can use on any day (we will be there on the Friday, gundog day - OBVS the best day heehee) - the only thing you won't be able to use them for is the Best In Show on the final evening, as that is a separately ticketed event.

All details for entering are below, and the giveaway will run until midnight Sunday 29th February, to allow us enough time to get in touch with the lucky winners and send out your tickets in good time!

You can also purchase tickets for Crufts by clicking here.

Good luck and we hope to see you there!!

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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

125 Years of Crufts!

As you know, we were delighted to be invited to attend Crufts this year and are looking forward to being there on Gundog day, Friday 11th March 2016!   However, did you also know that this year marks 125 years of Crufts, the biggest dog show in the world!   So here we have Crufts in Numbers, an infographic from the Kennel Club, with some brilliant facts about the history of Crufts.  Must admit, did giggle at the bit about the live TV pooping!

Don't forget, we will be holding a giveaway very soon for Crufts tickets, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, to buy tickets for Crufts, please click here for ticket sales.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

We're back!

After a hectic month of moving in December, Christmas collapsed in a heap recovering, and the start of January with Hooman obsessed with thinking about mirrors, blinds, lights, furniture, accessories, etc etc, and a few other things cropping up here and there, we are finally ready to re-enter the blogosphere!  So here's a brief summary of our last couple of months:

Excuse the cardboard box in the background - we still have lots!

We moved house! 

Most people will know of the stresses and strains of moving house and it really did take it out of Hooman more than she thought it would, although coming down with a nasty cold while she was still trying to sort out the old house didn't help.

I have adjusted remarkably well, and after woofing reactively to everything on my first evening (Hooman was terrified what the neighbours would think!), I then slept through the first night, and have been perfectly relaxed since.  Except I do have a bit of a woof when I hear the neighbours door open, just to keep Hooman on her toes, hehe.  All the neighbours love me (we are in a small apartment block but a lovely big flat to run around in) and one neighbour has already looked after me for an evening while Hooman went to a wedding reception!

Our new home has just oodles of windows - great for a nosey spangle like me.  I have spent a long time standing at the window watching the world go by, and giving frankly terrifying little wuffs and grrs to passersby.  I don't know why this makes Hooman laugh so much....

I'm watching you.  All of you....

We had some snow! 

Not as much as Hooman would like - she likes feet of the stuff ideally, but enough for me to run around in it and get it in my ears.  Spangle ears and snow is not a great combo!

This was just the beginning - I had massive earballs by the end of the walk! 

I had a burfday! 

I was THREE yesterday!  I had some treats - my favourite Fish4Dog Sea Wraps (dried sweet potato batons wrapped with dried fish skin), and a new squeaky monkey.

All good spangles need a squeaky monkey!  

We have been invited to Crufts! 

We were very excited to get an email from the Kennel Club last week inviting us to Crufts - we had such fun last year.  We will be writing more about this forthwith...

We have some fun things to review! 

Next in the pipeline is some lovely hand made spaniel bowls from Chow Bella (we are already big fans, so were thrilled when she made us some to match our new kitchen!), and a Panasonic Smart Home monitoring kit.  Hooman is a geek, so is particularly excited about setting this up and spying on me from her mobile phone!

Our new Blogville corner!

Sooo, sorry for the absence, although we have stayed active on all our social media platforms, but hopefully now we have our little corner of Blogville set up (and how girly is this, Hooman loves it, although she is trying to find a pretty white office chair, rather than a dining chair heehee).

Till the next time! 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Just a quick Howdy-do!

I must apologise for our absence recently. We haven't disappeared, but we are moving house, and currently the iMac is packed up!  We will be properly up and running again in the new year (hopefully in a couple of weeks, broadband setup permitting!), and already have a list of posts to start working on, including a review of Chow Bella bowls, and the Panasonic Smart Home monitoring system!  I am also hoping to have a chat with a Hearing Dog owner, and a puppy walker for assistance dogs.

So once again, apologies for the quiet - in the meantime, our social media pages are alive and well, so come and find us with the social icons to the right.

See you soon!

Amanda and Lottie xx

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Monday, 10 August 2015

Walkies with Direct LIne.... and a giveaway!

This is a sponsored post but we will always express our own opinion

We were recently asked to review and try out the new app from Direct Line, one of the leading suppliers of pet insurance in the UK, aimed at dog walkers, called aptly, Walkies!  We also have £75 worth of vouchers as a giveaway prize, for use with the luxury online pet store, Pets Pyjamas!

The Direct Line walkies app

Developed by Direct Line to go hand in hand with their pet insurance products and with dog obesity becoming a real problem in the UK, the app has been developed as a way of helping you and your furry friends monitor your exercise level, much in the way that other popular apps like Runkeeper and Endomondo do.  Only they don't track your canines calories as well!   In conjunction with this, they have also developed an accompanying blog called Fit Fred, charting the progress of an overweight Golden Retriever on his journey to get fit and healthy using the Walkies app, and is really a very enjoyable read with lots of useful hints and tips.

How do I get it?

The app is available free from the Apple store (click here for details) and is aimed at getting you and your furry friends healthier.  Much like existing fitness apps, this one tracks your dog walks, calculating top and average speeds, distance covered and calories burned by you and your dog(s), plus the route covered.  Once downloaded, to get started, you input details about yourself and your dog(s)....


and you are good to go!

We tried it out on one of our favourite short walks, up in Aspley Heath in Buckinghamshire, always a good one for seeing how well these things track as signal can get a bit dicey!  It was a beautiful walk, as the sun was throwing its golden light through the trees, and there wasn't a soul about apart from two of us hoomans, and Lottie!

To track a dog walk, you select your dog(s)...


and tap "Start Walk".....

and enjoy your walk!  Here are a few photos from this walk - you may notice that the path is sand, but we are in the middle of Buckinghamshire!  Strange oddity about our local area, Woburn Sands.




Once you are done, tap on "Stop" and look at the results!  You can even share your walk on social media with your friends!


Walkies app verdict

I really like this app (and as I am a systems analyst in "normal" life, I am very difficult to please!) - I have used previously Runkeeper on dog walks, and I love the fact that this one is so focussed on dog walkers.  Other features I like is a little icon called "Top Walks" which shows recommended walks in your vicinity, always good if you want to try somewhere new!

If you want to be able to see the calories you and your pal are burning, or are just interested in just how much ground you really do cover, I recommend taking a look at this app - it's free after all!  And as a bonus, if you sign up with your email details, there is a current offer to get a free photographic session at a Venture Studio for your doglet.  I have booked ours for a few weeks time, so am sure it will feature on here in a future post!

Giveaway time! 

Direct Line has very kindly given us £75 worth of vouchers for, a luxury online pet store, as a giveaway prize!   Open to UK residents aged 18 and over - to enter, you must leave a comment on this blog post, we would love to know about your favourite place to walk!  Other entry options are available once this has been done.   The closing date for entries is Monday 17th August 2015 21:00, and a winner will be selected at random and notified within 14 days.  The winner must respond within 28 days with a postal address, or a new winner will be randomly selected.  The prize will be sent within 28 days of notification.  Full terms and conditions are available on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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