Life with a puppy

Getting any sort of animal requires a lot of thought. Have you got enough time? Are you responsible enough to own a pet? Can you afford it? Getting a dog is a massive decision that needs a lot of thinking and planning. As I’ve had dogs before (both rescues) I thought I knew what I was getting into. Boy, was I wrong.

In June of this year, I decided it was time to get a dog. I had been struggling with my anxiety and my doctor said it might be for the best (I definitely didn’t argue). For as long Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 14.30.21
as I can remember I have been obsessed with dogs. I searched the rescue centres in my area and couldn’t find one that I found suited me so I went online and searched for Cocker Spaniel Puppies (my fave). I found an advertisement from a man who had two 12 week old Cocker Spaniels which he had no choice but to rehome as his baby was found to be highly allergic. So, I travelled the whole way to Dundalk and found my little fur baby. I was split on whether to get the Girl or the Boy. They were both so loving and fun and I just couldn’t choose. Both dogs I had before had been boys so I decided because of that, I choose the boy. Little spy, as he was called then, and I journeyed all the way back to my home and the fun, stress and love began.

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 14.34.49Aiden and I both fell in love with him immediately. He followed me around everywhere. We started immediately with his house training. We soon found he didn’t like he puppy pads and preferred the matt by the front door to our utmost disapproval. He soon realised that if he didn’t go outside, he didn’t get his treat. Overall it took him about two weeks to become fully house trained. After one things come another. Teeth.

Puppies usually loose all their teeth before they turn 6 months old which along with this comes chewing, nipping and eating every single thing he gets his paws on. I brush his teeth every single day with liver flavoured dog toothpaste and until he was 6 months old I used puppy teething gel which was a god send. I found this really soothed his gums and calmed it and it only cost around £6 from Pets at Home! I also had him on Dentastix which he is no longer allowed as he is intolerant to things that are high in fat and it makes him vomit. Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 14.36.17

If you are thinking of getting a certain breed, I highly recommend researching it before you get it. Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear problems such as ear mites as their ears are so big. They are prone to hip and joint problems so gentle exercise is encouraged up until 6 months. When older, they require around an hour of exercise a day.

Mowgli has had a few problems in the short time we’ve been together. He has the fat intolerance problem, he decided he doesn’t like Royal Canin Dry Food, He has anal gland problems and he decided Lillie’s taste great and landed himself with an overnight stay in the vets on a drip.

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 14.35.55Mowgli’s last owner fed his James Well beloved Dry Food and I kept him on that for the first few weeks until he decided he was bored of it and made himself throw it back up so I changed his food to Royal Canin which he has since decided he doesn’t like either and I have finally found a food that he LOVES. I feed him twice a day on Lilly’s Kitchen dry puppy food and he also gets one spoonful of wet food per meal. He also gets a Lilly’s Kitchen biscuit in the morning and at night. The night time one is amazing. It contains Camomile and it relaxes him so much he sleeps from 9.30pm to around 8.30am which is great! As for treats, there’s a few different brands he likes. He really likes Good Boy Puppy Milk Drops, Wagg Puppy Junior Treats, Coachies Puppy Training Treats and Lilly’s Kitchen Organic Training Treats.

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 14.36.12I’ve created a routine for Mowgli that happens every day at the same time and he knows when it’s time for what. He gets fed at the same times, trained at the same times, walks and play time usual vary. I clean his ears every 3 days and clean his teeth every morning. He goes to the groomers every 6 weeks and gets a bath every Friday. I have the most amazing Dog Groomer (Wizard of Pawz) that listens to exactly what I want done which is just his paws and feathering tidied up and she is so, so good with Mowgli and he loves all the Spa Treatments she gives him (He gets Blueberry Facials and Paw Soaks). He always comes out smelling absolutely beautiful.

As of yet I have not had Mowgli neutered as my vet has recommended I wait until he is atleast 10 months old. However, he humps EVERYTHING. Whether it be his doggy friend Bono, his toys, pillows, blankets, whatever he gets his paws on. He has a fascination with socks, toilet role and the toilet in general. He loves flowers and it is a nightmare trying to keep him out of the flowerbeds.

I have bought a stupid amount of toys for Mowgli and he has his own toy box and he plays with all of them. I’ve found he likes the soft teddy type toys but he rips the stuffing out of them now that he is bigger so I have to buy soft toy, take out the stuffing and stitch them back together. His favourite toy we have named Ralph the Raccoon and he carries it everywhere with him.

He is such a loving, gentle dog who is so great with children, adults and just about everyone he meets (apart from the postman, he hates him). He does bark at taller men for god knows what reason but apart from that he is a crazy, friendly pup.

I really do recommend researching dogs before you adopt or buy and think about your circumstances and if they will change.

Until next time,

Elisha

follow Mowgli on Instagram: @MowgliTheSpaniel 

 

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It’s all very Greek


For a very long time, Greece has held a special place in my heart. The many memories I have there with my mum as we visited the island of Crete every summer to stay in the village of Stalis. I decided it was time that I ventured out of Crete and travelled to a new greek destination and share my love of all things Greece with my boyfriend, Aiden.

In May we landed in Zakynthos. What a beautiful island. The weather during our stay was mediocre. It was around 18oC during the first few days and it rained a few times but after that it soared to over 30oC and I ended up with a nice little tan.

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Dionisos Taverna

If you are looking for a quiet week away,  I highly recommend visiting the small town of Tsilivi. This is a small town beside the sea with plenty of tasty restaurants, ice cream shops and beautiful beaches. We ate in a range of different restaurants including m-eating, Micri Acropoli Restaurant & Bar, Dionisos Taverna, Il Gusto and a small family restaurant in Zakynthos Town which we can’t remember the name of but did the most amazing homemade Garlic and Cheese Breads. We enjoyed every single one of these restaurants and we absolutely adore the food in Greece. The hospitality in M-Eating especially was magnificent and we thoroughly enjoyed our night there.

IMG_9679For dessert we opted to leave the restaurant and go to a small cafe called Gelato Cafe where we made friends with the lovely sisters who own the place. They were more than welcoming throughout our stay and even gave us free desserts to say goodbye when we were going home. They made the most incredible crepes I have ever tasted and yummy banana milkshakes. During the day we always had plenty to do.

Zakynthos offer many different excursions and boat trips and we did quite a few. We visited Shipwreck Beach (I highly recommend wearing a LOT of sunscreen if you plan to visit), The Blue Caves were absolutely stunning and the clear blue waters were breathtaking.

We visited Ancient Olympia which is a full day trip. You have to be at the port for 7am in Zante Town to get a ferry to Kyllini on the Peloponnese (mainland Greece). The ferry takes around 1 hour and after that you get a bus that takes around an hour to an hour and a half to get to the small town of Olimpia – the birth place of the Olympic Games. The site of the ruins is amazing and it is so easy to see what once stood in the place of the ruins. It is amazing to think that the Greek Gods once competed there and to hear the stories and the history makes it an enjoyable day. The tour takes around an hour and a half and then unfortunately you have a 3 and a half hour wait before the bus comes to take you back to the ferry. The town is very commercial with all of the shops in the town selling the same touristy things and selling the same tourist food unlike the authentic towns and villages in Zakynthos. We found it a tough day after the tour but it is definitely worth the visit, just prepare yourself for the wait.

I highly recommend renting a quad or something similar during your stay to get to see the island. There is so much to see and explore but still plenty of time for relaxing at the pool. We stayed in a beautiful hotel called The Contessina Hotel. It has a beautiful pool area and spacious rooms with nice bathrooms. The staff were very friendly especially the wonderful bar man Sot who merrily told us every night that one day he would own the hotel and told us of his hopes and dreams while making us his random potions.

We honestly had the most wonderful time in Zakynthos from start to finish and we would visit this beautiful place again and again.

Until Next Time,

Elisha.

I’d rather be in Orlando.

It’s been almost two years since I visited Orlando and since we’re gearing up to go again next year, I thought a blog post dedicated to it would be a good idea. Orlando is not the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday by the beach. It’s the place to go if you’re looking for adventure, sun and most of all FUN!

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We spent 3 weeks in Florida in September 2015 and it was 3 of the best weeks of my life. We stayed in The Avanti Resort on International Drive which is the perfect place to stay if you’re going for the theme parks but don’t want to stay in the likes of Disney or Universal Hotels. The Avanti Resort is a massive hotel with a beautiful big pool and jacuzzi perfect for relaxing in after a long day at a theme park. The rooms are standard, spacious and clean with a huge King Size Bed. The Staff were so friendly and couldn’t have been more helpful. The Resort offer a free shuttle to the Disney, Universal and Sea World Parks and you can book on the bus each evening for the next day.

IMG_0717The first theme park we visited was Universal Studios. This is definitely my favourite park. I’m not a fan of Rollercoasters but this park has so many Simulator rides and gentler rides suitable for people just like me. My favourite rides at this park were Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Spiderman, E.T Adventure and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. We really enjoyed Harry Potter World and spent quite a while there. I even got to try Butter Beer! It was very, very sweet and I only managed to drink about a quarter of the glass. The theming around the park is amazing and it really makes you feel like you’re walking down Diagon Alley.

We also visited Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We LOVED Epcot. It is such a fun park and we loved every ride we went on especially Mission: Space and Test Track. Animal Kingdom was also such a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari. We went to Animal Kingdom on a really, really hot day and there’s a LOT of walking to do around that park so you could say we were a little tired when we got back to the hotel. Hollywood Studios is definitely worth a visit. Go see the Beauty and The Beast Live Show if you get the chance – It is quite enjoyable (and not just because it’s one of my favourite Disney movies). The day we went to Magic Kingdom was such a let down. We left it until near the end of the holiday because we were most excited to go there and unfortunately it just so happened to be the start of Mickey’s not so scary halloween party, which was a sold out event which means we had to leave the park by 6pm and leave Orlando without seeing the magical Wishes fireworks – gutted. There was also a lot of Thunder and Lightening storms that day and so most of the rides were shut down which resulted in us walking around with those silly plastic bag things over us in the rain for quite a while.

I wasn’t sure whether to go to Sea World or not and in the end we did out of curiosity. I’m not one to jump on a bang wagon and I believe there are two sides to every story and so I had to see it for myself. I hated the animal shows. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how those animals should be out there in the wild not squished into a small tank staring at fullsizeoutput_5adthe same glass every day. We also had tickets for a dolphin swim in Discovery Cove and although I felt the same as above, it was an amazing experience. I didn’t like how the dolphins were treated. The first dolphin we had just wanted to play and because she wasn’t listening to what the trainer was telling her to do, the trainer got really annoyed and sent her off back out to a gated part of the pool and brought in a new dolphin. We were told what to do and when to do it and you got a 30-40 second swim with the dolphin. There’s also a massive pool full of Manta-Ray that you can swim with and you really feel like you’re in the sea. You’re provided with a snorkel and a life vest if you wish and you can spend as much time as you like in the Manta-Ray pool. Discovery Cove is a all inclusive park and you can eat and drink as much as you like when you like.

We visited two water parks while we were there, Wet N’ Wild (which no longer existsIMG_0439) and Aquatica which has the best lazy river in the entire world – Roa’s Rapids. I spent most of my day in this river while Aiden went on all the crazy water rides, I went on a few but I just loved the lazy river so, so much.

We also visited Busch Gardens so that Aiden could go on the crazy big coasters such as The SheiKra. I went on a Giraffe Safari whilst he went on the rollercoasters and it was quite fun. The Giraffe’s weren’t forced to come over and them seemed to be in a semi-natural habitat. We were given a Lettuce to feed them if they came over and it was just such a lovely morning.

While we were in Orlando we visited the Mall at Millenia and The Premium Outlets. The Mall at Millenia is amazing. I could have spent a lot longer there. I definitely enjoyed splurging in Sephora, Bath and Body Works and treating myself in Micheal Kors. I may have gotten a little obsession with Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitisers whilst in Orlando and bought over 40 of them…

Old Town is also worth a visit for an evening if you fancy walking around little shops and a small amusement park. I also recommend visiting The Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze for dinner. The upside Down Pineapple cake from Bahama Breeze is AMAZING.

I am super, super excited to return to Florida in 2018. I think it is definitely the best place to go for adventure and fun and it is perfect for couples, friends and families.

Until next time,

Elisha.

 

Roma, Roma, Roma.

I can honestly say I have never been to a city as beautiful as Rome. From the cobblestone streets to the hustle and bustle of Via Del Corso, they really aren’t lying when they tell you that Rome was not built in a day. It is a city enriched with history and every corner you turn there is something more beautiful to look at that the one before.

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We stayed in the centre of Rome in Via Del Corso in the Corso Boutique Hotel at the end of October. I would highly recommend this hotel to any couple looking for a few days away.

IMG_0881From the outside you wouldn’t even know a hotel was present but, inside you’ll find luxury and elegance. The rooms are modern and spacious and you have a beautiful bath/jacuzzi in your room for relaxing in after exploring the crazy streets of Rome. The staff are polite and so helpful. I would genuinely go back to Rome just for this hotel. We couldn’t have picked a better hotel for our 4 days in Rome as it was close to everything we wanted to see. We were a 5 minute walk from both the Spanish Steps and The Trevi Fountain.

IMG_0486The first thing I wanted to see was The Fontana Di Trevi and it was even more breathtaking in person than it is in photos. I expected it to be in some open space almost like St Peters but, it was tucked away down a little cobbled street in a small square surrounded by Gelato shops and cafes. We obviously did the ritual in which you kiss a coin and throw it behind your shoulder into the Fountain in hopes that someday you will return to Rome. For a fountain it is an incredibly special place that I don’t think you would ever get sick of looking at.

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On the same day we visited the Spanish Steps and I did not realise there were so many of them! I expected a few steps not what felt like a million. It was a beautiful place with a great buzz surrounded by tourists and locals alike. You can tell the Italians are proud of their architecture and are keen to keep it the beautiful Eternal City that it is…we even got told off for eating Gelato on the steps! While i’m on the subject of Gelato…

WOW! I have never tasted something so good. ever. I even had it for breakfast, lunch and dessert! I think we ate in the wrong places in Rome. Everyone I speak to tells me how much they loved the food and we just didn’t have that experience. We mostly ate in restaurants around the famous monuments which I’ve now been told is a bad idea and so the next time we go, we will be venturing out and into the more authentic restaurants.

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We spent a full day in Vatican City at St Peters Basilica. Isn’t it just the most beautiful church in the world?! While we were there mass was being said and the singing was so angelic and amazing. We visited the Papal Tombs and learned about the past and present Popes.

I was super excited the whole time we were away to go to the Colosseum. I remember watching The Lizzie Maguire movie when I was younger and thinking it looked so so cool  (that movie was the main reason I wanted to go to Rome). I just don’t understand how they built it. It is amazing. HOW?! They are still restoring parts of it but you can tell which parts are original. We paid for a guided tour because it gets you in quicker but left because we don’t really want to listen to them as we get a little bored and did our own thing. It is so easy to imagine the history and things that happened in the Colosseum and it really is a place you need to visit as some stage in your life.

 

Overall we really, really enjoyed Rome and this is just a few things we got up to. It really is an enticing city full of culture, history and breathtaking architecture.

Until next time,

Elisha.

Life Update

Hello!

I’ve taken a break for the last month or two due to life taking over and now I finally feel ready to get back to blogging. I’ve had anxiety problems since I was around 13/14 but over the last few months it has been worse than ever. I have had to take some time off work and just have some time out to get back to my happy self.

My doctor recommended I get a little companion to help my stress levels and so I can proudly introduce to you my best little four legged friend, Mowgli!

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 14.21.40.pngMowgli is a Cocker Spaniel and is 18 weeks old. (he has his own instagram if you want to watch him grow 😉 @mowglithespaniel) He is the first thing to ever help my anxiety and I am so happy to have him in my life. Aiden and I are super proud parents already even if he is a little terror sometimes.

I am planning a few travel posts over the next few days including Rome, Zakynthos and Orlando so hopefully you will enjoy those.

Until next time,

Elisha.