"I think I'll take this, yes thank you"... 😂

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What I've Learned About Owning A Miniature Dachshund (*)
Bed - Apple Crates, Feeding bowl - Bryher Timber, Toys & Treats - Monster Pet Supplies

We had been planning to get a puppy for around 5 years but wanted to wait until we had a house with a garden and our lives were a little less hectic. We went back and fourth between about 3 different breeds before we finally did our research and ultimately found the perfect fit, a long haired miniature dachshund... AKA our little puppy 'Digit'.

Miniature dachshunds have a bold and independent temperament, They're intelligent, faithful and good tempered which means the breed would fit perfectly into our 'coffee shop crawling' lifestyle. But the breed is also very head strong so that does mean they can be incredibly stubborn and sensitive however, having easily trained my family dog I'm up for a challenge and to be honest I think it gives them more personality!

The breed is also incredibly loyal and will attach him or herself to one person in the family in particular which means that they may not like being left alone. We're very keen to eventually have two (this number will increase) dogs for companionship so this wasn't a problem for us at all.

So what have I learned about owning a miniature dachshund?

I ain't saying you're a gold digger...
They love to dig and by digging that doesn't just mean in the garden. Cushions, carpets, throws, walls, chairs... nothing is off limits.

What are you eating?
Their diet is incredibly important for their backs. Dachshunds have long backs and can put on weight easily. Since their backs are like a suspension bridge you need to keep it strong. I feed Digit a BARF (raw) diet that not only keeps her happy but provides her with all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients she needs.

There's no point in shouting...
Dachshunds are sensitive so they don't take well to aggressive tones. They do however love praise, so cheerful tones for all the little things do really count.

Why are you ignoring me?
Dachshunds are independent thinkers which also means that if they want to they will ignore you repeating their name over and over to get their attention.

That was quick! 
They're incredibly bright and clever, Digit learnt to 'shake a paw' within 10 minutes and the 'sit' command within 5 minutes which is great for getting her to be patient when waiting for her dinner.

You should be a comedian! 
Their unpredictable and lively nature along with those random bursts of energy and running around the kitchen island 10 times faster than the speed of light will set you into a fit of giggles. They get themselves into the stupidest predicaments and their little sausage like appearance just makes things even more funnier. 

You've left the baby gate open!

Dachshunds love to jump, bounce around and run up and down stairs but this isn't healthy for their backs as it puts strain on their spine. 1 in 4 dachshunds are prone to IVDD (Intervertebral disk disease) and so for prevention it's not only about diet and exercise it's also about the stairs being off limits and NO jumping off of the couch.

Watch your step! 
Of course miniature dachshunds are low to the ground and can sneak up on you easily which does mean that they can easily get under your feet. We've had to pop a little cat bell onto her collar so we can hear when she's near.

Pick me up please, I'm tired...
Dachshunds don't need a lot of exercise, in fact too much exercise can be bad for them. The Dachshund Breed Council recommends their daily exercise should be between 5-10 minutes walk until they're 4 months old then it's 15-20 minutes until they're 6 months then 30 minutes until they're a year which it can then increase to 45-50 minutes a day. If they're tired they will jump up to be picked up so a dog bag is recommended!

Sleeping beauty... 

Long haired miniature dachshunds in particular are laid back and sweet-natured. They love to snooze, snuggle up to you on the couch and have the most adorable sleeping positions ever.

Beki Xo 

(*) As part of this blog post I was gifted the toys and treats from Monster Pet Supplies however all opinions and reviews are my own 
Top 3 Winter Fashion Trends That Made 2016 (*)

Every year there are certain winter trends that make their way out from the back of the wardrobe: the oversized fur coats, the leather boots and of course the array of tartan patterns. This year, there were three looks that really caught my eye, and now that we’re into spring, I still find myself turning to them when the weather is still frightful outside. Let me know what you think about these top three wintry trends that are making waves into 2017…

1.     Cape coats

I am loving the caped coat look right now, especially now that the evenings are a little warmer and it’s all you need on a night out. They’re a welcome alternative to the usual over-sized trench coats and military jackets that we see each and every year, but from a practical point of view, they’re also incredibly good at locking in heat!

Plus, you can get caped shawls which are perfect for occasion wear. If you have a Spring wedding on the horizon, I’d recommend leaving behind your standard shawl and opting for a blush pink fur-lined cape instead. It will be far better for keeping out the cold, but also help you achieve a look that screams opulence.

2.     Gemstone Jewellery

Gemstones have always been a favourite for pendants and charms, but they were given a new look towards the end of last year. For 2017, it’s all about incorporating their rough-cut forms into large pieces of statement jewellery. It could be a cuff-style bracelet with a large stone set into the centre, or a collection of gems strung together in a necklace that looks like something straight out of an Aztec warrior’s wardrobe.

This trend may remind us of ancient cultures past, but it makes a beautiful addition to plain outfits that are in need of an edge. Of course, you’ll still be able to find plenty of elegant gemstone designs too, as ChloBo, the luxury jewellery retailer, have recently launched their Gypsy Dreamer and Luna Soul collections. With plenty of Labradorite greys and the pink hues of Aventurine to hand, you can add a touch of sophistication to your festive outfits.

3.     V is for velvet

Up until now, the main focus of evening dresses has been the Great-Gatsby-inspired look. Although I love the heavily beaded and sequined dresses, everyone seems to have one now, so I was thrilled to see this new velvet trend start to trickle into the shops.

Think sleek, slimming and seductive; these simplistic velvet dresses will be perfectly complemented by a retro choker necklace and some black heels for a throwback to the 90s that people will love. If you’re still making the most of the sales looking for evening outfits, opt for darker colours like forest green or sapphire blue for a more expensive look. Then add a glittering clutch and you’re good to go.

You can find more top trends from 2016 here. What are your top spring combinations? 

(*) Collaborative Post

Pink Grapefruit and Peppercorn Cocktail ft Colombo Gin (*)

Colombo Gin is a dry gin created by a young Asian distiller inspired by the history of Ceylon and handcrafted in the UK.

Back when Sri Lanka was Ceylon, British Excise Officers didn’t believe that a good London Gin could be produced outside of the UK. However a young Asian distiller thought otherwise and fought until he could create a gin using local botanicals. His successes lead to creating the regulations of Ceylon Made Foreign Liquor as well as Indian Made Foreign Liquor laws that stand to this day.

The gin itself contains 7 native lead botanicals that create its war time recipe; Ginger root, coriander seeds, angelica root, juniper, liquorice root and Sri Lankan cinnamon bark and curry leaves.

Tasted neat the profile is distinctive and complex. Juniper leads the way with a burst of citrus and coriander followed by warming notes of cinnamon and the peppery heat of ginger. However when you add tonic the profile seems to become a lot smoother, juniper still maintaining its strength but with the other botanicals coming together to create a sweet, fresh and warming notes.

When creating a cocktail I wanted something that would keep those fresh and spicy notes. The gin compliments Asian cooking incredibly well so I was researching ingredients that would refresh the palette but maintain that peppery taste to embrace the gin.

So I created the...

Pink Grapefruit & Peppercorn Gin Cocktail 

50ml Colombo Gin
½ Fresh grapefruit juice
2 Cubes of ice
3-5 Peppercorns
Top with Fevertree tonic

Squeeze the juice of half a fresh grapefruit into a cocktail shaker

Add two cubes of ice and 50 ml of Colombo Gin

Shake until cocktail shaker becomes misty and pour into a couple glass (or a short glass)

Top with Fevertree tonic and add 3-5 black peppercorns

The perfect fresh and simple cocktail that could be enjoyed before or after a meal to cleanse the palette and give you that 'pick me up' taste with it's crisp flavour.

Beki Xo

(*) As part of this review I was gifted the Colombo Gin however all opinions and the recipe itself are my own
Orange and Thyme Gin Cocktail ft Siegfried Gin (*)

Siegfried Gin is a German gin founded by Gerald and Raphael from the Rhine region.

The name Siegfried comes from a character in a poetic saga. After slaying the dragon Siegfried bathed in its blood which rendered him invulnerable. Unfortunately for him a leaf from the linden tree fell onto his back leaving one small patch of skin not covered by the dragon’s blood, leaving that single spot vulnerable. Hence why the founders of Seigfried have given a created a gin that uses the blossoms of the Linden Tree among 17 other botanicals.

The other botanicals include juniper, angelica root, orange zest, thyme, cubeb berries, lavender, ginger and cardamom.

The key flavours of the gin are juniper and linden blooms giving a bitter orange and earthy taste followed by spicy notes of ginger and angelica root.

When creating the gin cocktail I wanted something that would pull out those earthy and sweet flavours, complementing the key juniper taste. Scanning through the list of botanicals I pulled out two flavours (orange zest and thyme) that I knew wouldn’t overpower the gin but would create a fresh, earthy cocktail.

Orange & Thyme Gin Cocktail 

50ml Siegfried Gin
50ml Freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Sprig of thyme
1 Cube of ice
Top with Fevertree tonic

Add 50ml of Siegfried gin and 50ml of freshly squeezed orange juice (don’t forget to save a segment to garnish) to the cocktail shaker

Pop in 1 large cube of ice and shake until the cocktail shaker becomes misty

Pour into a coupe glass and top with Fevertree tonic

Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a segment of orange

The perfect fresh, citrus cocktail that adds an extra something to your typical summer G&T. The great thing about this cocktail is that it's incredibly easy to make and you can swap out the orange for any citrus fruit whether that'd be grapefruit, blood orange or clementine.

Beki Xo 

(*) Disclaimer: As part of this review I was gifted the Siegfried gin however all opinions and the recipe are my own.
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