The Cotswold Sprocker

Monday, 20 November 2017

Honey's Christmas Wish List







The big C is only 5 weeks away! With that comes many Christmas activities, baking, decorating and shopping! 
This week I will be buying the bulk of Honey's Christmas presents below are some of the items we are looking at getting for her. 




Honey has a major soft toy obsession, so this year we will be buying a few more to add to her collection. I love the green tweed hare from PetsPyjamas and it's currently on sale too which is always a bonus! Honey loves this duck from Pets at Home we have had several over the last 18 months and now we are in need of another as its a favourite of hers. Lastly, we love Green & Wilds Ronnie the Rhino toy by The designer Dog Company which is a steal at £6.99. 







This year I would like to get Honey a few more bows and bandanas to wear and I have two shops in mind for these.  Collar and Tweed have some beautiful items I already have 4 bows from them and have my eye on a couple more. Cotswold Pooch has a lovely forest folklore bow that I really love as well. 





I don't over spoil the girls with treats but our treat jar is getting low, so I want to get a few little nice treats for them. It's Christmas after all! 
One set of treats I shall be buying in bulk this year is the girls' Trip bones by Guru. I'm pretty sure Honey dreams of being given a whole glass jar stuffed of them so I'd like to make that dream come true for her!  Pooch & Mutt have a lovely range of treats I think this time we will go for the Brain and Train treats perfect for taking out on walks and for training. Lastly, the item I really want to make sure I have this year is NEOH & NOBO  peanut butter for dogs. 





The last items we have chosen for Honey are main presents things that she can have every day use from one being a new coat, she has finally outgrown her puppy coat we brought her last year and now I have my eye on this gorgeous wax coat by Barbour
A new bed has been on my list for ages but I'm so picky and it has to match in with my home decor. However, I think I have found the one Urban-Hound does a luxury bolster bed which is perfect for Honey and Daisy is she wishes to join her and matches my home decor, it's a win-win! 



Let us know what you will be buying for your pups this year! 




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Friday, 17 November 2017

Dog Names I Love But Wont Be Using









As a family and lifestyle blogger, I have had my fair share of tag type posts. The latest tag post going around is "Baby Names I Love But Won't Be Using" so I decided to switch it up a bit and do my own version featuring dog names I love but won't be using.

Naming your dog is an extremely important milestone, it gives your puppy an identity, they are no longer just a puppy, they are your puppy.  I absolutely loved naming my pets, each name was carefully thought out and given for certain reasons.  Daisy was named because I really liked Daisy Duck, I'm a huge Disney fan and that was where our Disney pet naming trend started.

Honey was given the name again because of our love Disney names for our pets and two because she was the sweetest and most adorable little puppy I'd ever seen!




Boys Names I love but Won't be Using 



Marley 
I love the name even before Marley and Me came out but now I feel it's too overused especially with labradors. 

Cracker 
A name my dad has used twice for his dogs, I like how it sounds and it doesn't feel too odd for a dog. 

Prince 
 I love this name! If I ever had a black lab this would have been the name I would have wanted. 

Maui 
I love Disney and all of our animals apart from two have Disney names, I'm also a big Moana fan but we already have a guinea pig called Maui so that rules out using the name.

Cooper 
 Such a lovely and sweet name for a puppy but also a nice name for an adult dog as well. 

Karma 
 This is probably my favourite on the list but I think it might be a bit too unique plus Liam isn't a fan of it so I probably wouldn't have a chance. 

Meeko 
I do love my Disney names what can I say! I think this would be perfect for a mischievous puppy. 

Alfie 
 If my son wasn't already named Alfie this would have been a strong contender for any future dogs. 

Chance 
 I loved watching Homeward Bound as a child and the name has always stayed with me, however, I do feel it's only suited to certain breeds/characters of dogs. 

Monty
 I love this name but my dad has used this name several times and as much as I love it, it now feels overused. 



Girls Name I Love but Won't be using 

Lady 
I've always loved Lady and the Tramp, it was what made me fall in love with cocker spaniels, it was also the name I had in mind for Honey. 

Penny
Such a short sweet name and perfect for every stage of a dog's life.

Ocean 
I do like unusual names, its a little bit out there which I really liked.

Nanna 
If I ever had a big breed I would have loved to have used this name.  Peter Pan's dog Nanna is the inspiration behind this. I can just imagine having a big cuddle dog rounding up and watching over my children like a nanny. 

Bella 
I do love this name but it's such a popular name I know so many animals called Bella I just couldn't use it myself. 

Jess 
This could still potentially be a name I use but I don't think its one my partner overly likes. 

Holly 
Such a sweet name but it does remind me of someone I use to know so for that reason I wouldn't use it. 

Dakota 
In my teens I was obsessed with American names, Dakota was a name that has always floated around but I don't think it would ever be used for any future dogs. 

Willow 
Growing up I loved watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Willow was a name I liked the sound of, I've always had it on name lists but I have never wanted to use it. 

Minnie 
This was Daisy second choice name, I do feel like only very little dogs would suit this name. 




What names did you have for your dogs? Where there any you like but never used? Let me know in the comments below.


Fellow bloggers feel free to tag yourselves just tag me in your post so I can see your names! 





*This post is to cause no offence this is just my own personal opinions. 
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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Changing to Guru - Cold Pressed Dog Food



A dogs diet is extremely important but do you know what you're actually feeding them?
Until recently, I had always stuck to one particular brand of dog food. I trusted that they were providing my dogs with the best possible food. When I really looked into it all it was doing was providing my dogs with unnecessary chemicals, additives and preservatives. 

This year at BBC's Country File Live I encountered Guru Pet food. It was such a pleasure to discover a brand passionate about their products and loves dogs just as much as I do. 
The ladies on the stand were extremely helpful and I even took a sample pack home for the girls to try as well as some tasty trip bones.


About Guru cold press

Guru was founded by couple Lisa and Andrew after failing to find a natural alternative to extruded dog food. They wanted a product that was as close to natural as possible without the hours of prep it took to home make their dog's food. 
After many months of hard work and research, they stumbled across cold pressing and Guru was born! 

   Guru produces high-quality dog food using only the most natural ingredients, broccoli, beef, fish, rosemary and linseed oil are just some of the key ingredients used in their food. Cold pressing the ingredients keep them as fresh as possible, retaining more of the vitamins and minerals compared to your standard dog food brands that use a method of extrusion.

Extrusion is a process of cooking at high temperature, whilst this is a cheaper way to produce food the quality isn't as high as cold press. Many vitamins and minerals are lost and denaturalised therefore a large quantity of food is needed to be fed. 

The benefits of feeding Guru are.....

- Strengthening of the immune system 
- No additives or preservatives 
- Improvement of skin and coat
-Gluten free 
-Reduce stool odour 
-Freshen breath 
-Free from animal testing



Changing to Guru pet food


Changing your dog on to Guru is extremely easy all you have to do is gradually increase Guru's food and decrease your old food.  Below are the steps I took when changing both of the girls' food. 


Both of our girls are big Guru fans, Daisy our Chihuahua is a fusspot and prefers wet or home-cooked food to dry biscuits but she is now a big fan of Guru. We also have the option to add water to make it a porridge for her too which she really likes.

Honey is a bottomless pit, I had no worries when changing her food, we also like to take a handful when out on walks for training and general rewarding. 

It has been an eye opener changing the girls feed, I know we have made the best decision choosing Guru.  







* This post is not sponsored by Guru in any way shape or form, all thoughts and work are my own unless otherwise stated. 
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Thursday, 9 November 2017

My Top Tips When Photographing My Dogs


It's not always easy taking photos of our beloved pets, not every dog can sit still for minutes on end for that perfect shot. However,  I have found a few easy tips that have helped me when taking photos of the girls. 


1. Exercise first - I find both girls listen more after they have been walked or exercised. If I want to take photos whilst we are on a walk then I will do the first half of our walk letting the girls have a runaround, whilst the second part is focusing more on taking photos. 

2. High-value treats or rewards - If your dog needs help with keeping their attention then take a high valued treat that you know they will do anything for. 
Honey loves chicken or her Guru trip bones so I always make sure that my pockets have enough goodies to keep her focused. 

3. Keep it short and sweet - I like to set myself 20 minutes to take my photos of the girls in because I know once we reach the 20-minute stage they are bored.

4. Set up your shot first - I'm not a professional photographer, I still have so much to learn about on my camera and its settings but I do try to have it all preset to make things that little bit easier for me and the dogs. I then may only need to do the odd bit of tweaking here and there.

5. Be in their world -  When taking photos I want to be in the dogs moment, in their world, not on the side glancing in so I take photos at eye level. Don't be afraid to get on the floor if you have too! I frequently end up laying down in mud to get that perfect shot. 

6. Don't be like everyone else - The one thing I have learnt from blogging is that it's always better to be yourself and its the same for photography. Trying to copy other peoples work never feels natural or authentic to the individual, take the photos you like and love and others will too! 

7. Focus on what makes your dog unique - Does your dog have a physical feature that makes them stand out from the rest? Is it their personality? Whatever it maybe try to capture that in your shot. Pictures shine more when they are capturing a moment. 

8. Have patience - You need to be quiet and ever so patient when taking photos of your dog(s). Dogs sense anger and frustration so being calm is key for a smooth sailing photoshoot. 

9. Lighting & Clutter - Try to take your photos in good lighting, one this make the quality much better and two when it comes to editings it's so much easier! 
Don't forget to move any major clutter from the background as these will distract your audience from looking at the subject. 

10. Comfortable - My last tip is to make sure your dog is comfortable. Don't try to take photos that may stress or upset your dog in any way. Taking photos should be a fun experience for both of you. 




 Dogs, Children and a Chicken leg!  

What they say is true never work with children and animals! Ok, so this is just a little joke after what I went through to get my Halloween family photo.  I recently took some pictures of both my boys with Honey and Daisy and it was carnage! In the end, we did it but it took a lot of time, patience and me waving a leg of chicken to get all 4 of them to look at in the right direction! Apparently, kids aren't a fan of dog biscuits!  


If you have any tips we may have missed out please add them to the comments below!  



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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Meet The Family






Today's post is all about the family behind the blog. They say it takes a small village to raise a child and we've figured it takes a whole family to run a blog or two! 
Every member of our family has some contribution to this blog or my other blog Andrea Louise. 
So I thought it was only appropriate to introduce our family as they are all bound to pop up every now and then. 






Andrea 
That's me, the creator of both Andrea Louise and The Cotswold Sprocker as well as mother to two beautiful yet boisterous boys. 
Blogging is something that has been a form of therapy and enjoyment for me. I first started off as a parent blogger and slowly over the last  4 years, I have revamped into a family lifestyle blogger and now a pet blogger. 

I love being creative and my blogs are an outlet for me to do so from crafting, cooking and baking to photography and videography and everything else in-between. 



Liam 

That's my partner Liam, he is at work most of the time but when he is home he is hands-on helping me with ideas for my blogs, helping with taking photos and videos as well as being the best babysitter in the world! Without him, I wouldn't be able to do what I love. 




Alfie and Archie 

Our two boys are a handful, wanting a life of fun and adventure. Whilst keeping to a schedule can sometimes be tricky the boys are always up to help their mummy with blog work. Behind the scenes, they help with reviewing, planning and even blog post ideas so it's always helpful to have two extra little helpers. It also helps that they are very photogenic! 




Daisy

Our first fur child, Daisy came into our lives 8 years ago.  If Daisy was a person I would say she'd be a lady of the manor from the turn of the 19th century. She is very much on her high horse and likes the life of luxury.  She hates getting wet or dirty and you'll often find the old girl sleeping in the corner of the sofa rolled up int a tight ball a bit like a hedgehog. 




Honey 

The reason for The Cotswold Sprocker, Honey is a very special girl she has helped me so much in the last 18 months from dealing with anxiety and the stress after having our home broken into to the joys of just having a dog in the house. Honey is extremely different to Daisy, she will play for hours on end, she loves to go on long walks and at the end of the day, she loves nothing more than to snuggle up on the sofa.  She extremely scatterbrains and always disappearing once off the lead but she gives us so much love and enjoyment we couldn't imagine our lives without her. 


The Piggies 

The girls share their home with our three guinea pigs Elsa, Duchess and Maui ( big Disney fans if you haven't noticed). The piggies can often be found chilling out in the garden eating their weight in hay, fruit and veggies. 



The Chooks 

Our three girls Fat Brenda, Glenda and Lilly they are our source of eggs in the morning and the perfect babysitters for Honey. 
Honey loves watching the girls around the garden and as long as they are out Honey won't budge.


Aunty Steph with Sarra and Bobby 

The last members of the family are my twin sister Stephanie and her two rescue dogs Sarra the Romanian Jack Russell cross and Bobby the rescued tri-coloured Collie. 


Sarra is on Instagram too under @sarratheultrasounddog don't forget to pop over and say hi to her too! 


I hoped you enjoyed meeting the family! 





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Monday, 23 October 2017

Cotswold Pooch Giveaway!



It's launch time and I cant think of a more appropriate way then with a giveaway! The lovely team at Cotswold Pooch have been kind enough to help us with a fantastic giveaway. One luck person will win a bandana and bowtie of their choice from Cotswold Pooch (subject to availability). 



To win all you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter below, the more tasks you complete the more entries you have. 








Terms & Conditions 


This giveaway is for UK entrants only. The winner will be picked at random. All enquiries on your win eg. fabric and colour must go through the company Cotswold Pooch. I am not liable for any issues regarding orders or postage.  

The giveaway will finish on 6/11/17 at midnight and the winner will be announced on 7/11/17
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.


Good luck to everyone that enters! 






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It's Launch Day!




Hello everyone and welcome to my personal corner on the big wide web! 

For those who don't know me my name is Andrea, I'm a 27 year old mother to two little boys and paw parent to Honey the Sprocker and Daisy the Chihuahua.  

Today, as you can see, is our launch day which has been in the pipeline for quite some time, 2 years to be exact! 
I'm no newbie when it comes to blogging this is technically my 3rd blog. Back in 2010 when I was expecting my first child Alfie, I desperately wanted to set up my own online website for mums however, I wasn't sure how to do this so it was left on the backburner for a later date. 


Fast forward to 2013 pregnant with my second son and those desire to document the highs and lows of motherhood/ parenting were reignited. So I plucked up the courage and 4 months before I had Archie I launched the blog Bloggermumma. For 3 year I was a happy parent blogger but last year this all changed. I no longer wanted to just be a mummy blogger I wanted to expand and feature all the things I loved and enjoyed, so in 2016 I revamped my blog and its now under the name of Andrea Louise.  Since then I have been blogging about my own life as Andrea a 27-year-old who loves Disney and home decor to Andrea, a mother of two young boys featuring snippets from our every day life. However, there was one topic in my life that didn't seem to fit and that was my dog Daisy. 

At that time I felt Daisy needed her own blog but with a toddler, it just wasn't something I had the time to do. Then in July 2016, we welcomed a new family member into our lives, our gorgeous Sprocker Honey.  Over the last year we have all enjoyed watching Honey grow and learn and hit her first milestones and as a previous parent blogger, I wanted to share the enjoyment of being a paw parent. 


So last month I sat down and brainstormed The Cotswold Sprocker and here we are today on launch day! I'm so excited for this chapter in my life and my girls and I can't wait to see what fun adventures we take. 

Join us on walks in and around the Cotswolds, product reviews, helpful hints and tips and more. We hope you enjoy our blog and a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us so far. 






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