Friday, 28 August 2015

My Week on Instagram.

There have been a lot of pictures of my dog Spud, this week. But I can't be responsible for how beautiful he is. And some of me. Pretty average week but I thought I'd share.

A photo posted by @alexandralouiseh on

A photo posted by @alexandralouiseh on

A photo posted by @alexandralouiseh on

A photo posted by @alexandralouiseh on

Leave your links below so that I can follow you on instagram :)

Monday, 17 August 2015

5 Tips for Dealing with Hay Fever and Seasonal Allergies in Dogs.

This may be a little late, if you or someone you know is a sufferer then you know it starts as soon as the weather goes above 15 degrees. As soon as the grass started to grow my dog Spud became an itchy scratchy sneezy nightmare. Poor baby. So after years of dealing with his allergies I have an action plan that maybe some of you can use if your pets suffer too.

1. Pre-emptive strike.

Before the itching gets severe you should consider some kind of anti-histamine treatment. My vet recommended Piriton, which works great, however it does have a drowsy element. My boy is a tiny tot, (well he's usually between 14-17 kilos) and half of one Piriton tablet twice a day is enough. If you're unsure of dosage, consult your vet.

Our vet also offered me a topical steroid which is sprayed on the itchy area and settles it, however it costs around £30 a bottle, plus I'm not entirely happy about using steroids as they haven't agreed with him in the past. Because the Piriton works for him, I decided to say no, however if you're desperate it is an option.

2. Stop them from scratching.

This may seem like you're being incredibly mean. We all know what it feels like when you can't scratch an itch but unfortunately dogs don't understand when to stop, and can cause themselves further problems. When the skin is over scratched it becomes very hot, which in turn can add to the itching. Also, my dog has had problems with his nipples. He rubs his belly on the floor (carpet, grass, one time even flag stones!) to soothe the itch but ends up with his nipples enlarged, sore, and sometimes they bleed. Stopping this would be a positive in the long run.

3. Cool the area.

If they do scratch and get themselves all hot and burning, you can cool the area with a cold compress or, I like to point a desk fan at his tummy and spray a little water from a spray bottle (you can pick these up anywhere for less than £1) on the affected area and the evaporation cools the skin right down. He loves it :)

4. Keep grass/plants to a minimum.

When the grass in the garden is long, it rubs on Spud's legs and tummy and makes him 1000x worse. The best thing to do is keep the grass as short as possible and, if you can, reduce their exposure. If you walk them through a park with tall grass, take the pavement instead.

5. Treat the affected area.

When the itching is still not under control there are a number of things that can be applied to the skin. Sudocrem is something that has been being used on nappy rash and eczema for years. On a rash on the dog's tummy, it can be soothing and stop the itching. I've been using Sudocrem on Spud for years (the traditional kind, in the pot) but recently I was sent a PR Sample of the new small tubes of a slightly more lightweight cream called 'Sudocrem Skin Care'* which also works great. It is lighter, and better suited to more regular use than the thicker heavier creams. Another option is Calamine Lotion. Used to settle itchy rashes like chicken pox, insect bites, and nettle stings, it's great for cooling and soothing the tummy. It also dries super fast and residue is left in the form of dusty powder as apposed to greasy cream. The biggest task you'll have here is getting your pet to lie still for the application. If they're anything like Spud they'll wriggle and thrash around impossibly.

Hopefully this helps if anyone's pets are struggling. And you can get your dogs back to happy little beauties like mine :)

Monday, 10 August 2015

Vegan Recipe: Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Curry.

This week I have decided to try some new vegan recipes and the first was such a success that I thought that I would share. I referred to a number of different recipes but in the end, I made it up as I went along and it worked out great.

Recipe makes 2 large or 3 medium portions. Depending on how much rice you serve too.

You will need...

For the Curry:

1 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 400g Tin of Chickpeas
1/2 Medium Cauliflower Head
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
2 Cups of Vegetable Stock
2 Cloves of Garlic (I used 4 but I LOVE garlic)
1 tsp Onion Powder (Because I don't like the texture of onion, you can substitute 1 small onion)
3 tbsp of Mild Curry Powder

For the Homemade Chapatis:

2 Cups of Plain Flour (plus extra for rolling)
1 Cup of Water
1/2 tsp each of Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder

The Cooking...


Part boil the diced sweet potato until they begin to go soft but still hold shape.
In a new pan, heat garlic until golden then add the tin of chopped tomatoes.
Add onion powder and curry power.
Add the vegetable stock, raw cauliflower cut into small florets, and the 1/2 tin of chickpeas.
Add the sweet potato and leave to simmer for 15 minutes (you can cook rice and chapatis in this time)
Lastly add 2 handfuls of spinach and cook until wilted.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with rice of your choice and homemade chapatis.


Mix 2 cups of plain flour with 1/2 tsp each of onion powder, salt and pepper.
Mix in 1 cup of water.
Split the dough into 4-6 equal parts and roll flat with hands or rolling pin.
Pop in frying pan for about 1 minute and 30 seconds each side. (I tend to think a little oil in the pan helps here, otherwise the end product is quite dry and floury on the outside).

Enjoy :) I certainly did.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Wish List Aug '15.

In just less than a month, I turn 22, so I thought I’d write a wish list of cosmetic products that I’m currently lusting after, and will probably buy some of with birthday money/vouchers.

1. Mac Prep + Prime Natural Radiance ‘Radiant Yellow'

I'm still on the hunt for a really good hydrating primer. With both dry and dehydrated skin, I get a lot of dry patches and while Hydra Veil, that I currently use, is doing a good job, it's sometimes not enough and I want to try something new.

2. Mac Fix +

To help my makeup stay on my face, because it comes off easily sometimes, and to make it dewy which I'm in much need of. My dry skin can make my face look flat sometimes.

3+4. Mac Face and Body in C1 and White

I'm currently using Illamasqua Skin base because of it's range of paler colours. However I used to use Face and Body and I loved it. The lighter coverage, and the way it dries, but it became too dark for me. Then I found out that I can get it in white from the Mac Pro stores and online and so I'm in desperate need!

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette (customised)

Because of my pale pale skin, I an't use all the colours on the original palette, and I want a grey-toned contour and some ice highlighters so I plan on 2 pans of 'Banana' 1 'Champagne' 1 'Sand' and 2 'Fawn'. The option to customise is amazing, and it makes it cheaper than buying individual. For 6 pans individually it would cost $84, but together it's only $40.

6. Beauty Blender

I'm always looking for new ways to apply my foundation. This is one I am yet to try, and I am very excited about.

7+8. Illamasqua Skin Base Life Concealer in White Light and Light 1

I currently use Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer in Chantilly, which I love. However, it's hardly lighter than my skin, and I need something lighter to highlight. But I don't want pure white so I need a skin tone shade too to mix.

9. Ben Nye Neutral Set Translucent Powder

This is purely because I'm looking to try a new powder, hopefully a loose one, and one that will hold my makeup all day, with no colour. Ben Nye is raved about and although I know I'm late to catch on to this one but I think it's the right one for me.

Let me know if you've tried/loved any of these products or leave links to your blog if you've written about any. I love to read reviews and see other people's opinions.