Archives for 2019

spaniel.wtf

I feel like I am always spamming up my Instagram feed and Stories (especially) with pupper pictures – but I can’t help it that we have three dogs who are hilarious to look at.

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Jill: Good morning! I’m Jill, and I’m an English Springer Spaniel who was born in 2012. The hoomans bought me from a gun dog training place just outside Bristol, and they must have thought it was a good idea because they got Jess from the same place a year or so later! My KC name is Chinachgook Workforce which amuses the hoomans because I am a WORKFORCE. The hoomans call me Bill and variations on that (Billonaut!) and it’s very confusing for me. My party trick is being able to give hugs on command.????????? .????????? . ????????? #springergundog #englishspringer #springerspaniel #weeklyfluff #lovemydog #ukdogs #thegreatoutdogs #petblogger #snowday #snowdog #snowspaniel #dogsinsnow

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(as you can see, the pups loved the snow we had recently!)

If you like our three menaces, please follow their account on Instagram – instagram.com/spaniel.wtf

The Bearaby Weighted Blanket – How Bearable Is It?

Sometimes there are trends that just seem to be everywhere you look. At the moment, it feels like that’s the case with weighted blankets. I feel like my Instagram feed ads are full of them, and I hadn’t really looked into them much until an email dropped into our shared address saying that Alex had bought one. (This is how I find out about a lot of our purchases).

A weighted blanket is a blanket that weighs more than a normal one. I know, you’re sitting there now and thinking I’m an idiot. But it’s hard to explain otherwise! Some weighted blankets are heavier because of the type of material used (such as a knitted blanket) and some are weighted because they are filled with little bits of material.

Alex chose the Bearaby Sleeper for us in the King sized version, and went for the 20-20 version. The logic behind weighted blankets says to go for a blanket that weighs about 10% of your body weight for the best results, and one of the things I like about the King sized version is not just that you can have different weights on each side, but it comes with a zip down the middle, so if only one of you wants to have the weighted blanket, you can just remove the other side rather than doubling up and having the full weight on top of you.

The research into weighted blankets says that it can help with stress and anxiety – I haven’t noticed any change in these, but what it does help us do is sleep better. The weight helps stop you moving around a lot (which is something I am terrible for, and then waking myself up)

The Sleeper is like another duvet, but it’s not too warm on top of our normal duvet which is good! We have it inside a normal duvet cover, but I’m looking at the sheets that Bearaby sell, as they have a zipper that goes all the way around the blanket – a major thing I feel like I need!

(side note: Why don’t bed sets in the UK have a top sheet to go between you and the duvet, because that is the best thing about bed sheets here)

It took a few nights with the blanket to get used to the weight, but since then, I have slept through the night much more often (when I would normally wake up at least two or three times)

The downside (and this is pretty much the only slightly negative point I can think of) is that it’s heavy – obviously – and this means moving it around is a bit of a pain. I took these photos in our spare room and felt like I was weight lifting as I carried the blanket between the rooms! The weight also makes it difficult to get the duvet cover on – if you hate changing a normal duvet, you’re really going to hate this. The weight also makes it difficult to move around in bed – which is obviously the point and still something I would say is a plus point – but it makes it difficult to get into a comfortable position (especially difficult with my knee still not at 100%)

Would I have chosen to buy one of these myself? Honestly, probably not from just the articles and adverts that you see around.  Would I want to go back to just a normal duvet + sheet combo for sleeping? Nope.

If you’re on the fence, check the place that you buy your blanket from will accept returns but you probably wont want to return it after a few nights!

Soup Sunday

Back when we were in our fourth year at uni (I took an optional year in employment and everyone I ended up in a house with did a year in employment as part of their degree), we used to have soup parties where we’d get together and eat soup that someone made. It was cheap and easy to scale but it’s so delicious! 

One memorable soup I made was leek and potato, but there was at least 10 people around our little PJM table. It was pretty yum, but I don’t recommend using a cheap stick blender – I had one that was £3 from Argos and my arm vibrated for an hour after that. And it was still lumpy!

I haven’t made leek and potato soup since but now I am a grown up with things like blenders that can make nice soup, I made it this weekend and it was so good!

This recipe made about 2 litres but it will freeze – it just didn’t last that long in our house! 

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 leeks, chopped with the top green part discarded
  • 3 mediumish sized potatoes, peeled and sliced or diced 
  • 1 ginormous onion, chopped 
  • Veg or chicken stock*

(The recipe I used said to use stock to boil the potatoes, but I’m not sure I would do that this time. Since I used chicken stock paste, I would probably add that to the reserved cooking water afterwards before adding to the blender)

Melt the butter in a big pan, and add the leeks and onions. Fry until they’re brown in parts and soft. 

Remove the leeks and onions from the pan, and add some boiling water, enough to cook the potatoes

Cook the potatoes until they are soft enough, then strain, keeping at least half of the cooking water. (How much to keep depends on how thick or thin you like your soup)

Mix the potatoes with the leeks and onions then add them to the blender (in batches if necessary!) Add in the reserved water to your preference

That’s it! You can add in some cream or creme fraiche, but I like to add grated cheese and let it melt on top.

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