Category: Ella the Bichon (page 1 of 2)

Five Latest Loves #4 – Family, Friends, Food and a friendly, funny face!

It’s July already and summer is now in full swing! I had a lovely weekend spent with friends and family, which was fun and relaxing at the same time. However the sun seems to have disappeared and it’s non stop rain in Belfast today.

Anyway here’s my Five Latest Loves this week!

My little sister’s baking talents!

My younger sister Judith is brilliant at baking, and regularly tries different and quite difficult recipes with great success. Last week she made her own version of this Strawberry and Poppyseed Pie she saw on A Beautiful Mess and look how gorgeous it is! I have to be honest and say I didn’t have any (I’m weird and only like fresh strawberries) but everyone said it tasted lovely.

Strawberry and Poppyseed tart recipe

My little brother’s Graduation

My brother Ronan is 22 and has just graduated with a First from Queens University Belfast. I am so proud of him! We went out as a family for a meal on Friday night, to The 4th Wall in St Anne’s Square. I love occasions like this that bring us all together and make us proud. Well done Ronan! (yes, his hair is blue)

Five Latest Loves Brothers Graduation

Catching up with old friends

On Saturday I met up with a friend from university, Sarah, and we went for daytime drinks at Aether and Echo in Belfast (first visit to this bar – really liked it). We only see each other once or twice a year but every time we do, it never seems like a single day has passed and we always have the best laugh! It’s literally non stop talking and laughing from the moment we meet and I love it! Sarah you are hilarious and we have the best chats.

Five Latest Loves catching up with old friends

Recreating holiday meals at home 

While we were in Rome we ate so much good pasta. It was cooked perfectly and flavoured so well. A few days ago I tried to recreate a version of the Spaghetti with Clams I had in Italy. I didn’t have any clams so I used prawns! It wasn’t the same but it was very tasty and so simple. It was just a mixture of olive oil, garlic, chilli, chopped tomatoes, salt and parsley served with spaghetti cooked al dente and some king prawns. I need to get my hands on some clams though, any ideas?

Five Latest Loves Spaghetti with Prawns recipe

What we come home to every day

Look at that face. She is hilarious. When we pull into the driveway every evening we see Ella’s outline through the frosted glass panel in our front door. and when open it she goes mad with delight at the sight of us, then sits like this waiting for The Pink Ball to be thrown for her. Definitely a good way to perk you up after a hard day!

Happy Bichon Frise dog

Love, Laurel

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Five latest loves # 3 – Dallas Buyers Club, Mourne Seafood and more!

I’m now settled back in to work, and it’s raining here in Belfast. 🙁 So I thought it was time for five latest loves #3 to  pick me up! Here’s what I’m loving this week:

Dallas Buyers Club

We watched this the other night – in short, it’s a brilliant film. The story begins in 1985 and is based around newly diagnosed HIV positive Ron Woodroof and his journey. Initially denial, then anger at how little his doctors could do for him, to then taking matters into his own hands and finding his own way to prolong his life, and in turn the lives of others, by finding alternative medications and setting up the Dallas Buyers Club. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto deserved those Oscars a million times over. They won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively and you can tell why. Jennifer Garner deserves recognition too. Well worth a watch. You can see the trailer here.



We can’t get enough of them at the moment! We actually had one Friday, Saturday and Sunday of last week. One at home, one at a local country park, and one at my parent’s house. Yum! The only downside was that none of them included halloumi cheese, probably my favourite thing to barbecue. That’s my excuse for the next one then! The weather needs to pick up a bit first.


Ella Henderson

Yes, she was an X Factor contestant, but I hope this won’t affect her credibility in any way because her voice is unbelievable. Her song ‘Ghost’ has been the UK Number One for the last two weeks running, and I can honestly see her go on to become hugely successful. ‘Ghost’ is amazing but check out her version of Drake’s Hold On We’re Going Home/John Newman – Love Me Again. It shows her voice off so well and she’s not bad on the piano either! Also, where did she get that nail varnish, it’s the exact colour I am looking for!

Ten Year Anniversary at Mourne Seafood Bar

My husband and I celebrated our Ten Year Anniversary on Tuesday. Ten Years together that is. We met on holiday in Tenerife in 2004 and here we are! To mark the occasion, we went for a meal at Mourne Seafood Bar in Belfast. This was our second time eating here and it did not disappoint. To start, we shared a huge pot of mussels in a white wine, garlic and cream sauce (amazing)  and for main course I was boring and had Fish and Chips, same as last time. They are so good though – the fish is so fresh with a light, crisp batter, the chips still have their skins on, and the homemade tartar sauce and mushy peas are just delicious. We will be back!



Ella the Bichon’s reaction to our return

Getting home from our holiday last week was greatly improved by the reaction we got from Ella. Well, my husband got the best one, since he collected her from my parent’s house the morning after we got home. By the time she got to our house, she was more interested in getting her teeth around the Pink Ball, than seeing me! She did make up for it later though 🙂 The Pink Ball is now completely and utterly on it’s last legs. It is no longer ball shaped and about 70% of it has been chewed away. We are quite worried about this fact as Ella is completely obsessed with it, to the point she cries for it on our way home from walks or being out. We have bought her a new, identical ball, but so far she is showing no interest!


Love, Laurel

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How to give your dog a Five Minute Makeover – as modelled by Ella the Bichon Frise!

Ella gets pretty scruffy after a few days of no brushing or cleaning. So last night I decided to give her a Five Minute Makeover!

Here she is looking a bit scraggly:

Ella the Bichon Frise How to Groom and Makeover your dog

Ella the Bichon Frise How to Groom and Makeover your dog

Ella is a high maintenance dog. Her hair does not shed, and it’s very, very curly so it requires regular brushing to keep it from matting. We are supposed to brush Ella every 1-2 days, but she HATES it, so it’s more like twice a week for us. We bath her about once a month, but in between times she gets a good once over with baby wipes!

To spruce up a scruffy Bichon Frise:

You will need:

How to groom your dog Bichon Frise Dog Makeover


  1. Clean the face with copious amounts of baby wipes. The sides of Ella’s face and beard get tear stained and start to smell after  a few days (lovely) so I give them a good scrub with gentle baby wipes. She actually likes this part because I think it feels nice and fresh on her wee face!

  2. With great difficulty, brush her to within an inch of her life. This is the part she REALLY doesn’t like. She constantly tries to get away and even ‘fake cries’ while I do it. I think the slicker brush I use is quite sharp, but I try my best to angle it away from her skin so I am not hurting her. Her coat quickly turns from scraggly curls into a fluffy Afro, and the hair also appears whiter after brushing. The legs are the hardest part; when I go near the front ones she jumps up on to her back legs, and then keeps taking her back feet off the ground one at a time when I move the brush towards them. I also try using a dog comb on her coat afterwards to make sure I have fully de-tangled it with the slicker brush. She has usually had enough by this stage though.

  3. Spray her with anti-bacterial spray. I use one very similar to this one from Pets At Home and it gives her a nice fresh smell. She doesn’t like me spraying it so I have to run after her and give it a few squirts. She actually sneezes when I spray it!

  4. Lastly, add a cute bow! I hold up her favourite pink ball with one hand, and attach the bow with the other. She will let me do anything whilst waiting for that ball!

And there you have it, a fresh smelling, spruced up little Bichon 🙂

Ella the Bichon Frise How to Groom and Makeover your dog

Ella the Bichon Frise How to Groom and Makeover your dog

She is never too happy when she sees me getting the brush out,  but I think she feels better after being cleaned up, and she is always rewarded with plenty of treats! (and that bloody ball)

Love, Laurel

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