A Little Q&A

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A few days over on my Instagram I asked if there was anything in particular that you'd like to see on this blog. And the vast majority of things suggested were a little more like questions than post ideas so I thought today that I'd round them up in Q&A style post. I'm covering everything from the illusive Instagram theme, what it's like training a whippet and having some sort of routine when your boyfriend works night shifts.

how do you have a healthy relationship with social media and living in the moment?

I really love the internet, it's one of my favourite places to be hence why I created this blog but sometimes how much time I spend online, especially when it's just pointlessly scrolling is something I can find quite damaging and also a huge waste of time. As social media is part of my job I try to split when it's for work and when I'm using it in my free time, having a hobby that turns into a job is something that I've found quite difficult and the lines are very blurred. And I can't say that I have a really healthy relationship with social media because I don't but something I'm working on is that when I'm with someone or my boyfriend I really try not to pick up my phone and scroll. Or when I'm out on a dog walk with friends I'll try not to get my phone out of my pocket so I'm present in that moment and enjoying spending time with that person. Something I've else I've realised lately is that social media gives me a false sense of interacting with people because I'm watching what they're doing so it almost replaces the questions we ask when we see them. Whilst I think social media is of course, brilliant I do also think that it can cause people quite a lot of distress. I constantly remind myself that I have a choice of the vast majority of things I'm seeing on social media so if something isn't making me happy then it needs to get off my feed and I'll either unfollow or even block the person.

how did josie come into your liFE?

My boyfriend and I had discussed getting a dog for years, it was something we both knew would happen and more just a case of when. So when I moved last May and my boyfriend had his first summer off in years we knew it was the right time to get a dog. We initially tried to adopt but had an incredibly disheartening experience. We knew we wanted a whippet or some sort of hound as they're a breed we've really come to love and knew it was a breed that would fit in with our lives well. But we were going to see dogs, getting very little information about them and very little enthusiasm from the rescue centres or being told we needed sighthound experience before we could adopt. So we came to the conclusion that we would get a puppy, get that sighthound experience which would enable us to rescue hounds in the future as well as give my boyfriend his first dog experience from a pup as he's always had cats. She was from an accidental very large accidental litter of pups and she was from a lovely home in North Yorkshire and we found her on Preloved. In the next couple of years, we're hoping to get another dog, we might get another puppy or we will rescue but we know we definitely want another dog so Josie can have a little pal as she adores other dogs so much.

what's training & HAVING a whippet like?

Having a whippet and training a whippet can be difficult. I can understand now why rescue centres would prefer for you to have sighthound experience because they're unlike any other dog I've known. Josie is an incredibly smart pup and in general has been quite easy to train with most things but the two biggest things we struggle with are food stealing and recall. She was completely house trained within a week of having her, which we couldn't believe but there are still things we're working on now. From what I've experienced and the lengthy research that I've done myself the most obvious thing you have to know is that they don't respond well to strict discipline but they also need to know to know who is the dominant one in the relationship otherwise they will run circles around you, quite literally. Really positive reinforcement is what has worked well with Josie, she doesn't care if she's being told off or shouted at until you have a really low gruff tone of voice saying no. She is currently 11 months and is there with most things but one thing we certainly struggle with is her bolting to investigate something [mostly deer and other dogs]. She can run up to 35mph and cover a huge amount of distance very quickly but one thing she does is always come back, which is rare for hounds. There are so many horror stories online about them running off never to be seen again so constantly working on their recall and start young is key. I really regret not taking Josie off her lead as soon as she could go on walks. She is food driven and wants to see that you're excited to be with her which is the key for our training but it's hard to be as interesting as a deer. We're currently taking her to training classes which, to be honest, are more like lessons for us as I know we want more dogs in the future so it's incredibly useful information to know and she's thrived in them which has been awesome to see. Creating a strong bond, trust and putting a lot of time in from day one is so important and you have to be incredibly patient as like I said whippets aren't your typical dog. They, don't have the urge to please their owner because they make their own fun. Being so light and quick means they can easily hunt and catch what they want [thankfully Josie has not done this] but it's a well-known fact about the breed. Which is why you often will see whippets, lurchers and greyhounds kept on their lead as training that natural instinct out of them is incredibly hard as they typically chase until they've got what they want and don't let anything get in their way. 

But owning a whippet is incredible, they are a little more difficult to train etc but Josie is an amazing pup. So loyal and sweet that once she has got her exercise [running, she could walk 10 miles and still not be tired, she needs to zoom to release her energy] she will happily sleep all day. Something that I've noticed is that people don't realise how lazy hounds are and think they need a huge amount of exercise but they don't, especially ex-racing greyhounds. However, one thing to note is that they're not great with cats unless they've been raised with them and tend to chase them as well as other small furry animals [this in their breed]. She's a big lover of blankets and being warm, as they're pretty much all muscle with minimal body fat they need soft furnishings. So if you're not keen on dogs being on the sofa this breed probably isn't for you. They're a unique breed of dog but I think once you get to know a little bit more about them you can see why their owners are so fanatical about them as they're so special.

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how do you train your hair to go IN-BETWEEN washes? 

I'm pretty sure that this is something I've dedicated an entire post to in the past so I'll link that here but the key to not washing your hair so often is patience, a good shampoo and dry shampoo. It's taken me over 6 years to build my hair up to go once every four days and doing it gradually is what works the best, increasing it every few months once your hair feels ready. And another big thing was to leave my hair alone, so not playing with it when I'm nervous or fluffing it up constantly keeps any dirt off my hands out of my hair.

how did you grow your Instagram and how did you pick a theme?

I began using Instagram in 2011 I believe so that's seven years on the platform and my growth has been very gradual. I don't think I have any right to speak on growth because all I've done is post pictures and been fortunate enough that people have wanted to follow along with me. There are a lot of pieces of advice online about how to grow your Instagram but truly I don't know how much you can depend on those things. I'm a big believer that what works for one doesn't work for another. And often I find the people who are sharing advice on growing their platform tend to skim past that when they've been heavily favoured by someone with a large following who have been kind enough to share at their work. Which of course, puts them in a much different position to most of us. 

The topic of an Instagram theme is something I have a few thoughts on. Personally, I use Instagram as a personal portfolio so I share images that are personal to me as well as imagery that I'm super proud of. Which I think is fine, I share a more candid view of my day to day life over on stories which portrays a little bit more of a realistic view of my life. I'm not a big fan of Instagram profiles that are completely out there and unrealistic when they constantly state that they're just showing their day to day life. We don't live in a world of pink skies and I think it can create a weird relationship with social media. There is nothing wrong with having a theme and making things cohesive but there definitely is a line. 

how do you and your boyfriend handle night shifts and find a routine? 

My boyfriend is not touring at the moment so he's gone back to his old job. Which involves night shifts and it's been quite the adjustment and finding a routine has been quite difficult to get used to. He typically gets home on a good day at 8am and then goes to bed at 12pm, leaving us a little bit of time to do something together [walking Josie] and then maybe half an hour just catching up and eating. As of right now, I try to keep my to-do list clear in the morning unless it's urgent so I can spend time with him and then work a little later in the day. Which isn't ideal because I tend to work best in the morning but if I sit at my desk all morning we'll just be passing ships which if I can avoid then I will. 

It took quite a lot of arguments to work out something that worked for us and I realise I have a huge benefit working from home in this situation. Something we struggled with for a while was housework, it's hardly my boyfriend's favourite thing but he did come to realise he couldn't just expect me to do it because I work from home. We have a little rota of things that need doing and we try and split them as evenly as possible. And I think whether your partner works nights or not something that is easy to fall into the trap of doing when you work from home is doing all the chores. Just because you work from home so it's easier but that doesn't mean it's fair. It can lead to some uncomfortable conversations but they're vital I've found for keeping things equal. 

what's your favourite veggie foods? 

I don't tend to write about food very often as I do struggle with my diet, I can't eat a lot of fibre so, for the most part, the meals I tend to eat are rather bland and beige but some of my favourite food options are;

  • Pasta bake - simple and hearty!
  • Taco's and Mexican wraps with either diced mushroom in place of mince or shredded chicken from Linda McCartney. 
  • Scrambled eggs, for a long time I didn't eat eggs but I'm slowly working them back into my diet and really enjoying them for lunch. 
  • Mozzarella and mushroom paninis. 
  • Rice with teriyaki mushrooms and roasted broccoli 
  • Veggie hotdogs with fried red onions.
  • Halloumi caesar salad. 
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And if you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll get back to you!