We love | Washbar Natural Skin and Coat Care…….for Dogs!

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Congrats Eanna Geoghegan!  Please email me melissa (at) thebestnest.co.nz with your delivery address xx

Obviously ‘Natural’ skin, haircare and beauty ranges are hugely popular for men, women and kids and are becoming more and more mainstream and budget friendly.  This is awesome for us but the super-cool flow on effect is that there are some savvy, sensitive businesses taking natural products to new markets that also benefit from paraben, sulphate free products made from 100% natural ingredients.

Whangarei based WashBar are doing just that, and doing it really, really well – for dogs!

Many of you will have ‘met’ Dash and Louie on the blog before, they are our two Shi-Tzu x Australian Terrier terrors.  Their coats are amazing, woolly and non-shedding – perfect for me as I suffer terribly from allergies, plus this helps me avoid vacuuming too frequently lol.  The difficulty comes with trying to keep our little guys smelling clean and fresh and keeping Dash’s itchy tendencies at bay.

He drives me mental with his scratching.  Usually at 2am!

Dash and Lou have been using the Washbar range over the past month and they’ve never smelled better, thank god as they couldn’t really smell any worse!  If we feed Louie any food that’s too delicious he goes mental and rolls around the yard for hours on who knows what.  Cute but smelly.

We Love

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Food BloggerOriginal Washbar Soap for Dogs

This is definitely Louie & Dash’s jam, the product that kicked off the Washbar range.  Originally formulated to target flea dermatitis, this wicked little gem also aids dogs who are suffering from allergies, dermatitis and eczema – which can be so traumatic for both dogs and owners alike.  Lou has super thick wool and we have never used any product that has lathered SO easily – dog shampoo’s are generally so stingy, it takes tonnes of product to get any workable lather deep into his coat!  Loved using WashBar, it was so much easier then trying to fiddle around with a bottle while keeping the dogs in the pool, it rinsed beautifully and has left their coats looking shiny and fluffy plus they smell beautiful and are super soft to touch.  Bonus petting is always appreciated by the dogs!

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100% Natural Flea RepellentTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Food Blogger

God I hate fleas.  Like, with a passion.  Thinking about them makes me itch and watching the dogs itch makes me itch!

Traditional flea treatments are very expensive, hit and miss and full of toxic ingredients which I don’t want all over Nixon – who’s pretty much stuck like glue to poor Louie 24-7!  We’re just heading in to flea season so I’m excited to be ready to tackle this persistent problem with a natural product.  Flea Repellent contains Neem Oil and Essential Oils of Cedarwood, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Peppermint & Thyme; in a Sunflower Oil base.  The economy of this product is pretty mind-blowing too, there are 40-50 applications in one 40ml bottle!

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Food BloggerLavender + Primrose Spritzer

So with two small dogs sleeping in the house (3 most of the time when my Mum’s wee dog Marley is here!) we need to be able to keep them and their bedding fresh between washing – without resorting to Febreezing the animals!  I love the holistic philosophy behind this spritzer, obviously the Lavender Hydrosol smells gorgeous and does a fab job of deodorising the ‘dog-ness’ right out of our house, but lavender oil is well known for it’s calming and anxiety reducing properties.  Our dogs hate fireworks season, so this year I’ll be sure to give the pooches and their beds a wee spritz before the festivities begin.

Itch Soothe Range

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The Itch Soothe Range is the latest offering from WashBar, just in time to combat those summer hotspots or allergic irritations that can occur throughout the year.  The Manuka + Kakadu Topical Spray is genius as generally treatment options are systemic or come in the form of a shampoo, which is obviously not convenient to use every time throughout the day when your dog’s having a flare-up!  Complementing this is the Itch Soothe Shampoo which can be used twice a week and simply requires a good massage and a 2-3 minute application before rinsing.

Both the spray and shampoo contain veritable botanical wish-lists of bio-active heroes boasting Quercetin (a natural antihistamine) and Vitamin C to heal skin.  Including olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil, manuka pure essential oil, lavender, extract of kakadu………the list goes on and every inclusion makes perfect sense and is either spray-free or organic.

We are converted.  I will never buy Big Pharmaceutical grooming products for the dogs again because it’s simply unnecessary plus, the WashBar is the loveliest, most effective shampoo I’ve ever used on the dogs – and it’s made in New Zealand!

You can find the entire WashBar range at any good pet, vet, farm supply or saddlery store, or check out the WashBar website for more information.

Second-hand dog discovers we have a baby!

Dog kisses baby

Louie, our big Shi-Tzu, noticed we had a baby a few months ago and seems to have taken on the role of Baby’s Guard Dog without much hesitation.  Dash is a bit of a ‘special’ dog and likes to take his time with things.  He has refused to acknowledge Nixon until today, when I happened to notice that he was on guard duty instead of Lou.

I can’t believe I happened to snap these shots.  If you’re not a dog person, you’re probably horrified and grossed out right now, perhaps getting all judgy about how I let my dogs lick my baby ……. whatev.

For those of you whose dogs are part of their family, doesn’t this little scene just melt your heart?  Nix was giggling away, loving that Dash was close enough to pull hair….finally!

We have four dogs | Meet Louie



Oh Louie.

We did everything wrong when we took Louie into our home.  We paid mega bucks for him from a cracked out women who was puppy-milling his parents and not taking care of his siblings {all of her dogs were later removed by the SPCA} but we loved him as soon as we saw him.  We even loved his buck teeth.

Lou was thrown straight into the ring of fire – living with Ethan as a toddler – he never snapped, growled or bit him, though he did spend quite a lot of time hiding in the garden initially.  He is a Special Edition Shi-Tzu x Australian Terrier in that he is huge, 11kg worth of small breed who is so pretty people stop us walking him all the time to ask about his breed.  Lou is besties with his girl Molly, and loves stealing the toys from Dashy and Marley {see above with Marley’s Christmas present}.

Louie and the various mixed breeds like him make awesome indoor/outdoor pets as they don’t shed, not one smidgen, they also love their walks, hate water and like to wear sweaters. Win!

We Have Four Dogs | Meet Molly the Border Collie



Molly is our Big Girl.  The one female in the unruly pack of four.  She lived her puppy days on Mum and Dad’s 5 acre block chasing motorbikes and woofing at generators – actually she woofs at any pump, power tool, lawnmower, weed-eater, can of fly spray ……..

She is big and sweet and hairy and puts up with a lot from the three small boy-dogs, but by the same token is completely convinced she is a small dog too.  She tries to hop in our laps, beds and on the couches and is generous with her licks.  She has been best friends with Ethan and Louie for the last 5 years and I’m not sure what either boy or dog would do without her.

Welcome home!

Nothings says “I’m happy your home” more than a Shi-Tzu with a face full of mud.

Dashy got a wee bit carried away with his treat this afternoon and decided to bury it.  With his face.  What concerns me is that he has been showered and blow dried, yet I don’t know where the treat is.  I could return home from work one day this week to find this.  Again.



Excuse me for such a meagre post.  As soon as my brain knows which hemisphere it’s in and I can stay up past 8.30pm regular posting will re-commence.

Denver & Depression

This is a post that I started the other night and never finished.

Feeling so sad that nothing can change your mood.

 Having two sad things combine in your head into a giant mean-sad combo that takes over your being for a while. It makes you feel like your are suspended in and surrounded by the sad and you can’t see the end of it, only feel everything.  I feel so sad for Denver. All I can think about is reform of liberal gun law, working it around in my head from every perspective, trying to figure out if it would or could ever change a country so in love with guns.

I also feel so sad for Ethan right now……


And that’s all I wrote.

The sadness has moved on into a numbing ball of stress, which I’m not sure I really enjoy any more than a numbing ball of sadness but work with what you’ve got right?

Can’t think, can’t write {that makes me sadder} so all I can offer is a picture of a Shi Tzu.  My darling Louie guarding his breakfast.

Shi Tzu Lou

Awww Sunday…..

You always come around too soon!  Luckily we crammed lots of work into this weekend, our house is looking and feeling more and more awesome by the day!

Loving Friday night drinks.  I headed out for a well deserved girls dinner at one of my fave spots, Hallertau, so close I could shake a stick at it!  I was predictably boring and ordered calamari plus a huge bowl of cauliflower soup.  Delish, and perfect for a cold Friday night.

I am in love with our house, our neighborhood and our street and getting to share it with my awesome Mum!  Shared property ownership can definitely work – with the right house.

Riverhead Auckland

Our Backyard.  Winter sun

I am loving that I embraced my inner Westie this week and busted out the Ugg Boots in public!  Yes I did.  Tuesday was the day that Auckland decided to flood itself a little bit, also the day Ethan and I decided to go to the movies.  Busiest day I have ever seen at the normally deserted local cinema.  Ice Age 4 is awesome by the way!  Regrowth is looking good peeps!

Ugg Boots in Public.  Yes I did

I am loving Dave and Ethan’s new ‘Thing’ – crystal growing or farming or whatever.  I had a wild hair on Sunday morning and cleaned out the pantry and found a Crystal set that Ethan got for Christmas one year.  The boys had a great time mixing up all of the potions.  This white crystal grew in a matter of hours!

Crystal Growing

I am loving Dave and Louie.  Together.  Apologizing for not being better plumbers.  When in fact Dave is learning as he goes and Louie has no thumbs.

Dave and Lou.  A man and his Shi Tzu

Things I’m Loving is hosted by Meghan at MNM’s

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Oh Dash

Lately I have said over and over, “how could anyone give you away {while thinking: and charge me $250 for you}, or keep you in a bathroom everyday with a CAT”?  I feel so lucky that Dave found you on Trade Me and you became our second hand dog.  You deserve your 3 furry siblings and your lovely big yard.  You are too cute for any more words x

Shi-Tzu Dash, dog

“That word that has -ex on the end”

Louie has been beside himself with joy at moving in with Molly and Marley but the mystique of living with a female is driving Lou to distraction.  This has not escaped the notice of our observant child.
Louie’s ‘hunting’ was so prolonged on Sunday his lipstick popped out and he couldn’t move! Ethan thought we were going to have to take Lou to the vet; how to tell him he wasn’t hurt just horny?
After some consideration E has decided that Louie and Molly must be married, because {OF COURSE!!!} they are doing that thing that ends with EX that married people do.  Mmhmmm.
Oh god. Of all the things I thought four dogs in one house would bring it wasn’t sex education.  DAMN SHI-TZUS!