What being a dog mummy has taught me…

My beautiful Lexi

My beautiful Lexi

In January of this year, the bf and I took the HUGE step of adopting a pooch of our very own. We found our little Lexi online as her family were splitting up so she needed a new home. The instant he saw a photo, the bf knew she was the one; he kept coming back to her profile over and over again until he finally took the step of making contact with her family.

As soon as we met her, I was also convinced; she was shy, her tail didn’t wag but she still climbed straight onto our laps for cuddles and had the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. Her eyes were and still are full of hope, trust and optimism; she really couldn’t have sold herself to us any better than she did. So we said we’d give her a new home and we haven’t looked back since.

When our baby girl first arrived home, she was understandably nervous, very clingy and couldn’t relax enough to fall asleep for any decent period of time. When we took her for walks, she’d stick to us like glue, unsure of what to do as if we might punish her. When we let her into the garden for toilet time she’d tremble like mad and refuse to go out there unless we both went out with her and proved that we weren’t going to lock her outside. It was difficult to watch and all we could do was give her love and time and hope that she’d settle in, luckily she did that just fine :-)

Then she attacked a dog.

We thought it was a one-off and she’d been provoked. Then she did it again and then attempted it many more times; no real damage to the dogs but enough aggression to know she couldn’t be trusted with other dogs. It petrified me and I freaked out, I thought we’d made a mistake and that we couldn’t possibly handle looking after a dog like that. But we had to, we’d promised her we’d look after her and that meant we bloody well would. The bf, being much stronger and more mature than me just told me to stop being so dramatic and that we’d deal with it one way or another and we have.

These days, we walk Lexi on the lead – always. We don’t let her get near other dogs unless she has her muzzle on and we’re good at spotting which dogs are riling her up before she has a chance to get fully into that frame of mind. It’s not a perfect solution and we want to get beyond this, to the point where she ignores other dogs but it’s a good start and it means we can take her out in public with safety. It’s the opposite of what I wanted though, I wanted to have that dog that I could trust to trot along by my side with no problems at all. I wanted that perfection that the media shows you dog ownership should be but I was being stupid.

As I sit here writing this, Lexi is curled up with her head on my lap, snoozing soundly because she knows she’s safe and that I’ve got her back so she doesn’t need to stay alert. Every time I look at her face I smile and I feel a warm swell of pride at my core, because this loving beauty is ours and we’ve given her a home that’s allowed her to relax with us and do crazy things like go in the garden on her own. In return, she makes us laugh and smile every single day; even when we were on holiday without her, we spoke about her and her crazy facial expressions constantly and that made us giggle like children. When I was ill, she was my nurse laying by my side almost constantly for 3 solid days so I didn’t feel alone. Every time one of us comes into the house or down the stairs, she greets us with utter joy and excitement that makes us feel incredibly loved and wanted. She gives us everything and in return all she asks for is cuddles, (lots of cuddles) some food and some walks. What an absolute babe!

So, what have I learned from having Lexi? I’ve learned loads; I’ve learned that happiness really doesn’t cost the earth, I’ve learned that real achievements are about the relationships you build, not the things you buy. My ideas of what perfection would be are not always right, sometimes you find that what you were looking for is not what you really wanted. Compromise isn’t always a bad thing; my dog doesn’t trot by my side with no problems but she is more cuddly than any other dog I’ve met and she’s never once woken me in the night. That’s not bad as trade offs go! Biggest of all though, I’ve learned that I do have that “maternal” instinct that enables me to consider the needs of others above my own and love unconditionally. There’s not a thing that Lexi could do that would stop me loving her, she’s incredible and genuinely has a heart of gold.

Having Lexi has been a real awakening; she’s shaken up my life and I can’t thank her enough for it. Here’s to all the gorgeous souls in this world helping people like me every day! x

Friday Lust!

Well hello there, it’s that time of the week again…it’s FRIDAY!

You’ll notice a strong commonality between this and my previous Friday Lust post; they’re both red. I love red at the best of times but I always become especially obsessed around the beginning of the AW season when the berry tones start coming back in.

This for me represents the ultimate in simple but statement elegance and I wish I had a party that would justify the purchase!

Reiss Jasmine Dress, £245

Reiss Jasmine Dress, £245

It’s just that little bit too expensive to buy on a whim but if I reach a weight loss goal I have set myself, I’ll buy it then if it’s still available in my size. Now there’s an incentive to skinny on down!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone :-) x

Review – Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation, Ivory

Avon Ideal Flawless Cream to Powder Foundation, £12

Avon Ideal Flawless Cream to Powder Foundation, £12

It’s been a looooooooong time since I wrote a product review but I’ve recently bought a whole heap of new beauty products so I’ll try my best to get through a few reviews, though I do often break my blog-promises (sorry!).

I’m not really sure what possessed me to try out a new foundation because I’m actually perfectly happy with what I already have but I found myself ordering it because it was pretty cheap and had some great reviews. I’m not usually an Avon customer but I fancied trying something completely different so I threw caution to the wind and here I am now!

The product I’m reviewing is Avon’s Ideal Flawless Foundation in the Ivory shade. I was a bit worried about the colour as many reviews say that the colours come up quite dark and I have to say I agree. I wouldn’t call this shade ivory at all, more like orange (it’s much darker than the picture shows). Much like I wouldn’t call this a medium to full coverage foundation, more of a barely there finish – which is how I got away with wearing orange foundation all day! I’ve tried to take photos of me wearing it but it just looks like my naked skin, all of my pores are visible, the unevenness of my skin tone punches you in the face and the dark circles under my eyes are enhanced by the dark, dull colour of the foundation (see below image).

My pore-filled face with this foundation on

My pore-filled face with this foundation on

It has a strange consistency when it goes on; I found the whole cream-to-powder thing really means it glides on but then feels like it’s drying your face out as it dries. It also doesn’t absorb any oil; by 2pm I had a full-on oil slick for a nose which, I must say, isn’t my favourite look. 

Even the packaging failed to excite me; the box is a cheap plastic black thing and the sponge is totally the wrong shape for trying to apply foundation to a whole face, it’s more of a powder your nose sponge. I really wanted to like this product but it just does nothing for me. If you have great skin and just like to wear make-up then it might work well but if you have imperfections like I do, it actually enhances them rather than concealing them. This is not the one for me; sorry Avon. 

The Fear

This weekend just gone, I was sat happily watching a film when something hit me like a tonne of bricks; I’m scared of change. Let me explain further…

I spent the first ~27 years of my life terrified that nothing would ever change, that I would always be miserable, that I would always want to wake up and be someone else or not bother waking up at all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t suicidal and I certainly didn’t present myself as somebody who was so blue to the outside world. In fact, many people thought I was a happy person during that time and for many milliseconds dispersed throughout each day, I was. The problem I had was that for every millisecond of happiness, I had another when I realised nothing had changed. 

I could never live in the moment and I never appreciated all of the wonderful things about my life because at my very core, I was unhappy, I was discontent and I was very, very unsettled. The obvious solution to this problem would have been to change things, shake up my life until it suited my needs but I couldn’t because I didn’t know what needed to change and I was scared of making things worse. On and on this went, year after year until it just vanished without me even realising it.

This weekend, I was watching The Theory of Everything, the film about Stephen Hawking and because I was on my own, I allowed myself to feel the emotion of the film. (Usually this is a no go because I HATE crying in front of other people so I tend not to risk it.) As I was watching, I realised that the reason it was upsetting me was because I could empathise; for once I could feel the heart wrenching fear that something wonderful was about to change and it was out of everybody’s control. That was the moment. That was when I realised that I have the same fear; I am scared of significant change in my life which isn’t affected my me because I’m there. I’m bloody well happy with what I have, I’m content and I’m settled and it happened without me even noticing.

Somehow, somewhere, the discontent and the feeling of being unsettled just upped and left me. They’ve been replaced by much less aggressive feelings that just bubble away under the surface, giving me a reason to get up in the morning and a feeling of real happiness that keeps me grounded when things get tough. So, if you’re in that bleak place that I used to be, don’t give up, things can and will change, you just need to give it time. When you stop looking for the happiness, it will find you x

Friday Lust

It’s back! Friday Lust is here again and it’s here because there’s something I’m coveting which I really can’t afford but I want to look at it over and over again nonetheless.

Here is the item of beauty I am talking about:

Look at its beauty, it’s bright, bold, unashamed red; the wonderfully soft leather; the crisp silver zips. I’m in love! I love leather jackets anyway and this year I’ve decided that I’ll buy myself a red one as that’s what’s missing from my collection but now I’ve seen this beauty, nothing else will do and I just don’t have that kinda money sitting in the bank right now.

Bring on the AW fashion; my favourite time of the year! Happy Friday everyone x

The Best Thing About Holidays

This last week I’ve been lucky enough to be enjoying the first of two summer holidays I have this year. I’ll write another post about what I’ve been up to in Greece later but for now, I just want to focus on the real reason I believe everyone should escape their day to day lives at least once a year and that’s liberation.

Liberation from the things that usually stress you out which don’t matter on holiday. Here’s what I mean…

Schinias Beach, Greece

Schinias Beach, Greece

This is where I am right now and where I was yesterday too. I’m here with the bf, we haven’t showered in 2 days, my hair is still as it was when I slept in it, we threw clothes on over our swimmers and ate dinner on the beach yesterday and we are being utterly trampy. It couldn’t be more fun! 

We are liberated from the usual bothers about how we look, what we’re wearing, what the time is, etc. Our minds are focussed on crosswords, swimming in the waves and cold beers. No need for appearances here, we have substance, fun and life behind the eyes. 

I’ve regained a sense of perspective and that is what I think really comes from stepping away from the mundanity of everyday life for a little while. If you’ve not got a break planned, I’d highly recommend it as you might surprise yourself by learning just what you really care about. X 

A Tale of Two Wardrobes

There’s something been bugging me recently and it’s taken me a while to figure it out. I’ve noticed that I’m pretty much out of wardrobe space, yet I have nothing to wear and I don’t mean the usual nothing to wear, I mean literally nothing. First of all, I thought it was the change in seasons, “I’ll be too hot in that”, “That’s too summery for today”, etc. but now that it’s fully summer and I’ve re-opened my summer stock of clothes, I’m still stuck.

So what is it?

Well, this evening I went to put some laundry away and noticed that once again there’s no space for it, despite the fact that I only do laundry when I’m out of things to wear. So I started mooching through my clothes, figuring I must have loads of old tat hanging around that needs to be gone. I don’t.

What I have is a tale of two wardrobes. Fat Sam vs. Thin Sam.

This is the first time in my adult life that I’ve encountered this problem and that’s why it’s taken me so long to figure out. For a good 15 or so years, I was a size 10, occasionally dipping into an 8. Suddenly I’m a size 12 and my old clothes don’t fit. Like actually can’t get them on or do them up don’t fit. My metabolism is failing me and my willpower is like an under-used muscle, (which all of mine are) and it hurts every time I try and use it!

I’ve bloody well gone up a clothes size and I’m not even 30 yet. Shit the bloody bed.

Never even mind the weight, my main concern is the clothing. What does one do in this situation, admit defeat and donate the smaller sized clothes to charity or kid oneself that weight loss is imminent and those clothes will be essential at that time? I’ve never had to lose weight before and I genuinely don’t know whether I can do it. I’ve done it by accident before but that was 6 years ago and not a pound has been shed since. In fact, I’ve been slowly gaining many pounds over that entire time.

This is a genuine dilemma; I need fewer clothes in my life as there’s no chance of increasing wardrobe capacity right now, but do I vote fat or thin? Delicious food or hideous exercise? Most likely, I’ll bury my head in the sand, hope for a weight loss miracle (raspberry ketones already on order) and keep adding to my collection of clothing until I can no longer fit in my dressing room. (Because of the vast array of clothing, not because I got that fat…though I won’t rule that out either.)

What would a sane person do? Help a girl out, peeps! x