30 September 2016

My Rosie

I never thought in a million years that I would be writing this post today.

Seven months, practically to the day that we lost our beautiful Ellie, we found ourselves putting my wonderful gorgeous Rosie to sleep.

My Rose.  An amazing bundle of fluff who had so much love to give.  She loved nothing better than a cuddle and greeted me every day after work, patiently waiting for me at the patio doors and after spotting me entering the gate; running for her favourite toy Tiger or Frog to come and show me.



My Rosie.  I remember the day that I met you.  Found in an advert in the paper, advertised for sale as someone was leaving the country.  Back then, you were not Rosie. you were Lily.

Looking back, it is clear that they simply did not want you (how is that possible?).  Lying in your box, showing not much interest and very sleepy, I am convinced that they had given you something to make you docile.  No water dish out, no food to be seen.  You were immediately ours and became my Rosie Posey.

It was their loss.  It was my privilege to have you in my life.  



After Ellie died, the love that you gave us tripled.  You loved to sit on mummy's knee, particularly when I was trying to do the Asda order and you decided that stroking you was more important than the weekly shop.  It was.

Here you are, in the next photo.  Those big brown eyes, so full of love, saying stroke me mummy! I would sit cross legged on the settee, my phone in one hand trying to complete the shop and stroking you with the other.


When you became ill in July I was so worried and rushed you to the vets.  Finding out that you had a mass on your liver was heartbreaking, but with no cancer found in the blood tests, I prayed to whoever is out there that we could have at least another year with you.

I still cannot work it out in my head how you went from being your normal, wonderful self a week last Tuesday, to having to put you to sleep on Saturday.  I am shell shocked.  It still does not feel real.

You became ill again on the Thursday.  Given medication and injections just as before, I crossed everything that this would make you better.  The news we received on Friday after a full day at the vets that your kidneys were failing was such a shock, but we had hope that maybe a drip and some medication would give you a little more time.

We brought you home that night, but you were no longer the same dog.  Looking in your eyes, you were no longer there.  You were supposed to spend another day at the vets on a drip, but we knew in our hearts that the fight, so quickly started, was over.

We both loved you so much, which meant that we could not put you through any more.  I hope you understand that my angel.  

The house is so empty without you in it.  My teddy bear has gone and you have left such a massive hole.  A piece of my heart went with Ellie, and now another has been taken losing you.  I will always love you.  

This is my favourite photo of us.  Me watching the Grand Prix and you cuddled up with me.  You have such love in your eyes, as you always did.  You were so loved.  Go and play with Ellie now.  I will see you again.


16 September 2016

Confidence is Key

This weekend I went to the Curve Fashion Festival.  I will be talking about that in a later post, but first, I wanted to talk about the plus size community as a whole and what you receive from it.

You start out, much like I did, by discovering plus size fashion blogs and positivity.  Slowly, your wardrobe changes, your confidence to wear what you want, not what you think you should wear starts to progress and take shape.

Along with finding confidence in myself and what I wore, along the way I picked up something else, courage.



The courage not to cross a road when you encounter a group of people, just in case they are mean to you.  The courage to go out and do something on your own, without having to have someone with you or needing to speak to someone every step of the way.

Before I found the plus size community, other than in my home town, I never went anywhere on my own.  I wouldn't say that I was afraid, more that I just knew that I could not do it.  I did not have the courage to take those journeys without someone being there.

I remember a couple of years ago being asked to go to an event in London.  It was the launch of new plus size collection in Soho and I really, really wanted to go.  But travelling to London?  Finding my way around on my own?  Staying over?  My courage disappeared.

So what did I do?  I looked at all the plus size bloggers, all those who inspired me in their confidence, their style, the way that they were not afraid to go out into the world and live it.  I took the inspiration they gave me and went to London.  I came back a different person.  They helped to create a new me.  A more courageous me.  Someone who was not afraid to go out there and LIVE.

Which brings me back to the Curve Fashion Festival.  After spending many hours in the company of amazing women, especially the wonderful Kate Willshaw and the fabulous Stephanie Cummings (thank you again for the phone battery charge!) I was left with a couple of hours in Liverpool.  What to do?

The old me would have gotten a taxi to the train station and stayed there for two hours.  The new me?  She went out and saw a bit of Liverpool.  In a bright yellow dress, enough red lipstick to last me a decade and a smile on my face; I headed out.

A stroll along the Albert Docks, The Tate, a pirate ship (sadly my damn picture didn't come out) and the Echo Wheel of Liverpool.  A wonderful day.


Lashes from Doll Beauty 







15 September 2016

Food for Thought

One thing that happens as we grow up and get older is that our tastes change.  What we are passionate about, the music we love; the food that we eat.

As a teenager I remember thinking that I could never love anything more than listening to Take That (the first time around).  These days, although I listen to the odd song for nostalgia, you are more likely to find me listening to Green Day, Beyonce, electronic dance; anything basically other than atypical boy band music.  

Growing up and into my late twenties I never liked tea or coffee.  But one day, after trying a friend's hazelnut latte, I was suddenly hooked.  Fresh coffee in my store cupboard and a regular hazelnut latte with a double shot espresso is regularly seen in my hands.

One thing that I have noticed is that when people get past retirement age and well into their twilight years, their appetites decrease.  The plates get smaller, the variety of food they eat lessens.  This can mean that their nutrition can suffer as a result.

This can be especially problematic with people that suffer from mental health issues like dementia.  From forgetting to eat, not knowing what they want to eat; to not wanting to eat altogether.

This is something that I experienced with a elderly relative of mine.  Seeing someone who used to eat us out of house and home transform into someone who did not want to eat is heartbreaking.  So what do we do?  How can you get nutritious food into someone who does not want to eat?


The wonderful thing about the internet is that there is a now a wealth of information out there to help you.  Age UK are a fantastic resource and have loads of helpful information about everything from falls prevention to helping to spot when a elderly relative is having issues like dementia or Alzheimers and what you can do.

There are also things like nutrition guides that provide tips for getting healthy, vitamin rich food into people who are not that bothered about eating any more.  Things like doing away with three meals a day, which can be overfacing and changing to small meals, dotted throughout the day,

If your relative is in a care home, one thing to try is perhaps getting a mini fridge for their room.  Keep yoghurts in there, carrot sticks and sliced fruit.  If you are bringing in food from home, try to liven up what they are eating.  Bring small selections of different things to awaken their taste buds like potato wedges with curry sauce or something with a chilli kick.  Moist foods like soups and stews are also brilliant for those who are having problems chewing.

If you are having problems getting your relative to have protein, what about something like a Peanut Butter Split Smoothie, here is a great recipe which gives a brilliant 13.5 grams of protein in one drink.  Tip, freeze the banana first.

Check out all the food recipe websites and food blogs that are out there now and you really will find something to inspire you to cook, and your relative to eat.

6 September 2016

Fixing Your Finances

One of the things that we as human beings are good at is sticking our head in the sand to avoid a problem.  If I don't think about it, it is not happening.  If I cannot see it, it is not there.

This is a tactic that many of us use when it comes to our finances.  The problems creep up on us slowly but mount every month, we pretend not to notice; until the point where our debts are underneath the sand with us.

This happened to me.  It happens to many people.  It has taken me five years to sort out my finance problems and along the way I have learned many lessons, a couple of which I will share with you.

Please note that I am not a financial expert, nor am I qualified to give financial advice.  I am writing this blog today because people do not talk about being in debt.  We gloss over the subject, we hide the problems in shame.  I was that person. In debt more than I could handle, through my own fault but yet with a 9-5 job.  

The first tip.  Do not panic.

When I (finally) took my head out of the sand I had no clue what to do, and went for the first option available which is hindsight, was the wrong thing to do. I panicked.  I didn't research what I could do, and ended up paying out far more as a result.


Once you have realised the extent of your money problems, you need to look at the different options available to you in order to resolve them.  

Your credit rating by this time is probably shot to pieces, but depending on how much you owe, you could still get a bad credit loan from somewhere like Glo.  I wouldn't recommend doing this if you are severely in debt, but on smaller debts, it may help to pay everything off at once rather than dragging it out.

Another option, and the one I went for, is a debt management plan.  

My error was that I did not research debt management plan providers and just went with the first one I found.  This ended up costing me over two thousand pounds by the end in admin charges.  

What I know now is that there are free debt management plan provides which do exactly the same job.  They work out what you can afford, negotiate with your creditors and work out a plan for you to pay off your debts, often with the interest frozen.

I would suggest contacting the Citizen's Advice Bureau who have loads of advice on the subject and the link I have put in goes directly to the free providers of debt management plans. 

If you owe more than ten thousand pounds, you could go into an IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement).  You can get free advice on this from the Money Advice Service.  This enables you to get around 70-80% of your debts written off, and the remainder is handled by an insolvency practitioner (you will pay for this service).

I hope this helps a little for anyone reading through who has only just pulled their head out of the sand and is, as I was five years ago, in a blind panic.  Don't panic.  Research.  Make use of the free resources available.  

You will get through this.



3 September 2016

What to Wear to a Wedding

Every year we inevitably see a certain kind of envelope drop through the post box.  The wedding invitation.  

For me, the first question I ask myself is "What am I going to wear?"  I read an article in Cosmopolitan recently that answered many of the questions that we ask ourselves when choosing a wedding guest outfit.

Much of the advice I agreed with (no long white dresses, nothing see through; no jeans); but other tips such as no animal prints, I was not so sure of.  There is no reason why you cannot be fashion forward or wear a strong print at a wedding, it is just a case choosing the right dress.


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Wedding Appropriate                               Keep for the Club

I have picked out some of my favourite dresses that I would wear when attending a wedding.  All of them can be carried through from day to evening and as this is a plus size fashion blog, I have ensured that you can find dresses from a 10 to a 32.

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David Nieper Uncrushable Tunic Dress
10-24     £135.00

This is a very classic style dress that will take you from day to evening and is also made from an uncrushable fabric, meaning no creases after sitting in church pews or a very long best man's speech!


16-30 £55.00

You cannot go wrong with a classic black and white dress.  I love the lines on this dress and the pleating will look amazing when twirling around on a dance floor!

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SimplyBe Print Up Down Hem Belted Dress
10-32 £25.00

This is the boldest choice of my dresses.  It will look gorgeous on a sunny day and is must for a fashion maven wedding.

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House of Fraser Studio 8 Aliona Dress
12-28 £175.00

Who doesn't love a little bit of sparkle with a wedding.  This beautiful dress has sparkle without being too flashy and I love the light green colour.

Which one would you choose?