Rolling, rolling, rolling…

Soxa is one of those dogs. She’s one of those dogs that is accident prone, always has some sort of health issues, takes medicine to stop her from leaking wee (that sometimes works but not always) and always goes the wrong side of a lamp post when she’s on the lead. But most of all, she’s one of those dogs that rolls in fox muck at every available opportunity. Filthy animal. So that’s why I was pretty delighted when I was offered the opportunity to review some fabulous ScruffyChops sugar doggy shampoo and ScruffyChops muddy marvellous conditioner. 

Soxa, on the other hand, wasn’t so delighted. She really isn’t a fan of the shower, and what dog actually wants to smell nice anyway? Here she is pre-shower demonstrating the standard “oh no, I’m going to be washed!” look


Sadly though Soxa, you were stinking so it had to be done. First a rinse down with the shower (nice and warm of course, we had to make it vaguely bearable). Then a nice massage with the shampoo. It smelt divine. Soxa, of course, disagreed. The lovely sweet smell of sugar smelt nothing like the fox muck odour she was going for. 


Once the shampoo was rinsed off, it was on with the conditioner and another nice massage that she really didn’t appreciate. Despite being given the name “muddy marvellous”, the conditioner actually smells amazing too. Again, Soxa would beg to differ. Anyway, once that was all rinsed off, then came the best bit in Soxa’s humble opinion – the towel dry. 


And then it was over. Being 4 months pregnant and lifting an overweight staffie cross (and a cross staffie cross at that) in and out of the bath wasn’t exactly fun for either of us. However, in my opinion, it was well worthwhile. Her coat looks lovely and she smells great. Of course, I wouldn’t have tested this product if it wasn’t natural and cruelty free. It is also vegan which I think is brilliant. Many thanks to ScruffyChops for providing me with a lovely smelling, slightly miffed dog! 

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Getting back to me

Despite being delighted I’ve got Libby and equally delighted that my next offspring will be here next year, I’m absolutely certain there won’t be any more after that. The fact that we will have two  children quite close together in age and the fact that there will be no more are both for a purely selfish reason. I want my life back. Before getting pregnant with Libby, I was doing all sorts of sport, most recently some quite big triathlons. Whilst I managed to get back into running and swimming a bit after having Libby and did a couple of small triathlons and a half marathon, I never really got back to normal. That’s why after the next baby, I will be going all out to get fit and healthy. My aim is that in a few years time, I would love to do an Iron Man triathlon. So here are the 5 steps that I’ll be following to get my fitness back as soon as I’m able to. 

1. Say goodbye to the baby weight! 

This pregnancy I’ve really struggled to keep up with exercise. I’ve been exercising once or twice a week but that really isn’t enough to keep the weight off. My top tip for getting rid of the baby weight that worked last time is breastfeeding. I intend to continue to exercise lightly throughout my pregnancy and then get back to it ASAP after the birth. This combined with breastfeeding got me back to my normal size and weight within a few weeks after having Libby. 

2. Hydrate

This goes along with the breastfeeding and exercise, both of which are horrendously draining and even dangerous if you don’t drink enough water. I didn’t keep myself as hydrated as I should have when Libby was tiny and I really noticed the difference in my energy levels as soon as I clocked on to what I was doing wrong. 

3. Diet

No, I don’t mean I’m going to go on a diet. I just mean that diet is an incredibly important part of getting back to fitness and this time I intend to be a bit better at being healthy. I’m going to eat less sugar and not get back into the habit of having a glass of wine every night. I’m aiming for wine and sugary things to be treats, not the norm! 

4. Up the training

With my ultimate goal in mind of completing an Iron Man in a few years time, I need to get quite quickly back to doing a decent amount of miles in swimming, cycling and running. I’m not too bothered about swimming because I know I’ve got the skills in that to keep going as long as I’m fit – years of competitive swimming have made sure of that. Running isn’t too difficult to up the mileage either, I did a half marathon in June this year so I haven’t lost my running ability completely. Cycling though is a different matter. I’ve really lost my confidence on the bike, I hate the clip-in pedals, I’m petrified of falling off and the miles in my legs are long gone. I think I might take up spinning classes to supplement my outdoor training so that there really is no excuse for not getting out there. 

5. Sports nutrition 

This is something I really haven’t quite got the hang of yet, but I know that I need to if I’m going to up my distance. The sugary gels and drinks just don’t really work for me although I know they work wonders for some people. As a vegetarian, I think it’s really important to make sure I’m getting enough protein when doing huge distances. The protein options available on this site look great. I particularly like the look of these protein shakes that are suitable for vegetarians and perfect for grabbing quick and easy protein and carbs. 

So raise your alcohol free glass and nutritious sports drink, here’s to getting fit again! 

This post was sponsored but the views, opinions, yearning to get back to fitness and the occasional pre-pregnancy slip up (who needs a glass anyway?!) are all mine! 

My 100th blog post… challenge set

For my 100th blog post, I wanted to do something a bit different and I’d like other people to join in. I haven’t done a linky post for this month, so if you’d like to take my centennial challenge, I’d love to see your take on it so please do link up below. 

Here’s how it works. Take my 10 headings and change the 10 words in each section to words of your own. Sentences, lists, jokes, however you want to do it, 10 words only per section. Then pop a link at the bottom, have a read of some other blogs and leave them some lovely comments. You could even follow your favourites! 

1. Things I love

My job, family and dogs not necessarily in that order. 

2. Places I love

New Zealand, Venezuela, the beach in a storm, outdoors, home. 

3. I love this photograph because… 

It’s an action shot capturing a lovely moment in time. 

4. Charities that deserve some love 

Animal lifeline

Hearthounds

Maternity Worldwide

Lend with care

Happy Staffie

5. What’s funny? 

Why can’t men make pancakes? Because they are useless tossers. 

6. On a desert island I would need… 

A dog, endless pizza, red wine, water, chocolate, a hammock

7. This week’s news

Cross eyed toddler can be graceful in her ballet lesson.

8. My best ever bargain

My first car, a ford fiesta cost £120 in 2001

9. What I enjoy doing

Swimming, running, water polo, travelling, beating my husband at sports

10. What I hate

Unwanted pets put to sleep daily yet people keep breeding
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Converted to onesie wearing

I’ve never been very good at winter. Actually, I don’t mind the weather outside, brisk walks in the snow, sunny days when the ground is crisp from frost. I can even cope with the rain and wind as long as I’m out in the fresh air. The part about winter that gets to me is the inside bit. I hate having the heating on unnecessarily or having it on too high but I also hate being cold. 

Whilst I’m not the most sociable or fashion conscious person, even I didn’t manage to miss the onesie trend that started a few years ago. I’m really not one for keeping up with fashion though, or indeed for buying new clothes at all. That’s why I shrugged my shoulders and let it pass me by. 

That all changed recently though, when I was given the opportunity to try out a onesie from the Onesie Warehouse. I was still slightly unsure because I didn’t know whether they would have anything to suit my current pregnant figure. Luckily for me though, the staff there really know their stuff. They were able to recommend a onesie that is both lovely and warm and has a baggy fit. Baggy enough in fact to make me think that I will be able to wear it all winter! Here is the fabulous onesie they have sent me: 

Navy Blue Plain Hooded Cotton Mix Mens Women's Hooded Adult Onesie Perfect for printing. CUSTOMISATION AVAILABLE

Sadly this isn’t me wearing it, I’m on my own this evening and just couldn’t get a reasonable photo of myself! It’s safe to say that the model on the Onesie Warehouse website has a rather better figure than me too! If you fancy the onesie I’ve got, the link to it is here. This one is great for printing on if you want to customise it yourself. If I was a student I’d be getting a set customised for a sports team, especially at just £20 each!

They are also available in all different sizes, colours and patterns. I particularly love this fabulous green dinosaur! Having said that, I wouldn’t swap the one I’ve got for the world, it’s so comfortable and warm. I haven’t felt the cold once since I’ve been wearing it. It is so hard getting comfortable when pregnant that the onesie is a real bonus. When I get bigger, I’m going to wear my onesie and lie on my giant beanbag. Now all I need is a little helper to do the housework. Oh wait… 


To absent friends

At times like Christmas, the other side of the world seems such a long way away. It’s hitting me particularly hard this year because, having spent over 12 months working from home I don’t have friends who I see regularly. This isn’t helped by the fact that two really good friends and my cousin who I’m close to have all moved to New Zealand. 

Earlier this year, one of my friends came over from New Zealand with her family and we caught up with them all for a day. My sister’s boyfriend is a fantastic photographer and we were lucky enough to book him for a day for a photo shoot of us all together.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review a great new website, www.instajunction.com. As the name suggests, instajunction is linked to www.instagram.com. Instajunction allows you to print off your instagram photos in a variety of formats such as calendars, cufflinks, coasters and magnets. 

I always struggle to decide what to get for our friends in New Zealand because posting things really limits what you can buy. So I decided to get them the coasters and magnets from instajunction with some of the photographs of them on from our photo shoot. 

Using the website was really easy. I uploaded our photos to instagram through my phone to put them into the right format. I was then able to log on to instagram through instajunction to access the photos. Making the products couldn’t have been simpler, I just clicked on the photos I wanted to use on each one. It was equally easy to remove a photo if I changed my mind. I was on the instajunction website for a total of about 5 minutes including adding my delivery information. 

Just a couple of days later, the photographs arrived. 


On the left are the magnets and on the right are the coasters. I really like both products but I have to say I prefer the coasters. They’re great quality and the photos look really good on them. I’ve cut a few tops of heads off in putting the photos into the square format of instagram but other than that, they all look great. I really like the magnets too, but I think I’d like to have the option of having less of them but with each one in a larger size. The site’s still really new though so I’m sure there will be other options in the future. Both products will make great presents for our friends and they would make great Christmas presents for relatives too. 

The coasters retail at £14.99 and the magnets at £9.99. There is a small postage charge on top of that. If you like the idea of these as Christmas presents, you can use the discount code FRIEND25AL for a 25% discount on any orders you place by the 8th of December.