Monday 14 December 2015

Christmas Tips for Dog Owners

Hi Everyone!

Now as I'm sure you're all fully aware, Christmas is fast approaching us! It's a time to spend with your friends and family and course not forgetting your little furry companions. 

My little buddies have been featured on my blog a few times now and Sadie, Lexi, Frank and Miley absolutely love Christmas! It's full of all sorts of interesting smells, colours and people but it's always important to make sure that they don't get overwhelmed as it does mean that we go outside of their usual routine.

Below I have included a short video from Petplan which has a number of really important but simple things to be aware of, I would really recommend giving it a watch as it's not all obvious and these are all things that I personally take note of. 

In party scenarios I think it's always really important to have a safe place for the dogs to be able to chill out in away from the noise, usually for us it's the kitchen and we have their doughnut beds out with fluffy blankets and lot's of toys to play with. We also will nominate one of us to check in for toilet breaks and to take them out in pairs for walks every couple of hours to give them a bit of exercise and to make sure that they aren't missing out on their usual outside activities which they LOVE!

The point about the tree is also really important, in our naive earlier years of having dogs we would dress up the tree all nicely and have it packed with baubles all the way down.  The dogs would always be pulling on them, pulling them off completely or knocking over the tree like something out of You've Been Framed! To be fair we used to have the more flimsy artificial ones with the tiny plastic bases, nowadays we make sure to go for the non-drop sturdier based ones. It's better for us anyway in that there's no mess but it also means that the dogs cant get any of the needles stuck in their paws or accidentally eat them. 

On the subject of eating, chocolate decorations will be sniffed out  (believe me!) and are poisonous to dogs so keep them at the top of the tree just to be safe and to make sure they are there for you to eat. Also when it comes to leftovers from your Christmas dinner you need to make sure that you don't give your dogs any cheese, grapes, cooked bones, onions or garlic as it can make them ill as well as it upsets their little tummies. 

Me and my sisters usually make the dogs their own Christmas dinners, so they each have a turkey flavoured wet food, biscuits, dog safe chocolate drops and some supermarkets even have an actual Christmas dinner flavoured food in their festive selection for pets so definitely have a look. 

Then when we all exchange gifts they will each get a bone as a Christmas present wrapped up for them. Our dogs probably love wrapping paper more than the actual bones, I think it's the scrunching noise when they roll around on it!! We have also on occasion bought them Christmas jumpers which they like to go out for walks in because they are fleece lined and all snug for them when we are outside. 

I for one literally cannot wait for Christmas to come and I hope all you guys have great plans for the next couple of weeks, especially with your pets. 

If you would like to watch the cat version of the Petplan video you can do so here and if you would like to read more about their pet insurance head over to:

Thanks for reading!

Love Sally X

This post has been made possible thanks to Petplan, but all thoughts are my own.

Friday 11 December 2015

Welcome Back Adele

Hello. It's me.

Today's post is coming to you off the back of the recent launch of the new Adele album, good isn't it?! I thought it would be a great time to talk about the lady herself, a lot of the themes within her songs and just her as a person really strike a chord with me and to say I'm a fan is the biggest understatement of the century so let's get into it!

Last night I was at a comedy show, it was fantastic and I'll do a post on that separately but the comedian was talking about ex boyfriends and how it can be really hard to get over a breakup and there was a really poignant part where she spoke of how Adele's song Someone Like You was the song that changed how she felt and was the turning point for her being able to move on. The song started blaring out and every single girl in the audience sang along as we all remembered a past relationship and related to that song and it was the most beautiful thing.

Her songs are just always spot on, I can relate to Make you feel my love, trying so hard for someone that isn't giving you back as much. Set Fire to the Rain, being lied to and messed about and Rolling in the Deep, someone playing games with you. But the songs are uplifting and empowering, in interviews you can see that she is such a strong, awesome person and when I play her songs in my car and sing along really badly/loudly I feel like that too.

Another reason I love Adele is her body positivity, she could literally care less for how the industry would like her to look in terms of her body shape or weight and she rocks amazing clothes, she looks incredible. I love that with her, her talent for singing is just so immense that everything else pales in comparison and for once a female artist's press isn't constantly about how they look, who they are dating or what diet they are on. Being natural charismatic, she comes across as just a really lovely down to earth person but at the same time absolutely smashes it on the red carpet with stunning dresses that all curvy ladies should feel confident enough to wear.

Jd Williams have created a cool blog post entitled An Album of Adele's Style which I would recommend checking out if any of you ladies would like to see awesome Adele style dresses that will make you feel a million dollars and could give you a last minute piece of inspiration for the christmas parties coming up! I have my outfit all picked out and will be sharing on social media next Thursday some live action for you, so exciting!

Anyway, I hope you liked this post, I could talk about Adele all day so if you would like to see any follow up let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading and click play below to listen to Hello!

Love Sally X


Thursday 3 December 2015

My Xmas Party Dress ft Bon Prix!

Hey Guys!

Today I wanted to show you an absolute gem of a party dress that I was kindly sent from Bonprix to try out and that is super cute and affordable for your xmas parties and celebrations this year.

The dress I am wearing is their Sequin Shift Dress* available in black or gold and sizes 8-20 for £49.99.

The sleeves and lace detailing are stretchy and a cute animal print effect, the body of the dress is very close fitted and doesn't stretch so depending on your shape I would possibly recommend sizing up if you carry your weight on your bottom half.

The dress overall is very comfy to wear and I like the coverage of the sleeves with the lace detailing as a really pretty way of still showing a little bit of skin in a classy way. As far as LBD's go this one is a (christmas) cracker and it looks fab on it's own inside a venue or outside I'd pair it with a fluffy coat or little shrug.

Let me know what you think of this dress in the comments, I plan on wearing it to a pre-xmas get together with my friends in a couple of weeks and have been looking at Bon Prix's other dress options for the office Xmas party on the 17th. I'll let you know what I come up with for that!

Thanks for reading and I have another Slimming World update very soon for you.

Love Sally X

Sunday 15 November 2015

We Need To Talk

Hi Everyone!

I hope you're all well.

It's been a while since we have chatted, a really long time actually so I wanted to dedicate a post to basically discuss what I've been up to over the past few months. The main news is that as of the last week of July, I joined my local Slimming World group and begun a weight loss journey. I am still on that journey and regularly attending the group and so far I have lost a total of 4 stone 2 pounds in the 15 weeks that I have been a member.

When I first joined, I was in a bit of a sad place to be quite honest with you, it was a few weeks before my 25th birthday and I was just feeling a bit down in the dumps. I was at my highest ever weight, single, not really enjoying work as much as I should and just not really feeling my usual self. There were also a few health concerns but the less we say about that the better. At work they announced the details of our annual Xmas party, as some of you might know it's my favourite time of year, and this year I really wanted to make a promise to myself that I would go to that party.

As a pick me up, I set myself a challenge to lose the weight that I had gained over the 6-8 months before I joined the group and simply get back to where I was previously, which I have always been perfectly happy with, especially after becoming a plus size blogger which taught me acceptance of myself on a whole different scale. This goal post was later moved, however we will go into that a bit more later on.

When I first joined Slimming World, I was incredibly anxious about attending the first meeting, I remember driving up to the hall and getting there ridiculously early and just being sat in my car arguing with myself as to whether I want to go through with it, whether this would just be triggering me to feeling bad things about myself, whether I was ready. After a good 20 minutes or so I found the strength to go inside, and it was there I met our consultant who gave me a new member talk taking me through what the plan is, telling me about her story and it was something that I could relate to and the plan seemed achievable so I chose to go for it and just see what happened over the first few weeks.

The first week I stuck to the plan completely and I ended up losing 8.5 pounds and I got my first award for losing half a stone which I was really chuffed about. I hadn't in anyway deprived myself and I was enjoying it, I had a few recipe books and I was making fun creations.

These photos was taken the day before my first weigh in and I was a size 26.

Between my first weigh in and last week's weigh in, I have continued to stick to plan and have maintained a loss each week. I reached my initial target of losing 10% of my total body weight on the 14th September and it was then that I made the decision to keep going on the plan and revising a new target which is to get back to the weight I was back in 2010, which I lost in a very different way and I thought if I could achieve that target under these healthier conditions that would just be amazing. 

A large part of my weight loss success is that after 15 weeks of going to weekly meetings, I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of the other members who have all been unreservedly supportive alongside our consultant who is just amazing. There really is a sense of community there and when the group voted for me as their 2015 Miss Slinky I was so overwhelmed and it felt so good, it made me so happy. 

So in terms of my future plans with Slimming World, it's something I have enjoyed and something I will continue with at least until I hit my new target. Don't get me wrong I've had my ups and downs, it's been far from easy but that was more my own thoughts and feelings holding me back. If you want me to go further into this I can in a separate post and I might need to add a trigger warning. 

Now we have got that out of the way, let's talk about what else has been going on. Well work has got a lot better for me, I was promoted to a senior position which I was over the moon about and things have been going great. My weight loss stuff is something that my work friends are aware of and they have all been supportive too, especially on my personal Facebook where I share regular updates on how I'm doing, the whole experience has made me feel a lot closer to my friends actually which is a really good thing. 

Another update would be that I am now investigating the dating scene. I don't really talk about that on here but I have been trying out some of the popular websites and apps and I do put this down to my increased confidence as it's been ages since I've really put myself out there. I've been going out a lot more in general actually, this year I went to a Halloween Raveyard in Waterloo that I would never have considered going to in the past, I went as the black widow from PLL! I have also been to firework displays and meals out which have all been great. 

This pretty much leads us to where I am now, I'm pretty content and dare I say that I'm in general having a great time, most of the time. I want to get back to blogging, but more focus on life updates and some new outfits that I'm loving so stay tuned for those. 

If you have any questions or thoughts on anything discussed in the post, leave me a comment below as I'd love to hear from you all.

Thanks for reading and we'll speak soon. 

Love Sally X


Thursday 15 October 2015

My Farmdrop Experience

Hey Guys!

Hope you're all doing well and enjoying the autumnal awesomeness that is around us.

Today I am going to be talking about a really cool concept called Farmdrop that I've tried out and which basically makes getting tasty local food so much easier.

I've bought items such as meat or milk in the past from local farms in Hertfordshire and I have always had a really good experience, but when you don't have a car to physically go and pick things up it can be a pain.

This is where FarmDrop comes in and makes things easy peasy for you. 

They have an online marketplace, bursting with tonnes of different food options from a long list of local farmer and foodmakers that I could quite frankly browse all day. Once you have made your selection you simply select your delivery day and the order is prepared and packed, then delivered free of charge by their electric vans. 

I had my selections delivered to my office in London and the chilled food came in sturdy freezer bags with cool packs and insulation inside which kept everything refrigerated on the train journey home. They give you a delivery time slot so you know when to expect your delivery so you can either do what I did and get it delivered to work or your house if you live in London. 

Now I've covered how it works, I am guessing you want to see what I ordered!

Firstly let's look at the meat products, all from Park Farm. Here we have their beef burgers, delux pork sausages and chipolata sausages.

These were used to make awesome burgers and hot dogs for my family and they went down a real treat.

I also got 2 containers of fresh whole milk from Hinxden Farm Dairy for us to have on cereal or drink  on it's own. 

It was lovely and creamy and went amazingly with my morning cornflakes!

Lastly me and my sisters thought we'd spoil ourselves to a treat each from Comptoir Gourmand so we got two brownies and chocolate twist.

I had a brownie and it was to die for, deliciously moist and chocolately. It was well worth the syns and perfect as an occasional treat. 

As you can see from all my comments, I have been really happy with the service and the food was of a great quality. Everything you can see in the pictures cost a total of £25.05 including delivery which I think is pretty great and I was kindly given a discount code for £20 off my first order. 

I would definitely recommend checking out Farmdrop and you can sign up for an account on their website so you can start browsing. 

Thanks for reading my review, I'd love to hear what kinds of things you guys buy from local farms and what your experiences have been.

Speak soon.

Love Sally X

Monday 5 October 2015

Shop With Me - Simply Be Oxford Street

Hey Everyone!

I hope you're all well and had nice weekends.

Today is something that I haven't done in a long time on the blog, since my Taking Shape store visit actually, and it's a changing room try on session. I happened to be up by Oxford Street one evening last week and of course had to make my way over to the Simply Be store which is like a plus size fashion haven and home to the nicest fitting rooms around! 

In this post I thought I'd share with you some of the things I tried on and talk a little bit about each item and whether or not I made a purchase. Apologies in advance for the quality of the photos, they were taken on my Iphone as it was an impromptu shopping expedition.


I really liked this dress, the sleeve length and dress lengths were perfect and the print is very wearable. It's not a dress I ended up purchasing because I felt it was too similar to another one I own but it's a perfect autumn dress and not too expensive at £25.

I loved everything about this dress, the print is very boho and seventies style which is bang on trend, the bell sleeves are also very comfortable and end at your elbow so give great coverage. The dress nips in at the waist which gives a great shape and I like the dipped back and sides on the skirt part which flows nicely over the tummy area. I bought this dress and have already worn it to work.

Next is a dress you might have seen me raving about on Twitter - in a good way - it's the red lace dress by Label Be. I can't find it on the Simply Be website so not sure if it in an instore exclusive. 

Where do I start on what I love about it? The vivid eyecatching colour first and foremost, then after that I love the sleeves which show just the right amount of skin through the intricate lace design and on top of that the dress comes in at the waist and flares out with a skater style skirt. 

I wore this on a date on Friday night and I felt really good in it, £35 well spent in my opinion.

Next are the Sprinkle Of Glitter for Simply Be pieces I tried on which I was particularly excited about!

I have mixed opinions on this one, I love the sleeves, I love the print of the fabric and generally I like the shape but I just couldn't make the neckline work for me which made me sad because it really was the only issue. I tried sizing down and it still didn't help, I think the v-neck was just too low for me and didn't work with my body shape.

I had a bit more luck with the Sprinkle Of Glitter Printed Flower Dress:

I feel this has a very vintage and 50's look to it with the sweetheart neckline and a full skirt which is all fun and swishy. The print is very feminine and cute and I would picture me wearing this for something like afternoon tea or a show up in London. It went straight into my basket and I am saving it for a special occasion.

Now we are on to the Sprinkle Of Glitter Strappy Dress

This one I adored, and it's the same gorgeous print as the playsuit. This dress worked so perfectly for me, it's a great length, great neckline and pulls in at the waist with a nice back tie. I bought it and intend to wear it throughout autumn winter with cute cardigans or a top underneath so I don't get chilly!

The next look is a two piecer, the Sprinkle Of Glitter Stripe Jersey Top and the Sprinkle Of Glitter Dungaree Dress, again I have some mixed views on these.

As a look together, this didn't work for me, unfortunately the panel at the front of the dungaree dress was not big enough to cover enough of the chest area and while I liked the idea, it was something I knew I wouldn't get much wear from. 

The top however was gorgeous, it's lovely and soft and stretchy, the sleeves are a fantastic length and the horizontal stripes go to show that the myths are false about them being unflattering. I had to get the top because I just thought I would get so much wear out of it with jeans and skirts and it's a nice casual piece.

That rounds up my pretty successful try on session and I hope this gives you some ideas of the gems to be found in Simply Be at the moment. As an internet shopaholic I definitely am guilty of forgetting the pros to instore shopping like the customer service, limitless trying on and looking at the different fits of things without the fuss of returns, I definitely think it's something I need to do more often!

Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this in the comments, I work in London so it's quite easy for me to get to big flagship stores and maybe we could do Evans next. 

Thanks for reading and speak soon.

Love Sally X

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Khadi Volume and Gloss Shampoo

Hey Everyone!

October is almost upon us and I hope you have all been enjoying Organic September over the past few weeks and taking part where you can.

Today is a different theme to food and skincare which we have covered so far, this will be looking at haircare and specifically shampoo as it is very much a staple product that we all use so I thought it would be a great example of a switch you can make to organic which will have a great effect in the long run.

The brand I am going to be introducing are Khadi who are a natural haircare brand with a new range of nourishing shampoos. 

You may ask what makes the Khadi shampoos so unique? They contain a blend of sweet almond oil and wheat proteins, which help to repair damaged hair and promote growth. Hair is made up mostly of proteins and it is the proteins in wheat that repair damaged hair follicles by lifting the hair, whilst reducing small holes in the lengths of hair shafts and fortifying hair cells. Wheat proteins also retain moisture, giving hair added fullness, body and bounce.

Containing pure Ayurvedic herbal infusions that have been prepared and blended by Ayurvedic experts in India, each of the five fabulous shampoos in the range help overcome specific hair related problems, such as dry tresses, oily scalp, dull looking locks and limp hair. Ayurveda is an ancient system of natural healing that has been practiced in India for millennia and promotes a holistic view of beauty and wellness, which is key to the khadi brand: the aim to promote a beauty routine that incorporates the healing powers of herbs, oils and plants to achieve a more beautiful body.

All Khadi products are cruelty free, organic, vegan, BDIH[1] certified and free from peroxide, ammonia, preservatives, synthetic or artificial colours or dyes. As an ethical brand, Khadi also follows fair trade guidelines ensures that any herbs used in the formulations are collected in a sustainable and traditional way by local inhabitants.

Now on to my review, I tried out the Volume & Gloss shampoo* and this is what I thought!

First of all, the packaging is nice and luxurious with a gorgeous deep red colour and gold accents which links in with the India theme. 

You get a large 210ml bottle for a retail price of £11.90 which is pretty good compared with other premium brand price points. I chose to try out the volume and shine shampoo as it is designed to prevent hair breakage which can be a problem when you have long hair like me and it also provides more volume for my naturally straight locks.

I have been using the shampoo every other day for a few weeks now and compared to my normal store brand shampoo I have noticed a difference. In the picture above I haven't used any hair styling products and had just washed my hair that morning. When I'm washing my hair I'm noticing that there are less hairs shedding (and clogging up the bath) especially after the second week and my hair looks thicker and healthier.

 You may or may not know that I colour my hair, it's not far from my natural colour but I feel like it adds an extra bit of dimension, however this can be quite drying and does need regular conditioning. As a result of this I do try to stay away from the deep cleansing shampoos or ones with too many colour stripping ingredients, I can happily report that the Khadi one hasn't washed out or dulled my hair colour in anyway which is fab and I would say that it's nice and gentle on the scalp. 

You can probably tell that I'm quite a big fan of this shampoo, I do feel you can see the results but let me know what you think in the comments below!

If you would like to check out the Khadi range you can do so on where they also have a selection of hair oils I'm keen to give a go.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I'll be back soon!

Love Sally X

Sunday 27 September 2015

My Top 3 Amy's Kitchen Organic Soups

Hi Everyone!

Today I wanted to share a round up of my top 3 favourite organic soups that I've tried from Amy's Kitchen for my focus on Organic September this month. Amy's Kitchen are a family business started back in 1987 and Amy has a real passion for organic food and holistic healthcare so the brand were just perfect to feature.

First up we have the cream of mushroom soup* that can be had as a soup, as part of a risotto dish or also used as an ingredient in a wider meal.

The ingredients are organic and include mushrooms (duh!), onions, arborio rice, leeks, celery and organic cream/butter which gives the nice creamy sweet taste but is still low fat.

Next is the french country vegetable soup* which is completely different to the last one, this is much more "hearty" and is really quite filling for a soup. 

The ingredients are things such as tomatoes, onions, courgettes, mushrooms, red sweet peppers, garlic, organic white beans and long grain red rice so all of that packed in a soup is going to be great as a lunch option and it's easy to heat up in the office microwave, 2 minutes then stir then pop back in for a further 2 minutes until it's ready. 

Last but not least, these are in no real order, we have the chunky tomato soup*. Tomato soup for me will always be a bit of a classic, it's something so readily available and there are so many different versions. For me this was one of the best I've tried.

The soup has tomato puree and also diced tomatoes which give the chunky texture which I like alot. The taste is really nice and the flavour is something you can only really achieve with quality ingredients and does stand apart from regular options as a more luxury type product. This soup is also low fat which is fantastic news for me.

I've had Amy's Kitchen products before so the great flavours and taste came as no surprise and the soups definitely are a great option to reach for especially at lunch. Outside of the soup range they have various ready meals I'd recommend, try out the mac & cheese if you want your mind to be blown (in a good way). You can check out all of the different lines on which will also have a link to their store locator. 

I hope you liked this post, I have a few more Organic September posts before the month closes out so keep an eye out for those and I have been working on my Youtube channel so should be having some videos up soon! Leave any video suggestions in the comments below and I can get to work on them.

Thanks for reading!

Love Sally X

Thursday 24 September 2015

Skin Revivals Organic Facial Cleansing Oil

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all well.

Today is the latest post in my Organic September series and it is going to be a skincare theme this time. I wanted to mix up the different product types to highlight that organic alternatives are available for so many of our everyday staples and what could be more of a staple than a cleansing oil?!

This product promises to be a gentle, effective and natural cleanser with ingredients like Rosehip & Avocado. Its lightly fragrant, vitamin rich blend of organic vegetable oils naturally breaks down make-up, dissolves all impurities and visibly refreshes leaving you with clear, glowing skin. 

Enriched with organic oils to help cleanse, maintain moisture balance and leave skin soft, comfortable and deeply cleansed. It is designed to remove even the most stubborn make-up including eye-make-up and is Soil Association Certified (99% organic).

I have incorporated the cleanser as part of my skincare routine for the past couple of weeks and I've been enjoying using it. I use it in two different ways depending on how much time I have, if I'm in a rush I squirt the oil onto a cotton pad and give my face a once over but if I have longer then I massage in the oil and take off the makeup with a warm, wet muslin cloth. I like that the product is nice and gentle and doesn't leave me with any redness after using as I do have quite sensitive skin. 

In terms of results, they are much more impressive than my usual makeup wipes which I generally reach for out of convenience and I have done multiple clean pad tests after fully taking my makeup off and they come back clean so they are great for removing any makeup residue and waterproof mascara.

The price point is pretty reasonable, £12 for 100ml* and the bottle does go quite far as you don't need lot's of oil each time. There are other products in the range such as creams, balms and gels which you can check out on the website

I hope this review gives you some inspiration for the beauty/skincare section of Organic September, again where the product works and is a great solution it makes the idea of switching to organic so easy and seamless.

If you are taking part in Organic September I'd love to hear about what you've tried so far in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Love Sally X


Friday 18 September 2015

Drinking From A Tree?

Hey Everyone!

Today I have something very different for you in my Organic September series and it is TreeVitalise Birch Water. You will be amazed when I tell you the process behind this product and a hint to that is in the name but you will have to keep reading to learn the full story.

The Process 

The organic birch water comes from the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe and the mixed forests are what creates their special taste.

In the first weeks of spring thaw, when the snow begins to melt, the roots of the birch tree absorb and take in the newly created water. Enriched with this liquid are all the nutrients stored in the roots over winter that are drawn up to the trunk and branches and what is left is a water that is filtered by the tree and packed with vitality and it wakes the tree from winter season and brings it into life again. 

This happens just a couple of weeks a year and when it occurs the tree is tapped and a small share taken to create these drinks. The birch is completely unharmed and has plenty of revitalising water left for its own use.

The sap is preserved through gentle pasterisation which keeps its original form but is also available infused with organic mint or lemon. What you are left with is an undiluted, organic, 100% natural and unsweetened drink.

The Benefits

Birch sap is known to stimulate the body's purifying and cleansing systems as in its raw form the sap contains vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, trace minerals such as manganese and also micronutrients which help strengthen your immune system, lower cholesterol and assist in weight loss. 

I was lucky enough to try out all three flavours of the TreeVitalise birch water, being the original*, mint* and lemon*. 

Here is what I thought!

It's difficult to explain the taste of these drinks, I would say that the birch water is sweet but naturally sweet, it doesn't have that harsh bite that artificial ones have. It's a very pleasant and refreshing drink overall, I loved the mint in particular which I found to be very soothing on my throat. All three were very hydrating and made me feel energised on a dull afternoon in the office which has to be a plus. 

For me, the biggest plus is the concept/process behind the product, I just find it fascinating how these drinks have been made and that added to a nice taste is a winner in my book. 

What do you guys think about this product? It's so different and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! If you want to read up more on TreeVitalise you can do so on their website: which is also where you can click to find the online/retail stockist information.

Thanks for reading and I hope you are enjoying Organic September.

Love Sally X

© The Human Mannequin. All rights reserved.