Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Home: Prints & Personalising

I love our little home. It's an 1880 build, in a small village with bags of character. We instantly fell in love with it on viewing, and put an offer in the same day. Having been in our home for just over a year, we are finally beginning to create a place that expresses our love of live music, and my love of quirky prints, and as Tom calls it, nick nacks.
I'm not one for a minimalist style, or the blogger popular all white finish. I prefer pictures on walls that will interest guests and a mix of styles and pieces I like. Little items of interest have been gathered from Glastonbury, local markets and antique shops - all have memories and that's what I love.
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We'd picked up various posters at our favourite gigs and thought it was high time to get them framed and up on the walls. Only trouble is, frames are pricey! So we searched eBay and found a really good seller offering the thick, natural wood look we were after. The prints and posters were different sizes so we measured up and ordered. They arrived really well packaged and perfect for our prints.
There is still so much to do and next up is lampshades, and bulbs for the whole house. Oh and curtains and blinds. Think the next purchase is a TV and record player...

Monday, 31 August 2015

How To: Party Guest Hair - Down to Up!

With any special occasion, you'll get your outfit, and the shoes, you'll plan your make up, now time for hair. As the UK weather can a tad unpredictable, I think it's important to have a couple of styles up your sleeve just in case. I think the best party guest style is loose curls, that can easily be swept up into an up do as the day/evening goes on. Using my new H2D Magicurl Waver Wand* I took random sections of hair, and used the wand to wave one way, then the opposite to give a less uniform look. This could then be messily pinned up later on in the evening, ready for some serious dancing - the great thing about wavy hair is that you can randomly pin sections to create a relaxed up do that looks lovely, and it doesn't matter if a few bits fall down as it just seems to work.
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The H2D Magicurl Waver Wand is a large 32mm barrel that heats up to 220 degrees, and creates a loose, relaxed wave. I'd recommend for ladies with shoulder length and longer hair, due to the size of the barrel, shorter hair wouldn't really benefit. It's easy to use, and comes with a heat protection glove to avoid sizzled fingertips. I particularly like the swivel cord - something I'm very used to smacking in my face and getting caught up in. The design is simple, I do wish it had an adjustable temperature, as 220 degrees might be a little too high for some fine haired ladies. One thing with the H2D Magicurl Waver Wand is that you can get round your hair quickly, it only takes around 6-8 sections of my hair to finish, so is great for a last minute 'get ready and go'.
I think it's such a good idea to carry a mini 'emergency hair kit' in your bag, not only if you need an extra pin or spritz of hairspray, but to perhaps be a style saviour to another guest! Pop a mini hairspray, and some hairgrips in your bag just in case, and if there is enough room, a compact Tangle Teezer.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Salon: Atelier Hairdressing & Beauty Rooms, Redbourn

I popped into Atelier Hairdressing & Beauty Rooms, in Redbourn a couple of weeks ago to get my colour freshened up, and my ends trimmed. I'm happy letting my natural colour come through, but it needed a little help. Gemma at Atelier immediately understood and I felt really relaxed whilst we chatted and discussed what to do.
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Atelier is in the village of Redbourn, near St Albans, and is a two level salon consisting of hair and beauty. Established in 2007, the owners and staff are constantly striving to keep at the top of the hair and beauty game, I was very impressed that they can offer Olaplex to those getting colour services.
Gemma lightly painted through my hair, helping to blend existing colour at the ends with my natural hair colour. I sat back and read a magazine, drank some tea and relaxed. I do love a pamper.
When it came to the cut, I just wanted a trim, so that's exactly what Gemma did. I know a lot of people panic when they go for a haircut, mentioning a trim and coming out with inches taken off, but I felt relaxed and it was only a trim!
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And the final thing, styling. I usually end up restyling my hair once I leave the salon. It's always too big, or too curly. I like a loose wave and Gemma gave me that in a blowdry. It stayed put and looked lovely the next day, and my hair feels healthier on the ends and the colour is subtle so I don't have to panic about regrowth.
If you live in the area, I definitely recommend Atelier - and have heard so many good things about the beauty services on offer, so from head to toe you've got all your pamper needs under one roof.
(I paid for the services I had, and want to recommend because it was good!)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Aqua Sana Spa at Woburn Forest Center Parcs

Before I started my new job, I decided it would be a very good idea to be as relaxed as possible. With that in mind, I booked myself and Kristie into the new Aqua Sana Spa at Woburn Forest Center Parcs. It's only about twenty minutes away from where I live, so it was an ideal choice!
We chose a Relax & Revive day, which included lunch, and a Elemis facial. I LOVE Elemis, and in particular the Papaya Enzyme Peel - my skin is pretty sensitive and I get redness and a bit blotchy with some skincare, but this is amazing. The facial itself was fantastic, I felt relaxed and my therapist talked me through my routine and what she'd noticed about my skin. My skin looked brighter and it felt so smooth and hydrated.
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The Aqua Sana spa is gorgeous, there is enough space and treatment rooms to avoid feeling rushed or bundled in with others. My favourite spa experiences were the Reflexology Footbaths, Sensory Spa Herbal Spa and of course the Water Beds. I could have drifted away for hours in the quiet and calm. It's lovely to not have the noise of loud chatter, mobile phones and traffic.
Everything was taken care of by the staff, who milled around without being intrusive. The spa was clean, and the layout means you can easily move between areas and enjoy at your speed. Lunch was delicious, and the chocolate croissant included for a mid morning snack when we arrived was perfect. The outdoor pool was the perfect temperature for a dip, and the Zen Garden is a very peaceful place to quietly reflect.
I've recommended to friends and family, and I'm hoping to go with my sister for a relaxing spa day soon. With Woburn Forest Center Parcs on my doorstep, it'd be rude not to visit more!  photo center parcs aqua sana woburn forest_zpsdh2zvvro.jpg  photo lounge aqua sana woburn forest_zpstw9oz2so.jpg  photo zen aqua sana woburn forest_zpssxfunfdj.jpg  photo waterbeds aqua sana woburn forest_zps5zymtyfh.jpg

Monday, 24 August 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful #3

Things have been more than a little busy here, so much going on and I wanted to share three things that are making me very happy lately. It's easy to see the negatives in a situation, but I've always found that the more I let negativity creep into my mind, the more it consumes my every thought. As cheesy as it sounds, you really do have to take a silver lining from a bad time and hold on to it. I am in a really good place at the moment, and thankful for everything I have, it's easy to look at others and want their lives, but it's important to stand back and realise the good you've got.
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Getting healthy. As you know I've been a keen gym goer, and love running. However, recently I've let it slip a bit and I'm feeling a bit wobbly and not my best. My new offices have a Fitness First right opposite, so no excuses. I'm planning on doing a couple of classes a week, along with a gym trip in my lunch break.
I've redownloaded an awesome running app called Zombies, Run! which story tells as you run, broken up by music from your playlist. It makes you completely forget you are running and you can immerse yourself in the story - and escape the zombie attacks. Really helped my performance last time so I'm hoping it'll do the same this time.

Plans to travel. I've been looking at travel and where in the world I'd like to visit. I've been very lucky to have visited a few countries in my life, but I still have a fair few I'd like to see. The plans are slowly taking shape and I can't wait to see some places I've been dreaming of. Iceland, New York, China are all on an ever changing list, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Tom. In a nutshell, this guy has put a smile on my face every single day since I've had the joy of being in a relationship with him.
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He's recently decided to take the leap and officially give his talents a shot, and his band The Passion Bearers are in the process of releasing their first song, with an album hopefully to follow. Along with some live dates, I'm so excited to see him so fired up about it all.
He also a whizz at graphic design and animation so if you want to check out his portfolio go see.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Have you Tried Hair Plopping?

I had to double check this press release when it appeared. Hair PLOPPING? But it really does do what it says on the, uh, subject box! You 'plop' your hair in a towel, leave to dry and you should be left with gorgeous natural curls when you shake your hair free. Too good to be true? I've given plopping a go to find out...
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Boucleme have designed a towel that is perfect for hair plopping, specifically designed to enhance and enable your natural hair and curl to form. The Organic Curl Towel* (£19.00) made from a mixture of cotton, bamboo and elasthene, absorbs excess moisture whilst keeping the curl hydrated.
They even have a handy step-by-step guide to Hair Plopping (it doesn't sound better the more you say it, still odd) This little YouTube video should help to explain how to plop (sorry!)

My hair has a natural wave to it, but I find if I leave my hair damp and down, it'll dry looking a little flat and lank. By using the Curl Towel, I found it not only keeps my hair out of my face, but once dry (I leave wrapped up overnight) it leaves my hair curly, but with a bounce. It's not the most defined curl for me, but for a heat free way to get textured hair, it's brilliant. I've been able to spray some product through my hair and it's good to go - handy when it's hot and you really don't want to blast a hairdryer or use tongs. For those who have really curly natural hair, I'd recommend giving plopping a go, it's a kinder way to treat hair. It's a low maintenance way to define curls with no damage to hair.