Design + Development by Powered by Blogger.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3

It's not easy being blonde. I trust my hairdresser though, and after being this bright blonde for around 6 years now I feel like she knows what's best. Recently she started speaking about Olaplex and I sat up in my seat after hearing it was the product that assisted Kim Kardashian when she went platinum for all of 10 minutes at the start of 2016. It's a 3 part treatment that actually starts in the salon and only the last step happens at home. My hairdresser hasn't brought the first 2 steps in the salon yet, she wants to make sure it's worth the money first by putting it to the test on her own hair but she recommended giving Olaplex Hair Perfector Number 3 a go first.

The best price seems to be on Amazon but local salons might be able to offer you a discount in conjunction with the rest of the treatment. You'll soon realise that a little goes a long way so even though the 100ml bottle seems small, it'll last you for months. So, what is Olaplex and why are hairdressers and celebrities making a bit of a song and dance about it? It's a deep and permanent hair repair that uses a chemical mixed in with the colour to prevent hair breakage and damage. 

Number 3, Hair Perfector takes the treatment and protection into the comfort of your own home and is recommended to be used as a weekly treatment. I use it on a Sunday night, typically leaving it on for about 3 hours before washing it out. It gets massaged into wet hair then washed out after at least 10 minutes. If you've got loads of time on your hands you can leave it overnight and wash out in the morning. It doesn't take too much to get your hair, from root to tip, covered. I typically use a blob around the size of a 50p.

The results are quite amazing considering I'm only using part three. My hair feels thicker and smoother after every use. I don't know if it actually looks thicker but my hairdressers hair has gone from looking limp without extensions to looking healthier without. I think this might be a must have for blondies - it's a game changer.

Monsoon Rose Gold

I just want to start this review off by saying how perfect Monsoon have got this perfume set. The name, the packaging and the scent -it's a bloggers dream. Rose gold is so popular, you only have to look on Pinterest and have a quick flick through Instagram to see it's bang on trend (or check out my blog redesign).  I didn't realise Monsoon had fragrances and when I was sent this glamorous gift set I was instantly converted. 

Monsoon have one current scent (following the self-named Monsoon scent previously) and they've gone for an elegant scent with top notes of citrus, rich floral heart notes and decadent woods making a feminine, sensual scent. There's notes of lemon, mandarin, vanilla, musk and amber. Definitely a scent that you can wear day or night. It's not sickly sweet and I think it's probably best for 20 year olds and up. It's just a little too sophisticated to be a teen scent but a good balance of fruit and floral. I've been using it nearly every day for work and it doesn't take many spritzes to give me a long lasting elegant scent. One women at work even asked if I was wearing Jo Malone, that's a mix up I don't mind!

The bottle is gorgeous. A tear drop shape with rose gold details and clear lid. It looks sophisticated and expensive. The body lotion carries on with the colour theme and looks gorgeous in the white and rose gold gift box. If you were to give this as a gift at Christmas time I'm sure the lucky recipient would be impressed before could even open the box up. It's a classy looking bottle that would look lovely on any dressing table.

The set makes for a brilliant gift but the Eau De Parfum is also available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml bottles which is great for different budgets or those fussy people who don't use body lotions (I'm looking at you Mum). You can buy all 3 sized perfumes or the gift set online or in Monsoon stores. A lovely daily perfume that's got the luxury of high end fragrances with high street prices. What more could you ask for?

Have you tried Rose Gold yet? Have you got any fragrances on your Christmas wishlist?

Getting into the Christmas Spirit with Matalan

Last year was our first Christmas in our house. We were able to get our Christmas tree as part of a house warming present and buy one that was big and healthy looking, one that would last for years. When it came to decorations we wanted to get good quality ones to match with our almost real looking tree without having to spend a fortune. We soon realised Matalan had one of the best Christmas ranges on the High Street and everything was really affordable using a discount code. They've quite often got discounts and up to 1/2 price sales.My rule is no Christmas decorations before my birthday and with that coming up this week it's time to start thinking about getting into the Christmas spirit. I've browsed the whole Christmas section a few times over and here are my top picks from the range.
Knitted Santa Decoration
This little guy is so cute! It reminds me of the elves that are about for the Elf on the Shelf craze. This would look quite good perched on the shelf next to the TV or on a windowsill. I reckon I could get away with one of these in my classroom too!

Wooden LED Star
We've got a few different light decorations and this one has the right mix of winter and Christmas to look classy and not too over the top. I'm not sure where we'd put it but it might be nice on a side table in the hallway or to add a bit of sophistication to the Man Cave. Because it takes batteries you don't need to worry about it being close to a plug.

Wooden Tree Decoration
The baubles on our Christmas tree and a whole mixture of colour themed and individual designs. The bulk of the baubles are silver and sparkly but we've also got a few that tell a story - like our first year in our house, one from Las Vegas and New York. I'd quite like one for us getting engaged this year and the message on this one is quite cute.

Sequin Christmas Cushion
This cushion is so up my street. A bit of sparkle is a must have at Christmas time. I'd be either putting this on our bed or else in amongst all of the cushions on our sofa. 

How adorable is that penguin! These mugs are meant for children so as long as they're not tiny they'd be handy for a wintery hot chocolate or a warming green tea. There's a few different characters to choose from but this one would be allowed out from before the start of December.

This isn't strictly Christmas but it looks so cosy and warm. Our living room has a lilac and grey theme and I feel like these colours bring it all together. I wouldn't have to worry about tucking this away for the majority of the year either. Matalan do some of the best throws.

Do you have any Christmas decoration time-scale rules?
Do you have a colour scheme or theme for your Christmas decorations?

Feeling Poorly Pick Me Ups

It's officially winter, the season of coughs, colds and the flu. I've been struck by the cold over the few days and it's made me appreciate the little things that lift my mood and help me feel a little bit better. I caught the cold at the beginning of the weekend. I can't decide if it was lucky or unlucky. I was able to get an early night and spend nearly 2 full days on the sofa surrounded by tissues and my pick me ups. A waste of my weekend unfortunately but at least I wasn't having to struggle through work.

I love green tea and lemon anyway but when I'm ill I up the number of cups. Green tea is good for rehydrating your body, it contains phytochemicals which are meant to fight colds and the steam can ease inflammation. If you're struggling with a sore throat or cough adding a bit of honey helps ease a cold and coat your throat. A drop of whiskey makes for a hot toddy that might help your get to sleep.

The perfect accompaniment to being curled up on the sofa is having a candle burning. I don't have a fire in my living room so I love a Woodwick candle to get the same crackling noise that makes me feel cosy and content as though the fire is burning. I love this Cinnamon Chai candle because it smells warm and Christmassy, it's also strong enough that I can actually smell it even though my nose is completely blocked up.

Let's face it, you might not be looking your best when you're feeling ill, especially if you've barely had any sleep the night before. A full face of makeup isn't always the right solution, you might not have any energy to do it in the first place and it's likely to all disappear when you've got a tissue stuck to your nose all day. My essential is the Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer. It's great for under the eye, it's brightening and hydrating. My lips also react badly to a cold, instantly feeling chapped and sore. I've had my EOS lip balm by my side all of the time recently. The mint flavour is a favourite.

Now is the right time to crack out that bathbomb you've been saving. A warm soak in the bath is perfect for relaxing, unwinding and relieving a stuffy nose. It's also good for easing aches and pains. I'm normally a shower person but this weekend I've had a nice long bath with my ipad at my side for Youtube videos and Netflix galore.

When you're feeling unwell it's important to have plenty of fruit and veg for the nutritional value - the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep your body fighting. But when you're tucked up on the couch under blankets watching a film I find a few bites of chocolate is a much better snack for picking up your mood. Be careful not to go overboard... you don't want to be suffering with a cold and feeling sick!

What's your pick me ups for when you're feeling under the weather?

Madame La La Bronzing Ball

Madame La La is an indie beauty brand inspired by LA and the Hollywood lifestyle. It's best known for it's fake tans containing Coco water with celebrity fans like Blake Lively and Gigi Hadid. The latest innovation to their range of brands, and the one that brought this brand to my attention, is the Bronzing Ball. It's a multitasking cream bronzer, that can be used for contouring cheeks, lips and eyes, in the shape of a 180 degrees dome. The packaging makes it the perfect on the go bronzer (no makeup brushes needed) and the hydrating coco water and vitamin E ingredients make for an effortless delight.

Bronzing products aren't always going to suit everyone and having really pale skin it tends to mean bronzers are too dark or orange for me. Thankfully Madame La La have chosen the perfect shade to make this a natural looking golden brown rather than a harsh coffee streak. I've been able to use this to bronze during the day and achieve a healthy glow as well as contouring at night.

It blends like a dream, unlike some of the other cream and crayon bronzers I've tried recently. There's no point having a quick and handy bronzer if you're going to have harsh lines and look like a zebra. The bronzing ball has a lovely texture, it feels quite light on my skin, not at all heavy and suffocating. The coco water formula helps make it feel fresh and hydrating. I also love the coconut scent, if the Madama La La self tans smell like this I definitely want to try them out.
If you're looking for a natural looking bronzer for on the go then I'd definitely recommend checking out the Madame La La Bronzing Ball. You can get them from Look Fantastic and HQ Hair with free delivery.

TIGI Catwalk - Backstage Beauty

Hairtrade is getting ready for Christmas with a huge range of gift sets coming in at really great prices. There's loads of a brands to choose from but I can't resist TIGI whether it's the Bedhead, Dumb Blonde or Catwalk collections. I needed a new shampoo and the thing that made me choose this one wasn't the fact that it's for nourishing damaged hair (though that does help), it's because it's honey and oatmeal scented. Delicious!

So the shampoo scent didn't disappoint - it's smells great. As for the actual washing bit, this shampoo is really good. It's got honey, wheat protein and Vitamin, among other things, in it's ingredients list so it's great for nourishing dry and damaged hair. It leaves my hair feeling clean as well as soft and manageable. Definitely one to try out if you've got frizzy, heat damaged hair. It's also safe for colour-treated hair, so an added bonus. A little bit goes a long way and it lathers well meaning this is good value and one to leave your hair feeling fab.

The conditioner is slightly smaller than the shampoo but again, a good size for the price of the pair. There's similar ingredients in this with added coconut oil and wheat protein so it's got the same delicate fragrance but also works hard to smooth and repair hair. My hair feels soft and silky both in the shower, out of the shower and once it's been blowdried. Apparantly this conditioner helps protect hair from heat too. Thumbs up TIGI.

Apex Haymarket, Edinburgh

I love Edinburgh. It's an amazing city for a weekend away whatever the time of year. There's so much to see and do, whether you want to be a proper tourist and visit the castle or want to feel like a local and try out the fantastic places to eat. We went to Edinburgh for a little break recently and stayed in the Apex Hotel at Haymarket for the first time. The hotel was the perfect location for us, who know Edinburgh well and are up for a 20minute walk into the centre of Princes Street. It's also got great transport links as it's only 5 minutes walk from the Haymarket train station, it's got a tram stop right outside for heading into town or the airport and lastly there's a bus stop right on the door step. We were able to park our car in their little car park at the back of the hotel for only £8 a night which is pretty cheap and hard to come by in the capital city.

Small City Room
We booked direct through the Apex Hotel website and got an amazing deal. We paid less than £150 for our stay which is amazing for the location, the service and lets face it - Edinburgh in general. We had a small city room, and yes it was pretty small but there was plenty of space for the 2 of us to sleep, store our luggage, and get ready. Because we booked direct through the website we also got a £10 voucher to spend in the restaurant or bar which was a lovely added bonus! The bed was really comfortable with a good range of pillows. The duvet was really chunky which unfortunately meant I was far too hot on the first night but I soon learnt to leave the window open through the day to help make use of that cosy covers. 

Elemis Toiletries
The bathroom was lovely, a really good size with a powerful shower and the option of the bath. A real luxury if you've walked for hours across the city. My favourite added touch in Apex Hotels is the Elemis toiletries. You get a shampoo/conditioner, a bodywash and bar of soap. The housekeeping made sure these were always topped up too. 

The range of refreshments was that little bit more than you get from some other hotels with some bottled water tucked away in the cupboard and Galaxy hot chocolate. Normally I'd have to settle for a normal cup of tea but I was able to enjoy a green tea before bed with a little bourbon biscuit. Like home away from home. It's the little things, right? As for a breakfast pick me up we didn't need to worry about the coffee supply in the room because continental breakfast was included in the price of our 3 nights stay (amazing value, yet again). There was a huge selection of cereals, pastries, yogurts, juices and fruit. We also had tea, coffee and toast galore. We really didn't need anything more. The menu says it's £11 for the continental breakfast buffet and for £4.50 you can have a cooked breakfast dish like pancakes, omelette, full Scottish or porridge. We'd have just been greedy if we chose that!

Remember that £10 voucher? We went for a cocktail in the bar after a long day of shopping, trampolining and the cinema. We wanted a mojito but unfortunately they were all out of mint. I went for a Cosmopolitan instead and it was as good as it looks! We ended up paying £1 for both cocktails after spending the voucher. Fantastic. We never got the chance to eat in the restaurant at the hotel, except for breakfast, but the menu sounded good and from what we could see on other peoples' plates it looked good too. The bar had a really nice chilled atmosphere. We were able to watch tv, read a book, snack on the complimentary crisps or just relax on the big comfy couches watching the hustle and bustle outside.

I would highly recommend checking out the Apex Hotel at Haymarket if you're visiting Edinburgh for the first, or fifth, time. The staff were really friendly at reception and there was lots of information available about the city. You get the peace and quiet for a good nights sleep and have all the city has to offer just a bus, tram or short walk away.

Outfits of the Week: November #2

Jacket: New Look
Tshirt: Primark
Jeans: River Island
Boots: Primark
Necklace: Primark

Dress: New Look
Cardigan: Primark
Necklace: Primark
Shoes: Primark

Dress: Forever 21
Cardigan: Primark
Necklace: Primark
Shoes: New Look

Pinafore: Primark
Tshirt: Primark
Jacket: Primark
Boots: New Look

Dress: Primark
Cardigan: Primark
Scarf: Primark
Boots: New Look
Jacket: New Look

Winter Ready With Zaful

Is it just me or has the temperature dropped in the past few days? It's been feeling really cold both at work and at home. I keep wanting to wear big chunky jumpers, or even better wrap up in my pyjamas, dressing gown or onesie. I've spent my Saturday afternoon wrapped in a blanket, sipping on a Lemsip (go away horrible cold!) and browsing the website. There's so many cosy looking jumpers, wintery boots and on trend accessories. Is it too late to make birthday hints?

Health Worries When Travelling Abroad

Travelling can offer you so many different things. The chance to create memories that last a  lifetime. Providing you with perspective on your life and gratitude for all the things that are going great. But travelling has it’s fair share of dangers and health worries. When you don’t protect yourself in advance, you could end up causing yourself a ruined holiday or more severe health problems in the future.
Thankfully, some of the most common fears of travelling abroad are very well documented. You can protect yourself or at least prepare in advance. So I thought I would share with you some of the major worries many people have and a few tips on how you can protect yourself when traveling. I hope it offers you help and advice for your future travel plans.

 The zika virus
The zika virus has had a lot of media coverage recently. Especially with the growing fears of British athletes when heading to Rio for the latest Olympic Games. In a nutshell, the zika virus is a disease that is mainly spread by mosquitos. For most people it causes a mild infection and is harmful to the person. However, it can be quite serious if you are pregnant or have plans to have children in the future. It has mostly caused cases in the Pacific region, having reached Central America and the Caribbean.
There isn’t a vaccine you can take, but the guidelines is to use a strong insect repellent which will keep the mosquitos away. It might also be recommended to wear looser fitted clothes that cover your arms and legs.

Unless you are planning a cruise or a boat trip, seasickness won’t affect you. But it is such a common form of sickness now on these forms of transport that there are many ways you can combat those early signs and sickness warnings. The initial symptoms include pale skin, cold sweats, dizziness and of course sickness. You can get medication to combat seasickness or motion sickness as it is also known as. But some people are favouring wearing a seasickness band when traveling on a boat or cruise ship. Don’t let it put you off. If you want to steer clear from medications then consider keeping still, staying calm and getting some fresh air.

Malaria is one of the most serious threats to people travelling abroad and can be spread by mosquitos. It is really important to be aware of the symptoms as early detection of malaria can be life saving. These include a high temperature or a fever, headaches, sickness, sweats and chills. You can protect yourself from these mosquito bites by applying an insect repellent and covering your arms and legs at night. Some people prefer to take preventions tablets like malarone to protect against malaria.

Altitude sickness
Altitude sickness is more common than you realise and can happen to anyone climbing to a high point quickly. So if you are planning on taking a trip to the mountains then this might be something to be aware of. The most common symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness and exhaustion. While you can’t prepare in advance, you can go about your holiday making sure that you get use to altitude levels. Ensuring you give your body time to acclimatise.

Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that can develop in a deep vein in your body. More commonly in your legs. It can cause swelling and pain to the areas and can lead to further complications and health worries if not treated. Each year deep vein thrombosis can affect many people, and it is most commonly caused when traveling in the air. But you can contract this if you are pregnant, overweight or not moving for long periods of time. As it is common, it can be treated quite quickly by taking medication to thin the blood to avoid further clots. To avoid getting DVT in the first place it’s important to ensure that you have a healthy lifestyle. Exercising, having a good balanced diet and keeping hydrated are all known for reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Finally, a few years ago the ebola breakout happened in some of the further African countries. But it can still be a big risk for people travelling today. This is because you can come into contact with people who have been to affected countries no matter where you travel. Symptoms of contracting this disease include a high temperature, a headache and sore throat and muscle pain. While the chances are very slim these days it is still important to be aware of the risks. Make sure you check about whether the country has issues with the disease in the past.

Turn Your Home Into A Gym

We all know how difficult it can be to find enough time to exercise. There’s all the traveling to the gym, the getting changed and showered and so on. It can end up taking up the entire evening - not good.
Many people have rejected the gym in favour of trying to get fit at home by watching fitness DVD sets and following along. But keeping up with these is difficult, especially if they require you to follow a strict program.
So is there a solution to this pressing problem? Yes - just turn your home into a home gym. By doing this, you can exercise anywhere, anytime. Here are some non disruptive ways you can turn your home into a bona fide gym.

Do Pushups Off The Kitchen Counter
Waiting for something in the oven to cook? Why not take a moment to do a bit of exercise, there and then?
One exercise that is great at building upper body strength is the pushup. Diving straight into pushups, however, can be difficult. So the kitchen counter variety is actually a good place to start. Face your kitchen counter and place the palms of your hands on the edge. Then keeping your body straight and bending your elbows outwards, bring your chest toward the counter. Then push yourself back into the standing position. Keep doing this until you feel the burn. You can adapt the kitchen counter push up to make it more difficult by standing further away.
Use Pull Up Bars
It's hard to find ways to exercise your outer back muscles just using random objects in your house. That’s why most modest home gyms have pull up bars. These bars enable you to target the latissimus dorsi, just under your arms on your back. The cool thing about new pull up bars is that they don’t just facilitate pull ups. The also help you to do rows and dips, all with body weight. If you’re a beginner, this is good news. Pull ups are difficult and take a bit of practice to achieve. But working up to them is easier when you’re able to target a larger number of muscles in your upper back. You can even start with your body weight partially supported by your legs.

Chair Dips
If you want your arms to be more defined and toned, chair dips are a great option. Stand facing away from the chair, placing your hands on the edge of the seat. Then lower yourself down, onto your bum, with your legs flat out along the floor in front of you. Then use your triceps to push down on the seat to lift your bum back off the floor. If you’re doing the exercise correctly, you’ll start to feel a burn in your triceps after a few reps. Experts recommend doing this for 12 to 15 reps, but you may be able to do more.

Farmers Walk Around The Garden
When athletes are trying to get more conditioned, they’ll do something called the “farmer’s walk.” This is essentially where they grab two heavy weights and then walk as far as they can without dropping them. It’s unlikely that you’ve got two giant dumbbells sitting around your home, but you might have two buckets. If you have, fill them both up and start walking with them around the garden. This will strengthen your core balancing muscles, as well as your shoulders and back. Make sure that you keep a good posture while you are walking to avoid straining any muscles.
Do Step Ups On The Stairs
The stairs are a great way to build your cardiovascular fitness because they recruit some of the biggest muscles in your body. Doing step-ups on the stairs works your glutes and your legs, and quickly helps you to build up a sweat.
The legs are big muscles, designed to be used over an extended period of exertion. So when it comes to stair step-ups, aim to do between 20 and 30 reps per leg before switching. The workout will be quite intense but aim to keep going for a solid fifteen minutes. The next day you should notice your thighs and your glutes are sore.

Run Up And Down The Stairs
Not all of us live right next to a hill that we can go climb every day. As a result, most of us have to make do with our stairs. But it’s not all bad news. In fact, the stairs can be one of the best tools to help up get fit. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, walking up stairs burns three times as many calories as walking on the flat. Try walking up and down your stairs for 20 minutes before starting your exercise routine.