Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Tangle Teezer & Lush Haircare Review

So last weekend I decided it was time to give my hair a bit of TLC and it was time to invest in a few new products. Just as a bit of background, prior to this I was using a standard hairbrush, Pantene 2-in-1 Smooth & Sleek shampoo and conditioner and er, nothing else. I'm not one for fussing about with lots of products, or in fact, doing much with my hair at all. I ask it looks clean and nice, and is reasonably manageable. This last polite request I make of my hair, has been ignored rather rudely recently (it was also in need of a trim and a thin as well), hence my new purchases.

I bought a classic Tangle Teezer in Glitter Purple from Boots (£12), Jungle solid conditioner (£3), and Soak & Float solid shampoo (£5), both from Lush.

I'll start with the Tangle Teezer, and just start by mentioning that the standard RRP is £10.20, but I picked a purple one up, and paid £12 for the privilege of a different colour- something I only noticed after I got home - but even so, it's pretty comparable to other hairbrushes. But price aside, I pretty much love it. It's not completely painless, and you do have to pull pretty hard with some tangles (I do anyway), but with each brush, it feels like it is making a difference, even if you have to go through each section a couple of times. It leaves my hair feeling much lighter and thinner - without removing any of the body - and silky smooth and shiny.

The two main complaints I have with it are that, with thicker hair like mine, the bristles could be a bit longer, to allow you to comb more hair at once, and if it had a handle, or a grip, it would be a little easier to hold. You also still need a comb to make your parting, but other than that, I really love it :) It's a bit of an awkward shape, and it looks kind of weird, but you get used to both those things almost immediately. I've not picked up my old hairbrush since I bought it.

I'm a little less impressed with the Lush products. The shampoo is made using tar or coal products, so has a really awful smell, like cigarettes - not something you associate with Lush products - and leaves my hair feeling very dry, making conditioning essential (not something I tend to do every wash). I also haven't really noticed an improvement in my dry scalp, but I haven't been using it religiously, or for that long, so that might come yet.

(both images from

The solid conditioner is better, and leaves my hair smelling gorgeous and feeling quite soft and silky, but the product is a little hard to use because it's hard to judge how much you are putting on your hair as it is so light going on. I've also found that my block has started to separate into two pieces after not many uses which I don't like very much.

Overall the results of the two products is very similar to that of my previous Pantene shampoo, but much more time consuming and fiddly to use, so I doubt I'll be replacing it full time - although I might keep some Jungle conditioner to hand in case my hair needs some additional conditioning, or want my hair to smell extra nice, particularly since it's so cheap.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Trying to work out how to write about our trip to Edinburgh but I literally don't know where to start! It's obviously too much for one post, but how to split it up? Feels like so much happened over such a short space of time, but also, writing about it almost makes me feel sad in that it's a reminder that I'm not there anymore! I loved it so much, it feels so rubbish to be back at home, particularly since I woke up to a miserable grey rainy sort of day back here in Leeds :( Boo!

The best way I can think of is to split it between what we did, what I wore and what I bought (a LOT). 

For Hubby's birthday back in April, I bought 2 tickets for us to see The National - but since they were only playing the festivals and Scotland, we decided to take a little holiday. We'd spent a night there on our honeymoon (2 weeks in a mega-rural cottage near Dundee) last year, to see the Twilight Sad and Errors play at the Liquid Rooms - who were both incredible - and we just fell in love with the city.

The National were ridiculously fantastic, the best of the 3 times we've now seen them. They played a lovely mix of old and new songs and some of my absolute favourites and were pretty much perfect in their performance. The crowd on the other hand were very disappointing, although for the most part they were quiet and respectful of the band's show (nothing worse than people talking all through sets), no one really seemed to be getting into it, and barely anyone danced (Hubby & I showed 'em how it's done). The support band, Wye Oak were surprisingly brilliant too, a kind of dreamy shoegaze with power grunge choruses - think Beach House meets Duke Spirit - and we've since bought several of their albums and fallen in love.

Since we were in Edinburgh during the Fringe, we thought it would be rude not attend any events. We looked for a comedy show to go and see, and picked the Pointless Anger, Righeous Ire show by Robin Ince and Michael Legge based on the recommendation from a friend - a show where two men get very angry about things. Quite funny and very intimate with lots of audience participation and improvisation but not necessarily completely my cup of tea.

On the train up I spotted a review for a production of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, a wonderful book by Haruki Murakami - one of my favourite authors - and managed to secure some 'restricted view' seats for the same night for just £8. The review wasn't highly favourable, but familiar as we are with Murakami's styling (the stories meander and don't necessarily make much sense all of the time), we chose to ignore it. Having seen the play, I can say that the review isn't completely wrong, but it misses the point a little. It is very hard to follow the story, even if you know it, because so much is fantasy and dreamscape and it weaves between that and reality so often with no indication of where you are. The use of puppets seemed very bizarre to me in the beginning, but I grew to love it by the end - incredibly subtle and powerful. Small parts of the play were spoken in Japanese, with screens showing the translation, which I didn't dislike, but I struggled to watch the stage and the screens at the same time. We both really enjoyed it - despite almost falling asleep several times because the theatre was so warm! - and would definitely recommend anyone familiar with his work goes and sees it.

I would definitely be up for going back to the Fringe another year, or just, you know, moving to Edinburgh tomorrow.... Loved it!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Back to reality

Hubby and I are back from our mini-break in Edinburgh, unfortunately! Since being home we've been listening to the 1 Direction single 'What Makes You Beautiful' on repeat (we had it stuck in our head the WHOLE trip, but we didn't know the words!) and have been looking up house prices in the suburbs of Edinburgh. Literally, I would move there tomorrow without a single hesitation. It is by far and away my most favourite city of all the ones I have visited (most in the UK really) and I would seriously love to live there one day. It is such a beautiful place, there is so much stuff to do - particularly now with the festival on, but all year round too - and the people are so, so lovely (except for this one really rude woman on the bus this morning, but oh well). Argggghhh, too amazing. I want to go back right now!

I took about a million photos and went to a couple of Fringe events, as well as The National concert we based the trip around to write about, and all the lovely things I bought to show you, but that'll have to wait for another post since I'm exhausted. I think this photo is enough for now, sums up how I feel preeeety well I think.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Things that I am grateful for

Source: pinterest

So after that last post that was me being a little down-in-the-dumps, here's some reasons to be cheerful and thankful and feel like my little lot in life is actually pretty huge and wonderful.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Having a wonderful husband who is happy to pick up a paintbrush and do some D.I.Y whilst I have a laze with a book all afternoon - not exactly a fair deal but he didn't complain once!
  • Being able to afford to go on a mini-break to Edinburgh in the morning, we don't have much money, but we decided to treat ourselves and re-live a little of our honeymoon.
  • Being able to eat out at fancy vegetarian restaurants in Edinburgh - it's so rare to have such a wide choice of places to go to that cater exclusively for us. I'll be sure to take lots of photos.
  • Having a healthy nephew and sister-in-law - they're both home now :)
  • Finding that I owned the almost exact shade of purple nail polish that I'd been lusting over, lurking in the bottom of my make up bag :D It's a little old and gloup-y but it'll do for now.
  • Being on holiday from work for a few more weeks yet. I adore not having to rush to get up or plan a fancy outfit everyday. 
  • Having little treats on order in the post - a new notebook and a cute new necklace, because I deserve pretty things in my life
I should mention that I'm obviously so grateful for my health and my family and my love and my security, but those are general things, and this list of things are more specific to this moment, on this day. It's always good to remind yourself of the little and the big things.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


I'm having a bit of a funny day. I don't feel sad. I just feel very quiet and in a weird place between overwhelmed and underwhelmed with my life in it's current state. I'm just going to embrace this and see where my reflection takes me, so I don't really feel much like blogging today, even though I've got some topics I'm dying to discuss here.

So, I thought I'd just show you some pictures from last weekend, since I just got reunited with my camera again, complete with my freshly dyed red hair. I used Loreal's Perfect 10 in Light Auburn (i think), and apart from burning all my nose hair off with it's horrible smell, I really liked it as a product. I'd have liked to go a bit lighter, more ginger really, but I didn't want to bleach it first, so I'm satisfied.

I wore a H&M dress, teal Primark flats and my new hat. Oh, and I'm wearing Barry M 'Yellow' nail polish too. It accidentally matched my friend's cardigan perfectly!

Friday, 19 August 2011

A lack of

My past week seems to have been characterised by a notable 'lack of' (which is not to say I'm one of those people who are never content with anything, I'm really rather jolly most of the time, but this week has been fairly tough going).

(image via Pinterest)

The obvious one to start with is a lack of blog posting! Sorry guys, more of why that is later, but unfortunately also probably more to come unless I super knuckle down this weekend, since I'm of on a little jolly (holiday) next week to Edinburgh with my Hubby. We visited the city for a day during our honeymoon and fell in love with it. We're also there to see one of our ultimate favourite bands play, The National, so that should be dreamy too. Please let me know if you've any reccomendations for places to see and visit whilst we're there :)

The next, which has kind of caused the first, is a lack of sleep :( Since the weekend's (mis)adventures, where I didn't get to sleep until 5am on Monday morning - not because I was partying too hard (maybe a little), but because that's when the WWE event ended - and since then I've struggled to catch up. And anyone who's had more than one bad night's sleep in a row will know, it makes even the smallest task impossibly hard to cope with. So please give me your upmost understanding (but not pity, it wasn't that bad) when I say that I've had my in-laws up all week! And therefore a lack of time to post (and also a small dearth of sanity...)

I also now appear to have a lack of a voice, ack, so I will be downing pints of hot water and lemon today and will probably end up chain watching terrible girly films. I recently bought one featuring the Olsen twins that I'm almost, well, excited to watch :D

And finally, I also have a distinct lack of children to call my own (at the moment), which forever pains me -and yet another of my friends has fallen pregnant, the lucky thing - but I can now proudly call myself an Auntie! Baby Sebastian was born to my eldest brother and his wife, a healthy 7lb on Wednesday evening and I can not WAIT to meet him :)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

30 Day Journal Challenge - part 4

I'm getting there. Slowly. I struggled to think what to do with a couple of these, so was putting it off whilst I thought about them. The job one in particular was a real challenge but I'm really pleased with how that one turned out. Can you guess what they each mean?

Day 15: Needs & Wants

Day 18: Illustrate your job

Day 19: If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Day 20: If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?

Hopefully I'll finish it before the end of August and only be 2 months behind everyone else!

Hope y'all are having a great weekend. I'm off to a WWE Summerslam BBQ with Hubby later, super excited to see friends we don't get to see very often and maybe drink a little too much (it doesn't happen often) :D

Friday, 12 August 2011

My relationship with football

Tomorrow Hubby and I go to Doncaster to see his beloved West Ham play.
And to see this beautiful man...

I think it's fair to say we're both a little obsessed with Scott Parker (and this is my favourite picture of him so apologies if you've seen it a hundred times already). He really is an amazing player though, and a very beautiful man...

 I'm not a born and bred Hammer, but I like to think I'm getting there, since I don't have another team anymore... I've avoided talking about it up until now because, honestly, I was too upset. But the truth is, my football team, the one I've supported since I was about 9 years old when we used to go with my Granddad and have tea and biscuits and the team I saw through 2 promotions, 1 play-off final at Cardiff and er, well, numerous shall we say, relegations, Rushden & Diamonds of Irthlingborough town, are no more.

When our fancy man chairman left a few years ago, things started to go down the pan somewhat, what with the outflux of money to spend of bringing in new players and maintaining wages of the current players, but we held it together for a while, and even put on a reasonable display last season. However the club was essentially run into the ground and people needed paying and there was no money... So after a lot of court hearings and deadline extensions and "we-just-need-a-bit-more-time/money", (during all of which we were kicked out of the league and our ground was leased out to our local rivals!) it was eventually established that there was no money, and the club ceased to exist. 

All this is of course heartbreaking for me, but my real problem is, well, now who do I support? Like I said, I like West Ham and I'd be gutted if/when Parker leaves (just like I was gutted when Zola left), but they don't really feel like MY team. Not yet anyway. They're Hubby's team and I'm happy to go and watch them with him (although I would never, not ever, support his other team, Yeovil Town - fierce rivals of Rushden). 

Football is something I am SO passionate about, I feel at a bit of a loss emotionally without a club, especially now the season's starting again. I imagine that maybe one day, I maybe could feel as passionately about West Ham as I did about Rushden, but that kind of relationship is so many years in the making, and there's so much personal history and memories tied in that I just don't know - and that makes me so sad!

For now at least I guess I'll just have to fake it - Hammers are a pretty passionate bunch so I best get on with practicing my 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' and hope that maybe, one day, I will be... (ee, cheesy!)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

What I Wore: to get my haircut

Playsuit & Shoes: Primark
Tights: Sainsbury's

I got my hair cut today!

Unfortunately I took these pictures before and not after so you can't see what it looks like yet... Sorry! It doesn't look drastically different though, just a bit shorter and neater. I toyed with the idea of chopping it all off, but decided to save that another day. I recently got a new hairbrush (a Tangle Teezer if anyone's heard of them? I plan on reviewing it soon along with my new shampoo and conditioner that I bought last Friday) which has really helped me get to grips with my mane of hair (it is SO thick), making it a lot more manageable, which made me feel less like chopping it all off :)

I find getting my hair cut really stressful for some reason, so many years of bad cuts and having a too-short fringe for ages afterwards has made me really wary, and I was trying out a new salon today after struggling to find a new one after I moved out of York (where I had literally just found one I was comfortable with - I considered just continuing to go to that one, but it's not a practical journey to be making really). But I was really pleased with what they did and the price of it too.

I have grand plans to dye it over the weekend, just in time for a friend's BBQ, hopefully it'll work out or else I won't have time to fix it before hand!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

What I Wore

T-shirt: Tammy @ BHS
Skirt: vintage from Expressions, York (now closed down)
Tights: Primark
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

This is what I wore the other weekend, to do... erm... something that I can't remember now. Possibly pop to the shops, possibly to spend an evening round a friend's house, possibly both of these things. I'd like to blame my old age, but I don't think that will be a credible excuse for quite a while yet. 

This t-shirt is not as old as you might think/hope, because although I did used to shop at Tammy as a teenage girl (didn't we all?) I actually only bought it a few years ago, but I will not apologise for wearing children's clothing if a, it fits, and b, it's as awesome as this t-shirt is :D

Monday, 8 August 2011

My busy busy weekend - part 2

In pictures! I thought a nice collage would be nicer than a long long post of pictures. Click through to make it bigger. We were trying on silly hats in the gift shop, but I liked mine so much I bought it! (Well, I actually got treated by my Dad... Thanks Pa!).

The blue dress was one of my new purchases from H&M - really, really please with it, it's lovely.

Had a very very lazy day today. It was glorious. Hubby and I are just catching up with the riots on the BBC - awful stuff :( I hope no one reading has anyone affected by it.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

My busy busy weekend - part 1

Ahhh. It is SO nice to come home after a busy weekend away from home. Back to a steady internet connection and mobile service, back to the cats and their cuddles, back to endless cups of tea in familiar mugs, back to my bed!

(image via Pinterest)

Having said all that, I have had a lovely weekend, and I took about a 100 photographs of various things, which I am dying to share with you all, but my camera battery promptly died on arriving home, so those will have to wait until tomorrow I'm afraid.

Some notable things which happened are:

  • I went shopping in Leeds and bought about a million things, including some lovely dresses from H&M (but none of the ones I posted about) which I will show you ASAP because they're gorgeous, some new beauty products which I am super excited to try out and will review once I've got to grips with them, lots of multicoloured tights (to stock up for winter) and a new Nigella cookery book :D
  • Hubby and I had a dinner date at Wagamamas, and then went to see the new Harry Potter film (for the second time...) I didn't cry quite as much this time around, but still a bit. What really REALLY bothered me though was half way through I realised DanRad has BLUE eyes, and not only that, but his mother has BROWN eyes. When the most defining part of his appearance (other than his scar), is his GREEN eyes, just like his mother. I couldn't get past that at all. Can't believe it's taken me 8 films and hundreds of viewings to notice. Why not just give him contacts??
  • I got Twitter! I always said I never would, but I decided, that since I started this blog, it would make sense to have a forum to communicate with other bloggers, rather than just through comments and stuff, so feel free to 'add' me on there or whatever - I'm still getting used to the terminology and how it all works so bare with me.
  • I went cycling in Derbyshire with my Hubby, Dad and one of my brothers. We cycled about 26 miles on Saturday, and now I can't bend one of my knees :( We also got caught in a rain storm and couldn't be bothered to put our macs on so just got soaked.
  • We stayed in a super nice B&B which had his&hers towelling robes and slippers, homemade cake upon arrival and a huge DVD selection to borrow from - we picked Inception since neither of us had seen it. Not overly sold by it. Very engaging definitely, but the ending was a bit of a cop out/predictable. I liked JGL in it though.
  • Today we went to the Chatsworth Estate and looked around the gardens there and took lots of silly photos. Hubby and I played Marco, Polo in the maze to help each other find the middle. That's just how we roll :D
  • We then had a look around the yummy estate farm shop (as featured in yesterday's Independent as one of the 50 best in the country - oo er). We got some tasty vegetarian deli bits - a slice of pie and a fancy pasty - that we're going to have for our tea.
  • Found a pub to watch most of the West Ham match in (Hubby supports them so I do by proxy since my football team no longer exist... I'll explain that another time). We were doing so well but just failing to convert. Cardiff scored in injury time, just after we left :( Well that's what will happen if you don't sign a decent striker to a team without a decent striker (or defense, but let's not get into that right now).
  • And then we got the train home and collapsed!
Phew! Early bedtime for us tonight.
I started my summer holidays from work on Friday (hence my day of leisure), so luckily I can have a completely lazy day tomorrow to recover, poor Hubby has to go straight back to work :( My aims for the week are to organise getting my hair cut and go to the library. I think I can cope with that :D

Thursday, 4 August 2011

What I Wore: on an even sunnier summer's day.

Soundtrack: I'll Make A Man Out of You - from the film Mulan 

This weekend was ridiculously hot. Too hot to do anything other than sit out in the garden - I was only out for about an hour, at like 5pm, but I managed to get quite a pink tinge going on in these photos. That's how sunny it was.

Cardigan: vintage, eBay
Playsuit: George @ Asda
Shoes: H&M
Sunglasses: Primark

I can see me-buttoning-up-my-cardigan easily becoming my go-to shot, I feel pretty self-conscious about what to do with my hands in pictures, so it's nice for them to have something to do (I tried 'the triange' with hilarious results that are not fit for public viewing, sorry).

In all honesty, I didn't wear this cardigan for a second longer than it took to take the photos. Too hot! What do you wear to keep cool?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Currently obsessed with...

Nigella Lawson!

(Art print by Artylicious, totally amazing right? It's going on my wishlist) 

I tell a lie of course, because I am always obsessed with Nigella - I literally worship at the church of Nigella, anything she says, I'll do, she tells me to put marmite (which I hate) on spaghetti, I'll put marmite on spaghetti, AND I WILL ENJOY IT.

I do not have words for how much I adore this woman, her TV shows are a joy to watch, and her cookery books fantastic reads. Literally, ignoring the recipes, which are obviously very good, her books are just that, books, you can read them, not just dip in and out for the recipes, her writing style is glorious and she's so cozy and friendly and down-to-earth in her style. I'm gushing I know, and I know a lot of people think she's a bit too obsessed with the pomp and sex of cooking (her programmes are definitely a bit PG-13), and her latest books are full of pictures of her licking spoons seductively and wearing close fitting sweaters, but to you heretics, I say, go back to her first cookery book, before she had TV shows and all the rest, back when she was a skinny 30 something who looked like she smoked 50-a-day and possibly had a drug problem (not that I'm condoning either of those things but she looks like a total bad-ass in the ONE picture in that book) and the writing style is still the same. But to be honest, I adore all the glossy pictures and find her later books easier to follow in terms of walking through the recipes and finding new meal ideas.

Sorry that this post is so gushy, but I am all about the Nigella (with a little Nigel Slater on the side). 

(Seriously, ALL about the Nigella)

Who are your favourite chefs/cookbook authors? Are you as obsessed with Nigella as me (unlikely)? Are you, heaven forbid, a Delia kind of girl?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


(image via Pinterest)

Hello all,
excuse the lack of posting please - I'm having a few "internet-free" (more like lite than free, but shh) days. Hanging out with my husband and just enjoying being away from the computer. I'll be back soon if you can bare with me - I feel like I spend my days chained to this thing so it's been pretty refreshing to not be on it all the time.

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