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  1. Since last year I’ve started going for a regular wax which (thanks to a friend’s suggestion) I call my ‘pits and bits’ wax!  I have an armpit and Hollywood wax every 5-8 weeks and I’m now pretty hooked.  Before now I shaved pretty much every day putting up with the discomfort of regrowth every week, the redness and itchiness.  I’ve never been a big fan of shaving, but thought waxing was quite expensive and probably pretty painful!  It is painful, but it’s not too bad.  Plus, my bits and bits are done in less than one hour and then I’m hair free for around one month.  I’ve booked a leg wax too before my first beach holiday this year which means I won’t have to worry about shaving and nicking my legs for a whole month! 

    As females we have lots of choices when it comes to the hair on our body.  Here are some of the female hair-removing options available:

    Your choices when it comes to female hair removal

    Au Naturel

    Yep, if you don’t want to remove it (and obviously you don’t have to) then go au naturel and leave it be.  It’s of course the most environmentally friendly way and will also save you a small fortune in your lifetime.  I do sometimes quite envy those woman who feel confident enough to let it grow and not care what anyone thinks of them.  Personally I’ve never tried it.  Well I kind of have when I’ve not shaved my legs or bits for a few weeks, but I prefer to be hair free.  I’d rather have no hair at all if that’s possible.  It may well be, see the last suggestion!

    Shaving

    Shaving.  Ah.  The bane of a woman’s life.  The nicks, the cuts, the stinging, the forgetting to take your razor when you stay away.  I’m not really selling this to you am I?  It does have its positives.  You can do it every day and catch the smallest hairs.  It’s also pretty cheap, but I’d recommend going for a mid-range razor as they leave the skin so much smoother and I find there’s less chance of nicking the skin.  You also don’t have to wait for the hair to grow back so you can keep your skin smooth all the time if you commit to shaving every day.

    Waxing

    My new best friend.  One that hurts a lot, but has great rewards!  It is pretty pricey, but for summer at least, it’s a great way to be hair free and not worry about shaving for an entire month.  That’s got to be worth it right?  Also, the hair regrowth is so much softer than when shaving.  It doesn’t itch or cause any redness.  It’s like baby soft hair!  I’ve heard that the more you wax, the less hair grows back, but I’m yet to see this.

    Hair Removal Cream

    Now I’ve only tried this once and I hated it!  I was pretty young at the time, but I remember the cream really smelling of strong chemicals and having to leave it on for ages.  The idea is to leave the cream on for a period of time, then wash it off along with all the hair.  I’m sure there are less smelly ones nowadays and hopefully more natural based creams available, but I found it quite chemically and ALL the hair definitely didn’t wash away.  I ended up repeating the process, then shaving.  I never tried again, but sometimes these things take some trial and error, so give it a go if you think this method sounds right for you!

    Bleaching

    Not something I’ve ever done as luckily, even though I have dark brown hair, the hairs on my face are really light.  I am starting to get the odd female beard hair though which I pluck out.  They’re quite sporadic on my chin, so perfect for tweezing out.  If I did have a lot of dark hair above my lip or on my face, then I would absolutely consider bleaching to cover them up.

    Laser Hair Removal at Pulse Light Clinic

    A much easier sounding hair removal option I have never tried, but would like to, is laser hair removal.  Pulse Light Clinic offer affordable laser hair removal in their Liverpool Street clinic based in London. 
    Laser hair removal is suitable for all skin types and starts from only £32 per treatment.  If you’re wondering how it works, then it’s probably easier I let them explain in their own words: ‘Laser hair removal works by targeting the hair follicle with laser light, this energy damages and goes on to destroy the hair follicle, thus stopping the follicle from producing further hairs. The laser delivers an intense beam of light, which is absorbed by the hair follicle whilst the surrounding tissue remains unaffected.’
    The dead hairs take 1-3 weeks to be shed and pushed out of the skin, then these hairs won’t grow again, giving permanent hair reduction.  Not all of our hair follicles are active at once, so several treatments are needed as the lasers only target the actively growing hairs.  You’ll need treatments every 4-6 weeks, depending on the part of the body being treated.  Then, you’re done.  No more shaving or waxing ever!
    It sounds amazing doesn’t it – a permanent solution to hair removal!

    I expect, like me, you have lots of questions about laser hair removal.  This helpful video answers lots of them:

     

    If you’re in or around London and you’re interested in laser hair removal, contact Pulse Light Clinic today for a free consultation:

    Liverpool Street Clinic - 0207 593 8055

    150 -152 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 6BB

     

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  2. Hair.  It's currently the bane of my life.  Since becoming a mum it's one of my lowest priorities and I usually just chuck it in a mum-bun each morning and I'm done with it.  That causes a big problem though.  My hair is breast length and though the strands are thin, there's lots of them, so it gets really tangled and matted.  As I'm quite lazy and just chuck it up in a bun, usually without brushing, it becomes such a tangle I have to get my husband to brush it out once a week or so!  Needless to say, I've booked a hairdressers appointment this weekend and I'm going to have around 5 inches chopped off.  I did this last year, but can't believe it was last July!  It feels like only a couple of months ago I had my locks chopped and I keep wondering why it's grown so quickly.  It's actually because it was 7 months ago Victoria.  Doh.  Pre-kids I'd spend ages washing, drying, straightening my hair every morning.  Now I just don't have the time.

    I do have lots of tips for those who have the time to take care of their hair and I promise I'll follow my own advice once the littles are a bit older and I have more time to myself!

    We all want to have long, luscious styled locks. We all want to be the person that our friends have serious hair envy over. However, if you are constantly fighting a battle with your hair because you feel it looks dull or dry, then it could be because you are making a critical mistake in your hair care routine. So, let’s take a look at some of the common hair mistakes that you need to stop making.

    Failing to buy hair products based on your hair type – A lot of people make the mistake of buying hair products and hair treatments with little consideration for the type of hair they have. Check this site out if you have fine hair. It reveals some of the best volumizing hair products you can use to achieve that bigger and bolder look you are seeking. If you have thick hair, then you will obviously want to stay away from such items and choose something more suitable for you. Shopping aimlessly is never a good idea when it comes to your hair. You need to understand the type of hair you have, and you need to understand what your hair needs.

    Jumping from hairdresser to hairdresser – Yes, it is advisable to switch hairdresser if you are not happy with your current one. However, once you have found a good hair stylist, stick with her. Cheating on your stylist is definitely bad for your hair. Once you find a good hairdresser, you develop a relationship with them. They get to know you and what you like, and they get to know your hair. We have all had that horrible experience whereby the hairdresser chops off way more hair than we expected. Such occurrences don’t tend to happen when you stick to the same hairdresser.

    Wearing your hair in a ponytail all of the time – Are you addicted to ponytails? It’s not hard to see why. After you have had a long day at work, it can be very tempting to put your hair in a ponytail and ensure it is out of your face. However, hair ties are not your friends. Remember this! You need to have a break from them, as they can cause serious breakages, which then results in frizz and flyaways. Why not make the switch to using hair clips instead?

    Applying products to your roots – Of course, this is not a mistake all of the time. There are some occasions whereby products are designed to be applied to your roots, for example, volumizing mousse or spray, or root lifter. However, if you are using serums, creams, and oils, you should focus them on the ends of your hair.

    Getting into a swimming pool with dry hair – Are you someone who goes swimming regularly? If so, do you always wet your hair before you go into the pool? If not, you are making a big mistake. When your hair is bone dry, it soaks up much more water than it would have if it had already been dampened. It’s just like a sponge! This means that your hair is going to be soaking up much more of the pool chemicals if you do not wet it before you get into the pool.

    Washing your hair too often – This is a mistake that a lot of women make. It is easy to assume that your hair needs to be washed on a daily basis, just like your body does. However, your hair is different. If you wash your hair each and every day, you will be doing it more harm than good, as you are going to be stripping it of the essential oils that it requires to be healthy.

    Using the wrong brush – Last but not least, your choice of brush is vital. You need to select the right barrel size and the right brush style based on your hair. The bigger the brush, the straighter the hair, the smaller the barrel, the more body and curl you will achieve.

    If you can avoid the hair mistakes that have been discussed in detail in this blog post, then you can get yourself well on your way to achieving beautiful, enviable hair. Remember, be patient! Your hair is something that needs a lot of nourishment and a lot of TLC. If you have made some hair blunders, it’s going to take a bit of time to put it right, but you will definitely get there in the end.

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  3. Running a business or working from home can prove a challenge at the best of times, but no more so than when the school holidays roll around.  We’ve just had half term and trying to work as well as look after the children is quite a test!

    Luckily I’ve managed to survive, even though it has felt super stressful at times, but I’ve managed to keep on top of my workload and make use of some local facilities to get work done.

    Here are my top suggestions for how to work from home successfully during the school holidays:

    How to survive the half term when you work from home

    Find local childcare

    Amazingly the very first nursery Reuben went to as a one year old offers a holiday club.  I’d never have thought nurseries offered school children care in the holidays, so it’s worth checking with your local nurseries.  This means I can put both Reuben age 2 and Bella age 5 in the same childcare.  They’re in separate rooms, but it’s so much easier having them in one place.  Reuben is still quite expensive, think nursery charges, as he’s only been two.  But Bella is less than half the price and a lot cheaper than the other holiday clubs I’ve seen advertised.  This was a great little find and will be so much cheaper once Reuben is school age too.

    Use soft plays with WiFi

    Most public places offer free WiFi so find activities that will keep your children entertained whilst you can get some valuable work done at the same time.  We have a smallish soft play near us which is suitable for both Bella and Reuben and they have reliable WiFi.  The children are happy, it gets us out of the house and I can get a bit of work done providing there are no dramas!

    Work early and late

    Ben goes to work pretty early at 7am so it doesn’t give me much time unless I get up ridiculously early, but if I’m swamped I sometimes get up at 6am to grab one hour of work in peace before Ben leaves and the morning madness ensues!  I try not to work late anymore as I used to do it all the time regularly staying up past midnight, but I find it makes me less productive for the next day or two and my most productive time is usually the mornings.  But, if it’s necessary then the beauty of working from home is being able to work at any time, so I can work late if need be.

    ‘Go to work’ when your other half is home

    If I have no childcare and it’s impossible to work in the day then I will ‘go’ to work as soon as Ben is home.  I’ll go to a café with WiFi and work for a few hours.  I usually do this around once per week anyway to get on top of work with no family or house distractions.

    Use your gyms crèche

    We are lucky to have a David Lloyd less than a five minute drive from our house and it has a crèche.  It’s been one of the best things we decided to sign up to last year.  Not only do they have a gym, but a large café and business lounge too.  The children can go for two hours a day to play and I can use the WiFi in the business lounge to work.  I already know it’s going to be a lifesaver in the summer holidays, both for me being able to work and the kids getting some valuable entertainment and other children to play with.  The only issue is you can only book ten days in advance so a space isn’t guaranteed, but as some extra care when they do have space it’s well worth the monthly fee.

    Mix up work and play

    If you’re trying to work on a project and the kids are climbing all over you and won’t leave you alone, then shut the laptop and give them your attention.  Play something together for half hour, then find an activity they can play with whilst you work.  If you know a project will take one hour, then explain this to your children then promise a trip to the park or a game in one hour.  Work for a bit, play for a bit.  Provide lots of activities for your children around the home to keep them entertained.

    If all else fails, use the TV or iPad!

    If all else fails and you desperately need to get some work done then pop a film on or let them play on the iPads.  I always feel guilty doing this as we see so much about limiting screen time in the media, but when I was a child I always had electronic games to play, both handheld and consoles, so I really don’t see the difference.  This is just the type of games that our children have access to now.  It’s no different to me sitting in front of the Sega when I was a child playing games, yet I don’t remember that being so frowned upon.

    So long as the children have plenty of entertainment and fun in the half term that’s all that matters.  As a work from home parent it can be difficult to find the balance, but hopefully these ideas of what I do will inspire you to find something that works for you too.

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  4. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to interior decor. But one thing we can all agree on is that sometimes you just need to switch it up. Owning a home is great, but it can eventually become a bit boring. You’ll spend your days looking at the same decor for years, so it is inevitable that the DIY demon within you is dying to get out. When you’ve got so many ideas flowing around your head about what you might like to change your interior to, it can be hard to know which is the right move to make. Below are some interior decor ideas for your kitchen and bathroom that are truly to die for.

    Image Credit

     

    Kitchen Ideas

    The kitchen is one of the most expensive, yet one of the best areas of the home to redesign. There’s a few routes to go down, but one that seems popular at the minute is the Hygge look. Hygge became really popular throughout the home last year. People were going crazy for it! It focuses on keeping things simplistic, which is what you want when thinking of kitchen remodeling ideas. Usually, everything would be kept in different shades of oak, which is something that looks great in the kitchen. Keep the walls nice and bright with a white colour if you can. It helps to draw the light in throughout summer and brighten it up on a dull winters day. If you’re looking for something a little bolder, try the marble look. This is definitely one that is more expensive, but some people prefer the lavish look. Marble look alikes will do just fine as a cheaper alternative. White marble floors are harder to keep clean, so try a darker black marble. For the countertops, white marble with dark cupboard fixtures will look perfect if luxurious is your thing.

    Bathroom Ideas

    The bathroom is really easy to make modern and luxurious. There are some truly amazing ideas circulating this year. It depends what you like with the bathroom. A lot of people aren’t bothered for a bath, whereas others couldn’t imagine their life without one in it.  It's particularly useful to have a bath when you have children, so factor this in if you have kids, are thinking about it or want to sell one day. If you don't want a bath, or have enough space, walk in showers are really luxurious and relaxing at the same time. One unique idea is a cave theme. Use stone look alike tiles to create the atmosphere. Then, have the main shower head above as a rainfall one with jets running all along the back wall. It's a luxurious spa inspired shower that you've got to love. So that the rest of the bathroom matches, try and get darker stone coloured tiles. If you’d prefer a bath, then the deeper sunk it is the better. Keep the walls tiled with dark grey tiles, with a white sink and toilet. Then the bath needs to be crystal white, with a waterfall tap flowing into it. The deep sunk style will leave you feeling so relaxed at the end of the day. The darker tiles help to give the bathroom a modern feel and they look great lit up with candles for a sophisticated bathroom look.

     

  5. OK so we all know you can buy almost anything cheaper somewhere else. The idea of a single price is now almost totally redundant. Where once we would go to a shop and take a price as the price we now search high and low online for a better rate. This is fine, it makes sense, but a trend that has developed alongside this is far less constructive; assuming a low price is good value.

    Why Buying Cheap is not Always Buying Value

    Value vs Price

    Lost cost is not always high value. Value is an almost unmeasurable thing that judges any given thing on how much use it is to any given person, family, group company etc. Something that is cheap that doesn’t work is not good value; even it that thing is free it is still bad value because it cost someone something to make it even based on the materials, plus it’s a waste.

    Low Price Home Items

    The idea of jumping on Amazon for a cheap tin opener or taking notice of massive low price adverts for a sofa is something we all do to one level or another, but it is creating a problematic environment in more than one way.

    Buy Cheap, Buy Twice

    It may be an old saying but it is almost always true. Two items that do the same thing, let’s say a dining chair may perform well initially. However, the cheaper chair is likely to be made of lower quality materials, built using less nails or glue to cut costs and more. The result… over a long period of time the cheaper chair will probably start to wobble and need to be thrown out. The more expensive chair, provided the company are genuinely good, should carry on for many years more. So the cheaper chair may have seemed like a great way to save money but it lead to the purchase of a second chair whereas the more expensive one lasts much longer.

    Small can be Good

    When thinking about buying things for the home try to look for smaller companies. Many of these will use more hands on manufacturing techniques and offer great quality and value. For example compare a chair from www.cheekychairs.com and Ikea. One is certainly cheaper by quite a long way. But one is also handmade by one person who is available to speak to anytime and will probably last a lifetime. The other is made in a huge factory and is probably only designed to last 5-10 years. The same could be said for https://www.indigofurniture.co.uk as a quality brand, even though it’s a little bigger, you pay more but proportionately more too.

    Cost!

    Not everyone can afford to buy expensive items, however this is not a situation of extremes. By just buying one price level up from the cheapest could be enough. This argument is not to say only rich people can have nice things, it is to say if we shop using other factors we might just get better value things for our homes. Spending more upfront can lead to spending less in the long run as products last longer and get more use.

    Waste

    It is not just the cost of buying a second item that is an issue here. The really big problem with cheap goods is the waste and use of materials. Recycling is common place, upcycling is too, but in many cases cheap items are so broken they need to be thrown away and some materials are not recyclable. This leads to not only wasted materials, but the use of more finite resources to build more cheap products.  It’s basically a lose-lose situation. 

    Who Wins?

    Well the businesses who sell things win. A lot of big companies do not want their things to last a lifetime. If they did then they limit the number of people they can sell to. By making cheap goods like home appliances, carpets and furniture they can be sure they will have people as a customer again in 5-10 years.

    Who Loses?

    Sadly the people who shop cheap because they can’t afford more expensive things are the worst hit.  They have the least money, but end up having to spend more over the years by replacing broken and ineffective cheap items. But shopping cheap is not just a habit of those who have to do it, nowadays it is also something most people do and so everyone loses. But the environment also loses and so do future generations.

    The Exceptions

    There is an issue in all of this that really is a problem. There are companies out there that charge lots of money and still make poor products. This is a very sad fact of business and can sometimes push people to buy cheap because they think everything breaks and fails anyway. Often these companies start out making great products but once the money starts rolling in they’ll upscale manufacturing and start cutting corners.

    This is an important discussion and something that we should all think about. Shopping for value is good, shopping solely on price can be very bad. Remember there is a difference and maybe taking a few more months to save up for that slightly more expensive dining table might well be worth it in the long run.

     

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