All About ME! · Review

Review: Salon Confidential Hair Extensions.

I need to start this review by telling you that I don’t have a very good relationship with hairdressers. I think it started when I was 13 and I decided that I wanted to have a funky, cropped hair-do. My hairdresser failed to tell me that a) a child with a head like a basketball will not ever look elfin, even with a crop and b) a person with not one, not even two, but THREE crowns at separate places on their head, is never going to be able style short hair. You’ll look less like this:

And more like this:

Which is quite appropriate really, as the lads from the boys’ school adjacent to mine called me a Russian shot putter for at least a year after I had that haircut.

Then there was the time that I got given a voucher for a really expensive hairdressers, came out with an awesome ‘do, only for it to never ever be styled the same again. This was in the days before we all had hair straighteners and whatnot, and giving a hugely impractical hair cut to a schoolgirl who has to be up at 6am to catch the bus for the 15 mile journey to school just seems cruel.

So, I’ve stuck to one simple haircut over the years, and aside from changing the colour occasionally, and maybe switching up the length a little every now and again, I’ve found my formula and I stick to it. But this doesn’t mean I don’t crave that gorgeous swishy, glam hair that everyone seems to have these days, the lustrous tresses that tumble over their shoulders like a keratin waterfall…too much? Okay.

So when the lovely people at Salon Confidential approached me about trying out their clip-on extensions, I almost bit their hands off! I was given a choice of styles and colours, and went for ‘Volume Wave’ in Mid Brown with Lightened Tips. When I first got them out of the box, I was a bit worried about how they’d all go in, but there’s a handy little leaflet inside with a clear diagram showing exactly which clips you attach to which parts of your head, (there’s also an even more comprehensive guide on their site) and once I’d got them all in, they felt really secure, much to my surprise. And I have to say, I really did feel seriously swishy and glam, even standing in my bathroom at 10am!

Here’s some of the blurb from the site:

1. Can I put Heat on my extensions?

NO!!! The purpose of our Salon Confidential range is we have done the hard work for you, therefore they are not heat proof and you will spoil the salon finish on the extensions.

2. Will my hair be difficult to style?

We have done the hard work for you, most clients struggle with tongs and curling their hair, or getting real volume into their own hair, even straightening to a superb glossy finish is difficult to do on yourself, salon confidential have taken all this into account and done it all to salon finish, for you to use at home.

3. What happens if my extensions get tangled?

Don’t worry all hair tangles and these are no exception, so simply brush the extensions from the ends in a downward motion, working your way up to the top, the tangles will come out easily and the shine will be restored.

So, in the spirit of full disclosure, here are some pics of me in the extensions. Please be aware that early mornings and bright sunlight are not at all flattering, especially to someone with rosacea!

I know, the pictures aren’t great, but trying to photograph yourself while a two and a half year old is emptying your make-up bag and painting herself with eyeshadow is not ideal!

If you’d like to get your hands on some of these extensions, you can go to the Salon Confidential website and have a look through all of the different options, and I’m certain you’ll find something you like! I’ll definitely be doing a much better job of putting them in wearing mine next time I have a night on the town, the whole effect made me feel totally different about myself, and that’s never a bad thing is it?

No payment was received for this review, however, I did receive one set of Salon Confidential Clip-in Hair Extensions to review and keep.

A Right Royal Idiot.

I’ve been steering clear of the internet today, specifically Facebook and Twitter. I simply cannot be arsed to get drawn into some petty debate about how William absolutely deserves to have a fuck-off great big wedding, paid for by the serfs, because he does a bit of charity work. But then I thought, hey, I can write it all on my blog, where I don’t have to listen to the flag-waving, jingoistic bullshit that’s been grinding my gears all day.

Let me preface the next few paragraphs by saying this; I’m really happy for William and Kate and hope they have a long and happy marriage. Congratulations.

But they aren’t the ones I’m pissed off with. I’m pissed off with you. Yes YOU. The idiots who slept on the streets all night, despite having a perfectly good hotel room, so they could get a good view of the Royal precession. The people who keep telling me it’s unpatriotic of me to feel a little cynical about today’s events (One of Husbands friends got it spot on today when he said something along the lines of ‘standing in the street, cheering for people who are richer than us doesn’t make you patriotic’) The people who went to London dressed in wedding dresses to show their support.

I’ll give it to the Royals, they’re clever bastards (that’ll be all the private education WE paid for…). Here’s what they’ve done. They’ve organised the biggest wedding in Britain since simpering halfwit David Beckham married the soulless stick insect, whilst the country is in a recession and scraping by the best they can. They’ve organised a massive party, sent us the bill, then told us we can’t go (someone far cleverer than me said that, but I can’t remember who it was).

And then, if that wasn’t bad enough, they’ve deigned to allow us a day off of work, in the form of a bank holiday. Yes, that’s right, a BANK holiday, the banks, those fuckers who got the country in this state in the first place. I could add far more, like how every single person in that chapel was dripping in jewels and designer outfits that they probably didn’t have to pay a penny for, just because they’d be seen at the Royal Wedding, but I won’t.

And are we, as a country, outraged and revolting against the injustice? No. We’re standing in London, WAVING FUCKING FLAGS! We’re watching it on not one, but two TV channels, our kids are even treated to a Pingu wedding special on CBeebies.

So no. It’s not the Royals I’m pissed off with. It’s all of you. Because if the Royal Wedding had taught me one thing, it’s that people are idiots.

Opinion · Parenting · Personal

The Weaker Sex?

We had a visit from my Dad last week so that he could drop off Sausage’s Easter egg, and while he was here we got onto an interesting topic. Sausage was playing happily with her toys and my Dad mentioned that he knew a kid who wouldn’t be allowed to play with pretty much any of the toys that Sausage has, because their Mum doesn’t believe in gender specificity. At first I agreed, it wasn’t so long ago that I decided to boycott Early Learning Centre as I was trying to get a doctors set for Sausage and found that the catalogue showed a boy in a doctors coat, and only a nurses dress. Don’t even get me started on the boys only construction outfit, or the one and only male doll on their website…

Though, the more I thought about it, the more confused I became about the whole issue. On the one hand, it makes my blood boil to think that Sausage may feel limited to certain roles because of her gender and that large corporations are basically programming them as such from such an early age. On the other hand, at this age, children learn from what they see so if they see Mummy in the kitchen or doing the ironing, it’s only natural for a little girl to want to emulate this.

I know plenty of little boys who would be forbidden from playing with girls toys, such as dollies or toy household equipment like irons and vacuum cleaners, as their parents (predominantly fathers) would be worried that this may make their sons turn out to be sissies, or even have a bearing on their future sexuality, but really all we’re teaching them is that ironing and hoovering is womens work and that a ‘real’ man has no place getting involved in housework. How negative is that? Sausage has many toys which could be construed as ‘girls toys’, such as a play kitchen, dolls, pushchairs and a cleaning trolley, but she also has a healthy smattering of cars, building blocks and trains too.

I think it’s a very fine line. When I first started blogging, I remember reading a heartfelt post about how one bloggers’ son had wanted to go to a fancy dress party dressed as a female TV character and about the opposition she had faced from other mothers for allowing this. If I’m honest, I still don’t know where I stand on this, on the one hand if Sausage said she wanted to go to a party dressed as a male character I’m sure I’d let her, but on the other hand I think there is a very fine line between allowing self-expression and confusing your child, or worse still leaving them open to bullying. So should we be rigidly maintaining gender roles in terms of dress, but smashing pre-conceived ideas of who does what, in terms of toys and play?

Difficult, isn’t it?

All I know is, when I was talking to Sausage the other day and asked her “Do you want to be a superhero when you grow up?” and she replied “I can’t be a superhero, Mummy, I’m a girl“, my heart broke into a thousand pieces. I don’t know where she got this idea, and I’m by no means a delicate female who lets Daddy do the dirty work. Not to mention the fact that one of her aunts coaches a boys’ football team, and her great-aunt could strip and rebuild an engine better than 97% of the males I know, so she isn’t short of a strong female role model or two!

For now, I’m going to take things as they come and each time an issue arises where she thinks that being a female renders her incapable of doing something, I’ll be trawling the net for examples to prove to her than woman CAN do anything they want. And by the same token, so can men.


Normal Service Will be Resumed Shortly…

I’ve been looking back at my blog and it’s occurred to me that, over the last few months, almost everything I’ve posted has been a meme, guest post, sponsored post, review or announcement about something else, and whilst it’s all really important and great, I feel like I’ve lost sight of what I started this blog for, which was as a personal outlet and place to use as an overspill for all of the things that are swirling around in my head.

My life has got considerably busier in recent months with family, work, writing and my other online commitments, and sometimes I feel like I’ve got my computer on my lap from the moment I open my eyes until the moment I go to sleep. One of the downsides of working from home is that I don’t have set hours, which means that unlike most people, I don’t switch off at 5.30pm and leave it until tomorrow. This means that something has had to sit on the back burner, and it’s been Mum’s the Word that’s taken the fall. Having said all of this, I am really happy with how things are going at the moment and am actually so shocked that my life has changed so much, from just one little blog post back in October. I’ve met some amazing people and made some friends who I wouldn’t be without, as well as having so many doors of opportunity opened to me. I actually feel very blessed.

While there will be memes, sponsored posts and reviews in the future, I’ve decided to stop neglecting my personal posts, and will resume normal service from now on.

So, who wants to hear about how sore my arse is, after 40 minutes on the exercise bike…?!


JoJo’s So-Called Friends

I got a rather mysterious tweet from the lovely JoJo over at JoJo’s So Called Life this morning, asking me to look at a link. So I did and realised she was inviting me to join in with her brand spanking new linky called JoJo’s So Called Friends. The basic gist of it is that we all write a post about our friends and link up once a fortnight to share our stories.

This couldn’t have turned up at a better time because it just so happens that today is the birthday of one of my very best friends, one Ms. Sally Durant.

Photo totally stolen from Gary Sackman. Thanks Gary!

Sally and I met at school, and have had some AMAZING times together. Over the years we’ve laughed, cried, acted like total twonks together, and just generally made the most of each others company. We’ve also performed in a few school shows together too, but I’m hoping those pictures will stay buried! (*aahem* Gina G? Pans People?!) I’ll never forget the time when Sally was pregnant that we stood in the middle of a make-shift nightclub that someone had set up in the basement of their house (and were charging FIVE QUID to get in, if I remember rightly?!) and did the pregnancy dance, which basically just involved putting your arms in the air and wiggling around in a circle! (Probably a lot funnier if you were there, but trust me, it was a hoot!)

Then there was the entire summer where we spent every weekend, driving up and down Southend seafront in my car with Sally’s gorgeous daughter in the back, listening to The Outhere Brothers and other such classics!

When Sally went into labour with her daughter, I spent the entire time texting and ringing for updates, waiting to hear that everything was okay, and the first time I held Emily, I was so proud of Sally for creating something so beautiful. She’s still beautiful, and Sally should be SO proud of herself for raising such an intelligent, sweet and kind little girl.

There’s so much more I could say, so many memories to share, but I think I’ll save those for another day, and just leave you with this. Which is, I should add, SOOO NSFW!!

Love you Sal, happy birthday babe x