Fashion and Style · Health

Hair – Five Ways to Care for Your Mane

How to Care for your Hair
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

For a lot of us, our mop is something we take for granted. It’s there, on the tops of our heads, an we don’t think about it much beyond washing it and getting it cut occasionally. However, for some people, hair can be a problematic issue and it can cause problem with self esteem. With that in mind, I’ve put together a few tips for things that you can do to look after your mane, to keep it in tip-top condition:

Invest in Good Products

You might be tempted to go for the cheapest shampoo and conditioner you can find, and you wouldn’t be alone in this, but investing in good quality products like Nanogen hair products will help to ensure you’re not using unneccessary chemicals which could damage your hair in the long run. The issue with cheaper products is that they may leave your locks in worse condition due to harmful chemicals that strip the hair of its natural oils.

Use Protection

There are so many things that damage your hair on a day to day basis, from the UV rays of the sun to your hair straighteners, so using some form of protection is essential. Get yourself a heat protection spray for use before styling your ‘do, and find a good UV protection product for daily use. The absolute best way to protect your hair from the sun, besides completely avoiding it, is by wearing a hat or cap.

Think About Brushing

While we were once advised to do the whole “100 strokes before bedtime” thing, the current wosdom suggests that you should be brushing your hair twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. This prevents matting and keeps the natural oils of your head distributed evenly through your hair. You should also buy a good brush – a mixture of mylon and boar bristles is currently thought to be the best combination to keep your hair strong and healthy.

Treat Yourself to Weekly Treatments

If style your hair with heat, you will already know the benefits of using deep hydrating treatments to replenish any lost moisture. The same effect can also be achieved by using an oil high in vitamin E, such as olive or avocado oil. To get the best results, gently warm the oil in a pan on a low heat and apply to your whole head. Wrap in a warm towel and wash out after fourth five minutes. The heated oil allows it to be more easily absorbed into the cuticle, boosting its effective qualities.

Turn the Shower Down

Rinsing your head with cold water helps with closing your cuticle after your hair is washed. Open cuticle is good while shampooing or conditioning your hair but after you’re done, you want to seal the cuticle. This way, your hair doesn’t get damaged too easily. If you use cold water for your final rinse then there’s a much better chance that your tresses will stay shiny, healthy and frizz-free for a longer period of time.

Business · Work

How to Make Your Home Office Feel Secure

Feel Safe in a Secure HomeWorking from home has many advantages, but it can be difficult to separate home from business. If you have an office in your home, you might worry about security, especially if you keep documents containing sensitive information, cash or payment details. With new GDPR rules in place, it’s even more important to protect your client’s information, or you could land yourself a hefty fine. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about some ways to make your home office feel more secure:

Barriers

Having barriers from Barriers Direct across your driveway might not stop people from coming onto your property, but they’ll give a clear sign that security is on your mind and that you want to keep a line between yourself and the outside world. They also stop people using your driveway as a turning circle, which can be very annoying if you live on a busy main road.

Lights

Exterior lights are proven to be a deterrent to people coming onto your property for nefarious reasons late at night, but they also give you an extra feeling of safety if you come and go when it’s dark. Use a selection of carefully placed lights to give you illumination in all of the areas you’re likely to use, once the sun goes down, for the ultimate feeling of safety, but be mindful of lights which might shine into your bedroom if a cat wanders past!

Get a Dog

While I’m not suggesting you have a team of German Shepherds patrolling your perimeter, dogs can really help to make you feel secure in your home office. When Sausage was a baby, Husband worked nights and having Chuck there made me feel so much safer as he’d let me know if someone so much as breathed in the direction of our home!

Camera ACTION

You’ve probably seen headlines about burglars being foiled by security camera footage. This is one home office security solution that works as both a deterrent and a means to get justice. You can get security cameras that are part of a complete home office security system, or you can use cameras that work on their own. Whichever way you go, we recommend using a security camera with a mobile app, so you can see footage in real time and store it if you ever need to go to the police.

Get a Safe

If you’ve got things in your house which are of serious worth, installing a safe might be a good way to feel more secure about your belongings. Safes can be good for keeping company records and payment information safe, too. If anyone does manage to break into your home office, it will be a lot more difficult for them to steal anything of value, and in a lot of cases, having a safe can make your contents insurance premiums go down. Make sure they’re installed by a reputable company and think about going for a safe which has two separate locking mechanisms for an added layer of security.

What do you do to ensure you feel safe and secure in your home office? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Interiors

Make Your Home a Little More Nordic

Make Your Home a Little More NordicThere’s been a huge trend for Scandi home styling for quit some time now, with hygge, lykke and fika all becoming part of our vocabulary in recent years. I don’t know if it’s the time of year, with the leaves starting to brown and jumpers coming out of the wardrobe, but it got me thinking about those Scandi trends and how we could make our home feel a little more Nordic, without making major changes. Here are some of the things I came up with:

Go White

You might not think of whte floors and walls when you think about being cosy, but actually, whiteness is a staple of Nordic home design, with many opting for clean white walls and adding in splashes of colour elsewhere. This is because they winter months are long and dark in Scandinavian countries and white walls reflect the light as much as possible. Light grey can also create a sense of cosy in a room, particularily if there is enough light in the home.

I Love Lamp

No Nordic home is complete without a lot of lamps. As above, the winter months can be really gloomy, especially as you go further North, with some places seeing no daylight for weeks on end. Creating a lighting scheme which can be bright when you want it to be, as well as being cosy and muted when you feel like it, is super important to get the Nordic feel.

All Natural

Scandinavians have a great appreciation for the outdoors and nature is reflected in much of their design choices. Décor, artwork and materials often represent the nature of the Nordic region. Wood is abundant in most Scandi homes adding a coziness that compliments and warms the usually white walls and light floors. You will often find sheepskins and reindeer pelts on chairs and floors as well as plants and flowers or even branches brought in from the outside.

A Splash of Fun

While you’ll find a lot of muted colours and sleek lines in Scandi design, there’s always a splash of colour and a hint of fun in there somewhere. Be it an accessory in a bright, wild colour or a set of cushions with a fun geometric print, it’s not all serious. Don’t be afraid to use clashing colours or oversized items like clocks and mirrors to make the room feel lively and vibrant.

Mix and Match

One thing you’ll notice about most Nordic rooms is that it’s not all matchy-matchy. You’ll find things make from wood, plastic, metals, fabric, all in a variety of colours and shapes. You’ll find ultra-modern furniture sitting alongside antiques and you’ll find hard surfaces and straight edges softened with fabrics and textiles. In Nordic homes it is not unusual to find and interesting mix of expensive classic pieces with more affordable designs – Scandinavians know the value of good design in their homes and will often save up for that one iconic piece that will give them great pleasure, rather than spending on smaller items which are ultimately disposable.

Happiness · Health

5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp

5 Ways to Keep Your Brain SharpI don’t know about you, but I feel that with each child I’ve produced, a little bit more of my brain has dissolved. That’s not to blame the kids, but I used to be sharp as a tack and it feels like years of sleep deprivation, remembering 101 appointments and events, plus a healthy dose of kids TV has turned my brain to mush. I struggle to concentrate on basic stuff these days and recently it’s been bothering me. I’ve been trying to find mew ways to keep my brain active – here are a few things I’ve come up with:

Typing Games

Because of my job, I do a fair bit of typing and my typing speed as massively improved over the years. However, I do most of it on autopilot, without actually thinking too hard about it. However, when I play a typing game, my fingers move over the keyboard but I have to think a lot harder about the connection between what my eyes are seeing and what my hands are doing, which seems to give my brain a real jolt.

Learn Something

While I’m not in a positon to study formally at the moment (that OU degree is still out there, unfinished!), I try to learn just one new thing each day. Even if it’s looking up the definition of a word or Googling something about a person or a place, storing new data is one of the best ways to keep your brain fresh.

Grab a Coffee

This one was MUSIC TO MY EARS when I found this out – studies suggests a caffeine habit may protect the brain! According to several studies, two to four cups a day may decrease the incidence of Alzheimer’s by 30 to 60 percent. It is unclear whether the benefits come from caffeine or the antioxidants found in coffee and tea, but either way, I am FULLY on board!

Challenge Yourself

I think one of the reasons my brain is feeling dormant is because I don’t challenge myself enough. My life, relatively speaking, is too easy, and like any other muscle in your body, the brain needs regular challenges to help it to stay on top of it’s game. Choose an extra hard crossword or bingewatch some University Challenge as a starting point.

SLEEEEP

Another suggestion that I like the sound of is making sure you get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can cause a real brain fog which makes it easy to function on any normal level. When we don’t sleep proteins build up in the brain which literally make it hard to think and learn new things. Sleep hygeine is important too – try to make sure the room is dark and resist the urge to use your phone too clase to bedtime.

Environment

Small Changes to Help Cut Your Carbon Emissions

wind farm producing low carbon energyOne of the things that I’m really conscious of is the carbon footprint of our household. Because we live so remotely, I have to drive everywhere, and I do feel guilty about the amout of carbon emissions I’m putting out on a daily basis. As much as I’d love an electric car, it’s just not in our budget to invest in one, so I have to think about other small things I can do to reduce our output as much as possible. Here are a few ideas, if you want to do the same:

Stop Driving Everywhere

Okay, so I know I literally just said that I drive a lot, but I have no choice when it comes to the school run. However, when it’s not absolutely necessary to drive, I do try other forms of transport, such as getting a bus or train. I’ve been thinking about investing in one of the fab adult tricycles from Jorvik to help me get around on days when I want to leave the car at home.

Turn Things Off

Although we’re making strides in wind-powered electricity (I can actually see a coastal wind farm from my house!), most of the UK’s energy is produced from coal. That means that every time you switch off a light or turn an appliance off at the switch when it’s not in use, you’re reducing your carbon footprint at home.

Buy Second Hand

There are SO many things that we would benefit from buying second hand, rather than from new every time. Items of furniture, for instance, don’t always have to be brand new and a cursory search on Facebook Marketplace often comes up with an almost-new version of what you want. This is a doubly good thing to do as it both reduces the amount of production in factories, and also stops rubbish from ending up in landfill.

Buy Sustainable

One of the biggest culprits in contribution to carbon emissions is cheap clothing production. Things are made cheaply and get thrown away, ending up in landfill and polluting the oceans. Buy your clothes from places which invest in sustainable production or even try to buy from charity shops if you’re able.

Plant a Garden

Whether you live in a house or an apartment, planting some greens is a quick and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. We all know plants absorb carbon dioxide – a beneficial relationship for humans, that we should all be seeking to nurture. Plant some bee-friendly flowers, a few trees, or a vegetable garden. Balcony gardens are great for urban dwellings. This will reduce the “farm to fork” transport needs, AND you’ll know exactly whats in your food.

Bonus: Share a Car Service

If you only travel on high days and holidays and know someone else who does the same, why not share a car service? It will save you money to hare the cost and will reduce the carbon emissions of your journey by half, just by sharing it with one other person. Add more people and your emissions will be even lower!