Huge holiday haul

Huge holiday haul

If you follow my Instagram for my blog you may have seen that I recently went on holiday to Devon. While I was away I ventured in to Exeter for a day to check out their shops – I wasn’t disappointed.

I started off in New Look, which is a shop I’ll always end up back at. I first picked up this gorgeous watch. I already have a more expensive metal watch but wanted something that wouldn’t be tapping on the desk every time I typed something at work. It was an added bonus that the watch is actually really pretty and looks a lot more expensive than it is (it was just £12)!

I also got this pretty embroidered shirt. I’m loving the whole embroidery trend at the moment and this shirt is just perfect for this time of the year and is ideal for work. It was £18, which I didn’t think was too bad at all.

I know the whole band t-shirt thing is kind of controversial and that’s why I’ve held back now for a while and not hopped on the band wagon. But to be honest, I’ve decided I just don’t care anymore and I’ll wear whatever I like. So I picked up this ripped Rolling Stones t-shirt – which I love. I also got this cropped pink jumper. It’s the perfect comfy kind of jumper to lounge around in on a mouldy Sunday and it was well worth the buy.

Lastly, I finally managed to get a light up letter ‘E’! I’ve wanted one of these for so so long but nowhere ever seems to have an E in stock. Of course I couldn’t not buy it. It looks great on my book shelf and is fab for blog and Instagram pictures. I also picked up the infamous golden pineapple that almost every blogger seems to own. Again, it looks great on my shelf and is really pretty. It just means that I can keep rings and little miscellaneous objects that often get lost all together in one pretty dish.

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I also popped in to Primark, of course. I got myself the prettiest and so un-Primark-like underwear set. I feel like Primark have seriously upped their lingerie game recently and have some beautiful sets. I really wish I’d bought more actually as they’d got some seriously pretty bralettes! They were so inexpensive too at just £8 for the bra and £6 for the pants. I also loved the fact that they’re sold separately so you can have a different size  for the top to the bottom – is anyone actually the same size top and bottom? Also, if you have slightly bigger boobs and don’t think you can wear bralettes then maybe give this one a go as it has the extra cross straps across the back for a bit more support!

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I’m an absolute sucker for a playsuit, I love them, and I couldn’t resist this one from Primark. It was only £8 and will be perfect if we actually ever get any warm weather over here (I doubt it).

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As if I don’t already have far too many fairy lights, I picked up these copper wire ones for £4 from Primark because you just can’t ever have too many fairy lights.

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I also popped in to H&M and bought this pretty phone case. I’d actually seen this online and almost got it but when I saw it in the shop I realised it was way prettier in person. The flowers are actually real and have been pressed, which I just think is the best idea to be honest. It was only £5.99 and there were various other cases that I liked there too, H&M have got a good selection.

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I also made a trip in to the Card Factory, because they sell the best candles believe it or not. I bought this lavender candle and it’s just strong enough to be able to tell what it is without being really over powering. I love lighting lavender candles before I go to bed as they help me sleep, if you find it hard to get to sleep you should definitely try it.

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Finally, – which I didn’t actually buy myself but I’m including it in my haul anyway – my friend Emily got me The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. Coincidentally, I just so happened to have bought her the exact same book and she’s already finished it and seemed to rate it. I’m only about a quarter of the way through though but so far it seems alright – I’ll update you in a later post when I’ve finished it.

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So as you can tell, my whole saving money thing is going well! I regret none of these purchases though, even if my bank account is now crying. Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for an adventure-y post tomorrow, full of pictures from my holiday!

emmachxrlotte

Healthy hair hacks

Healthy hair hacks

Before I start, I just want to whack in a bit of shameless self promo and let you guys know that I’ve made a separate Snapchat for fellow bloggers or people who read my blog, so if you’re interested in seeing more of me and getting to see behind the blog then add my snapchat ’emmachxrlotte’! And finally, these are my Instagram and Twitter accounts. Now that that is out the way, let’s get on with it!

This post is just going to be some tips and things I’ve learnt over the years that help me to keep my hair fairly healthy. Trust me I’ve abused my hair a lot since the age of about 15, and after completely ruining it several times, I’ve definitely learnt the hard way how to revive it and keep it healthy. It’ll probably get a bit waffly so I’ll put the main point of each paragraph in bold if you’d just like to skim read!

The first thing I’m going to say (because it’s the most important) is get your hair trimmed. If you’re growing your hair, like me, this is probably the last thing you want to hear. Honestly though, I went about two years without having it trimmed at all and by the end of the two years I ended up having to have it cut really short because it was just split end central. Even if you don’t use any heat on your hair, don’t colour it, and treat it really well, you will still develop split ends and your hair will still need a little trim. I won’t lie, I absolutely hate getting my hair trimmed, but even if it is just half an inch every twelve weeks (that is all I do) then that is better than nothing!

Make yourself a hair mask with ingredients that we’ve all got in our kitchens. I like to make a coconut and olive oil hair mask once a week and leave it on my hair for an hour with a hot towel wrapped around it. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, it’s really cheap and makes a real difference.

Stop with the tight ponytails. I know how easy it is to wake up in the morning and decide that you can’t be bothered to do anything with your hair and just stick it into a tight high pony, but this is so bad for your hair. You’re yanking on the delicate hairs at the front of your scalp which can eventually lead to hair loss if you do it often enough. Not to mention the fact that where your hair tie/hair band sits often breaks the hair shafts. So, if you do have to have your hair up, opt for a loose ponytail and use a soft fabric hair band to minimise damage. If I need my hair back I tend to just loosely french plait my hair, the looser it is the less damage.

It goes without saying that you should avoid bleaching your hair, but if you want to be blonde, there’s not really any way around it. However, if you are going to go blonde, or you’re already blonde and keep bleaching your hair, check out products that are kinder to your hair, like Bblonde by Jerome Russell. They have an extensive range of products, they’ve got something for everyone, and they’re all really kind to your hair – so why not check them out if you’re a fellow blonde, you can find their website here. As I’m growing out my blonde, in favour of my naturally dark blonde colour, Bblonde recently sent me one of their toners and their lightening spray. The toner was great on my hair, it removed all the yellow brassy tones, with absolutely no peroxide whatsoever. It was really quick and easy and smelled great too. Their lightening spray is also great if you’re looking for a natural sun kissed blonde look – as it isn’t an all over bleach it won’t be as harsh on your hair but will still lighten it. I’m going to use the lightening spray in the summer as I always like to go a shade lighter in the summer, so I’ll update you then on what it’s like!

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Try vitamin supplements! You should always check with your doctor or at least a pharmacist before you go putting yourself on any vitamin supplements, but if your hair is dry or damaged, maybe you should consider it? For your hair to be happy you should make sure you’ve got plenty of vitamins A, B, C, D, & E, Iron, Zinc and Protein. Each of these play vital roles in keeping your hair healthy so if you’re low in any of them, re-think your diet or try a vitamin supplement. I had a blood test a few months back and found that I was really low on Vitamin D, but since taking supplements I’ve found that my hair is really shiny and soft again. Holland & Barrett do some Hair, Skin & Nail supplements at a really decent price. I’d always be very careful about where you buy tablets from, but Holland & Barrett are definitely somewhere that you can trust!

Don’t use too much heat. Notice how I say not too much, rather than none at all? I realise it’s more or less impossible not to use any heat, so why not just limit it? Maybe put your straighteners on a lower heat setting and only go over each piece of hair once. Don’t hold your hair dryer so close to your head and only dry the roots, let the ends dry naturally. Only use heat every other day and when you do use heat ALWAYS use heat protector spray first. You can also find alternative methods for straightening and curling your hair (try Youtube, there’s tons of ideas out there), they don’t work for everyone but I use the headband curling method regularly and it always works well for me and means that I never ever have to curl my hair anymore! As in the picture below, you put a stretchy headband around your hair when its damp, wrap your hair around it and sleep on it. Then the next morning you wake up with curly hair like this (sorry for the super posey pic).

 

Pick your shampoo and conditioner wisely. Lots of shampoos contain toxic ingredients that can do your hair and body a lot of damage. Next time you buy yourself some shampoo or conditioner make sure you check you’re not buying a products with any of these ingredients; sodium laurel sulfate, potassium sorbet, phenoxythanol, polysorbates, or polyethylene. Some of these ingredients have been found to irritate the scalp, and for your hair to grow and be healthy, you need your scalp to be happy – so watch out for nasty ingredients! Oh and after washing your hair, ALWAYS finish with a cold rinse to close the pores, this is a big one that makes a world of difference.

Lastly, don’t over wash your hair. I know what it’s like, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of greasy hair, (in fact mine needs washing now, I’m off to do it after I’ve written this) but washing your hair too often is going to dry your hair out and that’s just going to mean more split ends. You’re literally washing the oil away that helps your hair to stay healthy and grow, so if you’re washing your hair everyday, maybe see if you can go every other day. Having said that, I know it’s hard. I personally have really greasy hair – I’ll wash my hair in the morning and by the afternoon it will already be a bit greasy. But, if you’re persistent and push your hair to last longer, it’ll eventually get used to it and won’t get as greasy as quickly. But remember, that oil is actually good for your hair, so don’t feel so grossed out by it!

Now that I’ve finished waffling, let me know if you have any healthy hair tips because I’d love to hear them! Thank you for reading and make sure you come back tomorrow for a post full of revision tips and tricks to help you survive your exams! Or if you’ve finished school, make sure you keep an eye out for a skincare post on Saturday!

P.S. I just want to say sorry for the lack of posts on my blog this week – I normally write all my posts at the weekend and schedule them for during the week, but I was feeling really ill at the weekend and didn’t end up writing anything. So, I’m really sorry about that, but better late than never right?

emmachxrlotte