Friday, 27 December 2013

How I Bleach My Hair & Pastel Colour (Guide)

A few weeks ago I asked on Twitter if anyone would be interested in me creating a post about the bleaching process to my hair, and quite a few of you were! I've sort of done a step by step guide on how to change the colour of your hair from dark to blonde/pastel. 

Now I did bleach mine four times within a week period, and yes, it did do quite a substantial amount of damage to my hair, but without using heat, letting it dry naturally and using hair oils and protection conditioner masks it's done really well to recover. 

Now I tried the lightening process before I hit my third trimester and if I'm being brutally honest, it absolutely disheartened me that it didn't work at all. My hair went from auburn to a lighter shade of ginger and I was absolutely devastated. Normally if I use a lightening product/colour remover it takes around 3-4 shades off my hair anyway, but this probably lightened one shade. 

My bleach of choice is Smart Beauty. I've been using their platinum dye for around 5-6 years now and wouldn't go back. I like this dye as it's suitable for Asian hair so you know it will really lift colour. Plus it leaves hair in really good condition and comes with a nourishing toner to reduce the red tones in your hair. 

So my hair was getting long, and it's really not me at all, so I had a dramatic cut and went pixie asymmetric. That left me with a horrid orange coloured barnet that I really didn't want. 

So within a week, I went from the red on the left, through orange shading, to pastel pink. 

I used the Smart Beauty platinum blonde kit, mixed up and left on my hair for an hour. I did this twice one day. Popped on a toner and left this on for around an hour to reduce the orange tones. I used the same process again two days later, bleaching four times within the space of a few days (which I know I shouldn't do but I'm confident with my hair). 

You do get a toner kit with Smart Beauty, but I like to make my own colour rinse from using a pot of Directions white toner mixed with a little lavender colour to add to the neutralising effect. For the last photo, where my hair is pastel pink, I added a small amount of Bleach London's Rose to the mix to give it a pastel shade. 

In between washes I needed to apply a lot of oil as my hair was very crispy. I also used a few of the Hask products and conditioning masks. I didn't use any heat during this time and my hair has recovered within a week or so. 

I normally switch around with the colours every week or so, so sometimes I'll add a bit more lavender to make it more of a silver shade, or add more pink for more of a pale pink pastel shade. 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Is A Time For Chocolate ♥

Christmas is a big time for chocolate, well feasting in general, and there is nothing I love more than receiving a box of chocolates. Normally, as I'm extremely greedy, I like to get a big box for my birthday, share my mum's on her birthday, then have another at Christmas. Well, it is the only time of year you can get away with it right?

I couldn't have been more happier when my best blogging chum Kel gave me a box of chocolates to review, none other than a box of Lindt chocolates! YUM! These are actually my favourite, I'm also a bit of a sucker for their bears and reindeer too. 

I always think of Lindt as a luxurious but affordable chocolate, which are definitely fitting with the Christmas theme! My favourites are the truffles, and having experienced the Irish Cream ones in the assorted box I received, I definitely think these are my favourite! 

In this box I received milk chocolate truffle hearts, milk chocolate truffles, white chocolate truffles, dark chocolate truffles, praline truffles and Irish Cream truffles. Yummmmy. 

There are lots of current offers over on the Lindt website here, and you can still get them delivered in time for Christmas. 

Are you stuck finding a gift for your parents or grandparents? Why not buy them a chocolate hamper?
Need something to get for your niece or nephew and the other little ones? Why not treat them to a chocolate Santa or a sharing pack of bears?

So why not celebrate Christmas in style with Lindt?
I know what's on my list for Santa this year...

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Low Carb & Diabetic Almond Pancakes Recipe

Whilst on my hunt for low carb recipes for breakfast all I could seem to find was the idea of having lots of eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes. This has really put me off as I've been struggling to have a variety of breakfasts in my diet whilst trying to cut out carbs. I was lucky to spot this recipe online after searching for a few hours! 

Almond Pancakes

You will need:
1 cup of ground almonds or almond flour (this is around 150g); 
2 eggs; 
1/4 cup of water (you can use sparkling to make them more puffy); 
1/4 teaspoon of salt; 
and 1 tablespoon of any sweetener. 

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, add your wet ingredients, and give a good mix. I used a general food mixer for this as I'm pretty lazy.

The mixture will look very grainy when done, this is fine, it's the ground almonds in the mix. It should be quite a thick mixture as these pancakes are very similar to American style pancakes. 

Pop them in the frying pan for around 2-3 minutes each side until golden and cooked throughout. You can use oil to fry but I just used FryLight spray. 

And here they are all finished! I had these with maple syrup and bananas, but you could just have them with fresh fruit or cream cheese. They are really filling too, something which I wasn't expecting! This was only a small side plate I ate these from, and I have three very small ones, could only manage the two! 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Low Carb Bolognese Recipe

I made this recipe quite a while ago and totally forgot about it until I was going through the photos on my phone. After finding out I had gestational diabetes, and finding the leaflet the dietician/diabetic nurse gave me pretty useless, I've been having a little look online to see what I could come across. 

I've found for me personally, my blood sugar levels are extremely high when I have high carb meals, so rather than having a lot of pasta with this, I've been having a small portion of child's pasta along with a really big rocket salad. 

You will need:

Onions - I used both red and white; 
Oregano and mixed herbs - you can use fresh but these are just as good; 
A jar/carton of passata sauce (blended tomatoes); 
A tin of chopped tomatoes; 
A carrot (or other veggies if you want to pop in);
Mince meat or Quorn; 
and last but not least, I popped in little pasta! 

I coarsely cut the onions for a bit of bite and fried these in FryLight or any low calorie spray. When sautéed, I added the mince meat and browned off a little more. I then added the carrot and carried on cooking (the carrot and onion still had a little bite). At this point I added the dry herbs, but then added more later just for taste. 

I then popped in the passata and chopped tomatoes and left to simmer, probably for around 8-10 minutes until all looks cooked, it's pretty easy to judge when it's cooked!

And hey presto, a simple low carb and really tasty recipe! 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Etat Pur: Actif Pur Argan

I received this in a goody bag from the recent Leeds meet up, and was quite intrigued about this product as it contains Argan. I know everyone raves for Argan oils, which can be used anywhere really, especially for the hair. I must admit, I haven't tried many products with Argan oil, apart from the hair serum from Primark, but must admit I have warmed towards them myself. 

The Etat Pur website describes this product being used for fine lines and wrinkles, and to increase firmness and plumping in the skin. I wasn't expecting it to be an anti-wrinkle treatment per se but as I am approaching the big 3 0 in a few years, it's time I started to think about my poor skin. 

I was quite confused about the packaging at first. It says to dispense a few drops to rub on your skin. I must have spent around 5 minutes trying to work out how to get the product out, until I realised you press the bottom for it to come out! I find this quite genius actually

I presumed that this would be really oily on my skin so was a little weary of using it in the beginning, but it isn't at all. I find it more serum-like with the consistency of a light cream, which when applied to the skin melts in easily and leaves no residue. It definitely leaves my face feeling hydrated and softer. 

I haven't been using this morning and night when indicated, but using it in replacement of a serum prior to applying my day cream, once a day. I don't have wrinkled skin quite yet so I can't comment on how good it is for that, but I have definitely noticed my skin feeling firmer and plumper since use. 

You can find the product here, retailing at £11.70. 

I also haven't heard much about Etat Pur before, so I wouldn't mind trying out more of their products. I especially like the look of their Salicylic Acid treatments, their prices are quite reasonable too.
What do you think about Argan products?
Have you tried Etat Pur before?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Day Trip To Haworth

A few weeks back I had a little trip with a couple of blogging buddies to Haworth. It's been ages since I've been up there, and as usual, everything changes! There were a lot more tea rooms than I last remember, and the old sweet shop has doubled in size and now stocks American sweets! Much to my delight

After popping into Rose & Co, and probably spending the majority of our time in there smelling all the delish bath bombs and perfumes they had to offer, I did purchase a few bits and pieces! I bought a collection of their shower gels (as I couldn't pick one!) and their parma violet perfume, it's to die for. And what can I say about their window displays!?

After a waddle around on the cobbles and looking in shop windows, we decided to head off to Cobbles and Clay for a spot of lunch with tea and cake! The little bloggers in our companionship had lots of fun painting the offerings the shop had, which need to be picked up in 4-5 days after being baked in the kiln. 

For lunch I had nachos, and there were loads, so many that I had to share them all out! I had the most delicious chai latte milkshake (I even tried to recreate it at home later in the evening!). 

For my second course, haha, I had to have cake, it's the law. Along with the most amazing butternut squash and chocolate chip cake (vegan friendly) that I have ever laid eyes on, I had to have a glass of Fentiman's Mandarin and Seville Orange juice! One of my most favourite drinks ever. 

After these delectable courses, we headed off back up the cobbles to Mrs Beighton's sweet shop where I picked up a bottle of Arizona peach tea, rocky road chocolate and a Reese's Peanut Cup Christmas tree!