AD // I want to go to the hairdresser but I can't so here's what I'm doing instead...

This is a sponsored post, but all words, opinions and hair woes are my own.

Yes I know, a very catchy post title from me, but you've gotta say it how it is right?

It's funny how little thought I've previously given to how much my hair is a part of my identity. Just like clothes, it's a way I can express and style myself and I enjoy doing so. The thing is, I've long been due a trip to the hairdresser and I've reached the annoying in between stage of it being any kind of notable length at all. Very much first world problems I know, but it's been more of a struggle than usual to make myself feel like myself.

Along with quite possibly the majority of the UK, I've considered taking matters into my own hands, but despite being confident enough to shave my boyfriend's head, I'd rather wait to let the professionals work their magic on mine, having had many a bad fringe cutting experience in my time.

So while I bide my time I'm attempting to keep my hair in a vaguely good condition as well as finding hairstyles that suit my hair at a length I don't particularly like. Sounds fun eh? So yes, here's what I'm doing...

DITCHING HEAT // The condition of my hair already left a lot to be desired before lockdown; trips to the hairdresser are something I tend to put off for a while before going through with them (I don't actually think I enjoy the whole process of going to the hairdresser #callmeweird). In an attempt to stop it from getting any worse I've ditched using heat on it during lockdown (I don't exactly have anywhere nice to go to curl it for do I?). Instead I've been opting for styles that don't need heat; currently I'm enjoying french plaits one day followed by the waves it ever so kindly leaves my hair in the next.

HAIR MASKS // Hair masks have always been something I've wanted to use regularly, but just haven't had (or made) the time. Cue having plenty of time on my hands and it seemed like a good opportunity to seize. As I couldn't really bring myself to see how hair masks could be classed as an essential item I've just been using some coconut oil that I already had. Can confirm that it's done wonders for my scalp and my hair is v soft; just make sure you wash it out properly if you don't want to give the impression that something could be fried on your head.

EXPERIMENTING WITH STYLES // I may not have actually started wearing fresh flowers in my hair (that was for photo purposes only), but I have been experimenting more with how I can wear my hair. I've been wearing it up for work because it just seems the most hygienic thing to do while we're all trying to be strict on germs, but wearing it up every day has made me realise how often I rely on having it down. There's not been anything revolutionary so far, but I'm partial to a slicked back low bun and milkmaid braids.

RESEARCH & PINTEREST // By far the most exciting thing I've been doing hair-wise is researching what I'm eventually going to have done to it when I manage to get a (rather in demand I imagine) hairdressers appointment (I'm currently thinking a lil' blonde bob - thoughts?) So get pinning styles and colours on Pinterest, get googling 'top hairdressers Manchester'/Hull/wherever you live and get excited about your hair-to-be.

Amy x

35 Things To Do To Lift Your Mood

I mentioned in a previous post (here) that if there's one thing quarantine is doing, it's helping us appreciate and find joy in the simple things in life. It's also a difficult time for many (if not everyone) so I thought I'd put a post together of some simple, quarantine-friendly pick me ups (which also apply to life in general and I jolly well hope to continue taking the time to do when this is all over).

I was aiming for 40 because it's a nice round number, but made it to 35 and thought I'd end up repeating myself (there is only so much you can do in quarantine after all isn't there?) so add 5 of your own on the end to make my job easier, ta.

Start your morning by taking some time to stretch and wake up your body.

Open all your curtains and let the light stream in.

Always make your bed.

Go in your garden or open a window and take some long, deep breaths of fresh air.

Make your favourite breakfast and eat it in front of the telly.

Make a cup of tea or coffee and take some time to drink it without distraction rather than drinking it while getting ready/doing a million and one jobs.

If you live with someone put your phones down, turn the TV off and have a proper conversation about absolutely anything.

Do your favourite form of exercise (assuming it's lockdown friendly).

Indulge in some self care.

Video call a friend or family.

Sing along to some nostalgic music as loud as you possibly can (hi neighbours).

Make a picnic and eat it in your garden/living room. 

Make a list of things you'd like to do in the future.

Spend a few hours doing something purely for enjoyment; taking photos, reading a book, watching trashy TV.

Dress up in one of your favourite outfits.

Spend some time doing your hair and makeup.

De-clutter the spaces you like to chill out in.

Spend some time playing with your pets. 

Dance around like a wally to your favourite band.

Write your thoughts down in a journal.

Take time to appreciate the beauty in where you live while on your daily exercise.

Pick some flowers from your garden to display inside the house.

Talk about and research places you'd like to travel when you can.

Make something, draw something, paint something. Basically, get crafty.

Go through your camera roll and watch silly videos you've recorded.

Get lost in Pinterest.

Make a start on a project you've always wanted to; the book you've wanted to write, the side hustle you've wanted to plan, the music you've wanted to record - now's your chance.

Write a letter to send to a friend.

Cook a meal from scratch then eat and enjoy it without distractions.

Have a nice long bath, including wine.

Put on fresh pyjamas. 

Make a zen evening space; candles, lamps, blankets.

Get stuck into a gritty TV series, then follow it up with something funny and light.

Take your makeup off properly before bed and give yourself a mini facial.

Get into a bed made up with fresh bedding in plenty of time to make sure you get enough sleep.

Amy x

A Little Something On Love

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

I have no idea why I decided to write this post; it's far from my usual kind of thing and it's partly made up of something I wrote on my laptop a while ago just for the joy of writing. I suppose it seemed as good a time as any to put something a little different out there; something positive and yet completely unrelated to anything happening in the world right now. 

The past few weekends of no plans have also given me a lot of time to reflect, realise what's important and for some reason that means I now fancy bashing out a rather personal post about my thoughts and feelings on love and what it means (to me, anyway).

For as long as I can remember I've seen love portrayed in books, in music and in films as something so powerful it has the ability to make you ecstatically high on emotion, yet also the ability to crumble you into tiny painful pieces within seconds. Many a time I've thought well that's not real life though is it or proper relationships aren't so intense. It was difficult to imagine that level of emotion without having experienced it for myself. But I've discovered that there's a reason love is portrayed that way; because it's REAL.

Real love is beautiful and raw, it leaves you vulnerable and open to both happiness and pain.

Real love is feeling someone else's pleasure, discomfort and emotion as vividly as if it were your own.

And above all, real love is just pretty bloody lovely isn't it?

Love is as much about you as it is about the person you love. Loving someone else requires hard work within yourself; it forces you to compromise and examine the parts of yourself that aren't as nice as you thought. It forces you to admit you're wrong and take it on the chin (which is actually quite difficult when you're as stubborn as I am).

Real love requires you to lose all pride and superiority. 

Real love requires you to both forgive and apologise with meaning.

I've often heard that to truly love someone else you have to love yourself first. I don't believe that's completely true; not loving yourself probably just makes loving someone else that little bit harder when you're in a constant battle with your own head (although in this day and age, who isn't?)

I do believe however, that loving someone else can actually help you start to love yourself. Placing that value on someone else to make them feel important, secure and best of all happy helps you achieve a certain level of love towards yourself simply for having the ability to make someone else feel that way.

Real love makes you feel good about yourself.

Real love is joy in making someone else happy.

Real love is allowing someone to bring the best out in you.

Real love is a journey, not just for two people but for yourself as well.

Finding Joy In The Little Things

If there's one thing a global pandemic teaches you, it's a renewed appreciation of all the things we previously took for granted, amiright? We're being forced to slow down, find joy wherever we can and appreciate the simplest of things. We're pausing to live in the moment a little more and I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, in fact I hope that mindset sticks around after this whole thing is eventually over.

Despite the current mess of a world we're living in, I wanted to find my own little bit of positivity and share it, so here is a non-exhaustive list of the little things I'm finding joy in at the moment (please feel free to add your own in the comments).

The morning sunshine casting the most beautiful shadows.

Having the most amazing friends and family there through the highs and lows.

Taking the time to make a proper breakfast and sitting down at our table to eat it.

Finding new and inventive ways to take photos of my outfit.

Making an impressive dent in my long abandoned TBR pile.

Video calling friends and family I haven't seen in a while.

Working out at home and not caring if I look a bit silly.

 Making lots of home cooked meals and feeling relatively healthy. 

Having a garden to sit in and get some fresh air.

Taking the time to indulge in lots of self care.

Spending weekends being creative in any way I can.

Spending lots of quality time with my lovely man.

Taking the time to talk about hopes for the future.

Coming to the realisation that I've put more importance on certain things than I'm supposed to.

Waking up refreshed from a full night's sleep in our cosy bed.

The anticipation of some sunnier weather ahead.

Watching telly in the morning and not feeling the slightest bit guilty about it.

Consuming as many biscuits as my belly will permit.

Waking up to letters from friends on the doormat.

Cat cuddles, taking photos of my cats and pretty much anything to do with my cats.

Amy x