Five essential tips for blonde hair

17 October 2016

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long while, as I often get asked about the colour of my locks and what I use for hair care.
Many people are surprised to know that I was born a brunette. I don’t have many features that giveaway I’m not a natural blonde like some people might, and I’ve managed to get away with fooling people  of my hair colour for many, many years now. I’ve dabbled with a variety of shades of blonde over the years: honey, ash, platinum and silver, and one common denominator with all of them is that you have to massively nurture your hair to maximise the potential of the colouring.
With any dyed hair, it’s easy to make mistakes – believe me, I know and I’ve been there. I’ve put together five of my top tips for looking after blonde hair.

Tip One: Invest in blonde-friendly hair products
If you dye your hair blonde, you really cannot expect to treat your hair the same as the natural colour. It just doesn’t work like that unfortunately. Over time, you’ll find that cheaper shampoos and conditioners just won’t cut it, and will leave your hair dry and brittle. I use a mixture of products to keep my hair tip top. I cannot recommend toners enough to get rid of brassiness. I use products including purple toners & shampoos such as Bleach London & Pro:Voke Touch of Silver, blonde shampoos such as John Frieda 'Go Blonder'. I also like Aussie hair masks for a bit of a conditioning treatment. I'll also use a serum once a week to nurture the ends, and have been using John Frieda Frizz Ease as of late.

Tip Two: Avoid damage at all costs
When putting bleach onto your hair, you’re already forcing each hair strand under a lot of strain, making it more liable to breakages and dryness as standard. When thinking about damage, I’m talking self-inflicted damage. This includes heat damage, excessive styling damage and using the wrong brush for your hair type. I try not to dry my hair with a hairdryer for the majority of the time (unless I’m really under pressure for time) as this automatically gives your hair a bit of a break. I also keep the straightening or curling to a minimum these days, as thinking back to the daily regime I put my hair through as a teenager is almost too painful to remember. (Hands up if you religiously straightened or curled your hair before Sixth Form? Yep, me too!) It’s also worth considering the type of brush you use, as what may work for some hair types, may not work for another. I find Denman or Tangle Teezer brushes work well with eliminating breakages.

Tip Three: Use heat protectant in the sun
This is a super tip for when you’re on holiday and want to catch some rays. Rub some leave in conditioner to the ends of your hair or spray on some heat protectant to give your hair a bit of a mask whilst tanning. The conditioner/heat spray will create a bit of a barrier and massively help to keep your hair hydrated and happy during the hot temperatures.

Tip Four: Ketchup does eliminate green hues
Yes, it’s true. Ketchup really does get rid of the green tinge you might get after a holiday away swimming in the pool every day! Massage some ketchup into your hair, put a clear shower cap on and leave it for 30 minutes. I can’t promise you it will feel or smell nice, but it really will remove the green tone from your blonde hair. Many think it’s the chlorine that turns blonde hair green, but it’s actually a mixture of the metals in pools like copper and magnesium oxidising with chlorine. It’s been a plague for blonde haired gals for years but the ketchup theory really does work – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

Tip Five: Limit your hair washes
I used to be absolutely awful at this. I was a serial offender of washing my hair every single day. The only upside of doing that was that it always smelled amazing. In essence, I was just rinsing my hair of its natural goodness and it was ending up dry and scraggly. After some serious hair wash detoxing, I have managed to wain myself down to 3-4 washes a week. I know some girls wash their hair less than this, but for me, this is good – trust me. My hair is a lot softer and the natural oils keep my scalp feeling looked after. I’d also recommend a trusty dry shampoo for in between wash days. With blonde hair, it’s amazing what you can get away with when you brush a little bit of dry shampoo through the roots.

Personally, I believe that your hair is only as good as you treat it. Give it some respect, and it will definitely treat you well back.

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John Frieda products were sent to me for review. Opinions are my own.

Tailor-made dog food with

9 October 2016

It’s no secret that my Jack Russell Terrier, Max is one of the most important things in my life. To quote Forrest Gump, "we’re like peas and carrots" and I couldn’t imagine my life without my four legged baby. It’s been an honour to be able to share some pet related campaigns on my blog over the last 5 years, and I’m thrilled to be chatting about mine and Max’s experience with dog food specialists, tailor-made dog food

Max has a tummy a little on the sensitive side which has meant I’ve always had to be a lot more particular when buying his dog food. I’ve always been a big believer that you can’t buy cheap dog food and expect it to do wonders for your dog’s health, especially having watched a documentary a couple of years back about the additives and nasties that are thrown into some well-known brands dog food. In fact, feeding Max a couple of pouches of Pedigree when he was around 2 years old ended up with him being in the vet for a week, hooked up to an IV drip and being incredibly poorly. I vouched I would never put him through that experience ever again. Since then, I have bought his food online or from Pets At Home, and gone for brands that suit sensitive tummies, hypoallergenic and no preservatives. tailor-made dog food tailor-made dog food

When asked if Max would like to try their tailor-made food, I was interested to see how it would work. Personalised food to suit your dog’s needs? It sounds like the perfect solution, but how good was it really?

With Tails, you manage your dog’s details online. You enter the dog’s breed, age, details about how active they are during the day and their favourite flavours. The system then gives you the perfect food based on the dog’s information. Pretty clever indeed! tailor-made dog food

The food parcel arrived and Max knew straight away it was for him – he always does when he gets sent treats in the post! He was perked up and standing on his hind legs with the utmost excitement. The food bag comes with your dog’s name personalised on it – I absolutely loved this, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love things with your name on it, let alone your dog’s name? Along with the bag of food was a DIY scoop which told me exactly how much I should be feeding Max; very handy when the nutritional values are different in every type of food. Also included were the details of all the ingredients and the nutritional break down. tailor-made dog food

In terms of price, you can expect a unique price based on the dog’s details, i.e size and activity levels. I find that you have to wait a fair amount of time before you see the true benefits of how your dog is responding to a particular food where energy, coat and general health are concerned. However, a pretty good testimonial is whether your dog enjoys the food, i.e wolfing it down the minute you put a serving into their bowl. Max loved this food (a rarity with him) and I’ve seen no sign of an upset tummy or any digestion problems. For me, that equals a winning dog food!

Has got your attention? If so, you can use the code LITTLEGLITTER for 2 weeks free tailor-made dog food, with only £1 delivery. Don't say I'm not generous to your four legged friends!

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Written in collaboration with

An Overdue Update

26 September 2016

It feels like such a long time since I’ve sat down and written a blog post, and that’s because it has been. 9 months to be precise. But now feels like the right time to start writing again, and I’m really excited about it.

It’s incredible how life can fluctuate, moving in and out like the ever-changing tide. Flick back to Christmas 2015 and I was living in Bournemouth, happily single and just taking life a day at a time. Having gone through a period of ‘not so good’ within my well-being, I was just focused on the things that were important to me and finding my inner happiness. I had no interest in being in a relationship.

They always say that the right person comes along when you least expect it, and just when I wasn’t expecting it, I met someone. He’s wonderful, and I have a whole blog post coming in the next few weeks about how we met and just how crazy that meeting was (keep an eye out for that one…it’s like something from a film…seriously!). Dan is like the yin to my yang, and he can make me laugh like no-one ever has done before, not to mention treats me like an absolute princess.

Not only am I now in the best relationship I’ve ever been in, but I’m now back living in Essex. I’ve lived away for 8 years, but after time away at university, letting my career take me to different places in the country, meeting new friends and saying goodbye to old ones, I soon found my way back to my home county. Dan is indeed from Essex too so it made sense to move back, rationalising that we both want to be near our families in the long term.

We’ve just moved into our new abode in Chelmsford, about 15 minutes from where I grew up in Brentwood, and we’ve been busy decorating, painting, ripping up carpet…the lot. It’s the first place I will have lived in since I was 18 that isn’t a rented accommodation, and I can finally decorate things the way that I want! No more horrible walls in weird colours, and ugly flooring. Dan and I have really thought about the colour schemes in each room and we’re really happy. Once everything is sorted, I plan to do a little house tour, so keep an eye out for that one too!

It wouldn’t be an overdue update without mention of little Max now, would it? Max is, of course, absolutely wonderful as per usual. He's been his cheeky self as usual, and I'm hoping he's going to love the new house as much as we do.

Having the time off from blogging has been good for me. I've travelled, worked hard and given myself time to breathe and evaluate the writing that I really enjoy. I have lots of exciting things planned on this blog for the future, and I really do hope you come along for the ride.

PS - look out for my next blog post for some very, very exciting news!

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Friday Questions

18 December 2015

How old are you in 5 years? 30 years. And I'm sure life will be very different from how it is now!
Who were you most recently with 2 hours ago? My colleague, Charlie. We get on like a house on fire and spend our days laughing at anything and everything.
How tall are you? 5'1. And yes the view is lovely down here.
What movie did you watch last? The Holiday. Always need a little bit of Christmas cheer!
Who called you last? My mother. We were discussing when I'm arriving back at her house for Christmas and our plans for Christmas Eve..I'm so excited!

Who did you ring last? My aunty. I wanted to let her know that I'm going to bring her round some homemade Nutella truffles, cos I'm a nice niece like that!
What was the last text you received? 'Hope you have a wonderful day gorgeous.' Who it's from, I won't disclose ;)
Prefer to call or send texts? I don't really mind. I love to have a good chat on the phone, but depending on where I am determines whether it's a text conversation or a phone conversation. Texts don't convey how you feel as well as phone conversations.
What is your favorite place? Wherever my favourite people are. As long as I'm with the people I love, then it's a good place.
Which place do you prefer the least? A&E. I don't think anyone enjoys sitting in A&E for hours on end.
When did you see your mother recently? 6th December. I was at my parents for the weekend and it was a wonderful occasion. I didn't want to leave!
What eye color do you have? Green.
What is your favorite Christmas song? I'm not sure I could choose..I love so many Christmas songs! Especially the traditional songs and carols.
When you did you wake up today? 0630. 
Where do you think you'll be in 10 years? I've really no idea. I've tried to stop thinking about the future as it honestly just stresses me out. I'm the sort of girl who wants to settle down and have a family relatively young, and after a couple of heartbreaks, I'm just taking it a day at a time now rather than giving myself deadlines and life goals.
What scared you at night as a child? The idea of a house fire. It was all those scary 'check your fire alarm' adverts that did it!
What is your favorite outfit? If I could wear gym clothes every day, I would. But there's nothing like a little dress, tights and wedge boots. It's hard to pick a favourite outfit as it does depend on your mood!
Are your parents married or divorced? Married for nearly 27 years now!
What is your best feature? I'm always happy and positive. So many people comment on it and i'm glad they do. Happiness is catching and a smile can change someones day.

What is your worst trait? I can be a little stubborn.
How many pillows have you in your bed? Four. I love lots of pillows and I've had eight in the past! Hotel bed wannabe!
What is the strangest thing you've eaten? I've eaten a mealworm but that was as part of a tequila drink in Mexico.
Do you have a desktop or laptop computer? I have both, but daily I use a laptop.
What are you listening to right now? BBC Radio 1.
Which ice cream is your favorite? Coldstone Creamery. There's nothing like it.
Can you play poker? Yes. And I have a good poker face. I'm actually a really good gambler, which is why I don't let myself gamble that often. It could be dangerous otherwise!
What have you eaten today? An Activia yoghurt. I'm currently waning dairy out of my diet, but I rushed out of the house this morning without eating my usual breakfast of eggs, so grabbed a yoghurt from Waitrose. 
What will you do today? Work work work. Gym, and then relax in the evening.
Do you want children? More than anything. I have always been maternal and crave children so badly. Hopefully, once I'm with the right guy, children will be around very quickly.
Know any other languages ​​than English? I can speak German, conversational Spanish and French, and a little bit of Norwegian and Finnish which I'm currently learning.

What do you spend your money on? Travel, experiences, normal life expenses such as bills and food, and surprises for those that I love.
What is your favorite dessert? I'm a dessert person so this is hard to choose! I'll never turn down proper New York Cheesecake though.
Do you drink anything with breakfast? Water, green tea and sometimes fresh orange juice.
Are you social? Incredibly social. I fully believe that being with people enhances your day to day life massively. You have so much to learn from other people, and it's from other people that you learn things about yourself. We only live once and I personally think we should spend it with the people we love, meet as many people as we can and embrace community.
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Lussekatter for St Lucy's Day

13 December 2015

I've always had a love for Scandinavian traditions, food and celebrations. Don't ask me why - I just always have. I would love to be an expat in one of the Scandinavian countries for a while and just soak in the Nordic lifestyle. I'm lucky that one of my best friends is Finnish, so she spoils me a little with Finnish traditions and food. Seeing as it's Sunday and we usually all have time on our hands, I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite Christmas celebrations from Scandinavia.

In Sweden, Norway and some Swedish speaking parts of Finland, December 13th is a day of celebration and light, and is commonly known as St Lucy's Day (or St. Lucia's Day). St Lucy was one of the first Christian martyrs, killed by the Romans for her beliefs. Lucy means 'light', and it's on December 13th when it's one of the darkest days in the month that she is remembered, and towns everywhere are lit up with candles as 'light overcomes darkness'. In most towns, a young girl is elected St Lucy, and she gets to wear a long white robe with a red sash, and dons a green garland crown on her head which is covered in candles.

Buns called Lussekatter (literally translated as Lucy's Cats) are served along with mulled wine. Lussekatter remind me of being very young. I thought they were exciting and special, and just were quintessentially Christmassy. Sweet and light, they have a gorgeous golden colour which is due to saffron being used, and are easily identifiable from their backwards S shape.

In case you might like to get involved with one of my favourite Advent traditions, I've put the recipe I used below.

What you need

1 tsp saffron threads
250ml milk
500g strong white flour
7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp salt
50g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, melted
100g Quark cheese
1 egg yolk
Handful of raisins

This is how you do it

- Heat the milk until it is lukewarm.

- Soak the saffron in the milk for 5-10 minutes so it gets a really yellowy colour.

- Combine the salt, sugar, flour and yeast together in a bowl. Make a well in the middle.

- Mix the melted butter into the milk and saffron and pour into the well.

- Add the Quark cheese.

- Stir this mixture briefly and then bring together as a dough.

- Knead the dough on a floured surface for around 10 minutes.

- Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a teatowel or clingfilm. Leave it in a warm place for around 1½-2 hours until well risen.

(This is where I usually go and watch a Christmas film. Any excuse!)

- Preheat the oven to 220c/Gas Mark 7.

- Split the dough into 12 pieces. Roll them into long sausages using your hands. They should be around 8 inches long.

- Twist them into a reverse 'S' shape. This is easy and you just need to curl them round. Make sure they are twisted nice and tightly

- Place on a greased baking tray, cover with a teatowel again and leave for 30 minutes to rise.

(Grab a cup of tea and dance around the kitchen to Christmas music. Best 30 minutes you will spend - I promise you.)

- Brush the Lussekatter with the egg yolk. This helps to give them a nice golden colour whilst cooking.

- Place a raisin in each side of the Lussekatter (2 per bun).

- Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, and then leave to cool on a wire rack.

And that's how you make Lussekatter. It's a little time consuming, but definitely worth the wait. I love eating them when they're still warm with a little bit of Christmas Cake curd or some salted caramel cream (which isn't strictly the Swedish way, but dayaaam it tastes good.) Make sure you eat them with a glass of mulled wine and share with your family and friends.

Happy St. Lucy's Day! God Jul!

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