Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hair cuts

The average woman spends in excess of £400 per year on hair cuts!  I spend £208 per year on hair cuts for my whole family and below I will share my secrets. 

I go to a salon for a wet cut every 5/6 weeks.  I think a good hairdresser is essential for women & I fully accept that hairdressers have years of training & experience behind them & if you want a great hair cut this is the place to go.  A wet cut is a hair cut without the blow dry although, my very kind hairdresser does rough dry my hair for me so I don't leave the salon with dripping wet locks. This is significantly cheaper than a cut and blow dry.  I just ensure I have my hair cut last thing when I'm out and that I have time to zip home and dry it properly.  If you have long hair bring a hair tie and plait your damp hair for nice loose waves.  

However when it comes to simple cuts hair cuts why not do it yourself?  After all you wouldn't think twice about cutting your nails at home.  I cut the girls hair myself and my husband cuts his own hair.  In order to do this yourself you will need to invest in a few tools we bought this kit several year ago and it has paid for itself several times over already.  My husband uses the clippers to cut his own hair & I trim his neck and around his ears when he's done.  The kit comes with some proper hair dressing scissors which I use to do the girls hair.  Special hair dressing scissors are essential for cutting hair - don't attempt to use your kitchen scissors or paper scissors you will not get very pleasing results.  Keep your hair dressing scissors nice and sharp for best results.  I also bought some of those clips hairdressers use to section you hair when cutting it in the salon - these are widely available from chemists & supermarkets.  I am no hair cutting expert but here are a few tips I have picked up along the way
  • Cut hair when it's wet - it is easier.
  • Start at the front to get the lenght you want and then work towards the back.
  • Don't just cut through hair in a straight line take a small section and run the comb through it.  Pause about 1/1.5 inch from the end and trim to the desired length.  Comb through to the ends but keep holding the section of hair.  Flip the hair upwards so the ends splay out and, with the scissors make  quick, shallow snips down into the hair to soften the blunt ends.
  • Cut lower sections of hair fractionally shorter than the top section to avoid hair looking too thick. 
  • In order to ensure the same lenght all the way round.  include a small piece of already cut hair from the previous section in your new section of hair.  Use the already cut hair as a guide being careful not to cut it again.
If the above technique sounds a bit daunting for your 1st attempt try this.  Take a small section of hair and twist it from the top to the bottom this will make the ends splay out (this technique works really well for tidying up split ends between cuts at the salon.  I am told models use this technique to keep their hair looking sharp & freshly styled all the time) trim the ends to the desired lenght, continue like this all the way around.

My best tip is go at it with confident!  I often get half way through & start worrying that it's going to look bad but once I've checked it over and tidied it up at the end it looks great.  It really isn't too hard - I've not had any disasters yet! 


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Thrifty Tips on Exercise


Wow, it's been ages since I last posted I'll make no apologies for the fact that life took over, I got busy & blogging was not high up on my list of priorities.  But now the evenings are drawing in and I have my eldest settled at school I have found my mind returning to blogging.  I started this blog because I wanted to do something for myself.  I felt as thought I had lost my own identity in being a wife & mother lately those feelings have crept back in so having just finished a 20min work out (another little resolution I have made for myself) I thought, why not write one of those blog posts that has been rattling around in the back of my head for a while.  

Let me tell you more about my new exercise program - ha ha that sounds so regimented.  Before Child (BC) I used to do an exercise class once a week aerobics or Pilate's and lead quite an active lifestyle.  I am naturally, by virtue of good genes, very slim (a little too slim if I’m honest) and then after 9months of awful morning sickness with my 1st child I was very very very thin & not in a good way.  I was too afraid to exercise in case I lost yet more weight - which I just couldn't afford to do.  I know its a problem most Mums' would kill for but trust me its not pleasant & I am convinced just as bad for my health as being over weight.  I thought that all the running up and down stairs after children & weight lifting with a toddlers & school bags would be enough to keep me fit.  However, after several years of no proper exercise my limbs started to feel weak.   

some lovely 1950s ladies working out.

  I decided I needed to tone up but how do you get to an exercise class with children in tow or when you are shattered in the evenings.  Oh & of course I can't afford an exercise class anyway.  So after giving it some thought & armed with nothing more than a yoga mat & a laptop I tried to find an exercise program that would work for me.

I quickly settled on Pilates as my ideal exercise method - all about muscle strength and core stability rather than fat burning. I also decided that I needed to be realistic about how much time I would have for exercise & when I could fit this into my day. 20mins during nap time seemed achievable so, I fired up youtube  typed in "20 minute pilates workout" and I found a great video straight away!  I have been using it ever since.  I have dug around on youtube for other videos' and found searching by the time you have available "5/10/20/30 minute" yields great results.  I have already noticed the benefits too I feel my posture improving & I feel energized after my workouts.  As if that wasn't good enough as I boasted to my husband the other day I can now snap off the excess stalks on the Broccoli in the supermarket!  What a thrill!  So not only am I exercising for free at my own convenience I am saving money on broccoli as a result lol.

Should you need a little more motivation than my wonderful Broccoli experience (snigger) can I recommend following my friend Marion on twitter.  Marion is a personal trainer and re-tweets lots of interesting articles & motivational tips - I thoroughly recommend her.