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21 September 2014

Back on home turf

So - after 17 days in the USA I am officially back on English soil, and back in familiar territory; sat at the computer with a snoozing puppy under my chair and a mug of peppermint tea brewing beside me.  After the most exciting and amazing trip, I have a camera full of photos (I've only downloaded the photos from one of the two cameras I took with me and that has 950 on it - a lot to sort through!), a lot of wonderful memories and a very fuzzy head.  Apparently jetlag is much worse when travelling East as you typically lose time, and I can certainly attest to that after getting three hours sleep last night and trying to force myself to stay awake all day.  It feels somehow like a really bad hangover or several nights' worth of broken sleep - I've basically been a bit of a zombie since I got back on Friday afternoon.  Everything is so much more complicated when you're a zombie.  Especially unpacking.

Golden Gate Bridge

I don't really know where to start with all of the things I want to share with you now I'm home - of course I want to tell you all about the trip (and I somehow need to cut down the 950 photos...), and I've also had some requests for posts about Trek America itself - what to pack and what a Trek is really like.  I didn't have much room in my suitcase but I'll definitely be posting about the few things I did manage to bring back (essentially, protein bars, peanut butter and stationery) - and I've also bought some Smashbooks so I can do some scrapbooking of the things I collected along the way.  Oh - and - I promised I'd review the books I read whilst I was away too! So much to share and photograph!

Since I've come back I've also bought some new cookbooks and a sandwich press (I watched Chef on the plane home and if anyone else has seen that film they will know why I now have a hankering for Cuban sandwiches...) and I want to write a bit more about food on my blog too, if you would be interested?  After three weeks of eating lots of burgers, peanut butter M&Ms and Cheetos I am going to have a bit of a detox by embracing clean eating again and avoiding alcohol for a little while, so I'm hoping to find and create lots of healthy recipes that may well pop up on here.  Oh - and the gym near me finally opened so I've signed up to lots of yoga classes and will be getting my bum down there as much as possible, so I'll be continuing my health and fitness updates (spoiler alert: I did not complete my aim of running a 10k before work in August! Quelle surprise.)

Wow - it is very strange to feel a mix of excitement and inspiration upon returning, and yet utter laziness and exhaustion at the same time! Along with all of these plans I also start a new job tomorrow - working for the same organisation I currently do but this time in HR rather than Training. It's back at our headquarters in Southampton where I used to work which means I swap my lovely 10 minutes a day commute for 1.5 - 2 hours depending on whether I drive or get the train.  But I am also secretly looking forward to being able to walk to the shops at lunchtime - I rarely get an opportunity to go high street shopping at the moment so I can see it being very costly on the bank balance (that's if I have any money left over after buying train tickets, season tickets are megabucks!) 

SO - basically just a quick post to say I'm back - *waves tiredly through squinty sleep-deprived eyes* and I'm excited to be blogging and blog-reading again after my little break! 

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17 September 2014

Bleach London - Gritty In Pink - Rosé pink semi-permanent colour review

I've longed for pastel coloured mermaid hair for a long time now, but I've never taken the plunge as, even though we don't have a policy on wacky hair colours at work, I just know there'd be a few raised eyebrows and I'd rather avoid it! So, as we're off on holiday on for a few weeks (we will be on holiday as you read this), I thought it would be the perfect time to try a non-permanent hair colour.

Bleach London are the brand I always look to for pastel hair colours and I already love their silver shampoo and conditioner, so I picked up their Gritty in Pink kit from Boots (£7).  It has minis of their popular Violet Skies, Awkward Peach and Rosé colours so it's the perfect way to try out some colours before investing in a bigger bottle.

011a5e207f70ee652ea676933848dbbe6a84e0e877-001 Bleach London Gritty in Pink

The instructions say to shampoo your hair, towel-dry it and then apply the colour wearing the enclosed plastic gloves.  It advises you to leave it on for about 15 minutes but I left it for 30 minutes as I hoped it would mean the colour would take a little more.  Obviously about a 1/3 of my hair at the moment is my roots, which are a dark blonde, and I kind of figured that the colour wouldn't take to that, but I thought it would work quite well on the section of my hair that's previously been highlighted and bleached.

After half an hour I rinsed out the colour and blow-dried my hair.  This is the result (sorry for the bad phone pics - Tom was away when I did it so I didn't have anyone to take snaps for me!) - as I suspected there was no hint of colour on my roots but it did take to the previously colour sections.
  0156fd4a41c5fa380e9a21bc9ea98bbf7717e46e32Bleach London Gritty in Pink

The colour looked really bright when I put the dye on so I was surprised at the washed out effect it gave as it wasn't bright at all - I actually quite like this effect though as it's more subtle.  I really couldn't make up my mind whether I liked it on me but I was intrigued to see how long the colour would last.  It advises 2-10 washes on the bottle but as I have such bleached hair already I figured that it had a good chance of taking to my hair.

The next day I went for a run and had to wash my hair afterwards.  I mixed the remainder of the contents of the bottle with my conditioner so I was pretty surprised to see that it had washed out loads just in that one wash (especially since I used the dye again a second time).  It was now a very light pink, almost like the lilac tone I get when I leave on my silver/purple shampoo too long.  I'm guessing on the second wash it will have completely washed out.

Reading other blog reviews it seems like the dyes work really differently depending on your hair type, how coloured it's been in the past, how you apply it and so on - so it's difficult to review it as every result will be different.  For me, I'd definitely use it again for a temporary effect, but it's clearly not going to last my two week holiday! I have heard that the blue tones and the Violet Skies colour last a lot longer (and are pretty hard to shift apparently!) so they would be options if you were looking for longer term colour.

Have you tried any of the Bleach London semi-permanent colours?

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14 September 2014

Recent memories

Looking through my photos folder from the last few weeks I realised two things.  Firstly - there are lots of days out and adventures that I haven't blogged about, and secondly, it has dawned on me why I'm so tired - I don't think I'd quite realised how much we'd done! Phew - what a month August has been, I feel like we've barely had a moment to catch our breath.

Of course the first bit of August was taken up with about a week of birthday celebrations, including our weekend away camping and my birthday itself - which we spent eating good food, walking in the forest and shopping (my ideal day!) Then there was my trip to Bicester Village with my Mum, which was the perfect girls' day out - lots of shopping (hello Mulberry shop!) and a yummy lunch out - and a glass of fizz of course!

Birthday drink

The paddleboard has been out several times since we bought it - we've definitely got our £100 worth already (it was an eBay bargain!) These snaps are from when we took it to the beach near our parents' house.  Bodhi is a paddleboarding pro now, although I don't think he liked being on it with Tom in the water (he usually just wants to go wherever Tom goes!)  I'm guessing the paddleboard will soon be packed away as I'm not sure I fancy going out on it now it's a bit chillier!
  Tom and BodhiTom and Bodhi

A couple of weekends before my birthday we went camping in Kimmeridge with Tom's Mum and Dad.  We stayed in the van this time rather than in a tent - I road tested my new sleeping bag which I'll be taking on Trek America and it was very warm and comfy! We had a really lovely time with them, spent eating yummy food, having a barbecue, exploring Kimmeridge, paddleboarding, walking and visiting the brilliant Square and Compass pub at Worth Matravers for ciders and pasties.
  KimmeridgeKimmeridge Kimmeridge

We also recently went to the wedding of two of our close friends, Luke and Laura, the reception of which was held at the beautiful Stockbridge Farm Barn in Sherborne.
Luke and Laura wedding
Wedding Wedding

On a recent Saturday we went along to a 'fun day' at Mudeford Quay where there were lifeboat demonstrations, a funfair, food stalls and all kinds of other things going on.  My favourite bit was the demonstration from the Blades aerobatic team.
  BladesMudeford Fun Day

As you all probably know by now, I'm currently in the USA exploring the West coast with Trek America - I can't wait to share all my new memories with you when I get back!

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