Monday, 2 December 2013


For some reason I am still of the mindset that my hair remains in ruins. I bleached it to within an inch of its life in late 2011 and since then I've dyed the ends of my hair to match my roots, avoided heat, dry brushing and naughty ingredients... The list goes on. I've been babying my hair like mad but now I've started to realise that my hair is actually in great condition, even the frazzled ends onto which the bleach clings for dear life.

Most of my length is virgin so its in much better condition now that the bleach has almost all grown out. Regardless, I still think my hair is really damaged and I constantly seek out deep treatments only to be disappointed that they haven't done anything for my hair. Now I'm starting to realise that there is little left for deep treatments to do because I've kept on top of haircare and its protein-moisture balance. There are still some deep treatments I'd love to try and of course curly hair always needs moisture, but I need to accept that my hair is no longer in total tatters.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Another Week, more on Kats Kalma

Ooooh yeah, I went back to Greenwich specifically to visit Kat and get some pretties.
Kats Kalma hair oil and dry facial mask
Kats Kalma Hair Oil and Facial Mask
Again, I love the packaging. The hair oil and face mask are housed in a glass pump bottle and glass jar respectively. This was surprising as I thought they were plastic but keeping to true eco-friendly form, glass had been used instead. Of course, this means you have to be slightly more careful with them but for the aesthetics, sturdiness and the quality, I'm fine with that. I also love the re-usability factor they have and I plan on giving each a new life after I've used them. The packaging actually reminds me of something you would see on the shelf at Berry and Rye, (my second favourite bar) in Liverpool. Or failing that, a Victorian pharmacy. I'm not a time travelling Victorian but to me they look like little antique glass containers. I'm not an antique dealer either, but I do know that I like them.

Friday, 22 November 2013

So you have curly hair? Straighten it, freak!

Bumble and Bumble, why is it that when I search for curly hair products on your website, this comes up:

Straight shampoo? Straight conditioner? Straight blow dry? Why are the curly haired products right at the bottom of the page? I don't get why products for straight hair are in the 'curly' category. I think its wrong to suggest that straight hair is what curlies should be aspiring for and encourage them to buy into having straight hair. I understand that many curlies want straight hair but when I search for curl products, surely that's what I want to see?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Marshmallowists Review

I went back to Notting Hill to check out The Marshmallowists whose stall I had spied a little while ago before reading about them in the Evening Standard.
the marshmallowists
The Marshmallowists, Portobello Road
The Marshmallowists and their spongy, fresh, gourmet offerings have been touted as the new 'thing', the new cupcake if you will. Yeah so basically move over red velvet, Hummingbird and Lola's cupcakes etc. We approached the stall inquisitively before getting chatting to Smart and Simms who were incredibly friendly, funny and up for a chat. They were really knowledgeable about marshmallows (did I just write that?) and obviously quite passionate about their products. We opted for four shmallows - strawberry and basil, passion fruit and ginger, mango and sweet orange and peppermint.

Monday, 18 November 2013

(Even More) Greenwich, Patty&Bun, The Trafalgar Tavern

Patty and Bun Smokey Robinsons with Rosemary Salt Chips
Patty&Bun Smokey Robinsons with Rosemary Salt Chips
These are the disgracefully delicious, greasy Smokey Robinson burgers from Patty and Bun. They easily make the best burger I've ever had! Shame about the overcrowded premises and the hour long queues though... They really need to relocate. Din and I regularly have to share a table meant for four with 3 other people crammed onto it, there's not even space to move! This, coupled with the person at the next table pushing their buttocks into your face as they squeeze past you is more than awkward. Come on guys!
The Trafalgar Tavern Greenwich
The Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Barry M Berry Cosmo

Yet another beauty, I just love Barry M! This deep plum, autumnal shade is perfectly smooth and pigmented, couldn't be happier with it. As with all Barry M polishes, I find they last for at least 4 days without chipping (without a topcoat, I'm lazy).
Barry M Berry Cosmo
Barry M Berry Cosmo

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Invisibobble Review

This review is for the seemingly revolutionary Invisibobble which is touted as a 'traceless hair ring'. My first thoughts were 'poppycock' but I'm a converted fan.

Sit down, sip your milk and nibble on a cookie, it's story time. When it comes to haircuts, I only ever have a wash and cut. I had a snip the other day and made sure to carry a hair band with me to restrain my wet, poodle hair so I could scuttle off home to tame it myself. However when I was leaving the salon, I went to tie my hair back and my totally overstretched hair tie snapped! I couldn't possibly leave the salon looking like Medusa but luckily enough I spotted some hair ties for sale at the reception desk. Jackpot, I thought, my pride had been saved. Off I went with my tiny box of Invisibobbles for which I was charged £3.95. That is more than the RRP might I add. What can I say, I was up s**t's creek and desperate.

Enter Invisibobble!

Bannatyne's Millbank Spa Day Review

A few days ago Din and I went for a spa day at the Bannatyne Spa in Millbank. His sisters had bought us the  gift voucher for our birthdays but he didn't book it for about five months! It included a full body massage, a scalp massage (which we didn't get because we booked so late lol) and the use of the gym and swimming pool.

The spa itself is hidden underneath a building, on the left just before the revolving doors. The place itself didn't look like anything I had imagined. The relaxation area where you could help yourself to tea and coffee was in reception which was awkward and overall it was more of a gym/swimming pool/above board (hopefully) massage palour all under one roof. At reception we were given a padlock for a locker as well as the option to pay £3 for a bathrobe and slippers (which we got to keep) to wonder around the spa in. We said yes but I wish we didn't have to give the bathrobe back, it was so soft and comfy!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bargain Hair Haul

I got 8 products for £8! Or 9 products for £10.99 if you include the hair dye I but that doesn't sound so catchy does it?

How much do I love a bargain? A lot. It doesn't matter who are, I know you love bargains too. I will shamelessly admit that this is my cheap and cheerful haul from the 99p Store, Home Bargains and Pak Cosmetics.
99p Store, Home Bargains and Pak Cosmetics Haul
99p Store, Home Bargains and Pak Cosmetics Haul
Firstly, excuse me while I get this off my chest because I have to address a pressing issue on behalf of my hair: where are the Tresemme Naturals conditioners at? Have they discontinued them? I always stock up when I see them on offer because I love that Tresemme is a high street brand making silicone free conditioners at great value. Recently though I haven't been able to find the Naturals range in Morrisons, Home Bargains, Superdrug or Savers Chemist. Okay maybe I should calm down and search other stores before panic sets in but please hold on while I chew my fingernails nervously and clutch my final bottle of Tresemme. What should I do? I can't substitute this stuff for watery silicone free conditioner *cough* Alberto Balsam *cough*. What's happened, yo?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Greenwich and Kat's Kalma Love

Tired and totally overdressed for the warm weather, I journeyed to Greenwich to visit the market. I didn't anticipate how packed it would be on the weekend and was quite overwhelmed by the lack of space and the sheer amount of people. I managed to see most of the market but would have liked to stay longer to really investigate everything the market had to offer. One of the stalls I did manage to spend some time at was Kats Kalma, a stall dedicated to natural face and body products.

Kat's Kalma Greenwich Stall Products
Kats Kalma Greenwich Stall

I absolutely love the idea of a 'natural' and 'chemical free' free lifestyle. Although of course technically everything is a chemical, I'm talking about avoiding the usual big bad boys - things like parabens, sulphates, silicones in hair products, propylene glycol, drying alcohols, yada yada. This is all well and good in theory, but trying to avoid nasties can be very difficult when the high street is totally populated by mainstream brands. I suppose it's always easier to dodge them by buying from online independent sellers but many of them are abroad (can I smell extortionate shipping costs?). It's partly due to this that I've held off from buying natural products online as well as not being able to experience the products for myself. However, when I spotted Kats Kalma, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dabble with some totally natural goodies. After taking a good look at everything, I purchased a gift set containing a hand balm and a lip balm.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding Review

So once I realised this brand existed after reading this blog post, (and after spending 55 minutes oogling, sniffing and comparing everything in my local hair shop), I decided to buy the Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding. I'd never heard of Beautiful Textures before but then again I've only recently properly discovered Pak's range. There's too much choice!

Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding
Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding
Before trying it, my first impressions were alright. Not exactly inspiring confidence am I? Let me explain. I'm on the fence about the jar's mad colour scheme and at first it didn't strike me as being targeted towards adults so I wasn't really sure what the range was all about. You can't miss it on the shelves though so I guess it's serving its purpose. The jar itself is wide mouthed which makes it easy to access the product whether you use a spoon or your fingers. Of course a spoon is preferable but when you're in the shower and have forgotten your spoon, you're kinda screwed and this is great in comparison to tiny jars that squish fingers. The texture of the pudding is very thick and creamy quite like body butter, yet similar to jelly. A bottle or some kind of pump dispenser would have been amazeballz but the Curl Pudding is very thick so it's probably impractical. I can't say I'm a fan of the texture because it's so firm but I usually associate this with serious moisturisation so I had high hopes for it. It's actually a very pale peach which is a lot better compared to other mud-like concoctions I came across in Pak's. At least it's not candy floss pink like Boot's Curl Cream (we've got a love-hate relationship - I'll spare you). The product has a mouth watering-ly juicy melon scent definitely 'made' me buy it. Although I hate melons, I could eat one if it actually smelt this good.

Hmm on second thoughts nah, I still hate melons.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Camden, Wagamama and Yumchaa

I don't know. Sometimes I get sick of central London and you know what they say - "when a man is tired of London he is tired of life". Well I'm not a man and I don't think I need to re-evaluate my life just yet. Anyway, I thought I could do with a change from zone one and like the absolute undisputed rebel I am, I ventured out into zone two.

Camden Lock Bridge River
Camden Lock
Apart from checking out overpriced tat, the original plan was to hit Yumchaa and the vegan and gluten free bakery Cookies and Scream. When we got to the stall though, I couldn't say I was overly impressed by the presentation of the products. Nothing was covered and any old fly (or perhaps worse, a human) could have molested the mighty tasty looking goodies. I decided to pass.

We realised we were hungry and seeing as Din has a phobia of InSpiral (the delicious vegan joint) and I have a phobia of the food stalls in the market, I thought we were screwed. It seemed like the only place left that we both were okay with was Wagamama. After some pursuasion, Din (who had vowed to never visit Wagamama after they scrapped his favourite dish, Amai Udon lol) agreed to get a Chicken Katsu Curry. When we got talking to our waitress, she said Amai Udon had been phased out because a new but similar and better dish, Wagamama Pad Thai over took its sales. He took her advice and ordered it with tofu and udon noodles instead of soba. It contained shallots, chillis, beansprouts, onions, coriander cress, peanuts, tofu, spring onions and beansprouts. He agreed that it was better than Amai Udon. Success! He has now been reconverted into a Waga fan.

Wagamama Pad Thai with Soba Noodles
Wagamama Pad Thai with Soba Noodles

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Quick and Healthy Guacamole and Salsa Recipe

Who doesn't like a simple, cheap and healthy pie-hole filler? Avocados are full of heart friendly nutrients, healthy fats, potassium and vitamins e and c. Tomatoes are also packed with vitamins and antioxidants and cucumbers (which have been one of my favourite foods since I was a yoot) are hydrating and vitamin rich. Might I add that on top of all this, these ingredients are also mighty tasty which could just be be their most important features.

This is a great snack because instead of just nibbling on 'unhealthy' tortilla chips alone, you're teaming them up with fruit and vegetables. Best of both worlds.

Guacamole Salsa Tortilla Chips Recipe
Guacamole, Salsa and Tortilla Chips

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Accidental Body Shop Hand Cream Haul

After spotting an amazing coupon on for a free 30ml hand cream from The Body Shop, I could not pass it up! I printed it and happily trotted into TBS to get my free cream but kind of ironically I managed to fall right for the marketing ploy and ended up buying a bunch of the creams. I've had the hemp one before and liked it but thought I may as well try the other new? versions. There are Wild Rose (SPF 15), Almond, Hemp and Absinthe to choose from.

The Body Shop Almond Hemp Absinthe Rose
These have only been in my bag for one day but they're battered!
I can't say I like being objected to a sales pitch but needless to say I was. I was asked to buy a discount card and even though I politely refused, the woman kept pushing it, using Christmas as a good excuse for me to buy one. However, I'm never really in TBS so I'd never need one. Sorry but I want my fr33 st00f!

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector
Thick or what?

Saturday, 5 October 2013

My Snowball Glogg

Having seen a similar bottle in Whole Foods, I'd wanted one for weeks. However after finding out that that particular one was aluminium, I decided to hold off and search for a better, stainless steel and BPA free alternative. Introducing my pretty.

When I learnt that bottles made from aluminium and BPA could have the ability to leech chemicals into the water they contain, I wanted a safe and reusable bottle to drink from. Having dabbled with two other bottles years ago, I can safely say that the Glogg is my favourite of the three. I've had an aluminium one from Muji, it had a narrow neck which made it difficult to clean. The threading in the neck of the bottle was also deep which made it even more of a hassle. My other bottle was a pink plastic one from Karrimor. Whilst it was BPA free, I still wasn't comfortable drinking from it because in the heat my drinks tasted mighty strange. Anyway who knows what those plastic BPA free bottles have had added to them as a replacement?

Friday, 20 September 2013

Mode Hair and Beauty Review

Ugh. Being curly haired can present a number of problems when going to get a snip and at Mode Hair and Beauty, my hair was definitely a problem. Although I hate to write such a negative review, I want to give an honest and truthful representation of my experience. I think it will be more satisfying than ignoring my frustration.

TL;DR version: I won't be returning to Mode! PD;LV (painfully detailed long version - yup I made that up) as follows.

Mode's phone was answered the second time I called and it was only then that I was able to find out their prices as they don't list them online. To be honest, this was an urgent appointment. I needed a hair chop ASAP so I can't say the price for a wet cut (£20 for short hair, £23 for long hair) mattered to me in my moments of desperation. I went ahead and booked my first (and as I was to decide - only) appointment that very day with a person I will name 'Human'.

I arrived five minutes early and was pleased that one of the blinds was pulled down in the salon. This at least offered privacy against the usual traffic on the road outside *cue bored human in a traffic jam taking pictures of you with a soaked head and making a meme*. I entered the salon and behind the reception was a woman with bleached blond hair clipped up. She did not make me feel welcome in the slightest and looked more than a little annoyed. She informed 'Human' that I was their client and a good few seconds later, 'Human' decided to leave the comfort of their chair in the waiting area whilst groaning. At which point I felt quite embarrassed. It was just awkward.

As 'Human' showed me to a chair, I noticed in the mirror that my hair was quite damp from the rain. 'Human' noticed this and suggested that it probably wasn't worth washing it because it was already wet. At this point I was just disappointed. Taking 'Human's' hint that they obviously wanted to get this over and done with, I felt like a nuisance and stupidly did not press the issue of a hair wash.

I told 'Human' I wanted half an inch cut off and asked them to use the Tangle Teezer I'd brought with me to detangle my hair. 'Human' declined and began to brush my hair with a paddle brush (ouch), whilst apparently failing to notice that my hair wasn't parted evenly down the middle. This threw me off because usually when I go elsewhere, the hairdresser asks where I part my hair, which I assume affects the way they cut it. Hell, 'Human' didn't even section my hair to get the bits they weren't working with out of the way. Don't hairdressers usually section the hair horizontally, clip the crown hair out of the way and begin cutting at the back if the head? 'Human' obviously decided they were going to wing it and simply grabbed a chunk from the back of my hair, pushed the other pieces aside and began cutting.

W. T. F.
Image source

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Thalassa Seafood Restaurant Review

Thalassa Chase Side Southgate Consumer Qualms
Din and I happened to be on Chase Side, Southgate enjoying a glorious sunny day when I realised my stomach was barking growling at me. Great. Not being interested in Southgate's KFC (or any KFC for that matter), I was seeking something a bit more wholesome, light and tasty. Whilst scanning the highstreet, Din spotted Thalassa and suggested we check out the menu. At this point I was getting flashbacks to a review I had read in a local newspaper about this restaurant. It was pretty positive as far as I can remember and although I'm never sure whether these types of reviews are totally unbiased and objective, I love seafood and it looked promising.

Thalassa Chase Side Southgate consumer qualms

We consulted the lunchtime menu (served from 12-3pm) which consisted of one course for £5.95 or two for £8.95. The starters sounded especially delicious and as it was 2.45pm, we headed straight in. We were greeted by a friendly waitress and chose to sit between the bar and the window. Ahem, the sliding window. Oh yes, this baby opens. It was fantastic on such a hot day. I digress.