HAIRCARE

30 Apr 2016

Back at the end of last year I finally decided it was time to chop off my long locks and go something a bit shorter. It's not like I went from Rapunzel to a pixie cut or anything but it took a little bit of time to adjust to actually being able to get a brush through it easily and get it actually straight without it taking two hours to do. I decided it was time to switch up my hair care and try out some new products and I think I've found some great products. 

My hair is prone to greasiness and, annoyingly, there aren't many shampoos geared towards oily roots but when my sister recommend I try a lush shampoo bar I thought I would give the Jumping Juniper Shampoo bar a go. I was a bit precarious to start thinking it will only last a few washes but it definitely lasts a lot longer especially by putting it in a small pot after each shower. I feel it leaves my hair super clean but also really soft which I love. If I'm not using this shampoo bar, I reach for my Alberto Balsam Tea Tree Shampoo or Head & Shoulder. I've also found them great for hair prone to oiliness. 

When it comes to conditioner, I'm really not that picky but I'm hooked on the Herbal Essense Beautiful Ends Conditioner. It claims to stop split ends and help repair them which, I'll admit, I think is a load of baloney but the smell is amazing and seeing is I'm using a lot more heat on my hair these days, I'm hoping it will do a bit of good. 

It might come as a surprise, but I've recently ditched my beloved John Freda Fizz Easer Serum. It was great when I had long hair but now I regularly straighten it, it's not as necessary. Instead, however, I've been using the Got2be Styling Oil. To start with, I applied a bit to the ends of my hair after styling but now I've found it to work best by applying a small amount over my hair after I brushed it through before I dry it. It leaves my hair feeling soft, helps tame and style my hair. 

Speaking of styling, I don't do much of it with my hair differing between three hair styles: up, down and the half-up-half-down. As I've mentioned, I've been straightening my hair a lot more as it really helps me control my thick head of hair that little bit more. The straighteners I currently use are The BaByliss Pro 235 Smooth Straightener. They're nothing special but they do the job and think they'd be perfect for curling as well. While I'm not one to get split ends even with all the straightening recently, I still don't want to take chances so I use the TRESemme Heat Defence Spray. It's been a product I've used for years and one I've just stuck with.

I've recently discovered a new dry shampoo instead of my Batiste which I think is a Tesco's own which is the Girlz Only Dry Shampoo for blonde hair(even though I'm basically brown). I've been wanting to try out a coloured dry shampoo and so I thought I'd give it a go and it actually works pretty well at refreshing my hair as well as not leaving that annoy white residue. I've also ditched my Tangled Tezzer which has basically fallen apart for a cheap version that I think is also from Tesco which is theTangle Attack- a complete rip off from the Tangle Teezer but I think it's much better especially if you have thicker hair to get through all the knots instead of just grazing over them.

So that's all for hair care; nothing too interesting but I thought it might be useful if you're in need of some budget friendly hair products. Do you have any good hair care recommendations?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

RECENTLY READ #15

23 Apr 2016

I'm on a reading roll! While it's probably not the most exciting to see two recently read posts in a row, it's nice to feel like I'm finally getting some reading done this year.



TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE // JENNY HAN 

★★★

This was a book I'd bought on my kindle back last year, started to read it and got side tracked. Then, when in the need to procrastinate, I decided to delve back into the book. It's the story of 16 year old Lara Jean who lives with her dad and two sisters. When some letters she once wrote to people she loved get sent out, she tries to get things back on track. I liked the premise of the story and I grew to love the YA love story that went along with it. The way the family life was described with her dad and little sister I loved. One of my biggest problems with the story is Lara Jean's older sister who seemed to be nothing more than a pain in the bum. While her intentions were good, the way she was written I just didn't like and found myself rolling my eyes at any mention of her name. Then, when the sort of moral of the story as to why her sister is that way comes around, I'd grown to dislike her so much that I couldn't understand how that really made her that way. Also the, I guess, love triangle that was trying to be created just didn't appeal to me and I just didn't feel it was a strong story line. However, with the cliffhanger left at the end of this book and seeing as I enjoyed certain elements of this book, I'll be sure to pick up the sequel later this year. 

HARRY POTTER & THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE // J.K ROWLING

★★★★★

This is my main goal for the year. Apart from passing my exams and getting into university, this my one aim; to finally read all the Harry Potter books. While many will say I'm not a true fan because I never read the books, I love the Harry Potter films and the world it has created. I read the first two Harry Potter books back when I was 7 (I think) but after losing interest half way through the second one I have sadly only just picked them up again and boy do I regret leaving it so long. I feel like the point of me explaining my love for this book and annoyance for myself is invalid because we all know the awards and credit this book has been given over the years but I just want to say I really loved it. I know that I'm going to carry on kicking myself for not picking this up sooner. The thought that has gone into the smallest of features to create such a unique and realistic setting that is part of so many people's childhood is incredible.

HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS // J.K ROWLING

★★★

Even though I loved the first book, I was still apprehensive going into the second one due to this kind of being the reason I didn't dive further into the book series but as I read on, I kicked myself even harder for judging this book by the film. See, I'm not the biggest fan of this film(I think the basilisk has always scared me) but I, again, really enjoyed the book. The characters continued to develop as well as the plot and some questions I had throughout the whole film franchise I now had answered. My only problem with the book really was the character of Lockhart who added, I felt, nothing more than an annoyance. Aside from that I really enjoyed it especially the character of Tom Riddle and the look back on his time at Hogwarts with the links to him being made much clearer than in the film. So that's two down and five more to go! I can't wait to read the next one. 

IN COLD BLOOD // TRUMAN CAPOTE

★★★

I'd neglected my college reading for far too long and so it was time to read In Cold Blood again for my English resit which is next month(please send help). I'll be honest, this is not a book you can really read four or five times without slightly giving up and just skimming over sections of no importance just as I did. I solidly read the first half of the book but as it hits the final two sections, as with every time I've read it, things start to die down and I felt the book drags out the inevitable for too long but I guess that just reflects the context of the book. Capote followed the Clutter murder case and the capture of the two murderers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. He wrote about the Clutter's background and the two criminals background to tell the story of the murder and the final hanging. It's known that Capote helped Smith and Hickock appeal to courts in order to keep them alive to help finish his story and you can tell that from how long it takes to get to the end. There's a great film about Capote writing this book which you should definitely check out! I also do really recommend the book as it's fascinating to read how the story came about and how little events had a part to play in the end result.

So there's another four books I've finished reading and I'm now on track to finish my 2016 reading challenge for once! Maybe all this English reading is more helpful than I thought.
Have you read any of the books mentioned? What have you been reading recently?
I'd love to know!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

RECENTLY READ #14

9 Apr 2016


It seems that prep reading has taken over recently and when I explain the first book I tackled I hope you understand why it's taken me so long to post another Recently Read.

THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG // PETER CAREY

I tackled this book back last year and if you've been around these parts around then, you might remember how much I despise having to study this book for my English exam last year (my review: here). After not doing the best in that exam, I've decided to retake the test this May so it was time to give this book it's fourth read. I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to reading this book four times. It's about the Irish immigrants who were banished to Australia for committing crimes and about The Kelly family in particular. It follows young Ned  Kelly as he grows up having to deal with the prejudice towards him due to his family and his Irish heritage. It's supposed to make you sympathise with the treatment of Ned and to realise that it's that which pushes him to become a criminal. In some ways I agree but a lot of the time I couldn't sympathise with him. It basically just isn't the book for me and my age bracket. However, I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed it slightly more the fourth time round; I think I've finally got used to the way it's written and the lack of grammar. It's still not a book I would recommend though.

TROUBLE // NON PRATT

After putting myself through that torture, I decided I wanted something light to read and when I saw this on offer on my Kindle, I thought I would give it a read as it looked like an easy YA read and it was just that. I've heard a mixed bag of opinions on Non Pratt and my feeling on this book are no different. I read it quickly and always went to pick it up without feeling like "urgh I need to finish it" but there were a few plot points that bothered me which, in fairness, I knew would just from reading the blurb. The whole Who's the Daddy plot wasn't one I enjoyed and it felt very soap opera-esque and I quickly guessed who it was and once I'd worked out  who it was I wasn't happy with it. It wasn't the most realistic twist and I think they could of done something bigger with the twist. I wasn't 100% sure on the ending but after having time to think about it, I did like it as it didn't try and tie all the loose ends up perfectly which I love but it gives a bit of room for your imagination to choose what happens next. I think it depicts British teenhood well; maybe not the way I live/am living it but it's realistic in some sense and I think it would be a good read for those 14-16.

THE BELL JAR // SYLVIA PLATH

It was back to the English A level reading and it's given me the chance to read a classic I've wanted to read for a while. I know this is a lot people's favourite book covering mental health and feminism which are two topics that are very important in our culture today just as it was back when this was written. I sadly, didn't enjoy this book as much as I would have hoped. I loved what it stood for but I found the writing to be a bit all over the place and jumped from place to place, person to person. Having said that, I understood what Plath was saying and why she included most of the incidents she did. I wasn't very emotional involved as I would have liked but by the end I was really routing for the main character of Esther. Plath does a great job in illustrating the struggles of a Esther, a working woman trying to navigate through life while her mental health declines but under the pressures to date men.  The are so many comparisons that can be made from the book to Plath's own life and I really like this aspect and while I haven't given it as high rating as I would have liked, I would still recommend for you to give it a read. However, I'd like to give a trigger warning as it does go into detail of numerous suicide attempts and so if you find that triggering in any way I would refrain from reading this. 

THE YELLOW WALL-PAPER // CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN

When one of the stories your teacher recommends for you to read is just 30 pages long, it's definitely the right option and when I found this had been published into one of the little black penguin classics I was looking forward to giving this a read. I actually found that this 30 page story had a bigger personal impact than the 300 page Bell Jar. It follows the story of a woman who is told by her doctor and husband to stop writing as they try to help her get better but secretly she carries on writing her feelings of her imprisonment that is supposed to be helping her get better but isn't working. She continues to write about her thoughts as she descends further into madness. I've not read many short stories but this has to be one of my favourites covering feminism and declining mental health in such a short space. If you don't think it can be any more like The Bell Jar, it too is semi-autobiographical so if you enjoyed The Bell Jar I would definitely pick up this 80p book from Amazon and give it a read along with the other two short stories that I am yet to read but will be doing soon!

It's coming up to exams now but I want to keep the reading up in preparation for my exams but to also be my time to relax so hopefully it won't be long till I have another Recently Read post for you! 
Do you have any book recommendations? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

P.S Add meas a friend on Good Reads to keep up with me reading!

MY REVISION PLAYLIST

1 Apr 2016


So I hope you've been enjoying this revision week. I'm sorry I could post yesterday and it's with the good excuse that I was too busy revising that I didn't have time write the post and re draft so instead I decided to just skip a day but it's the last day of this little mini series and I come to share with you something I always love sharing with you and that's a playlist. And, of course, sticking to the theme, it's my revision playlist. At the moment it's 20 songs that I think are the perfect revision songs that won't send you to sleep but also won't cause you to get distracted and spend the day singing and dancing a long.

You can find the playlist over on my Spotify  where there's other playlist you can have a listen to.



So I'd love to know your thoughts on this revision week and if they were something that interested you if not please be honest about it! 
Do you have a any last minute revision words of wisdom?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
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