Friday, 30 November 2012

Unwanted Hair Products: Sharing Is Caring.

Disclaimer: I did this clean up last May! Just never got the chance to write about it. 

I'm a product junkie. And I needed help. A lot of help because I was collecting a lot of hair and skin care products over the years. I blame hair events... also entering giveaways when I know that I don't even need the products... so I've stopped entering them. 

Oh and of course, my experimenting nature and feeling the need to try almost every raved product that's on sale is also to blame for my hair and skin care collection.

I will admit though that I have improved. I only buy things I strictly need. I haven't purchased any hair products since last May. For that, I pat myself on the back. 

In case people accuse me of being a total product junkie, all the hair products I own aren't just for me. If I don't use them, I give them away to friends and family. If I do use them, fellow naturals in my family can use them too, so I'm not particularly greedy! 

While my hair and skin care collection was growing, it was seriously reducing the amount of space I had in my already 'space-challenged' bedroom. I really needed to clean out everything I wasn't using and I have managed to find some products that I wanted to get rid of. 

Samples don't necessarily take up a lot of space but if you have a lot of them, they do. It was time to get rid of some. Equally, 25ml sachets of samples are not particularly enough for one leave in/deep conditioning or shampoo session. Samples make a great natural hair 'starter pack' gift to a transitioning or BCing friend who wants to do a little bit of experimentation.

Samples are always nice to give to newly naturals.

Tape the top of particular bottles with a bit of tape.
Tape is vital! Especially if you don't want anything to spill when you put the samples in a box or bag. 

Sharing the love by giving some great products.

The amount of meet ups I went to has enabled me to just give away bigger sample size products to people who will give them a great home. Some styling products are products I barely if ever use, such as pomades (except for the Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade). I also do not use gel on my hair.

After selecting pretty much every product that deserved a better owner, I made sure that all lids were shut properly and taped. I also made sure that nothing was out of date or simply unusable.

I put everything I didn't need into a box. Whenever I encounter newly naturals (at my uni for example) or if it's a natural friends' birthday (call me frugal but spare products can compliment the originally intended gift quite well!) coming up, I just pick and choose what may work for them or what they may need the most. I put the products in a gift bag and give it to them. They're happy because they got free stuff, I'm happy because I've freed up space.

If they have any questions about where they can get some of the products, I direct them to where they can get it in the UK (if it's available in the UK). If they're newly naturals, I tend to give them a list of blogs that may help them and also some hair tutorials of naturalistas using a particular product.

This was my stash last May.

Ignore the sachets. My stash was reduced to those full sized products. I also had more samples not photographed.

My stash is getting smaller and smaller and I am left with more oils, butters, infused waters (such as rose water), clays and ayurvedic powders (this is deliberate; I want to go for a very simple, inexpensive and effective regimen). I found that when I had a simple regimen it was better for my scalp and hair and most importantly, for my wallet.

 I'll be playing around with this regimen a little more.

If you have products you do not want and you want to get rid of them but you do want to earn a little something for that, you can use Lola's Green Hair. You can also just take them to a natural hair event and swap them or give them away... or simply give products to charities that will pass them on to people who need them the most. Sharing is caring!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

I Smile More.

The past few months have been very difficult for me... and I'm 100% sure I'll face many more difficult months.

While the pain and frustration is still there, I'm slowly working on becoming better in so many ways. I want to be more confident in what I do, I want to be more positive and I want to increase my strength  to deal with negativity better.

I still have my bad days though, many of them (understandably). But with the amount of support and love I've been getting from friends and family, it's making the bad days a lot more bearable.

Last Tuesday, I felt this urge to regain my love for my living space. I cleaned up my oil burner that had been collecting dust and decided to burn some rosemary and peppermint essential oils.

There's nothing like the scent of essential oils surrounding every corner of your home. Everyone loved how fresh and natural the house was smelling. Oil burning is definitely a better alternative to the artificial and asthma inducing commercial air freshener.

I went to Boots and I saw this brush by Tangle Teezer. The brush is hollow and can be used for under the shower detangling. I know for a fact that it'll be useful for many people because the original Tangle Teezer just fills up with water when you detangle with it under the shower.

Another thing that happened last week, was the arrival of my friends from the Netherlands! They came over to spend a few days with me. We just chilled out and did a lot of necessary catching up.


I took my friends to Nando's which they (of course) loved... Nando's is one of the only places I never get bored of and I always order the same thing too. 

After some window shopping, we went for coffee and sweet treats because a day of going out is not complete without a chat over coffee and sweet treats!

Three cheers.

After that, we were at the Birmingham New Street pub as we were waiting for a train (for one of my friends) to London Euston. We missed three London Midland trains. Three! They said it was due to flooding but somehow Virgin Trains were always on schedule... I guess I know why traveling with Virgin Trains is so expensive (and not just because it's a fast train), they're just more reliable than London Midland as well! 

My friends got home safely. I really had a wonderful time with them and it was so lovely going down memory lane again.

Everyday, I hope to smile more.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Non-Spoiler Review: Breaking Dawn Part 2.

Disclaimer: If you find The Twilight Saga nauseating and you still want to read this post, have a sick bag ready.

The end of The Twilight Saga is here.

It's been four amazing years of The Twilight Saga films. And I will miss it.

I've long waited for Breaking Dawn Part 2 (since watching Part 1 last year) and I was not disappointed and you won't be disappointed either. 

I have never read any of the Twilight books but I've been told they're badly written and since I've struggled progressing past page 100 on the Fifty Shades of Grey book 2, I won't bother reading Twilight. Ever. 

The Twilight Saga movies have captivated me. I really liked Full Moon and Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Twilight was OK). 

Breaking Dawn Part 2 was very slow at the start though. Bella is also narrating through a lot of the movie (to explain the backstory of specific scenes... I guess).

Overall, the movie was good. There will be tears (if you're really emotionally involved with The Twilight Saga and its characters). You will also find the movie exciting if you don't know the twist!

Without further ado... the main characters:

Bella is gorgeous as vampire. She looked brand new. All her dreams have come true; she's now a vampire. And not only is she a vampire, she's a really good vampire at that; she has great powers, control of thirst and strength that newborns don't (usually) have.

Kristen Stewart was perfect as Bella, especially since Bella was an annoying teenager in the earlier movies. If Kristen Stewart wants to do more movies, they need to make more Twilight based films because she's too boring for other movies.

Edward is in the movie too and he's just overrated. That is all.

I didn't sense any pedophilic behaviour from Jacob even though he imprinted on little Nessie (he nicknamed her after the Loch Ness monster LOL). But for the first time ever, I liked Jacob. 

I still can't get this image out of my head though:

Moving on...

Renesmee is so cute and pretty! I think everyone was just in awe of her beauty. She has this adorable way of communicating; placing her hand on someone's face. Renesmee is truly special.

Some other notable characters that I feel like mentioning:

Left: Senna. Right: Zafrina.

The Cullen's recruited Senna and Zafrina of the Amazon as witnesses. Zafrina has special powers that creates illusions in other people's minds. Everyone sort of laughed at the close up of Zafrina's face as she carried out her special powers. 

Benjamin is of the Egyptian coven and he has the ability to influence the four elements of nature; water, fire, earth and air. He made great use of his powers (in some of the scenes of this movie, I was wondering what we'd do without him). I really like his character. 

The actions of Alice and Jasper in this movie will not surprise anyone. They're such a caring and likeable couple.

Don't judge me, I genuinely liked this movie. I was quite excited about it and it completely lived up to my expectations. I'd watch it again. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Bye BlackBerry! Hello iPhone 5!


I have been spending so much time looking for places which have the iPhone 5 in stock and also offer the best deals. Last week, I finally found a place; the new EE store. 

EE is a new network made up of Orange and T-Mobile. They've introduced UKers to the 4G network (which has existed in the USA and Australia for a while now)... Side note: you would think that the power of Orange and T-Mobile together would guarantee better reception but no! The reception is worse than my O2 reception. Either way, O2 can't beat the good deal I have with T-Mobile.  

4G is supposedly very fast but there's been complaints about a lack of 4G reception (not surprising at all since it is new to the UK) but 4G is also very expensive (in my opinion). It isn't something I'm rushing to get. I can wait for those extra seconds longer for my page to load.

Anyhow, imagine my excitement when I finally upgraded from the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

The 5 is small but long. It is quite thin and light as well. It just seems so fragile to me! I know that if I dropped it, the screen would crack, so until I get something to protect it, I am very careful with it. 

I had the option of going with black or white but I find the black iPhone classier than the white one. The white one isn't made of slate and the silver on the side makes it very unattractive in my opinion. Besides, black goes with pretty much everything.

The phone fits nicely in your hand. Thumbs up for the ergonomics of this phone!

This phone's interface and theme is the same as all the other iPhone's interfaces and themes; substandard, boring and monotonous, but I guess it's iPhone's signature look (easily recognisable too).

On the phone lock screen, it gives you the option to drag the camera out. I like it because it saves time if you want to quickly snap a picture. 

The Do Not Disturb function is a function I love because it ignores calls, notifications, etc; it's very useful if you don't want constant notifications while you're in a meeting or something.

The panoramic shot view of this camera is epic fail. I hate it. You're expected to hold the iPhone in a perfect line in order to get the panoramic shot. And trust me, no matter what you do, the photos will never look great because it relies on you holding the camera properly without your hand shaking when you're following the panorama line. Fail fail fail. I don't use the panoramic shot function. Ever.  

I don't have much else to say about this phone and you'll know why if you watched the iPhone 5 Keynote. There's nothing incredibly new about this phone. A few things have been updated etc. but the phone is quite lacklustre. There's nothing 'wow' or 'amazing' about this if you have an iPhone already. I didn't have the iPhone 4, I had the iPhone 3G for two years and I was really happy with that, and then I had the BlackBerry for almost a year, so imagine how happy I am that I got something better. 

This phone is great if 1) someone buy's it for you as a gift, 2) if you haven't had an iPhone before, 3) if you're upgrading from the BlackBerry.