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Bloggers’ hair disasters and how to avoid them

how to find the perfect hairdresser and avoid bad hair days

I don’t know about you, but I think finding a hairdresser you trust is almost as difficult as finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I’ve had my hairdresser for over 15 years now and I know exactly that she would never do anything that I don’t like. In fact, I trust her so much, I just sit down and let her work her magic. Not everyone is as lucky as me though and the best example for that some of my lovely blogging friends. When we chatted about bad hairdresser experiences, they told me some horrific stories, but read for yourself:

Kelly from Domestic Goddesque came home with a rather animalistic look:

I went for highlights to a new salon, and they used that magi-mesh stuff to put on the dye. Anyhoo, when I got home, I realised that the magi-whatevs had some sort of adhesive on it, which had stripped the dye from small sections of my hair giving me what can only be described as a zebra-hair-do. I went somewhere else to get it fixed and as it happened pre-social media days, there are no photos!

Cass from Frugal Family wasn’t the victim herself, but she’ll never let her OH take the kids to the hairdresser’s again:

I let my husband take my (then) 7 year old to the barbers and I have no idea what he asked the guy to do, but swears he asked for what he was supposed to. The poor lad somehow ended up with a number one all over which is something similar to a skinhead. I was traumatised and that’s the last time that I don’t go with them on a trip to the hairdressers!!!

Amanda from The Ana Mum Diary went from Rapunzel locks to looking like a boy – involuntarily, of course:

When I was 11, I had a perm. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to persuade my mum and dad that I could have one. I wanted to have a soft perm, like my best friend, who was called Diane. She was so beautiful, and I just wanted to look a tiny bit more like her. So I went to hairdressers and asked if I could have the ‘Diane’ hair. Well I had hair down to my bum before I went it, and I came out looking like a poodle, and I cried for days, and wouldn’t come out of my room. It was so dry and frizzy I had to have it cut off, really really short. So when I started secondary school I looked like a boy.

Michelle from Mummy From The Heart went home with a style that got her a new nickname:

My worst experience was the day of a ball at uni. I was 19 and had spent £120 on a dress (so a ton of money 20 years ago) and wanted pretty hair to go with it. My idea was soft falling tendrils, the local hairdresser felt differently and gave me a tight set. My friends called me ‘sheepy’ all night!

how to find the perfect hairdresser

Of course, your hairdresser appointment doesn’t have to end in a disaster. Websites like Rock Pamper Scissor list the best hair dressers in your local area, like these hairdressers in Manchester and, if you are prepared to do a bit of prep-work before seeing a new hairdresser, you’re definitely on the safe side:

1. Look at reviews online and on social media

2. Ask friends and family for recommendations

3. Do your research: What do you want? What don’t you want? Print pics or cut out pictures of styles you like.

4. Communicate clearly: Tell your stylist exactly what you want. There’s no point in sweet talking or agreeing with them when you don’t. Remember, you’ll have to live with your new cut or colour for weeks, if not months.

5. Have a play: There are a lot of websites online that allow you to upload your photo and add an overlay with the hair style of your choice. This way, you can find out, if certain cuts and colours suit you or something else might be more flattering.

This is a promotional post with images from Caroline Tran via Flickr and Bruce Guenter

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Technology to Keep Warm this Winter

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire winter wrapped up in front of a delightful fire. There are many pieces of technology out there that can help to keep you warm so you can perform regular tasks like you would in any other season. Your heating bills might be higher at this time of the year due to having to have it on constantly to keep you from getting a cold, but these ideas will help you to reduce your heating costs and stay cosy.

I’ve put together a collection of self-warming garments and accessories that will help you feel more confident about the daunting task of going out into the cold and help you warm up when you’re inside. You’ll be surprised how cosy you can feel both inside and outside with these super, warming products:

Heated Under Blanket

heated underblanket, keep warm in winter

Nothing feels better when you get home from a long day out into the cold and climb into a lovely warm bed. A heated under blanket fits neatly under your sheets and on top of your mattress and you don’t even notice it’s there (apart from the fact it’s keep you warm). To ensure ultimate ‘snuggly comfort’, turn it on an half an hour before you go to bed, it will warm your body up in seconds and feel so cosy.

Portable Heater

portable heater, keep warm in winter

Portable heaters are great to have at home and at work. If you are unlucky enough to sit near the door or the part of the room that seems to be the coldest in the office one of these will be your saviour. You can get these online at Electric Shop and many other electrical appliance retailers. They are also great to have in your bedroom to save on the central heating but watch your electricity bill otherwise it’ll be out of the frying pan and into the fire!

Zippo Hand Warmer

hand warmer, keep warm in winter

Our hands are very sensitive and unless you have a thick pair of gloves, they can get extremely cold. A hand warmer is great for when you’ve just got in from your commute to and from work, during your commute, in a cold building or when you’ve just de-iced your car and you feel like your hands are going to drop off (we all know that feeling). When you feel your hands getting warmer, it’s almost a feeling of relief that they are still intact.

Heated Insoles

hand warmers, keep warm in winter

Your feet are another part of the body that tend to feel the cold, especially if you don’t own hard wearing shoes and it’s snowing outside. These heated insoles will have your feet feeling toasty. It’ll feel like you are wearing your slippers in public.

Heated Vests

These heated vests are perfect for when you are spending a great amount of time in the great outdoors. They make you feel like you are receiving a great big hug! What’s more lovely than that?

Do you use clever gadgets to keep warm in winter?

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How to keep your home warm and cosy in winter

make a room cosyI don’t know about you, but especially in winter all I want to do is snuggle up at home after a long day and enjoy a hot chocolate and magazine.  For a long time, I really struggled bringing comfort and cosiness into my home, but with a couple of accessories and the use of some colour, it really isn’t that difficult to make your home feel warm and cosy during the winter months. Here are some suggestions for you:

1. Change your wall colour and go with a colour that you can already find somewhere in your room. My feature wall is in mulberry and I like to accessories with items that are in the same colour family or compliment the colour. This year, I will even have mulberry coloured baubles on my Christmas tree. Believe me, it works!

2. Cover up tiles and wooden flooring with with a pretty rug or runner. Personally, I really love flokatis as they are so warm and fluffy and literally scream comfort when you look at them, but with two cats and a mess-attracting toddler in the house, they might not be the best option for us. There are plenty of other options that will help you make a room cosy this winter.

3. Invest in a heated towel rail and keep your bathroom and towels warm and snuggly. It might seem like an extravagant splurge, but it will really make early mornings or that long soak after work so much more relaxing. I mean who wouldn’t rather snuggle up in a warm towel than the damp one from the night before?

4. Add cushions and throws to bring some cosiness into your living or bedroom. They are also great to cuddle up in on cold winter nights and they also add some texture and depth to your room. Try working with different fabrics for the added snuggle factor.

5. Light a candle or two – I always have candles burning as I find that they create a really relaxed atmosphere and the warm light really helps to make a room feel more homely and comfortable. Candles with a vanilla, rose or citrus scent can even impact on the mood of an entire room. Vanilla is naturally soothing and is said to help when you feel sad and lonely.

How do you yourself warm at home and what are your tricks to add some cosiness and comfort?

Disclosure: This is a promotional post.

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Why going for your Masters can boost your career

is it worth to further your skills better career with masters degree

Have you thought about going back to school for your master’s degree in accounting? Perhaps now doesn’t seem like the right time, or maybe the time committment and money involved scares you. But with online schooling, you can get your master’s degree around your own schedule, and with the career boost that you’ll get after graduation, the tuition can be well worth it. Check out these reasons that you might go back to school for your master’s in accounting to boost your career.

It can mean a pay rise

On average, individuals with an advanced degree get paid more than those without one. According to BLS.gov, someone with a master’s will earn an extra $200 per week on average than someone with a bachelor’s. That’s over $11,000 more per year, which in just a short time could go toward paying off any loans that you acquired while in school.

Adding a master’s degree in accounting to your résumé can do several things for you. First of all, it can convince your boss to give you a raise or even a promotion. The extra knowledge that you gain through your master’s program and the determination and committment that you show by going back to school could be what it takes to get that promotion. A master’s can also open doors to entirely new jobs with other companies that could mean higher pay.

It can add to your credibility

If you’re practising as an independent certified public accountant (CPA) or you run your own small accounting firm, having a master’s can add to your credibility and therefore make you seem more desirable to potential clients. If you decide to apply to a new job, it can also add to your credibility in the eyes of a potential employer, which can help you land your dream job.

But it’s not just having the master’s on your resume that can kill the competition and add to your credibility. With the additional knowledge that you’ll gain through a master’s program, you’ll acquire the necessary skills to perform better at your job, leaving more clients satisfied with your services.

If you don’t think that a master’s will put you ahead of the competition, consider this: Only 24 percent of people in the field continue on with a graduate degree. That would put you in quite a prestigious group.

It can open new doors

If you don’t want to work as a CPA forever, you don’t have to start all over with your schooling. Using your experience as an accountant while adding an advanced degree to your résumé can make you eligible for several new positions that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Just a few positions that you can break into with a master’s in accounting include auditors, government accountants, corporate financial managers, and more. A master’s is a good option if you’d like to work in a higher-level position for a large corporation.

Now that you’re equipped with these ideas, do you think you’ll go back to school to get your master’s?

This is a promotional post with an image from Ken Teegardin.

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The world’s worst driver

can your premium sink, if you fit a black box are you a good driver

It might seem a little patronising naming someone the world’s worst driver, especially when I’m not even capable of driving a car myself, but some people’s driving styles make my stomach do somersaults and unfortunately not with joy or excitement.

My ex sister-in-law was one of them. When Amy’s dad wasn’t driving yet, she would often come and give us lifts and I’ll be forever grateful for that as it saved us not only money, but also lots of time and hassle. The only problem was that our little trips always left me feeling everything from queasy to violently ill.

I particularly remember our trip to the passport office to Newport. We left Bristol early in the morning and got there without any problems. While Ben popped in to get his passport, his sister and niece as well as Amy and I had a late breakfast. We gossiped and laughed, enjoyed a hot chocolate and some cake and had a generally good time. Our journey back home was a different story.

We had just about left Newport when I started feeling queasy. Once we crossed the Severn Bridge, I felt terribly sick and when we hit Bristol, I had to hang my head out of the window in case I’d start eating backwards – it really was that bad. Ben’s niece couldn’t stop laughing at my sight, but Ben’s sister felt incredibly guilty.

It’s not that she’s not a safe driver, she really is, but the way she drives around corners just doesn’t agree with my intestines. Paired with the constant heat in her car, we really don’t make the perfect road trip buddies, but maybe More Than’s Smart Wheels insurance would make her work on those corners and traffic lights. It comes a clever little contraption that is built into your car (think a mini black box) and records how safe you drive before calculating your More Than telematics Driving Style score, which allows you to save your hard-earned cash. The rules are simple: The safer you drive, the more you save.

Are you a good or a bad driver? Do you think you’d pay less, if you had a black box fitted? Do you think black boxes are a great idea?

This is a promotional post.

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The cutest mascots behind brands

cute mascots behind brands

Mascots have long attained an affinity within the general public for being loveable and friendly characters which children and adults can relate to. From Ronald McDonald to the infamous Compare the Market meerkats, companies are now turning to mascots as a way of promoting their business and creating a relatable character that is instantly memorable and fits in perfectly with their brand. Children love to watch cute mascots on television adverts doing wacky and funny things, but even mothers can become engrossed by characters that make them interested in the company they are promoting. The current trend in company mascot is extending into the merchandising market to offer current existing and prospective customers an opportunity to own their own toy as a reward for their custom, making them more of an appealing option for families whose children have fallen in love with the latest cute animal or character on television.

Mr. Smith Casino dog

Dogs are one of the most common choices as company mascots due to their cuteness, charming appearance and relatable qualities which resonate with other dog owners. Dulux and Churchill Car Insurance are instant examples of companies whose dog has become equally as popular as the company itself, with Mr. Smith Casino’s cute bulldog the latest in line to warm the hearts of customers. Seeing an adorable dog on advertising may encourage prospective customers to sign up and make the most of daily offers which add to the experience of playing slot, table and card games on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Compare the Market meerkats

Meerkats have risen in popularity as one of the cutest animals you can enjoy seeing at the zoo, with their fluffy appearance, wide eyes and tendency to smile warming the hearts of children and adults who have instantly taken to them. Although they should not be considered as a house pet due to their feral instincts, all their good qualities are portrayed within Compare the Market adverts which have taken television by storm. The stories of Aleksandr and Sergei are portrayed in a way that is designed to appeal to children and adults, with the humorous spin-off comparethemeerkat.com enhancing their profile even further. Receiving a policy or insurance can enable parents to own their own fluffy meerkat toy which have already become a collector’s item, but it makes for a wonderful gift for children who have become engrossed by the mascot’s appearance in adverts.

rostock zoo 8 meerkat

Brian the robot

Confused.com’s robot may be the closest we have come to a loveable android since the infamous Jonny 5 who warmed millions of hearts in both Short Circuit films. It invokes many happy childhood memories for parents who remember how loveable Jonny 5 was, and although Brian may be completely different in appearance and personality, his helpful nature and warm persona makes Confused’s mascot extremely popular. Helping customers to save money on their car insurance and other policies is part of Brian’s objective, with a bright smile and friendly character making him attractive to children who may otherwise be unsure about robots.

Which is your favourite company mascot?

This is a promotional post with an image via Wiki Commons.

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Monday Parenting Pin It Party #81

Hi everyone

I can’t believe it’s 1 December today. Have you all opened the first door of your advent calendar this morning? Amy has been spoiled ridiculously this year and had a whopping three calendars to open – I guess that’s the luck of the first grandchild and great-grandchild. Since moving back to Germany, we’ve been really getting into the mood for Christmas. We’ve been decorating the house and garden, baked Christmas cookies and visited the Christmas market in our little town for some advent fun, sweet treats and crafts. Amy had an absolute blast and we can’t wait to introduce her to more of our family traditions over the coming weeks.

Before I get all carried away however, I want to give you the chance to link up your parenting and family posts. It could be anything – a recipe, craft ideas, a blog post talking about a family outing or a review of your favourite product – the more variety or topics the better.

Follow jbmumofone’s board Mondays Parenting Pin-It Party! on Pinterest.

We then pin all entries to the Monday Parenting Pin It Party board on Pinterest and hope our Pinterest friends love your posts just as much as we do.

To join in, you don’t have to do anything, but it would be great, if you could:

* Follow our Monday Parenting Pin It Party Pinterest board

* Visit two or three other posts and leave them a comment with your Pinterest ID telling them you’re joining in with our Linky

* Pop back to people’s blogs or Pinterest boards, if they have commented on your blog post Before you run off however, a quick look at my two favourites from last week’s post: winter and festive play doh recipes, play doh recipes for winter

Anna from In The Playroom has shared a round-up of 25 fantastic play doh recipes and activities for winter and the festive season. If you’ve got a fan of everything squishy and squashy at home, make sure to pop over to her blog – you’ll find everything from gingerbread and candy cane play doh to very gloopy Christmas Day slime. Snowman-Crafts-Cork-Ornaments-for-Kids

Jayne from Mum’s The Word has also gone down the round-up route and shared the best home made Christmas decorations. Christmas is the time for crafting and spending time together, so making your very own Christmas decorations is a beautiful way to really make this Christmas something very personal and special. Jayne has collected some gorgeous crafts for all age groups, so you’re sure to find something that works for you and your family.

Now over to you. Grab our official badge, link up your favourite posts in the linky below and get pinning. We’ll see you again next week!

Mummy Alarm

 


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The best apps for getting organised

the best apps to get organised

Being a student in London can be difficult. You can get caught in the hussle and bussle of the city and organisation can go down the drain as you’re having too much fun. But organisation can make your day run much more smoothly. There are many ways that you keep yourself organised such as keeping a diary, making yourself notes or getting someone else to organise your day. But wouldn’t it be much easier if one device organised everything for you?

Well your phone can. Thanks to the wonderful app store there are many apps on the market that can help you organise your life and keep on top of your schedule. From shopping lists, to assignments, to remembering appointments to visit the likes of studio accommodation in London or even the dentist, it can be tough organising your time without forgetting something. With these useful free apps you will never miss a deadline again. Here are some of the free apps that will help you accomplish your goals:

Google Drive

If you’ve forgotten to send an important document to a classmate or lecturer, do not fret. If you save your documents to Google drive on your laptop you can easily access it on your phone which makes it much easier to share documents with others. You can access your files simply, whether it is photos, videos or documents; it’s also great for PDFs. Simply search for files by name and content. You can even create and edit documents on the app (perfect for when you forgot to do an assignment).

Timeful

Timeful helps you to find time for things that you want to fit into your day without avoiding the things you already have planned. It connects to your existing calendars to get a sense of your important tasks and lets you also add new appointments or add things that you like to do during your day. The app suggests times that might be optimal to complete tasks you assign yourself and becomes smarter the more you use it as it learns from your behaviour of accepting and rejecting.

best organisation apps, apps to get organised,

Evernote

Note taking can be a powerful tool for organising any aspect of your life. With Evernote you can take notes using text, images, audio or a mix of these and you can then organise them into note books. A popular feature on Evernote is optical character recognition which makes text in images searchable. Evernote synchronises all your files by saving them to a cloud service meaning anything you create or alter from your iPhone will be there waiting for you when you log into any other version of Evernote.

Todoist

Todoist is the worlds most powerful to do list and helps you to achieve more. The beautiful, innovative design allows you to collaborate on shared tasks to help you reach your goal which is perfect when working on shared projects. Much better than a simple to do list, the app allows you to create sub tasks so you can break down bigger tasks into smaller ones. The app will notify you when important changes happen via emails or push notifications and you can set reminders via email, push notification or SMS that will alert you when you’re on the go. The app allows you to check out your productivity and see your productivity trends which will highlight your areas of weakness.

Which apps do you use to stay organised?

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Rainy Day Activities

November is the second wettest month of the year, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you a blog post by Park Resorts that shows you couple of activities that make rainy days a little more bearable for parents with young children. Of course, I’ve got my very own tips and tricks to keep Amy entertained when the weather gods aren’t on my side, so I am also sharing with you, the rainy day activities that we enjoy on a regular basis:

1) Build a den

rainy day activities build a denAmy loves building dens for her dollies, teddies and, of course, herself. We simple bring some cushions and blankets down into the living room, drape them over the table and some chairs and get cosy. If you really want to push the boat out, add some fairy lights for some extra cosiness. In our den, we read our favourite books, watch a movie or just chat about the day and the things we love. It’s a great little activity that doesn’t cost anything as you already have everything you’ll need.

2) Make your own play dough

rainy day activities make your own play doughMaking your own play dough is a fantastic rainy day activity. It’s super easy to make and there are recipes available for all types of play dough, e.g. edible, scented, glittery or coloured. There’s no limit to your imagination and all kids love the squishy stuff – believe me. Play dough also provides endless play and craft opportunities – think: tracing numbers and letters, building people, shapes and buildings and exploring printing by pushing different objects into the dough.

3) Have a movie afternoon

popcorn for a movie afternoon - rainy day activitiesMake some homemade popcorn, get some sweet or healthy treats and snuggle up on the sofa or in your very own den for a movie afternoon with your kids. Set a theme, download your favourite movie or throw in your kids’ favourite DVD for some light entertainment on a rainy day. You could also add some crafts that go along with your movie or create themed snacks that make an ordinary activity a little more exciting.

How do you keep your kids entertained on a rainy day? Do you have any go to rainy day activities?

Disclosure: This is a promotional post with images from benhusman, Fun At Home With Kids and Joakim Wahlander

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Sponsored Video: Stocking fillers from Toca Boca

Toca ink temporary tattoos for kids toca bocaI don’t know about you, but when I was little, I was obsessed with temporary tattoos. They were the absolute coolest thing mankind had ever seen (at least in my eight or nine year old eyes) and I loved plastering myself in them when we went on holiday during the summer.

My parents weren’t the biggest fans of my temporary tattoos, but they were happy enough for me to play about with them. Everybody in my age group had them and obviously, they weren’t the real deal and came off after splashing about in the sea or pool or a good scrub at the end of the day.

For a long time, I had thought temporary tattoos had died out. I hadn’t seen them around for years, but looking at Amy’s cousins, I know that temporary tattoos are still as popular with kids now as they were 20 years ago – plus they look much cooler than they did during my childhood.

Toca Ink have teamed up with Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Virginia Elwood who created 6 fun tattoos inspired by the popular characters of Toca Boca, a game app that you have probably never heard of, but that your kids will adore. With over 75 million downloads, the game is an absolute hit with kids all around the world, so if you want to make your children happy this Christmas, add a pack of Toca Inks to their stocking and you’ll win a heap of brownie points.

If you want to find out how Virginia has created the permanent tattoos, what inspired her and how she works as a tattoo artist herself, check out the video below:


Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Toca Boca but all thoughts are my own.