Author Archives: Carly

Lush Haircare Heroes: American Cream and Jason and the Argan Oil

2nd January 2015

Lush Hair Care ProductsIn my never-ending quest for mermaid hair I try to do as little as possible with it. I don’t faff around with too many products or too much heat and both things help to keep my hair in good condition. However, a side effect of this is that I’ve been using pretty much the same products on my hair for months and months…and I think my hair’s getting sick of the routine. It’s started to look a little lacklustre lately so I was really excited to open a couple of haircare products on my birthday, specifically the Jason and the Argan Oil (best name ever? I think so) solid shampoo bar and American Cream conditioner from Lush.

I’m a big Lush fan (aren’t we all?) but I’ve actually never tried anything from their haircare range, though I’ve heard lots of good things about their shampoo bars. Still, I wasn’t convinced that this little bar would hold together long enough to get more than a couple of washes out of it…Fast forward a couple of weeks and I’ve used this every time I’ve washed my hair and it’s still almost as big as it was when I unwrapped it!

So, how did the products do? When used together they revitalise my hair and leave it soft, silky and shiny – the three s’s I think we’re all after when it comes to hair. They also keep my hair in better condition for longer, as I can now go an extra day without washing it, which is great news as wrangling this mane in the shower is right up there at the top of the list of beauty maintenance I hate. Well, it’s below washing my brushes, of course, but still.

As is customary for Lush products they both smell absolutely incredible. The shampoo bar smells like Ro’s Argan Oil Body Conditioner (or Rose Jam shower gel) and the conditioner is a rich scent of vanilla, strawberries and a tiny hint of Parma Violets – the two lots of scents together make my hair (and bathroom) smell aaaa-mazing.

If you’ve got some leftover Christmas money and you’re looking for a couple of haircare heroes to whip your hair back into shape then I absolutely recommend both of these products. Brilliant value for money, you can buy Jason and the Argan Oil (£5.75) and American Cream (£8.95 for 250g) from Lush stores or the Lush website.

Lush American Cream

Welcome to 2015!

1st January 2015

2015

So 2015 is here! What did you all get up to last night? As usual, I had a quiet night in with my boyfriend and had a token glass of champagne – I’ve always kept New Year’s Eve low-key after I worked in retail while I was a student and always had to work on January 1st!

I know lots of people hated 2014 but it was the best year of my life so I’ve got my fingers crossed that 2015 will be just as good, or even better. I’ve got lots of things I want to achieve and I’m really excited to be blogging again after taking a little break at the end of last year. I’ve already been taking hundreds of photos for future blog posts so I’m itching to get back into the swing of things!

One of the first things I want to do is finish editing my novel and get it sent out to agents – eeeek! That’s the biggest thing I’m working towards in the first few months of the year, then after that I want to turn my attention to my copywriting company. One of my bigger contracts is coming to an end shortly so I’ll have some space for new clients, which is always exciting!

I’m trying to give myself a bit more structure when it comes to blogging, so my plans are to post about beauty on Mondays and Fridays and then something lifestyle-related on a Wednesday. I’d also love to start putting together a few videos here and there…so watch this space!

Anyway, that’s all from me today. Comment below to let me know your biggest goals for 2015!

A Christmas Break

12th December 2014

Hey guys,

Just a quick one from me to let you know that I won’t be posting regularly for the rest of the year – I’m giving myself a little break so I’ll be fresh and invigorated for 2015! I’ve worked pretty much non-stop since I set up my little business in March so this will be the first holiday I’ve had all year and I am so, so, SO ready to spend three whole weeks relaxing, reading and generally lazing around and scoffing a lot of Christmas food, I expect.

I’m planning on posting a couple of times towards the end of the year, just a round up of 2014 etc etc, but even if things seem a bit quiet around here, I’ll be back very, very soon.

If I don’t speak to you all before then have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones…and don’t forget that it’s not Christmas if you’re not permanently stuffed full of very naughty food and drink.

xxx

More Money-Saving Tips!

17th November 2014

Tips and Tricks

I’ve done a couple of posts on personal finance already, and, with Christmas coming up (sorry but it is!) I wanted to share a few more tips of how you can save money every day.

Money is such a stress on all of us, so I try to do what I can to make money less of a stress and less in control of how I live my life. There are lots of little things you can do to spend less and keep in control of your finances as, after all…every little helps!

  • At the end of the month do a little audit on what you spent your money on. You might realise you spent £70 on coffees or magazines and it’ll really help identify areas where you overspend.
  • If you have a craving to do some online shopping but don’t have the cash – try creating an Amazon wishlist of all the things you want to buy. This really helps me a lot! I love making a huge wishlist of all the cosmetics I want to buy over the coming months. It helps curb that shopping craving and you don’t need to spend anything to do it.
  • Take a packed lunch to work. It’s insane how much money you’ll save. Plus, it’s much healthier than eating out every lunch time!
  • If you do happen to have money left over at the end of the month, pop it into your savings account. You don’t *have* to spend everything in your account every month.
  • Don’t spend more money than you have – ever. Once you get stuck in the spiral of credit cards and overdrafts it can take a long time to get out of it. Know what your income is and don’t overspend. If you want to splash out on a designer bag, that’s great – but pay for it up front with money you’ve saved.
  • Sleep on big purchases. So, you fancy an iPhone 6? That’s great, but take a couple of days to figure out if you really want to spend that much money on it. If you do, go right ahead, but you might find yourself content with your older model when you take into account how many weeks of disposable income you’ll be giving up.
  • Stock up on essentials when there’s a deal. If you’ve got a favourite toothpaste or deodorant buy a couple whenever there’s a special offer on. It’s nice to have a couple of back ups in your cupboard and I often spot ‘buy one get one free’ offers on toiletries in supermarkets.
  • Do you really need that gym membership? If you use it, great, but if you don’t why not look at a cheaper alternative? Yoga, zumba, aerobics etc can all be done from the comfort of your home by streaming fitness videos on YouTube. Add in a few weights (use big bottles of water, if you want to save even more money) and you’ve got yourself a totally free workout.
  • Check online before making a big purchase. Looking for a new TV? Chances are you’ll find a much cheaper deal from an online retailer than buying in-store.

So what do you think? Do you use any of the above tips to save money? Let me know, what’s your best money-saving tip?

Sticking to a Budget: Top Tips

9th November 2014

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how I budget each month and keep control of my finances. Today I want to share a few tips to help you stick to a budget and improve the health of your bank accounts.

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Copyright by Moyan Brenn

1. Take stock of your direct debits

Knowing what money is leaving your account on what days is so important, as it’s almost impossible to stick to a budget without knowing this.

Make a list of all your monthly direct debits and standing orders and note down what days they are paid on. It’s much easier if all your bills leave your account on the same day, to try and get your direct debit payment dates to match up where you can. For me, I like my bills to be paid as close to the beginning of the month as possible.

Make sure your direct debits are all necessary – are you still paying a subscription to an online magazine you never read? Or a gaming service you never use? When I last did an audit of my direct debits I discovered I was paying monthly insurance for a Kindle that broke over two years ago!

2. Cut down on grocery shops

I’m planning a whole separate post on how to save money on groceries but the first step is to limit yourself to one or two grocery shops a week. Popping into the shops every couple of days to pick up dinner is a surefire way to overspend on food – every trip to the supermarket is an opportunity to get seduced by ‘buy one get one free’ offers, and you’ll almost always find yourself buying things you don’t need.

Take it one step further by ordering online, so you can keep an eye on how much you’re spending so you don’t go overbudget. The drawback of online ordering is the delivery charge, so you’ll need to work out which is going to be the best method to help you save money. If you’re someone who struggles with willpower you’ll probably save more money by shopping online, even if you do have to pay for delivery!

3. Enjoy spending your disposable income

Budgets might seem boring and fuddy duddy, so make sure you really enjoy spending your disposable income. That money is there for you to spend on exactly what you want, so don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about what you spend it on. Want to blow it all on mascara, ebooks or cocktails? Go right ahead. Your bills, food, petrol and savings are already accounted for, so why not spend what’s left over on things that make you happy?

4. Start saving for presents

I get a lot of stick from my friends for this one but, I promise you, it’s worth it in the long run! I have a standing order of £20 a month that gets paid into an account I use to buy birthday and Christmas presents with. £20 a month isn’t much and it really adds up throughout the year, so when it’s a friend’s birthday or Christmas is coming up I already have a pot of savings to dip into. It makes December much less stressful, as I already have a big chunk of the money there, instead of having to take it all out of my November pay cheque.

5. Make a finance spreadsheet

This is another one people always take the piss out of but pshhh, it means I always have money left over at the end of month so…yeah. A while ago I stumbled across a personal finance spreadsheet that was so helpful when I started budgeting. If you scroll down on this page you can download the ‘Spreadsheet Budget Planner’, which is a great way to get started.

A spreadsheet allows you to see a breakdown of your finances and outgoings and also helps you forecast for the coming months. If you need to save a certain amount of money by a certain date (for a holiday, for example), a spreadsheet is an easy way to work out how much extra you need to save each month, and how that will impact the rest of your budget.

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These are five things I implement every month that are a really big help to me. I hope some of the above tips help you out, too. Let me know, what are you most likely to spend your disposable income on?