Who’s a lucky boy huh? My son, that’s who!

House of Fraser very kindly sent him some new threads last week, for him to test, review and generally look like a bit of a dude in.

We went with some summer essentials because, not sure if I’ve mentioned, we’ve got a few holidays this year. Uh huh, and when do boys not need shorts and t-shirts? Never, that’s when.

As well as the basics, we also got a sunshirt, which I predict he will probably be living in while we’re in Spain. It’s got a high collar to protect his neck, short sleeves to cover the shoulders and offers UPF 50+ sun protection blocking out 97% of the harmful rays, so I can let him in and out of the water as much as he wants without having to completely smother him in suncream every second, win win for him and me. It’s also quick drying so it’ll be ready for the next day by the time he wakes up! For £23.95 I’m going to say, already, that it’s going to more than worth the money, just for the reassurance alone that he won’t get burnt.

Also included in the kids clothing bundle were some fab yellow shorts, a white t-shirt and a blue t-shirt all from Mango. Coupled with his blue Toms and his neon sunglasses, a few freckles dotted across his nose and his blonde-y hair peeping through, I’m going to have the cutest 7 year old in Nerja. Oh yes I am.

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White & Blue Tops, £5.99, Mango. Available in up to 13-14yrs.

Yellow Shorts, £16.99, Mango.

Platypus Australia Retro Hawaii Sunshirt, £23.95, selected sizes available.

All from House of Fraser Childrenswear.

 

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I’m not going to lie. My kids have good style. They obviously get it from their mama.

I don’t really have too much of a say on what the teenager wears, as long as it’s not overly short or clingy – I’m happy to let her have free reign. The boy is a different matter, while he’s got his own style and opinion, he’s not led by what he sees in the media or what his friends are wearing (yet) so I can still ‘gently’ guide him.

Roco kindly sent him some holiday clothes a few weeks ago, which he was very excited about! In the absence of any sort of sunshine at the moment, which would lead us to being outside, exploring, we decided to host a fashion show in my bedroom. In the style of any 7 year old, it involved lots of jumping around doing roly poly’s! I really need to get me a blogger wall to take pictures in front of….

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How handsome is this boy? I am picturing warm summer evenings in Spain, mama with a glass of something cold in her hand, blue seas and good music, and the boy rocking his Roco clothing.

The shirt, £13.99, is 100% cotton and has very fine stripes with a breast pocket and cuffed sleeves. Its got a real Tommy Hilfiger feel to it for a fraction of the price.

Always a fan of a stripe – this blue striped jumper by Minoti has a small patch on the left arm, is 100% cotton again and is available in two colourways, Red & White or Blue & White, again, £13.99.

Last but not least, baby blue shorts, £14.99 and available in sea blue (as shown) and dusk.

My kiddo is definitely more a skater-boy but this outfit is going to be perfect for smarter occasions, and he loves a shirt – I think it’s a ‘be like Daddy’ thing, but god he looks cute in them!

Roco Clothing

All items available from Roco online.

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It is hard work being a working mother: not only do you have to keep the kids fed, watered and respectable for school, you also have to get yourself out of the door in a reasonable state. If you have to wear a uniform for work, this won’t be a problem, but if you work in an office environment, dressing to impress is often a key part of the daily grind. But who on earth has time when they have a family to take care of?
Buying new clothes is easy enough. There are plenty of online retailers such as Axparis, where you can fill a virtual basket with trendy new garments, all without leaving your armchair. For a busy mum, this is the perfect solution if your style is lacking. But how on earth do you decide what to buy?

Read the Fashion Pages
You won’t have a clue about style unless you pay attention to the fashion pages, either online or in magazines. You don’t need to read Vogue religiously, but it is helpful to be aware of what’s hot and what’s not. Staying abreast of fashion trends means you won’t inadvertently wear an outfit nobody else would be seen dead in.

Follow Your Favourite Insta Celebs
Instagram is a great place to follow celebs and their style. It takes hardly any time at all to check your Instagram feed and see who’s wearing what. Obviously you probably won’t be able to afford the kind of designer clothes the celebs wear, but there are always identical garments available on the high street.

Check Out Other Mums
In any school playground, there are the mums who stand out thanks to an unerring sense of style, and those who aspire to be them. Pay attention to the stylish mums and take notes on what they wear. They might have completely different taste in fashion to you, but if you like their look, pay them a compliment and find out where they buy their clothes.

Look for Versatile Garments
Anything can happen when you are a mum: the baby vomits on you just as you are leaving the house, or you spill ketchup down your new dress five minutes after putting it on. It pays to be versatile and buy clothes than can be mixed and matched. Jeans are a good example of versatile items. Everyone loves a pair of jeans. They go with everything. Dress down a pair of skinny jeans with a casual t-shirt or tank top, or dress them up with a fitted shirt and some sexy cage sandals. The more looks you can create with one garment, the better.

Dress Up Outfits with Accessories
Accessories are an easy way to dress up a plain outfit. Sexy heels turn a little black dress into something special and a statement necklace adds the ‘wow’ factor to a plain maxi dress.
Spend an extra five minutes a day working on your look. Just because you are a busy working mum, this is no excuse to let yourself go!

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If you’ve been following my hair adventures since March, you’ll know that I’ve sported around 5 different colours since then. This is from someone who has never had a full head of colour before….. My poor hairdresser mate is probably cursing me under her breath!

It’s been, interesting.

Last week, in a quest to get my hair back to some sort of decent condition and get it back on the road to red, I was lucky enough to visit Muse of London.

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Set in Mortimer Street, I was a bit nervous about walking into a high end, expensive salon and feeling, well, like I shouldn’t be in there, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The salon is so welcoming, laid back and completely relaxed. They’re also TIGI’s only exclusive London Salon, and the place looks amazing. It has just the right vibe, you know you’re in good hands but no one in there is rude or snobbish. Everyone I spoke to was a star, start to finish.

I’d had a consultation with Carly beforehand and we’d decided to go the ombre route, making the roots ginger and blonde-ing up the ends.

I arrived a bit early on Friday, after a cheeky Nando’s with the bloke, and was settled in the waiting area, which has a huge smeg fridge, full of water, juice and wine plus a coffee machine (which I couldn’t actually work out how to use) all self service, which I loved.

Carly came over and got me, and set to work. Now, because I’ve had so much bleach on my hair in the last month or so, we decided to use Olaplex, a new treatment in selected salons. It’s been created by scientists, not hairdressers, and it’s designed to reconnect broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair. I know, technical right? I’m planning on having an Olaplex treatment once a month while my hair is repairing itself, along with a serious daily dose of fish oil. It’s been claimed it can revert hair back to it’s virgin state, but I wouldn’t expect that, just some added strength and protection to it, as it’s still quite short and needs heat styling to get it anywhere near presentable!

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The treatment was mixed in with the colour and Carly set to work backcombing and sectioning to make sure there were no harsh lines or chunks of colour.

There was a little bit of chatting, but she really got that I don’t often get a full two hours to just sit and be pampered, so she was more than happy to concentrate on my hair and leave me to people watch. None of that awkward silence though, you know they’re taking your hair seriously and they’re happy to let you relax. A couple of women were reading mags, or on their phones.

Once the colour was on, I made my way back to the waiting area to have a read of some glossies. After about 25 mins, it was time to rinse the colour off, do the second stage of the Olaplex, and, it turns out, have an amazing head massage that practically sent me to sleep. Even the sinks were comfortable, that always impresses me!

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The colour was slightly (a lot) darker than I was expecting, but it’s probably because all the colour has been stripped out of my hair and it’s now just soaking up whatever is put on there, but the ombre effect is amazing. Absolutely amazing.

A quick blow dry, this girl has skills, and my hair was all swishy and bouncy and felt like my old hair. It was even shiny, which I haven’t seen for a while (my own fault, my poor poor hair!) They even sent me away with a goodie bag of products to use to protect my hair.

Muse of London is focussed on skill and speed, and they’ve realised that not everyone wants a full salon visit each time their colour needs a boost, nor can they always afford it, so they have Root, Style and Bleach Bars available in the salon. Other salons need to take notice of this!

The Root Bar, (£20) is for those wanting a fast touch up, roots (obviously) gloss or toner, taking no longer than an hour. You can also do your own blow dry if you want to.

The Bleach Bar (£30) offers parting highlights, touch up ombre and creative bleach.

The Style Bar (20) does pinning, waving or smoothing, in fifteen minutes. Perfect for an emergency do. I’d imagine your hair needs to be clean and ready for this bar.

Add to this the fact that they stay open til 9pm Tues-Fri, because not everyone can do a lunchtime appointment, it actually feels that they’re working around their clients, not the other way round. I’m hooked, I will definitely be going back for more treatments, and to use the three bars at some point!

Press Review

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I’ve long had this thing about grey hair, Pinterest, Instagram and bloggers like Inthefrow and Beauty Sauce make it look amazing. So, after weeks, if not months, of umming and ahhhing (and annoying my poor friends and husband) I decided to just go with it on Friday. It was a spur of the moment decision. Which should give y0u an indication of how it ended….

I’m a natural redhead, which, has got lighter with age, but it’s still predominately ginger. A few weeks ago I had highlights and a grey toner, which just gave me the taste for more grey, with hindsight, I should have left it like that….

So, to go grey, I needed to get bleached all over, something I have never done before – it’s only ever been highlights, or one crazy time I dyed it all over in bright, bright red. *shudder*. The bleach hit my head and did it’s magic, I could share the after photo of that but, I won’t! Anyone who’s had bleach knows it leaves a kind of yellow/orange tone to the hair. Gorgeous…. Also, I have a super sensitive scalp.
Next up was the toner. At this point, I need to say that I have a *lot* of hair. A lot. So there was a lot of toner needed. At this point I started to feel a bit panicky, but my gorgeous hairdresser was as cool as a cucumber and calmed me down. She managed to finish it off, and the colour was amazing.

Just not on me.

I’m pale. I have blonde eyelashes and brows unless I tint them, which I do, religiously. Except when they need doing and I have that kind of ‘tiger brow’ look….. This was one of those days. Picture, if you will, no make up, pale face (grey hair makes your skin look almost orange FYI) stripy, un-tinted eyebrows, red eyes from trying not to cry and a huge, huge, puffball of grey hair that needs to be straightened. That was me.

Of course it was raining that day, so the perfectly straightened look lasted all of 5 minutes.

The bloke LOVED the hair. Like, full on loved it. My teenager loved it. My son, who is loyal to the bone and would never say a bad word about me, cried. For an hour. Because of my hair colour. We established it was because it made me look like an old lady and therefore closer to dying….. It was a joyous Friday night.

The weekend didn’t fare much better to be honest. I kept surprising myself each time I passed a reflective surface, and people looked at me like I was insane. One older couple nearly fell off the end of the escalators as they were so engrossed in staring at my head. They very nearly got the finger…….

It was an emotional weekend. I know it’s only hair, but it is a big part of being a woman, and if you feel crap about your hair, you feel crap about everything. I think anyway. So, this morning, we hit the salon services shop again and bought new colours. Dark auburn’y colour for the roots, lighter blonde for the ends  and an ombre was born! Now I feel slightly more human and less likely to stand out like a sore thumb. I still need a few touch ups, and it’s not quite my natural colour but god, it’s better than the grey!

Moral of the story? Trust your gut instincts about things, don’t make rash decisions, and if you’re a pale redhead? Don’t go for bloody grey hair……!

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