2018 Hair Update - Tips for growing natural hair

Now - Just washed - no product 

Why is it that at every point in a natural hair journey, we think our hair is at it's absolute best? Looking back at old pictures when I thought my hair was at it's ultimate health, I'm now convinced that I was blind. Maybe I'll look back at these pictures in a few months and think the same thing, but to appreciate the journey, it's great to look back at old pictures!

2016 - Freshly washed, damaged

You know what? I was trying (LOL) and it shows that to get somewhere, no matter what it is, you just have to start. At this point I realised how important it was to feed your hair with water, and I'm so glad I took these pictures so I have something to compare to. However, I was washing my hair with shampoo waaaayy too often, which made it dry and brittle.

NOW. My hair now is so thick, to the point where I'm starting to struggle with it a little, but I can't complain because it's so versatile and quite healthy. It's also getting quite long, which means that styles hang a little better and I can pile it all on top of my head, which is my go-to. 

So here are my five top tips for growing your hair not just longer, but thicker too, because who wants long, thin hair? 

  1. Patience - this is probably the key to LIFE never mind hair but let's not get too deep, right now I'm applying it to hair. I say patience because it's taken nearly two years to get the thick curly hair I wanted. You also need the patience to try out new hair products, which I still do constantly, and go through a lot of trial and error when it comes to styling. Patience is really important when it comes to styling, as I've only recently realised how important it is to let your hair dry thoroughly for a great look. 
  2. Invest - invest in good hair products, because unfortunately the better ones do cost more for a reason. Instead of spending loads of money on weaves and wigs, why not invest in your own hair that you'll have to live with for the rest of your life? It's cheaper too. 
  3. Stress less - The less you mess with your hair, the more it'll love you, protective styles are good for this, but just wearing your hair up for a week or wearing a hat outside in the cold will relieve your hair. 
  4. Trim it - cutting it in order for it to grow might seem counter productive, trimming dead ends and avoiding split ends helps to maintain and encourages hair growth 
  5. Love your bad hair days - and don't let those days put you off taking care of your hair, because everyone has them 

September 2016 - Thin Hair straightened 

December 2017 - Thicker, longer hair


New York - Five Top Tips!

I've always wanted to visit New York, so when we decided to go, I knew I didn't want to do anything by halves. We used Travel Counsellors as they do everything for you and make your experience completely bespoke, they'll ensure you get good flight times and that your hotel is located near to the attractions or areas you'd like to visit. They also organise your transfers.

It probably isn't the cheapest option but I don't know when I'll be able to visit again, so I didn't mind possibly paying a little more to have a stress free trip!

A few people have asked me questions about visiting New York so I thought I would collate these tips on the tips I picked up when I went! I hope they are helpful if you've never visited America, just like I hadn't.
  • When you arrive, you may have to pay a hotel tax on top of the cost of the hotel. We had to pay an extra around $11 for each night and that was for the gym facility (which we did not use!) and I think that's also the WiFi use and little things like that. You pay that when you leave so don't get too carried away in Macy's! 

  • Most items in stores don't include the tax on the price tag, this might be a well known fact but I forgot every time! Although it might seem like just a couple of dollars, it all adds up - so consider this when you're budgeting for your holiday money. 
  • You will do a lot of walking, so definitely wear comfortable shoes. Even my most comfortable shoes became uncomfortable eventually so I'd consider getting some soft insoles in future.

  • Public transport is super cheap! A Metrocard for the week was around $25 and allowed us to get to all of the landmarks, from the 9/11 Memorial site, to the staten island ferry with ease. I mean, getting in a yellow taxi is the dream, but they are so pricey. They look better from the outside anyway right? 
  • Customer service is amazing in the US, so make sure you tip! It's very taboo not to tip, so again, consider this when you are thinking about travel money as you need to tip between 8-12%. 

  • As with most warm countries, all of the public buildings are air conditioned, so I always carry a small moisturiser and lip balm with me as it dries out my skin, I also take antihistamines each day as it plays havoc with my allergies. I'd also suggest taking a light jacket as there's nothing worse than sitting in a beautiful restaurant shivering! 

I hope these tips were useful if you're a New York novice like me! 
Comment below if you have any more tips :) 


Dreamy Brunch at Menagerie

One way I try to experience new restaurants is by going for breakfast or brunch instead of dinner. This is because the brunch menu is often a lot more affordable, and you don't have to decide well in advance as it's less likely you'll need to book a table!

Top Tip - You also don't need to worry about being bloated in your fancy evening outfit, as you can wear just about anything to go for breakfast! 

Last weekend, a few of my friends came to visit me in Manchester for the weekend. Although I moved here in summer 2016, the months fly by so fast, so we don't always get to have a day out as we're now spread across the country. Of course this gives us every excuse to go out to eat. 

I took the opportunity to try some new restaurants and host a movie night at my flat. One of the highlights of the weekend was visiting Menagerie in Salford. If you're looking for an Instagram worthy restaurant - you're in the right place. 

Brunch isn't served until 12, which seems a little late to me, but it was great as we had the choice of the lunch menu too! The brunch menu didn't have a lot of choice, but as it was quiet they were really flexible when it came to tailoring what we wanted to eat and drink. 

I had a mocktail that didn't have a name, I just said I wanted something sweet, and in no time at all the bartender had whipped up something magical. To eat, I had the buttermilk pancakes with a side of eggs. 

I loved the restaurant so much and I can't wait to go back. From the service to the marble top tables and the Photo Booth, it made for a great lunch setting, not to mention the huge portions. 

I'm so excited to go back to Menagerie, as it allows you to feel like it's a really special occasion but without the 'special' price tag.

Just another reason why I love living in Manchester! 


Yours Truly...

I was lucky enough to get a hamper from the lovely team at Antidotestreet.com which included this gorgeous face serum from Yours Truly Organics, and I instantly fell in love!  

I'm really fussy about the products I use on my skin, particularly my face as this can be quite sensitive. I basically judge when my hair needs washing on whether I'm having a mini break out! So when I was sent this product that was natural and organic, I wasn't scared to try it out. 

I love the phrase 'true beauty starts with being yourself; I really think that it's important to look after your skin and hair, because what happens if one day there's a zombie apocalypse and we can't get any makeup products? Yeah so I'm basically preparing!

This product is the Fix me! Repairing Serum. It's a little steep at £28, so I must admit, I use it sparingly. When my skin needs some TLC or I am feeling extra oily, I use this particularly on my T-Zone and it works wonders.

Yours Truly Organics says it smooths, repairs and tightens your skin with this oat kernel enriched serum, so it does exactly what it says on the tin! 

I apply this with a cotton wool pad before my face moisturiser, it smells super fresh and like I've really made the extra effort! 


February Favourites

I love Valentine's Day! So what if it's a money making scheme, I just love a reason to celebrate. This is the second one me and my boyfriend have spent together, he took me to Mr Cooper's House and Garden in Manchester's Midland Hotel. We went there last year for my birthday, so it was really nice to go back now that we live in the same city! I'll do a full blog post on my visit, but I'd highly recommend this restaurant for somewhere to go for a special occasion. 

You know when you get a new item of clothing and you don't remember what you ever wore before it? Yep that's how I feel about my new (faux) leather skirt. Excuse the mess in the background, I didn't plan this blog post! This skirt goes with everything and I can wear it to work or on a night out! 
I bought this one for just £14.99 from H&M, the only negative thing I would say is that the sizing is ridiculous. I had to go 2 sizes up, so i definitely wouldn't recommend buying a skirt like this online.

I went to see Hidden Figures last week and it was amazing. I'm not usually that excited about dramas, I'm into psychological dramas mostly - but this film was so inspiring! If you haven't seen it I would recommend it, it really explains the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic! 

I went out on three nights out in February (RIP bank account) and this was my favourite outfit! It's a satin playsuit from Boohoo.com. I love this colour and I thought it would be great to style down with tights, boots and a leather jacket or with trainers or sandals when I go on holiday this summer. 

What did you love in February? 

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