Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Eye Candy

Images thanks to un, deux, et trois

I'm juuuust a little bit over-run with work this week, hence lack of "real" post. But sweet eye candy makes it all better, right? I need a holiday! How about you?

I'll be back at the weekend. Kisses.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Words to Live By #88

“I have a lot of D.I.Y. ethics and I wanted to just create something for myself, and just decided that if I just do a gig then, you know, no one can stop me.”
Kate Nash

Love the Nashster. Do you?

P.S. The winner of the Karma Cards is Katy of Morning Gorgeous. Well done lady! Email me your postage details to and I will pass them on to Sarah at Yes and Yes.

A great Monday to all.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Saturday Salute 24.04.10

Image thanks to D Sharon Pruitt

It's the weekend! You know what that means (contrary to last week's absence...) - it's Salutin' time!

Please, please read this and watch the video, it will really open your eyes to what you eat and why.

You guessed it, another lovely blog: Pretty Shiny Sparkly.

What Nubby Twiglet learned during One Year of Freelancing. Such a wealth of experience there which has totally inspired me.

How to Find Happiness Without Shopping for It from Rowdy Kittens.

I recently discovered Notes from the Frugal Trenches and loved Inventing My Life Part One and Part Two. It's great hearing how people are proactively altering their own lives for the better.

Something for those seeking happily ever after...

Oh this is just too funny not to include, and strangely uplifting too.

Last week, during a day of rampant procrastination, I started a Sex and the City themed Facebook group titled 'I would have chosen Aidan'. So far, there is only one member other than me... So if you agree, to stop me looking like a total saddo, please join and invite your friends!

***And finally...Yes and Yes is offering a set of Karma Cards free to one Charade reader - trust me, you want them. Anyone who comments on this post will be entered, and I will announce the winner, chosen at random, on Monday. Good luck! ***

Enjoy the rest of your weekends honeybees,

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I Heart Aussie

A couple of weeks ago, I was the très pleased recipient of a whole bundle of Aussie goodies. The result? One happy and sweet smelling head of hair. Because the people at Aussie are particularly lovely (just like the products, as it happens) I agreed to give you guys a little review. I know many of you will have had your mitts on these rich and delectable products before, but for those who haven't, it's time you were initiated!

Firstly, who are Aussie?

Originated way back in 1979, this is one straight-talking brand with staying power. A good honest ethos for reasonably priced hair care enriched with the most delicious, natural Australian ingredients seems to have been a winning formula for Aussie. Their range includes a wealth of products that simply do what they say on the tin, such as Frizz Miracle and Colour Insurance (a personal favourite). With positive word-of-mouth rife for the products, there's a bottle there with your hair's name on it. 

The Products...

Aussie Dual Personality Heat Protection Leave-In Spray

This is for those among us who get all hot and heavy with heated stylers on a regular basis. Specifically for use when straightening, but valuable for curls and standard blow-drying too, this is one of those unassuming products that will do quiet wonders for your locks if you let it. I wouldn't dream of stepping into sunlight, let alone going near my tresses with a scorching hair-dryer without popping on a product of this type first, and Dual Personality Heat Protection didn't disappoint. With Aussie's signature sweet scent to boot, don't be surprised if your sublimely straight hair starts making waves (geddit?) amongst your friends.

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo

I've used this product many times in the past. Yes, purchased it, repeatedly, out of my very own pocket money, so you know it's got to be good. Definitely more effective when combined with its best pal, Miracle Moist Conditioner, but still a liquid lunch for your parched hair on its own. It's a rich shampoo that won't weigh your hair down like some products for dry barnets - so you'll be free to volumize and coif as you see fit. Furthermore, a bold, bubblegum smell and extract of Australian Macadamia Nut mean you'll be hard-pressed not to lick your lips when lathering up this baby. 

Aussie Colour Mate Conditioner

An Aussie limited edition, I can only describe this product as being like moisturiser for your hair. With a consistency more reminiscent of a face cream than your classic conditioner, you do have to be sure you rinse well, but the peachy scent and super shine you'll be left with will be worth it. Paired with the complimentary Colour Mate shampoo I'm sure your colour will be bolder than any old Sheila's in no time.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor

This is where Aussie began, their first ever product, and it's been a firm international favourite ever since. The suggested treatment time is, of course, 3 minutes, but I'm inclined to leave mine much longer to perk up my particularly dry ends. A thick, creamy conditioner that combs through like a dream, your hair will positively drink this up. Again though, just like most Aussie products, it's not at all heavy and, if you rinse well, you won't be left with the sticky residue common in reparative hair products. Featuring Australian Balm Mint and, naturally, an intoxicating aroma, this creamy conditioner will have you dreaming of tropical waterfalls even in your slightly mildewed shower cubicle.

A Final Note...

Aussie has worked hard to make a line of products for most any hair-type using their specialist knowledge of native Australian ingredients. If you haven't tried them before, it's high time you bit the bullet. These products aren’t extortionately priced so you've got very little to lose and a great glossy mane to gain! Mission accomplished, Aussie, you have the Charade seal of approval.

If in doubt, remember the Aussie philosophy:

"There's more to life than hair but it's a good place to start."

Have you used Aussie before? What's your favourite product?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

How to Do More with Less in Your Wardrobe

I’m pretty fixated on this topic just now. Minimalism has never been my thing, and it still isn’t, not really. I just enjoy life when it’s easy, don’t you? And a creaking wardrobe of gargantuan proportions is a beast that I don’t want to wrestle with every morning. What has often put me off having a major clear out is the worry of  having less. Less has never been good. Less ice cream for dessert? Absurd! Less money in my birthday card? Devastating! Less chocolate sprinkled on my cappuccino? Per-lease Mr Barista! But, the truth is, there has to be a limit to this insatiable, westernized appetite for more. And what better place to start than the area of our lives us young women spend the most time obsessing about? You got it, our clothes.

What I Mean By ‘Less’

• By less I mean less items in your possession, not wear less. This isn’t that kind of blog...

What I Mean By ‘More’

• By more I mean a wardrobe that gives more, that functions more, and that has more possibilities.

Let’s take it to an extreme. Let’s say you’ve got a wardrobe with ten things in it, versus a wardrobe with a hundred things. The knee-jerk reaction is to opt for the hundred-item wardrobe, more is always better, surely? But let’s read the small print. The ten-item wardrobe has been well thought out, is matched on a flattering colour scheme, has been purchased based on quality, and is hanging with plenty of space around each item to dip in and out. The one hundred-item wardrobe has been collected entirely at random, on a mostly low budget, to no particular colour scheme, and is crammed into an inadequate space. Which is more appealing now? But which sounds more like your wardrobe? Less can be more in your wardrobe when you apply thought and quality, just like a Fabergé egg is worth more than a lesser valuable crate of battery chicken eggs.

Just because you have a lot of clothes in your wardrobe, doesn’t mean you have a lot of outfits. Look at it this way: I could own a great pair of cowboy boots, a maxi dress, a leather jacket, a glitzy top, a floral cardigan, a beret, a pair of jeggings, an evening gown, a pair of harem pants, a Victorian shirt, a blazer... etc. etc. Sure, I would own a great deal of stuff, but I wouldn’t exactly have an outfit, especially if one or more of the items didn’t fit, or had a small stain or hole, or there was never an occasion for it... Now, I could simply have a buttoned blouse, a pair of smart shorts, a jumper dress, a stretch jersey skirt, a plain cardigan and a favourite band t-shirt and I already have five+ outfits. By buying with the rest of your wardrobe in mind, less items can mean more outfits.

Looking at items you don’t really like day in day out does not do a great deal for your style inspiration. Imagine you disliked the colour brown. If your bedroom were painted that colour, it wouldn’t exactly put you in the best mood to keep seeing it every day. In fact, it would be quite depressing, would it not? Same goes for that old pair of jeans. Sure, they fit okay, just like brown might match your pine furniture; sure, they’re reliable, just like that brown paint covers any marks or scuffs; sure, it might be a bit of a wrench to throw them out, just like it would be a hard day’s work to whitewash and repaint your bedroom. None of these are reasons to keep your room painted a colour you dislike, and none of them are reasons to save a piece of clothing that isn’t working for you. You can be more inspired if you’re seeing less things that you don’t wear, because you don’t wear them for a reason.

If you were running a sprint, how would you get the fastest time you could to the finish? By having a straight, clear track. Now, what if you had to run that same sprint through a dense wood? That finish line would look a lot further away. The fact is, most of us, however much we love clothes, need an outfit every day. And most of us don’t have time every day to navigate our way through a cluttered wardrobe; we simply need something we can look good and feel good in, quickly. If you put a lot of clothes you don’t want to wear in front of the ones you actually do, you are planting a heck load of trees on your own running track. You’ll have more access to the look you want if there are less obstacles in your way.

I hear your fears. What if you get bored of less? Newsflash: you’re already bored of your wardrobe. That’s why you have so much stuff in the first place, and that’s why you’re reading this article. With the tremendously strong negative and positive associations with the words ‘old’ and ‘new’ in western society, along with a constant, unhampered stream of marketing into our consciousnesses, and money that seems to burn a hole in our pockets – it’s pretty darned hard not to get bored of our belongings. But the thing to realise is that this will be true however much we own. Less or more, you’ll probably still get bored, but better to channel that desire into a slim line wardrobe than one already stuffed to the brim.

I’m planning to do more with less, are you?

Image thanks to RJ Bejil

Monday, 19 April 2010

Words to Live By #87

Image thanks to jurvetson

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."
H. Jackson Brown Jr

Sorry for the lack of Salute yesterday, I had an action-packed day of shopping in Bath and a BBQ in the sunshine and literally couldn't get home to the computer!  As usual, I will make up for it next week with a bumper edition. For now, I am back to university after a long break to see out the final weeks of the academic year - unbelievable. 

Oh, and thanks so much to all who have bought the latest podcast so far, what did you think?

Enjoy your Monday!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Learn to Love... Organisation

Image thanks to niffty

Oh so very late (my own organisational skills were hampered by a week of illness) it's finally fresh from the Charade bakehouse, the third in the series, it's 'Learn to Love... Organisation'!

In this podcast I'm taking a wide look at all elements of organisation, and why and how it should be an important factor of any life. Have a taste:

Organisation means many things to many people, but the core concept is clarity and control over your day to day, and that’s what I’ll be focusing on. If you can organise yourself successfully, and implement simple strategies that form as effortless long-term habits, then so much else will fall into place for you – you’ll have more time, more mental and physical space, and more power over your existence – which is always a main aim with any self-improvement strategy.

♥ ♥ ♥

This really won't cost the earth and, as with each episode, 20p from every single sale will go to the Look Good, Feel Better cancer support charity. It could just be the jolliest £1 you spend all month.

Learn to Love... Organisation - £1.00

Add to Cart

If you missed the first two podcasts, they are still available to purchase, so why not give them a go? And if this is your first, come on in, the water's great!

Like before, if you have any hiccups with buying/downloading the file (it is a .zip containing both the PDF and MP3) please email me and I will do my very best to help:

Stay in love,

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

How to Create a Core Wardrobe for Every Season

Product information here

What is a wardrobe without a core? A mass of material strewn here and there, dragged together to form, occasionally successful, but largely confused ensembles, with new additions thrown in to add to the chaos season after season. What a mess. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Think of creating a core wardrobe as creating a skeleton for the rest of your clothes to fit around; a vein that draws everything else together and makes your style hive magnificently manageable at last.

♥ Think multi-functionality. You’ll see in my example that each piece could work with all the others, and that’s what you’re trying to achieve in a core wardrobe. A useful way to think of it is as a capsule wardrobe, imagining how it would work if it was all you had to wear. Pick complimentary colours, but also cuts, fabrics, quality and styles. My striped top could work just as well with jeans as it would with the feminine skirt or smart shorts.

♥ Coin a colour palette. A palette is vital in a core wardrobe, but the beauty of this is that you always have the potential to draw in other colour influences. Your core wardrobe doesn’t simply have to be black, white and grey – you can see I’ve brought in pink hues and a camel colour, and I could have added even more. If you don’t wear black, don’t include it, and same goes for white and grey. This isn’t ‘new you’ this is old you amplified, and we must cater for and consider the essence of old you. The trick is to work with around three colours, deviating with caution, and keeping in mind that these are colours that will need to work in all seasons.

♥ Load up on layers. The reason my example is season proof is because the items can all layer over one another. The pussy bow blouse and shorts would be fab in spring, but layer over the sweater dress or cardigan, plus maybe some thick tights and boots, and I’ve got a winter outfit to boot.

Quality comes first. Yes, yes, you’ve heard it a hundred times, but it is common sense – if you want your clothes to last season after season, then they must be high quality. Moreover, if you want to be happy about wearing them over and over, they have to be the kind of clothes you’ll really adore, not throwaway bargain buys. It’s all about balance, and high quality doesn’t necessarily have to mean high price – if you pay over the odds then these pieces won’t be practical, as real life will get in the way. You’re not looking for irreplaceable items, just long-lasting ones, because grass stains happen.

Add a splash of you. A beige trench coat and classic white shirt are all well and good, and seem to be right up there on the ‘classics’ list, but what the heck is the point if they’re not you? My example is classic, it’s practical, but it is also true to me – these are things I know I’ll wear and enjoy wearing. Consider your day-to-day, consider what you’ll feel comfortable wearing, but also consider change and the magic of being whoever you want to be in the clothes you wear.

Visualise before you realise. A functional core wardrobe is not an easy thing, and it certainly won’t fall into your lap through a series of haphazard shopping trips and ill-considered fashion choices. Start by making a Polyvore set like the one above, then keep revisiting it over a few weeks to see what is/isn’t still working for you, and make alterations where necessary. The items in your set don’t have to be the exact ones you’ll buy (the set above, believe it or not, came to over £2000!) You can always print what you come up with and head to the high street for replicas.

Don’t expect it to happen overnight. The more you rush it, the less likely you’ll be to end up with a usable result. I’d expect it to take around a year, maybe more, to pull together this kind of starter-point wardrobe. You might think differently, and that’s okay. You might even have a few pieces that make up your core wardrobe already – brilliant. What I’m saying is that you should allow it to take as long as it takes; let the perfect, quality items come to you and don’t compromise, or you’ll always be compromising in your wardrobe.

Have a play around on Polyvore and share your results, we can all be inspired by each other’s efforts! Ooh, and let me know what you make of mine.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Words to Live By #86

Image thanks to noe

"Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Eclectic Aesthetic 11.04.10

A look from yesterday, photographed on my new terrace - the perfect, private spot for outfit-shooting my heart out!

 T-shirt ♥ Miss Selfridge
Cardigan and Socks ♥ Primark
Skirt ♥ My mums from the 80's
Shoes ♥ Urban Outfitters
Bag ♥ Suzy Smith

As you can see, I have been wholly inspired by the spring sunshine (although I missed the best light of the day for these shots, I was too busy moving all my stuff around!) How is the new season affecting your look?

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Saturday Salute 10.04.10

Image thanks to noe

GAH! We are positively speeding to the end of another week. Where have my Easter holidays gone?! No matter, we shall console ourselves with links.

If you're a writer (aspiring or fully fledged), you might just like tribal writer.

I loved these rare pictures of celebrities.

So perfect - 29 Semi-Productive Things I Do Online When I’m Trying to Avoid Real Work from Marc and Angel.

88 Important Truths I've Learned About Life from Raptitude. I enjoyed number 8: "If everyone in the TV show you’re watching is good-looking, it’s not worth watching" and 32: "The greatest innovation in the history of humankind is language" but they're all good, and certainly print-worthy.

Must. Make. These. Immediately.

Goodnight my sweet pitta pockets (I'll be your hummus any time).

Friday, 9 April 2010

How to Define Your Personal Style: A Step by Step Guide

Image thanks to noemi manalang

Firstly, why define your style? Things don’t always need labels or boxes around them, and your style is no exception to that rule. My concept of style definition is not simply to generalise or stereotype you; we’re not making you strictly ‘vintage’ or ‘boho’ or ‘punky’. What we are doing is giving you a powerful tool and signpost forward in your personal style evolution. This article is about gaining an understanding of your style more than anything. Let’s rock.

♥ Step One: Identify your inspiration. All of the most ‘out there’, creative, chic, original style symbols got their inspiration from somewhere, and what made them successful was the ability to abundantly source, hold onto, and channel that inspiration into their real lives. Let your search for style be first a search for inspiration. Find it in coffee shops, libraries, museums, antique shops, the cinema, train stations – practically everywhere. Tap into it, revisit it, live it wildly and truthfully. I can’t tell you what you’re inspiration is, but I can tell you that it has to be constantly refreshed and reenergized.

Step Two: Keep a style diary. Let it be a place for those momentary light bulb realisations, sketches, vintagefair flyers, magazine cut-outs etc. etc. Don’t put pressure on it to be a thing of beauty, or anything you ever have to share, that way, your real, uncensored style aspirations will spill out. You can even stick Polaroid’s of your own outfits inside, along with dates, and see how your style progresses.

Step Three: We are all just playing a part, so play yours well. Fashion isn’t necessary; we don’t need beautiful clothes to survive. Apart from the very basic requirements of warmth and dryness, all clothing is simply self decoration. With that in mind, you realise that any established code of what is ‘right’ to wear goes out of the window. Clothing is simply you saying something to the world, that’s its whole point. If you want to say ‘Yes, I got the latest issue of Glamour that said nautical was in’ then fine, say that, let Glamour define you. If, instead, you want that message to be ‘I am a fun, interesting and light-hearted human with individual desires and aspirations’ then you must go ahead and say that.

Step Four: Ask questions. On some level, your personal style is already defined, you just don’t know it yet. That’s because definition of your style is not as simple as deciding it, saying it, or writing it down. It exists in the way you walk, in the foods you like, in the scent you wear, in the place you come from, in the books you read, in your hobbies, in the people you surround yourself with. Look further than simply your wardrobe to reach a definition of your style. Bring up leading questions with those who know you, such as: ‘If I were an item of jewellery, what would I be?’ or, ‘If I were a holiday destination, where would I be?’

Step Five: Know that finding your style ‘definition’ may simply be a product of self-acceptance. I often see people trying to define themselves with exterior things: a new hair colour, the perfect handbag – and I can see why these seem like perfect ways to define yourself. The problem is that our ideas for what constitutes a great hair colour or handbag are often just the result of what we have seen work for other people, not ourselves. Therefore, it will never be a sustainable definition of our style. The alternative, then, is to look at what we already have, what we’re already working with, and see what definition that gives us.

"You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." 
Louise L. Hay

The fact is that if you can’t accept yourself as you are, you’re unlikely to accept yourself any better with a few external alterations – psychologically speaking, accepting who you are runs far deeper than that. Look to define what you’ve already got rather than hunt out new additions in the hope of a breakthrough.

Step Six: Know your style agenda. Sure, that skirt is lovely, but does it fit your style agenda? We are a greedy species. We crave variety and have an insatiable appetite for it. Because of this, and coupled with the constant projection of images telling us so, we seem to desire every new style. The problem here is that not every new style will suit us; not every new style will fit our agendas. This is a concept much like Aesthetic Affirmations, it requires you to have set ideas about what works/doesn’t work for you, and stick to them. This isn’t denying yourself, it’s looking at a beautiful piece of clothing and appreciating it, yet still saying ‘It’s not quite right for/suited to/worthy of me’.

Step Seven: Let your definition happen organically. Above all, don’t look to a definition to limit your style – the most chic of people rarely employ such a tactic. Personal style should evolve, it should peak and, yes, sometimes trough, it should be a learning curve and an experiment, and a lot of fun. Think of your style as a creative collage rather than a difficult puzzle with a set amount of pieces.

And, on a final note:

"Whatever you are, be a good one."  
Abraham Lincoln

How will you be inspiring, creating, crafting and celebrating your style?

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Image thanks to chris

Just to let you know, I am entirely ill with a flu bug and have fallen woefully behind with both blog and podcast :( I hope you forgive me.

I will have something fun for you tomorrow, promise.

Meanwhile, send me healthy thoughts.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

5 Quick Fixes to Spring Clean Your Style

Image thanks to clickflashphotos

Last April we worked on Dream Style, but I know very well that the cold winter months call for cosy basics and comfortable clothes choices. Now that the days are longer and there's far more sunshine beneath which we can strut our stuff, I thought it was time we beat away the mothballs and gave our wardrobes a swift revamp. Yes, April 2010 is Spring Clean Your Style month on Charade and, boy, have I got a wealth of ideas and advice to dish out.

So as not to overwhelm you at the offset (and because I've got a podcast to finish!) I thought I'd start with a quick fix guide to lightening, brightening, and excite-ifying your sartorial stockpile. Let's go.

♥ Embrace rejuvenation. Changing seasons and the introduction of new styles on the catwalk and high street can be the best time to take a few fashion risks. Is there a look you’ve been dreaming about all through the cold winter months? Although, now the sun is coming out and everything is illuminated, it doesn’t seem like such a good idea? Throw caution to the wind! The seasons change and so can you: flowers in your hair, rips in your jeans, heels in the day time, red lipstick... Take the opportunity to make that proverbial fresh start and let the new weather invite a new side of you.

1, 2, 3
♥ Focus on an essential accessory. I often find that the best, most ‘me’ outfits, tend to revolve around one key piece. If you’re looking to channel a certain look or style this spring then, rather than lust in vain after a whole new wardrobe, take yourself shopping for that one thing that unifies your style aspirations and says exactly what you want to say. It could be a cute bow pin, t-bar shoes, a cupcake necklace, a vintage scarf, a worn leather satchel – anything! Before parting with your cash, imagine the item alongside at least ten other outfits or things that you already own to be sure that you’ll get practical use from it.

♥ Say "bye, bye" to the Ugg boots. Your feet have been sun deprived too long. Flip flops are great, but if you’re an inner city chick then they don’t always work: dirty brown feet? Chewing gum incidents? Back problems? No thank you. Start looking out for a great pair of comfortable, statement sandals now and you’re far more likely to find that perfect pair. Wedges are versatile and quite in vogue, just be sure you can walk the walk!

tights from 

♥ Get your hosiery on! Even if it’s still a bit cold for bare legs (I know it is where I am) tights and long socks are a great way for you to start pulling out those summer skirts and dresses now. You can even double up, there’s no law against knee high socks over tights (in fact, I think it’s rather chic) – so give it a go.

Invest in or renew a jacket. A sweet, light jacket will soon be all you will need against the outdoor weather; choose well and it can last you right through until autumn. If you’ve got the dosh then grab a new one in a classic flattering shape and a colour that works well with your wardrobe. If money is tight then dig out an oldie or wrangle a hand-me-down and get crafty; switch the buttons, do a dye job, get it altered or re-lined with a pretty floral fabric; just make sure you can fall in love with it.

On Thursday we'll get more in depth and discuss How to Define Your Style, a subject I've had a few requests on. See you then!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Words to Live By #85

Image thanks to kaileyenn

"There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who can do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. ...give all our attention to the opportunity before us."
Mark Van Doren

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Saturday Salute 03.04.10

Easter + baking lemon cupcakes + fruitful trips to ridiculously cheap charity shops = one happy (and distracted... hence the late salute) Megan! Here are the links dears:

I always wanted a Jane Austen inspired dress. Now, if only I had the sewing skills...

I like this

Wow, these actually exist?!

Something cute just got cuter.

Oh, and this will give you goosebumps (the good kind):

"God Ain't Gonna Put It In Your Lap" from Maximilla Lukacs on Vimeo.

Ta ta for now,

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Loving London and Philips Lumea

Okay... so I haven't been quite as well behaved a blogger as I could have been so far this easter holiday, but I've had some delightful distractions! On Monday I was whisked away (well, caught the Megabus) with my good friend Cai, to London. Even though we were disappointed by the rain, we managed to have a great day - and try an exciting new product too.

As you can see, we stopped by Liberty, bought a big ol'pretzel, and tried on ridiculous flower headbands - that's London for you. But that wasn't all, we also got to test out the new Philips Lumea, a home-use product that uses intense pulses of light to reduce hair growth. We were invited to The Soho Hotel where the addition of a cute, complimentary manicure and brownies made it a grand excursion. I'll be going back to continue using the product over an eight week period and will be feeding back on the results I see - here's hoping this is the end of shaving!

It really has been a week of freebies because, today, I got to be a model in a local hair salon and get a free do from a top Tigi stylist! I was asked to be 'open-minded' which worried me slightly... but it was great! He sat down and showed me some images and asked if there were any no-no's. I said I'd like to keep the length and that was all, and the result was a gorgeous, heavily layered style. I'm curious to see how effectively I'll be able to style it myself...

It's easter with my parents in Wales again this year, I can't believe it's been that long since last time. What are you all up to? Hopefully the sun will shine for some pictures in the garden. We're lucky to be having a day in a sumptuous local spa too, so I will tell you all about that. The next L2L podcast is still very much in the planning stage, but I will have it up early next week so not long to wait!

Love to all,