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7 tips to get soft and shiny hair

An English Mamma in Stockholm: 7 tips to get soft and shiny hair kevin murphy

As I have, until recently, been lightening my hair at home, it has ended up in pretty poor condition. In fact, that was the no. 1 reason why I stopped doing it. My hair was becoming like straw. I last home-dyed it in May and since then I’ve been working hard on improving the condition of it.

Here are my 7 tips to get soft and shiny hair – the methods that have worked for me in getting my hair back into a good, healthy condition.

7 tips to get soft and shiny hair

  • Use products that are free from sulphates and parabens. (I like Kevin Murphy products, which are free from both – and they smell great too).
  • Use shampoo only on your scalp and roots, as far as you can – the ends will get washed by the shampoo as you rinse it out.

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Weekly wishes – week 4

January is almost at an end. Just the worst month of the winter to come: February. But on a more cheerful note, it’s a new week with new opportunities. Bring it on.

Weekly wishes last week

  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator – NOPE.
  • Start the Bikini Body Guide – DONE – big success with this as I did all three training sessions for the first week and also made one of the recipes.
  • Bake a cake for E’s third birthday – DONE, of course.

The week

The birthday week about summed up the week for us, as E turned three on Wednesday. So Tuesday evening was all about cake baking. I made coconut cupcakes, using coconut flour but I forgot to buy coconut sugar, so just had to rely on the normal kind. They tasted pretty good and would have lasted longer but a) I ran out of time to ice them and b) the boys wolfed them down and then they were gone. As he wanted to have a party, we got out the leftover tablecloth, napkins and cups from O’s superhero party last year and used those = the happiest little three year old.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes three year old birthday boy cupcake party

As my mother-in-law was here to celebrate with us, Husband and I took advantage of her as a babysitter and went out for drinks on both Friday and Saturday nights after the boys were in bed. It was great to get away and have some time for ourselves, especially as we decided while on holiday not to have a babysitter any nights. But this brought back some of the holiday memories of time with just the two of us over a glass of wine once the boys were asleep.

Sunday was a quiet day for us. O had his football school. This was only the second time that I have taken him and I noticed a significant improvement on last time. I doubt he’s the next Zlatan, but he enjoys it and his ball skills are getting better – and that’s what we wanted.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes football miniboll nsk

In the afternoon, we snuggled up on the sofa to watch a film. We tried The Pink Panther but only last ten minutes. In the end, we saw Annie, which I had not seen in more than 30 years. The boys loved it, absolutely loved it, despite it running for just over two hours. And I had forgotten how many of the songs really are great. A definite rewatch option for a lazy, miserable Sunday afternoon in the future.

Weekly wishes this week

  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator.
  • Mindfulness meditation – time to get back into this. I really want to start back with mindfulness this week and my success with training last week gives me a little more confidence that I can succeed with this too.
  • Buy Husband’s birthday present
  • Complete week 2 of the Bikini Body Guide

And these are goals that I know I can achieve. It’s looking like a good week. What are your goals for the week?

Linking up with Melyssa at The Nectar Collective.

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Memories – a few favourites from South Africa

I think I left an even larger piece of my heart in South Africa this trip. Both Husband and I fell in love with the country when we visited for the first time in late 2013/early 2014, but this time around I fell even harder. Sitting back at home in snowy Stockholm, all I can think of are our South African holiday memories. To help ease my heartache, I thought I would share some of our favourite moments from the first part of our trip with you.

South African holiday memories – Stellenbosch wine region

An English Mamma in Stockholm: south african holiday memories brothers siblings

I think this might be one of my favourite shots from the whole holiday, and I took it just a few hours after we arrived. We had lunch at Basic Bistro in Stellenbosch, which I would highly recommend – delicious burgers and sandwiches – and I snapped this quickly while they were sharing a banana shake. I just wish that O had not taken a tumble off his Trunki at the airport the day before and hit his nose…

An English Mamma in Stockholm: south african holiday memories stellenbosch mountains

An English Mamma in Stockholm: south african holiday memories toddler sunglasses

Someone decided that wearing my sunglasses is the most fun thing to do. I don’t know how many photos of have of this little diva modelling different sunglasses that he nabbed from me.

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What I Wore Wednesday

I was inspired for What I Wore Wednesday this week by this outfit Hallie wore and because I wanted an excuse to wear my new Kingsley Heath t-shirt.

What I Wore Wednesday

I didn’t mix up patterns like Hallie did (I need to get brave and start doing that though), but I loved the look of the shirt collar (from J Crew) peeking out of the neckline. And as I said, it gave me a reason to wear the t-shirt, which I picked up from one of my favourite South African brands, Kingsley Heath. And I added a jacket (from H&M) as today was Annual Review Day (eek!) and I wanted to smarten up a bit.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: what i wore wednesday wiww jacket kingsley heath shirt

I did toy with the idea of a necklace but I felt the glittery cattle on the t-shirt front was blingy enough for my workplace.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: what i wore wednesday wiww kingsley heath t-shirt shirt

And other than the bright pink hair band on my wrist (I like to have my hair up while I am working), I added some colour with my shoes (from Marks & Spencer). These I bought on a tip by Alexandra and I am so pleased I did. They’ve brightened up my mood today, which was challenging given the snow coming down outside (they’re forecasting 10mm for today. TEN MILLIMETRES. Urgh.)

An English Mamma in Stockholm: what i wore wednesday wiww m&s marks spencer pink floral shoes

And look at that lovely 1970s flooring in my office. Delicious.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

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Weekly wishes – week 3

Given how late last week I posted my weekly wishes, it’s not surprising that I only managed one out of three. That’s my excuse anyway.

Last week sped by in a flash. Monday and Tuesday we were enjoying our last days in Cape Town before we headed to the airport on Tuesday evening.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes last night in cape town v&a waterfront table mountain

 

First thing on Wednesday morning we landed in Heathrow and then we were home by midday, and then back on work and preschool on Thursday. All I wanted to do on Thursday night was sleep and sleep and sleep, but I had a team dinner to attend and my appalling bowling skills to showcase. The Dude I am not… And then it was Friday, which ended up being really busy at work, and suddenly the weekend rolled around. What a relief.

 

Weekly wishes last week

  • Write up a list of books that I want to read in the coming months – DONE! Now I just need to read some of the books…
  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator – NOPE.
  • Establish a realistic training routine for the next few months (and then review it in April) – NOPE.

However, we did watch a film this week, so that’s a tick for one of my goals for the year. We watched Hank: 5 Years From The Brink, a documentary about then Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson’s handling of the financial crisis in 2008.

Weekly wishes this week

  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator. I’m going to try again on this – especially as I have a new course to attend on this in February. I need to remember what I’m doing!
  • Start the Bikini Body Guide. I saw this a few months ago on Kimberly’s blog and then started followed Kayla on Instagram, and now I’ve just bought the pack.
  • Bake a cake for E’s third birthday on Wednesday.

Number 3 on this list is the big one. He’s been talking about this for at least a month. He was even asking how large his party would be. Hmmm… Pretty small, buddy. We don’t do parties until four because that’s they way it works at their preschool. Luckily he’s dropped that request. So we’re hoping that he’ll be appeased by a quiet birthday and a great big cake.

Linking up with Melyssa at The Nectar Collective.

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Weekly wishes – 2

Last week, I decided to set a few weekly wishes that would last the whole year. Not resolutions as such – since I believe that you can make changes (and sometimes need to make changes) at any point in the year – but goals for 2015.

And so far, I’ve managed to stick to one of the three – watching films. But that is because we have actually been away for the past couple of weeks. We loved our trip to South Africa last holiday season so much that we returned again this season (more to follow on this). So my film watching was on the plane: The Fault In Our Stars and then Trance.

So I’ve added the other two to my weekly wishes for this week and I really want to get started on them, now that we are back to reality. No more sunshine like this for a good long while [sigh]…

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes south africa hermanus

Weekly wishes this week
  • Write up a list of books that I want to read in the coming months
  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator
  • Establish a realistic training routine for the next few months (and then review it in April)

What are your goals for this week? Any big changes that you are hoping to make this year?


Linking up with Melyssa at The Nectar Collective.

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Weekly wishes – 1

2015 already, can you believe it? I know I say it every time, but where did last year go to?

Christmas was lovely and relaxed, which was exactly what I needed after the horrid cough/cold/whatever-it-was that I came down with the week before. In fact, 24 December was the first day that I felt better. The four days before that I did not leave home and some of them, I didn’t even make it out of PJs. I cannot remember the last time I’ve felt that rotten: feverish and miserable and simply exhausted.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: Merry Christmas God Jul Happy Holidays

I had so many post ideas for the week or so before Christmas, but that cold meant that none of these came to fruition. I had been planning a large post on different present wrapping ideas but in the end, I wrapped all the family’s presents the day before, leaving me no time for anything. Not that I had any energy once I had finished with paper and tape anyway.

Weekly wishes for the year
  • Write up a list of books that I want to read, and then actually read them.
  • Watch at least one film each week. I watched The Fault In Our Stars last week and it reminded me just how much I enjoy watching a good film. I also wept throughout.
  • Concentrate on making my hats and headpieces in the evenings. I was so excited when I first learned how to do this, but somehow it fell by the wayside over the months last year.

What are your goals for the year? Any big plans for 2015?

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A Year in Books – January

Ah, the first post of 2015 and it’s a good place to start: A Year in Books. I’m excited at the prospect of taking part in this for the whole year of 2015, as I came to the party a few months in last year. Despite it being almost 600 pages long, I did manage to finish my December book: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. I feel a little torn after reading it. It’s divided into six parts, but I can say that I only really liked four of them – the first four. The fifth one I sped through because it was thrilling, not because I was enjoying it. And the sixth and final one I felt was far too long and dragged too much. So my overwhelming feeling at the end was that I was glad it had ended, which isn’t ideal, especially considering how excellent I found the first four parts. I also just cannot get away from the feeling that David Mitchell wants the reader to know how clever he is to have created the whole world that he has in this book. Perhaps some parts of it also reminded me too much of Cloud Atlas and it felt a little repetitive. Have you read it? What did you think?

A Year in Books – January

For January’s book, I’ve chosen The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester. I heard about this novel on the BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read programme. It sounds like a strange kind of book, but somehow that seems appropriate after The Bone Clocks, which was about as strange as you can get for a mainstream novel.

I am hoping that it puts me on the path to a good reading year in 2015. What are you planning to read this year?

Circle of Pine Trees

An English Mamma in Stockholm: happy holidays presents christmas
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Happy Holidays!

This holiday season, I’m going to take it a little easy – not a blogging break, as such, but a slightly more relaxed blogging schedule until the New Year.

I wish you a Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you in the New Year! Roll on 2015.

 

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The week

What a week that was… I was sick from Tuesday, when I developed a cough, until, well, it’s still going on, I’m afraid to say. I’m surprised that I managed to get anything done last week, really.

Weekly wishes last week
  • Buy remaining Christmas presents – check. I managed to do this on Thursday in a rare burst of energy.
  • Make the last few “crafty” presents – half done (swirly ring bowls made and photo calendar done, but the boys’ snow globes still need to be fixed).
  • Help the boys to decorate the Christmas tree - yes!
  • Deliver the Christmas presents for the staff at preschool - check.
  • Wrap presents – aaaargh, that’s a definite no.
  • Buy food for Christmas dinner – task delegated.
The week

We decorated the tree on Monday afternoon and the boys had a blast. Some rearranging was required afterwards though as they favoured some branches over others…

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes the week overcrowding decorations christmas tree

After they had gone to bed, it was time for me to get the glass baubles out and decorate the higher branches. And when they woke on Tuesday and saw the whole tree completed, they were so happy.

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