Mama OWL Blog: March 2017

How I Keep My Hair Healthy

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

My hair is my absolute pride and joy. For someone like me who has had numerous personal battles with weight and health and fitness, my hair has always been the one thing that I love about myself. Most of the time, when it does as it's told (or is straightened into submission). Currently it is waist length and a beautiful rich brunette although last year I dabbled with a dark cherry colour, and a bit of blonde hair and there. I prefer it this colour. Dark. Like my soul. And my sense of humour...
I've got masses of hair, it's very thick and wavy and while I find myself wanting to try new things I am very wary of how over-styling or recolouring can damage it. I've also decided to keep it long, because I think as I get older it will become harder to manage so I will enjoy having it long while I am able. In my teenage years it was an absolute mess, I cannot even tell you how grateful I am for the invention of hair straighteners so that I can finally have the gorgeous hair I always had that was hidden underneath all of that frizz. It has taken me many years but I finally know how to look after my hair properly and I am reaping the benefits of it now, as it is healthy and manageable.

Hair Styling by Toni Lilley Hairdressing
My recommendations for taking care of your hair have to be to find a good shampoo and conditioner that works for you and gives you the results that you want. I have found nothing to support the idea that changing up your hair products improves its condition because it gets used to what you're using - it doesn't. Find one you like and stick to it. I also don't over-wash my hair - which means it can often end up in a messy bun on the top of my head or tied back into a plait, but this way I am not stripping it of its natural oils. I try and coordinate hair washing days with gym days (because sweaty hair is grim) and around any social events otherwise it can end up dry and straw-like.
A deep condition every now and again is a good idea, and I use coconut oil on the ends from time to time when I feel like they need a bit of extra TLC. I always use heat protecting spray, and occasionally use serum to tame any flyaway bits during styling.
My kids have been lucky enough that both myself and my husband come from families with thick, wavy hair. The only real problem that I have is how much I spend on hair cuts for them because it grows at a rate of knots and the boys are all past the age where they qualify for cheap kids cuts (and far too big to try and say otherwise!).
Do you have any hair care tips and tricks? I'd love for you to share them in the comments below.

Preparing for Secondary School - Buying Uniform

Friday, 24 March 2017

I can barely believe it but the time has come for my youngest son to move up to secondary school. We have received our offer of our first choice school and now we begin the process of buying his new uniform and all the equipment he will need. There is so much to buy that I find it best to start as soon as you get your offer so that you can spread the cost as it can all add up.
Different schools will have all have their own lists of the required uniform and equipment that you should be able to view on their website, but from my experience these are the things that they cannot do without in their first year. There are many options available both in leading supermarkets and on the high street for purchasing school wear, in addition to school wear specialists such as Trutex. You may also only be able to buy certain items from the school's preferred stockist so it's best to check straight away just in case things need to be ordered direct from their supplier.

With them spending so much time in their uniform, you'll need to look for things that are not only comfortable, but hardwearing. My boys are much harder on their clothes than my girls have ever been and often come home with muddied knees from diving around on the field with their mates playing games or just from being pushed over into hedges (yes... much fun, many japes... I thoroughly enjoy all of the extra laundry).
Sticking with plain black socks makes life easier in the mornings when they're scrabbling around getting dressed, and it also means less time pairing up because they're all the same. I have wasted years of my life pairing up socks from our 'sock orphanage'... Just get plain ones. Trust me. In terms of sports socks, buy some thick plain ones to wear with trainers, as well as some that will be suitable and comfortable to wear with outdoor field sport boots. (Related: buy them a boot bag).
Let them choose their backpack. You'll only get it wrong if you try & pick for them. Even when there is nothing wrong with it and it looks almost exactly like the one they've been using for the last year. I'm all about a quiet life these days and currently I'm outnumbered by teenagers, so let me save you the earache - Pick your battles!
We received complimentary uniform items for review purposes. All words and opinions are our own.
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