Saturday 31 December 2011

Things I learnt in 2011

1. Every time I read a (food) recipe that calls for coconut or grapeseed oil, I seethe internally, because I could be using that as a moisturiser instead.

2. Using my fingers to detangle my hair is frugal, efficient and less stress on my head.

3. 'Prison' can be a subjective term.

4. I can watch almost any programme as long as it is about food. Especially cakes. Especially the Great British Bake-Off.

5. Taking five hours to do a recap for just one episode of  a television show is not an efficient use of time.

6. Sticky tape will rip the nail polish of your freshly done (home) manicure right off.

7. Sulfates are not the devil. And there's a reason I buy samples before committing to the full product.

8. If you don't remove the metal buckle from your skirt before putting it in the washing machine, you will have to listen to it clatter impishly against the door until the blasted cycle is finished.

9. It's not easy being pescetarian. But it's not too hard either.

10. The snip happy stylist is not a myth. But complaining about snip happy stylists whilst being snip happy yourself is kind of hypocritical...

Sayonara 2011! I'm looking forward to what 2012 has to offer. I hope each and every single one of you reading this has a blessed 2012, full of joy, peace, love and care!

Friday 30 December 2011

Last Length Check of 2011

To be honest, I didn't think much had happened with my hair (I think that's the problem with interim length checks). I've been dealing with a lot of split ends, which has meant a lot of snipping out, and pulling out (don't ask, it's a really horrible habit I have). But my family were convinced that my hair was longer than it had been before, at some undefined point in the past.

Mum: You know, I never thought you'd get this far with your hair you know!
The Rebel Sis: Although I know you never would, if you did relax your hair, it would be quite long actually if you did.
Mum: She can't relax her hair. She's the reason all of us have given it up! If she relaxes her hair now, she'll have to deal with all of us!
Whoo! Inspiring to the very end! Though it's probably because I wear my hair stretched a lot more now, so they can see the length, rather than any real action on my part.

Last year I was here:

and here

And one year, various cuts, trims and chops later, I'm here...

and here.

Honestly, I can't see much difference from August's update! >.< I've had a lot of breakage, and gung ho chopping due to split ends so the lack of length retention isn't surprising.

I think I'll have to restrict my scissor activity this year...or increase it? Maybe the difference is that I'm actually dealing with the split ends now and noticing them, whereas before I was blissfully ignorant of the state my hair was in.

Let's not end on such a nebulous note though - let's look at my fringe (bangs). Around this time last year, it was a bright brassy blonde, dry and breaking off. This year, I think I've grown out the worst dyed bits. All I have left is the colour that was put on top of my undyed hair.

Now they're nearly too long to be called a valid fringe, since they nestle right between my nose and lip.

This year Arm Pit Length (APL)/Shoulder Length (SL). Who knows, I may actually hit Bra Strap Length (BSL)/ Collar Bone Length (CBL) next year (yeah right!).
Next Length Check: December 2012

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Four Months, where did the money go?

Since everyone is taking a look at what they want to change and what they want to improve and leave behind when the bells of the New Year toll, I decided to assess the financial damage I'd done in 4 months. As a student, I keep tabs on my money. I've got to. It's the way I roll.
Therefore as a student with mild control issues, I keep a budget, so I know what I've wasted spent my money on. Wanna see? Here's a slice:

This is the condensed version. When it's green, it's good, but when it's red, it's ridiculous. A lot of the budget amounts are things left over from my incredibly strict undergraduate days, so it needs tweaking to be more realistic.

  • My other house mate has yet to give me her portion of the Internet money.
  • I spent money on clothes for netball - netball kit and er.. other necessary supports.
  • The annoying thing about my bus travel is that I still didn't spend enough to warrant a bus pass. If I had shopped less, I'd have walked more, I'm sure...
  • When I constructed this budget, I totally didn't take into account the fact that I might need to take the train for my placement. So if I don't want that amount to be true, I should probably claim the money back...
  • I had to get the sewing machine fixed. And that was not cheap. Neither was the excess amount of material I now have in my house. 
  • Toiletries? Eh, I got no excuse. Come on, have you seen what I'm like?!
  • I'm actually quite proud of the Christmas amount. I calculated nine people I was buying presents for, and tried to keep it down to £10 each. I managed this for the siblings, failed massively when it came  to my mum and didn't even bother when it came to the Wonder Thing. I put my hands up - I failed there. But it's a failure that only comes once a year and it's laced with mince pies to dull the pain.
  • Having to buy new stuff for this new academic year, including printer ink, meant my stationary costs shot up.
But on a more positive financial note - I finally set up my ISA! Yay! My grand plan is finally in action! 
Whoo-hoo! So far all I've contributed to it is £100 of my own, and £600 of my overdraft. It's okay since I'm a student, I don't get charged for going into my  And I do plan on giving it back, after I collect the interest on it, so it's all good.
Definitely something I should be keeping an eye on in the New Year....

Monday 26 December 2011

Curls for Christmas?

So, to avoid the inevitable question of "What are you going to do with your hair?" I decided to take preventative measures.

After some conditioning, I put my hair into Curlformers.

Now there was a distinctive difference from last time I used these. Last time, I used Giovanni Direct Leave-In conditioner, oil and flaxseed gel on damp hair.
This time, I used Tresemmé Naturals as a heavier leave in, as well as the oil and flaxseed and a bit of shea butter on damp hair.

You know what? The curls came out incredibly soft.

In fact, they were too soft. Even after being left in overnight, I had to leave half of the Curlformers in for a further half a day, because they hadn't held the curl.

And even after that, I still had to add some more flaxseed gel and leave the curlformers in for a bit longer.
Since they were a bit lower down, the curls were a bit more stretched than the others, so I was slightly lopsided. It's fine, I just bent my knee a little to balance it all out.


 When I eventually took them out, the curls were fluffy and undefined and slowly shrunk up through the day.

Ah well. It was fun while it lasted.

Friday 23 December 2011

Children's Christmas

I hope everyone reading this has a lovely, Merry Christmas and happy holiday time.

I'll just leave you with this sweet interpretation of Christmas while you enjoy your festive time.

Friday 16 December 2011

Duh Moment: Simple Satin Solution

I'm a rough sleeper. Please believe that when I say rough, I mean wraps-herself-up-in-her-duvet-sandwich-style-and-tosses-and-turns-and-slides-up-and-down-the-bed-while-waving-her-arms-like-she-just-doesn't-care-in-a-single-bed rough.

I think it's fair to say I probably expend more physical energy whilst unconscious than when I am awake.

Due to this, the slinky satin scarf I loving tie onto my head before I go to sleep doesn't stay on for very long, even if I put some head bands on. Tying the headbands on any tighter would undoubtedly block the oxygen to my poor, strained cerebrum and I simply couldn't risk it.

However, neither am I willing to once again deal with the breakage that comes from not wearing an appropriate scarf to bed at night [I've already got some from last weekend, when I forgot my scarf in the pursuit of sewing based glory].

Suffering succotash! Surely a solution should be possible

Safety pins to the rescue!

Simply take a safety pin...

and use it to secure a corner of your scarf to your pillowcase.

Repeat 3 more times for sublime success.

Thus it's settled - No longer is it necessary to stress about surrendering my scarf whilst submersed in the state of sleep.

You can secure the scarf with more safety pins if you so please - I just used four because that's all I could find.

Having been a more regular visitor to my local fabric shop meant I realised that they have a scrap box and occasionally, there is some polyester satin scraps available for the bargain price of about 20p a piece. If a shop near you does a similar thing if you find a big enough piece, you could use on of those as well and save the scarf for wearing under your beanie hats!

However, this comes with a few caveats - obviously I wouldn't really try this with the pillow case of a small child, in fear of the small possibility that they dislodge one and end up pricking themselves during the night.

If you do it for yourself, you have to check it at semi-regular intervals to make sure that the safety pins are still in position too. 

Monday 5 December 2011

To run or not to run?

Warning - the following post is link heavy, because I didn't want to load the post down with seemingly irrelevant links. Well, I think they're relevant, but it's all subjective :)

A mistake was made and now the ball is speeding back through the air towards you. 

Towards the area you're guarding. 

You're tired but t's not about you right now though - it's about your team, who have been working seamlessly together like some living, feeling, panting, screaming organism for the last 45 minutes; about the girls who can't come into your space, praying that you do your job properly so that they can do theirs.  

Your feet are like lead and seem to be stuck to the ground but somehow you'e got to make them move and you've got to do it really fast. 

But the world seems to have slowed down to an unbearable pace and  you're not sure you'll be fast enough.

Your player has disappeared from your peripheral and something tells you that she's looming directly behind you, waiting for the chance to spring out and sprint. To the left or the right? You don't know - gotta stay on your toes. 

What's the score? Don't know, can't see through the sweat and to be honest, it doesn't matter because your moment is coming, and your chest is starting to tighten painfully, right now, of all times, such a bother! What's gone before doesn't really matter now - it's a new moment, a new chance, a new opportunity to prove your worth.

Left, she's gone left, your weaker side, but no matter, your reflexes have already taken over and you're not quite sure if you're sprinting of flying and as you leap - into the void? Into glory? - you experience the thrill of the speed of the ball on your finger tips...

Well, netball feels that intense for me any ways. To be honest, I love playing sports in general but netball is a sport I can actually compete in.

But lord, does it require a lot of stamina. And that leads me onto the topic of this post - Should I take up running or not?

Don't get me wrong, I love being active and I adore sprinting - just going full pelt, as fast as I can for a short amount of time. But I'm not sure about the actual act of running/jogging.
I've read people's experiences, about the bad memories they have with running, how they used to hate running but now they can't be without it or various answers to any excuses one may have; I love the blogs and the motivational speak that goes along with encouraging people to keep running.
Despite all that. Despite knowing all the health benefits and positives and good things about running and/or jogging, I still kinda feel like this:

And thus, as I do in every moral quandry I experience, I wrote a sort of brain ramble.

I hate running.
Well, I don't think I hate running, but I don't know if I'd be passionate and motivated enough to keep it up. 
Then again, my main motivation is that it would build up my stamina, making me a netballing BEAST!
 But a lot of the girls on the netball team who run are really slim and I really don't want to lose weight or change my physique in any way. I don't want abs, I don't want to be slimmer, I just want to do a Kanye and get better, faster, stronger. Plus, is running going to be able to help me do leg splits as easily as Jordan Casanova?
But it's free!
Well, almost. It can actually be quite expensive. You need to get trainers for one and those set you back at least £40 on sale. And I can't run if I don't have music, and putting your mp3 player in your pocket or down your bra is not a good enough way to keep it secure and maintain momentum. And if you want to go running in the winter, you need thermals, or to join a gym. Both of which cost moola.
But I would be able to go running with The Wonder Thing and that is (nearly) enough to get me strapping on some trainers right now.
Except he used to be in the top 1 percentile for his age range for long distance running and that's incredibly off putting for a novice like me. I can't even run a mile and for him 3 miles is just a little bit of a warm up or something stupid. Also, I know he has a fondness for hills. Um. No thank you.
Running with someone else would be a great way of motivating two people, getting some comraderie and bonding with another human being (I may have some problems with that).
I know that running is safer with a partner, but I don't know anyone at my (non) level who'd be willing to do it. I've tried it with someone fitter than me - the Little Bro. To say he left me behind in his dirt is an understatement. I felt like the Fenton dog guy must've felt.
I want the endorphin rush that people always talk about getting after a great run. Heck, I just want to be able to say "a great run" without being incredibly sarcastic.
On the other hand, I'm not a complete couch potato (despite what my television habits may imply) - I dance and I do yoga occasionally. 
However, I'll be honest, I need a proper timetable or class to go to in order to remember to do them consistently and to up my game instead of doing the same old same old. Running, I could do anywhere and it's easy to challenge yourself - adding hills, carving out new routes, trying to beat your personal best time. 
But I've also got to consider my fear of injury  -I got shin splints once after not warming up before a netball match and apparently they come with the running territory for some people. Uh. No thanks.
Then again, with the proper precautions, injury can easily be avoided.
If I run, I'll have to do it early in the morning (at least at first - to get over the idea people are staring at me). Which is fantastic in the summer. But just plain ridiculous in the winter.

Oh, I don't know. At least this post looks seasonal!