Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Best Sulphate-free Shampoos

A selection of sulphate shampoos for curly & wavy hair. All available in the UK.

A few weeks back I talked about how I'd ditched the straighteners & started embracing my naturally wavy hair. It's been a learning curve to say the least but the biggest change has been in the products I use (& don't use!) on my tresses. Following the Curly Girl Method means cutting out silicones & sulphates which given that the majority of haircare products are packed with them, isn't so easy.

So why not use sulphates? Well sulphates are designed to break down the silicones in conditioners & strip the hair clean. They're also found in washing up liquid as they're brilliant at breaking down the grease on your pots & pans. In short; sulphates are great at 'cleaning' your hair but they're also great at stripping out all the natural oils that your hair needs to be healthy & grow. So overall, they're not really great at all and in fact they're pretty bad, especially if you have wavy or curly hair as these hair types are naturally in need of extra moisture.

Cut out the sulphates & you have a gentler shampoo. A gentler shampoo means more moisture in the hair. And more moisture in the hair means happier, less fizzy hair all around! So here's my favourite sulphate shampoos, all available in the UK and available to buy on the High Street.

• • •

First & foremost, this smells divine! It was one of the first sulphate-free shampoos that I used and it remains a firm favourite of mine. I've always been a big fan of the Body Shop, especially their body butters and it makes sense that they'd have an entire range of haircare products free from sulphates & silicones. Like most sulphate free shampoos, the lather is a bit poor in this one but it does the job well. Price wise, it's not the cheapest but for the smell alone it's worth every penny. I'm close to the end of the bottle & will definitely repurchase this one.

This was a shampoo I picked up on a whim, looking for something to make the buy one get one half price offer worthwhile. I'm already addicted to Pure Argan Oil, using it as my daily facial moisturiser & in my hair also, so it made sense that I try an argan oil shampoo. I can't fault this shampoo in terms of doing the job but the smell isn't the best - not bad, just not as nice as the other. That being said, it does make up for it in goodness, packed with good ingredients like Orange, Clove, Geranium, Lemon, Cinnamon, Rosewood, Mandarin, Vanilla & Spearmint. I probably won't buy this one again but I'd happily try another shampoo from the Dr. Organic range, after an initial sniff test!

My new favourite shampoo! I ordered this as part of a review and instantly fell in love with it from the first wash. The lather is as you'd expect from a sulphate-free shampoo but this one leaves my hair feelings hydrated & moisturised whilst also cleaning it nicely in the process. The bottle is great too & I love the pump dispenser. Fragrance wise, it's still not as nice at the Body Shop shampoo but it isn't too bad at all.

Out of all the sulphate-free shampoos I've tried, this one has the most lather; which can be great after a deep conditioning treatment or when I think my scalp needs a thorough clean but I find it a little too drying for daily use. It does smell lovely though and would be a great transitioning shampoo for a sulphate-free shampoo virgin. Best of all you can pick it up in Savers right now for a only £1!

You can read about my decision to Ditch the Straighteners & Embrace Natural Waves here.


Friday, 15 May 2015

Linking up with Vlog Stars!

Amy Lorimer is now on air!

So at the beginning of 2015 I wrote about New Years Resolutions and how I wanted to get into vlogging this year. And given this is the first time I've really done a vlog this year, it's safe to say that so far I've failed miserably. That being said, I'm growing ever fonder of watching vlogs and have been feeling inspired to give it a go again but have never really known what to do one on.

When I read about Amy from Mr & Mrs T Plus Three and Aby from You Baby Me Mummy plans to start a new linky, prompting bloggers to get their Vlog on, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to press record. So without further adu, here's my first instalment of Vlog Stars!

You can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel to keep up to date with all our future vlogs!

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

From The Mouth of a 3 Year Old

I've waited a long time to be able to write this post. There's just something about what 3 year old's say - they're just bloody hilarious! I remember reading Along Came Cherry a while back, laughing at all the funny things Jess had documented Cherry saying and thinking I couldn't wait until John was coming out with his very own array of laughter-enduing phrases. Maybe it's the fact he gets muddled up from time to time, or because most of it seems completely random but this kid has me in stitches on a daily basis.

• • •

"John not like sharks. Sharks eat me."

"Jesus Christ!"

"John likes his juice. It's a wee bit ok."

"Mummy, John watch Tipsy & Tom?"

"John loves his willy."

"I'm not a pest! I'm a menace."

"Daddy - you sing Frozen! Why you not sing Frozen?!"

"This black haggis?" (Black pudding)

[Pointing at a swan]
"Look at that big seagull!"

"Daddy, you put on Tom & Jelly for John to watch?"

"When John's big like Mummy-Daddy, he drive a big van... And fire engine."

"John loves pasta bacon. (Pasta bake). It's John's favourite."

[Looking at my belly button piercing]
"Mummy has ring in her belly. She get another one when she gets married?"


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

So When's The Big Day?

For those who missed it, Iain finally put a ring on it on Christmas day last year. And since then we've been bombarded with questions of when the big day will be. For anyone who knows me 'in real life', you'll know I've had my wedding planned since I was about 10 years old. So when it was made official that there will in fact be a wedding with Iain & I, it was understandable to assume I'd already be booking venues, making invites & trying on dresses.

But no. We've not set an estimate date yet. Nor looked at venues other than online (although we do like the look of Carberry Tower, Winton House & Fenton Tower). We haven't even started figuring out our guest list. In truth, we're in no hurry. Iain & I have been together 7 years now and I can see a wedding taking just as long to come about, for one simple reason. Money. With having two kids & bills to pay, the disposable income available to save for a wedding simply isn't massive. Chuck in a bit of debt that I'm still paying off and that not-so massive amount suddenly reduces to zero. Sure, I could start paying the minimum on my credit card to allow some extra cash in the saving account but where's the sense in that?

For now, my wedding planning will stay firmly in my head until my bank balance allows. Even then it'll take a few years to save for what I've got in mind! And don't worry, I'll be sure to share my planning along the way (obvs) but in the mean time you'll find me endlessly pinning anything wedding-ish that catches my eye.



Friday, 1 May 2015

How To Help a Little One with the Cold

Originally published on 6th September 2013. Last updated 1st May 2015.

Tips on helping a baby, toddler, infant or child when they're choked with the cold.

We've had another week filled with sniffles, uncontrollable coughing & regular night wakings. Yup, you guessed it, we're a house choked with the cold. We're no stranger to this unwelcome house guest; with both boys in nursery we've always got one bug or another brought home on an almost fortnightly basis. We've all become experts in dealing with runny noses in this household! But there's nothing worse than having a less than 100% wee one on your hands and feeling like you just cant help. So here are my top tips for helping your little one get through this miserable time.

• • •

Steam up your bathroom.
In the same way a steamy atmosphere is a god-send for us grown-ups when we're all choked up, it works just as well for wee ones. When the boys were smaller, I'd take them into the bathroom to breastfeed. The steam in the air made feeding a lot more comfortable for them & prevented the pulling away, gasping-for-air scenario. Now though, I'll pop the shower on for 10 minutes before I run their bath to get things real steamy.
Top tip: Just be sure to change your wee ones clothes after sitting in steam: leaving them in damp clothes won't be comfortable, nor help with the getting-better process.
Wipe their nose & apply a barrier cream.
Yes, it'll feel like you're wiping up snot every 10 minutes, but it really does pay to keep your wee ones nose clean. The brief mump & moan as you mop up the offending snot from a runny nose is much easier to deal with than the dried up snot that takes a good wrestle to remove. Also, to make them more comfortable & ease the nose cleaning process, apply of barrier cream across your child's top lip.
Top tip: Vaseline is good but I find Lansinoh is unbeatable in healing sore skin & removing redness.
Clear their nose.
Can you imagine being filled with snot and not being able to physically blow your nose? Me neither but it is the uncomfortable reality for wee ones. So if they'll let you, try and help your child in clearing their nose for them. My best tried & tested method was using a nasal aspirator! I'm the first to admit that its not the nicest of things & always ended in a vocal protest from the boys but the difference in them following a shot of the 'snot sucker' was obvious. Now they can run away, we're unable to use this method but if I can still get some saline nasal drops to help soften the offending nostril-blockers, it'll help them breathe a little easier.

Vapour rub them up.
Unfortunately, due to recent changes in the law, there isn't a great range of cold & flu medicines for children on the market. One safe product though is vapour rubs (from 3 months old). Smothered over the chest & back, with loose pyjamas on, it's a full-proof way to help your little ones breathe a little easier. Another top tip for helping a troublesome cough is to apply some vapour rub to your child's feet and pop a pair of socks on - don't ask me how it works, all I know is that it does!
Top tip: I like the Snufflebabe range as it's gentler than the adult-aimed vapour rubs.
Prop up their mattress.
Roll up a blanket or a towel and slip under it under your little ones mattress. Similar to how you'd sleep with an extra pillow to help ease congestion and coughing, it'll make your child a lot more comfortable and help assist in sleeping longer stretches through the night.

Lots & lots of cuddles.
Your wee one is bound to be a bit clingier than usual. Instead of complaining that the housework has to be put on hold, enjoy it! As they grow, they'll become more & more independent, making these cuddly moments less frequent, so enjoy it while you can. Plus they're less likely to try & run away from you! Win-win!

• • •

What are your top tips for helping a little one who's all choked up?



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