Bowery Mural

Five Things on a Friday #38 and #39

Friday, 28 September 2012

Yes. Two numbers as I missed last weeks. Oops.
Here goes...

1) I still absolutely LOVE Johnny Ramirez' hair blog If you are as into long flowing hair as i am then hop on over and take a look. I sooooo want him to do my hair. LOVE IT. Sorry for using so many caps. Just expressing how AWESOME it is.

2) Another awesome thing (or two) are those pesky lil nephews of mine. I adore them. Ryan is 6 and in primary 2 now and Connor turned 3 and goes to nursery in the morning. As far as we can tell he regales stories to them every single day. I had a long weekend off last weekend and went to spin class then spent a few hours with Connor. I kid you not, he has such a great sense of humour. He speaks to everyone, including his 'pal', the council recycling man. 'Here's my pal coming Angie' I was told. And yes, rightly so he went out to the front door and held a full on conversation with his pal, the recycler. They spoke about holidays and how he wouldn't see him next week. So cute. When he came back in he was all chuffed because he got to speak to his pal. Later on when Ryan came home from school we all went out to play on our bikes. He's just recently learnt to ride his bike so thinks its great and he was especially pleased when i suggested we play in the street. There was much whooping and laughing as i went fast down a wee hill. Such a delight to see them smile. Love.

3) I met up with @MissAKis on Monday. She showed her amazing pictures from the burning man festival in the desert and plenty more of the Grand Canyon. Amazing. Always good to chat to someone from Twitter who is real and no nonsense about them at all.

4) I bought a very cool tartan shirt from Zara, with added gold studded shoulders. It is very nice indeed. And yes, tartan is the new black. All the cool people wear plaid shirts.

aka THIS shirt. cool huh.

5) I cannot wait to see Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt @HitRecordJoe (who is fast becoming one of my all time faves). I saw the trailer for the first time last week and was intrigued. And then this non-review review made me all the more eager to see it. I also want to see Killing Them Softly, with Brad Pitt finally looking his age. I think it may be a tad violent but then I'm not immune to those kinds of films. Oh and the trailer for The Candidate has made me want to see that too. Looks pretty funny. I think that's my weekend planned then.

6) I got a little surprise package in the post this week. Very thoughtful and creative, it was. 3 cd's of new (to me) music and a cool little letter to explain all. Thank you.

7) When you find a great bargain it makes everything seem good, for a few days at least. I've hankered after an Enrapture hair styling wand for a while but at £75 it's a pretty expensive piece of kit - considering my hair is already curly. And you may be wondering why I'd like one. Well, if you've clicked in the link in item 1 of this post, you'll see lovely ladies with long flowing wavy Californian curls. Mine, although awesome, does not sit like that and with this tool i can hopefully create some of those nice flowing 'just-so' wavy curls. If I can be bothered that is. I should either get up earlier of a morning or spend some time more than 5 minutes on my hair. I think some people think it's just messy but i prefer to think of it as au natural. Anyway, we'll see how i get one. I might show you some pics.

I wonder, what's been the best parts of your week? tell me your story...

Angela x


Thursday, 27 September 2012

I haven't blogged for a few days, or properly for a few weeks. It's not that there aren't things to say. There are plenty of situations that are cropping up on a daily basis but to blog about them would be like, well, no use. You see work has taken a funny turn recently. It's all silly nonsense and drama. Thankfully it's not directly concerning me (none of my business), but it still concerns me (in a worry sense) if you know what i mean.

Work is a place that all or most of us spend all or most of our waking hours. It should be a place where you can do things you love and get on with the people around you.

Unfortunately when people aren't adept to change then a few chinks in the armour appear. You get dissent. You get whispering in corners. You get a general feeling of unease and "what's gonna happen today" dread when you walk through the door. Like I say this does not concern me. Office politics is not my thing.

My thing is getting on with my work and try to make my day as enjoyable as i can. It's pretty tough at the minute admittedly.

Anyway, the weekend tomorrow. Hopefully there will be some clarity next week.

Angela x

Mane Street - an ode to my hair

Saturday, 15 September 2012

This, dear readers, is a bit of a girly post, about my hair. If you follow me on Twitter or know me in real life, you'll know that my hair is really really important to me. It kinda defines me. perhaps my most distinguishable feature even. (or not). But anyway i love my curly hair. From an early age I've had long hair. Except that time in primary 6 for god knows whatever wild reason i decided to let the hairdresser who came to our house shave it off. When i say shave, i don't mean a buzz cut like Demi Moore in GI Jane, but rather a short cropped do. So short mum used to buy me 99p green jelly gel from the chemist so i could spike it. Yes, it was that short!

Anyway, through primary 6 and primary 7 i began to grow it out again for starting high school. I managed to do just that (with the aid of lots of kirby grips and clasps and various bobbles and scrunchies. I had so much i used to keep them in a tall sweetie jar.

Fast forward to today and i sit here typing with dark roots and blonde ends. Two weeks ago i decided it was time for my bi-annual visit to the hairdresser. So fussy am i, I've been searching for the perfect hairdresser for years. I did find one, in London town, Jones and Payne but unfortunately i can't just jump on a plane to get my hair done so i have to make do with some up here.

This time last year i went to (what i thought was) a pretty decent salon in Edinburgh. I don't mind paying more for my haircuts and colour because i generally only get it done twice a year these days. Anyway long story short, that hairdresser did not do what i wanted and I was left with hair the colour of Cheryl Cole's circa her XFactor appearances a few years ago. I kinda wrote about it here. It was dark. It was erring on the side of mahogany. I wanted my natural hair colour. I didn't get it. So I let that grow out. Until February this year.

Then i decided to stick to my local area and went to the Rainbow Rooms in Stirling. I was pleased with the colour. So pleased with it. It was almost perfect. I'd have preferred the very ends to be a bit lighter but hey we can't have everything. What i wasn't so pleased about was that after a pretty thorough consultation where the salon director even came across to make sure the stylist was doing the right colours and method of colouring, she must've been running late for her next appointment and got another junior member of staff to do the right hand side of my hair (without even going over method and colour to put on where). I didn't really like this. I could see that the girl wasn't doing what the stylist had done on my left side. Turns out you couldn't really tell after i was done but still, i knew what had happened. This kinda made me look elsewhere when the time came around.

Which took me to a salon in Glasgow, in the Merchant City area. I'd researched for while and this salon used the products that i use on my hair. On their website they promise much. I can tell you that's not what was delivered. Not to me anyway.

I asked for basically the same colours i already had but a tidy up. Brightening the ends. I go for the ombre look incase you didn't know. Anyway, when she brought the colours out i mentioned that the brown seemed a bit dark. Oh no it won't come out that dark on you, she said. I trusted her. Who am i to question. First warning bell was she started to colour the roots with the brown dye first. This is normally always the last bit they do. Next she was doing some balayage method with the blonde colours, there were two colours here. That was fine, I've had this done before. This took about 35 minutes. Now when she'd finished that the brown had been on that long. Then she left me to 'develop' for another good 45 minutes, meaning the brown had been on for way longer than normal. Ding ding ding. Eventually she got a junior to wash my hair. There appeared to be some concern about my hair at this point. They were scrubbing at my scalp and then seemed more interested in wiping the sink before anyone saw. I can only imagine the colour was dark it was staining the sink. I was trying not to panic. The salon was pretty darkly furnished with some down lights above each station. When i went back to the seat i thought it looked pretty dark on my head and tried to convince myself that when it was dry it'd lighten down a bit. Anyway, she cut my hair and then asked how I'd like it styled. I'm so over straightening of my hair. In fact i haven't done that for over a year. I told her i usually just add products then diffuse it dry. So she did that. Except i had to lean back on a chair myself and nearly get a crick in my neck because of it. I had to tell her and sit up straight it was so sore. She as nearly done anyway. I didn't like the style. I've found that most hairdressers cannot style curly hair. FACT.

Anyway, she asked what i thought. I said i thought it was a good cut but the colour was a bit dark. She said oh no it's just the lighting in here. Wow. Anyway, i got out of there as fast as i could. Luckily as i was a new customer it was half price. I paid £55 and i'm glad i didn't pay more. Needless to say i didn't say anything when i was there. Does anyone ever complain to hairdressers? I'd be really interested to know.

All the way home I couldn't help but think about it. I avoided catching sight of myself in shop mirrors. When i got home i fully inspected it. Urgh. Devastated. The colour on top is way too dark for my natural hair colour and the ends. OMG. It really doesn't blend well and looks like really grown out roots. Argh. That night i Googled hair colour corrections all night. But decided to sit it out and wait. I should've gone back to Rainbow Rooms who got the perfect colour, but it's quite expensive. I suppose you only get what you pay for, or do you? I'm torn. Since i only go to a hairdresser twice per year then surely it's worth spending a few extra pennies to get hair that I'm happy with. I will go back there but I'll get the salon director this time i think.

Anyway, two weeks on the colour has calmed down. It's still darker than I'd like on top but the back isn't so bad and the cut, well the cut is great. My curls sit nicely in a v shape down my back in that beachy style i love. That's a huge relief. I've already pencilled in a date in my calendar to book another hair appointment though. I just don't want to do it too soon and damage my hair further.

Whilst browsing for colour correction methods, I came across my new favourite website. Box No 216. It's a hair blog/site by Johnny Ramirez and i have been pinning away pictures like nobody's business on Pinterest. I adore the colours used. It's my dream colour. And apparently my dream colourist. It's a pity he's in USA and appears to do celebs so would probably cost a small fortune. But me oh my, the hair he creates sure is pretty. You can see some of my favourites here on my Pinterest Hair I Like board. I think this would be my ideal hair colour. Drool.

Source: via Angela on Pinterest

What I've learnt is the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I'll stick to what i know. And my hair means more to me than i ever thought. It gives me confidence when i love my hairstyle. I don't want any more hair disasters, please.

Angela x


Five Things on a Friday #37

Friday, 14 September 2012

Here we go. This post might actually be up before Friday is over.

1) Danny Bhoy. Contrary to popular myth, he's actually a Scottish comedian. I'd seen a poster around work (the MacRobert Arts Centre is part of my work in Stirling), and decided to go along. I'm not really into going to the Edinburgh festival around all the crowds so I thought this a good chance to go along and see what he was like. Wednesday night saw me slacking off double spin class and head back to work to the show. It was pretty good. Dear Epson is the title and it's basically about how Danny has written letters to household named companies about their products. I'm rubbish at explaining but it was pretty good and there were laughs-a-plenty. It wasn't Kevin Bridges but worth a viewing. I'd been told beforehand he was pretty good looking and whilst he was, I hated the shoes he was wearing along with skinny jeans. The shoes were a suede beige moccasin affair, yes as bad as they sound. Shoes are a deal breaker.

2) Ryan learnt to go a bike! Woohoo. Connor started nursery this week too. Woohoo. There were no tears and he loves it already. So glad. There will be photos. I just can't get them to upload to Dropbox on the laptop. Stoopid technology...

3) Talking of technology... Podcasts. I decided to download a few podcasts this week. Mostly because tv is shit after the comedown from the Olympics and Paralympics and I wanted to learn stuff. The first one was Empire movie one. The second one is The Voicemail. Here's some blurb from the related website. (I just did a shady cut n paste job so I didn't have to copy all the links myself). Go download it though. Good banter between James and SteFan talking mostly about mobile, tech, phones and other nuggets thrown in for good measure. Btw James is Whatleydude, the person who I blatantly stole this Five things on a Friday post idea from way back at the beginning of the year. I'm sure he won't mind though.

James Whatley and Stefan Constantinescu get together every week for 30 minutes to talk about the mobile industry and anything else they might fancy.

If you're using iTunes, then use this link to subscribe to the podcast. 

4) Andy Murray. He finally won a major tournament, the US open no less. Congratulations. It was televised on Sky but since there's only council telly in this house i had to listen on my wireless. It was old though. I was 'watching' along on Twitter too. It was gone 3am by the time i actually closed my eyes and went to sleep on Tuesday morning. I was knackered the next day and headed to spin class that evening but it was worth it. I always knew he'd do it one day. He beat Djokovic who I believe he is pretty friendly with so that was good (so glad Federer wasn't in the final. I really cannot stand him).

5) Last week saw me at the cinema twice in one weekend. I'd been on drought and wanted to see a few films. Saturday was Lawless. Great film, see previous post. Sunday was Anna Karenina. Keira Knightley doing Keira Knightley but she's quite good in those period drama roles. You all know the story so i won't bore you with it. The way it was shot was quite good and flowing. Not sure what i mean there but I'll try to explain. The scenes were set and at the end a background would rise up like if you were at the theatre and then another scene would appear. But it just flowed and was reminiscent of a musical. Kinda. It was a good Sunday afternoon movie. Nothing special. However, Aaron Johnston was captivating and there was one scene that thankfully lasted a while, where he danced with Anna at a ball. The dance was absolutely mesmerising. The arm and hand movements were so intricate and delicate and i just wanted to stop it slow it down and learn this dance. I still do. If you see it you'll know which part i mean. It's near the start of the film. Really really good and  magical scene. Liked that a lot. Worth a watch ... on a Sunday.

6) - bonus!

I nearly forgot. There were a few good trailers i hadn't seen before. Premium Rush with Joseph Gordon Levitt on a bike. For that alone i will see this. But but but... The Perks of Being a Wallflower. OMG. The actual trailer made me well up. It stars Emma Watson (Hermione) and a few other people and from the few minutes i saw I felt a strange bond with the main male lead, although he's meant to be about 15! So much moved was i that i bought and downloaded the book from iTunes. Can't wait to get reading. I've since heard a few reports from advance screenings and it seems like the film is great. Can't wait till it's out. 

Over and out.

Angela x


Five things on a Friday #36

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Apologies. I've fallen off the wagon in terms of keeping up the Friday Five blogs posts, actually that goes for blogging as a whole. Sometimes its good to take your foot off the gas and replenish ideas. So i'm skipping a few Friday Five posts. The last one was #30 and this is #36.

1) The Paralympics. How amazing have they been? Pretty darn amazing. I'm going to really really miss not turning on the tv and seeing inspirational people win medals. Withdrawal symptoms already but the 400m final is in a few short hours and i really want Oscar Pistorious to win it. He's an icon and a really good athlete. Some of the athletes taking part are so good they make you forget that you're watching people with some sort of disability. I mean, is it even right to use that word anymore. Cycling is my thing, as you know, and Jon-Allan Butterworth another one i've been watching. The whole team again have proved they have a great set up and Super Sarah Storrey - wow! Amazing. And let's not forget David Weir. One of the most unassuming superstars out there. A refreshing change. He is a superstar and should be recognised as such in the future.

2) Lawless. the movie. I've just been to see Lawless at the cinema. I'd been looking forward to this one for a while. Tom Hardy is in it afterall. It is a really good movie. Hardy plays the oldest of 3 brothers, Forrest Bondurant. In my opinion this character is a much stronger one than his Bain in TDKR. For one, you can see his face and two, he grunts and drawls his way through the film with great presence and a pretty genuine sounding southern drawl. Typical Hardy acting. I'm biased, i like his films but here he really does menacing without the armour of a Bain style uniform. Here he has a hat and a cardigan. No joke. See it. It's worth it.

3) I don't often buy myself perfume. If so it's rare. I usually get enough for Christmas to last me through the year. But... last week i was given a sniff of a new Lancome perfume and i thought i didn't like it at first but the little card with the scent lay on my drawers and the it really grew on me. So much so that i went and bought myself a bottle on Wednesday. It's La Vie Et Belle by Lancome. Julia Roberts appears to be the face of it. If it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me. Anyhow, it's hard to describe the scent but it sticks around all day and i can't get enough of it. It's a little different to my usual Eternity by Calvin Klein or Miracle by Lancome. By the way, that was a subtle hint, you know, cos Christmas lists should be written soon *winky eye face*

4) For two weeks in a row I've completed 5 spinning bike classes per week. It's been tough, but at the same time a great feeling once they're done. Monday and Tuesday are with Claire. She's a little jumping bean of a girl. Small but perfectly toned and a really nice character. Wednesday is one with Julie and one with Tim. Julie is a brilliant motivator and a laugh. Gets you going with a smile. Tim's class is RPM. Tough as but great! He's a machine that pushes you and the last track he's been using is a dance remix of Haddaway's what is love. A laugh every time it comes on. He really makes you push yourself. Friday night's class is with Ross. A quiet guy but deadly. This is more of an interval hill climb class with only one or two breaks in the hour. Last night in particular i totally went for it. Gears higher than ever and really pushing through. Each class is different in style as well as music choice. All good though. So glad I found spinning class. trainers have been purchased and a run has been completed. I'm gonna get into that more in the future too. As well as Saturday morning Shockfit kettle bells... Start that next week. Woohooo!!

5) Connor is 3 tomorrow. I cannot believe how time has flown. He's an amazing little boy. He absolutely loves his big brother to death (although they can have a fight too!). He's got a great sense of humour and the cutest little squinty eye face he makes. You have to see it. Tomorrow is his. Happy Birthday Connor! Love you.

Angela x


Solo Travellin'

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Dear @richardbranson @british_airways,,, and all the other travel companies that offer fantastical offers (providing you are a party of two or more) I am a solo traveller and I too would like to benefit from using your wonderful services and travel to exciting places, but I can't. You see the reason I can't is because I am a solo traveller. When your little selection box jumps straight to 'No of Adults' being 2 then I really don't stand a chance do I?

I've been researching a trip to New York city in early March 2013. I thought I'd look just now to see if I could bag myself a bargain. Oh yes, there's bargains aplenty...but only if I'm part of a couple or a two-some. This is very bothersome. You see I'd really really like to visit this city and stay in a fairly nice hotel. I mean I have standards you know. I've found a few hotels that I like that appear on all (or most) of the above websites but they are still too expensive because I am a solo traveller. Eventi, Kimpton; Ace Hotel; Distrikt Hotel; Tribeca Grand; The Standard; Hotel on Rivington to name but a few.

Hey, Virgin Holidays and British Airways holidays, why can't you have cheaper options for a single traveller? I mean if I go on to, for example, and book a room, the rate is per room per night. This is fine because I choose to do that but I'd really like the option to book a holiday, a whole holiday of flight and accommodation together at a good rate. At the moment if you say you are a solo traveller the price hikes up by at least a couple of hundred pounds. In this modern world not everyone is part of a couple - shock horror! and not everyone wants to travel with other people. I mean this is the day and age that brought us Eat Pray Love where the main character does in fact take herself off on an adventure, alone. I'd like to be able to do just that, whilst basking in a bit of luxury too.

At the minute I can afford a 2 star hotel in the middle of nowhere. I wanna stay in a fairly decent hotel (I'm fussy where I lay my head) in a fairly good location.  But the cost is proving too much, for a solo traveller. Don't get me wrong, i'm willing to pay more for a decent hotel but that's because of quality, not because i'm an uno. Also, what's up with flights from Scotland having a premium. Just wrong.

Dear Sir Richard et al, if you're reading this, please can you sort out a wee deal for me, a solo traveller who wants to be able to tick off item 23 on my 35 things in my 35th year list before the year runs out. Thankyouplease!

Angela x