Thursday, September 25, 2014

How to Help My Daughters Feel Beautiful?

Having self-confidence and feeling beautiful are things I feel I've struggled with my entire life. Now I have two daughters and like most parents I have the feeling of wanting better for my children. I want them to feel beautiful. I want them to look in the mirror every day and feel happy with what they see there.

I read an article yesterday saying that 4% of women think they are beautiful. 4%!!

It's difficult to feel beautiful when we're surrounded by such a high ideal of how we should look. We're taught from an early age that we should spend time, effort and money to look externally attractive. Often made to feel guilty or unworthy if we don't.

 Except you can't help but fail. The high standard of beauty is unattainable. Models are digitally altered to look slimmer, lines are removed and any blemishes are smoothed out. No one can look the way magazines would have us believe a beautiful woman should look. Not even the model posing for the picture looks like that. It's impossible to.

Adverts do more than sell a product, they sell an idea of how you should look, how you can be happy, how you can be sexy and what your life could be like if you buy their product.

Leigh and Erin are aware of this since JD and I have talked to them about it. It's hard to know how much they believe it though or if they really take it in. Erin is confident about herself and her body in a way that amazes me every day and I hope she continues to feel that way. Leigh is shy and always seems nervous about how she looks. I wish she could see how beautiful she is. They both are. So beautiful. ^_^

So, what can I do to help them feel beautiful? For a start I've decided to stop shying away from the camera. I'm usually the one taking pictures so I'm less often in the picture. When pictures are taken of me I'm quick to delete unsuitable ones that don't show me to my standard of acceptableness. Which seems ridiculous the more I think about it. I look the way I look. Taking a picture doesn't change how I look, anyone spending time with me will see me in various ways and expressions.

I'm going to stop censoring my pictures or saying out loud that I look bad in photos. It's a negative reinforcement that underlines the need to look attractive all the time. I'm not going to say negative things about my body but instead say out loud things I like about my body. I'm going to use the word beautiful to mean kind or thoughtful or use it when the kids show empathy. All those things make for a beautiful person. I'm going to show Leigh and Erin that I'm happy with my body/face AS IT IS RIGHT NOW and not be constantly striving to change myself into someone else's ideal of beauty.

Here is a picture of me I've always thought is awful but it's really just a picture of me, a Mum with her two daughters having fun taking a selfie (before that word existed)and feeling happy.

I want to be as beautiful as I can be to MYSELF first. THEN to whomever has the SENSE to see me. -Maya Angelou

Do you feel beautiful?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My No-Shampoo Experiment

I've always been one of those lazy/natural females who doesn't like to spend much time on a beauty routine or doing my hair. Mostly I just shampoo my hair when I have a shower and leave it to dry naturally before giving it a comb through.

I've never felt my hair looks it's best though and often feels dry and frizzy. I've tried various shampoos and conditioners but because I have quite fine hair most conditioners tend to make my hair look lank and weighed down somehow.

The sheer volume of different shampoos, conditioners and other hair products in most shops puts me off. I'm not sure I even know what most of them do. I looked around online and found a simple recipe for making your own 'shampoo' and compiled what I needed.

Shampoo seems to be a man-made product that works against your body. Your hair produces oil and shampoo washes it away. Your body produces more oil because of this and then you have greasy hair. More shampooing and often other products ensue but then you have to wash your hair more often to combat your body over-producing this oil for your hair.

I don't like spending money (and time) on products for my hair so after reading about people who have tried switching to alternative ways to wash their hair I decided to give it a try.


Bicarbonate of Soda
Cider Vinegar
Essential oil (whichever you like the smell of, I picked Tangerine)

 I got the squeezy bottles from Lakeland (2 for £4), the essential oil from Holland and Barrett (£4) and I already had the other stuffs.

 Mix together the vinegar and soda in a vessel bigger than I used (I forgot that it'll froth up and escape if you let it) and then add a few drops of oil to make it smell less vinegary.

Put it inside your squeezy bottle and you're good to go. The mixture needs shaking before you use it because the oil and vinegar settle.

I really didn't know what to expect when I first washed my hair with my new concoction. There was no lather like shampoo and my hair didn't have that nice silky feeling you get from shampoo either. Those are the things I missed.

Other than that my hair smelled great as I was washing it. It also dried quicker for some reason. Best of all my hair felt incredibly soft and looked thicker just after the first wash.

There's an alternate recipe (I begrudge using the word recipe if it doesn't make something I can eat) that uses lemon juice instead of vinegar that I'm going to try when this runs out.

Interesting Fact - Seems like folks in America like to call this experiment a No-Poo experiment...

I've been washing my hair this way for 10 days so far and I have to say I like my hair this way. I'm going to carry on with this experiment for a month and then try a week of shampoo again to compare. I'll post again with hair pictures to see if there's any visible differences.

Could you go without shampoo?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Woman Who Won Things

I was looking around a charity shop a few weeks ago and I saw this book. It could have been written about me! :D

I enter lots of competitions every day. Around 50-100 most days. It doesn't take as long as you'd think with the help of notepad files and auto-fill. It's a nice hobby to have since I find it a relaxing thing to do and I get the occasional win too.

I've been doing it for over 2 years now and I've had at least 1 win a month since I started. Sometimes small things like DVDs, books or toiletries but I've also had plenty big wins like a new kitchen, an Ipad mini, flights to Munich and a new TV.

I enjoy the wins because mostly I enter for things that would be good to give as gifts to family or be a treat for us. We've had days out, cinema trips and vouchers to spend.

It's not all fun times though. Once I received a Greek foods hamper that had smashed in the post and it turned up all wet, everything inside stinking of olives. Ugh :(

My best win was the new kitchen worth about £7,000 from B&Q. They did a great job fitting it and fixing our floor too. Sadly we had to leave it behind when we moved house but it likely added value to the property for selling it.

My favourite wins are the ones that give us an experience. We all enjoyed the Lemur feeding experience I won. It was a great day out.

Also, JD and I have had trips to London, Munich and a Spa day in Wetherby. 

Entering competitions isn't for everyone. To some it seems boring or a waste of time. Leigh (my own daughter) thinks it's a cheat to enter so many a day. But to me it's just a hobby and a chance to win a treat. My next prize could be a family cruise or a big cash win. Who knows? It could also be another broken Greek hamper. I enjoy the mystery of it. :D

P.S. I may post a regular update to what I win each month but likely only if I win something good enough to show off, haha x

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