Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The £6 hair product all bleach blondes need.

For the last year or so I've been championing the Bleach reincarnation mask to anyone who will listen - Work colleagues, my hairdresser Mum, even husband has heard me bang on about it a couple of times. It's fantastic, just take my word for it (It would probably be my desert island/ride or die product if push came to shove). Anyway when I heard Bleach were introducing a make up range, repackaging the old range and also adding some new hair products to their collection, I was pretty excited.

After three weeks part of my order arrived - The Matte Le Blanc lip kit and the Hair Elixir - and I couldn't wait to get home and try them out (I'm still waiting on the Illuminati - Sob!). Unfortunately the lip kit was a bit meh - I just didn't get on with the formula and the colour didn't suit me - but the hair elixir? Now that's another story.

The packaging is really bold - although would you expect anything else from Bleach? - and consists of a glass bottle with a pipette lid, filled with clear liquid. To use you squeeze one full pipette of elixir into your palms, rub together and run through your hair. You can use this on wet or dry hair but I personally prefer to use it on wet as it makes it easier to detangle with my Tangle Teezer. 

But why is it so great?

Well my hair has never felt softer or silkier. Granted, it's still not in tip top shape but this bottle of goodness is definitely helping to improve the overall condition. The reason it's so good is the Avocado oil which is known for it's fab health and beauty benefits but in this case it's because the fatty acids and the antioxidants (like Vitamin E) absorb really well into hair strands (Or so Google tells me.
A word of warning though - If you do decide to buy it and you have fine hair (like myself) just be careful with it around your roots - I slapped it on a bit too liberally the first time I used it and found myself with greasy looking roots and lank ends. I was a bit more controlled the second time I used it and the effect was MUCH better.

It's definitely my new go to hair product despite the initial teething problems.

Unfortunately the Hair Elixir is only available on the Bleach website and as delivery is £4.50 I'm really hoping the range makes it's way onto Boots shelves soon - Cos I'm poor.

Have you used anything from the Bleach London range? What do you think?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Five good things #14

1. Amazon's 3 paperbacks for £10 offer
Bloody love this offer I do. In an attempt to spend more time offline I decided that now is the time that I get back into reading in a big way. I love getting lost in a book but it's so easy to just slump on the sofa and watch tv after a busy day at work instead of picking up a book. Anyway this time around I went for 'The Dry' by Jane Harper, 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas and 'The Couple Next Door' by Shari Lapena.

2. Primark bobble hats
In the colder months I spend 95% of my time in beanies as there one of the few things that I really suit so when I saw Primark had some A/W stock in I got a bit over excited and treated myself to two new bobble hats. I got a plain black one (£2) and a pink one with a multicoloured bobble (£5) and they're so cosy and warm.

3. My Bleach London order FINALLY arrived
When Bleach announced a make up range would be joining their hair products I was over the moon - I love the Super Cool Colours and the reincarnation mask is my holy grail product (Seriously I recommend it to everyone). I ordered my products at the end of July but as the lip kits weren't in stock I've had to wait three weeks for my order. I'm keeping schtum on what I bought for now so watch this space as a blog post will be coming soon.

4. Three years of Alright Blondie
That's right, this here blog is THREE years old today! I went through all my old posts a while back and deleted the super shit/no longer relevant ones so I couldn't even tell you what my first post was to be honest BUT you can read the first post that I felt was worthy of keeping here. I started blogging to document my travels in Australia and even though I've been home for nearly two years (!!!) I've kept it up which I'm pretty proud of.

5. Spending Saturday AND Sunday with my favourite little people
My parents had my niece and nephew for the weekend so husband and I popped over to see them twice this weekend. Reggie (who is five months old) is just so chilled out and I love tickling him and hearing his little giggle. Ivy on the other hand (who is one and a bit) is a complete whirlwind who is always on the go. They're such little characters and I can't wait till Reggie's a little bit older and can play properly with his sister.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Four things I have planned for the rest of the year

Despite what the front of this Ban.Do diary may say, this is actually a 2017/2018 agenda - And it's got some pretty fun things scheduled inside it. There are still four months of 2017 year left and whilst September is a pretty quiet month, the final three months of the year have some great weekend's lined up.

7th-9th October - Berlin
It feels like I have had Berlin pencilled in my diary for so, so long and I guess I have. It's slowly inching closer though and I'm so ready to hop on a plane and spend a few days exploring a new city. I think we are there during Oktoberfest - Which husband will love - but I'm just looking forward to eating some good grub and soaking in all of the art and culture.

20th October - Nick Helm
Nick Helm is a shouty angry comedian who also sings and acts (you will have seen him in the BBC's Uncle and C4's Loaded). Husband and I first saw him on Russell Howard's Good News and we have followed him ever since. I'm really looking forward to seeing him as I think he's hilarious - Although I really hope we aren't sat at the front as it's a really small venue and I don't fancy being the person he picks on!

7th November - A new tattoo from Sam Whitehead
Sam tattooed me last December and after some umming and aahing I've decided on my second tattoo. I'm going to be getting a flying key (yes from Harry Potter and yes I know I'm a nerd) and I couldn't think of anyone better to do it as Sam's work is so colourful and her lines are so clean.

1st December - A trip to Dundee to see The View
I haven't seen The View since February (!!!) and just as I was starting to get some serious withdrawal symptoms, they announced a show in their hometown of Dundee. Dundee's pretty far for us to drive (five hours) but hometown gigs are always incredible so we thought sod it and bought the tickets. As it's on the Friday we are looking for somewhere else to stop over on the Saturday night to break up the drive so if anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated!

What have you got planned for the rest of 2017? 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A sort of living room tour

When I first moved into my rented house I did a post on how to make a rental property feel like home - You can read it here. Four months on and my living room has had a bit of a face lift - It feels a lot less cluttered now and much more me - so I figured it was time to do a little living room tour and show you my favourite nooks. 

Our fireplace is actually kind of hideous (The joys of renting) so I've tried to make it look as pretty as possible. The lanterns are from Ikea as is the stag head embroidered canvas (£15). If you look closely you can see a couple of travel mementos - A Las Vegas number plate saying 'Just Wed', two Amsterdam houses and some elephants from Thailand. They're joined by a Chip mug, our wedding card from my sister  and a little Vegas Christmas decoration that I've stuck to the frame.

Erm so I'm now officially a crazy plant lady. These cacti come from a variety of places - B&Q, Ikea, Morrisons and Jody's Grandad's garage - and I love how different each one is. Aswell as these guys I've also got a cheese plant and a bunny ear cactus but these need re-potting before I share them on here (the cheap plastic pots are pretty ugly). I've got far too many plants now and I know that I should stop buying them...But I probably won't.

We've had a cheap black Ikea coffee table as the living room's centrepiece for a while now and after much umming and aahing we have invested in a new coffee table. I bloody love it and the grey looks great - The black table was just too harsh if you know what I mean?

On top we have a copper dinosaur planter (£5 from Morrisons), my mini cactus (you can see him in the above photo too - he gets around) and the Aldi Jo Malone dupes - I've been waiting for them to come into my local store for ages and they have finally arrived! I picked up No.1 Lime, Basil and Mandarin and No.2 Blackberry Bay. They smell so good.

I'm really happy with how our living room has turned out and I'm looking forward to spending another six months in it. 

Do you rent, own or live with parents? Do you have much say over interiors?

Monday, 14 August 2017

Five good things #13

I've spent half of this weekend hungover so I've had to recycle a photo for today's five good things post. I'm sure you guys won't mind/have even noticed.

1. Ozark (Netflix)
If you like your dark comedies then you should give Ozark a go. Jason Bateman stars as Marty, a financial advisor who is also a money launderer for a Mexican cartel. When things go tits up he has to relocate his family (his wife is played by the wonderful Laura Linney) from the hustle and bustle of Chicago to the Ozarks in Missouri. Jason Bateman is a great comedic actor but when he turns it on and goes dark he goes to another level of awesomeness.

2. This video of Richard Arnold on the Shard slide.
I always watch GMB whilst I'm getting ready for work and on Tuesday they had a cracker of a segment. Richard Arnold had a go on the virtual reality slide experience at The Shard and it's hilarious. A good giggle on a glum Monday morning.

3. Kesha 'Rainbow'
I've always been a Kesha fan and Rainbow is her best album yet. It's got a little bit of everything on it - Rock, pop, country, ballads - There is something for everyone. Kesha is so talented and this album really showcases her vocal ability and creativity. Current favourites are Let 'em talk and Learn to let go. I might have to go buy it on cd so I can sing and dance to it in the car.

4. New plants
Yup, more plants. I'm not even sorry. This time I bought a cheese plant and a bunny ear cactus. I've been looking for these two in shops for ages and after no joy I decided to risk it and bought them from an Ebay site. They were really well packaged and arrived in tip top condition - I'll definitely be ordering from them in the future (although I am on a plant ban for quite a few months now...Mainly because I've ran out of space).

5. Superdry sale buys
Superdry is one of those brands that I adore but I can never justify buying stuff from there because it's too bloody expensive. The sale is pretty epic though and last week I picked up this army shirt for £22.50 and this crop jumper for £10. The cropped jumper looks fantastic with my Miss Selfridge Mom jeans and the shirt is nice to throw over a tank top when it's a bit cooler. I just love spending money and can't seem to help myself.

Have a lovely Monday!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Trying to cut down on my social media use (and mostly failing)

Monarch Airlines are currently working on a campaign to make Brits aware of just how much time they waste on social media, vegging out in front of the telly or commuting when they could be travelling - which as you may know is one of my FAVOURITE things to do. 

I used their tool to work out how much time I actually waste on social media and I figured 90 minutes a day was probably a good jumping off point. First thing on a morning I wake up by scrolling through my Twitter feed and watching IG stories, then I regularly refresh my feeds throughout the day whilst I'm sat on my desk. When I get home I watch Youtube whilst I wait for my bath to run and I'm constantly having to ask Jody what's going on in a film because I've been to engrossed in what my phone has to offer.

Across seven days, I roughly spend 10 hours 30 minutes on my iPhone idly scrolling which was actually pretty shocking but is the average for us Brits. In this time I could have travelled to Venice to see the gondolas in real life, got my Game of Thrones on in Dubrovnik or caught some sun in Tenerife.

The calculator (which you can try for yourself here) actually put some things in to perspective so I decided that maybe it was time to put the phone down and spend a bit less time on social media. I still did my usual morning scroll but on a night I tried to put the phone down and focus on other things instead.

So how did I get on?


I was off work on Monday so I went out for dinner with my Mum and Nannie instead of lounging around the house all day. We went to the Tiger Inn in Coneythorpe and I had chicken liver pate followed by a ham hock gratin - It was bloody delicious. I checked my phone a couple of times sure but I wasn't obsessively scrolling through Facebook like I usually do when I'm out and about. When husband got home from work we watched the latest GoT episode aswell as the final three episodes of Top of the Lake S1 (INTENSE!!). I kept my social media scrolling to a minimum and I tell you what, it's amazing how much you miss when your on your phone. It was nice to be fully engrossed in a tv show instead of half watching.

Instead of scrolling through social media and banging something quick and easy in the oven I took the time to make Buzzfeed's one pot chicken fajita pasta with heaps more garlic and chilli than the recipe suggests. I've made this a few times before but it turned out really well this time as I didn't rush it like I usually do. I spent some time on social media later on (whilst husband had a bath) but when he came back downstairs I put my phone away we could get some tv time in.

On Wednesday I worked till 7pm as there was a serious back log of work as I had three days off and the place totally went to the dogs without me (I'm half kidding). This meant no social media for me anyways as you don't get paid to sit on your phone when you are doing over time do ya? As I worked an eleven hour shift I couldn't really be arsed cooking something decent so we opted for a greasy (i.e delicious) takeaway instead. Once we had eaten there was only a few hours of the day left to chill out, shower and get into bed so social media was low on the agenda.

Erm, so Thursday was a major fail. Everton were playing so I had big plans to get stuck into my book whilst Jody watched it on the telly but I was that tired I couldn't concentrate and ended up dicking around on my phone for 90 minutes instead. Oh well.

Friday was yet another fail as I just spent the night chilling on the sofa, catching up on my Sky recordings and eating plenty of biscuits. As it was the start of the weekend I wasn't too harsh on myself for being on my phone as I'd had a busy week at work and just want to relax.

Saturday was an up and at em kind of day due to their being a big parade in our city - Usually we go out for a day sesh with our friends but this year we decided to avoid it and went over to Leeds instead. First stop was White Rose shopping centre then we went over to Birstall shopping park to watch Dunkirk at the Showcase cinema (they have massive leather recliners that are oh so comfy). The cinema was followed by a quick trip to Ikea (aka a cactus shop) then home for some crap Saturday night telly. Social media didn't really get a look in as I was busy for the large majority of the day.

Sunday was ok I suppose but I was probably on my phone a fair whack as I spent most of the day at home, half watching re runs of tv shows that I've seen a million times before (The Inbetweeners mostly). I didn't feel amazing Sunday so I'm not gunna beat myself up for being wrapped up in a blanket absorbed in my phone.

So what did I learn and how do I feel?
Giving up (or even cutting down on) social media is hard.

It seems that when I have things to occupy me I can put the phone down but if I'm chilling out or bored? I'm always checking social media. At the end of the week I was even more aware of just how addicted to social media I am so I think I need to work a little bit harder on focusing on the here and now instead of the online world.

Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to continue trying to cut down on social media use (If that means husband hiding my phone from me then so be it) and I'm going to start using my evenings more wisely. Last week I mentioned that I wanted to schedule more weeknight activities - meals out, catch up with friends - but I'm also going to use my time to get more active and more creative.

To start me off on my journey I've just uninstalled my Twitter app and I've deactivated Facebook (I'm not ready to give up Instagram just yet) - Wish me luck!

What do you think to social media breaks? Are you a fan or are you quite happy in your techno bubble?

P.s you can follow me on Instagram here or Twitter here.

This post was written in collaboration with Monarch Airlines but all thoughts, opinions and love for Instagram are my own.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Five good things #12

1. Lunch with my Mum and my Nannie
Last Monday (I had the day off remember) I went out for dinner with two of my favourite people in the world and it was great. We went to The Tiger Inn in Coneythorpe and it was bloody delicious. The chicken liver pate was super creamy and the ham hock gratin had loads of flavour and was just mmmm. It was nice going out with just my Mum and Nan as usually the littlies accompany us and as wonderful as they are they haven't quite mastered sitting still, keeping quiet and eating tidily just yet.

2. Feeling inspired to write
Throughout July I only published seven blog posts, four of which were part of this series. I was struggling to find inspiration, I was stressed out with work etc and I just couldn't be arsed. I thought my photos were shit and that no-one bar my family read my blog anyway so what was the point? Well I've gotten over myself and I'm feeling pretty good about all the posts I have hidden in my drafts folder. I'm not a glossy editorial person so I don't know why I was beating myself up over not having a glossy editorial blog. There's no niche, the photos are all taken on my iPhone 7 and I'm writing what I like to write. It's a good feeling.

3. Miss Selfridge mom jeans
I've been seeing Mom jeans everywhere and this week I caved and bought some. The pair linked above were actually £38 but thanks to a student discount card and an A list voucher I got them for £29.20 - Winner. I wasn't sure if the fit would suit me but I actually really like them. They are super comfy and I'm already eyeing up a Topshop pair.

4. This month's Melt Crowd box
I signed up to the Melt Crowd last month and whilst the Pool Party box was pretty cool, Shell Yeah is much more me. These wax melts are so pleasing on the eye, they smell INCREDIBLE (This month's faves are pink prosecco and candy shop) and it's only a tenner inc P&P per month for 8 melts - I think that's a great deal considering they last forever aswell (I'm only just on my second melt!). If you're bored of beauty boxes then the Melt Crowd is definitely for you.

5. Dunkirk
On Saturday I went to the cinema to see Dunkirk - What a movie. I'm not usually a fan of war films but this was just incredible. I'm not gunna waffle on about it but trust me - Go see it. SO intense but SO good.

Have a lovely Monday!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Date night at So Bar

Husband and I have been married for two months now (where has the time gone eh?) and in that time we haven't had one date night. We used to go out for food all the time but 'cos of the holiday and moving out we've been trying to build our savings back up instead of having fun.

After a spontaneous purchase of a Tastecard (£1 for two months) we decided that it was time to loosen up the purse strings, forego the PJ's for one night and get our butts off the sofa. We decided on So Bar as they have a pretty varied menu and even if you don't have a Tastecard, it's still pretty cheap.

We both opted for the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries and man oh man, it was good. The bbq pulled pork wasn't too chewy or slimy and the sauce was delicious. I personally think So Bar have the best sweet potato fries in the county (crunchy, delicious and go perfectly with garlic mayo) so choosing them instead of chips was a no brainer.

We weren't at So Bar very long but we left feeling very content. We people watched from our window seat, discussed future plans and ear wigged on some very optimistic youth (One of them was hoping to get a mortgage for £300 a month with his pot washer's wage - Good luck kid). Bar taking a photo of my meal and googling something I barely picked my phone up which made a change cos I'm a typical millennial who always has their phone in their hand.

I think one of my aims for the rest of 2017 is to stop worrying so much about money and have more mid-week plans pencilled in my diary. Usually I spend my evenings slobbed on the couch in my jammies so it's nice to have something to look forward to - It really lifts my spirits and it makes the working week a little bit more bearable.

Are you a bit of a sloth like me when it comes to weeknights or are you more of a social butterfly? 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Here's why I'm retiring from festivals.

Here's why I'm retiring from festivals.

Today's post is pretty short as it's more of a statement than an actual blog post. It's a promise to myself that I will never ever attend another festival...Read on to find out why.

See this car? This is a very stuck car. 

On Friday we reversed out of a space at Kendal Calling, rolled down a hill and couldn't get back out thanks to the very wet grass/mud/being stuck against a fence. It ended up being stuck for 24 hours - We spent a lot of money on taxis to and from site and we only owe our Saturday escape to a Good Samaritan who helped husband push the car whilst he coached me on how much to rev/which way to steer.

The staff at Kendal Calling didn't help us in the slightest, telling us we would have to wait until Sunday to get towed out DESPITE the Twitter team telling us there were tractors on site pulling cars out of the mud. They just didn't seem to care and tbh, the festival felt really understaffed anyway.

This, combined with a shit tonne of mud on site, made husband and I realise that we are so, so done with festivals.

I've attended eleven festivals now and each one has been harder than the one before. Crap weather, leaking tents, horrendous hangovers and ever increasing ticket prices - It just doesn't seem worth it anymore to see a handful of bands that I've more than likely seen before.

So at the grand old age of 25 I've decided that I just can't hack it anymore,  I'm hanging up my wellybobs and retiring from festival life.

And I'm okay with that.

Have you ever been to a festival before? Did you enjoy it or did you hate it? It's a very marmite thing to do I know that much!