Wig Unboxing - Peachy Keen by Hairdo at HotHair

The lovely ladies at HotHair sent me a new wig to review, and this is one of the most expensive wigs I've currently got, at £110. It's a shorter peach wig, with a fringe. It's not lace front, nor does it have a part. You can check it out here.

I have worn this wig about 8-10 times since having it, and if you watch the video, you can see how I styled and cut it to make it less wig-like. I've recieved so many compliments on the colour of this wig, and the texture isn't shiny. I've worn it down, pinned back, and pinned up with a bandana. 

peachy keen hairdo wig review

I mention in the video that I find the root 'interesting' and to be honest, I'm still struggling with it. Perhaps I'm just so used to loving a full parting, or having less volume on top, but I'm not loving the structure in the matted root. But I'm still wearing it loads, and getting lots of compliments, so maybe I just need to adjust to it!

I just love the colour. Love.

My first failed foster - Ron and Jerry the foster cats

jerry the foster cat
ron the foster cat

After waving goodbye to Bronwyn the foster cat, after looking after her for 11 weeks, I'd become restless for a new cat pal. I'd always presumed there would always be a new cat needing a temporary home, but actually, for my local RSPCA at least, this isn't the case. I imagine this is because its a temporary foster unit in itself, so any cat that is ready to go off to be adopted, goes out to the world to get adopted. So I ended up signing up with a second charity as a fosterer - Feline Friends London. They offer a slightly different service from the RSPCA unit near me, and they're well known to each other. Feline Friends says "We help elderly & disabled people who benefit from pet ownership, work together with local authorities, social services, the NHS, the police, the RSPCA, local vets & other animal charities to promote neutering & good cat welfare." And this is how I ended up with Ron and Jerry.

feline friends london

Both cats came from a group of 4, and their elderly owner has been taken in hospital. I was so motivated by their story, as without a charity like Feline Friends (and its fosterers) these cats would end up as strays, or adopted out to permanent homes. I love the idea of trying to facilitate them going back home, should that become possible. It would be heartbreaking for someone to return home after a hospital stay and not have their family of cats anymore.

fostering two cats

They came as name-unknowns, so after our first night together, I picked names for them. Ron the big ginger dude is named after Ron Swanson, and Jerry is named after Jerry Gergich, both from the TV show Parks and Recreation. Ron had the grumpiest old man face, and just looked so serious, even when having a cuddle, and Jerry was so shy and unsure of the world.

When you foster, you know that cats are traumatised with the change of scenery and may take a while to settle, however, this foster arrangement just proved too much. It turned out that big boy Ron would yowl all night. I live in a studio flat, so the cats sleep in my room, which means when they yowl from midnight to 4am, you are also up til 4am.

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After 3 nights, I couldn't take anymore. I'd tried the sprays, and even some pills from the petshop, but I was exhausted and stressed out. I felt terrible, but I had to say I couldn't keep Ron. We'd believed Ron wasn't neutured, and I had some hope that once we snipped him, his apparent hormonal drive at nighttime would disappear. I took Ron to the vet to get the snip, but it turned out he'd already been done! Such a fail! Ron was collected from the vet by a new fosterer.

I am not an overly emotional person, and don't often cry, but as I walked home in the rain (pathetic fallacy or what?) I cried a little. I felt like I'd failed, not tried enough, let people (and Ron) down. What if I'd waited a few more nights, with my newly purchased earplugs? Maybe he'd have settled down. 

fostering an older cat.JPG

But of course, I'm being too hard on myself. Ron is still being taken of, hopefully in a home larger than mine. Despite Jerry trying to be friends with Ron, he seemed very disinterested in him, so although he tolerated a cat friend, I don't think he'll miss him at all. Ron didn't enjoy my frustrated shouting at night time either, when all my rational patience had worn thin, so it wasn't a happy place for him either. And of course, the plan is that this is all temporary. He wants to go outside, but fostered cats have to stay indoors; its just the nature of the beast. We're keeping them as safe and as happy as we can, until their permanent home is available. And I really hope both Ron and Jerry get to go home. If they are unable to go home, having them separate would make them easier to rehome too I suppose.

feline friends.JPG

In addition, trying to stay positive about my failed fostering of Ron, Jerry is a very shy and nervous cat, and having him as a solo cat is already helping him massively. He's braved the bed for the first time, and had his first play. This is not only good for his happiness, but if he doesn't get to return home, his rehoming options will be much better if he has more confidence.

My feminist tattoo

tattoo deni balbino

I probably could have put a lot more thought into a prominant tattoo that proudly declares "feminist", but that just isn't who I am. I'd randomly suggested blossoms, and the word choice, and arrived this morning, keen to see what I was getting.

I was returning to a tattoo shop I've been tattooed at twice already. Black Garden Tattoo in London. My first visit there was for one of my hand tattoos in Jan 2014 (Pansy hand tattoo by Cassandra Frances) and I returned for a random tiger tattoo in Aug 2016 (Tiger tattoo by Alex Woodhead). This time I was booked in with Deni Balbino.

It can be annoying when clients don't really know what they want, but I do think it usually works in my favour. I let the tattooist basically do what the want once they get started. I usually let them choose the placement, colours and they often seem to get extra creative, as they know that I'm easy going. I think sometimes it has resulted me in getting a tattoo that they've gone above and beyond, because they get to be creative. 

feminist tattoo

I had an interesting conversation while I was waiting to be seen, and a guy said he didn't consider himself a feminist, as he wasn't actively/politically engaged with the cause. He said that he definitely agreed with the feminist movement, but wouldn't use the label himself, as he didn't do anything to contribute. I actually agree with him, for me there is capital F feminism, and little f feminism. I now feel that I'm a capital F feminist, and it made me more sure about the tattoo I was about to get.

feminism tattoo

Personally, a feminist is someone who fights their own small fights for the cause. It isn't just about saying "I make my own choices,". They don't need to be perfect, but they need to actively care and participate. After visiting the WOW festival yesterday too, it was all just great timing.

I took two different writing classes...

writing classes in london

To kick off the new year with some enrichment activities (I basically wanted to give my brain a kick up the arse) I signed up for two different writing courses. One was a 6 week Writing for Magazines at City Lit in London, and the other was a 10 week evening course Writing for Children at City University.  Both courses consisted of a two hour session a week.

The first thing I learned before I even got to class, that they were cheaper than I'd expected. Courses always felt like something out of my reach, but I was pleasantly surprised, especially at City Lit. My Writing for Magazines course was £109, which I think is pretty sweet.

The second thing I learned was how a big part of attending a course is meeting a random and ecclectic group of people, that you'd perhaps never cross paths with, and that everyone has a different reason to attend. I think it's good for the soul to meet some random people once in a while.

These were both beginner/entry level classes, and at times this did frustrate me, but that's no one's fault as such. I was also surprised at how little I've actually written, the classes are more about learning and talking, rather than writing. This has made me want to try a more advanced class, where there is more of a focus on producing and sharing, rather than learning.

It's been lovely to have some actual hobbies. To have something or somewhere to go that gets your brain engaged a little. I'll definitely be considering what to sign up to next.

Hidden Rainbow Hair in London

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where to get hidden rainbow hair.JPG

It's been a couple of years since the Hidden Rainbow hit the hair world, but at Rockalily Cuts at least, it's still a very popular colour request. We've moved on from just a literal rainbow (although these are of course still fabulously joyous), and regularly give our clients a secret panel of vivids, tucked away, in a host of hues.

where to get hidden rainbow london

Greating a hidden pop of brilliance takes a careful consideration of placement and pallette, and these secret rainbows can take longer to create than at first you may think. They're a hell of a lot of fun though!

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hidden mermaid rainbow.JPG

They can be a great gate-way colour, before you're completely sure you want to go the whole hog, but they're often always a compromise that keeps work regulations happy, while you still get to play with your hair. 

The downside to having a rainbow of hues, is that upkeep can be more demanding than having just one or tone complimentary tones, but they're definitely fabulous and fun.

Non-Scale Victories - not breaking in half

I'm in my 6th week of visiting a personal trainer (gosh is that it....it feels much longer!) and I'm starting to have more non-scale-victories to celebrate (I don't weigh or measure myself). This week it was a certain TRX exercise (the first one on this video) which I've hated since I first tried it. Don't get me wrong, I still hate it. But the small celebrations are still note-worthy and they help with motivation.

The lady in this video make the move look so easy; while on your knees, just lean forward and back. Like a superhero taking flight. The first time I attempted it, it took a good 25 seconds to just get over the fear of launching myself forward. Once I'd finally lunged, I was honestly pretty scared for my spine, it felt like I'd snap in half, like the letter v. It hurt each time, and the fear didn't lessen, despite having to do 10 of them.

This week, for the first time, I felt a change. Rather than 25 seconds of fear, I'm down to about 10, but more importantly my spine doesn't feel like its about to break.  I still squeal, and its still clunky and stuttered. But compared to where I started, its clear that a core of some sort is starting to develop. Brilliant. 

Bronwyn the foster cat isn't coming home

bronwyn the foster cat 11 weeks.JPG

After having Bronwyn the foster cat for 11 weeks, our journey together is finally over. She's sadly not yet had the happy ending I'd hoped for her, but it's not yet off the table. Hopefully it's coming.

Bronwyn came to me with blood in her urine that wouldn't shift. They'd wondered if it was stress related, as this is often the case for older cats in a cattery. Over her stay with me, we took lots of urine tests, none of which came back clear. She had been on medication the whole time, along with an emergency vet visit one Saturday evening a couple of weeks back. I'm no cat whisperer, however I've pretty certain she wasn't stressed with me. She was such a chilled, if somewhat stubborn, cat, and didn't demonstrate any behaviours that showed me she was anxious. If anything she settled in too quickly!

Last week she returned to the RSPCA to have further tests and painkillers, and I was told she'd be away for 5 days. Sadly, but hopefully getting her closer to her furever home, it was decided that she'd not be returning to me, as her test results were proving inconclusive, and she needed medical supervision.

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Bronwyn was my first foster cat, and she won't be last. I'm sad that it didn't end how I'd imagined. I'd spent a lot of time preparing myself for her departure (its what fostering is all about after all), but I hadn't considered that she'd go back to the cattery, and thinking of her there makes me a little sad. But I'm still hopeful that they'll work out what's wrong with her, and then I can provide some cute photos and a great summary/review of her personality to ensure she goes straight to a furever home. She was only being fostered to try and get her well enough to head off to a home. Fingers and paws crossed that that is still her ending.

So watch this space, as hopefully I'll have a new flatmate/catmate soon!