Photo of girl with red hair wearing a yellow hat with pompom and sunglasses

I love being a redhead!

I’ve been dying my hair for almost half my life…so a pretty long time! And red hair is definitely the colour for me.

I actually have a really horrible natural hair colour. Something that upsets me greatly. My Dad is naturally blonde and my Mum has really dark brown hair. And to add insult to injury, my siblings all have good hair colours. I was landed with a gross, dull, mousey brown colour. As soon as I was allowed my hair was getting dyed!

The process of getting my red hair was not an easy one. Apart from a very short time when I was blonde, and then when I had highlights through my hair, I’ve pretty much always used home hair dyes. When I was at the point of deciding it was time to go for red hair I was dying my hair black! I had some failed home attempts. There was one occassion when the colour of my roots changed and the rest stayed black, and then me having to instantly put black dye on it to cover it up.

I finally realised that I was going to have to get professional help. Thankfully, I did have a hairdresser friend who did a nice bleach bath on my hair and then covered up the orange with a lovely deep red shade. That was eight years ago and I’ve never looked back. I think red is the colour I should have been born with. As a super pale human anything dark makes me look even paler and pretty ill at the same time. Red adds a little bit of warmth to my skin tone.

After the initial professional dye, I resumed my home hair colour. I tried loads of different brands before settling on Garnier Nutrisse which I think I’ve been using for about four years now. I use shade 6.60 Fiery Red and I love it! It’s bold and vibrant and I always get loads of compliments on my colour.

At the length my hair is now (a bit past shoulder length) I can still get away with only one bottle of the dye but at times when it’s been longer, I’ve had to use two bottles. Boots or Superdrug often have an offer, so even if you need to go for the two bottles it still costs less than a tenner. Pretty good for hair maintenance! I also manage the whole process by myself but again if you have longer hair you may need help. When my hair was a lot longer I always did the roots myself and then roped my Mum in to help with the rest. Actually reaching all my hair was a struggle! As it stands just now, Mark just checks to make sure I haven’t missed any bits.

The hair dye I use is permanent, so has peroxide in it. I feel like my hair is always in great condition though, despite this. Even after I’ve just dyed it. And it also smells great! The only problem with red hair is that it continues to run for a couple of weeks after you’ve dyed it. It’s always a good idea to use a dark coloured towel to dry your hair and try and avoid white bedsheets. Oh, and be careful not to get caught in the rain! I still love being a redhead despite all this…

Do you use home hair dye?

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

 

Photo by M Richardson

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marble and mint green background with writing saying home improvements my BoConcept wish list

I’m 30 and I’ve never properly decorated a home.

I spent most of my 20s renting and moving often.

Despite living in unfurnished places, lack of funds meant that furniture was purchased based on affordability rather than it actually being my style. When I did eventually get round to being a homeowner and got to furnish a place it still wasn’t completely the choices I would have made if I’d been given free reign. Well, I no longer live in that flat. And I moved in with Mark into what is definitely a boys flat!

I’m desperate to decorate. I have Pinterest boards for almost every room in the house. All I’m waiting for is the green light from Mark so that we can start painting and replacing some of the furniture. I also feel I’ve got to the age where I want some pieces in my home that aren’t budget buys. I love the pieces in BoConcept – simple Scandinavian design that manages to feel modern and contemporary with a hint of mid-century design. Right up my street.

yellow cushion

We’re not at the point of buying any new big pieces of furniture but I’m pretty keen to splash a bit of colour into certain parts of the house. One thing about moving into a boy’s home is that it’s dark. Dark wood, dark walls and we have a dark leather sofa. I love bright colours, and they’re the perfect way of injecting a more homely feel into your place. If you also pick right they can add warmth – something I’m always after. I’ve been on the hunt for some yellow cushions for the sofa for a while. It’s a colour that makes me happy, and if added in small quantities still makes your house feel like a grown-up home. This cushion is perfect. Bright yellow with baroque style embroidery, a few of these would look great scattered on the sofa.

Our bedroom is the room I want to decorate most of all. I wrote about our orange (yes ORANGE!) bedroom wall in another post and my desperation to change it. I’ve already picked out a mauve paint I want. For me, a bedroom should be a calm place. A place where you can relax and clear your mind before you drift off to sleep. Orange doesn’t work for this.

 

Dusty pink armchair with wooden legs

 

I also believe that all bedrooms should have a chair of some sort for the nights when you can’t bear actually putting the days clothes away before crawling into bed. The Adelaide chair would work well for this and the dusty rose would go well with the purple shade I have in mind. Also, apart from being used to chuck my clothes over it looks pretty comfy and the ideal place to sit and work or read a book. Adelaide is fully customisable- you can pick the fabric, colour and even the legs on the chair.

I know I’m not alone in my love of rose gold. It gives a bit of luxury to anything you add it to. I’ve already been collecting little bits and pieces and even bought rose gold spray paint for some DIY photo frames for our bedroom. The colour of the Tone mirror is fab and it would add a bit of warmth (all about the warmth!) to otherwise cool colours in the room. And at a meter in diameter, it’s some size! I also love mirrors in rooms to give the illusion of more space and they make a room seem lighter.

 

Round rose gold mirror

 

I’m hoping we will be using some of our time off work this year to get decorating. Just to clarify, Mark is totally happy (or so he says) with me making our home a bit more homely. And thankfully he doesn’t have any issue with pink. Which is just as well because we already have quite a few pink things in the house! Although he is reluctant to give up that orange wall…

What would be on your BoConcept wish list? Check out their website or visit their furniture stores in Glasgow or Edinburgh to see more.

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

 

Top image made on Canva. Product images from BoConcept.

*Post sponsored by BoConcept
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Black and white photo of a desk top with a laptop, pair of glasses, pen, mug of tea and Hello Kitty headphones

A year ago today I was made redundant.

I found out in October 2016 that I would be losing my job. With my redundancy officially taking effect at the end of February 2017.

The idea of redundancy excited me a bit. Although I wasn’t leaving a job I hated, I was leaving a job that had started out as a stop gap after uni. Eight and a half years later I was still there. I’d been applying for other jobs on and off for years but got nowhere. And to be honest, it was hardly surprising. I was applying for jobs in a completely different field, and not really in a position to take a pay cut. Redundancy was the push I needed to get myself on a different career path. And the opportunity to take a pay cut with the safety of a redundancy payout.

I started applying for jobs straight away, I applied for entry-level jobs. Jobs paying minimum wage. I applied to companies I really wanted to work for (Schuh I’m talking about you). I had many rejections. Many I didn’t hear back from. Redundancy very quickly sucked. For the best part of a year I was out of work, and at times I really struggled. Ten months out of work gives you a lot of time to think, and I learned some stuff about myself during this time.

I LEARNED I NEED TO WORK. I had about 10 months out of work. And honestly, I hated it. I’ve been working full time since I was 20. I actually enjoy working (so long as it’s Monday-Friday, sociable hours). I enjoy doing a good job. Helping people and problem-solving is something I like. Work is part of my identity, as it is with many people. For me, I’ve always thrived more in a work environment compared to, for example, studying. I like the instant results of work, like seeing something you’ve put time into coming together. And seeing your wages in the bank at the end of the month.

I LEARNED THAT I DIDN’T MISS BUYING NEW “STUFF”. I definitely had to curb my spending while having no regular income. And I didn’t enjoy that. I like buying new clothes and shoes. But what I really missed was experiences. I had to cancel plans with friends because I couldn’t justify spending the money on nights out. At points even putting fuel in my car was a struggle. Missed blogger events were also something that happened on occasion. Partly because I couldn’t really afford the train fare, and partly because I wasn’t feeling in the mood to “network” and make chat with people. When you already feel lonely this just makes the feeling of isolation a lot worse.

I LEARNED THAT I’M NOT AT A POINT TO WORK FOR MYSELF. The idea of working for yourself is great. Get to sit in your pj’s all day, awesome. Not have anyone tell you what to do, awesome. Having to generate your own work, not so awesome. I think I was a point where my confidence was at rock bottom. I didn’t feel I was good enough to approach people and ask them to hire me. You need to feel that you kill it at whatever you want to do to be able to do this. There is also the problem of no regular income, and having to chase invoices. I’m still chasing one from October!! And although it’s not a lot of money it’s the principle. I can’t live like that, not knowing if someone will actually pay me money I’m due.

I (RE)LEARNED I LOVE BLOGGING. One of the good things about unemployment was that I had time to blog more. It’s difficult to fit in everything in that you want to do if you work full time. Sometimes you don’t even have the capacity to think about more than making dinner and getting comfy on the sofa at night. Having the time to blog more reignited my love of it. I gave my blog a (much needed) revamp and feel a lot better about how it looks.

I LEARNED THAT I NEED TO BE BUSY TO KEEP BUSY AND BE PRODUCTIVE. This sounds weird I know. But I seriously lacked motivation when I was off. In between applying for jobs, studying a bit and going to the gym, I watched a lot of Netflix. I seem to get my get up and go later on in the day. But, if I feel like my time is a bit more precious I use it better.

I LEARNED WORKING 8-4 FOR YEARS KILLED ME. I’m the type of person that needs A LOT of sleep. A morning person I am not. For a lot of my years at HSBC I worked 8-4, I had to get up at 5:30 am once I moved over to Fife. It was exhausting. But it was my routine and it’s what I did. Once I stopped having to do that every morning I realised just how bad it was. It made me feel pretty certain I didn’t want to start another job that had such an early start. Now I have about the same commute as before but I start at 9 am and I’m nowhere near as tired!

I LEARNED NOT TO SETTLE AND TRUST MY GUT. I’ve spoken before about trusting my gut, you can read about it here. There is something about getting made redundant that makes you realise how unimportant and replaceable you really are. It also makes you question your loyalty to a company. To the people who make the decisions, you’re probably just a staff number. When I was getting close to leaving I remember worrying about getting another job and hating it. Someone pointed out to me that if you start a job you hate, you don’t have to stay.

 

I wouldn’t wish redundancy on anyone. In theory, it seems great. In reality, it’s extremely stressful, especially if you don’t get a new job quickly. But in every situation, there’s always some good to come out of it. Sometimes it’s the push people need to make that career change or take the plunge to start their own business. For me, it gave me the push I needed. I’ve been craving a change for years.

Have you ever been made redundant? What was your experience?

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photo by me

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Dress with Cheshire Cat print.

Life has been a bit busy recently.

I’ve gone from having more time than I knew what to do with to being super busy!

We took these photos last month. I’ve struggled to find the time to edit them and think about content for a post. I thought I would give a wee life update as a bit has changed recently, my time has got a load more precious for one thing! After almost a year of redundancy, I started a new job last month. Towards the end of last year, I was starting to feel really down about my lack of a job. It’s a funny thing. When you have a job there are days when you think “how amazing would be to not have to work?” Well, it’s not really that amazing in reality. The lack of money is the obvious thing, but the lack of human interaction is another one.

I had almost given up all hope of finding a marketing job. In December I had two interviews – one for a PA job and one for a marketing job in Stirling. I thought I had no chance of getting the marketing job and that maybe I would be offered the PA one. Amazingly I got offered the marketing one!

black leather handbag with silver studs magenta coloured tights and black boots

I had the first couple of weeks of January to enjoy my last wee while of unemployment. But in all honesty, I was just desperate to get started. So I’m back into the world of working. Back to commuting. Back to feeling tired. And I feckin’ love it! What I don’t love is being a newbie. I always seem to forget how tiring it is learning new stuff. I’ve been knackered for the last month! I’m travelling to Stirling every day which actually isn’t too bad. Mark and I travel together as I pass his work on the way to mine. So I don’t have to do the whole drive by myself!

My new job partly consists of social media updates, writing press releases and proofreading/editing. I can’t actually believe I’m getting paid to sit on social media every day! Quite often with something you’ve wanted so badly, it’s a disappointment. This isn’t one of those times. As well as social media being part of my job, the people are nice and I get a free gym membership. Win for me!

As well as a new job, plans are well underway for the next blogger event – Instagram. We had a rebrand at the start of the year too and we’ve changed from Edinburgh Blogger Conference to Braw Blogger Events. I haven’t managed to be as involved this time as I was with the other ones. With starting my job my brain capacity hasn’t been quite as much. And me and Taryn have some pretty exciting things planned for this year. Turns out maybe 2018 will be the year I hoped 2017 was going to be. It’s certainly starting better, and bagging my dream job is a massive part of this.

black coat and pink coloured tights

Dress – Lindybop // Coat – Dorthy Perkins // Boots – Carvela // Handbag – Rox and Ann (from TKMaxx) // Tights – Marks & Spencer

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photos by M Richardson

 

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White duvet cover with grey polka dots. Reverse of duvet also showing with grey and white floral pattern

Sometimes in life, the simple pleasures are the best ones.

When I was younger, I never imagined in a million years that home stuff would excite me.

But ever since I moved out and into a place of my own the idea of buying new things to put my stamp on my home has actually excited me. Oh, if only my 15-year-old self could see me now!

There is something so satisfying about new bed sheets. Although, living with a guy who measures in at over 6 feet means we have a super king size bed. Yup, it’s huge. So I’m always on the lookout for affordable, nice bedding. And of course, a bed set that goes with the current wall colour (orange!!) but will go just as well once we paint it a new colour. I’m pushing for purple.

Hardly surprising then that for me grey and whites are my go to. JD Williams has lots of choices and ones that suit all budgets. I’m also a fan of a reversible duvet. More bang for your buck is never a bad thing! This one is great – a nice floral pattern on one side, and polka dots on the reverse. I like a floral print, but the polka dots also give it a modern edge.

White duvet cover with grey polka dots

The other great thing about neutral colours is that you can go for a much brighter sheet. This means I get away with having bright pink ones. I’m fully aware they don’t go with our orange wall, but I’m hoping this will encourage us to decorate…

Photo of girl sitting under a purple blanket. View out the window of water.

While browsing bed sheets I also had a look at some of the throws JD Williams had to offer. I love a good fluffy blanket. As someone who is cold pretty much all the time, a good blanket is a necessity in my house. The fluffier the better! This purple one is so soft and warm. I opted for purple, thinking that it would go with the sheets, along with ones I already have. My thought was that it would go on the bottom of the bed. It hasn’t moved from my favourite spot since I got it (I’m writing this post snuggled under it!). Is there anything better than spending a chilled out Sunday, cosy with a cuppa either reading or just enjoying a great view?! I think not.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets excited about home stuff?

 

Check out the full collection of bedding at JD Williams.

 

The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

 

First 2 photos taken by me, bottom photo taken by M Richardson

*items gifted to me by JD Williams
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