Saturday, 6 September 2014

Planning your week | help for the small business owner - with free weekly planner printable!

Remember when you first started your small business back in the day and you were full of energy and motivation? There wasn't anything you wouldn't do to meet your targets. You set yourself goals, stayed up late building your website, working on your blog, designing your own business cards and all the rest of it. 

You researched, emailed, called and generally hounded suppliers into giving you a chance! You were brazen, fearless and un-stoppable. A warrior! 

Fast forward 4 and a half years and you've gone (now how do I put this) a little soft around the edges. Your tired, drained and possibly even a little fed up. 

Now, I'm no business adviser but I do like to consider myself a business survivor and I've no plans on ceasing to survive anytime soon. 

Earlier in the week I shared a free daily schedule printable with you which can be found here. Today I wanted to share my weekly planner design with you. I quickly designed these myself in word (I'm not a designer!) and I love how I can open up my arc planner and see my whole week in front of me without having to flick through different pages. 

You can download and print a free copy of these pages by clicking in the following links :) 

I included all the things that I find I need in my weekly pages including a to do list (I always have a separate arc book dedicated entirely to my to do lists!) , dinner planner, notes and ideas and a small section for my shopping list. 

For now these pages are working out brilliantly for me as I can quickly see  what I have on for the week. On particularly busy weeks I also like to schedule in time to respond to emails, write and schedule posts and I even schedule in time off! It may seem extreme but if you're busy running your business all day and then when you get home each evening you find your still actually working then why not schedule in your tasks during the working day as well as actually booking in your clients! Your hubby and kids will thank you for it and so will you sanity ... 

Well that's it from me for today! If you do download my free printables then I'd love to hear about how you get on with them :) 

Friday, 5 September 2014

The upside down braid | perfect style in the Follea F Monde wig!

I love up dos. Up until just recently, an up do was considered a no no when you wear a wig. Thanks to the advances in how wigs are made and the clever cap constructions now being produced it now means that an up do is totally possible in alternative hair!

For today's blog post I chose to work with the Follea f Monde wig. Why? Well for starters the hair is beautiful which makes for easy style creations. Secondly the new F Monde collection by Follea (which is now officially launched by the way! Contact me for more details ...) is made using naturally wavy or curly human hair. Natural! Not permed. 

Naturally wavy hair is a dream to work with when creating pretty hair styles. Think about it ......

What's the first thing a hair stylist would do if you were to go and have your hair styled in an up do or half up do for a wedding, prom or party? They stick in the rollers and pull out the large barrel tongs and get some volume and movement into your hair! The Follea F Monde wig already has the volume and waves in it already making it the perfect starting point for today's easy peasy up do style. I'll also show you a couple of variations on this style to get your creative hair styling juices flowing :) 

A couple of things I feel I need to point out before we continue ...

1- I'm not a qualified hair stylist. I'm an alternative hair addict.
2- I'm by no means suggesting that my technique is the ONLY way to create this look or the CORRECT way to create it. I'm simply sharing with you what works best for me.
3) when I'm practicing styles I bribe (yes bribe!) my six year old daughter into letting me experiment on her hair in exchange for kinder eggs and play dough. It's an arrangement we have that works well for us at the present time, though, I'm sure we will have to negotiate our terms if agreement as she grows older as I'm guessing kinder eggs and play dough would not be that much of an incentive to a teenage girl! 

Okay, so now we've got all that out of the way lets crack on peeps! 

The first thing you're going to want to do is secure your alternative hair onto a care head using pins. Split pins, t pins, sewing pins ...... Whatever you want to call them! Just pop one through ear ear tab and a couple in the nape so it's nice and secure. 

I'd recommend asking a friend or your partner, mum, dad, brother, sister, great aunt ... Whatever! To help you with this next bit. If there really is no one available to lend a hand then try popping your alternative hair I between your knees while you work on the styling. 

Position the care head as if she were holding her head upside down (imagine blow drying upside down to create volume!) 

Next you want to take a neat section from the nape area and split it into three sections, just as you would when you began a plait or braid.

Begin your braid, picking up a small amount of hair from each side as you go and incorporating it in with your braid. Keep going. You can carry on the braid all the way to the top of the head and secure with an elastic band or stop half way or three quarters of the way .... use your imagination and see what you prefer!

I like to continue all the way up and then twist the free end of the braid around into the back and secure with a couple of pins :)

Once the braid is done the next steps are all down to personal preference :)

I personally love to see braids and waves together as it gives a really beautiful romantic feel to the style. Add a few clip in flowers or a pretty headband (Claire's) and you've got yourself an easy to do style that looks another other than easy to do!

Do you create fab styles in your alternative hair? I'd love to see some pictures and hear your comments below :)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Top form | mission extend and fill!

There often comes a time in my line of work when you have to get, now how to I put this, creative! 

Often clients come to me with a very specific vision of what they are wanting to achieve from alternative hair. Sometimes a client will come see me and be like " I want human hair, short, blonde with roots and I want it to last" 

Don't get me wrong .... I LOVE when someone has a clear idea of what they want. You'd think it would make my job easier right? Well in all honestly that's not entirely true. You see, what happens is a clients vision of what they want turns totally on it's head by the end of our hour session together. 

One of my fab local ladies came to me almost a year ago with a pretty advanced case of androgentic Alopecia. She had just had her second child and had noticed a massive increase in the amount of hair she was losing. After taking a look at a few different hair pieces she fell in love with the Jon Renau too notch and decided that she would take this piece with the idea of building up to the Jon Renau human hair too form as she became more comfortable with wearing alternative hair. 

She came back to me a couple of weeks ago ready to take that step into wearing human hair. She's due to get married soon and she wanted her stylist to be able to heat style her hair on her big day :) she also wanted to have a little more length and body so we decided between us to go with a lightweight set of human hair clip in extensions. Clip ins are great for adding length and volume quickly and easily. 

Perfect for her big day and future nights out! 

My client very kindly agreed to me taking a picture to share with you all :)

Have you worn the Top Form b y Jon Renau before? I'd love to hear how you got on with it!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

How I keep my day on track (with free printable)

I love me a free printable!

I love Arc notebooks, Martha Stewart, Filofax and pretty much any type of planner. I'm even considering (and by considering I mean desperately trying to justify!) purchasing one of the *sighs* Erin Condren planners for next year. We don't seem to have anything like the Erin Condren planner in the UK so it would mean ordering it direct from the US and waiting for it to arrive with me. I'm not that much of a patient person which is what has been putting me off ordering in the first place! 

My Arc notebooks and planners look pretty but they also serve a very important purpose. 


It's not like I'm lazy or anything. It's just I've come to accept that I have a limited supply of energy (I have the M.E to thank for that I guess!) but seriously it's common sense ...... No one can go on and on and on and on and stay healthy both physically and mentally. It's just not possible. 

I am so busy these days what with the business and family life that it was getting to the point that something was going to have to give. The fear I had was that the 'something' was going to end up being my sanity!! Seriously, I thought I had felt stress and anxiety before but boy was I wrong! 

I wasn't sleeping, I was forgetting things, taking no enjoyment in family time etc. I think I was starting to get fed up and reaching a burn out point. I found myself in a vicious cycle of running off to work to avoid stresses at home and then running off home to avoid any stresses of work. Not good peeps! Not good ....... 

Why am I telling you this you may be wondering? Well I guess I'm waffling on about all this because I just want to reassure people that if you are feeling this way right now then you're not crazy. Your not cracking up, losing the plot and your NOT going to end up in some padded room someone sat in the corner belting out your best rendition of Judy garlands 'somewhere over the rainbow'.

One thing I've found that really really helps me stay focused is a daily planning sheet. it sounds ridiculously simple and it is! but if it works then that's good enough for me.

i love browsing pinterest and a great selection of planner / planning printables can be found on there both free and to purchase. 

I have my faves that I've found on Pinterest and I also like to create my own planner pages too that are a like more tailored to me. Take a look below (just so you know, I filled in this sheet for effect! I think my clients would be a little worried if I put their names and numbers on my blog for all to see)

On days when I feel I need to really focus I find these daily planning sheets to be a life saver for me. Here's what I do ....

The night before I get in my PJ's and get myself settled up in bed. I take my sheet and fill in everything that I need to be doing the following day. If I'm feeling particularly frazzled or nearing frazzling point I even schedule in lunch, rest time and bubble bath time! Did I mention I love to plan?? 

Below is a blank copy of my daily schedule that you can download and print out for your own planner if you'd like to. 

It's a pretty basic design that I cooked up in word. I'm not a designer by any means!

you can download and print a blank daily schedule page here

Do you love planning out your day the night before? 

Maybe your a bit of a planner addict like me! I'd love to hear your comments below :)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Case file #3 - Nikki and her Follea Aero2

Nikki travelled to see me all the way from Ireland. We had been in contact via email and over the telephone for a few weeks before her and her mum got a plane and then a train to come and visit me in my little alternative hair salon.

Nikki had developed alopecia areata and was struggling to hide the patches of hair loss that alopecia was leaving her with.

Sporty and outgoing, Nikki was slowly finding herself avoiding playing Hockey due to her alopecia and it was starting to seriously effect her self confidence as alopecia so often does.

Nikki told me she wanted the best and she needed security so that she could get back into playing and teaching Hockey and start moving forward again with her life.

After going through a few different options with the lovely Nikki and her equally lovely mum Nikki had fallen in love with the Follea Aero2 wig. Check ot her pictures below!

Do you wear a Follea Aero2? I'd love to hear your feedback on the collection in the comments below :)