Sunday, 10 March 2013

A Mother's Love.

Allow me to admit something slightly personal in this post, and to speak from the heart.

Today was Mother's Day. Something I've never bothered much to celebrate much with my own mum - partly because I believe its pointless to just make a big deal out of your mum one day a year (much like Valentine's Day, Father's Day, etc), and partly because I didn't want to. My mum and I were never particularly close when I was younger. We literally existed within the same house and that was it - I left for work before she came home from hers, and by the time I'd finished my shift she'd be ready for her bed. I didn't rely on her for a lot as I worked my own jobs for my own money, and we didn't get all. There were times when I was younger if you had asked me how I'd felt about her, I'd have been totally indifferent. It wasn't like i hated her, but I didn't really feel very strongly about her either. I was so self involved that I literally couldn't care less.
Which feels so horrible to say now as an adult - I can appreciate everything she ever did for me, bringing up my sisters and I as a single parent, raising me with manners and respect, and how to have fun. She taught us how to change a lightbulb, that boys are to be avoided for as long as possible (well, look how well I paid attention to THAT lesson!) and what's the right level of 'unhappy customer' to show on the phone when making complaints...!

She taught us about making dens, the wonders of Patrick Swayzee films, why you should never dare to swear in front of your Gran, and how to dance the Slosh. But most of all she taught me independence, determination, and that even when times are hard, family are always there.
Me, Mam and my youngest sister, emma

Our relationship was practically non-existant by the time in was 17. I was living with my Auntie Wendy by that point, and could go weeks without talking to her or my sisters, as I worked days in the studio and nights at a call centre.. Then one fateful day in the Autumn, I discovered I was pregnant. I hid it from her for weeks - I was utterly terrified of how she might react! Would she hate me? She couldn't throw me out as I hadn't lived with her for the best part of a year, so would she disown me? Would she be disappointed?

Eventually, I knew I had to tell her. So I phoned her from the call centre to ask if I could come over, and she answered with music and laughing in the background.
"Hi hen, what's up?"
"What's all that noise?"
"Aw, I've got some of the family round, what is it?"
"Nothing, I thought it was just you tonight."
"Amy....?" (You know, how can Mums just tell something like that over the phone? And then they use that tone of voice that means there's no point in fibbing - how do they do it?!)
"Forget it, I'll call you later."
*shuffling and then silence as she goes upstairs*
"Right, what's happened?"
"Amy, you're a shite liar! What is it?"
"Nothing, Mum!"
"Amy! Tell me!"
"...Mum, I'm pregnant."
And then, without even missing a beat:
"Aye, alright, you're hilarious, what's really the matter?"
"Mum, I'm serious. I'm 19 weeks pregnant."
* few moments silence while she processes it*

And then the most deafening scream ever. If you can picture it, I was sitting down next to the pay phones sobbing and shouting, "So you really don't hate me?!" And "you're going to be a granny!!!" Down the receiver, while I could hear her running downstairs and shrieking "AMY'S PREGNANT! AMY'S PREGNANT!" At what turned out to be pretty much all of her side of the family.
The only way to describe it was chaotic, bizarre, and utterly of the best experiences of both mine and her whole life :)
Tiny Brandon, looking like he's blowing bubbles, creepily enough...
Since then, we have grown so much closer. The lessons she has taught me are similar to those from a mother to a daughter,  but now they are from parent to parent, passing down her knowledge and experience. She has taught me patience, how to enjoy pretending to be a kid again with Brandon, the joy (not) of mealtimes with a baby, potty training, discipline, how to check if a bottle is too hot, the best way to wind a crabbit two week old, and that just because he filled his nappy a minute before you noticed, it doesn't mean he won't crap on your hand while you're changing it.

The most invaluable and treasured thing I have learned from my mum though, is the meaning of unconditional love. That no matter how much of a stroppy, difficult, crabbit and seemingly hateful teenage daughter you have, you still love her and support her through everything she does. (Well, nearly. I'm kind of glad she didn't let me go to London on my own, I don't think id have made it back!) Believe me when I say, I don't think I'd be the person, or even the mother I am today if not for her being there for me, through thick, thin, and everything in between.
Us tonight, out for her Mother's Day meal :)

And so, to you my wonderful mum, I wish you a happy Mother's Day. I love you, and appreciate you more than you know.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

TUTORIAL: How the hell do you wear that thing?!

It's no secret I'm a wig enthusiast. I'm a complete convert top that way of life now - I love the idea of only taken fifteen minutes to get dressed and do my name up on, and then simply throwing on a wig instead of taking half an hour and then some to try to tame my unruly name of hair. And something I get asked quite frequently is how do you wear a wig? Well, wonder no more, here is a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to wear and style a wig!

Firstly, let me show you my hair in its natural state...

... emphasis on the word 'state'. It's thick, curly, frizzy, and a nightmare to attempt to style in a rush as it rarely does what I want it to!

And now, the tutorial, in glorious technicolour!

STEP ONE: have a wig handy! Make sure it's brushed out and soft, with no tangles that they can sometimes be notorious for. Also, have a wig cap handy (unless you're a complete div like me and have lost yours....)
STEP TWO: Bundle your hair into a loose pony tail and stretch your wig cap over your head, tucking in stray stands of hair as you go. The wig caps from the place I buy mine, Geisha Wigs, are of God quality and are able to withstand a good stretch and any amount of hair, and keep it in place. If you're still looking to get a bit more security you can snip on a couple of Kirby grips.

Again, if like me you don't have a wig cap or have currently misplaced it somewhere, you can do step three: pineapple head!

STEP FOUR: Holding either side if the front of your wig (aka the 'sideburns,) gently pull it on from the back and work your way forward, taking care not to budge your wig cap if you do it to roughly. You'll find it will almost slot into place on your head, which is a strange feeling at first, as the base is moulded!
STEP FIVE: Gently adjust it on your head, pulling it which ever way you would like the parting to sit. With this wig, Caramel, the parting is a slight side one, but I pull it a but further forward and downward than it normally would sit as I like the look of a fuller fringe and crown.

Ta daaaa! You are now rocking a wig :D

As for styling it, you don't need to leave it the way it's been made: you can put it in a ponytail, you can braid it, backcomb it, curl it or straighten it on low or no heat, or if you have the skills/guts/a hairdresser you can even cut it! I've went a bit boring and have pinned a front panel back.

When it comes to wearing your wig, it does take a little getting used to - at first it'll feel completely alien and heavy, especially if you have short hair and have opted for a longer wig! Guaranteed within an hour or two it'll feel like it's always been there :D style it with hair clips, hair bands, hats, or even styling it the way you would your own hair? The difference being you can take it off to see the back!

Oh yeah, the outfit.

I can safely say that although I felt a little daft when I first started wearing one, wigs give me a major confidence boost. They make me feel feminine and pretty, and well put-together if that makes sense. I recommend them to everyone who asks, and I would not have started wearing them if it weren't for the lovely Maria of Geisha Wigs, who not only stocks the most fabulous range, she also is on hand to give out wig advice and to go over and above and try to get wigs in that are out of this world when a customer requests one :) if you're interested, fell free to click on her link at the side there, and spend the rest of your night compiling wishlists ;)

Thank you for reading! And also, hello to my lovely new followers!

Love and smooshy cuddles,