Friday, 16 January 2015

Hosting the perfect dinner party at home

It's January and we've all got the blues after Christmas and New Year. Many people won't be going out too much this month after partying over the festive season and some may also want to cut back on the spending in January until that end of the month paycheck arrives! However, this does not mean that your January has to be a blue and boring one - why not host your own dinner party for your close friends at home? Here's my tips for hosting the perfect dinner party in the comfort of your own home in January.

1. Fresh flowers
Flowers arranged in a beautiful way in your favourite vase can change the atmosphere of any room. So if you're planning on having friends over for dinner, get that vase full of fresh flowers as your centre piece to the dining table. This would also look great in a hallway or even the living room.

2. A great bottle of wine
My favourite is a nice Rose wine or classic White wine. But whatever your favourite is, put some thought into which wine you will serve at dinner as it's a fantastic compliment to the meal.

3. Place cards on the dining table
This is a nice touch and it makes your guests feel extra special. These are very easy to make at home if you buy some nice card, print the names on it (and any jokes for your guests!) and cut the card up into small sections. It's also good to assign the seats at the table before your guests arrive and I like to mix up the group and seat guests who might not know each other so well together so that people get to make new friends.

4. Lighting
This is probably the most important thing of your whole dinner party after the food. Good lighting is key and by simply dimming the lights at dinner can change the whole setting and mood of the room. I like to add extra candles if dimming the lights as this gives a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

5. Chocolates after dinner
It's always nice to have something sweet after dinner. Before or after dessert, it's nice to go around the table with a box of chocolates for your guests to try.

Do you have any dinner party tips? What are your top 5 tips for hosting the perfect dinner party at home?

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Egg and yogurt for hair!

I have always heard about people using egg based hair masks and even face masks to help nourish and give protein to hair. However I've never actually tried it myself. When I heard that some people were even experimenting and making their own hair masks at home using natural ingredients, I was more intrigued!

At first I was sceptical about making my own egg based hair mask as I thought it would get messy and difficult to wash out, but today I finally tried it. I decided to mix the yolk of an egg with a couple of table spoons of plain Greek yogurt to create my hair mask. Egg is great for adding protein to your hair and yogurt helps with making your hair shiny and smooth, as well as being a fantastic conditioner. So I thought the two natural ingredients would work well together for a hair mask.

After mixing the egg yolk and Greek yogurt together I left the mixture to set (outside of the fridge) for about an hour. You don't want to leave the yogurt in the fridge just before applying to your hair as it will feel very cold! Once the mixture had set, I applied my hair mask to the mid-lengths and ends of my hair. I was expecting it to be messier than it actually was, but I was applying it over the sink just in case of any spills. After you've applied the mask, tie your hair up in a high bun or using a clip so that it's out of your face and not near any clothing you're wearing.

It's completely up to you as to how long you would like to leave the hair mask in for. I was relaxing at home so I decided to leave the mask on for about 2 hours whilst watching a movie! But I know many women who prefer to leave hair masks on for just 30 minutes or no more than an hour. You will feel the egg yolk setting in your hair after 30 minutes so whenever you feel comfortable in washing it out.

When you are ready to wash out the mask, please be careful and thorough as your hair will be quite stiff and you'll want to make sure every bit of egg and yogurt is removed! The easiest way to remove the hair mask is to first rinse it with warm water and get as much of the hair mask out as possible using your fingers or a comb. I used a de-tangling comb when I was rinsing my hair today.

Once that's done, lather in your shampoo and again with a comb or your fingers, sweep it through your hair as you rinse through with warm water. After the first rinse, I decided to shampoo and rinse my hair one more time just to make sure there was no more egg or yogurt left in my hair. But this depends on the individual, so if you're happy with your hair after the first rinse then you can move straight onto conditioning your hair and you're finished!

After I had dried and styled my hair today, I must say that I did notice a change in the way that my hair feels. It feels much softer and it felt easier to brush through. Also, the protein in the egg will be doing great things for the hair so overall I'm glad I tried this DIY natural hair mask using ingredients from my kitchen!

Have you ever tried creating your own hair mask at home? Are there any ingredients you would recommend? If so, please feel free to leave me a comment below!