BEING ASHLEIGH

Blog by Ashleigh Dougherty


Having blonde hair can be the biggest chore in beauty regimes. I am no longer platinum blonde, but I still have to use certain products to keep my creamy blonde looking as best and as fresh as possible.

I have been using PRO:VOKE's Touch of Silver products for absolute years and they always seem to work for me. If you struggle with maintaining platinum or silver hair, or simply need to freshen/lighten a warmer toned blonde; you need these silver products in your life right now.


The most iconic Touch of Silver products are the shampoos and conditioners. The Brightening Shampoo (£3.19) is my all time favourite and works by counteracting any brassy tones in blonde hair. I have made many mistakes in the past by leaving this on my hair too long. Therefore, it's important to remember to only use it as a quick shampoo and rinse as soon as possible to avoid purple staining. I usually mix it in with a normal shampoo to tone it down slightly and this works perfectly for me.

The Intensive Conditioner is a deep conditioning treatment for after shampooing hair. It does the job for a quick nourish and is definitely worth a try for just £3.19. 


I don't tend to usually use dry shampoos for my specific hair colour or type. However, I am loving Touch of Silver's Revitalising Dry Shampoo (£1.79). I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who's not blonde, as it is quite a powdery white consistency. However, it does work amazingly well at refreshing my blonde hair in-between washes. 


The Intensive Shine Treatments are superb if you're looking for an extra boost of nourishment to your hair. Having blonde hair is great, but it is extremely damaging and left my hair feeling rather dry and brittle before I cut it recently. However, these little shots are made to be left on for a short amount of time and help the hair to look as shiny as can be. 

Touch of Silver products are great and super affordable; with most products being less than five pounds. All available at Boots and Superdrug stores nationwide.

Dislaimer: PR samples. Words and photos are my own.

It's not very often that I stand in the mirror and say to myself 'wow', but that's what happened the first time I used this product. I have used it so many more times since and each time I do, I have the same initial reaction. I have been so excited to share this one with you, as I think anyone who wears makeup will really love it. It's also perfect for camping and festivals! 

Removeil is a microfibre cloth that removes your makeup without using any product. I don't know about you, but some nights the thought of removing my makeup and cleansing is an utter chore. I was admittedly very sceptical about this working, but was completely taken aback at just how good it is at what it claims to do.


All you have to do is simply wet the cloth and your face with warm water. You then use the grey micro fibre side to buff away your makeup and it comes straight off! The white side can then be used to dry your face.

I have tried this on makeup with a heavy eye look, and it hasn't failed to work.  You may be wondering if it leaves makeup or a residue behind, but it doesn't. It leaves my skin feeling as clean as can be and as if I have used a product to remove my makeup. I do still recommend a deep cleanse regularly, but for quick removal when you're tired or in a rush, this works great. 

I am honestly very impressed with my Removeil cloth and have already recommended it to a few ladies in my life. It performs exactly how it claims to and at £24.99, I think you'll definitely get your pennies worth. I use mine a lot more than I thought I would! 

Disclaimer: PR samples. All words & photos are my own.

A few weeks ago, I headed over Giraffe in Spitalfields Market to review the brand new menu which has just launched. Being a huge foodie, I had surprisingly never eaten at Giraffe before. I had no idea what to expect or even what the previous menu was like, so I was really excited to head over there. 


We started off with some cocktails and was spoilt for choice on the menu. My mum and I went for a Mango Daiquri each and my sister ordered a glass of Prosecco. 


Whilst we had a gossip and catch up over drinks, we also ordered our food. Giraffe is a world kitchen, so has plenty of different options available for everyone. They have a tapas available in which you can choose 3 dishes for £14.95 or 5 dishes for £24.95. It's a perfect way to try foods that you wouldn't normally order and a great way to get everyone at the table talking. 


We ordered three dishes from the tapas menu for starters and was very excited for these to arrive at our table. We ordered individually but shared them around. My mum went for the Baked Topped Houmous; topped with spicy beef, cumin seeds, yoghurt and presented with some flatbread pitta. Delicious.


We also decided on some nachos, as they are our favourite thing to snack on as a starter. These came drizzled in black bean chilli, Monterey Jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream, jalapeños and chipotle. Exceedingly scrumptious. 


Finally, I decided on some Chicken Yaki Gyozas. These are essentially just chicken dumplings with orango and miso glaze; served with a chilli jam to dip into. Definitely one to order if you love gyoza.


This branch in-particular have also just undergone a brand new look. We was seated in a bench booth outside of the restaurant, with cushions to keep us comfortable. It was a hot day, so not many people were dining inside, but it's nice to have an option for both.


I have always adored walking around Spitalfields Market. A stone's throw away from Brick Lane, Shoreditch and Liverpool Street; there are plenty of places to look around before of after dining at either Giraffe or the many other restaurant options in Spitalfields. 

Our starters soon arrived and we couldn't wait to dig in to more food. My mum ordered the Smoky Joe burger and chips. A 6oz beef burger in a brioche bun; with streaky bacon, smoked cheddar, tomato, lettuce and a special burger sauce. Utterly divine if you're a burger lover!


I've never really been a fan of Turkish food, but found myself ordering a dish from the Turkish section on the menu. This is one of Giraffe's brand new additions to the menu. A Halloumi and Feta Pide; featuring baby spinach, halloumi, feta cheese and charred Turkish peppers on a ganoush base. Topped with yoghurt to finish, this was definitely one I'll order again and again. I am a huge fan of cheese so to have two different types on one dish? Incredible. 


My sister ordered American BBQ Short Beef Ribs, which came with fries and a healthy slaw on the side. The ribs were sticky, succulent and juicy right down to the bone; with enough meat to satisfy anyone who loves ribs.  


 Feeling rather stuffed and ready to pop, we was asked by our waiter if we wanted dessert. Like all my other restaurant reviews, we can never say no!


My mum felt too full up, so simply ordered a coffee. My sister and I definitely became little piggies and ordered a dessert each.

She went for the Rocky Road Sundae; an incredibly naughty tall glass of vanilla and salted caramel ice-cream, chocolate brownie chunks, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and marshmallows. 

I on the other hand, ordered the Passion Fruit and White Chocolate Cheesecake. If you've read other restaurant reviews I have done, you will know that cheesecake makes a regular appearance on my blog and for good reason. Incredibly creamy and accompanied with half a passion fruit; this was definitely the best choice I could've made.


All in all, we was very satisified with the food we had and the service we received. Despite the three of us being giraffe-virgins, we managed to order dishes that we thoroughly enjoyed. I have no doubt we will be returning again soon! It's thumbs up from us!

Disclaimer: Complimentary meal for 2 was given in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All words and photographs are my own.
Take two minutes out of your day today to reflect on what makes your family a family. With tragic events happening everyday around the world, we all take our loved ones for granted. People are losing members of their family to war, cancer, accidents and so many other reasons.

I was recently reading an interesting infographic about family by www.slatergordon.co.uk. It details so many interesting facts and statistics about how the modern family has changed. It really got me thinking about how mine has changed quite a lot over the years. I have included the infographic at the bottom of this post, which makes for an interesting read.

What does family mean to me?

Family to me is the BRAVERY of having a baby at 21 years old. The not knowing what the hell you are doing, but guessing your way through the journey of motherhood. Doing the best you can, despite being a single parent (later getting back together) and not having as much support as you should have had. My mum (on the right) did an amazing job at bringing up two children. It's crazy to think that at the age I am at now, my mum was about to have her second child. I can just about look after a puppy, let alone two kids. Hats off to my mum and yours.


Family is the TRUST that someone you love won't hurt you again. The decision to bring another child into this world was a brave one, but something both my parents decided to do. 

Family are the MIRACLES that happen. My sister, Louise was born premature at just 27 weeks, weighing just 2lb, 3oz. I was 3 and a half years old, so only remember segments of this time in my life. I remember lots of people coming to visit Louise; to catch a glimpse of the miracle baby laying in her incubator; with see-through like skin and many tubes all around her tiny baby chicken-like body. She fit in the palm of my dad's hands perfectly. She shouldn't have made it, but she fought through her battle and has just celebrated her 21st birthday. 


Family is about LAUGHTER at silly things. I have no idea why I thought it was hilarious to walk up a hill, but I guided my sister on that day and we made it to the top with victory. 


Family is the FORGIVENESS of matching sibling outfits. Thankfully, these were cute ones. However, I wasn't a fan of the luminous green dresses with pink flowers on and we both hated the itchy school skirts that our mum made us wear. 


Family is being THANKFUL for what you have. Our Christmases have always been quite special to me and spent with the people that mean the most to me. As I have grown older, I have truly appreciated the time spent with family (ohhhh, and the food!).  From my Grandad walking around with a musical tie, bitter in hand and a rosy cheeked smile. To my Nan getting stressed at the stove because my Grandad pinched a roast potato. To my Mum reading the newspaper and my sister and I waiting excitedly for the Christmas shenanigans to begin. 


Family are the EXPERIENCES and MEMORIES we all remember. I am so blessed that my parents travelled with my sister and I every single summer. My dad had a camper van and we would take off at the beginning of the Summer holidays and travel around Europe for 6 weeks. By the time I was 8, I had seen the likes of France, Spain, Portugal and Scotland; without ever having to step onto a plane. 

Travelling around Portugal is the reason why I love sardines and tomatoes on toast. I got my first threaded hair braid when I was in France and rocked it like a true Spice Girl. I have been on trekking adventures around Scotland and tried to look for the Lochness Monster. 


My love for water is down to our first paddling pool and those Europe travel holidays. My dad taught my sister and I how to swim and was persistent for us to be strong swimmers. I remember the frustration of how tight arm bands were on my chubby, little arms... so I took them off one day and they never returned. That's the best way to learn in my opinion.


Honourable mentions go to the birth of my little cousins, all of the pets we have had over the years; including my little Elsie now who relies on us for everything. The introduction and acceptance of my sister's long-term boyfriend to our family.

There have been ups and there have been downs, but nothing changes the fact that these people are my family. No one knew what to do when my nan was battling breast cancer and then heart problems followed. However, we pulled together as a family and my nan pulled through her illnesses. It seems we are back at the beginning, as now my Grandad isn't very well, but I have no doubts that a family as strong as mine will once again, pull through and come together to support one another. 


Family is EVERYTHING and I wouldn't have mine any other way. I am so very grateful to have the best people in my life; especially my mum and sister who are my best friends.

With 8.9million families in the UK, how many of these are nuclear? How many have more than two or three kids? How many are struggling to conceive? How many are in civil relationships? How many have introduced pets into the home? How many have carers? How many have a single parent or no parents at all?  This infographic explains it all...


It was really interesting to learn more about families and the statistics that the UK currently holds. I feel very fortunate to live in a comfortable home, with a (relatively) healthy family and both of my parents happily married.

What does family mean to you? I asked on Twitter and here are what some people said about what family means to them.


Disclaimer: In collaboration with Slater and Gordon. All words and photographs are my own. 

I recently had the pleasure of visiting London's Madame Tussauds and was given the opportunity to take my family. Despite the recent events in London, we didn't and will never let poisonous people stop us from having fun in the city that we live in. Despite the devastation at what's going on, it's so important to live everyday like it's your last.

I went to Madame Tussauds a couple of years ago, so knew what to expect and how long we would need to allow to be able to see everything. It is recommended to allow three hours to make your way around the whole tour; with plenty of spare time left over to explore the shop at the end. 


We went during half term, so it closed a little later than normal. We started our journey into London at about 1pm and arrived at Baker Street about an hour later. We had pre-booked tickets thanks to 365 tickets, so only had to queue for about 10 minutes. I was very pleased that security did bag checks, as I don't remember them being checked the last time I went. 

Madame Tussauds is a fab way to get up close and personal with your favourite stars and celebs. I was particularly looking forward to seeing Harry Styles (guilty pleasure), so you can imagine my face when I finally got around to seeing his wax version! I just couldn't resist a selfie!


I was very pleased to see that there has been some new instalments over the last 2 years - including President Donald Trump (sectioned off for professional photos, but you can still snap one!), Emma Watson, Alfie Deyes and Zoella. 


My sister got a tad bit excited at seeing Colin Firth, as she has this slightly weird crush on him... as you do! Whereas my mum was over the moon to 'finally' meet Samuel L Jackson... but soon realised she actually meant Morgan Freeman!!


The exhibits have a mix of UK and US stars; with a designated Bollywood section too. There's also a brand new Star Wars exhibit that has recently opened. I have never seen the films, but my sister's boyfriend is a big fan of them.


They have also recently installed King Kong from the new Skull Island film. This is a massive exhibit that moves, roars, breathes and blinks!


The Marvel section right at the end of the tour is one of my favourite things. Not only do you get to see life size characters (including a MASSIVE Hulk!), but there's an exclusive 10 minute 4D Marvel film that you get to watch too. Put it this way... it had everyone jolting and screaming!

They also have a few other different characters for the kids... including an 8 foot-slightly-terrifying-looking, Shrek! 


Bob Marley was sitting down and looked extremely realistic. There's also a recent installation of 'The Voice', in which you can interact and actually play. However, we didn't and just stopped for a snap with Will.i.am!


The day finishes with a small walk around tour of how the wax models are made from start to finish. You also get the opportunity to learn more about who Madame Tussauds is and how her name lives on.

We had such an awesome day together and agreed how Madame Tussauds is a great day out for the family. Our tickets were from 365 Tickets which is a great place to head to for tickets to London and other city's attractions. 

Thank you so much to 365 Tickets and to Madame Tussauds for having us and putting on such cool exhibits!

Disclaimer: Complimentary tickets were provided in return for an honest review on my blog. All words and photographs are my own. 

Nobody wants to get in a car and be unsafe during their journey from A to B, so it’s incredibly important to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive. It might sound or look like it’s working, but you can never be too sure, unless you make sure to take certain safety precautions into place. 

Even though I am not a qualified driver, I still think it’s important to educate yourself on the safety of a car should you ever need to take things into practice. For example, you could break down in a friend’s car and need to help get the car back onto the road. Or maybe your partner’s battery is running low and you both need to sort it, so you can make that road trip happen this weekend.



It is always recommended to go somewhere reputable and professional for car safety checks. Even if you know someone who can do it for free or for a cheaper price, ALWAYS go to a licensed car servicing company. If you want to book car servicing in Wakefield, you could choose a local company like Ossett Tyre House

BRAKES
Probably the most important function in a car that needs to be checked regularly to ensure they work. It’s obvious what brakes are set out to do when you’re driving a car, but it can also be quite hard to tell what brakes are not meant to do. If your brakes are squeaking, getting stuck or just not working altogether; it is highly recommended to check whether the brake drums, discs and/or pads are corroded, worn down or out of place. 

BATTERIES
A car won’t move at all without a battery and this will need replacing every couple of years, depending on how often you use your car. All batteries run out eventually, so it’s important to check how your car battery is doing at least once a month. Imagine being halfway through that road trip this weekend and your battery goes flat. No one wants that!



TYRES

A car wouldn’t move anywhere without tyres, so think of your tyres as the foundation to your car. Rubbish and cheap quality tyres are not good, so it’s worth splashing out a little bit more on durable and long-lasting tyres. Unless you want to be replacing your tyres every year and repairing punctures regularly, there really is no excuse to be buying cheap and lousy tyres for your car. 

GEARBOX & CLUTCH CHECKS
I remember being in a car with someone once and their clutch got stuck on a dual carriage way. They couldn’t move their gear into place and it ended up damaging the mechanism inside the gearbox. If however, this person had done their car safety checks, this problem would have been nipped in the bud and resolved. 

EXHAUST
An exhaust pipe is something that many drivers forget to check. I guess this could be down to the fact that it’s located at the back and bottom of all cars. However, exhaust pipes can be dangerous as they can get blocked easily and do need cleaning out every so often. Don’t over heat your car and exhaust your exhaust. 

I hope this post has made you learn at least one thing about car safety checks. I can’t stress enough at how important it is to check the safety of your car regularly. A safe car can save lives and prevent accidents. Please check yours.


Disclaimer: Collaborative post. All words are my own. Images are stock images via Pixabay.

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