An MLP-inspired Hair Makeover with TONI&GUY

hairI thought I’d write a quick post to show you my new do. It’s very My Little Pony, don’t you think?

When TONI&GUY invited me in for a complimentary appointment, I jumped on the chance. I hadn’t lightened my roots since before Christmas and I was hoping to switch up the colour for spring. I was dreaming of bright, peachy pinks but my hair had other plans.

My stylist, Nana works at the Wigmore Street location and is an absolute pro. She was meticulous about her work and explained what she was doing along the way. So when she told me the green wasn’t going to come out without putting my hair at serious risk of snapping, I trusted her advice.

IMG_3217Instead she refreshed the mint and went over the newly lightened areas with a soft lavender. It’ll probably be one more appointment before the purple is one even tone, but those are the things you have to accept when dying your hair, especially with pastels. Your hair won’t always react to products the way it think it will and some colours don’t come out easily, so you’ll be stuck with them for longer than you planned or be forced to cover them up with something darker.

It’s not what I had planned, but it’s fun to have something a bit different for spring and I love pulling my hair back to show soft, whimsical pops of lilac.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my hair recently, so I thought I’d compile an FAQ post. If there’s anything you’d like to know, leave a comment or drop me an email.

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Tattoo Talk: A Recap

tattoos1 tattoos2You may have noticed, I took a month off from the Tattoo Talk series. I’m currently working on exciting new plans for this blog and wanted to figure out where it fits into the future of The Laughing Medusa. It’s surprising how much work it is to coordinate and post an interview series, but I really enjoy doing it and I heard from many of you that it’s a feature you look forward to and that it’s even made a few of your think differently about tattoos.

Before I post new interviews or articles, I thought it would be fun to provide a guide to all of the Tattoo Talk posts we’ve had already, in case you’re a new reader or missed some along the way.

We’ve had interviews with…

Tattooists Harriet Hapgood, Vicky Morgan, Dominique Holmes, Jake Schroeder, Rachel Baldwin, Jean-Philippe Burton, Grace Neutral, and Rebecca Vincent,

Tattoo collectors Ebba Cronstedt, Roxanne Hay, Lynsay Neil, Laura Mazurek, Sarah Morgan, Alice Snape, ReeRee Rockette, Lisa Walton, Alli Woods Frederick, Cazz, Emma Deer, Lauren, Kate, Julie Kesti, and Yael.

Even a laser tattoo removal technician.

tattoos3 tattoos4There was a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide and a Christmas Gift Guide for the tattooed and their fans, and last year I made tattoo-themed chocolates.

We chatted about tattoo books and magazines that are worth reading, and which lady tattooers you should be following on Instagram.

I posted the work of Angelique Houtkamp and Peter Aurisch.

I shared some of my favourite quotes on the art of tattooing.

And back when I used to write mostly about my own tattoos, I wrote about my first time & getting tattooed at a kitchen table. I got a teacup tattoo & a tiny feather. I shared the start of my first large piece & inspiration boards for tea tattoos, wordy art, & my flower sleeve.

And now I’d really like your input: what do you think of the Tattoo Talk feature? If you think it should stick around, are there any tattoo-related questions you’d like answered? Any article topics you’d like covered? Anyone you’d particularly like to see interviewed? I really value your feedback and would love it if you’d leave a comment or drop me an email letting me know.

To fuchsia hearts & inky roses,
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The Expat Diaries: 6 Months In

piclab (6)A few weeks after I moved here, one of my flatmates showed me an article by a Spanish man who had moved to London looking for work. He described a common expat experience: The first month your savings account is cushioned and you run around the city starry-eyed, visiting free museums and snapping snapshots of landmarks to send back to your family.

But quickly your savings account looks a lot less cushy and the reality of living in a huge, unfamiliar sets in. You worry about whether you’ll ever find a job – how will you pay your rent if you don’t? You’re constantly lost. The tube is too crowded. You don’t know people to make plans with on the weekend. You wonder, can you really make it here?

The author of that article moved home after four months and I was so worried that that was going to be me. A lot of my time was spent worrying. About finding work. Having enough money. Making the most of my time here, in case I didn’t end up having that much of it.

The first week of April marked my 6-month anniversary of living in London.

I’m finally starting to feel settled and that’s one thing I didn’t expect: how long that would take.

There are still many moments when I stick out as the token Canadian. Like when I order “over easy eggs” (just fried eggs here). Or call “Stropshire” “Strope-something-or-other.” Or I have to ask someone to repeat themselves three times because I’m still a bit muddled by their accent. But that’s part of being an expat: finding your way somewhere new, even if it means fumbling a lot of the time.

I cherish those moments when I feel a part of this city that I’m so in love with.

When a man at a market across the river recognises me from work.

Couriers who wave and know me by name.

The barista who remembers how I like my coffee on a Sunday, which is different than during the week.

Creating traditions with new friends.

The little signs of familiarity that we disregard when we’ve lived somewhere for a long time, when we’re naturally in sync with the rhythms of a place, become precious when a city is just beginning to unfold itself for you. When you’re just beginning to make it your home.

It feels silly now, all of those things I was worried about.

It’s like going on a first date and wanting to step out of it in the throes of a long-term relationship.

These things take time to cultivate. And they always require allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.

Some expats will move home much sooner than they’d hoped. Some relationships will self-destruct, even though we thought they were “the one.” That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. Because we learn and we grow and we try something new. And sometimes we are absolutely triumphant.

Sometimes the dream comes true, in all of it’s messy, unexpected glory, and it’s time to start chasing the next one.

Here’s to plunging in headfirst,

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Girlfriends know each others’ favourite flowers.

Fch_pop-69Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to an event put on by Funny how flowers do that. Jessie and I went down to their pop-up shop in Clerkenwell to learn about spring flower trends while trying our hands at floral arranging and cupcake decorating.

I really loved the concept behind this event. Flowers are almost exclusively marketed as something that men are meant to buy for women. Something we’re supposed to want but never get for ourselves, as if that would ruin their beauty. Instead the Holland Flower Council is mixing things up a bit, suggesting we buy flowers for our friends, and gave us the opportunity to spend the day learning new ways to incorporate flowers into our own lives – all while being served by the beautiful Flower Boys (see below).

Fch_pop-55Admittedly, they were hardly shaking up traditional gender rolls given the planned activities for the day. But luckily it was all right up our alley. We had a lot of fun and I learned a few things as well.

Fch_pop-22IMG_2766After meeting everyone, we went downstairs to have our hair styled. I asked for something vintage-inspired and was given this amazing victory roll with cute flyaway curls at the front. I’ve never received so many compliments on a hairstyle – I can’t wait to learn how to do these myself (this video by Pinup Doll Ashley Marie looks really helpful). And I was definitely inspired to start pinning fresh flowers into my hair. Surprisingly, they survived for the rest of the day and a night out.

Fch_pop-56IMG_2769Next up was cupcake decorating. This perfectly coiffed beauty showed us how to make teeny tiny roses out of fondant (we used a method very similar to this one). We piped icing onto our cakes (like this!) and then went mental decorating with candy, sprinkles, and edible glitter. Working with the icing was really tricky and while most of the desserts I cook up are of the vegan, whole foods variety, it was fun to create something so colourful.

flowerarrangingPerhaps my favourite part of the day was creating our own hand-tied flower arrangements. I buy myself flowers every week, but being budget conscious I usually opt for a £3 bunch of roses or whatever’s on sale at the flower market. Instead we were given free reign to incorporate whatever flowers we wanted into our creations. I opted for roses, ranunculus, and shredded tulips.

We learned that the key to a beautiful bouquet is holding high up on the stem in the crook of your thumb and keeping it at an angle, turn the stem, add another flower at the same angle, turn, add, etc. When you’re done, wrap a piece of string around where you’ve been holding and tie it tight.

I’m hardly ready to be a florist, but perhaps these tricks will help me turn my flower market bargains into gorgeous bouquets.

So tell me, when was the last time you pinned flowers in your hair? And the question of the hour: do you know your best friend’s favourite flower?

To pastels, petals, & glitter…
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With the exception of photos 4 and 6, all photos courtesy of Funny how flowers do that.

What I Wore: How to Dress Like an Urban Pixie

IMG_2862When SammyDress offered to let me choose an item from their website, I was instantly drawn to this flowy mint green skirt. I’ve worn this outfit twice now and each time a complete stranger has told me I look like a fairy. Being an urban pixie, that’s a major compliment in my books.

On this particular day I’d originally styled my hair in tight ringlets, but I was lucky enough to attend the Funny how flowers do that event and they styled it into this amazing vintage roll. Here’s a look at what I wore…

IMG_2800IMG_2809ootdIMG_2853I’m wearing a striped top from H&M, a tulle skirt from SammyDress, a thrifted glitter belt, vintage shoes, tights from H&M, bag from Joules, necklace and ring from GalaxyRoxJewellery.

So how does one dress like an urban pixie?

It’s all about mixing soft, feminine pieces with edgier garments. Pair combat boots with a pale pink, ballerina-inspired dress. Wear bold patterns with your favourite tutu (don’t own one? SammyDress is a great place to look for low cost options). Add fresh flowers or glittery headgear to your hair. Adorn yourself with sparkly accessories. Be brave with mixing colours. Prepare to dazzle.

Here’s to dressing magically,
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