Now, more than ever, it is so important to look after your mind and your body. A lot of us are on lockdown or isolation due to COVID19 so self-care is key to ensure this disruption to your life will limit the disruption to your mind.
For me, self-care is having a nice prolonged bath with a face mask and a hair mask, but this isn’t the same for everyone.
Try reading a book or cosying up with a video game. Whatever helps you relax and take your mind off things, even momentarily!
This week’s issue is another lovely Lush bath bomb, Peachy.
Peachy Lush Bath Bomb
So this might actually be one of my favourite ever bath bombs by Lush. Peachy has an amazing smell and produces a gorgeous colour in the bath.
It produced a lot more bubbles than a normal bath bomb as well which I found surprising but I thoroughly enjoyed my bath regardless
As you can see from the pictures above, the bath bomb melts away beautifully with it’s gorgeous peach, coral and green colours and the bubbles were a nice little bonus.
I highly recommend Peachy. It’s a seasonal Lush product but it’s definitely worth buying!
The girls in work and I have very recently made it a tradition to go for a long lunch whenever we have a birthday celebration. Last month was of course my birthday (as if I haven’t mentioned it in every blog post!) and the girls treated me to a lunch at The Ivy in Cardiff.
The table was booked and some of you may know that The Ivy is renowned for being a bit more upmarket than your usual places so we dressed a little less casual than we normally would for work.
We were greeted at the door by the host who offered to check in our coats and then took us to our table. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with gorgeous wall papers and lots of plants. A quick note while we’re on decor, pop to the toilets upstairs. It is absolutely gorgeous up there and the ceiling is covered in flowers. It’s perfect for Instagramming!
We ordered cocktails while we perused the menu.
The cocktails were great. They did your usual classic cocktails like a Singapore Sling as well as signature cocktails which are a bit more interesting.
Shortly after, we ordered food. There isn’t much on the menu for vegans, but there are a few options which is better than nothing. I ordered the Keralan Curry which came with rice. I also ordered a side of thick cut chips, mostly because I just wanted to try them, and also it’s the classic Welsh staple.
I was delightfully surprised by the curry. It was delicious and full of so much flavour. It was filled with fresh vegetables including sweet potato and tenderstem broccoli. It was actually an excellent vegan option and I was not disappointed!
We didn’t get any dessert, but again, there wasn’t much in the way of vegan options for desserts. Sorbet and a plate of fruit… Not the most inspiring!
Overall, it was a pleasant experience. I really enjoyed my curry and the service was fantastic. I was lucky enough to have the girls treat me as a birthday gift, but the menu is a bit pricey. It’s a great location for a nice meal and an excuse to dress up a bit!
It’s taken me a while to write this post as it appears that birthday gifts and events make great blogging content!
Last month, Tom treated me for breakfast on my birthday before he headed to work. We went to The Cosy Club in Cardiff City Centre. I’ve been to The Cosy Club before and they have a decent vegan menu.
The service is always good and on this occasion it was no different. We were greeted by the host that morning, she asked us if we needed any allergen menus and she kindly gave us the vegan menu and took us to our table.
After a few moments, our waitress came over and asked us if we’d like to order drinks. Tom ordered a soy vanilla latte and I ordered breakfast tea with a side of soy milk. As we were ready with our food order too, she took our order.
Tom ordered crumpets with plain vegan spread. The option on the menu came with cinnamon vegan spread which sounds unusual and Tom wasn’t a fan but they were more than accommodating. I ordered the vegan breakfast with the addition of avocado and scrambled tofu.
Breakfast was great. The scrambled tofu was a great addition. It was full of flavour and wasn’t a standard scrambled tofu you can often find at restaurants these days. The falafel was great and I loved how crispy it was. And as a lover of carbs, the potato rosti was a great equivalent for hash browns.
Tom enjoyed his crumpets and coffee. He’s not a big breakfast eat so he always makes me look greedy when we go out for breakfast which I’m totally ok with.
The Cosy Club is a good chain for vegans. There’s a good range of options and they are tasty. The service is great and every time I’ve been there, the staff are friendly and helpful. The location is great for those who are shopping in the city centre so I recommend a visit if you’re looking for a convenient breakfast spot.
My amazing best friend, Alicia, moved to Mexico last year, but she most certainly didn’t forget my birthday!
The day before my birthday, I received an unexpected package which was addressed to her. I messaged her and she, of course, told me it was my birthday gift. I waited till my actual birthday to open it and it was very exciting.
She had treated me to an incredible box of delicious vegan and gluten free brownies from Bad Brownie.
The box was filled with a tray of brownies in different colours and flavours. I love a good snack so I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to try them and Tom was eyeing them up too. He was lucky there was plenty to go around!
There were so many to choose from, it was difficult to know where to even begin. Fortunately, it came with a card that listed all the flavours with pictures!
The first flavour that stood out to me was Peanut Butter & Jelly so that was the first one I tried. To be completely honest with you, I was a little disappointed. I thought it was lacking in the key peanut butter and jam flavours. The brownie itself was nice but the flavours weren’t there.
The next one I went for was Cookie Dough. Again, I was a little disappointed with this one. I don’t know whether the descriptions had hyped me up a little and set my expectations higher, but the cookie dough flavour was really plain.
The saviours of the box however were Salted Caramel and Passionfruit & Coconut which were the 2 I thought I’d enjoy the least.
I alway find Salted Caramel to be a gimmick but the Salted Caramel brownie was really lovely. It wasn’t too rich and it had all the flavours I was actually expecting which is more than I can say for other Salted Caramel treats.
My absolute favourite was the Passionfruit & Coconut. I do love a good fruity flavour and I love passionfruit and coconut so this was great. The part I didn’t think I’d like was the jellied top (similar to that of a Jaffa Cake), but I actually really loved it. It’s so different and makes it so much more interesting.
I’m 50/50 on this box. They weren’t the best brownies that I’ve ever had, but they weren’t bad either. Some flavours were disappointing but the good ones really did make up for it. Overall, a balanced gift which I’m still very grateful for!
Naturally Kind Food are a small, local business based on South Wales. They make vegan cakes for the masses! You can find their cakes in various vegan hot spots around South Wales, but they also make occasion cakes on request. Check out their website for details!
I don’t live far from the Naturally Kind Food HQ so I went to pick up as soon as I found out. I was greeted by the lovely Sara who passed over 2 cakes! I was absolutely spoilt. They were cakes that she had been experimenting with sugar paste decorations, which I must say, were absolutely beautiful.
As you can see from the images, the cakes look amazing. My personal favourite was the more colourful one as I like bright colours that catch my eye. This one was a smaller one.
The second cake is the one you can see on the right and it was much bigger. There were beautiful flowers on the top made with icing which I actually crushed a little bit with the box so they’re much flatter than they’re supposed to be!
Aesthetically, both cakes were absolutely beautiful. I felt so lucky to have won them. Let’s get down to the important stuff, the taste!
The cake, as pictured above, was filled with cream and jam. The entire cake was covered in a chocolate ganache and fondant icing on top. The layers were perfect and it cut beautifully.
The sponge was still moist, even a few days after being baked and decorated. We continued to have servings during the week and it remained delicious, and drying very slowly. It was absolutely delicious.
I was good and I did share with Tom and his family and everyone enjoyed their share of the cakes!
I highly recommend Naturally Kind Food for any occasion cakes you may be looking for. Take a look at their website as they make a huge range of flavours of cakes so it’s definitely worth dropping them a message.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my sister @vgnnatalie treated me to a lovely dinner at Suncraft in Bristol for my birthday at the beginning of this month.
She also treated me to a bottle of True Skincare‘s Safflower & Basil Facial Oil! She has been using their rosehip oil and absolutely raved about it. She was impressed by the quality of the product and results she was seeing, and she wanted me to experience it too.
I wrote a blog a few months ago about the oils that I had been using and how helpful they had been. You can read that blog post here.
I can safely say that this True Skincare oil blows everything else out of the water. The packaging is well presented and really good quality. It sits nicely on the dressing table and would look great with any aesthetic.
Let’s talk about the actual oil. It smells amazing. It’s an actual pleasure to have added to my routine and massage into my face in the evenings. The oil is amazing quality. It’s hard to describe but it’s a thicker oil as it’s a waterless formula and I personally think this makes it more absorbent. The other oils I use feel much more slippery and sit on the skin for much longer.
I’ve been using True for about 2 weeks now and I wish I had taken before and after photos. My skin appears brighter and less oily than it’s ever been. I also think it’s reduced the redness in my skin which isn’t something I was looking to do but it is most certainly welcomed.
I only have good things to say about this product. I completely understand why it’s award winning and I would 100% recommend this to help alleviate any skin woes.
Tom treated me to the amazing UpCircle “Let’s Face It” bundle which is filled with so many skincare products. So where do we start; the set is a little pricey, but you get a lot for your money! I was lucky to have Tom to buy it for me!
The following products are included:
Your choice of Coffee Face Scrub (Floral, Citrus or Herbal)
Organic Face Serum
Cleansing Face Balm
The little note included in the box which is pictured above tells me who packed my box. Barbs was the lovely person who did and I was also left a little note to say that the serum will be on it’s way soon!
To soften the blow of not having the serum yet, I got a tube roller instead which I was pretty ecstatic about! The purpose of the tube roller is to get the most out of your face scrub tube by squeezing all the product out from the very top!
A week later, the serum arrived on my doorstep!
The whole set is great and it’ll take me a while to make my way through the products as I’m still making my way through some existing scrubs, cleansers and moisturisers but I wanted you guys to see the set in all it’s glory.
I can’t wait to try the products. I gave everything a good sniff and it all smells amazing. The face scrub and serum are made from repurposed coffee grounds and you can smell it in the serum. It’s not strong or potent but it is there.
The reviews are great so I’m really looking forward to using it all. It’s been featured by Vegan Beauty Girl, both on her blog and on her Instagram. I’m particularly excited about using the face mask, but I’m still making my way through the Sand & Sky one.
As soon as I use these products, I’ll be writing separate blog posts to give a full break down and review of each thing so you guys get an in-depth description of the individual products.
In light of recent events regarding COVID19, there will be many of you like me that will be working from home now. We are lucky that we are able to work remotely and I am incredibly grateful that I can. I know there’s still people making their way to and from the office still so please stay safe guys.
Please make sure that you are all limiting your contact with others. Wash your hands, keep your distance from others and just be conscious! We’re all in this together!
To avoid going absolutely insane, I’ve seen lots of people post their tips for working from home which have been incredibly helpful! I will share you some of mine as well as theirs in hope that it’ll help you.
If you can, set up a desk somewhere out of the bedroom. Try and keep your rest life and your work life separate! If you don’t have the space to do this, make sure you’re working out of bed!
Cover your webcam! This might seem a bit extreme, but you always hear horror stories of people caught in awkward situations on webcam. Cover it up for your security, but also to save you putting any make up on and giving your colleagues an accidental fright :’).
Wake up earlier than your start time. I like to wake up 30 minutes before I start to give myself some time to wake up, make a coffee and relax before logging on. This sets me up for the day and gets me into the right mindset.
Use communication tools to keep in touch. My colleagues are my friends and I regularly chat to them throughout the day and via WhatsApp after work. Keep this up. If you fancy a quick chat, call them on Skype or set up group chats to keep spirits up! Just make sure you don’t interrupt them if they’re in a meeting.
Get away from your desk for lunch. It’s small, but it’s important to take lunch for yourself and to actually take a break and get away from work to break up the day.
Put a podcast on for background noise. It can be weird working on your own when you’re used to being in an office full of people. I have put on podcasts on a wireless speaker for background noise and am personally loving Shagged Married Annoyed with Chris and Rosie Ramsay. They’re hilarious and really make me laugh.
It can get lonely for those of us who are extroverts and socialise regularly, so it’s really important to keep in contact with your friends and family to try and keep yourself sane! Living in this modern era of tech has never made it easier to video chat with your friends and family so make sure you do.
Most importantly, make sure you are all staying safe and adhering to the local government guidelines that are there to protect you. Do whatever you can to limit your contact with others and keep your hands clean!
I am a huge fan of naps. I know not everyone can manage it, but I am big on the napping and try to get away with as many naps as possible.
I’ve seen adverts for SMUG pop up all over my social media accounts. Their main product is a 3D sleep mask which is advertised to protect those with eyelash extensions.
I don’t have eyelash extensions, but I do regularly get my lashes lifted so I’m hoping the contour will help protect that too and make them last longer.
When I saw that the mask was on sale at ASOS, I thought I’d buy it to see what it was like. If it arrived and I didn’t think it was suitable, I could always return it.
The mask arrived the following day and packaged as pictured above. I liked the look of the mask. The cute little eyelashes on the front amuse me and the bright pink is bright and distinctive.
The sleep mask has an elasticated but adjustable strap which is really good. Other sleep masks I’ve owned previously have only had elasticated straps which have stretched overtime and then don’t stay in position very well at all.
The contour of the mask is very deep. As I’m Asian, I have quite a flat face so I was concerned that it wouldn’t fit right but it was actually perfect.
I had a nap and used the sleep mask and it was great. It was the perfect shape for my face and blacked out all the light which is exactly as advertised. The depth of the eye mask even fit my flat face and my eyelashes were well protected underneath the sleep mask.
I paid £8 for the sleep mask on ASOS which I think is reasonable. There are a lot of perks to this sleep mask and it was very comfortable. I’m so glad that I can bin off my old sleep mask that no longer fits!
Last week, my sister @vgnnatalie treated me to a lovely birthday meal in her hometown of Bristol. We had intended to go to Koocha, but sadly they were closed on that day so we went to Suncraft which was only around the corner.
Suncraft is on a main road and has a bright yellow exterior that can’t be missed. We met up early so we must have walked in around 17:30 and the restaurant was nice and quiet. We were greeted at the door and asked where we would like to sit. We chose a small table for 2 in the middle of the restaurant.
They had an extensive menu that sounded delicious. I had to reign my sister in as she wanted to try everything!! We settled on order 3 main dishes and 2 sides:
Kimchi Fried Rice
Tofu and Mushroom Satay (Special Dish)
BBQ Korean Tempeh Bites
Sweet Potato Fries with Chilli
It was divine. Everything put in front of us was full of flavour and so enticing. I absolutely recommend the BBQ Korean Tempeh Bites, I could have ordered more if we hadn’t ordered so much food already!
The Kimchi Fried Rice was so satisfying. It had the perfect level of spice, without being too hot nor lacking in flavour. There were beansprouts in their fried rice which I don’t think we see enough of because I love beansprouts, and the crispy seaweed on top was a fantastic addition.
I was surprised by the Corn Arepas. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but it was actually really nice. There was a sweet potato patty type thing on a bed of black beans with an almond feta which was really lovely.
The winning dish for me was the Tofu and Mushroom Satay, which I foolishly didn’t picture individually. It was absolutely incredible. The satay sauce was unreal with the perfect balance of creaminess and peanut flavours. It does help that I’m a huge fan of tofu and mushrooms too. The rice was cooked perfectly and the whole dish was just top of the bar.
The service provided was great. They were attentive and ensured we were well looked after, from asking us if we wanted individual plates as we were sharing and simply checking up on us after our meal. We ordered so many dishes that we didn’t finish it all, but we were able to take it come in vegware takeaway containers.
I highly recommend a visit to Suncraft. Check out their social media and website for more details but you will definitely not be disappointed!