Grind Coffee

Tom and I bought ourselves a Nespresso coffee machine a year or so ago to save myself some money on my morning Starbucks trips, and it’s really done the trick. It’s a nifty little machine so if you’re curious, you can find it here.

We’ve been habitually buying our coffee pods from our local supermarkets as they’re so accessible, but of course, terrible for the environment. I’d spent some time researching other offerings and tools such as re-usable pods that you can re-fill but the reviews were often off-putting.

Instagram ads then came and saved the day. I saw an advert for Grind coffee and started following their Instagram page. Grind are a London based coffee shop and most impressively in my opinion, offer a coffee subscription service. What this meant was that you can subscribe to their coffee to receive regular deliveries. This meant there was potential to never run out of coffee!

To start, I thought it would be sensible to try the coffee, so I bought a refillable tin of their House Blend from Amazon.

What I should mention also, is that their coffee pods are compostable which was a big factor in my decision to give them a go and make the purchase.

The Grind aesthetic is really simple and cute. The brand is so distinctive with their pink colouring and clear bold font across their packaging. The refillable tin is great. It’s got a screw cap, and when it first arrived, the tin was sealed like a can which I thought was good and keeps the coffee fresh before we could get round to it.

The coffee itself tastes fantastic. I could easily say that it’s the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. It’s incredibly smooth and not too bitter. I’m far from a coffee expert, but I thoroughly enjoy the taste of their coffee.

So I decided to take the plunge and subscribe to their coffee. You can choose a subscription that suits you, which also include decaf coffee and their Black Blend (which I haven’t tried) and you can choose how many and how regularly you want to receive your deliveries.

They are posted in letterbox friendly packaging so you don’t need to be home to accept the delivery which is incredibly handy!

As you can see from the pictures above, the aesthetic is carried through to all their products and the subscription boxes are no different.

The pods are only slightly more expensive than the ones you can buy so easily from the supermarket but with the added benefit of being compostable. So with the flavour being so fantastic, it just made the most sense.

After trying their coffee, I’m so pleased that I’ve decided to subscribe. It’s nice to know that we’ll be kept well in coffee!

OnePlanet Pizzas

So… Pizza. More specifically, vegan pizza.

OnePlanet Pizza are a vegan pizza company who do frozen vegan pizzas. Who doesn’t love the convenience of a frozen pizza when you just can’t be bothered to cook. I’ve tried one before that I bought from a local vegan shop and I enjoyed it.

You can order their pizzas online via their website and the more you buy, the more you save. So I bought 5 for £5.60 each. It is quite pricey for a frozen pizza, especially compared to some of the options that are available in our supermarkets these days such as the offerings from Chicago Town and Goodfellas.

I ordered 2 meatless pizzas, 2 chick’n and sweetcorn and 1 mushroom pizza, all with wholemeal bases.

They’re a reasonable size and the minimal packaging is really good to see. Ingredients and cooking instructions are all really clear on the packaging and it’s nice to see all the toppings so clearly.

The first pizza I tried with the chick’n and sweetcorn which I enjoyed. The fake chick’n wasn’t really like chicken but it was nice to have that meat replacement, and who doesn’t love sweetcorn. The vegan cheese is the show stopper in my opinion. It melts beautifully and tastes pretty good.

The second pizza I tried was the meatless pizza. I somehow managed to forget to take anymore pictures but it was fine. My only criticism is that the onion chunks were certainly prevalent and incredibly overwhelming in parts but it was still a decent pizza. I don’t think I’d order it again.

And finally, I had the mushroom pizza which I think was my favourite. Again, no pictures, but the delicious cheese and I am a huge fan of mushrooms so it was a big contributor to my love for it.

I was a big fan of the wholemeal base, and it was nice to have the option to choose from the wholemeal or their classic white base which you wouldn’t be able to do with store bought pizzas.

Overall, the pizzas were good. I wouldn’t be rushing to buy them again any time soon due to the price, but it’s nice to see convenient offerings from a vegan company who know the market and are trying to help the world and not just jump on the vegan bandwagon!

Make Up Revolution: The Mascara Revolution

I’m not one to switch up my make up too often as I know what I like and what gets me the look I normally like. I’ve been using the KVD Beauty Go Big Home or Go Home but at a pricey £20, I thought I’d switch it up.

I popped to my local Superdrug earlier last month where they had a 3 for 2 offer so what better opportunity to try out a new product?

Make Up Revolution are cruelty free and offer lots of vegan options so I took the plunge and spent the £8 of their Mascara Revolution.

The packaging is simple, yet appealing and bold with the rose gold and black. It’s quite a large tube. Similar to the large tube for the KVD Beauty mascara.

The brush is quite big with a curve in the middle mimicking an hourglass. I never really understood why mascara brushes were so different and what benefit they brought. I’m more of a dan of the standard shaped brushes.

The product sat a bit clumpy and thick on the brush, and with the curve in the middle, more of the product sat there. I wasn’t entirely filled with confidence when I saw it.

Left hand side with mascara on

Applying the product wasn’t an issue, even with the brush shape. And surprisingly, it applied very evenly across the lashes. It gave me a bit more volume and a little bit more length which is exactly what I wanted. My only criticism is that it did group my lashes more than I liked but for £12 less than my usual mascara, I can’t complain.

The mascara is a decent mascara for the price. Other online reviews don’t speak as positively about it as I do but I do think I’ll be sticking to my usual but it’s good to know there are other options out there.

Naturally Kind Food [2]

I wrote about Naturally Kind Food a few weeks ago after winning their cakes and I have seen their cake boxes with no-contact delivery plastered all over my social media, so I thought I’d treat myself.

I contacted NKF on Facebook to arrange a delivery date and payment. You are confined to the delivery dates available as they are running everything themselves from the baking of the cakes right through to the delivery service!

The box is £20 and filled with SO many goodies from different flavoured cakes, brownies, bars and tarts. And so instagrammable!

Tom and I have made our way through everything now and it was honestly so delicious. My personal favourites include:

  • Lotus Brownie
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Cake Slice

I mean, it was all amazing to be honest with you but those 2 were particularly highlights.

There are so many treats in the box and it comes with a note which includes everything that is contained in the box and their ingredients. Not every box will be the same as it can change depending on what they bake but I can guarantee you that each one will be absolutely delicious.

We’ve even been lucky enough to receive a second box from Tom’s mum and dad as a treat! What I did spot was that some of the cakes were different so I’m really looking forward to trying those out.

I truly recommend taking a look at Naturally Kind Food if you’re in the South Wales area. The treats are absolutely delicious and it really brightens up my day. And for £20, who could possibly say no?!

Make sure you follow them on Facebook and Instagram too to get updates on any delivery areas and dates!

Umberto Giannini Flowerology Colour

Not being able to leave the house had my roots in absolute chaos. I’d seen adverts on social media for Umberto Giannini’s Flowerology Colour range which is vegan and cruelty free. They have an equivalent Colour Care range too but I haven’t tried that.

Anyway… moving onto the product! I ordered 4 boxes of Dark Brown 3.0 as this was the darkest option available and the multi-buy was on offer. There are quite a few colour options available ranging from blonde and dark brown so make sure you take a look at the options!

My hair colour is very dark naturally so I needed it. My hair has been a shade of red for many years now so going dark was a bit of a change but I already feel so much better about my hair.

It is recommended that you do a patch test 48 hours before to ensure you don’t react to the product so make sure you do that! Application itself is just like any other box dye available on the shelves of supermarkets and beauty shops. my hair is quite long but 1 box was just about enough. After seeing the finished dye, I probably could have done with a little more product…! After leaving the dye on for 30 minutes, wash off and voila!

You can see the before and after results in the images above. I’m much happier with the darker hair and the results were decent for a box dye! The colour was exactly as I expected and it covered up my previous dye well. It’s a little patchy in places but that’s definitely a reflection of my self dying capabilities.

I think another round of colouring will sort out the patches so I’ll give it a few weeks to settle down before dying it again but I’m really pleased with the end result.

It’s quite difficult to find a vegan hair dye but Umberto Giannini are certified cruelty free and vegan meaning that their products do not contain any animal products nor are they tested on animals.

I would definitely check them out to see what they have to offer, and as I said, there are loads of other hair care products available to browse and shop so I would have a look. Based on their hair dye, you’re onto a winner!

OMG IT’S VEGAN

I’m sure we’re all very familiar with Facebook and Instagram ads, but I came across an interesting one a few weeks ago for vegan sweets! As we’re in lockdown, I thought I would treat myself to my favourite fizzy sweets so thank goodness for OMG IT’S VEGAN.

I highly recommend a visit to their website to see their full range of sweets which is spectacular with so many different sweets in so many different sizes on offer.

I am a huge fan of fizzy sweets in particular so I treated myself to a 1kg bag of mixed fizzy sweets, a jar of apple sour belts and a jar of strawberry fizzy pencils.

The jars are so lovely. They’re a good size and currently on my home office desk for me to snack on during conference calls! I’ve barely made a dent in them so far.

The kilo bag of mixed sweets is incredible and I am so happy with the mix in them. They make for a great insta photo too.

My only criticism, of myself, is that I should have ordered the bigger bag!! There’s still plenty in the bag but I’m dreading how upset I’ll be when the bag runs out.

The service was great from start to finish. I got updated when my order was dispatched and very shortly after, it arrived! Regardless of this, with COVID19 still amongst us, we have to remember to be more understanding with our delivery services as they are doing their best.

Anyway, I’m so pleased with my OMG IT’S VEGAN order and I heartily recommend that you visit their website for some delicious treats.

The Ivy in Cardiff City Centre

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!

The Cosy Club in Cardiff City Centre

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.

Bad Brownie

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

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!

At the very beginning of the month, I entered a Facebook competition to win a Naturally Kind Food cake and I won!

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.

Plus, who doesn’t love vegan cake?!