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?!

True Skincare Facial Oil

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.

UpCircle Skincare: A Summary

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
  • Face Mask
  • Face Moisturiser
  • 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.

Suncraft in Bristol

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
  • Corn Arepas
  • 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!

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe [February 2020]

We’ve had to wait a little while longer for our February boxes as The Cruelty Free Beauty Box were waiting on a supplier to complete the boxes. These issues can’t be helped, but the box was most certainly not disappointing!

Here is a summary of my first impressions!

This box contains the following:

  • Balade En Provence Solid Night Cream (RRP £19.95)
  • The Salt Parlour Bath & Body Oil (RRP £16.95)
  • PITT BALM Deodorant Balm (RRP £5)
  • Ben & Anna Toothpaste White (RRP £8.95)
  • Lue by Jean Seo Fade (RRP 14.95)
  • London Copyright Eyeshadow (RRP £4.50)
  • Moo Free Cinder Toffee (RRP £3)
  • Good4u Veggie Protein Shots (RRP £1)
  • Bamboo Desire Massage Hairbrush (RRP £12.95)

The value of the box adds up to a nice £87.25. It’s not their best value box to date but I am so excited to try so many of these products!

Pictured above is the Ben & Anna toothpaste. I’ve used Ben & Anna products before. I bought a deodorant stick in Amsterdam last year when I had forgotten to pack my own and I absolutely loved it. The only thing I didn’t love was the price point!

I haven’t yet tried the toothpaste as I haven’t finished my existing tube, but I love the minty smell and it looks nice and easy to use. And with the added bonus of being in a recyclable glass jar, this looks like a promising swap!

Another 2 products I’m excited to use is the PITT BALM deodorant balm and the Balade En Provence night cream block.

I love a good deodorant spray swap and I’ve found balms really nice and easy to use, as well as really refreshing. The PITT BALM comes in a handy sized tin which can be carried in your handbag for those pit emergencies! I recommend checking out their website for their full range of products.

The Balade En Provence night cream block looks great. With lots of companies moving towards less packaging and naked products, this looks like a great swap. In the previous box, I received a gorgeous smelling hand cream which is incredible so I have high hopes for the night cream.

You’ll likely be seeing a few more blog posts in future with the details of these products when I finally get round to trying them.

Delhicious Hello Beau-Tea-Ful Body Scrub

For regular readers of my blog, you will already be aware of my conscious effort to take better care of my skin. Earlier this week, I posted about Sknfed’s Cleansing and Exfoliating Cubes.

In the same Cruelty Free Beauty Box I received in December, there was a bag of Delhicious Body’s Hello Beau-Tea-Ful Body Scrub.

The packaging is very enticing and all the gold foil is beautiful. I’m not going to lie, it’s not the most practical of packaging. When I’m having a shower, the last thing I want to do is try to open a bag with wet hands.

Once you finally get the bag open, you’re greeted with the gorgeous smell of tea leaves. If tea is not to your liking, I don’t really recommend these scrubs as the smell is quite pungent, but as a tea lover… It’s a completely different story!

Like most of other scrubs, you apply to to wet skin and rub all over. This scrub was much messier than the Sknfed cubes, but did a great job. It did the job and I felt well scrubbed afterwards. I didn’t feel as soft and moisturised as I did after using the Sknfed cubes, but this is still a great scrub.

If you’re looking for a good exfoliating scrub for a good price and tea is right up your street, then this product is definitely for you. It smells great and the product does a great job of exfoliating your skin. I may not be rushing to buy it again, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it!

If you’re anything like me and you’d prefer a more indulgent product and with more convenient packaging, read my post about the Sknfed Cleansing and Exfoliating Cubes!

Sknfed Cleansing and Exfoliating Cubes

I’m trying to get into more regular good skin habits which includes exfoliating and moisturising my skin more regularly. In the last Cruelty Free Beauty Box I received, there were Sknfed Cleansing and Exfoliating Cubes.

They came in a cute little cardboard pot with a lid, and when I opened them, the smell that came out was absolutely divine. They smelt delicious, but I can’t imagine that eating them would be safe!

I finally got round to use them last week and they were so easy to use. It is recommended to use 1 – 2 cubes over your body and I ended up using 2.

It was really easy to crumble and scrub all over my skin, and the smell was absolutely gorgeous. It had a delicious chocolate and coffee smell to it, and what I really loved about the cubes is that they were so easy to wash off, but it left my skin feeling moisturised and soft.

The cubes didn’t last particularly well in transit as you can see from the image above as a few of them have broken and crumbled. It’s not a problem as they crumble when you use them anyway!

Sknfed are a completely vegan brand, creating natural, cruelty free skincare products. You can read about them on their website here.

I cannot recommend these exfoliating cubes enough. They are so easy to use and smell so good. They feel like an incredible treat for your body with the benefit of cleansed and soft skin at the end of it. Honestly, I love them and I’ll definitely be buying them again!

Valentine’s Day: The Vegan Bakes

Boy did good this year. Instead of buying me flowers, he came up with the baked goods.

I received a missed parcel note from Royal Mail last week, and unusually they left it with a neighbour instead of taking it back to the depot. I had no idea what the parcel was as I hadn’t done any online shopping recently! I knocked next door and they handed me a parcel addressed to me labelled perishable…

I opened the parcel and was greeted with a red tissue wrapped box with a ‘The Vegan Bakes’ sticker on top. Contained inside underneath more red tissue paper was a cheesy note from Tom and the goods themselves!

It was filled with beautifully presented baked goods which included chocolate brownies, cake pops and cookies. In this Valentine’s box, everything came in pairs which was ideal for sharing! I’m not normally a sharer but under these circumstances I thought I should.

We started with the cake pops which looked amazing. They were absolutely gorgeous and dusted with gold. It was a red velvet cake covered in white chocolate and was absolutely divine. The cake was moist and the chocolate wasn’t too thick which made it nice and easy to eat.

We then had the cookies for breakfast, and again, they were delicious. Not hard or soft with the perfect crunch on the outside of the cookie. They were filled with so many chocolate chunks and the actual cookie was the size of my hand.

At the time of me writing this blog post, we have not yet tried the brownies, but based on how incredible the cake pops and cookies were, I’m sure we will not be disappointed.

Visit The Vegan Bakes website to see their full range of products because there is so much available. They do gift boxes as well as bespoke cakes, and of course, they are all vegan. So have a browse and try them out!