It filled the shower with gorgeous citrus smells and I used it over my body as a scrub. It was refreshing and calming at the same time and I finished my shower feeling invigorated.
As with most Lush products, I love this shower bomb. It’s a different option for people which is nice and does the job perfectly.
In the evening, I decided to relax with the Spacemask that I received in my Cruelty Free Beauty Box in December.
To describe it as an interesting experience would be accurate. The mask itself was great. Soft and comfortably hooked behind my ears.
Waiting for the mask to get hot felt weird, and the actual heating feeling felt super strange and to be completely honest, a little uncomfortable. I started to feel a little woozy from the heat so I took it off after about 10 minutes.
As soon as the mask was off, I actually felt great. The steamy feeling hit and it was super soothing and refreshing.
Although the after experience was lovely, the actual experience ruined it for me and I don’t think I will be buying these or using them again. It definitely wasn’t for me.
I had the absolute pleasure of being one of the first people to see and sample Got No Beef, a new 100% vegan restaurant, in Cardiff City Centre.
The Story of Got No Beef
Got No Beef is a family run business, based in South Wales and they are 100% vegan. Before opening this restaurant, you may have seen them at vegan events and vegan festivals up and down the country, selling their incredible double stacked burgers.
They’ve now decided to settle down in Cardiff City Centre and set up base for their delicious burgers, and many more additions to the menu!
For regular updates, make sure you Like them on Facebook and Follow them on their Twitter and Instagram accounts: @GotNoBeefUK.
If you’re familiar with Cardiff, you may know a little street in the city centre called Barrack Lane. This street houses other restaurants and is only a short walk from both Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen St train stations. Got No Beef is situated on the end that’s closest to Debenhams.
For those of you who drive and park in St Davids 2 Car Park, the restaurant is a very short walk from the shopping centre.
The location is great as it’s so easy to find and get to. It really is in the heart of the city centre.
So down to the most important part… the food!
As well as maintaining their stamp on having the BEST vegan burgers (my honest opinion, and I’m sure shared with many others), they have left no corner unturned when putting together their new menu. There are plenty of options, you will be spoilt for choice.
I was treated to a feast of dishes which included Cauliflower Wings, Loaded Fries, Mac & Cheeze, Beer Battered Cod and 2 Hot Dogs…
I don’t even know where to begin… Incredible doesn’t even cut it.
Let’s start with the immaculate presentation. If the food isn’t the most instagrammable food you’ve ever seen, then I have no idea where you’ve been eating. The attention to detail was so clear to see, even down to the fabulous grease proof paper with the logo emblazoned all over it.
Now for the taste… YUM! My favourite dish was the loaded fries. BBQ Jackfruit and Cheeze sauce all over the fries with spring onions and slices of chilli. The beer battered cod had an amazing texture and it wasn’t greasy which is a pet hate of mine. The mac and cheeze was lovely and the ‘bacon’ bits were a delicious addition.
I may be a little biased, but Got No Beef is absolutely incredible. The quality of the food and the service is like no other. The restaurant looks fantastic with their gorgeous plant wall at the back and the rustic aesthetic really bringing that comfortable vibe.
This family have clearly poured their heart and soul into the building of this business and they deserve every success. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is truly wonderful to see local vegan businesses finding their feet in Cardiff and paving the way for the rest of the country and even the world to follow.
Make sure you follow all their social media pages at @GotNoBeefUK to ensure you don’t miss out on any important updates.
I urge you all to visit and support this small, ethical, local business. You won’t regret it!
A few months ago, the well known chain Pho came to Cardiff on Church Street in the city centre.
My siblings have been before and Tom’s sister said the food was great when she visited the Bristol branch so we decided to go visit Pho in Cardiff.
We went on a Wednesday early evening and it was quiet with plenty of room. It started filling out by 6pm. We were greeted at the door and given menus. I asked if there was a specific vegan menu and was told that there isn’t a specific one but everything labelled vegetarian can be made vegan.
There is plenty to choose from on the menu which was really great to see. I recommend checking it out online, here!
I ordered the Chả giò (crispy spring rolls) and the Bún chay Huế noodle soup (hot & spicy tofu & mushroom) with pho noodles instead of bún noodles. Tom ordered the tofu and mushroom Phở Xào. He also ordered the Spicy Lemonade for his drink!
Tom said his noodles were nice, but the tofu was salty. I tried some and he wasn’t wrong! For some reason, the tofu in his phở xào were unbearably salty and not enjoyable at all.
The spicy lemonade was nice, but I think it’s likely to be an acquired taste so be prepared not to like it. The spring rolls were lovely and the peanut sauce was delicious. It was really nostalgic for me as they tasted similar to the ones that my mum makes us. The hot and spicy noodles were lovely but not as spicy as I had anticipated. Luckily, there is chilli paste and sriracha sauce on the table to be added.
I really enjoyed my food and the atmosphere and service was good. We spent around £30 in total for our drinks, mains and shared starter (ordered as a side) which I thought was reasonable. I’ll definitely be making another visit in the near future, or maybe a Deliveroo order to the office…!
Tom and I recently went to London to see Lizzo at the O2 in Brixton (FYI, she was incredible!). We always leave our travel planning till the last minute and train prices increase exponentially.
We’ve taken to driving to the outskirts of London and parking somewhere for a few days using JustPark (which I highly recommend). We parked at the Novotel in Hammersmith which was a short walk from the underground. Inside Hammersmith Broadway Shopping Centre is now Crosstown Doughnuts!
I’ve seen Crosstown Doughnuts in Camden before but they used to only do vegan doughnuts on specific days and specific stores so we never tried them.
It appears now that the demand for them has made them change tact and vegan options are now available!
Everything is clearly labelled and they have a premium range of doughnuts that is slightly more expensive. On our way into London, I chose the strawberry and smoked coconut and Tom chose the dark chocolate truffle.
We held onto the doughnuts and ate them when we got back to the hotel after the gig as a treat to ourselves.
I don’t even know where to begin. The doughnut was so pretty and delicious! The dough wasn’t heavy and the jam in middle was more like a jelly which was ideal and a lot less messy than a standard doughnut. The flavours were amazing.
Tom enjoyed his dark chocolate truffle one also and has since raved about the quality of the doughnut.
I enjoyed my strawberry and smoked coconut doughnut so much that on our way back, I bought another doughnut to take back and enjoy in the comfort of my own home!
Again, it did not disappoint. The dough was perfect and the jelly filling was still delicious. My only criticism of the strawberry and English sparking rose doughnut is that the biscuit crumbs on top should have been more engrained into the icing as much of it fell off and ended up in my lap. It did not however hinder my enjoyment of eating it.
Crosstown Doughnuts have branches all over London, but they also have a specific vegan branch in Marylebone. If you’re visiting London (or living there) make sure you stop off for a doughnut. You won’t be disappointed!
As a woman, it can be difficult trying to find good gift sets for men. The market is definitely catered more for women than it is for men. I did a spot of shopping a few weeks ago and was inspired to write this post based on what I saw!
Here’s just a few recommend brands and products and if I come up with some more ideas, I’ll make sure I write another post.
So when I was wandering around my local Superdrug the other day, I was enticed by their Christmas section and also pleasantly surprised. I found a few of their own brand men’s gift sets which were lovely and also very reasonably priced!
If you’re unsure what to buy for someone, a gift set like this is a great alternative as they usually contain useful things that they are likely to use.
What’s also great about Superdrug is that their items are clearly labelled vegan which makes it much easier to shop.
Browsing online with Superdrug has also become so much easier as they have a vegan Christmas section which you can find here!
Manmane are a completely vegan brand that sells male grooming products. We’ve seen them at vegan events around the country before, and being welsh myself, it’s nice to support local business!
Tom loves their products. They’re high quality and there are so many different options.
I highly recommend taking a visit to their website to have a look at the products. A few include: bread oils and balms, soaps, perfumes and candles.
If you have a bearded loved one in your life, you should absolutely check out Manmane for their products! They make wonderful gifts and they’ll be hooked going forward.
This one will be a short one but I do have to rave about it. Maria Nila sell vegan wax grooming products that are perfect gifts!
Tom has always really struggled to find good hair product for his hair type. He’s got fine hair but a lot of volume.
I took a punt and bought him the Maria Nila Gneiss Moulding Paste. He absolutely loves it and can now style his hair properly without the unnecessary gunk of product all over his hair. And an added bonus is that it smells great too!
Last weekend, we went to The Big Welsh Wedding Show in the Depot in Cardiff and we went out to lunch afterwards with Tom’s family. We made our way back into the city centre and decided that we’d go to Mowgli Street Food.
This is not to be mistaken with Mowgli’s which is a restaurant on City Road in Cardiff.
Mowgli Street Food is a chain that has a few branches all over the UK. We walked in and the decor was lovely and atmospheric. There were fairy lights hung up, decorative trees and hanging lights.
The vegan menu was extensive with loads of options so we were in our element!
Tom and I ordered bits to share which included:
Fenugreek Kissed Fries
Calcutta Tangled Greens
Elephant brand Roti breads
Mowgli Basmati Rice
The food was amazing. I would like to say now, don’t order a portion of rice each! 1 portion for 2 people is more than enough.
The Fenugreek Kissed Fries were delicious. The potatoes were crispy and the whole dish was delicious. I could have easily ordered another one. The Temple Dahl was warm and flavourful and the Calcutta Tangled Greens were surprising but really good.
Tom’s mum and dad ordered the Holy Chow, which I didn’t try but it did look amazing.
I absolutely recommend visiting Mowgli Street Food. The service was excellent, the atmosphere was great and the food was fantastic. The prices are incredibly reasonable and we spent around £16 per person!
My sister found a recipe on a vegan Facebook group for bakewell slices that she wanted to try so we went to our local supermarket to have a go at baking it ourselves! We adjusted the recipe slightly to accommodate our tastes. I also made it for the bake-off we are holding at work which were a hit!
The first time round, we made it with a shop-bought ready made short crust pastry which was nice and easy. The blind bake was a little more difficult, only because we didn’t have the tools we needed but we made it work!
The second time round, I found a short-crust pastry recipe online which I used, which you can find here. It was a little bit more effort with the manual labour but it was the same.
Ingredients for the Frangipane Mix
120g self-raising flour
120g caster sugar
130g ground almonds
40g desiccated coconut
130ml vegetable oil
50ml plant milk
1tsp almond extract
Pastry ingredients/Ready-made pastry
Flaked almonds and/or cherries for topping
Line your baking tin with your pastry (ready-made or from scratch). If you have a loose bottomed tin, you won’t need to line your tin with parchment paper, but if you don’t then I highly recommend it!
Blind bake this as instructed.
Mix the frangipane ingredients in a bowl. If it seems a little dry, add a bit more plant milk.
When your pastry is baked and taken out of the oven, let it cool.
Spread jam along the bottom of the pastry to your taste. I personally like a thick layer.
Put the frangipane mix on top of the jam.
Bake for another 30 minutes.
Take out of the oven and let it cool completely!
Mix icing as per instructions on the packet.
Pour over the bake as evenly as you can.
Spread flaked almonds over the top to set in the icing.
Let the icing harden before eating!
The bake went down a treat at work and everyone enjoyed it! It came out much better than I anticipated, but I do wish I had lined the bottom with more jam!
I took some home for Tom and he was impressed! I’ll definitely be making it again in the future.
If you try out the recipe, make sure you share your photos and I hope you enjoy!
So a more serious blog post this week… I’m going to share with you guys the reasons why I became vegan in the first place.
My vegan story isn’t your normal vegan story, but I’m sure many of you share a similar story.
I’ve been with my boyfriend, Tom, for nearly 6 years now and a year or so into our relationship, he started transitioning towards vegetarianism. This started with going pescatarian first (for those of you that don’t know, that’s eating only fish and no other meat) and the plan was to slowly move from that into veganism.
Before Tom went vegan, he was a big meat eater. He rejected salads, never tried houmous, and was a regular KFC customer. He abandoned his plan of slowly transitioning and went straight into veganism from pescatarianism. I remember when he told me, we were lying in bed and I cried. I told him it was an entire lifestyle change which he didn’t understand at the time but slowly realised.
My reaction was certainly over the top, but veganism wasn’t anywhere near as accessible as it is now. We went out for food a lot and I knew that eating out would become a struggle. Our supermarket shops took longer due to the research required into our ingredients lists, but we adjusted. We remained an omni household where I continued to eat meat. With Tom being the cook of the household, he cooked meat for me for a while until he said he didn’t want to anymore. From that moment, we became a primarily vegan household but I continued to eat meat outside of the home.
Tom had a knack for making people think. He didn’t do it on purpose, but he eventually got his entire family to transition to vegan. Even my sister went vegan before I did. In fact, we used to argue about the discussions we had and I asked him to stop speaking to me about veganism, which he did.
Documentaries started coming out such as What The Health and Cowspiracy. I still haven’t actually seen them, but the world started changing with the demand. More and more people were signing up to veganuary and with this demand, everything was becoming easier. Supermarkets and restaurants were offering more vegan options, veganism was finally becoming accessible!
I was sat on the sofa one day and turned to Tom and simply said, I’m going to go vegan. I wouldn’t say anything just switched, but I’d already made the majority of the way there with being vegan in the household. The only additional change at that point was to only eat vegan outside of the home which was really only at work.
With my clearer understanding of veganism, it just made the most sense. It may have taken me a few years to get there, but it was the best decision I’ve made. It’s not possible to argue with facts.
Veganism is better for the environment.
Veganism is better for your health.
Veganism is accessible.
For those of you who haven’t taken the plunge yet, or are planning to, make sure you educate yourself. I was fortunate to have Tom to help me and educate me, but it is an important life decision. You need to eat the right things to remain healthy and your journey will be eye opening.
Don’t worry about what people have to say either. This is your decision, not theirs! For those of you still with omni other halves, play the long game. They’ll get there through exposure, not pushing.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I hope it helps you.
I’m far from an expert on veganism, but if you have any questions or would like to know more about my experience, leave a comment!
A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Ella came to Cardiff to visit and we met up for some lunch. We were originally going to go to Yo! but the queue was long and we were incredibly hungry.
Pizza Express was only upstairs and I know they have vegan options so we settled for some pizza and doughballs!
To start, I had the Baked Garlic Mushroom. I’m a big mushroom fan and it was really delicious. The garlic flavour was perfect and not too garlicky (if that’s even a word!). The ‘cheese’ was lovely and being sat on a bed of rocket was a nice addition. My only criticism is that it was very oily, but I still enjoyed it.
For my main, I ordered a mushroom pizza which I don’t remember the name of. The pizza was as expected but I think I may have gone for overkill on the mushrooms!
I think the ‘cheese’ used is mozzarisella and it was lovely and creamy. The base was fine, nothing to shout about but it hit the spot so I most certainly can’t complain.
I didn’t order any desserts as I was so full but they have a few interesting options which you can find on their vegan menu.
It was a Saturday afternoon so it was quite busy but the service provided was excellent. They were quick and friendly and made sure we were well catered for.
If you’re stuck for options and just want an easy meal at a chain restaurant, I recommend Pizza Express. It’s not a usual place for me to visit as I’m normally at Zizzi’s but I enjoyed it!