Pure Nails: Halo Gel Polish

I absolutely love doing my nails. I like to be able to look down and see colour at the end of my finger tips instead of plain nails. It’s the little joys in the life…!

I’ve been doing them with gel polish for a while now and it can be quite difficult to find vegan gel polish. My go-to website for good quality nail polish is Nail Polish Direct. I popped on the website the other day and there was a whole section on vegan polish.

I spotted a brand I hadn’t seen before which was Pure Nails. The polish is reasonably priced and comes in so many different colours. You can find the vegan declaration on their site here that says they do not test on animals or use any animal by-products.

I bought 3 nail polishes which included a matte top coat, a reactive colour changing polish called Denim Pink and a multi glitter called Pandora.

When I did my nails last weekend, I chose Pandora. I’m like a magpie when it comes to shiny things and Pandora was the perfect shade!! It’s a glitter polish made up of pink, purple and copper and when caught in different lights, looks like an entirely different colour each time. I’m obsessed.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with gel nails, they have much more staying power than normal polish and all you’d need is an LED lamp which you can probably get on eBay. I do my nails around every 2 weeks now and I only choose to do them because of the nail growth!

I’ve only just painted these nails so I’m not sure what the staying power of this specific polish is yet but the colour is amazing and I had no other issues with it.

They’re definitely worth a look!

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!

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?!

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.

SMUG Sleep Mask

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!

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!