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.

Working From Home Tips

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!

Home office work station

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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 :’).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Making excellent use of Skype with my colleagues

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!

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 Β£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!

Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress

Some of you may be aware that Tom and I got engaged last year and we’re now planning our wedding! It’s onto one of the big decisions… the wedding dress!

Where do you start?

For all you brides out there, it is recommended that you buy your wedding gown 12 – 18 months before the wedding. As I’m in that time frame, I started my search.

I had already started following gown designers and local shops on Instagram for inspiration. I didn’t have any expectations as I just loved everything out there.

Visiting Bridal Boutiques

I would never dream of just casually walking into a bridal boutique with a group of friends but I’ve walked by many a window and admired from a far. This attitude played a big part in my nervousness surrounding the idea of trying on dresses.

One of the small boutiques I was following on Facebook and Instagram, Willow In White, put a poll up on Instagram about having an open evening. I thought this was a great idea. It was an opportunity for new brides, such as myself, to go into a boutique without feeling the pressure of any commitment to buy and for her to meet us too. The poll was a resounding success and an opening evening was organised.

I popped along to the open evening on a Thursday evening, was greeted by Mel (the owner) with a glass of bubbly and I felt at ease. There were other brides there and I was able to look at all the gowns and accessories available at the boutique. I booked my gown trial appointment for the Saturday immediately after and I was very excited.

Who do you take with you?

Don’t be shocked… I went on my own and when people have found this out, I’ve had the most peculiar reactions…

My sisters no longer live local and my mum works on the weekends, and due to my last minute appointment decision, they wouldn’t have been available to attend.

I was absolutely fine on my own. Arguably, it was better as the fewer opinions I had the better! Even though I am quite a decisive person, I am easily swayed by other people’s opinions, especially when they’re my family as I value their opinion the most. Without them there, it forced me to think about my own opinions!

By going by myself, I picked a dress that I fell in love with, not anyone else. For those who are more strong minded than I am, take a few of your nearest and dearest!

How do you know if you’ve found the one?

I asked this question to everyone and I got the same answer from almost everyone… When you know, you know. And it’s true.

There were so many dresses that I loved and was even surprised by, but when the one was on, I knew.

I couldn’t stop looking at it in the mirror and I didn’t want to take it off. It made me feel so special and I didn’t even want to put on any of the other gowns again because I was just so in love with it.

My Experience Summarised

I was nervous going into my gown trial. I was worried that I wouldn’t suit anything and that I wouldn’t like anything. But after the first gown went on, everything shifted and I was so excited.

A big part of my amazing experience was meeting Mel. As I went on my own, she was a massive help and a big part of my experience. I valued her opinion and she asked all the right questions to get the one.

As much as I loved the experience, I’m glad I found the one with Mel at Willow In White because I wouldn’t want to traipse around town trying on all sorts of gowns in different boutiques.

For some top tips, follow Willow In White on Instagram and watch their Top Tips highlights!