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!

Self Care Sundays: Issue 9

I was too lazy to run myself a bath so I had a nice shower with a shower bomb and had a very interesting experience with

Lush Not Sleepy Shower Bomb

The Not Sleepy shower bomb made such a nice change to the lengthy baths and bubble bars I use.

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.

Spacemasks

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.

Planning a Vegan Wedding: Issue 3

Wedding websites… Do or don’t?

A wedding website isn’t for everyone, but I think they’re a good idea. It’s nice to have one place to collate important information for your guests. I know not everyone is tech savvy, but at least it’s there for those who are.

Building your Website

I decided to build mine using Wix.com which I would absolutely recommend. There are a lot of website builders similar to Wix out there so the world is your oyster. I used Wix upon recommendation from a friend of mine who built her wedding website on Wix too.

The great thing about Wix is that they give you the option to build your website from a template or to start completely from scratch. I built our wedding website using a template and it actually gave me loads of ideas on what to put on there.

It’s a drag and drop style website but there is a Dev Mode option that allows those who are code savvy to make custom code changes and hook into any external APIs (if they so wish).

Wix at its most basic level is free so it’s good just to play around first if you’re not sure as it won’t cost you anything.

Another bonus is that you can lock your website down with a password. This means that you can limit those who can see your website and the content to your guests (as long as you give them the password!).

Domain Names

For those of you who don’t know, a domain name is simply just a website name. The Wix free domain name isn’t always very meaningful, so for your wedding website, you might want to opt for something your guests will remember.

We went for http://www.annabelandtom.com which I thought would be a nice and easy one, and fortunately it was still available.

You can purchase domain names from various registrars online, but I went on GoDaddy. I was able to purchase my domain name for 2 years (which is more than enough) for about £20. GoDaddy was one of the cheaper options across all the registrars but I recommend shopping around in case you find better deals.

Linking GoDaddy with my Wix website was really easy. GoDaddy provided clear instructions on what details to put in, and it only took a few hours for the domain name to take affect which was much quicker than I anticipated.

The only thing is that you have to pay for a premium plan with Wix to be able to link your domain name to the site but there are lots of different options, including ad-free ones at a higher price.

Website Content

It is entirely up to you what information you put on your website, and there’s plenty of other sites and posts that will tell you what kind of helpful information you can include.

  • Your couple origin story
  • Accommodation options in the area of your venue
  • Registry information (in our case, we’ve asked for no gifts)
  • Information about the wedding venue and it’s location
  • Local Transport company information

We also included a little snippet on ‘traditions’ as we won’t be taking each others names, and we also reminded our guests that our wedding will be entirely vegan!

As the plans get more settled over the next year, I plan to add more to the website, even pages for day guests and evening guests to give them specific information about the day.

I included the website details on my Save The Date cards, and I’ve had a few compliments so far so I think the effort has paid off.

Self Care Sundays: Issue 8

Another Sunday has come around, and another pampering and relaxation session.

I’m still making my way through my Christmas Lush haul and the Pixi FortifEYE patches which you can read about here.

Here is what I used this week…

Lush Snowman Dreaming Bath Bomb

This was a lovely simple bath bomb with gorgeous smells and colours. Lush described it the scents as lavender and cedarwood oil. I smelt lavender and the smell wasn’t over-powering and overwhelming.

It was an incredibly relaxing smell and it was nice to soak into. A lovely post-Christmas treat!

Lush Candy Cane Bubble Bar

As much as I love a bath bomb, I really love bubbles. I think I’m going to have to start giving up on bath bombs and only buying bubble bars.

When I topped up the bath with some more hot water, I decided to fill the bath with my beloved bubbles so I used the Candy Cane reusable bubble bar.

You simply run it under water and let it produce all the bubbles you want. It leaves you with a lovely, bubbly and red bath smelling of lemon and bergamot.

I would definitely recommend a bubble bar. It’s so nice to have bubbles and it makes it feel like a real bath! Lush have a huge range of bubble bars so have a browse online.

Planning a Vegan Wedding: Issue 2

So you have your venue sorted… What do you do next?

The Wedding Planning list is absolutely endless and is also completely dependent on what you want from your wedding day!

It was a little easier for us as Tom’s sisters had either just had their wedding day or were getting married very shortly so they had experienced everything they already could!

We decided to try a Wedding Fayre as Tom’s sisters had been to a few and enjoyed them. We booked and paid for tickets to The Big Welsh Wedding Show in October 2019 which was held in The Depot in Cardiff. I asked for a list of exhibitors from the organisers and I was interested in seeing what was there.

I found the whole thing incredibly overwhelming. As someone who’s just started planning a wedding, the event seemed a bit much and very ‘pushy’. We arrived and I had to fill out a form with my personal details. I remember specifically opting out of marketing e-mails, and yet somehow I ended up on the marketing list and receiving e-mails from various exhibitors as a few weeks went by.

There were A LOT of exhibitors which was great for window shopping. However, I felt a bit bored as I wandered around as I found that exhibitors were either too pushy and keen to talk to you, or couldn’t be bothered to make an effort with you at all.

I would like to take the time now though to rave about one company I saw there, Pretty Little Pictures. They are a lovely couple that run a photo booth company and they were so nice! They demo’d their photo booth box and back drop and we walked away with a cute little photo strip. I highly recommend dropping them a message if you’re interested in having a photo booth for any occasion.

Other exhibitors included:

  • Various venues, including Oldwalls
  • QuirkIt – A styling, rental company with the loveliest owners!
  • Paperdate Stationery
  • Photoboth companies with included PLP (as mentioned above) and Ultrabooth
  • And many more that I don’t remember the names of but included cakes, celebrants, car services, accessories and a string quartet.

We started talking to exhibitors just as the first catwalk of the day started. The catwalk was just models walking up and down in wedding attire, which is all well and good, but none of them had the same body shape or size as me so didn’t really encourage me . Additionally, the music was blasting so loud in the venue, it made it impossible for me to talk to any exhibitors at a reasonable volume.

As much as I would like to recommend everyone to go to a wedding fayre, from my first experience, I wouldn’t go again. I didn’t enjoy it, and you can usually find what you’re looking for online anyway!!

Saying that, I’m sure that there are plenty of you who would find it beneficial so don’t write it off just yet. I recommend checking the list of exhibitors and checking to see if any of them interest you. Go prepared with questions for those you do want to see!

Self Care Sundays: Issue 7

January has come to an end and I’m still slowly making my way through the Christmas Lush haul that I received, so here’s another edition of Self Care Sundays with more wonderful Lush products!

As we move into a new month of 2020, it’s important to keep taking time to relax and recharge for your own health and benefit.

Along with my usual bath products, I’m still making my way through the Pixi FortifEYE patches and the Sand & Sky Pink Clay Mask which you can read about in my previous Self Care Sundays post.

Rose Jam Bubble Bar

I loved the Rose Jam bubble bar. It’s bright pink and smells fantastic, as well as covering my fingers with glitter!

It didn’t take long to dissolve and fill the bath full of gorgeous scents and amazing bubbles. Some rose scents can be really overwhelming, but the scent of this bubble bar isn’t strong and was really relaxing to be in. I must have spent almost 2 hours in the bath, enjoying my relaxation time.

Lush have hit it out of the park with this bubble bar. It is easily one of my favourite ones so far and more importantly, it is still available to buy on their website.

At £4.95 a pop, it’s not the cheapest bath product out there so it’s definitely a once in a while treat, but it’s definitely worth it.

stylPro Brush Cleaner

Many of you know that I have no control over spending my money…

My lovely friend Emily received a stylPro brush cleaner for Christmas and was showing me how easy it was to clean her brushes. I naturally was amazed and bought one for myself to share in the joy!

There is no excuse not to wash your brushes regularly with this product in your dresser. It saves so much time by cleaning and drying in one hit.

I got my stylPro on QVC when they were on introductory offer for £29.99. It’s gone up since so it’ll be something to consider if you’re thinking of buying it.

The set came with all equipment, with the addition of 2 make up brushes and the make up brush cleaner. The set contains the cleaning bowl, the brush cleaner and dryer. Most interesting though is the fact that the make up brush cleaner is vegan!

Based on use, it seems to be an oil based cleaner, and it is excellent. Combined with the brush cleaner and dryer, it is so convenient to use and strips the make up off my brushes so easily. I looked at buying the cleaner separately but it’s quite expensive so I’m not 100% sure I’ll buy it again soon, but I’ll have to see how easy it is for me to clean my brushes with the usual soap and water!

It’s so easy to use and the silicone collars come in so many different sizes that there’s going to be at least 1 that will fit on snugly on your brush.

I haven’t used the make up brushes yet but they seem nice enough.

The stylPro Brush Cleaner is a game changer. It makes cleaning so easy that there really isn’t an excuse to skip a brush clean anymore! I can do all my regular use brushes in under 15 minutes, clean and dry, ready to use again.