Adopt, Don’t Shop

It’s approaching Christmas time, and we all know how popular pets are to be given as gifts. I don’t often do serious posts but I feel this topic is important to write about.

Animals are amazing, and I’m sure my vegan readers out there will be agreeing with me. Pets bring life into your home. They become one of you with their personalities being known to you and the love you have for one another. They become a member of the family.

I never had pets when I was growing up as I was never allowed them, but when Tom and I moved in together, we took in his childhood dog, Max, from the family home. Max was not adopted by his parents but was a cheap buy back in the day! He was a gorgeous long haired border collie with a speckled ear and one eye patch. We sadly lost him 2 years ago, and my heart was in pieces. I still miss him terribly to this day.

Dog breeding is becoming a serious problem in the world. They’re being so heavily bred that they are starting to have serious genetic health problems, all just so that designer breeds such as pugs and frenchies exist for people to buy.

Every Christmas, numerous dogs are left on the streets and abandoned due to families not being able to take care of them or their expectations not being met. For me, this is no different to abandoning a child. It is not acceptable to bring someone into your home, only to leave them when it doesn’t suit you anymore.

Some shelters will euthanise animals due to the unmanageable numbers they receive which is horrendous and unfair. An animals life is not the decision of others which is why I urge you to re-home an animal instead of buying.

Sami

Sami was adopted by Tom’s mum and dad a few years ago after they found her roaming around Greece looking for scraps. She was a stray dog with fleas and matted fur. They took her to the local dog home, Animal Rescue Kefalonia, but couldn’t bare to leave her so started the adoption process. Sami joined us back in the UK only a few short weeks after and has slotted into the family.

Sami has so much love for everyone and has such a gentle demeanour. She’s well behaved with the backyard chickens, and has even been known to pick up their eggs gently without cracking them! She’s cheeky but soft and loving and we all love her unconditionally.

Ned

Ned is a feral cat that Tom’s sister, Hannah, adopted from a local rehoming centre. Like all cats, he’s incredibly independent but has had no issues settling into the family home. He’s a cheeky cat who snuck into his first pack of Dreamies and ate the entire bag! He gets along well with their Alsatian, Shadow, and is now an integral part to their family.

Even Lucy Watson, reality TV star from Made In Chelsea, has said previously that she regrets not rehoming her first 2 pets and has since re-homed a kitten.

Before you go out and search for pets, please strongly consider adopting and rehoming one. There are so many different homes and kennels where there are plenty of animals who require forever homes.

Here are just a few well known re-homing centres, but make sure you put in the research as there are plenty of them all over the UK!

Men’s Vegan Grooming Gifts

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.

Superdrug

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

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.

Maria Nila

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!

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe [October 2019]

Another 2 months has passed us by so it’s time for another run through of my latest delivery of the Deluxe Cruelty Free Beauty Box! I was lucky enough to win this box this month in their usual sharing giveaway. I was so chuffed.

If you want to read about the box before this, click here for the post. Previous posts can be found under the Beauty section.

As always, the box did not disappoint and had so many goodies that I cannot wait to try!

This months box contained the following:

  • My HairCare Rescue My Hair Hydrate Shampoo Bar (RRP £14)
  • Natura Pumpkin Sheet Mask (RRP £5.95)
  • Fairypants perfume (RRP £1.50)
  • Palm Bar Body Butter Bar (RRP £5)
  • Bellapierre Liquid Gold 24k (RRP £30)
  • Niu Body Glow Facial Serum (RRP £27.95)
  • Gardner’s Halloween Cookie (RRP £2)
  • Vegan Bunny Chai Latte Soy Candle (RRP £13)
  • Jeavon’s Rizo (RRP £2.75)

The total value of the Deluxe box comes in at £102.15 but will only cost you £39.95.

I’ve eaten the cookie and Rizo bar already and both were a dream. I haven’t had shortbread for a long time and the Gardner’s cookie was a delicious shortbread.

I’ve written about Natura products in various other blog posts I’ve written and I love the sheet masks. They’re a really lovely treat so I’m looking forward to using this pumpkin one.

My final favourite is the Vegan Bunny Chai Latte candle. I’ve actually bought Vegan Bunny candles off Etsy before, but not for myself! I’ve bought Christmas scented candles as stocking fillers for my family members and regretted not buying one for myself. The Chai Latte smell is incredible! I haven’t lit the candle yet but I can’t wait till I do!

I absolutely cannot recommend The Cruelty Free Beauty Box enough. They only send every 2 months which is more than enough for me, and every month is full of new and interesting treats. I adore The Deluxe box with the lifestyle treats. It’s so nice to receive new things that I’d never normally buy for myself or want to try.

Why I Became Vegan

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!

Fenty Beauty Matte Match Stix

I’ve written about Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Matte Foundation before which is now my go-to foundation and I highly recommend it! Blog post can be found here.

I convinced my friend Leah to treat herself to the foundation as she’d finished her non-cruelty-free foundation. While she was there, she also treated herself to the Match Stix Trio.

The intrigue got to me so I had a look. To emphasise here, don’t fall into the trap of buying the trio! On the FAQ, it states that only the matte match stix are vegan, not the shimmer stix.

What’s great about the match stix trio is that it provides you with an idea of your colouring based on your foundation colour. Mine is 230 so I sit within the medium colour range. So I bought the 2 matte match stix within that trio which were Bamboo and Mocha.

Each stick is a magnet so they stick to each other which is an interesting feature and likely to be beneficial if you have a lot of them.

As you can see one of them is a concealer and the other is a contour. Both are cream and incredibly easy to use! The product itself it’s very easily blendable with a brush or your finger and it creates the exact look and contour that I want. I’m far from a contouring expert but this makes it much easier. And for those of you who like a stronger contour look, this can be applied as heavily or lightly as you want!

At £21 each, they’re not the cheapest product on the market, but I’ve yet to find any contour set that comes close to matching in quality and perfect tone matching.

I’m incredibly happy with my purchase and they work great for me. I’ve read some reviews that they’re not great on dry skin so it may be worth doing some research and popping to your local boots to see if you can sample it but I love them!

Self Care Sundays: Issue 4

It’s been a while since I posted a Self Care Sunday post so apologies! It’s been a busy few weeks but I was finally able to take a beat…

Here are the products I treated myself to this time.

Lush: Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

I am a big fan of a bubble bar. Bath bombs are lovely and smell amazing, but bubble bars give you the same thing with all of the bubbles! I bought the Lush Unicorn Horn bubble bar a few months ago and finally got to use it.

The bubble bar was lovely and didn’t produce heavy amounts of glitter which is a positive for me as I don’t like coming out of the bath caked in glitter or shimmer.

It was lovely and relaxing, and as always, I highly recommending visiting Lush for all your bathing and bubble needs!

Superdrug: Dead Sea Purifying Clay Mask

I’m not sure if I’ve written about this face mask before but it is my absolute favourite face mask. It is so refreshing and great for my pores.

It’s a Superdrug own brand mask and costs only 99p. It’s clearly labelled vegan which is great too. Here‘s the link to the product.

My only criticism of this is the packaging. I find these disposable packs really inconvenient and quite wasteful. I feel like I end up wasting product. I usually end up emptying it into a small Lush pot that I have spare and lying around to try and get the most of it.

PIXI: FortifEYE patches

Finally, I bought a new product the other day and have been using these on a few occasions, usually just when I’m sitting around watching TV.

Everyone loves an under-eye mask and these ones are great. There’s lots of pairs in the pot, but admittedly they are a little pricey. I managed to get these on LookFantastic with a discount code so it worked out quite well.

The reviews were really good and when I finally got them I definitely didn’t disagree. They were really easy to use and left my eyes feeling really refreshed. I do think that they’re lifting and firming well and I’m noticing the bags under my eyes less and less.

Don’t forget to treat yourselves every now and then because you deserve it!

Vegan Gift Guide

I know it’s early, but I’m going to mention the C word… Christmas!

I’m sure plenty of you (if you’re not vegan yourselves) have vegan relatives and friends that you don’t know what to purchase for.

I pride myself on being a good gift buyer. I pay attention to the people I love and note their needs for future reference. I won’t know your friends and families personally, but here are some shops and generic gifts that many vegans would be pleased to receive!

Holland and Barrett

H&B is a health shop that you can find on most high streets. H&B has so many vegan products available in their stores, including chocolate and snacks, as well as beauty items so it’s always worth popping in.

For Tom’s birthday recently, I popped in to pick up chocolate for him. They have a great range of vegan chocolate there which includes Vego and Nomo. He’s made his way through most of it now and loved it all.

My personal favourite was the Cocoalibre raspberry bar!

Lush

Those of you who are avid readers will know that I’m a fan of Lush. I usually stock up on bath bombs and bubble bars which I think make fantastic gifts for people during the holiday season.

Come Christmas time, Lush releases a whole range of Christmas gift boxes as well as individual items. Gift boxes are always a great gift as they usually give you a bit of everything. There are plenty of boxes to choose from so this isn’t specific to Christmas but I do love the Christmas boxes.

Another thing that Lush offers are knot wraps instead of boxes. This gives you the flexibility of choosing which items you’d like your receiver to have, including the design of the wrap.

Everything in Lush is labelled so make sure you pick vegan items. There is a clear distinction between the vegetarian and vegan items so if you’re not sure, ask the staff and I’m sure they’d be more than willing to help.

Ethical Superstore

When we start approaching the Christmas season, I like to take a visit to the Ethical Superstore online store. There’s usually lots of goodies and it’s really easy to filter for vegan items on their website.

My usual Christmas order will consist of chocolate for stocking fillers and there will always be some Booja Booja chocolates, usually for myself…

There are so many items available to browse and buy. Scented candles, clothes, bags, shoes, etc! Depending on who you’re buying for, there’ll be plenty of selection available.

Clothing

There are lots of vegan clothing brands that I’ve come across in my short time as a vegan with their appearances at various vegan events in Cardiff!

Viva La Vegan

Tom loves the Viva La Vegan range. There are plenty of t-shirts, hoodies and accessories to choose from. Their designs are simple and effective but here are so many designs and options to choose from that there’s bound to be something there.

I love that they also do badges, stickers and reusable items like tote bags and reusable cutlery! If clothing wasn’t what you were after, then these are great options too.

Wear Your Voice

Wear Your Voice have some truly beautiful designs for their clothing. It’s impactful but gorgeous. Their designs range from stunning animal drawings (which are designed by them and won’t be found anywhere else) to some more simple designs.

Eden Perfumes

We’ll finish this post off on Eden Perfumes. I’ve written about Eden Perfumes before in this blog post. They are based in Brighton and are completely vegan and cruelty free. They make so many different fragrances and there will be a cruelty-free and vegan version of your favourite there!

If you know someone who’s recently turned vegan or is transitioning over, Eden Perfumes will be a great alternative for their favourite perfumes. Lots of people forget about the need for cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics so this is also a friendly reminder, as well as a great gift!

If there’s anything you guys would like hints and tips on, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help!