FAT Hair

Fat Hair

This year I have been experimenting a lot with various haircare ranges, searching out the best ones to turn my sad, lifeless hair into Rapunzel-esque locks.

A brand that I’ve become very familiar with is Samy FAT Hair and I have to say, they really do deliver! The revolutionary sulphate free, thickening shampoo and conditioner are the first step towards gaining the Princess hair you’ve always dreamed of.

Samy’s exclusive FH4 Thickening Complex is a blend of natural extracts and proteins which penetrates each hair strand, increasing the strand’s diameter and expanding the hair from the inside out. The result? My hair feels thicker, fuller, stronger and looks much healthier!

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Fudge Urban Haircare

Last week I stumbled across Fudge Urban in Superdrug and I have to say… I’m hooked!

Fudge Urban

First I’ll start with the product that converted me from another brand completely… the Texture Spray, which is scented with ‘Crisp Pear and Sweet Vanilla’. My goodness this product is amazing and if you’re a fan of Bumble & Bumble’s Dryspun (as I was) then you will love this! Create big bouncy height at the roots, body at the mid-lengths or add grit and texture to an up-do.  This texture spray will transform your daily hair routine and the scent is gorgeous too.

The second product I bought was the Feel The Heat, heat protection spray. It protects your hair up to 235°, which is perfect when using my super hot straighteners. It also keeps your hair looking healthy and in great shape with soft hold and detangling properties to ease styling. After using this my hair was tamed of any static or flyaways and actually felt quite strong too. This has definitely made it into my top 5 Heat Protection sprays!

Last but by no means least, my absolute new favourite hair styling product… EVER! This super concentrated hold hairspray has 48hr texture & control AND it has the most beautiful fragrance I’ve ever smelt in a haircare product. Fudge Urban market the scent as ‘Iced Coconut Cocktail’ which basically means you… and your hair… smell like Pina Colada for the rest of the day. It’s mega strong hold is ideal when you need your style to stay in place all day and night and as it’s super concentrated a little really does go a long way. For the best styling finish, apply it in layers holding the bottle well away from your hair and mist over, allowing it to dry a little between each application.

Iced Coconut Spray

Fudge Urban really are Haircare Alchemists! Mixing ingredients for fantastic styling effects with beautiful fragrances… I can’t wait to try the rest of the range!

Him…

“How do you walk away from someone you love?”

“How do you make the decision that it’s healthier for you to be out of their life that in it?”

“How do you get over someone you were never even in a relationship with?”

These are questions that spun around in my head for a good 10 months whilst falling in love with someone who I always knew deep down didn’t feel the same way for me.

I know what you must be thinking, but this isn’t my opportunity to have a bitter rant about a man I hate… Quite the opposite, I care for him very much and I’m sure I always will. It’s about realising that it’s okay to walk out of someone’s life if you don’t feel like you belong in it anymore and I’m hoping that you, my readers, can find some comfort in this post.

I’d always played my cards quite close to my chest, not put myself out there too much for risk of being hurt like I have in the past.

But it all changed, the minute I met him

All of a sudden I could feel my cheeks flush, my heart started pounding and my head started spinning …

How do you tell someone you’ve just met that you’ve already fallen head over heels in love with them?

As each month went on, I fell deeper and deeper for this guy and every time he pulled away it just made me want him more.

He was everything I wanted in a man. Intelligent, handsome, kind, sexy, loved his family, had an impressive job and when we together he made me really happy. He made me feel safe.

I’m not going to try and make out he was Mr. Perfect though.  He had his flaws. He had an impressive talent of always needing to be right and had almost narcissistic tendencies which weren’t endearing but mildly annoying.

I found out right at the beginning that what I loved the most though, was that he didn’t let me get away with anything. If I started having a diva strop or acting like a toddler he just wouldn’t put up with it. I loved that. I’d finally met my match.

I’m very headstrong. I know what I want in life and am determined to get there. Sometimes I say and do things which might seem ridiculous to other people, but he got me. He understood me. We just seemed to balance each other perfectly.

So you might be wondering how you can be ‘with’ someone for 10 months without actually being ‘with’ them… Trust me, I still ask myself that same question.

When I finally plucked up the courage to tell him how I felt there was silence. Not even an acknowledgment of what I’d said and it was at that point I knew it was over for good.

I was gutted, as you can imagine. It’s not the kind of sadness where you cry all the time, but more the kind of sadness that overwhelms your entire body, leaving your heart aching and your stomach empty, making you feel weak and tired and yet you can’t sleep because the sadness is in your dreams too, it’s a sadness you can’t escape.

It’s horrible being in love. It makes you so vulnerable. It opens up your heart for someone to get inside and mess you up. You build up all your defences, a whole suit of armour so nothing can hurt you, then one person wanders into your life and you give them a piece of you willingly.

But he didn’t ask for it. He probably did something stupid one day like kissed me or smiled at me in just the right way and that was it.

It’s really hard waiting for something you know will never happen, but it’s even harder to give up when you know it’s everything you want.

The worst bit for me , was making the decision to stop all contact.

It took me a long time to realise that some people can be a certain way with you without loving you. Sometimes they don’t care about you but they want to stay connected to you. They love the benefits that come with knowing you, so they do the bare minimum… a little phone call here and there, just checking in, thinking about you etc. What they are really doing is; maintaining that connection, so that when they need you, they still have a way in.

The bottom line is, walking away isn’t easy. It’s the most difficult thing you’ll do in your life.

But you’ll be better for it. Because every time your phone buzzes you already know it’s not him, you don’t have to hear about new conquests or how great they’re doing. You can take the time to start piecing your heart back together bit by bit.

I’m going to leave you all with this beautiful poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall;

After a while you learn

The subtle difference between

Holding a hand and chaining a soul

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And company doesn’t always mean security

And you begin to learn

That kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes ahead

With the grace of a woman

Not the grief of a child

And you learn

To build all your roads on today

Because tomorrow’s ground is

Too uncertain for plans

And futures have a way

Of falling down in mid flight

After a while you learn

That even sunshine burns if you get too much

So you plant your own garden

And decorate your own soul

Instead of waiting

For someone to bring you flowers

And you learn

That you really can endure

That you are really strong

And you really do have worth

And you learn and you learn

With every good bye you learn.

2015 Goals

So now that I have closed the door on 2014… and the first part of 2015, it’s time for me to look forward to what I want to achieve next. I’ve decided to make my goals a bit more realistic and time-efficient this time around so that hopefully when I’m writing my next one I can fist pump the air because I’m one hot ticket who actually did everything I said I would!

So here’s to you 2015… Let’s be having you! #THISGIRLCAN

– Take the next step in my career

– Get a cover up tattoo on my wrist + one new tattoo

– Personal training session at least once a week

– Get fit & healthy

– Win another Retail Award

– Dye my hair back to red

– Treat my mum to a day out at least twice a month

– Clean out my wardrobe and donate everything I haven’t worn in six months to charity

– Learn how to make my own soup

– Pass my driving test

– Make an ‘Epic Meal Time’ style dish

2014 In A Nutshell

Beep…….. Beep…… Beep…… Did you hear that?!

It’s the sound of Keeping It Welsh being shocked back into life! *Hooray*

As you can all imagine my transition from Cardiff to Reading wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked and my new job has been keeping me nice and busy!

Although this may seem a bit late to be posting this I thought I’d look back at what my aspirations were for last year and how many of them I accomplished.

– Learn to play the piano

Epic Fail

– Take the next step in my career

Completed! “I’m moving on up, moving on up”

– Move back into a flat on my own

Even more of an epic fail, currently back living with mum

– Get a cover up tattoo on my wrist + one new tattoo

Cover up booked in for May, getting my new one in July

– Become a British Heart Foundation volunteer

Didn’t manage to support BHF last year but volunteered at Race for Life with fellow blogger…

‘Welsh Girl Problems’

– Run the Cardiff Half Marathon

Had already moved back to Reading… *sigh*

– Go to the MTV EMAs 2014 in Glasgow

New job threw this out the window entirely

– Learn sign language

Learnt the very basics, still ongoing

– Go camping (I’ve never been…)

Went to Lowlands Festival in Holland AND CAMPED! Was a bloody amazing trip and I’d most definitely go again!

– Give blood

Still need to overcome my fear of needles

– Fall in love

Sadly, it happened.

– Go to 10 gigs/concerts/shows

Completed!

– Eat at 20 new places

Made it to 14… so almost

– Bake at least once a month

Failed miserably

– Visit 5 places on my UK list

I actually saw more places in the UK than I ever have last year, none of them were the designed 5 I’d chosen though

– Try a new sport

Does a Netflix marathon count??

– Do something that scares me

I did the thing which scared me the most… I bared my soul to someone and dropped the L bomb for the very first time.

How I Kept It Welsh

For so long it was my dream to move to Cardiff and 2 years ago I achieved that dream and made the move from Reading to start my new job here. It’s been the best couple of years of my whole life and I have made the most amazing friends who I am going to be very sad to say goodbye to when I start my new job in Reading in a couple of weeks.

When I started looking back at the things I’ve had the chance to do since living here it made me realise just how lucky I have been to have so many opportunities to get involved in exciting things.

So these are the highlights of my time in Cardiff…this is how I spent my time… Keeping It Welsh!

Welsh Flag

Welsh Varsity is a grudge match of epic proportions. Cardiff vs Swansea it’s all or nothing!

Varsity 2013 was the night I met the beautiful Ieva! On a night out a couple of months after I moved to Cardiff, Ieva was bartending at what used to be Pica Pica. I stayed until closing and she came out partying with me for the rest of the night. We ended up in Live Lounge and I acquired a Varsity t-shirt from a random man in the street!

This year Sarah and I actually went to watch the match at the Millennium Stadium. There was such an electrifying atmosphere with all the rivalry banter and drunken shouting. As it’s typically a student event we thought we would feel a bit out of place but there were plenty of other ‘gatecrashers’ and we drank so much cider that we just made friends with everyone there.

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Cardiff Retail Awards 2013 was the professional highlight of my career. With the awards ceremony taking place on my birthday I was excited to say the least and knew there was some really stiff competition in our category. We had a champagne reception and a beautifully cooked dinner and then as the awards came around it was my turn to go on stage and find out my fate. Beating out several other retailers including John Lewis; they announced that my store had won Best Customer Service in Cardiff which was an absolute dream come true and was so rewarding after all the hard work myself and my team had put in.

Retail Awards

St David’s Shopping Centre put a call out for entries for their new blogging team in early 2013 and having just started up my own blog properly I jumped at the chance to get involved. I sent off a mock post to them and got an email the following week saying I had been chosen to be their resident Food & Drinks Blogger. I’ve been to so many amazing restaurants and met some outstanding people including some of my fellow resident bloggers Steph, Joshwa and Eve.

Blog Events

Photography was always something I’d been interested in but always felt unless I really knew what I was doing and had a top-notch camera that I had no business trying to showcase my photos. Over the last year however I have posted many of them on Twitter and had so much positive feedback that it’s really encouraged me to keep going.

Photography

In May this year I was given the massive responsibility of holding the ‘keys’ to Cardiff on the ‘Cardiff Is Yours’ Twitter account. I spent a week tweeting about where I liked going and what I was doing and essentially shared ‘My Cardiff’ with everyone. It was a pleasure to have the chance to get to know so many people through it and I was able to write a blog post for the masterminds behind ‘Cardiff Is Yours’  and also one for Citysocializer.

The one and only Jamie Laing…

Back in October last year I attended the Student Lock-In where I interviewed the one and only Jamie Laing from Made In Chelsea. As a die-hard fan of the show I was pretty much incapable of shaking while I was talking to him but he put me at ease and answered the questions I had for him. We didn’t talk for very long as he had a queue of people waiting to meet him but it was still amazing fun and he’s such a great guy!

Jamie

When I first moved to Cardiff I was finding it difficult to meet people outside of work so I joined Citysocializer which is essentially a local social networking group. Throughout my time with them I became a Community Host and helped to build up the Cardiff base to a team of almost 15 hosts with on average 4 socials every day. Some of the highlights for me were hosting the Halloween party last year, Mexican Night at the flat which I share with my flatmate (who I met through CS) & the Valentines Mingle at Vodka Revs which saw over 30 single Citysocializers descend for cocktails.

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I’ve been to some amazing gigs since living in Cardiff but my favourites have to be Our Last Night (Clwb Ifor Bach), Daytona Lights (Buffalo Bar) & Young Kato (Clwb Ifor Bach). They are both great venues and I had the chance to mix with all of the bands once they had finished. I ended up doing shots with the lead guitarist from Daytona Lights…Total hottie!

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I have made some of the most exceptional people living in Cardiff and have friends for life in them! Whether it’s a been a fellow blogger, people I’ve dated or my flatmate they have each contributed to making me the person I am today.

I have to say though, the biggest achievement for me has been this… my own blog. Something I started as more of a journal when I first moved here has now become an outlet for my passions. A place for people to read what’s hot and what’s not and actually want to know my opinion. It’s amazing to have such an influence and I have been presented with exceptional opportunities to attend events which has helped me grow my blog and develop my writing style. What began as a humble WordPress page is now a fully fledged ‘.com’ and my reviews can be found on sites all over the internet which I never thought would happen.

Cardiff…you have been amazing!

X

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My Cardiff

As many of you know I have landed myself an amazing new job, however it’s in Reading which means I will be leaving Cardiff in a couple of weeks time.

Cardiff has introduced me to so many hidden gems so I thought it only fair to share my absolute favourites with you all and a few photo memories from my adventures in these wonderful places!

Breakfast

Cafe Pure is by far the best place to grab a healthy and super yummy breakfast.  They have lots of options to choose from and has fantastic views overlooking Cardiff Bay. They pride themselves on their ‘clean-eating’ options and make the most amazing healthy, fruity and fizzy drinks in the summer.

Cafe Pure

Lunch

The Deck is my Cardiff Bay haven! Tucked away down a small road opposite Cardiff Bay Police Station they serve up meals that taste ‘just like mum makes it’. Everything from comforting lasagne to the Mother Omelette stacked with various toppings. I always popped in for their famous bacon & brie baguette with cranberry sauce. They are also the best place in Cardiff to get cupcakes and brownies, with different flavours every day.

NY Deli is my guilty pleasure for a day when I just don’t feel like being healthy. This small cafe nestled in High Street Arcade offers up the most amazing selection with everything from bagels to hoagies. My favourite is the Richie Parks Special; mountains of salt beef and pastrami stacked on top of a layer of sweet gherkins with lashings of French mustard…mmm!

NYDELI

Richie Park’s Special at NY Deli

Dinner

Gourmet Burger Kitchen was a place I had never heard of before I moved to Cardiff… I’m so glad I discovered it though as it has everything that I look for in a brilliant restaurant. Superb staff, banging tunes, delicious food and of course great value for money too. GBK make the most refreshing Strawberry milkshakes and of course you can get grilled halloumi as a side dish so naturally this was going to be a winner for me.

GBK

Cocktails

Cosy Club is my favourite place to drink in all of Cardiff! The prices are a little on the steep side but when you try the concoctions on offer you will be pleased with every penny spent. My two signature favourites have always been the Lemon Drizzle Cake and the Cherry Bakewell… No these aren’t cakes, they are drinks, but my oh my they taste like alcoholic, liquidised cake…Mr Kipling would be proud!

Cosy Cocktails

Salt is another place I love drinking in as it’s so close to my flat in the bay and the flavour combinations in their cocktails are just crazy. From their espresso martinis to the candy-tasting Jolly Rancher there is something for everyone here. They have spectacular views of Cardiff Bay from their rooftop terrace which is a lush setting to sit and eat dinner in the summer. It’s also a great place if there’s a large group of you, with the option to reserve an area upstairs. They have brilliant live music nights too, be sure to catch ‘Salvation’ playing there.

Salt

Sarah and I on New Year’s Eve

Nightlife

Peppermint is the place to be on Mill Lane! With cool decor, cheap drinks deals and varied music across two floors, it’s always the best bar on a Friday or Saturday night. It can get very busy in here but that just adds to the atmosphere. Their outside seating area is beautiful to enjoy in the summer and they always put on great entertainment throughout the year and on key dates such as the Six Nations.

Brewhouse is the best place for live music in Cardiff in my opinion. Spread across a large venue on multiple levels it’s a lovely place to grab something to eat and listen to chilled musicians during the day, but by night it turns into a hive of energy with the dance floor full every night. Check their website before you go as they always have great deals on food and drink that you can take advantage of.

Live Lounge had to be mentioned! Simply because it’s a rite of passage to go there at least once during your time in Cardiff and it’s the place to end your night. Open until 4am, people pour into this venue already completely intoxicated but that’s why it makes for such a great venue. Everyone is in such a good mood from their night out that everyone is just really friendly to each other. There is nothing pretentious about Live Lounge, quite the opposite actually; but the music and atmosphere can’t be beaten on a night out in Cardiff.

LL

Ieva & I at Live Lounge after Varsity 2013