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!

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!

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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Summer Has Arrived at Marks & Spencer

Last week, Marks & Spencer sent me some goodies from their new Summer Range and oh my, they didn’t disappoint.

I indulged in the tapas selection in one sitting… Spanish Meatballs, Chorizo & Cheese empanadas and Garlic Mushrooms.

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*Spoiler* All of the Summer Tapas range is 3 for £6 until the 20th May

My only mistake was not checking the packaging first, both the mushrooms and meatballs can be quickly heated up the microwave in a minute each, however the empanadas needed 12 minutes in the oven, not a very long wait but next time I would just do the oven ones first so it’s all ready at once.

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The mushrooms were fairly salty but that’s kind of how I like them, with huge chunks of roasted garlic all over them I was in a sort of mushroom-heaven. The meatballs had a gorgeous tomato sauce on them and their texture was soft, but they didn’t fall apart when you put your fork into them. The empanadas were the real highlight… oozing soft, gooey cheese and then you get the salty, spicy chorizo which works really well with the buttery pastry.

Next up…Dessert!

I was lucky enough to be given two different ones to try… A Coconut Milk dessert with a Pineapple & Chilli salsa and also a Milk Chocolate & Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche dessert

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I LOVED the Coconut dessert! It was soft, creamy and mixed with the pineapple beautifully. I can’t begin to describe how utterly delicious this was, it was like eating a fluffy cloud and then adding a layer of citrusy gold to it. The chilli salsa was great for flavour but the texture of it really was like salsa and the chunks were just too big for a dessert that small, in my opinion.

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The milk chocolate & dulce de leche was a weird texture. It was kind of like a sponge cake, but a really wet sponge cake, like a moist, chocolatey sponge cake…but not a sponge cake! It had a crunchy salted caramel layer running through it too which I could have quite easily eaten on its own. It was rather rich though, and like an idiot I ate both so as you can imagine I was going into dessert-overload at this point.

Overall, I’d give this Summer Range a 9 out of 10!

Get yourself down to Marks & Spencer in St David’s Shopping Centre and grab some ready for the Bank Holiday!

The Wild Peanut

This week the lovely people at The Wild Peanut sent me some mini versions of their amazing products and I have to say I’m impressed!

The Wild Peanut are one of the newest peanut butter producers here in the UK.

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I started with the Honey Peanut Butter… Sweetened with Natural Golden Honey this sat on my toast beautifully and had an almost citrusy aftertaste. I think this would taste really nice dipped in Greek Yoghurt…mmmmmm!

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Now I’m allergic to Banana so my friend tried this one and she loved it!

Sweet and fruity; the ‘I’m Bananas’ peanut butter really hit the spot for her. It’s a blend of bananas and roasted, crushed peanuts, which makes for a thick and tasty dessert-like spread.

She said that it would be a great snack to have pre-gym, for an energy boost before her workout.

Their Chocolate flavour is absolutely divine. .. and everyone knows I’m a bit of a chocolate aficionado so am very fussy whenever I buy something containing chocolate.

A mix of honey, roasted salted peanuts, molasses and chocolate ensures a truly indulgent snack.

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I have to say I was a little disappointed with the Chilli one… Never one to shy away from creative flavour combinations and being a massive Chilli fan I just found it far too salty. The kick you get from the heat was brilliant, but unfortunately I just couldn’t get over the saltiness.

To end on a bit of a high, I shall now sing the praises of the ‘Superfood Cinnamon’… It reminded me of when I make French toast but with added nuttiness. Sweet and woody, it’s the ultimate deluxe treat! I could quite easily have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Now I just need them to make a Salted Caramel version… Nom nom nom!

What I really love about The Wild Peanut is their ethical values and their partnership with TREE AID. Every time you buy a pot of their peanut butter they help villagers in Africa to plant trees across the drylands to transform their lives and landscapes for the long term.

 These products really are little pots of delicious, nutty goodness and well worth a try for any peanut butter fanatic or anyone interested in a good cause!

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The Wild Peanut:  http://www.thewildpeanut.co.uk