Hi everyone!

As you may know, I try my best to buy from cruelty-free and vegan brands. As a vegan, it’s important to me that I try to minimise the impacts of my actions on animals in my diet and in my product choices. So when I needed some new hair products I turned to Lee Stafford who are cruelty-free! You can read their animal testing policy here.

My hair is super fluffy and has a lot of volume so when I choose hair products I choose ones that smooth it down and try to make it silky!

It was buy 3 get the cheapest free in Boots (score) so I picked up the following products:

CoCo LoCo Light Serum Spray

CoCo LoCo Coconut Heat Protection Mist

CoCo LoCo Coconut Balm

I used the spray and the mist on my wet hair after washing it to protect against the heat from the hairdryer and MY GOD the smell was amazing. It made me want a Malibu and pineapple juice cocktail! The serum spray did an amazing job in smoothing my hair which normally looks like a big fluffy cloud after I finish drying it! This time it looked a lot more tamed and smooth which I was really happy with.

The effectiveness of the heat protection spray I will have to judge over a period of time to see how good it is at preventing split ends, but I am happy that I was responsible enough to buy a heat protector when I haven’t used one for years 😅

Then the best product of all three, the coconut balm, was SO GOOD. I used a small amount on my hair after I had dried it and it worked absolute wonders! It instantly smoothed my hair and made it look glossy without it looking greasy which I sometimes get when I put raw coconut oil in my hair.

Would 10/10 recommend the coconut balm to anyone looking for something that smooths your hair, and the beauty of it is that you can use it anytime to give it a glossy shine!

Basically these products smell great and work well so if you are looking for some hair products, give Lee Stafford a go!

Have you got any more recommendations for cruelty-free/vegan hair products? Let me know if you agree with me about the coconut balm!

Lots of love

Maddie xxx

Ok so despite the blog title I don’t hate summer. It’s warm and awesome and you can go sit in pub gardens with your mates and drink berry flavoured cider, you don’t have to wear a jacket when you go on a night out, and you can walk around in shorts all the time which is a huge bonus.

But.

There are certain things about this time of year that range from extremely irritating to mildly inconvenient and I want to have a moan about them because I’m British and that’s what we do. 😎

1. BUGS

Summer and it’s stupid insect/arachnid friends can swivel. I leave my windows open because it’s sweltering and within minutes my room is infested with daddy long legs and moths and all sorts of flying idiot creatures. It doesn’t help that daddy long legs freak me out just a little less than spiders and they always seem to find a way into my bathroom to scare me when I’m about to get in the shower. My work colleague left his car window open the other day and as he was starting to drive home he discovered there was a hornet in his car. A HORNET. They are like the size of a small bird, I kid you not! And don’t even get me started on wasps, the stripey picnic-ruining bastards!

2. GENERAL STICKINESS

You know what I’m talking about. When you’re sweating behind your knees and inside your elbows and everything is just sticking to everything – your back is sticking to your tshirt, your legs are sticking to each other, and all you want is a cold shower. It makes human contact unbearable because being touched just makes you hotter and then their hand sticks to you and you look at them apologetically like ‘I love you bae but please don’t touch me’. This problem isn’t as bad when you’re on holiday because you can just go jump in the pool or the sea but when you’re stuck in England in your living room just panting in the heat, it’s really awful.

3. TEA

Summer robs me of the satisfaction of drinking tea. I love tea. I drink on average 8-10 cups a day and trying to drink it in 30 degree heat is ridiculous. But I still do it. And then regret it afterwards 😂 😔

4. DRIVING

Getting into a car that has been sitting in the sun for a good few hours is a torture in itself. The air inside is so hot you feel like you can’t breathe, the steering wheel is too hot to touch, and if you’re wearing shorts you feel like you’ve got second degree burns on your legs from sitting in the front seat. Then the air con takes a while to come on and you’re just sweating in your car waiting for it, or if your car doesn’t have air con you crank all the windows down and pray for a breeze while you’re driving along!

5. SLEEPING

Sleeping while it’s hot is an absolute nightmare. I personally can’t get to sleep for ages and have to be half out of the cover in an attempt to stay cool but also half in, in case anything tries to grab me Paranormal Activity-style. I also get really vivid weird dreams, which makes it even more difficult to sleep because then I wake up at 3am convinced some zombies are chasing me round my flat 😭

6. HAYFEVER

If you, like me, suffer with the curse that is hay fever, then I feel your pain, amigo. Summer is a constant sneezing fest (which is terrifying while you’re driving), coupled with having to blow your nose every 10 seconds and therefore ending up with no makeup around your nose and looking like a red-faced lunatic. Tablets work to an extent but if the pollen count is high I can sometimes barely see because my eyes are so affected 😭. If you are lucky enough to not have hay fever then I am EXTREMELY JEALOUS of you!!

7. SUNBURN

Despite being half-Italian, I burn extremely quickly and it takes me forever to get a hint of a tan. Whereas my brother got all the Mediterranean genes and goes brown within 2 minutes of being in the sunshine 🙄. I do try to avoid the sun as much as possible due to associated ill-effects such as ageing, burning, skin cancer risk etc etc and when I’m on holiday I slather on the sun cream to protect myself as much as possible. It’s when you’re out walking or chilling in a pub garden and you don’t realise how strong the sun is that you get sunburnt! Remember to always wear spf when you’re outside in the sun people!

8. WORRYING ABOUT PETS

Ok time to get serious for this last one. I have chinchillas which have really thick fur and I constantly worry about them in the summer months because I’m scared they will overheat and potentially die. Always make sure your pets have enough water and some shade from the sun, especially if they are outside!

 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my rant about stuff I hate about summer! I do actually like summer, I just prefer Autumn when it’s still warm but a little cooler and I don’t feel uncomfortable a lot of the time due to the heat!

Do you agree with any of my peeves about summer? Is there anything I’ve missed that you dislike about it too?

Love Maddie xxx

Hi everyone! For those of you who aren’t gamers, E3 is an annual event where developers and companies showcase their latest games and products that are in development. There are usually some big reveals and some really cool game trailers, and it gets me super hyped for new games coming out!

E3 is currently underway in America and I have been keeping up to date with the conferences and the trailers for upcoming games, so I wanted to write a blog on my initial impressions and games that I really want so far.

Luckily I own an Xbox One and a PS4 so I am invested in what both Microsoft and Sony have to offer console-wise.

Microsoft’s conference was intense! They had so many games to showcase but I have listed the ones I am most likely to buy based on the trailers below:

  1.  Metro Exodus  (gives off Fallout vibes and the trailer used music from 28 days later which is literally my favourite film so I thought that was an awesome touch)
  2. Assassins Creed Origins (hopefully this instalment will be amazing as the developers took a year off to focus on what they were producing)
  3. Life is Strange 2 (technically a prequel but the first one was really enjoyable to play so hoping it lives up to it)
  4. Anthem (not a huge amount of info given on this but the trailer looked gorgeous and you can fly using a jet pack)

Microsoft also released the Xbox One X which is basically a smaller, more powerful version of the One which can work with 4K TVs and output insanely good graphics. I am reluctant to invest in this in the near future because you would need a 4K TV to get the most out of it (which are really expensive) and the price tag is a bit ridiculous as well (£449)… definitely one where I will wait til the price comes down and see if it’s been proven to be really good.

Sony’s conference disappointed a bit because they didn’t show The Last Of Us 2, which I think a lot of people were looking forward to. However they did show some awesome trailers, my top picks of which are:

  1. Monster Hunter World (I played the previous version of this I think on PS2 and it was such a great game plus the monsters are awesome)
  2. God Of War 3 (the gameplay and combat looks fantastic and it looks like you get a little bit of co-op action with Kratos’s son which is cool)
  3. Shadow Of The Colossus Remastered (I can’t wait for this, I’ve always wanted to play this but never had it when I was younger on PS2)
  4. Uncharted The Lost Legacy (Anything Uncharted is great and I will definitely buy this based off my impressions of the previous games)

There have been a few other conferences from the likes of Ubisoft and Bethesda which have got me excited for Far Cry 5 and an updated version of Minecraft as well. I’m looking forward to Hideo Kojima talking about Death Stranding as well because I want to know what the bloody game is about!! The trailers we have had so far are really weird and awesome and I can’t wait til it’s revealed!

As you can see, Call of Duty and the new Spider-Man game didn’t make my list (mainly because I am terrible at COD and I dislike Spider-Man as a superhero – yeah and what? Fight me) but their trailers did look good and I’m sure a lot of people are excited about them coming out.

Which games are you looking forward to that have been showcased at E3? Do you play any video games and if so, which console do you prefer? Or are you a PC gamer? Let me know your opinions!

Love Maddie xxx

 

My boyfriend and I own three pets: two chinchillas (Alfie and Archer) and one corn snake (Keith). As they have gotten older they have gotten bigger so we have had to splash some cash on larger homes for them. The chinchilla cage is almost as tall as me and takes up a whole corner of our living room but the new vivarium for Keith is on another level!

He’s maybe almost 4 ft long now so we decided we needed to get him a bigger home that would last him for as long as possible.

So I measured the kitchen worktop where we were going to put a new vivarium before we bought it and went online to have a shop around for one. I found one that fit the specifications and went ahead and bought it… for some reason buying the one that was pretty much EXACTLY the same size as the space we were going to put it in – not realising that we would be left with pretty much half a kitchen if I did so 🤔

The vivarium got delivered and we set about putting it together that night… all I have learned from DIY since having to do it is that it makes my boyfriend verrrryyy frustrated and the instructions are never clear enough! We ended up with a few missing screws and using some superglue to get it together but finally it was finished!

 

It doesn’t look it but I could lie down and curl up in this thing when the lid wasn’t on! It’s almost 4 ft long! So, feeling pretty pleased with ourselves we carried it into the kitchen and started to put it into place.

With GREAT difficulty we managed to wangle it into the space and now our kitchen looks like this:

So we now have half a kitchen that was originally really small in the first place! My boyfriend was not impressed with me for buying such a big tank to say the least… 😂

AND THEN THE REAL FUN STARTED

This vivarium has sliding glass panels and didn’t come with a lock. We naively thought that just closing the panels would be enough to keep Keith in his home. We were mistaken.

There is also a circular hole at the back where the wires for the thermostat and heat mat feed into the tank. This was supposed to be blocked by a locking plastic stopper but it wasn’t big enough for the heat mat plug to go through so we decided to board it up with a bit of cardboard and duct tape.. more on this later.

So for about a week Keith was happily living in his new big home until one night when I went into the kitchen and saw that the glass door was open and the bloody snake was nowhere to be seen!

Cue panic and guilt and frantically looking under all the kitchen units for Keith and googling what to do if your snake escapes… all in vain as we couldn’t find him that night.

Or the next

Or the next

And then, we had gone to bed that night when my boyfriend heard the chinchilla cage rattling and thought he should go check it out. When he went into the living room THE SNAKE WAS HALFWAY INTO THE CHINCHILLA CAGE so he quickly ran and grabbed Keith before he could potentially hurt the chinchillas! Snake securely (or so we thought) back in his vivarium, we duct-taped the doors closed and breathed a sigh of relief.

That is, until two days later when I went into the kitchen in the morning and he had somehow wormed his way under the cardboard duct-taped to the hole at the back of the vivarium.

This time, I thought he might be in the living room so went crawling around on my hands and knees shining my phone light around until I found him wrapped around the Xbox power box under the TV unit! He was probably hanging out next to it because it’s  nice and warm!

I managed to get him out from under the TV and put him back and we have now securely taped both sides of the hole so there’s no way he can get out that way again!

We have also managed to buy a lock for the glass panels as well so now he is safe and secure!

Needless to say, it was a stressful week!

The moral of the story is that snakes are bloody escape artists and you should make sure their homes are escape-proof!

Hope you enjoyed my little story and you will be happy to hear that no chinchillas or snakes were harmed in the making of it 😂

Love Maddie xxx

Hi everyone! As you may know I am slowly replacing my old products with cruelty-free versions was recommended to use LUSH to buy some new shampoo from.

LUSH is known for its’ clearly marked vegan products and has a policy towards animal testing that makes sure all its’ suppliers of raw materials are cruelty-free (which you can read here). Not everything they sell is totally vegan but the products I buy/will buy from them I make sure are vegan and don’t contain honey etc.

So I ran out of shampoo the other day and decided to take a trip to LUSH to buy a replacement. I took my boyfriend with me and had to explain that just because the products looked like food, doesn’t mean he could or should eat them…😂

I was struggling with the idea of spending £13 on a small bottle of shampoo as I was used to buying much bigger bottles of Elvive for a fraction of that price! But then one of the shop assistants pointed out the solid shampoo (which I had never even realised was a thing) which was easier on the wallet and smelled amazing!

My hair is pretty fluffy and has a lot of volume so I went for the £6.25 ‘Jason and the Argan oil’ solid shampoo to try and help tame it and give it some nutrition. I also bought a tin for the shampoo to sit in which was £2.50.

I used the shampoo last night and it is SO GOOD! I was confused as to how to use it originally but you use it like a bar of soap – lather it up in your hands and then put it through your hair, and you can even rub it onto your hair directly! It left my hair soft and smooth and smelling gorgeous! I will definitely be buying this product again and I can’t wait to go back and get some conditioner from LUSH as well! 10/10 recommend!

Which LUSH products do you use and which would you recommend? Can you suggest any other vegan and cruelty-free shampoo and conditioner?

Love Maddie xxx