Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019 - Supporting A Friend In Need

[Disclaimer: this post contains an item that was gifted]

I haven't spoken much about my PhD research on my blog, but it's such a big part of my life it seems wrong to leave it out. A lot of my blog is about things I love, things I'm passionate about, and I guess in a way this falls into one of my passions, or interests at least, as well.

My PhD research topic is very specific and often when I tell people about it, they look at me blankly. The research focus is on restrictive eating disorders in autistic women. We're looking at why the rates of anorexia and other restrictive eating disorders seem to be so high in autism (see Huke et al., 2013 for a review) and whether the causing and maintaining factors behind the eating disorder are different to that of a "neurotypical" (essentially, someone who is not on the autism spectrum) person with an eating disorder. 

Hopefully, this research will have practical implications in helping autistic women to access appropriate services and receive better treatment and care. It's something I've been interested in for a while now (I became aware of it about 6 years ago), and so to be doing a PhD on the topic is pretty cool (yeah, PhD's are cool okay). 

But for this blog post, I want to focus more on eating disorders in general. Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) falls in February each year, with the aim to raise awareness and encourage support for eating disorders. Most people know what an eating disorder is on a superficial level, but there are a lot of myths and stereotypes around them, which organisations like Beat (the country's leading eating disorder charity) help to debunk. They have some great online resources if you want to know more:

Recently, I was sent another great resource for those who want to support someone close to them with an eating disorder. 'Hope with Eating Disorders' is a book by counsellor and author Lynn Crilly - it's a practical resource with an optimistic, non-judgmental approach to tackling an eating disorder and believing that recovery is possible. I was lucky enough to ask Lynn some questions about the new book:

Charli: What inspired you to write 'Hope with Eating Disorders'?

Lynn: One of my young clients' mum, (They had been in the 'system' unsuccessfully and I was able to really help her daughter through to recovery) suggested I write a book about my thoughts, journey and experience, as she described me as the female version of the therapist in the King's Speech! And my approach was refreshing and real! At the time I thought it would be a really easy thing to do, so always one for a challenge I started... little did I know it would be one of the biggest challenges, but definitely a worth while one.

Charli: What do you hope readers will gain from the book?

Lynn: I hope that it will help the reader not to buy into the common myth that eating disorders are a life sentence, that recovery is possible and that, as no two people are the same, everyone's journey is unique to them. I hope that the reader feels they are not alone, and by reading the book it will give them a better understanding of the illness and how best to help their loved one.

Charli: What's the best piece of advice you could give to a parent/carer/friend of someone suffering with an eating disorder?

Lynn: I would always advise a parent or carer to follow their instinct - if one treatment is not working, don’t be afraid to try another. Don’t be afraid of what you cannot see, never settle for "this is as good as it gets" and never give up.

The second edition is out on 28th February 2019 and is available via Lynn's website or on Amazon.

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Monday, 14 January 2019

Taste of Wales Afternoon Tea with Future Inns - *PLUS EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE!*

Happy 2019 all!

I was recently invited to a lovely evening with Future Inns to try out their new afternoon teas with a handful of other bloggers. 

If you haven't heard of Future Inns before, they are a small Canadian chain of hotels, currently based in the UK in Cardiff Bay, Bristol and Plymouth and not only do they offer overnight stays with free parking and WiFi (priorities!) and easy access to the city centres, but they also have a fantastic restaurant that we were lucky enough to visit. They're currently pushing their Taste of Wales afternoon tea which is all made from scratch on site. 

And having tried it all, I can vouch it doesn't just look beautiful - it tastes incredible too!

A traditional Welsh twist is added to this afternoon tea, boasting Welsh Brew loose leaf tea and adorable little welsh cakes to accompany the rest of the sweets. If you fancy a little tipple with your afternoon tea, there is also the option to upgrade to a glass of prosecco - sounds like my kind of afternoon tea!

Here's the best bit - the Taste of Wales afternoon tea experience is available at Future Inns for just £12 per person - bargain! BUT WAIT. I also have a discount code* which will give you an extra 10% off until 30th April. Just quote the word "TASTE" when you book to redeem your discount, which makes the total cost just £10.80 per person. It's the perfect way to spend time with a loved one (hint hint Valentine's Day is coming up...) or with friends or family. It's so easy to book as well - you can call up on 02920 487111, email or through their super easy online booking system here: (if you use the online booking system URL above it takes the discount code off straight away!)

I can't finish without mentioning the local businesses who turned up to support Future Inns at the event last week - it was great to catch up with Shoned from Tanya Whitebits, and also to meet the lovely people at Style of the City magazine, Make It Pop, Anaphase Store, Luna Amani and Madame Wax.

I'd love to hear your experiences of the Taste of Wales afternoon tea at Future Inns Cardiff - and don't forget the discount code "TASTE" when you book for 10% off!

*T&C's* This is an affiliate code, meaning I will get a small percentage if you use the code when you book. This won't affect your experience in any way, but if you don't want to use the discount code then that's fine too! You can just book the same way without quoting "TASTE". Taste of Wales afternoon tea is served every day 1pm-5pm at Future Inns Cardiff. The discount code is available until 30th April 2019 and excludes Mother's Day (31st March 2019). Guests must quote at the time of booking for the discount to be applied and bookings made without a code cannot be amended. 
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Saturday, 3 November 2018

REVIEW: Deli Fuego, City Road Cardiff

You might know by now that I'm a big fan of Cardiff's City Road. It's right on my doorstep and offers numerous delicious dining options. The latest addition to my list of favourites has to be Mediterranean restaurant Deli Fuego. The exterior is grand - you really can't miss it! And as for the interior, it is HUGE, boasting balcony and ground floor seating. Deli Fuego kindly invited Tim and I along to try their food and drinks and I'd been past a few times but I can't believe I haven't tried it until now! 

We ordered starters to begin with - I had the calamari and Tim had the soujouk and halloumi. Both were absolutely delicious and the calamari was quite possibly some of the best I'd ever had. The standout hero of the starters was the unique pomegranate and dates air - a light mousse for dipping the calamari in. It was sensational and like nothing I'd ever tasted before! I think Tim was a bit jealous of my starter, just for the mousse! Our waitress also brought over some delicious bread a chilli dipping sauce which was really appreciated.

For our mains, I had the slow roasted lamb shank while Tim had the grilled shish tavuk. Lamb is my absolute favourite and so I know when I taste a good lamb dish - and this was cooked to perfection. It came with a side salad and enough rice for a small army! The lamb was beautifully tender and its accompanying sauce complemented it perfectly. I was a little bit gutted that I couldn't finish it all. Tim's chicken was also cooked fantastically - his main came with the choice of chips or rice and also a side salad. 

So even though Tim and I were absolutely stuffed, we just had to try something from the dessert menu. They have a brilliant range of cakes which you can also pre-order for any occasion. Trust me, check them out - they look amazing. Unfortunately, my tummy couldn't quite handle a cake so I opted for two scoops of gelato - praline and strawberry. Strawberry is my go-to and the praline was fabulous too. Tim opted for the mango and passion fruit sundae which was equally as delicious. The waitress also brought over complimentary fresh mint tea which was a really lovely touch. 

As for our drinks, Deli Fuego - along with a few other restaurants along City Road - don't serve alcohol - which is totally fine with me! I went for the gorgeous melon juice (I love the fresh juices that many other City Road restaurants offer and this was no exception) and Tim went all out and ordered the Ferrero Rocher milkshake - he loved it! 

When I was asked if I would like to review Deli Fuego and come along and try out their menu, I really didn't know what to expect. However, it exceeded anything I could've thought of and I will happily recommend it to anyone looking for a bite to eat in Cardiff. There is honestly nothing I could critique! The service, I must add, was also impeccable and the waitress and waiter who served us were attentive to our every need. For my student readers out there - you can also get 10% off when you present your student card. Hands down, one of my favourite meals I've had in Cardiff - and having lived here for over three years, that is saying a lot! Thank you to Deli Fuego for having me, I can't wait to visit again soon.
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Saturday, 1 September 2018

Fresher's Finest With PrettyLittleThing

It's that time of year again when students-to-be are packing up to fly the nest and start a new adventure at University. As a student blogger, I've written quite a few posts now about the do's and dont's of Uni, but not many that focus on fashion. I would say my true personal style really evolved in my first or second year of Uni. It absolutely is a crucial period in terms of finding your sense of identity in terms of how you feel in your own skin, and loving what you're wearing will give you that all-important confidence boost about yourself.

If you haven't heard of PrettyLittleThing yet, firstly where have you been? And secondly, you really should! They have a student style section which gives you a huge catalogue of inspiration and cool pieces that can really make an outfit. More importantly, you can get 10% off all year round with your student discount at Unidays - bonus! PrettyLittleThing kindly sent me some pieces to style for different occasions and scenarios that will no doubt occur multiple times during your time at University. Check out what I chose below:

1. A look for when... you're out shopping with your new flatmates
Crop top:
Cropped jumper:
High-waisted Mom jeans:

Whether it's a drive to the nearest Ikea or just a mooch around town, the key to this is looking cool but being comfortable. PrettyLittleThing do some great basic crop tops which go perfectly with their high-waisted Mom jeans. Chuck on a cute cropped jumper in the chillier months and you're good to go!

2. A look for when... you need to go from day to night
High waisted Mom jeans: (as above)
Black denim skirt:

It happens - you have a particularly long day at Uni but you also have plans to meet some friends for drinks later. In order to save time, chuck a skirt in your bag with you and just change on the go! This top is actually a bodysuit and it is so versatile. I love how it can be dressed super casually but also looks great with a black denim skirt and some boots. 

3. A look for when... you're hungover

So you've been out the night before and you just need something casual and comfortable to throw on before heading to the local 'Spoons for breakfast. Guess what - PLT have you covered here too! This oversized jumper is the perfect solution when comfort is your priority. Complete the look with some leggings and trainers for the ultimate casual look. 

So that's it for my quick University haul with PLT! Which is your favourite outfit? Let me know in the comments below because I love reading your opinions. Photos all taken by Tessa Holly @ - please go and check her out! 

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Friday, 24 August 2018

My Current Eye Makeup Favourites

In terms of makeup, I'm much more of an eyes than a lips person. Lipstick, I can give or take. I only tend to wear it on a night out. But I rarely leave the house without mascara and love going all out with eyeshadow and a liquid eyeliner too. So I thought I'd share some of my current favourites and some new bits I've been trying out over the last month or so. 

1. Mascara: Bad Gal Bang - Benefit (RRP: £21.50)
I was gifted this mascara earlier this year at the Cardiff launch of Benefit's new mascara. There's been a lot of hype since it came out - some positive and some negative - so I was eager to give it a go. And honestly, I'm torn by it! Sometimes I use it and I love it and other times it makes my lashes go super clumpy and spider-y. I think for me, it's a great mascara as long as you apply it carefully and don't go too overboard with it. It's easy to get wrong. It's also a very wet formula so perhaps it will apply better once it's dried out a little bit more (I find this generally happens with other mascaras with a wet formula). 

2. Eyeliner: Flawless Eyeliner - Flawless Lashes by Loreta (RRP: £14.95)
I was kindly sent this felt tip eyeliner to review and it was always going to be a tough one because I swear by felt tip liners and I've used quite a few in my time. It's got competition! However, the super thin tip puts it up there with the best of the best - it makes it easy to be accurate with the line you create and you can draw the perfect wing with it. 

3. Eyeshadow: Extra Spice eyeshadow palette - Makeup Revolution x Soph (RRP: £10)
This is my current hero product. I loved Soph's first palette collaboration with Makeup Revolution and I love her second one even more. It's my go-to every single day and it's honestly the perfect combination of colours for me, it can take you from daytime to night out. Moreover, the price point for this is incredible! What more could you want from an eyeshadow palette?

4. Eyebrows: Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil and Brush - Soap & Glory (RRP: £8.50)
I've already raved about how much I love this brow pencil in great detail before (if you want to read my full review, click here) but the fact that nearly two years later I'm still raving about it and still repurchasing it every time I run out, shows it really stands the test of time. It's the perfect colour for me and really does the job very well. 

I'd love to hear if you have any recommendations of your favourite eye products! What are you currently using and what are you loving? Do you have any eye makeup products that you can't live without? Comment down below!
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Monday, 30 July 2018

University Outfit Ideas with Get The Label

You know the feeling: you've had a great Wednesday night out but perhaps aren't feeling too fresh for your 9am lecture the next day. You can't sack it off but all you want to do is stay in your cosy pyjamas. Here's where Get The Label come to the rescue! They offer super comfy athleisure wear (as well as much more) which makes it look like you've made the effort even if you're a little bit hungover still.

I chose this Adidas originals cropped top ( and paired it with these Beck & Hersey high waisted leggings ( What I love about Get The Label is that they do amazing discounts on designer sports brands (this top's RRP is £29.99 but it's currently on the website for £16.99!) but they also have a lot of hidden gem brands like Beck & Hersey which are lesser known but I think look really good and are more affordable (these leggings are currently on the website for just £12.99). 

Here's the best bit - they do student discount too! Get The Label offer 10% off purchases online through UniDays. You can find it by clicking here. Get The Label are perfect for students, whether you're a sports/gym fanatic looking for some new sportswear or just a lazy dresser like me! They're affordable and stylish and you can't ask for much more than that!

*Disclaimer: clothing items mentioned were gifted but all views are my own*
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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Why "Shit Happens" Should Be Your New Go-To Drinking Game

Many of you will soon be celebrating the end of the exam period. I've been there many times now and generally it goes a bit like this:
1. Spend two hours getting ready
2. Friends arrive for pre-drinks
3. Spend a good few hours at someone's house playing drinking games (everyone knows this is the best part of a night out)
4. Get a taxi to town to go to a questionable nightclub
5. Boogie
6. Walk home, stopping at some kind of fast food place on the way 

Now let's skip back to step 3, because there's a new kid on the block in the games industry and it's called "Shit Happens". I was kindly sent this to review and in true student fashion I, of course, had to review it as part of the night out ritual. 

The aim of the game is to order your cards, which have different shitty scenarios on them, in order of their shit-ness. They range from inconveniently getting genital warts, to being involved in a major earthquake. You get the picture. Sure, this game can be played harmlessly and alcohol-free, but I can vouch for the fact it's super fun when made into a drinking game - if you guess the order wrong for a card... you drink!

Shit Happens has received the Charli stamp of approval and I highly recommend giving it a go if you like other games like Cards Against Humanity, or you fancy something a bit different to the usual card games like Ring of Fire (there's only so many times one can down a dirty pint). If you're interested in Cheatwell Games' Shit Happens, you can find it here on Amazon.
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