Kelly Allen Writer

Cardiff family lifestyle, arts and culture blog.


Review: Killer Queen at St David's Hall.

*Thank you to Killer Queen and St David's for review tickets. Photo credit Killer Queen.

Last night George and I went on a little date to see Killer Queen at St David's Hall. As you may already know, George is a massive Queen fan (well, who isn't?!) and we first saw the fabulous tribute act perform last year

Queen's music is just beyond, from amazing ballads to rockier tracks, I can't imagine not loving their songs. Killer Queen have been performing together for over 25 years, and with an American tour lined up in July, they don't look set to stop!

The stage was set with awesome Killer Queen lighting and throughout the show there were lots of wonderful lighting effects. The sound was good throughout, but there were times when the microphone and sound didn't quite compliment the vocals. This is such a shame because I know from last year just how amazing their performance can be...

Their set was slightly different last night, perhaps a little more subdued compared to last year's performance.The first half was fun and eventful, with lots of interaction from Patrick Meyers, who obviously lives and breathes Freddie. George was very excited when they played his favourite songs, and he spent most of the night dancing and singing along!

The second half definitely upped the energy within the show, with a lot more dancing and upbeat songs. Meyers certainly knows how to get the crowd into the groove of the show! He also knows how to handle any hecklers, and much like last year, there were quite a few people who were drinking quite heavily at a family friendly show. 

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I adore Meyers as Freddie, but last night I had a weird sensation that he was distracted somewhat, I can't quite put my finger on it, but there definitely felt like a shift compared to last year's show. 

Still, it was awesome to bop along to all of the songs, and I adored getting up when he ordered us to (and he does order you too, because why on earth would you sit down to listen to those kinda songs?!), as well as the firm dedication and love within the performance dedicated to the wonderful  Freddie. 

For me, the songs that stood out included The Show Will Go On, There Must Be More To Life Than This (so beautiful!), Bohemian Rhapsody and Don't Stop Me Now. Meyers certainly pulls out all the stops with varying vocal ranges and intricate piano performances. 

I also adored the guitar solo during Don't Stop Me Now, as well as bridging the gap between costume changes with solos and musical interludes. It was all very cleverly put together and weh ad an amazing evening. 

Before I finish, I want to reach out to everyone, young and old, and challenge you to sit and listen to a bit of Queen. On very high volume. 

Last night's show seemed to have a very clear message in terms of audience demographics. Most people were over 40 within the audience, and I didn't see anyone under 30 during the night. I am really worried that amazing music is lost amongst the younger crowd, I'm worried shows like this will be forgotten if younger people don't reach into the depths of music from years gone by and discover the iconic Freddie Mercury. 

I think we should all be educating and nurturing our children's passion for music, otherwise it may be lost forever...

If you are keen to listen to an amazing Queen tribute act, or you're keen to hear a Queen song for the first time, book your tickets now. You won't be disappointed. 



Review: Naipo Shoulder Massager With Tapping.

*Thansk to Naipo for sending this product for us to review.

Recently I was asked to review a Shoulder Massager With Tapping from Naipo, and I was really excited to see how it would work and if I would actually enjoy using it! I much prefer the gentler touch, so I was pretty apprehensive about the 'punch' function worried me slightly!

The package is sturdy and it has a carry handle, so I imagine you can carry it about to use in various places, such as a friends house or to work if you require the massage in these kinds of situations. It's currently retailing at £39.99 with free delivery in the UK.

The user manual explains how the shoulder massager works, from important warnings (such as 30 minute maximum use) to a list of FAQs. The massager is used via a plug and plug socket, with a medium sized power line, so you can sit or stand whilst it's in use.

There are 5 modes and 8 variable speeds, which you control with the buttons on the left hand side of the massager. This is probably more suitable and convenient for right-handed folk, but my left-handedness didn't cause any problems.

It's quite a heavy piece of equipment, and it does pack a punch during the massage! it reminded me of seeing a film in 4D and being punched in the back... This tapping can be used on various levels, and I prefer the lower settings. Warren is currently suffering from whiplash, so his shoulders would probably appreciate this massager right now!

I think it's more suitable to people who like a firmer touch, or like me, use it on the lowest settings to get used to it.

With Father's Day coming up I think this could be an ideal gift for any Dad who needs to relax and have some TLC.

Have you tried the Naipo Shoulder Massager With Tapping yet? What do you think?



Book Review: Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love.

*Thanks to Walker Books for this review copy. 

I don't need to tell you how much we adore books, but I will anyway - WE ADORE BOOKS! It's always a massive pleasure to share our bookish themed posts on the blog, because we read a lot of amazing books and we want to share them with you. Recently we were sent Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, and what a lovely book it is!

Julian is a young boy who falls completely in love with the idea of being a mermaid. When he uses things from around his Nana's house (including her curtains!), we find out exactly what she thinks about Julian being a mermaid...

I love books that break the gender stereotypes, and this book does it with style. I knew George and Molly would enjoy the story and themes within, because they're very keen on equality and choice. They asked lots of questions as I read the book, and this worked really well because there's only a small amount of text on each page, leaving the illustrations (and children!) to do the talking.

The story follows Julian from the moment he spots the mermaids ladies to his transformation into a mermaid and his Nana's reaction...

Julian is full of strong imagination, which is produced through illustrations within the book, plus the book allows the reader(s) to expand their imaginations. 

The story-line is really important and I love how simple the writing is. This kind of subject needs to evoke discussion and if it had heavy dialogue and description, I doubt these things could happen. The illustrations are beyond gorgeous, with swirls and pops of colour, we really enjoyed seeing the story unfold through our very own eyes. 

I'm a massive sucker for hardback books, and this book is such a joy to hold and read. From a rainbow of colours and feelings, to sights and sounds throughout, it warms my heart to recommend it to you.  

I think this book is extremely uplifting, not only does it focus on gender stereotypes and the joy of supporting others in the things they love, it also teaches us as parents/grandparents to support and nourish. Sometimes it's important to let the little things go, and instead embrace the little personalities around us and help them grow. 




Review: SweetHearts Hair Design Hair Detangler.

Thank you to Sweet Hearts Hair Design for our sample for review. 

If you read the blog or follow me on Instagram, you'll know Molly has the most amazing hair, but keeping it tangle-free is definitely a challenge. We recently received a bottle of SweetHearts Hair Design Hair Detangler to try out, and I'm looking forward to sharing the results with you today on the blog.


Review: Vacancy at Breakout Cardiff, With Special Guests Ravenbreed!

*Thanks to Breakout for having us!

A few weeks ago I was invited to check out Breakout Cardiff to check out their latest breakout room, Vacancy. I didn't have a team prepared, but at the very last minute my lovely husband's band Ravenbreed (check them out here) stepped in to help. They're a bunch of very sweet guys, and I was really excited to see if we'd escape...


Review & Giveaway: Beautiful Photo Canvasses From Canvas Champ.

*This is a sponsored post. Thanks to CanvasChamp for our free canvas. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.

Recently I was asked to review a canvas from CanvasChamp, and I couldn't wait to head on over to their site to see what was on offer! I have been meaning to buy a set of canvasses for a while, you might already know how much we love hanging up pictures, paintings and photographs, so it made total sense to add a few more to my basket!

I was gifted a 8x12 canvas (currently £7.19), but I also opted to purchase (with my own money!) three 8x8 canvasses (currently £3.89). The website was really easy to use: you simply click on Canvas Products and then Canvas Prints from the drop-down menu. To the right you can select your canvas print size, they come in 20x20, 8x12, 11x14 and 16x20. You can also create your own custom sized canvas if you have a particular idea in mind! Once you've decided what size your first canvas will be, simply click 'start order' and you'll be taken to a page where you can choose your canvas options and then you click through to upload your photograph.


The Silent Killer: Sepsis & Septicaemia Signs and Symptoms.

hospital beds and title septicaemia and sepsis signs and symptoms
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

When I entered the register office in Birmingham I did not expect to see the words 'septicaemia' written at the top of the 'reason for death' list. I didn't click, even when he showed the signs and symptoms of septicaemia. My father had lung cancer, he had COPD, but he didn't have septicaemia... did he? I felt my rage burn inside as I read the certificate, fully aware of how and when things had gone severely wrong for my father. The truth of his experience pieced together inside my mind like a jigsaw, and I saw nothing but red. The lady who handed my mother and I the certificate seemed oblivious, as if we already knew... but we only fully understood the situation when we saw it in black and white.

My Father's Death Story

My dad was sick for a very long time. I remember finding out about his lung cancer whilst shopping in Tesco. I was pregnant with George and all I wanted to do was stop whatever was coming for him, change his path, keep him alive for as long as possible. Unfortunately we don't have these magical powers, but we do have the precious time before the light goes out.

He wasn't given long to live (6-9 months if I recall correctly...), but he surpassed their expectations. Truth be told, I don't think doctors always know the reality of how long someone will live, they have to guess based on the facts. He lived for many years after his diagnosis and towards the end he was skin and bone.

I remember feeling quite selfish as my parents cancelled a day out with me, because he wasn't feeling well. I remember thinking it was odd when I went to visit and he was totally knackered, tucked up in bed. For some reason I'd bought him a small angel wind-chime to hang in his room, and this was when I found out he'd been prescribed heart medication from his GP for his suddenly increased heartbeat. Something didn't feel right, but for some reason I couldn't work it out. We queried it amongst ourselves, but never went any further with it, because we trusted the GP.

It didn't take long for his body to give way to the poison, and he was soon in hospital. My mother and I sat in a room with a doctor who told us that was that; no reasons, no explanation, not much comfort.

'He has a day or two, say goodbye now.'

I'm not being accurate with wording here, but this is how it felt from my point of view. I called friends and family, told them to come and say goodbye. And always there was this niggling feeling in my mind about his illness, what was really going on, I felt duped because it wasn't supposed to happen like this. What weren't they telling us?!

When the certificate was placed in our hands I flipped. The penny dropped. He most likely had pneumonia that led to septicaemia. We'd missed the signs, yes, but so had a fully trained GP...

During the months following his death, I toyed with the idea of filing for medical negligence, but I felt it wasn't my place and my mother wasn't keen. I still think about it. Not for money, but to hold the GP accountable, because who knows how many other people have died because of misdiagnosis...

I can't even think about it.

So there's my father's death story. He didn't die from lung cancer, he died from untreated and undiagnosed septicaemia.

I have wanted to write this for a very long time, and I feel there's so much more to say. I do want to end this post in a helpful way, so I've created a checklist for sepsis/septicaemia, and I'm also going to talk about the difference between the two.

Septicaemia is a widely used term, but there is a difference between this and sepsis. Septicaemia is often referred to as 'blood poisoning', because it refers to large amounts of bacteria within the blood running through the body. Sepsis is more widespread, affecting organs within the body, or the entire body itself, but it doesn't mean blood poisoning is occurring at the same time.

I think it's a bit confusing, but the symptoms are very similar, so I've pieced them together in the below chart...

Sepsis & Septicaemia Signs and Symptoms

infographic/pin with all signs and symptoms.
Please click here for detailed signs and symptoms. 

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