3 steps guide to natural cosmetics

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Recently I have been made aware of the detrimental effects that many of the chemicals found in my cosmetic products can have on the body, they can be filled with toxins that our bodies cannot naturally absorb. For example Parabens which are a group of chemicals found in a range of beauty products can affect the endocrine system, which can potentially lead to breast cancer or early puberty. Consumer safety .org challenged me to come up with 3 steps to clean up my cosmetics. So I have decided to share my 3 steps that I think will make a big difference to not just reducing the detrimental effects that these chemicals could have, but also to spread public awareness. Before this issue was made aware to me I had no idea that my favourite eye shadow or face cream could contain unsafe chemicals. Since I am trying to push for a natural plant based diet I think it makes sense to use natural cosmetic products too.

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Step 1: Clean out your skin care

I believe our skin especially our faces is the most delicate part that we need to protect especially if you wear makeup on a day to day basis. I have tried to buy all natural skin care, for instance investing in ethical and natural brands such as Neal yards remedies. The purifying palmarosa facial wash is one of the most important steps in my skin care routine. The product contains a range of non-synthetic, natural ingredients such as orange peel oil. Moisturizer is also an important product I make sure is safe, for the reason that a large range of moisturizers on the market have harsh chemicals such as Retinyl Palmitate which can lead to serious skin damage. You can find out if your moisturizer is safe by using the search feature on the consumer safety website https://www.consumersafety.org/. I found it was a great tool, as I could do all my research in one place. The moisturizer I use is the Origins GinZing, it is composed of natural safe ingredients so i don’t have to worry about the possible long term harm.

 

Step 2 : do some researchPhototasticCollage-2017-03-10-15-59-38

I feel that we are unaware of what is actually in our cosmetic products, how many times have you thought about the ingredients contained ,the answer is probably never. These days it is just easier to assume the products we use are safe, but I believe the best thing to do is to do research on the ingredients that is contained. Consumer safety have easy guides and a search feature to utilize, so research is already sorted for you. It is also important to check before you buy this might seem like a laborious task especially if you are in a rush but I think it is an important step to take. One of the most influential pieces of research that I found was a blog post titled “7 Dangerous Ingredients in Everyday Cosmetics and Toiletries” https://www.consumersafety.org/news/products/7-dangerous-ingredients-in-everyday-cosmetics-and-toiletries/. I was so surprised that a lot of the old products that I used to use contained some of these chemicals that are listed are potentially harmful

 

Step 3: be aware of companies that use natural ingredients to ones that don’t

It is always useful to know what companies produce natural nontoxic cosmetics, this links back to my previous point that research is key, because there is no point being in the dark about this issue if you want to protect your health. Furthermore I really enjoy supporting naturally sourced company as supposed to large brands that do not take consumer safety seriously.

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I hope that this blog post provided some useful guidance on how to make the changes to more natural products, I feel so strongly about the health of not just myself but also my readers because at the end of the day the blogging community is a brilliant way to share lifestyle advice and tips.

 

References

http://www.babsbodycare.com.au/

 

 

 

 

Quick Healthy Picnic

Whenever I go for a picnic with my friends I love preparing a bunch of healthy plant based foods for a perfect picnic. It is super easy and quick to prepare. Baked sweet potatoes, a hummus dip with vegetables and roasted corn on the cob and fresh fruit is a perfect mix to enjoy.

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I Find traditional picnic opportunities to binge on unhealthy foods so I love being able to create a healthier alternative. I also love preparing a lemon and Baobab drink as a refreshing treat. Baobab is one of my favourite super food powders it takes like a zingy lemon squash but provided lots of vitamin c to boost the immune system .

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Sephora Haul

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Last week I went to new York and Washington for a week in the February half term it was a surreal experience , that taught me a lot especially about American history from taking a trip to the capital building, the white house, the UN and liberty bell in Philadelphia. However I did a lot of shopping in Sephora since we can’t get a lot of the brands in the UK, such as Tarte and Marc Jacobs. It has always been dream of mine to do a huge Sephora shopping spree with my friends especially my best friend Amelia . Although i spend a lots of money it was completely worth it so I decided to share my Sephora haul on my blog.

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Modern Renaissance pallet

I have wanted this pallet for a long time, after it came out last year however it is almost impossible to buy this in the UK, every time it is available on beauty bay it is sold out .The pallet is perfect for travel because all the shades are beautiful and you can create a number of gorgeous looks. One of my favourite shades is Realgar and Venetian red, the shimmer shadows are also perfectly pigmented.

Tarteist pro pallet

This pallet is a true beauty it contains 4 stunning powder highlighters, a cool toned contour and a cream bronzer/contour . I absolutely love this delicate pallet because highlighters are my favourite thing, it is so beautiful. I also need to get out of the habit of just relying on my Jeffree star highlighter.

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Sephora matte perfection powder

I have been looking for an under eye powder for a long time, because whenever I put any concealer under my eyes it never stays. I tried the Estee lauder light setting powder but have found it too thick so decided to try the light Sephora powder. I like the coverage and feel it gives my under eyes Good coverage so it is a brilliant purchase.

Urban decay eye shadow primer potion

This eyeshadow base has been on my mind for at least 2 years now, but I have never got around to purchasing it. Since I was in Sephora I decided to just pick it up on the way, it is a very hyped product so I thought I would give it a go.

Marc Jacobs velvet noir major volume mascara

My friend Steph used this mascara on me a few weeks ago when she did my makeup, I did a recent blog post on it below. I could not get over the volume it gave and the intense blackness. Even though it was hard to part 26$ for a mascara I think it is totally worth it even the packaging is beautiful.

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Guerlain terracotta bronzer.

I already have a the duo Guerlain bronzer which I adore but it is a little light so I decided to buy the original terracotta bronzer in 03 natural .It is just such a stunning product the packaging is sleek and the actually bronzer well it is just amazing, don’t let me get started on how much i adore it, because i feel I will be talking for ages.

 Clinique blush 02 peach pop

This blush looks so beautiful because it is a mould of a flower, I also like how there is a slight sheen to the blush. I do like collecting blushes especially if they are as beautiful as this one.

Mac Desert rose blush

This blush is perfect for pale skin because it a subtle muted pink, I really love it especially how it manages to end up lasting on my face for hours. I find that most of the blushes I own do not last as long or even give a good colour payoff.

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Tarte Rainforest by the sea water foundation

I have been meaning to try this foundation for a while after a bunch of you tuber have been raving over it as a good full coverage foundation. I thought I would try it out because I have been obsessed with the Nars Luminous weightless foundation which is also a water based foundation. I like the coverage it gave but I felt that it could have been more full coverage because I had to put another layer on to get the required coverage. It did have a good feel on my face and it lasted remarkably well.

Nars Velvet lip glide in playpen

I saw this in Sephora and had to purchase one the packaging is just divine and the lip product is like a lip gloss but is more of a matte finish. The colour I went for is a coral pink, which is similar to my charlotte Tilbury lipstick in sexy sienna.

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Tarteist lip paint

I decided to splash out on one of the Tarte liquid lipsticks in the shade delish it is a really pretty dark nude so I thought it would be perfect for my friends birthday.

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Thankyou for reading my blog post I hope it was an enjoyable and insightful read .

Gold smoky eye and nude lip makeup look

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Recently my very talented friend Stephanie who has the blog https://stephaniegracealt.wordpress.com/  did my makeup for me, so I decided to share the look on my blog because one of my new year resolutions for 2017 is to get back into blogging. I have subsequently been getting distracted with college work which takes up nearly all my time, so had no room for blogging as of yet .

The makeup look is gorgeous because the golden smoky eye really highlights my eyes and compliments my dark hair it is perfect for a night as it is very glam.

Starting out with the base the body shop Insta blur primer was used to smooth out the pores on my face, it is my favourite primer and I will defiantly be featuring it in my 2016 makeup favourites. Then the Mac Peachlite Strobe cream was used on my skin this adds a really pretty peach glow without making it look too shimmery. Finally for my skin a sprits of Mac Fix plus was used to brighten and hydrate my face before applying makeup.

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Next for foundation the Nars luminous weightless foundation was mixed with the Rimmel lasting finish, I have never tried this Rimmel foundation before, but I really liked the coverage it gave when mixed with the Nars foundation, which has to be a holy grail must have for me I just love it to pieces.

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Steph then brightened my under eyes with the Urban Decay Naked concealer, I use this concealer religiously every day because it defiantly brightens my under eyes leaving a smooth and flawless finish. The foundation and concealer was blended in with a wet real techniques beauty sponge, which I have never used before but the outcome was rather remarkable and I cannot get over how smooth the finish was. My under eyes was set with mac mineralise skin finish powder in light .

For the bronzer the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel was used as a cream bronzer, I absolutely adore this product because it looked so beautiful on my skin and I will defiantly be putting it on my wish list . For a face powder my old favourite Mac studio fix powder was used I cannot rave about this product enough because I feel I would end up writing a whole blog post, it is just amazing trust me on this. Finally for my face the sleek contour kit was used, it is quite warm toned for a contour but I really like it, I feel a cool toned contour would not work with my skin tone. The blush was the illamasqua powder blush in tremble.

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I have always had trouble with my eyebrows because they never go the way I want them too but Steph did a really good job at shaping them with the Anastasia dip brow pomade in Dark brown , the Mac concealer pot was also used to neaten then up. Lastly the NXY brow gel was used to keep my brows in place it defiantly did the trick.

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For the smoky eye look Steph used one of my favourite Morphe pallets the 35oM I adore this pallet because there is so many lovely transition shades as well as deep reds and oranges . She built up the colour with warm transition colours and then added a few dark brown shades from the pallet and lastly a black from the Morphe 35K. For the lid colour she used Mac Amber lights with a bit of fix plus and Mac Nylon for inner corner highlight. The NYX eye pencil in rust was used in my water line to smoke out the eyeshadow.

The Marc Jacobs velvet Noir mascara gave my lashes extreme length I have never tried anything like it and will defiantly be buying it soon because it makes my favourite mascara Urban Decay Perversion pretty poor.

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For highlight the golden shade from the Nars duel intensity blush in the shade Jubilation was used as a base highlight ,Steph them used the most daring but beautiful highlights the Jeffree star cosmetics skin frost in the shade ice cold.

For lips Steph used the NXY glide on lip pencil in nude suede shoes followed by the Nars velvet lip glide in stripped and the Jouer lip topper in skinny dip.

dsc_1116I love the idea of a lip topper because it added an extra glow to the lips without making them look to bold. The Jouer lip toppers are defiantly at 2016 favourites.

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Thank you for reading this post and defiantly visit Stephanie’s blog

https://stephaniegracealt.wordpress.com/

 

Makeup favourites

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I have been loving a huge range of makeup product that I use in my daily makeup routine, so I thought I would share them on my blog.

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•Nars luminous weightless foundation

This is a full coverage long wearing foundation, which appears as a wet consistency but blends remarkably quickly. I loved the flawless finish it gives, which was quite surprising because I first expected it to be hard to blend by how wet it is. I have the shade Light 02 mont blanc which is a perfect colour match. Overall this foundation is a firm rival between some of my favourite foundations such as Mac studio fix fluid, I had to share it in my makeup favourites.

•Guerlain Terracotta joli teint bronzer duo

This is a wonderful product for a little natural bronzy glow. I was so glad I made this purchase because I was quite a large investment, however I always find myself using it. The bronzer is not too orange toned so does not appear as vividly on the face, instead you can achieve a natural glow especially as the bronzer has a small pink segment you can use to add a little  blusher, but I just swirl my brush into the whole compact so It picks up a little pink glow. The bronzer in not completely matt is has a little bit of sparkle emphasising the naturally glow effect on the face.

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•Zoeva rose gold brushes

I have been loving this particular brush set for a long time now, because they are really quite beautiful to stare at and not to mention  the capability of making the face look flawless without a clumpy finish, they are really smooth to the skin. I just love them. I have been recommending them to all my friends, they have to try them out. The face brushes are so smooth to the face especially the 102 silk finish foundation brush which does not absorb product into the brush as some other makeup brushes do, foundation glides so evenly and lightly.  The 106 powder brush lightly disperses powder gently leaving a silky finish.

•Sleek contour kit

This has to be the only contour powder that suits my skin tone and does not appear muddy on the face. I lightly apply the contour to the hollows of my cheeks with the Zoeva lux sheer cheek brush religiously everyday. The contour highlight is quite subtle it is not the most pigmented but is really lovely. The contour is relatively inexpensive for the quality I feel more people should try it out.

•Mac studio fix powder  foundation

This has been mentioned in my blog many times, as it is my all-time favourite powder, i just love it too pieces. I always feel like I am having a perfect makeup day when I set my makeup, because I can easily achieve the desired matte finish. The powder also sets my makeup all day with little oily patches. But I do tend to take it with me in my bag to lightly touch up. You can use the powder instead of foundation, because it has buildable coverage so when I don’t want a heavy makeup day I will just use powder and a little concealer.

•Estee lauder envy sculpting pallet

I got this pallet at Christmas as part of a limited edition set, the pallet has a range of 12 pure colour envy sculpting eyeshadows which are incredibly creamy and long lasting. It is perfect for travelling, the compact is a really handy to achieve a full range of looks. One of my favourite eyeshadows in the pallet is 12 pink mink a beautiful white highlight and 01 defiant nude a dark brown I usually fill in my eyebrows with. The 2 blushes in the pallet are also mesmerising. The pure colour blush in 08 peach passion is a perfect pale blush for a subtle makeup look, I just love the shade because it has a slight glittery undertone.  Whilst the pure colour blush in 02 pink kiss is more of a vivid shade with a modest amount of silvery glitter undertone. The blush is more illuminating so a little hand should be applied to the brush.

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•The Body Shop all in one Instablur face primer

This is my favourite primer I have found, it defiantly makes my makeup last so much longer, it has been a firm makeup favourite for a long time. The primer has a rubbery clear texture which is soft but a little bit odd to get used compared to a more liquid formula, nevertheless it does work as an excellent primer.

Bobbie Brown lash glamour extreme lengthening mascara

This mascara did not really jump out to me at first, because I usually go for a mascara with a larger wand, typically it is easier to build length and volume. Therefore I was very surprised by how spectacular  this product performed. You can build so much length and volume without clumpy lashes. This mascara should defiantly be raved about more because it is a hidden gen hidden in the mascara world. In fact I was so impressed I left a review on GlamGeek. Defiantly a firm favourite staple in any makeup look.

Zoeva luxe colour blush in Rush Rush

I had to include this blush because it is one of my favourites, the packaging is beautiful and the actually blush is a gorgeous colour. The blush is very pigmented so you only need a little bit but I just appreciate the warming pink shade.  I always look so healthy when I wear it and I will defiantly be collecting a few more to add to my collection. Especially how affordable Zoeva products are .

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•Clinique shimmering tones powder ( in the pink)

This has always been a staple highlight, the 9 pink toned highlights in the pan can be used on their own, however I love mixing them all together. I also included this in one of my earlier blog posts on my June favourites.

•Collection lasting perfection concealer

I usually use 2 shades of concealer 01 to highlight and 02 to conceal any blemishes. I love this concealer as it has a brilliant longevity and staying power, plus the price for the quality is unbeatable I know that when I use this concealer none of my pesky spots will pop out .

•Maybelline 24 hour colour tattoo in crème D’nude

I use this as an eye shadow base to prevent the eye shadow creasing it makes the  eye shadow last longer on the eyes . I used to use the Mac painterly pot in soft ochre, but I believe the Maybelline base is much better, especially as it is not as pricey.

 

Raspberry, Beetroot and Baobab smoothie bowl

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This is a beautifully photogenic vegan breakfast or snack idea, it looks gorgeous and tastes incredible, especially as raspberry have always been my favourite fruit of choice.

The smoothie bowl gives a rejuvenating boost of nutrients and energy to your day, so it is perfect as a breakfast idea in the morning.

The smoothie incorporates Baobab, a superfood from the Baobab tree found native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The natural superfood is a rich source of Vitamin C, almost 50% fibre and has more antioxidants than any fruit. Baobab supports, Immune function, energy release and healthy skin.

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Ingredients

1 Banana

¼ of a cooked beetroot

1 tbsp. of Baobab super fruit powder

1 cup of Raspberries

¼ tbsp. of cinnamon

¼ tbsp. of ginger

1 cup of Almond milk

Method

Place everything is a high speed blender until a smooth consistency has been reached ( I used a nutribullet )

I then placed a couple of pistachio nuts, flaked almonds ,goji berries , sliced bananas, raspberries and pumpkin seeds on top of the smoothie .

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Orange and almond New Year cookies

 

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Since New Year is coming along so quickly and with the embrace of 2016 just around the corner, I have been in the mood for a bit of last minute Christmassy baking.

The cookies provide a taste sensation of all my favourite spices from fragrant cinnamon to candied orange zest. This recipe is a superb healthy alternative to a lot of unhealthy cookie recipes out on the market. Simply because they contain all wholesome natural ingredient instead of processed combinations and high levels of fat. The cookies suit a vegan, dairy free, wheat free lifestyle.

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The coconut oil is one of the essential ingredients used to bind the cookies. In recent years it has been proved that coconut oil is more of a health benefit than other fats such as butter. Coconut oil consists almost entirely of medium chain Triglycerides. These fatty acids go straight from the digestive tract to the liver, where they are likely to be turned into ketone bodies and provide a quick source of energy. Coconut Oil is Rich in Lauric Acid which aids the destruction of microbes like bacteria, fungi and viruses.

This recipe makes 6-8 cookies. 15 minutes baking time. Allow 30 minutes altogether.

Ingredients

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2 heaped tbsp Coconut Oil

1 tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Ground Ginger

½ tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Pink Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp Date Nectar (you can also opt for other sugar alternatives such as agave Nectar )

2 cups Ground Almonds

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp linseed (unmilled flaxseed)

½ Mashed Banana

1 tbsp Almond Butter

½ tsp Baking Powder

Zest of 2 small oranges

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Method

First pre-heat the oven to 170C. Place the 2 cups of ground almonds, flaxseed, linseed, grated orange rind and the baking powder into a large mixing bowl and then combine the ingredience, set aside for later.

In a saucepan on a low heat, melt the coconut oil. At this point, add the date syrup, all the spices and salt. Keep on a low heat and stir until ingredients are combined. Take the ½ banana and mash it until it has reached a smooth texture.

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In the mixing bowl set aside earlier incorporate the melted ingredience until combined. All the ingredients should stick together until the bowl is clean.

Take a piece of grease proof paper and place it on a baking tray. Get a cookie cutter or a circular hollow disk, then place the mixture in it, making sure that it is patted down. If you prefer you can chose to place a tablespoon amount of the mixture onto the baking tray patting down to form a cookie shape.

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Finally bake the cookies for 15 minutes. Once baked, set aside for a further 15 minutes to cool.

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Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoying making this recipe.

 

Liebster Award- A Christmas Edition

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Recently I have been nominated by 2 fellow bloggers for the Liebster Award. When I received the comments on my notification, I couldn’t believe it. I had always thought that I of all people would never get the chance to win an award, so it means so much to me. Building my blog has been so rewarding as I feel it has developed me as a person, so when an occasion like this come along, I feel all my efforts have been recognised.

The Liebster Award is one that is presented to bloggers by bloggers with 200 or less followers, in order to encourage each other to write and discover new and upcoming blogs. As it is the festive season the Liebster award has come around at Christmas.

I want to say a great big thank you to the 2 massively inspiring bloggers who have nominated me.

A 16 year old blogger who goes by the blog name Miss Glamourous Sweatpants. Visit her blog here

and the marvellous blogger who goes by the blog name Monentrée    Visit here blog here .

There are some rules to follow…

Once nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you

•Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post

•Nominate 10 other bloggers who have 200 followers or less who you think are worthy of the award

•Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can nominate the person who nominated you.

•Answer the 10 questions asked to you by the person who nominated you and create 10 questions for your nominees.

Liebster Award Sticker

Questions for bloggers who nominated me

Favourite ice-cream flavour?
Mango-

Ever since trying mango flavour ice cream in the ice cream parlours in Germany, I have never been able to find a nicer flavour of ice cream. Mango is just such a perfect flavour. It doesn’t help that I can’t have normal ice cream because of my plant based lifestyle so I have always preferred sorbet.

Bonfire or firework nights?
Firework night-

I have always been fascinated and enthused by fireworks. From a young age I just remember watching the bright colours, as they impacted the skyline with my parents. But I still love bonfires non the less, it’s just I find the smell of the fire lingering in clothes days after rather off putting.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
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Recently I have been loving listening to this classical Christmas song as it has been getting me into the Christmas spirit. It is a bit of a choir song though, especially as my youth choir are singing it for the upcoming Christmas festival but I just love the melody.

 

What’s your winter wardrobe staple?
Black suede boots-

I have been wearing these boots rather a lot at the moment. I love boots when the weather gets a bit colder as my feet can be a bit more snuggled than if I just wore my converse. I got my suede boots from Mango in the summer whilst on my holiday in Annecy. I have done a previous blog post about this shopping trip.

Who’s your current celeb crush?
Oli White (YouTube)-

I have always loved watching Oli White’s video on YouTube, in fact I think he was the first YouTuber I watched. His videos always cheer up my up and make me laugh.

Favourite holiday? ( Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving etc )
Christmas-

Who doesn’t like Christmas?. It’s such a lovely time of the year, bringing my whole family together. I also love making new treats and recipes. I also don’t celebrate thanksgiving as I am from the UK.

What’s on your Christmas wish list?
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My ultimate wish has to be a new blogging camera as  I have been using my dad’s Nikon D40 for the past year. It would be great to get a new one I can call my own.

What’s the only one place you dream to visit the most?
Australia-

Since being a young child I have dreamed of visiting Australia. The country has stood out to be a beautiful place to travel and one day I would like to visit this amazing place.

Wrapping papers or paper bags?
Wrapping paper-

Wrapping paper makes me smile as I always pick either really cute or quirky designs that make my friends laugh. I also have a lovely family tradition where every year me and my mum wrap presents together.

What is your favourite gift received? ( Birthday gift, Christmas gift etc )? Mac studio fix powder-

This was a hard decision to come to because I love all my gifts equally. However the gift I remember being the most thrilled with was my Mac Studio Fix Powder I got for my birthday. It was the first Mac product I had ever received and I felt so special applying it.

My nominations

Eve Bennett

Melodramatic adventures

Sara Gattoni

Mt. Washington Beauty

Maria Brigitte

Rachel Colley

Spencres curls

Basically Chloe

kayla alyse

Mandeville sisters

I follow each of these fantastic bloggers and deeply enjoy their blogs, so you should definitely check them out!

Congratulations guys.

The 10 questions for you are:

 

My questions

What is your favourite Christmas past time memory?
What is your favourite Christmas food?
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your winter wardrobe staple?
Who is your inspirational icon?
What is your favourite Christmas home comfort?
What is favourite Christmas bake?
What do you want most for Christmas?
Sour or sweet?
What’s your one must have beauty item?
 

Almond Oat Cookies ||| Biscoitos de Aveia e Amêndoa

Thought I would share this brilliant blog post.

ENTRE JARDINS - vegetarian and plant based recipes

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(versão portuguesa no final da página)

I had every intention of sharing a super-powered-healthy-healing soup with you for this next post but these cookies got somewhat in the way… I’m sure you don’t mind?.. Especially if I tell you these come together in a jiffy, a quality not to be neglected by someone who wants a satisfying cookie, say 5 minutes ago, and doesn’t have the patience to follow through complicated recipes.

A word on blackstrap molasses – a byproduct of white sugar manufacturing, it is a low glycemic sweetener and rich in nutrients (B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, calcium, selenium, …). As someone who usually struggles with low iron levels, blackstrap molasses has become a handy and easy way to get a few bonus iron points while making life a little sweeter.

Oh and before heading on to the recipe, a big congrats to Sara, the winner…

View original post 617 more words

Things I love about Autumn

PhototasticCollage-2015-11-15-19-48-23Autumn has to be one of my favourite times of the year, as the days slowly darken with the colder temperatures settling in. I have been clinging to my autumn home comforts. I especially like this time of the year, because I start feeling hugely festive for upcoming Christmas time, even though I think I do celebrate it a bit too early. The Christmas songs start being heard throughout my house, especially as I am practicing for upcoming choir concerts in my youth choir and I really enjoy buying presents for my friends and family, however unfortunately the same cannot be said for my mum, who finds it an absolute chore. In my ideology, what’s not to love about shopping? I am currently coming up with some new festive treat ideas for friends and family. I recently wrote a blog post about my carob and hazelnut proteins bars too. https://theperksoflifens.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/carob-hazelnut-and-date-protein-squares/

Cosy nights in front of the log fire

There is nothing better than sitting in front of the wood burner, after a stressful day. I enjoy the radiating warmth, whist watching the fire crackle which brings my family together as we all are transfixed watching the flames dance and make beautiful patterns on the walls.

A warm coffee

One of my favourite treats is a warm coffee with almond milk, but recently I have been making a hazelnut latte by combining a luscious hazelnut infused ground coffee with Alpro hazelnut milk. The taste is so lovely for this time of year.

Wearing a berry lip

When autumn is here, it gives me an excuse to wear a berry lip almost every day. One of my favourite berry lipstick picks is Red Desire by Lancôme, I am in love with it at the moment. I always feel so special when I have a berry lipstick on. I have wrote a blog post about my favourite autumn lipstick picks below. https://theperksoflifens.wordpress.com/2015/10/10/my-autumn-lipstick-picks/

Christmas

Yes it’s confirmed, I am an absolute Christmas maniac. I can’t get enough of it, and this explains why I have been getting ready early, the shops have so why not me. Christmas is the highlight of the year, but the part of Christmas I cherish the most, has to be the preparation. From making Christmas gifts to buying presents, I love it all. Me and my mum are also going to a watch a play at the Royal Exchange Theatre soon, I am super excited, it is a family tradition which I am determined to keep going.

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Pamper nights

I must admit, I do love pamper nights when the Autumn comes along. The best thing to do is relax and have a bit of “me” time. Using a lush bath bomb, whilst listening to Hobbie Stuart on shuffle, is a must have in any pamper night of mine.

Why not tell me what you love about Autumn the most.

Carob, hazelnut and date protein squares

Yummy protein squares
Yummy protein squares

DSC_0527 These bars are an absolute divine treat, perfect for a picnic box filler. I literally love them so much , whenever I am feeling like a treat I can quickly make them, eat them and feel guilty free, because they are a really healthy vegan treat. The dates act as a natural sweetener, whilst adding bulk and nutrition to the bars. I also absolutely adore carob powder, this wonderfully healthy exotic substitute for chocolate has a gorgeous flavour.

DSC_0530These bars are protein bars, because they deliver a large quantity of good protein to the body, so they are perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets .The hemp seeds, hemp milk, flaxseeds and nuts and seeds contribute to the most of the protein, but you can opt for other protein sources such as Maca powder if you wish, the great thing about these bars is you can be adventurous with the freedom of choose, you do not necessarily have to follow the recipe to the book.

Ingredients:

  • 280g of packed, pitted dates (2 cups)
  • 280g rolled oats (2 cups )
  • 4 tbsp carob powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 8 tbsp hemp milk
  • 2 tbsp of flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp of hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp of goji berries
  • 1 tbsp of linseed
  • 1 tbsp of dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp of raw millet
  • 50g of dark chocolate (greater than 70% coco)

Put a piece of grease proof paper on a small baking tray (I use a 10 by 7 inch baking tray). Place the dates in a high speed blender ( I used a nutribullet ). Blend until the dates are chopped and sticky.

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Then add in the rolled oats, carob powder, milled flaxseed, hemp seeds, salt, hemp milk and the hazelnuts to the dates in the blender. You want to process this until the ingredience form a mixture which you can scrape of the sides. If you are having trouble blending the ingredience just add bit more milk to the mixture.

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Then add all the other seeds, the goji berries and the dried cranberries leaving the raw millet and chocolate for the next steps. Process again for 1-2 seconds, but you do not want to blend all the seeds and dried fruit too much, you want them to still be visible. Finally add the raw millet and stir it into the mixture, since you want to keep it unprocessed, because the millet add a little crunch to the protein bars.

DSC_0522Then place the mixture into the lined baking tray, make sure the mixture is spread evenly, then flatten it down ,I use a little rolling pin to do this .

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Melt the chocolate and then spread it on the mixture, I then added more seeds to the top of the chocolate. Finally leave to set in the freezer for up to 15 minutes.

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Sweet potato, chickpea and kale stir fry

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Autumn is currently here at the moment in England, bringing with it colder and gloomier days, so I have been craving a few more home comforts to lighten my mood. One of my favourite food home comforts is a good healthy meal after a long day, this stir fry is a perfect healthy home comfort meal to me, so I thought I would share it with everyone. This recipe is super easy for everyone to follow, so why not try it out. It is inexpensive and really delicious. I found that all the flavours go together perfectly, the chickpeas and soft sweet potato are complemented by the hint of zesty lemon that just peaks through.

I took the recipe inspiration off Deliciously Ella’s blog post and video, I will leave the video below .

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Ingredience DSC_0456

•90g of brown rice

•1 large sweet potato

½ red pepper

1 tablespoon of Flaxseed

•1 broccoli

½ of coconut oil (you can use olive oil as an alternative if you wish)

•4 garlic cloves

•25g of kale

• 25g of spinach

•1 tin of chickpeas

• 1 lemons

First, place the brown rice on the bottom of a steamer with hot water, leaving on a medium heat for 35-40 minutes until it is cooked. Peel the sweet potato and chop it into small chunks, then place it in the steamer for 20 – 30 minutes, after the rice has been cooking for 10 minutes .The hot steam from the rice should soften the sweet potato, so that it is a lovely melt in the mouth texture. Next chop the red pepper into slices, then chop the garlic into very small pieces, you do not want them to be too big or else you will just get really random hints of garlic in your meal. Also chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces .

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Take a small piece of coconut oil and melt in a medium frying pan on a high heat. Once it has melted place the garlic in the pan with a little bit of salt and ground pepper. When the garlic is hot enough you should add the broccoli and peppers, but make sure to reduce the heat a little bit to a medium setting. Let the veg cook for 2-3 minutes, but make sure that they do not burn.

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Add the drained chickpeas, spinach and kale a few minutes later. After 5 minutes the rice should be ready, mix a tablespoon of flax seed into the rice, you do not have to add flax seed, but I try to add it to every meal, since it is a great supplement superfood and nutrient booster.

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Finally place the rice, steamed sweet potato and the lemon juice into the pan and let it cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

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watch the video that Deliciously Ella did for her recipe.

My Autumn lipstick picks

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DSC_0522 (2)Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, although the days get shorter with the weather closing in, I love the cosy nights in front of a burning fire. Autumn is a time to get excited with a bunch of amazing celebrations from Halloween to Christmas. When Autumn comes around each year, I strangely get excited, I can change my lipsticks from summery pink tones, for deeper berry autumnal colours. I only have a small collection ranging  from high-end to high street, but I am really proud of it. Whenever I put on one of my favourite autumnal lipsticks, I really get into the autumn spirit.

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High end lipsticks

Lancôme Rough sensation in the shade red desire

Elizabeth Arden beautiful colour lip liner in the shade coral 02

High end lip glosses

Naked Urban Decay lip gloss in the shade Sesso

Ted Baker red lip gloss

High street lipsticks

Rimmel London Kate 107

Miss sporty lipstick in the shade 053

High end lipsticks

Lancôme Rough sensation in the shade red desire
I absolutely adore this lipstick, the colour pigmentation is amazing. The colour is a deep red berry shade, with a beautiful shimmery undertone. It is one of my favourite makeup items, it tends to find its way to my makeup bag on a regular basis at the moment. I just cannot get enough of it. The lipstick also has a really nice scent. The lipstick staying power is ok, it does last for a couple of hours, but you do have to top it up, however this is due to its creamy texture. I find the pigmentation brilliant, the colour is so intense but in a good way.

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Elizabeth Arden beautiful colour lip liner in the shade coral 02
This lip liner is a luxury product in my book, even though this is a lip pencil. I use it on its own from time to time, and it leaves a really beautiful matte finish. I find the staying power extraordinary, especially when it does not come off whilst eating and drinking. The pencil is a really pretty autumnal coral nude colour, it always reminds me of crisp autumnal leaves and my favourite matte nude lipstick from Mac. I have also found that the lip pencil goes really nicely with one of my all-time favourite blushers, Rose Gold by Sleek. The Elizabeth Arden makeup range is so good, so I will defiantly be buying more in the future.

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High street lipsticks

Rimmel London Kate Moss 107
I searched for this lipstick long and hard in 2013, when I first discovered this beast of a lipstick through social media and the hype on YouTube. I love this so much I just cannot recommend it enough. The lipstick is such a perfect autumn berry colour, the pigmentation is unreal. The lipstick has a really creamy matte finish, leaving my lips so soft. The staying power is also tremendous, I haven’t found any lipsticks which can beat it, so everyone should try this lipstick out, and it’s so gorgeous. Furthermore the lipstick has a dreamy cherry smell that I find so refreshing. This was the lipstick I decided to wear for prom.

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Miss Sporty lipstick in the shade 053
I recently discovered this lipstick in Boots on a trip to Liverpool. I love the strawberry red colour, it just adds a touch of life to my face and I usually wear it when I have little eye makeup on, so really, it’s perfect for days when I want makeup on, but not to an excess. The staying power is not as good as my other most loved lipsticks, however that’s what you expect from a cheaper high street brand. The colour pigmentation is quite good for the price I paid.

DSC_0538 (2)High end lip glosses

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Naked Urban Decay lip gloss in the shade Sesso
I got this lip gloss from the Urban Decay Naked On The Run pallet for my birthday. At first I didn’t really think much about lip glosses, however I was totally converted to lip glosses after try this one. The texture is lovely on the lips, keeping them really moisturized and hydrated, for 3-4 hours. I also love the tingly minty flavour. The lip gloss colour Sesso is a really pretty colour, which is so universal for most of my makeup looks. I just pop it in my bag whenever I go out and about. Looking at my collection of lip glosses this has to be my all-time favour day time lip gloss, I will always rely on it to do the job.

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Ted Baker red lip gloss
This lip gloss came from a Ted Baker set, I received from a family member at Christmas. Since I adore the Ted Baker cosmetic range and in fact the whole brand, I was obviously extremely enthuses to try it out. The colour is a beautiful vibrant rose red shade, it’s a classic in any makeup collection, adding class and sophistication to the whole appearance. Although it is a lip gloss, it behaves much like a lipstick, in fact I prefer it to my other classic red lipstick by Miss Sporty, because it’s a lot easier to apply leaving a matte finish. This lipstick has to be one of my most loved and used makeup items.  I don’t wear it every day and like to wear it for special occasions. If you are looking for a classic red lip colour, but are too scared to use a lipstick, I highly recommend it. You can even just apply a little to achieve a much lighter shade.

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Banana and raspberry healthy breakfast ice cream

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Whenever you think of ice cream you don’t necessarily think on it having really healthy properties, you never imagine eating it as a breakfast boost for the rest of the day.

When you blend frozen bananas in a food processor, it creates a beautiful creamy texture that is like ice cream, it is to die for, you can then flavour it with fresh fruit, dried fruit, superfood powders, nuts and seeds.

I decided to make a raspberry banana ice cream recipe for breakfast, but it’s totally up to you what flavours you want to go with.This recipe is so simple to make, it’s a brilliant idea for those days when you want to stay in bed a big longer.

Ingredience

2-3 frozen bananas DSC_0432

2 tablespoons of almond milk

1 tablespoon Chia seeds

1 tablespoon of flaxseed

1 tablespoon of brown linseeds

1-2 tablespoon of hemp seeds

A handful of frozen raspberry’s

Topping

Fresh raspberries

Almonds

Brown linseeds

Sunflower seeds

Instructions

Firstly take the frozen bananas, blend them in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of almond milk.   ( I used a Nutribullet to do this, it’s so much better than other food processors, I have found on the market) . You want to make sure that the bananas have reached a creamy ice cream consistency, if it’s lumpy, keep blending until the correct consistency is reached. If you are having difficulty blending, you can add a bit more almond milk.

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Place flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and a handful of frozen raspberries into the food processor, along with the banana ice cream and blend again.

Once the ice cream is ready you can top it with any toppings you like.

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Bagnères De Luchon Lookbook

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Whilst in the Pyrenees town of Bagnères De Luchon, I decided to do a casual look book of my outfits when I was there. The town is in a breath-taking mountainous area located on the pyrenees border between France and Spain. The area has been features on the Tour de France for the famous Superbagneres mountain climb to the Superbagneres ski resort. You can take a trip up the cable cart to the top of the climb where a scene of truly bewitching and angelic 360 degree views greet you.

I decided to go for a really fresh casual summer outfit which would be perfect for the hot weather and comfortable to walk round in because Luchon has so many cute restaurants and boutique like shops to visit on its main street.

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DSC_0215The blue summer top is from Jack Wills, I love this top because it’s a really good staple summerr time item, which can easily be paired with jeans or shorts, the material is light and airy to the skin so it suited the hot temperatures ideally. I twinned the top with a pair of denim jeggings from Mango. Jegging have to be one of my favourite clothing items at the moment, I love the flexible feel of the material. The black suede shoes are from mango as well as the terracotta tote town bag, what can I say I am a Mango lover, the shop is just amazing. I also had a Mulberry clutch bag because sometimes a large shopping bag can be a bit on a pain when out and about. Mulberry will always be one of my most loved designer brands. I am wearing a white swatch watch also.

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Annacy holiday trip

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Whilst visiting the beautiful mountainous provinces of the French alpes, we stayed in Annecy for a couple of days. Annecy is a cultural cosmopolitan alpine town in south eastern France where the River Thiou meets Lac d’Annecy. The town is located close to the Swiss border and the city of Geneva. It’s most commonly visited by tourists for its old town heritage and rich historic culture, with cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel coloured houses. Overlooking the city is the medieval Château d’Annecy, once home to the counts of Geneva.

The town and its tranquil lake nestles in the stunning Rhône Alps area. The whole region with the sensational towering mountain scenery, is one of the most breath-taking places I have ever visited. The fresh cosmopolitan style mixed with the traditional French culture, gives any visited a truly breath taking experience, you feel like you have reached equilibrium with your senses.

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In the summer months the radiating sun by Lake Annecy is a perfect relaxing site for any family, you can even dip in to the lake for a little soak because the refreshing water is from fresh glacial springs running off mountains such as Mont Blanc which gives it a beautiful emerald glimmer. In the winter months the summer paradise is transformed into a white snowy wonderland, a dream for any winter sports enthusiast. On my visit in the summer holiday months the views were just breath-taking a post card cannot even picture the beauty.

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A common sight in the mountains above was paragliders, I even took a trip up cole de forclaz, where we visited the jumping off point for the paragliders. The brilliant spectacle made me super jealous, as I have always wanted to try an extreme sport in which you are jumping into the unknown.

parahute

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parachute 2

Chickpea and butternut squash curry with chapattis

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This has to be one of my favourite recipe, it has so much amazing flavour and it’s so simple to cook, so everyone can try it out. I find the flavours combinations of the spices makes a superb pallet sensation. I got the inspiration for this recipe off one of my favourite bloggers and you tuber Niomi smart, she always comes up with brilliant fresh recipe ideas.

The curry can be kept as leftovers or frozen for another meal time, I love being able to know that whenever I am not in the mood to prepare a full meal I can just heat up some leftover curry. So why not try this recipe out.

This recipe is suited to a 1 person serving portion size and it took less than an hour to prepare. It’s a perfect vegan dish containing no meat, gluten, wheat or dairy.

Ingredients

½ butternut squashDSC_0368

1 red onion

1 green pepper

1 garlic clove

½ lemon

1 cinnamon stick

1 ½ tins of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of drained chickpeas

A handful of spinach

1 tablespoon of Buckwheat flout to thicken

Curry spice mix

½ tsp of ground turmericDSC_0370

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp curry powder

For the chapattis

1 cup of buckwheat flour

½ cup water

The remaining curry spice mix from above

Instructions

Firstly chop up the green pepper, red onion and butternut squash into small chunks. Then take the butternut squash and place in a stemmer on a medium heat to simmer for 20 minutes because you need to soften the butternut squash.

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Then use a pestle and mortar to grind all the curry spice mix then set aside. Add the minced garlic clove, 1/2 the curry spice mix, cinnamon stick and a small amount of water to a large saucepan on a medium heat to create a paste. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes.

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Tip the chopped red onion into the pan with a little bit more water and simmer for 4-5 more minutes. You can now add the butternut squash which should be considerable softer in texture, the diced green pepper, tinned tomatoes and chickpeas to the pan. Add a little more water to the pan by filling a chopped tomato can with water so you get all the tomato and nothing is wasted. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and once you have done that, leave the pan to simmer for about 40 minutes.

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Take a piece of dough and flatten it on the work surface with the palm of your hands, until it is thin enough to hold together. The dough should be round like a pancake. Once you have flattened all the pieces of dough into flat pancake sizes, you now need to heat a frying pan until the pan is hot on a medium heat. Placed the first chapatti in the pan, leave to cook for 2 minutes on each side, make sure you check they do not burn. Repeat this for the other chapattis.

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Check on the curry, by this time the consistence should be much thicker with a reduced amount of water, but if you feel it’s still too watery you can leave on the heat a little longer or choose to add a bit of buckwheat flour to thicken the curry up a little.

Finally add a little fresh spinach. You can also prepare rice with the dish if you wish, I just made regular wholegrain rice in the microwave.

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July look book 2

Sunday July 26th 2015

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After going on an rewarding shopping trip to Annecy with my mum, whilst I was on my holiday in the French alps, I decide to do a look book of what I bought . I also really enjoy making look books, I feel so special sharing my love of fashion with the world. And even if there is only one person readings this I don’t care.

I was wearing a gorgeous black leather suede skirt from Mango in from their the suit collection brand, I just love this item because I feel like it brings the outfit together ,it’s just a stunning centre piece .

My white lace top was from Hollister, although I don’t really shop much in Hollister anymore I loved the neutrality of the design, I feel it enhances the skirt more. I also love the opposing colours of black and white, although it’s sort of old-school, I enjoy the simplicity.

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My shoes which I absolutely love are a suede heel from Mango, the design is just so beautiful.

Of course the little pink clutch bag is from River Island.

My sunglasses were from a little boutique in Geneva, I got them ages ago but I just like their shape and colour, it compliments my skin tone really well, and because they are really big if I am having a bad makeup day they are great.

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what i eat in a day / recipes

DSC_0369I decide to share my daily food routine in order to inspire more people to cook and eat healthier, as a lot of people have been wondering what food I eat since switching to a plant based lifestyle. A lot of people assume that a plant based lifestyle is minimalistic and boring compared to eating whatever you want when you want. The ingredients cabinet has been swung open, I have discover so many new amazing ingredients offering a sensation of new and exciting flavours and not to mention the tremendous health benefits.

Breakfast

Red berry chia seed smoothie bowl

1 banana

½ cup hemp milk

2 tablespoons flaxseed

1 handful of chopped strawberries

1 handful of fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberry’s)

3 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 4 tablespoons of water

  • First mix the chia seeds with 4 tablespoons of water in a cup and then leave to rest so that a jelly consistency will be reached after 5-10 minutes.
  • Blend the banana, hemp milk, strawberries red berries and the flaxseed in a food processor, then add the chia seed mixture and transfer to a bowl. I added some more fresh strawberries and blackcurrants to the smoothie bowl. If you want the smoothie bowl to have a thicker consistency you can use yogurt instead of milk and why not try different fruits.

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Detox drink

I really enjoy starting my day with a natural detox drink, it keeps me hydrated working wonders for my skin and my health. I usually get really dehydrated in the day because I hate drinking plain water, however by adding citrus fruits and a bit of mint the water is so much more refreshing.

½ lemon chopped into segments slices

½ lime chopped into segment slices

4-5 fresh mint leaves

  • Add the citrus fruits and the mint leaves to a jug of fresh water with a few ice cubes then leave to settle for a couple of minutes.

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DSC_0381DSC_0384Lunch

Rice cake with hummus, salsa and fresh salad

I always try to find a quick and easy but yet still deliciously healthy lunch that takes little time to prepare because sometimes I hate making a huge lunch.

4-6 rice cakes (I use the kallo buckwheat and super seed rice cakes)

Fresh hummus

Fresh salsa

1 large sliced tomato

Spinach leaves

Kale

Iceberg Lettice

Rocket leaves

Small grated slices of fresh beetroot

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For the Hummus

½ can chickpeas

1 tablespoon of tahini

Lemon juice from ½ lemon

2 tablespoons of water

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ garlic clove

¼ teaspoon of cumin

Salt

Pepper

1 teaspoon of fresh chilli powder

  • Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until you reach a paste consistency

 

For the salsa

2 cups cherry tomatoes

½ red onion

½ lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chilli powder

Pinch of salt and pepper

  • Blend all the ingredients below in a food processor and then season with a little salt and pepper.

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Sweet potato and chick pea veggie burgers with Mediterranean roasted vegetables and a side salad.

I really enjoy making veggie burger because not only do they taste great but you can also save them for quick lunches because they are a perfect for when you are on the go.I prepared some Mediterranean roasted vegetable with the burgers because it super easy to make and livens up any dish.This recipes makes about 6-8 burgers.

For the burgersDSC_0369

1 large sweet potato

½ cup of spinach

½ cup of Kale

¼ cup of fresh basil leaves

3 large garlic cloves minced

2 teaspoons of minced gingerDSC_0381

1 tin of drained chick peas

2 tablespoons of sunflowers seeds

¾ cups of rolled grounded oats

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

1 tablespoon of tahini

½ tablespoon sesame seed oilDSC_0384

1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt and pepper

For the roasted Mediterranean vegetables

1 tablespoon of coconut oil DSC_0371

1/2 courgette sliced

6-8 cherry tomatoes

½ orange pepper sliced

½ green pepper sliced

½ red onion

2 garlic cloves

  • Firstly preheat the oven to 180 degrees, then line a baking sheet with grease proof paper.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and using the regular sized grating hole, grate the sweet potatoes so that you should have enough to fill about 1½ to 2 cups.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potato with the roughly chopped spinach and kale leaves, basil, garlic and ginger and blended chickpeas. When blending the chickpeas you want to make sure that you still keep some of the rough texture, do not blend it into too much of a paste.
  • You can also add the grounded oats which should be grounded into a flour, the flaxseed, the sunflower seeds and all the seasonings. Then bring all the ingredients together until a dough should form. If it’s too dry you can add a little water and vice versa a little buckwheat flour if the dough is too wet.
  • Shape the mixture into 6-8 burgers and then pop on to a baking tray ready to go into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until firm and golden.
  • Whilst the veggie burgers are cooking prepare the Mediterranean cooked vegetables
  • Melt some coconut oil in a baking dish and then poured the vegetables in with a little seasoning of salt, pepper and rosemary.
  • Then bake the vegetable in oven for about 20 -25 minutes, until they have softened but not burned, make sure to check on them as the vegetables can burn easily if you leave them in too long.

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Annecy look book

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Annecy was one of the most beautiful holiday destinations I have ever visited, so I chose to do a look book of my outfit, which made me feel so good about myself. That’s what I love about clothes they can transform your mood, suiting your body shape and enhancing your beauty if you pic the correct style. I was wearing a beautiful white lace flower pattered style crop top from Topshop, paired with some denim shorts from River Island. My pink clutch bag was from River Island, I love the style and the light pink pastel shade, it goes with all my outfits.

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My white converse are great for days when I have to do a lot of walking because they are super comfortable I just adore them.

My watch is a white Swiss swatch watch, I know it’s quite boring, but I love wearing it because it’s just a simple statement item its not to fancy so great for a casual day.

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