Friday, 22 July 2016

Latest Capsule Wardrobe offerings (& #Passion4Fashion Linkup)

Just the latest offerings from my Summer Capsule today, a month on (already) from the last one.
 Its been a bumpy ride to say the least but I haven't given up completely, and I am definitely still continuing as it's now a way of life for me that I love.
I am half way through my summer Capsule and have had to relent add in a few more pieces. Only a few are newly bought, any others I have flexed in from storage. 
Currently I'm sitting in sub-tropical temps, which is so unlike the UK (and I daren't even moan about it, but I have prickly heat, bleuhh!) and finally I am getting some use out of the shorts and little cami vests I had picked out all those weeks ago, hurrah!!
So this looks like phase one of my summer capsule. Filled with more Spring wear then summer, but I did it, and I've loved every single one of these outfits. I've definitely found my groove, and looking through these pics or on my IG account you can see a definite colour scheme.. a working colour scheme pleases me greatly.

A few of my favourite pieces are
The Cream lace insert shirt (above, and again further down) on sale from Warehouse. This is an addition as all the cami's were just not working in the cold weather spell. This shirt is so soft, so comfy and minimal, but charming. I love it.

My Topshop jeans were to replace some of my really ill fitting jeans since loosing some weight, or destroying a pair with bleach. I could quite happily live in these. Just the right amount of stretch, the perfect fit, high wasited and they don't sag through the day, which wins them major brownie points in my books.

Black slider sandals.. easy, minimal, perfect lazy girl sandal.

Lots of the other pieces below are all old, the red floral dress is about 4 years old but I still love it now. Slow Fashion can be so satisfying when you see a piece that you've had for years and still want to wear it. 
Now thats true love!


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Best Damn Dips, Ever!

As promised my delightful blogging buddies, some more foodie inspiration (hopefully inspiring, or maybe just  y' enabling)
Today I am bringing a staple of mine that gets made at least once a week, to be consumed for the next few days by us all(this even had the teenagers stamp of yummy approval). I usually make a batch and then it will see me through as a lunch staple or an evening side, dependant on what we're having.
So yes.
The best Damn Guacamole and Hummus ever!

Now the Guacamole has taken me weeks to perfect, with many different attempts, each eaten and the tweaked till I got to this point of guac-perfection.
What you will need:

2x super ripe guacamole, if kept in the fridge, bring them out at room temperature for a wee bit before you start making.. it just helps with the mushing.
2x Cloves of garlic
1x Lime
A handful of baby plum tomatoes
1x chilli deseeded
A good bunch of chives
Salt & pepper

This is so, so simple  but so effective.
Cut your avocados open, de-seed and scoop out the flesh in to a bowl, mash with a fork to your desired consistency. I like mine to be a bit smooth with a few lumps.
De-seed you chilli and finely chop, add to the avocado
Crush your garlic in a garlic cursher, add to the mix.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and add.
Chop all your chives and add.
Mix it all together.
Add in the juice of 1 lime.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Mix again.

Now it's up to you here if you want a smooth guacamole like you would buy in the shop then you can pop the mixture in to a blender and give it a blitz until its to your desired smoothness.
I love mine rustic, so when you dip in a corn-chip you get an explosion of flavours.
Its that easy.
The thing I was finding with Guacamole was the traditional onion inclusion was cutting through the taste more than any other flavour, leaving you with more of an onion flavour that an avocado.
The chives bring the wonderful light hint of onion but aren't over powering.
I highly recommend!

Next up

You will need:
2x tins of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1x lemon, juiced
about 250ml of olive oil (or 10x tablespoons)
2tsp Tahini
4x Garlic cloves crushed
2tsp Ground Cumin
Salt and black pepper

Pop all your ingredients in to a food processor, add about 80mls of water to help get things going and whizz away.
Again, blend until you're happy with the consistency. It's that easy

 The thing I wanted to mention is that these both taste SO much better than the pre-packed versions. The freshness, the explosion of flavours, it's all there and they are just the simplest to make.
I keep these in tupperware in the fridge for about 3-5 days (but they're normally eaten within 2!)

I love to serve both these dips with crudités, my favourites being
Baby beetroots
Sweet Potato Wedges
Pepper sticks
Carrot sticks
Cucumber sticks.

When you first put it on a plate, it doesn't look like much, but it is so filling, fuelling, healthy and above all, totally delicious.

Try it and see what you think.

Until Next time.. 
Happy cooking

Monday, 18 July 2016

Haircare & Cruelty Free Products I Use

Becoming plant based/ vegetarian isn't just about changing what you put in to your body, for me it's also about what you put on your body too.
I don't eat animals and feel their worth so why would I buy from a company that still tests products on animals (which is completely unnecessary in this day and age in my honest opinion).
So i got researching great cruelty free and Vegan products.

Now if you've read this far and you're thinking, well I'm not vegetarian/vegan so why would this bother me?

These products are for everyone. The fact that they have sparred those cute fluffy bunnies or other such animals, then surely that can only be a great thing, right?
Plus I am doing a lot of research to make these products easy to find and tried and tested by yours truly.. instead of a guinea pig testing, you have me doing all the leg work for you.

So.. HAIRCARE.. I will be completely honest with you, my hair is like my crowning glory. I love my hair, and as much as I've struggled with it over the years for it's bi-polar crazy ways (seriously, frizzy, greasy, a bit straight a bit wavy, there's often no way of knowing what it wants to do), I have finally found a groove that we can both metaphorically dance to.

Starting point for me is cleansing & conditioning

Superdrug has really proven to be a fantastic source for Vegan/Cruelty free products as ALL their own range is cruelty free. So not only are you getting an absolute bargain as the prices are miniscule, but they are morally pleasing items too.
I wash my hair 2-3 times a week, depending on what I'm doing, basically if i can string it out between washes, I always will. Once washed my hair reverts to a frizzy crazy mess, so i need that as little as possible in my life.
The Superdrug Caring Coconut & Almond Shampoo & Conditioner is a very gentle shampoo, very natural and smells wonderful (love me some coconut scents).
Because it is more of a natural product it does feel very different on the hair; first off, it takes a lot to get a good lather, I will often have to add a bit more, or dip my head in under the water to encourage some foam-age. Once rinsed, my hair feels super tangly, but the conditioner works well to counteract that.
As shampoo & conditioner go they are fine. I am nearly through these bottles so i shall be looking at trying Faith in Nature, which I've heard good reviews about.

Next up brushing detangling

Now to me, and possibly the majority of the female population The Tangle Teaser is the best thing since sliced bread. Cutting through knotty tangled hair like a knife to butter, this thing has saved many a crying small child from the agonizing hair brushing ritual. 
My sister has 2 gorgeous little girls. They were both blessed with beautiful but crazy curly hair. The Tangle Teaser is the only thing that tamed those heads of crazy curls without inducing tears. 
Marvel at its wonder..

 Now my hair is shorter I don't have to worry too much about knotty hair, but this just feels so therapeutic when I brush with the Tangle Teaser. My hair becomes silky soft, it also removes any dead hair and leaves my tresses silky soft and knot free. This one is a fab 'on -the-go' size in a rather dashing gold (snazzy, i know. They also have leopard print, insert heart eyed emoji here!) which is perfect for me and the teen step daughter who has hair down to her bottom, and when we are out the pesky wind is our arch nemesis. (Not any more with the Tangle teaser of course). Bloomin' love this thing, and any household that has a female in it should have one :D

ahem.. excuse the literal no makeup look... this is me genuinely getting ready ;)

On to Styling Products

Took me a while to navigate the Cruelty Free Hair product waters.. but with a bit of perseverance I found my new go-to styling products.
Both the Style Expertise Heat Protecting Spray & Anti Frizz Serum are new to me (Superdrug came to the rescue once again!) and both work just as well as the likes of L'oreal or Toni & Guy which i previously used regularly. The scent is pleasant and not overpowering, the product does what is says and reduces both damage and frizz nicely. Super pelased to have found these are they are now staples in my haircare routine.
A favourite look for me is the simply tousled look.. ie lazy girl hair. A texturizing spray is a must for me. I often let my hair dry naturally, and with a generous spritz of The Lee Bancroft texturizing mist, it leaves me with beachy (read:messy-but-in-nice-way) hair. So simple, so easy, and perfect summer hair. I picked this one up in Tesco and have had it a while, I really like the product and plan to repurchase.

Finally: Stylin'

Two day hair styles are my favourite no brainer.. It's been a while since i've done this no-heat curl style, but with it being warm I thought it was perfect for day 1. Firstly all the clean-just washed and naturally dried hair is scooped up and off the neck. It's wrapped around a stretchy circular head band and left that way for the rest of the day. Get on with your biz, sleep on it, do as you please. It's messy but fun and super easy to do.
Let me know if you'd like a hair tutorial on how to do this. Perhaps I could vlog it (eek)?

Then day 2 hair, once the band is removed and the hair is brushed through with my Tangle Teaser, you are left with fabulous, full bodied waves.
So. Flippin'. Easy.
No heat, no damage to the hair and a lovely outcome.. What's not to like?

So there we have it. My hair care: Products & styling!

Is there anything you use as part of your haircare routine that you would highly recommend?
And would you think about buying cruelty free products in future?


Saturday, 16 July 2016

Taking Some Me Time (and my favourite items to do so)

I have a teeny tiny house crammed full of people and a dog, plus all the paraphernalia that goes along with small people, big people and animals, plus i run a business from home.
As you can imagine sometimes you feel like a sardine in a sardine tin, especially at weekends when we all congregate here.
Sometimes I love being surrounded by my nearest and dearest. Sometimes though, I like to take a breather, a little bit of me time so i can have a rest from being cook, cleaner and referee.
In the last 2 homes we've had I have created a nook for myself. I place of calm where i can retreat to and leave everyone get on with their business.

It took me years to realise it was ok to give myself time off, I now know that by giving myself an hour out to myself I am more relaxed and a better mummy for it.
Just gimme some peace and I can mentally re-group and carry on.
I can't tell you how important it is to grab some 'You Time ', sounds cheesy but honestly it has really helped me in a busy family environment.

I thought I'd share with you my 'Me time' necessities and what I like to do.

 To start my nook i bought myself a comfy chair.
It's quite funny as everyone knows this as mummies chair. It is my place of retreat. I used to use my bedroom, but i felt too far removed and sometimes got too relaxed and ended up snoozing the afternoon away (not always a bad thing) .
This chair was picked for its vibrant colour and it feels like a hug when you sit in it, comfy and relaxing. I love it.

Next up is a throw.
Throws are an essential is this household. We all love them and have multiple around the house. We have them on the sofa for movie nights and snuggling up, on our beds and I have mine on my chair in my nook.
I know i wanted to feel snugly. Its not always (ahem..ever) warm here, and my nook is in the corner of our conservatory, which can be chilly. There's something immensely comforting about snuggling under a throw. This one is a super soft bed throw from the Yorkshire Linen collection re-purposed. Its the perfect comforter. (the dog also loves snuggling on it and being my draught excluder)

 One of the most important things for me is a good book. I devour books at a rate of knots. I love to read. I love the escapism it brings and how it can completely enrapture you in the story line. I am currently reading Victoria Hislop The Return, which is immensely enjoyable. I was chatting with some ladies on Instgram about possibly starting a Book Club together.. would you be interested in starting/joining a book club? It would be of the no pressure variety and for fun rather than academic, but could be lovely. (let me know in the comments or IG /Twitter if you're interested, I'd love to discuss it further with you!)

Lastly for me, refreshments.. I love to take this time to sip a cup of coffee, or some fruity tea in my own time, enjoying the taste and savouring a cake or treat (these are the delicious breakfast bars).

Do you have a nook for some 'You Time'? What are your essential chill out items?

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