Foodie Friday: Baked Apple Pie Porridge (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)

Friday 29 November 2019

Baked Apple Pie Porridge Oats (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
More Winter Comfort Food this week with a scrumptious Baked Apple Pie Porridge recipe which is dairy-free and vegan-friendly. This is another meal which is super easy to make and can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or even as a healthy late evening dessert.

You'll always find at least one huge jar of jumbo oats in my kitchen cupboards as I just love how versatile and filling they are. The classic is, of course, to use them every day for a humble bowl of porridge, and this Baked Apple Pie Porridge recipe takes it up to the next level in terms of creating something which is indulgent, comforting and perfect for a cold Winter's day.

If you haven't tried baking porridge before, you're in for a treat! Just make sure to add more liquid than you think is necessary because a lot gets gloriously soaked up into the oats during the baking process, so don't worry if it looks like too much at the start.

Baked Apple Pie Porridge

Ingredients (serves 3-4 depending on appetite!):-
  • 250g Jumbo Oats
  • 475ml Almond Milk
  • 2 Apples
  • 4-5 Medjool Dates
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Maple or Agave Syrup
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Coconut Oil, for greasing
  • Optional extra toppings: Cacao Nibs, Nut Butter, Ice Cream, Custard etc

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Lightly grease a round baking dish with a little Coconut Oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Jumbo Oats, Almond Milk, Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg, giving everything a good stir and allow the mixture to soak for about 10 minutes.
  • Roughly chop up the Dates and Apples into small pieces (you can keep the skin on the apples or peel them), removing the cores and pits. Add to the soaked mixture, and then add in the Maple Syrup and pinch of Salt
  • Give everything a final stir and carefully pour into the greased baking dish. Pop in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and it's golden on top.
  • Serve immediately and optionally top with Cacao Nibs and Nut Butter to keep it healthy, or with Custard or a scoop of Ice Cream for an indulgent dessert - enjoy!

Baked Apple Pie Porridge Oats (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
What are you planning to make for brunch this weekend?

New In Beauty: bubu Skincare - Sheet Masks review + Black Friday Offer

Thursday 28 November 2019

bubu Skincare - Sheet Masks review
Newly launched on PrettyLittleThing, bubu Skincare's range of cruelty-free, paraben-free and vegan-friendly sheet masks are both fun and effective to use!

bubu, which stands for 'be you, be unique' is a brand that's successfully adding a sense of playfulness  (their sheet masks contain eco-friendly 'glitterati') to the self-care/self-love movement, and their products have been designed to help boost your confidence and make you feel better about yourself and your skin.

With four face masks and a lip mask to choose from, these colourful metallic packets of sheet masks are destined to become a new favourite amongst those who want to give their skin a weekly 10-15 minute pampering treat. So naturally, when a selection of them arrived through my letterbox recently, I couldn't wait to test them out!

The bubu Sheet Masks have a two-layer design (a top and a bottom part) and they fitted relatively well on my face without sliding off during the treatment time. Each mask is infused with its individual serum-like formula, but unlike some sheet masks which are literally dripping with serum when you take them out the packet, these ones are just wet enough to be applied without any mess, and they have a comfortable silky cellulose feel which makes them really pleasurable to wear.
bubu Skincare - Sheet Masks review
bubu Skincare #soakmewet Hydrating Sheet Mask*
Keeping your skin hydrated throughout Winter is a must as the colder weather and central heating can cause your complexion to become a lot drier than usual, so this handy Soak Me Wet Hydrating Sheet Mask can help to give it a real moisture boost! Key ingredients include Hyaluronic Acid and Licorice Root to keep your skin hydrated and happier for longer - I really enjoyed this one and it left my skin feeling much plumper and softer immediately afterwards. Suitable for all skin types.

bubu Skincare #t-spot Blemish Busting Sheet Mask*
Breakouts and blemishes are a bugbear of mine thanks to my difficult oily/combination skin, so I was eager to try out the T-Spot Blemish Busting Sheet Mask. Infused with Niacinamide, Pro-Vitamin B6 and a powerful combination of plant-based extracts, it sounded very promising, but honestly, after just one use, I didn't see any difference. Perhaps it's one to try as more of a regular weekly treatment?

bubu Skincare #feelingdirty Pollution Busting Sheet Mask*
We're all aware now that air pollution is one of the leading causes of premature ageing, alongside drinking and smoking, so those living and working in a city may want to consider taking extra care of their skin. This Feeling Dirty Pollution Busting Sheet Mask helps to protect the skin's natural barrier against free radical damage, daily dirt and city grime, thanks to a clever multi-vitamin, Marine based Antioxidant Complex. It feels similar to the Hydrating Sheet Mask above, but left my skin looking clearer and feeling cleaner than before which is always a good sign!

Shop the full range of bubu Skincare at & - PLT currently has them in their special Black Friday Offer with 20% off (RRP £7 each), so now's a great time to try them out for yourselves!

Are you a sheet mask fan?

P.S: Recycle your sheet mask packaging with TerraCycle - find out more here.

Beauty Box: LoveLula Beauty Box - November 2019 review

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Treat yourself to a selection of winter-friendly haircare and skincare with November's LoveLula Beauty Box where everything included is cruelty-free and natural or organic - yay! This month's contents are worth £48, so let's check out what's inside.

Nature's Kitchen Kiwi, Apple & Cucumber Skin Soothing Face Wash (RRP £10.99)
Infused with a range of anti-ageing ingredients and antioxidants, this gentle cleanser is packed full of fruit and vegetable extracts, alongside AHAs and vitamins A, B3, C and E. It's a great face wash to use first thing in the morning to wake up tired skin and brighten up any dullness, plus it has a lovely refreshing zing about it!

Madara Hemp Lip Balm (RRP £10)
Keep dry and chapped lips at bay this winter, with this luxurious natural lip balm from Madara. It's been specially formulated to provide extreme comfort and hydration all day long thanks to nourishing ingredients such as Olive Oil, Shea Butter and Hemp Oil.

Ayumi Organic Coconut Enriched Hair Oil (RRP £7.99)
It's not just skin that suffers during the colder months - winter can take its toll on your hair too, but help is at hand with this Organic Hair Oil from Ayumi. Enriched with Coconut Oil, this silicone and paraben-free hair oil is a seriously rich and moisturising treatment that will help to rescue dry and damaged hair after just the first use, and it can be left on overnight for an even more intensive treatment if your hair is in particularly bad shape.

Ooh! Oils Of Heaven Apricot Revitalising Face Oil (RRP £19)
The last full-size product in this month's LoveLula beauty box is a beautiful Revitalising Face Oil from Ooh! Oils Of Heaven, which are a brand exclusive to LL. Made from 100% organic cold-pressed Apricot Kernel Oil, this clean and pure oil softens, revitalises and smoothes out fine lines so it's a good one to try if you have dry, sensitive or mature skin.

Also included are samples of JOIK Rejuvenating Eye Contour Cream and ZOJO The Bikini Body Formula for subscribers to try out.

LoveLula Beauty Box* is a monthly subscription box priced at £13.95 with free postage in the UK. Visit to find out more.

Have you subscribed to LoveLula's Beauty Box?

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Green Beauty & Wellness Treats

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Green Beauty & Wellness Treats
This week's Christmas Gift Guide focuses on some beautiful Green Beauty and Wellness Treats which I'd love to find wrapped up underneath the tree this year! These are gift ideas which are free from excessive plastic packaging and instead have packaging which is either fully recyclable or reusable.

For Yogis & Frequent Flyers: Yogandha Salute Rollerball* (10ml, £16.95, link)
For the friend who loves yoga, I would highly recommend the natural Irish wellness brand Yogandha who have a lovely range of easy to use rollerballs. I particularly love the Salute blend which is an invigorating mix of nine therapeutic essential oils such as Grapefruit and Bergamot, and it smells so energising and happy! It's also perfect for those who fly a lot as it helps to alleviate some of the symptoms of jetlag too.

For Eco-Warriors: Awake Organics Unscented Probiotic Deodorant* (45g, £11.99, link)
Plastic-free gifts will be more in demand than ever this year as increasing awareness over our environment and oceans continues to grow, so why not treat someone who is trying to go plastic-free with this all-natural, vegan-friendly organic deodorant? Made by indie brand, Awake Organics, they have a small line of natural deos which are packaged in fully recyclable metal tins. Free from aluminium, bicarb and fragrance, this unscented version is great for sensitive skin.

For Busy Mums & Low-Maintenance Women: Zoya Naked Manicure Perfector* (14ml, £10, link)
Free from the big five nasties which are commonly found in mainstream nail polish products, Zoya's Naked Manicure Perfector is one of those brilliant low-maintenance gems that instantly pulls your look together and makes adulting look easy, even when you're running around like a headless chicken! This mauve shade compliments a wide range of skin tones and is perfect for busy mums who still want to look their best with a pretty mani.

Antipodes Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum
For City Workers: Antipodes Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum* (30ml, £34.99, link)
Sadly, pollution is a fact of life for those who live and/or work in a city, but you can help your bestie protect their skin from the ageing effects of pollution with this clever serum from Antipodes. Formulated with skin-brightening Marshmallow Bloom extract and Liquorice Root, this bestselling product is packed full of antioxidants to help neutralise free radical damage and provide a protective natural barrier against the worst of city pollution. Best of all, it's suited for most skin types, especially oily skins, and feels lightweight on so it sits well underneath makeup.

 JOIK Strawberries & Sparkling Wine Candle
For The Candle Lover: JOIK Strawberries & Sparkling Wine Candle* (145g, £13.50, link)
Described as a romantic, luxurious and intoxicating mix of Strawberries, Hyacinth, Cassis, White Flowers and Sandalwood blended with Lily Of The Valley and Apple Cider, JOIK's deliciously fruity and floral Strawberries & Sparkling Candle is ideal for the festive party season and beyond. The soy wax base is hand-poured into reusable/recyclable glass and makes a heavenly gift for any candle lover.

For Those In Need Of Some Calm: Kypwell Essentials KypCalm Organic Herbal Tea* (80g, £18, link)
Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year and whilst many of us juggle various commitments here and there, it's always helpful to gift some 'calm' to someone who may be struggling. Kypwell Essentials do a fantastic Organic Herbal Tea called KypCalm which features a bespoke blend of carefully chosen herbs that have been proven to have a relaxing effect during exhausting or distressing times. Sourced from organic cultivations in Cyprus, it contains the likes of Lemon Balm, Lavender, Crataegus, Passion Flower and Hibiscus to help improve stress levels and sleep, and it's also good for relieving PMS symptoms.

Are you buying any green beauty or wellness gifts this year?

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The Weekend Post: 6 Items You Need To Look Classy This Winter #AD

Sunday 24 November 2019

Ladies, it is no secret that most of us are more focused on our fashion choices during the summer days. We spend more time than we want to admit in front of a mirror, trying to create a perfect outfit for a sunny afternoon or night of dancing underneath the stars. However, things change when the winter comes, and staying warm and comfortable becomes far more important than looking stylish. Luckily, you can still look completely fabulous and classy this winter without having to sacrifice your comfort. Include these following items into your wardrobe and you will easily pull off a classic, timeless look. 

A little black dress 

Regardless of what time of year it is, this evergreen item never goes out of style and can help you get ready in a minute for any type of event. It doesn’t matter whether you are going to a classy party or having a cup of coffee with your friends, in this versatile piece of clothing you will always look your best. You can wear it with a pair of black pumps, a sexy pair of stilettos or even over a white button-down shirt, depending on where you are going. 

An interesting piece of jewellery 

We can all agree that the right piece of jewellery can elevate any outfit. During the winter when most of your body is covered with layers and layers of clothes, opt for a necklace with an interesting pendant or a great-looking pair of earrings with moonstone like those from Moon Magic. A classy piece of jewellery and a bold lip colour are always a good combo, so dare to attract some attention. 

Classic cardigan 

Just as the little black dress, a nice cardigan can be styled to look any way you want. If you are aiming for a more hipster look, baggy grandpa cardigan paired with skinny jeans is the way to go. In case you want to look classy and sophisticated, wear a cardigan instead of a hoodie when going to a concert or a football game. 

Brown knee-high boots 

There are so many ways you can wear brown boots, and for some reason, they always look a little bit classier than the black ones. Since you will wear them during the winter, make sure you don’t opt for a heel that is taller than two inches, or you won’t feel comfortable, especially when walking in the snow. You can wear these boots with skinny jeans, skirts, leggings, and dresses and not make a mistake, so find a combination that looks best on you. 

Dark-wash boot-cut jeans 

Yes, skinny jeans and boyfriend jeans are more modern, but a classic pair of boot-cut jeans never goes out of style and is perfect for those cold winter days. Whether you are going to dinner, getting ready for work or simply going for a walk, you can always rely on these jeans to make you look good. Choose a pair without any fading or embellishments if you are going for the classy look and make sure to have them hemmed to perfectly hit the bottom of your heel. You can wear these jeans with black pumps and a white dress shirt, or take it up a notch with a back blazer and a fabulous scarf. 

A brightly-coloured scarf 

Don’t be afraid to add some colour to those gloomy winter days! It is amazing how with just one brightly-coloured scarf an outfit can look more classy, stylish, and complete. This simple piece of clothing will keep your neck warm as well as help you pull off a fancy look without trying too hard. 

With these items, you will be able to great the following season looking classy and gorgeous without sacrificing your comfort.

[This is a sponsored post - stock image from PixelBay]

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Foodie Friday: Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood

Friday 22 November 2019

Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood
Comforting, filling, hearty bowls of food are everything to me right now, and I could honestly eat this Italian Style Orzo Soup for lunch every day until next March! It's also a great way to get some extra veggies into your diet if you find that you struggle to hit your five a day during the winter months.

Last month, I picked up a large packet of Orzo for a reduced price (I'm forever the yellow sticker bargain hunter!), and having never actually heard of it before, I decided to have a quick scour online for ways to use it. 

Orzo is an Italian pasta which is also known as risoni and it basically looks like small grains of rice which lend themselves very well to being thrown into soups, salads and casseroles. This instantly adds bulk and substance to any meal and with my penchant for hearty comfort food, it made sense for me to experiment with an Italian Style Orzo Soup recipe

After some tweaks here and there, I've finally perfected it into something which can be easily made on a Sunday evening and then heated up for speedy lunches throughout the week. And did you know that if you cool and then reheat carbohydrates such as pasta, you actually reduce those initial spikes in your blood glucose levels? Healthy and comforting - my favourite food combo!

Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood
Ingredients (makes around four servings)
  • 200g Orzo
  • 400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 800ml Vegetable Stock
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1 small White Onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 stalks of Celery, finely sliced
  • 1 Red Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Courgette, chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, finely diced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Italian Mixed Herbs
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil, for frying
  • Salt & Pepper, to season

  • Add a drizzle of Olive Oil to a large and deep saucepan over a medium heat. Add the Onion, Garlic and Celery and cook for about 4-5 minutes to gently soften.
  • Next, add in the chopped Red Pepper, Courgette and Red Chilli, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Finally, add all of the remaining ingredients - the Orzo, Chopped Tomatoes, Vegetable Stock, Bay Leaves and Italian Mixed Herbs. Continue to cook for a further 10 minutes, until the Orzo is al dente (or cook for a few minutes longer if you prefer your pasta softer), making sure to stir occasionally.
  • Ladle into serving bowls and season with Salt & Pepper if desired - enjoy!

Storage tip: Once cooled, keep any remaining servings of the soup in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 2-3 days, making sure to thoroughly reheat it before serving. Unfortunately, cooked pasta turns mushy when it is frozen, but you could freeze the soup without the orzo and then cook a fresh batch of orzo to accompany it at a later date.

Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood
Have you tried Orzo before?

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: The Alternative Gifts Edit - Practical, Useful & Thought-Provoking Gifts

Thursday 21 November 2019

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: The Alternative Gifts Edit
If your Christmas shopping list involves buying gifts which are practical, thought-provoking and useful in some way, this short but sweet alternative edit is here to give you a couple of ideas!

Re-Usable Coffee Cups and Drinks Bottles
Reusable Coffee Cups and Drinks Bottles

Whilst many of us have already got the memo about ditching single-use plastic drinks cups and bottles, there are still some people who haven't gotten around to buying an alternative yet. Fret not! You can give them a helping hand in the right direction by gifting them their very own reusable coffee cup or bottle, and help save millions of tons of unnecessary single-use waste from going to landfill every year. Loads of shops sell them on the high street, supermarkets stock them, and I even found them by the till recently at my local petrol station, so they're super easy to find and pick up. 

Diversity Books Subscription

There are lots of book subscription boxes out there, but one that I've been particularly taken with recently is a newbie called Heady Mix. Heady Mix focuses on showcasing characters and writers from underrepresented groups including women, race, disabilities, LGBTQI+ and more, which is a great way to promote diversity whilst finding something new and interesting to read. 

They have a range of subscription options depending on how much you want to spend each month, with prices starting at just £12 (including UK postage). In the photo above is their October Heady Mix box* themed on Afrofuturism, which includes two novels and a specially compiled anthology. Sign up here

Kid-Friendly Stockings - Bamboo Toothbrushes 

I've seen a recent trend on social media of parents shunning the typical plastic consumer 'tat' that are marketed at their kids, and instead, making them a Christmas stocking which is full of useful products to help kickstart family conversations about the importance of protecting the environment. With so many young kids being more aware of the problems that the world is facing these days thanks to movements like Extinction Rebellion and programmes such as Blue Planet, I think it's a pretty cool idea!

One item that you can include in their stocking is the much-loved bamboo toothbrush. This sustainable, biodegradable, plastic-free alternative helps to represent how easy it is to change daily habits with just one product. And again, this is an easy item to shop for on the high street or online.

 The Healthy Tea Gift

To round off this edit I wanted to include something that I will always appreciate receiving myself and that's tea! Matcha Green Tea is perhaps the healthiest tea that you can find and it's packed full of heart-healthy antioxidants which have a wide range of proven benefits. It also gives you a boost of energy but has a much lower caffeine content than regular coffee, so you can avoid those annoying post-coffee jitters! Try making a classic Matcha Latte (recipe here) or use some in baking and treat yourself to these delicious Matcha Green Tea & Lemon Breakfast Muffins (recipe here).

The perfect starter kit is this Pure Chimp Matcha Green Tea Gift Set* (£29.95, link) which comprises of a full-size jar of their excellent Matcha Green Tea, a stainless steel measuring spoon and a bamboo whisk and holder.

Are you shopping for useful and practical Christmas gifts this year?

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New In Beauty: Tropic Glow Berry Brightening Serum and Rainforest Dew Hydration Serum review

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Tropic Glow Berry Brightening Serum and Rainforest Dew Serum review
As the mercury begins its annual descent into those freezing cold temperatures, Tropic have come to the rescue with two brand new serums which are going to be your winter skin saviours this year - yay!

Regular readers will already know that I'm a huge fan of the British natural luxury skincare brand, Tropic, and with their strong cruelty-free and vegan-friendly ethics (both of which are proudly certified on their products), I'm always delighted to share news of their latest products. 

Their newest skincare innovation comes in the shape of two very exciting facial serums which address two of the most common complaints of winter skin - dullness and dryness. I've been testing them out for the past month, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on them if you're looking for some new serums to invest in this Winter.

Tropic Glow Berry Brightening Serum review
Tropic Glow Berry Brightening Serum* (30ml, £42, link)

Glow Berry isn't just a beautiful looking bottle that will instantly brighten up your Insta-worthy shelfie pics, it'll help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and even skin tone too! The clinically-proven serum boasts an interesting formula which was developed when Tropic founder Susie Ma came back from a six-week charity expedition and noticed that sun spots had appeared on her face. 

Featuring a highly effective blend that contains 10% advanced and encapsulated Vitamin C, 1% Tranexamic Acid, Australian Superberries and Kangaroo Paw Flower Extract, Glow Berry is packed full of hard-working antioxidants which boost collagen production, prevent free radical damage (which leads to those visible signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles), reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation and promotes an overall more radiant complexion.

This serum has a lovely lightweight texture that's easily absorbed and like products of this nature, you only need to use 2-3 drops so the bottle will last you a long time. I've been using Glow Berry in the evening as part of my skincare routine and after a couple of weeks of continual use, I can definitely say that I've seen an improvement - my skin looks a lot healthier and less dull so it's something that I'll certainly be continuing to use. P.S: Once opened, you need to store it in the fridge to keep the active ingredients potent.

Tropic Rainforest Dew Serum review
Tropic Rainforest Dew Hydration Serum* (30ml, £42, link)

Most skin types will benefit from some extra hydration during the colder winter months, and if your skin is usually dry all year round anyway, you'll definitely want to boost your routine with a good quality hydrating serum.

Inspired by Korean beauty's 'glass skin' trend which is rooted in hydration being the key to having an amazing complexion, Tropic's Rainforest Dew Hydration Serum helps your skin to bounce back thanks to a clever cocktail of Hyaluronic Acid, advanced Plant Peptides, and extracts such as Matcha Tea and Evergreen Fern. These ingredients have all been carefully chosen to boost elasticity, encourage cellular renewal, reduce redness and inflammation, and of course, keep the skin moisturised for longer.

The result is a serum which can be used by all skin types (especially dry and dehydrated) that delivers long-lasting hydration so that your skin feels smooth, plump and more comfortable throughout the day and night. It has a lovely soothing sensation when you massage it in and although it's excellent at its key task of hydrating, it doesn't feel heavy or sticky like a thick cream, instead, it absorbs so quickly that it feels virtually weightless - wonderful!

What's on your Winter Skincare wishlist?

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Health & Lifestyle: Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty
Collagen supplements have been popular amongst skincare fans for a long time now, but did you know that most are made from marine or bovine ingredients? For those who have been searching for a vegan-friendly collagen alternative, Bioglan Superfoods have the answer in the form of their new Beauty Protein Powder.

Collagen is a protein that's found naturally all throughout the body; it's in your bones, skin, muscles and tendons, and is often referred to as the body's 'scaffolding' which is a good way to sum it up as it supports your overall structure. Like many natural sources though, collagen production starts to slow down after around the age of 25 and takes a tumble even further for women after the menopause (thanks Mother Nature!)

Needless to say, finding ways to boost collagen, and thus its production, has been touted as one of the big 'anti-ageing' research areas as declining collagen levels ultimately lead to a loss of skin elasticity and moisture - resulting in those common signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and drier skin. 

There are a myriad of different collagen supplement products available on the market, from capsules to drinks, to topical skincare and rejuvenating face treatments, but now there's finally a vegan-friendly option thanks to Bioglan Superfoods' new Beauty Protein Powder - hooray!

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty
What Is It?
Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder is a collagen-boosting blend of superfood berries and plant-based protein which has been enhanced by additional vitamins and minerals to give your skin a boost from within. It features a unique amino acid mix that essentially mimics the composition of traditionally used bovine collagen, giving vegans and vegetarians a cruelty-free alternative.

What Are The Key Ingredients?
Pea and Rice Protein offer a good source of plant-based protein (7.1g per 10g serving), whilst Goji Berry and Raspberry Fruit Powders provide a source of antioxidants and Vitamin C that helps to maintain normal collagen formation for healthy skin. The amino acid complex is made up of L-Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Proline, L-Hydroxyproline, L-Leucine and L-Arginine, each of which has been specially chosen for their abilities to help boost collagen, and there's also Hyaluronic Acid (to help the skin hold onto moisture for longer), Bamboo extract and Biotin (to keep skin, hair and nails strong) added to complete the blend.

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder review #VeganBeauty
How Do I Use It?
Super easy - like everything in the Bioglan Superfoods range, you can add it to porridge (as above),  overnight oats, birchers, smoothies, shakes, or stir it into yoghurts, and even add it to pancake and muffin recipes for a healthier treat. Two teaspoons (10g) is all you need per day.

What Does It Taste Like?
Unlike other mainstream collagen supplements which can have a fishy aftertaste, this one doesn't really taste of much, except for a subtle 'protein powder' flavour (if you drink protein shakes, you'll know what I mean!) which I don't mind. It's easily disguised in whatever you blend it with anyway! 

Overall Thoughts?
I know a lot of vegetarians and vegans who have been looking for a product like this, and with more people turning to a plant-based diet, I can see this being very popular. It's free from animal products, high in protein and contains no added flavours, sugar or sweeteners. Plus it's easy to use and incorporate into your daily routine, and it can help to improve your skin in the long term - what's not to like?! My only bugbears are the plastic packaging (I hope Bioglan are looking into this) and that a product of this nature could be made even better by using organic ingredients, however for the price, it's definitely worth a try.

Bioglan Superfoods Beauty Protein Powder* (100g - equal to 10 servings - £12.99) is available direct from Bioglan Superfoods and Holland & Barrett (link)

Do you take any collagen supplements?

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Highstreet Stocking Fillers For NYE Party Girls - Nails Edit

Friday 15 November 2019

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Stocking Fillers For Party Girls - Nails Edit
Looking for stocking fillers or secret Santa ideas for that gal in your social circle/office who just can't wait for the biggest party of the year? This special Nails Edit shares some affordable options with everything featured £15 or under!

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Stocking Fillers For Party Girls - Nails Edit
Leighton Denny Large Crystal Nail File* (£15.50, link)
OK, so I'm cheating a little bit by including this as it's 50p over the £15 mark, however, there is a smaller Crystal Nail File from Leighton Denny that you can pick up for £12.50 if you're sticking to a secret Santa budget! I think this is a good choice for that person who has everything, but who adores manicures and all things nails. It's guaranteed to last a lifetime and has been described as the 'Rolls Royce' of nails files, winning numerous awards, so why not invest in the best?! You can also pick it up from Boots and stock up on your loyalty points - win-win!

Leighton Denny Nail Polish* (£12, link)
A luxury, high-quality nail polish is something that can take pride of place on a makeup junkie's vanity table and with a huge variety of on-trend colours and finishes to choose from, there's something for everyone who loves playing with nail polish. My top pick would be the shade above which is called Fedora from Leighton Denny's new AW 19/20 collection. It's a stunning, rich, warm and muted purple cream that goes with everything. Heads up - M&S have currently got these in on a 3 for 2 offer if you're looking to purchase multiple stocking fillers.

Christmas Gift Guide 2019: Stocking Fillers For Party Girls - Nails Edit
KISS Glam Fantasy & Gel Fantasy Nail Sets* (£7.99 each, link)
You can't beat a set of eye-catching falsies for that all-important NYE party and these ready-to-wear nails can be worn with nail glue or applied with adhesive tabs. There are loads of different designs and shades available in both the Glam Fantasy and Gel Fantasy ranges from KISS, so you'll be simply spoilt for choice! Both ranges have a realistic gel nail effect with an ultra-smooth finish to help you party the night away.

imPRESS Press-On Manicure Sets* (£7.99, link)
If you're looking for a less OTT nail kit, why not try the imPRESS Press-On Manicure Sets? These super easy to apply falsies come in a shorter length which makes them more wearable for most people, and they still offer the benefits of a gorgeous gel nail finish. I really like these for special occasions and they're great for those who aren't too confident at painting their own nails. Like the KISS sets above, these are also currently on offer in Superdrug.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Weekend Post: Top 5 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Hacks That Actually Work #AD

Saturday 2 November 2019

Doing a little bit of cleaning here and there on a regular basis, is a lot less stressful than trying to tackle the enormous challenge of cleaning the whole house when family or friends arrive unannounced, or you have that all-important landlord check to pass. To make things even easier, here are my top 5 eco-friendly cleaning hacks that actually work - so you can get the job done without harming the environment in the process - win, win!

Hack 1 - Use White Vinegar & Water to Clean Windows & Mirrors
Lots of mainstream window cleaners contain butoxyethanol which can cause a sore throat if inhaled and can really irritate the lungs of asthma sufferers, so make your own natural window cleaner by simply mixing white vinegar and plain water (50/50 ratio) in a spray bottle. Spritz onto any window and mirrored surface to remove dirt and grease marks, and then buff to a beautiful shine with a reusable cloth.

Hack 2 - Get Rid Of Bad Cooking Odours With Essential Oils
Opened your oven or microwave and got a whiff of something nasty? You don't need to resort to using bleach-based products to get rid of those bad post-cooking smells. Instead, add a few drops of essential oils (citrus, eucalyptus or vanilla all work nicely) to a bowl of water and pop it into the oven or microwave on a medium heat setting. Allow the water to steam the inside surfaces until almost evaporated, then remove, switch off and wipe a cloth over the surfaces. It will smell so much better!

Hack 3 - Remove Tough Grime And Stains With Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used for so many different purposes and it works particularly well for removing those tough, built up stains on oven doors, as well as general daily dirt and grime in both bathroom and kitchen areas. Make a thick paste by combining baking soda with a little water, spread it onto the dirt/stains and allow it to do its thing for 15 minutes before removing with a damp cloth.

Hack 4 - Put Lemons In The Oven, Microwave And Dishwasher
It may sound strange at first, but lemons have natural antibacterial properties which can help to degrease ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. To use in the oven or microwave, cut them in half and rub directly onto the inside surfaces. Leave for 20 minutes and then wipe down with a damp cloth to remove grease and stains. You can also use lemons in the dishwasher to degrease and refresh - simply cut them in half and put them inside the top rack face down, then run the dishwasher on an eco wash. Compost the lemons after use and enjoy a sparkling clean and fresh dishwasher.

Hack 5 - Re-Use Your Old Toothbrushes For Cleaning Hard To Reach Areas
Save your old toothbrushes for cleaning those hard to reach/tricky areas around the house. The smaller brush heads allow you to angle into all sorts of nooks and crannies and remove dirt and grime found around taps, in between grouting tiles and at the back of washing machine drawers. 

Need some more cleaning hacks? 
Check out these cheap and easy DIY eco-cleaning methods from Pattersons below! Pattersons offer both commercial and household eco-friendly cleaning product ranges, so why not discover their eco cleaning products today?

[This is a sponsored post]

What are your favourite eco-cleaning hacks?

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Foodie Friday: Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)

Friday 1 November 2019

Foodie Friday: Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
The weather is awful so it's time to embrace those simple pleasures in life, such as cosying up on the sofa with a hot bowl of homemade soup.  This easy Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup recipe will warm you up in no time at all!

Soups are a great way to use up leftover veg and once you get into the habit of making your own (and it's pretty addictive when you start), you'll quickly find that you'll never want to eat a ready-made can of soup ever again. Homemade really is best here and I'm sure you'll agree once you've tasted this delicious recipe.

I always try to make sure that I incorporate plenty of naturally red coloured foods into my diet as they are packed full of super-healthy antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, manganese and lycopene, as well as being a good source of dietary fibre. Cooking tomatoes, in particular, helps them to release more of the antioxidant lycopene which helps to protect the heart and even lowers the risk of some forms of cancer.

Not only that, but roasting the tomatoes and red peppers for this recipe takes this soup to the next level up in terms of adding even more flavour, so it's well worth taking the extra time to do this, and once your soup is ready, you'll have a whole batch to see you through the week for some speedy lunches or dinners. Yum!

Foodie Friday: Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe)
Ingredients (makes four servings - simply double the ingredients to make a bigger batch if you're meal prepping)
  • 4 medium-sized Red Peppers
  • 400g Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 small White Onion
  • 1 stick of Celery
  • 3-4 cloves of Garlic, depending on taste
  • 2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 400ml Vegetable Stock
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Drizzle of Coconut Milk (optional)
  • Chilli Flakes (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 4. Cut the Red Peppers in half and discard the ribs and seeds. Halve the Tomatoes and Onion, and place everything on a baking tray, along with the Garlic to roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft. 
  • In a large saucepan, mix together the Vegetable Stock and Tomato Puree. Finely chop the Celery and add it to the saucepan, simmering over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the peel from the roasted Onion and Garlic and add them to the saucepan for 5 minutes, before adding the roasted Red PeppersTomatoes and Olive Oil. Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow all of the flavours to infuse.
  • Add a drizzle of Coconut Milk if using and transfer everything to a food processor. Blend until smooth and pour a serving into a bowl. 
  • Season with Salt & Pepper, and sprinkle over some Chili Flakes if you like a little spice. Enjoy immediately whilst the soup is still hot with some slices of toasted sourdough.

Storage tip: Once thoroughly cooled, this soup will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days or it can be frozen in batches for up to a month. Ensure it is fully defrosted before reheating and always serve piping hot.

Do you enjoy making your own soup?

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