Vegan Kind Beauty Box 6

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I was really excited to come home last night and find my Vegan Kind Beauty Box had arrived. It’s so nice to open a surprise box of treats every 3 months!

Starting with the bottom right we have Amie Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash (RRP £4.95). I haven’t heard of this brand before but I’ve just run out of cleanser so this has come just in time! I tried this this morning and it’s really lovely and creamy and smells great! It left my skin feeling really soft.

Above that we have Barry M Radiant Rod Highlighter (RRP £3.99). I don’t usually use a highlighter but as it’s so cold at the moment I could probably do with looking a bit sun-kissed! You can use this on your cheek bones, as an eye shadow and even to exstensuate your cupid’s bow! I also love Barry M’s website as they clearly mark all their vegan products. Makes life so much easier!

On the bottom left we have a lipstick from Saturated Colour. This is another brand I hadn’t heard of before. I don’t often wear lipstick but when I do I go all out so I was glad to receive this bright lipstick called “First Kiss”. It feels really nice going onto your lips and they recommend using a lip brush to get the richest colour.

Lastly on the top left we have incense with a holder from Sacred Elephant Incense. I haven’t burned incense in a long time but I’m looking forward to trying this out. The incense I received was sandalwood and smelt great just through packet! If you saw my last post on Positive Thinking I spoke about breathing techniques and I think this’ll definitely get me in the mood for some meditation!

As always a donation from every box is made to the Dr Hadwen Trust which funds animal free testing research.

Have you tried any of these products before? Let me know what you think.

Plumes x

Vegan Kind Beauty Box 6

Positive Thinking

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I do tend to think of myself as positive person. This was reinforced recently when my team took part in a positive thinking workshop at work. We did a number of exercises including writing down lots of things that annoyed us and then crossing out the things we had no control over. This reminded me a little phrase I used to say to myself. “Nothing has the power to mess with your zen” (although I may have used a stronger word than “mess”! More on that in a bit!) In many situations you don’t have control as to what happens but you you can control how you respond to it. This was tested on me last night when there were issues with my trains. We were held outside the second stop due to a problem with the train in front which was taken out of service. Our train become very crowded and then we were informed it would be terminated the stop before mine. There was a lot of huffing and swearing from my fellow passengers but I was just glad I had a seat. Shortly after we were told our train would in fact terminate a few stops earlier. I got off with everyone else and sat down on the bench on the platform. Our trains are every few minutes so instead of pushing and shoving onto the next one I sat and finished reading my magazine, then got on the third train. I was then told that this train was going to terminate the stop before mine so off we all got again. I saw fellow commuters getting more and more stressed while I was calmly reading through my emails. I ended up getting home an hour later than usual and I didn’t get to go to a shop I was planning to on the way home. I still spent a lovely evening with my husband, had some pancakes to celebrate shrove Tuesday and got an early night.

Following on from our positive thinking workshop our team has installed a “swear jar” with a 10p charge per curse word. I am very surprised I have been the top contributor and had to put in a I.O.U. yesterday as I had run out of change!

Recently I have also been practicing the 4-7-8 breathing technique where you breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts and breathe out through your mouth for 8 counts, for a cycle of 4 breaths. This really slows down your heart rate and makes you feel a lot calmer. I find this works especially well before bed and since I’ve been monitoring my sleep on my fitbit I have been falling asleep in under 10 minutes.

Today also marks the first day of Lent. I usually try to do something in Lent although I didn’t last year as it was my 30th birthday and we went on our honeymoon during that period. This year I have decided to give up coffee. I don’t drink it everyday, but it is a treat I have a couple of times a week. I also want to try and reduce the amount of sugar I eat (and not just replace it with sweeteners). I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid it completely and will still be eating fruit but I’m interested to see how much it affects the food I eat. I think I’ll be OK avoiding sweet treats but I know I’m going to miss baked beans and salad dressing! I am also going to try and fast once a week and go to lunchtime mass although I’ll see how this goes as I haven’t done this since I was at uni.

I am writing this on the train to work and have just been informed there’s going to a 15 minute delay, better start practicing that breathing technique!

Hope you have a positive week!

Plumes x

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Positive Thinking

Round up of the Week’s Food 160207

Last week I forget to include two snacks I had. The first was popcorn from Proper Corn. We have these for sale in our office. I was interested to try the fiery Worcester Sauce and Sun-dried tomato flavour. As Worcester sauce usually has anchovies in it I was pleased to see these were clearly marked as vegan.

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The other snack was one of my favourites – mochi! You can get these giant ones from Wasabi. I had looked in my local branch and the one in my local station but neither had any. I was worried they had discontinued them but spotted them in another station when I was travelling through.

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I met an old friend for lunch on Monday at Pizza Rossa in Leadenhall Market. They have a vegan pizza option and a few pasta options. It smelt amazing so I went for the pizza option.

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I started off my cooking this week by making one of my favourites -BBQ jackfruit. Jackfruit is an Asian fruit which you can buy in tins from Asian supermarkets. It has a chewy texture and soaks up flavours from marinades like tofu so it great from making a pulled pork type dish. Make sure you get the one in water or brine though, not syrup! I used this recipe from more vegan blog and put it in wholemeal wraps with onions and peppers.

On Tuesday I had a quick lazy dinner as I spent most of the evening baking.

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I took some treats into work to celebrate my 9 year anniversary with the company. We get a lot treats at work as we bring them not only for birthdays, but also exam passes, work anniversaries, any excuse really! I like to show my colleagues that vegan treats are just as tasty as their non-vegan counterparts. I went with two tried and tested options. My Jamaica Ginger Cake and sausage rolls. For the sausage rolls I just use some Granose sausage mix, Jus-Rol puff pastry and sesame seeds. They always go down well!

On Wednesday I usually go swimming with my Mum but as she wasn’t feeling too great we just had dinner. I had this shepherdess pie with sweet potato mash she had in the freezer with some steamed veg.

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On Thursday we went to my in-laws. They had had a long day working on-site so had an easy dinner of veggie nuggets, chips and mushy peas.

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Sadly we had a family funeral to go to on Friday. Our journey started early and we stopped at a service station for breakfast. I had 2 hashbrowns from McDonald’s and a soya latte from Starbucks. After a lovely service we went to a local social club. The buffet had a good selection of vegan food. I had samosas, pakoras and Asian pastries as well as some crisps, crackers and a great variety of fruit. We had dinner in another service station on the way home. I had a plain veggie wrap from Burger King.

On Saturday I started the day using up the left over chips from Thursday night. Not the healthiest start but we had had a hard day on Friday.

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My Sister-in-law and nieces came over at lunchtime. We had brought home some leftovers from Friday which they ate. I had two spicy bean burgers from Waitrose with a jacket potato and salad.

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On Saturday I had a lovely tofu curry that my Mother-in-Law had made with a veggie samosa from Waitrose. I am really lucky with both my Mum and Mother-in-Law and the effort they go to in making vegan meals for me when I visit them.

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Today we stopped in Victoria station for food as we were travelling back from home from my in-laws. I had a naked burrito from Tortilla as I wasn’t feeling too hungry. I hadn’t had one before as I usually go for a burrito or tacos but it was really filling even without the bread.

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Tonight I just had an old fave. You can’t go wrong with beans on toast!

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Looking back over my week it doesn’t look the healthiest! Hopefully this will change next week as Lent starts on Wednesday and I plan to reduce the amount of sugar I eat (so no more baked beans!) Are you planning on giving up anything for Lent? Or doing something extra instead? Let me know.

Plumes x

Round up of the Week’s Food 160207

First Charity Shop Clothes Shopping of the Year!

I am quite proud of getting to the last weekend of January before buying any clothes for myself. So I am one twelfth through the year and I’ve kept to my new year’s resolution of not buying any brand new clothes!

I did buy a vintage jumper for my cousin Amanda when I went to a Pop-up Vintage Fair (you can read about it here) and I got a few non-clothes bits in my first charity shopping trip of the year.

My Husband and I visited my cousin Dan and his fiancee Amanda last weekend. On Saturday we left the guys with the PS4 and Rocket League whilst Amanda and I went into town.

Amanda is a lover of charity shop shopping so its great when we get together. We are the same size which has its positives in terms of borrowing clothes but sometimes I get quite jealous when she spots something we both love first when we’re on the charity shop trail!

I bought this skirt for work from Shelter for £3. The tag says “Epilogue” which is not a brand I have heard of. It’s a nice length and works really well with my ankle boots.

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I’ve been looking for some flat black shoes for a while. It is quite difficult finding shoes in charity shops, first you need a style and colour you like, then there’s the size and I have the additional requirement of no leather. I was very happy when I came across these in the Oxfam shop for £7. They were slightly big but I think this will be sorted with a couple of in-soles.

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I came up trumps in the Mind shop. There were quite a few things I liked the look of so was in the changing room for a while! Firstly this dress from Next for £5.50 I really like how the butterfly pattern covers the whole dress and the material felt lovely.

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I also bought this Next t-shirt for £2.75. It’s quite long, but not long enough to wear with leggings so I think I will keep this for when I can get back into my jeans! This, again, felt really soft and looks like it’s barely been worn.

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The third thing I bought in Mind (which I forgot to photograph!) was a London 2012 Paralympics DVD. My Husband and I were lucky enough to go and see some of the events in 2012. We saw Swimming, Table Tennis and my Mum joined us to see the athletics where we saw David Weir win Gold. He is from my Husband’s home town and we were so proud when we saw a local post box painted gold in his honour. I hope watching the DVD will bring back happy memories and get us in the mood for Rio in the summer!

Have you made any good charity shop finds recently? Let me know!

Plumes x

First Charity Shop Clothes Shopping of the Year!

Glorious Cauliflower!

I never really like cauliflower when I was younger. In fact it’s only recently I’ve been getting into it. I now enjoy it raw in salads or grated as cauliflower rice as a lighter option with curry.

Today I saw a feature on cauliflower in the Stylist magazine and I had to share it with you! Stylist is a free women’s magazine which is distributed outside train stations and in airports and is the sister publication to the men’s Shortlist magazine. I really enjoy their articles, they feature a lot of feminist issues and are different to a lot of typical women’s magazines. They also often feature vegan recipes which are great to drool over on the train ride home! If you can’t find a copy you can see their features online and follow them on twitter @Stylistmagazine.

Most of these recipes are vegan or easily made vegan.

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I’ve been meaning to make popcorn cauliflower for a while now and this recipe looks so easy!

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The recipe below from Deliciously Ella looks really interesting where the cauliflower is used in the dough of the pizza. I never used Buckwheat flour either so would be interested to see how that turns out.

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These muffins have egg in them but it is easily replaceable using flax seed or chia seeds.

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Who can resist a burger?! These look really wholesome and filling. You can get vegan Chipotle mayonnaise or just sub for your fave condiment.

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You can replace the goats cheese in this salad with vegan cheese or simply leave it out.

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This recipe uses buttermilk, you can make a vegan version by adding a tablespoon of cider vinegar or lemon juice to some soya milk and replace the yogurt with a dairy free version.

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Let me know if you make any of these recipes as I’d love to see your results!

Plumes x

 

 

 

Glorious Cauliflower!