Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May Life



With the arrival of May we saw lots of pink blossom and sunshine so it certainly has felt like Summer is on its way now. As usual this post is packed with photos, links and all of my personal favourite moments from the last few weeks. 
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Thursday, 26 May 2016

The MAE Deli


This week I was fortunate enough to have some spare time to visit London for the day and as I found myself in the West End I decided it was time to try out Deliciously Ella's venture The MAE Deli.

I won't go as far as to say i'm a huge fan of Deliciously Ella because, and if i'm honest, I have always felt slightly disappointed that a plant based chef of her stature never seems to make any reference to animal cruelty issues within the meat and dairy industry. I'm fully aware that she moved over to a plant based diet for health reasons only and that of course is perfectly acceptable. I'm also aware that she never refers to herself as a 'vegan' because of this. I guess from a personal point of view I just feel that it's a real shame that someone like her, who has such a huge following, doesn't raise more awareness or support for animal rights.    

All of that being said, Ella is however introducing and promoting a vegan diet to the mainstream which can only be a positive, regardless of her reasons behind it. There's no denying that she has raised the profile of the vegan diet and, if anything, made it more appealing and fashionable to the general public. I do own one of her books and I have in the past liked to try out some of her recipes. I've also followed her on Instagram for a long time now so as soon as she announced that she was opening an eatery in London I was really curious to find out what it's like.


First and foremost, I really like the setup of the Deli and how you can pick what dishes you would like on your plate by viewing them first on the counter. It's so nice to be able to see what the dishes are before ordering and this makes a huge difference for me because I can pretty much guarantee i'm going to like what I order. There's a mix of hot and cold dishes available which also change on a daily basis. 





My husband and I both ordered a mix of 4 dishes which came to £10.75 each which, considering the large portion sizes, was a pretty reasonable price. We both also picked up a fresh fruit juice carton without looking at the price and was pretty shocked to find they cost a whopping £6.95 each! It is freshly squeezed mixed fruit juice but even so this did seem very steep for a drink. 



The food itself was really tasty and there was absolutely no faulting any of the dishes we tried. We loved the falafel balls and sweet potato squares especially. I also had a gorgeous minty quinoa salad and some spicy cauliflower with lentils which was so delicious. We both finished everything on our plates and could have gone back for more! The food on offer at The MAE Deli is what I would call my favourite kind of plant based / vegan food as it's all super healthy, nutritious and vegetable based. You really do feel like you're consuming such an enjoyable variety of guilt free goodness!

One thing that did baffle me though was the option to add chicken or salmon to your plate. As far as I am aware Deliciously Ella has made her career on plant based eating so it does seem rather confusing as to why she would then offer meat and fish within her own eatery. I recall from her Instagram posts when the Deli was initially being constructed that the decision had something to do with it being a joint venture between herself and her husband (Matthew - hence Matthew and Ella = MAE - in case you were wondering!), who happens to eat meat. I think she only felt it fair to therefore include meat on the menu and maybe not rule out other healthy eating customers who happen to enjoy some animal based protein on their plates. Even so, I think Ella should have completely stuck to her whole plant based ethos as it is after all on the back of her success and I should imagine the majority of customers who visit are those who have also bought into her healthy lifestyle.  


As well as eating at the deli, or picking up a lunch to go, you can also pick up one of Ella's recipe books complete with her autograph. 


Overall I was pretty impressed by The MAE Deli. The food was perfect, the service was good and it was generally just a nice place to sit inside and spend a lunch time. It's definitely a more expensive option for lunch and some of the pricing, particularly the drinks, seems a little over the top. But all in all it is somewhere I would look forward to returning to again in future.

What with Tibits, Ethos and The MAE Deli the West End of London is quickly becoming one of my favourite places to eat vegan!

Have you been to The MAE Deli yet? 
How was your experience? 
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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Saturated Colour Haul


You may remember a couple of weeks ago that I went along to a beauty blogger event in Essex hosted by the cruelty free brand Saturated Colour. One of the perks of attending this event was that we got to take away a little selection of products with us which included a mini Lip Vinyl, a LIPSstick and one of their new releases the MultiTasker
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Friday, 20 May 2016

Humblestuff


I was recently sent a couple of products from the UK based company Humblestuff who hand make sustainable, cruelty free and vegan friendly cleaning products. Their products contain no harsh chemicals and they pride themselves on using simple tried and tested ingredients such as bicarbonate of soda and Castile soap. It's also worth knowing that their products are 100% recyclable making them very eco friendly.  

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Dickens Vegan Night


A little while ago I heard on the grapevine that a restaurant local to me in Halstead Essex, Dickens, was hosting a couple of vegan nights. This was a total shock and surprise to me as I have always felt that Halstead, and the surrounding areas, are pretty un-vegan friendly. 

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Thursday, 12 May 2016

Saturated Colour Blogger Meet Up


Last Saturday I was very lucky to be invited along to a beauty blogger meet up event at the HQ of Saturated Colour cosmetics in Essex. You may remember that I blogged about one of Saturated Colour's Lip Vinyl's a little while ago and I also featured them in one of my cruelty free favourites videos over on YouTube this month. They are already a brand that I really like so I was really looking forward to going along to this bloggers event to find out more about their other products and to meet some other local bloggers! 
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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Vegan French Toast


One of my all time favourite brunches would have to be French toast and when I first decided to go vegan I initially thought that this indulgent treat would be a thing of my past. But how wrong was I! As with most things in life, French toast can be easily veganised and it tastes just as delicious.

I thought I would share with you all my super easy vegan French toast recipe along with some of my favourite toppings.

Ingredients

6 slices of bloomer/ciabatta bread (3/4 inches thick)
1 cup of almond milk
2 tbsp of plain flour
2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tbsp of 100% maple syrup
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Veg or coconut oil for the pan

Toppings

Toppings are of course are down to personal preference and as long as its vegan it goes! 
But here's some of my own suggestions if you would like some inspiration...

Berries or fruit of your choice
Vegan chocolate spread
Dark chocolate chips
Sweet Freedom mini marshmallows
Vegan chocolate sprinkles
100% Maple syrup
Icing sugar 


Method

In a bowl whisk together all of the ingredients until combined 
(apart from the bread and the toppings) 


Add a drizzle of oil to a non stick griddle or pan and warm to medium heat.


Place individual slices of bread into the batter and allow to set for 20 seconds each side.


Drain off any excess and place a slice of bread into the heated pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes each side. 


Serve with all your favourite toppings and finish with a sprinkle of icing sugar.


Enjoy! 




Don't forget to comment below, tweet me or email me to let me know if you try this recipe. 
I would love to see some of your own special creations!
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Friday, 6 May 2016

B. Cleansers


A little while ago I noticed that all of Superdrug's B. skincare range was on special offer so I decided to take advantage of this and purchase a few of their cleansers. You will already know from my earlier blog post that I am a massive fan of the Superdrug Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser so I guess I was curious to know if any of these B. cleansers were any better or if they could add something extra to my cleansing routine. 

I've had these cleansers well over a month now and so I have had the opportunity to try and test them all out. I do like to give any new product that I try a good chance, even if it's one I initially don't like I will still try to preserve with it to see if my mind changes. So you can all be sure that my findings below are all accurate, honest and genuinely my own.  




How To Use

To use this cleanser I initially splashed my face with some warm water before applying a small amount of this gel to my skin. I then massaged it onto and all around my face and the areas which had makeup on them. After this I then washed away the cleanser with warm water and a face cloth. 

Did It Work?

I would say that this cleanser was almost as good as my favourite hot cloth cleanser as it done a pretty good job of removing my make up. However, the main issue I have with this cleanser is that it really stung my eyes and made them quite watery and bloodshot after use. The directions do state to not use directly on the eyes which I only realised after using! But personally I tend to wear a lot of makeup on my eyes so I would always choose a cleanser which I can use on all areas safely over one that I can't. 

Overall Rating

7/10

Although it seemed to do a good job of cleansing I wouldn't buy this cleanser again purely because I really need a cleanser that I can also use on my eye area without any issues. It's clever how the formula changes but I personally prefer the more nourishing and soft cream like aspect of my hot cloth cleanser opposed to a gel based cleanser. 




How To Use

This exfoliating cleanser gently polishes the skin to reveal a smooth bright complexion after use. I have mainly been using this cleanser in the morning when I am in the shower and I only use it every other day so as to not exfoliate my face too much. You simply massage this cleanser onto damp skin and then rinse off with warm water. 

Did It Work?

Yes! And I am pleased to say that I absolutely love this cleanser. It's proven to be the perfect replacement and dupe for my previous Dermalogica exfoliating cleanser and it almost feels like an identical formula. I had been using the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Micro Polish which I already really liked but I would now have to say that this B. version is even better. I much prefer the cream formula of this cleanser and it feels so nice and gentle to massage into your skin. My skin always feels so much brighter and cleaner after using. It also smells amazing! 

Overall Rating

10/10

There isn't anything I would change about this cleanser and this is now going to be my new regular morning exfoliator. 



How To Use

The directions on this product say to wet your face and then apply this Micellar Oil onto a cotton pad which you should then sweep over your face and closed eyes. I have therefore been trying to use this in the evening and when it comes to removing my makeup. 

Did It Work?

There is no way I could cleanse all my makeup off only using this Micellar Oil. Firstly I would get through a great deal of cotton pads, and secondly my face certainly wouldn't feel as clean as it does for having a good wash with warm water and a face cloth. Maybe if you wear minimal makeup then this could work for you as a cleanser, but for me this just isn't enough to remove a full face of makeup easily. Again this is also another B. product which you are not supposed to get into your eyes which I think makes it really difficult to cleanse eye make up with properly, without the risk of stingy eyes. It also doesn't particularly smell great. 

Overall Rating

3/10

This ones really not for me! It's only use for me may be to sweep over my face after my usual cleansing routine but i'm not sure that alone would warrant me to purchase it again. 



How To Use

This B. Pure Micellar Water requires you to simply apply to a cotton pad and sweep over your face with no need to rinse afterwards. It is designed to cleanse, tone and refresh your skin. 

Did It Work?

I found this product to be very similar to the one above and for the same reasons. This alone wouldn't be enough to cleanse my full face of makeup and I certainly wouldn't feel as though my face is clean without giving it an accompanying wash or rinse off after use. Perhaps people like to use these types of cleansers in place of cleansing wipes which I can understand but, just like with any form of wipe, I know I would wake up in the morning with some makeup marks on my pillow if I didn't give my face a proper deep clean. Again I have found myself using this product as an additional extra to my usual cleansing routine and I have used it on my skin after cleansing to make sure that i've covered all areas.  

Overall Rating

5/10

I think in general these Micellar products just aren't to my preference or how I would usually like to cleanse my face of an evening. They may be effective at cleaning but I need a product that does everything in one go and one that is ok with going in my eyes. I wouldn't be looking at buying this product again but judging by some other reviews existing Micellar uses seem to like it so it may be a good option if you fit into that category.


Overall I'm really glad that I got to try out all of these cleansers as it's solidified in my mind that the hot cloth cleanser from Superdrug is the best choice for me and i'm not missing out on anything here. I am so happy I discovered the B. exfoliating cleanser too as that really is a great product which fits nicely into my existing cleansing routine and it leaves my skin feeling amazing! 

It's always worth trying out some new products, especially when they are as cheap as this and in the sale or on offer, because you never know what you'll find. 

It feels really good to be so far into my cruelty free journey now and finally very happy with  the cleansing products that I use. 

Have you tried any of the B. cleansers yet? What did you think? 
Comment below and let me know! 
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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Lucky Dip Club Breakfast Box


I can't quite believe it's Lucky Dip Club time again! I really do feel like these boxes come around so quickly and I think that has a lot to do with all the interactive fun that's included within the box and Girl Planet. It sure does keep me busy each month!

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Vegan Town Treat Box


I recently became aware that the online vegan chocolate store Vegan Town offer a monthly subscription service to their very own treat box and I was immediately intrigued to find out more. 

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