Monday, 30 March 2015

Brighton VegFest 2015

Saturday 28th March was a date in my diary that I have been looking forward to for sometime now - Brighton VegFest! After having visited the London VegFest last year and being so impressed by it I was keen to experience the show in other locations so I immediately took advantage of the 'buy one get one free' offer on advanced tickets for Brighton. At only £5 for two people it was a total bargain.
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Friday, 27 March 2015

Lush Easter


I don't know about you but I love Easter and everything that comes with it! 

The shops just seem to be bursting with cute Easter themed products at the moment and it's excellent to see Lush offering us up some cruelty free & vegan Spring time treats.


I love this 'Hoppity Poppity' bunny bath bomb! Such a cute design and it smells amazing. I enjoyed it in a long bath tub soak a few nights ago and it left my skin feeling so soft. With its lavender and violet scents it will also leave you feeling beautifully relaxed and calm. 

I have never tried any of Lush's bubble bars before so it was fun to test out this 'Bunch of Carrots' which helped me to create the most bubbly bubble bath ever! I love that they are also reusable as it not only means that they are cost efficient, but also that there's more fun bubble times ahead! The only down side for me was that they fell off their green stalks as they weren't very well attached but that doesn't really take away from the overall experience. 

If you'd like to see these products in action via video footage then head over to my Instagram page!


Also available in store are a selection of pretty egg shaped bath bombs just like this pink candy floss scented 'Fluffy Egg' which turns your bath water an amazing deep neon pink colour! It smells so sweet too, just like Lush's Snow Fairy shower gel which is normally released around Christmas time. 

I was very tempted by the glittery 'Golden Egg' too as it just looked so pretty but I have had bad experiences with glitter bath bombs in the past which have left me and my bathroom completely covered in glitter. 
I do however love the idea of basking in glittery water!

I think all of these make the perfect little Easter gifts as if, like me, you're on a diet it means that you can still enjoy some bunnies and eggs, just not the variety that make you put on weight! 

With the long bank holiday weekend coming up there's no better time to treat yourself to some quality 'you time'. Any of Lush's bath time products are the perfect excuse to take some time out away from daily stresses and enjoy a long hot soak. 

Enjoy!

Sarah x

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Den at 23


Last weekend my husband & I headed off to the newly opened vegan cafe in Colchester, Essex, The Den at 23.
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Monday, 23 March 2015

e.l.f cosmetics


I simply cannot believe my own bad luck....

I FINALLY find a cruelty free & vegan cosmetics company that I LOVE and what happens....

e.l.f cosmetics UK announce last week that they're shutting up shop!!!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been literally gushing about this brand and planning out in my head how much I was going to rave about them on the blog, but now there seems little point in doing so.

Not only was this make up ethical, it was also low cost and FAB quality.
The first make up that I have tested out that seems to be on par with MAC in terms of quality. 

I guess I can only be thankful that I was fortunate enough to get my hands on these sale bargains whilst they were still available! But what am I going to do when they run out!?

Well, my quest for the perfect cruelty free vegan make up continues....

Meanwhile if you want to grab a quick bargain head over to their clearance sale now! 
The prices are crazy low!

I am not sure if anything is still left on their shelves but I can highly recommend:

From scanning the e.l.f websites it does seem that the US company is still continuing to trade, so if you happen to visiting America at any point you can stock up there. Their flagship store happens to be in NYC. 

You can also join me by begging e.l.f over Twitter to start shipping internationally! 

Maybe there is still a glimmer of hope but for now I will end with R.I.P e.l.f cosmetics UK.

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Friday, 20 March 2015

Meat Free Week


If you didn't already know the 23rd - 29th of March is Meat Free Week and it's a great opportunity to have a break from eating meat and discover some cruelty free alternative food. 

Meat Free Mondays have been such a huge success around the globe but it's now time to ask people to take that extra step and try out a week of living meat free. 

If you love animals, would like to be healthier and help the environment you live in then this is definitely the challenge for you! 


You can sign up and make your pledge at the Meat Free Week website.

This week I have created a Facebook Event in aid of Meat Free Week so feel free to join this and discuss with others how you're week is going and share meal ideas! I will also be on hand to answer any questions and help you out if you need me to.

Yes it will be a challenge, especially if you currently eat meat every day. But it's such a worthwhile cause that will hopefully encourage you to think more mindfully about the amount of meat you consume every week.


In my opinion, and looking back over years gone by, meat was only ever considered a treat, for example - with your roast dinner on a Sunday. The levels of meat that people are consuming now on a daily basis is completely unsustainable for the world to continue to produce.

Cheap meat is even worse - you need to think about why that meat is so cheap and what kind of life that animal had before being killed. The cheaper the meat the worse the conditions!


When, and if, you decide to go back to eating meat it would be amazing if you could source it from a more ethical provider like your local farm shop opposed to the mass produced meat within large supermarket chains.

Perhaps don't eat cheap meat all week and look forward to spending a little extra on a piece of high quality meat for your weekend. Enjoy it, savour it and give some thought and thanks for where that meal has come from. After all a life has been lost to feed you!


Good luck with the challenge and I hope that it opens your mind up a little to the enjoyment of eating vegetarian food! And remember by living on a vegetarian diet you can save up to 100 animals lives a year! 

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Linda McCartney Vegan Sausages


Looks delicious doesn't it!?

These are Linda McCartney vegan friendly sausages and they taste amazingly good. 

I am not usually a fan of anything that is trying to be fake meat and I tend to avoid these kinds of foods altogether. However, I decided to give these a go as my husband who is venturing into the world of veganism misses his meat at times. 

We were both blown away by how good these taste! 

My husband, who still eats meat very occasionally, believes that no one would know the difference between these and real sausages. This seems like an amazing breakthrough but makes us question even more so the need to slaughter animals for our food and to satisfy our cravings. 

From carrying out a bit of research online I have seen that many meat eaters are often opting to pick these vegan sausages instead of pork sausages due to the fact that they are a much healthier option being both low calorie but high in protein. 

Whatever your diet, why don't you add these to your shopping list this weekend and let me know what you think!?



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Monday, 16 March 2015

Earthlings


On my journey into Veganism and a cruelty free lifestyle I have read and watched a great deal of distressing material in order to educate myself more about the meat and dairy industry, and also human's exploitation of animals in general. I immerse myself into all things animal rights whether it be through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube and consequently a lot of my time is spent viewing disturbing material.
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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Vegan Kind - #TVK17


This month's Vegan Kind box arrived on Monday and as usual I was like a kid on Christmas morning!

Inside the box:

Another fab box of goodies and lots of vegan treats to keep me going this week. 

I have been most impressed with the Round Up wagon wheel and I'll definitely be looking to purchase more of these in the future. 

I have been so happy with this subscription box that I have now decided to also subscribe to The Vegan Kind's Beauty Box and I can't wait to sample more vegan and cruelty free products over the coming months! 


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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

B. is for Beautiful


On my quest to find the perfect cruelty free vegan make up, I recently decided to try out B. is for Beautiful make up and skincare from Superdrug

Having heard so much about this range online and in the press my expectations were pretty high. Before trying it I really hoped that this would end my mission and I was excited to get my hands on some of the products.

During a recent shopping trip I noticed that the B. range was on sale in Supedrug so I took advantage of this and stocked up on a few essential items. The prices were definitely appealing and a far cry from my days of skinting myself on MAC cosmetics. 

Unfortunately, and it pains me to write this, the price seems to be a reflection of the quality.

I'll start with B. is for bad news....

I was desperate for their Even Oil Control Foundation (£10.99) to be better than the one that I had tried from The Body Shop last month, but it wasn't. In fact I think it was worse. It's quite hard to explain your reasons when you just know something doesn't work on your face. To me this foundation felt quite sticky and it didn't seem to smooth out across my skin very well. It also seemed to have a slightly wet finish which made applying any powder afterwards quite challenging. In the end my face just felt clogged up and, ironically, uneven. I persevered with it and tried different skincare regimes prior to using it but nothing seemed to help and I've had to reside myself to the fact that this foundation just isn't for me. 

I was equally as disappointed with their B. All Lengthening Defining Volumising Mascara (£9.99).  No matter how many times I brushed this over my lashes nothing seemed to happen! It's very light in consistency and unfortunately it didn't do anything that it claimed it could do. 

The B. Complete Eye Shadow Palette (£6.99) was also a major let down. This eye shadow felt like the cheapest product from the range and I really wasn't impressed. It was difficult to apply and didn't blend in very well at all. I consequently spent one day walking around looking like a drag queen thanks to this eye shadow! Never again.

Despite my let down and disappointment with these products, you'll be relieved to hear that it wasn't all terrible....

The B. Brilliant Lipgloss (£6.99) I would buy again. It was ok. I wasn't blown away by it but it was definitely useable and helped my lips to feel soft and glossy. I prefer more nude type colours when it comes to my lips but the majority of the B. glosses are different tones of red so it would be nice to see a bigger variety here. 

The B. Complete Long Lasting Polish (£4.99) was very good. I have had mine on my toes all week and it has lasted the distance. The colour selection of nail polishes is also appealing and I would definitely buy again. 

Finally, and thankfully, the B. Skincare range seems to be their saving grace and much better quality than their make up. I really like how they organise the collection into age range specific 'skin phases' and this definitely helps when trying to choose the right product for you. 

I decided to try the B. Renewed Night Cream (£11.99) which I have really loved using. I have been putting it on after cleansing, just before I go to bed, and when I get up the next day my skin does feel really soft and smooth. In my opinion this night cream works, I am just not sure if I would have bought it if it had not been in the sale at the time. 

I also purchased the B. Quick 4in1 Cleansing Wipes (£3.50) which have been great and work really well at removing any stubborn make up. They smell lovely and feel really refreshing on your skin. 

Overall, and I think you can already guess, I have felt pretty unsatisfied with the B. range... 

Initially hearing that these products are not only cruelty free but also vegan was like hitting the jackpot, especially considering that they were so easily accessible and affordable at Superdrug. But like with anything, if it seems too good to be true then it generally is! And that is unfortunately the case here. Well that's my opinion anyway and perhaps you need to try it for yourself before you rule it out. 

I will not be looking to purchase anymore B. make up but I am keen to test out more from their skincare range, particularly if its in the sale!

I am starting to think that I have previously been spoilt with MAC cosmetics and I am questioning if I will ever find a cruelty free and vegan alternative that can live up to my expectations. I will however continue on my mission and of course report back my findings :-)

Sarah x

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Papa John's Pizza


Did you know that you can order vegan pizza's from Papa John's? 

Well yes you can! 

Their 'original' base pizza's are completely free from any animal ingredients so as long as you remove the base cheese and add some veggie only toppings then you can create the perfect vegan take away pizza! 

Unfortunately their 'thin crust' pizzas do contain dairy so this only leaves the option of their original base. However, this base was good and certainly not as thick as other pizza's I've tried like Dominoes or Pizza Hut. 

I opted to create my own pizza online and I basically added every veggie topping available, 8 in total! I wondered if Papa Johns would think that I'd made a mistake by removing the cheese so I decided to give them a call just to confirm that I am vegan. They didn't seem at all phased by my request and suggested they added a little more tomato sauce in case it was too dry. 

So far so good! 

40 minutes later my vegan pizza arrived...


Initially I was really impressed.....Until I realised that they'd forgotten to add on my two favourite toppings - mushrooms and sweetcorn. Despite this big dissappointment I still enjoyed the pizza and it tasted decent.

I'm not sure I would order again from Papa John's primarily because this original large vegan pizza would have cost me £22.29 if I hadn't found a 30% discount code online. With the discount it still came to around £15 and I know that I can create just as good, if not better, homemade pizzas myself for a fraction of the cost.

All of that being said, it's great to know that there is a take away pizza service that does cater for vegans. Although it's not something I would order often, it will be great for those occasional take away nights with friends or when I can't be bothered to cook! 

Sarah x
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Friday, 6 March 2015

The Green Almond


If you happen to be passing through East Sussex, or more importantly Eastbourne, then I really recommend that you make a stop at The Green Almond vegetarian bistro.

I had the pleasure of recently visiting for lunch and I was so impressed by both the food and the unique ambience that I know this is somewhere that I'll keep coming back to. 


From Tuesday to Saturday this cosy little bistro offers up a mouth watering lunch time buffet consisting of both hot and cold dishes at an extremely reasonable price of £5 for a small plate or £8 for a large plate. 

The food all looked so good there was no question about what size plate I was going for!



On the day that I visited the buffet was offering up a colourful array of different vegetables and salad dishes, all of which were delicious. I absolutely love salad bar buffets and this one stands mile high above any others that I have tried before in terms of quality and selection. 

The hot dishes on offer were a choice of either a vegetarian or vegan indian curry with rice and poppadoms. And along with all of this was a selection of breads, dips and dressings. 

It was great to see that vegan and gluten free dishes were on offer and it's not only the vegetarians who are catered for. 


I dived straight in and went for the vegan indian curry alongside a selection of everything else!  


 The curry was a really tasty mix of sweet potato and chickpeas and had a heavenly homemade quality to it. The only difference between the vegan and vegetarian option was paneer cheese so I didn't feel like I was missing out at all.  


We were so happily full after this lunch there was no room for anything else, which was a shame as I would have liked to try their desserts!

I absolutely love eating in vegetarian and vegan restaurants because the choice is endless. It makes such a refreshing change from eating out at other places and feeling so limited to what I can eat. 
This felt like such a treat!   

The food at The Green Almond was delightful, healthy, fresh and amazingly good value. Furthermore, the service was seriously up there as being the most friendly and accommodating I have ever experienced. We sat outside due to having the dogs with us and the waitress was so caring she bought us out a blanket as it wasn't the warmest of days! She could see that we had our hands full and she even offered to plate our food up and bring it out for us. Nothing seemed like too much trouble here and we were made to feel so welcome.     


I understand that the menu at this restaurant changes frequently and on Friday and Saturday nights you can enjoy a 3 course set menu dinner at £20 a head. 

I am excited to return to The Green Almond to sample more of their wholesome good food and soak up more of the enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere!  


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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

White Rabbit Skincare


This week I have been trying out some products from the White Rabbit Skincare range. 

I first became aware about White Rabbit Skincare through my subscription to The Vegan Kind
All of their products are vegan, cruelty free, handmade and use completely natural ingredients. 
So they tick a lot of boxes!

I normally only buy my products from shops or large retailers but the White Rabbit Skincare range has really opened my mind up to shopping from smaller independent sellers online. I use Etsy a lot but it hadn't even come to my attention that you can buy handmade beauty products on their site.

The three products that I have been trying out have been the Honey Bunny Lip Balm (£4), the Toning Eye Cream (£8) and the Orange Blossom Toner (£6.50).   

The windy cold weather recently has made my lips so dry and they always seem to be peeling which is really annoying! The White Rabbit Honey Bunny Lip Balm has been really effective at moisturising my lips and softening them up. They feel so smooth since I've been using this and I love putting it on at night just before I go to bed so it has a chance to really soak into my lips. 

I have never really used any eye specific creams before but the White Rabbit Toning Eye Cream has become a regular feature in my evening skincare routine. Firstly it smells amazing! I also find it really relaxing to dab some of this on around my eyes once I am in bed and as I lay there I can really feel my skin absorbing all the goodness. Afterwards my eye area feels so firm and brighter. It also definitely helps in reducing dark circles under the eyes and any puffiness.   

Finally, I have been trying out their Orange Blossom Toner.
Again, I have never really got into a habit of using a toner regularly after cleansing, but after having used this I feel like I would miss not having it in my routine. As you can probably guess it smells like oranges and so fresh! I find it so refreshing using this on my skin after cleansing and it leaves my skin feeling extremely soothed and soft.

Overall I am really excited about these skincare products and I am looking forward to sampling more from the White Rabbit range in the future. These products would make perfect little gifts, especially with Mothers Day soon upon us! Their Take Me, Try Me kits are ideal for introducing this range to your nearest and dearest, or why not give them a try yourself! 
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Monday, 2 March 2015

Cowspiracy


As I write this post I literally feel mind blown by this film I have just watched.

Cowspiracy is a documentary that examines how animal agriculture is destroying the planet we live in. 
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