Friday, 24 November 2017

Five Easy House Plants



Since I've been posting more about my plant collection I've had quite a few people get in touch to tell me how much they struggle to keep house plants alive. I also think a lot of people get put off the idea of owning house plants because they've heard other peoples horror stories about trying to keep them alive. I've had a couple of my own hiccups since getting into house plants and I also feel that I'm now in a good position to perhaps recommend some plants which I believe are really easy to look after. So if you are looking to get into house plants yourself, this could be a good place to start!
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Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Diner



Last weekend I found myself in the West End of London for the evening and I was really in the mood for a burger so I decided to check out The Diner in Soho, just off Carnaby Street. I had heard through the powers of social media that they have some fairly impressive vegan options now so I was really looking forward to trying them out. The Diner also used to be a real favourite of mine back in the day when I ate meat so I was really looking forward to be able to make a return visit. 
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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

How To Be A Minimalist At Christmas



I have to hold my hands up and admit that ever since Autumn came around I have been struggling with my minimalist journey. Autumn and Winter are a time of year when suddenly the shops are full of festive homeware and it's a time when I really love to embrace the seasons and everything that comes with it. It's also a time when I start to think about gift giving to others and how I want to show those around me that I love and appreciate them. 
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Monday, 20 November 2017

A Festive Cocktail




A couple of weeks ago, and whilst at the John Lewis Christmas event, we learnt how to make the most gorgeous cocktail for the festive period and I really wanted to share the recipe with you all on my blog.
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Friday, 17 November 2017

Momentum Planner



If you are a planner addict or stationery geek like myself it's probably that time of the year for you when you're wondering what planner to get for 2018. I have been in the same predicament myself over the past few weeks and if last year is anything to go by then I will no doubt end up with 3-4 different ones before the end of the year! What can I say other than I have a problem when it comes to stationery! 
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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Battle Of The Vegan Christmas Sandwiches



It's that time of year when all the high street coffee shops and lunch outlets release their festive menus for the lead up to Christmas and this year there appears to be some really decent vegan offerings - hoorah! 

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Monday, 13 November 2017

A Vegan Christmas Pudding With John Lewis



If you read my last post you will know that last week I attended a fantastic John Lewis Christmas event in London where we made our own vegan Christmas puddings from scratch. It really was so much fun and so easy to make them so I wanted to share the recipe with you all here on my blog so you can all have a go at making one yourself!
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Thursday, 9 November 2017

John Lewis Christmas Event



On Tuesday night I attended the #JohnLewisChristmas 'Stir Up Sunday' event and it was such an amazing event I just had to share all the details and pics with you in a blog post!
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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

My 2018 Travel Bucket List



It's fast approaching the end of 2017 and it's always a time of year when I reflect on our travels and plans I want to make for the year ahead. 
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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Easy Vegan Meal Plan



As it is World Vegan Month this November I wanted to put together a blog post which new vegans or anyone transitioning may find useful. I have decided to write down all of my current favourite easy vegan meals and collate them together in one place. Anyone who knows me will already be aware that I like to keep things nice and simple when it comes to eating vegan. I am not hugely talented in the kitchen and more often than not I tend to go for what's the most easiest to put together. I am however fortunate to have a husband who is more talented when it comes to cooking though and every now and then we do eat more fancy meals!

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Vegan Pizza Hut



A couple of weeks ago I learnt from one of my lovely followers that Pizza Hut are now serving vegan cheese for a limited trial run period at certain selected restaurants. I have to say that I was really surprised when I first heard this as I hadn't seen any promotional ads anywhere for it, but maybe that was just me!? Either way there hasn't been much talk about it online from what I have seen so I decided to go and try it out for myself.
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Friday, 27 October 2017

Cosy Candles For Autumn & Winter



Now we are in Autumn, and Winter is just around the corner, it's definitely time a time of year where I love being able to get cosy at home with the help of candles. At the moment I am lighting candles every evening when I sit down to watch TV and there's no denying that they really help me to feel relaxed and  cosy. When the evenings become more darker lighting a candle really is the perfect way to add some extra light and comfort to your room.

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Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Vegan Kind - #TVK48




This months Vegan Kind box really couldn't have arrived at a better time. I found myself at home on a dreary cold dark day with very little in the cupboards and then when the postman knocked and I saw what was in his arms I really could have hugged him! Sometimes you just really need a little pick me up and this is exactly what this box has become for me. It's the perfect treat for yourself!

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

My Roo



Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of the organic and free from skincare brand myroo but I am so glad to have been introduced to their products and I have been so looking forward to sharing them with you all too. 
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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tibits Bankside



Last weekend we found ourselves in the South Bank area of London and it was the perfect opportunity to try out the new Tibits Bankside restaurant. As soon as I heard Tibits were opening another restaurant I was so happy because this is definitely my favourite place to eat out vegan when I am in London. 
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Thursday, 19 October 2017

My House Plant Collection



This month I have been taking part in the #myhouseofhouseplants Instagram competition and photo sharing event which has been so much fun! It's been great to be able to share more photos of my house plant collection and get to know some other plant enthusiasts online. It has meant posting a photo a day throughout October which relate to the following daily prompts....
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Borough Market



When I lived in South London many moons ago and when I was a student at university, I used to love nothing more than a stroll down to Borough Market at the weekend to pick up some food and to admire the huge array of different delicacies available. I can't quite believe it's taken me so long to plan a return visit, especially as it's not even that far away from where I live in Essex. Anyway, return I did last weekend and it felt so good to be back! I was really curious to see what was available for vegans, especially from the hot street food section, and I couldn't wait to get exploring. 
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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Chia



Chia in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, has been on my hit list for quite a while so I was really pleased to be able to make the long awaited visit last week for lunch. If you didn't already know, Chia is a completely vegan cafe which has a focus on healthy and nutritious plant based foods. All the photos and reviews I had seen online had me really excited for what was in store!  
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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Advent Calendar Picks 2017



Yes it really is that time of year again! It's time to start thinking about what advent calendar you'd most like to kick off the festive season with and this year the choices really do seem better than ever. 
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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Five Documentaries That Will Change Your Life



As the colder weather and darker evenings start to draw in you will no doubt be looking for something decent to watch on your TV or Netflix. Personally I love a good documentary and something that will keep my attention and get me thinking.  

When the people at Panasonic recently got in touch and asked me to put together a post on my favourite and most life changing documentaries it presented itself as the perfect opportunity to share with you all some of the films that have really encouraged me to change my life for the better. They're currently promoting their new Panasonic 4k TV which joins the OLED revolution for a superior viewing experience. Perfect for viewing some of these amazing documentaries on!  

Earthlings




Ok, I'm going to go in with the film most vegans will tell you about - Earthlings. This film is, in it's simplest form, a collection of footage from hidden cameras which documents the practices of industries, and individuals, who depend on animals for financial gain. It's definitely not for the faint hearted and it's a film that haunted me for weeks after watching it. I think when I first saw it I had been dipping a toe into living a vegan lifestyle and it was this film that really pushed me into wanting to make a difference for all animals. This is also the film which made my husband give up meat for good. It's hard hitting, it will probably make you cry, it will certainly make you angry, but it's a film I believe everyone should watch at least once.  


Cowspiracy




Cowspiracy is a documentary that really opened my eyes up to how animal agriculture impacts on our environment. I gave up eating meat primarily for the animals but after watching this film I was truly shocked and amazed by how my diet choices were impacting on the environment we live in. It's a fascinating watch and it had me gripped from start to finish. I also know of a few people who turned vegan after watching this film which is quite something! And, for those who may be worried, there are only one or two very minor scenes of animal cruelty which are bearable to view and won't leave you traumatised. This documentary is in no way as intense as Earthlings but it still hits home and leaves you thinking about it for weeks, even months, afterwards. 


What The Health



If animal cruelty and the environment aren't your areas of concern then maybe your health is? I only watched What The Health quite recently and it left me very thankful for adopting a plant based diet when I did. Again, my health really wasn't linked in any way to my decision to go vegan but it's definitely now a huge plus point to it. This documentary focuses on how the consumption of animal products is linked to disease and what the healthcare, pharmaceutical and food industries don't want you to know. It will no doubt leave you feeling uneasy and with your jaw dropped.  


Black Fish 




I watched Black Fish many years ago, and well before I took the plunge into veganism, but I will always consider it to be a documentary that awoke something inside of me and it changed me forever. The film itself focuses on the life of Tilikum, a captive Orca involved in the deaths of three individuals at Sea World. Looking back now I can see how this film got me thinking deeper about humans relationships with animals and how we use them against their will for entertainment. I have never since stepped foot back inside a zoo or any business making a profit from the exploitation of animals. This is quite simply a must watch!  


Minimalism  




A documentary which recently changed my life for the better is Minimalism. I sat down to watch this film one evening last year with no expectations and I was completely unaware of how it was about to impact on my life. This documentary explores how material possessions ultimately do not bring us happiness and how we can lead a more meaningful life with less. 'Mind blown' are two words I often use to describe this film! I completely resonated with everything in it and it sparked off the beginning of my own journey into leading a more minimal lifestyle. In fact I started having a clear out immediately after watching it and instantly felt better.

It's actually quite interesting reflecting on the documentaries that have impacted so greatly on me and my life. I honestly do not think my life would look the same as it does today if it wasn't for these films which is quite a crazy thought. 
     
   What documentaries have been life changing for you?

* This post was created in collaboration with Panasonic. 
All views & opinions expressed are my own. 
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Monday, 9 October 2017

Wagamama Vegan Menu



You may have heard that Wagamama's have bought out a new vegan & vegetarian menu and when I caught wind of this I knew I had to pay a visit to find out what it's like. It had also been quite a while since my last Wagamama's visit so I was looking forward to seeing what's new on the menu. 
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Thursday, 5 October 2017

New Makeup For Autumn



Whenever Autumn arrives I always feel an overwhelming need to mix up my makeup and my usual routine. Rather than minimal makeup and the barely there lips I enjoyed in the Summer, I now find myself reaching for the more bolder colours and making more of a statement with my looks, especially when I am heading out somewhere. I find that with Halloween season also comes a need to let out my inner vampy-ness and what better way to do it than with makeup! 
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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

My Autumn Bucket List



I feel like a real cliché blogger when I say I love Autumn but I really do! It's my favourite time of the year. I love that Summer is over and the anticipation of new beginnings in the air along with all of the changing colours of nature. I think everything from now until until the new year feels festive and, being my favourite time of year, I really like to make the most of everything. It's also when I feel my most creative and inspired. 

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Autumn Fashion Picks



As we are now officially in Autumn (hooray!) I thought I'd share with you some of the new items of clothing I have bought recently for the new season. As I am trying to be more minimal in my lifestyle I now make much more conscious decisions about what I choose to buy and instead of buying loads of new things all at once I have instead thought long and hard about what it is I actually need and made more deliberate choices. I also try to buy more high quality items that I know will last the distance and not go out of fashion. I also obviously have to take into account that I only want to buy vegan friendly and cruelty free articles of clothing which means avoiding wool, fur etc, but there are plenty of great faux options available. 
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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Mildreds Kings Cross



Last weekend we popped into London again to go to the Design Junction exhibition in Kings Cross and as we were in the area I thought it would be the perfect time to make a first time visit to the new(ish) Mildreds restaurant there. Mildreds has always been a favourite restaurant of mine in London for vegan food and after having already checked out their Soho & Camden branches I was keen to see how this branch compared to the others. 

One of the best things about Mildreds is the variety and choice on their menu. There's a really great mix of different cuisines and dishes to suit all tastes. Although Mildreds isn't an exclusively vegan restaurant the vast majority of their food is vegan friendly, or can be made vegan. There are also an abundance of gluten free dishes for anyone interested. 


As I have previously tried their burger and pie I wanted to try something different this time and I was in the mood for something green and healthy so I went for their Soul Bowl and a side of guacamole with tortilla chips. This really hit the spot! The Soul Bowl was bursting with goodness and was so flavoursome. It also had a huge chunk of avocado in the middle with a cashew cheese dressing which really made it feel like a hearty and filling dish. 

I have had the guacamole side before and couldn't resist getting it again because it is seriously the best guac I've ever had! 


This Kings Cross branch is very similar to the Camden one in terms of size and style. It's worth noting that they don't accept bookings here for parties under 10 people but it was easy to walk in and get a table on a Saturday afternoon. 

It's so great to see this restaurant expanding into different areas as when I first visited they only had their Soho branch, which I think will always remain my favourite due to its cosy and homely vibes. I also discovered that they now have another restaurant in Dalston bringing their total to four restaurants in London. Clearly the demand for decent vegan and plant based food just keeps growing which is great as it means more options for us! 

Have you been to Mildreds yet? 
What's your favourite of their restaurants? 
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Mooshies



If you find yourself in East London and in need of a great vegan burger I'd really recommend heading over to Brick Lane and checking out Mooshies. It's been on my hit list for a while so as soon as we had a spare Sunday available we headed into London to check it out. Now we live closer to London and a train station I am hoping to be able to get to visit more vegan eateries to review as it's something I really enjoy and have missed being able to do so easily. We decided to visit Mooshies on a Sunday as this is the day of the week when Brick Lane and the surrounding Spitalfields area really comes alive with markets and lots of amazing foodie stalls. 
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

#VEGANPROBLEMS



You may have noticed that I got my hands on the highly anticipated vegan Ben & Jerrys at the weekend and I couldn't wait to share with you all my thoughts on the two flavours I was able to track down in a nearby Tesco's. What I hadn't quite anticipated was the handful of people who crept out of the woodwork to attempt to argue with me on whether or not this is a brand I should be buying from, or promoting, due to the fact that they're owned by the unethical parent company Unilever. 
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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Cruelty Free & Vegan Bloggers Secret Santa



I don't know about you guys but I absolutely love getting some surprise happy mail in the post, it's one of my favourite things! So with Christmas fast approaching, this got me thinking that it would be fun to organise a Secret Santa happy mail event for fellow cruelty free and vegan bloggers. The idea being that we would post off festive packages to each other in December and spread some seasonal love within the  blogging community.

I've thought long and hard about the logistics of this and I believe I have come up with a suitable process for organising such an event.

The rules would be as follows...


To take part you would need to email me your name, address, blog link, social media handles and any allergies by the deadline of October 31st 2017 (*Your details will only be shared with your Secret Santa!).

You must be a cruelty free or vegan blogger / influencer / vlogger / YouTuber to take part. 

This time around, and due to costs involved, it is only open to UK residents. If there is a big demand for overseas exchanges this will be taken into consideration for next years event. (*This decision was made after conducting a Twitter poll where the majority voted for UK only). 

You will receive an email with your giftee's details on November 3rd 2017. (*If you're not already following your giftee then maybe hold off on the follow for a while so you don't give the game away!) 

Packages MUST be sent off in the post by no later than November 30th 2017.  

Secret Santa packages should be of a minimum value of £10, but you are of course welcome to go over this amount should you wish to. Please note that this value does not include the postage costs. 

Packages can contain any festive surprises as long as they are cruelty free and suitable for vegans. You will also be advised if your gift receiver has any allergies which you will need to take into consideration. 

Remember - it's called Secret Santa for a reason! No giving away who you're buying for before packages are received. Once you're certain your gift receiver has opened their package you are then welcome to reveal yourself if you wish to or stay secret - it's up to you! 

Have fun with it! And get creative! You may like to bake up some festive treats to include in your package, or if you have some crafty fingers why not include a handmade surprise!? You could include a letter with clues as to who you may be or even a postcard from your home town. Or you could add even more mystery by including a polaroid of yourself dressed up as Santa! Do some digging around on social media to find out what your giftee is into and make their package personal to them. And remember - the more festive the better!

You're free to open your package as soon as it arrives, or hold off until Christmas Day. The choice is yours! All I ask is that you announce on social media once your package has arrived so as to set your senders mind at rest. 

Don't forget to share your Secret Santa happy mail on social media and use the hashtag #CFVSECRETSANTA . If, like me, you do YouTube maybe do an unboxing video too! Or share on Insta Stories / Snap Chat. I am sure everyone will be excited to see what we have all received.  

In order for this to work we will need even numbers taking part and I will work on a first come basis. Therefore if you definitely want to take part please ensure you email in your details ASAP. If you are last in line, and the numbers aren't even by the cut off date, you will be notified that you're unable to take part this year.

Also please note that I will not be held responsible for any loss of packages. It is your responsibility to ensure that your package reaches the receiver and it would therefore be advisable to consider sending your package on a signed for delivery. Hopefully this won't be the case for anyone, and I would hate for anyone to be disappointed, but these things can happen. Please be mindful that I am only the organiser and if you are in anyway unhappy with your package it is not my fault!   

If you have any further questions then please email me and I shall get back to you ASAP. 

I am so excited for this and I can't wait to get making my own package up!

Let the festivities begin!
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Pembrokeshire, Wales



Last week we set off on the 5 hour car journey to Pembrokeshire in Wales for our annual doggie holiday. Every year we like to take the dogs away for a week somewhere in the UK and it makes such nice change to actually enjoy a holiday with them all in tow as we're usually spending our time missing them when we are away. 
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Friday, 1 September 2017

My New Home Aesthetic



Ever since we decided to move house I have been mentally planning out what I wanted the new house to look like and it feels so good now, a few weeks into the new home, to sit back and see all my hard work has paid off!
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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Loving Your Life With Depression



I remember when I first got diagnosed with depression a few years ago and how unaccepting I was of seeing myself as someone who was depressed. As I saw things my life was everything I wanted it to be. I was, and still am, happily married. I had just moved into a new house in a new area and I was so excited for our life together there. I had a solid career and loved my job and the people I worked with. On paper there was literally no reason for me to feel unhappy or suffer with depression. 

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Vegan Kind - #TVK46



It's that time of the month again when I am sharing with you all a look inside the latest Vegan Kind subscription box! This months box turned up at exactly the right time and just as our cupboards were starting to look a bit bare. I think with moving house and everything else that has been going on over the past few weeks, it actually felt like a really long time since the last box which I reviewed on my You Tube channel. I was definitely feeling ready for more vegan treats! 

Inside the #TVK46 Box

So without further ado, lets take a look at what goodies were inside this months box!

Sweet Freedom Choc Pot (£3.85)



If you're vegan and yet to try a product by Sweet Freedom then you've seriously been missing out! The choc pot is a totally new and versatile product which you can use on anything and everything from your toast, to pancakes, on top of rice cakes or even as a cake topper. The choices really are endless! The other good news is that it's 100% natural, palm oil free and it contains 75% less fat than the leading chocolate spread. 


Almighty Foods Strawberry Blonde Raw Chocolate (£2.89)



I have to admit that when I first saw this bar I had no idea that it is in fact a yummy bar of chocolate. It was only on opening the packet I realised the amazingness that lay within! This chocolate, which is made up from cacao, cashews and tiger nut, is so incredibly soft and creamy. The strawberry dust topping is quite bitter but together the flavours work so well. This was the first product to get demolished from this box and it's definitely my favourite stand out product of TVK46. 


Emily Crisps Crunchy Sweet Potato, Beetroot & Carrot (£1.50)



Vegetable crisps are currently my favourite snack and i've been pretty addicted to the Co-Op own brand ones over the past few weeks. I'd never tried these ones by Emily before so I was looking forward to seeing how they compared to my current favourites. I love that they contain sweet potato, carrot and beetroot as I absolutely love all of these vegetables. On first taste I noticed that they definitely taste like a much healthier version than my usual favourites and much less salty. They're very natural tasting and I was surprised by how much I liked them. Their packaging is also beautiful! 


Native Unearthed Activated Charcoal Deodorant Balm (£3.99)



Since becoming vegan I feel as though I have tried a lot of different kinds of deodorants and more natural equivalents to my usual every day Superdrug spray one. However, and not through a lack of trying, I have never been able to find one that really agrees with me and does an effective job of keeping my pits feeling fresh all day. The fact that this one is a balm consistency appeals to me quite a lot and the lavender oil within this one makes it smell really lovely. As always I am willing to try new things so i'm looking forward to giving this one a go over the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted with how I get on! 


Candy Kittens Sweet Peach Pop Bag (£1.00)



I was so happy to see Candy Kittens included in this box and especially as the Sweet Peach flavour is one I hadn't tried before. I was also really excited to see these sweets in a smaller bag. There's no denying that I love the big bags but there's definitely something quite appealing about this smaller sized variety. From reading the TVK newsletter I also discovered that Candy Kittens are finally working towards making their entire range of sweets vegan friendly - HOORAH! This is such amazing news! 


PHD Superfood Mango & Banana Protein Smoothie (£2.49)



Another completely new product to me, I was really excited to try this handy pouch of smoothie. I am always on the look out for quick, easy and protein high vegan snacks so this seemed to tick all the boxes. Maybe it was a mistake squeezing it out into a glass because the texture and consistency of this smoothie ended up turning my stomach a bit. I'm not entirely sure why but I found it very thick and goopy. Sadly for me it didn't get any better once I tasted it too. The flavour is quite overpowering and wasn't to my liking at all. As with many protein smoothies, I also found it to have quite a grainy / chalky consistency. I guess you can't win them all! But on a positive note it's really good to see a protein company introducing new vegan products to their line.

We Are Tea Super Berry Infusion Whole Leaf Tea Bag (Full size £2.99)



I'm always happy to see tea bags included in any of the boxes I receive as I am an avid tea drinker and lover. This super berry tea bag was stunning to look at, so incredibly pretty! I almost didn't want to use it! I am not usually very daring when it comes to flavoured teas with green and lemon being as far as I usually take things. I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised by this one as it wasn't too fragrant tasting or too sweet. It reminded me of a drink similar to hot Ribena which I love! Even my husband agreed that this was a really enjoyable hot drink which I was surprised to hear as he only ever drinks every day tea. Also, for such a high quality tea bag I am impressed that they're only £2.99 for a box of 15 whole leaf tea bags. 


Newsletter & Recipe Card 



As with every TVK box I also received a newsletter which includes discount codes for featured products and information on the featured charity of the month - Food Fight UK - who will receive 10p from every box sold. I wasn't even aware of this charity who provide free vegan food for the hungry people of Glasgow. From what i've seen on their Facebook page it looks like they're providing an amazing service and I feel so happy that they will be benefitting from sales of this box. 

Also enclosed in the box was a recipe card for a yummy looking vegan chocolate orange cheesecake by @GingerVegan which includes the Sweet Freedom Choc Pot in its ingredients. I'm hoping to find some time this month to give this recipe a go! 

This was another fantastic and varied box by The Vegan Kind who somehow always manage to surprise me with new treats to try. I think you'll also agree that the contents of the box are well worth the £10.00 price tag. Also, don't forget to check out TVK's supermarket which is stocking more and more of those hard to find vegan items. Did you know that you can also order fresh vegan donuts and macarons on their website too!? I can personally vouch for them all being incredible! Check out my donut taste test video here

What was your favourite item in this months box? Comment below and let me know! 
* This review was completed in Collaboration with TVK.
All views and opinions expressed are completely my own. 
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