Summer Essentials

In the UK summer tends to just pop up unexpectedly. Our wardrobes, skin and nasal passages are never fully ready for the sun to shine and pollen to flourish. This year I tried to make sure I was prepared for that odd heat wave and this weekend is the perfect chance to try and test those summer essentials.

summer5

Jason Suncream SPF30

summer3

INGREDIENTS: ZINC OXIDE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, ORGANIC SUNFLOWER SEED OIL, JOJOBA SEED OIL, ALOE LEAF JUICE, CALENDULA FLOWER EXTRACT, CAMELLIA LEAF EXTRACT and CHAMOMILLA FLOWER EXTRACT, WATER, CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, DIMETHICONE, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, SORITAN SESQUIOLEATE, GLYCERIN, GLYCERYL ISOSTEARATE, SHEA BUTTER, POLYGLYCERYL3 RICINOLEATE, ALCOHOL, MAGNESIUM SULPHATE, SILICA, SODIUM CHLORIDE, PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYHYDROSTEARIC ACID

Paraben free, no animal testing and containing 6 organic ingredients this spf30 suncream is waterproof and great for sensitive skin. I catch the sun very easily and today I’ve been on a 12km walk in direct sunlight and haven’t burnt one bit. It applies quite thickly but soon soaks in. One gripe I have with this suncream is that is isn’t scented so it doesn’t give off that nostalgic suncream summer smell.

John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender

summer4

INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC CASTOR SEED OIL, SHEA BUTTER, VANILLA FRUIT OIL, ORANGE FLOWER OIL, TANGERINE PEEL OIL, GRAPEFRUIT PEEL OIL, ROSEMARY LEAF EXTRACT AND SUNFLOWER SEED OIL, GLYCERIN, SORBITOL, PANTHENOL, PHYTIC ACID

I’m a very lazy person when it comes to my hair. I like it easy to do and messy. This sea salt spray is great to get that ‘straight out the sea’ – ‘surfer’ look. All you have to do is spray it on nearly dry/dry hair and scrunch. It gives a natural wave with texture. And it smells amazing! The bottles are made from recycled materials, 9 organic ingredients are used and it is paraben and animal testing free.

Weleda Hayfever Remedies

summer2

Hayfever relief oral spray – This vegan oral spray is homeopathic and helps with hayfever symptoms.

Rhinodoron nasal spray – Made from 100% natural ingredients of aloe vera and saline solution rhinodoron works to break down nasal congestion.

These natural medicines both help alleviate the symptoms of hayfever, but only to a certain extent. If you get a mild case of the allergy then these will be great. However if like me you really do suffer, more chemical methods would be recommended.

Fair Squared Razor

summer1

For the majority of the year my legs are unseen, and so therefore untouched by a razor, it can be a hectic moment when it comes to wearing dresses and shorts. The first glimmer of sun I decided to invest in a new pack of razors. Fair Squared produce a range of fairtrade products from shampoo, to razors, to body lotion all in a carbon neutral factory in Germany. I used this razor for the first time this morning before donning a pair of dungarees for the walk. It moisturised and I didn’t butcher myself. Result!

People Tree Summer Staples

Earlier this year I had a massive clear out of my wardrobe, only keeping what I actually wear. Then as soon as the sun came out I realised I didn’t have any tops to go with my summery bottoms.

Red brenton top – made from 100% organic fairtrade cotton at Fusion Clothing in India who create well-made clothing that uses the planet’s resources intelligently, provides safe working conditions, and gives back to communities that manufacture the garments.

Black t-shirt – made from 95% organic cotton at Rajlakshmi Cottom Mills in India who are pioneers in organic garment manufacturing combining high quality tailoring with a fair deal for farmers and workers, whilst supporting local environmental and social projects.

homes-for-sale-kings-croft-melbourne__75213

Today in Derbyshire the sun is certainly shining. It’s my Granda’s birthday so as soon as this blog post is sent I’ll be off out into the garden for a few beers to celebrate. Hope you all enjoy the sunny weather… while it lasts! x

Super Simple Vegan Flapjack

On Sunday I’m hosting a Swap Shop to raise money for Labour Behind the Label (details of the event can be found here) and for the occasion I’m baking a whole load of sweet stuff. One of the easiest pieces, which I’ve just made, is a vegan flapjack.

Here is the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and grease a 28cmx18cm baking tray, lining with baking paper
  • Put the spread, brown sugar and golden syrup into a pan on medium heat and mix until the spread and sugar dissolves
  • Remove the pan from the heat, add the porridge oats and sultanas and mix until they are fully coated
  • Press the mixture into the baking tray
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown
  • Let the flapjack cool in the tray for 5 minutes then turn it out from the tray and let it cool on a cooling rack
  • Cut into squares, and voila! Done.

Cheap, easy and super simple to make. The flapjacks can also last for up to a week in a container. Perfect for my Swap Shop. And the crumbly bits off the side, I can enjoy now!

flap6

The Yorkshire Soap Company

Last bank holiday I headed up to Harrogate to visit my boyfriend’s parents. On Saturday we popped into Knaresborough and discovered The Yorkshire Soap Company.

The Yorkshire Soap Company has six shops dotted around the region selling natural handmade soaps, when you walk in the shop its like a fancy patisserie. Loads of pretty designs, colours and smells.

20160826_103610

I could of bought all sorts. But managed to settle on two bars.

INGREDIENTS: Ylang ylang and yorkshire heather – Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palmkernalate, Aqua, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Ylang Ylang, Heather. Orange, carrot and calendula – Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palmkernalate, Aqua, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Carrot, Calendula, Carotene.

ys406.png

All products are free from animal testing, handmade in Yorkshire and suitable for vegetarians. They don’t just make soaps but also bath bombs, body lotions and shampoo. Everything is very reasonably priced considering the products are natural and handmade, the bars I got were just £3 each. Along with their great selection they do some cool gift packages. The above ‘yorkshire lass’ hamper would make a perfect pressie!

ysc

The Beauty of Simplicity

About a week ago I was well excited to receive my first ever monthly delivery from The Natural Beauty Box.

The Natural Beauty Box is a monthly subscription box of natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare and beauty products. It’s a great way to try out new things and discover different brands.

Box subscription is only £24.95 per month (which is a bargain as boxes have an actual value of £50) and for every box sold there is a 50p charity donation. Also, with my promo code “BELLA3” you can get £3 off your very own subscription.

nbb2

May’s box “the beauty of simplicity” contains six super products which I’ve tried and tested over the past week.

Balm Balm Coconut Cleanser

INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC COCONUT OIL

I’m already a lover of coconut oil and have found this spray cleanser is great for a deep facial cleanse and to remove eye make up. To use it as an eye make up remover all you have to do is spray a couple of squirts into the palms of your hand, rub onto your closed eyes and let it soak for 30 seconds. Then use a warm, wet cotton pad or muslin cloth and the make up just slides off. Unlike other eye make up removers using coconut oil does not sting and leaves the eye area nice and moisturised.

Balm Balm Little Miracle Rosehip Serum

INGREDIENTS: ALL ORGANIC – ROSEHIP, JOJOBA, BORAGE, FRANKINCENSE, ROSE GERANIUM, PALMAROSA, JUNIPER BERRY, MANDARIN

This serum smells amazing, just look at the ingredients, is there really any wonder?! I’ve been using a couple of drops of this every other night before bed on my face. It’s a little oily, so maybe not great for people with oily skin, but after a few days of sunshine the past week this deep moisturising serum has been perfect.

Alchemy Oils Grapefruit Hair Remedy

INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC CASTOIR OIL, COCONUT OIL, ORGANIC AVOCADO OIL, SWEET ALMOND OIL, GRAPEFRUIT WHITE ESSENTIAL OIL

Again, like the serum, this smells great. Fruity and fresh. I’ve only used this once as my hair tends to get greasy with too much product, but it was a lovely treatment. Using a couple of drops to massage into the scalp and through to the ends, then leave in over night. The next day my hair didn’t just feel in better condition but also cleaner.

Kathy Sue-Ann’s Organic Lip Scrub

INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC PALM SUGAR, COCONUT OIL, SWEET ALMOND OIL, VITAMIN E

This little pot is brilliant. Not only does it really work on removing dry skin from lips, but the little pot will last forever as all you need is a tiny dab to do the job. Basically all you do is get a smidgen of it onto your finger and massage onto your lips for about a minute, wash it off and put on some lip balm. Super soft.

Skin Elixir Frankincense and May Chang Moisturiser

INGREDIENTS: ALL ORGANIC – SWEET ALMOND OIL, SHEA BUTTER, BLACK SEED, FRANKINCENSE, MAY CHANG, VITAMIN E

I’ve been alternating this moisturiser with the rosehip serum on an evening as a face cream, but it can also be used on your hands and body. It smells exotic and a little goes a long way. You wake up with your skin feeling totally refreshed.

Indigenous Beauty Uplifting Natural Deodorant Cream

INGREDIENTS: BICARBONATE OF SODA, ARROWROOT, COCONUT OIL, SHEA BUTTER, VITAMIN E

I’m not yet fully convinced on natural deodorant. I do a fair bit of sports and with hotter weather on it’s way I’m not entirely confident that it works. I feel I need to be able to do some more research into natural deodorants to be able to form an opinion on this product. Possibly a future blog post on the horizon…

If you’re thinking of transitioning your beauty regime to more natural and ethical products then The Natural Beauty Box is a great way to start (don’t forget with my promo code “BELLA3” you can get £3 off your very own subscription).

Personally I’m already looking forward to the June delivery, thanks TNBB! x

What is a Flexitarian?

At the start of the year I took part in Veganuary. Then for Lent I gave up meat.

I enjoyed being veggie so much that I extended my non-meat eating period until a weekend in Berlin where lots of beer weakened my resistance to currywurst (oops). Since then I have only been eating meat on the odd occasion.

unnamed (35).jpg

It turns out eating meat ‘on the odd occasion’ is actually a thing. It’s called flexitarianism.

Described as vegetarians with benefits, flexitarians are people whose diet is mostly vegetarian but sometimes includes meat. Many vegetarians and vegans consider flexitarianism as cheating, but research shows that the diet just might be one of the best ways to reduce environmental impact and improve health.

Mostly my diet contains no meat but I now allow myself an exception if I really fancy some when I’m eating out or I know that it is good quality.

For example last week I was working in London. On Tuesday evening I had Moroccan food, lots of tasty veggie mezze at Oasis in East Finchley. Then on Wednesday I went to Flat Iron in Soho for one of their famous steaks because I knew it was going to be a) good quality b) ethically sourced from their own herd in Yorkshire and b) absolutely delicious!

Personally I think giving this way of eating a title is abit silly. I can however vouch that having this type of diet certainly comes with benefits.

Benefits of being flexitarian:

  • Less meat = less cost – meaning more money left to spend on good quality meat when you fancy it instead of processed or chemically enhanced
  • Improved health – it’s a win-win as you still get the protein that comes from eating meat occasionally but also have the nutritional benefits from a plant based diet
  • Reduced environmental impact – livestock requires more food, water, land and energy to grow and transport than plants

Next week I’ll post some of my favourite  veggie recipes for you to try. But for now, I’m off work and heading out into the sunshine to kick start my bank holiday weekend with a delicious brekkie from The Farm in Harrogate.

Have a gooden! x

poached-egg-and-avocado-toast-horizontal

World Fairtrade Day – Honeystreet Handmade

As it is World Fairtrade Day I thought I’d write about Honeystreet Handmade who make beauty products in the Wiltshire countryside using Fairtrade Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil.

A few weeks ago I ordered their Sunshine Body Scrub and Butter.

wftd6

INGREDIENTS: Shea Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Kernel Oil, Corn Silk, Orange Peel Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool – 56% are Fairtrade

The body butter has a mousse like texture and at first seems really difficult to apply and rub in. But once you get used to it and realise that it is not like a normal moisturiser it’s great. Within days my skin felt hydrated. What I also like is that the butter doesn’t have an overpowering scent, once on the skin it just smells very clean and fresh.

wftd7

INGREDIENTS: Sucrose, Sodium Chloride, Dead Sea Salt, Grape Seed Oil, Kernel Oil, Olive Oil, Orange Peel Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geranol, Limonene, Linalool – 47% are Fairtrade

Again, the body scrub at first is difficult to use. It is made with natural dead sea salt, as soon as the scrub hits water it begins to dissolve. I found the best way to apply this is using an exfoliating glove. Using it this way it definitely brings results. My skin is lovely and smooth after using it. Like the butter it smells fresh and clean, slightly citrusy, not overpowering.

Honeystreet have a wide variety of ‘flavours’ for their body butters and scrubs. They also make soaps, bath bombs and massage oils. All products are individually handmade in small batches. None of the products contain parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, palm oil or artificial colours and fragrances. All products or raw materials have not been tested on animals, just friends and family.

Ticking all the boxes? Hold on there’s more…

Their packaging is eco-friendly and recyclable. Their paper is handmade from recycled cotton and hand screen printed in a Fairtrade unit in India. The plastic bottles and jars are PET and are fully recyclable.

wftd5

Today is World Fairtrade Day. Why don’t you head out today and try something new that holds the Fairtrade mark (coffee, shampoo, bananas, lip balm, chocolate…) and help support the development of farmers and their working communities by giving them a fair price and better working conditions. Be an #agentforchange!

Love Story of a Wedding Outfit

As it is day 3 of Fashion Revolution Week I want to talk about my “love story” with the outfit I wore to a wedding in Shrewsbury on Friday.

The dress

I was determined not to buy anything new. I had a handful of dresses and jumpsuits that I’d only ever worn once or twice to a special occasion and so decided I would wear one of those. That was until I visited my friend Antoinette down in London. She was having a clear out and wondered if I fancied taking off her hands a vintage dress that she didn’t need any more.

I’d admired the dress from afar, she had worn it to her graduation. It was beautiful. So I tried on the dress, it fit like a glove, and I decided this was what I was to wear to the wedding.

£0 spent. 0 waste to landfill. 0 resources used on a new item.

The bag

Matt & Nat is a vegan brand (not using leather or any other animal-based materials), all their bag linings are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and they are committed to ensuring the workers making their bags are treated properly.

At Matt & Nat, they live by a simple motto, “Live beautifully”.

I purchased a bag from them, and it certainly was beautiful. So beautiful in fact I had my nails done in the same colour.

Sharing, swapping, donating, buying second hand or vintage clothes is a great way to save money and the planet.

Consciously buying from brands like Matt & Nat, who are happy to tell you #whomademyclothes encourages transparency which will force other brands to improve the working conditions and rights of their employees.

For more information on how you can help to make a change in the industry check out Fashion Revolution’s page.

wedding9