You could call me a bit of a delinquent when it comes to beauty and face care. I’ve been using the same eyeliner for a good five years. I quite frankly don’t get this obsession with ‘contouring’ and when it comes to moisturiser I use any old one on offer in Boots. Then every now and again I will take a closer look at my face and be horrified at the state of my skin. So I’ve finally decided I should probably invest in a proper face care routine.
Luckily enough I hinted about getting in some nice products and one of my friends produced these lovely little potions as a birthday present. So I have ditched the 99p facewipes and bargain bucket cream for these:
Formula 10.0.6 Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser, Passionfruit & Green Tea – £7.49 for 150ml
I use this every night before bed. This gel cleanser does what it says on the tin, when you apply it, it foams up well. This makes for a good experience as you really feel you have washed the days grease away without having to scrub too much. It’s got a light but sweet passionfruit smell and I always find my skin feels soft afterwards. I’ve been using this consistently for a week now and I have noticed my skin improving. My pores are getting less and less noticeable. Each morning I used to feel I had to apply foundation to cover up the imperfections on my skin but haven’t felt the need to do this the last few days.
Formula 10.0.6 don’t use any parabens, so that gets a tick from me. The company has been around since 1933 but the site doesn’t show much about their ethos which would be nice.
Yes to Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer – £11.99 for 50ml
To start with, it smells amazing. I smooth this onto my face after cleansing at night and the cucumber scent is a nice bonus, it feels like you have just put fresh cucumbers on your face! I have quite dry skin and this product certainly does the job of making it smoother, yet I don’t wake up with an oily face, so I’m pretty pleased with this one. It’s a good consistency, quite thick and easy to apply, plus the design of the bottle makes it easy to squeeze out just the right amount.
As a company Yes To don’t use parabens, don’t test on animals and donate some of their profits to organizations to help others such as the Seed Fund (although I couldn’t find much further info about it..). I’ll defintely keep using this one, if it’s one thing that helps to convince me to part with my money it’s that the company will use it well instead of pocketing it all like some of the big beauty manufacturers out there. Plus they have lots of other great products that are made with fruits such as coconuts & blueberries, sounds tasty!
Take Care Of Your Skin With A Face Care Routine!
This is coming from me guys, take care of your skin! I fell into the lazy category for years but even in the short amount of time I have started giving my skin some proper attention I find it looks far better. Plus this face care routine involves using just two products. That’s something even a real lazy girl like myself can implement.
I’ve never really been spotty but the grease from the day and from makeup products caused black heads. And let’s be honest, who can leave blackheads alone? Gone are the days I find myself trying to pick at these imperfections on my face. Which obviously will cause a red spot and then I repeat the whole cycle by covering it up with yet more makeup. I always thought ‘ah well’ I’m still young I’ll care about my skin when I’m older’. Admittedly a flawed idea!
It’s something that you can’t quite describe until you are in the midst of it, a bought of the ole’ self doubt.
You know that feeling, when everything is going well, yet self doubt stops you in your tracks? Not sure what I mean? Here’s some signs you might be holding yourself back from your own sucess:
You wake up a different person
So usually you are a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of person, right? Have a good sense of self and wake up with the get-up and go attitude? Yeah, me too. Usually. But this last week it hasn’t been the case. I’ve been waking up and thinking up all sorts of put-downs. Completely irrational, and pretty unhelpful really. It is almost like a switch has been turned on and I can’t quite get back to my usual way of thinking.
You can’t get going
For most of us time is precious, we Brits work the longest hours in the whole of the European Union. Yet on one of your few days off that you had so many plans for, you find yourself lying in, wasting time on social media and decide it’d be best to stay in your pyjamas. It’s a vicious circle between not being motiviated enough to start something and then guilty for wasting time! Work days can be even worse, you might find that nagging voice is trying to talk you out of being productive.
Your outlook is negative
This really ties in with the last point. If you have a negative outlook, how on earth will you get going? Do you think Serena Williams gets up each morning and talks herself down before getting on the tennis court? No, that’s not what gets the job done. A positive mental attitude is half of the hurdle. Rather than sit there and over-think things when I know I am in a bad mood I just try to convince myself to ignore these unwanted thoughts and carry on as normal. If I am still feeling negative about something down the line, then i’ll invest some time to think about the problem!
What’s The Cause?
There are so many reasons we can get into a mental slump, try to ascertain what you think might be contributing. When you understand what causes you to act a certain way you are more likely to be able to prevent it.
What Breeds Self Doubt?
– Comparing yourself to others
– Someone being critical of you and knocking your self esteem
– Being overworked and under too much pressure
– Hanging around people with negative outlooks
– Monthly hormonal changes
It’s not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it has made you reflect and understand what may be having an impact on your moods. For me, the week leading up to my period can sometimes catch me out. It’s crazy how much a change in hormones can effect my mood! In a way I am lucky because I know I just have to ride it out and soon I will be back to normal. Although for some of you the doubt may not disspear so quickly.
If your mental struggle with self-doubt is stopping you from acheiving there are little lifestyle changes you can make that will help.
What You Can Do To Banish Self Doubt
Exercise: Exercise is a great way of alleviating all sorts of mental stresses. When you get out into the fresh air and get your body moving it allows a bit of breathing space. You will find your focus will be on the task at hand, rather than all that overthinking you’ve been doing. Not only this but exercise releases endorphins, which promote an overall feeling of wellbeing. So even if it is just a brisk walk, get out and move your body when you can feel that negative mood setting in.
Watch your diet: If you are feeling not quite yourself, it’s probably best to lay off the caffiene and alcohol. Stimulants and depressants are the last thing you need effecting your moods. They can make an already anxious mind go into overdrive! Herbal teas are a great option if, like me, you like to sip on a warm mug of something throughout the day.Try to aim for a varied diet too. I always feel that little bit better in myself if I am making the effort to fuel up properly.
Talk: Sounds obvious, but so many of us internalize our problems, thinking they aren’t significant enough to warrant talking about it. A good friend or family member will be happy to listen, so if you really can’t lift yourself out of your self-doubt then I’d recommend having a chat. It’ll ease the burden and most of the time the people around you can offer you some valuable advice too. Get off whatsapp and actually give a friend a call for a change.
Remember, we are all capable of achieving great things. Even the most successful people started off from nothing. Believing you can do something is probably the biggest step you can take!
Not going to lie though, this post took me about three days to finish, I just kept on stopping. Note to self: Must remember to take own advice.Yum
As part of my ongoing effort to make my life more eco friendly I have started to look at my consumption, so I’ve stopped buying and started selling instead. And here’s why.
6 reasons to stop buying and start selling
1) Owning more stuff doesn’t make me happy
I think we can all associate with that nice feeling of having something new, but it does begin to lose it’s appeal. Have you ever gone through your place and filled a black bin bag with unwanted goods? Chance are that if you look closely there will be a few things totally unused in there. So, that moment of fleeting happiness of having something new? Well, it ended up being a waste of your money and of the worlds resources.
2) I’m running out of space
That’s one of the big problems of buying new stuff all the time, you have to find somewhere to put it. My triple wardrobe, chest of drawers and ottoman are bursting (let’s not forget the boxes of shoes and bags under my bed). Living in clutter is no fun. I want my home to be easy to tidy and look after, which it never will be if it is constantly bulging at the seams. Ridding myself of all this meaningless stuff is going to make it so much simpler. No more searching for something and finding it buried at the bottom of a pile.
3) I’m being marketed to 24/7
There used to be four seasons to shop for, now there are 52 mini seasons. There’s mid season sales, end of season sales, black friday, cyber monday. 10% off your first order. Buy now pay later. Not a day goes by that I am not being marketed to and encouraged to spend. I’m making a conscious effort to see this for what it is, rather then getting straight onto my laptop for some ‘bargains’. Chances are I don’t actually need anything new and I’m just being inticed out of fear of missing out.
4) Selling my stuff gives it another life
It’s so easy to do a spring clean and just throw out the things you decide have no purpose anymore. I used to do the same. Chances are though that there is someone out there looking for that very thing you are chucking out. On a whim I decided to set up an eBay account see if this really is the case. It made me feel good to see that my unwanted purchases were being used by someone else instead of contributing to landfill. But I will admit, I didn’t expect it to be so successful! People literally buy anything; my broken nintento DS, the old thermostat from my house, etc. I genuinely sold these things, and people paid a fair amount for them. At one point I was posting out 10+ parcels in one go!
5) Consuming less helps the environment
This is a big one for me. So much about our modern way of living doesn’t make any sense when you look at it in the context of looking after our resources as a planet. The mass shopping we all partake in plays a role in that too. The manufacture of goods causes a lot of pollution, then you add to that the emissions from shipping it from the factories to our shelves. Oh and the plastic it all comes wrapped in. I could go on, but alas I won’t go off on a rant right now! All I’m saying is I don’t want to play a part in that and spending less on products I don’t even need is a pretty easy and realistic way I can ensure I’m doing my bit.
6) And lastly, I’m saving loads of money!
Now if there is one final point to end this blog post on, it is this one. I am saving a fair amount of money. There’s no more H&M orders on my bank statements and as I’m not impulsively going out to the shopping centre either that’s saving even more. Plus the extra cash coming in from selling my old gear is being put aside to fund a charity hike in Romania. Not too shabby, especially considering that this has taken minimal effort. If you, like a lot of people in the UK, are living from paycheck to paycheck, it really could be a good thing to start doing. Just make one conscious choice to think before you spend and you too could be benefitting from a slightly healthier bank balance!
Being a conscious consumer can be pretty easy, you just have to figure out how you can adapt your lifestyle in a simple way. If we all did this it would make a big difference!
This lemon & blueberry quinoa salad is versatile, vegan and drizzled with flavoursome lemon dressing!
Back when I did my stint at veganism this lemon & blueberry quinoa was my go-to salad. It has a lovely fresh flavour from the home made lemon dressing which pairs up beautifully with the blueberries. Serve with mixed leaves and a sprinkle of crunchy pumpkin seeds for a balanced and tasty lunch.
This simple salad doesn’t have too many ingredients, which is a bonus as there is less prep time, yet it still is bursting with quality fresh ingredients and flavours. Enough to convince you?
You can make this ahead to bring to work with you, or eat it straight away if time allows. This recipe doesn’t take long to put together, the longest part is waiting for the quinoa to cook.
I’m so sold on the lemon dressing that I think next time rather than making just enough for two salads, I’ll make a batch so I can use it on everything.
Vegan Blueberry & Lemon Quinoa Salad
A fresh salad, flavoured with zingy lemon dressing and topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds. Oh, and vegan too!
- 1/2 cup Quinoa
- 1 cup Fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp Agave nectar (or honey)
- Salt & pepper
To make the quinoa heat up 1.5 cups of water in a pan. Rinse the quinoa and add to the boiling water, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.
Whilst the quinoa is on the go, prepare the lemon dressing. In a bowl mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, agave & mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the quinoa is ready, divide into two portions and plate up.
Time to assemble the rest of the salad. Add the blueberries and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle on the lemon dressing. To finish it off serve with some fresh salad leaves and baby plum tomatoes.
If there is one thing that makes cooking easier it is simplicity. This is so quick to throw together and it just shows that it’s not about complicated ingredients and flavours, it’s about pairing those that taste best. Hope you enjoy!Yum
If you’re like me, you’ve probably experimented with loads of different pancake recipes, but I have got to say this is the best one yet, these banana protein pancakes are healthy and filling. Just what you need to start your day right.
Do you find that with regular pancakes you munch through them only to be hungry again pretty soon after? Me too. That’s why these are packed with nutritous ingredients that will keep you going for longer. Each serving provides the good fats and protein from 2 eggs. There are oats blended in to provide some carbohydrate and 1 of your 5 a day from the banana. Oh and my extra ingredient, a sprinkle of whey protein.
Pancakes may take a little longer to prepare than a bowl of coco pops but the fact that there are only four ingredients should be enough to convince anybody. I always serve mine stacked up with some delicious fruit on top and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Also added on top is a scoop of my homemade chocolate banana ‘ice cream’ (which is healthy too and doesn’t actually have any dairy). I’ll get round to that recipe at some point.
Fast becoming one of my morning favourites, if you have fruit-phobic kids this is also a great way to trick them into eating more fruit, what with a whole banana disguised in the mix.
Banana Protein Pancake Stack
A no fuss 4 ingredient recipe for perfect pancakes, with an added protein hit.
- 1 Banana
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Oats
- 2 tbsp Whey Protein
First of all put the oats in the blender, blend them to a fine consistency & then mix in the whey protein.
Peel and mash the banana in a bowl.
Crack the two eggs, whisk together then add in with the banana.
Add the oat mixture into the banana mixture, combine together.
Add a little oil to a frying pan and turn up to a medium heat.
Pour a little of the mixture, about 2 tbsp, into the hot pan to form a round pancake. Leave to cook for a minute or so, when starting to brown flip it over to the other side.
Once all the pancakes are cooked stack them onto a plate, top with your favourite fruits and a drizzle of maple syrup.
I needed a bit of lunch inspiration in my life, so whipped up a delicious, veggie friendly, mexican chick pea salad. Step aside pre-packaged sandwiches, this is a lunch with some flavour sensations! Inspired by my favourite Mexican restaraunt (I’m sorry guys it is a chain!) Chimichangas, their tasty insta posts are too much! I’ve been craving their naughty fried goodness for ages, so here’s my healthy alternative.
My favourite thing about this salad is that it is both filling and flavourome. The chick peas provide a good amount of protein to keep you fuller for longer. Plus, all the lime, onion & seasoning bring that zingy mexican flavour.
Great to make in a big batch, as you can do so much with it. Pair with rice, have it in a wrap, muddle it with some salad leaves or simply just have it as it comes in a big bowl. Cos c’mon, who doesn’t love mexican food?
I love to scoop this into a tupperware and bring it to the office with me, it’s so easy to prepare the night before as it just requires a bit of time to chop and mix everthing. No actual cooking. Plus there was loads left so managed to make the boyf a lunch too, result. Even though he’s not so big on chick peas..these are mexican chick peas, so even he was sold on them!
Oh and did I forget to mention, it’s really diet friendly. There’s no oil in this, theres no calorific salad dressing, just good ingredients paired well. This is what I am all about, creating food that is exciting to eat whilst still healthy. This certainly won’t feel like diet food.
Although as is always the temptation with mexican food, a little margarita to help it go down? Hmm, maybe not at lunch time!
Mexican Chick Pea Salad
A fresh tasting, veggie friendly, mexican inspired salad.
- 1 tin Chick peas
- 1 Lime
- 1 Avocado
- 1 small Red Onion
- 1 tin Sweetcorn
- Handful Cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Fresh coriander
- Salt & Pepper
- Chili powder Optional
First, open up the tinned chick peas and rinse under water. Set aside in a large bowl.
Take the avocado & cherry tomatoes. Chop them into small chunks and add in with the chick peas.
Cut the red onion finely and add this to the mix.
Open up the tin of sweetcorn, tip away the water then add the kernels to the bowl. I only used a small tin of sweetcorn, so just add as much as you like if yours is a large one.
Wash and cut the coriander, then add two tsbp to the bowl of ingredients.
Cut and squeeze the lime, add the juice into the bowl.
Season the mix with salt and pepper, if you like yours spicy then time to add 1/4 tsp of the chili powder. Mix everything together and enjoy! Can be served on its own, with rice, or even in a wrap.
Just before we had all this snow my beau and I managed to get out to our allotment. First we just thought we’d “survey the situation” ie, poke around, talk about all the things we were going to do..and then go back in for a cuppa. But no, we actually got to work! I am so thankful we did now, as it’s been mighty cold lately. I think we managed to sneak out on one of the only mild days in February. Here are some allotment tips for garden growers and plot owners alike!
We’ve had the allotment for three years and we’ve both gone through little spurts of enthusiasm with it. Although we are by no means experts we have learnt some valuable lessons over the years. If only we knew these from the start..
Our Favourite Newbie Allotment Tips
Put your allotment to ‘bed’
This one might be little late for some of you, as if you haven’t already done this you’ll have to bear it in mind for next winter. Once the growing season is over (like, in October/Nov) take a load of cardboard, or black tarpaulin and just cover everything. Every bed you want to use next season. It’s prevented a load of weeds, which will spare SOOO much time in the summer months. This way you can just peel back the covers and get stuck in, no evil weeds lurking.
Don’t worry about digging all the weeds out
So if you haven’t been organized and covered all your beds (or in our case, some of your covering flew off) and you have weeds growing, you don’t need to dig em’ all out. We had already started when a friendly neighbour gave us this handy allotment tip. Just turn all the earth, leaving the uprooted weeds at the top. Yep, you heard right, leave the weeds there. So we were told, the cold and frost will kill them off, then you can just turn them back into the ground.
Word of warning, this is actually the first time trying this. So I genuinely don’t know if it will work, but the friendly oap allotment man surely must know his business. He has a totally banging plot so I am going to have faith in him on this one… Remember though, this tip only applies for the colder months, where frosts still happen, you can’t go doing this in the summer.
Buy your fruit trees now! (Quick!)
So I had no idea, but you are supposed to plant fruit trees in the dormant season. They have a far better chance of establishing that way. So if you want to get a lovely apple tree growing, you best get down to the garden centre quick sharp, as spring is almost here. Technically we should have our fruit trees planted up by now, but I am going to chance it and plant mine up this weekend. I did actually know all winter that I wanted to get an apple tree. But when it’s just so cold and miserable out there it’s so easy to put it off until the last minute.
Oh and check this out, still got some badboy veg and herbs that have lasted the harsh winter!
Looking forward to the season ahead, fresh fruit and veggies taste so much better than store bought. Take advantage of any milder days and get out there to put our allotment tips to use!Yum
There’s no reason for toast to be boring these days, use some imagination and it can turn into your favourite go-to brekkie. Here’s my favourite luxury toast creation. Crunchy rye toast, loaded with peanut butter.
My Luxury Toast – Peanut Butter Crunch
I get looks from my friends as though I’ve gone mad, as this genuinely is my top breakfast. Forget a full english or a trip to the cafe. It’s gotta be properly dense rye bread, toasted on the highest setting, so it goes all crispy and a bit burnt around the edges. Then it’s ready to be slathered with peanut butter, chopped banana, a drizzle of honey & seasame seeds. Heaven. Just divine.
My love of peanut butter was only discovered a few years ago. I did a stint at being a vegan, bought a jar for protein purposes and literally had to hold back from devouring the whole thing. Needless to say my vegan month was heavily supplimented by peanutty goodness.
So just in case you want to copy this heavenly slice, all you need is:
Crunchy Peanut Butter Rye
A truly tasty combination for a super tasty breakfast.
- 1 Slice Rye Bread
- 1 Banana
- Sprinkle Seasame Seeds
Cut your rye bread in half and put it in the toaster for the highest setting (make sure it's proper dense rye, as this is the one that can take longer to toast).
Chop a banana into slices
Once the toast has popped slather on a healthy amount of peanut butter, top with the sliced bananas, drizzle on the honey and add a sprinkle of seasame seeds on top. Voila!
Jazz Up Your Toast
I find it quite easy in the morning to get breakfast down. I’m a foodie, I’m always thinking about food and little all else. But if you are part of that weird camp that can’t eat too early, maybe take a more creative approach to your breakfast and jazz it up with some of your favourite things. Avocado, ricotta, fruit compote..the list goes on.
I’d definitely recommend starting out with rye bread as your base, for many reasons as I mention in my post about the best breads for weight loss
That’s all for now, I’ve just heard the toaster pop..