Coconut Coffee Cashew Cream

I am so over complicated desserts. Apart from baking the odd sweet bread I just don’t have the inclination to make puddings of any kind right now. I’m happy to buy them – and eat ’em – but makin’ em? I don’t know, my sweet treat prowess has left me over the last few months somehow. Most probably not helped by my winter hibernation mode, which seen me bake copious amounts of goodies, ultimately resulting in my clothes feeling just that wee bit tight. Ugh, the winter podge, don’t you just love it?!

Anyway, I am slowly returning to my healthier eating ways and hopefully will trim the excess by the time summer rolls around. This cashew cream – whilst not fat free – is a great alternative to shop bought processed puddings, and quite honestly it tastes  phenomenal. You can have it plain or jazz it with whatever flavours you fancy ….I happened to have some coconut milk and leftover soya cappuccino drink, so that went in. But anything could work, I’m thinking a cool peppermint flavour next time.

My Husband keeps telling me that two handfuls of cashews is like having a dose of prozac ….well, that might be a bit of a stretch but if it helps keep me off the cupcakes and feeling better about the impending donning of the bikini then that’ll do for me.

ingredients

1 cup cashews

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 soya cappuccino drink

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tbsp date syrup

pinch salt

method

Soak the cashews in water for at least 3 hrs. Blitz in a hand blender with the 1/4 cup water until it resembles a coarse pulp, scraping down the sides as you go.

Transfer to a traditional blender, add the coconut milk, cappuccino soya milk, almond extract, date syrup and salt and blitz until completely smooth.

Refrigerate for at at least half an hour and serve. Good with fresh berries, cake, on cereal …..um, pretty much anything you can think of really!

 

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Seasalt Giveaway

I’m so excited to announce a really special giveaway from one of my favourite British brands, Seasalt! It’s no secret that I am huge fan of their designs and their ethics – in fact they have recently become the first fashion brand to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development category. Pretty cool, wouldn’t ya say?

You can get your hands on one of their super cute and super versatile neckerchiefs just by following the instructions below. There are so many ways to wear these scarves and are perfect for adding a bit of casual pizazz to any daytime outfit. Also, all of the Seasalt prints are designed specifically for the brand, so you’ll not find them anywhere else. Cute and original …we likey.

HOW TO ENTER: there are ten neckerchiefs up for grabs and all you have to do is head over to the Seasalt website, have a browse through their collection, pick your favourite item and leave it in a comment below. Easy. 

I’ve even given you head start by selecting my own current top pick. This gorgeous ‘Eleanor’ brushstroke print skirt below is, for me, the absolute perfect skirt length and I adore the shape too. Great for a stroll in Cornwall (I wish!) or a relaxing lounge in a London park (reality bites).

If you win, you’ll be able to choose your own unique neckerchief print (subject to availability) and nothing says Spring like a pretty scarf, so get those entries in – best of luck!

on this occasion entries are open to UK residents only. winners will be selected at random and notified via email on Sunday 5th May – just in time for the Bank Holiday:)

Update 10th May – the giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered. I went old school by opting to put all the names in a (rather fabulous) hat to choose the winners – my little Vine vid can be found here. Congratulations to the lucky winners ….Jackie, Porridge Lady, Carol, Aoibheann, Elle, (Missy)Lisa, Heather P, Anne and Tracy. Well done and enjoy your neckerchiefs!

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Vivesoy, Vivejoy

If you visit this blog regularly you’ll know I’m pretty selective about the products I recommend. But, when I do come across something I believe to be blog worthy I have no qualms in giving it a well deserved thumbs up – and this new (to me) soya milk brand most certainly warrants a pat on the back. Up until now we’ve had a pretty limited selection here in the UK when it comes to soya milk, with only one major brand being at the forefront, so it’s great to finally have more choice.

Whilst I love to mix up my plant milks I always have a carton of soya in the fridge – I refuse to give up my morning tea, I only have so many vices left! Obviously too much of anything is never good but i’m happy with the balance we have in our own diet. We tried two different Vivesoy milks – unsweetened and cappuccino (i’m sucker for anything coffee flavoured), and were super impressed with both.

My problem with most soya milks is the sometimes unpleasant aftertaste, even with flavoured milks. Genuinely, hand on heart, not the case with this one. I’m so ridculously over the moon with their cappuccino flavour soya milk (which I served over ice, ‘iced-coffee’ style and in an ‘ice-cream’ float – yes, I went there) I’m in danger of becoming addicted …..seriously could not stop drinking this stuff and will have to stock up the next time I see it in Tesco for sure. Not much can satisfy my iced-coffee cravings other than a Starbucks (feel free to wrap me over the knuckles) but this is as close as it gets.

The other big soya milk hurdle for me is how well it works in tea. Being a total tea drinking nut I need a milk that is sufficiently thick and pourable, and this brand ticks both boxes and more. Oh, and my Husband insisted I mention how easy to pour the carton is – a little bugbear of his (p.s. he didn’t want me to feature his hand – ha, too bad). So yeah, what can I say ….it’s a goodun!

 

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Sunglasses at the ready

Paring down? By the looks of this outfit, clearly not. What can I say, I’ve always been a sucker for colour and sometimes wearing a whole lotta colour is the way to do go. Well, for me it is anyway.

Another Charlton House expedition ….we have a real soft spot for this place and never tire of roaming the grounds. I must say, this little part of London is really growing on me and even though we always have half an eye on our move back to Cornwall, for now this really feels like home.

I mustn’t overlook the fact that today is Earth Day. Being vegan, environmental issues are pretty much always at the forefront of my mind. We are by no means perfect (a long way off in fact) but we try to improve upon what we already do everyday. Even if that is not using so much water when doing the dishes, foregoing a certain ingredient because of the air miles it has accrued or choosing vintage clothing over new, we try our best to keep our impact to a minimum.

what i’m wearing …..skirt & blouse/vintage …..red jumper/gap …..green mac/debenhams …..tights/topshop …..shoes/marks and spencer …..bag/nica …..sunglasses/betsey johnson

It’s important to us to feel like we’re doing our bit and if that makes us bores then so be it. I’ll just let my loud and proud ensemble make up for it. Happy Earth Day!

 

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Manly Stripes

It was my birthday when these were taken – another year older, another year none the wiser! It was a very laid back affair…Hubby made dinner and we watched our new favourite tv series The Following. Yep, we are so rock n’ roll it hurts.

I had half a thought to go wild and organise a bunch of us to go out on the razz or something but when it came down to it I honestly couldn’t be bothered. That’s the spirit, eh? Perhaps my partying days really are over. Nevermind, I’ll just have a posing party in an alleyway out the back of my flat instead, ahem.

Times like these (when middle age feels like it’s rapidly approaching and there’s nought you can do to halt it) you begin to reflect on the big, and small, questions in life. Things like….what’s it all about, where do I see myself in five years time, will I ever get a full time job and when the heck will I be able to buy a soya latte without feeling guilty about spending 3 quid on an unnecessary luxury. Seriously. The day I don’t have to worry about such things is the day I’ll know I’ve made it. Now that’s ambition for ya.

I’ve also been thinking about my style choices of late. I think it’s only natural that as you get older your style evolves whilst still hopefully remaining true to the person you are. Whilst my tastes are essentially the same as they ever were – e.g. I’ve always had a penchant for naff 70’s vests – I can see a shift slowly happening in how I put together my look.

It’s definitely more streamlined and pared down but I don’t think I’ll ever want to lose the odd flourish. I’m beginning to loathe fussy outfits but my commitment to stripes is getting stronger by the day. So committed that I’m even stealing my Husband’s tees much to his dismay. Oh, and we’re off to Brittany mid May, so I think an authentic real deal Breton might just be on the cards…now that is something to have a party over.

what i’m wearing…..men’s striped top/river island….trousers, cardigan and blazer/h&m….scarf, bag and shoes/vintage

 

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What’s in my bag

I must be the last blogger on the planet to do one of these posts. I haven’t been avoiding it but to be honest it never really crossed my mind to open up my own bag to the viewing public. For some reason though, the other day (specifically, yesterday), I came home from meeting my friend, emptied the contents of my vintage bargain bucket satchel on the bed and took some snaps of the contents.

The colour co-ordination aspect surprised even myself – I clearly like red! I can also verify that nothing here has been planted, it really is what I had in my purse…..the paperclips are there because they come in very handy. In fact I was using them as makeshift clamps for a shoot I was on a while back. See? Handy.

I’m never without a pack of tissues and this Russian Doll clad pack are just too cute, I couldn’t resist buying them. Ditto lipbalms/sticks. I feel ever so slightly vulnerable if I don’t have a bright lippy on me – you know, for those unexpected moments when you need to add a little glam. I actually use the pots of colour for my cheeks, they are great blusher substitutes and blend really nicely. Lipbalm – well, who doesn’t have one of those in their bag?!

My iphone is my life. Yes, I am a self confessed addict when it comes to all things Apple and indeed all things social media – just try and take my instagram offa me and you’ll see what happens! Oh, and my Peter Jensen print screen saver is an instagram pic I took at my very first London Fashion Week (Feb 2012, in case you’re wondering) – it was the wallpaper in the cafe, tres cool, no?

I’m kinda old school when it comes to my money storage. I like coin purses for my change and a small wallet for my paper money and cards. What can I say, it works for me and I’m not sure I could go back to a gigantic all encompassing purse come wallet come brick in my bag. I have ’em, I just choose not to use ’em.

My keyrings are an accumulation of memories. I’ve always wanted a Citroen Dolly so my Husband bought me a mini one in the meantime – unfortunately it’s lost almost all its wheels and headlights now but I’ll probably still be using it when it’s just a carcass. The Cath Kidston dotty keyring was a gift and I bought ‘The Cat in the Hat’ one when I was at Universal Studios in Florida.

Obviously I would be in serious trouble without my spectacles. I swap and change the styles but I would be lost without a pair in my bag. And the teabag? Well, being vegan I err on the side of caution, which means carrying random food/drink items with me just in case I find myself in a situation where there are no eating or drinking options for me to partake in. Therefore, I can whip out my green tea (or whatever else I happen to have on me at the time) and be, y’know, social. This particular tea is a longtime favourite of mine and it’s comforting just knowing it’s close by should I fancy an impromptu sup.

what’s in my ‘vintage’ bag…..kleenex tissues/Jackson’s of Piccadilly Green Tea with Lemon/Inika creme colour for lips and cheeks/Lavera Lipbalm/Barry M ‘Lip Paint’ lipstick/Assortment of Keyrings/Specsavers Glasses ‘Bunty’/iphone/paper clips from The Works/fabric wallet/coin purse

 

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Rainy Day Woman

When you live in the UK you just have deal with the temperamental weather, rise above it and try to keep your spirits up without letting it impact your style decisions too much. That’s not to say it doesn’t – nothing irritates me more than when I plan an outfit in my head only to wake up to a dreary wet day that does nothing but dash your best laid outfit plans. Damn you British weather, damn you!

Obviously this vintage trench is a lifesaver in such situations but when it comes to headwear it’s getting to that stage in the season where I just want toss my winter hats and a. let my hair flow freely or b. wrap a pretty scarf around my noggin’. Unfortunately, it’s not quite au natural time just yet (thank you April showers!) so instead I opted for a scarf, tied in a somewhat seventies fashion.

Whilst I lean mostly towards 60’s fashion I must say I’ve become more and more drawn to the style of the 1970’s – or perhaps I’m just reverting to my teenage ways. My style icons back then were Jodie Foster in Freaky Friday, Anna Chlumsky in My Girl and pretty much every cast member in Dazed and Confused (and I’m including the male cast members too – soooo many great tees!).

This outfit here, however, is very loosely influenced by the well known style fest that is Jaws….that’s right, Jaws. Not only is it a favourite film of mine (by the way, did you know I am a horror fanatic?) but I’ve always loved the clothing featured throughout especially Ellen Brody’s ensembles.

Good screen shots of that movie are few and far between on the net – well, none that illustrate the kinds of gettup’s I’m referring to – so you’ll just have to go and re-watch it to see what I mean.

Whoever said the seventies was the decade taste forgot needs a good hiding. I for one love those gaudy prints, bizarro fabrics, crazy collars and uber wide flares – wasn’t this the era that cemented the socks and sandals combo as a serious fashion choice? If all that constitutes bad taste then bring it on by the bucketload and count me in for I plan to be a unashamed serial seventies offender for a very long time to come.

what i’m wearing…vintage mac/dannimac…scarf/vintage…bag/vintage…rust cord flares/anthropologie…denim shirt/zara…black top and boots/h&m

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Instagram Moments

Um, cutest highlighter pens ever? I love these little guys, they really brighten up my desk:)

I’ve not been instagramming as much as I’d like recently because my iphone camera is playing silly buggers – more than a little annoying, I may even be experiencing instagram withdrawal symptoms! It’s mainly the focus that is shot and Hubby has bought a replacement one, which he intends to fix soon, so until then I’ll make do with these slightly grainy offerings….

Breakfast might be my favourite meal of the day – I say might because I have a soft spot for lunch and dinner too;) If I eat badly (or not at all ) in the mornings it messes with my day big time. It might mean leaving myself with a ridiculous amount of time in the am but I’d much rather wake up early and ease myself into the day ahead than rush out the door in a blind panic.

Are words even necessary? This is my idea of heaven, pure and simple. Oh Cornwall, how I love thee!

Diana Dors. What a legend…..and apparently a fan of The First and Last in Sennen, who knew?!

Ah, the elevator shot! I love this vintage top I recently found in a charity shop, it was a real find. The neon running through it is so ‘now ‘too, some might think I was attempting to jump on board some kind of fashion trend….but you know me better than that;)

Would ya look at these! Hilda Maha wonders….beyond fabulous in every way. If I were to choose one pair of summer shoes these would be them. Just wow.

The boy. My boy:) Taken prior to the arrival of his new iphone, which couldn’t have come soon enough because this Samsung was the cause of many a mobile induced tantrum.

Willows – don’t you just love ’em? This is a walk near our flat, which also houses an animal sanctuary of sorts. There are deer, peacocks, goats and a whole host of lovelies.  A much needed place of calm in a City of chaos.

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Cruelty Free Beauty Rituals

I’m slowly emerging from the fog I feel like I’ve been living in the past fortnight. I haven’t been remotely tempted to lift my camera until today but when I came home from work I just decided to snap some pics of my latest favourite ‘cruelty free’ beauty products…..and as far as I can tell (but do double check) are also all suitable for vegans!

You may have heard me blabber on before about how incredible Superdrug is for vegans – none of their own brand products are tested on animals (yay), many are vegan friendly (double yay) and everything is labelled clearly (mega yay). My kind of store.

I have used the shampoo before but they’ve mixed it up a little since I last purchased it by adding the lime but i’ve never known a dash of lime to diminish anything so I fairly certain it’s a safe bet. You’ll notice I opted for the ‘oily hair’ ‘poo – yes, I am prone to a greasy mop so am hoping this product will keep it in check some.

Skipping swiftly onto the deodorant (and this is why I can’t be 100% sure everything here is vegan friendly although Rituals products are definitely not tested on animals), which admittedly was bought in haste at the airport when I was hurrying home to Ireland last week. Luckily it turned out to be a total winner – double winner seeing as I snaffled both the roll on and spray. I normally avoid sprays like the plague but I felt I need extra underarm protection. Anyway, all I can say is it may be (as in, it totally is) the best anti-perspirant I have ever used and that is saying something. It has kept me completely fresh and dry for the past two weeks during some pretty stressful moments, smells delightful (not too overpowering like many deodorants) and, whilst being a tad pricey, is actually totally worth the money. Okay, so I might be a wee bit obsessed with this brand right now so forgive my overly glowing recommendation.

And now the face oils. Oh man, these are good. I mean, really really good. I’ve taken to alternating between the Nude ProGenius oil and my regular moisturiser for my nightly routine and it is working for me big time. I had a super annoying dry patch on my cheek for months and after using this oil it completely disappeared and hasn’t reappeared since. I haven’t sampled the Weleda Almond oil yet but I’ve never been disappointed with anything from that brand so I’m giving it a preemptive thumbs up.

Eye cream can be tricky one because I still feel like i’m at that in-betweeny stage. Whilst I know I’m no spring chicken I don’t feel like I should be using anti-aging products just yet, so this Superdrug ‘Optimum’ cream seemed like a good compromise. I’ve only been using it a few days so will report back on it’s effectiveness at a later date but so far, so good.

Whilst we’re still on the topic, Superdrug have an excellent make-up range now (much to my delight), which is affordable and really quite fantastic. Thankfully I can assure you this eyeliner is most definitely vegan friendly as it says so on the pen – thank you Superdrug, yet again. I am not easily impressed when it comes to eyeliner but this is a goodun – I could probably put it on one handed if I wanted too, as these pictures demonstrate… ‘cept this is obviously taken longs after the liner had been applied but hey, you get the idea. In case you’re interested I had been wearing the liner all day when these were snapped and not a smudge in sight!

If you like your make-up, happen to be vegan and prefer not to spend a small fortune on cosmetics, you will probably already have heard of E.L.F.. I’ve long since been a fan and actually rate them better than most higher end brands. I’d been having trouble finding a foundation that suited my colouring, and had previously been recommended a terrible shade in a certain well known make-up outlet that will remain nameless, until I came across this one and I’m pretty certain I’m going to stick with it for the foreseeable future. I’ll admit the concealer could give a bit more coverage but for the price I ain’t complaining.

Ooompphh, that was a long one. Until next time folks!

 

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