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Hauls, Lifestyle

Charity Shop Treasures

June 11, 2014

sewing-boxSometimes Gemma and I like to turn our addiction to shopping into a charitable affair and a few days ago, we popped into our local charity shops to see what they had on offer. It was partly my fault, because Id mentioned I’d seen a candle stick that I really wanted for some weeks, and with Gemma bringing her “let’s buy all the magazines” attitude, there was absolutely no stopping us. (If you want to see what buying all those magazines got us, you can check out the Ciaté collection here.)

Anyway, Gemma spotted a cute sewing box, the kind that I had been after for a very long time, but had never found the right one. The problem being, that each time I found a sewing box, the price tag would put me off, since I’m a bit of a craft-o-holic I always thought “I’ll just make one”. Anyway, I picked this up for just “2.95 from Sue Ryder with the intention of recovering it. As you can see above, it was covered in a pretty garish rose print, and although flowers are quite -in- at the moment (or so I’m led to believe) they really aren’t me. A few hours in my craft room with some red polka dot off cuts and a glue gun transformed it into the most perfect box for all my sewing attire. (Okay, not -all- my sewing attire, but most of it)


Moving on into the next charity shop, where I’d seen a lovely candle stick. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so after reassuring myself that it was Okay because I ended up with a sewing box instead, we almost left. It wasn’t until Gem was paying for her things that we spotted it on a shelf, behind some glassware. A beautiful pentacle candle stick for an even more beautiful price of £2.69. This too underwent a bit of a transformation as it has now been sprayed black.


Both of my lovely cheap and cheerful treasures have now found a home in my craft room, and I take great comfort in some of my hard earned pennies (albeit less than £6) have now gone to a good cause.

Have you found any treasures in your local charity shops? As always, post us some links or tell us about your lovely things!

Totally hellbent for guilt free shopping that gives a little back




100 Happy Days PT. 1

June 10, 2014

I imagine most people see me as some excitable happy sprite who is always full of positivity and…rainbows and stuff – and I am that person most of the time. Sometimes when I’m alone things aren’t so technicolour, I suffer from a lot of anxiety in private. Couple that with a long distance relationship (always the stuff of emotional highs and lows!) and some pretty stressful dealings with work and certain former associates, and I sometimes find myself in that little grey cloud. It’s easy for me to linger there and let all the negativity swarm me, but I find a small spark of happiness can blow it all away.

The #100happydays website asks “Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?” and I’m looking forward to being able to say yes!

I’m already 1/10 of the way there!

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 1. I picked up guitar properly again for the first time in years, and have happily kept up with it this time (she says only 10 days later!)

2. Shopping always makes me happy, I found these cute shabby chic pieces in B&M for only £2.99 each!

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3.  Day three marked the end of the first 12 weeks of my healthier lifestyle, as you can see from my exercise chart I worked out a lot!

4. My Dakesis band-mates mean the world to me, I had a rubbish day but going through old pictures of our adventures cheered me up to no end!

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5. Shopping again! There’s a theme here! I found these lovely treasures in a charity shop – just look at that spotty bag!!!

6. One of my best friends cooked for me for the first time in the many years we have spent together in a band. I’m happy to say it was amazing and I’ll definitely be bullying him to cook for me more!

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7. This is Stark (the king in the north) one of my trio of feline accomplices. He’s been ever so poorly this week, but a trip to the vets and some medicine has perked him right up again.

8. Cleaning brushes, the bane of every make-up aficionado right? Well I’ve switched how I clean them and now I can do them all in under 10 minutes without getting wrinkly hands! I should really put up a post about this at some point!

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9. I’m one of those vegetarians who struggles to get by without meat replacement, so I grabbed a basket full when I spotted some of my favourites reduced in Holland & Barretts!

10. You’ve probably seen us plugging this all over our social media! Pants and I are running Race for Life on Sunday and our drummer Adam wrote a very cheerful and inspiring blog post over at IsItProg? I do like being called radiant, but I hope he isn’t actually planning on throwing tomatoes at us! If you want to sponsor us you can do so here!

So far my picture choices tell me some very obvious facts about what it is that makes me happy – shopping, music, animals and friends. Not bad things by a long shot! My boyfriend arrives from Holland on Thursday and I get to keep him for the whole summer, so expect a whole bunch of Roderick related #100happydays incoming!

If you’d like to keep up with my daily posts you can follow my personal Instagram here (I follow back!) and Twitter here!

Tell me about something that makes you smile and share a random spark of happiness!

Totally hellbent for positivity!


Lifestyle, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind June Box

June 7, 2014


I had completely forgotten that my #TVK8 box was on it’s way, so I was pleasantly surprised when I answered the door to the postman to be greeted by this month’s box. If you haven’t seen any of my other Vegan Kind posts, it’s a monthly subscription box that has 4-5 Vegan and cruelty free products in, usually snacks and nibbles with at least one lifestyle and beauty product. Each month, 10p of each box is also donated to a charity and this month they have chosen The Fox Project, which you can read more about here.

Inside #TVK8


Ten Acre ‘The Story of when the Cheese met the Onion’ Crisps (RRP £0.85)

I do enjoy discovering gluten free Vegan crisps, and what better way to kick the box off than with a packet something that ticks both of these boxes. Although the best thing of all is that there was only one packet in the box, because the calorie content at a wopping 201 calories per 40g bag is enough to last me a week in terms of snacking! Having said that, the ingredients are fairly minimal, the packaging is adorable and so is the Ten Acre website. After a heavy gym session, I am defo tucking into these bad boys.

If you fancy passing some time and checking out their story and adventure filled website amongst some of their yummy Vegan crisp flavours, head on over to


Sativa Shakes Strawberry and Banana Protein Powder (RRP £2.99)

Gem and I may have mentioned in some of our posts a) we are currently on a massive fitness drive and b) we are trying our hardest to overcome the last few Cheese hurdles in becoming 100% Vegan. One of the downsides for us of leading a 98% Vegan lifestyle, is our lack of Protein and Iron, but the past few months we have been switching to raw smoothies and juices, cramming in as many fruit and vegetables as our breakfast cups will hold to get out 10 a day. We’ve also been experimenting with Hemp powder, Chia Seeds and a few other super foods to try and boost our protein pre and post workout. I’m quite sure that this little packet will come in handy, it says to mix the contents with 200ml of water or preferred beverage, but I will probably add this to a smoothie and only use a quarter of a packet at a time. If you are looking for Vegan Protein powder, I would definitely recommend taking a look at Sativa, their prices are competitive to the average protein powder provider, and they have a lot more information on their products if you are unsure on what to purchase.

For more products, visit the Sativa website here.


Mr Organic Sun Dried Tomato Pesto (RRP £2.99)

I’m very much a “DIY” person when it comes to cooking and try to avoid the use of jars or processed food if I can help it, so I may have judged just a little when this little jar was lifted from the box. Having said that, it’s gluten free, Vegan (obviously) and only has natural ingredients, of which there are only 8. I can definitely live with this and will probably enjoy drizzing this over some Zero Pasta or adding it to some home made Tortilla Pizza’s. This is also an ingredient for this month’s recipe card. A little pricier than I would usually pay, but probably justifiable if you are trying to lead more of an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Click to view the Mr Organic Website


inSpiral Raw Chocolatey Superfood Bites (RRP £1.30)

I first tried some of the inSpiral kale crisps which came in an earlier Vegan Kind crisps, and although the flavour was a little too salty for me Gem really enjoyed finishing off the packet. These are little granola bites packed full of fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains, described as the “ultimate organic fitness food” with seven vegan protein sources, I really hope we get on. In theory, I should thrive off these and even though I love fruit and nuts, there is something about the texture and taste of sultana’s and dates that I absolutely despise, which is a bit rubbish since most Vegan and Organic food is packed full of these ingredients. Alas I’m going to dive in feet first with an open mind. They also have banana granola bites which seem a lot more up my street so perchance I’ll be making a ‘superfood’ purchase from their website soon. Did I forget to mention that the packaging is biodegradable and can be composted at home? Love it!

Get composting with their product range here


Peppy Galore Diva Toner/ Refreshing Facial Spray (RRP£4.95)

Hello there natural organic facial toner/cooling spray for sensitive skin. Where have you been hiding all this time? I absolutely love finding cruelty free beauty products and it’s also a big part of my subscription to The Vegan Kind, amazing products like this really do make it worthwhile. As I am someone who’s skin is more temperamental than a pubescent incoming teen, I really do have to be careful when applying products, because if my skin has decided that actually it’s Monday, I don’t really fancy the moisturiser you’ve been using for the past three weeks today – I generally end up with inflamed and irritated skin and with a face that could probably pass for an intimate picture of a variety of STDs. (Thanks skin, I really love you too). The less alcohol and nasty ingredients, usually the better for me and I can apply safely, knowing  I’m not going to be mistaken for a tomato half way through the day. This contained rose water which gives it a beautifully refreshing fragrance and feels so delicate on my skin. Not forgetting the fact this can be used as a facial mist too! Kerching … hello extreme festival heat, meet my new friend!

Check out the Peppy Galore site for a range of no nonsense, no nasty products.


Finally, this month’s recipe card is for a “Pineapple Sunshine Deep Crust Pizza” which looks delicious and includes “cashew Parmesan” – a nice Vegan way for me to put my nutritional yeast to use. Of course this will be living in my Vegan Kind folder which is sent to you on your third box.

I’ve really loved this month’s selection and I genuinely can’t wait to tuck into all of these delights and mostly, enjoy the facial toner at some upcoming festivals. To subscribe to The Vegan Kind, simple head over to their website here, each box is £10 + £2.99 p&p and is absolutely fantastic for discovering some hidden Vegan gems!

Have you subscribed to this box? Do you have any particular Vegan fav’s?

Totally hellbent for Vegan facial care just in time for festival season




Candles, Clothing and Fashion, Lifestyle, Make-up

An Accidental Haul Part 2

June 2, 2014


You know when you really shouldn’t go shopping but you do anyway? Well I blame Pants entirely (and you can see her haul post here!) and can’t be held responsible for my inability to say no to a good bargain shop! As we are both supposed to be saving money for festival season at the moment we limited ourselves to only four shops – Primark, Superdrug, Boots and Poundland.


Primark Boots

Boots – Primark  £10

I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt as I bought these as Pants had been after them for ages, but they only had clown sizes left! Luckily I’m a UK size eight shoe, so I always seem to get the best of the sales. I’ve got some customization plans for these, studs and chains and basically all the things Pants wanted to do to hers (sorry…not sorry Pants!). I figure they’ll get plenty of wear on stage, and even though they have a heel, it’s not too unreasonable to think I might be able to last a few bands at a festival in them.

Primark clothes

Black Dress & Lepoard Print Dress – Primark £5 each

I already have both of these dresses in other colours, but they’re so comfortable and perfect to throw on with a pair of leggings and some boots for work, that I always pick up a couple more whenever I’m on a Primark binge.

3/4 Leggings – Primark £2.50

It was warm enough to show my calves for about three minutes last week, but I got these just in case we have another five minutes of summer!

Lace Skirt – Primark £3.00

I couldn’t help picking up this lacy skirt, I have always had a weakness for black lace! I’m planning on turning this into either a mini or a strapless dress for stage, and the best thing is if it all goes wrong I’m sure I can do something crafty with my bargain find!

The Little Mermaid Pyjamas – Primark £8.00

I saw these cropping up a few times on my Instagram feed, and knew I had to have them! My PJ collection is quite ridiculously large now, but when they are this cute I can’t help but add to it!

Primark bits

Zebra Tote Bag – Primark £1.50

As you can probably tell from my current bedspread, I love zebras! You can never have enough totes (especially if you are eco-friendly and prefer not to pick up new plastic bags every time you go shopping!) and you can definitely never have enough adorable zebra-in-pink-stilettos-totes.

Shoe Liners – Primark £2.50 & Socks – Primark £2.00

I am physically unable to leave Primark without at least one set of new socks. Not the most exciting of things, but I just adore the feeling of brand new fresh socks! I picked up a pack of five shoe liners for the gym and some cute bunny socks!

Embellish 3D manicure set – £1.00

I’m not sure I’ll ever get round to trying out the 3D mani (though I have quite a few sets already! =s) look, as it seems a bit fussy and messy. I do however love the blue shade, so even if I never use the balls I’ll certainly get some wear from the polish.

Red Berries & Orchid Tin Candle – Primark £3.50

I adore scented candles, but what I love even more than that is scented candles that leave you with a pretty storage tin once they’ve burnt away!


Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel – Boots [£2.50]

I’ve started stocking up for festival season, and I never step foot into a field without antibacterial hand gel! Usually they smell of cheap vodka, but this one  smells delicious!

Soap & Glory Flake Away Mini Scrub – Boots  [£2.50]

Another festival essential, I’ll be stocking up on all my favourite minis over the next month so that I’ll have a plethora of nice treats to pack!


MUA Matte Lipstick in Lilac Belle – Superdrug [£1.00]

I loved the first five colours released in the MUA Matte Lipstick range (reviewed here) so I knew I had to get the two new colours recently released. I found Fawn Fancy a few weeks ago, but this is the first time I’ve been able to put my hand to Lilac Belle. Given how much I’m into pinky/purple lipsticks at the moment I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it!

MUA  Intense Colour Eye-liner in Snow White – Superdrug [£1.00]

The make-up was 3 for 2 in Superdrug, and even though I didn’t really need this, I figured why not. My old white eye-liner was getting a bit crumbly, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

MUA Inense Colour Lip-Liner in Red Drama – Superdrug [£1.00] was 3 for 2…did I already say that. I definitely didn’t need this.

Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique Figer & Toe Twines – Superdrug 0.74p

One of my toe separators has gone missing so I figured why not try these out as they were only 74p on clearance!

Poundland bits

Oil Burner & Tealight Holder – Poundland £1 each

I’ve been looking for a new burner for my Yankee Candle tartlets for a while, but I’m glad I held out because this one is lovely and much cheaper than some of the others I was eyeing up! I couldn’t resist the cute little lantern, it’s intended for outdoor use but I think it will look just as lovely on my vanity!

Travel Bottle Sets – Poundland £1 each

More early festival prep, but I also use these a lot in general anyway. Between the band and a boyfriend overseas I spend a lot of time in transit, so it’s useful to be able to take a small wash-bag full of minis and small bottles.

Johnsons Baby Cotton Pads, Screen Wipes & Zebra Pens – Poundland £1 each

Just a few of the more boring essentials I needed to pick up, though the zebra pens were a great bargain as I usually pay about £3.99 for a set elsewhere.

W7 Rock ‘N’ Roll Eye Shadow in Envy and Sage – Poundland £1 each

Oh my god. Why has no-one thought to put loose pigment in a roller ball before? (If they have please spam me with links so I can buy them all!). I was having  a good search around the otherwise bare beauty section and I idly found an open tube to test out on the back of my hand. All I can say is I was blown away by how pigmented and mess-free they are! I love loose mineral shadows, especially glittery ones, but I always make such a mess – with these tubes you can get the colour right where you want it without any fall-out at all! I’ve already spotted a few other colours here that I just have to pick up!

So overall not too much damage done to my bank balance, but some nice treats and bargain finds that will tide me over till the next time my shopping urges appear!

Totally hellbent for “oh what the hell lets go shopping” days!

– Gem

Lifestyle, Make-up, Nails

Would You Rather? Beauty Edition Tag

May 27, 2014


We were tagged by the lovely Jaq at Lazy Days Beauty, check out her post here. We really like these tag posts as it’s a chance to get lots of other bloggers involved and also discover some great new reads!


Would you rather lose all of your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks, and lip glosses or lose all of your palettes and eye shadows? 

Pants: I would definitely sacrifice my palettes and eye shadows, a little bit of liner, mascara and lippy can go a long long way! Also, I’ve always thought I look a little odd when I just have eye-shadow on, before I’ve finished my face. That’s not to say I wouldn’t miss all of my treasures!

Gem: I’d have to sacrifice my mascara, eyeliner and lipstick. I could replace all of them for far less than I could if I lost my palettes! 


Would you rather chop all of your hair off or never be able to cut it again?

Pants: I love my hair so much, I would rather never be able to cut it than ever considering chopping it all off.

Gem: Beauty confession: I’ve not had a haircut since 2008, pretty sure I could last forever without another one.  


Would you rather have coral cheek or pink cheek? 

Pants: I’m not sure pink cheeks would go wonderfully with my perfection and since I have such a soft spot for Coral, that’s the choice I would make!

Gem: I like both, but I probably go for coral more often than pink.


If you had $1000 to spend, would you rather buy clothes or make up? 

Pants: Ugh, I don’t know! I mean I could buy a lot of amazing stage wear and maybe a corset or two for £500 but knowing me I would probably spend it all on make-up.

Gem: I definitely don’t need any more make up (and if I keep telling myself that I might  believe it!) so I’d go for a Primark Haul, a big pile of band t-shirts and a corset or two!


Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner, or eyeliner as lipstick?

Pants: Most of my eyeliners are black, grey, green or blue so I’d probably go for the lipstick as eyeliner – I have enough neutral lipsticks to make work and I’ve long given up my black lipstick wearing goth days.

Gem: Urgh, no I couldn’t put lipstick on my eyes, all I can think about is it being sticky and greasy! I’ve got a few eyeliners I could probably pull off on lips though.


Would you rather only shop at MAC or Sephora?

Pants: Sephora isn’t for us in the UK at the moment, however if it was, I’d definitely pick this over MAC, at least I’d have more options.

Gem: Definitely Sephora, I could never stick to only one brand no matter how good they are. 


Would you rather only use one eye-shadow colour or one lip colour for the rest of your life? 

Pants: Definitely one lip colour. Despite my vast collection of lipsticks, I generally only ever wear red and I much prefer mixing my eyes up a bit with a flash of colour.

Gem: I could get through the rest of my life with one neutral eyeshadow if it meant I could change up my lipstick. I’d just have to cheat and share with Pants for gig days!


Would you rather wear winter clothes in summer or summer clothes in winter?

Pants: Probably Summer clothes in Winter, being British, my Summer “collection” is mostly the same as my Winter “collection” albeit a few maxi-dresses. Besides, the thought of wearing Winter clothing during our journey to the scorching holy Wacken lands each year makes me feel a bit sick.

Gem: Haha, my first thought was of us wearing big woolly jumpers at Wacken and feeling a bit sick! Oooh I’d definitely have to go for summer clothes in winter, I hate being too hot but I can always go get a blanket if I’m too cold. 


Would you rather have dark nails or bright nails all year round?

Pants: Well, I’m guessing “bright” could incorporate pillar-box red or a nice coral? So yeah, I’ll go for brights.

Gem: I could live with black nails every day for the rest of my life to be honest. 


Would you rather give up your favourite lip colour or favourite eye product?

Pants :I think my favourite lip colour. Assuming that this means my favourite ‘lipstick’ and not a colour in general. I think I’m definitely too attached to some of my favourite eye products to let them go … I need them all!

Gem: It takes a long time to find perfect lipsticks that look good with blue hair, no way I’m giving them up now!


Would you rather only be able to wear your hair in a ponytail or a messy bun?

Pants: Out of all the question’s so far, this is surprisingly tough! Having so much and such long hair, both styles are pretty crucial to me. But for practicality, I’m going to go for a messy bun because sometimes, you just need to get your hair out of your face!

Gem: I live my life with my hair in a messy bun, and wouldn’t have it any other way!


Would you rather never be able to paint your nails again or never use lip gloss?

Pants: Never use lip gloss as I rarely use it (although my collection would speak somewhat of a different story here).

Gem: I could live without lip gloss, but I hate the look of my unpainted nails. 


Would you rather shave your eyebrows and have none at all or sharpie them in everyday?

Pants: I would definitely rather have shaved eyebrows than use a sharpie on my face. 

Gem: Can I just grow a fringe so you can’t see either? =\


Would you rather live without make up or nail polish?

Pants: Nail Polish … no competition there :oD.

Gem: I suppose I’d have to keep my make-up and just make an effort to make my natural nail beds look nice again. Saying that if I had no nail varnish I’m sure they’d look great after a bit of airing out!


We really enjoyed this “Would you rather tag” even though it was a little scary to imagine being without all those products we can’t live without. (We are defo materialistic to the max!)

And for our tags … we have chosen the following lovely ladies:

Britnee over at Britnee Loves

Aimee at Aimee Belle

Lauren at Lauren Amy Blogs


Charlotte at Makeup by Candlelight

If you’ve completed this tag too, we’d love to read! Just post your link in our comments below.


Totally hellbent for loving all of our things (perhaps a little too much) … forever

Gem & Pants

Lifestyle, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind May Box

May 9, 2014


I had high hopes and the biggest of plans for blogging this week whilst Gem was away in Rotterdam, but after coming down with the flu, I’ve conserved most of my energy for getting through the day job (perks of being self-employed!). Unfortunately this has meant the blog has taken a bit of a back seat whilst I’ve been indulging in a pre-school-esque 8pm bedtime.

Although I’m still under the weather, today I opened the door in my dressing gown, with my eyes half closed and clutching a tissue to the postman, who rewarded my efforts of making it down the stairs with this months The Vegan Kind #TVK7 box.

Those that usually read my Vegan Kind reviews will know that it’s a monthly box with 5-8 Vegan and cruelty free products in. They also donate 10p of each box to a charity of which this month is “Give a dog a bone or an animal a home” you can check out their website here.

I have to say I’m delighted with this month’s treats and can’t wait until my body has learnt how to taste again so I can indulge like an ethical piggy. I’ve also noticed that they have ditched the brown shredded paper that my carpet is oh so familiar with – as much as I enjoyed tipping it into the paper recycling bin, I haven’t missed picking up all the bits I dropped on the floor!


Hectares Sweet Potato Crisps in “Piri-Piri flavour” (RRP £1.00)

This was first out the box and I was super pleased. I’ve recently ditched the potatoes altogether (despite having a batch growing in the garden) in favour of the Sweet Potato, which counts as a portion of veg, despite the starcy and carby white potato. I’m also a fan of savoury snacks and am currently into Popcorn and oatcakes to get my snacking fix and keep the calorie intake down. These look delicious and are Gluten Free which is an added bonus. The downside to this 35g packet is the 172 calories and 16.4g carbohydrates, but for a little treat once in a while, I’m willing to forgo the counting and enjoy some delicious Sweet Potato crisps. I nearly always share my Vegan Kind goodies with my other half Brains, so it’s not all bad!

Check out their range here.


Wholeplus Hot Pot in “Vanilla Spice” (RRP £1.80)

I am a fan of Porridge, but since giving up milk I don’t eat cereal which includes Oats because I find the taste of Soy Milk a little too bitter when it’s not in a nice cup of tea. I was glad to see that that this little packet was indeed wheat free, dairy free and soy free though. Packed with scrummy natural ingredients like Oats, Dates, Coconut, Goji berries, Vanilla bean and mixed spice you simply add boiling water. Although I hate raisins, I can just about deal with dates when they are in food and am looking forward to testing this out. If I like it, I reckon it will be a lovely treat to take along to festivals instead of the usual boring breakfast biscuits we end up with. (Perks of being Veggie at a festival!)

Wholeplus seem to have a great range of snacks, including “Toppers” which are naturally sweet toppings that can be added to food for a bit of a boost – it seems to me I may have just found some new ingredients to add to my morning smoothies!

 See the Wholeplus products here


BIO D Concentrated Non Bio Laundry Samplee (RRP £4.45 for 1L)

I can’t say that I get excited over the prospect of laundry detergent, but it’s something I have to buy regularly so it’s nice to see the options available when trying to buy things a little more ethically. This liquid looks enough for one wash, and the price per litre if roughly the same that I’d pay for my good old Tesco laundry gel. My favourite thing about this though, is that the packaging is recycled and can be recycled again and the detergent itself has a minimum impact on the eco system. If it cleans my clothes, then I am all in! I’ll be trying this out when I feel up to doing the washing this weekend.

See some of Bio-D Company’s other products


Scoff Sweets Chocolate Fudge (RRP £3.50)

I am a fan of fudge, and I’m even more of a fan of people that make Vegan and Vegetarian friendly sweet treats. (Long live the Haribo) Yummy looking dairy free dark chocolate fudge a delicacy to be savoured for when my taste buds work. Who said being a Vegan was hard?

To see all the cakes, truffles and fudge you can get your Vegan chops around, check out their website.


Dormouse Tea Company Loose Leaf Tea and Tea Bags (RRP£1.60)

I’m English and I thrive off tea. Therefore I always get super excited when I receive tea samples. I’ve not had loose tea for years and I was given a packet of Jasmine Tea Leaves with some DIY tea bags that look like the most fun thing to play with ever! They have a beautiful range of loose tea’s on their site and although they don’t have any of these adorable DIY tea bags, they do have adorable tea strainers and tea pots. I’m all up for supporting small business’, especially when it’s something like tea! I’m definitely going to pick up a few of their other teas to carry on the leaf tradition.

If you fancy a different kind of brew, head on over to their site


Golden Apple Hazelnut sand Peppermint Raw Biscuits (RRP £3.95)

A savoury biscuit and a perfect addition to a salad. This is the accompaniment to this months Vegan Kind recipe card which is a Gluten Free SCD and Veggie Roasted Butternut Squash Dip. I’m certainly intrigued by the “Hazelnut and Peppermint” flavour of these biscuits which are made from seeds and spices and dried without the use of preservatives or additives. The ingredients list is probably one of the simplest I’ve seen, with only natural ingredients and although I probably wont be pairing these with a Roasted Butternut Squash dip, I may invest in a few other flavours to add to my salads and dip to my hearts content.

Check out their range of raw biscuits here

I’m really pleased with my box this month and there are lots of delicious things for me to try out as usual. If you want to try out The Vegan Kind box, they are just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, simply visit their website.

Totally hellbent for all the Vegan sweet treats


Lifestyle, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind April Box

April 11, 2014



After my week away to Scotland last week with an almost full on Internet ban, this was a great box to come home to to ease me back into blogging after catching up with all my e-mails!

This is my third Vegan Kind box – for those that haven’t seen this, it’s a box that contains around 5-8 products that are all cruelty free and Vegan – they also donate 10p of each box to the chosen Charity for the month. It’s a great way to discover new things that fit in with a cruelty free lifestyle. This months charity is The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary for Guinea Pigs in East Hunsbury, Northampton – go take a peek, the pictures are guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Onto the contents:


The first thing to excite me about this box is that I finally received my recipe binder. This months recipe is a Salted Chocolate Tart – this looks very yummy and I may have a bash at this when my waist line has recovered from my week away! That aside, my previous recipe cards now live in this folder and it remains on my recipe stand in the kitchen amongst my others. If you do sign up to this box, you’ll receive the binder in your third box but you receive your recipe cards each month regardless.



Rebel Kitchen Choco Mylk 200ml (RRP £1)

I’m definitely excited about giving this a try. I’m a fan of milkshakes, although these days they are a rarity – I currently only drink Soya milk, although have tried Almond milk in the past. The bitterness of the Soya milk isn’t overly idea for full on milkshakes, so the addition of coconut milk and spring water sounds very appealing. It’s completely dairy free with no additives or preservatives and also comes in other flavours. With 102 calories per drink, and 2.8g of fat it’s definitely a good snack alternative to a bar of chocolate or a shop bought shake. The price is also fairly reasonable at £14.73 (not  including postage and packaging) for a pack of 12 from their website which works out at roughly £1.20 per carton. You can take a look at their other flavours and purchase a taster pack from their website here.

vegan-kind-april-14-coconut-sugarCoconom Coconut Sugar 250g (RRP £3.25)

Wow – what a beast of a bag this is! I adore baking and always try to experiment with lower fat and sugar alternatives as well as trying to keep my recipes Vegan. Each teaspoon contains 15 calories, no fat, 9mg sodium and 4g of Carbohyrdrate (Sugars) compared to Granulated Sugar which is roughly 15 calories and 14.2g of Carbohydrate. Another interesting thing about the sugar is that allegedly due to the minimal processing of the product, it retains its nutritious components which include a verity of macro and micro nutrients. Having said that, I’m probably not going to start having sugar in my tea any time soon but I am very eager to start baking with this!

For more of their products and also some great recipes, check out the Coconom website here.



Freya Luna Lip and Body balm 10g (RRP £3.50)

This little treasure was almost overlooked, hiding in the deepest darkest depths of the box. Seeing the word Lavender instantly excited me though. I’m  massive fan of most things Lavender-esque, not only does it smell beautiful but as a natural ingredient it’s also great for skin, whether this be for dry skin or sunburn. The thing I like most about this pot is that it can be used seemingly anywhere including lips and face, which is an added bonus. I have a feeling this is going to fit right into my handbag when I need some on the go moisture. On opening the tin, it smells absolutely beautiful and feels a little oily to the touch, but not in an overly greasy way. It glides onto the skin and seems easily absorbed. I reckon a touch of this either on your lips or your chest before bed will also help relax you ready for sleeping! Very impressed with this small but mighty tin of 100% natural balm.

To look at some of their other products, check out the Freya Luna website here.



Landgarten Organic Dark Chocolate Soya Snack 55g (RRP £1.99) 

Since transforming my eating habits, Dark Chocolate has long been one of my staples when I just -have- to have something sweet. I find that one square of Dark Chocolate, gives me as much satisfaction as a whole chocolate bar, plus the added bonus of most Dark Chocolate being Vegan. This tasty looking snack is gluten free and rich in Magnesium, Calcium and Iron – although last time I tried Roasted Soyabeans I wasn’t overly keen, I’m willing to embrace this snack and give the beans another chance!

Landgarten have a fabulous range of Organic, Gluten Free and Vegan snacks that are well worth taking a peek at over at their website here and with 10% off for Vegan Kind customers, I may stock up on a few other nibbles!


Creative Nature Sublime Seed Bar 38g (RRP £1)

Whenever I try most healthy snack bars, they are usually crammed full of dates and raisins – and although I don’t mind the taste of dates, the texture really makes me screw up my face. This seed bar however contains roasted peanut, seed and hemp and is packed full of protein. Although not something I’m going to reach for as a lazy Sunday snack, definitely something I’m looking forward to trying after a hard session in the gym when I need a quick snack to pick me up. It does contain dates and sultanas but I’m crossing my fingers that I can’t actually taste or feel the texture of these so I can enjoy some healthy protein.

They have a few other interesting selections on their website here but nothing that jumps out at me.




Clearspring Miso soup on the go 8g sachet (RRP £1.29 )

I keep hearing about Miso soup and I actually had a packet in my cupboard from another box that I still hadn’t used. This was actually a replacement product as I should have received “Clearspring Sushi Nori” which unfortunately for me, looked quite interesting – a mix of Dried Sea Vegetables, probably right down my street. Alas, I received the Miso Soup and on the very same day my box arrived had decided to experiment and try the packet from my cupboard mixed with some noodles and vegetables. I made the wise decision of pouring the paste version into a jug first and adding water so I could taste it first – since I didn’t want to ruin perfectly good vegetables by throwing everything into a pan. Thankfully my wise decision paid off, since it tasted absolutely disgusting. Now I’m sure there are many people out there who really love Miso soup of all varieties, but it really isn’t for me. This little packet will be going to Gem’s partner Roode since I’ve heard he’s a bit of a fan!

If you fancy trying this out for yourself, simply visit the Clearspring website.

I’m actually really happy with this month’s box, its’ definitely opened me up to a few new brands which I’ll be going back to in the future. This is the main reason I decided to sign up to The Vegan Kind, in the hope I would have my eyes opened to some of the well hidden Vegan gems out there and I have to say, it’s doing exceptionally well so far. I’m already looking forward to my next box and definitely intrigued as to what recipes they will throw in. For some of our Vegetarian recipe posts take a look here.

If you want to try The Vegan Kind box, you can do so for just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, simple visit their website

Totally hellbent for soup that isn’t Miso and charities that help Guinea Pigs

– Pants




Lifestyle, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind March Box

March 8, 2014


The Vegan Kind is a new monthly Vegan lifestyle box. It promises to deliver between 5-8 products each month that are all cruelty free and Vegan – they also donate 10p of each box to the chosen Charity for the month. This is my second Vegan Kind box and I’d almost forgotten about it’s arrival until it turned up yesterday morning. The first thing I did when I eventually got into the box, was read the info sheet that came with it. This month 10p will be donated to which I am over the moon with! One thing I like about this box, is the simplicity. Cutting back on unnecessary packaging and leaflets (as much as I love both my Birchbox and Glossybox mags) I really don’t feel guilty for indulging in this simply pleasure and discovery new, ethical products.

Inside the box:harissa-spices   Flavour Magic Harrisa Powder (RRP £3.00) Another favourite about this box, is the recipe card you receive, pre hole punched and after a few boxes, The Vegan Kind will send you a little ring binder to store them in. The first product out of the box was this packet of Harissa blend. Packed with lots of spices – cumin, chill, coriander, garlic, mint, caraway, cayenne pepper and salt – this is sure to fit in right at home amongst my kitchen spices. This months recipe is a Lentil Burger and Sweet Potato Fries which also features the Harissa powder, which I think is a really nice touch and gives me something to try this out with. A generous 70g packet will also go a long way! chickpeasOnthepulse Hot Chick – Spicy Roasted Chickpeas (RRP £1.00) This cute little packet is crammed full of chickpeas spiced in Jamaican Jerk. With 213 calories and 10.7grams of fat it ranks pretty highly on the foods I wouldn’t normally go for, but the 45 gram serving is quite large, and I reckon for the purpose of snacking, a handful here and there couldn’t hurt, especially since it’s high in fibre and 100% natural with no nasty ingredients in. I do enjoy chickpeas so I’m definitely intrigued and can’t wait to crack these open for some snacking of the natural kind! greed-frog   Greenfrog Natural Washing Up Liquid (RRP £1.69) This is an enormous 500ml bottle – and though I have to admit I’m a bit of a Fairy Washing Up Liquid snob, I’m really excited to try out a plant based, bio-degradable and eco-friendly alternative. Infused with essential oils such as Lemon, which contains a natural anti-bacterial – I’m also guessing that this is going to be much kinder to my skin. I also really like the smell – not too lemony but just enough to smell fresh. Perhaps now I won’t let the dishes pile up as much! raw-choc-brownie Pulsin Raw Choc Brownie (RRP £1.91) Allegedly the most chocolate-y brownie using 100% natural ingredients. Wha’ts not to like about this? And actually, looking at the ingredients, I can’t really see anything that would argue this. 50 grams contains 195 calories, 8.7 grams of fat and 27.1 grams of carbohydrates. Not too bad considering the ingredients which include: Dates, Raisins, Cashew Butter, Almonds, Raw Cacao, Brown Rice Powder, Brown Rice Malt, Cacao Butter, Sea Salt and Green Tea Extract are definitely a far cry from the usual sugary contents that most snacks contain. Oh did I also mention it’s dairy free, no added sugar, gluten free and no trans fats? Another -almost- guilt free pleasure. coconut-cookiesSAF Express Raw Coconut Cookies (RRP £4.29)

I know for some people, it’s a bit of a love it or hate it thing, but I definitely -love- coconut. Seeing these, made my face light up and I have no idea how I’ve resisted the urge to nibble on them. Four fairly decent sized cookies – mint, mixed berry and plain. No nutritional details on this packet, but the ingredients look fab – Coconut flakes, Agave, Almond nibbed, Raspberry, Blackberry, Grated Lemon, Himalaya salt, Water, Mint oil and Spirulina. I do enjoy trying new things, especially if they are natural and not processed so this is yet another snack to enjoy without feeling too bad.

Overall, I’m really happy with this month’s box. Although it’s quite snack heavy, I really don’t mind. I’m always on the look out for healthier alternatives to boost me through the day and I can’t wait to start cooking with the Harissa spice mix. I was still quite undecided at the last box and I think a lot of this is due to my masses of beauty boxes I receive, so it was a little different to that and I really had to remind myself of this. But I’m definitely enjoying having my eyes opened to all the Vegan products available out there!

To get your hands on The Vegan Kind action for just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, visit their site here.

Totally hellbent for cruelty free living and guilt free snacking



Lifestyle, Recipes, Vegetarian

Vegetarian Chicken Style Roast

February 9, 2014

I used to buy a Meat-free Roast from Tesco’s that Brains and I would have once in a while but more recently, we haven’t been able to find them anywhere! With that, I decided to make my own and figured I could share it with all of you lovely people.

You will need:

  • 4 Quorn fillets or Vegan equivalent
  • 2 pieces of bread
  • Stuffing (e.g sage & onion, garlic & herb, packet or home made)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • Garlic Clove
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Something to bind the ingredients – 1 Egg (beaten), Oil or Soy butter/margarine for Vegan recipe

Begin by making the breadcrumbs first.

Heat the oven to around 180 degrees/Gas mark 4, place your bread on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes each side until crisp. You can use any type of bread you like, usually I go for Gluten Free, but the stuff I had in the freezer was seeded, so I opted for some of Brain’s full on “bloating incoming” white bread.


Once cooled, place in a blender until fine crumbs are achieved, add a pinch of salt if desired and half a teaspoon of parsley and oregano. Set the breadcrumbs aside for now. These freeze for up to 6 months, so if you have some stale bread lying around, put them to good use. You can also experiment with the seasoning.



Next for the filling. I am having a very lazy Sunday today and used a packet of Sage & Onion Stuffing, I made this up in a bowl and left to cool before starting. Roughly cut the Quorn fillets or your Vegan replacement and place into your blender. I chucked in a clove of garlic and half an egg into the mix to bind it together, but you can use oil or soy butter for this. (Despite my cutting out of nearly all dairy, I’m still struggling with eggs)



Roll out some cling-film onto a clean surface or chopping board, and spoon your Quorn mixture onto it, spreading it evenly in a vague rectangular shape.



If you’ve pre-cooled your stuffing, spread this in the middle of your mixture. You can keep this in the fridge if the stuffing is still steaming.



Slowly take the edge of the clingfilm and fold the mixture over until you are left with a delightful sausage like roll.



Place this in the fridge to harden a little or place it in the freezer as it is. Once ready to use, remove from the fridge and coat with the other half of the beaten egg, (or oil/butter) roll it in your breadcrumbs and place on a baking tray.



Bake at 200 degrees/Gas mark 5/6 for around 25 to 30 minutes. Again, you can coat with the breadcrumbs and freeze this if you like, just remember to increase the cooking time if you are cooking from frozen. Remove from the Oven and bask in the glory of your very fine creation.



I served mine with mashed new potatoes – skin still on, broccoli, a Yorkshire pudding and some little stuffing balls.



I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! If anyone does find some Vegan alternatives to the Quorn that taste great please let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear from you. I’m itching to try this out with The Vegetarian Butcher chicken that Gem and I absolutely adore, sadly it’s only available from The Netherlands so we often have to wait for Gem to whisk herself off to Rotterdam to see Roode until we can get our hands on some and because it’s so delicious, it never lasts long once we’ve got it back to England.

Totally hellbent for getting one over on all the supermarket’s and doing it myself




Lifestyle, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind February Box

February 9, 2014


The Vegan Kind is a new monthly Vegan lifestyle box. It promises to deliver between 5-8 products each month that are all cruelty free and Vegan – they also donate 10p of each box to the chosen Charity for the month.

I knew this box was going to launch some month’s ago, but had forgotten all about it until normal posting resumed on twitter and last month and I was informed by a fellow beauty blogger. Alas I instantly hopped over to their website to see what all the fuss was about and ended up having a sneaky try at their monthly box. *Edit – This actually arrived on Friday (I promise I’d already written this post!) but due to many distractions with it being my birthday I didn’t get around to uploading my photos until today due to our Dakesis gig yesterday evening. *


First out the box was inSpiral Kale Chips – 30g – RRP £2.19.

These look interest and I haven’t tried them yet since I have already been such a piggy today, but being organic, vegan, gluten free, soya free, cholesterol free, trans fat free and no added cane sugar, if I like them – I’m guessing I’m going to be hooked! I’m always looking for healthy yet Vegetarian/Vegan snacks to munch on and Kale holds a special place in my heart since it reminds me of Gemma so I’m looking forward to trying Kale in crisp form.


Organic Surge Sugared Almond Shower Gel – 250ml – RRP £4.35

This shower gel is massive! Opening the top, it smell’s absolutely gorgeous too, an organic 90.8% natural shower gel – and although when I opened my box I thought “shower gel? but I don’t need anymore!” I have to remind myself that this is not a beauty box and is merely opening me up to new products that are natural and Vegan – thus helping me in my quest to make better lifestyle choices. I’m hoping with this being so natural that my Skin isn’t going to shout at me as soon as I apply it.


Choc Shot – 320g – RRP £3.59

I was actually pretty pleased about this, Brains and I often partake in a cheeky hot chocolate/cocoa before bed (mine is Soy, his full fat milk!)  and we’ve just used up the last of it, so a lovely liquid squeezy hot chocolate that only contains 14 calories per teaspoon – yes please. You can also use it in many other things such as baking and in cereal – so psyched to give this a go!


1066 Cake Stand’s Cinder Toffee – 50g – £1.50

I do like Cinder Toffee, unfortunately, since it’s been my birthday today I have already over indulged in too many things that are bad for me, so looking at this is creating a “diabetic wave” beneath the surface of my skin. I just know if I nibble on this albeit Vegan sugary snack, I will end up with type 2 Diabetes. Something for the cupboard though and when I’m feeling peckish I know I’m eating Cinder Toffee from a Vegan Bakery. (See how I justified it there?) *Edit: and by “it’s been my birthday today” I actually mean Friday!*


Braw Bar – 35g – RRP £0.99

This is probably my least favourite out of the box, although under 120 calories and gluten free, reading the ingredients of fruits, dates, oats and flax seed didn’t tickle my fancy right away (especially with the Cinder Toffee) however I am partial to trying new snacks and will certainly give this a try – despite today’s *Edit: again, Friday – but actually I havent stopped pigging out all weekend!* gluttony over handmade chocolates, chocolate eclairs and my very own homemade chocolate caramel birthday cookies, I’m not usually one with a sweet tooth and rarely snack on sugary goods unless I’m out with others.


With each box, you also get a Vegan recipe card and after you have subscribed to a few boxes, you are sent a cute little ring binder to store them in. I love cooking and I love discovering new recipes and although I wouldn’t usually “pay” for recipes or books these days, it’s going to look adorable on my recipe stand when it arrives.

All in all, the total amount of the products in the box came to £12.62, but this isn’t a beauty box (have to keep telling myself this) it’s not about the packaging – it’s about discovering things that fit in with my Vegetarian/part Vegan lifestyle, so I’m going to enjoy the fact that I can’t moan about “never being able to eat anything” allow the box to open me up to new avenues (products) and see what the next few boxes hold.

To get your hands on The Vegan Kind action for just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, visit their site here.

Have you tried their boxes yet? If so, I’d love to know your thoughts?

Totally hellbent for all the animal – even spiders – and guilt free snacking!