Clive’s Vegan Tart, Tomato and Olive Provancale

Clive’s Vegan Tart, Tomato and Olive Provancale is gluten free and obviously dairy free as it’s vegan. It has such a thick, almost creamy filling, that I thought I must be eating dairy by mistake!

I either eat this tart hot and just in its own for a warming breakfast or I have it chilled (like quiche) with salad for dinner. I’ve not found a way to eat it for my tea yet as it doesn’t go with gravy. Any ideas lovely people?

Rating 5/5

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

*First posted 1 year ago*

I’ve decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!

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This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.

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Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!

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Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

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A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

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Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps with your declutter! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

 

 

 

 

Coconut Bacon by Pimp My Salad

This is a vegan and gluten version of bacon bits, made mostly of dried (not baked) coconut so it retains all of the nutrients. They are fairly thin, crunchy flakes and have a strong bacon flavour, like Frazzles crisps!

The seasoning on the coconut bacon is slightly powdery and dry, so it’s preferable to eat with sushi and salad or to top stew and buttery baked-potatoes.

This brand originates from Australia and is also widely available the US. There are some health food shops which stock it the UK though, like Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic, Alternative Stores and Healthy Supplies.

If you adore bacon, this is not for you. If you’ve been veggie or vegan for a while and like various brands of ‘facon’ then I think you will appreciate this.

Rating 3/5

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Pixi by Petra Beauty Balm & H2O Skindrink Mini

About eight years ago I tried a lot of the BB and CC creams that came onto the market, with varying success. Then I got rather obsessed with finding the right radiance boosting foundation, with absolutely no success. So I thought I’d give Pixi Beauty Balm (High Coverage Foundation) Β£22 in Nude a try, as it looked like it might combine both.

Active Ingredients

  • Adenosine restores & smoothes
  • Ceramide NP provides time-release moisture
  • Chamomile calms & soothes
  • Hyalorunic Acid

Before I applied this I looked so fatigued and I’d not been taking care of my skin for several days (as a result of illness, my diet and my lifestyle choices) so it looked dull, greasy and blotchy with big grooves at the side of my eye bags.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

The first time I applied the Beauty Balm to unprimed skin it glided on so easily, matching my skin tone perfectly (darker than nude in my opinion) and it made my skin look flawless!

The second time I applied the H2O Skindrink and OMG did I look glowy and healthy!

It wore really well and evenly and my skin felt hydrated through the entire day.

After using this duo I now realise there is skincare and makeup and then there’s CAMOUFLAGE and MAGIC!

Disclaimer: No way in hell am I showing you the ‘before’ photo (recall the worst mug shot you ever saw and you’re nearly there). I couldn’t get an ‘after’ shot either as there’s hardly any natural light in my house in the afternoons. I tried using my very bright SAD light but that just bleached out my features (and any contrast) like those awful ‘youth boosting’ skincare adverts that are so prevalent now.

Anyway, below is an approximation…

Before

After

Seriously though….

Rating 5/5 πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½

I am gutted that I can’t buy a full sized Skindrink H2O because – and I rarely say this – I need this in my life…and on my face.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Zao Essence of Nature vegan refillable Volume & Sheathing Mascara and Concealer

I came across both of these on the Peace With The Wild website but Zao do have their own website. Both of these products are cruelty free, organic, vegan and refillable!

I’m surprised these are packaged in little bamboo bags as it seems like unnecessary extra packaging. I do love the bamboo cases and that they’re refillable though.

Concealer Β£18.75

I chose the colour ‘Clear Beige’ as it suits ‘medium skin with neutral undertones’ which my skin is in winter. I cant show you a tester on my skin because it matches it so much that you can’t see it. For a stick concealer the texture is pretty creamy but obviously not as blendable as a liquid one. I’m not one of those people that slap on so much under their eyes, that they cover their cheek bones too (hey, each to their own), I just use it sparingly on blemishes and redness.

Organic castor oil 

This oil is emollient and so facilitates softer skin. It is also moisturising, increasing the water content of skin to keep it soft and smooth.

Organic carnauba wax

Secreted by leaves of a palm tree native to Brazil, this wax is a film-forming agent that protects skin via the production of a continuous film; this helps makeup to last for a longer duration.

Organic bamboo macerate

Bamboo macerate is extremely rich in organic silica, required by the body for the production of collagen, the body’s anti-ageing weapon. Our bodies require silica to maintain elasticity of the upper layers of the epidermis.

Volume and Sheathing Mascara Β£20.75

100% natural ingredients, 40% of which are organic. This Mascara is so gentle on lashes. The sheathing effect makes lashes thicker but also means that it slides off easily when I want to remove it. It doesn’t make my feel lashes dry or like they could easily snap, as they are still flexible.

This brush is absolutely fool proof! It lifts and separates lashes and applies the perfect amount of product.

Organic bamboo hydrosol
Derived from the distillation of bamboo leaves, it purifies combination and acne-prone skin by mattifying it. Moisturizing and soothing, it is also beneficial for dry and sensitive skin. Thanks to its high silica content, it leaves a soft touch to the skin.

Acacia gum
Acacia gum or gum arabic that comes from the resin secreted by the Acacia Senegal tree, is used as an adhesive agent, to improve the hold of Zao Make-Up mascaras.

Organic avocado oil
Obtained from avocado pulp, this oil is healing and calming. It works like a wonder on skin irritations. Softening, protective and very soft, it restores elasticity and provides comfort to the skin and takes care of fragile skin. Regenerating and restructuring, it acts against skin aging.’

I’ve not included a before pic because you can’t really see my lashes as they point forward without mascara, rather than upward.

I’m surprised at how thick and extended my lashes look, even with my hooded eyes. Below, I’m doing surprised-eyes in order to show you the base of my lashes.

I didn’t even know I had this many lashes lol

Rating for both 5/5 πŸ₯³

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

I Try Vertigo plant based Restaurant

There are quite a few vegan and vegetarian eateries that have opened in Manchester the past few years and first on my list to try out was Vertigo. Located at 1 First Street (a relatively new area including Indian Tiffin Room, Home cafe/restaurant complex, Junk Yard Golf where you get pissed and then play crazy golf and Bunny Jackson’s a dive bar-esque place with live music) Vertigo is an airy, contemporary, yet cozy little place.

Yes, it is a tad hipsterish with it’s glass jars and bottles, mini condiments and teeny clipboard menus but everything is well thought out; functional and quirky.

This is me eying up my food arriving. We snagged a cozy booth for four even though there were just two of us. I ordered the homemade pink lemonade which was lovely, if a little too sweet. All of the beer was local and gluten free and they had a great range of fresh juices.

Small plate (to share)

3 Chickn’ Lollipops with satay and sambal dipping sauce to share. The chickn’ was quite dry but tasty and the satay sauce was one of the best I’ve had. Not keen on the sambal though as the flavour was too sharp for me.

Small Plate (starters)

Eee yuh can’t beat a bit’uh veggie/vegan black pud! This was lovely and rich with the complimentary flavours of black pudding (from Bury Market), beetroot ketchup, a huge heap of mild rocket and a light mustard dressing. I wish the pud was crunchier on the outside but is that even traditional?

Large Plate (mains).

I’m English, it’s been winter and somehow I haven’t had pie and mash for four months, four! This was a well filled mushroom pie, with savoury gravy, mash, pickled cabbage and….where are my crunchy onions!? Now, I love anything pickled but would have preferred peas (mushy or otherwise) with this particular dish. The Bloke makes the creamiest vegan mash, which still has a bit of texture to it and sadly, this slightly bland (and suspiciously smooth) offering just didn’t compare.

Desert (pudding)

Seeing as me pie want gluten free (I’m sounding Northern again), I decided not to push my poor tummy and to order a gluten free apple and plumb pie to go. Our lovely server knocked a quid off because we didn’t want to try and package the ice cream or to carry it around. Perfect pastry to fruit ratio and perfect sweet and tart ratio. Perfect apple to plumb ratio? I reckoned so.

Overall

I really like the sustainable ethics (glass not plastic bottles, paper straws and paper takeaway boxes), the simple cross-cultural menu and the styling of Vertigo and will be visiting again.

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Vertigo, Unit 9, Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester, M15 4RA

vertigomcr.co.uk

This post is not sponsored in any way.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Asda Plant Based Tika Masala V’s Wicked Kitchen Tika

I’ve recently discovered that I love Tika ‘curry’ sauce, which is the sweet and creamy Westernised version of an Indian curry (very similar to Red Thai curry as it happens). A few days after my discovery I found that both Asda and Tesco do Tika veggie ready meals so I bought them both.

Asda Plant Based, Tika Masala with Pilau Rice 400g

Vegan (so dairy free) and gluten free this curry is half chickpea and cauliflower Tika Masala curry and half strongly flavoured pilau rice. It Microwaves throughly (in an apparently recyclable dish) within minutes and retains a decent texture.

The tikka sauce is delicious and as authentic as any that I’ve had from a restaurant. Sadly, the perfumed flavour of the rice (which contains a large bay leaf and cloves) totally overpowers it, to the point where I can’t eat the two together.

Sadly, this meal didn’t really fill me up and I was looking for a snack only a few hours after. I seem to metabolise carbs surprisingly quickly and need a decent amount of protein for lasting energy.

Manchester City council only recycles plastic bottles, nothing else so I’m using the bowl as my everyday microwave dish now.

Rating 3/5

Wicked Kitchen Cheeky Tikka 380g

Gluten, vegan and dairy free this is 2/3 Saffron rice and 1/3 curry with pea protein chunks (like chicken), roasted chickpea and sweet potato, with a topping of green beans.

I didn’t particularly notice the sweet potato as it was so similar in flavour to the gorgeous tikka sauce but I appreciated the green beans. I loved the texture and flavour of the pea protein and wished there was more of it. The saffron rice was so authentic and tasty that I didn’t even mind the large quantity of it.

As I don’t need anymore draw separators, storage boxes, microwavable containers, lunch boxes or spare-change tubs, the large plastic container is now in landfill or a giant rubbish heap somewhere. Sad but true.

After eating this I didn’t feel peckish again for around three and a half hours so I would recommend this as a full vegan meal, with enough carb and protein content for my body.

Rating 4/5

….

Result

I really need to learn how to batch cook Tikka Masala and Saffron Rice for myself so I can freeze them and make my own ready meals!

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Monthly Life Update – January

My memory is so crap for these type of posts, I need to start writing this stuff down everyday.

Lifestyle πŸ’πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Check out these eyebrows! I’ve fully grown them out so I can tweeze them back into a coherent shape easily. Ive given this top to charity as I constantly had to lint roller fluff off it. Ain’t no one got time for that!

Carrying on with trying to minimise my impact on the planet, I bought these Sustainable Essentials from Ecologue.

Me pissing around and doing The Dolly Parton Challenge.

After 1 wrong order (and a correction) and 2 stunning deliveries with flower delivery company Bloom and Wild, I ordered Lillies and white roses. The roses died long before the lillies even opened. I’ve learned my lesson and shall be buying from Tesco…or the garage from now on!

Skincare πŸ§–πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

The most effective deodorant I’ve ever used is Ohii, Charcoal Natural Deodorant (which I like to think is pronounced ‘Oh, eye?’). It’s vegan, yay! But not refillable, boo!

Glycolic Acid is my friend once again in – the incredibly effective – Pixi, Glow Tonic. Cleanses, brightens and smooths without being too drying.

Stressing Less πŸ’†πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I’ve noticed that if I don’t pressure myself to go to bed and wake up at a reasonable time, I sleep much better. I go to bed around 1.00am when I’m actually tired enough to sleep and anytime I’ve had enough sleep is when I get up. That’s reasonable for me.

I’m also stressing less about what is supposed to be happening when and tend to just be content with what is happening now. Not caring about being in control of everything and just letting stuff play out is a lot less stressful!

Wearing πŸ‘š

I tried to get some style basics in the sales and had mixed success but I like these posts because they give you an idea of various brands sizing and quality etc.

Eating πŸ₯—

Having three meals a day and eating a small breakfast before my body desperately needs fuel, so I have a clear head and the energy to put together something nicer later on.

I’ve gotten back into salad/deli type foods like humus, pickles, roasted peppers and tomatoes, crackers, seeds, nuts, stuffed vine leaves, chilled tofu (fried in toasted sesame oil and then chilled makes it taste like chicken breast for some reason) and so many condiments. There’s half a shelf full of them in the fridge lol BUT I’ve discovered my fave noodle place has stopped doing sushi! 😱

Greggs have launched their Vegan Stakebake and Vegan Sausageroll, so although I’m cheating with the gluten in the pastry, I still HAD to try them. Sadly I ran out of change and could only afford the stakebake, which was Delicious!

Reading πŸ“–

I couldn’t get my head into reading books over Jan so I’ve been reading blogs including Roses Have Thoughts , Square One Notes , Mae Polzine and Cosmopolitan, Red, and Vogue, which was in a two-for-one deal surprisingly. I’ve read some great interviews, features, tips and reviews.

Watching πŸ‘€

Better than Human (with English subs) – this was similar to, but better than the Humans. Not as preachy and waster pacing and more relatable characters I thought.

Black Mirror series 2 – I really enjoyed this because it wasn’t as heavy as the first but still very poignant.

Black Lightning – Pop corn for the mind, with extra cheese. The quality of the fight scenes, the character arcs, the editing and the pacing of the story were all wildly uneven. The characters were likeable and the soundtrack consistently good though.

Santa Clarita Diet – featuring Drew Barrymore as a zombie and a wife and Mum. Once you get passed the clunky acting and awkwardly timed jokes in the first series and it just gets better and better. Brilliantly bizarre!

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Pixi Glow Tonic – Heavenly or Harsh?

I have the type of dry-combination skin which doesn’t naturally exfoliate itself very well. It gets duller and duller, produces sebum and then gets clogged up and crappy. Help!

Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic Β£18 contains 5% Glycolic Acid so it gently strips off dead skin cells and excess sebum as well as removing general dirt and light makeup. Glow Tonic also contains Aloe and Red Ginseng to sooth and protect skin, which my skin found beneficial. However, I would not recommend if you have very sensitive skin or (even mild) rosacea or eczema and applying a good quality moisturiser and/or oil afterward is essential.

I’d cleansed my face in the morning, gone makeup free all day and yet, this is the amount of dirt Glow Tonic removed in the evening.

As for the ‘glow’ it promises, I can attest it’s true! After using this daily, for three days my skin feels smooth, it absorbs products much more efficiently and looks much healthier. It’s also the easiest way to cleanse and refine if you’re tired or in a hurry.

Rating 5/5

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Is Greggs Vegan Stake Bake any Good?

The Bloke surprised me with this the other day and I HAD to share it with you!

First off, Id never know the flakey pastry was vegan, in fact it holds together much better so you don’t get covered in it. More importantly, it tastes EXACTLY like meat in a thick savoury gravy.

One thing to mention is The Bloke cheated on me and ate one without me! Seriously though, he said his was “…a bit more chunky, like proper little steak pieces.” My two bakes where more mince meaty; you could have had the filling in a (vegan) Cottage pie. Hmmm, not sure what to make of that inconsistency!?

I’m sure all three were vegan though, otherwise our tummies would have let us know very quickly!

Verdict Amazing! 5/5

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€