Balm.com & Future Dew Oil/Serum by Glossier Reviews

Balm.com

This Balm.com by Glossier is one of the best lipbalms I’ve ever used. It leaves lips hydrated and moisturised, non sticky and with a sheer tint of colour. The mango flavour is delicious!

I just wish the tube were bigger and that it wasn’t so hard to squeeze out, maybe a tin would be better and still easily recycled.

Note: Balm.com isn’t tested on animals (otherwise it wouldn’t be on this blog obviously) but it isn’t vegan as it contains Lanolin, which is basically sheep grease (from their wool). Gross but highly effective!

Rating 4/5

Future Dew Oil/Serum

Futuredew Hybrid Oil/Serum (sample) is so similar to the balm at first but then melts into skin making it look naturally radiant and healthy. My dehydrated skin loved it!

Less is more with this as it can feel thick and sticky if you over-do it. I only needed half the sample for both cheeks and my nose.

Rating 5/5

Note: Both products create a subtle sheen (rather than a gloss or a metallic/pearlised looking finish) and even-out pores and dry patches, rather than accentuating them.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Allotment Vegan Eatery – First Impressions

The Allotment Vegan Eatery, located on Lloyd Street, makes fine dinning simple and relatable (and gluten free too). As soon as you walk in it feels welcoming and cozy, even though it’s quite spacious.

We visited early on a rainy Monday to take advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which they are continuing through September. I really liked the simple and natural feel to decor and layout. There is an extensive drinks menu offering juices, bottled soft drinks, beer, teas, cocktails and wine.

Small Plates

My bloke’s tiny dish was too tiny to eat out of properly but he found the Edamame Salad, with kale, chilli, spring onions, soy and tamarind dressing was really refreshing.

I found the little boats made from Chicory leaves to be the perfect way to eat tenderstem broccoli with black olive tapenade, toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. A unique combination which worked really well.

Large Plates

My bloke likes a good risotto but he’d never tried a beetroot risotto with ricotta before. This dish had a lovely flavour but both the maple glazed beetroot and the ricotta were similarly sweet, so it needed another salty or sharp flavour to break them up and help define them both.

I ordered the ‘fish’ and chips. Wow, we’re those chips big and crispy! The minted peas had a subtle flavour which was just right and the homemade tarter sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The ‘fish’ was made from banana blossom which had a texture similar to shredded duck and tasted strongly of lemon. The batter had a nice crunch but the fish was crying out for some kind of salt but there was no salt and pepper on the table, a trend which is becoming more common I’ve noticed.

Dessert

There were only two desserts so we ordered one each to share. Blueberry Cheesecake and a Hazelnut Slice.

The hazelnut slice base was made of crushed hazelnuts, with a thick layer of salted caramel praline, topped with solid Belgian chocolate ganache. The portion of this delicious desert was so big I was glad I was sharing it.

The base of the blueberry cheesecake was made of crushed pea cans and almonds, topped with a vanilla and blended cashew filling, topped with blueberry and chai seed compot. Such skill must have gone into making this as it was wonderful!

The inclusion of fresh fruit and ice cream with both deserts was a nice touch and lifted their flavour, rather than just being sweet deserts.

One thing I have to mention is how uncomfortable the wooden chairs are if you don’t have any back fat. The next day a part of my spine actually felt bruised! There is a settee (which was taken) and I noticed other metal chairs when we were leaving.

Service was timely and friendly although we did arrive early and it got a lot busier later. We wouldn’t eat there again unless it was for a treat like a birthday as we found it to be too pricey for our budget but I can understand why, as it’s evident a lot of thought, skill and care goes into the food.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

My Surprisingly Green Lifestyle 1970’s – 2000’s

70’s

My Grandparents were quite poor so they ‘up-cycled’ or made things to reduce buying cheap crap which wouldn’t last.

🧷🔩🧺

80’s

My parents supported nature by planting insect and bee friendly plants (their parents had organic allotments/gardens all their lives) growing tomatoes and hanging up bird feeders.

🌷👩🏼‍🌾🦆

I was in Junior school in the 80’s where we got taught about the hole in the O-zone layer, global warming and recycling (you had to take it to certain supermarkets).

🏭🌍♻️

In the 80’s we lived a 20 min bus ride away from The Body Shops so I saved up my spends and bought cruelty-free skincare and perfume.

🧴🐰💄

90’s

We never ate much read meat, only in Potato Hash and corned beef butties. Any fresh meat we bought from the local butchers, who had local suppliers.

So for a kid from a low income family, in the middle of a city, I was lucky to grow up with a fairly sustainable and considerate lifestyle, without actually considering it!

🏙🏘🏗

___________________

2000’s

I’ve cut right back on fast-fashion. Overall, I only buy things which I know I will wear for years or even decades to come. If I like something I will take a photo of it, wait for five days and then if I’m still sure I want it (and it earns a place in my wardrobe) I’ll buy it.

👟👗🤗

When I come back from the shops I empty my spare change into a money box and when it’s full I spend the money at an independent business and/or charity shop.

💰💸💳

💚 What do you aim to start or stop doing? 💚

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Protein Salad using Gosh falafel and Violife Greek White Block.

I know blogging about a salad is a little like when Carrie in Sex and the City resorted to writing ‘Men are like socks…’ because she’d run out of shit to say BUT we are on lockdown and to be fair it is a great salad, with two of my fave products, hopefully still available from your local supermarket.

Gosh Mediterranean Falafel

Black olives

Red and green bell pepper,

Ice berg lettuce

Rocket

Cucumber

Humus

Violife Greek White Block

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Sprinkle of mixed seeds

The Violife block wasn’t remotely salty or crumbly enough to be feta but Is was uncannily similar to goats cheese, yum!

I always steam falafel for a minute in the microwave to warm and soften it up a little. Gosh falafel is always tasty and never dry but if you get a brand that is, steaming will also help with that.

What are your fave salad additions?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Can You Make a Cheese & Ham Sandwich Gluten Free & Vegan?

I used to love the cheese, ham and English mustard or pickled onion butties my Mum used to make me for my packed lunches at school and even work if I was running late. As a lot of you will know, now I have a gluten and dairy free diet and I’m veggie, I try most of the time to be vegan because it’s the kind thing to do and I’m nearly there anyway.

Here’s what I used

Genius Seaded Loaf

Vitalite Vegan Spread

Violife Flavour Ham Slices

Violife Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block

Colman’s Mustard (a teeny bit)

Verdict on the Ingredients

The ham had some decent flavour and the texture wasn’t too bad, just a little soft. The last ham substitute I tried had the texture of a damp flannel, so this was an improvement.

The block was, almost aggressively, cheese flavoured. It tasted more cheesy than cheesy puffs, Wotsits and Mini Cheddars put together and I have to admit that I liked it!

OMG I do not remember English mustard being blow-your-head-off kind of strong. Whew!

I love all kinds of Genius bread because it really is THE best gf bread you will find.

Vitalite do one of the best dairy free spreads. It doesn’t taste strongly of olive oil (like some) and it’s not as wish-washy as others.

The Result

The ‘ham’ and ‘cheesetasted unexpectedly similar and the textures were identical. I should have cut the cheese chunkier but then the flavour would have been overwhelming. The ‘ham’ and the mustard where perfect together so I just stuck to that for the next sandwiches I made. Ive been eating the cheese on crackers with different sandwich pickles or in a toasty with fresh spring onions.

Can you make a ham & cheese sandwich gluten free and vegan?

Nope!

Hope you enjoyed my little experiment. At least now you know what products are good for other things.

What are your suggestions for gf vegan sandwiches?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤