Aldi Vegan No Sausage Rolls

I’m just going to get straight to it and say these taste fantastic! I was worried they might be a little bland but they have the perfect meaty, lightly spiced flavour you expect from a decent sausage roll.

The cooking instructions threw me a bit (from frozen) as it says to place them directly on to the oven shelf. Im glad I didn’t otherwise they would have glued themselves to it. Instead, I put them on a pre-heated pizza tray with lots of holes in so that they cooked through all crispy but didn’t stick. Ten minutes before the end I turned the oven up from gas mark 6 to 7 because they needed it.

They are so tasty I didn’t want to ruin them with the tomato sauce and ignored it. A nice bit of Branston pickle would have gone down well though.

Rating 5/5

P.S. These are vegan, so dairy free but not gluten free. Yup, I will have a food baby for the next few days – totally worth it for a treat now and then ;0)

<3Chrissie

Replacing Our Favourite Scents with Cruelty Free Ones part 1

On our journey to replace all of our favourite scents, me and the bloke have been trying a lot of samples to the point where we are having to make notes!

The scents the bloke is trying to replace:

Oud by The Body Shop (as they no longer stock it)

1 Million by Paco Rabanne.

Mine are:

Heat by Beyonce

Deep Red by Hugo Boss (I already have a fairly good one from Floral Street)

Burberry Woman (the bloke noticed this on someone and asked what it was)

All uplifting, musky orientals essentially.

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Eden perfumes are an independent, vegan company from Brighton who don’t test any ingredient or finished product on animals (they don’t ship to countries who demand testing by law). You can post bottles back to them and they will refill them for you.

The main thing that attracted me to them over other cf perfume companies is that, as well as creating original scents they also sell some highly recommended dupes for existing perfumes. The perfumes have similar names to the original name/brand or you can search by which notes you prefer under the perfume shop tab such as ‘fruity’ ‘woody’, ‘musky’ etc.

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The Sample Gift Box (£21.60) contains three 10ml perfumes of your choice and is incredibly useful for figuring out if you’ve made the right choice before committing to a 30ml or 50ml bottle. I find this sample size of bottle to still be handbag friendly but they are far easier to spray than some smaller tester bottles, which are way to fiddly for me.

Left: SHE 060 is a very fresh, sexy scent that reminds me of the best selling unisex scents in the early 2000’s. Centre: TREASURE 019 is an oriental fruity/floral and isn’t meant to be a dupe for Beyonce’s Heat but really reminds me of it, plus it’s lasted all day – 1 down, 4 to go! Right: BERRY BERRY 018 is meant to be a dupe of Burberry Woman but the bloke immediately said that wasn’t anything like the one he meant. I don’t know if the lass just said Burberry and didn’t know which specific one she was wearing or what? Sadly, it also faded incredibly quickly on my skin so was no use as a general perfume even. We’ll have to keep trying…

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In the second gift box I’ve ordered, I’ve included ‘Million Dollar Man’, ‘Oud Wood’ and ‘Virgin Waters’ which is a dupe of Virgin Island Water by Creed which I’ve never heard of  but apparently it smells of the beaches in the Bahamanian islands. Sold!

Keep in touch, I’ll let you know how our search goes…

Which scent would you want a dupe for?

Chrissie

 

Bouja Bouja – Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream – Too Salty or a Total Dream?

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  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Organic
  • Vegan

I mainly bought this Bouja Bouja Caramel Pecan Praline ice cream as it’s dairy free, plus it sounded amazing! When I first tried a chunk – I’m not going to lie – I found it way too salty and intense but I realised that’s it’s blended for a reason. Eaten all together the ingredients create a fantastic salty-sweet flavour.

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Even though it’s dairy free, it’s incredibly rich and filling so a 500ml gave me four desert portions, even though I was eating it out of the carton as you do. Also available are Chocolate Salted Caramel, Keep Smiling M’Gorilla Vanilla (!?), Hunky Punky Chocolate, good old Raspberry Ripple and Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle. 110ml costs £2.00 and 500ml costs £5.49, well worth the price in my opinion.

Which flavour do you want to try?

Chrissie

Kirsty’s Classic Margherita Pizza Gluten & Dairy Free review

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It’s unusual for me to find a pizza that is GF and DF, especially one that has a fair amount of toppings. I found this in Tesco.

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Studies have found that our gut health does directly relate to our emotions because they are connected by the vagus nerve, which transmits signals between them. Ever been really nervous and had a slushy feeling in your stomach or received bad news and felt your stomach drop? Ever eaten something you know doesn’t agree with your stomach in the evening and then had really chaotic anxiety dreams? It does make you wonder!

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They could add more cheese around the edge but the sauce is delicious and the thin base is lovely and crispy so I wasn’t too bothered. My only complaint is that the ‘cheese’ was too sweet. Nice flavour to it but I had to add salt and pepper to make it more savoury.

In my gas oven I had to put this on the shelf that’s above middle but not right at the top, rather than the middle as suggested. I also had to put it on gas mark 7 (higher than the temperature suggested) and leave it in for five minutes longer. Frustrating at first but I’m glad I persevered.

The bloke cooked his in a microwave-combi oven and followed the instructions exactly. It came out perfect!?

Rating 4/5 (depending on oven)

Chrissie

 

Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Coconutterly Caramel’d Ice Cream

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That’s quite a name isn’t it! I absolutely loved those caramel and coconut flavoured Bon Bon’s as a kid, so I was proper chuffed when The Bloke came home with this from Tesco.

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The two main flavours were perfectly balanced and the added chocolate chunks were huge! I didn’t notice the cookie content so I wished there were some little caramel chunks in there as well as it being swirled through, instead.

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You would never know that this is vegan ice cream and the flavour of the almond milk it’s made with isn’t noticeable.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

The Body Shop, Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner

Made from Community Trade Shea Butter from Ghana Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Conditioner (£6.50, 250ml) promises to leave hair nourished, less prone to breakage and less frizzy.

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I have thick, coarse shoulder length hair which is excellent condition but looses it’s natural oils easily, even after using very gentle, natural shampoo.

I like the mild nutty scent and how creamy this conditioner is. My hair was left feeling incredibly soft and replenished. It was still a little frizzy but then I would never expect conditioner alone to sort this out. I always need to add hair oil after lightly towel drying my hair, no matter what conditioner I use.

The only problem for me is the size and the price, it’s either too small or too expensive. I can appreciate that the people who produce this in Ghana need a fair wage but maybe The Body Shop could take a little less profit? I don’t know but what I do know is that it’s too dear for me to use regularly with my thick long hair, even though a little does go a long way.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

 

Perfect World Caramel Pecan Vegan Ice Cream

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I came across this in Tesco and recognised the Perfect World logo (although it’s changed a little) from some of their ice cream I bought from Co-op a while back so I’m hoping Perfect World is now widely available.

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It’s a bonus that it has lots of vits and minerals in but let’s be honest, who worries about that when they are eating ice cream, eh? I also like that they haven’t gone over-board with the calorific content as I’ll be eating a LOT of it!

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The caramel is on the more saltier side, which I love and the pecans compliment it really well. I just wish they’d left them chunkier for added texture, rather than really finely chopped and blended in. As well as just eating it with a spoon out of the tub (me), this is also a nice alternative for people who normally eat dairy ice cream with desert.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Arbonne, Calm Range Review

I’ve only recently discovered Arbonne, traditionally a skincare company developed in Switzerland in 1975 and I’m impressed with the purity of their products and the ethically sourced botanicals they contain. Their products – now ranging from skincare and makeup to nutrition – are vegetarian, free from animal products or by-products, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, benzene, formaldehyde donating preservatives, mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sodium laureth sulfates (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), synthetic dyes and talc and gluten.

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I have mild heyfever so my skin gets irritated easily in spring and summer, so I need lighter, gentler products making the Calm range perfect for me.

Soothing Facial Serum

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

It’s been so humid lately I’ve not needed to use any moisturiser (my skin sucks up the moisture out of the air so well) but my skin did need soothing and balancing, which is exactly what this serum achieved and without any oil slicks around my T-zone in the evening. I’m going to carry on using my usual serum for Autumn and Winter as it contains vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid and retinol (which I know some people can be sensitive to so it’s understandable this wouldn’t be a suitable ingredient for the Arbonne Calm range).

Gentle Daily Cleanser

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I think I’ve worn makeup twice this whole summer but when I did, it was a full face. This gentle cleanser removed all of my makeup (although I wasn’t wearing water proof mascara) and left my skin feeling clean, refreshed and nourished.

Soothing Eye Gel

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris) rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I have to confess that I’ve been upping my salt and water intake to help me cool down in the heat and my gosh has it made a difference to my giant puffy eye bags! After using this gel (which I keep in the fridge and apply by gentle taping with my ring finger) my bags weren’t visible AT ALL. Can’t get any better than that!

Gentle Daily Moisturiser

After some gentle exfoliating with a fruit peel my face needed some moisturiser but I was dreading the feel of it on my skin and wondering if it would be too heavy. My skin absorbed this moisturiser immediately and any redness from exfoliating had subsided within five minutes. I also used some on my hands which were rather dry as it was to hand (please excuse the pun) and it worked really well. I would recommend this as a basic moisturiser to everyone, no matter what their skin type.

Overall Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

 

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Lilly’s vegetarian Indian restaurant – Ashton

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Lilly’s Indian vegetarian restaurant in Ashton (Thameside/Greater Manchester) can make substitutions to all dishes so they can be vegan and Jain rather than just veggie. The menu is extensive and covers Indo-Chinese dishes, South and North Indian dishes. They know exactly what ingredients go into their food and tend to use traditional gram (chickpea) four instead of wheat, so a great place to go if you have food intolerances or allergies.

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I recently went to Lilly’s with my bloke and our friend L and we all chose similar starters as it was a hot day and we wanted something cooling. I chose Dahi Puri, Crispy puri filled with puffed rice, sev, potatoes, onions, chickpeas, yoghurt and tamarind sauce. My three faves: Puri, yoghurt and tamarind combined!

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Our friend L ordered The Sizzla, a literally sizzling dish with grilled green peppers, panner cheese, spring onions and a meat substitute which was amazing, the whole dish was amazing actually. The bloke ordered a Vegetable Lasinya, mixed veggies cooked with butter, garlic and traditional Indian spices and a (very strong) garlic bread. I ordered Paneer Makhani, Paneer cooked in creamy sauce with onions and spices along with the best vegetable pilau rice I’ve ever tasted.

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All of our dishes were wonderful but that’s no surprise. We’ve all visited 4 four times together (we do tend to avoid the South Indian dishes as we generally don’t like that style of cooking) and we’ve never found anything which we didn’t like. I’ll be trying the Indo-Chinese section on my next visit.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Lilly’s 75-83 Oldham Road, Ashton, Tameside, OL6 7DF Tel: 0161 339 4774

Open: 11.00am – 8.00pm (7.00pm Sunday)

Chrissie

 

 

 

Foodie Review: Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen

I decided to treat the bloke to a meal where he could order anything on the menu because it’s all veggie. Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant is a family run restaurant which offers traditional Chinese food and mock meats such as beef, prawn and chicken dishes. They also offer the largest amount of vegan dishes I’ve ever seen on a menu and  have a hygiene rating of four out of five.

This isn’t a place that opens late night to cater for people after the pubs shut (although it is right near to The Red Lion), it closes at 10.30 and 11.00 on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is brightly lit and their is no alcohol on the menu , although you are welcome to bring your own within reason.

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