Sunday, April 9, 2017

I Went Vegan For 30 Days And Here's What I Learned

Recently I decided to challenge myself to 30 days of vegan living. I got asked "why" A LOT, and truthfully, it's simply because I was curious! The health benefits are well known and I thought why not give myself a #cleaneating kick and maybe become a bit more woke in the process? Naturally I survived and now I want to share with y'all what I learned from it...

The first week (nay, day) I quickly realised that real key to being vegan is simply being prepared. Finding food in a pinch or on the go that you know contains no animal products is pretty limited and maybe I'm a baby, but it's stressful.

Food prep is seriously worth it's weight in gold and by week 2 I had pans of flavoured nuts roasting, mushrooms and tomatoes sauteed for brekky and a number of different vegan cuisines bookmarked.

The other thing I learned pretty early on is that vegan does not equal healthy. I ate double, sometimes triple, the amount of carbs I normally eat just because they were easy to come by and I knew I wasn't going to mess it all up by having it (which I did on auto-pilot in week 1 by pouring cow's milk onto my cereal).

I am a BIG meat eater, so it surprised me that I didn't really miss it all that much. It was more of a convenience thing to eat a chicken dish I realised. I did miss coffee though! I still had it, but with almond milk and while I'm hardly a big coffee drinker but it just wasn't the same *sad face*.

The biggest downside because of my oh-so-popular lifestyle was eating out. It was ruined. Nowhere caters for vegans and I often got stuck eating fries. I did make a point to go to a dedicated vegan restaurant, the Nourishing Quarter in Sydney, though and try their cuisine and it was delicious! It's just such a shame that many places don't even bother having ONE vegan option. So yeah, dining out left me feeling like I was missing out, but I couldn't deny how flat my stomach was so I persevered!

By week 3 I was cruising and I had SO much energy (plus was looking slim AF). The 30 days were up quicker than I'd thought and I was actually shocked by how simple it was in the end. Is it the lifestyle for me? I don't think so BUT I do plan to follow a vegan diet more often, making my breakfasts and lunches all vegan. They were the simplest meals to swap out for me and while I realise it's not for everyone (heck, I didn't even think it was for me!) I do think it's worth a try.


So what did I eat you ask?

Breakfast was usually peanut butter on toast with bananas or strawberries. If I was after savoury I'd dig into avocado on toast with vegies, but my personal fave quickly became baked beans and avo. HOLY SMOKES IT IS GOOD. I also had some honey free cereal (always read the ingredients well, they're few and far between) and almond milk in reserve in case I was running late.

My personal lunch time favourites were this Moroccan tagine (all those chickpeas are ideal for getting your protein) and this veggie noodle bowl (pretty much everything from Oh She Glows is suitable for vegans or can easily be subbed). I'd just make up big batches and live off it all week. I'm too busy usually to worry about getting bored with lunch.

For dinner I tried to mix it up a bit though. I tried lentil burgers (you can find these in the cold section of most supermarkets or make your own if you prefer), I made up my own recipe for vegan burritos using taco seasoning, but sometimes I'd go for comfort and whip up a batch of roast potatoes, pumpkin and carrot.

I'm a HUGE snacker so having stuff on hand to satisfy every craving was important. I would make up batches of maple roasted nuts every week or these vegan muesli bars for sweet cravings. Savoury munchies were sorted with air popped popcorn, Vegemite on Ryvitas or hummus on crackers (again, check the label, not all hummus' are created equal).

With a bit of planning it's easily doable. Plus you get to eat ALL the acai 👇


There you have it! The story of how one meat-loving lady stepped outside her comfort zone and lived to tell the tale! After reading this would you try vegan?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

3 Ways To Get More Wear Out Of Your Bikini

 

Let's be real: swimwear can be very expensive. It's not like a t-shirt where any old woven cotton will do, swimmers get a battering in the ocean and pool. They have to hold their shape (no one wants to come out of the surf sans pants) and they can't go see-through (better to just lose the top maybe). So you can see why a decent bikini set can eat into your budget.

But what if I told you I'd figured out a few sneaky ways to make it your favourite two-piece go the distance? Using my fave bralette 'kini from Zulu and Zephyr (which has the BEST in built support!) I'll show you 3 styling tricks to get more wear out of your beach attire...


1. As a yoga top





2. Over a t-shirt





3. Under a low-cut dress




If you are in the market for a new set of bathers, and don't want to spend a fortune just to see the pretty design gather sand, head over to Surf Stitch. They are literally ALWAYS on sale and have the best range from the best brands.



Surf Stitch provided me with the bikini pictured in this post but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What I Learnt In 2016


It's that special time of year again where I impart my newfound knowledge on you all! I just don't like jumping into a new year and making sweeping statements about my goals or 'resolutions' until I really understand what I learnt in the year just gone. As always, some things are enlightening, some I should have learnt as a child so bear with me. 

  • I'm old enough now to not get upset when things don't go right. It's enlightening to have already been there and done that and go "oh yeah, I've learnt that lesson before". You just roll with it easier. YAY AGEING!
  • It's really hard to write a blog when you write for a living. There, I explained why I'm quiet on here lately, and yes, I do want to make it noisy again in 2017.
  • Cooking for your loved ones is actually a pure joy. Feeding others with food you've made from scratch is another growing up lesson so if you're not there yet, just trust me.
  • Trust no bitch. Except your mum.
  • Choices aren't always a 'red wire, blue wire' scenario. Sometimes there isn't an option that's worse than the others and the best way to choose is deciding what those choices say about the person you are. Which leads me onto...
  • Paint your own future. You can grow and change at anytime and you 1000% do not have to do what's expected. Just do you!
  • People actually love receiving phone calls out of the blue. Thinking of someone? Give 'em a bell! I promise they'll appreciate it.
  • Your coworkers are not your friends. This isn't harsh, they certainly can be your pals, but more of a friendly reminder that everyone has a role to play and not to confuse motives.
  • The best gift you can give and receive is someone's time. The second best is something personalised #GiftResponsibly.
  • It's hard to believe but even your deepest obsession (with a person, hobby, cereal brand) will fade. It happens slowly and the weird thing is you won't miss it once it's gone.
  • Nothing is so bad that it can't be fixed by a margarita (except being drunk, a marg will make it worse)



Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Top 5 LUSH Products

There are few things in this world I love better than a stroll into a LUSH store. Acting all casual like, 'Am I gonna buy something?' Of course I am, but it's a fun game I like to play with myself. Since I started overhauling my beauty cupboard, LUSH has become a quick fixture. I know everything in there is natural, fresh and organic so I don't have to worry about having a reaction to it (but pro tip, if you do they'll refund you!).

Here are the all-time favourites I have bought again and again...

The Comforter Bubble Bar

Amusingly enough I can't stand the body wash version of this! Why am I like this? No one knows, but I highly recommend the bath bomb! It's blackcurrant scented and I always find myself going back to this one, plus any LUSH addict knows the bubble bars are superior to the bombs (and better value because you get more than one bath out of them).


Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

Bear with me on this one because I know it sounds strange and a little TMI, but this is a great product! Sure you can put it in your underwear for an all-natural freshness hit, however what I really like to use it for is chafing. Yeeeeep, that old chestnut. This beauty will soak up an excess sweat, and I'll sometimes pop it down my bra or under my arms on a hot day so I feel dry and smell like a vanilla cupcake. Do not judge me, just try it.


Fresh Farmacy Cleanser

Anyone who reads this blog (or has to come near me) will have heard me moan about my sensitive skin like I'm the only person in the world that suffers from it. It seems to be something that has happened since I started getting older (woo!) and it's led to reactions and dryness from generic cleansers. However this product is so gentle and kind to my skin and I will never go back.


Dream Cream 

This lavender scented moisturiser is a classic LUSH product and before you're all like "this list sucks", just remember classics are classics for a reason. That reason is they're amazing FYI.


Ultrabalm

My sister got me onto this one after I had a breakout of super attractive eczema around my eyes and she said it had cured a rash she had on her mouth. I bought it figuring something with only three ingredients couldn't possibly make it worse, and it went one better and cured it! I keep the tub in my bag at all times because it's actually better than Paw Paw (yeah, I said it). You can literally use this on EVERYTHING.

A photo posted by Lush Watford (@lushwatford) on


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Philips Satinelle Wet/Dry Epilator Review





As we all know (unless you're Kylie Jenner (hi Kylie!)) bathroom cupboard space is prime beauty real estate. So when I was asked to review the Philips Satinelle Wet/Dry Epilator I thought "will you earn a home in the vanity, or will you be a bi-monthly torture device". Sure it had EIGHT different heads but this is epilating (pulling the hair out by the root for any dudes out there) and I am a baby.

So I started small... by testing out the massage head. Now, the massage head is a special treat. Yay massages, yay Satinelle! But a word of warning: don't use it on your neck near your hairline. Your hair might get caught. Don't ask me how I know, I'm just grateful I don't live alone.

My first trial had filled me with fear (mostly of my own stupidity but whatever), so I went slow again and tried out the body exfoliation attachment. It was softer than my baby nieces tootsies and while meant for your body, I tried it on the low speed over my face and décolletage and loved the results. Not sure if they sell replacement heads though so I'm limiting my use to every fortnight until I find out. A win for the Satinelle!

Oh look, a shaving head! We'll get to the epilating later... time to shave! There is a longer hair option (like a #2 or something) attachment but alas, the only place I had hair long to experiment with that was my head and the massage incident was fresh in my mind, so I popped that bit off shaved a patch on my legs. It's not the most powerful shaver, in fact, it's so quiet compared to others I actually checked to see if I had it on high! But it was working! Not as close as a razor shave obviously, but that's not what we came here for is it?

It was time. I was ready to actually use the product for it's main purpose: epilating. Since this baby can be used in the shower and I know hot water opens up your pores making hair removal easier, I decided to test it in there. Yes, I was scared. No, I am not as ashamed as I should be. I'd spent most of my life shying away from waxes, even opting for laser, to avoid the pain. But I'm an adult and I'd already started writing this review so I had to finish.




I went all in and used the biggest size with the extra gentle attachment added (I am not that brave). The light made focusing on a small area MUCH easier, but I was shocked by how little pain I felt. If I couldn't see the hair being pulled out I wouldn't have thought it was! The legs went well, but I wasn't finished, there was still the facial hair and bikini line guides to try.

The bikini line one was too small for the job. I don't know what sort of bikini lines people are after but I don't have the discipline to carefully remove a line of hair, I'd rather tear it all out and move on. You can also use this head for underarms but I just couldn't do it.Maybe one day. Probs not going back to this head unless I want a lightening bolt down under, it'd be great for that! Soz Satinelle.

There was one more attachment and I was so hairless by now that I resembled a seal. A very hairless seal. Onto the face! Unlike a lot of women, I'm blessed enough not to have very dark facial hair BUT, being of Scottish descent I do have plenty of hair, it's just light. So while I wouldn't say I rock a lady mo (but I would and no one should be concerned if they do!), I do have a lot of 'peach fuzz'. So I gave the Satinelle one final whirl on the corners of my lips and it was all over before I knew it. A bit more stingy than the legs thanks to the nerves in your face being closer to the surface but it was so easy, it was worth the discomfort.

Also, totally random and don't ask why this impressed me, but the storage bag the Satinelle comes with is the best I've seen with a shaver. It's actually a decent size! I don't have to squash everything into a tiny pouch AND it has a zip not some quango drawstring that always comes open. I like the pouch.




Am I an epilating addict now? On my legs, yes! I'm going to stick with laser for my lady parts though because I need that over quickly. Epilating is slow going but the results speak for themselves. Personally, I'd much rather put aside 30 minutes every three weeks to epilate than unsuccessfully remember to shave twice a week.

All in all the Philips Satinelle Epilator, or as I like to call it now, The 8 In 1 Miracle Hair Destroyer, is a great buy for anyone who spends half their wage on waxing and would rather spend half their wage on cheese and wine.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 Ways To Wear A Bodysuit In Public That Won't Get You Arrested


I had the divine pleasure of attending the Bras N Things Bodysuit launch this week and the timing couldn't be better because I have been telling EVERYONE I know how much I want a bodysuit.

Full disclosure, I had very much intended to wear it as sexy lingerie but now it's a whole new ball game, because BNT educated me that a bodysuit can be worn anytime of the day, anywhere. It's all about the right styling...

1. With a midi skirt
The easiest and simplest way to rock your underwear as outerwear. Grab a midi (not a mini!), a pair of heels and light denim jacket. No one will even know it's lingerie.

2. Double time
Try two bodysuits at once! Unlike two timing on men, it'll only be rewards. Team a strappy, barely there one with a long-sleeved mesh number and you have a brand new shirt!

3. With a pantsuit 
Much like the skirt but sooooo much better. It's hard to believe lingerie can be office appropriate but with the right coverage bodysuit, you will look a million bucks.

4. Over a shirt
Whether it's a tee or a turtleneck, it'll be instantly jazzed up by layering a bodysuit over the top. Just make sure the the shirt is somewhat tight fitting or it'll lead to awkward bunching.

5. Under a low-cut dress
This is my personal favourite! We all own a plunging dress that show's a little more skin than we'd perhaps like, but pairing a bodysuit underneath fixes all that! Extra style points for matching the colour of the dress with the lingerie.


You can enjoy the full range of Bras N Things bodysuits here!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The YouTube Makeup Tutorials You Should Bookmark Right Now

I'm not great at everything (surprising I know). Makeup is one thing I'm especially not fantastic at. I just wasn't that girly growing up and neither was my sister, so despite the fact my mum was a cosmetics consultant for years, we just ignored the whole thing. UNTIL NOW!

Now I love makeup and in my efforts to educate myself I have found YouTube to be an excellent teacher. And because I'm a giving sort of gal, I'm willing to share the best ones I've found with you!

This one by blogger Kristina Bazan (Kayture) is my go-to everyday makeup routine. Hot tip: find someone with similar features (like hooded eyes) and copy their tutorials!



I ADORE Kiara King from Lion In The Wild blog so when she launched her YouTube channel I immediately fell for this rose gold makeup look. It's great for date night and really subtle.



Don't even pretend you don't want to look like Kylie Jenner at least once.



As I mentioned, I have hooded eyes so finding a tutorial on winged eyeliner just for eyes like mine was a lifesaver!



Literally everything by Aly Art is GENIUS. She's so knowledgeable and really educates you about all things faces rather than just makeup. I recommend watching her entire contouring series, it will change your entire makeup game.



On the note of contouring, this tutorial for pale skin is perfect if you're melanin challenged like me. Stephanie also has a little trick; she uses eyeshadow to get the perfect contouring shade!