Category: Blog Everyday in May

#BEDM – Fashion, Beauty and Grooming

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been concerned about animal welfare. Recently I discovered that the shampoo I was using had been tested on animals. Naively, I thought we were passed this for cosmetics. I choose not to eat meat because I cannot separate the supercute image of lambs in the field with food on my plate. It’s my choice. Therefore, I don’t want animal products on my face or in my hair. So began the hunt for cosmetics that were cruelty free and vegan if possible. I’m not much of a makeup person. I can go weeks without a scrap of makeup. (I’m not making a statement, I’m just lazy!) Grooming, however, is more important to me. Mainly because it makes me feel better and a good indication of my mental state e.g. if I’m not grooming, I’m not in a good way. As my old makeup and products run out, I’m looking for and using cruelty free products.

 

natural beauty

1. Lavera Foundation // 2. Organic Surge Body Cream // 3. Lavera Organic Deodorant //

4. Hairy Jane Shampoo // 5. Hairy Jane Heat Protector // 6. Hairy Jane Conditioner //

I’ve had some shocking foundation experiences in my time. (Haven’t we all?!) So I always go for the lightest in colour, as my skin is akin to that of the Cullen family e.g. deathly pale. The Lavera foundation is pretty good, especially seeing that I couldn’t test it before I bought it. It’s quite thick and requires quite a shake before using for the first time. A little goes a long way so you don’t need much at all and it covers well. I love a good body butter, the thicker the better. I have crazily dry skin from head to toe so I need something that does the job and will moisturise my skin all day. This Organic Surge body butter has a lovely smell, lasts for ages and does the job. I’ve since bought a second tub and wouldn’t swap it for the world. Okay, I’m going to admit something to you now. I don’t shower every day. Obviously if I’ve worked out, then I do, but if I haven’t, I just don’t. So I need a deodorant that’s going to last. I’ve used organic deodorants in the past and they’ve not quite done the job, so I was slightly reluctant with this one, especially as it’s not cheap. But hey, money isn’t everything. I don’t think stuff being cheap is always a good thing. This Lavera Deodorant does what it’s supposed to and I’ve really put it to the test. Feel free to smell me if we ever meet up! (Kidding. Please don’t. That would just be weird!)

One thing I am quite precious about is my hair. No really! After years and years of having dull, frizzy hair, I’d finally managed to get gorgeous, shiny locks. I was devastated to find out my super shiny shampoo was tested on animals. I needed to find something decent to replace them. I’d used a Lush Shampoo & conditioner, but wasn’t overly keen. Then I read about Hairy Jane over on A Little Bird (at least, I’m pretty sure that’s where I saw it, but I can’t seem to find the post now!) Hairy Jane are handmade hair products by a hairdresser in Brixton. I love them! They smell great and make my hair super shiny. I use the nourishing shampoo, light conditioner and the hair perfume with heat protection, whether I’m straightening my hair or not. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve found the shampoo and conditioner that I’m going to use for the foreseeable future. Great smell, great shine, ethically sourced ingredients = happy me.

How about you? Do you have any products that you simply couldn’t live without?

#BEDM – British Sandwich Week

I have a bit of a love/hate thing with sandwiches. Yep, I feel that strongly about it. Mainly because veggie options are: cheese or egg. You might get somewhere that spices up the option by adding onion to the cheese (why?!) or a bit of salad to the egg. But my experience with buying veggie sandwiches is appalling. So much so that I don’t bother unless I’m about to starve, which is hardly ever. My biggest veggie sandwich gripes are:

  • Waaaaaay too much filling. This is especially common with cheese (and it’s not even nice/real cheese). Sandwich places seem to feel a bit sorry for veggies and fill the sandwich/bap/baguette with so much cheese that about a third of it falls out into the bag, another third falls over you while you’re eating it, leaving generally a respectable amount between the bread. What a waste.
  • Egg mayo. Or should that be mayo with a few chunks of egg thrown in. Not sure if there’s an EU ruling on getting rid of surplus amounts of mayo, but most sandwich places seem to be a bit free & easy with the stuff. Hold back sandwich people, I’m not suffering from a mayo deficiency!
  • Very limited choices. To be fair to sandwich places, I don’t blame them for this one. I struggle to know what to put in a veggie sandwich, which is why I don’t bother most of the time. What do you put in a veggie sandwich? Standing in the queue at the sandwich shop or in front of the veggie options in M&S leaves me missing tuna. It’s the only time I really miss meat/fish because what else goes in a sarnie? After being vegetarian for over 10 years, I still have no idea.

Well, I had no idea, until I found this article on the Martha Stewart Facebook page the other day and went Pinterest crazy!

veggie sarnie

The Martha Stewart website has a whole section dedicated to veggie food. (A revelation!) Not only that, it has a section for veggie sandwiches. I couldn’t believe it! Not only that, there wasn’t a picture of an over mayo’d egg sarnie to be seen. Needless to say I haven’t tried any of these recipes, but when I’m organised enough to make a veggie sandwich, this is where I’ll be going to get a recipe or two.

How about you? What’s your favourite sandwich filling?

#BEDM – World Fair Trade Day

I can remember a time before Fair Trade and I can remember finding out about the incredibly low pay people received, the inhumane working conditions and the perpetual poverty workers were being kept in. Why? So we could have cheap clothes, food and flowers. As a teenager, I was outraged by animal testing and for me, not paying people fairly is equally deplorable. For that reason, I’ve been shopping with People Tree as often as I can. Their philosophy is simple: People Tree aims to be 100% Fair Trade throughout our supply chain. The clothes they sell are not only beautiful but ethically sound, from both a fair trade perspective and an environmental one. I decided to spend a bit of time taking a look at some of their dresses. Oh my, there’s plenty I’d like!

People Tree Dresses

1. Tricia Dress in Green £68 // 2. Orla Kiely Shirt Dress £90 // 3. Tricia Dress in Red £68

4. Elizabeth Dress £78 // 5. Maggie Dress £65 // 6. Eva Dove Dress £56 (Reduced)

I would quite happily buy all of these dresses, if only my credit card would allow! Gorgeous and ethical, what’s not to love?! What are your favourite fair trade shops? Let me know so I can shop there too!

#BEDM – Motivation

I love my sofa. And I love junk food. And I’m a fan of lazing around in my jammies. A lot. But none of that is healthy. Around Christmas time, I was in complete agony. I have a dodgy back and a bum knee and I’d been lazing around, eating too much junk food and my body was telling me enough is enough. I felt soft, weak, tired and run down. All the time. Life is way too short to make yourself feel like shit. There’s plenty of people out there who will do that for you. If you’re not doing the best by yourself, who is? So I decided on a change. A sensible, feel better, look after myself kind of change.

motivation

Image found via Pinterest // Original Source Unknown (if you know, tell me!)

I started off by doing the daily exercises the physio recommended for my back and knee. I started using Lift app to track it and help provide a little more motivation. After a while, I added in a plank move to help try and improve my core strength. The big turning point, however, was reading Laura’s Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish blog, signing up to her newsletter and taking her ecourse, Feeling Fabulous. Why was this so important? Because exercise is only 25% of the issue. Food is the bulk of it. I’ve got a crappy relationship with food. I’m all about comfort. Had a bad day? Make it better with cake. Had a great day? Celebrate with some cake. Does the day end y? Have some cake. Yep. I like cake. And I’m a rubbish vegetarian, in that I didn’t really replace meat with anything other than, yep, you guessed it, cake! Dieting never worked. I’d follow the diet for a while, see results, feel amazing, then start letting ‘bad’ foods back in until before you know it, I’d fallen off the diet wagon into the cake pit. I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. All it does is make for low self-esteem and a wardrobe that you can’t fit into.

The Feeling Fabulous course teaches you to forget what you think you know about healthy eating, stop labelling foods good and bad, enjoy your treats, just don’t treat yourself day in, day out and eat as many vegetables as you can! Since I started the course, I’ve learnt that if I want to have energy, feel better and enjoy life, I need to plan all meals, including snacks and treats, find vegetables I like and eat them, shop accordingly and not dial Dominos when I don’t feel like cooking. And what do you know, it works! It’s not about ‘dieting’, it’s about changing the way you see food. It’s fuel, not a comfort blanket. It’s a way of life, not an instant fix.

I’m never going to be a size 10, heck I may never even be a size 12 and I’m certainly not going to be running any marathons any time soon (or ever! Running for a day?! No thanks!) But if I can go to sleep at night (and actually sleep) knowing I’ve made the right choices for myself and done the best I can for my body, then I’m good with that. It’s all about balance.