vegan

Venturing into high-end natural skincare

img_6496img_6455img_6440To me, Annemarie Börlind has always been a synonym for high quality cosmetics. I can still remember my mom having one of their face creams in my childhood and I was sure this brand is intended for grown-up women who have everything figured out. Funnily enough, I’ve been an adult for quite some time now but only managed to get my hands on two products from the Annemarie Börlind Combination Skin line this August. In recent year I’ve become much more aware about what type of products I use, particularly when it comes to skincare. For this reason I went for the Cleansing Gel and Light Day Essence as these are the products I use twice a day and really want them to do my skin good on the long term.

I can say without hesitation that these two items are the best skincare purchases I made so far. Their Cleansing Gel is a very gentle yet one of the most effective cleansing products in my skincare stash. It removes all impurities so nicely and leaves a gentle feeling without drying the skin out. I also used it on my summer holidays as a makeup remover and you wouldn’t believe how effectively it removed my waterproof mascara and foundation, even better than my micellar waters! I would never expect such a gentle product to be so effective, especially considering it is based on natural products, such as witch hazel and chamomile. There is no foaming involved, you just apply the gel on a damp face and rinse it off. And it has a divine fresh, natural scent, can I get a fragrance version, please?!

And don’t get me wrong, the Light Day Essence is not behind! This fluid really surprised me as it comes in a creamy form, not something I’m used with fluids. Nevertheless, the skin absorbs it quickly and it doesn’t leave any greasy residue, which makes it perfect as a makeup base. Some of its ingredients are sea algae extract, green tea and vitamin E as well as jojoba oil, all of which moisturize and protect the skin. I only need a small amount for my whole face and can already see both products will go a long way.

Although these products are on the pricier side, I do think they are worth the money as they give a completely different, more natural feeling on the skin. All in all, an amazing purchase and I will definitely check out other products from their Combination Skin line!

Sour cherry pie & chocolate frosting

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I’m a huge pie lover and since we’ve had an amazing weather in the last couple of weeks (this week excluded), I felt an extreme urge to bake. Pies, that is. ANY pies with a fruit filling! They are so easy to prepare, you just throw everything for the crust together and experiment with different sorts of toppings. So the first pie I made two weeks ago was a vegan and gluten-free sour cherry pie with coconut-chocolate frosting. I wasn’t particularly happy with the rice flour crust as it was too dry, but the rest of it was amazing.

For the sour cherry filling I used 450 g defrosted sour cherries, 2 tablespoons of agar agar flakes and 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar. I simmered them for about 10 minutes to let the agar agar flakes dissolve completely. Then I poured a slightly cooled filling onto the pre-baked crust. As for the chocolate frosting, I melted 100 g of a good quality dark chocolate and two teaspoons of coconut milk, I like this combo so much! I poured that on top and tried to cover the whole pie with the chocolate using a spatula. I put it into the freezer overnight and served it the next day. I love the combination of sour cherries and chocolate, it’s so refreshing and I love the fact that there is no additional sugar. Yummm!

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Halloween Pumpkin Soup

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Have you already done any Halloween carving? I sure have! I haven’t made a Halloween pumpkin though, but I rather cooked a soup. A real autumnal pumpkin soup! It is  very easy to make and I don’t believe anyone can find an excuse, especially if you have such beautiful pumpkins already at home. It is gluten-free and vegan, thus perfect if you have guests over lunch and you don’t know their preferences (or you can make it just for yourself). The recipe has two steps, the first one takes place in the oven, while the second one is done in a pot. You will see, both the smell and the taste are highly rewarding.

You’ll need:

1 medium hokkaido pumpkin    3 medium sized onions    salt, pepper  

1/2 apple    1 cm fresh ginger (optionally)    2 l water (or more)

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First, wash the whole pumpkin − you never know where it was stored. Then, carve into half, scoop out all the seeds and cut again into 4 or 5 pieces. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and put the pumpkin pieces on the tray. Peel the onions and add them to the baking tray. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Put in preheated oven on 200 °C for one hour…

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until it looks something like this! 

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When you take the tray out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, otherwise it will be difficult to skin off the pumpkin. This part is the longest and a bit messy, but it is so worth it! Anyway, it is much easier than peeling the skin before you put it in the oven. Then put everything into a pot and add 1/2 of a sliced apple and some fresh ginger if you want to make it more spicy. Add water and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 15 minutes and then blend thoroughly. Cook for another 10 minutes and the soup is done!

Serve warm and add some pumpkin seeds and/or pumpkin oil. I added both ;) If you’re a bit more creative, you can create wonderful bats or other Halloween symbols, unfortunately I only managed to “draw” a pumpkin that actually looks like an apple :D 

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I hope you’ll have fun on Friday! I’ll be rocking in my PJs, possibly with a cup of hot wine… The best way of partying, if you ask me ;) Have a nice weekend ♥

Vesna

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