vegan

Pre-holiday Lush Haul

img_6732img_6779img_6734 img_6740img_6772Pre-holiday season is almost here, which only means one thing: a bunch of new Lush goodies for Halloween and Christmas! I was thinking about dropping by the Lush store for days and when I was passing by last week and the whole street was smelling exactly like Lush, I just had to go inside and take a look. They have so many new items, from naked shower gels and lotions, brand new face masks, lip balms and fragrances to limited Halloween and Christmas bath bombs.

As I am running out of my Bubblegum lip scrub, my first choice was their new Sugar Plum Fairy lip scrub. When one of their employees showed it to me and I saw its cute violet color and I realized it smells fantastic, I was sold! I love finely ground sugar lip scrubs and the fact that it smells like the tastiest cotton candy mixed with sweet wild orange oil makes it even better to use. The second item is the Santa’s Belly, a shower jelly that smells like apples, star anise, red grape juice, bergamot oil and rose absolute. A real winter treat that leaves a lovely scent on my skin. You can either take a small piece and lather it in your hands or the whole jelly and you just put it back in the jar after use. Last but not least, I couldn’t leave the shop without a limited edition bath bomb! I went for the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar. I mean, who wouldn’t want to dip themselves into a sparkly bath for the yummiest aroma therapy sesh ever with junipberry, lime and grapefruit oil? However, it is true that I don’t mind having glitter all over me the next day. All in all, this haul has really gotten me into the holiday spirit and I cannot wait for all the festivities to begin!

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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