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I love me some non-fiction  in fact, it's all I seem to read at the moment  but I have mixed feelings when it comes to self-help books. There's something about them that just seems a bit, well... wanky and pretentious.

I flew by myself for the first time at the start of 2017 and since I get quite nervous on planes, I downloaded a lot of new books on my Kindle to serve as a distraction. One of them was the much-raved-about The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. It's been all over the blogosphere over the last few months and I can see why.

It's sweary, it's straight to the point; it's my kind of self-help book.

While it would be a massive cliche (and also a lie) if I said that it had changed my life completely, it's definitely helped me to put things into perspective and figure out what's important right now.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck


Running Out of Fucks to Give

I love me some non-fiction  in fact, it's all I seem to read at the moment  but I have mixed feelings when it comes to self-help books. There's something about them that just seems a bit, well... wanky and pretentious.

I flew by myself for the first time at the start of 2017 and since I get quite nervous on planes, I downloaded a lot of new books on my Kindle to serve as a distraction. One of them was the much-raved-about The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. It's been all over the blogosphere over the last few months and I can see why.

It's sweary, it's straight to the point; it's my kind of self-help book.

While it would be a massive cliche (and also a lie) if I said that it had changed my life completely, it's definitely helped me to put things into perspective and figure out what's important right now.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck


We've reached the next stage in my quest to find and try more independent cruelty-free brands, and today it's the turn of vegan beauty brand Fairypants to go under the metaphorical microscope.

Fairypants started back in 2009, selling handmade products at Chester Market. Increasing demand from family and friends caused the business to grow and they now sell cruelty-free cosmetics, skincare, and perfume with snazzy retro packaging.

Absolutely everything in their range is vegan  how wonderful is that?

There are so many different products and shades to choose from that I wasn't sure where to start (I kinda wanted everything!) but in the end I bought myself a lip balm, a lip paint, and a lip brush; a vegan lip kit, if you will. Lets take a look.

Fairypants Vegan Lip Kit

A Vegan Lip Kit from Fairypants

We've reached the next stage in my quest to find and try more independent cruelty-free brands, and today it's the turn of vegan beauty brand Fairypants to go under the metaphorical microscope.

Fairypants started back in 2009, selling handmade products at Chester Market. Increasing demand from family and friends caused the business to grow and they now sell cruelty-free cosmetics, skincare, and perfume with snazzy retro packaging.

Absolutely everything in their range is vegan  how wonderful is that?

There are so many different products and shades to choose from that I wasn't sure where to start (I kinda wanted everything!) but in the end I bought myself a lip balm, a lip paint, and a lip brush; a vegan lip kit, if you will. Lets take a look.

Fairypants Vegan Lip Kit

Normally I save anything political for Twitter, but on Friday a newsletter appeared in my inbox and it was too important not to talk about in more depth.

In a nutshell: High-end make-up brand Illamasqua have made an anti-fascism pledge and shared it via email and on their website. It outright states that they do not support Trump and his values and they do not wish for his supporters to buy their products.

Illamasqua Pledge

Illamasqua's Anti-Fascism Pledge

Normally I save anything political for Twitter, but on Friday a newsletter appeared in my inbox and it was too important not to talk about in more depth.

In a nutshell: High-end make-up brand Illamasqua have made an anti-fascism pledge and shared it via email and on their website. It outright states that they do not support Trump and his values and they do not wish for his supporters to buy their products.

Illamasqua Pledge

Every winter, without fail, my hands get chapped, cracked, and sore.

So every winter I rummage through my stash of hand creams and slather them on in an attempt to stop this assault on my skin in its tracks.

Some people hoard foundations; I hoard hand creams.

I'm in Asia at the moment, so the temperatures here aren't exactly freezing, but I've used everything in this post in the run-up to Christmas and right up until I flew out here at the end of January, so I know all too well how these products fare when it's bloody freezing outside.

Last year's selection was a good one, but this year I think I might have gone one better with my weapons of choice. Let's take a look.


Intense Cruelty-Free Treatments for Your Hands

Every winter, without fail, my hands get chapped, cracked, and sore.

So every winter I rummage through my stash of hand creams and slather them on in an attempt to stop this assault on my skin in its tracks.

Some people hoard foundations; I hoard hand creams.

I'm in Asia at the moment, so the temperatures here aren't exactly freezing, but I've used everything in this post in the run-up to Christmas and right up until I flew out here at the end of January, so I know all too well how these products fare when it's bloody freezing outside.

Last year's selection was a good one, but this year I think I might have gone one better with my weapons of choice. Let's take a look.


Why?

That's the question a lot of the people I know asked me when they found out I was going vegetarian.

And I get it, I really do  I come from quite a meat, vegetables, potatoes kind of family  but sometimes they say it with a sort of... incredulity, or faint horror.

(My aunt actually went 'No!', all shocked. I cracked up; you'd have thought I'd announced I was pregnant or something.)

So I thought this post would be a good opportunity to share some of the questions I've been asked since I turned pescatarian (five months ago) and subsequently vegetarian (at the start of 2017) and clear up any queries and misconceptions people have about what it's like to adopt a vegetarian diet.

These are just my experiences but I hope this post is useful, whether you're thinking of going vegetarian, a vegetarian in need of some solidarity, or simply curious.

Breakfast
This is an old picture of a breakfast I made last summer, because where I'm living in the UAE at the moment the avocados cost the equivalent of £7.40. EachIs it bad that the lack of avocados here would genuinely put me off emigrating?

Why did you go vegetarian?

I went cruelty-free in terms of beauty products in 2014 and in searching for other cruelty-free blogs I discovered plenty of bloggers who were vegetarian or vegan. (At that point I was flexitarian, but mostly because of my very limited student budget.)

Contrary to the annoying stereotype, they were all open about their diets without being pushy and many of them wrote (and still write!) interesting posts about vegan and vegetarian life. I learnt a lot from reading these and I gradually came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to eat meat. Reading up on the meat industry stopped me from enjoying eating it, so I decided to try and stop.


Why didn't you stop eating fish when you stopped eating meat?

I didn't want vegetarianism to be a phase and so I didn't want to give up too much too soon. I also knew giving up fish would be more difficult. I started with meat, just to see if I could do it, and then once I'd been meat-free for a few months I stopped eating fish too. Everyone does things at their own pace and that's what worked for me.

What do you eat?

Lots of things! Lentils, beans, rice, pasta, quinoa, sweet potatoes, plenty of vegetables, eggs, Quorn, Linda McCartney sausages... if you're used to eating meat at every mealtime it can seem strange at first but I just googled 'vegetarian recipes' and borrowed some books from the library for inspiration.

I often make three-bean chilli, lentil pie, vegetable curry, pasta dishes, baked sweet potatoes with some kind of homemade topping, Mexican food with lots of avocado and lime... You can also use meat substitutes like Quorn in everyday meals like lasagne and curry.


Do you miss bacon?

Of course  it's bacon! But I don't miss it enough to eat it.

Have you ever been tempted to eat meat or fish again?

A couple of times, most of them involving fried chicken. But my friend Rachel has a great saying  Think of the face  which stops me from caving in. I also know that I'd feel too guilty if I actually did eat meat products; it's not worth it.


How do you get enough protein?

Foods such as beans, lentils, pulses, quinoa, Quorn, chickpeas (including houmous), and nuts all contain a significant amount of protein. Carbs like bread, pasta, rice, and cereal also contribute to your protein intake (but can't be relied on alone).

What about Christmas?!

This year I bought a Linda McCartney roast and had a portion of that, then sliced up the rest and ate it in Christmas sandwiches throughout the festive period. I also had some of her red onion and rosemary sausages. (This post is not sponsored by Linda McCartney btw; I just really love her food!)

Do you think everyone should be vegetarian?

In an ideal world, yes. But as we've been brutally reminded over the past few months, this is far from an ideal world.

Going vegetarian can be a huge change, one that not everyone may be able to make, and I think it's much more realistic if people try and do what they can  buy fewer animal products, visit vegetarian restaurants, maybe even give Meat-Free Monday a go. As Nadia points out in her post about flexitarianism, cutting down on the amount of animal products you eat is often a stepping stone towards vegetarianism.

I know a lot of people are put off vegetarianism and veganism because they worry they won't be considered good enough, but I don't see the point in looking down on anyone who's trying to make changes. Every little helps, if I may borrow a phrase, whether you're completely vegan or only eat meat when you go out for dinner.

Do you get offended if people eat meat in front of you?

No. Everyone is free to make their own choices and I'm not going to judge.

Would you ever go vegan?

I cook a lot of vegan food and I would never say never, but I think going vegan would tip the balance and end up with me going from being mindful about my diet to being obsessive about it. I'm hoping to give Veganuary a go at some point, maybe when I'm more settled, so that I can see how I'd deal with it, but I'm not planning to make the switch at this point in time.

I hope you all found this helpful! Any questions? And have you had any similar experiences? Let me know in the comments!

FAQ — Going Vegetarian

Why?

That's the question a lot of the people I know asked me when they found out I was going vegetarian.

And I get it, I really do  I come from quite a meat, vegetables, potatoes kind of family  but sometimes they say it with a sort of... incredulity, or faint horror.

(My aunt actually went 'No!', all shocked. I cracked up; you'd have thought I'd announced I was pregnant or something.)

So I thought this post would be a good opportunity to share some of the questions I've been asked since I turned pescatarian (five months ago) and subsequently vegetarian (at the start of 2017) and clear up any queries and misconceptions people have about what it's like to adopt a vegetarian diet.

These are just my experiences but I hope this post is useful, whether you're thinking of going vegetarian, a vegetarian in need of some solidarity, or simply curious.

Breakfast
This is an old picture of a breakfast I made last summer, because where I'm living in the UAE at the moment the avocados cost the equivalent of £7.40. EachIs it bad that the lack of avocados here would genuinely put me off emigrating?

Why did you go vegetarian?

I went cruelty-free in terms of beauty products in 2014 and in searching for other cruelty-free blogs I discovered plenty of bloggers who were vegetarian or vegan. (At that point I was flexitarian, but mostly because of my very limited student budget.)

Contrary to the annoying stereotype, they were all open about their diets without being pushy and many of them wrote (and still write!) interesting posts about vegan and vegetarian life. I learnt a lot from reading these and I gradually came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to eat meat. Reading up on the meat industry stopped me from enjoying eating it, so I decided to try and stop.


Why didn't you stop eating fish when you stopped eating meat?

I didn't want vegetarianism to be a phase and so I didn't want to give up too much too soon. I also knew giving up fish would be more difficult. I started with meat, just to see if I could do it, and then once I'd been meat-free for a few months I stopped eating fish too. Everyone does things at their own pace and that's what worked for me.

What do you eat?

Lots of things! Lentils, beans, rice, pasta, quinoa, sweet potatoes, plenty of vegetables, eggs, Quorn, Linda McCartney sausages... if you're used to eating meat at every mealtime it can seem strange at first but I just googled 'vegetarian recipes' and borrowed some books from the library for inspiration.

I often make three-bean chilli, lentil pie, vegetable curry, pasta dishes, baked sweet potatoes with some kind of homemade topping, Mexican food with lots of avocado and lime... You can also use meat substitutes like Quorn in everyday meals like lasagne and curry.


Do you miss bacon?

Of course  it's bacon! But I don't miss it enough to eat it.

Have you ever been tempted to eat meat or fish again?

A couple of times, most of them involving fried chicken. But my friend Rachel has a great saying  Think of the face  which stops me from caving in. I also know that I'd feel too guilty if I actually did eat meat products; it's not worth it.


How do you get enough protein?

Foods such as beans, lentils, pulses, quinoa, Quorn, chickpeas (including houmous), and nuts all contain a significant amount of protein. Carbs like bread, pasta, rice, and cereal also contribute to your protein intake (but can't be relied on alone).

What about Christmas?!

This year I bought a Linda McCartney roast and had a portion of that, then sliced up the rest and ate it in Christmas sandwiches throughout the festive period. I also had some of her red onion and rosemary sausages. (This post is not sponsored by Linda McCartney btw; I just really love her food!)

Do you think everyone should be vegetarian?

In an ideal world, yes. But as we've been brutally reminded over the past few months, this is far from an ideal world.

Going vegetarian can be a huge change, one that not everyone may be able to make, and I think it's much more realistic if people try and do what they can  buy fewer animal products, visit vegetarian restaurants, maybe even give Meat-Free Monday a go. As Nadia points out in her post about flexitarianism, cutting down on the amount of animal products you eat is often a stepping stone towards vegetarianism.

I know a lot of people are put off vegetarianism and veganism because they worry they won't be considered good enough, but I don't see the point in looking down on anyone who's trying to make changes. Every little helps, if I may borrow a phrase, whether you're completely vegan or only eat meat when you go out for dinner.

Do you get offended if people eat meat in front of you?

No. Everyone is free to make their own choices and I'm not going to judge.

Would you ever go vegan?

I cook a lot of vegan food and I would never say never, but I think going vegan would tip the balance and end up with me going from being mindful about my diet to being obsessive about it. I'm hoping to give Veganuary a go at some point, maybe when I'm more settled, so that I can see how I'd deal with it, but I'm not planning to make the switch at this point in time.

I hope you all found this helpful! Any questions? And have you had any similar experiences? Let me know in the comments!
When I decided to branch out and try some new cruelty-free brands this year, Bloomtown Botanicals were at the top of the list.

Bloomtown Botanicals was born after its founders (Preyanka Clark Prakash and Medwin Culmer) moved to Bali and saw the destruction palm oil cultivation can cause. They stopped using products that contained palm oil and eventually began to create their own. 10% of their profits go to environmental and animal rescue charities, which I think is wonderful!

I'd read some positive reviews and when I looked at their website I was taken in by the array of products they make. All the products are available in Bloomtown Botanicals' signature scents, such as:

  • The Grove (blood orange and pink grapefruit)
  • The Hedgerow (blackberry and honeysuckle)
  • The Meadow (lavender and rose geranium)
  • The Spring (blue clay and indigo leaf)
  • The Woods (vetiver, cedar and bergamot)

I chose The Hedgerow because the smell of blackberries makes me feel all nostalgic  we used to go blackberry picking with my grandparents when I was a kid and then bake pies. (Which were delicious. It's been a long time since I've had homemade blackberry pie.)

Bloomtown Botanicals

Bathtime Treats from Bloomtown Botanicals

When I decided to branch out and try some new cruelty-free brands this year, Bloomtown Botanicals were at the top of the list.

Bloomtown Botanicals was born after its founders (Preyanka Clark Prakash and Medwin Culmer) moved to Bali and saw the destruction palm oil cultivation can cause. They stopped using products that contained palm oil and eventually began to create their own. 10% of their profits go to environmental and animal rescue charities, which I think is wonderful!

I'd read some positive reviews and when I looked at their website I was taken in by the array of products they make. All the products are available in Bloomtown Botanicals' signature scents, such as:

  • The Grove (blood orange and pink grapefruit)
  • The Hedgerow (blackberry and honeysuckle)
  • The Meadow (lavender and rose geranium)
  • The Spring (blue clay and indigo leaf)
  • The Woods (vetiver, cedar and bergamot)

I chose The Hedgerow because the smell of blackberries makes me feel all nostalgic  we used to go blackberry picking with my grandparents when I was a kid and then bake pies. (Which were delicious. It's been a long time since I've had homemade blackberry pie.)

Bloomtown Botanicals

It can be hard to find high end brands and products that are also cruelty-free. Companies will hit you with the old 'We are against animal testing' mantra, but look a bit closer and you'll soon find that they 'do not test on animals, except where required by law'.

So you do test on animals then?

There are a couple of high end brands I love, like NARS and Urban Decay, but while they themselves are cruelty-free, their parents companies aren't. I'm happy to buy from them, in order to show demand, but others feel uncomfortable doing so. Both approaches are okay, I believe  you've gotta do what's best for you and what you think is right.

But all of this has got me thinking that it might be time to look beyond the beauty counters, so I started hunting down some natural high end alternatives. LoveLula were very kind and sent me some make-up to try, so I'll be sharing my thoughts with you today.

RMS Un-Cover Up

Natural Alternatives to High End Brands

It can be hard to find high end brands and products that are also cruelty-free. Companies will hit you with the old 'We are against animal testing' mantra, but look a bit closer and you'll soon find that they 'do not test on animals, except where required by law'.

So you do test on animals then?

There are a couple of high end brands I love, like NARS and Urban Decay, but while they themselves are cruelty-free, their parents companies aren't. I'm happy to buy from them, in order to show demand, but others feel uncomfortable doing so. Both approaches are okay, I believe  you've gotta do what's best for you and what you think is right.

But all of this has got me thinking that it might be time to look beyond the beauty counters, so I started hunting down some natural high end alternatives. LoveLula were very kind and sent me some make-up to try, so I'll be sharing my thoughts with you today.

RMS Un-Cover Up

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at beth.toasty@gmail.com

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