Blog Posts I Loved | March 2017

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

This post was supposed to be longer originally.

I wanted it to be a whole list of updates and stories and lists and I had notes written here and there, but then on Monday  the day I was going to put everything together  I nearly fainted by the bras in Marks and Spencer (thankfully my mum managed to half-drag me to the baby changing facilities before I collapsed on the floor). I spent Monday and Tuesday in A&E seeing various medical teams to try and figure out what was wrong.

Long story short, everything is okay and normal and good (and the NHS staff are all amazing!), but it meant I didn't get things done the way I planned to. And now I've had time to think about it, I want to change what I was planning anyway  hopefully you'll be getting a revised, more in-depth updates post at the end of next month instead!

Lunch at Skinny Kitchen

Monday, 27 March 2017

Despite walking past it many times, it never occurred to me to visit Skinny Kitchen.

For a start, the name really put me off. The word 'skinny' when associated with food just has too many negative connotations  diets; those tasteless, reduced-fat versions of food that are laden with sugar to make up for the loss of flavour; and pressure to fit a certain body type, which is unrealistic for many.

(Obviously there is nothing wrong with having a thin frame. But I don't like it when it's suggested that you should look a certain way or be a particular shape or size. There should be a place for everyone.)

As it turns out, Skinny Kitchen's focus is foods that complement your fitness routine and suit your lifestyle. Their ingredients are natural and locally sourced, and they are very accommodating towards vegetarians and vegans, with notes dotted throughout the menu telling you how a meal can be made vegan.

I went to Skinny Kitchen one lunchtime for a good old catch-up with my friend Steph, who'd eaten there before and fallen in love with the pancakes. Well, I'm not going to say no to pancakes...

Skinny Kitchen Taco Bowl

Can a Powder Primer Help Oily Skin?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

I've fallen in love with PHB Ethical Beauty over the past six months or so.

Their products are good quality and their ethics are sound  everything they make is cruelty-free, halal, and vegan, plus 20% of their profits go to charity.

I've tried several of their toiletries now  highlights being the soap and the body scrub  and I've also been using a couple of skincare products (review coming soon!)

But I hadn't really looked into their make-up offerings until recently, when I started using their Pressed Mineral Primer* (v).

It was the first time I'd ever come across a primer in powder form, so I was very interested in testing it out. Would it work? Would it calm down my permanently shiny forehead? Let's find out.

PHB Ethical Beauty Pressed Mineral Primer

13 Facts I Learnt From the Vegetarian Society

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The main reason I started browsing the Vegetarian Society website was to make my mum feel better.

She was very concerned about my protein intake when I stopped eating meat and fish, so I thought some advice would put her mind at ease (and also help me. More research never hurts, right?)

It was the cruelty-free community and their stories/fact-sharing that led me to go vegetarian, so I hadn't really looked at what the Vegetarian Society had to offer. This was a mistake, because they have a whole range of free leaflets they can send to you about the environment, your, health, your diet, and animal welfare (or lack of it).

I found them really useful and informative (you can get them here!) so I thought I'd do a round-up of some of the facts I learnt. 

A few parts of this post might be upsetting for some  no one likes thinking about abattoirs  but I think it's important to talk about the reality of the meat industry, especially now vegetarian life is a key topic here on Toasty.

Vegetarian Society Leaflets

Cruelty-Free Make-Up for Spring

Monday, 20 March 2017

It's finally spring!

Well, I'm writing this while looking at the dull, grey sky outside my bedroom window, but technically it's finally spring and that makes me happy.

I've always liked spring as a season. The air feels fresher, you get those odd bursts of sunshine, and everyone seems to perk up a bit. I always seem to gravitate towards slightly lighter make-up, too  a little less eyeliner, paler shades of pink on the lips.

(Although on days like today, when the clouds are getting darker and darker every second, I might still be drawn to my favourite berry lipstick.) 

Today I thought I'd share the products I've been using regularly now the weather is brightening up a bit. As always, everything is cruelty-free and I've noted which products are vegan where possible  just look for the (v).

NARS Orgasm Blush

I Tried Making Energy Balls...

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

... and I failed. Miserably.

Well, miserably if you consider it absolutely essential that they be perfectly round. They are energy lumps, which sounds like a bizarre, Black Eyed Peas-esque euphemism for breasts.

But all is not lost  whatever you want to call them, these snacks taste pretty good, so I may as well tell you how I made them.

I used the Almond Butter Oat Balls recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod. My failure, I think, is entirely down to me being too enthusiastic with the microwave when I softened the almond butter and coconut oil, rather than the fault lying with the recipe itself.

I wouldn't say the oat balls/bites (bites? I'm going to call them bites; it sounds nicer than 'lumps') were a particularly healthy snack  they're more like a (delicious) vegan alternative to chocolate or cake. They're tasty, moreish, and there for you when you need them.

Almond Butter Oat Bites

The Ultimate Cruelty-Free Manicure Session with Zoya

Monday, 13 March 2017

I'm a bit all or nothing when it comes to nails.

Either they're completely bare or I've taken the time to do multi-step manicure  there is no in between.

And I'll admit, most of the time my nails have nothing on them, because I just don't have the time to paint them properly. I don't really see the point in making the effort when the polish will be chipped in a few days.

So when Love Lula gave me the opportunity to try Zoya's Mini Colour Lock System*, I was curious. It claims to make your manicure last for fourteen whole days  quite the promise!

Zoya Mini Colour Lock System

17 Things From My First Solo Trip Abroad

Sunday, 12 March 2017

At the end of January I flew out to Dubai.

I'd been invited there to see if me working in the city could be an option and, well, I wasn't going to say no to that!

It was a trip I wanted to make without putting pressure on myself to write about it, which is why I've only alluded to it on the blog, but now I'm back I quite fancy doing a round-up of sorts, if only to let myself process everything properly.

I've spent the past six weeks going from pinching myself to panicking ('What on earth am I doing?!') because this is not the safe option. Working abroad is something I've been quietly thinking about since my second year of uni and now there's a chance it could actually happen. And that means uprooting myself.

Will I go back? It's too soon to say. So in the meantime, here's a list of all the weird, wonderful, and random things I discovered during my time in Dubai. Enjoy!

Burj Khalifa View

A Natural Treatment for Fine Hair + Alchemy Oils Discount Code

Monday, 6 March 2017

My hair can be a mess.

Dry ends, oily roots, itchy scalp  it's all going on up here.

I also have very fine hair which doesn't react particularly well to heavy, moisturising treatments, so I can be quite hesitant when trying new products, particularly on the roots.

But when Alchemy got in touch to ask if I was interested in trying their Grapefruit Hair Remedy(v), I was curious, because it's made for fine hair just like mine.

Alchemy specialise in hair oils, with three available to choose from (including a peppermint one for beards!) Their products are free from parabens, PEGS, phthalates, sulphates, silicones, mineral oil, glycols, DEA and TEA.

Not only are they cruelty-free, but they're also registered with the Vegan Society and certified by PETA.

Alchemy Oils Grapefruit Hair Remedy

NYX Double Stacked Mascara — Do Lash Fibres Make a Difference?

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

I'm incredibly fickle when it comes to mascaras.

There are a couple I'll repurchase from time to time, but generally it doesn't take much for me to be swept away by the promises of a new product. I want those doe-eyed lashes, damn it, and I'll pay for them.

(But not too much, because mascaras never really last past the three-month mark, do they?)

This is how I ended up dropping NYX Double Stacked Fibre Mascara into my basket at Boots. Double Stacked includes one tube of a dual-use base/top coat and one tube of lash fibres. Base coat + lash fibres + top coat must equal falsie-esque lashes, surely?

Let's find out.

NYX Double Stacked Mascara

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