April Free From Favourites.

Cruelty free, natural, vegan skin care & gluten free, vegan free from favourites! A long April post.

I cannot believe how quickly April has gone! This month has felt like it has been non stop and I have been made a conscious effort to make time for self-care, both mind and body. With that in mind I have added a few cruelty free skin care products to this months free from favourites post. I have really enjoyed trying new vegan, natural skin care products and would love to try more, so please do let me know your favourites to.

Since receiving some lovely vegan friendly skin care products and writing the ‘Beautiful birthday gifts’ post, my interest in natural beauty products has bloomed. This month I have found myself experimenting with all kinds of natural products, which is completely unlike me, with rather sensitive skin, I usually stick to what I know.

I began by combining the Dr OrganicOrganic Tea Tree Soap Bar’ and the ‘Organic Tea Tree Blemish Stick’, using them both as part of a nightly routine. I will wash my make-up of using this soap, genteelly exfoliate and rinse with warm water before applying the blemish stick to my face, which on beginning using this was very problematic. I wouldn’t say I had blemishes, more scaring from previous blemishes, almost looking like an allergic reaction which knowing me is a possibility. Previously to using this I tried most spot creams, even prescribed ones and nothing seemed to work. After just a few weeks of using these products I have already noticed them clearing.

After having these improvements, I could not wait to try more of Dr Organic’s products. One of my favourite ways to unwind and focus on myself is by having a little pamper, I love popping on a facemask, having a hot bubble bath and painting my nails. After having numerous allergic reactions to face masks I am somewhat cautious about what I try. Feeling confident with Dr Organic’s, natural ingredients I decided to try the ‘Organic Dead Sea Minerals Bio-Plasma Mud Mask’. Easy to apply and rinses of without that ‘cloggy’ feeling some face masks leave, this left my skin feeling soothed and hydrated. Thankfully my skin took well to this to, since I have been using it around twice a week without a reaction in sight.

From the same ‘Dead sea, mineral’ range I have been using this ‘Organic Dead Sea Minerals Day Cream’, which again sooths and hydrates my skin. I pop this on after washing my face, letting it sink in before applying my make-up. Although I don’t need it’s anti-ageing properties just yet, I have found this to be the perfect cream to moth moisturise and tone my skin. As most cream’s I have found are for either dry or oily skin and of course, me being me, mine is a little bit of both.

Most of Dr Organic’s products are available from Holland & Barrett or alternatively on their online store. Just be warned not all are vegan friendly so make sure to check, the ones that are, are usually clearly labelled.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a vegan skin care post without mentioning Lush. Just a quick and old favourite of mine, the ‘Twilight’ bath bomb. With insomnia making an unwanted and reoccurring, appearance, this bath bomb never fails to sooth my mind and relax my body, whilst covering me in a slight shimmering glitter to. What more could you ask for? The lavender oil really comes through once popped into a hot steamy bath, with mystical magical colours, perfect for a before bed, wind down kind of bath. What is your favourite bath bomb?

Now on to the food!

I have found myself trying more and more different brands and flavours of gluten free, vegan bars and with them now stocked in most supermarkets and shops, I find them my go to option. This month I tried these three bars from The Paleo Pantry. My favourite being the ‘paleo protein bar, cocoa brownie’, unlike other bars I have tried this one seemed much more filling and satisfying, soft with a rich but not overpowering cocoa flavour, I would highly recommend this bar.

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The other two flavours I tried being ‘almond and cashew’ and ‘coconut and macadamia’ both raw pressed bars made with 100% natural ingredients. Like other raw bars I have tried, only being again, more satisfying. With a thicker texture these bars tasted nuttier which made a nice change to being overly sweet. My favourite out of the two was the ‘almond and cashew’ as I admit I bought the ‘coconut and macadamia’ thinking it would convert me to love coconut, sadly it didn’t, the coconut flavour is very much there and I still cannot take to it. As always I am looking forward to trying more from The Paleo Pantry, especially their cocoa protein bars.

If like me you find yourself buying endless amounts of frozen berries in the attempt to save money and always have them on hand, you will agree how this attempt doesn’t always work. With the prices of frozen berries seeming to go up and well the sizes appearing to go down. Tesco have yet again solved the problem with their Perfectly Imperfect Mixed Berries, Tesco are now selling this 1Kg of frozen mixed berries for just £2.70. Saving money, room in the refrigerator and being super handy for breakfast toppings and desserts. I thank you Tesco.

Alpro’s Go On strawberry and raspberry flavour, of course it wouldn’t be a free from favourites without something from Alpro. I have mentioned Alpro’s Go On dairy free yogurts before but with strawberries being one of my favourite fruits, I just had to recommend this flavour. The sweetness is perfect, with a thick texture and higher protein than other free from yogurts. Sprinkled with some frozen berries and dark chocolate buttons this makes the best chilled dessert or afternoon pick me up.

April started with all things chocolatey and although Easter time has been and gone I just wanted to recommend for probably the 100th time, Hotel Chocolat and their vegan friendly range. This chocolate is by far my favourite, especially the ‘tiddly pot’s’!

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Another new chocolatey favourite has been Kinnertons free from orange chocolate bar and it looks like I have been lucky to get my hands on them! Again, stumbling upon them in Home Bargains, for just 19 pence per bar, I could not leave them behind. Although the bar states this chocolate is ‘dark’, I find it more of a milk chocolate (without the milk), it’s light, sweet and almost like a Terry’s chocolate orange, perfect for vegan or dairy free children.

If you follow me on Instagram you will know I have been doing a little more cooking lately, still sicking with my usual simple, quick and non-fuss kind of cooking but cooking all the same. I would first like to recommend Deliciously Ella’s Mediterranean Vegetable Spaghetti, I made this for my family and I one evening and it is very easy to prepare and make, also tastes fresh and flavoursome. With minimal ingredients, this meal probably costs the same amount as a decent jar of pasta sauce. I used Doves Farm brown rice spaghetti, which even my non-gluten free family enjoyed! I also added a sprinkle of chilli flakes and topped with nutritional yeast. Like coconut another food I have been trying to get myself to like is olives and I must say this recipe is a way to do so, both my auntie and I, the non-olive lovers, enjoyed them very much.

Another Instagram post that seemed quite popular is my sunflower themed salad complete with my quick and simple sweet potato wedges. Here, I thought I would share the super easy recipe. First wash and chop your sweet potato, then place into a microwavable bowl with water and microwave until a little soft, usually about 4-5 minutes. Once softer place onto a baking dish and cover in a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with herbs, I use Sainsbury’s ‘Italian Style Herb Blend’, and black pepper and bake at 180degrees for around 15-20 minutes. Enjoy as a side, snack or like me on top of your very filled salad, dipping into a huge pile of hummus.

Another handy snack is Hippeas Chickpea Puffs, I am pretty sure I have recommended Hippeas before but this month I tried their ‘sweet and smokin’ flavour and they are a new favourite. Crunchy and light, reminding me of wotsits, only with a lot more flavour! Not only are these snacks handy and flavoursome they are ‘organic, high in fibre, a source of protein, gluten free and vegan’, what else could you want?

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That’s all for this months free from favourites, as always I hope you have found it helpful.

Nicole

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2 thoughts on “April Free From Favourites.

  1. […] to be exhausted after wondering around Chester all day, I had planned to pop on a face mask and relax for the evening, until my sister asked if I wanted to go for a run. The sky was still blue […]

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  2. Think I may have to try some of the Dr Organics range! My skin has been super fussy lately and I love natural remedies (as opposed to highly medicated ones!) and my skin hasn’t reacted well to prescriptions either! Your skin sounds similar to mine being a mix of dry and oily. Thanks for this x

    Liked by 1 person

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