Friday, 29 January 2016

Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette

Afternoon everyone! It's Friday YAY!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, Mr A & I have been sick and I haven't really been up to posting. However, I'm feeling a bit better so I edited a video I filmed just as a I was started to get sick (hence the loud breathing! haha).

It's a review of the new Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette.



If you don't wanna watch the video, basically I like it a lot. If you do, crack on ....

Once again, thanks for THAT thumbnail youtube! hahahaha

Whatever you're up to this weekend, hope you have a great one. Speak to yas next week!

Sal xXx

Friday, 22 January 2016

Quick & Easy Weeknight Meal Ideas

One of the most common things that I get asked when people find out I'm vegan, is "what do you eat?" or "Isn't it difficult?"

I'm sure that most of you reading this already know that it's not difficult!

I don't always have the time, or inclination to make a complicated fancy meal (although I love doing that too!), especially on a weeknight. So I thought I'd write a post about some of my favourite, easy weeknight dinners!

Firstly ~ and this should come as no shock to regular readers ~ Curry!

Curry is one of my favourite weeknight meals. It's SO easy; I can make a big pot and have leftovers for lunch, I can have it with rice, or as in this little vid that I put together for ya.... over a baked potato!

I vary what I put in curries, depending on what I have in the fridge/pantry that needs using up. More often than not I add chickpeas, spinach and coconut milk. I like spending the time toasting and grinding my own spices too, but when I'm in a rush (or just lazy) I like the Pataks' curry pastes, as used in this vid.



Tacos 

No longer only for Taco Tuesday! In fact, there's a whole book dedicated to vegan tacos now (must buy that!)

Tacos are also a great way to use up whatever is in the fridge. I normally use some vegan quorn / frys pieces and some sliced onions, peppers and mushrooms in mine. But these ones that I made during MoFo a couple of years ago were also great!





Pasta

The ultimate fast weeknight (or lunchtime, or weekend, or breakfast...) meal. Pasta is so damn quick and there's a billion and one things you can add to it.

My fave quick way to get something reasonably healthy (and Slimming World) friendly into me, is to chuck a few pieces of frozen cauliflower into the water with the pasta, along with some frozen broccoli and peas (a bit nearer the end). Then transfer the cauliflower to the blender, with some nooch, a veg stock cube and some soymilk and whizz for a really easy, low fat creamy sauce.

Or a quick cashew based tomato sauce: chuck a handful of cashews into the blender with some tomato puree, nooch if you like and stock or non dairy milk and blend (you'll need a decent blender). Sometimes I throw some actual tomatoes in too! :)



Of course, there's always Stirfry!

I used to think stirfry was the most boring of boring foods! But now I love it for being fast and healthy and easy, especially if you have the foresight to buy a bag of stir fry veg hehe.


This one was a bunch of veggies from the fridge that needed using, a tin of mock duck and there's noodles under there too! The sauce is what makes a stir fry - I concocted a quick sauce out of PB2 (powdered peanut butter), soy sauce, Chinese 5 spice powder, maple syrup, rice vinegar and sriracha! It was good.


For more quick meal ideas, check out my veganising Jamie posts from MoFo 2014 HERE: all the recipes I modified were from 15 minute meals!

Of course, if all else fails, there's always hummus! (I usually eat WAY less fancy hummus than this though!)

What's your favourite fast weeknight (or whenever) meal?

Sal xXx

Thursday, 21 January 2016

I filmed a video ....

OK I'm mega nervous about this post / upload because I filmed my first youtube video. It's amazing the things you never noticed about yourself until you stare at yourself talking for hours on end, trying to work out how the hell to edit it! Cringe.

Anyway, I won't lie and pretend like the quality is amazing, because you guys know me better than that. But if you wanna watch me waffle for a little while about some makeup I bought recently, please go watch and subscribe and I promise I will get better at this.

This is what I'm talking about in the video:


You can watch the video HERE, or click below. 


(hella derpy thumbnail! thanks youtube!! haha)

Also, in the vid I said that if I could work out how, I'd insert a clip of the lip products on my lips. I think I kinda know how to do it but not well enough to try yet. So here's some pics of all the lip products mentioned in the vid:

Neve Cosmetics Dual Lipliner & Lipstick Pencil – Shade POWER 

I didn't realise until I swatched this that the fat end is a gorgeous bright neon pink but the skinny end is actually a cherry red!
OCC Lip Tar RTW - Hush


OCC Lip Tar RTW - Lydia 


Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick - Lolita (apparently I was in a daft selfie kinda mood that day!!)





Sal xXx

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

New Year's Clearout!

New year's resolutions you say? What is the point? Yeah I feel the same, I don't make them anymore because every year it's the same: Lose x pounds, go to the gym a minimum of 3 times a week, give up sugar/fat/mushy peas.... and it doesn't happen.  So I stopped making them.

However, I try to make a few small changes and one that I've made was to clear out my dusty and frankly shambolic, makeup collection!

It was full of makeup that was SO old. Loads of it I don't wear because it's old, or the brand is no longer cruelty free, or it's not vegan... so it was time for a clear out. Also, the old makeup chest I had it in (yes, a chest, it's that bad!) was my Nan's old dresser and it was falling apart.

Here are the before pictures!






Here is the box of usable stuff that I'm donating to a friend...

I also binned a TONNE of unusable / out of date crap. So here are the after pictures - tidy and streamlined. I know I still have a ridiculous amount, but that is the life of a beauty blogger / makeup addict and hoarder haha.

Palettes

Loose pigments/glitters, eye liners and lash products, lip products (1) and blushes

bronzers & highlighters and base products (1 MAC product survived, bought when they were still cruelty free) 

Lipsticks

Eyelash drawer (yes, a drawer - I might have a problem, haha)

Skin care and foundations

More lip products and single eyeshadows

And the mirror. In the mirror you can also see where I stand to do my makeup, my everyday makeup is in an acrylic case under the mirror.

The downside to the clean up is that Jazzy used to sit under the chair in there for most of the day; she was shielded from everything but could still look out into the hallway.

 Since we cleared out, she hasn't been in there. She looks a bit lost! awww.

Sal xXx

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Festive Break 2015 Food - Part 2

Following on from my post earlier in the week, here is the rest of the (noteworthy) food from the Festive break.

Simon did some wombling about and found a pub in Winchester called the Golden Lion, that offer a vegan menu. So we braved the rain and the hideous M3 and went for a meal there with my parents.

I started with the spring rolls (sorry for dark pics, the lighting wasn't great). These came with hoisin sauce and they were lovely and crunchy.


Simon got a vegan starter too, so we could share! :) He got the garlic mushrooms, which were really good too.


For the main I picked the cottage pie. probably less saucey than I'd have made it, but it was still good. Lots of nice chunky veg and it came with even more veg and some gravy!


We were too full for dessert but we will definitely be going back. It is a lovely pub, with friendly staff and nice vegan options. Definitely worth a visit if you're round that area!

One morning, I fancied doing a fry up and remembered I had bought some V Pud in the vegan store last time I was there. In my meat eating days I was a big fan of the black pud!

It was really hard to cut as it was so soft, so I ended up kind of smooshing it into patties. Looks a bit like poop doesn't it! Sorry! It does though.

I was still excited to try it though, but my excitement was short lived. It's HORRIBLE! It had a minty taste to it. It was so weird I just couldn't taste anything except minty, mentholy yukkiness. Maybe without whatever the offending ingredient was, this would be good? I don't know, but for now, it's a fail.

 New Year's Eve. We had a relatively quiet one, staying in and watching some TV and playing a couple of games.  Food-wise we all picked a course. My mum did the starter; she made souffles for the non vegans so I had fancy hummus (really good hummus!) and bread.

My brother did the main. For the meat eaters he made a beef wellington* and I got a vegan sweet potato/mushroom/pinenut version and it was delicious. I will try and find out what recipe he used and steal it because I'll be making it again. This course was the winner for me!
 gravied up!

Unsurprisingly I got dessert. I messed with one of the cheesecake recipes in Vegan Pie in the Sky, replacing the banana with peanut butter and adding in vegan baileys as the liquid instead of coconut oil. It was good! I made an oreo base for it to go on and then drizzled it with chocolate and sprinkled some crushed oreos over. The only criticism of this was that the base was a bit tough, I shouldn't have bothered pre-cooking it!

Selfy stick bellends strike again!

Crackers. On NYE. Really Mum? yep, had to wear a hat, again!

So on New Year's Day, to celebrate 8 years of veganism for me, we were gonna go to the Alto Lounge in Reading. However, we didn't manage to get there. But we did go the next day (which according to Time Hop, we did on the 2nd of January last year too! haha).

They've updated their vegan menu, I was pretty excited by that!

I got a peanut butter latte, as always!

And the chimichurri mushrooms breakfast. Which had fried potatos and spinach. I even ate the beans which is weird because I'm a bean hater! But these had some chilli in and were lovely.


And some extra bread cuz I'm a fatty boom batty!

Later that day I started to feel a bit crap and thought I was coming down with flu. So I dosed myself up on cold and flu tablets and went to bed for a nap. Then Simon went out and got us Chinese food because he is awesome. This is vegetarian singapore noodles, minus the egg, tofu in black bean sauce, spring rolls and extra satay sauce. Yummerzz. We ate it in bed, watching Harry Potter, because we are filthy animals.

And then on Sunday, I ate this, because my diet started Monday. Boo!

Sal
xXx

PS: do you guys like my new header? Becs of the very awesome Daft Doodles designed for me and I think it's SO rad!!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Festive Break 2015 Food - Part 1

Helloooooo and Happy New Year!

It's 2016 which means that midnight on New Year's Day was my 8th Veganniversary! This also means that this blog is almost 8 years old, can't believe how quick that's gone.

I took a tonne of food pics over Christmas, but I don't want to bombard you with a massive post full of pic spam, so I'm going to split it out into a few different posts.

I'm going to start with Christmas Day!  It seems like ages ago now and an instagram post would (did) probably cover it. However, I bought a Tofurky roast this year. So, let's talk about that! :o/ ....

I didn't even read the instructions until almost midday on Christmas day; basically you have to defrost the fucker in the fridge overnight before you can cook it. Or cook it longer, which is what we did. It took 2.5 hours! So dinner was later than planned.

So I cooked it as instructed. It looked not bad:

But it was tough. And dry!

Flavour wise it was nice, but not much different to the one I normally make myself for Christmas (which is the Chicken Style Roast from Julie Hasson's Vegan Diner book). The texture of the homemade is better! I do like the idea of stuffing in the middle though, so I might try that out for next year.

Overall it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good.

For dessert I tweaked the caramel apple cake I made for Simon's Birthday in November. I know I promised a recipe for this when it was tweaked, but I don't have it right yet. This wasn't as good as my first attempt so I still need to tweak it, sorry. It'll end up here, just not yet!



So guess which bellend got a selfie stick? Oh yeah that'd be me...



We are sexeh!

And a family Christmas shot!


And boxing day would not be complete without the boxing day sandwich. Which is basically white bread, Christmas leftovers and vegenaise!


And it RULES!

Sticking with boxing day, we went up to Birmingham to see Simon's parents and his mum did an buffet

with a bunch of vbites / violife etc stuff for me

and frys pies!

Afterwards we travelled on up to Stafford as we were introducing Simon to most of my dad's half of the family the next day.

We stayed in a hotel called the Swan, which is lovely and I know from looking them up before that they do vegan / veggie nights there. My mum called ahead and they were happy to do me a vegan meal and a breakfast.

I got a veggie tagine, with giant couscous which was awesome. It was sweet and flavourful, with chickpeas and sweet potato in.

We were too full for dessert, but I did get a cosmo in the bar! :)


The next morning, they did me a breakfast of veggie sausages, hash browns, mushrooms and tomatoes. (And toast not pictured.)

We loved the Swan, the rooms were lovely and the staff were really friendly and helpful; we'll definitely go back there!

Hope everyone had a fab break.
xXx