Saturday, October 10, 2015

Natural Empties & Stuff I Am Throwing Away - Autumn 2015

Hi My Loves :)

Today I am coming at you with my trash, aka empties. I must admit I do enjoy watching these videos on YouTube, as it sorts the good products from the bad in my mind! I mean, the product has to be good if you finish the whole bottle and go on to repurchase it, right?

So let's start from the top left:

Aromatherapy Herbal Soap by Plantlife - this is vegan gluten free GMO free paraben free natural soap that I got in TK Maxx for six bucks in orange and vanilla scent and I really liked it, although my family didn't enjoy it, so I was left to finish it on my own, which was fine with me. The thing is I am trying to wean my family off the shower gels - they are made to run out quickly (meaning you come back to purchase it frequently = you bring more money to manufacturer) and make tons of plastic waste, something I am against, but I kinda have a hard time getting my point across, as  my hubs and elder princess are too used to shower gels, aka easy life :) Now let's get back to the soap, shall we? The label (which is printed in recyclable soy ink, no less!) says that they hand craft the soaps the old fashioned way - no heating, meaning the ingredients retain their beneficial properties. The soap is non drying and not irritating, something I can testify. The ingredients include organic herbs, aromatherapy grade essential oils, and plant oils such as olive oil and coconut oil. Truly natural stuff.
Repurchase? Without a doubt, yes.

Pur Minerals Bling Mascara - this is my natural Holy Grail mascara without a doubt! I am so glad to have found it, you guys have no idea! It lengthens, gives loads of volume, everything that a regular mascara does! Before it i was trying loads of other natural brands including Lavera, Benecos and DrHauschka, and they were so poor in performing, they made me sad as I was imagining to myself all natural mascaras would be this way - i.e. not doing anything - and I basically spent many months with crappy lashes (and not-so-great overall look too) because I don't do fake lashes. I got my first PurMinerals mascara in TK Maxx for 4 or 6 euros, and since then went on to repurchase it at full price in M&S a couple of times too. 
Repurchase? Absolutely! (Although I want to try many different mascaras, including Lash Dominator by Bare Minerals, Lily Lolo, and multiple others, I still want to have this on me at all times).

Declare Skinatura Restructure and Lift Elixir Serum - this is Swiss product that truly works and I was in awe when it helped to heal my dry patch on the face that wouldn't budge for weeks! (result of trying out a tanning product once, yes, my skin is THAT sensitive) and in some time I noticed my complexion getting smoother and firmer, brighter too, in fact my skin looked really good when I was using this and vitamin C serum at night. The ingredients feature organic oils and natural hyaliuronic acid. The problem was, it went rancid on me very soon, even though I kept it in the fridge, so I am not sure if I got an old product or it has extremely short shelf life? i got mine in TK Maxx (where else?) for about 13€ but it retails for 48€ and I didn't see it in the actual shops in Dublin anywhere, nor I was able to find it in TK Maxx ever since.
Repurchase? maybe! I know this is a good product and I do keep it at the back of my mind, but I am having too much fun with other products :)

Bee Lovely Shower Gel by NYR (or Neal's Yard Remedies in other words) - this was a pleasant surprise, and something I really enjoyed using. It came in a Bee Lovely set that I got a little while back, and so far so good! Smells lovely (although all the line of Bee Lovely products smell of orange essential oil, you do not get a scent of honey, but it is definitely on the list of ingredients). You only need a little of it to get a great lather, the very first time I tried it, I used the regular amount i would use with other shower gels, and let's just say I was practically having a bubble bath, lol! This is not drying and not irritating too.
Repurchase? Yes, if on sale. What? I am a thrifty person :)

Lavera Kids Toothgel - this I am throwing away because it got rancid on me. My little princess definitely enjoyed it's strawberry-raspberry flavor, and I enjoyed the fact that it has minimal good ingredients, the only thing I didn't like was the glycerine in it, it is said to coat the teeth and prevent them from re-mineralising themselves, so i will try to look for glycerine free version of toothpaste next. If you will decide to go for it, look for it in health food stores.
Repurchase? No.

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara - this came in a gift set that the brand was giving away with a purchase a while back, and it was my first order from 100% Pure! I mean who can resist a make up freebie, esp this natural, right? At first I really hated this mascara, as it reminded me of DrHauschka one, i.e. I thought it does nothing for my lashes, as it gives zero volume, something I desperately need! But as the weeks went by and it dried up a bit, I warmed up to it as I was able to layer it more, and coupled with Pur Minerals mascara on top of this, it definitely was a good combo. And I appreciate the fabulous ingredients in this! 
Repurchase? Not sure - I ordered their Maracuja mascara, so yes, it is a repurchase in a way, but I have to see which one I like better. Plus I am not sure if |I want to pay custom duties every time I order from this brand. So we will see.

Pur Minerals pressed foundation in Porcelain - this I also got in TK Maxx for €6 about a year ago and I could not find it there at that price ever since. Porcelain is their lightest shade and it is too light on me, so eventually I will purchase the product, but I need to match my shade correctly, but every time I visit M&S store who carry this line, the tester I am looking for is never there, I can't remember the name of the next shade up - that is the one I am looking for. The thing is, on pictures it looks almost identical to Porcelain and the next next shade is way too dark for me, so I need to eventually find a tester and colour match myself to the right shade. So you can see, it is a repurchase. The reason I am buying this again is that it coverage is very good - full coverage if we speak in beauty terms. It also didn't irritate my dermatitis at it's worst, so that's when you know it is a good product.
Repurchase? Yes Yes Yes.

Meswak toohpaste - a staple in my house that I get in Asian shops for 1.5€, so you can see it is much cheaper than any brand from health store (the last time I paid 10€ for one with manuka honey in it, and that is ridiculous price point for a toothpaste if you ask me). The ingredients are really good (and the marking is green!) in it apart SLS which irritates the crap out of me, but there's nothing I can do about it. In order not to have too much SLS I alternate it with neem paste.
Repurchase? Yes, it is a staple.

Korres Hand Cream with organic almond oil and shea butter - this is one fabulous hand cream, that I would repurchase for the smell alone! The marking is black and it has loads of ingredients and some of them I can't pronounce or understand, meaning it is not all natural product. Korres in fact isn't all natural brand, but they are trying.
Repurchase? Not right away as currently I have NYR hand cream, but yes, I would go back to this product.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil I got a sample of it from Naturisimo to see if my skin will tolerate it (it is super finicky lately due to dermatitis and seems to react to EVERYTHING, even to the products it loved before, like rosehip oil from another brand. Yes I have it that bad at the moment!) This brand it is a cult product in the green beauty community and it has been recommended to me numerous times, hence me finally trying it out! It is different from other oils in a way that is has rosehip seed and fruits oil blended together.
Repurchase? Yes, very soon I will go for this product.

Bottom row from the left:

Sukin Facial Moisturiser - I found this on Holland and Barrett website and I immediately went on to purchase it as I knew Sukin as this clean Aussie brand, and the ingredients in this sound fabulous - aloe vera, nettle, horsetail, burdock, rosehip, jojoba oil, avocado oil and a bunch of other ingredients, it all sounded fabulous and I was keeping fingers crossed it would work for me, as I needed a good facial moisturiser - who doesn't? I perused the ingredients and I knew it has a couple of alcohols in it, which don't suit my skin in general, but as they were way down on the ingredient list, I thought I might get away with it? Plus, it is 125ml instead of your regular 50ml for your average face cream for 13€, so the price point is fabulous. And I really like the fact that it has a pump, much more sanitary than dipping your germy fingers in a pot, right? Did it agree with me? No, I got breakouts from it even though I tried it multiple times. I did finish it as a body cream but it did not blow me away either.
Repurchase? No, purely because it made me breakout.

Earth Friendly Baby Organic Mandarin Bubble Bath - this you can get in Boots or numerous other shops, and I would highly recommend it as this brand does fabulous products with very clean ingredients, it does not get cleaner than that! this particular product has over 70% of organic ingredients, and what's more, it truly works! I have tried Burt's Bees bubble bath before this, and that was a real flop producing practically no bubbles. Plus Earth Friendly Baby one is 2 or 3 times cheaper, depending on where you buy it. I also really enjoy their Baby Hair and Body wash, I use it as a body wash and the ingredients in that product are also fabulous, you can understand every single ingredients without needing the chemist's degree! This company truly gets Green Life In Dublin seal of approval, and their products cost about a fiver each, which is like music to my ears! Let's hope Boots doesn't discontinue this product like they did with Child's Farm (more on it later)
Repurchase? not for this product, as it turned out my little princess does not like bubble baths and everybody else in the familia are shower users.

Child's Farm Shampoo (over 98% natural ingredients, suitable for eczema prone skin from newborn upwards) - I got this in Boots, or should I say I used to get this in Boots, as they discontinued this fabulous clean brand and replaced it with chemical laden one which also costs twice as much! Boo Boots, and the pun is intended, you really put BOO in Boots this time! Yes I do understand you need to make money, but as you have only a little handful of natural brands/products, so why pull the plug on one of them and introduce yet more chemicals, especially for newborns and young children?! And what is more infuriating to me, Child's Farm is only discontinued in Boots Ireland, it is still available in Boots UK! Why for God's sake? Boo you, and did I mention boo?!
Now, little rant aside, all is not lost as this brand is available in selected Supervalu stores, so look out for that :) it costs a bit more, but I will continue to buy it nonetheless. All my family uses it, as a shampoo and a body wash, it is almost as good as Burt's Bees one, although it won't give you as much shine.
Repurchase? Yes!

Dr Bronners, Burt's Bees Child Shampoo and Bodywash, and Rosewater from Asian shop (edible kind) Please excuse me if I roll these all into one, these are all repurchases and staples in my house and I constantly sing praises to them in my blog and Instagram posts. So I won't repeat myself for the millionth time here, and you can always browse my blog if you want to know more, right? :)
Repurchase? YES YES YES!

So that is all for now :) What are you loving and finishing off lately?

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Super Loaded Sauerkraut

    Hello :)

I am thinking of starting a new series on the blog, recipes that are healing to the body.
Because of my dermatitis and multiple allergies, I have to be wheat/gluten/dairy free, and while at first it seemed there's nothing left to eat (imagine taking away all of your fave foods overnight and having to comb through ingredients list of EVERYTHING all the time!! Long and frustrating story short, let's just say eating out fills me with fear, not glee these days)  I am slowly but surely accumulating my new fave recipes, and I thought of sharing those with you, as it may help someone out there who is in similar position to me? I would be glad if would help out at least one person out there :)
So, my first recipe is for loaded superfoods sauerkraut! I was never a big fan of it before and I didn't made it at home until I learned that is a natural source of probiotics and enzymes and I am all about healing my gut and probiotics now!  Don't get the shop bought sauerkraut, because unless it will labeled as raw, it is treated with heat, effectively killing off all the good stuff in it, plus it is made with industrial strength vinegar, something that is not good for your body. Plus is is so much cheaper to make it at home, and I promise you, it will be ten times more tasty!

So let's get started, shall we?

What you will need:
For basic recipe of sauerkraut:
Half a head of small cabbage
One large carrot
Half an onion
2tbs of Salt (I always use Himalayan pink salt)

Ingredients for pimping it: (you may add all of them or just a couple)
Apple cider vinegar
Dill - this made it on the whole new level!
Sprouted quinoa
Spring Onions

How to make it:
Prep the vegetables, take off the top layers of the cabbage, peel the carrots and other veg and wash everything throughout. Shred or hand cut all the ingredients, put the salt on them, pound them with pestle and mortar or the end of the rolling pin or something similar and leave it to rest of 1 hour. (I want to add that you don't need any vinegar to make real kraut, as the cabbage will ferment on it's own,I only added Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar because I wanted to). After the hour has passed, squeeze the veg once more, the more juices it will make, the better! Pack everything tightly into glass jars, pressing it down a few times so the air bubbles would come out up top and wait a few days for it to ferment. It will be done on the day seven, but if you are like me, you will start eating it way sooner, because it is just too damn tasty :)
And I should add that technically this is not the correct way of fermenting, you should add something like a small plate and something very heavy on top, so the cabbage would be submerged in the liquid at all times (it can get moldy otherwise). I remember my mom used to make large quantities of it and she used bucket to put it in, then the plate and the huge stone on top. Of course you can get special jars for this purpose that would have weighted lids, but I am not buying them, because they are expensive, and I don't want my stuff to be clocking so many air miles, but feel free to buy them if you will decide to! I will think of something, I am sure of it :)
So, please let me know if you ever made your very own sauerkraut? or planning to? Let me know how do you like it, if you will decide to go for my recipe, i really want to know :)

So that is all for now :)
Lots of love,