Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Natural Arsenal Against Colds and Flu

Hi Lovelies, 

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕

My natural homeopathic remedies stash

Manuka and various herbal teas are my winter saviours

Now that sickness season is well upon us, I thought I’d share my natural remedies that I am using if I do get sick or to not get sick in the first place. If this post helps at least one person, I’d be a happy woman!

1. Ginger. I take it in tea, with lemon and honey a couple of times a day. Some people also add Cayenne pepper and garlic, but that's not for me. If you take this at the very beginning of the cold, there is a good chance you will nip the cold in the bud and not get sick at all? Put on your woolen socks and go to bed to sweat it all out. Organic and fresh is the best, but powder works too. Check Amazon.

2. Garlic/ginger/turmeric paste - I use it in copious amounts in my cooking, doubling the doses if I am already sick. I have a post on it there somewhere :)

3. Linden tea. This helps to break a sweat faster. Add honey (manuka is best, but any natural honey will do). Don't add to boiling hot tea as not to kill those healing nutrients. 

4. Camomile tea these two go hand in hand, their main job is to make you sweat and thus get rid of disease faster.

Did you know that government “recommended daily allowance” is the absolute minimum that our body needs to survive? Not thrive! RDA is a worlds away from Optimum level that our body needs to function at it’s best, or optimum levels. Seriously, google this and your life will be changed forever. When it comes to vitamin C, Dr Patrick Holford recommends 3grams of it EVERY HOUR (as opposed to 50mg daily RDA). You need this, trust me. Liposomal vitC is all the rage now, it is encapsulated in the layer of fat to increase it's absorption. If it is out of your price range, EnerC will do.

6. Cold Season /Immunity and such teas in high quantities if I can. Check my tea collection on my Amazon page for more.

7. OreganolP73 - I have already written about this here and here, but basically it is nature's miracle - it is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal stuff that is amazingly also antioxidant! Too good to be true? Well, in this case it is not, and if you only will take one thing out of this post, this is it! Not easy to find (as with most truly natural gifts from nature. Medical industry is not interested in letting you know about it, because there are no subsidies on natural remedies, and they are generally trained to focus on expensive “band aids” aka stuff that treats the symptoms, rather give you natural remedy that will treat the root of the cause.  Of course not all doctors are like that, and if you happen to find naturopathic doctor, treat him like gold! I am yet to find him/her.  

8. You can also try Grapefruit Seed Extract, Colloidal Silver and Olive Leaf Extract as other forms of natural antibiotics. I only know about them in theory but haven't had experience with them, so I am giving you options of yet more natural things to discover.

15. Neti pot is another natural thing that I am still resisting, but I have used dry salt inhalers, and they truly do help. Dutch Health Store have Living Libations one.

9. Homeopathic remedies. I myself use Oscillococcinum & Coryzalia but you might try different ones, as the thing with homeopathic remedies is that there are no “general recommendations” what works for me might not work for you. If l have a cold (if you know yourself well enough, you know the difference. For me aching bones is a surefire way to tell the difference) I take the latter two, if I know it is a flu (or if I don't get better after 3 days) I take Oscillococcinum, and maybe combine it with Oreganol if I am sick for more than 4-5 days and I am not getting better.

10. Organic defence/tea tree/lemon EOs in a diffuser. Or spray bottle. Also don't forget to open a window. I use Neal's Yard Remedies. For years I used Esta Aroma Diffuser from NYR, but due to the high humidity and mold problems in the house I am now saving up for nebulizing (waterless) diffuser from Living Libations from Dutch Health Store.

11.  Also don't forget frequent hand washes and cleaning all the germy surfaces, including door handles.
Don't use those nasty antibacterial soaps, they are so full of harmful chemicals that smarter countries are banning them already. If you are a germophobe, add a few drops of tea tree oil into your natural hand soap, it will do the trick. If you use antibacterial gel, use Green People organic hand sanitiser.

12. Manuka (or at least good quality) honey. A few spoonfuls per day. Straight up from the spoon, never take manuka into hot beverages.

13. For coughs, my best bet is NYR Thyme Syrup. There are loads of homemade remedies out there too, but I haven't been successful with them. If you have tried and tested recipe, please let me know in the comments? Also I’ve just read that fresh pineapple juice should be better than anything for cough

16. For sore throats, try Himalayan salt gargles. Maybe adding some thyme and or Oreganol.

14. Lots of rest and sleep if you can? I know I am guilty of not slowing down because of the flu/cold, because like many of us women I tend to feel that I still have to take care of everyone and everything, but the truth is that by doing so you (I) are only prolonging the time of disease! So tell everyone to share the chores for a few days and get that deserved rest! Just think of what men do when they get sick? At the first sigh of unwell they are dying, not lifting a finger and demanding all kind of stuff every five minutes, right? Totally double standards! Shall we do the same?

15. Fresh fruit/veg juice. This is to give you energy and fresh readily available nutrients. I tend to gag at the thought of milk with butter, chicken soup or any other remedies, but you choose what works for you! If it's chicken soup that is helping you, then by all means go for it.

So there you have it, my 15 best tips for natural healing sans chemical drugs and antibiotics. Please understand that I am not bashing medics and their profession, it is just that I prefer to go the natural route first, and that does not help, I will book an appointment with my GP. This information is not intended to replace medical advice. Boring bit I had to include as a disclaimer.

What are your tips and tricks, would you share with me? I am always willing to learn new natural things :) For example I never tried fire cider and I've only heard about it last year, but I am yet to find it.

That is all for now,
Lots of Love,

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Konjac Sponge Company Review

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕

So I was recently contacted by the Konjac Sponge Company and offered some of their products in exchange of the honest review, and I immediately said yes! You see, I have been using Konjac sponges for a few years now, even though I never reviewed them yet.. until now :) Now is the perfect time, would you say so? I knew you will say that, I am glad we are in agreement here :)
So, without further goofing around, let's start! First of all let me explain what the konjac sponge is, for those of you who don't know. It is a facial (or body) sponge, entirely natural, made from vegetable called Konjac Potato orKonnyaku is a perennial plant native to Asia, and can be found growing wild at very high altitudes. A totally natural food source, konjac is 97% water, rich in mineral goodness and low in calories. Naturally alkaline, konjac is pH neutral which leaves skin perfectly balanced. And yes, it is the same vegetable that the noodles are made of! Learn more here. That boggled my mind when I first heard of it a couple years back, but I also knew I wanted/needed to try it soon, as that sounded like a perfect solution for my super sensitive skin. You see, with the skin that is so sensitive and dermatitis prone, many of the products and even cloths are too harsh for me, and I am afraid to micro tear the skin, esp now that the weather is harsh enough as it is. So the fact that it is mild exfoliant that also detoxifies and corrects ph of your skin, was the draw enough to go out and purchase one. Luckily these are wildly available in health food stores and many other places. And I loved it from the first use!

Kognac Sponge Company makes quite a few different kind of sponges in different shapes and sizes, infused with gorgeous clays and charcoal, for all kinds of different skin types, mild enough for babies (I used it for my kid when she was a newborn) and now they have a new addition to the family, a tattoo aftercare sponge, how cool is that?

Kognac Sponge Company Angel kognac cloth
Over the years I have tried many kinds of kognac sponges, and I loved them all, but I have to say I used to go by default and purchase the traditional facial sponges over and over again, so it was fun to receive something a bit different, even though it is cut from the same cloth (couldn't resist a little joke, sorry!) in the shape of an angel and two adorable "Rudolph's Nose" mini sponges. I have to say it came in a adorable package with everything you see in this photo, the Christmas sock, the candy cane (that was swiftly claimed by my kids) and even Christmas card with my name and hand signed by the whole team, that melted my heart, thanks guys! If you are wondering, this angel folds out into 15x15cm square, and those little "Rudolph's Nose" sponges are perfect for getting into nooks and crannies of the face, for example taking eye make up off, but on their own they are a bit small for the whole face, you might want to use them as addition to your regular sponge.

Now, I should also add that you have to replace your sponge every 1-3 months, as as all natural products, it will start to show wear after some time. But the good thing is you can add it to your compost, as it will disintegrate well and you won't certainly be adding more waste to the landfills. Want to hear some more benefits? It's 100% natural vegetable fibres, packed with minerals and antioxidants. Non toxic. 100% free from impurities and pollutants. Earth friendly. 100% cruelty free & certified vegan. Naturally sustainable. Environmentally Safe. Kind to The Environment and your skin. 100% colouring, additive free and biodegradable too.

Now, you might be wondering why should you choose The Konjac Sponge Company over some cheaper brands you might have seen around? Here is the company's answer to that:

To confirm- we are not picking on ANY brand of sponges in particular here, this is just what we have found from our research!
-We use food grade flour in our sponges, this is what makes our sponges so pure.
-We only add natural clays, teas and charcoal, you will notice other brands can have very bright colours, this is as they have had colouring's or even artificial colouring added.
-We have a patented formula which means our sponges have a unique cellular structure.
-Many konjac factories actually use chemicals during the manufacturing process, I believe to speed up maturing time, and to stabilize product. But you will not find this information on the packaging, nor will the suppliers usually be aware of this.

Our product ingredients are nothing but pure konjac fiber, and the relevant clay/tea/Charcoal, that's it! Our products actually take several days to mature naturally.
Additionally, we now have over 20 awards for our products, we think this speaks for itself when it comes down to quality and reliability!
We cannot say that this is the case for EVERY sponge, but as the world leading brand of konjac sponges we are contacted on a very regular basis by numerous factories (That are not aware of how we work and our factory.) who produce for many different brands. Upon looking into this information they provide we find the information on the chemicals being used.

So, as you can see, it is better to stick with the trusted brand here, I know I do!
Oh, and did I mentioned that these would make a perfect natural present for the upcoming Christmas?
I know my friends are getting some in addition to other natural things I love :)

Get if from LoveLula (affiliate link).

That is all for now
Lots of Love

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Different Take On Black Friday Sales

Hi Lovelies,

So, today is the Black Friday and the sales are in full gear as we speak! But I hope some of you will hear me out in the midst of all the craziness happening - how about NOT buying anything? Revolutionary idea, huh? Well, a 20% off might seem like a good saving, but please please ask yourself if you really needed that item in the first place or you are buying it for the sake of it? Think of it this way, you are still spending 80% of the money where you didn't intend to. How about not buying it for the sake of buying and saving yourself 100% of your hard earned cash? Let's spare a moment to think of the purpose of the products we purchase and their path to the market. How sustainably and and etchically were they produced? And do you really need that 15th pink lipgloss or yet another palette? Really? Do they really have different undertones? Please do a stock take in your make up drawer today and write down what are you really using on an everyday basis? Narrow it down to the few key pieces and replace only when you run out. Same goes for skincare, haircare and everything else, really. Having less stuff and well curated collections will bring only joy, clarity and the peace of mind, I can promise you that! 
And it is really OK to say NO to the sales craziness that is happening right now.
I thought long and hard about this and I came to realization that I really need just ONE item this year, that would be Mahalo Rare Indigo balm, but as it is crazily expensive, I will abstain from buying for a little while longer, the reason being I still have some left in my sample jar and I simply don't have the funds for it. The reason I want/need it is because it is the best stuff for any kind of inflammation and dermatitis, but that is a different story for another time. Going back to the wishlist I had I realised that I don't NEED any of it, rather WANT it, and that made the decision really simple. Aka not buying anything at all! The idea of consumerism drives me crazy and the amount of rubbish we produce buying and consuming stuff endlessly and aimlessly boggles my mind to say the least. I am not OK with it. And don't get me started on the fast fashion! Over the last fifty years we have consumed a third of our planet's resources. The Fast Fashion Industry contributes majorly to this exploitation. Isn't that reason enough to switch from FAST to SLOW FASHION? Why don't we give you're closet a break and think before we buy? Consider the quality and how many times you will wear it. This way you'll buy less but you'll really enjoy the clothes you own.

On top of it you're being nice to:
•you're wallet
•you're wardrobe
AND the environment ! Win-Win-Win 🏆

So please put down the cheap polyester dress or jumpsuit you have in your hands or online cart, there is no need to buy a new outfit for holidays or night out, you can rework the same Little Black Dress an million new ways. Buy only a few well made clothing items a year, and you will be well on your way of quality capsule wardrobe. A few selected and well made clothing items that go well together? Yes please! 

So who is with me in not buying anything this Black Friday? By the way I just googled "Black Friday Sales" and those pictures scared me! Do we really need to trample other people to get yet more stuff into our already-bulging-at-the-seams homes? How about not having latest flat screen TV or iPad? I know I don't, and psst, I am totally fine with it.

So that is all for now.

Lot's of love,


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

100%Pure Black Friday Sale - 20 products for just 9€!!!

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕

Today I am rushing you to present a very special deal, the one you have been waiting for the whole year! It's 100%Pure Black Friday sale, where many products are heavily reduced, so it is time to stock up! If you have been waiting for a sign, this is it!

To see what exactly it is available for sale, please keep on reading! As always, 100%Pure products are all natural, make up is pigmented with fruits and vegetables only, always cruelty free with large vegan selection, and all ingredients are sourced from farms that use no pesticides or chemicals. These are 9€ each, but this year 100%Pure asks you to spend 28€ on something full price first to "unlock" a sale. Still, it is a pretty good deal, and you can get all your Christmas stockings sorted all in one place.

So, there 20 products avail to this awesome offer are:

  • BB Cream with SPF – All Shades
  • Pomegrante Lipstick – Poppy
  • Coffee Bean Eye Cream .3 oz
  • Seaweed Shaving Cream
  • Facial Cleansing Brush
  • Bright Eyes Mask – 5 pc
  • Lip Butters 2 PC – Pomegranate and Peach
  • Nail Polish 2 Pc Pepper and Ibiza
  • Ultra Lengthening Mascara – Black Tea and Blueberry (note this mascara is not gluten free or vegan)
  • Multi-Vitamin Cream
  • Vitamin C Serum
  • Semi-Matte Lipstick – Sandstone
  • Fruit Pigmented Lip Creamstick: Perfect Naked Mauve
  • Lip & cheek Tint: Rose apple
  • Organic Lavender Honey Facial Cleansing Foam
  • 3 Piece Handbutter Cream – Honey Almond, French Lavender and Pink Grapefruit
  • Gemmed Kip Glosses – Garnet
  • Travel Size Hair Care – Yuzu and Pomelo Shampoo and Condition
  • 3 Piece Bath Sponge

Just remember, be sure to use up the products within 6 months of getting them to avoid disappointments, if you didn't know it already, let me tell you that this brand products have 6 months to 12 months shelf life and this fact is not widely known, but I wanted to be honest with you my readers, I myself learned this the hard way, I built a rather large collection and I wish somebody told me about this before I did it. From now on I will be sensible about it, I will only buy stuff I will be sure I can use up withing that time frame, and I suggest you do the same! So what are we waiting for?

That is all for now, see you here again very shortly.

Lots of love,

Monday, November 21, 2016

Weleda Review

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕

Whether you are into green beauty or not, you probably have heard of Weleda or seen it in the shops around you, because thankfully this is one brand that is widely available and accessible to everyone. Selected products are available in many shops and pharmacies, as well as online stores, like Love Lula.
Weleda has been one of the green beauty pioneers, way before it was fashionable, and I really respect that. They have been making clean products since 1921, so waay before all of us were born! And I don't know how they do keep their prices affordable, but it is certainly not by skimping on ingredients. You can trust every product from their line, they are clean, and you don't need to worry or stand around perusing every single ingredient on the list. And they don't test on animals, very important for us, right? But also bear in mind that not all their products are vegan, for example their famous skin food contains both lanolin and beeswax, but if you type the word "vegan" into the search box on their website, it coughs up 93 vegan options, so I think that is a great choice.

In my time I have tried many of their products, ranging from body oils ( sea buckthorn oil, amazing! Stretch mark oil, not so much) lip balms (nice), deodorant (wild rose, didn't work and it smelled like  grandma's rose scented room, think more gran than roses), arnica lotion (not much difference to be honest, I know a lot of people love it, but it didn't work for me), body washes (nice), but today let’s review two products I currently have, one was bought with my own money and the other was sent to me, but more about it later. Those products are Ratanhia mouthwash concentrate and iconic Skin Food.

Weleda Ratanhia Mouth Wash

Weleda Ratanhia mouthwash ingredients

Let’s start with the Ratanhia mouthwash concentrate, shall we?
I got it via Naturisimo since it can not be found in stores around me, I am not sure why, maybe people don't want to pay for such a small bottle and opt for some mouthwash that comes in a huge bottle instead? I don't know. But once reading upon ratanhia more I decided that it is a product for me, and went for it. I am actually using it for the second month already and I am only about one centimetre down, as it is concentrated. I need to keep my eye on it, as it is good for 9 months once opened, but it already turns cloudy, so I might have to toss it sooner. You only need to use seven to ten drops into your glass of water. I didn't know what to expect to be honest with you as this was my first concentrate, and upon opening the bottle the first thing I smelled was alcohol, and unfortunately that dries out my mouth, which is not a good news! Does it work? Hard to say, as apart from mentioned drying effect all it seems to be doing is colouring my glass, it constantly develops this muddy brown ring that I have to scrub off every few days. In terms of dental health or hygiene I haven't noticed any benefits unfortunately, my teeth didn't became whiter or stronger, it does not make teeth less sensitive, nor I saw any changes in my plaque, no visible benefits I am afraid. So this coupled with alcohol in the ingredients list is exactly the reason I won't be repurchasing this product. I didn't expect miracles, but I want my mouthwash do something more than dry out my mouth?
Ingredients: Please see the photo above.

Weleda Skin Food

Skin Food

This product celebrates 90yrs anniversary this year, which is so hard to believe, and what's more amazing, the formula is unchanged since its very beginning in 1926! Most of you have heard about it from some mag or another, in the recent years celebrities picked up on it and Weleda can boast quite a number of Hollywood stars as fans of it. It has also made its way into Fashion Week, where various supermodels and make up artist have it in their arsenal, and apparently their “best kept secret is out now” which is a great way of drumming up marketing and raising price. I don’t know about you, but I definitely noticed the price going up in the last few years. The cream apparently also sells out on a regular basis and has a waiting list for it! Wait, what?
Well, let’s talk about the cream itself, shall we? Has great ingredients, which I don't have to accentuate since its Weleda, but it is not a vegan product sadly, as it contains both beeswax and lanolin. It is thick in consistency and has a nice citrus scent to it (all natural, of course). It is greasy to apply but sinks in rather quick. You can use it on your dry hands or your whole body, including the face. Is it a good cream? Yes. It is amazing product that I can't live without and will continue to get till I  cease to exist? No. I already have two hand creams that I really like (with great ingredients, no less) and I don't know how about you, but I certainly won't be shelling out 9€ for a 30ml of cream every two or three weeks, which was the exact time frame I had it for, and using it once per day in my hands only I might add. But if it happens to be your fave product, then by all means go for it! more power to you, I am happy for you  and please feel free to continue to use this product.  We must understand that  we are all different and we like different things.  We might be even looking for different things in the same product?
INCI: Water (Aqua), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lanolin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Glycerin, Limonene*, Viola Tricolor Extract, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Hydrolyzed Beeswax, Sobitan Olivate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Arginine, Zinc Sulfate, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Coumarin*. * from natural essential oils

This was the product that was sent to me, the one and only time I answered their call looking for bloggers for coverage. Not only they gave my details to a third company (a middle men) without asking me first, but they sent me one tiny tube of a product from everything that they do, and still expected me to work on a review. Well, am doing a review because I am good at keeping my word, but am I happy about it? When I asked the brand manager about whether they want to add some more products, she said “maybe I will warm up once I will start using this wonderful product. And how wonderful is that this cream remains unchanged for 90 years!” Gee, thanks! For a while I though of buying a bunch of Weleda product, so the review post would look somewhat decent and not so sparse, but I decided against it as I have enough products to last me a year, anf I certainly don't need any more. Bloggers, beware, this brand will want you to work for nothing!

Will I continue to use Weleda products? Yes, I can't fault their ingredients. I am thinking of repurchasing Sea Buckthorn body oil again as I liked it very much, and maybe trying their haircare, as I have enough skincare for a small army at the moment. And I might be on the lookout for their sets in post Christmas sales, you know me, always happy to save euros where I can :)

So that is all for now,
Lots of love,
This post contains products bought with my own moolah and product sent for review. Not paid and not sponsored, all opinions my own. Not affiliated or on their blogroll in any way.

Autumn 2016 Favourites (Natural)

Hi Lovelies,

Welcome back! And if you are new here, welcome 💕💕💕

Well, let me first tell you that this is my 200th blog post, woohoo! Let’s raise a glass of something bubbly all around! Champagne, wine, cider, kombucha? Or cup of tea perhaps?

Joking aside, let’s see what I have been loving lately, shall we? Those types of YouTube videos are one of my favourites to watch, and I don't know why it did not dawn on me that I can also blog about it too? I really have no excuse. I will be doing quarterly favourites posts, as I don't accumulate enough products to do monthly faves (hmm hmm, my recent Edit posts might say othervise) and once I find something I like I tend to live in it (clothes) or use/drink it to death. Please tell me I am not alone in this? Anyone? No? Just me?

Get back on track Renata!

I can't believe it is November already! I know everybody keeps saying that, but with my younger kid starting preschool and getting sick on a regular basis, I really feel that weeks and months blurred together !
I won't do monthly faves as I don't accumulate enough products to roll out faves on av consistent basis (ahem, my recent Test Kitchen post might tell you otherwise..) But seasonal faves, yes, I can do that :)
So let's see what I have been loving lately, shall we?

Cookies and muffins
Ummm, fall equals cookies, right? I have to work on my winter body, right? Right?? I've been experimenting with some GF DF cookie recipes, nothing to shout home about, but I've foolproof recipe for GF DF muffins that I found on YouTube, and the author of the recipe is Fearne Cotton of all the people! So I've named these Fearne Cotton muffins, and they are really delicious! I've shared the recipe on my IG page, but now that I think of it, I should blog about it too? I've been wanting to make my own GF bread too, any kind of bread, traditional loaf, flat breads, rolls, whatever! All of you fellow gluten free people, please share your recipes with me! Pretty please?

We opened our sickness season way too early, and that caught me by surprise, let's just say that I've finished my stash of homeopathic medicine that was supposed to last me all winter! So oreganol has been a saving grace yet again! I've written about it here and and in my dermatitis post, see featured post on the side, and I will touch on it once more in my upcoming My Arsenal For Cold & Flu post, I am not sure what I will call it yet, but you get the idea. If you will be buying it for the first time, please know that there strengths vary wildly, and I always get undiluted one, and if I can get my paws on it, I get the extra strength one, that stuff is powerful! You will be back on your top form with a few drops only, whereas diluted ones are "meh" and might not help you much.

Wooden bowls
See my post on them here, and here. It is a part of my mission to go plastic and waste free, and don't they look adorable? Would be perfect for baby snacks instead of those dreaded plastics, and they are almost unbreakable. This is not the first time I bought wooden bowls for kitchen/eating, but I found myself squirelling those away to store my jewelry in as you can see here. Does that not look the cutest? Way better than those soulless acrylic boxes (which I also own, but replacing them one by one). I also love other things made from wood too, my wooden Buddha, elephant, hand carved wooden tray and coasters, pleated baskets and boxes, most of it you can see in my Instagram feed. I just love all of them and I feel they ad so much warmth and character to my place. I want to start my little collection of wooden spoons too, and I am really kicking myself for not getting hardwood spoons in Crete last year, every tourist shop was full of them, very original and cute designs, and I can't find anything like it here ever since. Reason to go back perhaps?

Magnesium spray
I've been making effort in using my magnesium spray daily, and the results are magical - from being able to sleep for the first time in months, non existent PMS symptoms to feeling good mentally, whereas I am usual stress ball that is prone to anxiety and depression. I always get SAD in winters, ever since my teen years, but this year armed with this, vitamin D and rhodiola I am hoping for an easy ride. I still hate winter but these remedies helped me so much last year and fingers crossed it will help again this year.

Wool Throw
I got lucky yet again in TKMaxx to get this beautiful pure wool throw that is used a a background for the pictures here, it cost me only 40€ instead of hundred or more in other shops, and I use it every single night, so it is good investment for the years to come.

Wool Gilet (and socks)
Let me throw one thing out in the open - I hate winter! Everything about it, but mostly cold and the wind that goes though your bones, winter always spells sickness and dental pain for me, I am also prone to bronchitis and ear infections, all at the same time while trying really hard to fight off winter depression and to keep my dermatitis at bay. So it is safe to say that I endure this part of the year, fall included, and I struggle to find any positives in it, apart from the exception of Christmas holidays. Winters in Ireland are much more milder that in Lithuania or any other Eastern European country, where -25*C is the norm, but even so, I am always freezing! So I basically live in woolen socks for this part of the year, and recently I had a major score in TKMaxx yet again, where I found a pure wool gilet for only €40! And it is in style of motorcycle jacket, you can't get better than that! I've been wanting a 100% pure wool gilet for a good while now, I considered knitting it myself, so this came in perfect timing and I am so happy about it. I missed the window where I could use it as outerwear, so what I've been doing is actually putting it underneath my winter jacket (which is three years old and has seen better days) on particularly cold days and it makes the morning school runs so much better. Warm and toasty is way better than cold and miserable, right?

Vegetable stews
Speaking of cold, I like most people crave warm comfort food, but wanting to keep in line with the healthy eating and also keep my waistline from disappearing, I often cook vegetable stews and curries these days, some days with rice, some days with GF naan, with various degrees of success. If I am really pressed for time, I will take one pack of frozen veg, one can of tomatoe soup, one can of coconut milk (use the one from a carton if you are worried about too many calories in the canned version), crap loads of garlic and simmer that together for 15-20 mins while rice is cooking in a separate pot. Dinner in 20 minutes and happy faces all around. Including my meat-is-the-best-veg hubby.

Matcha tea
I am a bit afraid of making a statement about this, but I recently successfully ditched morning coffee, and I am so happy about it! Myriad of symptoms vanishes once I did so, the brain fog in the morning (even without the milk, I am DF for a long time now), stomach cramps and unscheduled trips the the bathroom all were gone with my last cup of coffee. I had a feeling coffee stopped agreeing with me for a while now, but I still drank it every morning, with multiple failed attempts to quit. The final push was when I found out that coffee molecules resemble gluten molecules and that immune system can recognize it as a treat and go haywire, and that made the penny drop why my dermatitis never fully went away.. I mean I am 99% symptoms free, but there is a persistent patch that sometimes goes red, and annoyingly, it is on my face. So I tried once more, replacing morning coffee with matcha tea, and it was a success! I am loving it! Instead of jitters it gives me calm and steady "zen" start of the day, and I haven't had any headaches or coffee cravings. Matcha will be one of the very few luxuries I will allow myself in life. And it it so good for you!

Red bush tea or rooibos  tea
With my coffee gone, so was decaff coffee I sometimes drank in the second half of the day (I am very sensitive to caffeine, I can handle it until 2pm only or else I can forget about sleep that night) I needed a replacement for my afternoon tea. I am not much of a fan of black tea, plus is also has considerable amount of caffeine, I sort of tested a lot of different caffeine free teas, as I was really bored of my regular camomile tea, so this was one of the few that I liked, along with Pukka's Tulsi tea, but that one is so much more pricier. Rooibos tea has a lot of health benefits, has high levels of zinc, and that was the draw factor for me. I have had it long time ago and really didn't like it, but I persevered this time and found a way that it is really enjoyable for me. The trick is not to oversteep it, or it becomes bitter, and I add a few slices of ginger and a squeeze of lemon, and maybe half a teaspoon of honey, and this way it is really delicious! Plus it is great if you have a cold too.

Leopard print scarf
This is my favourite one, I own one or two more, and after major clearout of my closet and everything else, really), this is pretty much all I have left when it comes to scarves. Leopard print is a neutral in my mind, and it is one of the very few prints I do, and it is a no brainer for me, I am always with a leopard print scarf in fall/winter, it goes with almost anything.

Mahalo products
I was a luckiest girl in the world this year, I won three Mahalo products earlier this year and that made me insanely happy! All of these products are gorgeous, stay tuned for a review to come. These will be not only Fall Faves but Yearly Faves, I can tell you that much!

This year my masking game is strong! With my uber sensitive skin change of the seasons spells a disaster for me as my skin is really irritated by the harsh wind and weather and is usually going haywire at this time, I get lots of redness and dry patches. Not this year though! Touch wood, but my skin is normal! I mean minus the redness and dry patches, and that is a miracle! Enter balms and masks, which I try to do a couple of times a week, or at the very least, once a week. It saved my skin, and I will make sure to keep this up, whereas before I masked once in a blue moon, just for the fun of it. Let me know if you want to see a masking blog post?

Bees Flying Wild balms
This company quickly became one of my favourites and I have nothing but a high praise for the products, minimal beautiful ingredients, great products and it is made in Ireland! Oh, did I mentioned that is affordable with free shipping too? Review here,  and *spoiler alert* these will be featured in my Yearly Favourites post too!


It hits the spot like nothing else these days, and I esp like it added to pasta dishes, not only drinking it like a soup.

 Nyr books
I love these two books especially because not only they are very informative with great pictures, but they have a ton of recipes that I bookmarked and in the process of trying out. I am a great cook but maybe not so good with soups, as my freestyling ways can backfire sometimes, so these books come in handy. Warming soups is exactly what you want when you need to eat LIKE RIGHT NOW and you want something healthy.  The first book also have some great beauty DIY recipes that I intend to try out one day too.

You might notice zero make up products here, and it is because I am so happy with my skin these days that I wear only mascara and concealer for under eyes for most of the time, my skin is getting a break from all that vigorous testing I've been subjecting it to, and needless to say it is happy about it. And I am happy to have a clear skin in turn. 

Phew, this was a lot of typing and yet again I found myself blogging away into the night! Whoops! Maybe I should get over my insecurities and start that YouTube channel I've been talking about? Maybe it would be less work and it would be easier for you too? You get a rock star medal if you are still reading this :)

So that is all for now, see you here again shortly.

Lots of Love,
P.s. want to see my last (and first ever) favourites post? Click here.