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?
- Wool throw
- Leopard print scarf
- Mahalo products
- Bees Flying Wild balms
- Teas- matcha and redbush with lemon and ginger
- Cookies and GF muffins
- Vegetable stews
- Hurraw lip balms
- Neals Yard Remedies books
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 Natural Medicine For Sickness Season 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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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 milf, I am DF for a long time now), acid refulx, 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.
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.
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.