Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The perfect vegan coffee?


It's now 30 days into my 90 day vegan challenge and I have to say it's been a lot easier than I first thought it would have been, I think being pecsetarian prior to doing this challenge has definitely helped.


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There has been a few teething problems on the road however, one of which I'll go over in this post......... Coffee.

God, I love me some coffee! Problem? The cream......... Now, I know it's not usual to drink cream in your coffee in the UK but I got hooked on it about a year ago, milk just doesn't cut it anymore.
With that in mind I had to try to figure out how to still enjoy my morning coffee whilst still staying vegan. Off to the health food shop I go!



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I was quite pleased when I came across these two products initially, 100% positive I was going to find a coffee cream to replace my dairy filled friend.
Not the case.
Both looked and tasted great to begin with but after a few minutes, started to separate and curdle. Fine if you can guarantee that you won't be looking at what you are drinking.*Boke*

My next resort was to hit the internet and see if I could find a recipe, which was where I encountered my next issue. Each recipe had a list of ingredients as long as my arm, who can be bothered with that first thing in the morning?!

So I decided to do a bit of experimenting and after a few horrendous attempts I've come up with this version that's both creamy and a hell of a lot quicker!

What you will need........


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3/4 cup of Almond Milk (or anyother non-dairy milk)
1-2 tsp of your favorite instant coffee
1 tbsp coconut oil (DON'T SKIP THIS INGREDIENT)
1/2 ground cinnamon (I usually add a bit more, I love cinnamon!)
Your favorite vegan sweetener to taste, I'll be using Agave syrup

Also, I'm using a Nutri Ninja as I don't have a fancy food processor, you could use a hand blender but you could run the risk of getting burned.


1) Take your almond milk and heat.....you can either do this in the microwave or heat on the hob.

2) Pop your coconut oil, coffee and cinnamon into the Ninja followed by the hot almond milk.

3) Blitz for 10-20 seconds till nice and foamy..... transfer into your cup, add sweetener(If desired) and your done!


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Ta-dah!!!!
This is such a lovely drink and you could even replace the coffee with cacao powder to make hot chocolate!

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do, drop me a comment and let me know how you got on.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Maggie & Suzi shopping experience


I'm a serial online shopper,like most of you I'm sure.
The appeal of sitting in my pj's with a glass of G&T at 2am buying clothes is not uncommon but there comes many a downfall; they don't fit when they arrive, quality might not be what you expect and that whole 'not mainland UK' business with postage cost/delivery times. ( HEY! The last time I checked the Scottish Highlands weren't a separate island!!)

So with that in mind I'm aiming to do more high street shopping!
Where better to start than local businesses?...... Que new shopping boutique Maggie & Suzi.

A little bit about the shop....
Maggie & Suzi Boutique is run by friends Maggie Blyth and Susan Stewart, they have only been open a mere 7 months and have already won 'Most Enterprising Business' at the Highland Business Women's Awards! They must be doing something right, well done girls!

So intrigued, I went for a little visit.


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The shop itself is gorgeous! Like walking into a private walk-in wardrobe, almost that French chic style.

When booking my personal styling session, (At this point I should mention that the girls work on an appointment system so they can give a more personalized service.) Susan had asked if there was anything I'm finding difficult to match with an outfit and if so take it along.
You might remember my Skinny Bag from my last post (click HERE for post), it's not the easiest accessory to match with an outfit and with that in mind it seemed like the right choice.

When I arrived Susan and stylist Naomi were ready to get started! They actually had outfits ready for me to try on!...... Where do you get that treatment online? Nowhere, that's where!
So let's get to the outfits....

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I absolutly LOVED this YSL skirt! I've never laid my eyes on anything YSL in the flesh, let alone wore it, I felt amazing in this.
The netting top was unbranded, boots Dune.



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This velvet and silk number is by Terry Macey, it wasn't what I'd normally go for but it was so comfy to wear!



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This dress is by Whistles, it didn't look much on the hanger but I loved it on! The great thing about Maggie & Suzi Boutique is that they try to encourge you to try on items you wouldn't normally go for. Great if you are looking for a change up in your wardrobe.



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This slouch jumper is by Myrine teamed with Sahara cropped trousers. Again, very comfortable to wear, I was already imagining teaming up the top with some distressed skinny jeans.




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Now this Ghost dress I absolutely fell in love with!
After I'd had my fitting, I went away to think about what I wanted...this dress was always a front runner but it had sold by the time I got to the shop!
My advice, If you want it grab it before it's gone, their stock doesn't hang around for long, as I found out.




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With being a bit bigger chested I tend to shy away from strapless dresses wherever possible but this Studio M dress held me really well.(If you get what I mean) The pictures don't show the panel detailing on this dress, very slimming especially around the tummy area.




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Now this combination was probably the biggest shocker for me. When I'd seen it on the hanger I really wasn't sure if the red would clash with my hair colour but Naomi convinced me and it worked fantastically with my skin tone and shape.
Dress Vivienne Westwood, long sleeveless jacket Androse.



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This silk two piece is La Bottega di Brunella, very boho chic.


So what did I go for in the end???
All will be revealed later this week. ;)


To check out Maggie & Suzi Boutique you can either visit them on Drummond Street, Inverness or check out the links below....

Website
Facebook

Things I'm loving right now.....


It's funny, I haven't done one of these type of posts in awhile and I looked back on the last one I did. (click HERE to view)
Interesting how things change......


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Yip, water.
I actually started drinking more water at the start of the year, the 'fear' train hit after the abuse I'd put my body through after Christmas and New Year.
Unlike a lot of people that joined the gym, I was more realistic and it was when I came across an article about a women that drank more water that really sparked off my interest in hydrating my body more.
I wish I could remember where I'd seen it now as I would have posted the link here but basically, It showed a before and after of her skin a month after upping her water intake to 3-4 litres of water a day. The results were amazing!
Anyway, the start was pretty hard, at first even drinking one litre a day was a struggle but now I'm hitting 3 a day.
The biggest difference for me has been the reduced dark circles round my eyes and my skin not feeling as oily. (I usually look like I've been dipped in chip fat by 12pm.)
Give it a go guys, your skin will thank you for it trust me!



My Skinny Bag

I cannot stress how much I love this bag!!!
I got this as a gift for Christmas and it's my most prised possession.
Skinny Bags are based in Los Angeles and are hand crafted, you can also opt for a vegan friendly option when ordering...... Something for everyone!
How lush is it???

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If you'd like to check out Skinny Bags for yourself click HERE



Lipstick

I know that with Spring/Summer knocking on our doors fashion trends dictate that we should be all a flush with pastels and brights but I'm still all about dark and matte lippys.
I just love how classic they look and let's be honest, what don't they match?
My favourite at the moment is Avon's Perfectly Matte Lipstick in Wild Cherry, I can see me wearing this throughout the remainder of the year.

Check it out HERE



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Squidger

Ok so this one doesn't really change much but since we've moved to Rothiemurchus Squidger has been a different cat.
She's in her element in the countryside, she's a crazier version of herself. (Which I didn't think was possible.)
We got her some new toys the last time we took a trip to Inverness and this picture makes me laugh to the point of tears every time I see it! Phahahaha!

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Monday, 21 March 2016

90 Day Vegan Challenge


So I've been pescetarian for about a year now and the results have been amazing....more energy, clearer skin and less stomach bloating.
For those of you that aren't familiar with the term, it's a vegetarian that also eats fish.

So what has this post got to do with going vegan???.....

A few days ago I had a visit for one of my clients that I hadn't seen for awhile and there was something different about her that I just couldn't put my finger on. Skin glowing, happy and she just had an energised look about her......Naturally, I had to know what the deal was!
She simply replied that she owed her new found look on the 90 day vegan challenge, I recoiled in horror.
Why horror you might ask??
I've always had the opinion(like a lot of you I'm sure) that vegans live off tofu and worship PETA.
There's nothing wrong with PETA (before anyone jumps down my throat!).
I'm part of a few online groups that share recipes for pescetarians/vegetarians/vegans and the administrators have had to remove a few vegan members due to the graphic images/videos of animal cruelty they have publicly posted.
Call me ignorant but it's upsetting to see and I've seen negative comments to members that aren't vegan, surely anyone who cuts out meat is helping the cause, chill.

Aaaaaanyway......
She was quick to reassure me that she herself was a bit intimidated by the online vegan community but had originally done this to challenge herself and live a healthier life, the results were completely unexpected for her.
My client has had 3 children and is of slim build anyway but she found she lost stubborn stomach fat, fat which she had come to terms with not shifting, she was amazed!!!

All this got me thinking.
If a woman living a busy lifestyle can do this why the hell can't I?

So a week today I'll be starting my vegan journey.
I want this experiment to be as realistic as possible so I will be breaking it and eating vegetarian if I'm eating out.....the only reason I'm stating this is a lot of restaurants don't offer vegan across the country, let alone the Scottish Highlands!
I have a few birthday meals to go to in the next few weeks so I think this method is doable and if the vegan diet changes your health that dramatically then the results should still be the same.

I'm going to monitor my weight and skin clarity etc and post the results here for you all to see. In the mean time I've been searching vegan blogs for recipes and bought these cook books.....


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Wish me luck!!!!
Have any of you out there tried the vegan challenge?