6

Product Review: Delicious Skin

Delicious Skin

I love it when my skincare products run out, because it means shopping for new products! I haven’t been thrilled with the last two batches of skincare I’ve used, one being the Sukin facial moisturiser. I know others swear by it, but it left my face feeling tight and dry and I had to mix in some rosehip oil to make it work for me. Although that wasn’t a hassle and it only took an extra five or so seconds, I feel that if I’m going to spend money on something advertised as hydrating and suitable for my skin, I shouldn’t have to add other products to make it work for me!

Enter Delicious Skin. I first heard about Delicious Skin in vegan circles. Founded by Nicola Marie, Delicious Skin is 100% vegan and palm oil free and free of all those nasty known irritants and fillers often added to other products.

I ordered the Taster Pack as I was essentially on the hunt for new skincare which I knew may involve a bit of trial and error. My order was shipped quickly which is great when you’re really impatient for awesome sounding products to arrive:

Delicious Skin

The Taster Pack contains the Butter Cleanser, Supple Silk Serum, Exfoliating Mask, Moisturising Cream and the Lip Salve:

Delicious Skin

I have never had skincare that smells so good I want to eat it with a spoon. Seriously you guys, the scents are gorgeous. The Butter Cleanser contains tea tree, peppermint, lavender and chamomile essential oils. I love how this smells! I apply it to my skin and leave it for a few minutes, then wash it off with warm water and a soft face cloth.

After carefully drying my face, I apply a few drops of the Silk Serum. That’s all I need, just three or four drops. More delicious smells!

My skin does well with extra hydration so I follow with the Moisturising Cream. This smells like cocoa-vanilla cake frosting and I sometimes go and have a sniff, just because I can!

I use the Exfoliating Mask once a week, usually at the end of the week just to give myself a bit of pampering. So far I’ve mixed mine with water, but the Delicious Skin website suggests using mashed avocado and I’m looking forward to trying that. Containing bentonite clay, oats, almonds and vanilla powder, this is another product I really like.

Finally, the lip salve (balm). Another product I sit and sniff and this time I can kinda eat it, seeing as it’s a lip salve! I have the Cocoa Vanilla flavour, but other flavours are Peppermint Vanilla and Chocolate Mint.

My skin is looking and feeling great. No more little dry patches on my forehead, no more stretched-skin feeling after applying other-label moisturisers, no need to mix in other oils to make these work for me! I’m so happy with these Delicious Skin products and would happily buy a Taster Pack as a gift for a lucky someone!

Delicious Skin’s website currently lists one stockist in Sydney, though I purchased my order online directly from Delicious Skin. I’d love to see this lovely range sold in Melbourne!

For more information and testimonials, head over to http://www.deliciousskin.com.au/   Or keep an eye on the Facebook page for current specials and other info. Love love love!

Delicious Skin

10

What I Ate And Decoratey Things: Valentine’s Edition

cornbread waffles

Happy (belated) February 14th! Happy Weekend! Happy CATURDAY!
sleepypunk

Valentine’s Day is not something we’re in to here, though I do like to have special days for Arthur and DeeW where we have some treats or themed meals. Being Valentine’s Day, the theme for our day was pretty clear :)

For breakfast I made the cornbread waffles from Vegan Brunch. I made these a fortnight ago and froze them and reheated them in the oven so they went nice and crisp. Possibly too crisp. I had also made a strawberry sauce recipe a few months ago and froze it. I don’t remember the recipe but it was mostly just pureed strawberries with some dates to sweeten it but not too sweet. This was a hit with the family. Excuse the horrendous lighting (and some phone camera photos), we have no natural light in our meals area apart from a crappy teeny tiny skylight. And the yellow on my chairs was how I bought them and not my preferred colour and the table top is a nicer yellow in person!

cornbread waffles

I made these heart cakes using the recipe for Oat ‘n’ Applesauce Muffins from Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan! and the house smelled fantastic. I put the batter in a slab tin and used a heart shape cutter when the muffiny cake was cold. I had intended to make some vegan custard but they disappeared before I had the chance:

apple oat muffin hearts

I had plans for lunch which was a very Valentiney meal of spaghetti with pasta sauce (for Husband and DeeW) dolloped on in a heart shape, then using a piece of spaghetti to make a heart shape on top of the pasta. That’s as far as my creativity stretches and even then this was a picture I saw when I googled some images! Dinner was going to include roast (or air fryer fried) potatoes in heart shapes.

I also planned on making chocolate dipped strawberries but we had a last minute visit by one of DeeW’s friends and her mum and they were here for a while so it meant I couldn’t cook or prepare anything I planned. Plus the kids snacked on the apple oat hearts and strawberries so nobody was really hungry by the time our guests left. For a special treat we went out for some ice cream. Here’s my coconut ice cream in the ‘tiny cup’ size:

coco flavour icecream

The patience-and-skill-with-arts-and-crafts gene passed me by. DeeW wanted to watch a video on tissue paper pom poms. I followed the instructions and ended up with something very much unlike a pompom. Then I realised I was using (pink) crepe paper instead of tissue paper:

valentines decorations

I can trace heart shapes and cut them out though. I stuck these hearts up in our front hallway to welcome DeeW’s friend:

valentines decorations

I made these paper hearts following some instructions online. I was getting annoyed with the instructions not being clear (you can see how the heart in the middle is ‘wrong’, compared to the others!) then read all the comments saying “these instructions are so simple and clear, thank you!”

paperhearts2
paperhearts

On to What I Ate this past week or three! I experimented with making my own sausages using this recipe from Vegan Dad. I used a dried Italian herbs mix for flavour. They tasted great, Arthur loves them, but clearly I need to improve in the shaping arena for these burst out of the foil wrap when steaming and ended up… like this:

poopoopeepeesausage

I’m still preparing my meals for four or so days in advance. I’ve really come to love this now. In fact a few days ago I hadn’t prepared a meal (I thought I had a meal left in the fridge but had run out) and I really missed a ready meal! One of my favourites lately has been a mixed beans and veg Mexican spiced dish with brown rice:

brown rice beans

Another of my favourite simple dinners is some marinated tofu with broccoli and sweet potato. No frills, no fuss! I added one of the sausages, though I lightly no-oil fried it up because I have this paranoia about eating undercooked seitan:

tofu sausage veg dinner

For my first batch of sausages, I sliced one up and mixed it in with some pasta (this was the day I discovered I was out of my pre-prepared lunches):

vegan sausage pasta

I bought some brown rice vermicelli and cooked up some tofu and a load of choy sum: choy sum brown rice noodles

I had loads of other food ideas for Valentine’s Day like layered pink and green smoothies and healthier treats. I made an ice cream cake with banana and strawberries on a base of ground up pumpkin seed, cashew and dates but we’ll eat that this week on the hot days.

Have a great weekend!

24

Lunch At Wild Timor Coffee Co. Cafe In Coburg

Wild Timor Coffee Co

A few weeks ago a fellow vegan mentioned vegan options at Wild Timor Coffee Co’s cafe on Sydney Road. I’m often around that area and as today was officially crowned My Blog Research Day (by me, cos Husband and the kids are out) I decided to head to Wild Timor Cafe for lunch.

The space inside is nice and light, not crowded, not loud, just right. There was a high chair at a table and as a parent I found it quite roomy. I really liked the pictures on the wall, unfortunately I didn’t get a photo as people were sitting at the tables there. The sign out the front on the bike said the court yard was open, but I only read the sign on my way out!

Wild Timor Coffee Co. has an interesting story behind it. I don’t want to get it wrong here, so I’m just going to copy-paste from http://www.wildtimorcoffee.com/phone/our-story.html

In early 2012, four Australian soldiers were sent as part of a peace keeping force to help with the stabilisation of East Timor as part of a long standing friendship between Australia and East Timor which spans back to World War 2.

A 200 year old discovery

After 30 years of neglect during Indonesian rule, coffee that was originally planted by the Portuguese some 200 years ago, was discovered by peace keepers in remote villages, as they patrolled the area, striving to ensure that it remain trouble free and searching for militia hell-bent on destruction.

Unique, wild and organic

The now ‘wild’ coffee that grows in the mountain regions of Maubisse and Aileu is thriving. The former soldiers have become loyal friends of the farmers who once fled their crops, are now tending to the coffee.

Fair, equitable profit for Timor Leste

They have now returned with coffee from the same plants for everyone to enjoy and also to ensure that their friends in Timor Leste are finally beginning to enjoy the fruits of their struggle for independence and are receiving a fair and equitable price for their product.

The menu contains veg*n and non-veg*n options and there are sweets available at the ordering counter. There was a vegan carrot cake and a biscuit if I recall correctly. Gluten free options are available too.

As for food, in my usual haste I forgot to take proper note of the vegan options on the menu (which I can’t find online) but the friendly member of staff said she could help me out. In the end I went for the veggie burger ($12) which had a nice lemon tahini sauce and kale that for me was spot on (I prefer my kale the way you see it in the photo). I was expecting your typical looking veggie burger so I was pleased to see it looked more like a beetroot burger. I was also glad to receive four paper napkins because I needed every single one, but I’m not the most elegant of diners!

Wild Timor Coffee Co

The cafe also has a number of Wild Timor products available for purchase. I’ve also heard good reviews of the coffee they make at Wild Timor and it’s times like these I kinda wish I was a coffee drinker (I know I know, I live in Melbourne and I don’t drink coffee). So I do apologise for not being able to provide a coffee review!

Wild Timor is a welcome addition to the Coburg end of Sydney Road. I’d love to try some vegan (or veganised) Timorese food, so if you ever hear of Wild Timor offering vegan versions of their Timorese specialties, you must leave me a comment at once! Also, check out this article from The Age on Wild Timor.

Wild Timor Coffee Co

Wild Timor Coffee Co

Wild Timor Coffee Co. (and the cafe)
282 Sydney Road, Coburg

http://www.wildtimorcoffee.com

http://www.facebook.com/wildtimorcoffee

Wild Timor Coffee on Urbanspoon

17

Product Review: Goodies From Half Pint Vegan Dairy

halfpint1

Isn’t it great when a business you love sets up a stall near your home! Half Pint Vegan Dairy are now at the Batman Market on Sundays and that’s good for me because their ice cream is my favourite :) BTW non-Melbourne people, that’s not Batman of the Caped Crusader variety. It’s Batman with a different pronunciation (unfortunately!)

halfpint1

I first heard of Half Pint when there was talk in vegan town about this new vegan butter called Butter Me Up. I knew I had to try some stat and now Butter Me Up is my favourite, made here in Victoria too.

halfpint2

Half Pint also make delicious coconut ice cream. I tried the honeycomb and the peppermint flavour last year and decided then and there it was the best vegan ice cream I’d tasted. Since then I’ve tried the chocolate, strawberry and raspberry. Peppermint choc chip was always my favourite pre-vegan and I haven’t had it since. As much as I love coconut flavour, I’m not a fan of the coconut coming through in a peppermint ice cream, which is what I had had sampled from another ice cream place. But by some amazing wizardry, Half Pint’s peppermint icecream has no coconut flavour, even though it’s coconut based! Husband haaaates the tastes of coconut in sweet things and he can’t taste it in the peppermint. I love it. I commented on this today at Half Pint’s stall and was told they use all natural (as in real!) ingredients. The raspberry ice cream contains raspberries, not ‘raspberry flavour’ or ‘natural flavour’.

Look, I can’t even take a photo without eating some first. That’s the raspberry and the peppermint:

halfpint6

As well as Butter Me Up and the ice creams, Half Pint make savoury and sweet baked goods. I’ve tried the cherry pie, Eccles pie and the rhubarb strawberry pie shown in the first photo. Of course, the family are now nagging me to keep on buying more.

halfpint3

We’ve had the shepherds pie which was really good. I know I would struggle *not* to eat another pie all by myself!

halfpint2

The schnitzels were really good too. Usually with vegan schnitzels I kinda feel them sitting like a lump in my gut. Half Pint’s contain vegies and feel lighter. I had one in a sandwich but I kept picking at the second one. I mean look at this photo, wouldn’t you be all “oh I’ll just break off that bit that’s already half coming off anyway just to even the shape out a bit”? Even if that piece was going to feed someone else:

halfpint3

I haven’t tried the sausage rolls or the Cornish pasties yet:

halfpint4

Today when we arrived at Batman Market, I saw Half Pint’s stall from a distance with a large group of people there and I was all ooooh vegaaaaans I love youse, but STEP AWAY FROM THE ICE CREAM. Fortunately there was lots to go round! Half Pint had a super special on with four of their small ice cream tubs for $10. When Husband was taking his sweet time getting ready this morning I was all hand-wringing crazy eyes over the ice cream being sold out before we got there.  But it all ended happily and now it appears the only flavour I haven’t tried is the coffee. Next time!

Visit Half Pint Vegan Dairy at http://halfpintvegandairy.com.au/

Check updates on Half Pint’s Facebook Page

Half Pint are at the Batman Market in Coburg (right near Batman station) every Sunday in February and Bundoora on Saturdays. Please check their Facebook page to confirm locations and times!

halfpint4

12

The Vegan Box: The Late Summer Box

late summer vegan beauty box

After purchasing the October Vegan Box from The Vegan Box last year and stuffing myself on tasty treats, I wanted to try one of the beauty boxes. As always, all the products are carefully sourced for you and are of course cruelty free, natural, nasty chemical free and palm oil free!

Here’s what I’ve just received in the Late Summer Beauty Box:

– Cocoloco Body Bathe Seven Seaks Soak

– Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Conditioner

– Lewin & Reilly Face Cleansing Cream

– Bare Blossom Mineral Blush or Bronzer

– Ere Perez Versatile Vanilla Highlighter

– Yard Skincare Bloss in ‘Balmoral Bliss’

late summer vegan beauty box

I’m really pleased with this box because the products came along at the perfect time! I rarely wear a full face of makeup (at least, not foundation) but I’ve been looking around for a highlighter with a bit of shimmer so I’m very happy to receive this Ere Perez Highlighter.

Ditto for the Cocoloco Body Bathe Seven Seaks Soak as a bath is one luxury I never indulge in (but I do use the shower!). Last week Husband suggested I have a nice hot bath and I said, in a bit of a sad pathetic (maybe even slightly shrill) voice, “but I have no special soaky thiiiiings”. Sorry, I will only get in the bath if I have pretty products to put in it! So yep, you can bet I’m glad to receive this bath soak!

It got better too when I saw the leave-in conditioner by Giovanni as this is yet another product I’ve been looking for. My hair can get really dry and the conditioner I’ve been using just doesn’t cut it. It’s one of those big huge bulk buy bottles so I’ve been waaaaaiting for it to finish. As we speak I have the leave-in conditioner in my hair so I’m looking forward to how it turns out tomorrow.

I don’t have lip gloss (just balms) and I was going to buy some this week so woohoo at receiving this Yard Skincare Bloss in the very colour I would have bought!

I’m changing up my skincare too, now that my stash of Sukin products have run out. The cleansing cream by Lewin & Reilly Face Cleansing Cream looks great and I’m looking forward to trying it once I finish some current products I’ve just started using. Skincare is something I’ve started paying a lot of attention to again (read: pampering myself).

And the bronzer… a tale of woe. I have a bronzer but it’s getting a little old so I was happy to receive the bronzer/blush by Bare Blossom. Welllll. I happen to have two cats that are very much “what’s yours is OURS”. I left my Vegan Box on the kitchen table, threw a towel over it to stop the cats from being too curious when my back was turned. Well, my back was turned for a while. And in that time, one (or both cats) managed to get up on the table, drag the towel off, shove their faces in to the box and retrieve the bronzer, then somehow unscrew and display the contents all over the kitchen floor (with the lid in one room and the container under the oven). I didn’t see it happen of course, but there were two guilty faces.

Throw down the bronzer and prepare to be judged!

Throw down the bronzer and prepare to be judged!

destroyer3

Hmmm, Punky is lucky he has some natural bronzer happening. His brother however…

destroyer2

destroyer1

Yes, someone has been playing with mummy’s makeup again.

At least one cat is sporting a bit of a mismatched tan on his paws, though I tried to wash off as much as I could to save him from tan lines humiliation.

here comes malty