Friday, 19 January 2018

The Journey of Life

I have spent some time thinking about what makes me unhappy, but more importantly what I think will make me happy. I've spent lots of time researching happiness, what makes people happy and scientific studies into happiness, health and well-being.

I've learnt that food, exercise and people make the biggest impact on how happy individuals are. Luckily then all three of those are on my check-list for the next year as things to concentrate on.

This year I want to get my butt off the sofa way more and get out and be active. Doing more active things in my spare time with friends is going to be a goal, combining being social with exercise is good for your mental health and happiness, and less time spent on the sofa eating party rings means my jeans won't feel so tight! Win win.

Experiences is another big one for me, I feel like I've missed out on so much due to circumstances in my life but also because I've felt like I shouldn't be spending my money on non essential things because you never know what disaster is around the corner that you'll need the money for. This is a life lesson I've learnt through more than my fair share of problems, but it's also stopped me living. So although I have lived through and overcome a lot of hard times in my life, I've developed this metal restriction that makes it very hard for me to spend large amounts of money on anything other than necessities. Last year I was much better at trying to live in the moment rather than always putting everything off. I need to remind myself often that you only live once and you should collect memories not things.

happiness quote, depression, natural therapy,

At the beginning of last year I wrote a list of things that I wanted for 2017, I haven't looked at that list for a little while because I know I won't have made steps towards much that is on it. Until now that is, a new year means I have found a sense of power and drive within myself that I was lacking before. I have somehow found some courage to push forward, break my boundaries and try harder to achieve my dreams. I feel motivation to keep fighting forward, motivation to get up and do yoga in the morning and continue to eat the right type of food and the strength to avoid junk food. I'm hoping that the motivation will make way for habit, because I think that a habit to eat and live well, will keep me on the right path during moments when my motivation falters.

I need to stop looking back, because after all I'm not going that way. Shit things have happened, and there will probably be more that happen in the future, but I am here and I've made it this far without losing my mind (mostly) and I'm stronger than I often give myself credit for. I'm a survivor and I will make it through whatever is thrown at me and I have to remember that life is about progress not perfection.

I hope that you are finding some inspiration to work on some areas of your life you are unhappy with, and keep following your own journey to happiness. Lets make this year the best yet.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Are Original Source unethical?

A couple of months ago I did a post about transitioning to cruelty free cosmetics and wrote about how much I like Original Source shower gels. They are clearly labelled as vegan and come in a huge amount of fragrances suitable for men and women so they seemed to me like a good choice, however someone posted a comment saying they are unethical because they use micro plastics in their products.

Original source ethical? Vegan shower gel

Micro plastics quite often come in the form of those annoying little plastic balls you'll find in your cosmetics that claim to exfoliate but really do nothing other than fill our oceans with little bits of plastic that marine life ingest and often die of as a result. I haven't personally bought any of the exfoliating gels from Original Source but was surprised by the accusation that a company that labels its products as vegan would use micro plastics, so I decided to look into it.

Original Source are labelled as vegan which means we can rest assured that they do not test on animals and contain no animal products, the exfoliating versions of their shower gels use natural elements for their abrasive qualities such as fine nut shell.
Original Source contain 100% natural fragrance and scrubs, so there are no micro plastics lurking in their products. I looked into the ethical rating of the brand and found they actually are rated pretty well, they mostly lose marks for the failings of their parent company Cussons which is quite sad. Under the umbrella of an ethical company they would rate very highly. But nether the less Original Source are still a fabulous cruelty free brand and have values that align with my own so I will continue buying their shower gels and supporting them.

I hope this post has cleared up any worries you may have had about these products and given you faith to get behind this brand.

Check out Original Source

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Monday, 15 January 2018

5 vegan products you need this veganuary

vegan food, veganuary,

If you're taking part in veganuary this year then congratulations you're half way through your first month of plant based eating. You have already saved an average of 8,422 gallons of water, 420 sq ft of forest and 280 lbs of co2 and that's amazing! I know that changing your eating habits can be challenging so here are 5 things you need in your life this veganuary.

soya cream, veganuary, plant based

Alpro soya cream

If you love anything that comes in a creamy sauce then you need this little gem in your fridge. Mix it with tomato puree and chopped up sundried tomato to make an awesome speedy sauce for pasta. Throw it in a pan with ground almonds and spices to make a korma sauce, or pour it into risotto to make it rich and decadent.

nutritional yeast, veganuary, b12, plant based

Nutritional Yeast

This is a must for many vegans, people worry they aren't getting enough B12 when on a plant based diet so these little flakes can be added to loads of dishes to keep your intake up. It's easy to find at Holland and Barrett or Grape Tree and adds a lovely cheesy flavour to food. I love disolving it into some soya cream to make a cheesy sauce for mushrooms that can then be piled onto some sourdough toast to make an awesome breakfast or lunch. Nutritional yeast also tastes great mixed through mash potato.

vegan chicken, soya chunks, veganuary,

Marks and Spencer soya chunks

These are the best chicken replacement in my opinion, I use these in any recipe that calls for diced chicken and they taste great. From curries to fajitas they work a treat, they also make a pretty good chicken sandwich if you don't want straight up veggies all the time.

dairy free pesto, veganuary, plant based


If you can't be bothered to make your own, which let's be honest must be most people or else sacla would have a massive dent in their sales. Pesto is a great staple to keep on hand to make a speedy pasta dish, but it also tastes amazing mixed through oven roasted veggies (especially sprouts ) or stirred into mashed potatoes.

Cadburys hot chocolate, vegan, veganuary

Cadburys hot chocolate

You might not have realised that Cadbury hot chocolate powder doesn't contain dairy, just don't pick up the instant variety by mistake as this does have milk powder in it. Straight up old fashioned hot chocolate added to your favourite plant based milk means you don't have to miss out on this quintessential winter drink.

Good luck with the rest of Veganuary, and I hope you have discovered some great products. You're doing something great for your health and the environment and there are so many people on social media willing to lend a hand if you need help or advice so don't be afraid to ask.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Transitioning to cruelty free

Cruelty Free Cosmetics, vegan, shampoo, argan oil

Some things in life are more obvious than others, for some time I have been living in blissful ignorance about quite how many every day products are tested on animals. For the last couple of months I have been trying to transition all of my products over to cruelty free and vegan but it will take some time.

I don't believe in wasting products so I won't be throwing away bottles of things I already have in order to replace them with cruelty free items, what I have been doing is as things have been running out I have looked for vegan, cruelty free options to replace them with.
This is breaking the task down into bite sized chunks, because finding alternatives for everything I used to love isn't the easiest thing I've ever done. Slowly I am getting there and I wanted to show the items I have changed over to so far.

original source, cruelty free, vegan shower gel

Shower gel or body wash is something we all use on a daily basis, I used to buy whatever was on special offer at the time. This was an easy swap for me because I already loved the Original Source shower gels and they are vegan, so rather than buying whats on special I just wait until the Original Source products are on offer and I stock up with plenty and it sees me through until they are on special again. Their fragrance range is really nice with plenty to suit men and women, I am always drawn to the creamy sweet smelling products and tend to buy the fresh ones for my boyfriend.

cruelty free anti perspirant

Deodorant is one of the most recent changes for myself and my partner, again I used to buy them when they were on a 3 for 2 deal which meant they would last me for ages. My favourite was Dove roll on because I loved the fragrances, but as Dove is owned by Unilever I knew it had to go. A friend mentioned that Superdrug are really good for cruelty free products so that was my first port of call. I checked the own brand roll on deodorants in superdrug and they didn't have the leaping bunny logo sadly but their aerosol versions did luckily. I am still keen on finding a cruelty free roll on as I find they last longer than sprays so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

I got the cotton fresh spray for myself, for some reason I can't find the one I got for my boyfriend on their website but they had a few available in store.

Cruelty free shampoo, cruelty free conditioner, superdrug

Shampoo and conditioner was a difficult one for me as I have used Tresemme for years now and loved the huge bottles it came in because I get through it so fast due to having very long hair. I will continue to look for something I love but for the time being I have been using the superdrug Pro Vitamin with argan oil which is often on 2 for £3.

vegan argan oil

My hair gets quite dry so I wanted to find a hair oil to use as it makes a difference to the feel of my hair, luckily I found one that I love. I picked up the hair therapy with argan oil and I noticed the difference in the way my hair felt from the first use. My hair was smoother and silkier and didn't get so matted, this stuff was a god send! I have used quite a few hair oils over the years and I actually think this is my favourite which is great considering it's so affordable as well at £3.99. It smells amazing too which is an added bonus.

I find my hair can be a little difficult to comb when wet, it's super fine and gets tangled easily so I got the Argan hair therapy 10 in 1 mist to spray on damp hair before I attempt to comb it through and it seems to make the task a little easier.

These are my current changes, I still have a lot of my garnier micellar water left for removing make-up but that will probably be one of the next things I will need to purchase, if you know of any good vegan replacements for it please let me know.

In case you have any worries about how ethical Original Source are, check out this post I wrote on them : Are Original Source ethical

Thanks for reading!

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