Sunday, 16 December 2018

Cruelty Free Christmas gifts from The Body Shop

For the prepared amongst us you may have already bought all of your gifts. For the less organised you may start to feel the panic rising and need some inspiration, especially if you are buying for someone vegan or cruelty free and the whole situation feels like a mine field.

Cruelty free is a tricky area to navigate because some products are cruelty free they just don't display the leaping bunny logo or say they are cruelty free on the packaging, the reason behind this is sometimes due to money. Companies actually have to pay a fee to use the leaping bunny logo so many don't bother to go through the hassle of this and some may just don't want the spot light turned on them if they announce they are cruelty free because we all know some people like to pick holes.

The Body Shop ethos has always been against animal testing and they actually campaign tirelessly to get animal testing banned so they are a solid company to get behind in my mind. Currently they aren't totally vegan as some products still contain beeswax and honey, but they are clearly labelled if that's the case.

body shop cruelty free christmas gifts


Most women love to receive nice cosmetics for Christmas, often because we wouldn't buy the more luxury items for our-self so it's a nice treat when we receive them from someone else.

Here are a couple of the items I liked best from The Body Shop's Christmas collection.

The berry bon bon fragrance is really nice and very festive so I picked up the little Berry Bon Bon Cottage, it's a little gift set that comes in a cute gingerbread house inspired box and it contains a little pot of body butter, a shower gel and a shower scrunchie. This adorable little set is £9 so it makes a great secret santa gift or present for a friend or work colleague.

The Vanilla Chai body scrub smells amazing! I love all things vanilla and all things spiced so the combo of the two is perfect. I got a pot of this to help soften my dry scaly winter legs. I have since realised that this isn't part of their current festive array but it was stocked in my local store(?!) I'm guessing they were pulling a cheeky move and putting out stock they had left from last year! So the closest comparative product would be their vanilla marshmallow range.

I attended an event at Body Shop a few weeks back and got to see all of their Christmas range including their new lovely liquid eye shadow which side note are really lovely and totally for the festive season and all of the parties!

Body Shop Liquid eyeshadow, vegan cosmetics


We received a couple of items from the event one of which was the peppermint candy cane shower gel which literally smells like Christmas! The other item was the Berry Bon Bon handcream, this isn't an item I would buy myself because it isn't vegan but if you are buying for someone cruelty free it makes a handy gift for them to stash in their handbag.

The Body Shop have a lovely range of festive gifts, so they really are worth checking out of you are still in need of Christmas presents or maybe even a little treat for yourself!


Saturday, 24 November 2018

Why should I support local, when local doesn't support the environment?

This is a subject that really grates on me, and if I allow myself to think about it too much I want to gather some fellow environmentally aware people, and stage some sort of protest outside these little shops in a bid to open their eyes!

Big companies often feel pressure from the government to clean up their act and show how they are taking measures to minimise their impact. We are living in the era when plastic consumption is rife, and awareness on how we can and should be reducing it is being documented everywhere. Yet when I walk into a very busy local food shop in Chelmsford I am constantly met with their total ignorance to the impact they are making to this issue, and it really angers me to the point where I don't feel I should support them.

On the couple of occasions I've asked what ingredients are in their packaged food the young girl behind the counter gawks at me like I've got 2 heads!
Now I could be entirely wrong but it doesn't seem ethical to be selling food without a clue what's in it, what about it containing allergens? I happen to think they have a duty of care to their customers to be able to inform them what's in their food and I'm pretty disgusted that they don't feel it important to do so. They regularly put items out on their shelves with no label whatsoever, so I guess customers are supposed to guess the contents?

My next issue is plastic upon plastic, everything this shop sells is packaged in so much plastic. This place seems to be a popular choice amongst local workers for lunch options; sandwiches, salads and such, and from the huge piles of packaged food they always have in their chillers they appear to be selling it in boatloads yet they don't feel any responsibility to package it in a less harmful manner.

Every sandwich and salad is in a cheap vile plastic package and every meal meant to be heated is in a plastic box. The sheer amount of waste that this one local shop is creating is truly shocking, and I don't know how I'm supposed to get behind a place like this and support it.

My latest gripe with particular shop came when I went in on a recent Saturday morning to get a cup of coffee. They do serve soya milk which I will always appreciate small shops doing, however I always try to use my own reusable cup when getting take away coffee and this day was like any other. I asked for a soya latte and handed the man my cup, he then turned to the coffee machine and proceeded to use a PAPER CUP to make the espresso in!!! I couldn't believe my eyes, was this person really going to waste a paper cup to make espresso, when on top of the coffee machine they have piles of china cups. But yes, that is exactly what he did! He then poured the espresso into my cup, and threw the paper cup into the bin! I was utterly dumbfounded and couldn't help myself saying something to him. When he handed me the coffee I said "you know it defeats the purpose of me using a reusable cup if you are going to make the espresso in a paper cup and throw it away anyway!" To which he looked at me blankly and said "ok". I would place a bet that it went in one ear and out the other!

We are encouraged to support local as it's good for the local economy, but the problem with local independent stores is they don't really have to answer to anyone or be seen to investing in or looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint the same as the big companies do. A lot of the local run shops are the worst culprits for waste and terrible packaging. They fall under the radar of the 5p plastic bag charge, don't encourage people to use their own bags, and don't support reducing take away cups the same as the big coffee shop chains do. They may think they are small and their impact is minimal, but if you take all of the small coffee shops and sandwich shops across even one town the amount of waste they are producing will be as much as any of the chains.

What can we do? I've thought about writing a letter to the stores and suggesting they make changes, if they have a conscience they might consider making them. We can only try.

If you are wondering why I'm harping on about plastic, this is a good site to go and have a look at to get an idea of why it's so important: The Plastic Tide

I also wrote about the benefits of buying and using your own cup for take away coffee here.




If you are in the market for a reusable coffee cup so you can take advantage of the 25p discount on your morning coffee then check out my top picks below.









Saturday, 3 November 2018

Apple Day at Lathcoats Farm

pumpkin patch, apple day, lathcoates farm, essex, chelmsford


I haven't always been the best at keeping up with all my local area has to offer. I am signed up to emails about events in London but when it comes to what's happening in Essex I have to remember to search for it high and low on the internet.

Luckily someone at work mentioned Apple Day and I had no clue what it was all about other than it might include apples (duh). I decided to have a look on the internet and seeing as entry was free to the event I decided to go and check it out.

Lathcoats farm apple day


It was a perfect October day, dry, sunny with blue skies which made the day even better because it's pretty much all outside. Once we got to Lathcoates Farm they had several different areas to go off and explore, with a huge variety of pumpkins large and small and in all colours. I bloody love pumpkins and found it really hard to just choose a few, I literally wanted them all!!

lathcoats farm apple day, essex

grey pumpkins, lathcoats farm, apple day


They had a craft area where they were making wreaths amongst other things, a huge apple tasting tent where you could go and learn about the different varieties of apples they grow and taste them, cider and apple juice tasting where they were serving a cocktail of apple juice, elderflower cordial and gin which was amazing and definitely going to be recreated at home.

apple cocktail, apple day, essex, lathcoats farm


The little food market area was nice to wander around, I got to try some vegan Christmas pudding by Lillypuds and bought some lovely fresh bread, they had stalls which were selling lovely foods that would be great to stash away for Christmas.

There were a few activities for children such as the crafting area, a chance to try archery, and swings and needless to say the kids were loving the pumpkin patch and the animals. It's such a great way to spend a couple of hours especially if you have children, and Lathcoats also have an amazing farm shop that is full of amazing food and lots of vegan items which I was shocked and amazed to see, but I will definitely be going back to buy more goodies!

pumpkins, lathcoats farm, apple day, essex


Lathcoats Farm,
Beehive Lane
Chelmsford
CM2 8LX


Sunday, 28 October 2018

My Halloween Display

Halloween has been one of my favourite times of year since I was young. Sadly my parent's didn't really celebrate it, and when I was little I would be lucky if we got a pumpkin to carve, let alone decorations or trick or treating! I was 13 the first time I went trick or treating, yes THIRTEEN! That was only because I was deemed old enough to go out alone with a friend that year and my mum had arranged that we would walk to the other end of our town to my uncles house and she would come and collect us.

Back when I was a kid there wasn't a huge amount of the community that took part in Halloween and there weren't many kids out trick or treating but dear lord did we come home with some serious bounty!! That first year we got so many sweets and chocolates and even quite a lot of money, we thought it was the most amazing night of our lives!



I grew up watching movies like hocus pocus where it seemed like towns came alive at Halloween and every household took part with decorating and trick or treating and I was so jealous and vowed that when I was a grown up I would partake 100%.




Sadly the UK still isn't quite up to the US standards of celebrating and most houses are left undecorated at this time of year. Halloween decorations have always been limited to the cheap tack you get in the card stores, so when I started reading blogs years ago and saw how real homes were decorated in America for Autumn I was hooked. I knew it was just what I wanted to be able to do but finding the quality decorations was not easy. Luckily in the last couple of years some more classy decorations have started sneaking in thanks to stores like TK Maxx and HomeSense where the goods are of course being shipped over from America. I'm sure in years to come we will have a wide choice of decorations and I look forward to being able to go around the stores and filling up my trolley with lots of spooky stuff.

Rae Dunn Halloween
 


I am slowly building up a collection and have bought a few items this year and have enjoyed having them displayed in my home. Next year I will be moving onto bigger and better things and have big plans, I just need to figure out where to store all of this stuff come November 1st.....


rae dunn halloween mug


My collection is made up of items from various shops and I even struck it lucky whilst in TK Maxx and HomeSense because I got some Rae Dunn halloween cups and mixing bowl. I can't wait to add more items next year!

How do you decorate for Halloween?
Designed By aleelily designs | Powered by Blogger.