Pancake Day: Vegan Savoury Pancakes

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Today is Pancake Day, one of my favourite days as I have always loved pancakes, well, I love savoury pancakes! I know savoury pancakes or crepes are unusual to some but the thought of putting lemon juice or sugar on pancakes is wrong to me although that being said I do want to try and make vegan nutella for pancakes.

The lovely people at AO have kindly sent me the *Breville Crepe Maker (£20) which is something I've wanted to try for ages as I usually have pancakes every weekend but for all of 2017 so far, my diet is 90% vegan so I haven't had any until I discovered and then adapted a vegan pancake recipe - now I'm having vegan savoury pancakes every chance I get! I adapted the recipe from The Vegan Corner but it's very difficult now that I've changed it.
As with all pancakes or crepes, whatever the ingredients or tools, it does take practice and the first one is always a throwaway but this crepe and pancake maker is fantastic! My dad is the self confessed king of pancakes but I always end up ripping them, making them too thick or managing to burn the outside while the inside remains uncooked...however with this crepe maker, I haven't burnt, ripped or ruined any pancakes! I think if you're a pancake destroyer, like me, then you need this crepe maker in your life as it makes a stack of crepes and pancakes in minutes with none of them having to be thrown in the bin!

The crepe maker is quite large which is my only negative but other than that it's so quick and easy to use and clean; also none of the pancakes I've made on it so far haven't stuck to it. It does become very hot so you do have to be careful but the temperature scale is easy to alter, I've been keeping it on 3/4 for my pancakes. Now for my recipe:

Ingredients: 
- 100g of plain white flour or wholewheat flour
- 200g of plant based milk - I use oat milk (g not ml)
- Seasonings and toppings of your choice
1. Weight out your flour and plant based milk and add your batter seasoning - I used garlic granules, salt and white pepper but you could also add dried herbs or nutritional yeast. Mix well and leave for five to ten minutes for the flour to soak up the milk and for the bater to become smooth and thicker.

2. Plug in and switch on the crepe maker and lightly spray or wipe with oil - I use a oil spray or olive oil on a paper towel to distribute a thin layer of oil onto the hot plate of the crepe maker.

3. When the crepe maker is heated and your batter is thicker, use a small ladle to dispense the batter onto the hot plate and use the wooden spreader to distribute the batter in a thin layer. Depending on the temperature of your crepe maker or pan, it should only take a 10-20 per side. Keep flipping until it's cooked through and crisp - add a little oil to the hot plate every couple of pancakes to keep them all crisp.

4. I get about seven mini pancakes using this recipe or three large crepes. I spread the Sainsburys garlic and herb vegan spread cheese over every other pancake and top with fried onions, fresh basil, salt and black pepper but you could top your savoury pancakes with anything you want.

I love these pancakes, you wouldn't know that they are vegan as they taste and look just as good as regular pancakes/crepes. They are soft inside but crisp on the outside when you use olive oil; you don't have to use oil if you use this crepe maker as they don't tend to stick or if you have a very good non-stick pan but I love pancakes with a crisp outside so I always use olive oil!

Will you be making pancakes today? Have you tried a crepe maker? Pancakes - sweet or savoury?

Chocolate Cravings Wish List

Sunday, February 26, 2017

It's almost the 1st of March and that also means the start of lent. For most people that means giving up a few treats such as candy, chocolate or sugar and I will be giving up my vegetarian sweets and vegan chocolate that I've been stuffing my face with recently. To satisfy my sweet and chocolatey cravings, I'm turning to beauty products for my fix as there are so many candy, sugar, chocolate and foodie beauty products out there!

 What do you think of my sugary wish list? Have you tried any of these products? 

*This post contains affiliate links

Sudio Sweden Rose Gold Earphones

Friday, February 24, 2017
Sudio Sweden Rose Gold Earphones
I don't know about you but I am constantly listening to youtube videos or music throughout the day and before I go to sleep *which is awful for my sleeping pattern but that's another post all together*. I've bought so many earphones and they never last more than six months before they are a tangled mess with exposed wires. The best earphones I've tried, until these, were the JVC Gummy Earphones but they aren't easily available now, they aren't super comfortable and as with all wired earphones, they become a tangled ball of wires no matter how careful you are with them.

When the lovely people at Sudio Sweden got in touch, I was excited to choose and review a pair of their earphones; I chose the *Sudio Sweden Vasa BLA Rose Gold and White Earphones (£80). The Vasa BLA range is wireless, so no more tangles and frustrations trying to untangle the earphones while simultaneously breaking the wires. The earphones come with a quick start guide, owner's manual, extra earphone sleeves, metal clip, battery, charging cable, quality assurance card and a genuine leather travel case, all of which come in a box making it an aesthetically great gift.
Sudio Sweden Rose Gold Earphones
I chose the white and rose gold earphone colour option but there are three others to choose from. They are all suitable for bluetooth enabled devices, it works perfectly with my iPhone 5C. It has 12 metre wireless range with up to eight hours of listening - it can be quickly charged in 10 minutes but a full charge will be two hours. I've only had to charge mine twice so far and each time, I've fully charged my earphones.

They are very quick and easy to charge and use, I already had some big, ugly wireless headphones so I knew how to use them but even if you haven't they have very simple with a basic bluetooth remote that you use to switch the earphones on/off as well as changing the volume and it has an inbuilt microphone.
Sudio Sweden Rose Gold Earphones
As well as the tangle issue, I find that the majority of earphones to be really uncomfortable but when I switched out the sleeves to the smallest included, they were so comfortable - I can wear them for a couple of hours at my desk without my ears being uncomfortable which is amazing! What is equally amazing is the sound quality, my Apple earphones pail in comparison to these and I don't think I'll be able to go back to cheap wired earphones after using these!

I'm visiting York in a couple of months time and I am visiting various cities in Norway in the summer and I will definitely be taking these along with me as they already come with a travelling case, they are super light and comfortable and they won't tangle up in my bag while travelling.
Sudio Sweden Rose Gold Earphones
My only issue is that while they are on, there is a flashing blue light which is a bit annoying and if you forget to charge them then you have to wait for them to charge which obviously you don't have with normal wired earphones so you'll have to decide which you'd want; however I think these earphones are so aesthetically gorgeous, comfortable and the sound is wonderfully rich and clear - I cannot recommend them enough! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Sudio Sweden have an amazing offer on currently where you can get a free phone case with every purchase as well as free express shipping! Additionally you can get 15% off with my code: ofbeautyand15

What do you think of these earphones? Have you tried these or any other wireless earphones? 

Valentines, Mother's Day + Exclusives Lush Haul

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Lush is one of my favourite brands, not just because their products look and smell amazing or their ethics but also because of their new seasonal collections! Spring is my favourite time for Lush releases as we have Valentines, Mother's Day and Easter releases all around the same time *yay* so I had to treat myself as I've wanted to make a Lush order for so long!

The products I ordered were either from the Valentines, Mother's Day ranges or the kitchen exclusives which are only available online (or maybe in the massive store on Oxford Street which I definitely need to visit this summer!). I bought nine lovely items although two of them are for my blogs upcoming 5th birthday giveaway in May.

Metamorphosis Bath Bomb (£4.25)
I think this bath bomb is one of my most unusual looking bath bombs I've seen from Lush! It has a glittery grey exterior and it looks as though it will be pink inside; I love the design and to me it smells almost exactly like the Yankee Candle Witches Brew candle which is heady with patchouli, black pepper oil, cinnamon and myrrh.

Get Closer Dusting Powder (£6.95, 45g)
I have almost used up the Silky Underwear Dusting Powder so I needed to pick up another as I use mine so much as a talcum powder, to sprinkle over linen and surprisingly as a dry shampoo! This dusting powder contains neroli oil, jasmine absolute, lemon oil, calamine and clay so it smells very floral, sweet and musky which reminds me of something that annoyingly I can't put my finger on but it's lovely!
www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Kiss Me Quick Wash Card (£2)
This is a new Lush product to me, I haven't seen them before but it's an interesting idea as this little card is a wash card so it would be perfect for travelling and it smells so lovely - to me it's floral, sweet and very 'lush' scented! This valentines exclusive wash card will be part of the massive prize bundle for my blogs 5th birthday giveaway in May so stay tuned!

Flowers Barrow Bath Oil (£2, 20g)
Another product that I haven't really seen before as it's a solid bath oil and it's also one of the most beautiful products that I have bought from Lush - I love anything with flower petals included! This bath oil is indulgently floral and I cannot wait to use it as I haven't used a bath oil like this before.

T'eo Bar Solid Deodorant (£5.50, 90g)
There are certain products that I have wanted to try for so long from Lush and their natural, solid deodorants are one of them. I have been putting off buying this deodorant for *literally* years as let's be honest, it's not that exciting but I'm interested to see how well it works. It contains apricot kernel oil, lemon oil, juniper berry oil and tea tree oil and it's apparently powerful and super absorbent so if I get on well with it, you'll see it in my monthly favourites!
www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Ups-A-Daisy Bath Bomb (£3.50)
This adorably cute flower bath bomb is part of the new Mother's Day range and it is so fun and colourful; it's also quite a large bath bomb! To me it smells musky and floral (I've said that about everything, oops) with rosewood and rose absolute. I think it would make a fantastic Mother's Day gift or as I've done...buy it for yourself.

Pink Custard Shower Jelly (£4.25, 100g)
Another Mother's Day item and again it's so cute, colourful and it has a heavenly but subtle scent. It contains ingredients that you would find in desserts much as tonic bean, brown sugar, golden syrup and coconut milk as well as some more typical pampering scents of lavender and neroli. I can't wait to use this shower jelly as it's such a unique product although I think it will be a bit of a juggling act to use!
www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Flowering Tea Re-Useable Bubble Bar (£5.95, 100g)
I have wanted to buy this bubble bar for months but it keeps going out of stock online. I haven't used one of their apparently re-useable bubbles bars before and I'll probably end up using it all by mistake while taking photos and then I'll drown in a sea of floral bubbles. It looks like a giant teabag filled with petals...is their anything more British?

Ladybird Bubble Bar (£3.95)
I thought that this adorable ladybird was part of the Mother's Day range but now I'm not sure; either way, it is so cute and it's also going to be part of my upcoming giveaway! It contains sweet geranium and peppermint, it's such a unique scent and I think everyone will love it!
www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.ukPhew, that's a long post and I could have made it a lot longer as I took over 70 photographs of these products #BloggerProblems. Lush products as so incredibly photogenic and I cannot wait to use these products as part of my pamper evenings. Remember to follow my blog and social media to find out when my massive blog birthday giveaway will be live! 

Have you bought anything from Lush recently? What do you think of the Valentines and Mother's Day ranges? If you've tried any of these, let me know what you thought!

February Favourites

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
How is it the end of February already? The year seems to be going by so quickly, I feel like New Year was last week! Anyway, as it is almost the end of the month, it's time to share the products I've been loving in February although some I've also been using constantly in January as well. Today's post features some long lasting makeup, eczema friendly skincare and a few lifestyle favourites (let me know in the comments below if you like a mix of beauty and lifestyle products in my favourites posts or just beauty!). 

Makeup
There have been two main beauty products that I have been using since the end of December and I cannot recommend enough; the first is the almost completely finished Essence Fixing Powder. I have gone through at least two of these powders already and I only have a thin ring of powder around the edge of the pan now. It magically transforms any of my foundations into a slightly matte but skin like perfect foundation - love!

The second is the beautiful Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita which is my perfect everyday rosy red shade. It is so incredibly comfortable on the lips, the pigmentation is fantastic and it applies, as the name would suggest, very velvety and smoothly. The longevity is the best thing about this lip pencil as on me it lasts almost all day even through eating and drinking; I need to treat myself to another shade, I'm thinking Bahama.

One of my resolutions was to use up and have a clear out of my makeup which means trying out all of my old foundations to see whether I want to keep them anymore and I haven't got rid of one yet...oops. My latest favourite is the Bourjois Sleep Effect Foundation which is the perfect match for my skin tone, it's amazing on my dry skin and the coverage is a medium but slightly buildable. Sadly, I think it's been discontinued but if you see it, get it!
A palette I've been loving the is indulgently chocolatey Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette which is the perfect palette for me. I love the packaging, shade range, cocoa smell and in particular the shades: Coconut Creme, Truffled, Puddin' and Mousse. I use a mix of Truffled and Puddin' as brow shades and Coconut Creme as an all over the lid shade.

For the last makeup favourite, I never know whether to add it in the makeup or skincare category as it's a lip balm; one of my favourite lip balms ever! The Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Balm which is a mini and it has lasted for so long! I love the packaging, slight rosy shade and the intense moisture and smoothness it provides.

Now onto the two skincare products I wanted to mention; the first is a new product that admittedly I've only had for about a week but I love it so much that I needed to talk about it and the second is a long term favourite from the best skincare brand ever, Antipodes. 
Skincare 
Let's start with the product that has impressed me the most this month and it's the *La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 which is a soothing repairing balm. As you will know if you have been following my blog, I have eczema on my face and also on my hands which can be so incredibly sore, itchy and leaves my skin with not just a burnt look but it feels like it too. I've been lucky enough to find a prescription cream that helps as well as great skincare but I'm always on the lookout for more to try.

This product impressed me from the first use, it's a thick white cream (it's not a glossy, gloopy balm as the name would suggest, thankfully) and it leaves my irritated skin, both on my face and hands, so calm, soothed and moisturised which is incredible. Thankfully, I haven't had a massive eczema flareup so far this year so I haven't been able to test it fully; however on the small flareups I've had on my hands and face, it has been amazing and when used as part of my evening skincare routine, it is so effective, leaving my skin in the morning looking so much better than it did the day before! I'm impressed!

The second skincare favourite is the Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin Brightening Eye Cream which to be honest, I've just been using as a thick face cream before applying my makeup, rather than an eye cream. It's a lovely cream, the texture is so smooth and rich and it gives my skin an instant moisture boost.
Now for a few lifestyle favourites, the first is this beautiful bouquet of flowers! Flowers not only make any room look so fresh and spring ready but from a bloggers point of view, they are amazing props! I love including flowers in my blog photos and gypsophila is so beautiful. 

My next lifestyle favourite is my small vinyl collection, I've been listening to Motion City Soundtrack the most as their albums just make me feel so much more productive and energetic! I also love the album 'V' from Wavves. 

Lastly, food favourites! This year my diet has been 90% vegan which I'm so happy with and I've been able to find some fantastic vegan food such as the Tesco Free From Choc Bars, the Sainsburys Vegan Cheeses and my vegan savoury pancakes - recipe coming soon in time for pancake day (28th Feb). 

Have you tried any of these beauty products? What beauty or lifestyle items have you been loving recently? 

*This post contains affiliate links

New + Upcoming Beauty Releases #7

Saturday, February 18, 2017
New + Upcoming Beauty Releases #7
I used to write and keep up to date with all of the new and upcoming beauty releases but with learning to drive as the focus of half of last year, beauty releases weren't my top priority but I have now passed *yay* and there are a lot of new releases so I thought I'd summarise some of the products I'm excited for!

Let's start with the most exciting which is the new beauty box by Latest in Beauty coming on the 1st March which is themed around the upcoming Beauty and the Beast film starring Emma Watson. I'm lucky that I'm being sent the box so I'll have a review of it up as soon as I can - I can't wait!

There are a couple of interesting fragrance releases already this year, the first is the L'Occitane Terre De Lumiere perfume which admittedly doesn't look incredibly interesting but with notes of bergamot, lavender honey and tonic bean, it sounds like the spring perfume to have. Onto a more fun and exciting offering, the new Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Sucre fragrance looks so sugary sweet and pretty with floral and intensely creamy notes.

Next up, a few haircare releases from Lee Stafford featuring sea salt which will be perfect for the spring and summer months. Natural World have are launching three new ranges later this month and finally John Frieda are releasing a 'luxurious volume core restore' range as well as two others.

One skincare launch that I've seen consistently in the beauty blogging world is the Kiehls Pure Vitality Cream which sounds great for adding a youthful boost to the skin. I've heard nothing but amazing things about Kiehls skincare!

Lastly, the makeup releases! Real Techniques have launch a new collection which is a little pricey in comparison to their other ranges in my opinion but it looks gorgeous and it comes with a brush holder; I love Real Techniques brushes! Another product I love is the YSL Touch Eclat and they have released a new one - Yves Rocher Limited Edition Touche Eclat.

Youtuber Ingrid Nielsen has collaborated with Bare Minerals for a four piece illuminating collection which looks gorgeous and I can't wait to read the reviews as it might be a spring treat to me, from me. The final release is from a skincare brand I've heard great things about, Zelens but they've branched out into makeup with their latest launch of lip colours.

*This post contains affiliate links


What do you think of these new and upcoming releases? Are there any other beauty products you are excited for? 

Mini MAC Lipstick Collection + Swatches

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Mini MAC Lipstick Collection + Swatches
L-R: Till Tomorrow, Warm Me Up, Creme In Your Coffee, Hug Me
To be honest I think MAC lipsticks are over hyped, not as long lasting as others in my collection and over priced...but they are so gorgeous and I love all of the shades that I have, even though they are pretty much all of the same apart from the undertone but that does make them different (don't argue with my logic). 

I have four MAC lipsticks so far and to be honest, unless they come out with an extremely long lasting lipstick, I won't be buying more as just these four total a shocking £64.50...yeah. I have three regular lipsticks (lustre, cremesheen and amplified formulas) and one Pro Longwear Lipcreme. 
Mini MAC Lipstick Collection + Swatches
Top - Bottom: Hug Me, Creme In Your Coffee, Warm Me Up, Till Tomorrow 
Now onto the shades and the formulas which are a bit of a confusing point, especially if you are new to MAC lipsticks as there are quite a lot of shades and formulas such as lustre, cremesheen, amplified, frost, matte, retro matte, satin, glaze and even more! All I know is that out of the formulas I've tried and what I've heard, the lustre and cremesheen formulas are the most comfortable, smoothest and best for everyday.

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Till Tomorrow - ★★★★☆, 4/5
This lipstick has a different bullet shape and tube to the regular lipsticks, it's also more expensive! I bought it as I was taken in by the long lasting claims (up to 12 hours apparently) and the gorgeous mauve pink shade. The shade on the lips is more cool toned and mauve compared to the swatch above. It's a pretty, glossy everyday shade, it feels very comfortable to wear and dries down on me to a satin finish. I really need to use this shade more as it's gorgeous and the longevity is pretty good on me but it's not as good as others in my collection such as the heavenly Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita or the NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Bedtime Flirt. One negative about this lipstick is the lid keep popping off so it's not great for travelling with.

MAC Warm Me Up - ★★★☆☆, 3/5
For my second MAC lipstick purchase, I chose Warm Me Up as I was watching a lot of Vivianna Does Makeup and Fleur De Force all of those years back and warmer, peachy shades were staples. Sadly, warmer peachy pinky shades like this one don't really suit my very pale skin with redness so I rarely use this one but it is very pretty, comfortable, creamy and pigmented. Even though the longevity isn't incredible and it does transfer initially but it's great compared to my drugstore alternatives (this is one of my problems with MAC lipsticks as a whole).

MAC Creme In Your Coffee - ★★★★☆, 4/5
My first MAC lipstick and to be honest, as most people are, I was attracted to it by the name! The shade is a very sophisticated 'my lips but like I've been eating blackberries' shade...can I coin that term because I think it's going to be a hit. It's a cremesheen so naturally it's the creaminess feeling of the four although they are all very comfortable. I really need to wear this shade more as it's so pretty but I always seem to be opting for my reliable, everyday super longwearing lipsticks instead.

MAC Hug Me - ★★★★☆, 4/5
Again, back in the day when blogging was pretty much unheard of and youtube was starting it's rise to the dominant superpower it is now, there were certain shades that were a necessity such as Snob, Angel, Saint Germain, Blankety and Hug Me. I'm not a fan of super nude shades so Hug Me was the most 'me' shade and out of all the lipstick shades I have, this one almost complete matches my lip colour but it's a little pinker and glossy. I've now added this one, Till Tomorrow and Creme In Your Coffee to my everyday makeup drawer so hopefully I'll use them and get my moneys worth...hopefully as they weren't cheap.

Have you tried any of these shades? Which MAC lipsticks, if any, do you own? 

Valentines FOTD + Sharing The Love

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Valentines FOTD + Sharing The Love
Happy Valentines Day to all of my readers! I'm not really a fan of Valentines Day but I received a lovely Valentines package from the wonderful people at Essence this morning so I thought I'd write a very impromptu post featuring the products as well as some of my current beauty favourites. Also as it is Valentines Day, I'm sharing the blogging love by sharing some of my current favourite blogs (just a few as if I featured all of the blogs that I loved reading, the post would be ridiculously long!).

At the end of December and throughout January, I have been clearing out products, sorting and organising as well as going through all of my foundations one by one to decide whether I want to keep them or not, I've tried at least seven so far and guess how many I've kept...yes, seven. My latest favourite is the Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation (71, apricote claire) which is probably the best colour match I've ever found; it is also perfect for my dry skin so if you are suffering with dryness and patchy foundations this winter then check this beauty out from Bourjois, that is, if you can find it! Combine this foundation or the Lancome Cushion Foundation, Maybelline Better Skin or the Yves Rocher Comfort Foundation with the Essence Fixing Powder and I end up with fantastic looking skin!
Valentines FOTD + Sharing The Love
Some of my favourite products from Essence are their powders, polishes, liners and mascaras; the new mascara I have in this post is the *Essence Forbidden Volume Mascara which leaves my lashes volumised, black and curled - most of the time when I curl my lashes and apply mascara, the curl holds for about five minutes if I'm lucky but this mascara manages to hold a curl really well! The liner I used today was the *Essence 2 in 1 Eyeliner Pen which has a thin marker style pen on one side and a thicker highlighter pen style pen on the other. It worked really well although after only one use it feels like it's starting to dry out so maybe try the Liquid Ink Liners from Essence instead.

Lastly, for the lips, I used the *Essence Long Lasting Lipstick in 21 Tres Chic which is a beautiful blackberry shade. I love Essence lipsticks as they are so inexpensive, creamy and comfortable to wear and long lasting when you consider the price. I've also been loving my Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita recently!
Valentines FOTD + Sharing The Love
Now onto my current favourite blogs and bloggers which is always changing as I read blogs almost everyday and everyone seems to be killing it recently which gorgeous photography and fantastic content! Definitely check out these blogs and if you are looking for more then check out #TheGirlGang hashtag on Twitter!


Who are your favourite bloggers? Have you tried Essence cosmetics?

Recipe: Vegan Cheesy Vegetable + 'Meat' Pizza

Monday, February 13, 2017
Recipe: Vegan Cheesy Vegetable + 'Meat' Pizza
Pizza is probably my favourite food, especially the Dominos cheese and tomato pizza with the glorious garlic and herb dip *drools on keyboard* but since switching to a mostly vegan diet, it's the one thing that I've really missed but last week I created a vegan pizza for the first time and not only did it turn out really well, it is also a healthy pizza alternative and it's delicious! If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen some of the process!

This pizza is 100% vegan so there's no meat, fish, eggs or dairy in this recipe and I adapted it from a Food.com recipe - I always adapt recipes, even if it's the first time I've made it! The recipe as a whole takes about 40-45 minutes to make and it's so easy. Here are the ingredients I used:

Dough Ingredients

- 2 cups of plain white flour (not bread flour)
- 1 cup of wholewheat flour (you could just use three cups of plain flour)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic granules
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Vegan Toppings

- Vegan cheese (I used the garlic and herb vegan cheese spread and vegan caramalised onion cheese, both from Sainsburys - use as much as you want)
- Parsley, salt, black pepper and fried onions (latter is pre-made from Waitrose/Ocado)
- Broccoli stalks and button mushrooms
- Vegan 'meat' (I used the Frys Family vegan chicken strips which are delicious!)
- Tomato ketchup or passata
Recipe: Vegan Cheesy Vegetable + 'Meat' Pizza
This recipe is so quick and easy to put together and as I said I did alter this recipe, in terms of the dough ingredients and I used whatever toppings I wanted - add what you want but I'd definitely recommend fresh herbs, garlic in the dough, Frys Family vegan meat alternatives and the two vegan cheeses I've mentioned. Here are the steps:

1. Measure and combine the flour, yeast, salt, warm water, olive oil and garlic granules in a large bowl or your mixer if you have one. I used my Kitchen Aid for this recipe and it made kneading and mixing the ingredients so quick and easy with minimal mess. When fully combined and lightly kneaded leave in a warm place for ten minutes while your oven is pre-heating to around 200 degrees celcius fan.

2. After ten minutes knead the dough slightly and place on a non-stick silicone baking mat or large greased baking tray and roll out or shape the dough with your hands into whatever pizza shape you want (mine turned out rectangular...) and make sure it's an even thickness so it bakes evenly. Mine was about a £1 coin thickness (approx. 0.5cm) but next time I'd make it slightly thinner. Bake the dough (without the sauce or toppings) for 5-8 minutes.

3. After a maximum of 8 or so minutes, remove the pizza base from the oven and cover with your pizza sauce, I used ketchup as this was a very impromptu pizza but you could use tomato paste, pre-made pizza sauce or passata. Cover with your chosen toppings and bake for around 20 minutes, keep checking on it. Finishing with your fresh herbs and that's it you have a vegan pizza - I used it for multiple meals but it would serve about four with sides!
Recipe: Vegan Cheesy Vegetable + 'Meat' Pizza
This was the first vegan pizza I've made and only the fourth or fifth pizza I've made from scratch but this was so quick, easy and foolproof that I'd definitely make it again! I love the toppings I chose especially the vegan cheeses and vegan meat which I will definitely be adding more of next time. The ketchup made it a little sweet so I would use passata next time instead. The dough to me is a combination of pizza dough and flatbread which I love - it's quite filling and a lot healthier than takeaway pizza!

Let me know if you make this recipe? What are your favourite pizza toppings? 

Blush Spring Wish List

Friday, February 10, 2017
www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Images from the respective stores
Spring is nearly here *squeals* and that means that I am looking forward to all of the slightly lighter colours that will dominate my wardrobe although to be honest I will still have the darker shades, all of the time. One of my favourite shades for homeware and also for clothing and accessories is blush pink; blush pink is such a gorgeous, chic and versatile way of wearing lighter shades in the upcoming *hopefully* warmer months.

Yankee Candle Cherry Blossom Candle  -  Joy The Store Velvet Swing Dress  -  Urban Outfitters Blush Jumper  -  Urban Outfitters Pink Mesh Bra  -  Anthropologie Side Plate  -  Urban Outfitters Pom Pom Throw

I LOVE blush pink homeware, especially rugs, throws, cushions and also candles as they are so homely, comforting and spring-like to me. Also I love blush pink clothing even though I don't wear too much of it because I'm all about the dark shades rather than pinks but I do want that to change this spring and summer! I am currently on the hunt for blush pink homeware, jumpers and bag!

Do you like blush pink? What do you think of the items on my wish list?

September Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
September Book Reviews
September has been a fantastic reading month for me, I finished three books in the first week *I'm very impressed with myself!* and additionally I read six other books through the rest of the month.

*The Nightwalker - Grimly Captivating, mysterious, eerie & suspenseful 
Mysteries and thrillers are two of my favourite book genres, as well as magical realism, fantasy and horror, and this book is perfect for fans of mystery, thriller and horror books! I wish I had read this book closer to Halloween because it would be a perfect October/Halloween read!

The book follows Leon and Natalie, a happily married couple, or maybe not as nothing is what it seems…There are so many mysteries throughout the book most of which are linked to Leon's sleepwalking – It's something I haven't ever read about before and it was such an interesting read. Throughout Leon's life he has been a sleepwalker, he doesn't know what he does in his sleep and he has been through therapy and with the help of a psychiatrist he has overcome his childhood sleepwalking, until stress, traumatic events and other unknown factors trigger his sleepwalking again… Mysteries unfold, secrets are revealed and horrors he didn't know about come to light. There are so many twists and turns I didn't see coming in this book, even though it's a relatively short read and it only took me less than two days to get through which is quite impressive to fit so much into a fairly short read at 352 pages. The writing style is very quick and easy to read, I didn't expect to get through it so quickly and I think I could have even finished the book in one day.

There were some very creepy and disturbing parts to this book as well as an overarching feeling of eeriness throughout which would make it perfect for Halloween. It's not really for the squeamish or faint hearted but I really liked it and enjoyed the mystery throughout. It does get a tiny bit confusing around 60% of the way through but the ending explains the majority of the events very well and I didn't fully see it coming. I would definitely recommend this book, unless you are a bit squeamish in which you will not like this book. Overall rating: 4/5

*Light by Bruno
I have been loving picture/illustrated books in between longer books as they make me feel like I'm getting through more books; they are great refreshing reads. I love the illustrations in this little, quick book - the illustrations are minimalist but so striking and the two main little characters are so adorable (one looks like a moomin!). I loved the adventure the cute characters progress through and it was a great refreshing book in between the emotionally heavy books I've been reading recently. Overall rating 4/5.

*Night Flight 
I was very kindly this book to review from the lovely people at Alma books; when I am lucky enough to be sent books to review I always try and find books that I wouldn't usually pick up and this is one of those. Firstly I love the cover and it has a almost rubberised feel to it like the latest UK Harry Potter paperbacks.

I think you would categorise this book as a modern classic as it was first published in French in 1931. The book follows the fictional journeys of mail pilots in south America; which sounds like something I wouldn't pick up for myself but it something my dad would love. It's a very short read, I managed to read in one sitting as it is only 110 pages.

I loved the descriptions of the weather, it was definitely my favourite part of the book especially the storms (although it must've been awful to fly through something like that). The book demonstrates how dangerous, lonely and terrifying it could be to be a pilot during that time, particularly during night flights, and how distressing it can be for the family of the pilots. The book is fiction but it's based on the authors experiences as a pilot. I liked the book overall however one thing I didn't like was the character Riviere who was such an annoying, narcissistic and repetitive character, in my opinion. Other than that I think it's a great little read and I definitely recommend it for all the descriptions of the weather, the atmosphere and on the journeys of the pilots. Overall rating 4/5. 

*The Suicide Shop

I have been reading a couple of shorter books this month which is fantastic for getting through my reading goals for the year; also they're great in between longer/heavier books. The book follows the Tuvache Family who live in a future/dystopian France. They own the suicide shop which as the name would suggest sells all kinds of products for people to commit suicide with for example: rope, poisons and swords. In this world there isn't a lot of happiness and everything is grey/no one seems to be very happy...that is until Alan is born.

The writing is a little bit blunt but it is such a quick, fast-paced and enjoyable read. It does deal with such a emotional topic but it's done in a noir comedy kind of way which I love. I loved the story and the characters especially Alan.

I watched the film, which is an animated/cartoon film, before reading the book so I kind of knew what was going to happen but the book is quite different in places compare to the film. The film is in French, but you can find the film with English subtitles. I'd definitely recommend watching the film and reading the book. I think Tim Burton would have been an amazing director for the film and I think if they remade it then he would be amazing as the director – if you like Tim Burton films/stories and dark comedy then you will love this. 4/5

*Whispers Through The Megaphone 
The book follows Miriam, her past, present and how she wants to change for the future. It also follows her opposite in many ways, Ralph, who is living an ordinary but ultimately unfulfilled life with a wife and two teenage boys; homosexuality is relatively prominent throughout the book which I'm a fan of as I don't tend to read books with gay characters and I want to expand the diversity of the books I read. Ralph and Miriam meet under quite unusual circumstances, which is the case for the rest of the book, and I love the relationship they have - it's platonic which is a change from the rest of the books I've been reading recently. It was interesting to find out about Miriam's life, how she is now in which she hasn't left her home for three years and her relationships with friends and her mentally ill mother who has passed away. I love the writing style, it's quite unusual in a simplistic and 'train of thoughts' kind of way but it is very easy to read even though it deals with a couple of heavy issues such as mental illnesses, secrets, suicide and dysfunctional families of a sort.

I loved Miriam, Ralph, Eric and his family as well as Boo, they are all such interesting, unique, quirky and sweet characters that I could easily see in an independent, slow and kooky British film but then there is Sadie who to put it bluntly is a bit of a bitch - I really didn't like her character and I also didn't like Miriam's mum because of how Miriam had to grow up but she did have mental health issues so I have to forgive her. The only main point about this book that I hated were the six pages that made up chapter 45, I wish chapter 45 was completely different, as it was like reading a completely different book, but sadly it's in there. 

*Nevernight by Jay 

I haven't read anything by this author before but I always hear American YouTubers rave about this book. Firstly I love the cover, although I haven't a copy but I think I will have to get the physical copy soon. The book follows Mia, a high born girl who has had to watch her father die and now her family is captured. She stumbles across an old man who has a lot of secrets and he teaches her over the years to become an apprentice assassin. We follow her journey, which is an adventure to say the least, through deserts with sand monsters and trials with other assassins as well as so much more. 

I didn't know what to expect but I loved his writing style as it was very easy to read and even though the book is nearly 450 pages I managed to get through it in a couple of days. I loved Mia's character, even though she is quite crude, rude and has a bit of an attitude. I loved her journey, it was full of adventure, love, friendship, murder…and lots of blood. It was kind of like Hogwarts, only if it was filled with assassins, sex scenes, lots of swearing and for want of a better word, sassiness. 

I loved the story, it's such an entertaining, interesting and to an extent magical world albeit a gruesome, horrific at times and bloody world with some truly horrifying and grotesque individuals in it, and that's not even the assassins.

If you can handle all the blood, gore, murder and so much more then this is a fantastic, unputdownable read! I wasn't crazy about the ending though, I wish certain two people would have survived. It would be perfect for the autumn and Halloween time because as you can probably gather by now there is a lot of murder and gore throughout this book as well as some rather crude symbolism (the blood pool...). I think this would be great for those who love stories involving adventure, trials and characters learning to control their abilities and obviously murder, vengeance and a bit of love thrown in there too. Oh and did I mention that shadows can move, everything may not be what it seems and the horrors of Godsgrave will await you, if you are brave, or foolish enough, to wander the streets alone. Overall rating 4/5.

Dr Knox by
First up, I just want to say how much I adore the cover - it drew me in instantly and it's one of the reasons I wanted to check it out on Netgalley (most of these books are Netgalley arcs). The book follows Dr Knox, obviously, he is an incredibly lovely, well meaning and devoted doctor who goes above and beyond with his patients...too much so with a couple of patients who rush into his clinic at the end of the day who bring with them a mystery that he feels compelled to solve. 

The writing is so quick and easy to read, too much so I think as it is really quite blunt (e.g.: I did this, then I did that). Also the story was quite slow in my opinion and for the first time ever, I found myself skim reading parts quite a lot but I did want to find out the whole mystery with Alex and his mother which to be honest was the only thing keeping me reading. The book does deal with crime, murder, rape, gangs and more so If you might be triggered by those themes when maybe don't pick this one up. I liked the ending, the premise and the mystery but I think it had a lot of problems for me personally. I think a book format isn't the best outlet for this story - a TV show or movie would have been ten times more appropriate and much more entertaining/gripping. Overall rating: ★★☆☆☆, 2/5. 

Those are the majority of the books I read in September, I have managed to read a couple more but I'll include them in my October book review post as this one is already really long! 


Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading currently? 

January Reading Wrap-up

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
January Reading Wrap-up
Well, January has been an okay reading month, it hasn't been amazing but I have managed to get through a few full length books and comic books/graphic novels as well as cookbooks. There have been a few books that I've loved, some were very average and others were disappointing enough to DNF. 

*On The Trail of Sandalwood Smugglers by Lush - ★★★★★, 5/5
I love Sandalwood within fragrances and products but I had no idea about the illegal Sandalwood trade and how valuable it is or that people would go to such lengths to sell illegal sandalwood. It has simplistic but effective and interesting artwork, it's easy to follow and I love the cover artwork and how well it is produced – it's a lovely hardback graphic novel. I knew Lush and it's founders were always trying to be as ethical, responsible and as natural as they can be but I didn't know the lengths they go to to make sure they're using the safest, legal and most natural, environmentally friendly and ethical ingredients they possibly can.

Paper Girls Volume One - ★★★☆☆, 3/5
Paper girls is a graphic novel about four friends as they carry out their paper route and come across some interesting and unusual… characters. I love the artwork style, the cover and the general story but I didn't like some of the language in the comic book, for example the use of AIDS as an insult - I really had a problem with this! However the story was quite fast paced and interesting and I wanted to know what happened but it wasn't enough to make me want to buy the second volume. 

More Very British problems - ★★★★★, 5/5
I read the first book a couple of years ago while on holiday as it really quick and easy read and I loved it so I picked up the second book. This one is almost just as interesting and entertaining as the first although I think I do prefer the first one. I related to so much of it because we British are an unusual lot! If you liked the first then definitely pick up the second and also if you like their Twitter account or TV show and definitely pick up the books!


*The Story of the Company That Came Before Lush by Lush - ★★★★★, 5/5
I had no idea that the founders of Lush originally produced products for The Body Shop including some of the most famous products now such as the peppermint foot lotion! But they didn't just make products for The Body Shop, they also made products for John Frieda and others!

I also didn't know that the founders originally started producing products, under a different name, back in the 70s! Lush is one of my all time favourite brands, I've been using their products for about seven years and it was so interesting to see the history of the products and companies that eventually became the famous brand we know today. 


*Succulents by Robin Stockwell - ★★★★☆, 4/5
I want to be green fingered but sadly I'm not, the only plants I've been able to grow are succulents; I have one that's been growing for almost a year now and it has grown so much since I received it so I wanted to hopefully learn a bit more about them and how to look after better. The book has fantastic photos as well as great ideas of what plants to use in different areas/environments such as growing them in containers which is what I'm most interested in. I love the idea of planting succulents in hanging cones and as wedding arrangements and gift toppers which is such a unique idea! I wasn't as interested in the first half of the book but the second contains so much information that I wanted.


*Treat Yourself by Jessica Siskin - ★★★★☆, 4/5
One vegan treat I've wanted to make for a while are vegan rocky road bars, as vegan marshmallows and chocolate are easy to find so they should be easy to make. The cover drew me in; it's a fantastic book with so many creative ideas of what to make with crispy rice - so many of which I never even thought of! I love the idea of making a newspaper, pizza and book out of puffed rice, chocolate, icing and marshmallows! I will definitely be making some of these, they'd be a great birthday treat idea to make instead of cake! My only negative about the book is that at least half of the photographs are quite boring and they could be really creative, eye catching and fun but they aren't sadly which I think is a big letdown for a food focused book. 


*The Pumpkin Cookbook, 2nd Edition by DeeDee Stovel - ★★★★☆, 4/5
Pumpkin and squash are some of my favourite vegetables to roast, add to soup, bake and mix with pasta, salad and more but I'm always looking for more meal ideas. The photography within this book is gorgeous however I wish there was more of it of the finished recipes - it's my only negative of the book! I've made a couple of the recipes, albeit with some alternations to make them vegan/vegetarian and when autumn comes around again, I'll definitely be using this cookbook so much! 


Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban - ★★★★★, 5/5
I started reading the Harry Potter books last year and I wish I had started reading them sooner but I loved the films and I mistakenly thought that the books would be too similar to the films so they wouldn't be worth reading but I was very wrong! I adore the cover, J K Rowlings writing style and this magical, homely series. I'm always looking out of differences between the books and the films; there are quite a few differences with this book. For example, the dementor scene on the train, the boggat lessons and Harry's new broom has a lot more focus in the book than the film; also Harry in the book is more confident, and speaks up more than the films. 

The Maurders map is different in the book with little people and their actions shown on the map, Snape is much more of a bully and as with the other two books I've read, the ghosts are more prominent and mischievous compared to the films. One of the main differences is with Black, he is more prominent throughout and he seems to be trying to get to Harry more. There's more of a backstory of Lupin including his school days at Hogwarts in the book that I had absolutely no idea about as well as an explanation of how Black gets out of Azkaban which I don't think was in the film. As with the previous books, the main action scenes and the focus of the films seem to be the last 30% of the books, everything is always left to the very end to be explained. I loved being in the Harry Potter world and I can't wait to move onto the fourth book. 


*The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - DNF 
I was very kindly sent this book from the lovely people over at Alma Books; I adore their collection of classics with stunning covers and they are all so inexpensive too which is always a plus! I love this cover, it is so striking and colourful. I read The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde from Alma Books which I absolutely adored so I was excited to try The Picture of Dorian Gray. I didn't fully know the plot before going into this book but I have watched a few TV shows and films that have a Dorian Gray style character within them such as A League of Gentlemen and Penny Dreadful. 

Oscar Wilde's writing tends to be very flowing, poetic, descriptive and almost lyrical which I like but this book seems to be nothing but flowery descriptions, high societies views of beauty, culture/art and each other which I found to be quite boring as well as the constant insta love everyone seems to have when they meet Dorian Gray which was, if I'm honest, a little bit annoying and frustrating (sorry!). 

I have DNF'd this book which I hate to do but I read almost half of the book and I couldn't carry on as it was so boring for me but just because I didn't like it doesn't mean that you won't and if you are looking into buying some pretty but inexpensive classics then definitely check out Alma Books (also check out The Canterville Ghost if you want to read some of Oscar Wilde's writing). 


*Incendium by A. D Swanston★★★★☆, 4/5
I am a fan of historical fiction and this one also contains mystery and action elements; it's set in Elizabethan England which I adore so I knew I'd love this book. The book follows Christopher throughout his job as an intelligencer for the Earl of Leicester during a time were there's political tension, religious uprisings and unrest in Europe and threats to the Queen's life. I loved the historical setting, action and adventure as well as the mystery; however there were a couple of things I wasn't a fan of such as ALL of the travelling, the overly violent scenes towards the beginning of the book and the ending was a little anticlimactic and predictable but I think it's definitely worth reading! 


What books have you read recently? Have you read any of these books? 

Winter Haircare ft. Andrew Collinge

Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Winter Haircare ft. Andrew Collinge
I have to be honest and say that my hair has been neglected recently! I used to be so diligent about looking after my hair and testing out new haircare products but even though my hair is suffering, I haven't been treating it as I should. Thankfully I received a lovely winter haircare set from the lovely people at Andrew Collinge to help my hair get through the last part of winter!

*Andrew Collinge Finishing Gel Serum Definer (£10, 100ml)
I'm never that kind of girl who is into gel haircare products as I think they work much better on short hair rather than my waist length hair but I wanted to give this a go. It is a clear, very thick gel that is really quite sticky so I distribute a very small amount between my fingers and lightly smooth over the frizzer areas of my hair, which on me are my mid-lengths. I find it does help to reduce frizz and smooth flyaways which is fantastic although it's not something I'd use all of the time but it's worth trying out, especially if you have short hair or lots of layers. Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5.

*Andrew Collinge Firm Hold Hairspray (£5.50, 100ml)
I'm not a massive fan of hairspray, I just try not to annoy the beast (aka. my hair) but I do like hairspray when my hair is tied up and it is looking frizzy as a minimal spray of hairspray on my brush while I'm tying my hair up can smooth out and flatten frizz. I wouldn't personally say that it's a firm hold, not on my long hair anyway but that's a good thing as I only need light/medium hold. It has UV protection which is fantastic and the mini size is great for travelling. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.
Winter Haircare ft. Andrew Collinge
*Andrew Collinge Argan Oil (£15, 115ml)
I love hair oils as my hair is colour treated, dry and frizzy and I find that most hair oils leave my hair smooth, super soft and shiny and this one is no different. It has a handy pump dispenser which makes it less messy to use and it's easy to dispense a tiny amount. I use hair oils on my wet or damp hair and leave it to dry naturally overnight and in the morning my hair is always soft, smooth and detangled. If you have dry hair or if your hair is suffering with the chilly winter days then check out this hair oil. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

*Andrew Collinge Hair Moisturiser (£8, 150ml)
Now onto my favourite product of the four I was sent and it's something I haven't tried or heard of before! It's a hair moisturiser in an almost aerosol spray container which is so unique (to me anyway) and it's so convenient, quick and easy to use. I've been using it on the mid-lengths and ends of my hair when it is wet/damp and it leaves my hair smooth, slightly shiner (but not in a greasy way), soft and it helps to detangle. Out of all of the products in this post, I'd definitely recommend this one the most! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Have you tried any products from Andrew Collinge? What are your winter haircare tips or favourite products? 

Winter to Spring Staples ft. Brantano

Monday, February 06, 2017
Winter to Spring Staples ft. Brantano
A couple of weeks ago, I started the process of minimising my wardrobe, pre-spring cleaning my clothing collection and working out which items I'm wearing the most and which I hardly ever wear. As well as jumpers, dresses, knitwear, leggings and stretchy skinny jeans, I find that my most worn items are...ankle boots.

My go to casual everyday outfit: jeans, jumper and ankle boots; also my more formal or feminine outfit features a skater dress, tights and black ankle boots. For me, ankle boots are an essential during every season and I can't be without them so when I was able to choose a pair to review from the lovely people at Brantano, I couldn't say no!

*Brantano Emilio Luca X Tectrix Ankle Boots (£20, SALE)
I have about five pairs of black ankle boots and only a couple of pair that aren't all black so I decided to choose this pair of gorgeous brown boots - they do look a lot more tan online than they actually are but I still love them! I love the simple shape, block heel which makes them super comfortable and easy to wear and the shade that's perfect for pairing with indigo jeans.
Winter to Spring Staples ft. Brantano
The fringing detailing is something I wasn't sure about but I just love it, it makes the boots a little more unique and interesting - also it's quite a spring/summer detail. They are so incredibly comfortable to wear, I can wear them all day without my feet hurting although I do have a couple of complaints; the sole of the boots are quite slippery and walking on tiles or laminate can be a little precarious. Also the boots are categorised as ankle boots but on me they come up much higher, especially compared to my other ankle boots, so they make my jeans look a little scrunched up.

However, I'm really happy with these boots as they are very comfortable, they go with so many casual outfits and they are really inexpensive at only £20 currently as they're on sale from £40 at Brantano. These ankle boots will be a staple of my winter and spring wardrobe! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

What do you think of these ankle boots? What are your winter to spring wardrobe staples?