Vegan Toiletries – Shower Gel

Being Vegan stems out to far more than just the food we eat, we also need to be conscious about what toiletries and cleaning products we use.

I have tried many Vegan Shower Gels over the past few years but these are the 3 I am using at the moment and my reviews and comparisons of them all! Yes, I have more than 1 shower gel on the go at a time, it depends what mood I am in, which I shall use! My OH moans at me constantly because I tend to bulk buy toiletries and then we have no room in the bathroom! Isn’t every girl the same haha!

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I briefly mention the chemical content of the products. It may not be of interest to you all but I strongly believe, if you care what you eat and what you put into your body, you should think about the products which you use on your skin, as this is your largest body organ and one of the quickest ways for chemicals to get into your body.

Lush – The Comforter

Firstly, big up to Lush for being amazing and supplying us with lots of Vegan goodies on the high street! I love how helpful and happy your staff always are and the smell lures me in every time!

My all time favourite bath bar from Lush is the Comforter, so I love that we can buy the same blackcurranty, sweetie smell in shower gel form!

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The shower cream is described as ” Cassis absolute knits together with sweet vanilla, wrapping you in homely blackcurrant comfort”. ” Rich almond oil gives pillow soft skin, while the scent of homemade fruit crumble envelopes you in a nostalgic hug!”

Smell: Very overly sweet and fruity and reminds me of blackcurrants. I adore this smell and it lasts for a long time after using the product.

Price: Β£4.75 for 100g

Chemicals to be aware of:

Sodium Laureth Sulphate – As this can strip the oil from your skin, it makes it easier for toxins to be absorbed by the body.

Propylene Glycol: Same as above.

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Overall feel of the product: The product lathers up really well and you only need to use a small amount meaning the size of the bottle does last longer than you would expect. My skin felt smooth and soft afterwards.

Rating: I do love the smell of the product and it leaves my body feeling smooth. The chemicals in the product aren’t overly concerning to me however I do feel the product is slightly over priced, therefore I would give it 3/5.

I wouldΒ recommend if you love The Comforter bubble bar or if you are buying as a present πŸ™‚

Original Source for Men – Lemon and Lime Shower hair and body Gel

Totally didn’t notice this product said it was for men when I purchased it! I am a big fan of Original Source shower gels because they smell great and you can often pick them up places for Β£1.00 on offer!

“This bottle is packed with 5 lemons and 20 limes to revive you”. It is made in the UK, tested on humans, has natural ingredients and is recyclable yay.

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Smell: Totally smells of lemons and limes πŸ™‚ however I do feel it smells a bit cheap compared to some of their other products. The product smells clean and fresh and certainly helps to wake you up.

Price: I found for Β£1.00 in Boots. 250ml

Chemicals to be aware of:

Sodium Laureth Sulphate: See above

Cocamidiopropyl betaine: Penetration enhancer and when mixed with other chemicals can become carcinogenic.

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Overall feel of the product: Lathers up well, doesn’t leave my skin overly soft but not drying either.

Rating: For the price it is a great product, however I do prefer some of the other flavours to this one. It is refreshing and I have to say not an overly manly smell either. The chemicals, considering the product is cheap are not overly concerning. Β The bottle seems to last me a long time too. 3/5

I would buy again and would recommend for a cheap buy. Certainly beats a lot of similar priced products!

Dr. Organic Rose Otto Body Wash

I do love anything rose smelling, and this is what drew me in to buy this product!

“Formulated using organically certified and natural extracts”. Free from parabens, sls, synthetic colours, glycols, mineral oils and silicones.

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Smell: The product uses Rose Otto Oil which is an aromatic essential oil and you can certainly smell rose as soon as you open the bottle. If you are a rose lover like me, you will enjoy this product! If you think roses are for grannies, you possibly will be disappointed! The smell does stay on your body after use too. The smell is uplifting and luxurious.

Price: Β£6.49 for 250ml in Holland and Barrett

Overall feel of the product: The product lathers up well. It does not leave my body feeling overly smooth unlike the Lush product, however it is not drying either. The product does feel luxurious to use but I do feel I use a lot more of the shower gel compared to the other products, so it will not last as long.

Chemicals to be aware of:

Cocamidiopropyl betaine: Penetration enhancer and when mixed with other chemicals can become carcinogenic.

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Rating: I thoroughly enjoy using this product because of the delightful smell. It feels luxurious and leaves me feeling refreshed and squeaky clean! I would rate it 4/5 and recommend to anyone who loves the smell of roses. If you are aware of what chemicals you use on your skin this is a great product to try! I do think the price is justified for the product.

Overall, it would be hard for me to choose a winner out of these 3. I love them all for different reasons and would buy them all again! Price wise, you cannot beat the Original Source. I would recommend The Comforter to perhaps younger people who love the smell of sweets and then Dr Organic Rose Otto to an older person or anyone who loves the smell of roses! The Comforter would make a great present for a Vegan!

Review: Kookie Kat Vanilla Choc Chip Cookie

Hey Guys 😻

Firstly before my cookie review 😹 I received a bit of slack for my last blog post being too negative 😭

If you know me I pride myself on being a positive person, however my blog is here to give honest reviews. Obviously this is only my opinion and I urge people to try the products for themselves too πŸ‘πŸ½

That’s Β the great thing about social media, the post saw a number of people agreeing with me and a number of people who actually loved the product 😻

Now to COOKIE’s 😻😻😻😻

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I first bought myself a Kookie Kat Vanilla Choc Chip from the best Vegan shop in Birmingham, Natural Healthy Foods. The price was Β£1.49

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I had been eager to try these cookies ever since seeing them on Instagram and reading the cute story behind the name of the brand 😺

Handcrafted oatmeal & cashew cookies that are vegan, gluten-free and have a low glycemic index? Yes! Kookie Cat transforms the cookie experience with a soft, chewy and mild sweet flavor. And the not-so-secret ingredient of love makes the final result purr-fectly delicious.

Let’s cut to the chase, it’s a cookie, it was always going to score highly in my eyes.

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However this isn’t any kind of cookie! It is one of the best cookies I have ever tasted! It tastes healthy, not sickly and has a coconutty texture and flavour. There was the perfect amount of choc chips and I could not get enough of it!

I love that the ingredients are organic, palm oil free, soy free and gluten free.

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They are quite high in calories but for a treat I would choose this over many things!

My OH says he would buy these over any other cookie he has tried 😻

So Thank you Kookie Kat for an awesome product, I cannot wait to try the pineapple flavour and I have also noticed great recipe ideas popping up on Insta using your Kookies too πŸ‘πŸ½

Taste: 5/5

Price: 4/5

Overall: 4.75/5

I will 100% buy again and recommend to anyone who loves a sweet treat! Next stop, pineapple Kookies 😻

There are plenty of places to buy online including Amazon and Protein Pic and Mix

Review: Follow your Heart Vegan Egg

I really hate writing negative reviews 😭 and obviously this is just my opinion but this might just save you £8.00 😹

I actually hated eggs before I became Vegetarian, which could have been down to the fact I was eating around 30 egg whites a day 😿 (sorry chickens) but even before then the smell of eggs made me want to gag 🀒 unless they were in a cake of course πŸ‘πŸ½

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The reason i bought these Follow Your Heart vegan eggs was for my OH, he is doing very well in transitioning over from a meat eater but he does miss scrambled egg! My Mum and Step Dad are also half way through trialling Veganism for a month and my Mum says she misses nothing but eggs!

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I thought these could be the perfect solution! But at Β£8.00 a box they aren’t cheap!

On first impressions I was disappointed when I opened the box and saw there were no eggs 😹 just a bag of powder! I kinda guessed one of the ingredients would be black salt and you could smell the eggy aroma straight away 🀒🀒🀒🀒

I gave up half way through and made the OH cook the scrambled “egg” and even he was saying the smell was off putting! The eggs take around 6-8 minutes to cook.

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I tried the smallest amount and so did he and then it went straight in the bin πŸ—‘ (you can see it in the top left) the aduki bean casserole was great though!

We could have saved the powder to make cakes but we were so grossed out by the smell, we daren’t risk it! Especially when apple puree, chia eggs or flax eggs or even a mashed banana do the trick as an egg replacement for a lot cheaper!

Taste 0/5

Price 0/5

Overall 0/5

I will never buy again nor recommend sorry 😭

Travel Tuesday: Abel’s Harp Review – Shrewsbury

A little closer to home for this weeks Travel Tuesday review! At the end of July we popped down to Shropshire for a nights stay in Abelsharp, Shrewsbury.

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We booked this as a deal which included a one night stay, use of the hot tub and afternoon tea.

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At the time of booking I emailed and asked if they would cater for a Vegan for afternoon tea, which I was happy to receive a reply that they would. A few days before our booking, I thought I would double check the timing of the afternoon tea and they said they unfortunatly couldn’t cater for Vegans so we decided to leave it. I was a bit disappointed but I don’t expect little hotels to go out of their way for me so it was fine.

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On arrival, the check in was smooth, we were checked in by two children which was cute and given our key on a big spoon, I loved the quirkiness! The hotel is full of quirky little signs and cute chairs etc.

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I believe there are 6 themed rooms within the hotel and can you believe my luck, as we approached the room, we were given the “Hunt Room” 😳 I started to wonder if it was a joke to put the Vegan in the “Hunt Room” and was dreading opening the door 😹

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I had no reason to worry, the room was actually my favourite thing! Ok, there were a few pictures of hunting on the walls but there were foxes everywhere and as my nickname is Foxy, the room suited me down to the ground! Fox bed sheets, fox pillows, fox pictures πŸ™‚

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The room was of a good size and had quirky little touches such as some whisky for a nightcap, tea and coffee and toiletries in the bathroom (although we had no idea what was what!).

The bed was really comfortable and the bedding was clean however the pillows did smell a bit musky. We slept ok but if you are a light sleeper, bare in mind the walls are quite thin!

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There was a small TV and we had an absolutely cracking view of the hills!

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We popped to the bar downstairs in the evening and the staff/owners were friendly, drinks were reasonably priced I think we paid around Β£1.70 for a small apple juice and Β£4.50 for a pint of Birra Moretti.

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For breakfast, as a Vegan I opted for toast and jam which was nice enough, although I did feel the place where you eat could do with a clean. My OH had a full English which was the smallest I have ever seen but he said it tasted nice! There was no juice or hot water left for us to make coffee which was disappointing. The chef lady seemed nice though.

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In terms of location, you are in a very peaceful countryside setting, we decided to stay so we could go for a nice walk but it didn’t stop raining the whole time we were there!

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We drove for around ten minutes to the nearest shop in Minsterley, a CO-OP and there were a few pubs here too!

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We didn’t use the hot tub as we didn’t really want to go out in the rain but we did see it in the morning and to be honest it looked like it could do with a clean! The views from the tub would be exceptional! Same from the little glamping huts!

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We popped to see the Alpacas and the pigs! Very cute!

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Overall, I liked the quirkiness of the hotel and the location is great for some peace and quiet and some walking. I personally wouldn’t return and I’m not sure I would recommend either. I was happy for a nights stay at the price we paid on a special offer but there’s no way I would pay the original price.
I know the hotel is going for a vintage look but I feel it needed a massive clean, sorry!

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Room: 3/5
Location: 4.5/5
Food: 2/5
Value for money: 2.5/5

Overall: 2.5/5

Natural Healthy Foods Birmingham Review

A few weekends ago we went on a double date to the Birmingham Donkey Sanctuary and then stopped off at Natural Healthy Foods in Birmingham.

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Firstly, we stopped off at their shop in Digbeth as they had a sample event with lots of vegan goodies to try 😍

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We couldn’t believe how busy the shop was (which is obviously a great thing, hellooooo to the Vegans of Birmingham 😘) but I still managed to try lots of things from Vegan cheese to chocolate to Tofurky and even One Planet Vegan Pizza 😍 (best Vegan pizza I have tried!)

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I love the shop because you know that whatever you buy will be Vegan and never tested on animals. Quite a few products are also organic and UK sourced 😎

After purchasing some goodies including the Kookie cat cookies I have been after for a while, we made our way over to the Natural Healthy foods Eatery.

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The location is perfect, just opposite the Mailbox πŸ‘Œ it took us less than 10 minutes to walk from Bullring and about five minutes from New Street Station.

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The restaurant is kind of like a buffet style, you grab a plate and help yourself to what you fancy. There is plenty of salad, raw food, chinese style noodles, cauliflower cheese, onion bread, curries, dhaal, potatos, vegetables and plenty more. At the end you weigh your plate and pay for what you have chosen.

I had a bowl of food including a bit of everything and it came to Β£6.99.

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We didn’t fill up too much on the savoury dishes because I was eager to try the desserts! Between us we tried the espresso torte, the vanilla caramel cheesecake and key lime pie! I wish i had room to try it all! Don’t panic, they always have a takeaway option! The desserts are priced around Β£4.95 each and I 100 % think this is an absolute bargain!

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The desserts are the best I have ever tasted even compared to non vegan desserts and the added bonus are the desserts are all raw, so healthy 😻 they contain no refined sugar at all! Natural Healthy Foods have inspired me to create more raw dishes at home!

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My favourite was the Vanilla Caramel Cake but I could definitely eat all of them again! Next time I want to try the Tiramisu and the fudge!

My OH is yet to switch to a fully Vegan diet but he loved the choice of desserts! He said he would rush to go back and would happily choose to eat here than any other restaurant!

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The only negative thing I can say, is that some of the desserts were not labelled so we had to keep asking what they were, however this was soon rectified whilst we were there! The staff were super duper friendly and happy to help πŸ™‚

The atmosphere in the restaurant is great, the design is really modern yet has a natural ethical feel with a great buzz of people.

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Some of my friends have tried the eatery too and they all loved the food too πŸ™‚ I have heard a few comments, where people have found the food to be expensive but I honestly believe you get what you pay for. If you were to eat a meal out in any other restaurant, I am sure the prices would be similar and for me, I love the fact I know that all the food I am eating is healthy and 100 percent Vegan 😻 the flavours really will tickle your tastebuds and I cannot wait to visit again!

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There is a shop attached to the eatery too, which is convenient to stock up on all your Vegan goodies! Could this place be any more perfect! β™₯️ I bought these Biona Organic Beans πŸ™‚

Location: 5/5

Staff 5/5

Price: 5/5

Taste and variety of food: 5/5

Atmosphere: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

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Travel Tuesday: Hotel Platanista, Kos

It is coming up to a year ago, my partner and I had our first holiday together πŸ’–

IMG_5858We hadn’t been together too long and we were stuck deciding whether to go for a week or two weeks, imagine we didn’t get along 😹 so we compromised and jetted off to Kos for an 11 night stay at the Hotel Platanista!

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We booked through Thomson and the hotel is rated 4* plus, Platinum! We chose Hotel Platanista based on its location and it’s pretty turrets and archways, making it look like a castle πŸ’œ the reviews all seemed to be great too!

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First Impressions:

We arrived quite late in the evening, the hotel looked beautiful in the dark as they light up all the archways! Check in was simple and we were given spa vouchers (unfortunatly we didn’t make use of these).

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We headed off in search for food (which took us a while)! Top tip walk to the end of the road and turn left, there are a few restaurants on the way to Kos Town! We chose to eat in a lovely Turkish restaurant!

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Room:

For a 4* Platinum hotel, the room was nothing special. We were on the 1st floor overlooking the fountains.

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The room was spacious with a very big, comfortable bed, TV with a few English channels, aircon and a balcony. Β The room was always kept clean thanks to the maids πŸ™‚ The room was always quiet, despite overlooking the evening entertainment, we had no complaints other than it was a bit basic.

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Food and Drink:

This is where the hotel excels itself. There is no option to go All Inclusive, therefore we paid for Half Board. At Breakfast and Dinner there were always tons of options, the best I have ever seen at a Half Board restaurant. I am vegan and always managed to find lots to eat and my partner particularly liked all of the desserts!

At lunch time, one can buy food at the pool bars, we did find this a bit pricy and preffered to eat out at local restaurants where the food was of a higher quality for the same price! The staff are amazing at the pool bar however and will remember your usual drinks!

In the evening there is an outdoors bar, the drinks are reasonaly priced, I think a beer was around 5 euros and cocktails 7/8 euros. We were served quickly and the bar men were great.

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Location:

The hotel has a fab location. We often walked into Kos Town which took us around 30/40minutes each way or there was a regular bus which took less than 5 minutes.

From Kos, you can catch a ferry over to Turkey in around an hour.

 

In the opposite direction, one can take a bus to the Therma hot springs in around 30 minutes too!

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You can walk to the sandy beach from the hotel in a few minutes!

Pools:

There are 2 large pools, I didn’t spend much time in them as I found them cold 😹 but my Partner loved them! There was also a Jacuzzi pool and a swim up bar.

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We never struggled to find sun beds and the atmosphere around the pool was nice and calm.

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Entertainment:

During the day there was the usual Aqua fit, yoga, volleyball activites. We didn’t take part in these but they looked fun!

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In the evening there were various shows such as a magic show, pop quiz, Β comedy and singers. The only one that stands out to me was the magic show. We often went out in the evenings as the entertainment finished early.

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Gym:

There is a small hotel gym in the basement. It was ok for what we needed but there was no air con so working out was quite hard in the heat!

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Top tips:

The Thomson rep lady is fab we booked lots through her including: The Volcano Tour, Zia by night (best sunset ever), Paradise beach and a day trip to Turkey!

If you are looking for night life, Kos is pretyy dull nowadays and I would suggest staying nearer to Kardamena.

IMG_5881I’m not sure if this was an Adults Only Hotel but there were no kids here, I would recommend this hotel to couples and not families. It is a calm relaxing hotel, not overly lively!

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Rating: Overall I would give this hotel a 4/5, the location was great and the food was amazing! Staff were nice and there is plenty to do around Kos!

I wouldn’t return soon as I feel like we experienced everything we could but I would recommend to other people as we had a fab first holiday together ⛡️

Review: Plenish Organic Coconut Milk

It’s funny when I do my Sunday food shop, we sometimes make trips to a million different shops just to see what goodies I can come across 😹 we even popped to Worcester Foodie Festival yesterday and it was great to see Worcester Vegan Group having a stand!

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Yesterday I found a new range of M*lks made my Plenish. I have seen their smoothies and juices before but the milks are new to me.

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I was interested in trying these new milk alternatives because they are free from any additives, stabilizers, gums, oil and carrageenan. Whilst I love all the milk alternatives out there it does sometimes worry me all the added extras in the ingredients, so these products seemed perfect for me!

Where did I buy: Sainsburys

Taste: I was expecting them to taste much of the same as Alpro or Koko coconut milk but this was a lot fresher tasting. It has a very strong coconut flavour and has a consistency very similar to cow’s milk, as in it is thicker than other brand’s coconut milks!

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I tried on it’s own, within my smoothie bowl and in a cup of tea! It didn’t curdleor seperarate in tea but I have to be honest, I much prefer oat or almond milk for a good cuppa! Amazing in my smoothie though πŸ™‚

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Next stop I will try it in a curry!

Price: Normally priced at Β£2.50 in sainsburys but on offer for Β£2.00. I think this is reasonable for the product. Plenish live by the same motto as myself: You get out of life what you put in! So by proactively filling up on healthy ingredients, you can press on and crush it! Ultimately you get what you pay for!

Recommend: 100% yes! Tastes great and is a healthy alternative to milk!

Rating: 5/5

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Review: V Bites Vegi Deli Meatless Feast Burger

The weekend always calls for an epic cheat meal and this time it was Pizza and Prosecco at my girls house!

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I picked up this pizza from Holland and Barrett in Droitwich before I came.

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Taste: I’ve tried a few vegan pizzas and I’ve tried a lot of vegan fake meat but never together! I’m not a huge pizza fan but I was blown away by the taste. For me i cannot remember what meat tastes like, but iy definitely tasted how I expected. V bites aren’t stingy with the toppings and it went down a treat!

 

The pizza isn’t overly cheesy so I would suggest adding some more of your own if that’s what you are looking for!

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Price: I paid Β£2.99 for the pizza but luckily had a 20 percent coupon to use at H&B ( I literally have these falling out of my purse, everytime I go in I manage to accquire a new one haha).

For a small pizza, I personally did find this a little pricy, it was bought mostly out of convenience.

However after tasting the pizza, I believe it is worth the money and I would totally buy it again!

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Recommend: Whole heartedly yes! 100 percent!

Rating: 5/5

Ps the prosecco was amazing too!

Review: Chocolate Coconut Torte from Hungry Horse

The OH spotted a vegan dessert on the menu at Hungry Horse earlier this week so took me there today to try it 😺

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Taste: The torte was amazing, so chocolaty and very rich! I couldn’t really taste the coconut but this didn’t bother me. The portion size was perfect, just enough and it didn’t leave me feeling sick!

 

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Ice cream: The vegan vanilla ice cream was perfect to accompany the torte. It was refreshing and light 😻

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Price: The tortes are priced at Β£4.79 each or 2 for Β£6.00 Monday to Friday so very reasonable πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

 

Comments: I am so happy there is a vegan dessert on the menu at Hungry Horse. I had a quick scroll through the main meal menu and whilst there was no set vegan option i could see, they have things like jacket potato and beans.

OH says it tasted just as he expected and was totalky worth the Β£10.00 for two. He says the ice cream is more of a sorbet consistency and he is glad he chose it over anything non vegan πŸ‘πŸ½

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Big thanks to the staff at Copcut Elm in Droitwich who are always lovely πŸ‘πŸ½

Rating: Whilst I prefer a healthier dessert for what it is I could give it nothing less 4.75/5

Thanks to my OH for spotting this the Veganism is wearing off haha

My favourite things – review of TruJello and Sea salt fudgee bites

We had another action packed weekend last week which involved staying over in the Shropshire Hills, shopping and meeting our friends for a double date at The Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham!🐴

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On our way home from Shrewsbury, after not seeing a shop or actually after not seeing anything but fields for a long long time, I spotted a shop on the side of the road.πŸ™€

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I could not believe my eyes when I read it was a whole foods shop and had to ask my OH if I was dreaming 😸

Some how the Vegan Gods had sent us on the route to find Harvest Wholefoods and to my delight, this shop was full of vegan goodies πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

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Tru Jello Review

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Costing 75p for 2 pots of jelly, you really can’t go wrong. We chose the tropical flavour but now I really wish we bought the strawberry ones too! The taste and texture were great and the OH says he even prefers them to Hartleys πŸ‘πŸ½Β Sweetned with stevia means they are not full of lots of sugar too!

5/5

Fabulous Free from Factory Sea salt dark chocolate covered fudgee bites Review

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Phew, try saying that when you are drunk 😹

I am normally pretty good with keeping up to date with any new vegan treats but I didn’t even know these existed until stepping foot into this Vegan heaven 😻

The small bag cost me Β£1.49 but they were totally worth it! They were slightly harder and chewier than normal fudge and I have to say I prefer the plain fudge from the same company, however I would totally buy these again!

The sea salt flavour is very subtle and these are very rich sweets so it’s hard to eat them all in one go! I saved some to top my smoothie bowls!

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4.5/5

On our way home we also stopped in a very small town called Bishops Gate and I could not believe my eyes! In such a small town various cafes and restaurants were offering vegan options! 😻

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Chocolate hazlenut Tarts

My favourite recipe of the week is from Deliciously Ella. Now I have my Magimix it is super easy to try new recipes 😻

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https://deliciouslyella.com/2012/07/22/chocolate-hazelnu-tart-gluten-dairy-sugar-free/

5/5

We were slightly disappointed with Birmingham Donkey Sanctuary. After visiting The Donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth the weekend before we had expected it to be similar however we were not able to get close to the donkeys here at Birmimgham 😿 I whole heartedly love and respect the sanctuary for looking after the donkeys but we had a much more enjoyable time in Sidmouth. 🐴

We finished our weekend by visiting Natural Healthy Foods in Birmingham and this will feature in my next blog! 😻

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