Wednesday, 22 October 2014

My Favourite Autumn Boots


When it comes to the Autumn, I am all about my boots. At the slightest turn of the weather, at even a hint of grey skies and crisp, red leaves, I plunge into my wardrobe and dig out my trusty ankle boots.

From classic black boots to leopard print (I love my animal print - just call me Pat Butcher), sky high Louboutins I can't walk in, I don't think I'll ever tire of buying myself boots.

Anyway, huge thanks goes to the wonderful Esska for sending me this gorgeous pair of "Just" black boots for this season. Aren't they fab? Versatile, comfortable, classic, go-with-anything and ultra flattering - they tick every possible boot box you could ever want!







And here's me wearing my favourite new boots...so snuggly, and so beautiful. I love them!




If you've never heard of Esska before, do check them out. Their website is packed with stylish boots and unique shoes that are just begging to be worn (I also have my eye on these Gain boots with a chunky tread to help me stomp through the snow).

Which boots do you have your eye on this season?

Sam x

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies



Who doesn't love a good cookie? Chewy, gooey and oh-so-delicious, a simple cookie can transform a day, turning it from a bad one into an utterly brilliant.

Of course, packed with processed ingredients and sugars, they're not really all that kind to our waistline - and they're definitely not going to help us squeeze into that little (red) dress this Christmas. So when Sukrin - creators of the most incredibly guilt-free baking goods imaginable (think calorie and carb-free icing "sugar" and all kinds of fat reduced, gluten-free flours under the sun) sent me some of their peanut flour to try, I knew what I had to bake...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Oh yes, it just had to be healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter PROTEIN Cookies, to be precise.

I couldn't get much nicer to you, could I?

Enjoy,

Sam x

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

Ingredients:
3.5 tbsp Sukrin peanut flour
1 scoop Sci-tec peanut butter and chocolate protein powder
1 tsp baking powder
6.5 tbsp Nuts n More peanut butter
4-5 tbsp honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
Handful dark chocolate chips

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 170C, then line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. In one bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Then, gently melt together the honey and peanut butter, then stir until smooth and add in the salt and vanilla, then the egg once the mixture has cooled slightly.

2) Stir the dry mixture into the wet until combined, then mix in the chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the baking tray, then bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Press a few more chocolate chips on top, then leave to cool before enjoying.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Apple and Blackberry Bircher Muesli With Hazelnut Butter


I love breakfast. I really, really love it.

I'm not joking when I say that I actually go to sleep thinking about it. This is actually me:



Anyway, I'm always trying to create new and delicious breakfasts to keep me going and fuel me for the entire morning. I never understand those who don't eat breakfast because...well, how can you not?

Eating breakfast is so important for your body and mind. It keeps you going for the morning, boosts your metabolism, stabilises your blood sugar levels - and who would want to miss out on all of that?

Anyway, this Apple and Blackberry Bircher Muesli is utterly delicious, and much healthier and lower in sugar than the traditional kind. Topped with a giant spoonful of hazelnut butter (because a Nutella-esque taste makes EVERYTHING taste better, right?), this is the perfect meal to get you through those cold and frosty mornings.

Sam x

APPLE AND BLACKBERRY BIRCHER MUESLI WITH HAZELNUT BUTTER


healthy apple and blackberry bircher muesli

Ingredients:
(Serves 2-4)
100g rolled oats
170g unsweetened apple puree
1 apple (skin on), grated
Large handful blackberries
50ml almond milk
150g Total Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mixed berries and Meridian hazelnut butter, to serve

Method:

1) Mix together all the ingredients (apart from the hazelnut butter and mixed berries) in a large bowl, then cover and place in the fridge overnight. Serve up in bowls in the morning, alongside a dollop of hazelnut butter and a sprinkling of mixed berries.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Birthday Cake Protein Truffles


A final recipe for National Chocolate Week for you - Birthday Cake Protein Truffles. Just because, well, why wouldn't you?


These deliciously-simple truffles take all of 5 minutes to whip up, yet are utterly delicious. They're the perfect treat to enjoy when you fancy something something sweet and chocolatey - maybe even cakey (I know that's not a word) - but don't want the hefty calorie and sugar count that goes with it.

Enjoy!

Sam x

BIRTHDAY CAKE PROTEIN TRUFFLES

birthday cake protein truffles

Ingredients:
(Makes 10)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Sci-Tec Direct)
1/3 cup Sukrin coconut flour
3 tbsp Sukrin zero calorie icing sugar
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp honey
1-2 drops Capellas cake drops

To coat:
50g sugar-free white chocolate
1 tsp Lucy Bee coconut oil

Method:

1) In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, then stir in the wet. Test the mixture and add some more icing sugar, if you want it sweeter. If the mix is still a little sticky or sloppy, stir in a touch more protein powder, then shape into truffle-sized balls. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up.

2) Once your truffles are set, gently melt together the white chocolate and coconut oil, then stir to combine. Dunk each truffle into the white chocolate to coat, then decorate with sprinkles. Leave to set once more, then enjoy!

Get Shopping With Friday's High Street Hitlist


Happy Friday lovely ladies - wow, are we glad to see the weekend! I don't know about you, but these grey mornings and all these dreary weather has left us in desperate need of a lie-in. And a cheeky shopping spree...

If, like us, you want to brighten yourselves up with a bit of a splurge, then you're reading the right feature! We have rounded up all the hottest new picks at the shops this week in our Friday High Street Hitlist. 

Fellow leopard print lovers, be prepared to flex those cards: there's plenty of our favourite animal print in store right now! We are also loving the bandeau dress at ASOS, ready for Christmas party season.

What will you be buying?

Sam and Teresa x

ASOS


ASOS Metallic Belted Bandeau Dress, £52
Boss Orange Leopard coat
Boss Orange Leopard Coat, £270
Full Midi Skirt With Pockets, £35
Unreal fur wanderlust coat
Unreal Fur Wanderlust Coat in Black, £195
Vero Moda Midi Dress, £30
Limited Edition Faux Pearl Earrings, £10
Monki Fleece Jacket, £65
New Look zip detail boots, £29.99
ASOS jumper in brushed alpaca with roll neck, £45
Karen Millen Coated Cardigan With Sheer Panels, £115


Tan panelled leather jacket
Tan Panelled Leather Jacket, £185
C'est la vie tee
Petite C'est la Vie Tee, £22 by Tee and Cake
Collarless blanket coat
Collarless blanket coat, £89
Sequin raglan tee, £50
Leopard boots
Magnum Leopard Boots, £82
MOTO leigh jeans
MOTO abstract Leigh jeans, £40


Leather heeled boots, £79.99
Printed leather messenger bag, £99.99
Guipure lace skirt, £39.99
Faux leather skirt, £39.99
Printed sweatshirt, £25.99, TRF


Beaded jersey top, £12.99
Sweatshirt With Sequins, £19.99
Jumper in wool blend, £29.99
Leather bracelet, £9.99

& OTHER STORIES

Sequin skirt, £45
Pearl ear cuff
Pearl Ear Cuff, £7
Leopard blouse, £29.99
Zebra shirt, £65



Thursday, 16 October 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Cheesecake


Say a BIG hello to this beautiful looking Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Cheesecake.

Don't you just want to face plant it...?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Cheesecake

I know I do...

Anyway, I don't think that this cheesecake needs much introduction. Except: go make it. You won't regret it.

Sam x

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY PROTEIN CHEESECAKE


Ingredients:

For the base:
1 cup dates
1 cup almonds
4-5 tbsp Freeist sugar-free jam

For the filling:
250g cream cheese
250g Quark
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Meridian)
2 scoops Sci-Tec Direct chocolate peanut butter whey
1/2 cup Sukrin zero calorie, zero carb icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 drop Capellas peanut butter drops

Handful dark chocolate chips, to decorate

Method:
1) Blitz the dates in a food processor until they break down and start to clump together. Remove, then blend the nuts until they form a crumb. Now, tip the dates back in and blend until everything sticks together and you get a dough. Press the dough down into a springform cake tin, then spread over the sugar-free jam. Place in the freezer to set.

2) In the meantime, blitz together the ingredients for the filling until smooth. Stop and taste - if you need it sweeter, add more icing sugar. If the mixture appears to be a bit too "thick", add a splash of coconut milk or melted coconut oil and blend again. Pour onto the set base, then scatter over the chocolate chips. Place back in the freezer to set overnight.

3) Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Cut into slices, then enjoy!


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Using Coconut Oil in Skincare


I don't know why, but I always seem to be asked what my skincare routine is. 

I think it's one of those things that women love to chat about, since it's about as close as you can get to having a rummage through someone's bathroom cabinet, without actually doing it. 

However, truth be told, my bathroom cabinet really isn't that exciting. In fact, it's pretty empty, save for one or two emergency products (see this post on Pinks Boutique to see what's worked its way into my heart).


Coconut oil skincare

You see, nine times out of ten, the only thing that I use on my face is Lucy Bee Coconut Oil. That's it. Nothing else, not even a night cream, or an eye make-up remover.

After years of spending hundreds of pounds on luxe creams with eye-watering price tags, the joy of discovering that coconut oil does it all - and better - was immense. I now use Lucy Bee (my brand of choice) to moisturise my skin gently and effectively, to take off heavy-duty eye make-up, to strengthen and lengthen lashes, condition the hair, soften the lips, and even create my own DIY exfoliators and masks.

Better still, coconut oil is ideal for skin conditions (it's renowned for treating acne, psoriasis and eczema) and also gentle enough to nourish even the most delicate of skins, such as those on a newborn baby. 

It's a miracle worker - and I promise that it will give you softer, suppler, more glowing skin. Anyway, if you want to know more about using coconut oil as a beauty product, read on to find out how to use coconut oil in your skincare regime.

Sam x


WHY IS COCONUT OIL SO EFFECTIVE AS A BEAUTY PRODUCT?

Coconut Oil as a moisturiser

Just like there are dozens of reasons why coconut oil is good for a healthy diet, there are dozens of reasons why it's great for your skin. For starters, it's incredibly rich in medium fatty chain acids, which helps the skin to retain moisture and lock it in. The fats also sink their way into the skin, keeping it healthy and smooth, giving an even, glowing tone - it will even help to reduce pores.

Coconut oil lovers may know that this miracle oil is also high in Capric, Caprylic and Lauric Acid. These are also fatty acids, but help to make coconut oil a fantastic product to treat skin conditions such as acne. You see, they each have antimicrobial properties, meaning that coconut oil can protect the skin from infections and even help to heal wounds.

Another reason why coconut oil is so great for your skin is its Vitamin E content. Beauty lovers will probably have tried an anti-ageing cream or two that's high in Vitamin E - and for good reason. Not only is this vitamin essential for healthy skin growth, but it can also help to repair the skin, prevent ageing and fine lines, and even boost our antioxidant levels. 

Finally, coconut oil is rich in proteins, all of which work to rejuvenate and repair the skin and tissue. It also helps to heal skin damage and scarring. 

HOW CAN I USE COCONUT OIL IN MY SKINCARE REGIME?


So far, so good, right? But how do you actually use coconut oil in your skincare regime? Well, the answer is - the world is your oyster! You can use coconut oil for pretty much anything as it's gentle and perfect for sensitive or delicate skin.

Here are my favourite uses:

Lip Balm: The cooler winter months can be a pain for giving us cracked and dry lips. Not great for puckering up and kissing under the mistletoe with, right? However, coconut oil makes for the best lip balm you'll ever try. It acts ridiculously quickly and will make lips more kissable than ever.


Coconut oil anti-ageing


Moisturiser: This is how I use my coconut oil each and every single day, morning and night. I simply warm about half a teaspoon's worth between my palms, then press into my face and neck. Amazingly, it doesn't leave the skin greasy or oily, and it gives an incredible glow. It also seems to erase fine lines and wrinkles - just apply ten minutes before make-up for the perfect smooth base!



coconut oil eye make-up remover

Eye Make-Up Remover: There is no better eye make-up remover in the world. Seriously, I don't care what you say - coconut oil removes even the most stubborn waterproof make-up in the world. Since it's so gentle, it's perfect for the delicate eye area - plus, it even helps to lengthen the lashes! What's not to love?

DIY Exfoliator: When combined with sugar, coconut oil makes a fantastic body scrub that leaves skin soft and rejuvenated. Simply combine:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Lucy Bee coconut oil
1 drop essential oil (to scent)

Smooth across the body, then rinse off for soft and glowing skin!






Monday, 13 October 2014

Pinks Boutique Organic Beauty Review


It's very rare that I blog about beauty products now because I only write about the skincare ranges that blow me away. I only share the very best - and, believe me when I say, Pinks Boutique is just that. 

You see, the second I tried Pinks Boutique - a natural and organic luxury skincare range - I knew that I would be ordering everything in full size. As in, ordering the whole range. 

Within minutes (I got sent this Ocha Facial Skin Care Try Me Kit to test), I had fallen completely in love; my skin had never felt so good. In fact, I found myself constantly stroking and touching my face (and, yes, even smelling it - you know I like my rose-scented products!) and when I came to apply make-up, I didn't even need a base. My skin looked smooth and fresh, and just glowed.

While I could write about this entire set for paragraphs and rave on and on about it, here are my highlights:



Sometimes, I wake up and my skin looks a little lacklustre, or a tiny bit grey. Somehow, it loses its sparkle. This Bamboo and Oatmeal exfoliator is my new dream product for pepping up tired skin and for giving me a youthful radiance. Unlike many hard-working exfoliators, it's incredibly gentle on skin (I would guess that it's even suitable for sensitive skin types) and leaves your face feeling soft and moisturised. 


Rose Face and Body Balm (RRP £30)

Pinks Boutique Rose Face and Body Balm


My ultimate pick from the Pinks Boutique range, this face and body balm is perfect as a hard-working moisturiser, or as an overnight treatment. Made with rose-infused shea and with provitamins A and vitamin D and E, this balm is incredibly soothing to use on the face. I also found that it calms inflammation or redness - making it ideal for under-nourished skin this winter - and it also adds a silky sheen to the skin. My new number one product to get the glow!

Ocha and Rosehip Moisturiser (RRP £27)

Pinks Boutique Ocha and Rosehip Moisturiser


While my skin tends to be "normal", sometimes it needs a little bit of extra love and care in tough or dry areas. This moisturiser smells wonderful and is light, yet effective, on the skin. Since it's blended with Rosehip oil, this also happens to be fantastic for reducing wrinkles, repairing photo-ageing sun damage, or healing scar tissue. 

(Secretly Healthy) Ice Cream Protein Truffles


So, this week is National Chocolate Week. Hurrah! Who else is planning on celebrating by eating all the chocolatey, gooey goodness that they can manage?

As our little chocolate treat to you, we thought we would bring you our favourite, guilt-free treat - Ice Cream Protein Truffles. Made with WheyHey and extra dark chocolate. Oh, and my favourite Freeist sugar-free white chocolate to coat the strawberry truffles!

Ice Cream truffles

These are a little messy to make, but honestly could not taste more delicious - or be easier and simpler to make!

Enjoy,

Sam x

ICE CREAM PROTEIN TRUFFLES

WheyHey truffles

Ingredients:

For the dark chocolate hazelnut ice cream truffles:
1 small tub of WheyHey chocolate protein ice cream
4 squares 95% Lindt dark chocolate
1 tsp Lucy Bee coconut oil
Handful roasted chopped hazelnuts

For the white chocolate strawberry ice cream truffles:
1 small tub of WheyHey strawberry protein ice cream
50g Freeist sugar-free white chocolate
1 tsp Lucy Bee coconut oil
Handful desiccated coconut

Method:

1) Leave the ice cream out of the freezer for around 20 minutes to soften, then use a melon ball scooper to 'scoop' the ice cream out in balls. Place on a baking paper-covered plate, then place in the freezer to harden for a few hours.

2) Once hardened and firm, gently melt your chocolate and coconut oil, stirring to combine. Dunk your ice cream balls into the melted chocolate to coat, then sprinkle with hazelnuts or desiccated coconut and place back in the freezer to set.

3) When you're ready to eat, take them out of the freezer for 10 minutes to soften and warm slightly, then eat!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes With Cinnamon Apple


I'm always on the lookout for new, indulgent breakfasts. Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal of the day, and - I kid you not - I get excited to eat it every single day. I told you that I always was a greedy guts...

Anyway, these Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon Apple are the perfect weekend brunch. Not only are they delicious and ideal for eating while reading the papers (or surfing ASOS...), but they're also ridiculously healthy too - low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo...you name it, these pancakes tick all the healthy boxes, without compromising on taste!



I would imagine that these work just as well with pumpkin instead of sweet potato, but I've never tried. If you do give it a go, let me know how you get on!

What are your favourite healthy brunches?

Sam x

SWEET POTATO PANCAKES WITH CINNAMON APPLE



Ingredients:
1/2 cup skinless sweet potato, cooked and mashed
2 eggs
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
Pinch cinnamon

For the apples:
1-2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Waldens Farms Pancake Syrup and Greek Yoghurt, to serve

Method:
1) Start by gently heating your apples in a saucepan with the butter and cinnamon (sprinkled over the apple cubes) until softened. Set aside.

2) To make the pancakes, mix together all the ingredients in a processor until smooth. Heat one tablespoon of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil in a frying pan until melted. Spoon pancake-sized dollops of the sweet potato batter over the oil, then heat until small bubbles form on top. Flip each pancake, then fry on the other side for one to two minutes, or until golden.

3) Serve your pancakes stacked with pancake syrup and Greek Yoghurt.


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