SOAP NUTS – A NATURAL DETERGENT

Good morning beautiful souls,

Today I thought I would tackle the next change on my plant based eco journey, namely switching to a low impact laundry detergent. As with many household items we are just so used to seeing them stacked in single use containers along the supermarket aisles that we don’t stop to consider the impact they have anymore or what less harmful & low impact alternatives might be out there. Most laundry detergents are packaged in plastic, tested on animals and of course contain many chemicals which especially for sensitive skins aren’t often great. However there are some great alternatives out there (for example my cousin washes her clothes with walnuts which contain a natural soap element – who knew!?!) all you need to do is set aside a little time to have a browse to see what works best for you. Now I can’t speak for all alternatives as I’ve personally only tried one so far, but I am so happy with the results of this swap that I had to share it with you.

I have swapped form the usual detergent culprits such as Persil to using Soapnuts – a natural, organic, biodegradable, vegan, ethical & sustainable laundry detergent (now you can’t get more eco-friendly than that can you!?!).

Soapnuts or Soapberries are dried fruit shells which contain real natural soap and are 100% completely natural. They are a vegan friendly, non-polluting, compostable, alternative to conventional laundry detergents and synthetic soaps. No fillers, foaming agents, bleach, phthalates, phosphates or parabens. The Soapberries contain a natural soap called saponin, which is released when they come into contact with water and thus they wash your laundry as good as any other conventional detergent.

There are a couple of ways to use the soap nuts; you can soak them in water to release the detergent and then pour the liquid into your washing machine as you would other laundry detergents, or you can pop a couple of soapnuts into the muslin bag provided and then pop that into the washing machine with your laundry. I use the latter method.

In our day and age we are so used to freshly washed clothes smelling “clean” because of all the chemical scents added to detergents. Soapnuts don’t really release a scent, so you won’t get that “clean” smell; however you can add a scent to your laundry by using an essential oil. One of my favourite oils to use is lavender; I put about 10 drops onto the muslin bag containing the soapnuts and then pop it into the wash – and voila out come your clothes with a fresh scent of lavender – the results are great!

I really cannot recommend this natural vegan biodegradable laundry detergent enough and urge you all to try it! They sell starter packs (a great way to give soapnuts a trial) which contain soapnuts, a stain remover bar, soda crystals and an essential oil. The small starter pack costs £14.70 which admittedly you might first think sounds expensive, but let me assure you, the sopanuts go a long way – one filled muslin bag can be used for about 3 washes until all the soap has been released.

(the starter pack pictured in my photos is a large)

The Living Naturally Soapnut Company also not only sell laundry detergent but have haircare and skincare products on offer too. I have yet to try these but if the laundry detergent is anything to go by, I know I’ll love these products too.

So I hope I have given you something to think about. Again, I can’t recommend these highly enough and would love to know – do you think this is a change/a swap you would be willing to try?! I’d love to hear some of you giving soapnuts a go! If you’d like to inform yourselves more on the products available and further benefits of soapnuts go have a look on their website here.

Until next time lovelies ❤

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I’M BACK!

Good evening beautiful souls,

Have you missed me?!

In case you’ve been wondering where I had disappeared to, I decided to take a little break from blogging! Before I left for my holiday in Germany I was stuck in a bit of a rut. I was continually feeling stressed about never seeming to have enough time to complete everything I wanted to get done especially when it came to blogging. I kept having to remind myself that this blog is only a hobby and not a job, and thus it should be fun and I shouldn’t feel like a failure if I didn’t succeed in posting often enough or regularly. It was ok if my blog posts flowed as and when I felt like writing and sharing my journey. So I eventually managed to come to terms with the fact that it was ok to take a step back from blogging and take a break for a while.

I have to admit it did me good not stressing about uploading posts on time and having a picture up on Instagram every day; it’s been peaceful. However, I don’t want to drag this break on forever and the itch to get connecting again with all you lovely lot keeps growing so here I am again – I am back and ready to get stuck into blogging again.

I also want to take this new start to slightly redirect my content/the focus of my blog. As most of you know I have been vegan since the beginning of the year and my passion for living a plant based lifestyle keeps growing, along with wanting to reduce my impact on this earth and so I really want to focus my content on plant based and eco friendly living. It will still be a lifestyle blog featuring things from beauty – cooking, but they will all be encouraging a plant based and low impact lifestyle. I look forward to developing my vegan & eco friendly lifestyle niche more and hope you look forward to learning more about these topics.

Lots of Love Carina xo

MY LOOSE LEAF TEA COLLECTION

Good evening beautiful souls,

As most of you probably already know I’m on a mission to become more eco-friendly and my latest venture is ditching the tea bags! If you don’t already know, most tea bags contain plastic which make them non-biodegradable. So in order to avoid this Jessica and I ordered a load of loose leaf teas and bought two tea strainers as well.

I bought all the teas from the same company. Gaiwan who I found on Amazon are a German tea company and the range of loose teas they have on offer it amazing! I had over £100 worth of tea in my shopping basket before I had to narrow my choices down! We managed to narrow it down to 8 different teas: Cherry & Almond (black tea) – Peppermint – Green Magic (green tea) – Fresh Orange (green tea) – Winter Warmth (rooibos) – Orange & Mint (rooibos) – Children’s Herbs (herbal mix) – Evening Enjoyment (herbal mix). I haven’t tried all of them yet but the ones I have are really nice, mostly quite mild and if left steeping too long, not bitter (as can often be the case with a green tea).

Once the teas arrived we put them into the 1L Kilner jars we’d specifically bought for tea storage. Seeing all the identical labelled jars with pretty loose leaf teas in them makes my OCD me very happy! You may also have noticed that there’s actually 9 jars of tea; The 9th jar a Gingerbread Rooibos tea (as you might be able to tell, Jessica and I love Rooibos tea). I bought this one when I was in York from a loose leaf tea company called Hebden Tea (which you should check out if you’re ever in York – so many flavours to choose from!) The last loose leaf tea I have is a fruit tea which I’ve kept in the little Christmas tea tin, because I kinda like the tin, it’s cute and as it’s a good base for a mulled wine or Christmasy punch it fits the tin.

I also decided to have my favourite mugs on display next to the teas! I’m obsessed with pretty mugs and love how each one fit’s certain drinks or moods better. If I didn’t rein myself in when shopping I’d have a hoard of mugs right now (I already have too many) but I mean pretty mugs – the struggle is real! I might have to do a My Mug Collection post sometime haha!

Anyway, if you’re a big tea drinker I would really encourage you to invest in a loose leaf tea and a strainer or biodegradable tea bags!!! Also they look so pretty on display in glass jars ❤

Love Carina xo

MY CURRENT CRUELTY-FREE & ECO EVENING SKIN CARE ROUTINE

Hey guys,

I have been wanting to blog my Cruelty-free Eco Skin Care Routine for quite a while now and I’ve finally got round to taking some photos and being organised again. I hope you enjoy and can be inspired to start in-cooperating your own cruelty free eco products into your skin care routine!

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Firstly I want to introduce you to an amazing eco friendly cleansing pad hack which my best friend Emily told me about! I love it – it’s fab! Instead of using cleansing wipes or cotton pads which only add to our piles of landfil rubbish that can’t be recycled why not use Organic Nursing Pads which can be washed and reused time after time again and will save you a fair bit of money in the long run too! I find the nursing pads are gentler on my skin in comparison to the harsh chemicals on cleansing wipes which I used to use all the time!

Now as for my skin care routine, I’m feeling great knowing the things I ma now buying are cruelty free and mostly vegan too. In this blog post I am using products from the Bodyshop (a brand that doesn’t test on animals and which is mostly vegan bar products like the honey range) and BalanceMe (a brand that doesn’t test on animals and aims to be as natural as possible) just going to put it out there, I very often don’t use products the way they are designed to be used; eg. I might use a toner as as a makeup remover instead of using it as the last step in my makeup removal cleansing routine.

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I begin taking my makeup off with the Bodyshop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner. I love this toner. It is gentle on my skin, works well at removing makeup and leaves it feeling fresh and bright. What’s not to like?!

The Bodyshop Tea Tree Clearing Foaming Cleanser is what I had originally bought to remove my makeup before using the toner, however even two pumps of the foam doesn’t go very far. It doesn’t wet the nursing cleansing pad well enough for my liking to efficiently remove makeup and just kinda disappears. Thus I use it after the toner to  just remove the last dregs of makeup.

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Next I use the Bodyshop Vitamin C Energizing Face Spritz. I’m not exactly sure it energizes my face, however it is very refreshing especially on a warm summer morning and I feel gives some hydration to my just cleansed skin.

Now these my next two products are testers I received in a magazine and I love them!!! I really want to repurchase them but they are on the pricier side of things although then again they do stretch quite far too. Both the BalanceMe Restore and Replenish Face Cream and the BalanceMe Wonder Eye Cream smell amazing! They really do smell like the natural ingredients that they use, which I love! I massage the eye cream onto my skin first and then follow with the face cream. I find they are also absorbed quite quickly into the skin and leave it feeling very soft and refreshed! If you haven’t tried any BalanceMe products yet but don’t want to splash out the big bucks, definitely keep you eyes open in magazines for testers!!!

Well that’s my evening skin care routine for you! I hope you’ve enjoyed it! Let me know of your favorite cruelty free/vegan products in comments below!

Love Carina xo