DAY TRIPPING – DESTINATION ALNMOUTH

Good evening beautiful souls,

Last week I was luck enough to have 3 days off, which for me is very rare and thus meant that I actually had time to do something nice for myself once all the housework and various other tasks were completed. The weather was so nice and I was craving a beach trip, but not being able to drive made this wish a bit problematic. Sadly there aren’t many easily accessible by public transport beaches around, well not unless you want to sit on a bus for over an hour which for me is a big no no as I get serious travel anxiety when it comes to bus journeys that are longer then 20mins! After some research however I discovered that Alnmouth station was pretty easy to get to only being a 30min walk away from the beach and so I had my day trip destination.

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The walk to the beach is quite a pleasant and easy to follow as it’s just along the main road. From the station you firstly walk through a small housing estate and then it’s out in nature with wild fields on your left and glimpses of the sea on your right. After about 20 minutes you reach central Almnouth and walk through it’s floral hanging basket lined street until you reach the golf course and the beach.

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On my way down to the beach I came across these beautiful roses and I had to stop and give them a sniff – does anyone else do this whenever they see roses?! They smelt divine and I’m not going to lie, I was very tempted to snap one off and take it with me!

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The beach was relatively busy, the sun was out and there was a light breeze rippling through my hair as picked a little empty spot to put down my picnic blanket. Once settled I sat back with my feet in the sand just enjoying being in the present moment and watching the world around me; the grandparents sitting in their folding chair reading their papers, children hopping from stone to stone and family’s running around playing Frisbee and flying kites. It was a beautiful afternoon.

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It wasn’t long until I unpacked my picnic full of healthy vegan goodies and read a bit of my book whilst savouring my lunch. I had grapes, blueberries, pretzels, veg, hummus and crackers as well as a little can of G&T. It was the perfect picnic! Afterwards I lay down with my headphones on listening to my audiobook (The Count of Monte Cristo) and relishing the feeling of the sun warming my skin.

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Sadly the clouds came in not long after and they didn’t seem to want to budge meaning I got chilly quite quickly and ended up deciding to pack up and head on home again, but not before I took a stroll along the beach and dipped my toes in the chilly sea of course. Although I was only there for about 2 hours, it really was worth it and I enjoyed every minute of my mini excursion!

I hope you’ve all found the time recently to go out and do something nice for yourselves too! I know I need to make time for myself like this more often. I don’t do it enough and it did me the world of good!

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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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FUNKY SOAP HAUL

Hey there beautiful souls,

After weeks of steeling my housemates Bodyshop ginger shampoo I finally remembered to restock on my shampoo bars from The Funky Soap Shop.

I love these shampoo bars because they’re 100% natural, vegan and I’m supporting an independent small business. They also last pretty long and can be used as bodywash as well, so they’re perfect for traveling!!

I don’t have any favourites and just tent to buy different ones each time. Here’s what I got this time round:

Now as I’ve mentioned in a previous post these work really well for my hair now that it’s short, but when it was long I didn’t get on well with the shampoo bars at all. However as they’re quite cheap and can be used for bodysoap too, I highly recommend you give this company a go and see what you think!

Love Carina xo

VEGAN MERINGUES

Good evening beautiful souls,

If you follow me on Instagram (@simplycarinaxo) you will already know that I made vegan meringues the other day!!

If you’re a meringue fan but are like myself a vegan and can’t eat eggs or are allergic to eggs or even just fancy trying something new, then this recipe is for you.

I’ll warn you in advance, although easy it takes almost 3hs to make these meringues, but they are super tasty and so it’s totally worth it!

Now you might be wondering how on earth you can make vegan meringues when one of the main ingredients is egg white. Well I’d heard ages ago that chickpea brine could apparently be used as an egg white replacement and so when I stumbled across this recipe I was eager to test it.

I was a bit skeptic at first but apart from turning out somewhat hollow and crisp rather than chewy, they were very tasty!!

If you’re not drooling already at the thought of a meringue dessert then here’s the recipe for you to test yourself :

Makes 6-8 meringues

  • 400 g can of chickpeas which should yield
  • 100g of aquafaba (brine)
  • 110g of caster sugar
  • Vanilla seeds

Whisk the aquafaba at high speed until stiff white peaks are formed; this will take about 15-20 minutes.

Mix the vanilla seeds into the sugar before adding the mixture to the aquafaba a couple of spoonfuls at a time, making sure the sugar is whisked in properly before adding the next few spoonfuls.

When all the sugar is mixed in and the meringue is thick and glossy, it is ready.

Preheat the oven at 130 degrees centigrade and line two baking trays with grease proof paper.

Spoon the mixture (I’d say a large heaped tbsp) onto the baking tray well apart as the will grow quite a bit.

Now bake for 1 3/4 – 2 hours until the meringues are fairly firm unto and on the base. Take out of oven and leave to cool completely.

Once cool, you can enjoy this delicious treat however you like. I suggest some vegan vanilla ice cream and a fruit compote or fresh berries!

Now enjoy!

If you give these a go do let me know how they turn out!!

Love Carina xo