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

WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING

Good morning beautiful souls,

If you follow me on Goodreads you will already know what I’m currently reading, but in case you don’t (psst.. go follow me..) I wanted to share with you the books I’ve been enjoying.

Firstly however I just want to talk about how much I love Goodreads, it is such a great website and if you’re not already on it you totally should be, at least if you’re a bookworm! This site enables you to yourself reading goals and log all the books you’re reading/ have read. You can rate them and leave reviews or even share them/recommend them to friends. If you enjoy discussing books there are also numerous book clubs you can join or even just discussion forums. I’ve not really joined a book club before. Well I tried it once but was put off as soon as the chosen book arrived in the post. Said book was the Count of Monte Christo, which I’d soon discovered was like a 900 page novel in the smallest writing possible! Needless to say I didn’t think I could finish it in a month and so I soon gave up and haven’t joined a book club since. However I did enjoy the story and so as you will see in a minute, I have picked this book up again and it is one of the books I am currently reading.

Every year I set myself a goal of 52 books a year, which can be quite challenging and I rarely complete the challenge, but it’s great fun being able to tick a book of the list and see how far you can get – it gives me a lot of satisfaction! So far I have read 15 books this year and that means I am currently 4 books behind schedule! (I hate seeing when I am behind schedule aha). However I also currently have about 10 books on the go so if I finish them all simultaneously it might balance out again!

I don’t know if you are like me when it comes to books but sometimes I just jump between books or randomly decide start a new one; essentially I follow where my mood takes me. Some books I read every night until they’re finished, others I delve into only now and then and again some are books which I picked up, lost interest in but am still determined to finish!

So without further ado,

The books I am currently/actively reading:

The Ambassadors Mission

As the son of the late High Lord Akkarin, saviour of the city, and Sonea, the former street urchin turned Black Magician, Lorkin has a legacy of heroism and adventure to live up to. So when Lord Dannyl takes the position of Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, Lorkin volunteers to be his assistant in the hopes of making his mark on the world.

When news comes that Lorkin is in danger, the law that forbids Black Magicians leaving the city forces Sonea to trust that Dannyl will save him. Besides, her old friend Cery needs her as never before: someone has been assassinating Thieves, and when his family is targeted he finds evidence that this Thief Hunter uses magic.

Either a member of the Guild is hunting down the Thieves one by one, or there is – once again – a rogue magician on the streets of Imardin. And this one has full control of their powers – and is willing to kill with them.

The Count of Monte Cristo (Audiobook on Audible)

The story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo, is told with consummate skill. The victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dantes is fired by a desire for retribution and empowered by a stroke of providence. In his campaign of vengeance, he becomes an anonymous agent of fate.

The sensational narrative of intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace. Dumas’ novel presents a powerful conflict between good and evil embodied in an epic saga of rich diversity that is complicated by the hero’s ultimate discomfort with the hubristic implication of his own actions.

And the Mountains Echoed

Ten-year-old Abdullah would do anything for his younger sister. In a life of poverty and struggle, with no mother to care for them, Pari is the only person who brings Abdullah happiness. For her, he will trade his only pair of shoes to give her a feather for her treasured collection. When their father sets off with Pari across the desert to Kabul in search of work, Abdullah is determined not to be separated from her. Neither brother nor sister know what this fateful journey will bring them.

And the Mountains Echoed is a deeply moving epic of heartache, hope and, above all, the unbreakable bonds of love.

Coffee Table books (the now & then books):

Bloom

In Bloom, Estée shares the moments, people, things and life lessons that have made her who she is today and offers her tips for surviving life. Celebrate your bloom story and what makes you unique.

The Little Book Of Hygge

The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness.

Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.

The Sun And Her Flowers

From Rupi Kaur, the bestselling author of Milk and Honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. Illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming. It is a celebration of love in all its forms.

The books I started, haven’t picked up in a while, but will get round to finishing eventually:

Tintenherz (or Inkheart in English – I’m reading it in it’s original language – German)

Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret – a storytelling secret that will change their lives for ever.

Cider With Rosie

Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density.

Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels,- of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence. It ends tragically, and there is much that evokes despair, yet set beside this is an abounding joy in life’s many ephemeral pleasures, and a profusion of comic relief.

Have you read any of these books?! I would love to know!! ❤

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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

LUSH HAUL

Good evening beautiful souls,

I love Lush products and a bath without a bathbomb and some bubbles is just boring so when I was running low on bath products I knew it was time to give Lush a visit. So the other week I popped into Lush to restock my depleted store of bathbombs and I thought you might be interested to see what I bought.

The Comforter

One of my all time favorite, I always crumble a little of this bubble bar into a bath.

Big Blue

I keep repurchasing this one because it’s just so refreshing and relaxing.

Cheer Up Buttercup

I haven’t tried this little gem of a bathbomb yet but it smells amazing! I wanted to buy a whole basket full of the

Cream Egg

Of course I had to try some bathbombs from the Easter range too. Again this one is new to me but I loved the bright colours and design of this one.

Which Came First?

At nearly £7 this is definitely the most expensive bathbomb I have ever bought!! However it was too pretty not to try and it will definitely last me for four baths so the price isn’t too bad.

Caca Rouge Henna

If you have seen my Henna Hair post you will already know that I purchased and have already used this Lush product. It is again quite pricey at just under £11 but if you think about how many hair dyes you actually get out of it it’s really good value. Henna has an interesting smell and is the messiest hair dying process I know of haha, but as it’s all natural it is nourishing and not damaging your hair. So if you want a beautiful gingery/red you must try this product!

Love Carina xo