My Three Favourite Cookbooks At The Moment

I've said this before...I'm not vegan. Nor vegetarian. But I do enjoy eating healthy, which for me seems to include lots of fruit, vegetables, beans and whole grains. I eat some meats and especially love seafood, but often times I am drawn towards alternatives and nutrient-rich dishes that make me feel more awake and energized. Let's say I'm 'vegan-curious'...

That being said...it's no surprise that my top three cookbooks at the moment are completely filled with vegan recipes. All contain mouth-watering, easy-to-make recipes any foodie would enjoy. 

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A F*ck by Thug Thug Kitchen
Even those who hate cooking would probably enjoy this book. Seriously...you don't even have to try any of the recipes. The language is super crude but highly entertaining and I laugh at each page. The easy-going writing style and information makes adopting a healthier lifestyle seem less dull and more inviting. The recipes are pretty great as well! My personal favourite is the Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini Dressing.

I also have Thug Kitchen's second instalment, titled Thug Kitchen Party Grub: For Social Motherf*ckers, but I tend to gravitate to the original bestseller more when seeking meal ideas.

Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon
As a beauty addict, I'm constantly searching for the right skincare and makeup products to achieve  a 'natural' looking glow, so it's no wonder this cookbook spoke to me. It is pretty amazing how a change in diet can effect the appearance of our skin.

Oh She Glows is full of hearty, comforting dishes that make vegging on the couch, watching movies during a cold, rainy day seem a little less guilty. There are over 100 recipes, covering everything from appetizers, soups, power snacks, side dishes and more. The African Peanut Stew is a big hit in my books and enjoyed by my family members as well.

Made With Love by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie
I fell in love with this cookbook well before it was added to my collection. I think it was the cover that did it for me. The delicious looking cookies with milk, on a white background with pink cursive writing is totally girly and totally me. I didn't even know what the recipes inside were like - only that the food photography was gorgeous! I'm quite a visual person and the pages inside this book definitely please my eyes. But the recipes also didn't disappoint.

Seeing as Made with Love was written by owners of a well-known bakery, I expected mostly baked goods to be featured, but there are a ton of savoury dishes included as well. It contains a variety of meal ideas for any time of the day, along with snacks, smoothies, desserts and even condiments. I can attest that the Sweet Potato and Quinoa Burgers are awesome!

What are some of your favourite cookbooks? Leave a comment below.



Belated ColourPop Birthday Haul

I have been wanted to try this iconic online beauty brand for a while now, and figured there was no better occasion to 'pop' my ColourPop cherry than my birthday last month, so I treated myself to a sweet little order!

I actually had my goodies shipped to the States, which is just a short distance from where I live. Hence why this post is a little belated...

A couple of very busy weeks went by after my order had been delivered, and I just couldn't seem to find a day to make the trip. My mom actually kindly picked up the package for me - thanks mom! I am pleased to report, however, that the company now offers international shipping! This makes me a happy bird, because the minute I dipped my finger into one of their buttery eyeshadows, I knew I needed to order more - this time delivered straight to my door. A second order has yet to be placed due to some serious spending crackdown...but I promise this won't be the last of my ColourPop hauls.

Girly (left), So Quiche (right)

The eyeshadows are definitely my favourite! Especially So Quiche, which is unlike anything I've seen before! It's a deep olive colour with pink micro-glitter and looks so pretty on the eyes. It can be paired with a variety of different colours in the crease, making it wearable for both day and night outings. I've received many compliments every time I've worn this shadow, and I guarantee it will be featured in my next favourites post. I just love it so much! I love it the same way I love watching sappy rom-coms on a Friday night after a long week of work. In a sad way, it brightens my attitude and puts a smile on my face.

The ColourPop shadows are an interesting texture. They're a powder-cream hybrid, with major pigmentation and setting power. These things barely budge! Although I must admit, I did experience some creasing the first time I wore one, but that problem was easily fixed by using concealer or an eye base to prime my lids. They're best applied with a finger for true colour pay-off.

Girly is a beautiful vanilla shade with pink duochrome that I think is perfect for highlighting the inner corner! It's a satin finish (no glitter) and changes colour when reflecting light for an iridescent look.

Get Paid (left), Cry Baby (right), Zulu (front)

The eyeliners are also pretty bomb! I selected two gel formulas in Cry Baby and Get Paid. I like having the option of applying these to the waterline for a pop of colour or using a brush to create a crisp feline flick. The rose gold/copper hue is great for all seasons and can be used to amp up special occasion looks. To me, it screams fall! Just staring at the warm colour makes me imagine orange leaves falling from trees and hot beverages in hand while sitting cozy next to a fireplace. It makes me somewhat eager to exit this heat wave weather and welcome cooler temperatures.

But we're not quite finished with summer just yet, and I'm going to take advantage of the last five weeks or so to sport some brighter colours. The pastel purple is simply stunning and very brightening when worn along the waterline. It looks nearly white...but it's not! It teases the eye and adds just a touch of something different to any makeup look.

The pencil liner in Zulu is equally as pretty and a little more vibrant. It's described as a vivid pastel sea foam green and would definitely be worn by mermaids! All of the liners are extremely creamy, but the pencil is almost too soft and thin. Mine broke (presumably in transit) and flew across my bathroom the first time I opened it. It was no biggy as I was able to pop it back into the tube, however, I now use very slow movements when twisting it up.

I definitely want to order more liner colours (there's an awesome selection) but I have to determine which formula I like best. Right now...the pots are winning.

Swatches of eyeshadow and liners, from left to right: So Quiche, 
Girly, Zulu, Cry Baby, Get Paid

I suppose I was really feeling the change of season when I placed this order, as the Ultra Satin Lips I chose are dark and a little more fall appropriate. To be honest, I already have a ton of pink, coral and red lipsticks in my collection. I wanted to go for something different that I knew would look nothing like anything I already own. 

Mess Around (top), Frick N' Frack (bottom) 

Frick N' Frack is a dark, rosy terracotta colour and Mess Around is straight up brown. We'll see if I am ever brave enough to wear chocolate-coloured lipstick in public. It's definitely different...and dark...and bold...but I think it would look amazing paired with matte, monochromatic brown eyeshadows. I'll have to experiment.

Mess Around (left), Frick N' Frack (right)

I kind of wish Frick N' Frack translated a little more orange on my lips, but instead it shows up as that very popular 90s grunge colour everyone has been obsessed with for the past couple of years. It's definitely something I will wear, especially as the weather gets colder and dark lips make a comeback. 

Overall I am quite happy with my first ColourPop haul. Did I mention that these items cost just $6 and $5 (USD) each? That price just can't be beat and the quality does not disappoint. 

Have you tried anything from ColourPop? What are some of your favourites? 

Leave me a comment below! 



July 2016 Beauty & Lifestyle Favourites

Despite seeming to whizz by, July was a pretty good month! Especially for new beauty product discoveries! See some of my favourites below. 

Beauty Favourites:
Tangle Teezer Compact Styler
This brush is somewhat life changing! As someone who is known to rock bed-head too often than not, this bright yellow Tangle Teezer has encouraged me to tame my tresses every day. To be honest, brushing my hair used to be a rare occasion. Perhaps it is the interesting shape, which fits my hand perfectly, that somehow makes this chore more exciting. Or maybe it's the gadget's powerful pain-free detangling abilities. It glides through hair with very minimal tugging. I have fine, pin straight hair, so I'm not sure how this would perform on someone with a ton of curls. If you've tried, let me know!

I bought the travel style brush, which contains an attachable cover to protect the teeth. It's pretty genius if you ask me! I remember a friend telling me that her hairbrush got caught on a cable knit sweater inside of her luggage one time and ruined the shirt. So not only does the compact version keep bristles clean on the go, it also protects other items from being snagged on the plastic spikes.

Neutrogena Body Clear Pink Grapefruit Body Wash
Unfortunately this body wash does contain plastic microbeads, which are not good for the environment or our wildlife. Despite this negative element, I can't deny the reality that this product has really worked and I've clearly enjoyed using it (hence the nearly empty bottle).

I'm sure you've heard of a campaign called 'ban the bead' which is working towards making it illegal for companies to produce personal care products containing these little balls of plastic. I hope that Neutrogena finds a way to reformulate this amazing body wash without microbeads, so I can be bacne free and environmentally friendly!

Ps. If you have any natural body wash alternatives, leave a comment for me below!

The Body Shop Pinita Colada Fresh Body Sorbet
I was totally sucked into this product because of it's name. Wouldn't you want to rub pina colada sorbet all over your body? It's been dubbed accurately though because it's super cooling on the skin. It also smells like a beach vacation! Yes - almost exactly like a pina colada. Key word: almost. To me there is a stronger scent of pineapple than coconut, but I don't hate it. Actually...I LOVE it!

The lightweight formula absorbs quickly and the sweet fragrance lingers on the skin for quite a while.  I have my fingers crossed that The Body Shop will be launching more of these Fresh Body Sorbets in different scents.

Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer
Sticking with the theme of pina colada scented products...

This bronzer is beautiful, but that's not what elevated it as a favourite product this month. Believe it or not, it smells like coconuts!

I also can't stop gushing over the adorable tropical themed packaging! It's a nice, soft, warm-toned powder that blends easily on the skin. It's not extremely pigmented...which I can appreciate. There's no going overboard with this bad boy.

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil
Last month I struggled with extremely dry skin under my eyes. Every time I wore concealer, it would crease and look like wrinkles. I tried everything! From coconut oil, to honey and a variety of cosmetic eye creams...nothing seemed to work. Until I purchased this tiny little bottle of argan oil and began using it daily. A few drops is all it takes to cover my whole face, but I have been concentrating a little extra under my eyes and the dry areas have vanished. Finally! I can wear makeup again without worrying that someone might notice the crocodile skin on my face.

Lifestyle Favourites:
Made with Love Cookbook by Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie
My parents bought this for me as a birthday present last month. Somehow when you turn 26, cookbooks become more appealing than clothing, jewelry or even makeup! I really enjoy cooking and seem to be more and more intrigued by healthy eating. Although I've only tried one recipe (twice) from this book, I already have others bookmarked and I can't wait to test them out. For the record...the Sweet Potato Quinoa burgers are unreal and super easy to make!

In addition, this book is just beautiful. The photos are crisp, bright, colourful and mouthwatering to look at. I've enjoyed reading through the pages over the last few weeks.

Coconut Oil Hot Chocolate
This has been a new favourite treat of mine lately. To make it at home I combine a tablespoon of coconut oil, with a tablespoon of premium cocoa powder, a squeeze of honey and some milk to make it creamy. If I'm craving something sweet, this is my go-to. And it's healthy! It also gets things moving...if you know what I mean.  

I'm quite pleased with my new discoveries from the month of July and I look forward to seeing what goodies join my beauty product family in the near future. Until next time...