Natural, Vegan, “designer” Perfumes

Last weekend I was in vegan heaven, when I popped up to the annual Bristol Vegfest; an extravaganza in all things vegan friendly! I tried the yummiest Pad Thai, stocked up on way too much dairy-free chocolate, and met some awesome like minded people.

But the highlight of my day (aside the vegan ales which got me a little tipsy…) was discovering a perfume company, called Eden Perfumes, who make a huge selection of natural, vegan friendly perfume, which perfectly imitate designer favorites.

For years I have been in a perfume rut. I’ve long, and uncharacteristically for a “hippy”, been a Calvin Klein Euphoria wearer and have never quite found anything else I like. But a huge amount of designer perfumes don’t really hold green credentials, and even fewer are vegan friendly. You may find some perfumes are vegan, but as I’ve found, they are rarely the ones I want!rsz_img_3940-2

So, when I ran out of CK a couple of weeks ago, I vowed that I wouldn’t buy another perfume until I found a greener option. Here ensued 2 weeks of experimenting with essential oil spritzers, all which left me smelling more like a walking pharmacy than a sophisticated lady!

The discovery of Eden Perfumes, then, couldn’t come sooner. Their stall at Vegfest displayed a line of big refill units, and smaller bottle to fill with your chosen scent (of which can be sent back to be refilled!) and each were labelled with the “designer” version it was similar to. Everything from Armani, Marc Jacobs and Burburry, to your favorite Chanel can be found in a botanical and natural form!

Eden only use organic & vegan ingredients (jasmine, vanilla, passionfruit, musk, saffron, oud, sandalwood and many more) and contain no nasty synthetics, parabens or phthalates. The best thing is, by saving on fancy packaging and marketing, all the perfumes are just £15!

eden-perfumes

You can order online, but when I next get the chance I’d love to travel to their store in Brighton and stock up in person! Oh, and after 1 week of testing I can confirm its long lasting and smells just like the real thing 🙂

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Guest Blog: Activism, Meditation and Staying Optimistic.

After receiving a positive response from my recent blog post about Activist Burnout – including some lovely personal messages of support and encouragement – I found great solitude and peace in my yoga and mediation practice. Sometimes, you just need to switch off, recharge and reenergise yourself; ready to continue pursuing your passions and good intentions. 

Here, the lovely Holly Ashby, from Will Williams Mediation, shares her thoughts on how meditation can be an invaluable tool for taking care of an activists mind: 

Activism, Meditation and Staying Optimistic.

Taking a stand and caring about something can sometimes be really, tiringly difficult. It’s hard to live in ways that differ from prevailing social norms, and the majority of people choose to ignore information rather than accept the responsibility of acknowledging it. This is not to make a moral judgement, rather to point out that the people who can’t ignore it, and attempt in their own way to change the world for the better, face challenges that other people can avoid.

This isn’t to say that as soon as you start trying to alter your lifestyle or campaign in order to help a cause that you hand your happiness over to a mysterious crone and spend the rest of your life in nun-like self-sacrifice. I’m sure even Mother Theresa let her hair down sometimes, and activism can bring with it community, a sense of purpose, fun and satisfaction that can be hard to find in other aspects of life.  You just have to remember to look after yourself, and to counter balance what you give out with some kindness directed back your way.

Meditation can be one method, along with other self care routines, to keep yourself in the best frame of mind for living life happily without compromising your principles. Here’s a few ways in which meditation can help in the life of an activist. Continue reading Guest Blog: Activism, Meditation and Staying Optimistic.

Find the Positives in Monday Morning: My Walk to Work

Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve all had lovely weekends so far, full of adventuress and relaxation?! I know the common feeling on a Sunday evening is to start gearing up for another week at work, and the preparation of the impending Monday blues. 

But I like to think the best way to prevent negative thoughts sinking in – especially when something is coming up that you can’t (as much as you want to…) avoid – is to concentrate on the one thing about the situation that’s really positive.

For me, my Monday blues are alleviated before I’ve even made it to my desk, simply by enjoying the stunning 40 minute walk to work. On days I’m in a hurry I can do the walk much quicker, but on a Monday I like to take my time and soak up the nature before I hit the emails. 

So I thought I would share some photos from my walk, to hopefully inspire you to search out the positives in your life tomorrow morning 🙂  Continue reading Find the Positives in Monday Morning: My Walk to Work

Are new builds the smart choice for energy efficiency?

Now, I am by no means in a position to be buying a home any time soon – I mean, I’m just about to give up all my worldly belongings and go gypsy for a while across the world! But I know many of my more sensible peers are increasingly looking to settle down and jump onto the property ladder. Most of them are going for the cheaper option, of something older which needs a little bit of work; then putting the hours and money in to make it their own. But when it comes to investing in your first house, is this approach really the most affordable, and green way to go?

My dream, if I’m honest, is to build my own Tiny House, Grand Design style. But If I had to purchase an existing home, I would always go for the old Victorian house full of character, over a shiny new build, with little history or soul. However – for the sustainably conscious – recent innovations are showing that new homes might actually be the smarter choice; not only for the pocket but also for the green credentials of your home.

In recent years there have been major changes in the way new build homes are designed, to make them more efficient for both the environment and the customer; resulting in hundreds of pounds being saved each year on energy bills. Continue reading Are new builds the smart choice for energy efficiency?

Lazy pick me up breakfast smoothie

This morning I woke up mega mega late. Since moving into my apartment a couple of months ago, I have been struggling to sleep through the whole night. Whether its due to the fridge freezer (which lives opposite my bed…) making funny noises, or the cat using the litter, or simply the early morning wake up call from the gazillion birds chirping in the trees which surround my home!

So, last night I decided to create a relaxing atmosphere to help me get into a deep, restful sleep. I massaged my skin in my favorite mix of sweet almond, patchouli and lavender oil, and covered my hair in coconut oil moisture wrap. I treated myself to a soy milk hot chocolate, and switched off from my devices an hour before bedtime. Finally, I completed a short yoga sequence and visualization meditation, before laying back on my pillow which I had sprayed with a subtle spitz of lavender oil. Pure relaxation…..

But I think I was perhaps a little too relaxed. Because when I finally woke up this morning at 8:30, a whole hour after my alarm had actually gone off, I was in a state of panic. No time for a coffee or a proper breakfast, I had 5 minutes to knock up something energizing, nutritious and filling enough to get me through a long day (and a very fast 40 minute power walk up the hill to work!!) The resulting mix and match of whatever I could find in my panic was actually so delicious I might even make it a daily ritual…well the smoothie, maybe not the mad crazy rush!

Lazy pick me up breakfast smoothie

Pick me up breakfast smoothie

Ingredients

  • x2 Bananas
  • A handful (literally) of frozen Blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. crunchy organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 tbsp. ground Flax seed
  • 1 tbsp. dried Goji berries
  • squeeze of Lemon juice

Method 

  1. Whiz up in a blender for 30 seconds or so (whilst you run around getting dressed and finding your keys…)
  2. Decant into a seal-able jar
  3. Drink straight from the jar or pour into a bowl with some extra berries as a Delicious smoothie bowl

Activist Burnout: When being green just feels really f**king hard

I’m tired.

Not the kind of tired you experience when you’ve had too many late nights, or not enough fresh fruit and veg. Nor the kind of tired you feel at 3pm on a Monday afternoon, when all you want is a strong coffee and a whole packet of Jammie Dodgers (and yes, they are Vegan!!).

I’m talking about the kind of physical and emotional exhaustion that an undernourished salmon feels after what seems like a lifetime swimming up a very steep stream. When you’ve depleted any energy and drive you once had to be who you are – or who you want to be – and no longer have the will to lift one eye lid up to see, let alone a whole arm to do.

But this fatigue – though it is spreading fast like a virus throughout my life– is not simply a result of working too hard, playing too hard or indeed life being generally hard. Its roots lie deep within; stemming from my increasing realisation that my attempts to live a green, waste less, compassionate life is surrounded by a million and one others who simply don’t give a shit. Apparently it’s called Activist Burnout, and I’m certainly not the only one who suffers from it. Continue reading Activist Burnout: When being green just feels really f**king hard

Book Review: The Sustainable Design Book

Ok, I’m just going to go ahead and put it out there. I’m a bit of design geek. Well, specifically an architecture and furniture design geek (and yes, I do include my love of Ikea and Grand Designs in this description…); though I also  have respect for anything that is a little quirky, practical, and more importantly, sustainable. 

But don’t assume this geek love equates to intellectual prowess, no Sir! Not to be confused with someone who actually knows something of substance about a particular subject,  a geek is in fact characterized as someone who is (I quote the Oxford dictionary…) “extremely excited or enthusiastic about a subject, typically one of specialist or minority interest” and that’s me with design. I love it with a creepy, stalker-like passion, but am rarely invited to it’s parties. 

It is because of this interest, but lack of knowledge, that I jumped at the chance to take a look at a brand new book on this very subject: The Sustainable Design Book by Rebecca Proctor.

First impressions suggested that this was a dream book for arty, designer types with a profound knowledge of design. For those who would pretentiously ponder techniques, or simply leave around for friends and acquaintances to admire. A coffee table book if you will. But a curious thing happened. As I begun to flick through its beautifully laid out pages, I realised first impressions can be very deceptive indeed…

Continue reading Book Review: The Sustainable Design Book