Sunday, April 26, 2015

Healthy, Raw, Vegan, Berry Tarts


INGREDIENTS:

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1 Tbs shredded coconut (optional)
  • 2 tsp chia - ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2-3 Tbs water 
  • 1 tsp organic confectioners sugar (optional)

  • Filling:
  1 cup fresh strawberries 
  1 cup black berries (or blue berries)
  1 ripe avocado
  2 Tbs vanilla (with no alcohol results in a better taste)
  pinch salt
  1 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice


Method:
  1. Combine all crust ingredients, except water into a food processor such as a Ninja or Vitamix and process until ground. Add the water while the processor is running. This 
will help combine ingredients and result in a better texture.
  2. Press crust into the base of individual tart pans or pie plate of your choice. If using a pie plate, it's preferable to choose one that is shallow rather than deep. 
  3. Combine filling ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. Pour filling over crust and even out with a spatula. 
  4. Place in freezer for at least 2-3 hours to set. Keep in mind that this dessert is better served when mostly frozen. You do not want to serve it thawed. Makes for a wonderful summer treat!



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

AG Hair Cosmetics Professional Shampoo & Conditioner Review


About Product: Colour Savour Sulfate free shampoo - Gently cleanses hair with rich, luxurious lather. Proteins and herbal extracts soothe and repair. Contains sunflower seed extract and natural polyphenols to provide both UV and free radical protection and significantly extend the life and vibrancy of colour. 
Sleek argan conditioner - Transforms coarse, kinky hair into sleek and smooth. Formulated with nutrient rich organ oil and shea butter. Leaves hair shiny and soft. 

No salt
No Parabens
No Gluten
Not tested on animals
Every bottle contributes to educating girls in Africa

Review: What I love most about AG hair care is that it revives dull, frizzy, dry, lifeless hair. It makes your hair look and feel incredibly healthy and soft. Both shampoo and conditioner lathers so well that a small amount goes a long way. I realized after having purchased the one liter bottles that I am most likely to have them on hand for up to 6 months before I possibly run out. It smells heavenly and cleans without stripping down natural oils or hair colour. Though I don't wash my hair every single day because I find that's not personally healthy for my hair and scalp, I believe anyone who wishes to do so would benefit from using AG hair care products as they contain excellent ingredients such as keratin and herbal extracts to help retain moisture. The line is also specifically designed for color treated hair and caters to other hair care such as volume, curls, dry shampoo and more. It's being sulfate free is a big bonus as sulfate can tend to irritate and strip away natural protective oils from hair. Products price range is around $25 to $50 per bottle depending on size. Take into consideration that every bottle purchased contributes to building schools for girls in Africa, is cruelty free and should last you a long time depending on how often you wash you hair. Can be purchased at many salons, online stores or at AG cosmetics website. 


“Women are at the core of AG Hair’s business and we feel both passionate and obliged to help women without any means achieve their potential to create change through education. With each bottle of AG Hair product that we sell, a contribution is made to Women Leading Change. 100% of our donation goes directly towards building schools in Africa. Learn more about where you can find AG Hair products.” - AG Hair Cosmetics

LINKS:







Monday, April 20, 2015

Looking for an excellent waterproof eye liner?





About Product: No - Tug Waterproof Gel Eye Liners glide on saturated rich color without tugging on your delicate eyelids. These liners are clinically proved waterproof even after eight hours of wear! They're also infused with anti-aging technology and skin care benefits including hydrolyzed collagen, silk proteins, and vitamins C and E for younger looking lids. Paragon-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free. 


Review: Finally I've found a great eyeliner that I love! I've been searching for a good eyeliner for the longest time because I've been disappointed repeatedly. I don't like eyeliner pencils that you sharpen because most don't apply easily. I don't care for gel liner where you dip the brush in the gel because it takes some real talent to get that technique down. Lastly, most liquid liners I find to dry to come out the tip of the pen. 
I love this liner because it's a gel based pencil which glides on smoothly and makes application so much more easier. I chose my color in black which proves to be a rich and bold color. The one set back as is with most eyeliner pencils, I wish it were a more thinner. It can be a little hard to achieve the perfect line along the upper lash and generally I need a Q-tip to even things out just a bit. However, in comparison to other eyeliners, this is my absolute favorite. It does come with a sharpener you pull out at the base of the pencil which is kinda cool. Doesn't smudge, doesn't run, lasts all day! Retail price $22.00. Kind of pricy for a pencil but it works well and contains ingredients that are good for your skin. 



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dairy Free, Cherry Cheesecake


Vegan or not, you're going to love this recipe! It tastes very much like real cheesecake and it's easy to make.  My last vegan cheesecake was made with cashews which was delicious but this time around I wanted to try a different method. My goal is to discover new methods to create desserts or dishes which are both vegan and in many cases healthier than ordinary recipes that contain dairy. Though this cake calls for powdered sugar, sometimes you just need a little sugar in your life:) 

I used organic powdered sugar which I purchased at the "Harvest Health" store but you can get it at most any health food store around. To my understanding that makes for a true vegan recipe because organic sugar is bone char free. If ever I use sugar in my future recipes it will now be organic which is a win win because it's  both vegan and as far as sugar goes, organic may help you stay closer to your health goals. Here's the recipe...give it a try!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Crust:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (Nabisco graham crackers are 100% vegan)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs non dairy butter such as Earth Balance, melted
  • 2 Tbs organic powdered sugar only if using graham crackers without honey to make for a true vegan recipe)

  • Filling:
  1 (8 oz) package of Firm Silken Tofu ( I purchased a 16 oz and had to cut it in half )
  1 (8 oz) container of non dairy cream cheese ( I used Tofutti purchased at health food     store)
  1 freshly squeezed lemon
  1 Tbs vanilla
  1 cup organic confectioners sugar
  1 Tbs cornstarch
  2 Tbs non dairy milk
  1 (21 oz) can cherries or 1 1/2 cup fresh cherries


Method:

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
2. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into lightly greased spring foam pan (or pie plate). I choose a spring foam pan to make the unique crust as pictured. The crust can be pressed upwards against the interior of the spring foam pan. Bake for 5 minutes. 
3. In blender ( I used my ninja for extra smooth results but you can probably use a regular blender ) combine tofu, vegan cream cheese, lemon, vanilla, sugar and blend until smooth. Add cornstarch to soy milk and whisk. Add to blended ingredients. Poor filling into crust and smooth with spatula. 
4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes then reduce heat to 325 for 15 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 hours. I let mine cool in the spring foam pan in the fridge. 
5. Prior to removing spring foam pan, gently add cherry topping without touching the sides of the crust as it is delicate. Gently remove spring foam pan without disturbing the crust. Because the crust is delicate I did not remove the spring foam pan base when cutting and serving. The crust was was crumbly but it sure looks beautiful doesn't it?!









Friday, April 10, 2015

ALBA BOTANICA HAWAIIAN Makeup Remover Towelettes- Cruelty free


                                                         
About product: Makeup Remover, Cleanser & Toner
  • Removes makeup, dirt & oils without water or rinsing
  • Hypo-allergenic & alcohol free for sensitive skin
  • pH balanced formula leaves no residue
  • Soft towelette made from natural, biodegradeable fabric
  • Deep pore purifying
  • Hypo-allergenic, natural
  • 100% Vegetarian Ingredients 
  • No animal testing, artificial colors, parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Methyl Sulfate
Time to Clean
Can't do the whole sink-soap-water routine?  No worries!  Get cleaned up fast:  First, gentle cleansers remove makeup.  Second, fruit enzymes break through oil & grime for a pore-deep clean.  Finally, aloe & awapuhi tone & balance without tightness.  A full clean routine doesn't get any easier than this. 
Package qty. 30.


Review: This is the first time having tried a product by Alba Botanica and I'm definitely impressed. Purchased at target for $5.29. That approximately 18 cents each! Not bad price wise. I have no problem removing makeup except the little extra it takes to get black mascara off which I find is the complete norm with facial towelettes. Removing makeup is done in about a minute or less. If you wear heavy foundation you may require the use of two facial towelettes. These wipes have a delightful pineapple smell that's uplifting to the senses and makes you feel good. I love that Alba Botanica uses natural, organic, 100% vegetarian ingredients and doesn't test on animals.  
This brand also has a pore purifying pineapple enzyme facial cleaner which is used to remove makeup, impurities and brighten skin if you do prefer the sink-soap-water routine. Can't wait to try it out!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Coola, Sun Care - SPF 20 to 50 - Organic & Cruelty Free


I recall my mom and grandma telling me during my teen years of wanting to achieve a glowing tan from the sun, "Make sure to put sunscreen on, it will save your skin from aging too fast!" However, I was young and aging wasn't something I had to really worry about for a very very long time...right? 

Taking care of our skin even in our youth is essential to the outcome of our skin later in life. It has been proven time and again that the sun is the leading cause of premature aging and wrinkles. So who wouldn't want to invest money into a product that is truly anti-aging? 

Introducing Coola! This is by far one of the best leading sun care brands available. Products range from 20 to 50 SPF. Talk about excellent skin protection from the suns rays! Products contain natural and organic ingredients such as acai oil high in omegas 3/6/9, rose hip, prime rose oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, linseed oil, photo-plankton extracts, cucumber, strawberry, shea butter, vitamins etc. Each product specifically designed for lips, face or body is packed with good for your skin ingredients. 

Products are non-oily, nourishing and hydrating for skin. Enriched with vitamins to fight free radicals such as air pollutant smog. 80 minute water resistant sunscreens available. SPF 50 sunscreen for baby and SPF 30 spray for pets! 

Let's make it a Coola summer! 

LINKS:




Thursday, March 19, 2015

Honey, Lemon, Sugar Scrub


I was feeling the need to do a facial exfoliation after hearing about one of Christie Brinkley's secrets to aging well...exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Here's what you need:

1/2 cup of granulated sugar 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp of honey 
1/2 of a lemon, fresh

Now is the hard part. Mix the sugar, oil, honey and lemon together until they are blended well. Voila! Add it to your favorite jar and "Easy peasey, lemon squeezy" it's done!

Lemon:  Acts as a natural brightener while evening skin tone.
Olive Oil:  Excellent moisturizer packed full of antioxidants to protect against sun damage and environmental pollutants.
Sugar:  Granules for scrubbing away dead skin cells.
Honey:  A moisturizer excellent for skin without clogging any pores. Effective for assisting to prevent and clear acne. Anti- aging. 

When making home made scrubs feel free to choose from a variety of other ingredients. 
1). Choose your oils. Organic almond, organic coconut, jojoba, organic olive, rose hip oils are all excellent choices for your skin. 
2). Sugar. Choose either white or brown sugar. Both work great to exfoliate dead skin!
3). Choose more than just fresh lemon juice. You may like to add the lemon rind in addition. You may also prefer to use essential oils such as lavender, rose or orange.  The right kind of essential oils have excellent benefits for skin and can otherwise be used to make your scrub smell oh so nice!

Enjoy your super soft skin!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ULTA Fabulous Face Primer - As good as high end brand foundation primers





About this product: Formulated to reduce the appearance of of pores, fine lines and wrinkles creating the perfect base for foundation application. This formula also extends the wear of your foundation for a flawless look all day long. Cruelty Free. Sold at ULTA stores.

Review: No need to spend a ridiculous amount of money for a foundation primer after having tried this stuff! I use this primer under my foundation with great results. It's smooth, great for hydrating skin and is easy to  apply with fingertips. All you need is a pea size amount.  Liquid or powder foundation is then more easily applied and the overall look results in a more flawless appearance. Ulta also has a matte primer (same bottle but in black) which is oil free and contains 1.5% salicylic acid to target acne. 


Retail price $12.50 - (30ml). Compare that to Smashbox photo finish primer at $36 - (30ml)

This primer has been compared to high end brand primers with just as good of results. Don't be fooled by the big leagues!


Most often Ulta brand products are accompanied with a beauty steal deal such as, "Buy 2 get 2 Free". You can mix and match items such as lip gloss, nail polish and eyeliner to get these great deals. 


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Vegan, Lemon, Raspberry Cheesecake


      This is the first vegan cheesecake I have ever made and it turned out beautiful and oh so yummy!

My family loved it...especially my 9 year old step son who said it was, "so delicious!"

There are different ways to make vegan cheesecake. Some methods really come very close to tasting like the real deal and unless you're a food connoisseur, you wouldn't know the difference. I have yet to learn those methods. But I will be honest that although this is classified as a "vegan cheesecake", it really doesn't taste like cheesecake. Regardless, it's healthy, unique in that it's main ingredient is cashews and it tastes wonderful.

Time: 30 min
Serves: 12
_____________________________________________________________________
INGREDIENTS
Crust
  • 2 cup Graham crackers pulsed into crumbs (Nabisco grahams original is honey free)
  • 5-6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or vegan butter ( I used coconut oil )
  • 2 Tbs organic powdered sugar (only if using graham crackers without honey to make for a true vegan recipe)

Filling 
  • 2 ¼ cups of raw, salt free cashew nuts 
  • 1 ½ cup raspberries (for pink filling)
  • ½ cup raspberries (to be arrange around inner spring foam pan)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 6-8 tablespoon agave 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted

Topping
  • 1 cup raspberries (I used fresh raspberries)



 METHOD

1. Soak cashews in water for 6hrs or over night, (I choose to soak overnight). If they soak longer that is completely fine.


2. Line a loose bottom/spring foam (7-8 inch) cake pan with baking paper. (Optional)


3. Pulse crackers and slowly add melted oil or butter. Press mixture firmly into base of pan. Mixture should be just firm enough yet somewhat crumbly. 


4. Place drained cashews in food processor along with water, lemon juice, vanilla, agave. You may want additional agave or sweetener until you obtain desired sweetness. Pulse. Add melted oil and pulse. Make sure mixture is very smooth and not gritty. Taste test for texture. (It will have a unique and unusual taste but hang in there... the results are awesome!). Set aside 1 cup of this mixture which will be used for your 1st layer. Now take remaining 1 ¼ cup of mixture, add 1 ½ cup raspberries to it and pulse. 


5. Layer your crust with the white cashew mixture originally set aside. Line ½ cup raspberries around outer edge of pan. Let sit in fridge for approx. 20 minutes to firm a little before applying the pink layer. After 20 minutes add the pink raspberry layer and smooth with spatula to finish. Top your cake with raspberries for decoration. 


6. Place cake in freezer for at least a total of 2 hours. When you take it out of the freezer, let it thaw for at at least 30 minutes. Unhook your spring foam pan and there you have a beautiful vegan, lemon, raspberry cheesecake! 







Friday, March 6, 2015

RINGLING BROS, BARNUM & BAILEY to ELIMENATE ELEPHANTS FROM IT'S CIRCUS ACTS!!



Pleased to announce that after all of the hard work and effort of those who have sought to free these elephants from the Ringling Bros. circus act, come 2018, these elephants will be given their freedom!

After years of protests from upset public on how these creatures have been abused and mistreated, parent company Feld Entertainment has decided to fully eliminate elephants from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus acts by the year 2018. Elephants will be relocated to, The Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.

Upon first news of this, I couldn't help but cry tears of joy! Here are some pictures of the circus protests against Ringling Bros. I have participated in. I have met some of the most absolutely wonderful people ever with the biggest of hearts. We will continue to protest on behalf of the other animals in the circus such as tigers, horses and zebras.

Every creature deserves FREEDOM.





LINKS:

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NEW_YORK_TIMES
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