Sunday, 25 January 2015


Blood Orange Cake.

80g caster sugar
80g organic butter, softened
100g wholegrain flour
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 organic egg
2 blood oranges, 1 sliced, 1 juiced
2tbsp honey

To start, mix the sugar, butter, flour, baking soda and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl and use an electric mixture to whisk into a smooth batter, then add the egg and juice and continue to mix for a further minute.
Grease the cake tin with a little butter and spread the honey evenly before placing the slices of blood orange at the base and pouring the cake mix on top. Place the cake tin in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 mins until golden. To test that it is cooked through, stick a knife into the centre, if it comes out clean then flip the tin upside down so that the oranges slices are at the top. Allow it to cool before serving with cream.


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Saturday, 17 January 2015


ALCHEMY NATURAL REVIEW: LUSH.

I love Lush. If you have never been, don't be put off by the strong smell of soap coming from the store (as some people tend to be). They are a wonderful brand, full of lovely friendly staff, happy to tell you all about their hand made products.

They have a huge range from face & lip scrubs, deodorant bars, SPF powders, makeup, henna hair dye, bath bombs, perfume, face & hair masks, shampoos, conditioners and tooth paste tabs. All natural (or safe synthetics), all freshly made (lots of them made regularly on site); they are all about the eco-friendly packing, fair trade and often vegan approved. One thing I love a lot about Lush are their countless efforts towards fighting animal testing in the cosmetics industry. They ran a very eye opening campaign, which I really suggest everyone has a look at, just Google "Lush animal testing campaign."

For Christmas, my lovely sister bought me a Lush voucher so that I could pick some of my favourite products and tell you about them here. I chose some foundation, shampoo, deodorant bar and henna hair dye. I am going to keep the henna for a separate review and tell you about the other products I purchased.

Jackie Oates Foundation £9.50 20g
This foundation contains oat milk, safflower oil, aloe vera extract, organic rose hip oil and Shea butter. Lush say "This is ideal for smoothing those with pale complexions that need soothing. It's made with oat milk as a base, which helps to calm skin down, to which we've added loads of nurturing Shea butter, honey, aloe vera and glycerine to hydrate and even out tone. As pale skins need to be careful in the sunshine, we've added titanium dioxide. Mix a little with your favourite moisturiser and apply to clean skin evenly."
I am not a daily foundation wearer, so it is nice to have a more expensive better quality foundation that I use for evenings out etc. From initial use, it has a nice smell, good colour and even cover up. Before I switched to natural brands, I used to wear an 'ultimate wear foundation', which was a good concealer too for covering up the occasional nasty spot. This is quite different in comparison, it is not a heavy foundation, it won't conceal in the same way but rather even out skin tone. It has a gorgeous air whipped mousse texture and will give you a lovely natural look without feeling like you have heavy makeup stuck to your face. I found it held well through the day and I would definitely buy it again.

Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo £4.40 100g
This shampoo contains stout, fine sea salt, organic lemon juice, lemongrass oil and yeast. Lush say it is "A gentle shampoo made with beer, vinegar, and lemon juice to give your locks a glossy sheen. Tradition has it that lemon juice and beer are great for the hair, so we’ve added lots to this shampoo. Lemon juice is also a terrific cleanser, whilst stout is rich in protein, which helps give the hair body and strength."
Great little shampoo, more expensive than some but a good travel sized bottle. I loved the smell when applying and it left my hair silky soft.

Aromaco Solid Deodorant £5.05 100g
This deodorant contains witch hazel infusion, chamomile vinegar and patchouli oil. Lush say "A solid, gentle deodorant that absorbs odour and leaves you smelling as fresh as a daisy. Its essential oils and anti-bacterial ingredients work in harmony to keep you feeling fresh and dry. Aromaco contains witch hazel and chamomile vinegar to tighten pores rather than block them, helping you to keep cool and fresh."
This deodorant worked well; like all Lush products it has a beautiful smell, easy to apply and didn't leave your fingers feeling too greasy after. I had no issues with smell or sweat during the day and love the fact that you buy it by weight and it is wrapped up for you in paper, which means very little packing waste! I definitely recommend it.

For more natural living recipes & reviews, please see my other project Alchemy Natural.
(http://alchemynatural.tumblr.com/)


Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheese Cake.

Friday, 16 January 2015


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Asparagus, smoked salmon & poached egg with pepper.

Monday, 12 January 2015


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