30 May 2017

suncream sunscreen eczema sensitive skin natural organic
(Disclaimer - not sponsored by brands mentioned)

Over the years I've had more than my fair share of reactions to sun creams and my skin doesn't care if it's a natural product or one loaded with undesirable ingredients. When you have eczema prone skin you just have to go with what works. On more than one occasions I've been on holiday, experienced a reaction and had to throw all my principals out the window because the the risk of skin cancer far outshines them at that moment in time. Does this make me a bad person? No but I feel incredibly guilty however I do wish more brands would look at their ingredients and help us sensitive folk out.

15 September 2014

Sugarpuffish Adventures in Madrid, Spain
Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? I spent last week soaking up the sun in Madrid and I did not want to come home. I love Spain and the sunshine so I had a wonderful time taking in the sights. Madrid has a split personality, laid back attitude during the day and a lively party side in the evenings. It’s a typical Spanish city with narrow streets and plazas which I could happily wander around for hours, ducking in and out of the sunshine, sitting in cafes eating Tapas and sipping Sangria. If you seek peace and quiet, head into one of the local parks to escape traffic and shelter from the sun. Who can resist the simple pleasure of sitting on a bench and watching the world go by? Alternatively, a gentle stroll leads to boating lakes, fountains and elegant gardens.

29 June 2011

UPDATE 2012: Caudalie has been stripped of the Leaping Bunny Logo due to selling in China, they are no longer regarded as a Cruelty Free Company

As you know the other week whilst in France I picked up a Caudalie travel set.  Caudalie is a brand I have always wanted to try as it is free from parabens, mineral oils, SLS, artificial colours, phthalates and phenoxyethanol. The set I purchased contained five products - Cleansing Water, Fleur De Vigne Shower Gel, Quenching Sorbet Creme, Nourishing Body Lotion and Gentle Conditioning Shampoo.  The products are 30ml in size except the face cream which is 10ml I will review them one by one.  All the products have a similar fragrance very fresh and light of grapes and a hint of cucumber.  I am pleased to report none of the products have caused me skin irritation. 

Cleansing Water – this was very refreshing and did not dry out my skin.  I used it with a cotton pad and it removed my foundation with ease.  Personally I do prefer a cream cleanser but I can see this being very nice to use when travelling or maybe when camping.

Shower Gel – I have no complaints this lathered well and it did not dry out my skin, it was a pleasure to use.  I prefer a floral or fruity scent in the shower but if you like a fresh scent then this would be perfect for you.

Sorbet Creme (face) – a light textured cream that absorbed into my skin easily and was non-greasy.  Very refreshing for the warmer weather we have been having.  A little went a long way.  Personally I need a thicker cream my skin is too dry and come the end of the day I was getting a bit flaky. 

Body Lotion – this was by far my favourite product in the set.  It has a light texture which absorbs easily I found it very nourishing and leaves behind a silky feeling to the skin.  I also used it on my legs after shaving and it did not sting which is very rare for me.

Shampoo -  now I am not sure if it is me or my hair or the water or the product but I could not get this to lather even a little bit.  I know you will not get lots of bubbles with an SLS free product but usually you can produce a small amount.  I found this extremely hard to use and gave up.  Maybe it would get better after continued use but I only have a 30ml sample so I pretty much only got one/two washes out of it.

This is a great kit to purchase for a short trip or a good way to sample Caudalie.  I was impressed with the product performance over the four day period I was using them.  Personally, I think I would only re-purchase the body lotion from this kit but I would be interested in seeing if there are other cleansers or face creams in the range which may be more suitable for my skin type.

Has anyone else tried Caudalie products?  If so what did you think?

Sarah x


22 January 2013

Blûm Naturals Towelettes
Face wipes have been popular for years. I remember buying into the hype only to suffer an allergic reaction. In hindsight it’s not surprising that I did as they are full of nasty ingredients (same can be said for baby bum wipes). I know there are natural alternatives on the market but I have not felt the need to try them. I understand why people like the convenience but I prefer a proper cleansing with water. When Caitie (naturalla beauty) included Blûm Naturals Towelettes in our beauty swap I was a little sceptical. 

I have the Dry & Sensitive, individually wrapped wipes but they are also available for oily/combination and normal skin types plus a pro age and exfoliating version. The wipes are free from synthetic preservatives, parabens, SLS and alcohol. They are not tested on animals, PH balanced and hypo-allergenic. 

I find the wipes are a good size and have a soft texture. I initially thought they would not do much as they feel a little dry but they work very well. The fact that they are not too wet means no residue is left behind. The fragrance is a nice gentle hint of chamomile. My skin feels normal after use, never dry or tight. It appears to remove my foundation well as I end up with a grubby brown wipe. I like to use these as a quick cleanse after work or before jumping in the shower but I always follow with a proper cleanse. I do not think I could use these daily in place of my cleanser but I can see them becoming a handy travel bag item. 

I have found Blum towlettes available in UK, at Cocktail Cosmetics, priced at £3.95 for 10 individually wrapped. If you are reside outside of the UK visit Blum's website. 

26 July 2014

Green People Sun Lotion SPF 25 (scent free)
I am often asked for sunscreen recommendations but it’s a difficult one for me because I react to natural and "chemical" based brands. I face an uphill battle every summer because the one brand that does not irritate my skin is full of ingredients I advocate avoiding. I face a moral dilemma between the need to protect against sun damage and the desire to rid myself of manmade toxic ingredients. In the past I used Lavera, last year I trialled Badger but for my trip to Lisbon I took with me Green People Sun Lotion SPF 25 which is scent free (50ml is a travel size). 

Green People are a reliable brand for anyone with sensitivities or if you wish to cut out certain ingredients. This sun lotion is free from parabens, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), lanolin, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants (vegetarian approved but not suitable for vegans as contains beeswax). It offers natural broad-spectrum UVA & UVB protection. 

I have found over the years that formulations of natural sunscreen are improving. In the past, I found some were very heavy and definitely caused me heat rash. I trialled Green People on my décolletage because it’s the one area of my body which instantly react to products and always catches the sun (the joy of having ample lady lumps!). I was comfortable with the formulation; it didn’t feel sticky or heavy. I was able to rub into my skin quickly and I did not notice a whiteness which is often associated with natural sunscreen. That being said Mr Sugarpuffish used on his face a couple of times and I noticed he was looking a bit grey! He had not shave whilst we were on holiday and the sun lotion was not disappearing into his skin in quite the same way it had done for mine. 

Overall, I think Green People Sun Lotion is a good product in comparison to other I have tried. I would consider purchasing for my next holiday but I think Mr Sugarpuffish would need to use a different sun lotion. Unfortunately, I think mineral sunscreen and hairy men are not always compatible.

Have you tried Green People Sun Lotion? Do you like it?

Sarah x

Disclaimer - PR Sample, affiliate links

16 October 2018

Swayed by the promise of sunshine and cheap flights we found ourselves back in Italy for the second time this year. Rimini has the best of both, miles of beach to attract sun worshippers and a cultural centre with Roman remains and a Renaissance cathedral.

We stayed at Hotel Bahama, a little dated in decor but we couldn’t fault the hospitality of the staff. I don’t like to make a fuss with dietary needs but they clearly had their eye on me, eventually asking if I was Vegetarian. I explained I was in fact Vegan (for ease of communication) and next morning at breakfast was presented with a carton of soya milk and vegan croissants. The only downside to our location was we hadn’t realised that some areas of the resort closed down for winter, this meant we had to go slightly further afield to find restaurants open for dinner.

Rimini city centre is typically Italian with narrow cobbled streets and piazzas. The town’s Roman past is still visible with the Tiberius Bridge and Arch of Augustus. Soaking in the Italian architecture is lovely but I’ll openly admit I’m here for the food. If you’ve been following our Italian adventures over the years you’ll know that I can usually sniff out Vegan food relatively easy. In Rimini old town we had an evening meal at Loving Hut (a vegan cafe) and I grabbed Vegan gelato at La Scintilla and Cuor di Cioccolato. Near to the beach the restaurant called Newport had a small vegan menu but I will say my vegan burger wasn’t quite to my taste. We ate twice at Chi Sburoun but by far the best Marinara pizza of the holiday was at Rossopomodoro, although the service was a little patchy, our waiter seemed bored of work, not that I blame him having to deal with tourists.From Rimini we took day trips to San Marino (by bus) and Bologna (by train). San Marino is situated up on a mountain top, is the world's oldest republic and Europe's third smallest state. It’s a beautiful place to amble around the steep streets, taking in spectacular views the higher you climb. We stopped for lunch in Palazzo Pubblico after I spotted the magic word “vegan” on a menu and I had a delicious meal of chickpeas with vegetable gratin and swiss chard.
In June we had flown into Bologna but didn’t stop before making our journey to Florence. It’s a decision with hindsight that we regret. Bologna is beautiful and exactly as you would expect from a busy Italian city. It’s easy to amble around on foot and lunch is a must whilst taking in the wonderful architecture. We didn’t have much of a plan and basically got lost whilst possibly walking around in circles. When our tummies grumbled I was scouring restaurant menus. Traditionally Bologna is known for its Bolognese (Ragu) which is a meat based pasta sauce so I felt super lucky to spot a blackboard advertising Vegan food alongside Vegetarian and gluten free options. I’m pleased to say I had the most delicious lentil soup at Brusce and would recommend this little bistro.

If you image search Rimini you'll see images of miles of beach jam packed with sun loungers and umbrellas. I’m not sure that would be my idea of heaven in the height of summer but for a cheap last minute autumn getaway it was pretty perfect. We still have so much more of Italy we’d like to see so maybe we will be back next year. If you'd like to catch up on our Italian road trip that we took earlier in the year, then follow this link - Florence, Pisa, La Spezia, Cinque Terre and Genoa

Sarah x

11 April 2012

Review Madara Comforting Toner for Dry Skin
UPDATE: January 2019 - New packaging & a slightly different name but still the same product, Madara is a brand I continue to use. 

Before I went on holiday in March I ran out of my Handmade Naturals Toner. I do like this toner but you know what it is like as a Blogger you are a fickle customer and always giving new things a try. I decided to purchase Madara Deep Comfort Facial Toner. Madara have a small range of three toners depending on your skin type, with the Comforting aimed at dry skin.

I am familiar with Madara as I'd previously tried a travel kit so I knew what to expect in terms of quality and ingredient policy however if you are not sure let me tell you a little bit about this brand. Madara products are created in Latvia so they specialise in extracts from Baltic plants. They are certified to ECOCERT standards which means formulations can not contain synthetic ingredient like perfumes, parabens, and mineral oils. Madara do not test on animals and many of their products are suitable for Vegans. The toner packaging is a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle.

I have now been using the Deep Comfort toner for a month and very much enjoy using it. I find the scent extremely light with a hint of rose and chamomile. I know some of you might not see the point of a toner in your skincare routine but they so help regulate pH levels and remove any excess dirt or makeup which your cleanser didn't quite reach. Toners can be use morning and evenings but I will say my personal preference is to use them as part of my evening routine.

Madara Deep Comfort toner is a refreshing, soothing and non drying which I believe makes it ideal for sensitive and dry skin. Madara is available from various online retailers such as Love Lula, Feelunique, Naturisimo. 

Sarah x

14 July 2015

Make Up Brush Collection - Eco Tools, Bellapierre, Neve
Yes those are my dirty make up brushes I was too lazy to wash them for the photograph, does that make me a bad blogger? Lol. Don’t troll me for not washing them, I do know the importance of washing my brushes and my favourite way to do this is using Dr Bronner's Peppermint Liquid Castile Soap. As you may or may not know my interest in makeup does not go much beyond foundation, blushers and tinted lip balms but I have built up a little brush collection. All my brushes are cruelty free as I refuse to buy those made with animal hair.

So Eco Powder Brush – judging from my haul videos I bought this brush last year. It’s a brand sold at Tesco and was not too expensive (£8.50). I no longer have the packaging but I spoke about it in a haul video. The brush and packaging are eco-friendly. The bristles are super soft and I prefer this for applying blusher.

Neve Cosmetics Bunnybuki Kabuki Brush – This is one of my oldest brushes (pink handle) having bought it back in 2013. The logo has long since rubbed off but it did once have cute bunny picture. Looks like this particular brush is discontinued from the site where I purchased it but it’s a Baby Flatbuki. It’s the one I reach for most as I think it gives me a fuller and flawless coverage when applying my Everyday Minerals Semi Matte Foundation.

Bellapierre Kabuki Brush* - this brush came into my possession in a Naturisimo discovery box. It is super soft but the most expensive in my collection. Unlike the Neve brush this one has a rounded top and I use it mostly for when I want a light coverage of foundation.

Eco Tools Retractable Kabuki Brush – I bought this one with the excuse of my recent holiday in Porto. Whilst I am more than happy to travel with my other brushes they can end up in bad shape because they are not protected in my cosmetic bag. I think this Eco Tools brush is similar to Bellapierre in terms of softness, shape and performance. The convenience of having a lid means you can throw into your bag and not worry about damaging the bristles.

I hope you found this post of interest? As you can see I am a fan of Kabukis. Whilst I'm here chatting about brushes, let me mention that Bathing Beauty have recently launched a set of 10 Vegan, Cruelty Free Make up Brushes which I know a lot of bloggers have been lusting over.

Sarah x

Disclaimer - *PR sample, no affiliated links, not sponsored

5 December 2012

Can we agree that Stocking Fillers should be under £10? That being said I personally have a £5 rule. Check out these little beauties....

Weleda Mini Crackers £4.95 

Australian Native Botanicals 50ml hand creams, body creams & hair care £3 each at Marks & Spencer. 

Badger Balms £3.99 for 21g size (these are widely available online)

Figs & Rouge Soft Cherry Tinted Balm £4.95

Doy Bags mini bag £4.99 also check out the accessories section for more gifts under £5

Baggee handy plastic bag holding keyring £4.99

Union Jack Heart  travel nail care kit for hands & feet £3.95

Wrap-N-Mat the perfect alternative to sandwich bag, foil or clingfilm £5

Fridge Monkey to store and stack cans in the fridge. I brought these for my family a few years ago and everyone loved them. I ended up buying one for myself £3.99

If you are looking for larger gift ideas then visit my other Christmas Gift Guide 2012

28 November 2013

The Warehouse Cafe Birmingham Handmade Burger Co
Whilst in Birmingham, I obviously had to eat some food. I gorged my way around the German Christmas market but I also visited The Warehouse Cafe. It is a small cafe, nothing swish about it but still very welcoming and best of all catering only for Vegetarians and Vegans. I had a falafel wrap and my other half had a refried tortilla.

I can also recommend Handmade Burger Co at the Bull Ring. They had seven vegetarian burger options and one which was specifically vegan. I have never had this much choice in a burger joint. I went for the vegan chickpea & quinoa and enjoyed every mouthful.

Birmingham may not be the most exciting of places to visit but there are definitely a couple of hidden gems.

Sarah x

19 July 2011

Guess where I spent my weekend?  Amsterdam.  I have been to several European cities but Amsterdam definitely takes my number one spot for places to visit.  Despite the continuous rain my BF and I had a lovely time exploring the city. We stayed at Hotel Casa 400 which was out of town but within easy reach of Amsterdam Amstel Station with connections to Trams, Metro and Trains – perfect for getting to and from the airport as well as into the city centre.  I recommend our Hotel it was modern and clean with friendly staff and good value for money.

We spent 3 days exploring the city on foot or by public transport.  We enjoyed a canal boat trip, visited the Van Gogh Museum and my favourite place was The Handbag and Purses Museum.

There was an extensive choice of cafes/restaurants but my favourite place to eat was Bagels & Beans and Soen (Thai food).

We also stopped at Wok to Walk, Maoz Falafel and V&D La Place Restaurant.  The one bad thing I have to say about Amsterdam is Vegetarian food was relatively easy to find but a Vegan diet was harder to accommodate.  Unfortunately, the Dutch love their cheese so not good for someone like me who is allergic to milk. 

We did plenty of window shopping but my BF makes a lousy shopping buddy and gets a bit grumpy, typical man.  It would have been far better if I had the Girls with me.  I did stumble across a chain of stores called De Tuinen which caught my attention.  It was the place to go to if you wanted stock up on free from skin care.  I had a good browse but found mainly brands I already used or recognised.  The exchange rate meant prices were the same as at home so I did not bother to stock up.

Here are a few holiday snaps.  I was sad to leave Amsterdam but it was nice to come home to birthday presents and cards.

19 March 2019

Conscious Skincare Organic Cold Pressed Oils Almond & Apricot Kernel
(Gifted PR Samples)

If you ever want to simplify your skincare routine then cold pressed oils are a great starting point. From the perspective of someone with sensitive skin prone to eczema, oils can be an excellent way to scale back on products to help restore balance from flare ups. They are budget friendly, reduce plastic waste and multipurpose. One of my travel tips when packing light is to opt for multipurpose oils, you could skip cleanser, moisturiser, body cream and hair conditioner in favour of one good oil alternative.

9 June 2014

Lisbon PortugalView from Castelo de S.Jorge

You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here, that's because I just spent the last five days in Lisbon. I knew very little about Lisbon before booking our trip but I quickly fell in love with this beautiful city.

Our Hotel, Olissippo Saldanha was out of the main hustle and bustle but within easy reach of public transport, with a metro stop on the corner of street and on the same line as the Airport which was handy. It’s a newly opened, modern and clean hotel. I could not find fault and they even offered soya milk at breakfast. A large supermarket across the road was great for stocking up on snacks and water, which saved a bit of money instead of paying tourist prices. My jaw dropped at the impressive selection of soya milk and the variety of flavours, for instance Alpro Red Fruit (aka Mixed Berries) and Vive Soy in Peach, Orange & Papaya Mango *mind blown*. The free from selection looked great for gluten free products.

You need a sturdy pair of shoes for walking the streets of Lisbon. I would say the hills give San Francisco a run for their money. Despite the aching feet and creaking knees you are rewarded with the most amazing views. A cool beverage in a local cafe is a must before making the trek back down. If you want to do things the easy way, there are old and new trams to help you up the hills and three funiculars. Be prepared to squeeze yourself onto the older trams as they are popular with tourists. On one ride we were treated to an impromptu Portuguese sing-a-long, two old men with guitars and a lady belting out traditional songs. We visited some of the sights - Torre de Belem, Elevator de Santa Justa, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian and Castelo de Sao Jorge but mainly, we just wandered the narrow streets stopping to people watch, soaking up the sunshine and admire the views. 
Lisbon Portugal
Portuguese food mainly consists of cheese, meat, seafood, sweet pastries and more cheese. On our first day my pizza was served up with cheese but wait staff were extremely apologetic and the situation was rectified. Vegetarians are catered for but you have to seek out places for Vegans. I had found an excellent blog post on Vegan Lisbon by Radiant Flux which I had as back up but we didn't end up using it. We did attempt to find one of recommendations but ended up getting lost and hungry. 

Purely by accident, we came across a wonderful little Vegan cafe, Princesa do Castelo Restaurante, whilst stumbling down the hills of Alfama on our last day. I stopped for a rest, turned around and spotted the green flag on the door – homemade, allergen free dishes. Despite the sign promoting Vegetarian cuisine, I was informed everything was suitable for Vegans and noted Gluten Free & Diabetic options. I had hoped for ice cream but it was tangerine flavour so I passed it up for a slice of chocolate peanut butter cake with whipped soya cream. I instinctively asked without fruit but the gentleman who served me gave me a puzzled look so I explained about fruit allergies. He must have thought I was the weirdest person as I rattled off a list of fruit I have to avoid and we settled on banana and apple. The menu wasn’t large but reasonably priced and a friendly service. Sadly, as it was our last day we didn’t have time to go back and sample more dishes.

We did fall into the tourist trap with restaurants as I find my dietary requirements difficult to manage in the smaller places that are off the beaten track. Rua Augusta is the main pedestrian street. In some ways it reminded me of Las Ramblas in Barcelona because sadly it had a slightly seedy side which detracted from the beauty. You had to be aware of pick pockets, beggars and we were even offered drugs in broad daylight! I’m not naive but I was still shocked at how blatant these people are. We had a bland meal at Romans on Rua Augusta and we should have known better than to follow the Tourist trail. Amorino, the ice cream/gelato store was frequented twice by my other half. It’s a modern store not in the slightest rustic and authentic but he enjoyed his waffle and ice cream. We found the best seafood restaurants were on Rua das Portas de Santo Antao which was a recommendation in our guide book. Although be warned restaurant staff pounce on you with menus, something I’ve experienced in other places but I do find a little intimidating. I would recommend the restaurant which I think was attached to the hotel Residencial Florescente. We also stumbled across Brio Supermercado, natural and organic products galore, a bit like Wholefoods on a smaller scale. I would have loved to explore the skincare but I only had cabin luggage allowance so that limited me to 100ml for liquids. You’ll probably hate me for this but we found two Starbucks. A Very Berry Hibiscus drink went down very nicely on a hot day and I have another mug to add to my collection. This also inspired my blog title; our drinks were labelled Sara & Andre. I love the way our names became translated by locals.

I have visited Saville, Granada, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Brussels, Amsterdam and Rome but I have to say Lisbon was my favourite place, second to Rome. You must pay it a visit sometime and say Hello from me.

Sarah x

14 February 2012

Bodhi Palmarosa Verde and Ylang-Ylang Incensa Bodhi Palmarosa Verde and Ylang-Ylang Incensa
WheBodhi  asked me if I would like to consider reviewing their products I admit I did a happy dance. Bodhi is a premium beauty brand with products free from undesirable ingredients such as synthetic fragrance or colours, palm oil and animal ingredients. Let just say I am very impressed with the ingredients policy.

Bodhi means enlightenment and the concept behind the range is to indulge the senses with essential oils. Think spa treatment and therapy in a bottle. There are seven unisex scents - Galangai Spice, Jasmine Falls, Mint The, Palmarosa Verde, Pep Noir, Rosemary Chi and Ylang-Ylang Incensa. Each fragrance is available as a bath and shower gel and can be paired with a matching body moisturiser. 

I felt very spoilt when I opened the parcel. I received a Love for Her gift set which contains a 250ml bottle of Bath & Shower Therapy and a 40ml tube of body moisturiser in the fragrance Ylang-Ylang Incensa. I also received a 50ml size Palmarosa Verde Bath & Shower Therapy.  

Bodhi had asked me which scents I would like to try.  I admit I found it slightly overwhelming to figure out which fragrance would suit me as they all sound amazing.  I had to put faith in the descriptions but I have to say my choices were spot on.  The fragrances are divine and I adore them both.  I am not the greatest at describing fragrance so here are Bodhi’s descriptions taken from the website. 

Palmarosa Verde - Spring clean your skin with our purifying blend of Palmarosa, Bourbon Geranium and Bulgarian Damask Rose Absolute. Embrace sunny mornings, freshly mown grass and the scent of budding blossom in the air. Skin is refreshed, feels purified and enlivened with a delicate fragrance. Suitable for all skin types, especially combination. 

Ylang-Ylang Incensa - Luxuriate in the Oriental sensuality of Ylang-Ylang and Patchouli, spiked with Honeysuckle, Neroli and Pink Peppercorn. Intensely flighty, yet seriously grounded – this is Yin & Yang in perfect balance. Skin is left soothed, soft, supple and highly fragrant. Suitable for all skin types, especially dry or irritated. 

Bodhi products are fragrant and effective because they contain a high ratio of quality essential oils and perfume grade absolutes. I have concentrated on using the Ylang-Ylang Incensa as I am saving the travel size Palmarosa Verde for my upcoming holiday. I adore the way the scent lingers around bathroom and on your skin for several hours. I have had some awful news in recent weeks along with feeling unwell and I can honestly say Bodhi has lifted my spirits. Now I know a shower gel cannot solve my problems but for me Bodhi has provided a little moment of bliss and relaxation. The body wash is as you would expect in terms of consistency. You only require a small amount to foam up into a creamy lather. 

I have not experienced any problems with irritation and after washing my skin feels soft, never tight. This body wash is lovely on my fussy skin but it’s not great for my water bill. I am spending far longer in the shower than normal. I just cannot help indulging myself with this product. I have also tested this out in the bath. It produces lovely bubbles unfortunately they did not stay around for long. Despite disappearing bubbles the water remains fragrant so you do benefit from the aroma of the essential oils. 

I love the idea of having a body cream in a matching fragrance to the body wash. You can continue indulging in the scent outside of the bathroom. The body cream has a light texture. I don’t have anything to compare it to because I use shea butter which are heavy in texture. I find the cream hydrating and have noticed it lasts the day, no sign of the dry patches I suffer from, especially on my legs. 

I believe Bodhi is offering a completely unique luxurious experience. This is not your average body wash, this is a skincare product. The quality and volume of essential oils warrants the extra expense. Bodhi is comparable in price to brands like Aveda, Elemis, REN, Elemental Herbology, Pai and Aromatherapy Associates.

Overall, Bodhi has quickly become a firm favourite in my bathroom.  If you would like to treat yourself or give an amazing gift then Bodhi is my number one recommendation. Perhaps try their “Little Treats” pouches if you are feeling the pinch of the credit crunch.

Sarah x

Disclaimer - I was sent these products for free, I am not being paid for this review, none of the links are affiliated, all opinions are my own

3 July 2018

Florence Italy
Italy is one of my favourite countries; good food and warm weather are a combination I crave for my summer holidays. My husband and I have previously visited Rome and Venice and knew that we had to return for our next adventure. This time we look a bit of a road trip using the railway. We flew into Bologna and caught the train to Florence, Pisa, Lucca (day trip), La Speiza (our base for visiting Cinque Terre) and flew home from Genoa (Genova). We used Airbnb for most of our accommodation which was a first for us.

Florence is a beautiful city but it was jam packed with tourists making sightseeing crowded and not much fun. We discovered quickly that visiting the attractions is made easier if you book in advance but our stop was short and didn’t work with availability. Truth be told my husband and I decided a while back that sometimes dragging ourselves around art galleries and museums isn’t much fun for us and often a waste of our money. We chose to wander the city, take in the architecture, eat gelato and enjoy the views from a different prospective. The heat was intense and the mosquitoes were viscous. 
Pisa Italy
After a couple of days we moved on to Pisa. Train travel was easy and inexpensive considering how much we pay to get into London. Most people day trip to Pisa but we stayed 3 nights and it was an absolute delight. By day it was a little crazy with crowds but when the tour buses left we practically had the city to ourselves. Pisa is a student town so we did have revellers outside our window at all hours but our apartment was a five minute walk to the Field of Miracles where the famous Leaning Tower is situated. Staying so close meant when we bought our day ticket for the attractions we could come and go as we pleased across the day. We joked how it was quicker to walk to our accommodation for the toilet than queue for the ones at the attractions. From Pisa we took a day trip to Lucca, a delightful old town with tiny lanes and piazzas. We meandered around grabbing lunch and gelato on our way. I attempted to climb one of the towers (Torre Guinigi) but the open stair case at the top was too much for my vertigo. The Leaning Tower had been easier because of the enclosed stone steps although I did have jelly legs at the top. 
Cinque Terre Italy
Our next stop was La Spezia, a lovely town in its own right but a convenient base for visiting the Cinque Terre a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of five coastal villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso) each with their own unique ambience. It’s easily one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever visited; it took my breath away on more than one occasion. You can access the area by boat or train so we did a mix of the two (Corniglia is the only town you can’t visit by boat). There are hiking trails between the towns but the easier walks are currently closed because of past landslides. You have to be prepared for the crowds, it can be overwhelming and June isn’t regarded as peak season. You can find moments of solitude in the lanes away from the harbours and we only bumped into a few people on our walk through the vineyards in Manarola. My favourite memory on that walk was hearing the thunder rolling in over the mountains across the distant villages, it was magical.
Genoa Genova Italy
Genoa (Genova is the Italian spelling) was our final destination because it has an airport and made sense in terms of the direction we had travelled. We were unsure what to expect because it turns out despite the history and size of the town it’s relatively quiet with tourism in comparison to other Italian cities. We even noticed our guidebook (Rick Steves Italy 2018) didn’t give coverage. We quickly learnt through error that it is rough around the edges and it was the first time we had felt uncomfortable. Unlike Venice I would not recommend taking yourself off the beaten track and getting lost. We preferred to stick to central areas with tourist attractions and keep away from the old town. Genoa is a vertical city and there are lifts and funiculars to help save your legs from epic uphill climbs. I recommend the Ascensore Castello d'Albertis-Montegalletto as a unique experience. You ride in a compact blue box (sadly not the tardis!) which travels through a tunnel before turning into a lift to take you to street level above. The Funicolare Belvedere Righi was a steeper climb than I recall in comparison to Lisbon. There is a viewing platform at the top, a few trees get in the way but you still get a decent view across Genoa. There isn’t much else to do but the simple pleasure of riding this mode of transport was enough for us. 
Eating Vegan food in Italy, gelato, pasta, pizza
With the exception of Genoa I didn’t have any issues managing my dietary requirements. It was clear that the Vegan movement was making waves through tourist areas with most places boldly mentioning Vegano alongside Gluten Free options. I found vegan gelato with little effort even in the Cinque Terre. There are several Italian dishes which can be Vegan by default as long as you love tomatoes (Pomodoro) you’ll be good with spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce (opt for dried pasta as fresh often contains egg), Marinara pizza (doesn’t have cheese), focaccia (with olives or potato & rosemary are my favourites) and bruschetta. I also discovered Farinata, a flat pancake made from chickpea flour, water and olive oil. If you want to move away from the traditional, it was relatively easy. In Florence I found a Vegan burger and Vegan cafe for Gnocchi, in Pisa we found an adorable tiny counter/shop front where I had a tofu sausage sandwich. Genoa wasn't entirely without Vegan options  as the staples were available but I wasn't stumbling across options in the same way I had other places. When travelling I recommend using Happy Cow it's an excellent resources for Vegetarian and Vegan options. 

Italy steals my heart every time so I’m sure our next adventure will be just around the corner. 

Sarah x

Vegan Gelato
Il Procopio (Florence), Amorino (Florence), Gelateria Artigianale Rufus (Pisa), Il Gelato Di Toto (Pisa), Grelia Cremeria (Lucca), 5Terre Gelateria (Manarola), Il Gelateria Del Prione (La Speiza)

Noteworthy for Vegan food
Vegan Come Koala (Pisa), Universo Vegano (Florence), Il vegetariano e vegano di Marcella Bianchi (Florence, upstairs in the Mercato Centrale), Soup in Town (Lucca), the Vegan platter pictured was possibly from Ristoro Pecorino, I can't remember but it was not far from leaning tower on Via Santa Maria.

6 November 2021

Review Nudge Boutique Cocoa & Avocado Oil to Milk Cleansing Bar and Fragrance Free Whipped Body Butter
(Purchased Products)


I adore oil to milk cleansers and happily received a recommendation over on IG to check out Nudge Boutique (thank you Emma). I decided to order the Nudge Boutique Cocoa & Avocado Oil to Milk Cleansing Bar and Fragrance Free Whipped Body Butter.

By now you've realised that using skincare that is free from essential oils is of huge benefit to me. I will always champion new and innovative products that consider consumers with sensitivities. Nudge Boutique Cocoa & Avocado Oil to Milk Cleansing Bar stands out from the crowd for being a solid cleanser. This is a great way to reduce waste and refill options are available. It's also super handy for travel because I'm sure like many of you know leaking bottles can be a problem. There is nothing worse than loosing a precious oil to your wash bag.

Nudge Boutique cleansing bar fits perfectly into the palm of your hand which makes application easy. All you need to do is rub the bar over dry skin and your natural warmth melts the cleanser to leave a lovely oil on the surface of your face. Then you can take the time to massage across your skin to remove dirt and makeup. When you are happy to finish cleansing simply apply water to emulsify the oil into a milk and rinse away. After a bit of experimenting I decided my chosen method is not to emulsify on the skin but to wipe the oil away with a damp cloth. Not only is this cleanser a joy to use but it has a delightful aroma that naturally comes from cocoa butter.

I've been using Nudge Boutique Cocoa and Avocado Oil to Milk Cleansing Bar for weeks now; morning and evenings dependant on my mood. It has felt kind and gentle on my skin. I have to be honest and say that sometimes I experience a little dryness immediately after cleansing but there could be a number of factors for me to feel this way. It's not unusual for me to experience this when using an emulsifying cleanser. As it's only an occasional issue then I am happy to continue using the product. It would not be recommended to do so if you felt this way after every cleanse.

You can say that overall the cleansing bar has been effective and enjoyable to use but for me it's the Nudge Boutique Fragrance Free Whipped Body Butter that has made a lasting impression. This body butter contains delicious ingredients perfect for dry skin like mine - Coconut Oil, Kokum butter, Murumuru butter, Shea butter and Cocoa Butter. There is no added fragrance so it's aroma comes naturally from all the ingredients but in particular coconut oil. I use a spatula to scoop the butter from the jar as it's not as soft as other butters I own but it will melt when in contact with warm skin. What I love most is this feels like a 'dry' body butter and by that I mean it doesn't feel overly greasy. The absorption rate on my skin leaves me feeling silky smooth without any lasting stickiness. This experience has been quite unique in comparison to other body butters. I really rate how it vanishes fairly quickly. I find the best time to use a body butter like this one is straight after a shower. I feel comfortable using Nudge whipped butter on all areas of my body and it keeps dry, flaky skin at bay for the entire day. 

On behalf of consumers with sensitive skin, I'd like to thank Nudge Boutique for offering fragrance free skincare. It's lovely to see this inclusion and consideration when formulating products. I recommend you check out Nudge Boutique and browse their entire store. 

Sarah x

15 June 2015

Sugarpuffish holiday in Porto, Portugal
For those not following me on Twitter, I’ve spent the last week on holiday in Porto, Portugal. You may remember we visited Lisbon last year and Portugal is fast become one of my favourite countries. Like Lisbon you need a comfortable pair of shoes, a sun hat and some sturdy legs for walking the hills. I’ll admit it was tough going at times and my love of chocolate was ever telling when I puffed my way up the steepest staircase.

17 September 2012

Antipodes Resurrect Facial Toner
One thing you should already know about me is I love skincare from Australia and New Zealand. When O.N.G introduced me to Antipodes Rejoice Day Cream it was love at first sight. That same tube is still going strong. When my Tropic Skincare toner ran out I was in the market to try something new. Since re-introducing toner into my routine I cannot settle on one particular brand. I have liked many which you have seen in reviews but always have an issue with fragrance. I have a very fussy sense of smell and this is what lead me to purchase Antipodes Resurrect Toner.

This toner‘s fragrance comes from Lavender and Sweet Sage and it smells like heaven to my nose.  It is a sweet scent, one which I am completely in love with.  This is not old fashioned Lavender, it’s delicate and beautiful. In terms of performance on my skin the toner is refreshing and I have no issues with irritation or break outs. My skin is glowing and that’s all I want from my skin care routine. I love the Antipodes packaging but the downside is the large glass bottle is not travel friendly so you will need to decant.  

Sarah x

19 September 2021

NEW LAUNCH Nourish London Limited Edition Celebrating 10 Years of Green Beauty Collection

This Autumn, Nourish London are celebrating their 10th birthday and are marking the occasion with a New Limited Edition - Celebrating 10 Years of Green Beauty Collection. Looking back through my archives I can see I was blogging about Nourish London in 2012 so I wasn't far behind their initial launch when I discovered them. Of course things did change for me over the years with further allergy tests so I had to stop using their products. I want you to know that I do buy for other people and just because I can't use something it doesn't stop me being able to recognised a good natural brand for others.

Nourish was founded by Dr Pauline Hill, a renowned organic skincare expert with over 30 years expertise. This British brand are offering scientifically developed, certified organic, vegan and cruelty free skincare. Forty eight of their products are now registered with the Vegan Trademark. Formulations are created using ingredients from nature that are kind to the planet and skin. Whatever your skin type might be, Nourish is likely to have a product to suit your needs. Nourish use essential oils so check ingredients labels for fragrance allergens if you need to avoid specific ones.

If you've never tried Nourish London Skincare then the new Celebrating 10 Years of Green Beauty collection may be a great way to get a feel for their products. For those who are already familiar with the brand it's a lovely gift or handy sized travel set. The collection is presented in an organic handmade toiletry bag from fair trade organisation Freeset and contains Nourish London’s Kale 3D Cleanse (30ml), Antioxidant Peptide Mist (15ml), Argan Anti-Ageing Peptide Serum (15ml), Argan Skin Renew Moisturiser (50ml) and Probiotic Multi-Mineral Repair Mask Sachets (2 x 5ml). These products are full of omega rich oils, antioxidants, essential vitamins and mineral to hydrate and rejuvenate your skin.

If you are interested in finding out more information about Nourish London please visit their website - nourishskinrange.com

Sarah x

16 September 2012

Brighton UK Beach seaside
When the sun is shining the best way to spend the day is at the seaside. My Blogger friend Alice and Dairy Free friend Nicola (@N1C79) tempted me head to Brighton with the promise of dairy free/vegan treats at our destination. First stop was Infinity Foods and the girls were right I was in heaven. It certainly was a treasure trove of treats. Plenty of free from and Vegan foods to keep me happy with a bakery out back catering for Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free customers. Here’s what I picked up - Organic Amisa Rice Milk Chocolate Coconut Rice Crackers, the new flavours from Nakd (Rhubarb & Custard & Caffe Mocha), The Raw Chocolate Co Vanoffe Dairy Free bar, Clif Bars (Chocolate Almond Fudge & Crunchy Peanut Butter), Clive’s Soyaroll, Primal Meatless Jerky Strip (Thai peanut) and Infinity Food Vegan Mayonnaise.
Infinity Foods Brighton UK
Next stop was lunch.  I actually had a little list of eateries that would cater for me. They included  Food for FriendsWai Kika Moo Kau Terre a Terre Pizza Face.   In the end we went around the corner from Infinity Foods to visit their Vegetarian/Vegan Cafe.  I had a Vegan BLT sandwich and the Boyfriend had Chickpea Dahl with Baked Potato.  It was delicious and very exciting to have this much freedom. The Vegan Mayo was by far the best I have tasted so I went back to the shop and brought a jar.

The next stop was Nicola's recommendation.  We visited Boho Gelato an ice cream parlour that also has dairy free options.  They refer to it as Sorbet but it’s unlike any sorbet I have tasted.  Creamy and soft like ice cream not watery and icy.  I had seven flavours to choose from and I selected Grape and Lychee.  I cannot put into words the pure delight to be able to eat ice cream at the seaside, something which most people take for granted.

Boho Gelato Brighton UKThe rest of the day was spent lapping up the sunshine and browsing the shops.  I brought a lovely picture on the seafront from Zorian Artworks.  This quirky image captured my imagination. The Ducks collection is "documenting the true story of a cargo of rubber ducks, lost at sea 15 years ago in the Pacific ocean and their epic voyage around the world,riding the currents and storms, before reaching landfall in Scotland."
Zorian Artworks
In a nut shell that was my Saturday.  I came home with sore feet and a happy belly.

Sarah x


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