Thursday, 24 December 2015

10 Healthy Vegetarian Meals To Try Post Holidays | Mealspiration

Going on a pinspiration mode again, today on Food Thursday, I am sharing some of my favourite non-meat and non-fish healthy meals from Pinterest. These 10 would be great to try post holidays if you are looking for healthier meals to have after the holiday stuffings. They would also be great if you would like to eat less meat or are looking for great non-meat recipes to balance out your meat options. Don't forget to enter my Giveaway which ends next week! Lots of prizes to win!

10 Healthy Vegetarian Meals To Try Post Holidays

Though I am not a vegetarian, I would love to be one some day for the health benefits! However we do try to limit our intake of meat in general within our household, leaning more towards the fish side of things most times. I do admire those a who know how to get great nutrients from what the earth produces off the ground. So here are some of those kinds of meals with links to the recipe's websites should you wish to try them too.

1. Healthy Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese
Now I only ever tried mac 'n' cheese for the first time in December 2015. Though I have seen it many times in movies, on YouTube and I recognise it as a soul food in America, Ikea never had any left each time my husband and I went there and wanted to try some. This one sounds great because this year I also discovered the tastiness of butternut squash soup!
Healthy Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese post holidays meals recipes
Recipe Here - pinchofyum.com


2. Garlic Mushroom Quinoa
I also finally begun to love quinoa this year! I already have a recipe up on this blog on how to make an amazing quinoa dish for a healthy and filling dinner. This mushroom recipe is looking good also! I definitely will try it in 2016!
Garlic Mushroom Quinoa post holidays recipes meals
Recipe Here - Damndelicious.net

3. Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls
I do love whole wheat noodles as they are a great wholesome alternative to normal spaghetti or noodles. This recipes is looking good with all the colours from the vegetables especially the red cabbage!
Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls post holidays meals recipes
Recipe Here - pinchofyum.com

4. Tofu And Vegetable Stir Fry
Still yet to try tofu! I shall probably make my entrance with this recipe or the one just below it! I have heard a lot of good things about tofu as a great alternative to chicken. I think I shall make my debut in 2016!
Tofu And Vegetable Stir Fry post holidays meals recipes
Recipe Here - minimalistbaker.com

5. Crispy Peanut Tofu And Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry
Whew…that was a mouthful! This is the second beautiful tofu recipe. If you love peanut like me, then you might like this also, not forgetting how delicious it looks!
Crispy Peanut Tofu And Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry post holidays meals recipes
Recipe Here - minimalistbaker.com 

6. Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes
Very Simple looking! A quick recipe for lunch or dinner. I have been loving penne a lot lately though I had always leaned more towards fusilli. So this recipe is looking good for the books!
Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes post holidays meals recipes
Recipe Here - minimalistbaker.com 

7. Spicy Butter Bean, Chickpea And Butternut Squash Stew
Butternut squash again! Ahh nothing more than a warm stew or soup in winter! This is a January must try!
Spicy Butter Bean, Chickpea And Butternut Squash Stew post holidays meals recipes
Recipe Here - deliciousmagazine.co.uk

8. Butternut Squash, Spinach And Goat's Cheese Pie
Ok...Butternut squash much? Yup, look out for the butternut squash pictures of the week galore in January. If you are a lover of pie, then try this healthy alternative too, with all sorts of goodness in the middle.
 Butternut Squash, Spinach And Goat's Cheese Pie post holidays recipes
Recipe Here - deliciousmagazine.co.uk

9. Curried Roasted Eggplant With Smoked Cardamom And Coconut Milk
Back in Ghana, eggplants, especial the white ones,  are one of the main vegetables used in daily dinners. Perhaps I shall share a recipe on this soon. This recipe with varying eggplants is therefore something new to try from what I am used to. It looks like a great alternative to a meat curry especially with the texture of eggplants.
Curried Roasted Eggplant With Smoked Cardamom And Coconut Milk post holidays recipes meals
Recipe Here - bojongourmet.com

10. Keralan Veggie Curry
And finally my first ever Jamie Oliver recipe that I will try next year. An authentic looking vegetarian curry complete with popodoms, rice and a yogurt sauce! So do let me know which one is your favourite of the 10 and which one you might also try.
Keralan Veggie Curry post holidays meals recipes


Do Enter my Giveaway and win some lovely prizes! And as always, thank you for reading, see you on Friday's post!

xoxo
Yvonne Dzifa
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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Beauty Products Reviewed From My 15 Paraben & Lead Free Products Wish List

Welcome to beauty Tuesday. Do you agree that wish listing is one very fun way to discover new products? Around September, I made a wish list of some paraben free beauty and skincare products which I hoped to try later on this year and in 2016. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to try some of the items from the list and in today's post, I am sharing the beauty and skincare products which I have reviewed on the blog so far. Don't forget to enter the Giveaeway which is currently live on the blog! Lots of lovely prizes to win!
Paraben Free Beauty And Skincare Products
Paraben & Lead Free Beauty And Skincare Products

This is a shot of the products which were mentioned in the September 15 paraben free beauty and skincare wish list post. Out of the 15 products that I hoped to try, I have been able to try 6 of them and have reviewed 4 of the 6.
15 Paraben & Lead Free Beauty And Skincare Products wish list
15 Paraben & Lead Free Beauty And Skincare Products Wish List

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Anti-Clogging Corrector
This is the first product I tried from the wish list and it was reviewed here. I tried samples of the anti-clogging corrector before the wish list but I added it to the list as I wanted to try the normal sizes. It was one product from this brand which I had been eying for a while due to the many good things which had been said about it. If you are considering buying it and would like an honest review do check out my review on it via the highlighted link.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Anti-Clogging Corrector paraben free
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Anti-Clogging Corrector
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Anti-Clogging Corrector paraben free
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Anti-Clogging Corrector


2. Dr Hauschka Lipsticks & Kohl Eyeliner
The second group of products from the list which I have tried and reviewed are from Dr Hauschka. I had only wanted to try their lipstick to begin with as I had heard that they are some of the only few lipsticks around which are paraben free with no lead. I also added their eyeliner to my shopping basket to try. Definitely check this review out if you have been considering trying some Dr Hauschka beauty products or if you would like to try an alternative lipstick and eyeliner.
Dr Hauschka Lipsticks paraben free
Dr Hauschka Lipsticks
Dr Hauschka Lipsticks and eyeliner paraben free
Dr Hauschka Lipsticks & Kohl Eyeliner

Get Oner Here



3. EOS Lip Balm
Not a new product, but definitely still one of the best, the Evolution of Smooth Lip balm. I tried and reviewed this paraben free beauty here. A products I had heard of since the beginning of YouTube but  never got to use it until 2015! Yup!
EOS Lip Balm paraben free
EOS Lip Balm
EOS Lip Balm paraben free
EOS Lip Balm

4. bareMinerals Tinted Mineral Veil
This is the final product tried and reviewed from the wish list. I had been looking for a paraben free, mica and titanium dioxide free loose powder which isn't as heavy as some finishing powders. This was the only one I could find for that moment. If you have used this yourself, or any of the the other products mentioned, I would love to know how you feel about them in the comments below.
bareMinerals Tinted Mineral Veil paraben free
bareMinerals Tinted Mineral Veil
bareMinerals Tinted Mineral Veil paraben free
bareMinerals Tinted Mineral Veil
Get One Here


Thank you for reading and I shall see you on Thursday's post. Don't forget to check out the Giveaway!!

xoxo
Yvonne Dzifa
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Monday, 21 December 2015

The Ultimate New Year's Eve Outfit Ideas | Style Picks

New Year's Eve is just some days away now, any plans yet on how you will spend it, or what outfit you would spend it in? Its Fashion & Style Monday today and we are talking about new year's eve outfit ideas! In this post are some style picks with different ideas of what you could wear on your last day of 2015, which ever way you choose to usher the New Year in! Included are links to where you can get each piece. Also, the blog Giveaway is still live, click Here to enter and win from the lovely prizes!!
New Year's Eve Outfit Ideas Style
New Year's Eve Style Ideas

The House Party
If your plan is to enjoy new year's eve with friends and family at a house party, or simply dressed up at home, with some celebratory foods, these picks would be great for such a night. A combination of black, casual and a bit of dazzle and fun for a chill celebratory night with loved ones. Sequins have especially been a popular style in 2015 as mentioned in this other style post, and they definitely add the perfect sparkle to new year's day!

House Party New Year's Eve outfit ideas
House Party New Year's Eve Outfit Picks

Shop The House Party Outfits Here

A Formal Evening
For the formal New Year's Eve, here are some dressed, neat and clean picks. From brights to darks to nudes. You can definately play around with different colours of accessories, such as clutches, and shoes in order to create a your unique look.

A Formal New Year's Eve Outfit ideas
A Formal New Year's Eve Outfit Picks

Shop The Formal Evening Outfits Here



Vintage, Bright & Floral
Bright, girly, fun, vintage, floral and 1950s for the statement lady. If that sounds like you, then these might be great for the party. The plus side to these dresses is the excuse to add on bright accessories to match! Shoes, clutches and the perfect lip stick!

The Vintage Floral Statement New Years Outfit Ideas
The Vintage Floral Statement New Year's Eve Outfit Picks

Shop Vintage, Bright & Floral Outfits Here



The Black Tie
And the last for today's style picks are for the black tie kind of evening! Included here is the perfect little sequin number from my style board #2! Classy styles for a more formal, black tie new year's eve Event. Which style are you spending your new year'e eve in? I hope you find these picks helpful in picking your perfect outfit for the last night of 2015. Don't forget to enter the Giveaway which is currently live on the blog, lots of prizes to win!
The Black Tie New Years Eve Outfit ideas
The Black Tie New Year's Eve Outfit Picks

Shop The Black Tie Outfits Here



Thank you for reading and see you on Tuesdays Post.

xoxo
Yvonne Dzifa
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Healthy Meal Choices For The Day | Food Diary With Tips

Welcome to Food Thursday and I hope you have had a good day! Today, I am sharing some healthy meal choices you could try in a day, from breakfast to your last snack, in a "what I ate" form. It is a chatty food diary because I also share some brief history and tips behind some of the foods, such as those which are not from the UK or the West. I hope you find some inspiration from the meal choices I made, as options you could adopt for yourself if not sure of what healthy foods you could eat for the day. Six foods in total, three meals and three snacks. This is something I try to practice in order to develop a better metabolism. If you would like the recipes for the foods mentioned, which I made, please let me know in the comments section and I shall be sure to share that with you.
Healthy Meal Choices For The Day

My husband and I gave up the use of a microwave in our home some time in spring/summer 2015. This means that all cooking and reheating are now done by the stove or the oven, which we have become accustomed to. It was challenging to begin with but it got easier. I have also given up the direct use of cow's milk in meals and drinks and my husband did not mind joining me! This means that I do not use it for hot drinks or for cooking, however, I do occasionally have yogurts and milk containing products like some soups. This wasn't difficult at all and we actually found the alternative milks to be much creamier and filling.

Breakfast
So for breakfast, try creamy coconut oats and a cup of tea with almond milk. Oats is one superfood for anytime of the day for me, however like most people, I tend to have it for breakfast! Growing up, it was common to use evaporated milk for oats in my culture and this meant that the oats was always creamy! I switched over to the healthier option of using fresh milk in oats during my time at University and I did find that instant oats was the closest to how I use to have it. Now that we don't use the microwave, we don't eat instant oats, so I have found some great ways to achieve a creamy oats! Coconut oats is just one of the simple recipes I came up with, which to be honest, hasn't been replaced as breakfast since.
Creamy Stove Cooked Coconut Oats
Creamy Stove Cooked Coconut Oats 

Morning Snack
For morning snack, try some cashew nuts. As mentioned in this previous post about staying fuller for longer, a few nuts can really help with cravings! Cashew nuts have been a favourite of mine for a few months now and I recently rediscovered honey peanuts and honey cashew nuts. I only usually buy one or two small bags of this version because they…are…the…yummiest treat! As mentioned in this post, too much of it can be quite calorific, therefore, try the trick mention in the linked post for eating a good portion of nuts and staying fuller for longer.
Cashew Nuts

Lunch
Oh...my favourite soup of the year! As mentioned in last Friday's post, Tesco butternut squash soup is one of my favourite discoveries this year. After I had been trying their carrot soup for a while, I decided to try the butternut squash soup thanks to Come Dine With Me! I had never tried butternut squash soup before then, and I am so glad that I did! It is really great with a slice of Tesco seeded cob.
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash Soup

Afternoon Snack
Can you tell the cashews are winning? At least they are better than biscuits and chocolate! So for afternoon snack, have you tried bananas and nuts? You might like it! In Ghana, it is almost mandatory to always have groundnuts with bananas! You would hardly see bananas sold without groundnuts, it is like common knowledge in Ghana! So the tradition carries on in our household, and the way to have it is to dip the banana onto the nuts, to collect a few on the banana and the munch away. Delish!

Bananas And Nuts

Dinner
For dinner, we had "waatse" (pronounced waahchee) and we had it with "egg stew". Waatse is a protein rich Ghanaian traditional rice and beans recipe. This recipe is normally made with black eyed beans in Ghana, however, my husband suggested that we try it with kidney beans and it turned out great! Some steps are usually taken in order to achieve the traditional "red colour" of the meal as it is called, but with the kidney beans, that step wasn't necessary! Waatse has a nice balance of protein and carbohydrate. Traditionally, waatse is eaten with boiled eggs, "shito" (a Ghanian fish and hot pepper sauce) or a fish/meat sauce, gari (west African dried cassava granules) and sometimes a dash of thin spaghetti! Whew!! I know that sound like a lot, but in a hot country like Ghana, it is a great meal for restoring energy. For a healthier version, we only normally have it with either a Ghanaian stew or shito and boiled egg.
Waatse And Egg Stew
Waatse And Egg Stew

Evening Snack
For an evening snack, try a chopped up apple with a tiny bit of nut butter. Granny Smith's are my favourite, but I know everyone has their own. I only recently discovered the nut butter and apple combination and it makes a great snack, giving you the lovely crunch with a bit of energy from the peanut butter.
Granny Smith's

Water And Teas
Teas for the morning, afternoon and evening are great for staying full as mentioned in my tips for staying full post. I am constantly trying to drink 8 glasses of water daily but with tea, I don't need to be asked to drink it. Herbal teas are also great for the evenings post dinner. These really help to fill you up especially when you know you have eaten a good portion of your meal yet your tummy want you to return to the pot for seconds!
Water
Cuppa
I hope these options have given you some ideas of what you could have for your meals during the day! By all means, if allergic to nuts please don't have the nut based options. So, these were my meal choices, and by portion sizing and applying simple tricks, it really helps me to stay away from empty calorie foods. I hope it helps you too.

Thanks for reading and see you in tomorrows post, which has a surprise!

xoxo
Yvonne Dzifa
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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

No7 Smoky Powder Paraben Free Eyeliner Review And Swatches | Paraben Free Beauty

It is Hair and Beauty Tuesday here on the blog and today, we are talking about the No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner. I came across this eyeliner whiles on a search for a paraben free liquid eyeliner, I decided to purchase and try it. When I bought it, I actually thought that I had purchased a liquid eyeliner and was eager to try it out! I was in such a hurry that I only read the ingredients label and skipped the "Powder" on the actual label! As we do! So imagine my surprise when I opened it up and out came what did not look like a liquid eyeliner. However, I was pleased because I had never tried a powder eyeliner before, therefore this was something new to try. In this post, I share a review and swatches of the No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner.
No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner
No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner


The Packaging
The eyeliner comes in a small black light container with the brand name and product name in silver. When opened, the applicator has a sponge tip which is very soft and easily manouverable. Also when shaken, there seems to be a soft jingly sound, as though there is a small metal ball somewhere in the container. If you know what this is, do let me know in the comments. I believe it might be a mixer.
No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner | Fine Powder

Review - The Pros
The powder is very fine indeed with a loose talcum powder consistency. I chose the black shade which has quite an intense pigmentation too. The ingredients show that this eyeliner is paraben free,  and hypo-allergenic, however, I am unsure of any lead content as this is not easily noted. The consistency of this powder is great and incredibly smooth! The applicator is very easy to use and has very good precision when it comes to application. I find this interesting as the applicator tip, though soft, isn't that fine. I cannot say enough just how smooth and easy the applicator and powder applies and I believe this is one of the main positive aspects of this eyeliner. If you are a beginner at using makeup or you just want something which isn't tricky to use, this would work well for you! Also if you are not a fan of liquid eyeliners or kohl eyeliner pencils for any reason, this would work for you. As this eyeliner is not water proof, it is easy to clean at the end of the day, which is a big plus for me! With such a soft tip, the applicator doesn't drag on the sensitive eyelid area when using it.

Ingredients
Boron Nitride, Silica, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Pentylene glycol,
Pumice, Kaolin, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethiconol. Ethylhexylglycerin,
Dehydroacetic acid, Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba) wax, [+/- (May
contain) Mica, CI 77491 (Iron oxides), CI 77492 (Iron oxides), CI
77499 (Iron oxides), CI 77891 (Titanium dioxide).]. boots
No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner | Intensity

Get One Here



The Cons

There are a couple of aspects of this eyeliner which may be a down side. The first one is fallouts. What I mean is, when applying this eyeliner, the powder tends to fall out quite noticeably onto the area around your eyes. Simply placing the eyeliner applicator on a surface like below, causes some of the powder to fall out instantly. I believe this might be due to the texture of the powder. As it is quite intense in colour, simply touching the fallout can smudge it out on your skin before you clean them off. Another possible down side to this eyeliner is the fact that you might need to keep an eye on your makeup during the day as the powder tends to fade out. It might require some touch ups here and there. This eyeliner is not water proof, therefore care might need to be taken in order not to end up with a mild panda eyes situation. Also, included in the ingredients are mica and titanium dioxide for anyone who is conscious of these two ingredients.


Swatches
As mentioned earlier, this eyeliner is quite versatile and has a good colour intensity. That is where the "smoky" comes in. Therefore, when applying, you can easily control the look you want to create with the pressure of your hands. Create a bold eyeliner look or a lighter look, and mistakes can be easily corrected compared to a water proof liquid liner. For a look which requires a smudged smoky effect, hey presto! This eyeliner would suit it perfectly! Below are the swatches showing the consistency and application on a white background, my hand and my arm.

No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner | Smudge
No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner | Versitility
No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner | Versitility

Get One Here


Have you ever tried a powder eyeliner? What are your thoughts on it, yay or nay?
Thanks for reading and see you on Thursday's post.

xoxo
Yvonne Dzifa
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Monday, 14 December 2015

Red Flats With Tassels Zara Shoes | Wardrobe Favourites

If you are looking for a good priced, comfy yet stylish pair of flats, check these out! I hope you have had a good Monday so far! Don't forget to stay tuned for the upcoming giveaway post this week, celebrating my blogiversary!!! Today I am sharing a current and also long time wardrobe favourite of mine, this pair of lucky reds that I have been loving since I got them! I don't know about you but I absolutely love bright colours any day, even more so for grey days. These Zara basics flats with tassels are so comfortable and just add that touch of brightness and statement! They are one of those shoes which are just easy going. I came across them and they had to be introduced to my wardrobe as one of two basics from Zara and as a statement staple. They are currently available Here, as unfortunately, Zara has not had them on their site in a while, since I got mine. However you can get similar ones below.
zara basics red flats with tassels
Get Exact Here! Red Flats With Tassels | Zara Basics

zara basics red flats with tassels
Get Exact Here! Red Flats With Tassels | Zara Basics
zara basics red flats with tassels
Get Exact Here! Red Flats With Tassels | Zara Basics

Get Similar Here




This pair has a patent crocodile print effect with tassels on the shoes and a nude interior lining. When worn, they feel so snug and fit so well. The are very soft, both the heels and the body and that is really what makes walking in them so comfortable. Although they are red, they do have the slightest hint of fuchsia (one of my favourite colours from of old!) especially on the lining around the body of the shoes. In cold weathers like now, they still do well with an addition of skin coloured tights for warmth. I love to wear mine with black trousers or leggings and a very cosy jumper! What would you wear these with? I would love to know in the comments below.
zara basics red flats with tassels
Red Flats With Tassels | Zara Basics
zara basics red flats with tassels
Red Flats With Tassels | Zara Basics

Get Similar Here



Still to come is the giveaway post this week, celebrating my blogiversary!!! 
Thank you for reading and see you on Tuesday's post.

xoxo
Yvonne Dzifa
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