Category Archives: ALL THINGS VEGAN

Manchester: Top Five

July 28, 2017

 

Earlier this month I took a little trip up north to Manchester. All I really knew of the city was what I saw from Shameless. Well, that show is brilliant but it’s a terrible representation of the city. I found Manchester to a bright, vibrant city. It was full of interesting, friendly people. It was cool; relaxed with a sense of style. It was hip without necessarily being trendy. And even though I was only there for a few days I could tell that Ian Brown was right: Manchester has everything except a beach.

Since I wasn’t there long enough to really give any sort of in depth travel guide, I won’t. But here are my top five suggestions:

  1. Manchester has such a huge music scene you couldn’t go without indulging in some of it. I’m sure there are plenty of ways to get your fix but for me it was always going to be about new wave. While catching a Stone Roses/the Smiths/New Order/Oasis cover band would have been amazing I found the next best thing: Blowout at 42’s. Every Tuesday, the longest running night in Manchester, according to their flyer. 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, rock, indie, dance. Fucking Amazing. The music was brilliant, the people were nice, the drinks were cheap. The place was lit.
  2. In such a cool city you best believe that everyones style was steal worthy. Luckily that’s possible. Head to the Northern Quarter where you will find the streets lined with all the vintage stores of your dreams. Definitely check out COW two stories of vintage and refurbished clothing.
  3. After you’ve worked up an appetite shopping you can check out V REV in the Northern Quarter. They have a 100% vegan menu full of the most delicious junk food I’ve had since moving to the UK. If you are lucky enough to go you have to try the Buffalo the Vampire Slayer and their mac and cheese sticks.
  4. Alright it’s time to work off all that vegan cheese and what could be more fun then skateboarding?! Ha ok maybe not for everyone but if you skate or you don’t but want to try go to Projekts MCR skatepark. Is it indoor, is it outdoor? Who cares, it’s chill as fuck plus they have 1hour private lessons for £25 a pop, perfect for beginners. I took one because I’m still too chicken to skate with actually people. It was hard but helpful. The guy (Jonny one of many teachers I think) was motivating, really pushed my limits, plus he was pretty good looking and let me fall on him (I just had to ignore my boyfriend sitting on in the corner >_<).
  5. Relax in the city centre at Piccadilly Square. People tend to hang out there when it’s nice out. It’s a good place to bring a drink, take in some of the architecture and decide what to do next.

Brighton W’s

June 27, 2017

 

I had a goal when I restarted this blog to post more about my travels. I fully intend to, once I travel somewhere worth while to post about. In the mean time I thought I’d share some insider knowledge of my current location. So here’s the W’s (who, what, where, when) of Brighton.

Who: 

Brighton is a seaside town located almost directly south of London. Very popular day trip spot so weekends in the summers can be jammed. It’s got a rock beach, a pier, some crazy little streets and a pretty interesting night scene.

What:

What to do:

  • Definitely check out the pier. It’s touristy and cheesy but that’s part of it’s charm. Eat some candy floss and enjoy a ride or too or just go for the beautiful view of the town.
  • Take a walk down the seafront. again it can be cheesy AF but grab a drink, sit on the beach and buy yourself a silly Brighton souvenir. End at hove gardens where you can take some pretty Instagram photos of the colour beach huts.
  • While you’re on the sea front make sure you stop to look at the west pier; it burnt down many years ago so nothing is left but the frame and it’s very beautiful especially at sunset and while you are there you should definitely go for a swim or rent a kayak.
  • Head up town towards the North Laines and have a browse through some very unique shops (be sure to hit up Family Store, Mysteries LTD , Infinity Foods, Wolf + Gyspy)
  • Walk around the parks at Old Steine and upwards to the Level (if you are into skating check out the Level skate park). Have a picnic or pims in the grass.
  • Go get wasted in the Lanes. With a great mixture of pubs, dives, hipster and cocktail bars there is something for everyone or you could do a pub crawl and hit them all and finish your night with some chips from one of the many late night fish and chips spots on the sea front.
  • Take a the 77 bus to Devil’s dyke and enjoy some of the english country side.
  • Keep your eyes open for colourful graphics of Brighton’s own street artist Minty,

What to skip:

  • The i360 is a relatively new resurrection and one that I think is overrated, if you want a great view of Brighton go on the pier.
  • Stay away from West street and Western Road, both are super tacky nightlife places that attract hen and stag parties. Stay away.
  • There is some pretty cool shopping in both north and south lanes but there isn’t a need to visit the shopping centre
  • The Royal Pavilion is definitely worth a look from the outside (especially at night when it’s all lit up) but unless you are a huge history buff going inside is overpriced a little dull.

Where:

Where to eat: Brighton happens to be UK’s vegan capital, here are some of my favourites:

  • Purezza: located in Kemptown, you got vegan pizzas and italian food, including a raw menu. I recommend the Cheesus.
  • Loving Hut: there are two located in Brighton and their menu’s couldn’t be more different. Check out the LH in the North Laines for wicked vegan Chinese food (defo get the wonton soup) or head up the LH in the Level for some pretty spot on vegan junk food (try the fake chickn’ burger).
  • Hope and Ruin: another awesome spot if you feel like some vegan junk food. Their fries-a-go-go are to-die-for.
  • Vbites: another vegan junk food spot that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend BUT on Sundays they serve vegan roast that comes with a YORKSHIRE PUDDING. Probably the only place in the city that has a vegan yorkie.
  • Happy Maki: vegan sushi burrito rolls, ’nuff said.
  • Glazed: ALL. VEGAN. DONUTS.
  • Honourable mentions: Earth + Stars (not vegan but has some pretty awesome options), Pho (Vietnamese chain with veggie options, make sure you specify no fish sauce), Grubbs (cheap Brighton burger chain, 4 locations with vegan options, it’s fucking amazing)

Where to drink:

  • For cocktails: Twisted Lemon, Mesmerist, Dandelion
  • Pubs: Fiddler’s Elbow, The Bee’s mouth, Black Dove
  • Bars: Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, East Street Tap
  • For craft beer: Bier Haus, Brewdog
  • For patio sun beers: Mash Tun, Fortune of war (heed this warning: get out before the sun goes down)

 

When: 

May: Brighton Fringe Festival happens all month long and the legendary Speigltent Tent is there for you loose hours in.

June – August: Obviously summer is the best time to come. It happens all at once and it’s hard to pinpoint when it will be but all of a sudden the city comes alive. The beach is packed, the streets are bustling and every patio is full.

July: Pride week is always a good time.

September – October: Summer lingers in Brighton, you can thank the sea for that. Fall isn’t as busy but still a good time.

 

Watermelon Mojito

June 15, 2017

 

Watermelons are back in season. This is awesome for two reasons.

  1. It means it’s summer.
  2. Watermelon juice in the morning.

 

Seriously nothing better than waking up and crushing a cold glass of sweet, blended watermelon. It’s super refreshing, hydrating and detoxifying. A great way to start your day. Here is one of my favourite ways to serve it: as a virgin watermelon mojito.

 

A normal mojito has white rum, cane sugar, mint and soda. To keep this healthy AF, I leave the sugar and rum.

 

What you need:

  1. a cup of cut up watermelon (best if you freeze it for 30 minutes first)
  2. the juice and zest of one lime
  3. a handful of mint leafs
  4. sparkling water (optional)

 

What to do:

  1. blend watermelon, lime juice and zest
  2. pour into a cup
  3. smack your mint leafs (to release the oils) and add them to your juice
  4. top with sparkling water (if you are so inclined)
  5. drink and enjoy

 

This is healthy and awesome just the way it is. BUT it would also make an awesome cocktail with a couple of extra steps:

  1. strain watermelon, lime, zest mixture after it’s been blended
  2. add the juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and 50 ml of rum
  3. shake and strain into a glass with crushed ice and mint leafs (don’t forget to smack) then top with sparkling water

 

And that’s it. You’re welcome.

MAY Monthly Favourites: Cruelty Free + Vegan Make up

May 31, 2017

 

I’ve decided to add monthly favourites as a recurring post because I have stuff that I like. Like a lot. I never thought I could really do a monthly favourites list because unlike most bloggers who seem to love trying new products, I generally stay true-blue to things I love. Which is why I can’t come up with a new list every month consisting of 10-15 new things I think you must try. Instead I’m doing a short cohesive themed monthly favourites. Hope you enjoy, let’s get to it.

For this first month we’s talkin’ about make up. 🙂 It’s an easy one for me because, like I said, I don’t switch up my products very often PLUS I don’t wear that much make up. However, I know that finding vegan beauty products – while getting easier – is still a pain in the ass. So, I appreciate other people’s CF + V list because it saves me the time googling a new brand I may want to try. So, maybe someone will appreciate mine too. For me it’s very important that my make up is cruelty free, vegan and easily replaced when I run out. Here is current make up staples that tick all the boxes

  1. HOURGLASS eyebrow pencil. In a world where brow tattooing is like going to the dentist for some people, the eyebrow pencil is now a staple in everyone’s make up bag. I like this one because it’s easy to use, you don’t have to sharpen it, has built in brow brushes at the end and it’s build-able. Hourglass is CF but isn’t 100% vegan but they do have a lovely list of their vegan products. 
  2. NUDESTIX mascara. I like a mascara that can length, thicken and not clump. And while almost all claim they can, many can’t. This one is pretty close to perfect. Again, Nudestix is CF but not all vegan friendly but you can do a quick ‘vegan’ word search on the website to find out which products are.
  3. ROSIE FOR AUTOGRAPH highlighter stick. This might only be available at M&S so if you don’t live in the UK, sorry. However, if you I recommend trying this one. It’s subtle, blend-able and easy to use. I’m not sure if the whole line is vegan or not but according to the M&S website this one is.
  4. JOSIE MARAN coconut oil blush. First off, I much prefer gel blushes because they give a nice dewy-ness to your skin that you just can’t get with a powder blush. Plus no brush needed, just your finger. I’ve used this one for a while and I really like it. Again this line isn’t totally vegan but it’s clearly stated which products are and aren’t.

Those are my make up staples at the moment and this months monthly favourites. Just going to leave you with a little advice on shopping cruelty free. Always check the website’s about us/faq page for information on their animal testing. If you can’t find anything, assume they test on animals. And, if they sell in China, don’t even bother looking them up. I always do a quick vegan word search on their website and see what products come up and then double check the ingredients (lanolin, beeswax and E dyes are the usually the big ones). You can try messaging the company directly, I usually use Instagram because someone is generally on it. AND when in doubt, don’t buy.

 

Vegan Spotlight: Lush

March 22, 2016

lush01 lush04

Because we know that veganism is more than a diet I’ve decided to start promoting some vegan brands/products here on Le Blog. Not for money or free products (although if any brands want me to review anything I’ll take some swag) but because I know how hard it can be to find a good product that’s also vegan.

I wish it was as easy as walking into a store and heading to their ‘vegan’ section or simply looking on a label for some indication that this product was produced without harming or containing animals and their by products. Maybe someday we it will but until we always have Lush.

It’s a vegan’s dream, or as close as you can get without literally everything being vegan, but I’m not here to nit-pick (and maybe someday it will be). We all know their stance on animal testing: they are against it, so no worries there. Plus, every safe product has a V (V for vegan) on the label which saves you the precious time of lulling over the ingredients list and gives you more time to smell all the bath bombs.

While I’ve never used a Lush product I didn’t like, here are a few of my favourites that I continue to buy over and over again.

  1. DIRTY body wash: smells like a minty cologne, a nice change from most of the overly sweet, fruity smelling shower gels.
  2. BIG BLUE bath bomb: super relaxing smell, makes you feel like you are floating in the ocean, seaweed included.
  3. BREATHE OF FRESH AIR toner water: like spraying yourself in the face with sea water which would be enough for me but it also helps even skin tone and reduces redness
  4. ANGELS ON BARE SKIN face and body cleanser: my favourite product, cleans the skin while gently exfoliating leaving it soft and fresh feeling without being stripping.

Feel free to check out my current skincare and makeup routine featuring some of these Lush products.

– primp AVEC LUI –   KL

Vegan Guide to Toronto Part 3: Brunch

January 26, 2016

This is the finally chapter to my Toronto vegan guides. I saved the best for last: Brunch! You won’t be missing eggs or bacon with tasty dishes these restaurants serve.

Check out Part1: My top 5 favourites and Part2: Places to eat with Omnivores.

 

Fresh Restaurants  4 locations

Personal Favourites: Pancake platters! You get two pancakes, tofu scramble and choice of vegan sausage or tempeh bacon (definitley get the sausage).

Menu Bonuses: The lunch/dinner menu is available during brunch hours as well incase you don’t feel like breakfast food. The beach bowl is one of my favourites. And definitley add a drink to your meal; fresh juices are a good way to go, I also love their chocolate ‘milk’.

Heads up: Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am until 3pm, it can get pretty busy and they don’t take reservations so be prepared to wait a little. Generally, the turnover is quick and you won’t wait too long.

 

Starving Artist 3 locations

Heads up: They have vegan waffles which are ah-mazing, but they don’t have any specific vegan dishes. You just have to pick your own toppings (lots of options) or modify one of the other dishes.

Perk me-ups: Large tea and cofee menu and of course they have almond and soy milk.

7 days a week: They are opened 9am-6pm daily, so you can have brunch 7 days a week.

 

Karine’s – Dundas and McCaul

Menu Bonuses: They have some very different options to other restaurants. Everything is fresh and delicious and the portions are big. Plus they have free coffee refills and sweet treats for later.

7 days a week: You can get breakfast from Karine’s Sunday through Saturday.

Heads up: Not everything is vegan, so make sure you read the menu. Also, it’s cafeteria style but the service is friendly and fast.

 

Kupfert & Kim’s – 2 locations

Personal Favourites: Definitley try their congee for a delicious, savoury and healthy breakfast or for something lighter the blue smoothie bowl is die-for (even though nothing did).

7 days a week: All day breakfast is available everyday of the week, plus you can order from their lunch menu from 11 am onwards.

Menu Bonuses: Everything is healthy, hearty, and fast. But trust me, you won’t be disappointed with the taste.

 

Lola’s Kitchen – Church south of Bloor

Personal Favourites: Curried tofu scramble and their vegan crepe with coconut creme, yum!

Perk me-ups: Perhaps you are a tad hungover? Who isn’t at brunch, amirite? Cure your hangover with a mimosa or bloody-mary (hold the Worcestershire sauce).

Heads up: Brunch is served 10am – 4pm Saturdays and Sundays. They can get pretty busy so maybe call ahead. And, be sure specify with your server that you want the vegan options.

 

-eat AVEC LUI- KL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift Guide Part 4: For the Hostess

December 14, 2015

giftguide04

This is the final chapter of my 2015 Christmas gift guide. This one is for the hostess, foodie, cook, entertainer, homebody, you know the one.

  1. This Crossroads cookbook is full of amazing vegan recipes she’ll be inviting people over just to test some of them out.
  2. If you entertain, you know you can never have too many serving sets. A pretty pair will always be an appreciated gift.
  3. Another thing you can never have too much of? Measuring cups. Especially cute ones like this.
  4. A cute cocktail shaker she can display party or no party.
  5. Julia Child said that every cook needs a mortar and pestle, this is something you can find in pretty much any kitchen supply store so it makes it an easy gift to find and give.
  6. Potted herb garden she can have on hand for fresh herbs any time make a cute and thoughtful present.

Happy Gifting everyone.

– Gift AVEC LUI – KL

Gift Guide Part 2: The Traveller

December 9, 2015

giftguide02

Back with part 2 of my 2015 Christmas gift guides. This one is for the travelling girl in your life.

  1. A sleep mask or neck pillow to help them sleep on the plane, train, bus, or anywhere they find themselves trying to acclimate to jet lag.
  2. A flask they can fill to help them sleep on the train, bus, etc. Or help them make new friends in a foreign city 😉
  3. Three really compliments gift two very well, or it can stand alone as a stocking stuffer or secret santa gift. There are few cocktails to choose from but all come with everything you need to create the perfect drink – minus the alcohol.
  4. Sunglasses are every travellers best friend; they can complete any outfit, hide bags caused from jet lag or a late night of drinking with your new best friends, and be an easy alternative to eye makeup. A pair of statement sunglasses like these Ray Bans that can still be worn with everything are ideal.
  5. A watch for travelling is a must as well. Something plain like this Marc Jacobs watch can help make any t-shirt and jeans outfit (a vacation staple) look polished.
  6. A small slim wallet to hold only the essentials and keep that lump pick-pockets look for to a minimum. This one from Matt&Nat is also made of vegan leather so, win-win.

Check back on Friday for the Stylish Tomboy.

– Gift AVEC LUI – KL

Gift Guide Part 1: For the Fitness Junky

December 7, 2015

giftguide01

I can’t believe it, but it’s that time of year again. This time of year can super stressful for some, but I’m here to help with my easy gift guides for tomboys in your life. I’ve split it up into four parts because, well having four post done for the month helps with my stress during this time of the year.

Part one is for the jock type, health nut tomboy.

  1. These were on last years list as well, but you can never have too many sneakers. These Nike Roshe will be used in and out of the gym because they are so awesome.
  2. Even the best of us need a little motivation once in a while, a subscription to a fitness magazine will be a nice monthly reminder with tones of new inspiration for workouts, meals, and other health news.
  3. Gym socks make great stocking stuffers or they can accompany a bigger gift like perhaps an introductory passes for a new fitness regimen she’s been dying to try; cross fit, rock climbing, dance classes, karate, etc.
  4. These facial wipe will be an awesome addition to a ‘after gym’ kit. It’s a little creative and different but it will be appreciated I’m sure. You can fill a cool bag with body wash, deodorant, moisturizer, her favourite makeup (if she wears any) and perhaps a sample sized version of her favourite perfume.
  5. This awesome heat bag by Dr. Hot looks like a blood bag but it will help relax her sore muscles after each work out. (You can also get Dr. Cool ice packs).
  6. I don’t really recommend buying workout clothes for someone, they have to fit just right and unless they’ve given you the exact style and size they want it can be tricky. However, something like this pretty jacket from Stella for Adidas wouldn’t be something they would expect, it’s easy to guess the size, and did I mention it’s pretty?
  7. Anyone who’s interested in fitness is obviously interested in nutrition. A small juicer will help her get in all her vitamins pre workout, post workout and any other time of the day.

Stay tuned for Part 2: the Traveller.

– gift AVEC LUI – KL