Dining, Food Reviews

Breakfast at No.19 Society, Ascot Vale

No.19 Society in Ascot Vale has been doing the rounds lately with the Melbourne Foodies, and for good reason. Decked out with a stylish interior, fab coffee and instagram-worthy food shots, its one not to miss

No.19 Society is brought to you by the people behind Pinkie (my absolute fave) in Ivanhoe and St Rose in Essendon – Domenic and Diana Caruso.

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Coffee is by Five Senses and it’s good, very good. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the coffee as my Husband started drinking it before I could take a photo!

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I am actually in love with the coffee machine, matching the rest of the interior with pops of gold and beautiful in white.

Stunning interiors by creative directors, Biasol who are located in Cremorne, Victoria. Biasol also worked on the other cafes, Pinkie and St Rose.

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Alongside the concrete flooring and walls, you are met with gorgeous pops of turquoise from the seating that runs right alongside the right-hand side of the cafe. It’s a stunning colour!

What I also love is the use of plants. Just like Pinkie in Ivanhoe, there are plants everywhere here. You can see them hanging down from the kitchen space but also behind the register/coffee machine.

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We ordered the following dishes;

  • Chocolate Brioche French Toast
  • Corn fritters with bacon, cream fraiche and a poached egg

I ordered a side of haloumi for the fritters too as I had been craving it all week!

The Chocolate Brioche French Toast is all over Instagram at the moment, and I can see why. It’s absolutely stunning, presented in such a beautiful way. Highlighting the use of chocolate in several ways.

What was the best thing about it? Although it looks sickly sweet, it wasn’t!

I thoroughly enjoyed the pear, it was poached to perfection and nicely spiced.

The Corn fritters were presented as a large pancake size fritter, which sadly meant the middle wasn’t quite cooked. Perhaps if they were smaller in size, they may cook more evenly.

They were sitting on top of a corn puree, which lacked a little seasoning however it went really nicely with the fritters and the cream fraiche.

My poached egg was cooked perfectly, the perfect amount of gooeyness that you want the moment you cut into it!

Bacon was the perfect amount, and super tasty too!

I really enjoyed our breakfast and would be keen to pop in again shortly. I’ve got my eyes on the breakfast ramen – it looks so good!!!

Also, keeping with tradition, the smoothies look fab too. Lucky it’s only down the road from the Husband’s work so I’ll be able to pop in again soon!

Have you tried the No.19 Society? What’s your favourite dish?

Renee
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Beauty, beauty community, cruelty free beauty, skincare

Product Review – Devine Oils

When writing a review, I love to read the “about us” section on the brand’s website to find out a little more about the maker and their why. I just love hearing about people’s passions and to see people living their dreams.

The founder, Louise Devine has quite an interesting bio. I was able to learn that Louise moved to Australia in 2006 with her daughter which coincided with her brand, Devine Oils being born.

Without even trying the products, I fell in love immediately with the use of glass to hold the products in rather than plastic – helping reduce their environmental footprint.

Scent is important to me, I really enjoy using products that are scented. Luckily I don’t suffer from irritable skin. I find the range, that uses essential oils gentle on my skin – and they smell great!

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All products are made the day before they are sent out, to ensure the products received are at their freshest and most potent. They are also vegan, palm oil free and do not contain parabens.

The below product photos are of the trial size products, however the price quoted is for the full size. Louise does have trial kits available on her website located here;

https://www.devineoils.com.au

Palm Oil Free Cream Cleanser – $49.50
As the name suggests the Palm Oil Free Cream Cleanser has a lovely creamy base, with one of the main ingredients noted being Aloe Vera. I like to use this cleanser for my 2nd cleanse, mainly to breathe in the beautiful essential oils of Frankincense and Sweet Fennel.

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Light Day Oil and Night Oil Treatment – Detox & Repair, both $44.50
I love, LOVE face oils (second to cleansers ha!) rather than using a moisturiser. I find my skin loves oils, and it especially loved the Night Oil Treatment, with its subtle scent. It is the perfect oil for sleeping, sending me off to the land of nod.

I found the Light Day Oil lived up to its name and was lighter in consistency. I found the scent slightly stronger than the Night Oil Treatment but still enjoyable. I love using this on the weekend when I don’t wear any make up and my skin can breathe.

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Soothing Eye Serum – $45.00
Easy to use and perfect in the little pump bottle, I found a lot went a long way. The Soothing Eye Serum has a mild scent and a creamy texture. I found subtle changes to the skin under eyes, it felt hydrated with visible elasticity.

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Pore Minimiser Nourish & Repair and Open Pore Serum Detox & Repair, $49.50
Like many, I do suffer from open pores especially on my nose. I was excited to try both of these serums in the hope they helped reduce the size of them. Both serums have a gel texture and like the eye serum you do only need a tiny amount.

The serums dry quickly and felt light weight on my skin.

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I really love this brand, the products are made with great natural ingredients. They are also doing great things for the environment, as I mentioned, by using glassware for the products rather than plastic.

Louise has extensive knowledge with what works best for the skin, including tried and tested formulations. I’m pleased to have been introduced to this brand as I will now be a regular, especially that cleanser!

Pop on over to check out the full range and drop Louise an email if you have any questions, I’m sure she would love to hear from you.

https://www.devineoils.com.au

Renee
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Beauty, beauty community, cruelty free beauty, natural beauty, skincare, vegan, Wellbeing

Product Review – Qasil Organics, Qasil Facial Mask

Several weeks ago I received an email from the owner of Qasil Organics. I was immediately intrigued by the name and wondered to myself, what exactly is Qasil and what does it mean?

Qasil Organics offered to send across a mask to try, and after some research of the Qasil leaf – I was keen to try something that sounded interesting and different. It arrived in the cutest box also, so beautifully presented – I was excited to see a product as beautiful as the packaging!


A quick look under the “About Us”section on the Qasil website, provides some interesting information as to what makes this wonderful product.

The leaves from the “Gob” tree, found in East Africa, are taken and crushed and made into a paste. It’s raw and unprocessed – which I love. It smells natural, like the bush and has a real earthy smell to it.

The Qasil Face Mask is free of parabens, sulphates, silicones or fragrances, and is made up of organic ingredients.

Priced at $25.00 for 100ml, a little goes a long way!

I used a face mask spatula to apply the mask to my face. With the consistency being runny,  I find it easy to smooth across my face, yet it doesn’t drip or make a mess.

The directions call to leave the mask on for 30 minutes, it doesn’t dry completely or become “stiff” on my face which was perfect as I hate that dry mask feeling. I generally leave this on for 20 minutes as part of my #letsmasktogethersunday routine.

I recommend washing this off in the shower or even bath, as with any mask it can get messy when removing. Once removed my skin feels soft to touch, it doesn’t feel dry or tight. It is also visibly brighter.

New Product Alert!

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Last night, Qasil Organics announced a new product that’s joining the family soon – Qasil Powder. I was so excited when I saw this, as powders are a great mess and fuss free alternative. Allowing you to mix just the right amount of product you need. I just know this is going to be a big hit!

A massive thank you to Qasil Organics for giving me the opportunity to try this wonderful product. Something different, yet worked so perfectly. I love the results I see from using this. I will definitely be purchasing the loose powder once it becomes available to add to my collection.

Head on over to Qasil Organics to check this mask out for yourself!

Renee

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Dining, Dining Reviews, Food Photography, Food Reviews

Lunch at Barrenjoey House

Getting to Palm Beach is super easy from the Central Coast, Ettalong to be exact, as there is a ferry that runs there and back on a regular basis.
My lunch date was my Mum, I was up visiting her for the Easter Weekend. She had visited Palm Beach and dined at Barrenjoy House in late 2017 and raved about it-so we had to go!

We jumped on the FantaSea Ferry to Palm Beach from Ettalong for the short trip over at around 11am. The trip is roughly 30 minutes, however the scenery and views make it an adventure in itself. Before we knew it, we were pulling up at Palm Beach.

As we were running late due to tide issues, Mum had called ahead to let them know. When we arrived at Barrenjoey House they still had our table ready and it was one on the terrace at the front. This was wonderful, and we truely felt valued.

We started with a drink, I enjoyed the Lychee Berry Smash – a mocktail with muddled lychees, raspberries, fresh mint and lemonade. It was so refreshing and the berry smash made it a delightful purple shade.

Mum enjoyed a cocktail, the Andy Warhol – Vanilla Vodka, passionfruit pulp, egg white and prosecco. Perfect for the hot day, it was refreshing yet sharp. I am obsessed with the glasses they were served in. Does anyone know the name of them?

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For starters, we ordered the marinated olives which were perfectly marinated. The marinade contained chilli, rosemary and what looked like orange rind. So tasty.
We also ordered a serve of the sourdough which was toasted with garlic and parmesan – I have had “garlic bread” before but this was next level. Light, crispy and with a hint of garlic.

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Service was extremely fast, I felt perhaps, a little too fast. I wanted to sit and enjoy my lunch and take my time however there was little time between drinks/starters/mains etc. Our waiter was so lovely and attentive and offered suggestions on the menu. I always love when the waiter is happy to have a chat.

For our main meal, we each had the seasonal seafood platter. Priced at $42, I felt there could definitely have been more seafood on the plate, perhaps a full Balmain Bug rather than half or even a side salad. However in saying this, the seafood was cooked to perfection. The Balmain Bug was sweet and tender, the prawns firm and the fish lightly battered.

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Next up was dessert. I chose the Affogato. I actually hadn’t tried one of these before but was craving a good coffee. It didn’t disappoint. With the perfect serve of vanilla bean gelato, it was presented with the espresso and Frangelico in separate shot glasses. I loved pouring it over the ice cream myself, it added a sense of fun to the dish. It also featured a piece of almond biscotti.

Mum enjoyed the dessert special, Eton Mess, which was pleasant and surprised us both as it had banana in it. This added a different texture, alongside the meringue. It was light and refreshing.

Both desserts were $15

Photo 2-4-18, 4 47 50 pm_previewMum enjoying dessert, Eton Mess

After we finished dessert we decided to head off and explore Palm Beach (especially the shops). We had a look through the dining area, ensuring we weren’t in anyones way. The interior is gorgeous, with Morrocan light fittings, beautiful leather lounges and a gorgeous fireplace. Beautiful mirrors are featured throughout the spaces, I especially loved the one above the fireplace.

My only concern with lunch was the way my Mum was spoken too by a waitress, well berated. It was unfortunate, my Mum was standing in front of an opening door which the lady opened into my Mum. Rather than apologise the waitress was extremely rude to my Mum. Mum apologised for being in the way and we moved on.
I went to the bathroom, and overheard the waitress talking poorly about my Mum to another waitress, who then rolled her eyes. This was extremely unprofessional and uncalled for and has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Even with this poor customer service experience, I would return to Barrenjoey House. The other staff were fantastic, the food perfectly cooked and presented and its also has a great vibe.

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Renee x

Beauty, beauty community, cruelty free, cruelty free beauty, Haircare, Health, Make Up, natural beauty, organic beauty, skincare, vegan, Wellbeing

Brand Review – Davroe

http://www.davroe.com

A few weeks back I was searching for the perfect hair treatment and popped into my local Hairhouse Warehouse. I had been eyeing off the Davroe line for sometime, knowing their hair products are 100% vegan friendly and that they contained no nasties such as parabens and sulphates. I also love how some of the products contain natural Australian Botanics such as Kakadu Plum and Desert Lime.

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Jojoba Crème Treatment – $24.95AUD

A mask was the perfect place to start, to get a feel of the brand and product. I chose the Jojoba Crème Treatment as I loved that it contained Jojoba, this oil is perfect for repairing the hair. The instructions were to leave on damp hair for 5 minutes, I never follow the rules and decided on a few hours. My hair was not disappointed, I was left with gorgeous silky hair for days, and minimal frizz (that I normally suffer from).

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This week I received a wonderful package from Davroe, containing a range of their beautiful products which I am loving! They were so lovely and even included something special to use for my 2000 Instagram Follower Giveaway!

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Moisture Senses Hydrating Shampoo and Contioner – $27.95 AUD each

I love the shampoo and conditioner so much, and I am now officially hooked. The scent for these is Jasmine, and it is simply divine. My hair feels clean after using the shampoo and it lathers beautifully. The conditioner is silky and allows the comb to run effortlessly through my hair (I roll my head in my sleep, so get knotty easily!).

The shampoo and conditioner also contain argan oil, known to be an extremely hydrating oil.

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Ends Repair – $22.95 AUD

Along with my knotty hair, I also suffer from frizz. Pretty much as soon as I’ve straightened my hair and I get into the car, all of a sudden my hair is all frizzy! I’ve loved using this, the great thing is, it can be used on either wet or dry hair. It also claims to help with split ends (um yes please!). A little goes a long way, and this handy size is perfect for keeping in the hand bag and using on the go.

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Thermaprotect – $22.95 AUD

The perfect heat protector, and another step you can to ensure you are protecting you hair when using straighteners and hair dryers. The instructions call for you to use on wet hair, then dry however I used a little on my hands and ran through dry hair before using the straightener. The results were incredible with my hair staying straight throughout the whole day at work!

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Murray River Sea Salty Spray – $23.95 AUD

A take on the classic beach spray to create waves, this actually uses Murray River Salt as one of the hero ingredients! I find this so cool, as it’s sourced from our own backyard (not mine, Australia’s!). My hair definitely likes to curl, in every which way and I found this lightweight and didn’t make my hair oily!

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Brilliance Shine Mist – $23.95 AUD

Alright guys, this product is my now fave! It took my dull looking hair to the next level! I was worried that it would make my hair look oily but it was infact the opposite. It also had this incredible shimmer to it. Oh and the smell, hello Desert lime! Fan favourite, Camellia Seed Oil is used in this.

So, I’m officially hooked on Davroe. Thank you so much for sending these goodies over and supporting me. I am extremely grateful!

Guys, head over to my Instagram @thehappyorganicgirlau and follow along, once I hit 2k followers I’ll be hosting an amazing giveaway, featuring an incredible gift from Davroe.

Enjoy!
Renee

 

 

Beauty, beauty community, cruelty free, cruelty free beauty, Health, Make Up, natural beauty, organic beauty, skincare, Wellbeing

Product Review – Pure Nut Macadamia Skin Care, Face Scrub

http://www.purenut.com.au

Pure Nut’s newly launched Face Scrub sits alongside their Body Scrub. Aside from sharing the same gorgeous scent of Lavender and Sweet Orange, the consistency is completely different. The walnut powder is finer in the Face Scrub than the Body Scrub which is great as the skin on your face is thinner and therefore the finer powder results in a more gentle scrub.

Pure Nut Macadamia Skin Care is one of my favourite brands and you will see, I have written about them before. I also included them in my 2017 Christmas Gift Guide. This is a beautiful family owned business where they harvest their own Macadamia nuts in Northern NSW.

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I really enjoy using this face scrub, the creamy texture and finely crushed walnut seed work perfectly together and isn’t harsh on my skin. As I mentioned above, I adore the scent of sweet orange and lavender, pure bliss!

Unlike some scrubs, my skin doesn’t feel dry once washed off and is left feeling hydrated and soft.

Pop on over to the Pure Nut website to check out their range of products, I also recommend the Lip Balm, one of the best I’ve ever used!

Renee
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beauty community, cruelty free, cruelty free beauty, Food Photography, Health, In The Kitchen, Make Up, natural beauty, organic beauty, Recipes, skincare, Uncategorized, vegan, Wellbeing

Cacao Chocolate Chia Puddings

I was very excited to be announced as a Brand Ambassador for the beautiful organic brand, Buddha Organics. I can’t wait to bring you some really yummy, organic recipes using their super food blends!

For today’s recipe, I am using the Organic Cacao Chocolate Blend. This blend is rich in Magnesium and high in antioxidants. It is also;

* Low GI
* Vegan
* GMO Free
* No fillers or additives
* Certified organic

So for breakfast, I thought why not make dessert for breakfast – but one that is healthy! Can this delicious Cacao Chocolate Chia Pudding really be my breakfast? It looks like dessert? What is this magic?

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Ingredients
* 2 cups of almond milk (or dairy substitute)
* 1 cup chia seeds
* 2 tsp Organic Cacao Chocolate Blend by Buddha Organics
* 1 tsp on maple syrup
* 1 banana
* coconut to taste
* 1 punnet of mulberries
* 1 punnet of strawberries

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Chia Puddings are the absolute easiest thing to make. So easy, even I can make it!

Simply blend the banana, almond milk, maple syrup, coconut and Organic Cacao Chocolate Blend.

Once blended, add the chia seeds but do not blend. Simply shake the container to distribute the chia seeds evenly.

Pour into glasses, cover and chill in fridge until set (usually over night!).

When set, simply top with selected fruit and eat! You could even add some chopped almonds to the top for some added crunch.

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So good, you will honestly think it’s your dessert!

What’s your favourite chia pudding? Do share!

Renee
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Beauty, beauty community, cruelty free, cruelty free beauty, Make Up, natural beauty, organic beauty, skincare, vegan

Product Review – The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

Anytime Deciem launches a new product, the general reaction is people lose their minds. Products sell out quicker than you can say “on sale”. Especially anything in The Ordinary range, somehow Deciem have managed to create an affordable skin care range with only the ingredients you really need.

So in saying that it has taken me a little while to get my hands on one of their Coverage Foundations.

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So the price, this retails for a crazy $12.90….say what!? Yes! Now it is a smaller bottle than that of something you could find on the shelves of your local retail store but I found a little goes a long way.

The Coverage Foundation comes in an impressive 21 shades and are broken up into three categories 1 for fair to lighter tones, 2 for medium tones and 3 for darker tones.

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I find the consistency of this foundation light and easy to blend. I haven’t tried using it with a Beauty Blender or brush and I’ve found it goes on nicely just using my hands. This is high coverage foundation.

As per the Deciem website this foundation is;
* alcohol-free
* oil-free
* silicone-free
* nut-free
* vegan
* gluten-free
* soy-free
* cruelty-free

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I don’t believe I am wearing the correct shade, it was quite hard to pick it in the store. I probably could try a darker shade however generally I do prefer a lighter shade as I love my bronzer and highlighter. The shade I have been wearing is 1.2P.

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As you can see here, the shade is quite light compared to the skin tone of my hand.

The greatest thing is, it isn’t an expensive foundation yet it performs so well. I will be purchasing this again (although in a darker shade) and continue to use this in my make up routine.

Please let me know if you have any feedback! Have you used this product before?

Renee
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Beauty, beauty community, cruelty free, cruelty free beauty, Health, Make Up, natural beauty, organic beauty, skincare, vegan, Wellbeing

Brand Review – Glory by Nature

http://www.glorybynature.ca

In December, I received a package from Brazilian company, Glory by Nature, filled with several of their gorgeous skin care products that are certified organic, natural and vegan!

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Glory by Nature was created by brother and sister team, Clarice and Val Mei who are originally from Brazil. Can you believe they speak an incredible 8 languages between them. After spending time researching what the market was after in terms of skin care, they were able to determine that people were looking for certified natural and organic products, yet hardly any brands were offering these.

With an abundance of sustainable natural resources available in Brazil, they were inspired to create a line of skin care that was also vegan and cruelty free.

Val calls out his passion for raising awareness about his home country and the amazing produce they have access too. He proudly shows that all the products are made in Brazil by featuring the Brazilian flag on the front of all packaging.

“Deixe sua beleza natural brilhar!”    ” Let your natural beauty shine!”

I was sent the following products to try;
* Cleansing Lotion & Makeup Remover
* Exfoliating Liquid Soap
* Toning Lotion
* Facial Moisturizer
* Facial Serum
* White Clay Soap
* Green Clay Soap
* Red Clay Soap

I have been trialing the products for several weeks now and I am in love. Most products contain the very famous Açai Berry and Cupuaçu Butter which are the hero ingredients -among many!
Although, I personally find a few of the products scent a little on the strong side. However my mum loved it. It didn’t bother her at all, so perhaps I am just sensitive to certain scents. My Mum actually asked to take the products home with her after Christmas she loved them that much, sorry Mum I’m not sharing! Ha!

The Products – All prices are in Canadian dollars
Cleansing Lotion & Makeup Remover – $39.95 plus tax
A creamy lotion high in Vitamin E oil which heals and nourishes, the use of Açai berry oil works on the skin to ensure make up is removed. The inclusion of Cupuaçu butter provides hydration to the skin. I find the Cleansing Lotion and Make Up Remover is the perfect second cleanse, it leaves my skin feeling clean and smooth.

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Exfoliating Liquid Soap – $29.95 plus tax
Don’t let the use of the word “soap” in the product name throw you, this is so much more. I love how they have used rice micro particles in this to act as the exfoliating agent, which is great for the environment and our oceans. It’s a silky consistency that lathered up well and wasn’t too harsh on my skin. The use of Tea Tree acts as an antibacterial and I didn’t find this drying on the skin like some exfoliators.

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Toning Lotion – $36.95 plus tax
As per the description this product uses Eurol BT, which I wasn’t familiar with. A quick google search fixes that, Eurol BT is an extract derived from olive plant leaves and claims to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
I found the toning lotion light on the skin that dried swiftly, while leaving my skin soft.

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Facial Moisturizer – $44.95  plus tax
A delicious thick moisturizer that is full of yummy ingredients, this has the added Karite Butter, also known as Shea Butter, to protect and seal in moisture on the skin. Again for me the scent is quite strong. Even though it is quite a thick moisturiser it absorbs quickly into the skin. I love the packaging with this, a great size and no leaks!

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Facial Serum – $35.95 plus tax
This is a gel consistency and very different to the facial moisturizer. A little goes a long way with this, you only need a tiny amount. Again, this absorbed quickly into my skin which is handy if you are in a rush. It also left a cooling feeling on my skin and wears extremely well under make up.

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Red Clay Soap – $18.95 plus tax
As soon as I opened the package I could smell the delicious soaps. The Red Clay Soap contains Geranium and Rosemary Essential Oil and smells divine. Red Clay is rich in iron oxide and copper. Glory by Nature recommend this soap for mature skin as the iron oxide and copper help with improving skin elasticity.

Green Clay Soap – $18.95 plus tax
Glory by Nature recommend this soap for those with acne prone skin due to the Green Clay assisting with controlling oil in the skin. Scented with Rosemary and Sweet Orange Oil, another soap that smells divine!

White Clay Soap – $18.95 plus tax
A soap blended for normal, dry and sensitive skins as it is a gentler clay on the skin.

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To my followers, check this brand out. They are definitely game changers in the beauty industry. Working to provide its customers with an environmentally friendly product that’s against animal testing and  containing some amazing natural ingredients!

You can find them on Instagram here;
@glory_by_nature
@glory_by_nature_brazil

Thank you for the opportunity to try these products!

Renee
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beauty community, cruelty free, fitness, Food Photography, Health, In The Kitchen, Make Up, natural beauty, organic beauty, Recipes, skincare, Uncategorized, vegan, Wellbeing

Super Greens Smoothie Bowl

It is hot in Melbourne today. We don’t get too many hot days here, so I really shouldn’t complain, but I hate the heat! I plan on surviving the heat by making this amazingly delicious, nutritious and refreshing Smoothie Bowl.

Smoothie Bowls are super easy to make, and you really can use any ingredients that you think will taste great.

There is no right or wrong way with a Smoothie Bowl. I always just free-style it, I prefer a thick smoothie so add frozen fruit such as banana to increase the thickness.

For today’s Smoothie Bowl I used the following;
* Rockmelon
* Strawberries
* Blueberries
* Chia seeds
* Pepita seeds
* Raspberries
* Coconut water
* Frozen banana
* Baby spinach
* Boost, Greener Pastures packet
* Freedom Foods Crafted Blends gluten-free bar


I like to see what superfood bars are on special at the Supermarket and include those as a bit of crunch and added sweetness.

Blend the Boost Greener Pastures with 1 cup of coconut water, baby spinach and peptia seeds until you have a smooth consistency. I also added some of the chia seeds, keeping some out for decorating purposes.

Pour into bowl and decorate with berries and additional Chia seeds.

I used cutters to cut out the cute “love” message and stars from the Rockmelon. Time consuming but cute right?

Serve chilled.

Have you enjoyed my recipe, Super Greens Smoothie Bowl? I’d love to hear any feedback you may have!

What’s your favourite Smoothie Bowl recipe?

Renee

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P.S Stay cool Melbourne!