Healthy Goji Chocolate Cake

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Healthy chocolate cake?! Say what?! “No. You’re kidding me” I hear you say. But no, I assure you I am not. This chocolate cake is free from gluten and refined sugars, and tastes pretty darn good in my opinion! It also boasts an impressive list of nutritious ingredients that will make you feel good after eating it rather than that feeling of “I really shouldn’t have had that”- we all know that one!

Some of these ingredients may be a bit more hard to come by compared to the regular ‘eggs, sugar, butter and flour’ recipes, but if you shop around you should be able to find them soon enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup gluten-free self-raising flour mix (or you can use a plain flour mix and add appropriate quantities of baking powder)
  • 2 eggs (preferably organic)
  • 1/3 cup organic natural yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup apricot kernel oil (I haven’t tried substituting this for any other oil, but another oil such as coconut may work just as well)
  • 1/3 cup goji berries
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of water
  • pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together. Depending on the consistency of the mixture, you may need to add either 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. This is roughly what the batter should look like before you put it into the tins:

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The cake tin I used was 8.5 inches long, 4.5 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep

Bake for 160 degrees Celsius (320 Fahrenheit) for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean

Okay…now you’re about to be blown away as I unveil the ingredients of the icing. Please, just give this a chance and don’t run away screaming!

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Yep…you are seeing correctly- avocado. But trust me, you won’t be able to taste it. All it does (apart from giving you a wonderful dose of nutrients) is add a beautifully rich, ganache-like texture.

Don’t forget, you’ll need to wait until the cake cools before you ice it!

  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 medium-sized banana
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of stevia (my stevia has a tiny spoon inside that measures the sweetness of approx. 1 teaspoon of sugar. I just used one of these. A little goes a long way!)
  • Optional: some goji berries for sprinkling on top!

Mix and mash together until well combined. Spread over the cake. Voila! You have healthy chocolate cake! Not so bad after all, is it? Hehe. ๐Ÿ˜›

I must admit to being a little over-eager when creating recipes. I don’t usually test them twice; I just write the quantities down as I go along and then get online and post it! So please, if you do try this out and have any comments or suggestions, PLEASE let me know!

Have a happy, healthy day ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Natural Concealers

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Dr Hauschka Pure Care Cover Stick 02, 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Concealer in creme, Mychelle Dermaceuticals Concealer in cream, Lavera Young Faces Mint Blemish Stick Concealer, Miessence Concealer in fair, Mineral Fusion duo-concealer in cool, Everyday Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer (same order down below)

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Note: two swatches for Mineral Fusion concealer duo (6th and 7th). The Everyday Minerals swatch may be a little difficult to see. It is covering my freckle!

I just noticed the other day that I have a load of concealers. I donโ€™t even know how I accumulated so many. I guess concealer must be just one of those cosmetic items where you need to search a lot to find the perfect one. ย But then again, even if I DID find the perfect one I’d probably keep on buying more, just because it’s so much fun to add them to the collection! ๐Ÿ˜›

Dr Hauschka Pure Care cover stick: this is the most recent concealer which I purchased from Mondebio.co.uk (a site I highly recommend). I haven’t used this an awful lot yet, but these are my observation so far:

Pros:

  • Dense coverage
  • Easy to apply (twist cap)
  • Great match for my skin-tone (light neutral)
  • Easy to blend
  • Natural-looking
  • Smells cool! Like herbs!
  • Great ingredients

Cons:

  • On the pricier side (although I got this one for around $16 on Mondebio)

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Concealer:

Pros:

  • Great ingredients
  • Smells pleasant
  • Easy to blend
  • Cute packaging
  • Good to use as an under-eye concealer (may need to mix with a little moisturiser)

Cons:

  • Coverage isn’t great
  • Tends to look dried out
  • Not the best for hiding blemishes
  • On the pricier side ($16)
  • Creme is too light for my skin-tone

Mychelle Dermaceuticals concealer:

Pros:

  • Good coverage
  • Great ingredients
  • Smells like fruit!
  • Easy to use & small packaging
  • Good price ($10.35 on iherb)
  • Perfect match for my skin

Cons:

  • Tends to look a little shiny
  • Becomes slightly oily by the end of the day

Lavera Young Faces Mint Blemish Stick Concealer: I actually picked this up in the discount container at a health-food store, thinking it was in fact a blemish spot treatment stick, and not a concealer. Having said that, I am happy that it turned out to be so!

Pros:

  • Ingredients that actually work to treat the blemish, as well as conceal it
  • Smells like mint
  • Thick coverage
  • Decent staying-power
  • Good packaging

Cons:

  • Not as smooth as the other concealers
  • Harder to blend
  • The colour that I got is too dark and slightly orangey

Miessence Concealer in fair: this was my very first all-natural concealer. I realised it didn’t really do the job, so I stuck with it until I was able to get another one. I now rarely use this, and if I do, just as an under-eye concealer

Pros:

  • Great ingredients
  • Australian brand
  • Easy to spread

Cons:

  • Texture is kind of grainy
  • Colour is too light for me
  • Poor coverage
  • Expensive (approx. $22)

Mineral Fusion duo-concealer in cool:

Pros:

  • Contains two colours to get the perfect match
  • Medium coverage
  • Good ingredients
  • I find it great to use as an under-eye concealer mixed with a bit of moisturiser

Cons:

  • Expensive ($21.25 on iHerb)
  • Tends to ‘cake up’
  • Oily texture
  • Does contain phenoxyethanol at the very end of the list

Everyday Mineral Multi-tasking Concealer:

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Build-able coverage
  • Great price ($6)
  • Matte
  • Perfect colour-match

Cons:

  • Can look powdery
  • Will not completely cover-up all types of blemishes

If I were to pick out my favourite, it would be a close call between the Mychelle Dermaceuticals and Dr. Hauschka concealer. I do also really like having a powder concealer for certain situations, so I would highly recommend the Everyday Minerals multi-tasking concealer. Being a teenager with less-than-perfect skin, I really appreciate having my concealers on hand, and the best part about them being natural is that I know they are benefiting my skin in the process!

I hope you like this brief review of my natural concealers! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them down below. ๐Ÿ™‚

Homemade Dry Shampoo

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Some mornings I just don’t have time to wash my hair…either that, or I just can’t be bothered!

When I switched to using all-natural products, one thing that I really missed was dry shampoo. I used to use the Batiste brand. It was so simple- just spray, wait a moment, comb it through and BAM! Beautiful, non-greasy hair in an instant!

I missed it so much that I decided to create my own, which I based on several recipes I found online. For me, this is the perfect solution. It is 100% natural, works as quickly and effectively as the chemical variety, and also smells great! What else could you ask for in a dry shampoo? ๐Ÿ˜‰

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup corn flour/starch (preferably organic)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • Few drops of essential oil (rosemary for brunettes, chamomile for blondes)
  • A sifter container (I purchased mine at Spotlight)

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Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the essential oil. Pop it in the jar and screw on the lid. Done!

Things to note

  • For those with really fair hair, it might be a good idea to lower the amount of cacao. The opposite goes for those with darker hair
  • Make sure you comb the powder through very thoroughly- you don’t want little specks to be still visible!
  • If irritation occurs, try substituting the corn starch for rice flour
  • I find this mixture is also great at adding texture to the hair

Please give this a go and tell me what you think. I hope this saves you some time on those mornings when all you want to do is press the ‘snooze’ button on your alarm…oh wait, that’s every morning? Oh well, join the club! ๐Ÿ˜€

My No-Sugar Challenge

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That’s it. I have come to a decision- I’ve had enough of feeling like crap. I admit that after Easter I let my hair down a bit too much. I don’t feel too guilty- after all, it is a festive season. But now I need to knuckle down and get serious. So, I have decided to cut out refined sugars from my diet for an entire month. I have done this before, and I gotta say, it felt really good! In order to give myself motivation I gave my mum a sum of money and told her to safeguard it for the entire month. If I gave in to temptation and ate sweets, she would keep the money- if not, I was able to reclaim it at the end of the month.ย 

I would love to say that I could, through my own willpower just say- ‘that’s it, no more sweets!’, and actually keep my resolution, but unfortunately, my willpower totally sucks, so I have to resort to more extreme measures…

Now before you go thinking, ‘is this girl crazy?’, let me just reassure you that I’m not eliminating sugar from my diet full stop…that’s kind of impossible. What I am doing, is giving up refined sugar, and substituting this for healthier alternatives like raw honey, fruit, stevia and coconut sugar (but even these I will try to limit, as having double servings of ‘healthier’ desserts is not going to give you abs anytime soon…;-))

In addition to this purging of my diet, I am resolving to keep up my fitness levels. So far, it’s going well, but that could all change as soon as school starts back again ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So anyway, I want to know about the health challenges you guys have endeavoured to embark on…Were they successful? Did you feel a sense of achievement after completing them? What factors kept you motivated to fulfill your commitments?ย 

I’ll let you know how it all goes at the end of the month…wish me luck ’cause I’m gonna be needing it! ๐Ÿ˜€

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My Exciting iHerb order!

Is it sad when a package arriving becomes the highlight of your day? I certainly hope not…

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This order was massive! I actually ordered it on the Sunday before Easter hoping it would arrive on Wednesday or Thursday with the Express shipping (and iHerb are generally great when it comes to shipping). Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive on either of those days, and due to the postal service not operating Friday through to Monday, the order didn’t come until the following Tuesday. Despite this order containing my Easter chocolate for the entire family, I didn’t really mind it coming later, and neither did they.

Sooo…let’s get to it!

Please note that I will only be doing first impressions as I haven’t had the chance to properly test out all these products yet. I will be doing full reviews on some of them later on.

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Eeeek! This is so big, Imma have to break it down!

Food:

Skincare:

Makeup:

Haircare:

Supplements:

Other:

As I said, I haven’t had the chance to try everything out yet, but even now I can tell that there are a few highlights:

First of all, the Herban Cowboy deodorant in blossom- oh.my.gosh. The smell is like a big whiff of spring! I can’t even describe how much I love it- if it were available in a perfume, I would buy it straightaway. I have tested it out under normal, everyday circumstances, and let me tell you, it holds out very well. I’m not entirely sure how well it would work after strenuous exercise or for those who sweat very heavily, but it is definitely worth a try, if not just for the experience of the amazing smell! I also like the fact that is in a stick form. I could keep raving on about this, but I don’t want this post to go on forever…

Justin’s nut butter– a great alternative to Nutella. Made from all-natural and organic ingredients. I have had this stuff twice before- my sister bought some back for me after a trip to America and then I bought it again from Vitacost. I fell in love. It is incredible. But let me warn you- if you are used to the extremely sweet, sugary taste of Nutella, you won’t find this to be quite the same. It has a richer, slightly saltier taste, and unlike Nutella, the hazelnut flavour really comes through. Now that I’ve had this stuff, I would never go back to Nutella. Seriosuly, you’ve got to try it out for yourself. Admittedly, it is a little more expensive, but that’s because the ingredients are of higher quality. There are also other flavour combinations that I really want to try out in my next purchase.

Honeybee Gardens pressed powder in Geisha. This is the lightest of the colours. I used the next one up, Supernatural, during the summer, but as my skin slowly started to lose its glow, I realised I need to go a shade lighter in order to avoid the dreaded ‘line’. This pressed powder is superb. Provides amazing coverage and yet still looks natural. The only downside is that at the end of the day it starts to settle into fine lines. Dang. To avoid this, I try to make sure my skin is well-mositurised before-hand and apply a finishing powder over the top.

Moringa leaf powder veggie caps: let me just say one thing- Energy. This is the first time I’ve purchased this particular brand, but if it’s anything like the other one (which I imagine it is), it will continue to be my go-to supplement for school days when I need all the help I can get to keep me awake throughout the day! In addition to its energy-giving properties, Moringa is also highly nutritious.

The Yummy Earth Organic Mints are another standout. Reasonably priced, with great ingredients. Very minty and perfect for sweetening breath after a meal.

If you are prone to having oily skin with enlarged pores, you gotta get on witch hazel! Unless I am experiencing a placebo effect, I’m sureย  my pores become smaller after just one application of the Dickinson Brands Original witch hazel toner. And the amazing thing is that it doesn’t dry my skin out either! I apply this with a cotton pad after cleansing and before applying moisturiser.

I was very excited about trying out the Acure Organics Oil Control Moisturiser. I tend to have an oily t-zone, and heavier oils like coconut oil and Almond oil can sometimes beย  a bit too much for it. I can certainly say that this mosituriser is perfect for the job; it still hydrates my skin but it doesn’t make it oily in the least bit. One thing to note is that it does have a strange, herbal smell, but smells don’t really bother me unless they are chemicals!

I purchased George’s Aloe Vera spray after seeing iluvjesse444 rave on about it in several of her Yotube videos. Aloe Vera is known for its amazing healing and nourishing properties. I feel that this product is a 2-in-1, as it can not only be used as part of a skincare routine, but it also works great for setting makeup. The bottle is huge, and will last for ages.

Ahhh, now onto the Physician’s Formula Organic Wear ‘Fake Out Mascara’. In order to compare it with my old ‘Jumbo Lash Mascara’ from Physician’s Formula, I decided to do a blind test on my mum.ย  I applied one on each eyelid and she had no idea which was which. The results? Both her and I could see quite clearly that the newer ‘Fake Out Mascara’ made lashes look thicker and longer. The one extraneous variable in this whole experiment is that the Jumbo Lash Mascara is a lot older than the newly-purchased Fake Out Mascara, but having said that, I really feel that the Fake Out Mascara is an improvement.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Everyday Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer. I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect a powder concealer to be all that good. This product proved me wrong- the coverage is dense and the colour just happens to be perfect for my skin tone. It is also in many ways easier to work with compared to a cream/liquid concealer.

I have only once tried the Beautiful Curls ‘Curl Activating Cream’, but based on that one experience, I am happy with my purchase. The reviews on iHerb also seem to be overwhelmingly positive. What I like about this product is that it does a great job in transforming dull, listless waves into beautifully defined curls. It also smells pleasant and doesn’t make my hair oily. After sleeping on it, the curls did drop quite a bit, but I expected that in a way. I think this is perfect for a quick fix before a night out.

Again, I have had little chance to use the Innersense Whipped Cream Texturizer, however, I already think this product is pretty cool. What can I say? It really just adds texture to the hair and helps you to mould it into shape. The smell is also nice- kind of citrusy.

I was a bit skeptical about tryingย  J.R. Liggett’s Old-Fashioned Shampoo Bar, seeing as though all my life I have used the conventional liquid shampoo and conditioner, but after my incredibly exhausting shampoo journey (discovering my previous shampoo contained dimethicone and then moving on to another ‘natural’ one that contained an ingredient akin to SLS that made my scalp itch like crazy!) I decided that simple was probably the way to go. And at just $4.55 a bar, I thought, why not? This stuff is good. I imagine it takes a bit of getting used to, but the ingredients are pure, and it doesn’t make my hair oily like I thought it might. I will decide after finishing this whether or not I will attempt another brand of liquid shampoo and conditioner or keep using this bad boy.

The Hurraw! Night Treatment Lip Balm is fantastic! I apply it to my lips before I go to bed and when I wake up my lips are still hydrated! The smell is also amazing; sort of cocoa-vanillaish.

The Honeybee Gardens lipstick in ‘Paradise’ wasn’t exactly a highlight for me, but I did want to let people know that the actual product looks a lot different from how it is depicted on the iHerb website. I expected it to be a really light pink, but instead it turned out to be a darker mauvey colour.ย  Fortunately it still looks ok on me.

Similarly, the Peacekeeper Cause-Metics, ‘Perfect As Is Balm’, wasn’t totally what I thought it would be. I was hoping it would give a nice, pink rose-tint colour to my lips. To be honest, it doesn’t really give off any colour at all. Maybe just a slight pink hue. Despite that, I still like this product a lot. It is very hydrating and perfect as an everyday lip balm. The size is also quite big and the packaging is cute. So really, no regrets here.

As for all the chocolate…it’s chocolate- of course it’s amazing!! No further comments needed on this one! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If I haven’t mentioned a product, it’s not because I don’t like it; either I haven’t yet tried it enough yet, I really felt like it wasn’t necessary to review (such as the rosemary oil and corn starch), or I have already reviewed it (e.g. Mychelle Dermaceuticals Creme Concealer). If you want any extra info on a product or would like me to do a full review, just let me know and I’d be more than happy to do so :-)A big congratulations to anyone who managed to make it to the end! Hehe