Food & Drink Magazine

A Month of Little Treats: February ’16 Favourites

By Natalie Tamara @thetofudiaries

Welcome to the fifth installment in my monthly favourites blog series where I share the finds I make each month and the other little things I’ve enjoyed, discovered, experienced or read.

I hope February doesn’t feel too much in the distant past yet to reflect on it! I felt like I’d lost my blogging “mojo” over the past week or two and couldn’t focus on writing, editing photos or even taking new photos. But as suddenly as it went missing, it came back with gusto yesterday and I’m more excited than ever by some of the things I have coming up to share with you all.

A Month of Little Treats - February 2016

The month of February began with a little trip to Copenhagen – my Christmas present to Pete. We stayed in a quirky little Airbnb apartment and had a wonderful few days exploring the city. You can catch my recommendations for being vegan in Copenhagen here!

Valentine’s Day isn’t something we really tend to celebrate that much but I did use it this year as an excuse to combine two things I’ve wanted to make for a while: a vegan coffee cake and a sloth cake. As such, this vegan coffee sloth cake (with a vanilla face and chocolate eyes, nose and mouth!) was born:

A photo posted by Natalie Tamara (@thetofudiariesblog) on Feb 14, 2016 at 5:21am PST

February saw lots and lots of experimentation in my kitchen using my new Vitamix, notably this avocado mint chocolate mousse and a dreamy homemade cashew cream cheese.

Easy Vegan Mint Chocolate Mousse RecipeHomemade Cashew Cheese on a bagel

February also gave me the opportunity to work on one of my favorite collaborations yet, with Mechaly vegan leather handbags. I’ve fallen more and more in love with this bag and can’t recommend Mechaly enough – if you’re on the lookout for a new, ethical handbag, be sure to click through to my post as you can bag (sorry!) a hefty discount.

Oh and thanks to my fantastic Airbnb host in Copenhagen for providing fresh flowers in the apartment – they made for the perfect photo props when shooting the bag!

Mechaly Vegan Leather Handbag

February Finds

I’ve felt pretty burnt out lately and know I need to be better organised and give myself proper evenings off sometimes. One of the ways I intend to do that is with this colouring book I got last month.

We all know how popular adult colouring books have become as a way to relax and practice mindfulness. I do think there’s something to be said about stepping away from screens and focusing quietly on something. There are some truly beautiful adult colouring books out there, but when I heard about this one I laughed so much at the concept that I knew it was the one for me. The Passive Aggressive Colouring Book: (for people who just don’t get the whole calm thing) is a hilarious series of illustrations by Ellen Bashford with scenarios that ring so true – from commuter rage to your cat getting in the way as you try to perfect a yoga pose, this book has it covered. Can we be mindful and giggle at the same time?

The Passive Aggressive Colouring Book Adult Colouring Book

Last month I also made a couple of lovely cruelty-free discoveries from brands that I expect will become regulars in my makeup bag.

Healgel were recently awarded cruelty-free and vegan status under the international Humane Cosmetics Products Standards and recognized by PETA as cruelty-free. I tried out a few samples of their skin care that they kindly sent to me and must say that, as well as having such great ethics, the products feel particularly lovely as you apply them to your skin – almost like you can feel them working. They do live up to their name too as I applied some to the beginnings of a spot and it seemed to banish it overnight. I can’t comment on the longer-term benefits or value of the products but I’m certainly intrigued by them.

I’ve been after a cruelty-free perfume for a while now but it’s so hard to order one online when you have no idea how they smell (a list of ingredients does nothing to tell me what the actual smell will be like!). In the end though I decided to take a leap of faith and ordered myself a Pacifica roll-on perfume in Indian Coconut Nectar. It has proved to be a very good decision – the smell is quite sweet but it’s so soft and coconutty that all I can think about is holidays as I roll it on and that can only be a good thing!

Cruelty-free Finds - Healgel creams and Pacifica Roll-on Perfume

February Reads

  • Cadry wrote a fantastic post on facing temptation as a vegan and how many perceived “temptations” simply aren’t that tempting

How did February shape up for you?

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