Monday, October 31, 2011

HaPpY HaLlOwEeN!

'Spooky' Vegan Eyeball Cupcakes - Idea courtesy of Chef Chloe!
My Mom's pumpkins ready to be lit and placed outside!
My "Storm Trooper" Nephew!
My Superhero Godson/Nephew!

Have a SpOoK-TaCuLaR day everyone!
Ves xx

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Natural Skin & Hair Care Products!

   As promised here is a look at some of the products I've been using recently:
*Apologies for the awful lighting on most of these photos.


   I really love this face wash from 100% Pure that I've been using for a couple of months now.  It has a fresh scent infused with mint and eucalyptus.  I like the way it foams up in my hands and really washes off my makeup... PLUS it's all Natural, 100% Vegan and Gluten Free!  Woohoo!

   This scrub is pretty good... it does the job and makes my skin feel smooth.  I also really like the fruity smell.
  I really like this moisturizer - also from 100% Pure.  This product is also all natural and 100% vegan.  It feels so good going on my skin and I love the minty scent.  I did find that this moisturizer was not enough for my skin so I started adding a few drops of Jojoba Oil to it at night.  That made a big difference and my skin loves me for it!  I'm almost out of this moisturizer so I'm on the hunt for a new one... I love testing products!  I have my eye on a couple so I'll let you know which one I choose! 
   This shampoo and conditioner by Dessert Essence Organics smells fantastic!  I love anything that smells like coconut so I had to snatch these up.  Unfortunately, I don't really like the product.  Both the shampoo and conditioner did nothing for my hair.  Since everyone's hair is different I can't really tell you not to try it, but I wouldn't buy it again.  It is however, all natural so that's a plus!

   I bought this shampoo and conditioner when I ran out of the coconut one.  I chose this one because it was on sale (ha! I can't lie!) and figured that I would give it a try.  I like the shampoo; it makes my hair sqeaky clean.  It also has a mild smell, which I like.  This product is all natural as well and I think it rates a 5 on the Cosmetic Database.

   Like the shampoo, I really adore this conditioner.  It feels great going on my hair but when I rinse it out my hair feels so silky.  This too has a mild scent and is all natural.  It ranks around a 3 on the database.

This is just a small list of products that I've tried.  I'll post about makeup soon and share with you my favorite brands.  Prices vary on all of the products so definitely shop around until you find the products you love at a price you are comfortable with. 

Here are some more links:
 100% Pure
Giovanni Products
Kiss My Face
Alba Botanicals
John Masters

Also check out the Vegan Beauty Market

 Don't forget to check out the Cosmetic Database if you haven't already.  Just type in the name of your product or an ingredient and it will give you a score out of 10 (10 being the most hazardous).

Take care of your gorgeous selves!
Ves xx

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Tale of Two Posts

   Wow, what a busy week/weekend it's been!  I've been meaning to write for quite sometime but haven't had a chance.  So, I'm going to squish two posts in one.  I hope you don't mind.
   First, I'd like to start by confessing my love for October.  I really do love this month.  All I have to do is think of October and I get all warm and fuzzy inside.  Lots of important birthdays happening this month, Canadian Thanksgiving, Halloween, a wedding... I love October!  Let's start with the Birthdays...  My fab Uncle has a birthday in the beginning of the month and so does my Godson.  In fact, this was my Godson's FIRST Birthday!  Yay!  My brother and sister-in-law threw a party at their house and were fortunate enough to be able to host it outdoors.  Gotta love that fluke warm weather in the fall!  Parties are all about the food and they had some pretty awesome food contributed by family, friends and themselves.  Of course, I'm only concerned about the vegan options and their were some great choices.  For starters I made a batch of delicious Black Bean Sliders.
So yummy!
   Everyone who ate these burgers went back for more.  In fact, I think I only had one and I really wished I had made a double batch.  My Aunt made a super delicious Quinoa and vegetable salad.  I have no photos or recipe but trust me, it was really yum!  There was also a couple of salad options as well.  For the dessert, my mom made the main attraction: The gorgeous birthday cake!
My handsome Godson and the delicious assortment of cake!!
    Okay, so the cakes that my mom made weren't vegan but I just wanted to show off her talent a little bit.  Anyway, if you look closely at the first cake picture you'll see a tiny chocolate cake in the background.  That's the cake that I made.  It was vegan and super delicious.  (I gotta find another word for delicious... cause I think I use it too much!) 
Vanilla cake with coconut cream filling and chocolate ganache frosting.  Vegan!

   Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of what the inside of the cake looks like because it didn't last very long on my plate.  It was that good! (Is it okay to say that when you made it?  Oh well.)
   Anyway, a few days after my nephew's birthday it was time to celebrate mine!  I wasn't allowed to help with the food cause my mom loves to cook for us on our special day.  She did such an amazing job cooking an all vegan menu.  She made pumpernickel dip, guacamole, chili, goldfish crackers (yup, from scratch)!, rice and salad.  She also made two kinds of vegan cupcakes - Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake and Raspberry Tiramisu.  Heaven!
Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcake
Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake
   Everyone loved the food at my party and, even though the men had issues with the fact that there was no meat, they enjoyed the meal too.  
Visit Chef Chloe's website for the cupcake recipes and for a recipe similar to the Black Bean Sliders. 

   I hope you try some of these recipes because they are so delicious and totally worth the effort!

Ves xx

Monday, October 10, 2011


   Hi, my name is Vesna and I'm a shopaholic.  OR... Hi, my name is Vesna and I'm a cosmetic-holic. OR... Hi, my name is Vesna and I'm a product junkie!  Seriously, just pick one cause they're all me and I can't help it.  It's an illness!  I only hope they serve coffee and vegan doughnuts at the meetings.
    You might be wondering why I am confessing my weakness/sickness to you.  Well, it's because I love beauty products so much!  I am a sucker for new lotions, potions and serums.  And right now I am on a search for THE BEST beauty products I can find.  Longer hair?  Stronger nails?  Smoother skin?  Yes please!  PLUS My new products need to be able to stand up to my high(er) standard of quality.  They need to be cruelty free -no animal testing, animal by-products or harsh chemicals in the ingredients -thank you very much.  And ideally I'd like for the products to have as few ingredients as possible OR at least I'd like to be able to pronounce every ingredient.  Why?  Well it's simple really.  If I'm so concerned about the food I put inside my body and making sure I eat as healthy as possible then why wouldn't I want the same for my skin?  I mean it's the largest organ I have and I'd like to know that the products I use on it are equally as nourishing.
   Anyway, I have to say, so far so good on my quest for new beauty products.  In fact, I already use a fab mineral make-up that I love and have been using for over a year now.  I've also been testing out hair, skin and body care products which are cruelty free and organic that I'll share with you very soon.  Man, I wish I could get paid for that!  In a perfect world I would be a teacher by day and product tester by night.  *sigh*  For now, I will leave you with this video.


  Also, If you'd like to check out what is really in your skin care products then visit this website:  Just type in the name of the ingredient to see how toxic it is (or isn't).

Don't forget to love the skin you're in!
Ves xx

Sunday, October 02, 2011

A Toast to Health

   Hello all!  It's been a little crazy around the Lipstick and Lemondrops HQ (aka: home!) these past couple of weeks.  To sum it up, my step-dad was in the hospital for over a week and ended up having triple heart bypass surgery.  Yikes!  He's feeling okay and has been home for a week.  Yay!  He's still in a lot of pain and has a ways to go before he's completely healed.  Needless to say, things were pretty stressed around here for a bit.
   I'm hoping this health scare will serve as a wake-up call and motivate him to take better care of himself.  He's not a smoker or a drinker but he does enjoy food - mainly meat, especially the red variety.  He loves sweet things as well, which isn't great as he's also a diabetic.  Unfortunately he pretty much hates vegetables.  Leafy greens?  You can forget it!  Unless it's smothered in creamy dressing of course, and the same goes for coleslaw.  Luckily my mom makes a mean coleslaw with an oil and vinegar dressing which he likes.  But, left to his own devices he'd grab the blue cheese dressing in a heartbeat.   Anyway, you can see how this might bug me especially since I've become completely obsessed with nutrition.  I firmly believe that the body can heal itself if given the chance and the right foods.  I'm doing my best to share my (limited) knowledge but I'm pretty sure it's falling on deaf ears.  Well, maybe not 'deaf' ears since my parents would never ignore me, but certainly 'stubborn' ears!  That's okay though.  I know I'm planting little seeds in the back of his mind and possibly the rest of my families as well.  I'm going to continue to learn and share with them and hopefully he'll start to make small changes in his diet and speed his healing process.  Baby steps! 
   Anyway, I have a bunch of posts planned in the next little bit so stay tuned.  My parents got me a Juicer and Dehydrator as early birthday gifts.  Woohoo, my parents rock!  So I've been having lots of fun in my kitchen this weekend!  For now, I am raising a glass of the red stuff (not that kind) and toasting to my families health.  Here's hoping that we all keep trying a little harder to take better care of ourselves and each other.
Juice from beets, celery and carrots. Yum!
Ves xxx

 FYI: The Food Matters website is offering a free online screening event.  Click here to watch the movie for free... it's this week only, so I hope you get a chance to watch it and share it with others.

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