Monthly Archives: September 2014

Paraben Free Toiletries

Paraben Free Toiletries

I’m not really the pampering kind of girl but like nearly all women, I use a fair few products on a day to day basis. And while I’m not super strict on the ingredients these products contain I usually at least look for paraben free.

Since becoming pregnant I have added a moisturiser to my daily routine to try and limit stretch marks. Whether it helps or not remains to be seen but it makes me feel better! Plus my skin has been so soft and lovely since that I will probably carry on after birth. I don’t use a moisturiser on my face though as I get oily skin. I use a paraben free face wash or wipe and put light makeup on which has more than enough moisture for me.

And here are some of my finds. I live in the UK so these are what I have found relatively easily here. I found the Good Things products in Sainsbury’s and have used their facial moisturiser a while back but found I was better without, their face wipes which are very wet and perfect for cleaning off make up, and the pictured face wash which I like too.

Good things

The Timotei I buy from Tesco or Home Bargains. They sometimes have it in Home Bargains at a really good price but more often than not they only have the conditioner and not the shampoo. I have been using this for months and love it but always use the conditioner with the shampoo or I find my hair feels a bit dry. I highly recommend this one.


The Palmers Cocoa Butter is my new pregnancy addition. This is the kind that is a really thick, set butter that melts on your skin. It highly moisturises and doesn’t fully soak in so can leave you feeling a little sticky under your clothes. I find I can still feel it on me until my next bath or shower but it really does make my skin feel great. I sometimes just use it every other day so I’m not so sticky!

Cocoa Butter

I have been using this Sanex shower gel for quite a while too. It is plain and boring but does the job. Sometimes my skin gets a little dry when I use it for shaving my legs and under arms but it’s nothing a little moisturiser can’t fix.


Faith in Nature are a brand I have only ever seen online and can be quite pricey. I bought this along with a shampoo when they were a bit cheaper on Amazon, but the prices tend to go up and down on there. The shampoo was very thin but lathered well and smelt lovely of citrus oils (which was in the ingredients). The face wash is nice and lightly exfoliates. It can sometimes make my skin a little oily as it is quite thick and I’m not sure what else is in it, but I like to use if a couple of times a week. Sometimes I just wash my face with water but everyone’s skin is different. I would buy their shampoo again but not at full price as it is around double the price of the Timotei that I like.

Faith in nature

And that is all I have in at the moment. I still haven’t found a natural deodorant that works for me and I use a Sanex one that contains aluminium. It’s not ideal but I can’t live without a good deodorant.

I’m coming up to 19 weeks pregnant now and thought I would share a quick belly shot for anyone who is interested as I am getting a little bump now. It’s pretty exciting for me to see and also to feel my little one move around now. I will be finding out the sex of my baby next week which I am really looking forward to.

19 weeks

Do you check the ingredients in your beauty products or just in the food you eat? How important do you think it is to put less chemicals on your skin? I would love to hear any recommendations that you guys have!


Spinach and Berry Chia Seed Smoothie

The weather is turning pretty cold here in England. The garden is looking very sorry for itself, all dead plants and overgrown weeds that I haven’t gotten around to sorting out. I did, however, pick some overgrown runner and dwarf beans and dried them for next years planting.

Runner Beans

The only thing in the garden still providing anything are two cherry tomato plants which have given me some really tasty but very small tomatoes this year. I have been having them with everything and there still seems to be hundreds left to pick!

Dwarf Beans

I have been having a hard time eating healthily since I became pregnant. I will be 18 weeks pregnant tomorrow and all I want to eat are white carbs. I have mostly been satisfying this with potatoes and trying to pair them with healthy options, but I haven’t been having anywhere near as many healthy smoothies, juices or salads as I was before. It is very important to me that I feed my unborn baby as well I as possibly can though.

Spinach berry chia smoothie

This smoothie was one of the first in a few weeks. I had bought some frozen blueberries a couple of weeks ago and had them with spinach and banana in a smoothie, but it just wasn’t sweet enough and I didn’t enjoy it. This week I bought some frozen raspberries to mix in there too and it worked a treat. I also added a sprinkle of chia seeds to the top for texture and nutrition. By the time I got to the bottom of my smoothie (which was a whole pint!), some of these seeds had sunk to the bottom and begun to swell, adding another lovely texture and treat at the end.

Here’s the recipe, if you can call it that!

1 small Banana
1 big handful Spinach Leaves
1 smaller handful frozen Blueberries
1 same sized handful frozen Raspberries
Almond Milk (around 200ml)
1 tbsp Chia Seeds

Put everything into the blender except for the chia seeds. I tend to add almond milk as I go to get the texture I want. If it’s too thick my blender can’t cope, if it’s too thin I don’t enjoy drinking it as much. Sprinkle the seeds on at the end and enjoy. I have a couple of glass straws that I like to drink my smoothies through.

Spinach berry chia smoothie

I have also been very busy this week sorting out all of the clutter in the house. Who would have thought it would be so difficult to clear one spare room? There are piles of books and boxes of random rubbish everywhere!

Do you ever add chia seeds to your smoothies? What other goodies do you like to add?

Banana Bread with Nuts and Dates

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while! I went quite a while doing the minimum cooking and baking because I wasn’t feeling well. And the reason? I’m pregnant! I’m now 15 weeks and feeling much better but still tired all the time.

This weekend we went to Ikea to have a look at furniture and came home with a new coffee table and some bits and bobs. We also went to Babies R Us but didn’t buy anything because we are waiting to find out the gender of our baby.

Not long ago we had some damp work done on our house and it is looking like a real mess. We were told we can’t decorate until the end of January, by which point I will be 8 months pregnant, so the house is a little depressing at the moment. The new coffee table hasn’t done much to cheer the place up but it’s always nice to have something new. Even if my cat Lola does not approve of change.

This Banana Bread is the first baking I have done in months. I went off baking for quite a while when I was very conscious about my sugar intake, but using overripe bananas gives sweetness without adding too much extra sugar.

Gluten Free Banana Bread


2 overripe Bananas
2 eggs (or vegan alternative)
1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Brown Sugar (or coconut sugar)
1 cup Self Raising Gluten Free Flour (or plain with a tsp baking powder)
1/2 tsp Bicarb/ Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (or 1 tsp if you love it)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped Almonds
1/4 cup chopped Dates

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Mash up the bananas in a large bowl and mix in the eggs, coconut oil and vanilla until well combined. Throw in the nuts and dates and mix. Combined all the dry ingredients in another bowl and then mix everything together. Line or grease a loaf tin and pour the mixture in. Bake at 180c/160c fan for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Lining the tin works best as you can use the paper to lift the loaf out of the tin. Leave it in the paper until it has completely cooled and then peel it away and cut yourself a slice. I kept mine in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the cupboard.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Do you ever spread anything on your banana bread or do you like it plain? I’ve tried it with dairy free nutella and vegan marg but I do love it plain in my lunchbox for work. Or for breakfast!