Thursday, 30 July 2015

Healthy Chocolate Cake

When it comes to eating chocolate cake, some would say that I am an expert.  I would have to agree with them too.

However, living with a dairy intolerance can be quiet the issue when it comes to my options of eating chocolate cake and not being ill.  I pretty much have to live a vegan lifestyle (apart from the fact that I eat meat) and that absolutely sucks.

Over the last 6 months I have blundered my way through finding things that I can eat, found out that somethings I didn't realise actually had dairy in them.  But above all the things that I have given up, chocolate and cheese have been the two hardest.

Until now...

Can you believe that there is no dairy AT ALL in this?  I was so excited to see this recipe on Instagram where The Healthy Hippy had adapted another recipe from The Coveteur.

I even did the taste test on everyone at work and no one could tell what was inside, all I could hear was muffled sounds that I took to mean they were enjoying it.

Once they had all finished though, I told them what was actually included in the ingredients and they couldn't believe that it was full of protein goodness, no refined sugars, nutty goodness and cocoa nibs and a hint of cocoa powder.

Here are the full ingredients though and how I adapted them:

125 g pecans 
45 g desiccated coconut
70 g cacao nibs
185 g pitted dates (dates with the pips removed just in case you were wondering)
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and at room temperature (I used a little more than this in the end)

560 g avocado flesh (from about 5 medium-large avocados)
190 g raw honey
175 ml coconut oil, melted and at room temperature
100g cacao powder


1. Preheat the oven to fan 150°C/300°F. Line the base and sides of a 7-inch round cake tin with baking paper.

2. Toast the pecans and desiccated coconut on a lined baking tray in the oven for 7–8 minutes, until golden.

3. Transfer the pecans and coconut to a food processor and add the rest of the base ingredients. Blend until the mixture is crumbly and holds together when pinched (don’t let it go completely smooth).

4. Tip the base mixture into the prepared tin. Press it down firmly and evenly with the back of a spoon, ensuring it is neat and flat where it meets the sides of tin. Transfer to the fridge while you prepare the filling.

5. Place all of the ingredients for the filling into a food processor and blend until the mixture is completely smooth and silky.

6. Remove the cake tin from the fridge and pour the filling over the base. Cover the tin, using a plate, and return it to the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight, if possible, to set.

7. To serve, run a knife around the inner edge of the tin and carefully push the base up from the bottom. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

Ladies and gents I promise you won't be disappointed by this cake and it tastes even better knowing that it's guilt free.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Getting your heels ready for sling back shoes in the summer

These days I spend a lot of time in flat shoes power walking to work or trainers at the gym, so when I go out (as in out out) I like to put on one of my many pairs of beautiful heels.  I have always had a thing for sling backs and strappy shoes, however, all the running around and new gym regime has left my feet in a bit of a mess and aren’t something I am eager to get out and show off in a beautiful pair of heels.

I also have the beginnings of arthritis in the balls of my feet, so standing all night in heels can become very uncomfortable.  I have always used the party feet in my shoes though, which are an absolute good send, even now with the arthritis.  But the cracked heels are my main issue at the moment – not something that us girls ever want to see.

Scholl recently sent me their cream for cracked heels though, so I thought I would give it a go.

Here is my before picture in my beautiful new heels that I am dying to wear...

and here is my after…

Isn’t the difference amazing? 

Here is my step by step guide to getting your beautiful heels back:
  1. Soak feet in a bowl full of warm water (I sometimes add bubble bath or fabric softner)
  2. Dry your feet on a soft dry towel
  3. File away any excess dry skin
  4. Rub Scholl's Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream into your feet
The only tip for using the cream that I have, is don't rub it into your legs as it can leave a talc like residue up your legs.
But definitely check out all their new products on their website where you will also be able to find lots of great ways to use their products for the maximum results.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Office wear in the summer

In the summer it is always really hard to dress for the office, especially when there are varying degrees of what is appropriate to wear from office to office.

If you work in the corporate world, then yes you probably will still have to wear a suit in the heat.  But if you work in a more casual environment this could be different.  Over my working lifetime, I have had experience in a number of different working environments - everything from a supermarket to a retail store, an office receptionist and creative agencies.  I have even worked in nightclubs and bars.

Each of these different places has a different idea of what is appropriate wear for work though.  Some of them are obvious, however, the one thing that I have found consistent across all places of work is the double standards between what men and women are allowed to wear.

With the weather in London due to hit around 38 degrees over the next few days, I know from experience that working in this heat is going to become pretty hellish and that commuting on the tube is only going to get more unpleasant. 

Today, I've worn my beautiful Zara skort to work with a pale blue short sleeved shirt and was able to walk comfortably to the station this morning without a jacket.  But when I got on the train I began to notice the difference in the female attire compared to the men's.

On arriving in the office the difference was considerably noticeable too.  A few of the girls looked like they were getting ready to go to a pool party, while others looked elegant and chic in their chiffon dresses, pretty shirts, skirts and shorts.  The guys on the other hand looked exactly the same as normal, jeans and varying different shirts and t-shirts with shoes.  They looked hot, bothered and uncomfortable.

So it got me to thinking, what are the rules when it comes to Summer dressing in a creative environment?

I mean, I'm not talking board shorts and flip flops here - but some tailored shorts and boat shoes with a collared top is fine, right?

I then thought about doing a project around what people think about general office wear for both men and women and what better place to start than on my blog?

So here are my top six outfits, three male and three female, to be worn in a more relaxed office environment...

What's your opinion though?  Leave me a comment below - I would love to hear from you...