Sukin skincare Review

Hi all,

With a festive season approaching, I though that it was the perfect time for another beauty products review, which I have not done in a while.

I came across with the skincare brand Sukin last year and after some careful research about it, I decided to order myself one of their facial moisturisers and XXX. I have been using them for just over a year and I stand by them for various reasons that I am just about to share with you in this post.

First of all, let me make a brief introduction to the brand for those of you who might not know about it.

Sukin is an Australian brand launched in 2007, whose products are sustainably made, vegan and cruelty free. They do not contain artificial fragrances, petrochemicals or other harmful ingredients. The formulations, consisting only of natural non GMO ingredients, are biodegradable, 100% carbon neutral and greywater safe.This means that when using Sukin’s products, you can rest assured that you are not causing harm to your skin, animals and nature. As they state in their website they are passionate and proud to provide “skincare that doesn’t cost the earth”. ♥

There is a wide selection of skincare products available, ranging from hair to face and body. Their prices are actually very affordable in my opinion, which is just a bonus really. I love everything that this brand stands for and it just ticks all the boxes when it comes to the elements I look for in skincare products.  Anyway, let’s jump right into my review of both these products.

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This I love about both products:

  • They are suitable for all skin types (including sensitive) and have natural and organic formulations free of parabens and sulfates
  • They have a very mild scent
  • Affordable prices. Both products cost about 9,45€ (125ml)
  • Minimal packaging waste. All packaging is BPA free and most full size products are made of PET plastic, which is 100% recyclable

The Pros of the facial moisturizer:

  • Non-oily and fast absorbing formula
  • It comes with a pump which makes it super easy to apply and a small amount of it goes a long way (I pump it one time and that is enough for my entire face)
  • It leaves my skin feeling very soft and moisturized and, surprisingly, not greasy at all

The Con of the facial moisturizer:

  • It might not the most ideal moisturizer for summer as it does not contain SPF.

The Pros of the hydrating mist toner:

  • It can be used under or over makeup. I love to use it after having removed my makeup and prior going to bed. A frew sqirts of it and my face all nice, fresh and hydrated
  • The fact that it does not contain alcohol, together with the combination of rosewater and chamomile extract has a very soothing effect on the skin, especially if tired and/or irritated
  • The spray bottle is just super convenient and makes its use very easy

No con. There is nothing about it that I dislike really!

Despite having ordered my produtcs online, I am pretty sure you can easily find them in a store near you as Sukin is a worlwide brand that sells its products basically everywhere. For the Dutchies out there (or other people living in The Netherlands), you can find them at Holland and Barret! 🙂

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All in all, I am very pleased with both these products and they are definitely worth a go. It feels great to be able to satisfy the needs of my skin with products that do not leave me with empty pockets and that are harmless to the animals and to our beautiful Planet Earth!

Have you tried these or any other products from Sukin? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below!

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

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SNCKBR, Utrecht (Holland)

Heya x I hope you are all doing great on this fine Wednesday!

I have recently got the chance to go to the largest vegan restaurant in Europe (that just so happened to open in Utrecht) and I would like to share my review with you.

As you can imagine, I got extremely excited with the news that SNCKBR, the largest fully plant-based restaurant in Europe, was going to open in the Dutch city where I live in! As my curiosity spiked as soon as I read these news, I decided to read more into it. So, apparently the workwear of the personnel is fair trade, the restaurant’s interior is completely leatherless, all the ingredients used are sustainable (i.e. biologically grown whenever possible) and all dishes are free from refined sugar and E-numbers. Pretty awesome, right?

As my boyfriend was coming to visit within just a couple of weeks, I decided to wait for him to try this new vegan place in town. After all, great food tastes even better when shared with great people, right? ♥ Even though my boyfriend is a meat eater, when I told him about how cool the whole concept of this restaurant sounded, he said that he was totally in for it (possibly due to seeing my over the top excitement but oh well …haha)!

We went to SNCBR on Saturday for a sort of brunch. As soon as we got in, the first thing that struck my attention was the decor. I am of the opinion that a great interior can do to a cafe or restaurant as much as great food/drinks can. Despite its quite discrete exterior, the interior is well-designed and the seating is super lush! I loved the trendy vibe created by the decor neon lighting. I must also add that you would never say that the restaurant is so big that it has actually space for 110 people just from looking from outside. What a hidden gem!

Food

First of all, I found the menu to be quite creative and unique, offering a diverse selection of plant-based starters, mains, sides and desserts. Contrary to what the restaurant’s name may suggest, this is definitely not a typical snackbar. The menu offers some healthy comfort food options, such as steamed bar buns filled with eggplant, zucchini and other vegetables or cauliflower/pumpkin and sage pizzas! It took us quite some time to choose what to order because there were several dishes that we were eager to try! After careful consideration and much thought, we finally made up our minds and ordered our food.

Here it is:

imageImage-2.png-6Image.png-5The way the food was presented ,clean, appetising and just beautiful, left mesmerised.

 

My boyfriend ordered a no-chicken wrap, which consisted of a tortilla filled with crunchy vegan soya-based “chicken”, guacamole, tomato, iceberg lettuce leaves and tomato salsa & a side of fries with truffle mayonnaise. He said that his wrap was average at best. It was good but not incredibly good if you know what I mean. He was especially disappointed with the tomato salsa, which was not very rich or spicy as it should. However, he really loved the crispy (not soggy) fries with the truffle mayo.

I ordered some pecking “luck” (not duck!) pancakes that came with marinated soya chunks, sliced spring onions, cucumber, pretty edible flowers and plum sauce.  The pancakes were perfectly made: thin and not greasy (just how I like them to be). When it comes to the soya protein chunks, I must say that, sadly, I was not that impressed. Even though they had a lot of seasoning, I found them to be quite dry. Despite not being big on sauces, the plum sauce was so good that made it all taste much better. I also ordered some grilled veggies as a side and, contrary to the soya protein chunks, their taste did not fail to fulfil my expectations.

We also shared some yummy gyozas filled with shitake mushrooms, miso seasoned tofu, Chinese cabbage and Vietnamese sauce. They were my favourite! So scrumptious, rich in flavour and, from far, one of the best that I have ever eaten! I love gyozas sooo much that I could seriously make an entire meal out of them! #sorrynotsorry

It is also worth mentioning that, for those of you who are allergic, intolerant or simply avoid gluten, eating here would not be a problem at all since the menu has various options free from it. One great convenience regarding the menu is that it not only indicates the dishes containing gluten, but it also clearly points out which dishes contain nuts, peanuts and soja.

Service/Staff

The overall service provided by the staff could have been better to be honest. It was rather slow (even though they were not that busy). This is something I normally don’t mind much because it may be just a sign that the chef is putting all his love, care and attention in the dishes he/she is cooking. However, when we realised that the waitress forgot to bring the fries that we ordered and pointed it out, she was not even apologetic… Of course that the sort of negligent service we experienced might have just been an exceptional case, rather than the norm.

Location

The restaurant location is absolutely great! It is right in the city centre, super close to the Utrecht Central Station.

Price

Even though our portions’ size were reasonably good, I found the overall prices to be a little bit over the top. Just to give you an idea, the price of the wrap was 12,95€, which I find quite pricey given what it is.

 

That being said, I don’t want my mixed opinions on the food and service to be deceiving or put you off. I think that it is great to have a fully-plant based restaurant in town; particularly one offering a good variety of healthy (and ok less healthier) food options that are also original and different than the “typical” vegan dishes you would normally expect to find at a vegan restaurant/cafe (e.g avocado/hummus toasts, curries or buddha bowls). I am definitely going to go back to SNCBR so I can try other dishes! 🙂 I feel like only then will I be able to fully make my mind about this restaurant.  have recently changed their thing worth mentioning is the fact that they change the menu regularly. Hence I am sure that I will be extremely eager and excited to try a new bunch of dishes when I next go there!

Just to wrap it up, I think that due to being opened for just a few months, SNCKBR has still some untapped potential, which, in my opinion, is bound to change as time goes by. Thus, if you happen to be around, whether you are vegan or not, do go to this restaurant and try some of their food. I doubt you will regret it. Plus, I am all for supporting any projects and businesses with true soul behind and that strive to make real positive impact on the community.

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*Two things worth noting:

  • This restaurant has also two other branches in Holland. One is located in Amsterdam and the other one in Eindhoven. However, the one in Utrecht is the only one that is 100% vegan.
  • The kitchen closes at 9pm

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

Karibu Cafe (Utrecht, The Netherlands)

There is nothing better than waking up right next to your significant other and slowly (but happily) realise that it is weekend. I can enjoy a slow start to my day, with no alarm to disable or rush to get up.

This was what happened last weekend. It was Saturday morning and my boyfriend and I decided to go for a hearty late breakfast at a recently opened cafe in town. Luckily, the weather was fairly warm and beautifully sunny and we had a lovely morning walk to the cafe.

The place we went to is called “Karibu Cafe” and is situated in Utrecht, Holland. It is an African inspired cafe that resembles a green oasis. I absolutely love the jungle vibes it irradiates.

 

The inside is very spacious, colourful and oh-so-pretty! I absolutely love the jungle vibes this cafe irradiates due to being filled with green plants and the use of wood all over it.

This is definitely the spot to chill with creative souls/your most beloved ones over some yummy food or to simply get some work done.

They also serve breakkie all day. How awesome is that? Seriously?

I ordered an Acai bowl that came with homemade granola and toasted nuts, avocado/raspberry/date mousse, chia pudding, coconut and seasonal fruits! It was so delightful and heavenly that just the thought of it waters my mouth! If you happen to come to this lovely cafe and feel like having a healthy (i.e. antioxidant-rich), refreshing and naturally sweet breakfast or snack, I’d totally recommend ordering it.

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My boyfriend went for the huevos rancheros that came with a crispy veggie tortilla topped with black beans, melted cheese, two fried eggs, fresh tomato salsa,
jalapeños and sour cream. According to him, if you feel like eating something savoury and are vegetarian (or just someone who eats animal products), then this would be also a tasty food option. He has also ordered a fresh homemade apple juice that did not disappoint.

 

What do I like the most about this coffee shop?

  • Hearty servings at a reasonable price. Plus, you can see and taste how food dishes are carefully prepared using fresh ingredients
  • The diverse vegan options available in the menu, from healthy salad bowls to naturally sweet treats and fresh cold pressed juices
  • The inviting atmosphere with fantastic light and welcoming touches of nature
  • Friendly and hospitable staff. I love going to places and feel that the staff are really happy to work there. They are friendly and welcoming not because they should be but because they genuinely want you to have a great experience
  • It is such a hidden gem! The fact that this cafe is tucked away, being situated just outside the city centre, is actually a plus for me. Otherwise, I am sure that it would be hard to find a place on a late Saturday morning

The only downside I would point out is its schedule: open from Wednesday till Saturday from 8:00am – 4:00pm. The opening and closing times during the weekdays and weekend are, sadly, not the most convenient for someone who has a full-time job.

Anyway and all in all, this place has not only met but also exceeded my expectations. It is a cafe with soul and a real paradise for foodies just like me. It has effortlessly became one of my absolute favourite places in town. ♥ So, if you happen to be around, please go to Karibu cafe and let it amaze you.

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

British rose hand cream from Body Shop

Heya there,

Today I am here to share my most recent skin care addiction: the British rose petal-soft hand cream from Body Shop.

My boyfriend kindly surprised me with this hand cream three weeks ago and I have been using it daily since then. I think he was pretty aware of the miserable state of my hands or perhaps just sick of hearing me complaining all the time about how my hands are dry and cracked ever since I moved to the Netherlands haha! Either way, offering me this hand cream was a really thoughtful gesture that I appreciated a lot. Plus, offering me this specific hand cream – from the “British Rose” Ultimate Collection – could not have been more appropriate given the fact that my boyfriend is British himself haha.

I know that the hand creams from Body Shop are super popular and probably most of you have or had one at some point but for some strange reason I had never had one from Body Shop myself. I have bought their body lotions, which I absolutely love, but never their hand creams. Anyway, that is about to change because I am loving this hand cream so far.  It is made with roses grown organically and hand-picked on a rose farm located in Herefordshire, England and it really smells like roses.

Things I love about this product:

  • Its pinky colour and long-lasting scent. It does not have an artificial scent like many hand creams have. Its strong fresh rose scent gives me all the Spring vibes!
  • Does the job perfectly: It leaves the skin moisturised and my hands feeling super soft.
  • It is quickly absorbed and does not leave your hands greasy
  • Perfect smooth texture: not too runny and not too thick
  • High quality affordable product (5,50€/ 30 ml)
  • Super handy size, making it perfect for on-the-go hydration. You can easily carry it wherever you go
  • There is no animal testing involved

For better results on really dry hands, and due to its quite light formula, I’d advise you to apply the cream thoroughly a few times a day. If you are not big on floral scents, you can always go for another scent. Bodyshop offers quite a wide range of fragranced hand moisturisers. Some of them are more mild than others so it is just a matter of you trying a few and see which one you like the most.

Have you tried this specific hand cream from Body Shop? If so, what do you think of it? Or do you use another hand cream from Body Shop? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

 

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful