Lucy and Yak - Ethical Fashion*

I don't know very much about fashion and I don't have a fashion niche to my blog whatsoever, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that 'fast fashion' has become a huge problem. I myself used to buy my fair share of clothes and take myself on retail therapy trips, buying way too many sets of pyjamas, tshirts, slippers and what was worst, was most of this stuff never lasted and ended up going in the bin. In 2017 I cut down on plastics around the house, switching bottles to bars, toothbrushes to bamboo alternatives and using cotton totes instead of plastic carriers. In 2018 I made a little pledge that I would become a lot more conscious about what clothing I was buying and I would attempt to be a lot more ethical which led me to finding Lucy and Yak. You may well remember my previous post when I got my first pair of their dungarees so imagine the look on my face when they got in touch last week. Eek.

After establishing that we share the same beliefs, I received two gorgeous pieces from their collections (which I was able to choose) and I'm going to tell you all about them. Oh em gee. The first thing I picked out was this set of dungarees in the Polly design, a limited edition and organic, stripy little number. These colours are completely me and despite being a shorty, they fit me pretty damn well. I usually go with a size small; I'm 5 ft 1 and between sizes 6-8 depending on where I shop and this set is a baggy oversized fit, just how they're meant to be. The fabric is a hand woven yarn, dyed using low impact dyes which are less harmful to the environment. This piece is £58 so a little more than their standard dungarees, but they are a limited edition and very special. Did I also mention comfortable? SO comfortable. They're also complete with pockets, one on either side and then another on the front, neatly finished with their signature logo aplique. 

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Next up I thought I'd go for one of their dresses, as last time I shopped with Lucy & Yak they only did dungarees so it's amazing to see them expanding their range and making even more adorable clothing. This is the Mini Pini in shade Ash Pink and again I went with a size small and this fits so, so well. The colour is lush and unlike the dungarees, the dresses are meant to be a snugger fit but the lovely soft, thick quality fabric makes it another comfortable outfit. Both pieces feature the little Lucy & Yak logo tag on the right side of the front pocket and these tend to be different colours, to contrast whichever piece you might have gone for. The dress also has cute little buttons down the sides with the Lucy & Yak branding stamped into them!

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak work extremely closely with their good friend Ismail, who they met after a searching far and wide for the perfect tailor and finally finding someone in India who had the same values and ethics as they did. They even helped to build the factory out in India, which over looks stunning farmland and desert, whilst the solar panels on the roof give power to the factory 100% of the time. It's complete with air conditioning to keep the staff cool too in the Indian heat. The team are very much like family and everyone involved are paid fair wages, from the workers out in India, to the staff back in the UK. As with the expansion of the clothing lines, Lucy & Yak are also now selling reusable produce bags and plastic free soaps as part of their Zero Waste Living range, along with a collection of cute accessories including socks, pins, belts, jewellery and even yoga mats!

They really are a brand I believe in and feel very lucky to have had this opportunity to work with them.

Let me know if you have any Lucy & Yaks!

Thanks for reading,

*The dungarees and dress were gifted to me by Lucy and Yak*

Vegan Recipe Diaries #2

I've been testing out SO much food recently and completely falling in love with following recipes and giving new meals a whirl. Let's kickstart this next instalment of the vegan recipe diaries with something savoury and delicious.

James actually spotted these over on Ela's Instagram and it didn't take long for me to screenshot the recipe and fetch the ingredients. Most of it we had anyway, like flours and spices due to our collection expanding by the week pretty much whilst following all of these amazing recipes. Which is another plus about cooking from scratch; once you have a lot of the ingredients already in your cupboard they usually aren't too expensive to make. These bad boys were cheap as chips! I made ours a little too large and I blame the husband who has eyes bigger than his belly. These kind of spread out a little more whilst cooking too and because of their sheer size I found I couldn't crisp them up as much as I wanted but that didn't stop them from being insanely good. They were seriously tasty and James took 3 to work the next day. Yes you heard me correctly, 3 of these enormous potato cakes. We'll absolutely be making these again, thanks Ela!

Turns out I like a challenge. I also like cinnamon. A lot. So when I spotted an easy recipe for vegan cinnamon rolls you bet your ass I was on it quicker than well, something that likes cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls are notoriously tricky to master but this recipe is supposed to be a condensed down version and fool proof. I haven't any experience with making rolls to compare that too, however after making this recipe once I have definitely worked out a few things I can get better at next time. The sizing for example, what is it with me and making things too bloody large?! My first crack at cinnamon rolls were still delicious but I want to tidy up the presentation and also make a slightly more manageable dough next time; mine was too loose now looking back and rather sticky. This recipe however, good lord it was fun to follow and full of tips. I'll definitely be returning to it for another go!

Creamy Pasta Sauce - A tip from the Woolley household
Not a recipe as such, but as we were trying to choose a pasta sauce in Tesco the other night I had a sudden brainwave and I'm not even sure if people do this anyway but up until this week we didn't think to try it. If you like a creamier tomato based sauce with your pasta, try adding a dollop or two of the Oatly Creme Fraiche and WOW it makes the sauce taste sooooo much better! We usually use just a standard Tesco's own pasta sauce and it's yummy anyway but adding the creme fraiche adds a whole other level of taste. Not entirely sure how we ever coped without it!

Do you remember last week I was raving about my love for cookies? Well I went back to Holly's blog and found another cookie recipe to try. Ohhh my goodness. THIS. We actually had some left over white chocolate from Christmas in our pantry and it was left because I don't particularly like it but I thought I'd chuck it into some cookies and I'd never know. I also whacked in one small bar of Tesco's free from milk chocolate and had the best of both worlds and golly, these cookies are way too nice. The cookie dough recipe alone was crazy good (yes I always taste it first...yum!) and I'll be bookmarking this one as an all time favourite.

So that completes another round of all the new vegan recipes I've been trying lately and I've found so much love in cooking and spending time in my kitchen, I'm always looking out for new things to try. Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading!

Vegan Recipe Diaries #1

I'm no professional chef or recipe creator but I sure do like food. I noticed recently I've been scouting out more and more recipes to try and rather than let them sit and fester on my Pinterest board without a further thought, I've been making the time at weekends to actually create the recipes I've been finding.

Being self employed as an illustrator, I find that weekends have been something I've had to work on a little in order to create a healthier work life balance. I work from home and if I'm not careful, I end up feeling consumed by my work and before you know it, you've got a massive slap of artists block on your hands or even impostor syndrome. Taking a step back and switching off is important, so cooking and baking for me really is something I love to do to wind down, relax, do something fun and get a finished product that's hopefully delicious at the end of it!

The idea of these new recipe diaries is I share what I've been trying and from my average Joe kitchen to my average Joe skill set, I'll be telling you how I found them in terms of making the food, was it hard, was it simple, was it expensive, was it even nice after all of that effort? I'll be linking to the recipes I find and use so you can try anything you fancy out for yourselves and overall, I thought it was a great way to capture all of the yummy meals and treats I hope to make this year.

vegan sausage roll, the little blog of vegan, vegan sausage

Now I've tried one or two of the fake meats and even the kits you can get to make your own vegan sausage and to be honest I don't think they're great. Plus a lot of it is processed rubbish which we're aiming to consume way less of this year. These little bites of deliciousness though are on a whole other level of yum. Their main ingredient is chickpeas to achieve the 'sausage' along with some herbs, spices, soy sauce, nuts and a couple of other things but they were SO EASY to make that I'm dying to make another batch. Very cheap, very simple, the recipe makes a very good sized batch and my whole family loved them. I'll also add that I'm slightly allergic to walnuts so I switched them for cashews and the recipe worked out perfect. They're fab for snacks and I put some in the husbands lunch box too, he think's they're amazing.

There's nothing we love more than a noodle soup dish so when I found this recipe I just had to give it a go. I did switch the dried shiitake mushrooms to fresh ones because they're a lot cheaper and I just chopped and dumped the whole pack in and it still turns out super tasty. I also leave out the ginger because I can't stand the stuff and as the recipe advises, leave it simmering for at least at hour to let the flavours deepen. There's only two of us eating so this broth recipe usually leaves me enough to drain, pop into a jar once cooled and then fridge or freeze it for next time. We make some teriyaki tofu to chuck on top and use vermicelli noodles along with gem lettuce, grated carrot, some chopped spring onions and anything else we fancy. You can switch the toppings up to whatever you enjoy and again it's a really cheap meal, with enough broth left over for another meal next time.

vegan broth, vegan ramen broth, vegan food, vegan food blog, vegan japanese food

Finishing nicely with a sweet treat, I'll try out any new vegan friendly cookie recipe I can find so when I spotted these whilst visiting Holly's blog (same time I saw the sausage roll recipe!) I had to save it to try them that same weekend. These again were very simple to make, cheap (although I had to fork out for expensive cocoa powder when Tesco's own brand was sold out when I shopped for ingredients, boo!) and you could easily switch up the chocolate to include some vegan friendly white chocolate chunks or drizzle too.

vegan cookies

We really liked the finished cookies but they were very cakey and more on the spongey side than a chewy and crunchy cookie, but that's probably down to the fact they were a 'brownie cookie' and not a regular style, plus it didn't stop them from being delicious!

vegan cookies

So that's it for my first set of recipes that I tried throughout January and I already have a couple ready and tested for the February post! Let's just say, cinnamon rolls and amaretto biscuits? I must find something savoury to have a crack at as well!

Thanks for reading!

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