Our Thailand Honeymoon

When it came time to plan out honeymoon we knew going away straight after the wedding, in May, wasn't an option. A Christmas getaway was soon on the cards and we chose Thailand on account of the value, the weather - which was supposed to be good at Christmas, and the overall wellness and health vibe which is key for us. 

We flew out on the 20th of December and it felt so strange to be going away, but also if I'm being honest, a huge relief! We flew via Dubai to Phuket and our first hotel was about a 2 hour drive from there.  

Where we stayed - 

In Kao Lak we stayed in a hotel called The Sarojin. 

In hindsight this turned out to be our favourite place. Situated on such peaceful grounds with access directly onto the beach what set here apart was the service. We found Thai people to be so friendly but here it was on another level. They were so obliging and kind and we really switched off here. 

We arrived jet lagged and exhausted but quickly slipped into a blissful routine of lazy (available all day) breakfasts here followed by poolside or beachside reading. This was a hotel that ticks every box if you are happy with peace, quiet and comfort. We spent Christmas Day here and I've such happy memories of feeling so relaxed and content. I didn't know what to expect being away for such a significant day but being somewhere really special made it memorable. 

Merry Christmas from Thailand
Beautiful yellow dress

We did a cooking course here where they brought us to the Thai Market- which is not for the squeamish - and I saw fruits and vegetables I didn't even know existed - as well as all the fresh produce like the Tofu wrapped in banana leaf, as well as all the spices and nuts. Afterwards we cooked three dishes and it instantly reminded me what I love so much about Thai food, it's quick, simple, and so tasty. 

Holly White, Thailand Honeymoon
Holly White, Thailand honeymoon
On the beach in Thailand Holly White, Thailand Honeymoon

 

Next up we moved onto a hotel called Sri Panwa.

We liked here but it's a very vast estate and I missed the intimacy of the Sarojin. House music pumps throughout the day by the pool areas and there is a buzz and sense of fun here. It's definitely more lively and they had a DJ on the decks overlooking the pool during the day also. 

Thailand Honeymoon vegan wellness

The fitness facilities are amazing and there are lavish tennis courts, a big gym with a boxing ring and yoga classes daily. In particular the sunset yoga was amazing. The class was challenging which I was delighted about and the setting was so beautiful. I will fault the food here. It was standard European pricing, which is actually expensive for Thailand, and most evenings we went into the local town and ate there. There was also cheap Thai Massage nearby open till 11 which we definitly indulged in on a few nights. 

Meditation Holly White, Thailand Honeymoon, yoga
Cute stripe shirt and pants Holly White, Thailand Honeymoon

We rented a mopead and Andrew found some amazing Muay Thai gyms about 30 minutes away. Along that strip there was also a dedicated vegan cafe which we loved. 

Holly White, Thailand Honeymoon, Reflection
On our Honeymoon, Holly White

Lastly we spent three days in Bangkok and to be honest we could have done without them and been just as happy. We stayed in the Banyan Tree hotel which comes highly recommended but we actually had to move from our first room as it smelled of smoke. On the 60th floor of the hotel is the vertigo bar which does have the most incredible view and feels very cosmopolitan. 

Two great places we ate in include Broccoli Revolution - which is one of the coolest vegan places I have ever been into, and Veganerie which we found thanks to a great instagram recommendation. 

Fashion luxe style, cute yellow sandals
cute yellow dress, Holly White, Banyan tree hotel, Bangkok

All in all we were gone 12 days and we honestly agreed it had exceeded expectations. It's so true that travel broadens the mind. I came home with so much inspiration for recipes and we both felt charged up and refreshed! 

Have you been to Thailand ? Let me know your favourite places in the comments below!

Love

 
Holly_signature 2.png
 
cute green dress, Holly White, Thailand Honeymoon.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups

There are very few vegan chocolates you can buy easily and often they are quite expensive. These are a real treat and are very easy to make. I had to hide these in the freezer as the temptation to reach for another, and then anther becomes too much! 

I use shop bought chocolate here as raw chocolate needs to be tempered for it to not immediately melt in room temperate. It's a long process taking a minimum of an hour and I'll do a full post on it soon. What I like about these is they are quick to prepare and an easy introduction to vegan chocolate. 

How to make Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups 


Ingredients

200g of high quality vegan dark chocolate - minimum 70% cocoa solids. 

1/2 a teaspoon of coconut oil 

2 Tablespoons of Almond Butter

1 Tablespoon of Agave or Maple Syrup

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Milk - from a can - the creamy part at the top. 

1 heaped teaspoon of oats

1 Pinch of Sea salt 

10 Almonds. I used the Himalayan Salted Nutmost.  


Method

Create a double boiler by simmering water in a saucepan and placing a second pan or heat resistant bowl on top of the water. 

Break the chocolate up and melt it in the bowl. 

I have a silicone cupcake tray so there was no need to line it but if your's is metal you will need to insert cupcake holders or baking paper into the tray. 

Pour in 1 spoon of chocolate into the moulds and place the tray in the freezer to cool for at least twenty minutes. 

Make your caramel by warming the coconut oil in a pan. Add the agave, coconut cream and the almond butter and stir continuously to combine. Do not taste this while it's in the pan as it gets really hot. When combined remove from the heat and add a small pinch of salt and the oats and stir to blend it all together.  It should be a thick paste. 

Remove the tray from the freezer and working quickly spoon a small 1/2 teaspoon amount onto all the chocolate cups and press down the almond into it. Top with the remaining melted chocolate and return to the fridge for at least an hour to set. 

Enjoy! 


Let me know if you make these?!

Love, 

 
How to make Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Cups
 

Berry and Coconut Cream Vegan Pancakes

Berry and Coconut Cream Vegan Pancakes

I set out to make these today - the day before pancake Tuesday - thinking it would be easy to make a vegan pancake. Four attempts later I had an extremely messy kitchen, a near empty pantry and a full dishwasher but these simple delicious creations. In the end the simpler methods worked better which I am delighted as I wanted to make something that used easily accessible ingredients. 

Arrowroot naturally thickens and will create a fluffier lighter pancake. If you make the batter first and then the coconut and raspberry layers, which take about twenty minutes, even that is enough time. The batter holds overnight also if you find there's more than you can eat in one sitting. 

I topped these with the Nutmost Maple Walnuts and they add a lovely bit of crunch. Even if you don't like walnuts, you have to try these! They are so delicious that I actually polished off the two bags I had for decoration. 

Vegan raspberry and coconut pancakes, holly white

pancakes 

Let me know what you think of these and most importantly -Happy Pancake Tuesday! 

Love, 

 
Vegan raspberry and coconut pancakes, holly white
 

Vegan Mushroom Tagliatelle

Vegan Mushroom Tagliatelle

My favourite meal used to be creamy mushroom pasta but if I am honest I always felt bloated and full when I ate the traditional dish many years ago before I transitioned to a plant based diet. This is a version of it that's just as satisfying and creamy but I find it so much lighter and easy to digest. The addition of the olive tapenade balances out the sweetness of the coconut and makes it really special. Thankfully this is quick and very easy to prep! 

vegan mushroom tagliatelle, Holly White

Mushroom tagliatelle

Let me know what you think? 

Till next week!

Love, 

 
Holly white
 
vegan mushroom tagliatelle, Holly White

Vegan Sheperd's Pie

Vegan Sheperd's Pie

When I first transitioned towards a plant based diet (more on why >here< ) it was Summer and light dishes felt nourishing. As I moved towards the colder months I really craved comfort foods that would be warming and satisfying. 

This Shepardless Pie ticks all the boxes. It's actually quick enough to prepare with just two pots, as well as the casserole dish it will be served in used, and bar lots of chopping and some stirring, there's no great effort involved. 

In terms of the filling I have used lentils which are a great source of protein and easily available. Adding in the walnuts, which are totally optional, gives a great almost chewy texture. If you happened to have a bottle of red wine open adding some in would make it even more tasty. 

In other news having completed a screen test I had my first ever vegan chef appearance on The Six O'clock Show last night and I made this. Thankfully it went down a treat and honestly it was the nicest feeling ever coming home and opening up all your lovely messages. I have put so much time and effort into trialing this recipie countless times and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you are meal prepping you could easily make mini ramekins, just ensure they are thoroughly defrosted before popping into the oven for twenty minutes to heat up. 

Shepard pie

 

Let me know if you make these at home? What did you think?

Love, 

 
Holly_signature 2.png
 
Vegan Shepards pie

Self Help, That Really Helped.

Self Help, That Really Helped.

The sad reality is that you most likely wont reach your thirties without having to work some personal issues out. 

Spiralized Courgetti With Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Olives

Spiralized Courgetti With Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Olives

For a while Courgetti were a big thing on Instagram and I bought into it, but initially hated the taste. People suggested cooking them, or that they were similar to pasta and I found both were wrong! 

I've researched it a lot and now make them this way at all my demonstrations as a gentle introduction into eating raw and I am always amazed at the response. So many people say this is their favourite thing they have tasted at the end of the day. A quick note on Spiralizers - you can get them cheaply from about €4 in supermarkets but my advice is spend a little more and get a better horizontal one as I have heard too many reports of accidents and injuries from the hand ones. This is the one that I use. 

Also because this is such a simple dish - quality of ingredients will show. For the oil go for extra virgin olive oil if you can and for salt I love Maldron Sea salt. 

Spiralized courgetti, holly white, vegan, Dublin

Courgetti

If you have any questions or if you make this let me know in the comments below!

Also I am delighted to say that my next cooking class is taking place in the Donnybrook Fair Cookery School on the 7th March 7 -> 9.30 pm. The group is limited to 12 people so will be really intimate and fun and in the 2 1/2 hours we will cover so much! For more information and to book in see >here<

Lots of love, 

 
Holly White Signature
 
Spiralized Courgetti with slow roast Tomatoes, Holly White, Vegan Food.

My Essential Social Tips For Transitioning To A Vegan Diet

My Essential Social Tips For Transitioning To A Vegan Diet

Based on the idea that it takes 21 days to change a habit Beyonce and Jay Z famously went vegan for 22 days back in 2013. “The benefits of a plant-based diet need to be known,” Beyoncé wrote in an email to the Times. “We should spend more time loving ourselves, which means taking better care of ourselves with good nutrition and making healthier food choices.”

While I am not a fan of dramatic changes or doing things just because they are trendy, there’s no doubt Veganism is a big thing.  Lots of people are committing to eating without any animal products and having gone through it all myself, I've a lot of experience with the challenges you will face. 

Personally, I cut out meat and chicken overnight but stayed eating very small amounts of dairy and fish, mainly in social situations, for about 6 months. That worked for me and the idea of going cold turkey vegan is pretty dramatic. Whatever stage you're at these are my tips!

Holly White Gives the best tips in how to transition to Vegan

The First Rule of going Vegan…Don’t Talk About Going Vegan
 

Remember that you are doing this because you have chosen to, and it’s your decision. You do not have the right to make a decision on what other people choose to do or bore them to tears or give out to them for eating sausage rolls in front of you.

Let people be drawn in by how good your food looks or how well you seem to be feeling, not because you are holding a knife to their neck unless they swap sushi for soy with you.

Holly White Vegan, Avocado Toast, Dublin

Stay Social


Do not use veganism as an excuse to isolate yourself. If I am honest I prefer the term plant-based when speaking about my diet. Veganism is an entire lifestyle that extends to excluding, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. This means not going to Zoos, wearing any form of leather or wool or using any cosmetics that have animal ingredients so be aware it's not just about the food. 

Whilst I think it’s admirable that some people commit to changing every element of their lifestyle, any step someone chooses to take is a positive one in my opinion, even if it’s just swapping to plant-based milk in their coffee or making sure their cosmetics are cruelty-free. 

Holly White Avocado Toast, vegan, Dublin

Be Flexible When Life Gets in The Way


Whilst this might be controversial, these are my feelings and there isn’t really a rule book. Be flexible on your strict veganism when eating out or in your friends’ houses. If I was preparing food for a dinner party, getting a litany of dietary requests would drive me mad, so I try not to be that person.

Food is a social way to come together and the company and atmosphere takes precedence for me. My stance on eating has always been control what I can, go with the flow otherwise, and I try to never make anyone feel awkward.

Don’t ruin a dinner party or sit with an empty plate making everyone feel awkward. Eat well before and try what you like and don’t draw too much attention to yourself. I always offer to bring a dish that I know I can eat and honestly it makes me really happy when I see others enjoying it too! 

Holly White, vegan treats, Dublin

Get Educated And Excited
 

Rather than thinking about what you are missing out on, you need to focus on what you will gain. There are countless websites and blogs with amazing healthy recipes and easy meal swaps. https://veganuary.com can even send you through coaching for the 31 days and has so many resources. I also think instagram is amazing for recipe ideas.

When we travel, I will always ask my followers to recommend places to eat or places that serve awesome coffee. Make sure to use a few hashtags of the place you are going to and hopefully you will get some great recommendations. Social media is a free resource and we should use it to our advantage.

Holly White, Vegan Dublin, Chocolate Vegan Cookies

Ring Ahead

I am continuously amazed at how much effort restaurants go to and how happy they are to accommodate, as long as you give them notice. If you’re making a booking anywhere it literally takes 30 seconds to let them know, and it will make your dining out experience memorable for the right reasons.

Otherwise, I have put together some gorgeous meals from side dishes in lots of places. There’s always an option and refer to point 3 once again, it’s about the company first and foremost.

Holly White, ISPCA, Vegan, Dublin

Nutritional Yeast is Bae

Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite amongst many vegans because of its nutty ‘cheesy’ flavour. (Bon Appetit even calls it “nature’s Cheeto dust” – it’s that cheesy and that good). It is also a really good source of vitamin B12, so if you’re vegan, it’s a good idea to add some to your food regularly.

Check the labelling to make sure it has the B12 added as not all brands do. Sprinkle some on hot popcorn or add a generous spoonful to a stir fry or pasta sauce. If you’re making vegan Mac and cheese this is essential. You will find it in most health food stores or they will easily source it for you.

Holly White, Vegan Cheesecake, Raspberry and Lemon Cake, Dublin

Thai Food is Your Friend


If you are craving a takeaway, the most failsafe option is a really good Thai curry with loads of veggies and tofu. It’s so satisfying and readily available.

I always thought the nicest part of any curry was the sauce and have never missed chicken or prawns from it. This is an easy thing to order when the Sunday night takeaway cravings come!

Holly White, vegan Curry, Dublin

Watch a Few Documentaries
 

There are loads of great documentaries on Netflix and Youtube now. There’s no doubt things will be challenging as eating meat, fish and dairy are very ingrained in our way of life but understanding the difference you are making by adopting a vegan diet is very rewarding.

For me, watching Earthlings, Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy (which is produced by eco warrior Leonardo Dicaprio) changed my mindset entirely. I hadn’t made a connection between what I was eating and the conditions, and sadly death, that was a requisite step to get the meat to my table.

Whilst I know there are some incredible producers who genuinely care and respect their animals, I find it hard to comprehend how people eat things such as foie gras, battery eggs or veal which are openly known to be associated with cruelty.

A fun fact also is that by going plant-based, you save 1,100 gallons of water, 30sq ft of forested land, 20lbs CO2 equivalent and one animals life every single day (via @farmacyuk )

Holly white, Tom Cat, Black Cat, Dublin

Meal Prep


The best €10 you can possibly spend is on some Tupperware in the €2 shop. Pick a day of the week and batch cook some roasted veggies, brown rice, hummus, grilled tofu, make a jar of curry paste, some energy balls and you are set up for a few days.

I also find that my food bills are way cheaper than before. Some trips to the health food store are a little more expensive but on a day-to-day basis it’s very cheap to eat this way.

Holly White, Vegan Dublin, Smoothie Bowl

Know That Dublin Has a Vegan Chipper

A few months back I went on a vegan food tour and they showed us where to get Vegan Baileys (Bow Lane), epic vegan pizza (Milano do a really nice one too) and we ended up in McGuinness’s on Camden street for a vegan chipper.
They have a whole separate fryer for vegan burgers, chips, nuggets, sausages all made with Moodley Maonor produce, which is epic. If you are missing the texture of meat this hits the spot. Guinness is also vegan now. Previously it was filtered through a fish bladder…thankfully that’s stopped but know that whilst others are having a dry January, Guinness is something you can enjoy (sensibly).

I'm always sharing places that cater to my plant based diet and recipies over on my instagram so be sure to follow me there -> Instagram.com/hollywhite.ie

If I can be of any help - just comment below - or ask me on Twitter or Instagram. 

Lots of love, 

 
Holly_signature.png
 
Holly White, Vegan, Dublin, Plant based guide

How I Make Vanilla Almond Milk

How I Make Vanilla Almond Milk

Whilst I love that now most coffee shops will all have dairy-free options and it's amazing that nearly every supermarket has a wall full of plant based milks, nothing beats the taste of making your own. 

I go through phases of relying on the convenient approach but alway come back to this quick and easy recipie. 

You can store the almonds in water in your fridge for up to a week and you can also freeze them in batches once soaked. 

Vanilla Almond Milk, Holly White
How to make Vanilla Almond Milk, Holly White

6 Rules To Live By in 2018*

6 Rules To Live By in 2018*

As I am writing this we are nearing the end of January but it's been a busy and challenging month and got me thinking about a few rules I want to make for myself. These are the rules I will live by in 2018 and I though you might be interested! 

Buy Sustainably And Well

Grey Jacket - buy >Here<

Grey Jacket - buy >Here<

Last year I discovered Marie Kondo. I've watched lots of her videos and really love the concept. I've done a few clear-outs in both my wardrobe and also my beauty drawers raising over €450 for the ISPCA in the process! What I discovered going through my clothes was that the things that might have been a little bit of a stretch or investment were what I wanted to hang onto. Of course things like white t-shirts, socks and underwear need to be regularly rotated but in general I found that when I had prioritised buying well - at whatever price range- those pieces stayed in the 'keep' pile. I also want to support more local boutiques like my long-term favourite Bow and Pearl, which has recently moved to the Swan Centre. I always find very cute pieces in there and have been living in a pair of jeans and a jumper I picked up recently and this leather jacket and dress were perfect for layering in London. When it gets warmer I'll wear the dress with bare legs and sandals. 

Bronagh, the owner, has such a good eye for curating the perfect 'casual smart' wardrobe. I always feel your business is really appreciated in local boutiques and it's such a pleasure to shop in places like her's. 

Don't Be Afraid To Evolve

One of the best business books of all time apparently, is also a very quick read. I read Who Moved My Cheese a few years ago and it never ceases to amaze me how the simple storyline is so relevant. The premise is that change is inevitable and adapting is a skill we must all learn for survival. It's told through the eyes of mice and very sweet! 

This past year was my first as a full-time blogger and towards the latter half of it, after my wedding, I found the confidence to start showing my passion for plant based food and started sharing some recipies and doing demonstrations. I have just completed a weeks' vegan chef training and this weekend I am doing two demonstrations in Kildare Village - to book in see >here< It feels scary moving into new territory but what I feel it'll be an interesting year career-wise for sure! 

Read More

Before we went on honeymoon I bought a Kindle and it's been one of the best things possible. I've read more fiction in the past two months than I had in the past two years. I had really missed that feeling of escaping into a book and switching off, and forgotten how important it is to let our minds de-focus from social media and online news. 

I have a huge list of recommendations from you all and will hopefully work my way though them all. My advice would be- if there's a book you've been longing to read, or you want to catch up on the classics, prioritise it. We all need a switch off from the news, from our phones and even from reality for a few moments. 

Mind My Health

I used to pride myself on having good health consistently, until this year, assuming that a good diet kept me on the right side of things. All this changed when I went to an event the week I got back from Honeymoon. 

Someone beside me mentioned they were recovering from a really bad flu and I reassured them that I would be fine. Queue two days later I was spluttering, coughing and suffering from the worst aches I have ever experienced. We had planned a weekend in London, and although I got there, most of our plans had to be cancelled and when we made it out I was ordering hot water for Lemsip rather than wine. I then did 6 days of Plant Based Chef training with said flu and to be honest I am only now feeling OK. I passed it onto Andrew as well though... I learnt a lot about the fact that we are not immune and also how even with a flu, life has to go on, miserably so, and it's not worth taking any risks. 

I've since stocked up on a really strong Vitamin C - Altrient C - which I take every day now as well as a probiotic. I'm not taking any chances, if someone says they're sick, they're doing you a favour and it's not rude to give them a little space. 

Maintain Essential Friendships & Allow New People In

I wish someone had told me that just as life evolves, so too do friendships and social circles. I'm the kind of person that nostalgically clings onto the past 'just because'. I'm a very loyal friend, which is a good thing, but I'm not great at letting new people in. I hope this year I can relax on the latter and allow new friendships to form based on connection, not just because I've known someone for a decade! 

Taylor Swift Knows What's Up

Taylor Swift's latest album has been playing on rotation on my Spotify ever since it came out. After a relative silence for most of 2017 the album came back strong. What sticks with me the most is the title 'Reputation'

The past few weeks have seen a lot of revelations in the blogging world. The novelty has worn off and followers are becoming far more discerning. If bloggers are earning off their influence, readers and followers now know they have a say in the matter, and exercise a pretty powerful right to easily unfollow if they don't like what they see. Your reputation in whatever field is the most important thing you will ever own. More than ever I feel this is the year of upholding our reputations online, in real life, in everything. I am so grateful for the community I have online here and hope to continue to create the kind of content you love and share the fun! 

Excited for the year ahead! 

Lots of love, 

 
Holly_signature 2.png
 

Shop the look - Jacket >Here<  Dress >Here<

Shot by Sarah Blake in Pall Mall in London. 

*This post is created in collaboration with Bow and Pearl Boutique.

My Tech Christmas Gift Ideas*

My Tech Christmas Gift Ideas*

When it comes to Christmas gifts I always say you should never give a gift you wouldn't be happy to receive.  This year Currys PC World invited me in to pick out my gift recommendations and I was spoiled for choice. In choosing these items I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to pick some really special pieces that everyone would love! 

The best tech christmas gifts for everyone

Lumie Bodyclock Active 250

We all know a lack of sleep affects almost every area in your life. I took up yoga a few months ago and waking up in the pitch black to get to a class feels wrong. I've heard a lot about Lumee Lights and how much gentler they are on your body. Proven to help with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by helping to light darker mornings the Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 has both gradual sunrise and sunset options over durations between 15 and 90 minutes. These help you to feel brighter from waking to a natural sunrise and to drift off to sleep gently using white noise to mask background noises.

There are also a selection of sounds to use to help you sleep and wake up, including waves, a rooster call and an alarm beep. You can also use it as a radio if you have a station you like to wake up to as well. This is such a thoughtful gift and something whoever you give it to will use every single day, and night. 

Price €119.99.  Buy > Here <

Price €119.99.  Buy > Here <


Goji Collection Wireless Rose Gold Headphones

Once you listen to music on proper headphones, the difference is amazing and it's hard to consider going back. Whilst doubling up as very cute ear muffs these headphones charge up for 14 hours worth of play, if that runs out you can just use them with the cord. What I love is you can keep your hands free for calls or just listening to your music as they have a built-in microphone and a remote for adjusting volume levels and skipping tracks without taking your device out of your pocket. For any music lover these are the perfect gift. 

Price €64.99 Buy >Here<

Price €64.99 Buy >Here<


HP Sprocket Mobile Photo Printer

The one thing I really don't like about about digital photos is that I rarely ever print them. My wedding album may well be waiting far beyond next Christmas by the time I get round to sorting it. The HP Sprocket might not be suitable for printing a whole wedding album but the compact (pocket-sized at just 2 x 3”) printer lets you create stickable durable water-resistant smudge-proof snapshots whenever the moment strikes. You sync it via an app and it's very quick to set up and use. You can add borders and designs and also similar to a polaroid, the ink is embedded in the paper, so you don't need to buy separate ink for it. 

Price €159.99. Buy >Here<

Price €159.99. Buy >Here<


Ion Turntable 

For the music lover this Ion Turntable is more than just a record player. With EZ vinyl converter software included, you can convert your 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records and play them back in incredible digital quality, giving you the best of both worlds. If you know someone who has a pile of records they want to digitise, this is the solution! 

The software will guide you through the process step by step - just use the included USB cable to connect to your home computer. It senses gaps between songs and save them as separate MP3 files, letting you create an impressive digital archive. Restore your classic vinyl and enjoy the portable convenience of digital formats with the ION Max LP Turntable. You can also connect the Max LP to other audio sources like a cassette deck, MP3 player or smartphone using the 3.5 mm aux input. It also looks incredible !

Price - €99.99. Buy >Here<


I hope you enjoyed those recommendations! 

Happy Shopping!

Lots of love, 

 
Holly white signature
 

Photography - Johnny McMillan. 

*Thank you to Currys PC World for collaborating with me on this post. 

Butternut Squash and Tofu Curry

Butternut Squash and Tofu Curry

I batch cook the curry paste for this and have it to hand when I want a super quick dinner. When it comes to veggies if you want this ready and cooked within a few minutes use things that will cook quickly: sugar snap peas, beans, mushrooms, thin sliced carrots, courgettes and spinach. 

Here I have used squash as I think it's such a comforting winter vegetable and with the added tofu and chickpeas this is filling and naturally rich in vegan protein. 

I hope you enjoy!

https://www.kulinarian.com/recipes/butternut-squash-tofu-and-chickpea-curry?embed=link

Tofu and Chickpea vegan curry

Wellness & Beauty Gifts Anyone Would Love

Wellness & Beauty Gifts Anyone Would Love

When it comes to giving present guides I wanted to compile a list of things that fell into the beauty realm but were easy enough to purchase without worrying about getting the right shade or colour which can be really stressful. All of these are beautiful, timeless items I honestly think anyone would love! 

Scent is a really personal thing but there are two products I am using all the time. I met the owner of FloraPlusFiona and she told me about her fabulous blends and body oils but what instantly caught my eye was this Carry on Travel Oil.  It's a mix of oils that are historically known to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Ravintsara, Sweet Marjoram, Niaouli, zesty Lemon and sweet Red Orange. Roll Carry-on Oil over pulse points and breathe in deeply at departure and in-flight for a natural support. If you know anyone travelling a lot, this is a really thoughtful gift. 

Creed Virgin Island Water was designed to evoke the scent of the Caribbean. I don't typically like sweet scents but this is on another, entirely more sophisticated, level to other perfumes. I attended a scent masterclass and when you learn about the work that goes into creating a scent like this it takes on a whole other dimension. Simultaneously fresh and warm, this uplifting scent radiates Jamaican lime and coconut and honestly smells like paradise. 

Closer to home and moving into stocking fillers these Human and Kind Deep Cleansing Cloths are so incredibly soft that after using them you would find it hard to go back to using a facecloth on your face. They are reasonable enough to stockpile them up so you can daily rate them to keep them hygienic and freshly laundered. 

Lastly when it comes to my hair products I am constantly looking out for sulphate and paraben free brands. Amika Nourishing mask has Jojoba Seed Oil,Vitamin C, the antioxidant that assists in hair growth and sea buckthorn and is safe for color-treated, Brazilian-treated and Keratin-treated hair. It's a really fun brand and my hair felt super smooth. 

The Trish Mcevoy Make Up Planner is one of the most unique things. Every year I swear I will get organised. It's safe to say there is space to improve but this little wallet holds so much. You buy the wallet and then the individual inserts but it's cleverly designed to really maximise space. For someone who hates digging into their handbag to find their lipstick, this will be a godsend. 

Jo Loves is a really special company. I have now read Jo Malone's book which I recommend to anyone who wants a good Christmas read and I feel she's a true beauty legend. Her perfumes are gorgeous and I have written a lot about wearing White Rose and Lemon Leaves on my wedding day. Her candles are equally sublime and literally only need to be burned for a few minutes to get the scent throughout the room. The Christmas Candle is luxurious from the moment it arrives in a crisp white box and the thickest red ribbon. The scent itself is layers of fresh pine, aromatic lavender, incense and amber on top of Plum Pudding, full of candied citrus fruits, which rests upon a base Log Fires. It comes with a glass lid to protect it from dust. 

Lastly this year whilst writing our thank you cards after the wedding I realised how much a simple card or note is appreciated. Whilst it's definitely more convenient to text or email, a handwritten note means so much. One way of making it a little easier is to get nice cards and paper, or in this case hope to be given them. Monoset do gorgeous gift boxes and have great templates that make it very easy to select what details you want on the cards. I think these would make anyone happy! If you use the code Holly30 you get 30% discount also! 

Anyway those are just a few ideas and suggestions if you are at a loose end, or need a post to send onto someone dropping a not so subtle hint!

Lots of love, 

 
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My Beauty Christmas Gift Ideas

My Beauty Christmas Gift Ideas

When it comes to Christmas beauty it's all about feeling a little luxurious! 

This is the time when the packaging is so important and I always think it's the perfect time to treat yourself or someone you love to something they have had their eye on for a while. 

Assuming you have the basics (foundation, mascara, moisturiser) covered these are my top picks for either gifting to self or giving to someone you love. All are cruelty free, most natural and everything is something I would adore to receive ;-) 

Bare Minerals Box of Wonder

Literally the only advent calendar I would want is the Bare Minerals one. There is over €250 worth of gorgeous natural products in such nice shades. Also they have one of the most stunning highlighter kits, which also has some shades that would work for eyeshadow also, in a gorgeous box. You Had Me At Glow is exclusive to Brown Thomas here in Ireland, or online >here<


Christian Louboutin Metalissme Christmas Nail and Lip Colours. 

Christian Louboutin Nail Polish and Lip Gloss are also exclusive to Brown Thomas and here the packaging is spectacular. It's so so striking and complete dressing table furniture. I was lucky enough to trial these shades. I've always wondered about these real luxury pieces, and what I will say is that the shade is universally flattering. Even if someone said that red lipstick didn't suit them, I would advise them to pay the concession in Brown Thomas a visit and try it out. I loved it on and noticed five hours later it was still perfect. 

Fenty Beauty Holiday Edition

Rihanna's make up collection came out this year and feels as if it has been here forever. She filled an much needed space for products that were universal, suitable for a diverse range of skin tones, fun and also extremely high quality. The pigments are beautiful and can effortlessly be layered. Two pieces I loved from the Cosmic Galaxy holiday collection are Spacesuit lipgloss- which when applied even over bare lips makes them pop and Alien Bae liquid eyeliner which makes a simple cat flick just a little more festive with a subtle turquoise glitter. 

Fenty Beauty Holiday edition

Facial and Body Oils

With Winter weather and central heating our skin needs more nourishment than ever. These are three gorgeous facial and body products that any natural beauty lover would be thrilled to receive! 

For really glowy skin I am a huge fan of laying the right foundation, before your actual foundation. For my eye area if I am going out and need a lift I love the Tata Harper Illuminating eye cream and I also like to layer little of this Combray Oil before my foundation. My skin goes very chalky if I don't the right priming bases under it and this is a great help. It's full of grapeseed oil and anti-oxidants and really nourishes. For my body I use Bare Chic Skin Glistening Body oil. It smells of jasmine and leaves your legs so sparkly and nourished. 


Extra Sparkle!

Cover FX is new to Arnotts in Dublin and I had the pleasure of trying out the range. Hero products are this illuminating primer which any beauty lover would be thrilled with and the custom drops - which are like liquid gold which you can dilute as you like to get the consistency of shimmer you want. Equally Penney's has come out with some fabulous highlighters. I particularly like this one called Brunch club and also love the Wet N'Wild vegan brush range and have been using what is actually a foundation Brush to apply it. Both together would be a lovely stocking filler and well under €15 for the 2. Lastly a specific setting powder for under the eye are feels like a total luxury but once you've tried this it will make total sense. Laura Mercier secret brightening powder is made to keep under your eyes set and looking fresh and bight. It will last a long time and if you know someone who is really into make up this will be a much loved and appreciated gift and it's 1 shade fits all so you wont need to worry about matching them up. 


You can see how I use most of the products here! 

I hope you loved all of those and if you have any more questions on any items feel free to comment below! 

X Lots of love, 

 
Holly White Signature
 

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A Wellness Weekend In Knockranny House Hotel

A Wellness Weekend In Knockranny House Hotel

Last weekend I was invited with some other journalists to a Wellness Weekend led by Melanie Walsh at Knockranny House Hotel.
 
Melanie is a Kundalini yoga teacher and she also practices sound therapy and brings a strong focus on the ancient shamanic healing tradition into her practice. It came at the perfect time. 2017 has been a really intense year and I felt my energy was a little lower the past few weeks. The idea of switching off and exploring some different therapies and yoga for a weekend sounded like heaven. 

I checked in on Friday night and was immediately blown away by the size of the room and the comfort. The bed was enormous and there was a whole separate seating area with a couch. The bathroom was also equally generous and had a jacuzzi bath as well as shower and twin sinks. 

After an early night we started Saturday off with Kundilani yoga which feels gentle initially but is actually highly detoxing. Melanie, the teacher, had a way of injecting humour into it and explaining why each step was important and by then end of it when we were relaxing in savasanah she did a guided mediation. After a quick breakfast it was time for a spirilina body wrap and mini facial in Spa Salveo. 

After treatments you could use the aromatherapy grotto, herbal sauna, scented steam room, monsoon shower and hydrotherapy body massage stations but I chose to have a quick lunch in the bar - which was at our leisure- and then went for a walk. 

In the afternoon we had a sound bath which is an ancient sound-healing practice whereby the you relax in a reclining position  and allow the healing sounds of traditional musical performances to bath over you. The music is typically generated by such instruments and methods as singing bowls, gongs, drumming, tuning forks and chanting. This was a deeply moving experience and it's hard to put into words how intense it was, and also how spine tinglingly incredible you feel during it. 

Afterwards we had some time to chill out and take all the energy in. I felt very emotional and it's definitely not something to underestimate. That night we had dinner in the restaurant La Fougere which was lovely but feeling exhausted I was equally excited to go back to the gorgeous room for a long bath and bed. 

What struck me was how deeply I slept that night. I felt exhausted the next day, as if a big reset button had been hit and whilst I was there the wheels were in motion. We had a last yoga class with Melanie and even though it had only been a few days I think we were all extremely grateful and also surprised by how healing the weekend had been. 

We had a final treatment of a massage in the spa and then the weekend had come to an end. 

The next Wellness Weekend Weekend is happening on the 19th & 20th January and
includes 2 nights stay with breakfast each morning, lunch in the Brehon Bar on Saturday as well as dinner in La Fougére, a spa treatment on each day, all the yoga, the sound bath and use of the thermal suites throughout.  

Price €299pps for more information see knockrannyhousehotel.ie

Knockranny House Hotel Yoga Weekend

Announcing The 2017 Yonka Christmas Gift Sets*

Announcing The 2017 Yonka Christmas Gift Sets*

For nearly two years now I have worked with Yonka Skincare as one of their ambassadors here in Ireland and I've learnt so much more than I ever imagined about plant based natural skincare. Hand on heart it truly is one of the most beautiful skincare ranges that heals on every level. My skin has never looked better and barely a week goes by where I don't receive a message online from a follower who has discovered the range and fallen in love with the products and treatments. 

With Christmas literally around the corner I thought I would talk you through the gorgeous Christmas gift sets which would make anyone happy come Christmas Day!

Firstly I have to comment on how beautiful the actual gift boxes are. Since using the Kon Marie method to clean out my make up I am all about beautiful storage boxes to keep things organised and these are perfect for separating your products after they have been enjoyed on Christmas Day. 

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The gift sets are separated into three options for moisturisers, body care and candles and a diffuser. 

Facial Care Gift Sets 

I have always felt that your moisturiser is the most important part of any skincare regime as it's on the longest and therefore has the greatest chance of impacting your skin condition. These are the options available this Christmas, with some incredible savings which I have outlined below. 

Yonka Christmas Gift

Exceptional which includes 50 ml of both the Excellence Code Creme and the Excellence Code Masque - priced at €164.25 there is a €54.75 saving. 

Yonka Christmas Gift Excellence Code

Sincere which includes 50 ml of the Elastaine Jour and Nuit Cream and is priced at €84.75 with a €28.25 saving. 

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White Elastaine Jour

The Vibrant kit contains 50 ml of the Vital Defence creme and 15 ml of the Alpha contour eye cream and is priced €64.50 with a €21.50 saving than if you were to buy them individually. 

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White

Bath and Body Care 

One of my absolute hero products is the Yonka Phyto Bain. I have spoken about this in depth and in short - no bath oil comes close the healing and revitalising combination of Indian chestnut, cypress and rosemary, sage and helichrise oils mixed with petitgrain and lavender oils. If you are unsure regarding what to give a friend who is pregnant or has just given birth this would be my number 1 suggestion. It is free of parabens and 88% natural and suitable for those who are breastfeeding also. This comes in a gift bag with a huge 200ml Lait Corps for €63, a €21 saving.  

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White phyto Bain

Yonka Candles and Diffuser 

If you weren't quite sure what to gift someone skincare wise another gorgeous option is either a candle or a diffuser.

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White Yonka Candles

The candles come in three scents, Quintessence, Orange Blossom & Petitgrain, and when it comes to Christmas scents I have to be honest and say I am not usually a fan but the Yonka Cedar - Cypress is the chicest most beautiful crisp scent. It's a very clean evergreen smell, like Christmas trees in the snow and gorgeously fresh. It's my number one choice to have lit in the sitting room all December. 

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White natural Christmas candles

Whilst candles are always lovely a diffuser is also a great long-lasting option. It comes in a Bouquet De Provence scent infused with Petitgrain, lavender, and rosemary which is a subtle clean scent. 

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White natural diffuser

Male Grooming 

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White natural male skincare

Lastly, not forgetting the men, Yonka also have a giftset for them with a foaming gel cleanser, an the Nutri Moist cream which is so soothing on their skin especially after shaving. The kit is priced at €66.50 with a saving of €7.20 than if you were to buy them individually. 

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If you have any questions on the gift sets or wish to purchase them check out the nationwide salon listing >Here< to find your nearest Yonka outlet! 

Happy Shopping!

Lots of love, 

 
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*I am an ambassador for Yonka Skincare. All opinions are my own. 

Photography - Johnny McMillan. 

Hair - Moyo Hairdressers using Aveda colour & Products. 

Yonka Christmas Gift Holly White Christmas gift sets

Honest Natural Beauty and Skincare Companies That Care

Honest Natural Beauty and Skincare Companies That Care

This is a post I have been meaning to write for ages. Beauty products have always felt like a little bit of a luxury but at a recent lunch hosted by Human and Kind the owners were discussing the products and how every ethical element was considered along their supply chain. The name speaks for itself but I find it so refreshing to know that in buying a product, it is having a valuable impact on a community. These are some of my favourites companies with a clear conscience and the incredible natural beauty products they are creating:

Human And Kind

Whilst their shower gels are absolutely incredible and the foamiest I've ever used, their ingredients are also fairly traded ensuring sustainability both for them and for their suppliers welfare. Their packaging is always 100% recyclable and the amount used it limited to the minimum required per product. You can read more about it >here< 

Hero products for me include the miracle make up remover -which is the softest thing I have ever used on my face and also saves you buying cotton wool as it's gentle enough to use around the eye area and also the Shower Mousse in Grapefruit Delight. So fresh and SO foamy! 

The Body Shop  

The Body Shop story started with Anita Roddick's belief in something revolutionary; that business could be a force for good way back in 1976. To produce their natural beauty products they empower over 20,000 economically vulnerable people in 23 countries around the world, transforming marginalised communities, preserving traditional crops and promoting sustainable farming. They have also been fundamental in bringing about the change in Animal testing laws. 

As a result of launching their AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING CAMPAIGN in 1989 the UK banned it in 1998. They went on to present over 4 million signatures to the European Union who banned animal testing of finished cosmetic products in 2004. In 2009 they received a Lifetime achievement award from the RSPCA, and they continue to campaign against animal testing which sadly is still happening, unnecessarily. Hero products for me are their body butters which are so creamy and also their scrubs. What's so reassuring is they will continue to campaign and by enjoying their products you are supporting their work. 

Éminence

When it comes to organic skincare and organic beauty products Eminence is a luxury salon range that has an incredible ethos. Since their inception in 1958, they have been using sustainable farming and green practices to create natural, organic and Biodynamic products. They farm manually to reduce CO2 emission and their farms are powered by wind and solar energy. They have a Forests for the Future program which plants a tree for every retail product sold. To date they have planted over six million trees ( >more info here< ) in developing countries throughout the world including Burundi, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. In Africa, agroforestry provides families with the education and tools to create their own tree nurseries. The profits allow them to support their basic needs, while also benefitting the environment and fighting deforestation. 

When it comes to the beauty products they rank amongst some of the best. In particular I adore the Coconut Scrub - which Madonna (!) is also a big fan of and the Apricot Body Oil. 

Personally, whilst I know there are cheaper alternatives to all of the above, the brand ethos  matters so much and if you are thinking of a Christmas gift or gift-to-self all of these are contributing greatly to causes and communities around the world! 

Happy pampering !

Lots of love, 

 
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My Top Natural Nude Lip Products

My Top Natural Nude Lip Products

 
 

There are some things I have put years of research and testing into perfecting. Top of the list is a good natural nude lip colour. 

When I apply foundation and concealer it drains the colour from my lips and makes me look a bit ill unless I add something. For the past few years I have been searching for natural shades that almost mimic my own lip colour, just a bit more polished, and now I have found the best products for the perfect nude lip. 

If you're looking for just the right shade of blush nude for your lips than I have the answers and some tips:

1)

Prep your lips before you put anything on them. I find lots of lip balms are way too greasy and make me break about around my mouth so I prefer to stick with a creme. Yonka Excellence Code eye and Lip cream is gorgeous, absorbs quickly, prevents lines around your mouth and if you want a matte lip it's the perfect moisturising base that will keep them soft all day long. You also need a good thick concealer and a brush to perfect the lip line and conceal any blemishes and darkness around your mouth. Make sure to set it well also as the chin and mouth can be a naturally greasy area for most people. 

2)

If you want something that literally is just a lip stain than I definitely recommend Emite Lip and Cheek tint It gives just enough colour to your lips, making them look like you have bitten them. It can also be used for cheeks but as a lip I love the matte, extremely natural stain of colour it gives. 

3)

Staying within the lines is vital to keep things polished. My two absolute favourite liners are Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow talk, or if you want something more naturally based Bare Minerals In Borderline is perfection. Both apply easily and if you wanted to lightly over-line these are the perfect shade. 

4)

I collaborated with Bare Minerals to showcase their (amazing) Bare Pro foundation and as the base was the main look I wanted a natural colour from the range. In finding XOX I literally found my perfect nude lipstick. It's moisturising and creamy, doesn't bleed at all and is so universal. If you are doing any sort of look where your eyes are the main focus, this is the perfect finisher. 

5)

If you want more intensity than Ella and Mia gloss is on sale in Skinfull Affairs. They are paraben free and Peta approved and the colour payoff is amazing. They also taste of Peppermint which is really refreshing. I adore the shade Laced Up.  If you want a bit more intensity and something that will last all day then the Bellapierre Lip Creme in shade Incognito does not budge once it sets. When I am filming this is a brilliant product as it is transfer resistant and also lasts and lasts. 

Hope you love them as much as me! 

x lots of love x 

 
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Gorgeous nude lip color for your everyday wear