Wednesday 16 December 2015

The Ultimate Festive Treats for a Plant-Based Christmas

I was going to do some epic Christmas gift-guides this year. I really was. I was even excited about doing them. Not really sure what happened but, with the influx of various gift guides already doing the rounds on my social media feeds, I lost my festive mojo a little. Long story short, I've compromised. This post, whilst being packed with last-minute festive treat ideas and stocking fillers for your vegan or dairy-intolerant loved ones (we're really not that difficult to buy for if you know where to look), is also dedicated to anyone who wants to indulge themselves with plant-based goodness over the festive season. 

 Vegan Life Magazine - December '15

If you're planning a cruelty-free Christmas there's no better place to start than with the December issue of Vegan Life Magazine*. This issue has you covered with recipes, gifts and vegan news and stories. Their subscription packages also make for amazing gifts for anyone looking to explore plant-based living in the new year. Doing Veganuary in 2016? This is your perfect companion! You can read via your tablet or pick up a print copy at Sainsburys, Tesco, WHSmith and other stockists. 

Artisan Grains Cashew & Cranberry Roast

I'm a huge fan of the Artisan Grains nut roasts. I've usually got one in the cupboard ready for my next roast dinner. They're also a hassle-free, last-minute Christmas dinner option. Just add water and bake in the oven. I'll be having this cashew and cranberry one on Boxing Day though, as part of a buffet. You can grab these roasts in Holland & Barratt, Tesco and Ocado. There are several varieties to choose from and all come with the TLC stamp of approval. 

The Vegan Kind Monthly Subscription Box

Let's talk about The Vegan Kind for a second: Their lifestyle boxes are the highlight of my month, every month. This month I've got two boxes to delight my palette. Their regular December box (I'll be unboxing TVK26 over the weekend, so stay tuned for that) and a one-off Christmas chocolate selection box, which is staying firmly sealed shut until Christmas day. TVK subscriptions are a real treat for anyone, not just for vegans. They always find the perfect combo of sweet and savoury snacks, eco-friendly and cruelty-free toiletries and household items, as well as interesting ingredients you may have never thought to try before. Perfect Christmas gift!

Moo Free Chocolate

Moo-Free have saved my chocolate cravings many a time over the last 2 years. Last year was my first Christmas as a vegan and I was scared to death that I wouldn't have any chocolate to line my stocking. Then I came across the Moo-Free selection boxes (available in Holland & Barrett, Sainsburys and other supermarkets) and advent calendars. As it turns out, this year I am practically overflowing with chocolate, but I still couldn't resist adding this mini chocolate santa bar to my festive stash. 

Booja Booja Fine De Champagne Truffles

If you want to go all-out posh with your choc this year, you've got to go for Booja Booja. There are loads of different varieties and flavours of these rich, naughty, truffles (including this box of 12 champagne truffles I received as a gift from my gorgeous boss) and they're widely available from Holland & Barrett, Waitrose, Ocado and other stockists. Don't be put off by the price - this box comes in at £9.49 - I can assure you the quality is more than worth it as a Christmas indulgence. As an added bonus, these chocs are also gluten and soy free and are made with coconut oil. 

Choc Shot Spiced Orange Liquid Chocolate

I'm still bummed about being unable to indulge in many of the festive seasonal selections at the likes of Costa and Starbucks, due to the presence of milk powder. Terry's chocolate orange is also off-limits. I'm seriously looking forward to mixing this extra special edition Choc Shot with some hot oat milk and smothering it in soy whip and marshmallows (see Freedom Mallows in the above pic - available from Holland & Barrett). This will be my Christmas Eve treat I think. You can pick up Choc Shot in most supermarkets. It's also perfect drizzled over desserts and porridge. 

Harper's Bizarre Handmade Soy Wax Candles

Couldn't not mention Harper's Bizarre, could I? These candles are one of my favourite things at the moment and Victoria has, once again, come up with some gorgeous Christmas fragrances this year. My favourites include Jingle Bells, Holy Moley and Figgy Pudding. There is still some availability on the Harper's website for these Christmas candles, but be quick! I can also recommend their entire range. For a few of my other favourite Harper's winter smells, see this post.

More Top Festive Tips

- Stalk supermarket free-from aisles for dairy and egg free treats such as dark chocolate pennies, chocolate santas and other nibbles.

- Loads of supermarket own-brand mince pies are accidentally vegan. Aldi's mince pies have no dairy or egg ingredients at all and are an absolute bargain!

- Holland & Barrett is your best friend for DIY vegan/gluten-free Christmas hamper fillers, as well as veggie party nibbles, non-dairy cheeses and roasts.

- If you want to be super-lazy, there's still time to order yourself (or a loved one) a luxury, vegan-friendly Christmas hamper. There are loads of options now. Planet Organic, Archie Browns and Hotel Chocolat all have amazing vegan and vegetarian selections and can still ship in time for Christmas. 

- Of course, you could always give a gift to the animals on behalf of a vegan/vegetarian loved one. Many animal sanctuaries, shelters and charities offer sponsorship gifts. Why not adopt a turkey? Or donate food and hay to rescued animals? 

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. Last year was the trial run and this time around I'm 100% on the ball and ready. I'm catering all of the veggie options at my family's annual Boxing Day gathering and have enough treats in my hoard to keep myself, my gluten-free sister in law and my dairy-free niece extremely happy over Christmas. 

Wishing all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from TLC xxx


Friday 11 December 2015

bonprix Advent Giveaway: The Tube Scarf

*Competition now closed*

Let's face it, when winter rolls around and the wind picks up, there's one thing we all reach for above all else; the trusty scarf. It's just the ultimate winter warmer. I'm a scarf fanatic, even in the warmer months. My collection is constantly growing and is beginning to push my actual clothes out of my wardrobe. I feel no remorse though, and I have no plans to change my scarf-hoarding ways. The latest addition to my collection is this gorgeous, deep berry, floral number courtesy of bonprix* and I have one to give away to you lovely lot!

Here's how I styled it. I have a very particular set of colours that I reach for during the winter months, and berry and burgundy wine shades are always top of my list.  This scarf ticks all of my boxes and I teamed it with this gorgeous crochet panelled shell top in mustard yellow, purple nails and gold accessories.

I've got one more of these scarves to give away to a lucky reader as part of their Christmas advent giveaway series. This flash giveaway is for today only.  The requirements are as follows...

1) Entrants  should follow @thatlisaclare and @bonprixUK on Twitter,
2) Tweet a message using the hashtag #bonprixadvent
3) Leave a comment on this blog to tell me your ulimate Winter accessory (and don't forget to let me know your preferred contact method so that I can contact you if you win!)

 You must be a UK resident to enter this giveaway. The giveaway ends at midnight tonight (11/12/15) and the winner will be chosen at random using Good luck!!

You can browse the full range of Winter accessories over at 

What are your go-to Winter accessories?


Wednesday 9 December 2015

Top 5 Products for Glowing Winter Skin

Ack, doesn't Winter really take it out of your skin?! It seems that, every year, as soon as the air gets colder and the wind picks up a bit, my skin begins to turn to stone. Dull, rough skin isn't a good look in any weather and I refuse to spend the festive party season looking and feeling like sandpaper so I've done something about it. Next week I'll be sharing with you my ultimate winter skincare picks, but today I'm feeling all festive so I thought I'd share with you 5 favourite products of mine for a glowing winter complexion, for face and body. 

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads

Words cannot express my everlasting love for this product. I've been using it since it first launched. This is an exfoliating product designed to even out the skin's texture as well as brighten skin tone. I tend to pair it with my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant a couple of times a week to really smooth things over but, after cleansing, I always swoosh one of these badboys around my face before toning, moisturising and applying makeup. Makes for a super smooth base. 

Superdrug Vitamin E Sugar & Oil Scrub

Superdrug's own branded products are regular in my routine now, and have been ever since I became vegan (almost) 2 years ago. Their Vitamin E range is a particular favourite of mine. In the past I've stuck religiously to Soap & Glory scrubs, and I still do use them, but this is a fantastic budget option. It's grainy, silky and really gets the job done. My skin feels glorious after I've used it and it really helps buff away that nasty, dull layer to make way for...

Tan Organic Self Tanning Oil*

New favourite fake tan alert! Confession; I've had this product for ages, but never actually got around to using it regularly until the last couple of months, due to a seriously busy year of exams, graduations and moving house. This product just refuses to streak... ever. It's an oil so it smooths on really easily and gets into all those awkward bits with little effort. It's also really quick to sink in. It's made up of a blend of organic, eco-certified oils and gives a wonderful subtle glow after a single application. Totally buildable though, if you desire a deeper colour. For me, it just takes off that pasty winter tinge. Usually I'd prefer a more olive toned product, while this one is more gold, but I find that nowadays I don't desire such a deep colour. Perhaps I'm getting old. 

GOSH Cosmetics Giant Sun Powder

I'd be nothing without this huge compact. Can you believe that I've managed to use one up already? My favourite way to use it is to dust it over my shoulders, chest and legs (if I've dared to expose my pins, that is) ready for a night out. Great for when you haven't had time to tan and gives off a lovely, subtle shimmer. I also like to use it on my cheeks if I'm going for a more bronzed look (which is usually the case for me, I love my gold and brown tones). On darker skintones it would also make a brilliant highlight. 

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

I'm sooooo late to the Too Faced party. I've heard cruelty-free bloggers across the board rave about this bronzer so I gave in a purchased it a couple of weeks ago. No word of a lie, I've used it almost every day since (well, the days I've dared brave the weather and venture outside, that is). It's the most amazing, blendable contour shade but it's also great for dusting over foundation and powder for a deeper colour. Because it's matte, its lovely for daytime wear, when you don't really want too much of a shimmer. My guess is I'm preaching to the converted here so I'll leave it there. 

For a more thorough round-up of my Winter skincare essentials, stay tuned for next week's post. With everyone gearing up for the Christmas party season, I thought we could all use some extra glow this week. I also wanted to officially give the finger to this nasty stormy weather we're currently having in the UK. Desmond can officially do one. My skin is armed and ready! 

What are your top products for the perfect winter glow? Do you reach for the bronze when the weather gets rough?

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