Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Latte Recipe

The other morning I stepped outside and smelt autumn. That burnt, cold, leafy smell, you know the one. I can't describe it, but ever since I've been wrapped up in layers, keeping cosy with a hot water bottle and popping the kettle on at every opportunity. 

But one thing hasn't been the same. This is my first autumn being vegan and in case you didn't know, Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are not an option anymore. So I decided to spend my Sunday afternoon creating my own. And it was so easy and tasted so good that I just had to share it!

This will make enough for two averaged sized mugs, so make sure to adjust the volumes to suit you.

print recipe

Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Forget Starbucks and try this vegan-friendly alternative.
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweetened soya milk
  • 1/2 cup Strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
Prepare your coffee and pour into a small pan.Turn on the heat and keep it low, adding your pumpkin purée and soya milk.Stir in your spices and simmer for about 5 minutes. Making sure not to let the mixture boil as this will make it thicken.Optional: If you want to froth up the milk you can whisk gently for a few minutes.Taste and add any addition spices or sweetening agents. Take off the heat and pour into your mugs.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

Here's to a fabulously vegan winter! Kick back, bundle up and enjoy. And if you do make this for yourself, then please take a photo and let me know! Tweet me @slightgem.

Gem. x

The A-Z of my wardrobe.

Now that Autumn is officially upon us, I've been thinking long and hard about my transition into the next season. My head is full of questions. Do my boots need reheeling? What needs replacing? Which styles will I opt for? And so before I started planning, I decided to sit down and write an A-Z of my wardrobe. What I'm aiming for and what I want it to become.

So far I've managed to work out what's missing, what to get rid of and a few new ways to style the basics. Whenever I see new pieces or something that inspires me, I take a look at this to keep me on track. Imagine simple silhouettes, lots of texture and attention to detail. So here we go...

A is for, Artisan.
B is for, Breton all year round.
C is for, Capsule wardrobe.
D is for, Denim.
E is for, Embroidery.
F is for, Flannel fabrics.
G is for, Gilet.
H is for, Herringbone.
I is for, Intricate.
J is for, Jacquard.
K is for, Khaki.
L is for, Layering.
M is for, Manageable.
N is for, Navy, of course.
O is for, Organic materials.
P is for, Power dressing.
Q is for, Quality.
R is for, Recycled, giving items a second lease of life.
S is for, Simplicity.
T is for, Tailoring.
U is for, Unique prints.
V is for, Velvet.
W is for, Wool.
X is for...
Y is for...
Z is for...

I thought it would be helpful for those of you that are looking to revamp your wardrobe for autumn. A little dose of inspiration. So grab a pen and get started on your own! Let me know if it helps, and if you find something for x,y,z! 

Gem. x


My Autumn/Winter Home Wishlist

As the weather cools down, I've been looking at a few pieces to add a touch of comfort to my home. Pale grey with depths of green accents. Rich organic materials and simplistic functional design. As ever Pinterest has been a major source of inspiration for me, with nordic homes taking the forefront.

There has been a burst of conversation around the concept of hygge (pronounced "HUE-gah"), and in a sense, it's the ethos of enjoying the simple pleasures in life. It's interpreted on an individual basis and to me it means embracing local culture, being content, spreading positivity, being kind to others and most importantly spreading that feeling to those around me.

Your home is a representation of you, and creating this environment is not only imperative to your own wellbeing but to those which come into contact with it. A magazine rack to inspire and encourage physical engagement, soft furnishings for comfort and warm scents to create a loving atmosphere.

1| Copper six compartment magazine wall rack, Urban Outfitters. Unique design, easily incorporated into a multitude of environments.
2| Velvet cushion cover, H&M. Various colours, 100% cotton.
3| OFELIA VASS quilt cover and 2 pillowcases, IKEA.100% renewable cotton and non-chlorine bleached.
4| Indoor Green: Living With Plants, Anthropologie. A journey into the world of house plants, hardcover.
5| P.F. Candle Co. Patchouli Sweetgrass 3.5oz Soy Candle, Urban Outfitters. Made from domestically grown soy wax and hand-poured,
6| Black wire basket, H&M. Multiple uses, with a raw design.
7| Pink mixed pattern floor cushion, Urban Outfitters. Crafted with soft cotton and flaunts unique patterns.
8| MOALIE grey throw, IKEA. Made of pure wool, spun to create a soft and cushiony feel.
9| Malachite Trinket Dish, Anthropologie. Made from Enameled malachite, a bright green mineral consisting of hydrated basic copper carbonate.

My shopping list isn't one entirely built by lust, but by function and shareability. I thought I would take a moment this afternoon to share it with you, and hopefully, inspire your own journey to hygge.

What do home comforts mean to you? Are you making any changes to your own environments this autumn? 

Gem. x

Welcoming Toner Back Into My Life | Akar Skincare

The recent change in weather has been taking its toll on my skin. One moment it's raining, the next it's hot and humid. The one thing that's been keeping it in check is the Akar Skin Lush Balancing Toning Mist*. Who knew that something with only five ingredients would be able to outperform in a multitude of ways.

There are three ways in particular that I use it, firstly, as a toner. After cleansing, this leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated. It's formulated to protect skin from free radicals, which are healthy cells turned bad as a result of damage.

Another, is to use this as a sort of 'perking up' spray. When I'm at work and my skin is looking dull, a quick spritz of this brightens and eliminates any dry patches. Perfect for when I'm particularly busy and don't have any time to top up my makeup.

And finally, when it's all getting a bit too much, flustered, overheated and stressed. A layer of this over this skin cools me down and the soft rose scent lifts my mood slightly.

With Rose and Neroli, this restores the skins natural pH balance and helps to tighten pores. It's 94% organic and 100% natural, suitable for all skin types, vegans and those that are cruelty-free.

Over the past few years, I've kind of gone off toners. I haven't used them at all but this has restored my faith in their multi-use formulas. And I'll definitely be taking a look at the rest of their skincare range as we transition into autumn.

Do you use toners? What do you think about multi-use products?

Gem. x

*PR Sample

Living Room Updates With Sass & Belle

It's been seven months since the boy and I moved into our first home and we still haven't finished decorating. It's been a long struggle trying to find pieces that we both love, that we can afford and that fits well with our lifestyle. One thing that we could agree on was our need for a terrarium. 

We have lots of cacti in white ceramic pots, the classic IKEA offerings. But with plenty of brass and copper in our living room we felt these were too bright, too clinical and we needed a replacement. Enter the Sass & Belle Black Cube Terrarium.*

This is perfect for small spaces or adding a little touch to your interior. Understated, simple and incredibly easy to transform. 

When it comes to filling your terrarium choose a selection of small cacti or succulents. For this size I would recommend one of either. Add a layer of stones, these act as a drainage layer and are an essential to prevent the soil from retaining too much moisture. Follow with activated charcoal, to purify the water. And top with soil, taking into consideration your chosen plants. As an optional decoration you could finish everything off with another layer of stones or as an added benefit, moss which helps to soak up any additional water.

I think that this looks fantastic both  in photos and in real life. And I cannot wait to fill more, I've been looking at this pyramid shape version and I think together they would look beautiful. I may even keep an eye out for large glass vases and use recycled ones too. The possibilities really are endless. 

What type of plants do you have in your home? What do you think of the Sass & Belle terrarium? 

Gem. X 

*PR Sample 


Be Kinder To Your Vagina | TOTM

This Sunday we're getting personal and we are going to get down to the nitty-gritty of feminine products. It's something that I've always felt quite strongly about, something that I'm constantly keeping up to date with and something that I feel should be spoken about more. 

New In: Beauty

It's been a while since I've made a substantial makeup purchase, and these were few long awaiting products. The past month has been a hard one for me, my skin has been tackling the worst breakout it's ever encountered and day by day I'm looking out for pick-me-up's to keep my spirits high. Those of you that struggle with your skin will understand how it really knocks your confidence. 

But I've seen amazing reviews for every one of these products, and after using them for a couple of weeks I have some mixed thoughts so today I'm here to share them with you.

Firstly, the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation has broken the internet with outstanding reviews, gorgeous packaging, and overall performance, all with its cruelty-free status. I had watched so many reviews on youtube and with each application, I just knew I had to try it for myself. So far I have mixed feelings, most of those are down to my skin's current condition. I've tried using a buffing brush, my fingers, and a beauty blender but cannot seem to get the polished finished that I've seen others achieve with this formula. It seems to settle in my pores and wear very quickly across the center of my face. But I haven't lost hope, I will continue to try it and am praying to see the results that I know this can achieve. 

It's cult counterpart, the Too Faced Replenishing Hangover Primer feels amazing on the skin. It's both super hydrating and brightening, giving the skin a healthy glow. So far so good, it's worked beautifully under lightweight bases as well as those with a medium coverage. I hope that once my skin begins to clear I will see it reach its full potential. 

When it comes to eyeliner I've always been a gel formula kind of girl. But there is just something so fluid and carefree when it comes to felt tip application. I can match both flicks within minutes which is mainly due to the size and point of the tip. Perfection. The one problem I have with the Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen is its colour. I am so used to a thick intense black finish but this just doesn't give me the depth I expect when it comes to eyeliner. Like all products, I will continue to use it and give myself time to adjust. But what I'm really looking for is a gel liner with a similar application, that would be heaven. 

And finally my top rated product of the moment. The NYX Pump It Up Lip Plumper in Lindsay. It's no secret that I have tiny lips, but this gives them the little boost they need. Its shimmer formula is simply gorgeous and such a pleasure to use. I will say that it is a bit sticky, probably best to avoid using this if you're out and about because your hair will get caught in it quite easily. But apart from that, it's flawless. Second to lip balm this is my current most used lip product. 

With all of that in mind please let me know your experience with any of these products, do you have any tips with the Born This Way Foundation? What do you think of lip plumping products? Let me know in the comments below!

Gem. x


New Monday, New Week, New Goals!

As I write this I have so much motivation, I'm wide awake, my mind is open and I'm ready to tackle the week ahead. So, of course, I thought I would use this opportunity to share with you all my plans and goals for the next seven days.

Eat lunch outside!

Sometimes digital life can keep you cooped up. When I go to work I'm indoors, I get home and eat dinner indoors and then I spend my evening, you guessed it, indoors. I sometimes feel like a sad plant that's just sitting on a windowsill. And so in an attempt to reconnect with nature during the week I've decided to eat my lunch outside. It's only an hour but I just know it will make all the difference. I'm very lucky to live in such a vibrant city, so who knows what I'll discover.

Pump up the Glam.

With a few new beauty purchases, I've decided to spend an extra 10 minutes a day on myself. A bold lip, winged eyeliner or loose curls. I'm going to make myself feel that little bit more pulled together and a little bit more glam than my usual minimal self.

One draft a day.

It's no secret that I've been lacking inspiration on this blog. Posts are now few and far between. But it's not because I'm not writing, they're all drafted, all photographed. And I'm going to spend my evenings finishing off those posts and scheduling them for the weeks ahead. It's been a tough time comparing myself to those around me. But finally, I feel lifted by those people, inspired by those posts and have the motivation to start putting my words out there once again.

Out with the old!

I have piles and piles of clothes that I no longer need and have yet to make a serious dent in it. So this week I will be tackling it head on. Whether it be recycling pieces, donating them to charity shops, selling them on eBay, I need to get a move on!

Here's to the week ahead! I hope that yours is also a productive one, stay motivated, keep yourself inspired and don't forget to shout about it. Be proud of the little things.

What do you have planned for this week? Do you set yourself weekly goals?

Gem. x

Vegan Friendly | Barry M Coconut Infusion

I was over the moon when I found out that Barry M nail polish was vegan and cruelty-free. So I dug them out of my stash and ran straight to boots for a top up. With the Coconut Infusion collection in full swing, I picked up a few shades and fell in love with this pale nude, Skinny Dip. 

First of all, let's talk formula, this collection boasts a new innovative formulation. Its blend of both coconut water and oil nourishes and hydrates the nail while leaving a beautifully glossy smooth finish. This reflective, long-lasting formula has a brilliant colour payoff and has definitely shot to the top of my favorites list. 

I'm always a bit skeptical about vitamins and nutrients being added into nail polish, because who knows if they actually work? It could take time for them to have an effect. But one thing I found with this range is the instant difference I saw in my nails once I removed the polish. Usually, my nails are dry and brittle. But somehow they felt stronger, looked a bit brighter and weren't dry at all. 

Colour-wise this is my go-to everyday shade. Even with the weather cooling, I'm still in favor of something pale. For those looking for something a bit bolder Flamingo is a gorgeous pale coral and Laguna is a subtle sky blue with a slight hint of lilac.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this range and I cannot wait to try some more shades. 

Have you tried the Barry M Coconut Infusion polishes? What do you think about nutrient-enriched formulas? 

Gem. x