| Ask Italian |

How good is food? I know you’re all nodding along here thinking of some tasty arse food you’ve had. Being vegan shouldn’t affect your access to tasty food, however unfortunately sometimes it does. While restaurants & cafe’s get used to adding more vegan friendly options to their menus it is helpful to know where we can go to get an affordable but delicious meal.

Queue Ask Italian, falling into your ‘high street’ restaurant bracket of urban eateries I was pleasantly surprised. The entire vegan menu is pictured below & I’m not sure about you but I really enjoyed that they had a kids vegan menu for all the little stars changing the world.

It is not a huge menu but they had pasta & pizza (lets be fair I came for the pizza) so I was happy!

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I had the design your own pizza option & went with the aubergine, mushrooms, olives & onions … I know more then three options … I’m a rebel. The pizza was amazing, honestly. A lovely thin, crispy base with a flavourful tomato base, the vegan mozzarella was also grand, perfectly melty (it’s a real adjective) without being heavy or ‘fake’ tasting. I don’t think you can go wrong with my topping options & I was really impressed with the options available as I feel you can make a very sophisticated flavour profile from the ingredients at hand.

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Did you know that alcohol, particularly wine & beer can be NOT VEGAN … is nothing sacred? If you were not aware I will give you a moment to mourn the lose of an easy liquor store choice.

The attempt to find a vegan wine whilst out has proved to be the most difficult part of my ‘eating out’ transition, not at all aided by ignorant people telling me things like … ‘most wine is vegan but sometimes it has animal by products in it’ … sorry to burst your bubble random bar tender that is not vegan then is it. Any how rant over, Ask Italian takes all of the hard work out of choosing a beverage with an entirely vegan beverage menu!!!

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I went with the Sangiovese IGT, it was easy to drink & went really well with my pizza creation.

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I am a firm believer that dessert is the most important part of pretty much every meal, so you can image my delight at seeing two fantastic dessert options on the Ask menu. Naturally I went with the chocolate option, the vegan blood orange & chocolate tart … can I tell you it was as good as it sounds.

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Thanks for reading, have you been to Ask Italian or do you have a favourite high street restaurant I should try before heading back to Canada?

much love,

freckled.rambles xx

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| My Favourite Places to Eat Vegan in Toronto |

Sitting in front of my computer this morning I’ve been thinking about what I should write today, something makeup related .. no, something about skincare .. no, & then I found myself reminiscing on the delicious vegan treats & meals which I enjoyed early last month in Toronto.

BOOM, let’s talk vegan eats in Toronto.

A quick disclaimer, I have yet to eat at all of the available vegan restaurants, cafes, take aways & hole in the wall venues across the fabulous city, however, over the three days of exploring before Josh & I flew back to the UK, we found some great vegan joints. I also REALLY suck at remembering to take photos of my food before I’ve devoured 3/4 of it so I’m going to insert photos from the various venue’s websites as well as the minimal photos I took .. I’ll get better at this, promise.

First up we have Bloomer’s, located at 873 Bloor St W. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloomersto/

I’ll be honest the one & only reason we went to Bloomer’s was for doughnuts. My life is somewhat dictated by a strong obsession for doughnuts & upon making the switch to veganism I was confident there were fabulous vegan doughnuts out there. Oh man was I right. After deliberating for what felt like hours over flavours like Pumpkin Pie & Birthday Cake I ended up with three doughnuts (yep that’s right, three) …

  • French Toast & Bacon
  • Rose Water & Pistachio
  • Elderflower

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Needless to say I fell into doughnut heaven & was despondent leaving the store knowing I was going to be out of the country and away from the doughnutopia for over a month. When I’m back in Toronto at the end of October I am going to be bulk buying these guys!

Second on this list of delicious, must visit places we have Fresh, which is a little chain of vegan restaurants throughout the city with restaurants on Spadina, Bloor, Crawford & Eglinton. Website: https://freshrestaurants.ca/

We visited the Eglinton store & I was legitimately in vegan heaven … it’s probably time for a little story now: I became vegan at the end of July this year & spent all of my time working at a summer camp which meant that 90% of the food I ate came from the camp kitchen & I didn’t get a chance to experience vegan specific restaurants. The menu at Fresh is bursting with options, but in classic Sarah style I got a burger, the Chipotle Bacon burger to be exact. It was extremely filling, super nutritious-feeling (you know when something just feels healthy) & totally delicious. Like I said earlier I suck at remembering to take photos of food when I’m hungry so here’s a snap I found on the gram – (check out the original here)

 

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Lastly, for a quick lunch during our final day we stopped by the Urban Herbivore (a name a quietly love), located 220 Yonge Street.                  Website: https://www.herbivore.to

I feel like a lot of people assume that being vegan means crappy salads when you don’t have time for a sit down meal. Urban Herbivore definitely debunks that idea, I had an amazing ‘build your own’ bowl full of coconut bacon, sweet potato, cauliflower as well as a tone of other tasty ingredients. It was the biggest ‘salad’ I’ve ever hard & I was practically exploding after eating the whole thing which is an important feature in a meal for me. Again I did not take a photo so thank you to Urban Herbivore for having a fire Instagram & here is a snap from their page – (check the original here).

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There you have it fam, three of my must visit, totally loved vegan places in Toronto. If you’ve been to any of these or if you have a favourite place in Toronto that I need to visit when I’m back at the end of the month lets chat in the comments!

much love,

freckled.rambles 

| Makeup & Travel — UGH |

It’s a pretty dreary fall evening here in England, the rains been on & off for most of the day – as has my suitcase packing.

Those of you who have been following me for sometime now will know that I spend a fair whack of my time travelling between Australia, Canada & England. You’ll also know that these aren’t short holiday trips & are instead your ‘pick up everything, move to a new country, hang out there for a bit & go do the same thing all over again in six months time’ kinda  thing. Anyone who has done the long haul flight thing will know that it isn’t good : cramped spaces, crying children, subpar food & uncomfortable air-conditioning make the journey arduous. Although theres no room for complaint when that long haul flight is taking you somewhere fantastic!

Now that I’ve just word-vomited all over this post what I wanted to talk to you all about was makeup & travel. I may even turn this into a mini series of makeup & travel related info – if you’d like to read that let me know in the comments. So, like I mentioned I’ve spent the last couple days trying to pack up my life again to move back to Canada (I was living in Ontario up until a month ago) for the winter season – bring on snowboards & caesers.

Packing is for me one of the most stressful things, I procrastinate, complain & am downright annoying leading up to any travel because of the fact. I find it so supremely difficult to pack – especially makeup – so I thought today lets talk about the perfect amount of carry on makeup (I’m not at all brave enough to admit to you all how much makeup is in my checked bag at this point).

Firstly, its very important to get yourself a solid makeup bag (although it definitely doesn’t need to be an actual makeup bag) here are a few bags which, let’s face it are too cute & will fit everything you’ll need:

Option 1

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Option 2

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I love both of these styles, the second set from Cotton On in Australia is fantastic because you get three varying sizes & the racoon is to die for, whilst the first set is sturdy & would be ideal for bottled makeup (like foundation & moisturiser).

Once you’ve sorted out a bag it’s time to work out what items you need & want with you at the airport & on the plane (bus, train, magic carpet or whatever form of transport you’re taking). Depending on the length of your flight you will need & want different products -lets say we’re going on a 10hr flight – the most important thing to have in your makeup bag is moisturiser! I use the Nutrimetics Comfort Calm Day Creme – 60ml.

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Obviously when you’re packing your carry on bag with cosmetics & skin care you need to make sure that all of your products are under 100ml, that is a perk of this moisturiser but you can always buy a travel makeup bottle, all drugstores sell them & transfer a smaller amount of product for the flight.

The second key item you need in your makeup bag is cosmetic wipes. After 10hrs of flying your skin feels like its acquired the germs of every person on the plane & wiping it all away with a wipe is bliss – it’s also important if you had makeup on going to the airport because you do not want to clog your pores by wearing makeup for the entire flight. As I’m sure you know there are thousands of makeup wipes on the market but these are a few I recommend.

Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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All of these wipes are great & cruelty free. The Say Yes to Cucumber wipes are a great travel size & will fit into your makeup bag with ease (these are the wipes I always have in my travel bag) but the other wipes are also fantastic, nourishing & affordable.

Once you’ve got these basics down its time to think about the quantity of actual makeup you want to carry with you. Luckily most makeup comes in under the 100ml mark so you shouldn’t have to worry about that too much. I find it easiest to split my makeup into three main categories: face, eyes, lips. For me the most important category here is ‘face’ I love for my skin to look flawless even after hours on a plane so I ensure I have the following items:

I’m not going to tell you which brand or specific item to buy in these categories – the items I’ve listed is what I have in my bag. Personally if my face & eyebrows are done then I’m good to go on a flight, but it can be nice to put a bit of something on the eyes & the lips to feel completely put together – especially if you’ve got somewhere to be straight from the flight. My current travel on lip & eye products are:

Finally you’re going to need some tools to get this all onto your face & I feel like this in an area where it can be easy to over do it on the amount of brushes you pack. Last week I put a little post together of an ideal beginner brush kit (here) & realistically this could be a travel kit as well, but you might need to cull even more space so here’s a revised list of brushes.

With these five types of brushes you will be able to flawlessly revamp your face following a long flight without killing your carry on weight limit. As always all of the products I have listed are cruelty free & are in my opinion top products.

There you have it, I hope this post will be helpful for you on your next journey in some way. It’s time to get some zzz’s, it’s 11pm here in Gatwick & Josh & I have got a packed day of travel tomorrow!

Freckled.Rambles xx.