January 28, 2016No Comments

Day 28 – Skincare unboxing!

Today I thought I'd make a video with a difference...the unboxing of my Tropic Skincare products and the welcome pack! I hope you enjoy it, I'm still learning to be natural in front of the camera ha!

Ciao for now x

January 23, 2016No Comments

Day 23 – Tropic Skincare

Today I have taken the brave decision to jump head first into a new product and become an ambassador for Tropic Skincare.

You may ask yourself why I would do this? The reason is because I genuinely love the concept and the ethos of Tropic and I'm looking forward to trying and enjoying their products.

The story of Tropic is fascinating and heart wrenching. Susie Ma is the founder and was born in China but grew up in Australia. At the age of 13 her and her mum moved to the UK where her mum was working multiple jobs so she could continue to pay the bills and give Susie a better life.

Susie was making home made body scrubs from every day kitchen ingredients and was sharing them with friends who convinced her at the age of 15 to go out and sell the home made scrub.

Her first attempt was putting the scrub in jam jars and selling them for £20 each at the Greenwich market.  She sold 49 jars on her first day and made £980!! The extra jar was her tester pot and once people tried it on their skin they were sold on the product.

She kept selling and within 6 months had made a huge £50,000 which she used as a deposit for her mum to buy their first house.

She then applied to the apprentice along with 75,000 others and got down to the last 3! Lord Sugar loved her products so much he offered to invest and in year 1, Tropic had turned over £2.2million and £8million by year two.

The reason I like this range of products so much is simple. It's vegan. It's completely animal cruelty free. It's gluten free. It's made by hand in a kitchen. It has all the ingredients written on the back in English. Most importantly it's Parabens free. Parabens have been linked to cancer and 99% of all Breast Cancer tumours have been proven to contain Parabens and Parabens are found in almost 98% of our every day toiletries! Plus, did you know it takes just 26 seconds for products to get into your pores and into your blood stream?

So for me, it's ethical, it matches my concept about caring for my entire body, inside and out and it's safer than the every day products I have been using for years.

I will be using these products and probably filming my unboxing to share with you all as well as my journey with Tropic. If you are interested and want to buy your own products to try out you can do so and get them delivered direct to your door via this link:  https://www.tropicskincare.co.uk/shop/melbennardo

Welcome to my Tropic journey!

Ciao for now x

December 27, 2015No Comments

Mince Pies!



Christmas may be over but these delicious things have gone down so well I'm still making and devouring them....a great alternative for any vegetarians, and they are gluten free!

This list of ingredients made me about 16 little mince pies, with all their lovely misshapen imperfections.


For the 'pastry':
– 400g of ground almonds
– 6 tablespoons of coconut oil
– 2 tablespoons of water
– 20 medjool dates
- 2 eggs
- a handful of Buckwheat flour to roll it out

For the filling:
– 2 red apples
– 1 vanilla pod
– 300g sultanas
– the juice of 3 clementines
– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg

First start by throwing all the filling ingredients into a pan on the hob and let it simmer until the apples are nice and soft. If it starts to stick to the base of the pan just put in a drop of water to unstick it. It will probably take about 35-45 minutes to get it all nice and soft and sticky.

While that is being done, put all of the ingredients for the 'pastry' into a blender, except the flour and one egg and blend it until it's a big sticky mess!

Turn your oven onto 180c to start heating while you finish the pastry.

When it's done, use the flour to flour a surface, throw a bit in the mix and dust your hands and a rolling pin with it to help you make the mix move to the surface. Use the flour in small portions, you want it to help you move the mix around without sticking to the surface rather than drying out.

Grease some cupcake trays with liquid coconut oil (melt it under hot water if it's solid) so the mix doesn't stick. Then take small balls of mix and squash them, poke them and mould them into each of the cupcake tin spaces, trying to make sure there's still a little bit just over the top (to catch any filling that goes over!). Put them in the oven until they start to go golden brown, which will probably be about 10 minutes or so but keep checking on them!!

Once you take them out, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of spiced apples and sultanas into the pastry bowls you've made. Then with the leftover pastry, try cutting out shapes to put on top, I used stars as it's the cutter I had! Put the shape on top of the mix and use the last egg to brush the pastry shapes on top as well as the top of the pastry bowls you've made which will help them go a lovely golden colour

When you've filled them all up put them back in the oven for another ten minutes or so until deliciously golden brown.

Let them sit for half an hour or so and then enjoy them with a lovely cup of tea!

Let me know how you get on with this one

Ciao for now x

December 17, 2015No Comments

Choco Balls

This recipe always makes me chuckle as it's well known by my friends that I don't like chocolate, milk, dark, nuts, none of it! Yet I seem to be pretty good at whipping up chocolate substitutes with healthy vegan and gluten free chocolate options. This recipe is a variation on my Energy Balls recipe so give both a go and let me know what you think!


100g medjool dates
25g goji berries
25g cashew nuts
50g almonds
100g shredded/dessicated coconut
3 tablespoons of cacao powder
1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil
1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup
1.5 tablespoons of coconut milk

Put the goji berries, cashews, almonds, coconut and cacao powder in a blender and whizz them up until they are as fine as you want them. If you prefer them chunkier leave them in less time.

Add the dates, coconut oil, coconut milk and maple syrup to the blender and blend again until you get a big doughy sticky mix.

This is where you can tailor the recipe. Taste it and see what you think! If you want them smoother then add small amounts of water until it's as smooth as you want. If you prefer it with a stronger chocolate flavour, add a touch more cacao powder. If you prefer it sweeter add a little more maple syrup. Make sure when you add extra into the recipe you add in tiny amounts, blend and taste again as you can always add more but you can take any out!

Once you're happy with the mix, line a baking tray with baking paper and roll the mix into small balls onto the baking tray. Should make you about 15 choco balls with the quantities above. Put them in the freezer for an hour or so then just store in a container in the fridge until you want to eat them. The best time to eat them seems to be if you take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to enjoy so they begin to slightly soften.

Ciao for now x


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