News

Vegan Living: Skincare and Chocolates

vegan living skincare and chocolatesVegan living has become quite popular in recent years, and while I am not a strict vegan, I have drastically reduced my consumption of meat and animal products.

While it can be hard for some people to never ever eat a piece of chicken again, it is certainly possible to forever replace some products containing animal-derived additives with vegan alternatives.

Here are some of my favourites I discovered recently:

Skincare and Cosmetics

There are lots of animal-derived ingredients in skincare, which are not always easy to spot.

But thankfully, there are now a lot of vegan alternatives on the market, and as a bonus, most of them also avoid dodgy chemicals like parabens and mineral oils.

Here are my two skincare discoveries I have fallen in love with:

Sukin Naturals

Sukin is an Australian company shipping worldwide. All their products are entirely natural, carbon neutral and of course vegan.

My current favourites are the Hydrating Mist Toner and the Nutrient Rich Facial Moisturiser Super Greens, but there are more products in their range I want to try.

Saiya

Saiya is a UK based company, and their products are also made here.

Just like Sukin, Saiya skincare and cosmetics are vegan, cruelty and chemical free.

My favourites are the Anti-Ageing Collagen Cream Moisturiser and the Mineral Cheek Powder in Plum Pink.

What I also like about these products is that they include Zinc Oxide as a natural sun protection ingredient rather than nano-chemical additives.

Price range for both companies: very reasonable.

If I had one negative to mention, then it would be the plastic packaging that both companies still use, but hopefully this will change due to increasing consumer demand.

Chocolate

Moving on from skincare, chocolate is a food item that doesn’t depend on animal derived ingredients, so it is easy to switch over to vegan varieties.

Sometimes, vegan chocolate can be a bit boring, but I found that these two companies offer a more exciting rage of cacao indulgence:

Friars

Friars is a UK based luxury chocolatier offering a delicious vegan range.

The flavours I have tried so far are the Ultimate Peanut Butter Vegan Milk Chocolate Truffles and the Cheeky Gin Milk Truffles.

While they are not the cheapest chocolates on the planet, it is the quality that counts, and I’d rather eat less and enjoy more 😉

Booja-Booja

This UK-based chocolatier sells its products mainly on Amazon and local stockists.

The Gourmet Collection of Chocolate Truffels includes a variety of different flavours.

What I also like about these truffels is that they don’t contain palm oil, a common replacement for butter in chocolate recipes.

While there isn’t anything wrong with palm oil as a product, its production is unsustainable, as it often involves deforestation of rainforests and other habitats, so it is best avoided where possible.

As you can see, it is not that hard to go vegan by changing certain products, and you don’t feel like you are missing out.

Quite the opposite, vegan products tend to be more eco friendly and natural than conventional ones, and by switching you can make a big difference to your carbon footprint (and health!) over time.

I hope you enjoy exploring my vegan living skincare and chocolates recommendations.

If you try any of them, please do let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

Royal Mail Delivery Delays

delivery delays cosmic spirit shop
Spot the cat!

Just a quick update on possible delivery delays of orders.

As you know, due to the national lockdown, millions of people order stuff online, and Royal Mail have issued a service update to inform of delivery disruptions.

This is also due to the current snow situation, and Leeds, where we are based, is affected.

If you have placed an order recently and haven’t received it within 3-4 days of order date, please allow a few extra days before you contact me for tracking.

The best way to check tracking is to text me your surname and date of order on my mobile phone, and I will respond to you within a few hours.

I’m currently not answering my mobile phone as I keep getting lots of scam and spam calls.

Texting is best, and if you would like me to ring you back regarding an order or product inquiry, just let me know in the message, and I will get in touch ASAP.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Times are very weird right now, please bear with me.

Sending cosmic rays your way,

Christiane

 

Coronavirus – Business Open As Usual

cosmic spirit shop cat

Just in case you were wondering, we are alive and well, still shipping orders from our kitchen table.

I have been socially distancing myself right from the start and only come into contact with close family members, who have also surrendered to the hermit life.

While packing parcels, I am taking extra precautions – handwashing, hand sanitising and wearing a face mask to minimise any potential of contamination.

There is nobody else packing but me, which reduces the risk even further.

It’s just me, the cat watching, the postal workers delivering and you.

I will keep taking these precautions until the threat of the virus is diminished (rather than stopping when lockdown restrictions are lifted).

Royal Mail Delivery Schedule

While I always ship orders within 24 to 48 hours, there may be some delays with Royal Mail deliveries.

For more information on how this might affect your order, please visit the dedicated Coronavirus page on their website.

These are unprecedented challenging times for all of us, and your ongoing support is very much appreciated.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Cosmic Collection Transformation 2020

cosmic collection transformationDuring 2019, Cosmic Collection has undergone a gradual and quiet transformation.

Apart from the required SSL encryption, the most noticable change is its integration into my main website, Cosmic Spirt Tarot, and Cosmic Collection’s new banner reflects this move.

While the main web address cosmicstore.co.uk is still working for the homepage (visitors are automatically redirected to cosmictarot.co.uk/shop/), all the other product and information page addresses have changed without automatic redirection, which means that some links were broken.

Updating and correcting websites can take a long time, but at this point in time I can report that most of the broken links have been fixed and work is still ongoing.

My apologies to all visitors, who were affected by this mess. It’s all much better now, so please have a browse.

And if you stumble across another broken link or anything odd hiding in the corners of the shop, please let me know in the comment box below.

What’s the future of Cosmic Collection?

My long-term plan for the shop website is to reduce physical goods to just a limited range of bespoke and one-off items.

I will then add all my digital products (tarot and spirituality ebooks, courses and journaling kits) and online services, so I can utilise the shop software to better serve my clients.

Reducing stock of my physical products means that I will be offering massive discounts over the coming months.

cosmic collection transformationIf you would like to be amongst the first to be informed about these discounts and latest news, please do sign up to my shop mailing list.

Many product lines have already sold out, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

To all my customers, thank you for visiting, for placing orders, for being patient with the changes happening around here and for sticking around.

Your support is so very much appreciated.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

Free Hippy Shopping Bag with every Order over £30

free hippy shopping bagHello Cosmic friends!

Now that plastic bags are banned in the UK, you need some fab reusable bags for your shopping trips.

So here’s a funky offer for you:

Receive a free hippy shopping bag when you place an order for £30 or more (excluding postage costs).

Quote reference FABBAG in the notes section on the checkout page.

This offer is only valid while stock lasts.

And all SALE items qualify!

Happy Shopping!

Christiane

Join our mailing list and receive a 10% discount voucher in return.

How To Make Tea Light Candles From Leftover Beeswax

beeswax candles tea lightsNatural beeswax candles are my favourites; they smell of honey, are completely sustainable, and they are healthy for you (unlike the paraffin variety).

Intricate designs can sometimes cause the candles to drip, but any leftover beeswax from a candle isn’t wasted. You can use it to make tealights.

How to make tea light candles:

All you need to do is collect leftover beeswax in a cheap non-stick cooking pot and buy some reusable tea light holders (you can even re-use the metal holders) and wicks.

For tea lights you don’t need to collect that much beeswax as long as you have enough to fill at least a couple of holders.

If you have a lot of wax, you can melt it in stages, otherwise it can take ages to melt.

Rather than buying an expensive candle melt pot, I simply use one I bought in a Pound shop – really cheap. You don’t need to spend a fortune on that.

Melt the wax in the pot on a low heat on the hob. It will take about 5 – 10 minutes for all the wax to melt depending how much there is; the more wax, the longer it takes.

beeswax tea light

Keep an eye on the melting wax to avoid burning.

And once you’ve made them, you can use a large ivy leaf and cones for decoration.

But remember – always burn your candles and tea lights safely on a heat-proof surface.

Shop Candle Supplies

How To Create DIY Happy Jars

happy jars

Here at Cosmic HQ we love creative ideas that are inspirational and fun. 

Our guest blogger Laura Fernandez shows you how you can record and collect your happy moments in a simple yet imaginative way, and even turn them into a gift:

There is nothing like happiness coming from one simple jar and that is exactly the purpose of happy jars.

The do-it-yourself, happy jar also called as ‘a jar of happiness’ was created to bring back smiles and laughter amongst friends and family. One simple concept of happiness can take a person a long way and that it exactly what this jar does.

People have confused happy jars with cupcake jars or candy jars but this concept is completely new.

The basic purpose of a happy jar is that it acts like a simple reminder of all the good things that happened in a month or a year. With small things a person can go back into time and remember all the small, but important things about his or her life.

The do-it-yourself process is simple and requires just a handful of items. This is how it works:

 Things Required

A person takes a large or medium sized jar with a lid. Some people like using fish bowls instead as well.

He or she needs to place it in one of the busiest parts of the house, let’s say the kitchen or the sitting lounge. Next to the jar should be a pen and a notepad containing small pieces of paper.

Some people also like to add instructions next to the happy jar so that anyone passing by can read the instructions first.

The Setup

The best part about happiness jars is the personal touch. Some people keep candies next to the jar and some people keep photo frames to remind them of best times and close relationships. However the main step comes next.

The Purpose

An individual is required to write what made him or her happy that particular day, fold it and throw it in the jar.

The essential part is to add the date so that it could be recorded. Happiness has no boundaries and so doesn’t the happiness jar.

A person can write anything or everything that made him or her happy, whether it was a newly bought piece of clothing or an act of kindness that someone else did.

happy jar ideas

Some people also like to add receipts of memorable times or trinkets of any kind.

Opening the Happy Jar

An individual carries out this practice of writing on small pieces of paper and putting it in the jar for an entire year.

It is usually opened up again on New Year’s Eve, which makes it a perfect time to reminisce about the past.

The happy jar reminds a person of all the good things that happened to him or her throughout the year and makes the person thankful for all the blessings.

Make it a present

When a happy jar is shared with another person, he or she can give it to the partner as a gift. The jar or the bowl can be wrapped up in a nice wrapping with a bow and can be presented on New Year’s Eve because that is the time to share the happy jar.

A happy jar is a happiness recording system which might not be a famous concept but it is certainly a unique one. Years pass by for people and they hardly remember what they did all year. With the help of a happy jar, special or happy moments can never be forgotten; in fact they will always be remembered and cherished till the happy jar exists.

Have fun creating your own personal happy jar!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

Join our mailing list and receive a 10% discount voucher in return.

Clear Your Mental Clutter, Get A Journal

Velvet embroidered notebookToday’s guest post by Julie Rowlands explores the joy and therapeutic effect of writing a journal.

If you are new to journaling and need some cues on topics you can write about, here are Julie’s inspirational ideas:

One of the best ways I know to clear my head of the mental clutter that often accumulates there, is to write a journal.

I love writing, to me, there is something really special about writing in a beautiful journal or notebook with a special pen.

I have a stash of what I call my ‘special pens’, which I use regularly to write.

Actually, they really are nothing special except they are purple, and they write in purple ink. ( I am a purple girl from way back, long before it was fashionable to be a purple girl!)

All of my journals are written in purple ink, and for me that makes them unique and for me, more special.

What makes journal writing so special?

There are lots of reasons, here are six of my favourites.

  • It clears my head, I tend to write as I am thinking and some days that is very mixed up and other days very clear. Getting it out of my head and down on paper is a wonderful way to create space for more new ideas.
  • It is a wonderful record of my journey, my life. Reading some of my journals from years ago gives me a new perspective on where I have come from, what I have achieved, as well as the challenges I have faced and overcome.
  • It is a great reminder of particular incidents I may have forgotten, that seemed very important at the time. Often gives me a different perspective.
  • It is a  wonderful sounding board to record my frustrations and anguishes, and guess what?  Just writing them down helps clarify the real issues.
  • It is a fantastic tool for expressing Gratitude, even if it feels at times  like there is little to be grateful for, just writing something down often gets me thinking of more that I can be truly grateful for.
  • It is a fantastic way of documenting my goals and dreams, and my written steps to achieve them.
Is there a special way to write in a journal? A formula?

Personally – I don’t think so, the important part is for you to create a habit around it, so you write regularly, and that you make it a special activity just for you.

To help with this I suggest you buy a special journal or notebook to start with, but in reality a plain notebook will be just fine.

I  suggest you try challenging yourself with questions, to stimulate your thinking.

  • What have I learned here?
  • What could I have done differently or better
  • What did I do really well?

Ultimately it is your special book, and your special time, so Enjoy!

So, what are you waiting for? Choose your favourite from our beautiful range of fairly traded, handmade notebooks and reap the benefits of journal writing.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

 

Mystical Hematite

Rose Quartz and Hematite BraceletHematite is the mineral form of iron oxide.

It’s metallic dark grey in colour, magnetic and cool to the touch.

The name ‘hematite’ derives from the Greek word meaning ‘blood’ as it can be red in its powdered form. Hematite jewellery was very popular in the Victorian era, when doctors believed it to improve blood disorders.

Hematite has been used for thousands of years; in ancient Egypt it was turned into magical amulets, and the Romans associated Hematite with Mars, their God of War.

Roman soldiers are said to have used it during battle for protection. Coincidentally, this mineral stone has been found in large quantities on the planet Mars in 2001 by the NASA 2001 Odyssey spacecraft, which is still orbiting Mars today.

Hematite is said to be a good grounding stone, helping to improve resistance to life’s stresses.

Its shiny metallic lustre may deflect negative energies.

In crystal healing books, Hematite is recommended when facing confrontations as it is thought to boost confidence and stimulates concentration and focus.

In American folklore, hematite was used as a remedy for alcohol abuse. In fact, it is said to help to break the cycle of all kinds of addictions including smoking and over-eating.

If you have an allergy to metal, then you may well be able to wear hematite jewellery as it doesn’t contain any nickel, which is the main cause for adverse skin reactions.

Wear a hematite necklace to relieve tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders.

A hematite bracelet is said to increase the wearer’s magnetism – so wear one, if you are looking for love!

Of course, the healing properties of crystals in general are not scientifically proven, but why not try it out? At least we can enjoy their beauty.

Hematite Jewellery

Baking a Cake (very easy recipe)

Baking a Cake

Yesterday, when I went into the kitchen to make myself yet another cup of coffee, I suddenly had the urge to bake a cake.

Crazy, isn’t it 🙂

The cake I made is my mother’s recipe, which contains some vague instructions like “oven temperature between 180 – 200°C and “baking time 50 – 60 mins”.

I always take a risk when baking a cake; after all I’m not the best cook in the world, and my cakes tend to turn out stodgy or crumbly.

But luckily, this cake turned out to be a success, and because it is so simple yet delicious, I would like to share my mother’s recipe with you:

Ingredients
350g self-raising flour
150g unsalted butter
150g sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk (at room temperature)
vanilla essence or vanilla sugar to taste
optional: 1 cup of chopped roasted hazelnuts

Method
First mix the butter, sugar and eggs until creamy and fluffy; at this stage the mixture is still runny.

Then add the remaining ingredients gradually until the dough has an even consistency. Put the mixture into a regular sized greased loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for about one hour.

Cake

Ta-daa! Yum yum 😀

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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