little detours salt rock plant home decor

Back To The Blog | If you've ever taken a break from blogging, big or small, the loop I've been stuck in - wanting to create content, not knowing where to start and ultimately setting the laptop aside for another day - is probably one you know well. It's been a few months now since I last published a post here at A Natural Detour and every time I've tried to get something scheduled I've felt pretty overwhelmed by my (60+) draft posts. October marks seven years since I started blogging so this seemed like a good time to sit down and try again and I thought the best way to get back into this writing thing would be to share another edition of Little Detours... here goes!

TV Talk | Keeping up with tradition, it feels only right to include a little TV talk in this post. I've watched and enjoyed so many new things since LD2 back in April that I'd be here all day trying to share them all, but my latest favourite has to be The Good Place.

Autumn Leaves | It also feels wrong not to talk about Autumn, although I may be a little late to the party! Similarly to every other blogger I'm ready to welcome the colourful leaves of Autumn, soft knitwear, cosy interior updates and all things...

Halloween! | Anyone who has found themselves here thanks to my old blog will probably already know how much I love Halloween related things. I've already made my first Halloween purchases of the year, stumbling upon some fabric that was too good to leave behind and resisting the urge to buy everything that Home Sense had to offer. I'm also on the lookout for something that will top last year's chocolate peanut butter brownies to bake for my friends this Halloween - if you've seen any good recipes let me know!

A New Look | In other news, I'm moving house next week and have been struggling with decor ideas for my bedroom. Whilst I had been planning to paint it the same shade of calming pale grey I've been living with for the past year, it somehow managed to look almost lilac-y on the walls there, so it was back to square one. After a stressful trip to Homebase I came away with a much bolder choice; a tub of Dulux's Denim Drift, a blue-grey shade. I've still got three more walls to paint after the move but naturally I've been enjoying looking at styling ideas on Pinterest.

Shea Butter | My final detour today has been sitting in the draft of this post for quite some time but months later I'm still keen to share it with you. After completely cutting dairy out of my diet around a year ago my eczema has been pretty much non-existent, but before this change I discovered a new favourite product to keep it at bay; unrefined shea butter. Although thankfully I haven't had any big issues with eczema lately I've still been using shea butter regularly for dry patches/general skincare and have seen great results. I like to keep a big tub in my cupboard and decant it into small tins which are handy to keep in your bag or bedside table - definitely a staple to add to your skincare collection!


Little Detours #3

Friday, 29 September 2017

fajita rice bowl vegetarian gluten free

Fajita Rice Bowl (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

This colourful dish was inspired by a 'chicken fajita pasta' recipe I found over on the Good Housekeeping website. You may be wondering how I managed to end up turning a pasta bake recipe into a rice dish, and initially I did try a straightforward ingredient swap for the original recipe. With the leftover ingredients I decided to switch things up the following day using rice instead and found that I actually preferred the rice bowl version!
The original recipe calls for chicken, which I replaced with Quorn pieces and combined with the red onions, peppers and fajita seasoning. Just like in the original recipe I added tomato paste, salsa and water, then simply stirred in a packet of microwave rice and topped the bowl with sliced avocado and fresh coriander for the perfect quick weeknight dinner.

vegan gluten free cookies chocolate chip

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

These cookie treats were adapted from the It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken recipe I mentioned in my recent post 3 Cookie Recipes I Love (Gluten Free/Vegan). Similarly to my first batch I used Doves Farm flour to make the cookies gluten free but also subbed a little of the flour for cocoa powder. I then added in a mix of dark and white dairy free chocolate chunks for an extra chocolate boost! Batch number three saw me adapt the same recipe to create chocolate orange cookies for a friend's birthday. Next up I'm planning to try white chocolate and raspberry!

tagliatelle garlic mushroom sauce vegan gluten free

Tagliatelle With Garlic Mushroom Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of pasta, I very much doubt I'll be able get through any posts in this series without including some sort of pasta dish! This time around I was looking for a new way to use up a small packet of exotic mushrooms and decided to add them to a simple white pasta sauce. To make my vegan/gluten free white sauce I like to use dairy free spread, a gluten free flour blend and coconut milk (Koko brand is my favourite). To give the sauce some flavour I usually use garlic oil, wholegrain mustard, nutritional yeast flakes, salt and black pepper. Along with the mushrooms I fried some onion and added these to the finished sauce before stirring through some gluten free tagliatelle and serving with some homemade garlic bread.

If you missed my last Cooking Lately post you can catch it here!


Cooking Lately #2 (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian/Dairy Free)

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

paperhaul may 2017
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount

Today I wanted to share a quick look at May's #paperhaul box which was filled with another set of beautiful watercolour style prints, this time featuring flamingoes! In contrast to last month's designs the bold pink flamingoes and leafy green prints pop against plain white backgrounds but the collection is still perfect for the time of year with it's tropical vibes.

Containing two postcards, a notepad, notebook and three notecards as usual there's a good selection of items different occasions. My top picks this month would have to be the notepad - perfect for adding a splash of colour to your desk - and the flamingo print notecard (pictured below).

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up at Crafty Creatives for just £10 a month.

paperhaul may 2017

If you missed my post on April's #paperhaul box you can find it here.


Flamingo Fever - #paperhaul May

Sunday, 4 June 2017

This post is something I started work on back when I was still blogging at e-elise etc and began life as a series following my journey to find the perfect non-toxic sunscreen. Slowly but surely I'm attempting to make the switch with as many of my products as possible through shopping non-toxic brands as well as trying out homemade versions and as a loyal sunscreen wearer this was an important one for me to get right.

Today I wanted to share my thoughts on the different formulas that I tested out last year and which product I'm currently using as an everyday sunscreen. I'm hoping that sharing this post may be helpful to anyone else who has been struggling to find a good non-toxic sunscreen option as I understand how tricky it can be. As ingredients are an important part of the decision I've included links to the products on their brand websites which have full details of these. Of course it's important to note that this post looks at what has worked for me and my skin type and unfortunately what works for me won't necessarily work for everyone.

I have to admit, at one point I was just about ready to give up on the whole idea when even having done so much research it still seemed like a non-toxic sunscreen that was affordable, good quality and available in the UK didn't exist. As it turned out I only had to try three different options before I found one that I really love, although of course I'm still always on the lookout in case something new pops up!

goddess garden natural sunscreen spf 30 non toxic natural skincare

Goddess Garden Organics Everyday Natural Sunscreen (SPF 30) | Ingredients

After doing a lot of reading over on EWG this was the first more natural formula I tried out. Priced at just under £20 for 177ml this SPF 30 sunscreen gives you more product for your money than the other non-toxic formulas I have tried. Appearance-wise I was surprised to find that the product is greyish in colour, having grown up with your average big brand white lotions. It is also fairly runny and has quite a heavy lavender scent. Unfortunately whilst it is easy to apply it can leave a slight chalky tint on the skin and I found that whilst the scent is not unpleasant personally I prefer an unscented sunscreen.

The range also includes a facial sunscreen however I didn't end up trying it out as I was a little disappointed with this product. Having said that I do continue to occasionally use this one on larger areas such as my arms when I go walking but still hope to find an unscented alternative that is just as good value for money.

neals yard wild rose spf 30 non toxic sunscreens natural skincare

Neal's Yard Remedies Wild Rose Moisturising (SPF 30) | Ingredients

After finding that so many products mentioned in the EWG guide are difficult to get hold of in the UK I turned to my own research. Marketed as a facial sunscreen this product from well-known British brand Neal's Yard contains SPF 30 and retails at £25 for a 50ml tube.

The sunscreen is pale yellow in colour and has a strong rose scent which similarly to the Goddess Garden formula was something I personally would prefer to not be included. The texture of this product is actually slightly gritty and due to this it can take a little longer to rub into the skin. If you want to avoid an oily puddle it also needs a really good shake before you squeeze anything out of the tube! Whilst this is a nice product and I did use it regularly for a short time I was still determined to find something unscented and smoother in texture so headed back to the EWG guide to search for alternative options.

non toxic sunscreens mychelle dermaceuticals natural skincare

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Unscented (SPF 28) | Ingredients

This SPF 28 formula from US company MyChelle Dermaceuticals is completely unscented and most closely resembles the appearance and texture of your average sunscreen. It is white in colour and in contrast to the other two sunscreens shown above it has a very smooth texture, similar to a fairly thick moisturiser which rubs into the skin easily.

I have been using this as a daily facial sunscreen for at least six months now and have not experienced any issues that can sometimes be associated with SPF-containing products such as breakouts. As for use on larger areas of skin, the formula seems to work well but a tube like this wouldn't last very long if used regularly for both face and body. At the moment it is still my preferred option of the three, however I would really love to find a more affordable alternative, allowing me to reserve this one as my year-round facial sunscreen.

There is one catch though, if like me you live in the UK this sunscreen can be a little tricky to get hold of, however if you shop around you should be able to get your hands on it! I've purchased it from both Naturismo and Amazon in the last year, priced at just under £20 for 68ml.

*Update 24/05/17 - Mychelle have let me know that they will be relaunching in the UK later ths year, in the meantime is a stockist.

June 2017 - Since publishing this post I have also been testing out Green People's Scent Free Sun Lotion and am pleased to report I'm a fan of this formula!

This is where my search for a non-toxic sunscreen has ended... for now at least! If you can recommend any other unscented non-toxic sunscreens please do leave a comment and let me know, I'd love to hear from you.


My Search For A Non-Toxic Sunscreen (Cruelty-Free)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Today we're trying something new which may or may not become a regular fixture here on A Natural Detour. Whilst I'm not sure the format of What I Eat In A Day posts would work for me I thought it might be interesting to share some of the new things I've cooked over the last week, sharing dinner ideas and also showing how I've adapted recipes/ideas to suit a free from diet, similarly to my 30 Recipes challenge back in January. If you'd like to see more foodie posts like this let me know!


Nut Butter Tofu Stir Fry (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

As soon as I saw this new Minimalist Baker recipe pop up on Bloglovin' last month I knew I had to try it out. Whilst I've baked with nut butters before I'd not really ventured into using them for savoury dishes until last week. This recipe uses almond butter as part of the marinade so I followed this step, then added in some peanut butter when cooking the veggies. As you can see I did manage to overcook the tofu when I transferred it from the oven to the pan but it still tasted pretty good, albeit a little heavy on the chili flakes!

Tofu Pasta Bowl (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

Having opened a block of tofu for the stir fry recipe I had some extra and this was the dish I threw together with the leftovers. Instead of marinating in the nut butter mix I sprinkled the remaining tofu cubes with oregano, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic granules then baked them in the oven until crispy. I served the tofu with brown rice penne, asparagus, petit pois, green pesto and a generous sprinkling of my favourite parmesan substitute from Follow Your Heart.


Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

A new favourite of mine is this mushroom stroganoff creation, inspired by a BBC Good Food recipe. Last week was actually the second time I've made a version of this dish and whilst both were tasty this one definitely had more flavour than the first attempt. In all honesty I didn't take much notice of the quantities in the original recipe but for the sauce I used around 200ml vegetable stock and around 2/3 of a carton of Oatly cream for two servings. For extra flavour I used three different types of mushrooms, Quorn 'chicken pieces' and a healthy glug of Biona's Worcestershire sauce which is both vegan and gluten free.


Veggie Sausage & Asparagus Pasta Bake (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This pasta bake recipe from Buy This Cook That was one I recently discovered when searching for a new dish that would use up leftover asparagus. To adapt the recipe I used Quorn gluten-free sausages and instead of marinara sauce mixed chopped tomatoes with garlic oil, oregano, salt and black pepper. I topped off the pasta bake with some mozzarella style shreds from Tesco's new range of dairy free cheese.


Cooking Lately #1 (Gluten-Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Going back to work after a long stint of being at home and able to whip up whatever I liked for lunch means I've been spending some time lately trying to think up different free from lunch ideas that both taste great and travel well. Whether you're headed out to work, school or on a day trip here are three of my favourite lunch ideas...

lunch on the go ideas vegan sushi gluten free

Veggie Quinoa Sushi Rolls (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

A couple of months back I decided to have a go at making my own sushi rolls and was really pleased with the results. For a lunch box alternative to traditional rice sushi I like this leftover-friendly quinoa version packed with protein and raw veggies such as carrots, cucumber and avocado. These taste especially delicious dipped in some gluten-free tamari and would definitely make a nice change from a sandwich!

'Chicken' Avocado Salad Pittas (Gluten-Free-Adaptable, Vegan-Adaptable)

When I finally decided that avocados were bearable to eat (it took a few tries!) this pitta version of a chicken avocado salad quickly became one of my favourite lunches. Simply combine vegan salad cream/mayonnaise, green pesto, gem lettuce and a meat-free chicken substitute with salt & pepper seasoned avocado slices and serve inside free from pittas for a tasty lunch.

chickpea potato salad gluten free

Chickpea & Potato Salad (Vegan/Gluten-Free)

This final idea is definitely my favourite lunch right now and is based on a simple recipe I shared here in February. This chickpea salad tastes great with pasta but as many gluten-free pastas tend not to travel so well I've found that adding new potatoes and some homegrown spinach is a great alternative way to bulk out the salad for a filling lunch portion.


3 Lunch On The Go Ideas! (Gluten-Free/Vegetarian/Vegan)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

paperhaul april 2017
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount

It's time to talk #paperhaul again! Similarly to last month I really felt the new sleeker packaging worked well for the box and again loved the how the sticker on the envelope shared a little sneak peek of the month's theme. As you can see from the photographs April's box shares the love for lemons with block printed pastel colours and eye-catching repetitive prints.

paperhaul april 2017 lemons stationery subscription box

Included this time around were three notecards, three postcards, one large greetings card and a notebook. Although I have quite a few of them at this point having been a #paperhaul subscriber right from the very beginning, I find the little notebooks really handy to have around and was happy to see that April's contains dotted pages (my personal favourite kind!).

My favourite items of the bunch would probably have to be the trio of notecards patterned with little lemon wedges and the large greetings card which reads 'when everyone else is being a lemon be a lime'. I also really enjoyed the matching decoration on the reverse of this month's postcards; perfect for sending snail mail to brighten a friend's day.

paperhaul april 2017

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up at Crafty Creatives for just £10 a month.

paperhaul april 2017


Lemons & Limes - #paperhaul April

Sunday, 7 May 2017

We all love a sweet treat but it isn't always easy to find delicious free from recipes that are easy to bake at home. Today I thought I would share three of my favourite cookie recipes that are free from dairy, eggs and gluten or can be successfully adapted to be vegan and gluten free.

vegan gluten free cookies a natural detour

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (via It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken) 

My most recent free from cookie find is this quick, easy and delicious recipe including oats, cinnamon and dark chocolate chips. The original recipe is vegan but to make these gluten free as well I found that a straight substitute of plain gluten free flour (I use Doves Farm) in place of the recipe's all purpose flour works perfectly and of course you can opt for gluten free oats. A dairy free spread in place of the vegan butter, which isn't as easy to get hold of in the UK, also works well.

vegan gluten free cookies a natural detour

Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies (via Texan Erin Baking)

I've tried a whole bunch of vegan cookie recipes over the last few months but these walnut-based treats remain one of my favourites; I love them so much my friends even made me a batch for my birthday! The homemade walnut butter gives the cookies a great texture and whilst the recipe doesn't actually call for a dark chocolate drizzle I really love the extra chocolate boost!

vegan gluten free cookies a natural detour

Chocolate, Orange & Almond Cookies (via Madeleine Shaw)

These chocolate cookies with crunchy almonds and vibrant orange zest are an amazing treat and a batch never lasts long around here! The combination of chocolate and orange is always a winner and the almonds add a great additional texture. The original recipe calls for an egg but I have tried making a vegan version by replacing this with a flax or chia 'egg' and I'm pleased to report they taste just as good, although they can be a little softer in texture. Opting for dairy free spread instead of the coconut oil/butter also seems to work well. I like to add on the zest whilst the cookies are still warm to give the orange a chance to sink in and give a stronger flavour.


3 Cookie Recipes I Love (Gluten Free/Vegan)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

paperhaul stationery box march 2017

Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount

 The first thing I noticed about March's box was the new look packaging. Instead of arriving in it's usual brown cardboard box, #paperhaul's packaging has had a little bit of a makeover with the latest selection of stationery goodies arriving in a slim white cardboard envelope. This more compact style works well for the contents of #paperhaul and came complete with a pretty 'your #paperhaul is here' sticker, matching the designs featured inside which I thought was a lovely touch.

paperhaul stationery box march 2017

This time around the box contained postcards, notecards, a large greeting card and a small notebook, all featuring bright watercolour designs. The beautiful bold florals were the perfect compliment to the sunshine and spring blossoms that have arrived with April and I loved the variety of greetings included with something for every occasion from 'consider yourself hugged' (as pictured above) to 'miss you', 'bonjour', 'birthday hug' and 'yes!'.

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up at Crafty Creatives for just £10 a month.

paperhaul march 2017


Florals & Stripes - #paperhaul March

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

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