4 Exercises for the Eyes to Avoid Wrinkles

This is a set of 4 exercises to help avoid eye wrinkles.

I found these exercises in a book from 1972 called “Secrets of Natural Beauty” by Virginia Castleton Thomas. I think it’s a classic amongst my parents’ generation (my parents would have been 11 when this was published, so maybe a classic amongst people a bit older), because when I cleared their houses after their deaths last year, both my mother and my father had a copy of this book on their bookshelf. I have, however, re-written the description of these exercises so that this post is more readable as the phrasing was a bit old-fashioned.

1. To remove eye tension and strengthen the eye muscles: Sit upright and extend your right arm directly in front of you. Point forward with your index finger and focus on it with your eyes, then move the finger very slowly to the right, until your arm has moved so far that you can hardly focus on it any more, then bring the arm back to centre, slowly, still focusing on the finger. Repeat the exercise using your left arm, but this time, move the arm to the left instead of the right.

2. Keeping your head still, raise your arm upwards to the limit of your vision. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly drop your arm until it’s at the lower end of your vision range. Start by doing this once per day, but after you have done them for a few days, start building repetitions until you are doing a few reps each time.

3. Open your eyes wide and visualize a large-faced clock with the numbers painted just at the edge of your vision. Start at twelve o’clock and very slowly, without moving your head, move your eyes to one o’clock and on around in a clockwise direction, pausing briefly at each (visualized) number before moving onto the next one. After returning to twelve o’clock, repeat the exercise anticlockwise, moving the eyes from twelve to eleven, and so on.

4. Rolling the head without moving the shoulders is a good exercise for improved vision. This movement relaxes the eyes and reduces deepening wrinkles due to eye strain. Learning to do a loose head roll not only improves the vision by increasing circulation to the optic nerves, but can also relax the entire upper body. Personally I find the head roll very comforting and relaxing – it reminds me of yoga and gymnastics lessons at primary school. Do be aware that it’s best to avoid rolling your head backwards as this has been said to be dangerous (I’m not sure if this is a myth but I avoid it just in case, as I was told it during warm-ups by instructors of five or six different physical activities).

I tried these exercises out last night, and I don’t think I look any younger but the head roll was, as I predicted, very relaxing. The eye exercises made both my eyes ache slightly when I moved my eyes from 1 to 2 and from 11 to 10, so I think that might be an area of muscle weakness that I need to work on.

Virginia also writes:
“In addition to exercises for toning eye muscles, there are additional helps to control the marring of skin tissue by wrinkles, dark circles and frown lines. Learn to express your thought without grimacing. Many people are inclined to punctuate, describe or apologize for the contents of their speech by clown-like expressions.
The face should not be used to explain verbal expression. Well-chosen words will convey your meaning and be more appreciated without distracting facial expressions. Frowns, narrowing of the eyes and other manifestations of uncertainty do not present either a pretty or helpful picture. Use adequate speech and save your face.
That is not to say one should not have any expression at all. But these expressions should be relaxed, and show the more pleasant aspects of one’s personality. Laugh lines seldom seem to distress their owners as much as frown lines or wrinkles caused by squinting or habitually downturned lips. Laugh lines add animation to the face. However, the quick to laugh personality often pays for charm with crinkle lines around the lips.” (Secrets of Natural Beauty, 1972, page 133)

It sort of reads like she’s a slightly bossy teacher at a finishing-school trying to impress upon her charges the importance of understated expressions. I’m not sure I agree with the way she’s written it but the fact still remains that OTT expressions will age your face too soon, and apparently this has been known since at least the early 1970s. One thing I will point out is the women who were in their twenties in the 1960s and 1970s seem to have all stopped ageing around their late forties and early fifties, so they probably know what they’re talking about when it comes to beauty. While I couldn’t find any information on the internet about Virginia Castleton Thomas (and the book sadly appears to be out of print), it does say on the back cover that she was a beauty editor, and the introductory chapter shows that she has done a lot of research to find the beauty formulas she presents in this book, so I think she knows what she’s talking about. I will be writing more about this book, and the recipes for home-made cosmetics, as I try them out.

katie sun bathes
Katie had this natural beauty thing down so well that we didn’t know she was 7, we thought she was 2! Imma do what she did for my beauty routine – only use my paws to clean my face, eat everything in sight, especially if it is a plant, and spend lots of time in the sun with my Dearest.

What do you think of these facial exercises?  Would you do them?  Let me know in the comments!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons: Spring

In direct contrast to Autumn, Spring as an emotion is a feeling of growth, of change, of refreshment, when I look on the whole world with new eyes.  Everything is growing, and the detritus of the old world is consumed by rebirth:

Lichen on a rock, Fort William, Scotland.

From the Weekly Photo Challenge found here: Seasons I decided this picture best represented Spring as a reflection of the inner landscape.

Three Classic Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Hairstyles

Today’s video is a hair tutorial showing how to do three classic Lara Croft hairstyles from the video game and film franchise Tomb Raider.
In this video, I show you how I did the original video game bobble braid, how I did the pigtail bobble braids from the first level of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (and those Irish levels from Tomb Raider: Chronicles) and how I did the Angelina Jolie French Braid (with my short hair…) from the first film.  Which one’s your favourite?  I love the French braid in the middle best, and I think the pigtails didn’t suit my angular features at all!

Lara Croft Tomb Raider cosplay fancy dress tutorial hair
The title card from today’s Lara Croft hair tutorial video.

Also after a lot of thought about my longer-term Youtube plan I have decided to drop back to one video a week rather than two, now that my backlog of finished videos have all made it onto Youtube. I had a period of time at the start of the year when I was very active at making videos and I wanted them to all get onto Youtube sooner, so I’ve been updating twice a week since the New Year, but now I’m back to my usual update schedule of one video a week.
I had so much fun doing this video and when I recorded the shower scene at the end I just couldn’t stop giggling, I had to re-take it about 12 times with the shower door open and my tripod half in the bath and my bathroom floor got soaked!! It was one of those “THIS is why I make Youtube videos” moments.

You can watch the latest video here

I’ve also changed my update day to Thursday because I think it’s going to work better with the rest of my schedule.
I’ve also stopped embedding my videos onto WordPress because I want to keep track of how many views they’re getting and I can’t tell if anyone’s clicking the play button or not on here; if no-one’s actually watching my videos when I link them on WordPress, there’s probably a better thing I could use a full day’s post for. It’s still one click to get it to play, and it’s still going to take pretty much the same time to load, it’s just now it takes you to Youtube when you click the link so you can do Youtubey things.

When I see other people link their videos in WordPress I always prefer to go to Youtube to watch the video so I can like the video over there and comment on it. Let me know if you preferred it when the videos were embedded in WordPress or whether you like the new system better!

I know I haven’t written a beauty post in a little while but don’t worry, I’ve got some doozys* coming up in the near future that I’m so excited to share with you!!

* What’s the plural here?  Is it doozies or doozys?  They both look wrong.

The Best Bipolar Documentary… DOESN’T Feature Stephen Fry!

The best bipolar documentary you can watch if you want to know what bipolar is like, how it is treated and what people look like when they are suffering from it, is NOT the high-profile one recently released that features Stephen Fry.

Don’t get me wrong, that had its moments but it was generally disappointing in its blandness.  While I was faffing around with iPlayer I saw ANOTHER documentary, this one was called “My Baby, Psychosis and Me” and was listed as being about post-partum psychosis, sometimes called post-partum bipolar disorder.  Stab me for merging the two, I don’t care, watch the documentary and tell me I’m wrong.  Everyone with bipolar disorder, post-partum psychosis and their partners/anyone who wants to know what it’s really like should watch this documentary, it’s really that good.

There are two women being followed by the documentary as they deal with post-partum psychosis.  One of them already had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  The other didn’t, and I don’t think she has been diagnosed with it either but it wasn’t stated, but she did have very severe depression.  I think this is the absolute best documentary I’ve ever seen showing what it’s actually like to experience bipolar disorder.

Like so many other people, I first watched The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive about 8 years ago, when it was broadcast.  I wasn’t diagnosed with a mental illness at the time.  Last year, in August, I was diagnosed with Type II Bipolar Disorder and PTSD, after losing both my parents within 5 months (clarification edit: this was NOT why I was diagnosed with PTSD).  I also lost my career as a teacher, and I nearly lost my life.  My whole life was completely destroyed by bipolar disorder.

Last year, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive was one of the documentaries I watched again whilst trying to come to terms with my illness.

With the newer update, titled The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive – Ten Years On, I felt (and I’ll say that a lot because it’s my opinion) that one hour wasn’t enough for them to go into the same depth with the number of people they were following.  Of the original people Mr Fry spoke to, there was only one who was followed up.  It’s also a crying shame that they couldn’t follow up some of the others, even if it was just to inform us about those who had died or committed suicide, or that they didn’t want to be part of the next one.  A black card at the beginning or end with the names on would have been enough.  Suicide got very strongly avoided as a topic, only being mentioned by Stephen Fry with his psychiatrist, and nobody discussed the way that NHS cuts have caused changes to the process of hospitalization, either, which would have been a good follow up from the previous documentary.  I felt like the people being followed for this one had excellent stories to tell, and that some of this got left untold and just dropped.  We got snapshots instead of postcards.  I felt as well that the question that was asked wasn’t fully answered, “has the way we live with bipolar disorder changed?”  The obvious problem with their conclusion being that the thrust of the argument was that younger generations are more accepting of bipolar disorder – where older generations are more stigmatizing.  This is problematic because we don’t go through life interacting only with people our age and particularly in the world of work (which most of us would like to be part of if we’re not already) we sometimes have to communicate our illness to other adults and trust that they will respond in a reasonable way.  I also felt that it was unrealistic to juxtapose Robin Williams because (and I’ve said it before) every freaking mental illness minority has been trying to label him with their own special label since he committed suicide, and without an official diagnosis prior to death, I think post-mortem mental illness diagnoses are untenable and often rely on circumstantial evidence.  This is also why it annoys me that Marilyn Monroe is often “claimed” as bipolar – she looks borderline from where I stand.

On the contrary, My Baby, Psychosis and Me was a lot better at showing what it’s really like to have bipolar disorder, to live with it, to be in a relationship with someone with bipolar disorder, and I feel that this documentary did a much better job of showing (rather than telling) the way that bipolar disorder and post-partum psychosis affect people.  I identified very strongly with the issues being faced by both of the women being followed in this documentary and believe it felt better-made and showcased much more appropriate film-making techniques (e.g. a manageable sample size for a 1 hour documentary about a complex subject).  I was very impressed that they filmed someone receiving ECT, which was less scary than I expected.

The only criticism I have is that, while I haven’t been sectioned, I did attend my local mental hospital for assessment (which is now closed because it was in such a bad state of disrepair – meaning the future of mental health services here is in question at the moment), and I don’t genuinely believe that most people in the country get access to such good facilities as those on the documentary.  But the psychiatrist in the documentary did point out that it’s a postcode lottery and in many places, women aren’t able to be placed in a mother and baby unit, and this was borne out as the episode unfolded.

This is an issue that is close to my heart.  With my pregnancy last year, I was trying desperately to find out any information I could about this specific condition because women with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience post-partum psychotic episodes than women who don’t already have bipolar disorder (which is classed as a psychotic disorder although most people wish it wasn’t).  Not finding anything specific enough like personal experiences on the internet, I reached out via WordPress.  My blog, usually abuzz with information and opinions, fell oddly silent except for three or four voices, and I felt that a lot of people actually went out of their way to avoid this elephant on the table, particularly people who were allegedly well-qualified to speak on this matter.

This silence, which lasted long after my pregnancy ended (and the silence still perpetuates), has culminated in my being de-friended on Twitter and WordPress by some of the very people claiming to speak for women with bipolar disorder and claiming to be so very misunderstood.  I’ve said before, but when people say they are “raising awareness” when they blog about bipolar disorder, what, exactly, are they “raising awareness” of?  Raising awareness of bipolar disorder, or raising awareness of themselves?  Either way, I’m not, by some people’s measure, bipolar enough for them, because I’m not running around going on about how bad it is all the time and screaming that the world owes me something.  So I don’t get to weigh in on matters of bipolarness.

I was left alone and adrift, by people whom I had supported when I could, in a world where I lost my job, where I was forced to fight to abort the baby I very much wanted, and two months on, I am still trying to move on anyway, in the face of all the shit that had already happened in 2015.  But the ‘trying to move on’ is what has unsettled some people.  I guess some people are so jealous of anything that other people do (regardless of how shit my or anyone else’s life is in other ways) that they just don’t try to understand other people (while bitching that no-one understands them).

It’s interesting that one of the bipolar blogging people who defriended/unfollowed me was, two weeks ago, crying blue murder (again) that someone else had done it to them (I now wonder why).  Maybe that person (let’s call her Person A) should think of that next time Person A acts like they’re someone’s friend then decide on a whim they won’t help Person B out with a problem that is Person A’s specialist subject that they’re writing a book about, *then* (after Person B didn’t bring it up or hold it against Person A in any way) not bother finding out that Person B’s critically ill, assume Person B’s ignoring them and decide Person A absolutely doesn’t like Person B at all because Person B’s in hospital and *can’t* give Person A the attention Person A desperately craves and expects from people.  But they won’t.  They’ll continue in their little self absorbed bubble luring in new people with all the lovely things they say right until they get to their discard phase and call them fit to burn again (bipolar… or narcissistic personality disorder with depression?  I know someone who has this so it’s possible). I was going to link to her so she got pinged by this, but she’d only love the attention/drama. I’ve blocked her from commenting anyway.

On a bipolar-related note, do you know who should have got a book contract to write about bipolar disorder (I’d especially love it to begin or end each chapter with a Spangladian recipe for something tasty)? La Sabrosona. If you haven’t seen her blog My Spanglish Familia, get your ass over there, it’s my absolute favourite. It’s a lovely mixture of topics, she doesn’t over-dramatize things (she analyzes her responses to triggers – I don’t know anyone else who does this – I certainly can’t), and she’s very open minded and open to discussion on thought provoking questions, which I really like, as well as her brilliant weekly series, Metamorphosis Mondays. By contrast, she has also been known to talk about the “normal” stuff like organizing a family etc, which is a refreshing change too; reading her blog is like having a conversation with a good friend over coffee.

I am aware I’m burning yet another bridge here re: my comments higher up, but y’know what? I don’t care. Not since I found out none of the people I was worried about upsetting even follow my blog. Now, I don’t care about follower numbers but it seems to me this relationship has become a little one-sided. I don’t even USE WordPress reader normally, and I still follow their blogs with WordPress. Thanks for nothing. Everyone wants to be heard but no-one wants to listen. Well I listen as much as I can, and I feel slightly mean but I like a bit of reciprocation every now and then. As a mature adult, I haven’t unfollowed them, but as a dissed bitch I’m considering it.  What can I say?  I’m a Scorpio.  I try to overcome it but sometimes people bring out the worst in me.

I think that people in general in mental health and other minority groups (vegan, trans etc) need to stop creating pockets of 100% agreement about everything (and demanding a tactfulness akin to mindreading from people who don’t have bipolar etc) that leads to the distortions of perception of reality that cause us to break with reality.  This is especially important for those of us with bipolar disorder, because ain’t nobody got time for being manic.  I thought we were all supposed to be individuals not sheeple. If people stopped feeling so damn invalidated by anyone else doing things differently to themselves we could solve 90% of world conflicts, though, and even “sane” people don’t seem to manage it most of the time.  That’s no reason not to try, of course (I am convinced that jealousy comes from feelings of inadequacy). But I’m Not Bipolar Enough to comment on such things because I’m not full of drama.  Oh, the irony of this post.

Don’t worry, I’ll grow the hell up again tomorrow and resume my normal posts but I just needed to get some of this out of my system since we’re talking bipolar disorder today, because I want to be able to say that I officially don’t care but I’m not in that place right now. I’d have to write every one of my posts just like this one to qualify to be part of the very special bipolar blogging clique that I’m Not Bipolar Enough to be a part of, anyway, so the bridge was already on fire when I got here.

burning bridge on fire China it was like that when I got here meme

It does beg the question though, after seeing several posts about the “problem” of self diagnosed people and people who aren’t really bipolar pretending to be bipolar bloggers (I have 3 psychiatrists’ diagnoses of bipolar II and I’m now MORE sick of the lines in the sand than I am with the original problem, which I ignore) why do people feel the need to patrol the boundaries of “their” mental illness? And how are those boundaries decided and managed? Is it really so terrifying if we take down those boundaries and start to blur the lines between normal and bipolar? Because we all wail about ending stigma; this is what it entails. It requires there to be no difference between us and them and how we treat each other. Many “normal” people are trying to meet us halfway, can we not budge an inch??? Instead of needing an “other” to rage about, can’t we all just be “us” with no them?

I mean, this is assuming for even a minute (as all these bipolar gatekeepers seem to do) that everyone without bipolar disorder is “normal” which is ludicrous – what about the schizophrenics?  I think it’s this profound and deep-seated ablism that’s what bugs me so much about this “I’m more bipolar than you so your opinion doesn’t count because MY HEAD FELL OFF WHEN I WAS MANIC and yours didn’t so there” attitude.  Maybe it’s because we’re all outsiders in our own communities and can’t cope with the numbers of other bipolar disorder sufferers that are now talking about it online.  We opened up the floor for a discussion of bipolar disorder, hoped to end the stigma, it mostly happened, and a lot of people don’t seem to like the results because they’re no longer the most special snowflake in the snowdrift any more.  Are the arbitrary lines in the sand a coping mechanism?  You’ll have to forgive me, I’m now thinking from an anthropological point of view rather than a bipolar one.

COMING BACK TO THE DOCUMENTARY ITSELF, I can’t think why this excellent documentary hasn’t been lauded yet amongst the bipolar bloggers (apart from the fact the title could have been more revealing, and aforementioned lines in sand), so do check it out.  It’s only an hour long so if you’ve got some time, whether or not you’re bipolar or whether you have experienced post-partum psychosis, this really is a fantastic resource to educate yourself about these two very closely related mental health events (for want of a better word) so you can recognize these illnesses and support people to get help.  As Blahpolar suggested for the Stephen Fry documentary, hola.org is a good way to watch it if you don’t get iPlayer (or if it doesn’t work).  I managed to get iPlayer to work today but if you don’t, you’ve got another option there.  That link again, if you made it this far:

My Baby, Psychosis and Me on iPlayer


Let me know what you think of it, and any thoughts you have about the questions I posed in the third-to-last and second-to-last paragraphs.

Which Easter Eggs are Vegan 2016

UPDATED: CLICK HERE FOR 2017 Easter Eggs in the UK!

As promised, the 2016 edition of Which Easter Eggs Are Vegan (UK and USA):  I went to all the supermarkets in my town to see which ones carried dairy-free vegan easter eggs, and which eggs were actually dairy free and vegan, then I checked out Amazon.com to help out my American Vegan and Dairy Free readers too, so there should be something here for most dairy-free people.


Sainsbury’s had an excellent selection of vegan Easter eggs for 2016:

The Moo Free Egg is 100% vegan and available in Sainsbury’s:

The moo free vegan egg is available in Sainsbury's
The Moo Free vegan Egg

This interesting new addition to the range of dairy free vegan eggs is by a brand called Celtic (did they do Scheese??) and is also available in Sainsbury’s:

Dairy free vegan Easter egg Celtic Sainsburys
I haven’t seen this Celtic vegan egg before 2016.

Longtime entry Caramel Choices Easter Egg by Choices is a very sweet, very tasty dairy free and vegan egg that’s a favourite with children. It tastes like Thornton’s Special Toffee Egg (but vegan) although the chocolate is a little softer. Available at Sainsbury’s.  I have three of these ready for Easter, it’s my favourite!

Choices vegan Easter egg
Caramel Choices vegan Easter egg

The Choices dairy free vegan chocolate Easter bunny, at £1 each, comes in “milk” chocolate flavour or white chocolate flavour, but is still dairy free and vegan.  Available at Sainsbury’s and Tesco:

Choices vegan Easter egg bunny
The Choices chocolate vegan Easter bunnies.

Sainsbury’s have done their own dairy free and vegan eggs again this year.  This one is fantastic (I had one last year) – it’s a vegan white chocolate egg that’s dairy and wheat and gluten free and vegan so it covers all bases.  I love white chocolate eggs and there’s so few vegan ones on the market, so this is one of my favourites:

Sainsburys vegan Easter egg
Sainsbury’s white choc vegan egg.

This is the larger of Sainsbury’s two dairy free, gluten free and vegan eggs on offer this year: This one is dark chocolate flavour and comes with little chocolate discs.  If you’re a vegan dark chocolate fan this one’s for you.

One of Sainsbury's two dairy free, gluten free and vegan eggs on offer this year: This one is
Sainsbury’s dairy free Vegan gluten free Easter egg.


Moving on to Tesco, who had a very good selection last year, we also have the following dairy free and vegan Easter eggs:

The Tesco Finest 74% Ecuadorian Egg (the one that looks exactly like this with the gold on it) is dairy free and vegan. This egg is quite luxurious and would make an excellent gift for a dairy free or vegan adult who likes dark chocolate, but a child would probably want something a little sweeter:

Tesco finest 74 Ecuadorian Easter egg vegan dairy free
The Tesco Finest 74% Ecuadorian Egg is vegan.
Tesco Finest 74% Ecuadorian Easter egg
The ingredients for the Tesco Finest 74% Ecuadorian Easter egg. That’s “cocoa butter” not “butter” (despite some companies getting these confused when they label food for some reason).

The Green and Black’s Dark 70% chocolate egg is vegan and dairy free in 2016. Green and Black’s can be very inconsistent with whether they put milk in their food or not. One minute their chocolate is reasonably vegan, then the next minute it’s full of horrible milk, as I’m sure we all know, so don’t rely on this for checking if they’re still vegan in 2017!

Green and Blacks chocolate Easter egg vegan
The Green and Black’s Dark 70% chocolate egg is vegan in 2016.
The 2016 ingredients for the Green and Black's 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Easter Egg.
The 2016 ingredients for the Green and Black’s 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Easter Egg.

The Green and Black’s mint chocolate egg is also dairy free and vegan this year.  All the Green and Black’s say “not suitable for milk allergy” but I have an allergy and my only problem is that their chocolate doesn’t taste very nice, it’s never made me ill though:

The 2016 ingredients for the Green and Black's 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Easter Egg mint.
The Green and Black’s mint chocolate egg.

The Lindt DARK chocolate bunny with the brown ribbon is vegan 2 years in a row!  I am most excited about this positive move by Lindt to enable those of us who are dairy free to enjoy their chocolate.  Their chocolate is so nice!

Lindt Bunny Vegan
The Lindt DARK chocolate bunny is vegan.

The ingredients for the Lindt dark chocolate Easter gold bunny are here:

Lindt Bunny Vegan Ingredients
The ingredients.

My local Tesco’s Free From section surprised me two holiday seasons in a row – they didn’t have dairy free and vegan chocolate Advent calendars before Christmas and now they don’t have any Free From dairy free chocolate Easter eggs to choose from, good thing they make up for it with all their vegan dark chocolate egg offerings, but the only vegan Easter chocolate that Tesco sell that children would enjoy is the Lindt gold bunny and the little Choices bunnies, so if you’re shopping for vegan children or children with a milk allergy, Sainsbury’s is far and away the best place to get some proper Free From eggs.  Tesco’s selection is better for adults who like dark chocolate, so do check the preferences of your vegan or milk allergy sufferer before assuming they will like something just because it’s dairy free.  I think the vegan Kinnerton dairy free egg has been withdrawn this year because nowhere has it on sale and it used to be the most popular one for shops to stock (I’m sort of glad, I’m sick to death of getting that flipping egg from everyone year after year).  Morrisons were the most disappointing, for the fifth year in a row, they had absolutely nothing in the vegan or dairy free Easter egg department, not even the Green and Blacks or Lindt ones, and while they’ve expanded their dairy free area of the Free From section recently to move with the times and nearly catch up with… um… every other supermarket in Britain… they still have a long way to go before I can confidently get rid of my car and just use the local Morrisons for my dairy free and vegan shopping.

The Supermarket Shelf Hall Of Shame:  NOT VEGAN OR DAIRY FREE:

To follow are a list of eggs that looked like they might be dairy free or vegan but definitely aren’t.  Please don’t buy these for someone who doesn’t have milk or milk products:

After Eight Easter Egg not vegan
NOT VEGAN The After Eight Easter Egg contains milk.
The Lindt Excellence dark chocolate 70% cocoa egg contains milk.
NOT VEGAN: The Lindt Excellence dark chocolate 70% cocoa Easter egg contains milk.
Nestle Black Magic Easter egg NOT VEGAN 2016
NOT VEGAN: Did anyone really expect Nestle to come up with a dairy free egg for 2016? Well they didn’t. Again. But it looks like it might be vegan, so I included it in the hall of shame. I think Nestle might be the only chocolate company I know of who have never even tried to make a dairy free chocolate bar (even Cadbury’s trialled it with Bournville).

Cadbury’s also have nothing vegan or dairy free again this year, but I don’t mind too much because I can’t stand their chocolate. The vegan After Eight mint chocolate bunnies we saw last year (that I bought about 5 of at £1 each) also seem to have disappeared this year which is a shame because they were fabulous. If you see them please let me know where in the comments!

Dairy Free And Vegan Eggs on Amazon:

For my American readers, I’ve taken a look through Amazon and come up with a list of the best dairy free vegan Easter eggs available in 2016.  There are a couple I excluded because they were too expensive to be even vaguely reasonable for what they were.  I was surprised that there wasn’t the vast selection I was expecting:

Moo Free Cheeky Orange Vegan Easter Egg This one is $17.00 (plus $5.99 shipping) so comes in a little on the expensive side but I included it because it’s the only orange flavoured one.  This one is dairy free and suitable for vegans.

Moo Free Bunnycomb Free From Vegan Easter Egg At $13.00 (plus $5.99 shipping) it’s a little cheaper, but the cost of shipping is quite high again.  As the name implies, it’s dairy free and suitable for vegans.

Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate Eggs in a Gift Boxes 36 Blue Foil Wrapped Eggs (Pack of 2) These are $21 but they do qualify for free shipping AND you get a two pack for the $21 (which is a total of 36 foil wrapped eggs).  They are organic dark chocolate and suitable for vegans.

Cream Veggs Milk Free, Nut Free Vegan Easter Cream Filled Eggs These are $16.95 plus $6 shipping, but you do get 6 eggs so if you’re getting something for a family of vegans, dairy and nut allergy sufferers, or if you want all the kids to have the same as each other, this is a pretty good choice and since they’re cream-filled (I’m assuming dairy free cream, otherwise this is a really stupid item with misleading labelling), it’s something a little different to the usual hollow eggs.

Montezumas Chocolate Dark Choc Bunnies 90g This is a $17.82 (plus $5.99 shipping) 90g pack of 8 mini chocolate bunnies that are dairy free, organic and vegan. Interestingly the description says these are made in West Sussex (UK) but I’ve never heard of them so I don’t think they’re a very big company – perhaps one day these will find their way onto English supermarket shelves too!

Bonnie the Milkless Bunny Rabbit, Milk Free, Nut Free Vegan Candy Okay this one’s not an egg, it’s an Easter bunny, but it’s so freaking adorable and at $14.95 it’s one of the cheaper options to feed your vegan tasty dairy free chocolate at Easter!

And finally:

If you’re new to veganism or recently been diagnosed with a milk allergy (or recently met someone you’re buying for) you should be aware that these eggs will sell out fast!  I have already (time of writing is February 2016) got my Lindt dark chocolate bunny, and am getting my Sainsbury’s eggs this week so I don’t miss out, because Easter is a very special time of year for me and my bunnies, and I totally missed out on Christmas due to being critically ill so I’m looking forward to opening my tasty eggs on Easter day which means getting them early.  Please store them in a cool, dry place so they don’t go bad or melt, dairy free chocolate is still chocolate and it will melt in warm temperatures/direct sunlight!

I am an Amazon associate. This article contains affiliate links, which means if you buy from Amazon I get some of their profits. This helps me have time to do the painstaking research that goes into producing this content.

While these eggs are suitable for lactose intolerance, A1 casein intolerance and milk allergy sufferers, as well as most people living a milk-free life, not all of these eggs are suitable for all people whose medical conditions mean they avoid milk, not because they contain milk (they absolutely are 100% vegan except the three clearly labelled in the hall of shame) – but some people also have to avoid all of a specific type of sugar as well e.g. with a disaccharide intolerance. If you want to know more about the seven different types of milk-related allergies and intolerances, see my article here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons (Autumn)

This week’s photo challenge is to do with seasons; seasons as a reflection of your inner landscape.  I am thinking I’d like to do one for each season, but today I feel Autumn.
Being born in November, I guess I’m more prone to feeling Autumn than most people – the feeling that summer is over and winter is coming, and all you can do is watch as the temperature goes down and the wildlife runs for cover from the blizzards.  I think this picture sums it up, as the rabbit stares out at the dwindling stalks of grass:

autumn bunny
Fifer, Taken in October 2015.  Taken with Sigma 18-250mm lens.

Here’s where I found the weekly photo challenge: Seasons

Cute baby bunny Timmy plays with ball.

My latest Youtube video is here and I also need some photography advice.

Petit bébé lapin “Timmy” joue avec le ballon.

Piccolo coniglietto “Timmy” gioca con la palla.

Whichever language you speak, it’s freaking adorable (also I feel so proud I translated the title and description into French and Italian for Youtube)!  Enjoy cute bunny video (sorry about the wobble):

By the way (and this is why I tagged photography, sorry if that’s going to annoy people I promise I don’t usually do this), does anyone have any tips for photographing fast moving objects that startle if you move too close??  Any tips at all even if they seem obvious?  I find it hard to get my focus etc sorted before the rabbit moves again and he’s so movable!  And when he moves, the light levels change from where he was to where he is, and then I need to change all the settings on my camera by which time he’s moved again!  What do other people do?