Blog North Awards

“The Blog North Awards are part of the programme of the Manchester Literature Festival and are produced by Openstories (Lancashire) in partnership with cultural blogs Creative Tourist (Manchester/North West) and The Culture Vultures (Leeds/Yorkshire). The latter three organise theBlog North Network, a network of bloggers across the region that organises regular cultural events, networking sessions and workshops. The Blog North Awards are funded by Arts Council England.

The Blog North awards has grown out of the Manchester Blog Awards, which were established by Kate Feld of Openstories in 2006 to promote the cause of blogging and independent writing in the North West. From the start theManchester Literature Festival has supported the awards as part of its annual programme of events, in the belief that good writing can flourish outside writing schools and publishing houses.

Past winners of the Manchester Blog Awards have gone on to publish books, write national newspaper columns and start successful business endeavours based on their blogs. As blogging became firmly established as an integral part of the media landscape, the awards expanded to cover the entire North of England in 2012. More than 500 bloggers entered the 2012 awards, which were covered by the national press.”

Extract taken from www.theblognorthawards

You have until 6pm 1st October to vote for your favourite shortlisted blogs. The categories are: Best Young Blogger, Best Writing On A Blog, Best Personal Blog, Best Arts And Culture On A Blog, Best City Or Neighbourhood Blog, Best Food And Drink Blog.

Owl Satchel

The Bloke sent me a picture of an adorable owl bag (he suggested the owls were wearing little bandanna’s) and told me he’d spotted it in the window of the bag shop in Chorlton precinct. He asked if I liked it. My answer was “Aaaaaw so cute!” I bought it for £8




Two open pockets on the front, a zipped main compartment, inside zip, phone/iphone pocket and another zip pocket on the back. Very sweet, very practical.

Good Things: Exfoliator & Anti Blemish Lotion

I got a freebie of Good Things lip balm about 6 months ago and although it was really effect, I never liked the strong scent. I went on the Good Things site recently and was impressed with the two ranges on offer: The original range and the anti Blemish range. Good Things is a range of products created by beauty journalist Alice Hart – Davis for young people (leaning toward skin that’s prone to being oily or sensitive), which harnesses the goodness of fruit extracts.


No parabens

No sodium laureth sulphate (the chemical that creates foam which can be too harsh for skin)

No mineral oils


Deep Clean Blackhead Exfoliator

Superfruit extracts Papaya & Licorice


I’ve just used up a well known make of mattifying exfoliator, which contains seaweed. It worked really well but I got tired of people asking “Chrissie, why the hell do you smell of seaweed so often?” Hmm time for a change me thinks. I’ve been washing my face with this every day for a week and every other day I massage it in with firm circular motions for more exfoliation. The grains are incredibly fine and they don’t melt which makes them really effective but also comfortable to use. My skin feels moisturised, oil free and has been blemish free for the week. Unlike most other harsher exfoliators, it doesn’t make my skin flushed or irritated. Finally, I’ve never really been a fan of licorice but when combined with papaya it works and gives a really lovely mild scent.

Deep Pore Anti Blemish Lotion

Superfruit extracts Fig and Wild Strawberry

Good Things  Anti Blemish Lotion

I’ve been using this as a cleanser in the evening for a week now. It removes makeup easily and thoroughly without stripping my skin of moisture. The scent is amazing and reminds me of blueberries – strangely. I’ve also noticed that if I use it just before bed, it balances my skin overnight and stops me waking up with my usual oil slick. Having tried a few nigh-time serums before which were far too rich, this was a well needed bonus!

Philips VisaPure Facial Cleansing Brush

Philips VisaPure Facial Cleansing Brush £149.99

Visa Pure with Charger


  • 2 speed settings: Gentle and Deep Cleansing
  • 20 second timer for each facial zone: Each cheek and T-zone
  • When fully charged delivers 30 uses of 1 min sessions
  • Can be used in the shower
  • Includes 2 brush heads, one for normal skin and one for sensitive skin with an exfoliating brush available for £12
  • Can be used with water or your normal skin cleanser

I bought this brush as it spins and pulsates to cleanse and break up impurities in the pores and sweeps them away. It also claimed to improve micro-circulation for more radiant skin.

It’s available from Philips but I chose to order mine from Boots as I was thinking of all the extra points on my Boots card!

It comes with a mains charger, a cute snug fitting jacket and two brush heads (for normal or sensitive skin). Now, personally I like the ergonomic design and I think the colour is subtle and pretty. However, the first comment upon people seeing it is “What’s that?” and the second comment is usually “Oh, I thought it was.. you know… a vibrator!” Hmm, maybe I just have dirty minded friends? Maybe they think I’m the type to suddenly develop a penchant for proudly displaying my sex toys in my bathroom! Whatever.

Visa Pure case

I started off using this brush head for sensitive skin but I realised it was so gentle, I could use the normal one.

Visa Pure Head

Normal brushI’m going to buy the extra exfoliating brush (below) as well. It will save me a lot of money in the long run buying face scrubs and I can just use my normal seaweed face wash gel with it.

Exfoliating brush headVerdict

I absolutely love this product! I found the price to be really steep but I’d read some great reviews in magazines so (with a little help from my Mum) I bought it. It was really worth the expense. My skin is combination so I get an oily T-zone, which then means all of the cells we naturally shed everyday cling to my skin and block up my pores. My skin usually looks dull and gets spotty really easily, unless I use a face scrub every other day but I can end up looking too flushed, really easily. Using the VisaPure Cleansing Brush 4 times a week for 3 months has made my skin look much clearer and my skin tone more even. In fact I noticed positive change in only 1 week! I’ve also noticed my skin isn’t as sensitive any more and my foundation goes on a lot smoother and stays on for longer. The pores on my nose have shrunk and my T-zone isn’t as oily as it once was. Result!

My cheek before

StartThis photograph doesn’t quite show how red my skin was.

My cheek after only one week

1 Week


  • Worked wonders on my congested skin
  • The timer does all of the thinking for you
  • No need to re-order expensive cream to go with it, I’m using my normal cleanser
  • Pretty colour
  • Speed settings are great for sensitive areas of the skin


  • Rather interesting shape
  • Does not automatically re-charge when in base unit. The unit has to be plugged into the mains to charge
  • Carry case is pretty but offers very limited protection and isn’t big enough to carry brush heads or charger

Rating 4/5

Wardrobe Detox & A/W wishlist

So a few days ago the UK weather turned from summer to autumn in the space of a day. From sunshine and and gentle breezes to rain and cold winds. The fact that I’d been sitting shivering at bus stops for most of that day, made it very apparent I needed to over haul my wardrobe.


I like laying out all of my most worn clothes from S/S or A/W as it’s easy to see what percentage I’ve actually worn. This spring and summer it was around 65%, There are a a couple of pretty daytime dresses and skirts that sat forlornly in my wardrobe all summer, never seeing the light of day. I gathered together all the other stuff I hadn’t worn and figured out the following reasons why:

It seemed to have mysteriously, ahem, shrunk.

It’s a stunning item but was impossible to match with anything else in my wardrobe. The perfect reason to go shopping to buy something that does go with it.

I bought something that would look amazing on Rihanna but makes me look like a desperate hoochy mamma.

It was massively on trend at the time and also seemed like a practical addition to my wardrobe but it just wasn’t ‘me’.

Last year it was on sale at the most bargaindatious price ever! There’s a reason for that – it sucks.

I managed to fill a giant supper market shopping bag with things to donate to charity and that’s not including footwear and accessories. It gave me a massive amount of space, a sense of order and achievement and a warm fuzzy feeling.

Here are my staple items for A/W


I’m glad I’ve got the plad skirt (Mango), the baby pink jumper (George of all places) and the bright jeans (peacocks) in there, to add some colour. The last thing I want when the weather is dull and grey is for all my outfits to match it.

There’s also a pair of snake print skinny jeans and some mint green and grey acid wash skinny jeans (7 for all Mankind priced at £200 found in a charity shop for £2.00!) to wear with tall DM’s when it gets really cold. I can’t wait to snuggle into my giant grey faux fur again. Outfit posts to follow.

I’ve got a few band tees but they are grey and printed with muted colours, so I’m going to buy some cheerfully bright jumpers (she says, then goes and orders a black jumper with a snarling panther on it). Has anyone else noticed that supermarket jumpers somehow manage to be really short in the arms and the waist, no matter what size you get? I’ve also got my eye on some black thigh-high chunky boots from New Look.

PantherH&M £19.99

What have you got on your A/W wish list or if you’ve already been hitting the shops, what essentials have you bought?

The Versatile Blogger Award

photo-versatile-blogger112Award Speech

(no waffling on or hysterical tears)

This is an award I’m really pleased to get as I often worried, when I started blogging, that my enthusiasm for taking photo’s and writing about – well, everything would make my blog too unfocused. I’ve since come up with standard headings for various kinds of recurring posts and I’m chuffed to be thought of as a ‘versatile’ blogger! A massive thank you and a hug to Ti Amo for nominating me!

The rules

1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog.

2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you.

3. Present 15 deserving bloggers with the award.

4. Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.

5. Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

And the nominees for best Versatile Blogger are
7 Facts About Myself
  1. I am going to Hawaii one day. The people, the culture the wildlife and nature of the islands fascinate me.
  2. I go through long phases (almost obsessions) and then loose interest suddenly. Photography and blogging are the only things I’ve ever consistently love doing.
  3. I’m chatty and charismatic around people I’ve met before but surprisingly shy around strangers.
  4. I’m gutted that I can’t have a pet where I live.
  5. I joined a non religious choir and learned that I can sing and have a really good range.
  6. I’d love to work in digital media and PR
  7. When I’m alone I love to eat junk food, read glossy magazines (but not celeb ones like OK) and watch rom-coms and girly sitcoms.

I hope that was at least vaguely interesting for you

Chrissie :0)

Manchester Street-art Part 3

I recently said to my partners Dad as I was snapping away “If camera’s weren’t invented yet I really don’t know what I would do” He immediately replied “You would have learned to sketch.” Good point!

Here’s some from the archives – some are still around, others aren’t.

Feb 12 006

Feb 12 008

Feb 12 007

Feb 12 009

Mystical old man


Frank Sidebottom

Old skool 001

Which ones are your faves? Have you seen any of them?

Manchester Street Art: Part 1

Manchester Street Art: Part 2

R&B Dancers on Mcr tram!

This is why I love Manchester!

Two typical Mancunian reactions to a couple doing choreographed dancing on a tram.

1) Oh cool dancers, they must be filming a programme. I still want my burger though.

2) I want to join in! Best stay in the background though and cheer them on “Whoop whoop!”—hit-5829265