Glamorous New Years Eve Party Dresses

Sparkle, lace, tassels, gems, maxi, full skirt or body con, whatever you prefer – here are the most glamorous party dresses for News Years Eve!
Glam New Years Eve Party Dresses

5 Fandom Friday – Alternative New Years Resolutions

5fandomfridayAlright so it’s not a Friday (but who blogs on Christmas day?) and the prompt was ‘blogging resolutions’ but I thought I’d change it a bit.

  1. Do less exercise. Basically with my condition I need to pace myself a lot more and recognise when I need a rest or a nap. Although I should get up before 1.00pm!
  2. Eat lots of chocolate and sweets. Since discovering my dairy intolerance my sweet tooth has disappeared but since getting lots of free-from goodies for christmas I think it’s time to start indulging again.
  3. Buy clothes that are a size bigger. I have to admit I’ve gone up a size. The fact that my belly sticks out as much as my boobs was my first clue. I don’t mind though, I  like having a bit of flesh on my bones, so I don’t look like a stick with four balloons attached to it (boobs and butt cheeks if you didn’t get it lol).
  4. Stop washing my hair as often. Over the holiday season I’ve gotten a little lazy – ok, I’ve not washed my hair for 14 days. I know that might gross some people out but my thick, frizzy, basically crazy hair really appreciated it. It’s turned into natural, glossy (not greasy) glamorous waves and all I had to do was ignore it!
  5. Stop saying ‘I love you’ to the bloke so much. I literally must say it at least three times a day, every single day, sometimes when I’m absent minded and doing something else. I feel like sometimes it doesn’t have that special gravitas behind it, like it’s almost become a habit.
  6. Make sure I get more hugs. This is very different from giving hugs. These hugs ground me and restore my energy – mentally, emotionally, sometimes even physically. They help when my emotions are all wobbly and help when I’m having one of those really un-co-ordinated days, where my body doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing.
  7. Buy beer sooner. Ha! Seriously though, I always leave it until it’s dark outside, it’s got colder and looks really uninviting. Then it’s such an effort to haul my arse outside to buy beer and food. I need to get my sh!t together and go earlier in the day – in actual daylight.
  8. Don’t go to bed at a ‘sensible time’ and make sure I wait until I’m totally exhausted. That way I will sleep right the way through, rather than my brain thinking it’s having a disco nap and waking up all alert at 3.00am.
  9. Play console games regularly and for much longer. These help so much with my hand-eye co-ordination and with improvisational/problem solving skills.
  10. Here are the less alternative one’s: Appreciate everyone more and tell/show them. Not to sweat the small stuff and take it personally. To believe in my abilities and recognise my achievements more. To be kinder to people even when I’m stressed out and don’t take it out on them. To keep noticing and enjoying the simple things in life.

Wishing you all a weird and wonderful end to your 2015!

Chrissie xx

Merry Christmas and thank you!

A massive thank you to everyone who follows Manchester Flick Chick or anyone who drops by occasionally. Your support, humour and suggestions are what’s kept this blog going for another year. I hope you all have a wonderful christmas or at least one that doesn’t suck too much.

I know what you're thinking - that I really should work in graphic design ;oD

I know what you’re thinking – that I really should work in graphic design ;oD

Lots of love

Chrissie xx

Tackling Tasks When Even The Small Things Are Difficult

If this post looks long, chill and just read it in sections – that’s why they are there :o)

So you have a task to do and then get put off from doing it by over-thinking it. Then you over-think it again a few more times just for good measure and then you realise an hour has gone by and you could have done four more tasks in the time it’s taken to mull over the first one. Believe me I know.

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I have problems with ‘executive function’ which according to Wiki is ‘an umbrella term for the management of cognitive processes, including working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, and problem solving as well as planning and execution. The prefrontal areas of the frontal lobe are necessary but not solely sufficient for executive functions.’ I think they summed that up rather well.

Here are my tips for planning tasks, starting them, staying on task, time management and actually finishing them.

Getting out of bed (I’m starting small, with baby steps in fact)

Don’t think “Oh god today I have to do so much….” No, right now all you have to do is sit up, right now without thinking about it – just sit up.

Now quickly as possible get out of the bed – again try not to over think the effort required. Walk away from the bed so you aren’t tempted to sit back down on it, even if you just sit on a chair at the side.

Ideally you want to use your getting up momentum to propel you to do the next task like going into the bathroom. Just getting there – not over thinking what you have to do when you get there and the rest of the days tasks – just getting there is enough for now. Maybe bribe yourself with the thought of a nice coffee or pain au chocolat.

Often on bad days I propel myself through hours and hours with these little baby steps (the 1991 comedy What About Bob always springs to mind when I use that term lol) until something clicks and I start functioning more naturally.

Small tasks

It’s easy to think these aren’t important but they do have a habit of building up if you leave them – plus they are a great way to get into ‘task mode’ and are a warm up to bigger tasks.

To Do Lists

These are invaluable for any size of task, even if it’s just written on a large Post It note. One large one is better than lots of little ones that will fall off and where tasks can’t be weighed up along side each other. I leave my lists with big spaces in between so I can then brake down bigger task into smaller and smaller stages. I also write the deadline down next to a task if it has to be done by a certain time. I know it seems like while you are waisting time writing one of these you could be just getting on with something but if you are easily distracted, have planning or motivation problems then a To Do List really will save time in the long run.

Using Time Wisely 

Neurologists and Psychotherapists agree that our brains can’t really multi-task, all the brain is doing is switching quickly from one half finished task and starting another and then switching back to the first unfinished task and back again to the second, third…

While it’s on your mind….yTk4gqoEc

What can be useful though is if you are in the middle of a medium or large task say you are hanging up your washing and you suddenly realise you need to take something out of the freezer to defrost (a quick but fairly important task) then just do it while it’s on your mind. Do it with the mindset that you ARE going back to the hanging the washing, don’t start pottering about the kitchen before or after. OK, I suppose you could say that is ‘multi-tasking’ in a way.

Alarms and ‘Waiting Tasks’…..

If you are waiting for a process to finish like downloading something you can set an alarm with the tittle ‘Downloading finished’ for how long you reckon it will take and then TAKE THE ALARM WITH YOU. Do a ‘waiting task’ which will take MUCH LESS TIME THAN THE FIRST while you wait, that way your alarm won’t go off while you are doing the ‘waiting task’ when you are too distracted to act on it. Just in general I have three alarms in the kitchen even when I’m only cooking something with three or less ingredients!

Big Tasks

Breaking them down and pretending….

As I said before it’s best when these are broken down into smaller parts. It’s amazing how you can con your brain into action by thinking “I’ll just do this little bit” and then looking at how effective it was. Not very? Then do a little bit more. Very effective? Great job! Don’t give up now! I remember being faced with putting up and decorating a fake six foot christmas tree – by myself – for the first time ever – eeek! This is how I tackled it in my head.

“I’ll just fetch all of the stuff (makes a little list).”

I’ll just lay everything out in piles, in the order they go onto the tree.”

“I’ll just assemble the tree”

“I’ll just put one string of lights on it”

“Hmm, that was easier than I thought. Well, seeing as the other stuff is here…”

“I’ll just put more lights on it and then have a quick break – a break eh? So I’m assuming I’ll carry on after I guess”

(While having a biccy and a brew) “Ooh, I’d forgotten I had this ornament, that will look nice on the tree. Cool, I’m half way through this tree thing already, might as well keep going.”

“God this tinsel is tacky but it’s been requested so I’ll bury it inside the tree to add depth and sparkle.”

“Yaaay, ornament time!”

“Wow, I did it and it looks pretty good. How the hell did I manage that!?”

Pacing yourself but staying on task….

I deliberately had a break and didn’t get hyper-focussed on the task, therefore possiblyScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 17.52.21 burning my self out and feeling exhausted. All that does is make you remember that feeling next time you are attempting something big, which obviously puts you off even more. I also gave myself a limited time for my break (the length of a cuppa) so I didn’t loose momentum or get distracted. While I was waiting for the kettle to brew (after setting the timer) I unwrapped a few ornaments to maximise my time and to occupy me so I didn’t aimlessly wander off or get bored with the whole thing.

Don’t drive yourself nuts….

Another little tip is if you are really struggling with a certain part of a task after trying repeatedly, either take a little break or do another part of the task. Go back to the annoying part straight after with a clear mind and it may seem simpler and/or you may have come up with an easier way to do it.

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If at the end of the day you didn’t achieve as much as you hoped, at least you know you achieved as much as you could. That should always be good enough. No one can stretch the number of hours in a day or magically give themselves a super amount of energy – unless caffeine and/or energy drinks are your best friends, which I wouldn’t recommend regularly for your poor nervous system. You have successfully used skills which are particularly difficult for you and been as organised as possible. Well done! Time for a well deserved glass of wine I reckon….

Have you got any tips?

Chrissie xx

Cute Christmas Jumpers

 Christmas jumpers used to only be worn by the funny (or pervy) guy in the office or your drunken uncle but thankfully they’ve been given a overhaul. With movie quotes, cute animals, christmas puns and sparkle there is something for everyone!
Cute Christmas Jumpers

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I’ve been looking around for a christmas jumper that doesn’t make me laugh mockingly at it for ages. I saw a shop assistant that I’m friendly with in a nice one from M&S but it still wasn’t quite ‘me’. Then I spotted this Rudolph and baby reindeer jumper by F&F in Tesco. If you want one you will have to hurry though while stocks last!

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Yesterday I put up The Blokes tree for him – with the obligatory tinsel (his request not mine) lit up with one set of sparkly lights from B&Q on the inside, two sets of globe lights from B&Q (they were multi-coloured last year but now only available in green and red) and one set of holly berry lights also from B&Q further out and baubles/ornaments on the edge of the branches and a  gold glittery star on the top from Argos.

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P1060219      Bauble with jellies inside     

christmas tree snow globe      P1060231

I missed out on getting a milk free chocolate advent calendar from Holland and Barrett as I got there too late and they’d sold out ‘in a matter of hours, then got more in stock and sold out of those even quicker.’ – doh!

What’s making you feel all christmassy?

Chrissie xx

Even ‘Average’ People Need Food Banks

This time of year the only food most people are concerned about is what scrummy treats they are having for christmas or how on earth they are going to cater for people who are veggie or have allergies. I know it’s very easy it is to over look that there are people in your neighbourhood that may not have eaten anything at all for a few days, maybe even more.

Who

 

Currently in the UK 13 Million People Live Bellow The Poverty Line

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I’m not just talking about homeless people either, many people due to redundancies, ill health, benefit sanctions or even paying basic energy bills won’t be able to afford to buy food and will need to rely on food banks for themselves and their families.

 

How

Food banks are the easiest and most effective way to give essential nutrition to hungry people in your area. Proffessionals such as social workers, community outreach workers, health visitors and Citizen Advice Bureau workers commonly issue people with vouchers to collect food from local food banks. The food bank then gives the person/family enough food for three meals for at least three days.

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Where

The food is often donated from supermarket collection points (a cardboard box with suggestions printed on the front as to what food will be best for shoppers  to donate) and church collections and direct donations to food bank centres.

Find your local bank or collection point

What

I know it’s tempting to just empty cupboards of things which have been hanging around and ignored for a while but it makes more sense to donate staples that can make up simple meals and drinks such as:

 

UHT milk

Long Life Fruit Juice

Sugar

Tea Bags

Soup

Instant Mash Potato

Cereals

Crackers

Pasta

Pasta Sauce

Super Noodles

Tinned Vegetables

Tinned Protein (meat, fish, chick peas)

Tinned Puddings

Biscuits

Free-from Foods

It’s always worth asking your supermarket if they have a food donation bin if it’s not at first apparent – plus if they don’t have one, it might give them the idea to start one!

Even if you aren’t religious please don’t let that put you off going into your local church if that’s your easiest donation point as it all goes to people who will be very grateful that you made the effort!

Chrissie xx

 

 

Good News for Military Dogs!

Todays post is curtesy of Midnight Flixy over at Cruelty Free blog. I’ve always wondered what happens to retired service dogs if their human colleagues aren’t able to bring them home. This is very good news!

Cruelty Free

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In the US military dogs save at least 200 service men and women in the careers. They are a vital part of the military and do dangerous and heroic work, as well as providing comfort to those brave soldiers who struggle through extreme environments and circumstance. However, it used to be that once the dogs reached a certain age or they became to ill to carry on in the field, they would be abandoned overseas in foreign countries, some of which have little to no animal welfare and the dogs suffered immensely, in some cases succumbing to horrible deaths after years of faithful service.

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Now however, President Obama has signed into law a defence bill that requires the military to bring home all retired dogs home to the US! Here they will be homed with either those they have served with, or be put up for adoption for new loving homes.

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This is…

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Christmas Gifts for Alternative Girls

PicMonkey Collage

Following on from my ‘Christmas Gifts for Geeks’ I thought I’d do a post for that quirky person with an open mind and strange sense of humour in your life…Or myself.

Sterling Silver Black Onyx Marcasite Ring £16

Galibardy

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Brass Knuckles Skeleton Hand Bangle £25

Galibardy

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Labyrinth Tee £19.99

Truffle Shuffle

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Day of the Dead Glasses £9.50

The Gothic Shop

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Red Shiny Lady Lux Bow iPad Case £23.38

Rockabilly Pinup

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Bark at the Moon Ozzy Tee £19.99

Truffle Shuffle

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January Red Rose Hair Pins £16

RockNRose

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Demonia Leather Look Gothic Boots £88.95

Kinky Angel

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Jasmine Becket Alice and Snow White Cushion £14.99

Kinky Angel

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Starry Bat Wrapping Paper £14.85

Zazzle

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Purple Rose Cameo Black Velvet Handbag £34.50

The Gothic Shop

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Artemisa Bracelet Watch £52.99

Black Rose

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Necessary Evil Gothic Terra Slashed Top £24.99

Kates Clothing

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Skelanimals 15.4″ Laptop Shell £11.99

Kinky Angel

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Oracle of Narcissus Table Mirror £46.50

The Gothic Shop

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Kraken Up Steampunk Pillow £12.99

Kinky Angel

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Do you have a certain someone in mind for any of these?

Chrissie xx

Foodie Review – 1847 Vegetarian Bistro

I’m really surprised this is only mine and the blokes second visit to this particular restaurant. I think it’s because we know it’s always there and we take up invites to new restaurants opening nights  but if every vegetarian Mancunian was as complacent as us it would have closed long ago. We should definitely make this a more regular thing!

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1847 has had a makeover since I was last here. I loved the floating bare trees creating a Wintery feel but we both agreed the lighting could have been lower and the interior less minimal as it felt almost too contemporary and rather cold, which wasn’t helped by the two glass walls.

Starters

Whipped feta, roasted butternut squash, wilted kale, pumpkin seeds (GF). The feta had been reduced to a thin sauce which surprised me but it worked really well and the pumpkin seeds were a clever addition that elevated the flavours.

1847 Vegetarian Bistro review

The bloke chose Crispy egg with pearl barley, celeriac and radicchio which he really enjoyed.

1847 Vegetarian Bistro Manchester

Main 

‘Fish’ & chips. Ginger ale battered halloumi, triple cooked chips, savoury lemon curd, green pea & basil (VO, GFO)

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How pretty does my plate look! I have rather an addiction to the savoury taste of halloumi – the strange rubbery cheese that doesn’t melt. This however had a beautiful fluffy texture like it had been baked in an oven rather than grilled. I chose the gluten free batter which was crisp and light. The savoury lemon curd went perfectly with the halloumi and I was saddened there wasn’t twice as much! The peas had a perfectly smooth texture which I appreciated. The only thing we weren’t impressed with were the triple cooked chips as they were sort of floppy when we were expecting them to be more crispy.

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The bloke was mostly impressed with his main of Leek & bulgur stuffed portobello mushrooms, braised red cabbage and roasted carrots, apart from the carrots which were so el’dente he said he really needed a stake knife to cut them!

Side

Caramelized cauliflower, harissa yoghurt. I did enjoy this but I really wouldn’t have known the cauliflower was caramelised if it hadn’t have been in the description. It just seemed like it was grilled on one side. The harissa yoghurt had a delicate spicy flavour and an indulgently rich texture.

1847 Vegetarian Bistro review

Desert

Yoghurt & white chocolate truffles, cranberry sauce and edible flowers. I found this to be very similar to a cheese cake broken down into it’s three components. The truffles were wonderfully solid and yet creamy, the sauce sweet and very tangy and the biscuit gave a much appreciated crunch. I only wished there were a little more more biscuit and a little less sauce. Incase you are wondering, these edible flowers tasted lovely.

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There is a lot more on this Winter menu that we’d like to try so we shall definitely be returning before Spring. I was also impressed with the selection of vegan wine available by the bottle, which restaurants offering vegan options often over look.

I’m wondering if any of the omnivores reading would ever eat at a vegetarian restaurant, just for a change?

Chrissie xx