Dairy and Gluten Free (veggie) Holland & Barrett Haul

I went a little bit nuts the other day on the Holland and Barrett website when I discovered you can search by filtering out dairy and gluten – or whatever ingredient you don’t want. Perfect if your cupboards are bare and you really haven’t got the energy to shlep around different shops, reading the ingredients on everything and then dragging numerous bags onto a bus.

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I deliberately avoided anything that I could get from local shops, mine being a small-ish Co-op and Tesco Metro and I got multiples of things I knew I already liked.

Clockwise (if a your clock is rectangular):

Proper Corn Worcester Sauce and Sun-dried Tomato Flavour

The best savoury pop corn you will ever eat. Ever so slightly sweet, savoury and very tangy.

Le Venezane Potato Gnochi 

I absolutely love dumplings, pasta and ravioli, basically anything chunky and a little doughy that you cover in sauce, so to find this naturally gluten and dairy free gnochi was fantastic!

GranoVita Organic Mushroom Pate

Lovely and thick with lots of little chunks of mushroom, this tastes savoury and earthy but not too salty.

Dry Roasted Garbanzo (Chickpeas) Tomato, Garlic & Herb

A lot of the flavouring had gone to the bottom of the bag and hadn’t remained on the chickpeas so they didn’t really taste of much. They were also incredibly dry and so was my mouth after eating them, which was really unpleasant!

Mini Moos Bunny Comb Bars

Really nice vegan choccy and the honey comb pieces add a some sweetness. I just wish the bar were coated on both sides.

nakd Banana Crunch

Solid, sweet (but not sickly) and crunchy. One of my favourite snacks.

nakd Pecan Pie

I’ve never eaten pecan pie so I can only judge this bar off it’s own merits. This is a lot softer than the banana crunch thanks to the dates in it. It has a slightly bitter sweetness to it which I think I like….

Goody Good Stuff Sour Fruit Salad

I don’t like most sour sweets as they make me break out into a sweat but these were really nice.

Goody Good Stuff Summer Peaches

I absolutely love these! I used to get them in pick n’mix from the cinema as a kid.

GranoVita Vegetable Pate with onions, herbs and spices

I haven’t tried this yet as I don’t want two pates on the go at once. The bloke has had this in the past and said it was ‘perfectly nice’.

Free and Easy soups

All of the flavours this brand does are wonderful. Medium – thick, tasty comfort food.

Biona Organic Spiced Pumpkin Soup

This is one of the best soups I’ve ever eaten, out of a jar, tin or at a restaurant. Medium consistency, some onion and carrot so it’s not totally smooth and subtle spices.

Have you tried any of these? Which one’s would most want to?

Chrissie ❤

 

 

 

Filofax Clipbook Review

I’ve wanted a Filofax since I was a kid (I actually got a WWF planner instead because it had wildlife on) and seeing as my memory is getting worse and my brain more scatty- I didn’t know that could be possible – I decided now was the right time to buy a real one. I went with the Filofax Clipbook £18 at 212mm by 187mm it’s big enough to comfortably write in at length but small enough to fit in my satchel.

Filofax Clipbook

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I added a little charm I got with a piece of jewellery the bloke bought for me.

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The only thing that I find annoying about this is that Filofax don’t do page dividers for the Clipbook so I’m using Post It’s instead – hmm.

Filofax Clipbook

5 handy To Do List type of pages.

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15 plain sheets and 15 quadrille (graph paper) sheets.

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Another thing I like about the Clipbook is that it folds back on it’s self so it’s easy to navigate the rings and to hold with one hand neatly. The rings are quite large so that you can add more sheets and it’s easy to undo them by pulling both of the covers away from each other.

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As it’s a year at a glance I’m going to record my MS symptoms and moods here so I can easily spot any patterns, mentally, emotionally and physically but this would be a fantastic planner for anything and everything.

P1060319This has the days of the week which are more understandable to me than just dates, so I’m going to use this as a general calendar and mini diary. I love that you can write in the dates so it can be for whatever month you choose – no more waisting the first few months of the year! You can also get stickers signalling holidays, travel, inspiration, dinner and love but I thought the designs were rather plain so I’m going to buy my own.

In conclusion, I love my Clipbook and use it every day. I think it looks really stylish, it’s incredibly practical and yes, there are a few things I would have done differently but I’m so glad that I bought it and wish I’d done so sooner!

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

So what do you think of the Filofax Clipbook? Would you get one?

Chrissie

Awesome Geek Questions and Bucket List Game

I saw these questions on Scruffy Little Nerd Herder’s post when she accepted the Leibster Award off Epicfied and was nominating people for it herself. She didn’t nominate me (don’t feel bad for me I got one a few years ago) but I loved Emma’s questions so much I’ve decide to join in and answer them because they’re awesome basically.

1. What are your top 5 favourite fandoms?

The Flash, Harry Potter, Firefly, The Big Bang Theory, Buffy. These are fandoms which will last/have lasted for decades because the material is so wonderful it stays in everyone’s hearts and minds.

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2. What would your Patronus be?

A house cat. I do get likened to a cat quite often because I love sleeping but being awake at night. I love warm spots and will actually move away from the people I’m sitting with if it means I can sit in a patch of sunlight. I’m very silent when I move and often make people jump. I have good hearing for high ranging sounds so can hear things that other people miss – too sensitive car alarms are evil!

3. What’s your favourite Pokemon?

The one that looks a bit like a fiery sort of fox??? That one’s cute.

4. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

Autumn as the leaves on the trees and covering the ground are such beautiful colours. Summer is too hot for me and my puffy ankles and Winter is far too cold so mild Autumn weather with a little bit of sun and a light breeze is heavenly.

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5. Star Wars or Star Trek?

I was convinced I’d be a Star Wars fan and thought Trekies were dorks until I watched Star Wars and just could not get into it. I then watched the two modern Star Trek films with the fantastic Zachary Quinto as Spock and thought they were fantastic!

6. Who is your favourite superhero?

I love and hate this questions – it’s so difficult! I think I’ll have to say Jessica Jones as she’s reluctant, grumpy and an alcoholic so she’s far from perfect but still manages to get the job done with finesse and dry humour. Plus she is far more relatable than someone who’s all preachy and boring.

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7. If you were a superhero, what power would you have?

The power to end excessive greed and oppressive rules/laws in the name of religion.

8. How do you like your eggs?

I love dippy eggs with buttered toasty soldiers, even at my age! I smashed my egg cup when drunk so now I’m improvising with a large shot glass – rather ironic.

9. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

To Finland to see the Northern Lights and go husky sledging and snow boarding and skidoo riding and and a spar to ease all of my aches and bruises!

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10. Where’s your favourite place in the world?

This is going to sound incredibly soppy and possibly barf inducing but it’s snuggled up next to the bloke. Wouldn’t matter if a scary natural disaster happened or if we were stuck on an island as long he was next to me I’d feel safe. Bleurgh!

11. Who is your geek icon?

When I first read this question I took it literally and immediately thought about my troll doll who I gave a cyber punk makeover. Now I realise they are meant to be real? Has to be Darwin for me!

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Bucket List (derived from the Facebook version). Please play along, you’ll be surprised at the responses. Put a X in the box if you have done it then just copy and paste to your timeline/blog and amend…
Shot a gun
Gone on a blind date X
Skipped school X
Watched someone give birth
Watched someone die
Visited Canada
Visited Hawaii
Visited Europe X
Visited USA
Visited Asia
Visited Africa
Visited India
Visited Mexico
Woken up after a night out and not known where you are
Flown in a helicopter X
Served on a jury
Recently coloured with pencils/pens/paints X
Sang karaoke
Made prank phone calls X
Laughed so much you cried X
Caught a snowflake on your tongue X
Had children
Had a pet X
Been skinny-dipping
Abseiled down a building /Cliff X
Been camping in a tent X
Driven a motorcycle
Been bungee-jumping
Been someone’s best man/maid of honour
Done something that could have killed you X
Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life
Rode a camel
Eaten just cookies or cake or ice cream for dinner X
Been on TV X
Been in newspapers X
Been on the radio X
Stolen any traffic signs
Been in a car accident
Stayed in Hospital for longer than  a week X
Donated blood
Had to pay a fine in the past 12 months
Gotten a piercing X
Gotten a tattoo
Been involved in a peaceful protest X
Ever owned your dream car
Been married
Been divorced
Fell in love X
Fell out of love X
Paid for a strangers meal/coffee X
Driven over 100mph
Learned an instrument
Been scuba diving/Kaiaking X
Walked on burning coals
Eaten snails
Swam with dolphins
Swam with sharks
Found a dead body
Lived on your own
Lived in a house share X
Performed on a stage


Chrissie ❤

Balance Me Revitalising Hand and Body Wash

Glamour are giving away samples of Balance Me products with their March issue so I picked up this Revitalising Hand and Body Wash which is normally £6.00 for 100ml upward. It usually comes in a lovely white square pump bottle that would look rather classy in anyone’s bathroom.

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Balance Me  say…..

‘Sensitive skin: Our bespoke blend of zesty, skin-quenching essential oils that soothes irritation and prevent dry patches.
Him and Her: The perfect gift to fill any bathroom with a unisex aroma
Normal skin: Grapefruit Essential Oil with a hint of mint refreshes skin whilst Bergamot balances and Sweet Orange rejuvenates’

I say it’s wonderfully effective….

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve always had hands that are prone to dryness and look at least ten years older than they should – humph. I used this product to wash my hands, expecting to slather on a mass of hand cream after but I didn’t need to as my hands didn’t become dry again for around 10 hours! It also has a really fresh unisex scent, so everyone is fighting over it in our bathroom.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Have you used any Balance Me products before?

Chrissie ❤

 

 

Springtime – homeware, beauty and accessories

Springtime - homeware, beauty and accessories

My Manchester Afternoon

It snowed! Proper stamp in it, chuck it at each other, substantial snow! Doesn’t it make everything look prettier?  ^_^

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In the afternoon when I was feeling less fatigued (how can sleep make me feel fatigued?!!!!) me and the bloke ventured into town to do a bit of shopping and get some rice and three (curries) from This and That.

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You should probably Google SSOSVA

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What a fantastic sentiment!

I bought a string of fabric parrots with little beads separating them with a bell on the end and a string of sparkly fabric hearts, also with beads and a bell, from that crazy-cute shop Oklahoma in the Northern Quarter. Mum was delighted with her prezzie but I forgot to take a picture. Similar below, found on Flickr.

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We were delighted to see a beautiful sunset on the bus ride back. The sun appeared as a giant glowing red orb, situated between two buildings it was so low on the horizon it looked as if it were about to rest on the floor. I held up my camera and….A bloody double  decker bus parked right in front of my view -_-

I did get this rather cool shot though.

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Later in the evening it rained heavily which made the windows look like they were covered in thousands of tiny diamonds.

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This has made me realise how long it’s been since I’ve done a photo-story for all of you lovely lads and lasses!

Chrissie ❤

Ooh Arr Face Masks

Yes this brand is literally pronounced “Oooh – arrgh” which I like a lot. I was thinking that they had gone all Warhol with the packaging and used interpretive colours…I was wrong, the masks are really that bright!

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I found it strange at first to apply a face pack to damp skin and I thought I’d end up with sludgy mud but after applying nearly the whole pack and waiting a little while it dried to a mask. These are one of the few face masks I’ve used that haven’t made my face feel uncomfortably tight as they dried.

Dead Sea Cooler Deep Cleansing Face Mask 

Active Ingredients:

‘Clay – helps to detoxify skin and draw out impurities. Glycerin – has great moisturising and hydrating properties. Witch Hazel extract – a great anti-inflammatory and astringent to help tighten skin. Sweet Almond – rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Full of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids – to help condition skin and promote a youthful, healthy complexion. Bamboo powder – rich in minerals and acts as a gentle exfoliant in this refreshing face mask. Argan Oil – intensely moisturising, a great antioxidant and contains Vitamin A and E which can help protect skin. Tea Tree Oil – a natural anti-septic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory – making it an excellent natural treatment for acne. Peppermint Oil – cools and soothes the skin, helping achieve a bright, clear complexion. Dead Sea Salts – help to detoxify, soften and moisturise skin.’

Looking like a villain from Batman

Looking like a villain from Batman

I used this on a day when my complexion was starting to break out slightly due to too much dairy and needed a really deep calming cleanse. When Ooh-arr say this is cooling they really do mean it. It was the kind of cooling that’s so tingly it feels almost hot like those extra strong mints! After rinsing off I found my skin to be calm and moisturised. What amazed me was that my face was remotely red, which I expected it to be after all of the tingling and rinsing. The next day my breakout was reduced by around 50%.

Star Glow Skin Polisher Face Mask

Active Ingredients:

‘Clay – helps to detoxify the skin and draw out impurities.
Glycerin – has great moisturising and hydrating properties. Sweet Almond – rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Full of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids – to help condition skin and promote a youthful, health complexion.
Shea Butter – a classic moisturiser. Reduces inflammation and helps soften and smooth skin. Argan Oil – intensely moisturising and a great antioxidant. Contacts vitamin A and E to help protect skin. Jojoba – helps to balance skin’s natural sebum production, reducing the appearance of breakouts. Coconut oil – very beneficial moisturiser. Softens skin and reduces signs of ageing. Vitamin E helps skin to regenerate. Honey – packed full of antioxidants to slow down ageing. Antibacterial properties help treat spots and blemishes. Aloe Vera – soothes and moisturises skin, helping prevent acne breakouts. Vanilla Extract – a great source of B vitamins to promote healthy skin.
Sunflower Oil – high in vitamin E. Helps lock in moisture and keep skin feeling soft.’

After letting the mask set for 15 minutes I slowly rinsed it off with warm water in gentle circular motion to exfoliate my face – especially my T-zone. Even though the particles were very fine they were incredibly effective and my complexion felt smooth and incredibly moisturised, again without any irritation or redness.

Rosie Glow Deep Cleansing Face Mask

Active Ingredients:

‘Natural Clay – helps to detoxify and draw out impurities within the skin. Montmorillonite – acts as a toner for the skin, helping to tighten pores and revitalise your complexion. Glycerin – has great moisturising and hydrating properties. Bentonite Clay – draws out impurities, helping unclog pores and absorb excess oil, clearing congested skin and can help to tighten fine lines and wrinkles. Sweet Almond – rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E. Full of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids – to help condition skin and promote a youthful, healthy complexion. Shea Butter – moisturises, reduces inflammation and helps skin to appear smoother and softer. Argan Oil – intensely moisturising, a great antioxidant and contains vitamin A and E, which can help protect skin. Geranium essential oil – helps balance the oil production of skin and helps keep it supple. Marula Oil – contains antioxidants which help protect skin from environmental damage. Sunflower Oil – high in vitamin E to help lock in moisture and keep skin feeling soft. Palmarosa Essential oil – great rejuvenating and regenerating properties – promote healthy cell growth and help repair damaged skin caused by ageing. Rose Essential Oil – can moisturise and hydrate skin and help with inflammation as well as redness. Rosehip Oil – high in vitamin C and has great rejuvenating and regenerating properties.’

I used this mask on my cheeks 3 times in 18 days and it gave my complexion a real boost. My skin felt incredibly soft and looked rather radiant, which is saying a lot in March with all of the wind and rain and lack of sunshine.

Over all rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

5 Fandom Friday – Fave Fictional Foods

5fandomfriday

5 Fandom Friday – Fave Fictional Foods

Maybe I’m not a big enough geek or maybe it’s my bad memory but this is going to take some research! I’ll start with the obvious and progress to the more obscure.

Honeydukes in HarryPotter

Anything really, especially the Pepper Imps ‘breathe fire for your friends’, better make sure you tie your hair back though!

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Tacos in Deadpool

I know, I know tacos aren’t fictional but the account of him liking them is. I’d love to share a taco with him, mainly because I think he’s awesome, not because I like those awkward little things that break up the second you bite them.

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Ambrosia

The food of the Greek and Roman Gods is a kind of sweet nectar poured over fruit which sounds wonderful and also gives you immortality by the way. Although on second thoughts maybe this wouldn’t be the best of ideas, I mean you’d get sort of lonely after a century or just plain bored….

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Three Course Meal Sweets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

You know those days when you feel really bloated from the night before but you’re still hungry? ;o)

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 Sharing a curry with Lister from Red Dwarf

He’s pretty fit, he’s lazy, he appreciates a hot curry and quite a few beers. Who better to spend an evening with when you just want to Netflicks and chill – or whatever their version of that is.

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Did I miss any obvious one’s out and do you think I cheated a tad? Hehee!

Chrissie 

E.L.F Lipsticks and Complete Coverage Concealer Concealer Review

I’ve been recommended the e.l.f cruelty free cosmetics brand several times and now they have a UK website I decided to give them a try.

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I bought Beautifully Bare Satin Lipstick (silver tube) in ‘Touch of Nude’ £6.00. The bullet looks darker but when it’s applied the shade is actually lighter, which I’m fine with at the moment but when my skin becomes slightly more pigmented after a bit of sun exposure it will contrast too much with my complexion. It has a very creamy texture and is also surprisingly long wearing.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤

I also bought Studio Velvet Matt Lipstick in ‘Blushing Brown’ £4.50. This is the exact colour I was looking for and looks incredibly flattering on me. What I loved about this lipstick is that it’s quite creamy on application and then dries to a smooth matt-ish finish without making lips look very dry – a problem I’ve had with other liquid matt lipsticks.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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On to the Complete Coverage Concealer ‘Light’ £4.50 – excuse my fluffy arm, ha!

Colour….

I got fed up of buying concealer only to find it didn’t have any warm tones that blended with my complexion so when I saw this palette I couldn’t wait to try it out. Be warned, If you really do have a pale complexion you will think that e.l.f. describing this palette as ‘light’ is utterly laughable! The shade on the left will work for me in winter, the third shade is like my usual colour and the one on the right might be all right with a tan when blended with one of the others. I’d say two shades work for paler golden complexions and two shades work for warmer cream toned complexions. I was surprised to find I was the latter when using this palette.

Texture….

Like a cream which turns to a powder. It was impossible to apply with the accompanying brush but I found it much easier when I used a very soft concealer brush. On very red patches that needed more coverage I used several layers and a stippling motion, as it doesn’t spread so easily.

Staying power….

This stayed put pretty well but I did notice by dinner time that some redness was starting to show through slightly. I’ll use a powder to set the concealer on any parts of my face that are prone to oiliness next time.

Over all….

I liked the packaging which looked sleek, was easy to open and had a great little mirror, although the brush was bobbins. My complaint with this palette is that e.l.f. seem to have gone through a Pantone colour chart rather than combining realistic skin tones, so two tones might work but there isn’t a natural graduation in all four shades. Still it’s better than buying one expensive concealer stick that won’t suit you in the Summer/Winter months.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie