Mowgli Indian Restaurant in Manchester Corn Exchange

I have a huge love for Asian food so as soon as Manchester’s Corn Exchange opened I knew Mowgli (Indian) and Pho (Vietnamese) were essential destinations. First up, Mowgli.

The decor downstairs has a repurposed vintage tree house feel, while upstairs is clean and spacious with reclaimed vintage touches.

Mogli Manchester

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Because of the Indian street food vibe the dishes are freshly prepared and arrive as soon as they are ready in little metal tiffin boxes. You can stack them to keep various things warm if you want. The Bloke ordered rice with his Rhubarb Daal (we suspect he got served the traditional Daal by mistake as he couldn’t taste any rhubarb or ginger!?) and I ordered two puri’s – mmm, fried round goodness.

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One day I may get out of the habit of automatically ordering the paneer dish…Maybe. The tomatoes were a welcome change from saag (spinach) paneer and tasted fresh and sweet .

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I ordered Bhel Puri ‘Bombay’s best loved street food. Puff rice with crisp gram threads, peanuts & tantalising spiced sweet & sour dressing.’ I love a good Bhel Puri and this didn’t disappoint. The sweet and & sour dressing tasted a lot like tamarind (which was a shame as I’d already ordered a tamarind based dish). This was the dish which was shared the most and disappeared the quickest.

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I was very surprised with my Treacle Tamarind ‘fries’ as you can see they skinless potato wedges! Mowgli’s treacle tamarind is sweet, sticky, mild and very more-ish. The Bloke found this dish to be a tad too sweet and wished it had just a little more heat.

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An impractically large scoop of salted caramel ice cream in a waffle cone. I know we’re probably bored of overtly trendy salted caramel flavoured offerings on every menu by now but this tasted fantastic! A perfect balance of salty and sweet, it disappeared rather quickly!

Overall I really enjoyed my visit and will definitely be eating here again. Friendly staff, quick service and nice atmosphere. I just wish that some of the dishes we tried were a little more pequent as I felt I hadn’t fulfilled my appetite for something spicy.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Have you visited the Corn Exchange or a Mowgli in your area yet?

Chrissie

Making Instagram Albums to Share on Social Media

I’ve been using the Insta Collage app to create mini albums to draw attention to my Instagram feed on social media. It’s really easy to compile, edit and share them and so addictive that I’ve made eight of them!

Edgy Urban

Edgy Urban

Pretty Urban

Spot the dove

Style Wishlists

IMG_1108

Geek and Alternative

Alternative

Cruelty Free Beauty

Beauty

Lifestyle Colourfulness

Lifestyle

Food and Drink

Food and Drink

Just Random Really

Cool Stuff

Why not follow me on Instagram for more piccies.

Chrissie

How I Got Past My Motivation Problems and Other Things

This was the problem…

I was never as bad as a ‘functioning alcoholic’. No, I was a social drinker. When you are around someone every night, then that’s being social right? When you’ve suddenly drunk three bottles (Large European size) and the effect has suddenly and surprisingly worn off too quickly, theres no harm in buying another if you are only having a third of it, is there? Then of course the next night you buy the usual three and happily find that you have two thirds of the other bottle left ofter from last night as well – bonus! “Oh no, I better not eat that or I won’t get drunk. I better start drinking first.”

That’s how it started off as fun and escalated into something quite the opposite.

Luckily, my heightened emotions and a rather volatile relationship and some very good – if rather biased advice, halted me in my tracks before I developed a real habit.

The underlying issues…

Without going into details, with my Dyspraxia and someone else’s issues combined Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.41.39there could often be mood swings and miss-commnuications and very high emotion when we were together. Sometimes I was using the alcohol as an emotional crutch which was actually resulting in an emotional car crash. I wasn’t able to handle the situation well when I was drunk. I should have been capable of doing so without ugly crying for hours and feeling gutted and angry in equal measure. I should have been able to walk away and calm down, rather than feeling like the world was falling down around me.

As it happened I was also going through a hard time feeling like I’d kinda lost who I was. My 35 birthday was approaching and I didn’t feel young anymore but I wasn’t middle aged, I was just me but who the hell was that!? When someone would ask me what I’d been doing lately my answer would be “We both went” or “We all went”, never “I went” because I was never motivated enough to go out and do stuff alone. It wasn’t any kind of social anxiety, more that I kept finding I couldn’t be arsed and it was just easier not to.

I tricked myself into thinking I was managing to keep my head above water, when in reality all I was doing was treading water until I was emotionally exhausted and had nothing left.

How I got my shit together…

I  started taking more responsibility for my actions. I deliberately focused on adjusting Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.27.02my attitude and letting the little things go. I realised we all have to accommodate other people’s moods whilst realising they aren’t always a response to our own behaviour. Essentially it’s not always our fault if someone is suddenly annoyed or sulky. I also realised that we don’t have to react to every negative with which we are presented and can choose to remain calm until we have decided exactly how to deal with the situation. This can be a lot more beneficial than an initial emotional gut reaction.

Practically speaking…

I bought a planner to take some pressure off having to think about everything that was going on in my life. It included a diary and a year planner and I created a To Do List and also wrote down all of my medical stuff. I bought a bunch of new clothes that were Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.45.38more like the ‘old’ me just a tad bigger and started gently exercising again. I started making smoothies (a practical task that I was dreading) and it turns out I’m a natural at knowing which ingredients work with each other. I started going out to town alone again, even when it was busy and people were impatient with me. I started regularly getting more involved with Twitter chats. I started playing music that I loved, rather than just listening to whatever anyone else chose to put on. I also made an effort with my appearance Every. Single. Day. It made such a difference to my confidence and outlook. I was no longer thinking of ‘reasons’ not to go out (even to the local shops) because I looked a mess, or was tired, or it wasn’t totally necessary.

So now I’m on the other side…

It’s been two months since I’ve had a drink and it feels more like six! I did it incredibly begrudgingly at first and made all sorts of excuse as to why a myriad of allowances should be made. I fully agreed with it eventually when I realised I had no idea how it had been since I’d spent an evening sober and knew things HAD to change.

Result…

Now I’m much more upbeat, I’ve gotten my silliness back and I’m smiling more. I’m even talking with more confidence and feel like I hold more of a presence in group Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 19.35.19conversations, rather than being accidentally talked over. I’m naturally waking up and feeling refreshed at around 9.00am some days which is wonderful! I haven’t lost weight but I feel so much better in myself and have more energy (my condition allowing), positivity and motivation. I’m doing chores without letting them pile up and even offering to do them when it’s not my turn, if someone is in need of the help. My memory and concentration are back to the level they were last year and I don’t let the ‘brain fog’ demoralise me like I used to. It does vary wildly due to my MS but overall I feel like I’ve gotten my personality back with some added adulting to boot, ha!

Back to the alcohol – literally…

These days I have a few beers if I go out for food (the cinema doesn’t count) or if I’m on a night out or at a house party etc. I’m celebrating with it again, rather than relying on it for my entertainment every evening. I’ve gotten used to processing my emotions in a more even way and I either stay calm or keep my annoyance/upset to a controllable level, even if I’m really being pushed to my limit. I realise that the situation is only for that moment and it will pass and that’s life and that’s ok with me.

Chrissie

Spring/Summer Essential – Denim Jackets

Spring/Summer Essential - Denim Jackets

 

Spirulina – Superfood or Fad?

I’ll admit until Focus Supplements offered me Spirulina Supplements £5.99 to review, I had no idea what it was. After doing some research I found out that it’s a type of algae which grows in ponds and gets it’s energy from sunlight.

It was used by the Aztec’s for it’s health benefits and NASA proposed it could be grown in space and used to by astronauts.

Benefits

Spirulina naturally contains high levels of Protein, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese. So if you think your current diet may leave any gaps in your general nutrition this seems to be the superfood to go for!

Spirulina supplements

Verdict

The size of the supplements made them incredibly easy to swallow and they didn’t have any kind of funky taste. Quite often the bulking agents in supplements gives me indigestion but these didn’t. If you aren’t a great taker of pills, this is also available in powder form.

Usually in the warm weather I feel twice as fatigued after very little effort but since taking the Spirulina for three weeks my energy levels have been feeling a little more even, without as many peaks and troughs. I’ve also noticed that my finger nails feel slightly stronger and are growing at an incredible rate, as is my hair. I seem to have been more on-the-ball with my memory and concentration compared to how I normally am in hot weather. I’ve have got into smoothies and juicing (adding nuts and seeds as well as fruits and veg) recently though, so I’m sure those added vitamins and minerals have also helped as well.

At £5.99 I think these are really reasonably priced and I’m going to carry on taking 1-2 a day until I use them up. I like the idea of just taking one supplement with an incredible amount of health benefits (with food, so they are digested and absorbed efficiently), rather than lots of different supplements which might not all work as well together. I will be purchasing more of these in the winter when I won’t be as keen on creating chilled juices and smoothies.

Focus Supplements provide superfoods, teas and antioxidants, including spirulina, acai berry, chia seeds, matcha and goji berry supplements in powders and capsules. 28 day detox plans are also available. They also have a really helpful blog full of tips and recipes to get you started.

Chrissie

Simply Beautiful Collection – Collagen Hydra Gel Serum

Founded in 1988 Simply Beautiful Collection uses natural ingredients to create luxury skincare for all skin types and skin needs. I opted to test their Collagen Hydra Gel Serum £35 for 3 weeks.

Colagen hydra gel serum

As you may know if you’ve read this blog for a long time I have quite a lot of acne scarring on my cheeks. Actually my body naturally creates a lot of collagen which means that I heal quickly but get too much lumpy ‘keloid’ scar tissue (most usual in people with ethnic skin tones). This has created a sort of ‘orange peel’ effect on my cheeks and lately it’s starting to show around my chin as my skins natural collagen breaks down as I get older.

Before

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After

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The gel serum has the consistency of a light moisturiser but holds together rather than being runny. It’s easily spreadable but has a slight tight feeling afterward. I absolutley love the packaging as I think it looks very luxurious.

Verdict

My skin does look plumper and more even but unfortunately that ‘orange peel’ effect is still noticeable without foundation. Sadly it hasn’t made any difference to the lines that come down from my nose to my mouth. This product was just to heavy for my skin and made me break out around my chin and the lines I mentioned. Having spent my teens and early twenties plagued by spots and self esteem issues as a result, I’m happy to say that I prefer the scars left behind, rather than more spots!

Conclusion

I’m going to keep using this but just on my cheeks and only half of the amount – one pump, rather than two – as my skin does look smoother under (even a very lightweight) foundation. I’d recommend this for people with dry or possibly combination skin but definitely not anyone with oily skin or areas of skin which are prone to breakouts. I might be approaching my mid 30’s but this still isn’t quite the right product for my skin type, yet….

Rating <3<3

<3Chrissie<3

Festival Fashion

Festival Fashion

Mama Nature Natural Rejuvenating Skin Peel

Mama Nature are a wonderful cruelty free company who are ethical in their approach to the environment, their skincare products and their employees. Mama Nature is vegan, paraben free, handmade to order and uses recycled material for their packaging

They say…

‘We want to continue making a real difference and our philosophy is simple – to improve the quality of life of our customers through our natural products and not harm our environment or other animals while we do so.’

‘All members of our team are treated with the utmost respect and we support their work-life balance.’

Mama Nature natural skin peel

Mama Nature natural skin peel

Unfortunately due to my wonky health conditions, I lost concentration for a split second and my hand relaxed so I dropped the jar, spreading 80% of the contents on the floor – whaaaa! Luckily a little goes a long way and I still have at least a few months worth of treatments left in the pot.

Ingredients

Aqua, Organic Whole Leaf Aloe Vera, AHA Natural Fruit Extract (extracts of bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange and lemon) Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Organic Lemon Oil.

Usage and packaging

Gentle peeling and smoothing with soothing elements. Promotes new skin growth. Helps products to sink deeper into the skins surface. This peel has the consistency of a runny gel and has a pleasant fruity scent. I like the packaging because of it’s simplicity yet it’s immediately obvious what the product is.

Result

I left this on my face for two hours as instructed and there was no tightness or tingling. I wiped it off in circular motions with a damp flannel. I was thrilled with the results! My skin felt completely smooth and looked more radiant and even in colour. My moisturiser sunk in immediately and my combination skin remained balanced for hours afterward. I have a tiny bump of scar tissue on the top of my nose which is darker than the rest of my skin, which has now been lightened and flattened so much by Mama Nature’s Skin Peel it’s now barley noticeable!

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

Geek & Alternative Wishlist from Tostadora

First up, my absolute favourite!

My Colourful Neighbour by IdeasConPatatas

Totoro Tostadora

I was delighted when Tostadora asked me to pick a tee to review as they are one of my fave apparel brands . My love for all things Miyazaki never dies so I picked this Totoro vest which is normally valued at £15.40. Most designs are available in a range of colours and shapes such as racer back vests, hoodies, mandarin collar tees and long sleeve tees. The sizing is different in Spain so my vest is an XL, the English equivalent of a generous 12. This 100% cotton vest (tank) is thick and strong and the length generous. The printing is so sharp it’s perfect. Click for more Totoro tees ^_^

Here are some others that made me smile or laugh out loud…..

I’m Your Father! by Melonseta

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Make Love Not Warcraft by Cocolima

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Those Hands! by Sixhundredand fifteen

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Kokeshi Audrey Hepburn by Pendientera

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I’m Not A Princess I’m A Khaleesi by Karlmisetas

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Dead and Alive by Miropachula

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Bye Bye Kitty by dDesign

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Kokeshi Klimt The kiss by Penientera 

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Susuwatari by Levadesign 

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 Ups by PsychoDeliciaShop

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Kokeshi Frida Kahlo by Pendientera 

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 996866 by TheIdol

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 Pulp Mermaid by Pinfloi

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Get 15% off your order with my exclusive code VAMPIT15

Chrissie