October Monthly Round-up

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I’ve added a few more halloween decs around the place. Black, white and neon green seems to becoming a theme lol

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Food 

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You can read my review of these dairy free delights here

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I’ve been having Genius dairy and gluten-free blueberry muffins for breakfast recently. They are so moist and full of blueberries, I think they are the best muffins I’ve ever eaten!

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The Bloke treated me to a meal at Pizza Express (my fave pizza place for my 5th Blogversary) and I ordered a gluten and dairy-free starter and main and then cheated on the desert. Here’s my review of the food and alternative gf and df options.

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As banana is my second favourite ice cream flavour after caramel I was so happy to find this dairy free (vegan) version of Chunky Monkey in Tesco. The dark chocolate and the nuts really do add a nice chunky texture.

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This is very similar to a dark chocolate Ferrero Rocher. I have to ration myself on these or else I’d just devour them in under a minute and then reach for another.

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Vegetarian and dairy-free sweets with a surprising flavour and texture. Here’s my review.

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Well there had to be some kind of pumpkin related spice somewhere didn’t there, ha! This smooth spicy soup also works well as a sauce for gnochi or dumplings or as a rich base for a homemade winter vegetable soup.

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Not the best lighting but then, not the best pizza either. This is the gluten-free option from Pizza Hut with a very thick, very dry base. I’m glad I ordered extra toppings otherwise the grainy texture of the bread base would have overwhelmed the whole thing. I’m glad they have a gf option but it really does need more work.

Style

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I’m so happy the weather is now cold enough a) for my chronic fatigue to not impact me quite as much and b) for me to wear my ‘One Love Manchester’ charity jumper.

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I put together this Halloween homeware board with clickable links of where to buy. Obviously items won’t arrive in time today but you might catch some bargains in the sale for next year.

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I bought two amazing (and much needed) balconette bras – one in light pink and one in turquoise – a cute cocktail glass key chain, lounge pants, polar bear slippers and a compact mirror from Boux Avenue. The slippers are really cozy and easy to walk in but the large size was too small for my size 7 feet! I had to remove their pompom tails and cut a slit down the back to get me feet in and out.

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These are the lounge pants. As I sit around the house a lot, I need to wear something more comfortable than jeans but warmer than thin pj’s bottoms. After getting sick of just jogging bottoms and leggings I found these furry things.

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I love animals but feel like my home could easily end up looking like a zoo’s tacky gift shop. So I put together Animal Accessories for You and Your Home and was very discerning with the lovely items I included.

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I figured seeing as I sleep well into the day, wake up at night, can be grumpy but also cuddly and love junk food, I’m already half racoon so I was delighted to find this racoon dressing gown from New Look.

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I compiled the best Autumn and Winter Accessories  with clickable links of where to buy each item. I literally have a whole cupboard for my A/W accessories.

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I’ve realised I was a little bit ahead of the fashion last year when I bought a jumper with corset style lacing around it. It’s a big cozy jumper but also feminine with the lacing and bows. It also doesn’t have a really slouchy (read cold) neck line, like so many of them do.

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So I create this post and then notice this month’s Cosopolitan magazine has done the same edit with so many similar jackets. Here’s me thinking I’m being original, ha! I used to wear a puffa for many years as a teen and it’s seriously like wearing half of your duvet.

Lifestyle

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I’ve been blogging for 5 years. Everyone has said “Wow, I can’t beleive you’ve been blogging for five years!” but I feel like it’s something I’ve always done. Probably because I had a photo blog on the sadly defunked Blip Photo for a couple of years before and kept paper journals (with glued in collages, postcards and ticket stubs etc.)  all of my life before that. Thank you so much to every one for reading, liking and commenting. It puts a smile on my face everyday.

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Here’s the first Outfit of the Day post I ever did. I was determined I wasn’t going to use a bedroom mirror with a load of clothes piled on the bed in the background, so I grabbed my Nikon and dragged the Bloke into his communal garden instead!

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The light is getting worse and worse for taking piccies now the nights are drawing in and when I use in door lighting, everything looks too yellow – gah! Anyway here is my review of these lovely scented soy candles.

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October is Dysautonomia awareness month, which is very important as it’s often overlooked and not recognised by Dr’s. Basically it’s when a persons autonomic nervous system doesn’t automatically regulate what it is meant to. For me this includes not regulating my heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, appetite, digestion and temperature properly. It also doesn’t signal to me what’s going on until I’m really really hungry, hot, tired etc. It also means that I barley sweat (unless I over increase my salt and water intake) and I’m not capable of shivering to keep warm – ever. Unless a symptom is incredibly severe it’s just up to the person to keep an eye on everything themselves – quite a task for me, given my memory and concentration probs but I’m getting there with the help of the Bloke and my Dad.

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Activewear, athleisure, whatever you want to call it and however you want to use it, here’s some of the most stylish and user friendly items out there.

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I’ve been giving myself and my avatar a bit of a makeover lately.

Beauty

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It’s been fairly quiet on the beauty front this month as I’m trying to cut down a on the amount of makeup I buy, unless it’s a staple product I’m renewing like concealer or nude/brown lipstick or it’s something Metalic because shiny! Here’s my review of Topshop eye colour and matte lip bullet.

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Speaking on cutting down, I wanted to get one nail poilish in a subtle pretty shade which I could wear everyday and which would go with everything, which would last. Read my review to find out if Nails Inc Gel Effect worked.

Which genre would you like to see more of on Vamp It Up Manchester?

Chrissie

Halloween Song List You Would Actually Play At a Party

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You could just casually put these on and see how long it takes for people to get it lol

AC/DC – Highway To Hell

Evanescence – Bring Me to Life

The Troggs – Wild Thing

Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper

Radio Head – Creep

Echo and The Bunny Men – The Killing Moon

Stevie Wonder – Superstition

Pop Evil – Deal with the Devil

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein

Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl

Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

Linkin Park – Reanimation

Beatfreakz – Somebodies Watching Me

Bloc Party – Hunting for Witches

Santana – Black Magic Woman

Nina Simone – I Put a Spell on You

Rihanna – Disturbia

Shakira – She Wolf

Super Furry Animals – Demons

Alice Cooper – Poison

Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love

The Rolling Stones – Paint it Black

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Fire

John Fogherty – Bad Moon Rising

Rob Zombie – Dragula

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Steppenwolf – Born to be Wild

Marylin Manson – Sweet Dreams

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

Bauhaus – Bela Legosi’s Dead

Ministry – Everyday is Halloween

I hope you are having/had a fangtastic halloween my little devils!

Harpers Candles review

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I used to be big on candles, literally the bigger and tackier looking the better but then I got older and hated the way most of them smelled after burning (more toxic than pretty), the way they burned unevenly and how they looked really messy after four or five uses.

Then I used Harpers Candles and fell in love with candles all over again. Here are the reasons at a glance…

  • They are made of soy which isn’t harmful to breath like paraffin is. It carries fragrance very well and doesn’t cover everything in soot.
  • They use top grade fragrance oils which create an atmosphere and eliminate odours.
  • They are completely cruelty free and are approved by The Vegan Society.
  • The packaging is recyclable or upcyclable (if little pots are your thing) and the labels are already made from recycled paper.

The Great British Summer Kind arrived in one of my The Vegan Kind sub boxes (the foods in them obviously dairy free and usually gluten free so perfect for me) and I adored the scent of it so much I don’t want to use it up. I just open it every morning to smell before I get out of bed because the scent – similar to limes and freshly cut grass – is so uplifting!

Little Black Cat is a candle designed for Autumn and Winter and is said to include rich, dark berry scents. Now, maybe I’ve gotten so used to REALLY rich berry scents in my perfumes this candle just reminded me of very sweet strawberries and raspberries instead. Very girly but not particularly comforting on a dark chilly day. I think for A/W I would prefer Dirty Crow which is similar to winter berries and mulled wine or Pandora which is more woody.

Oh did I mention they make a Salted Caramel scented candle? O.O

Chrissie

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Animal Accessories for You & Your Home

Animal Accessories for You & Your Home

Halloween Film Guide For Whimps 1984 – 2017

Not everyone finds being scared poop-less by horror films remotley enjoyable but we still want to get into the er, spirit of things ^_^

Gremlins (1984)

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Cute, adorable and deadly if you don’t look after him.

Ghostbusters (1984)

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This film is just a massive amount of fun! A group of ghost busting guys in New York city.

Beetlejuice (1988)

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Fantasy horror at it’s craziest. If you happen to find you are dead or your horrible parents buy a haunted house, then you might need the help of crazy-as-a-box-of-frogs Beetlejuice – I say might.

Braindead (1992)

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Zombie babies anyone? I think this film still holds the award for most amount of fake blood used in a film. It’s gory yes, but every seen is played for laughs and it’s too ridiculous to be scary. Directed by Peter Jackson before he found Hobits.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

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If witches and fantasy films are your thing you will love this.

Casper (1995)

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Yes, this is a kids film with lots of CGI but it’s also a family drama and unexpectedly romantic.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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In the days before Johnny Depp played rather annoying characters he was perfectly cast as geeky investigator Ichabod Crane in this film based on a real folk tale.

Ginger Snaps (2000)

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This cult series of three films get progressively darker but the first is the least creepy. How would you help your sister if she were slowly turning into a teenage werewolf? Nothing like Teenwolf I assure you.

Ghost Ship (2002)

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Kinda creepy with some unexpected twists but a lot of expected one’s as well to be honest.

Dog Soldiers (2002)

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A lycanthropic psychological thriller!

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

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More of a zom-rom-com obviously.

My Dead Girlfriend (2006)

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So if you ran over your other half with your car you’d naturally turn to the occult to bring them back right?

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

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So your beautiful best friend has an insidious appetite for men, literally.

Fright Night (2011)

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I loved the original film from 1985 and had a huge crush on the vampire neighbour. It looks quite dated now so I’ve included this remake in the list instead. This feels more like a sexy psycho thriller than a horror film, somehow.

Dark Shadows (2012)

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More of a character driven fantasy than a horror. Slow start but stick with it.

Warm Bodies (2013)

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Just because he’s a zombie doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel sympathy or love even?

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

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This is just so much fun!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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These five sisters have been preparing to date and do battle all of their lives.

Alien Vs Zombies (2017)

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An alien teen comes to earth only to find it’s in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Bring it on dude!

To watch the night before Halloween:

The Crow

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People make the mistake of thinking this is a horror film but it’s actually a beautiful tragic love story. A heartbroken man returns from the grave (the night before Halloween) to avenge his fiancés murder. A poignant, violent, noir-fantasy with dark humour.

Before we share the popcorn, which ones are your favourites on this list?

<Chrissie <3

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Dairy Free Sea-salted Chocovered Fudgee Bites review

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I have tried so many products lately that claim to have a ‘sea salt’ or ‘salted caramel’ flavour which had a disappointing lack of saltines. Fabulous Free From Factory, Dairy Free Sea-salted Chocovered Fudge Bites are the deliciously sweet and salty exception. I would never know that the chocolate is also dairy free without reading the label, it’s so good. I also appreciate the inclusion of the Vegetarian Society mark on the packet which always makes buying sweet nibbles easier for us veggies. I planned on getting a better photo…but then I’d eaten them all!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Lush (Halloween) Monsters’ Ball Bath Bomb

Vamp It Up Manchester

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Lush have 16 halloween related products including bath bombs, bubble bars, a black lip tint, a shimmer bar (for party skin) and soap. I chose this Monsters Ball (£4.50) bath bomb because my legs love the Himalayan rock salt as it helps with water retention and wrestless legs syndrome at night. Plus he’s a cute little monster.

The combination of lime and neroli oil combined to create an unexpected scent, reminiscent of zingy strawberry sweets which lasted all through my bath. It fizzed for a long time and turned the water pink, then blue and then all purple. I broke him (it!) up into two as there was more than enough for one bath. Relaxing, uplifting and made my skin surprisingly soft.

Rating 4/5 (I’m saving the extra point for when I get the beautiful golden Bubble Bar)

Chrissie

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Activewear You Want To Wear

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Active wear, active wear, I go everywhere in my active wear!

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Happily Eating Gluten & Dairy free at Pizza Express

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My bloke treated me to a meal at Pizza Express, Didsbury to celebrate my 5th blogversary and to check out there new Autumn menu.

Starters

I ordered the Leggera Superfood Salad (gf v) as a starter which is made up of ‘black rice, edamame beans, red quinoa, mung beans, chickpeas, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and kale in a flavoursome vinaigrette on a bed of seasonal mixed leaves, rocket, cucumber, roasted red & yellow peppers, red onion and fresh parsley.’ It’s a very varied and tasty salad with all of the ingredients working really well together and is gluten and dairy free.

I also could have chosen Dough Balls (v), Bruschetta (v) or Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (v, gf) to help with my food intolerances. 

Main 

I knew I was going to cheat with my desert so I decided to be sensible with my main. Luckily for me, the dairy free option sounded like the nicest pizza on the menu. I ordered  the new Vegan Giardiniera (v, gf option) made up of ‘artichoke, closed cup mushroom, red onion and black olives, with tomato, vegan mozzarella alternative and garlic oil, finished with fresh parsley’ and specified a gluten free base. The result was the best pizza I have ever eaten at Pizza Express! The vegan mozzarella was so creamy, I just wished there were more of it. Because of my dyspraxia I really struggle to cut up pizza using a pizza cutter or a knife and folk but the gf base was thin and stretchy enough for me to manage fairly easily. I imagine this is similar to the base of a calzone.

I could also have chosen Bolognese Rigatoni (gf), Broad Bean Rigatoni (gf, v), Cannelloni (v), Every pizza (gf option) apart from a Calabrese, with 7 of them having (v) options.

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Side

Polenta Chips with Honey and Mustard Dressing because I love these strange little sticks and they don’t fill me up too much. I was naughty and got them with parmesan.

I also could have chosen Coleslaw (gf), salad (gf) or the left off the grated parmesan from the polenta chips to help with my food intolerances. 

Desert

Not the most sensible choice, ok the least sensible choice but I absolutely adore cold chocolate fudge cake with vanilla gelato or ice cream. Nom….

I also could have chosen pretty much any other desert (v or v option) and chocolate brownie (gf) or Caffe Reale (gf) to help with my food intolerance. 

We’ve honestly never seen a menu which is so flexible and inclusive of vegetarians, vegans and people with food intolerance and allergies. Well done Pizza Express!

Chrissie

 

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Candy Kittens, Sweet Pineapple Gourmet Sweets

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Created by Jamie Laing of Made in Chelsea fame, Candy Kittens are naturally flavoured vegetarian sweets for grown-up’s.

The Sweet Pineapple flavour are the creamiest tasting sweets I’ve ever tried, which is impressive considering they are dairy free. I love the chewy texture – which unlike veggie Haribo don’t glue my teeth together.

The only improvement I would make would be to increase the pineapple flavour a little more as it was very subtle.

Hurrah, more dairy and gelatine free sweets for my cupboard!

Chrissie