Bloom and Wild – The ‘Letterbox Flowers’ Saga

I couldn’t think of a more convenient way to have flowers delivered than to get them posted through the letter box. No embarrassing scenario of my flowers being carted down the street to neighbours if I didn’t answer the door in time or if I wasn’t available (awake) when they arrived.

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It was my Dads 75th birthday so I went onto the Bloom and Wild site and ordered him some Poinsettia’s in a contemporary zinc planter. They’d be a treat for his birthday and because they were planted in moss, they would last all through December, very festive!

A few problems ensued

a) The website explained that the flowers may arrive a day late (depending on the type of postage selected) so I ordered them for Tuesday as my Dad’s birthday wasn’t until Friday. By Wednesday 5.30pm they still hadn’t arrived.

b) I phoned up customer service and spoke to a really lovely bloke. He was surprised I hadn’t got an email to track the delivery. He was surprised that they HAD in fact been delivered but I didn’t have a card/email saying where the hell they were. He looked on the notes and apparently they’d just been left in the garden on Tuesday morning! He gave me a refund and apologised profusely, saying he’d send me some more. How lovely is that?

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c) I ventured out into the little garden the next day and they were on full view, not hidden in the foliage where most packages are discreetly left (although they can be a real pain the back and very fatiguing to find). Apparently Gorton scally’s are only interested in stealing clothing or food deliveries, statues and bikes from gardens, so they were actually still there. The fact that they were perishable and should be left with neighbours and a card posted to me (as stated on the label above) seemed to be lost on the delivery person. As for the condition of the box, well…..

d) I opened them up and they were the wrong flowers anyway!

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Eventually on the Friday the Poinsettias arrived (they were out of stock on Thursday so it had to be arranged on Dads actual birthday) and they were gorgeous. I’m glad each plant came with a care card as I would have overwatered them otherwise. They also arrived with a medium sized card with the design and message I’d chose, which was a nice touch. The font really was small though so I had to read it out to him.

 

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Dad thought that they were both really pretty and liked the fact that they would last longer than cut flowers. He also liked how compact they were as he could put them on the little windowsill and brighten up the kitchen in the small terraced house.

Wild and Bloom’s Letter Box Flowers option is brilliant when it works and fairly shit when it doesn’t, although they have the best over-the-phone customer service I’ve ever come across. You can also get full sized cut flowers which I got for someone as an apology for something and it worked!

Chrissie

Vegan Shack Review Manchester

I first heard of Vegan Shack from the Manchester Vegetarian and Vegan Group on Facebook. MVVG are a friendly bunch and so helpful (anyone who gets arsey and argumentative, rather than constructive, get called out by moderators or other members)   they are worth checking out.

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Menu

Vegan Shack provide all of our vegan junk food desires, including kebabs, pizzas, burgers, ‘chicken’ poppers, frickles (fried pickles) garlic dough balls and loaded fries. They deliver around a large radius of Central/South Manchester so Chorlton is included and I think they just about cover Denton, I’m not sure about North Manchester, sorry!

The five gluten free offerings on the menu are three pizzas, basic fries and on request kebabs too! I chose the Chick n’ Chunk with a 10″ stone baked base (my fave) tomato and herb sauce, ‘cheese’ and strips of ‘chicken’.

Ordering

I used the website on my iPad and it kept saying there was something wrong and to try ordering something different (even though what I’d chosen wasn’t ‘sold out’). I gave up in the end and asked the online customer service person. They were incredibly helpful and told me to give them my order and they would do it for me. My food arrived so fast, I’d not even sat down on the couch and got settled for the evening!

The Pizza

The problem I’ve always had with vegan cheese is that it’s too sweet and when paired with a fairly sweet (but tasty) tomato sauce you have a very un-savoury pizza. The ‘chicken’ strips had a realistic texture and really balanced out the overall flavour. I ended up scraping off half of the cheese (which they were almost too generous with) and adding a lot of salt. Then it tasted awesome!

Verdict

I would say Vegan Shack is up there with V Revolution and Zads when it comes to creativity but a hot dog option and some deserts would be great additions.

Chrissie

Breakfast, Dinner or Tea?

I only got out of bed just over two and a half hours ago so who knows lol

Corn thins with dairy free spread, cucumber, sun-dried tomato (out of a jar, not those plastic unrecyclable tubs, cheaper too) with oregano, artichoke hearts (again out of a jar) and jalapeños. I did eat a giant handful of salted, roasted cashews before this so protein isn’t an issue, for anyone wondering.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Halloween Playlist You Would Actually Play

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Don’t be scared it’s just me!

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

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

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Spellbound

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

The Birthday Party –  Release The Bats

Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

Linkin Park – Reanimation

Beatfreakz – Somebodies Watching Me

Bloc Party – Hunting for Witches

Santana – Black Magic Woman

Nina Simone/Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – 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

Marylin Manson – Sweet Dreams

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

Bauhaus – Bela Legosi’s Dead

Ministry – Everyday is Halloween

The Doors – This is the End

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

Manchester Street View: 7 Years Compilation

This month I’ve had this blog for 7 years! I’ve decided to have a look through all of my Street View and Street Art posts and some other event posts to make a best-of compilation.

Moss Side Caribbean Carnival held in Alexandra Park

Pride parade

Hulme/motorway underpass

Street art from the Cities of Global Hope campaign, spreading messages of social injustice and hardship

One of the statues created for the Commonwealth Games 2002 held in Manchester, with the Hilton Hotel & Apartments in the background.

Mega Mella held in Platt fields park

By Qubek

The giant maze of wonder that is Afflecks on Tib Street

A tiny staircase in a wall, where a pot rabbit was found sitting a week later!?

An Asian bar with veggie food

Heading toward Oxford Rd from Piccadilly (look left)

John Ryland’s Library

The Predator visits Market Street

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Stevenson Square

My fave open fronted shop on Church Street for veggie and vegan food.

Tony Wilson ‘Mr Manchester’ the creator of Factory Records and The Hacienda nightclub – by Stewy

I hope you’ve enjoyed my eclectic tour of my hometown and maybe recognised some parts or found new and interesting parts of central Manchester.

Halloween Film Guide For Scaredy-cats 1984 – 2019

Not everyone likes being scared poop-less by horror films so, in the spirit of things (see what I did there lol) I’ve compiled a list of not-too-scary scary films from the year I was born up until this year.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Atmospheric, with some gruesomely realistic transformation scenes but also very tongue-in-cheek and funny in places.

Gremlins (1984)

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Cute, adorable and deadly if you feed him after midnight

Ghostbusters (1984/2016)

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These films are a massive amount of fun! A group of guys or girls dealing with ghost and slime in New York city.

The Lost Boys (1987)

An absolute creepy-cool YA classic

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.

The Addams Family (1991)

Even though every member of this family has a line or a scene that will make you grin. I’d watch it solely for Wednesday Addams!

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.

Scream (1996)

I’ve always thought of the Scream films as enjoyable who-dunnits, rather than horror films but looking back on them, there are some genuinely creepy and shocking moments.

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!

Scouts Guide to te Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

There are a lot of zomb-rom-coms out there and this is one of the better ones. Think, Superbad with relatable characters but the shared goal is to kill and escape the undead, rather than bring beer.

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!

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Four strangers who have move to middle America to battle against evolved zombies and find other survivors, create a wonky makeshift family.

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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Trying the Autumn Menu from Pizza Express

Me and the bloke decided some Italian inspired food was well overdue and booked ourselves in with Pizza Express in Piccadilly to try their new Autumn menu.

I did a little fun poll on Twitter and Instagram (which got a whole 8 participants lol) to decide what to wear. Urban/Street 20% , Alternative 40%, Mix it up 40% Fancy-ish 20% so I went with a sailor tattoo inspired rockabilly blouse, a little black shrug, kickflare fitted jeans and feminine but chunky-soled boots. I would never have thought of putting all of them together but it worked!

Pizza Express’ new veggie dishes include a starter of Creamy Baked Garlic Mushroom with vegan mozzarella or goats cheese. Battered Halloumi bites are a new side. A main of Calzone Verdure with roasted peppers, aubergine and courgette with spinach and smoky tomato harissa. The Carbonara Romana Pizza with pancetta, mozzarella and garlic oil on a béchamel base, baked with a free-range egg. Risotto con Funghi creamy white wine risotto with Portobello mushrooms. Two chocolate deserts and an Orange & Cacao Gin Buck cocktail.

For starters I got Tomato, mozzarella and pesto (I asked for the vegan mozzarella as I love it but was told it wasn’t an option, even though it was an option with the blokes starter!?). He got the new Creamy Baked Garlic Mushroom which he thought was well balanced and tasty but not worth over £6.00! We got a huge Superfood Salad to share which is always delicious.

 

I ordered the new risotto which was delicious and very filling but not heavy. I didn’t get why it had so much rocket on it though. I had halloumi in the fridge at home so I  ordered (my fave side) polenta sticks with honey and mustard dressing. The bloke got his usual understated and under rated pizza with olives, capers, sultanas and red onions. Sounds weird but it works!

Staff were helpful and friendly and service was speedy as usual. Our only complaint was that the temperature was way too hot, even though me and the bloke were only wearing thin tops and jeans.

What would you have eaten?

Chrissie

Halloween Makeup To Get Creative With

Rather than put together a specific look, I decided to find, what I thought were the most versatile items. This way after Halloween you can subtly incorporate them into an evening look, using as much or as little as you want. Creative and budget friendly!

 

Glow Up – Orly

Cosmic Cowboy Face Jewels – Barry M

Glitter Flip Liquid Lipstick in Iconic – Ciate

18 Hit Wonders Eyeshadow Palette – E.L.F.

I’ve left off any prices and links as it depends on which country you live in or what your fave beauty halls or websites are. My fave UK places (apart from the brands own websites) are Superdrug, TK Maxx (online), Debenhams and Cult Beauty (online).

Happy creating! V- -V

A Quick Catch Up

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Hi lovely people!

I’ve not been blogging for a bit as I’ve been chillin at the blokes and doing life admin in between. Ive read all but one of the books on my Autumn Reading List which amazes me as applying my attention to reading (and finishing) a book was never my strong point.

I’ve changed the heading description for this blog Andy updated the photo so hopefully it’s more representative of the content and how I look on daily basis. Hope you like!

Like a lot of you have probably learned, Pizza Express is in dire financial trouble. I’m pretty gutted! I love Pizza Express because their gluten and dairy free options are extensive and delicious; their staff are (mainly) polite and patient and their chefs are accommodating. I reckon their food is authentic, creative and affordable.

After booking in for two nights, we realised that they weren’t going to fold (insert tactless calzone joke here) for at least a year. This made us relieved that their staff would, maybe, have time to find new jobs.

The first night was tonight (Tues) but I woke up with my neck and shoulder hurting so much because I’d slept funny and I had a funky tummy doing seriously foreboding rumbling noises. I had to cancel.

I will be there on Thursday, taking photo’s of dishes from their new menu and then posting a review. I won’t be drinking wine so I won’t be accidentally eating the food before I’ve taken a piccy of it, hehee.

Chrissie