My Tiny Urban Garden

Hello lovely people!

This is how my tiny backyard looks at the moment.

I’m chuffed to bits that these are all still alive and thriving, several weeks after planting. I’m doing my best to water but not over-water them. Difficult when I’m only awake for around twelve hours a day so I don’t know how sunny or shaded it’s been earlier on.

Any tips, greatly appreciated!

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

Chikn Burger (with ‘Bacon’ and ‘Cheese’) from Wholesome Junkies Manchester

Hello lovely people!

I’ve managed to find another vegan-junk-food place which delivers to East Manchester via Uber Eats, Wholesome Junkies!

Treated myself to a Chikn burger with Facon, (vegan) cheese, a crazy amount of sauce and pickles. 🤤

All packaging is cardboard and it was delivered promptly (considering the dude was on a bike), warm and intact. ♻️👍🏽

Also available are Corndogs, Wings, Chikn Bites, Ribs and Mac n’ Cheese.

What would you order?

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

Using an Online Personal Stylist from Stitch Fix – 2nd Try

Hi lovely people!

Remember in my first post I told you I wasn’t happy with my first ‘fix’ and so Stitch Fix said they would try again for free? Well, prompted by the site asking ‘Is there anything your wardrobe is missing?’ this time I left a note saying that I’d been trying to find tapered cargo pants and joggers that were long enough but not baggy for ages! 34” to be exact.

A Note from Molly the Stylist

What Was in the Box

CROPPED JOGGERS NOT PICTURED

Keeping

I absolutely love these shorts because they can be dressed up or down but more importantly, they are the first shorts I’ve worn in decade which don’t cut into my chunky thighs when I sit down! Hurrah!

The two long joggers/cargo pants are exactly what I’ve been searching for, comfortable and luxurious, the perfect street style!

Returning

I liked the idea of simple black lacy top but I already have quite a few similar items so I returned it, along with the cropped (mid-calf) cargo pants as the cuffs were too tight and there wasn’t a zip.

Result

I’m so pleased with this fix as it did everything I needed.

If you have been looking all over for particular items (one’s that are either basic or in fashion and not too alternative – long sleeve mesh top – ahem), then it’s a lot easier to let a stylist pick out different ones for you to try on.

Easier than paying for delivery from different websites and if the items aren’t suitable, having to retrieve return labels online and if, like me, you don’t have a printer, having to print them out at the library/a friends/work. Plus, everything is packaged in paper and card so no endless chain of plastic bags either.

You could also be pleasantly surprised by an item you might not have considered, like I did with those awesome shorts!

What would you wear these items with?

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

Simple Veggie Ch!cken Burrito

Hello lovely people!

Here’s a very simple veggie ‘ch!cken’ burrito I made, which tastes amazing! I stuffed so much in I could hardly hold it – hence the action shot, hehee!

BFree gluten free Wrap generously splashed with water and steamed in microwave. I’ve just discovered their Sweet Potato wraps which are wonderful.

Humus used to butter wrap, trust me, warm humus is ace

Quorn ‘chicken’ Style Pieces with…

Old El Paso Seasoning Mix to stir fry with sunflower oil

OR

TVP rehydrated and marinated in…

Veggie Marigold Swiss Bouillon Powder

Button Mushrooms

Little Gem lettuce

Red Sweet (Bell) Pepper

Hellmans Vegan Mayo

Flying Goose Sriracha Sauce

Heaven! 😋

Would you add or takeaway anything?

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

How I Gained Weight and Got Healthier Over 10 Years

Photos: Clockwise from Top left – At my thinnest, Top right – At least my arms are a bit stronger, Bottom right – Doing well but tummy bloated from gluten, Bottom left – Curvy, healthy and happy!

Hello lovely people! Someone suggested it might be a nice idea to share my weight gain and consequent health journey with you.

The reality of me being so thin and also unhealthy in my late 20’s early 30’s:

I was ALWAYS cold; if I got ill I’d become under weight and weak so easily; if I fell down (which I am prone to do when fatigued/not concentrating) I’d get really hurt because I had no padding over my bones; I struggled carrying my heavy boobs around on such a narrow frame and always had a bad back. I was so pale and not olive skinned like I should naturally be (which I covered up with fake tan).

BUT I was constantly told by people that I looked amazing and should feel grateful that I was ‘so skinny’.

I honestly thought through my 20’s and early 30’s that it was normal for young people to be over-worked, slightly stressed and to push their body to it’s limits and then prop it up with caffeine, sugar and beer/cocktails because that seemed the social norm at the time.

How I got healthy in my 30’s:

I mostly cut out foods containing gluten and dairy as I have an intolerance to them (meaning the body doesn’t absorb nutrients from those foods as it can’t digest them properly but it can, confusingly, make people look fat/bloated in places). I eat regular balanced meals with enough protein. I priorities sleep (even though that means saying no to morning invites). I don’t push myself to the limit of my strength and energy for fear of missing out (using up all of my body’s resources). I got a full blood work-up and found I was totally lacking in B12 and Vit D (no wonder I was so weak, brain fogged and grey!).

Even though I have MS now, I still feel healthier overall these days!

Has wanting to gain or loose weight prompted you to start a health journey? Let me know what you think in the comments!

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas review

I really enjoyed On The Come Up by Angie Thomas about a young female rapper named Bri.

The story covers the pressure to live up to a parents past reputation; love and friendship; institutionalised racism; taking a stand whilst simultaneously trying to keep out of trouble; drug dealing and past addiction and struggling to pay the bills and keep the refrigerator on.

A realistic description of life in a dangerous neighbourhood, which is also a place where Bri has grown up, where she has family and possibly the best chance of realising her dream.

There are a lot of light hearted, funny moments between Bri, her family and friends which balance out the struggle and worry of everyday life.

This novel really is brilliant at showing the confusing choices presented and the emotional strength it takes for a young woman to remain authentic and respected when coming up in the industry.

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

Vegan Hotdog Meal from Zad’s Manchester

When it’s not possible to pile on anymore topping 😁

My tea from Zad’s Vegan Takeaway

Hotdog – odd little pieces of red stir-fried onion, okaaay 😐 but loads of spicy BBQ seitan pieces (to bulk up the skinny sausage), mayo and jalapeños, which tasted lush as a whole but I really missed having a big pile of soft, brown onions

Curly fries – who doesn’t love a curly fry!

ZFC – spicy fried cauliflower, so much like popcorn chicken

Lemon sheese cake – Delicious

Overall really creative and tasty! 😋

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

How Depression Crept Up on Me and Advice

This time two years ago I posted the photo below to Instagram and said I was having a girly-night to myself and made it sound so positive.

What I didn’t say was that I’d had to go on Just Eat to find somewhere local which sold food and beer/wine because it felt like an overwhelming physical AND mental impossibility to go to the local shops. I was so hungry and really needed something to cheer myself up too.

I’d gotten into the habit of not getting (dragging myself) out of bed until 4.00pm (sadly after it had gone dark) so I hadn’t seen daylight for five days. I’d stopped being bothered to get dressed or comb my wildly frizzy hair or to tidy up.

The bloke had to be elsewhere and he was so stressed and busy he really needed to get on with it and I was trying to be as supportive as poss. But I was on my own all week, until weekend and felt really lonely. But I also felt guilty and silly bothering him.

I realise looking back that the Depression had crept back but at the time I was kidding myself that I was having fun enjoying not having any responsibilities or structure.

Ironically that is exactly what helps me, as it stops the endless days and nights all blending together. Plus someone to bounce my thoughts off so they aren’t swimming around in my head and growing more negative and repetitive is vital for me.

I wish I’d put an honest caption on Insta about how I was feeling at the time or told my Dad or my bloke how I felt. BUT I’d been fighting for decades to have my disabilities and chronic illness recognised and to get on ESA benefit so I could rest at home all day. I felt guilty that I wasn’t now happy and thought I must be being ungrateful or overly-dramatic. But actually, when you can’t or aren’t doing much, whole days and nights alone can seem like an eternity.

After doing this on repeat for about a month (literally just living for the weekend when my bloke would be able to come back basically) I phoned him in floods of tears.

We talked for an hour and worked out a better way of doing things and it made a vast amount of difference to my mental health.

———-

There isn’t always a reason though. Sometimes clinical depression can hit you for no reason at all and that’s perfectly normal, not your fault and just as valid.

If you are feeling crappy or apathetic to stuff you normally love doing or are struggling to keep your head above water, please don’t fool yourself you are ‘fine’. Admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling okay and then tell someone else, even if it’s just one other person (i.e. a considerate family member, a friend, an empathetic friend of a friend or your GP for instance) IRL or online.

You don’t have to be fine all of the time and forcing yourself to try can do more damage than good. Being open and honest about your feelings can lift a huge weight.

It’s ok not to be ok 🙃

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

The Hip Hop Chip Shop at The Carlton Club, Manchester

The Hip-Hop Chip Shop has gone mobile! They are parked throughout February at The Carlton Club in Whalley Range, Manchester.

We decided to book on their pop-up website (which I now think is mostly booked up) to make it easier ordering food from their pop-up van. You can visit the van but you might have a bit of wait so (as they advise) wrap up warm!

This is the Vegangstarr Sausage Meal

Skin-on chips; Mushy Peas; Battered Sausage and Tartare Sauce; with a side of Battered pickled gherkins and a Chocolate Brownie by Lush Brownies (Chortlon) for desert.

They also have a battered halloumi meal if that’s more your deal.

The fact that people peel potatoes when making chips now amazes me. Battered gherkins have some real bite to them in texture and flavour. The inside of the sausage has a soft consistency like sweet potato pakora but it tastes exactly like a chippy sausage – whaat?! The choccy brownie is perfection.

FYI This is enough food to last me for my tea tonight and breakfast and dinner tomorrow.

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

Outfit Inspiration Needed! Can You Help Me?

💡I need outfit ideas!💡

I spontaneously dropped quite a bit of dosh (a rare thing for me) on these Docs ages ago but I have no idea what to wear them with with!

Some suggestions have been a) 80’s Hair-metal b) 90’s Girly grunge/Riot Grrrl teaming them with a floaty short dress c) Sexy grunge teaming them with a leather/denim mini or skinny jeans, which I guess plays into suggestion a.

Any ideas or comments, lovely people?

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨