Monthly Roundup – May

I started May being a little obsessed with everything pink and grey and wore the same two basic outfits for most of the week. Check out the OOTD post to see the other outfit and where to shop both looks.

I’ve returned to The Body Shop now that they have a parent company who are committed to be cruelty free. I love a non-drying lip colour you can apply easily so I use a lot of tinted balms and glosses. Unfortunately Born Lippy gave me a sore throat immediately! Some do and I’ve never figured out why. I’m using it as a blush instead as the colour is very subtle and sheer.

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It was my birthday so me and the Bloke headed off for An Afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.  Which involved picking up my first ever comics for Free Comic Book Day, trying some new health foods, taking photo’s like a tourist and then dinner and cocktails at V Revolution.

 

After hearing of the demise of Polyvore I posted all of my style mood-boards and outfit boards that I’d made over the years in two posts here and here.

I decided that now my skin has changed from oily-combination to dry-combination I’d try B. Pure Micellar Water instead of cleanser and toner.

Another OOTD, this one inspired by Johnny Cash; Smart, Dark, Country.

I’d not received any blogger nominated awards for years and then two came along at once. I decided to go with The Mystery Blogger Award as it sounded a bit different and I only had the energy to do one!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We decided to eat again as we’d had a tough week and I’d been inside for days. So we cashed in our Tesco vouchers and headed to Pizza Express for large glasses of wine, gluten free pasta, a giant super food salad and caramel gelato with salted caramel sauce.

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I was in the mood to do a wish list post and chose the Woodland Trust S/S shop. I think it’s importance is growing along with issues like global warming, extinction of native species and disappearing woodlands, due to mass farming of mono cultures and countryside being built on.

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My skin has a nice healthy glow to it, thanks to the sun but my foundation kinda kills that a little so I thought I’d try and put some back with Drops of Glow, Lustre Finish Creator in Illuminator. Why do products practically have two names squished together, these days?

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It was also the Blokes birthday recently so I got him a dragon.

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I’ve been watching Heart of Dixie; Jessica Jones S02, Startrek: Discovery; Lucifer S03 and Freaks and Geeks. I’ve been listening to 90’s R&B; Gary Newman’s latest album and The Crow Soundtrack.

Chrissie

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Mystery Blogger Award

I was nominated for this award by Hunida over at Hunida’s Blog; a lifestyle/journal type blog that’s as honest as it is amusing and interesting. Thank you so much! It came at a good time for me as I was thinking my blog was all over the place these days but now I realise that’s why it’s fun!

About the award:

This is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

Rules:

  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
    Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Nominate other people to receive this award.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird/funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Hunida’s Q’s to Me

(Weird/funny) Are you able to poop in public restrooms?

LOL Only if there’s enough loo roll to pad the toilet bowl with first, to reduce the sound!

What are your favorite foods in the breakfast category?

I have my breakfast around 12.00pm – 1.00pm, usually some light deli type stuff from the fridge or a halloumi wrap if it’s a cheat day.

What is your favorite brand and style of pens? How about pencils?

Anything non scratchy and with a wide rubber grip as I grip my pens so tight, it’s like my life depends on it. Nothing smudgy either as I’m left handed.

What do you do when you have a really bad headache?

Curl up and sleep, wherever I happen to be!

Do you use a laptop, desktop, cell phone, or tablet to blog on?

Laptop or tablet depending on whether I’m typing and adding links or editing photo’s with apps.

Three Things About Myself

  1. I’m proud to be neurodiverse (Google it)
  2. I need hugs on a daily basis as they sort of recharge me
  3. I’ve never met anyone who likes a larger range of music and TV genres than myself – although I’d love to!

I Nominate:

Megan @ A Geeky Gal

Cher @ The Chicago Files

Alexis Chateau @ Alexis Chateau

Mariah @ Bizarre Brunette

Meghan @ Got Meghan’s Blog

Michelle @ A Geek Girls Guide

I get the feeling the dudes I follow wouldn’t join in with blog tags, but if you identify as a dude or an alien or whatever and you want to join in, please do!

My Questions for you

  1. Would you rather be a famous super hero and have lots of vague friends OR be the normal you and have a few close friends?
  2. How has your blogging style changed since you started and why?
  3. If you could make a pizza OR a milkshake/smoothie and add ANY ingredients to it (no judgment) what would you make?
  4. If you could have one small-medium wish, what would it be? (NOT endless wishes lol)
  5. What is the most important thing in the world to you?
  6. What decade do you feel suits your personality and style the most?

My Best Post

Polly Pocket Bag from Truffle Shuffle review

Chrissie

An Afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

 

I think the reason me and the bloke haven’t gone on more city breaks for long weekends is that living in Manchester can sometimes feel like a city break in itself.  It has a vibrant city centre including shops, bars, restaurants and unusual fun things to do, axe throwing, climbing, trampolining, mini golf with cocktails, Crystal Maze and Escape Rooms anyone? It has little mini town centre’s like Chrolton, Didsbury, Fallowfield and Denton with high street clothes shops, quality charity shops and independent cafe’s. For a city it also has surprisingly large parks like Alexandra, Debdale and Heaton park.

It was my birthday recently so we went to V Revolution again. Is it possible to get tired of yellow stretchy cheese, too many sauces at once and fried/pickled things? Probably not.

If you ignore my double chin, I swear this burger was as big as my head. The Bloke commented ‘It’s a shame that your jaw isn’t hyper-mobile as well’ with a wink. I tried my first ever Long Island Iced T and was a little disappointed it didn’t taste anything like traditional iced tea but I did like the watery raspberry flavour. It would certainly do the trick on an empty stomach, even if you did eat a literal tower of food afterward.

I nipped in Forbidden Planet and the ever-friendly Travelling Man to pick up some comics thanks to Free Comicbook Day. I chose these four as I thought they were all pretty individual and something I might want to check out further.

 

I could have spent hours documenting the cute and sometimes thought provoking, wheat-paste art that was on every lamp post and bollard. But you know when you’d rather enjoy the feel of a place, rather than obsessively recording it?

I decided to try some new things and the lady who works at McCall’s Organics is so friendly and knowledgable about everything, you don’t feel silly asking for ‘kefoocha?’ and ‘Kimishi?’

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I bought Kingfisher Aloe Toothpaste as my teeth are getting more sensitive. My gut is also on the sensitive (read big giant diva) side so I got the above drinks and kimchi which have live cultures that help digestion.

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As the queues for gelato were astounding, I decided to treat myself to these dairy free dreams that McCall’s keep in their fridge.

 

 

 ❤ Chrissie

 

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The Geeky Girl Tag

I know I’ve done this before but it was quite a while ago and likes and dislikes change over time, so I’m doing it again! I noticed this recently on A Geeky Gal and those are the questions I’m using today.

What is your must-have tech gadget?

It has to be my iPad. Here’s a pretentious thing to say – if I didn’t also have an iMac, I’d be lost without my iPad. Urgh, I know right!? I realise I’m very, very lucky to have both but I can’t choose between them as often they are my link to the outside world and company during the day, rather than just house plants and delivery drivers.

Which house do you belong to in Hogwarts?

I’d have to say Gryffindor because it’s summed up by courage, honour, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak. I am a very full-on person when it comes to standing up for myself and calm when navigating possibly dangerous situations. I’ve always stood up for others too and have a very strong sense of fairness and justice.

Who is your favorite Doctor?

Has to be Christopher Eccleston, mainly as I fancy the arse off him.

If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?

If you look at how Spock behaves when he’s been on the Enterprise for a long time and how he logically thinks about problems but how he cares about others welbeing, I’m sure he’s an Aspie (although no one has ever officially confirmed this).

What is your gaming system of choice?

Playstation is what I had then and its what I have now, with a mostly ignored XBox in between.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Teleportation. I would go on clothes shopping sprees (where I’d get to try stuff on, rather guessing sizes online) and buy free-from veggie food for lunch from my fave places. I’d visit cities and national parks around the world. I’d go on beach holidays but only for ten minutes at a time because of the heat. I’d do some superhero stuff too, of course but only after I’d finished my Humingbird cupcake from New York’s Magnolia Bakery.

What is your favorite fantasy world?

Rivendell. Just look at that architecture and nature!

If you could be any fictional race, what would you be?

This is a bit of weird answer but I look very different from most English people and from my family. I’m also an Aspie so I don’t get a lot of what people do. For instance in Manchester people say “Y’oright?” but they aren’t actually asking “Are you all right?” It’s just a way of saying “Hi”. But I find myself thinking they must be concerned about my health if I’m having a wobbly/fatigued day and genuinely answering them – doh! Also when people say “Yeah, we’ll have to catch up sometime.” I’m like “Ok, when?” then I realise they didn’t actually mean that either. So a lot of the time I feel like I’m already from some other race, from some other planet anyway.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek as I think the new Star Trek Discovery series is engaging, well written and well acted and because Jason Issacs.

List your top 5 geektastic movies or TV Series.

  • Westworld
  • Jessica Jones
  • Elementary
  • Santa Clarita Diet LOL
  • Extant
  • List your top 5 favorite video games. (26 years of gaming!)
  • Spyro The Dragon/Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Metal Gear Solid – The Phantom Pain/Titan Fall
  • Teken/Mortal Kombat
  • GTA/Any Winter X game
  • Devil Dice/8 Ball Pool

Hope you found my answers interesting and feel free to join in!

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Chaophraya – Thai Restaurant – Manchester

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It was the Blokes birthday recently and he chose to go to Chaophraya (named after the longest river in Thailand). We’ve always found the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the staff to be lovely so it’s always been a treat to eat there. I was a little disappointed there were no gluten free beer options and that they only had Singh beer on offer but the cocktail menu more than made up for that. The Banana Daiquiris were as amazing as they sound, although the Bloke wasn’t quite as keen.

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I’ve always appreciated that the chefs at Chaophraya know how to cook veg so it’s almost al dente but not a challenge to bite. They also use the lightest tempura batter and make surprisingly thick pancakes which taste more like comfort food, rather than part of a starter.

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We have started our own trend of ordering a starter or a big main salad, as a side that we can both share. The shredded papaya salad with peanuts, veg, lime, chilli and sugar sounded appealing. All of the flavours combined to make it the tastiest and most refreshing salad I’ve ever eaten.

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We both love the creamy, spicy Masaman curry but they had it with lamb on the menu so we asked if we could have a veggie version. They said no problem and even asked if we wanted to include tofu. We also ordered coconut rice as we thought it would go well with the curry and the lime flavours in the papaya salad, which it did.

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Note: In some areas of the restaurant they have soft banquette seating and some are much lower than average chairs with no back support. So depending on your needs, it’s worth noting when booking if you want to sit at the many tables and chairs.

Chaophraya

19 Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HN
T: 0161 832 8342
E: manchester@chaophraya.co.uk

Chrissie

Monthly Round Up – January

I’ve not posted that much this month, mainly because January is a bit bloody meh. I’ve only been averaging three hours of daylight with me being a night person, so not exactly motivating…Well, motivating me to turn on the TV and order takeaway!

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At the start of Jan I compiled a post of quirky motivational quotes – one for each day of the month. Some of my own making and other unclaimed one’s that I’d seen pop up on social media several times.

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I lost one of my snowflake earrings my Ma bought me (totally gutted) but found these beautiful one’s on Etsy by Pretty By Susan Jewellery. They were wrapped with such care, like a little gift.

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My only beauty review this month was Human + Kind Dry Hair Conditioner. What a wonderful start to the new year for my hair!

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I cannot justify spending money on tiny plastic unicorns, especially when I can’t tell which one I’m going to get as they are in blind boxes. Toki Doki notebooks on the other hand… ^_^

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I’ve slowly gotten into the habit of just accepting myself in piccies, rather than asking “Do my eyes look expressive/big/kind enough? Is my smile even?” Yes, I do have exquisite ‘resting bitch face’ and the photo often looks like it should be a meme captioned with a sarcastic ‘Yeah, right.’ or ‘As if.’ but it’s my face and I like me, so I guess I should like my face too – unintentionally disdainful expressions and all.

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I’ve been searching for some glam black heals with a bit (ok a lot) of sparkle for months. They were all either too high, too narrow, too slip on or too open toed. Then I found these in a wide fit and in the sale at New Look. I incorporated them into a sports-luxe outfit, with black straight-leg pants with a sporty beige side stripe, a velvet look rose-gold strappy top, black cotton cardigan, a metalic cross-body handbag and big hoop earrings. See bellow…

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To celebrate being together for just under a decade – but not sharing one tiny abode, which would drive us both nuts – me and the bloke went out for a meal. With lots of fun things planned in the next five months and having no money tree or generous genie tucked away, we decided to use up some vouchers to do what we’ve always both loved doing together; indulging in delicious dough, cheese and chocolate cake at Pizza Express.

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I decided to vicariously collect some urban apparel by putting together 12 Street Style Hoodies, all of which I’d wear myself and all of which are fairly affordable from the high street.

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More ‘Funny’ but Very Earnest Things I Said and Did as an A-typical Kid. If you have a sec and want a giggle and/or think you might identify with this.

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I made a fantastic peppercorn sauce by mistake! I combined 4 tspn dairy-free cheese sauce powder with 300ml almond milk, a teaspoon of nutritional yeast, salt and a lot of pepper.

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At this point in my life I’ve decided, unless my accessories are literally attached to me, then I can’t be responsible for not loosing them. I keep my handbag under my coat when walking through the city at night and love how versatile, cute and practical cross-body handbags bags are, so I selected 16 of the best.

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To help my conscience and the condition of my skin, I decided to try Zads vegan takeaway in Chorlton. I really want to say it was fantastic. It was not. For every positive, I found there was a negative (in my opinion) so fair-to-middlin I s’pose. If you live in the South Manchester area, please check out my review of Zads, then order something from them yourself and see what you think.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 16.49.43It’s happened again, I do a thing on Polyvore and the glossy magazines copy me. SMH. I think I’d faint in those trousers though.

Chrissie

Polly Pocket Bag from Truffle Shuffle

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Oddly enough I was never very interested in Polly Pocket as a kid, instead I had Lego, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghost Busters and a few My Little Pony’s. However, when I saw this Polly Pocket cross-body bag from Truffle Shuffle (£37.99) I thought it was ace! As a handbag bag it’s surprisingly spacial, adorable but not too infantile, a pretty mint green/blue colour that will go with a lot of things and glam enough to style up an outfit.

I took pictures in different lights as the vinyl has a slight opaque pearlised look and the spearmint blue/green colour changes slightly.

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It’s pretty chunky for a handbag and I could fit my retro Nokia, my purse which is thick with cards and change, a compact mirror, keys and still had room for some makeup.

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I do have two complaints though and they are important one’s:

The silky lining has a print of Polly Pocket and her bloke in a posh house, which is very cute but the colours are surprisingly dark. Even in full sunlight (granted it was low Winter sun) it still looked underwhelming.

The second thing is the cheap metal zip. At first I thought it was due to me being Dyspraxic but then a few other people tried it and found it awkward as well. It helps when the bag is bulked out so the zip is nice and flat and the side ‘hinges’ are tucked in neatly but it still catches in certain places as if the edges of the zip haven’t been engineered smoothly.

Believe me, there is nothing more embarrassing than struggling to get your purse out of your big novelty bag, in front of a queue of people eye-rolling at you and muttering things like ‘Patience is a virtue.’ and ‘Bloody hipsters.’

Humph.

If you are mad into your nostalgia and care more about your Insta feed and #OOTD blog posts, than something constantly performing up to standard, then go for it! Or you could just use it as a rather expensive makeup case.

***Update***

After ten minutes of repeated (and very determined) zip wrangling by a responsible adult, it’s now 95% smoothed out – hurrah!

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

 

Best of My Alternative & Urban Lifestyle 2017

January 

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Best footwear – Iridescent Nike ID with my name ‘Wench’ on the back.

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Best Chinese/Japanese/Thai Eatery – Lotus, Wilmslow Road, Withington, is a vegetarian family restaurant serving an amazing choice of mock meats and fish as well as traditional EA dishes.

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Best Cruelty-free Face Serum/Moisuriser/Oil – Eden’s Semilla Serums. If you have an uneven skin texture or your skin is dry/combination or you are seeing signs of ageing, then these two serums will leave your skin noticeably plumped, hydrated and balanced all day.

February

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Best Stationary – I bought this diary from Paperchase as I loved the colours and the layout. I decided to use it as a ‘Best thing today’ or ‘happiness’ journal where I write down anything positive that happened that day, even if it was just getting creative in the kitchen for lunch.

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Best Dairy-free Snack – These Ten Acre crisps taste amazing! I had three people insisting that they read the ingredients because they just couldn’t believe they were dairy free. Gluten and MSG free too.

March

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Best Cruelty-free, Temporary, Hair Dye – Manic Panick (the one in a tub) has a thick consistency which means it’s really easy to dip a tint brush into and apply, without getting it every where. It comes in every colour you can imagine and is gentle on coarse/dry/damaged hair. It started out a deep teal colour and has now faded to this after around 12 washes.

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Best Place To Buy Affordable Jeans – Matalan. Yup, for real. They do various fits with several styles in each. I chose a skinny, mid-rise style. Even if if you have a food-baby the next day it doesn’t matter because they stretch to fit, which also means you can wear them for ages before they go baggy at the knees and need washing.

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Best Cruelty-free Mens Skincare – My Bloke loves Bull Dog Original range because it doesn’t have a strong scent and is cruelty free with no unnecessary ingredients so it’s very simple yet effective.

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Best Place For Omnivores and Vegetarians To Eat Together – Zouk. I was invited to try their new menu and found that there were enough choices to keep me satisfied and the food was of good quality and cooked well. There’s also a little cocktail bar with a wonderful menu. I can imagine most groups of friends being happy here.

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Best Smoothie/Blended Drink Recipe – I will share this with anyone who will listen LOL Rice Milk/Soy Milk, Heaped tbl spn peanut butter, Medium banana, Maple syrup/Golden Syrup. Add Bournville choccy powder (mixed with a little cold milk first) to turn into a Snickers smoothie.

April

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Best Cruelty-free Nail Polish – I love the original colours and finishes that Zoya offer. I’ve also found that it’s very gentle on my brittle nails and last as long as other ‘long wear’ polishes which are double the price.

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Best Manchester Outdoor Space – Fletcher Moss. Is a beautiful landscaped garden filled with flowers, trees and a pond, with a little heather garden to the side. They have toilets (very rustic) and a cafe. Stenner Wood is right behind if you want to feel like you are in the countryside for a little while.

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Best Cruelty-free Household Product – Beauty Kitchen. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of using beauty products tested on animals but never consider getting CF items for around the house. Gentle on sensitive and/or dry skin with a beautiful scent this organic hand wash is a winner.

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Best Alternative Online Shop – EMP have branched out from rock/goth wear, band merch and geek pop-culture to also include urban style. Honestly, I could browse it all day. Some clothing items can be a bit pricey (depending on the brand) but they have little twists of originality, are of high quality and the sizing charts are the most accurate I’ve come across.

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Best Dairy-free Easter Chocolate – Choices, found in Holland & Barrett and supermarket free-from isles – if you are lucky. Remember those white mice you used to get as a kid? Well this is 100% better!

May

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Best Spirit – Dark rum in general of course but has to be Sailor Jerry, followed very closely by The Kraken. SJ took it for their perpetually creative labelling.

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Best Unexpected Bargain – I got bored while my bloke was in the army surplus shop and found this tiny vest on sale! I chopped the neck out slightly so it was more flattering.

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Best Tidy Solution – I used this pretty box a prezzie came in and an old watch tin a friend gave me to store the makeup that I use daily. I’ve chucked out anything that really wasn’t working for me and the rest (very similar colours to what’s here already or party makeup) is in a transparent wash bag under the sink. So much quicker to see what I’ve got and where it is!

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Best Indian Eatery – Hands down has to be Lilly’s in Ashton, Greater Manchester. They have an extensive but comprehensive menu of the most delicious vegetarian food. From hearty traditional dishes to quick street food for lunch and creative combinations of ingredients on their Indo-Chinese menu, you will want to visit several times to try it all.

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Best Cruelty-free Makeup Brand – Elf. Every single one of their product I’ve used has worked perfectly for me. Products are true to how they’ve been shown/described on the site, they are easy to apply and long wearing. Worst goes to Soap & Glory – just ugh!

 June

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Best Charity Merchandise – This One Love Manchester jumper I bought for the survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing. Obviously being a Manc this is very close to my heart but I genuinely love the graffiti style of lettering.

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Best Cruelty-free Shampoo – Weleda, Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash. Rarely have I come across a shampoo that is so gentle on my coarse frizzy hair as this. Some ‘natural’ shampoo’s I’ve used have left my hair matted and feeling like straw but I didn’t even need conditioner after this! As usual I just oiled my hair when it was still damp and left to air dry. Perfect.

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Best Full Vegetarian or Vegan Eatery – V Revolution. Creative American-style fast food, which is surprisingly healthy and tastes of individual ingredients, rather than salt and ketchup. Order a White Russian cocktail for a glass of heaven.

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Best Energy Drink or Snack – I had to go with Rockstar as they taste like fizzy pop, rather than that sickly, slightly medicinal thing other energy drinks have going on. I fill a drinks bottle with 2/3 energy drink, 1/3 water and a pinch of salt and sip it when I’m flagging to keep my energy and electrolyte levels up. One bottle usually lasts me two days.

July

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Best Cruelty-free All Round Moisturiser – Faith in Nature Coconut Body Lotion. I use this on my body and my face as it’s thin enough to sink in quickly without being oily.

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Best Accessory – I’ve looked at so many pins from various places this year. This Milk & Moon one was thoughtfully packaged and the gold and black theme looks classy rather than cartoonish, which is what I wanted.

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Best Book – Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (YA Fiction) is the perfect blend of fantasy and every day, which escalates to serious proportions. Easy to read, with engaging characters and a plot which could lead literally anywhere.

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Best Funko Pop! – I have to go with The Cheshire Cat from (the modern) Alice in Wonderland. He’s so quirky-cute and makes me smile every time I notice him. Plus the fur and stripe detailing is really well done.

August

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Best Cruelty-free Skin Treatment – Murad Radiance Peel has transformed my skin from being dull, flakey and hopeless to being smooth, radiant and able to absorb moisturisers, serums and oils.

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Best Book I Would Recommend – I do love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but the first part of the book, before the two main characters even meet was hard going for me. However, I thought the rest was wonderful and utterly absorbing.

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Best Impromptu Selfie – I took this while I was waiting to get ready for a night out and liked it so much more than the one I took when I was ready! Check out my sexy owl PJ’s lol

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Best Alternative/Urban OOTD – I usually like to mix alt and urban style but I decided to go all out rock festival with this one for Summer.

September

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Best Surprising Food Combo – Edamame and Avocado. Followed closely drinking Tia Maria with seaweed/miso/Chinese flavoured food. Try it ^_^

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Best (Gluten Free) Larger – Peroni has always been my fave larger for how light and refreshing it is, and now they’ve started doing a gf one, which is just as good.

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Best Everyday Look – I love this outfit because it’s practical, flattering and represents the Gorton girl in me with the hoodie and big sparkly hoop earrings. I can also take my hoodie off and have a nice top underneath for evening.

October

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Best Place To Buy Lingerie/Nightwear – Boux Avenue make THE BEST bra’s. Pretty but comfortable and in a flattering range of styles and colours. Their night/lounge wear is also really lovely.

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Best Gluten Free Pizza – Pizza Express by a mile. They also have other great gf options and are very understanding of dietary requirements.

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Best High Street/Drug Store Cruelty-free Makeup – Well, Topshop makeup is new to me as I’d never used it before. Affordable, great colour payoff, easy to apply and stays put. I’m really impressed!

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Best Dairy Free Choccy – Sarelle is like a Fererro Rocher but with sweet dark chocolate, rather than milk. This is a decent sized choccy bar but it still isn’t big enough, ha!

November

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Best Cruelty-free Party Makeup – Barry M, Matte Me Up lip linner and lip paint. Metallic, yet oddly matte this is actually really wearable for anyone with an olive-dark skin tone. I think if you were paler, you would be making a much bigger statement with it.

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Best Fashion Trend – Apart from Rosegold – which I’ve always liked since I was a 13 year old looking at jewellery in the Argos catalogue – it has to be knitwear with subtle corset and grunge detailing, mainly fraying, large gaps in the crochet and random lacing.

December

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Best Veggie Sweets – Made with real fruit juice, these Organic Mini Fruit Bears by Biona are possibly the tastiest sweets I’ve ever tried. Everyone I know who’s tried them – loved them.

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Best Tech – Nokia 105. You can drop it, accidentally sit on it, play different versions of Snake on it, it’s a petty retro colour, it has a torch which is actually effective, it’s really light weight, no scally will want to rob it off you and you will only need to charge it twice in your life time. Bargain!

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Best Cruelty-free Lipbalm/Skin Saviour – I know that I could just buy a big cheap jar of coconut oil from the local market but Dr. Organic is organic (duh), contains an SPF 15 and is so handy to carry around. One of the very few things that makes any noticeable difference to my lips at all.

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Best Healthy Convenience Food – This veggie sushi from Tesco is as tasty as it is pretty.

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Best Homeware – I love the duck egg blue colour of this Tesco blanket and it is unbelievably soft! I live in it now – we are one.

Best Alternative/Independent High Street Shop – Aflecks, Tib Street/Oldham Street (established the year I was born – a fact which I love). This giant maze-like building s an Alladin’s cave of independent shops. I don’t know any other place where you will find quality fancy dress, vinyl records, American candy, vintage clothes, Japanese imports, band merchandise, a vegan shop, a cute cafe, a clothes embellishing and customising service, retro toys/collectibles, rave/rock/urban clothing, cruelty free makeup and hair dye, along with piercing, tattooing and hairdressing studio’s.

I hope you enjoyed my alternative 2017 awards!

Chrissie