Best Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free Products & Places 2019

Best Meat Free Options

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Oumph! Kebab Spiced (soya based, gluten free) Incredible flavour, very filling, really easy to stir fry or grill, chunky and chewy!

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Like Meat, Like BBQ Chicken (soy based, gluten free) Ah-maze-ing! Similar taste and texture to a BBQ thigh but nicer. Another very versatile replacement but this time not as chewy.

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Quorn Fishless Fingers (Vegan, Not gluten free) Better than the fish fingers that I remember; these are lovely on a butty with citrusy or vinegar flavoured crisps or on a plate with beans and chips.

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Aldi No Sausage Rolls (Vegan, Not gluten free) If I didn’t already know these were vegetarian I would never have guessed. My only complaint is that the filing only fills 2/3rds of the width.

Best Dairy Free Ice Cream

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Perfect World, Caramel Pecan Ice Cream (Vegan, gluten free) This is full of flavour and vitamins and minerals. Personally, I’d have made the pecans chunkier but I’d still buy it again.

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Cornetto Vegan (Vegan, gluten free) The only noticeable difference between these and the usual ones are that they’re quite a bit smaller.

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Ben & Jerry’s, Coconutterly Caramel’d Ice Cream (vegan, gluten free) Gorgeous! As good as Chunky Monkey, almost as good as Cookie Dough :op

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Bouja – Bouja, Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream (dairy free, gluten free, organic) Very strong – almost smokey – flavour, really creamy consistency but the pecans and pralines are too blended. I add broken up digestive biscuits for more texture.

Snacks and Treats

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Manomasa, Tortillas (gluten free, dairy free) – Full of flavour and perfect for scooping up dips.

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Bouja-Bouja Chocolate Truffle Collection (dairy and gluten free) – Vanilla and rhubarb, cherry, salted caramel, caramel, hazelnut, ginger, rum, Champaign, espresso are the flavours in these truffle selections. Possibly the best dairy free chocolate in the world.

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KIND Snack Bars Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt (gluten free, NOT dairy free). Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt (gluten free, dairy free). Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate (gluten free, dairy free). These are expensive at £1.50 each (!) but they are full of complementary flavours and really substantial.

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Genius Double Chocolate/Blueberry Muffins (gluten free, dairy free) Nommmmmm, that’s my breakfast and supper, right there.

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The Coconut Collaborative, Banoffee Pots (dairy free, gluten free) If you are getting these teeny pots of joy for your kids, you’ll want to buy a second lot for yourself – believe! Similar to creme caramel that’s been stirred around but with the addition of banana.

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Gu, Strawberry & Rhubarb/Lemon Cheescakes (gluten free, dairy free) Not quite as solid as traditional cheesecake but equally delicious, these two flavours are both sweet and refreshing.

Manchester Vegan Takeaway/Dinner

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V Revolution This is the place for an incredibly creative take on traditional American junk food. Vegan mains, sides, milkshakes, cocktails and cake. The atmosphere is pop-culture with a twist. In the photo above my expression is a mix of excitement and wondering how the hell I’m going to fit this burger in my mouth!

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Zad’s Vegan with very little gf options but incredibly well thought out food. The ZFC (rather than KFC) fried cauliflower is an utter revelation, the pizzas and burgers are well balanced and not too sweet and they sometimes give away free cupcakes. Hardly any remote customer service but lovely and friendly in person.

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Vegan Shack This is the place to order from if you are either dairy free or vegan and gluten free as they have gf options of pizza (including the above topping) and one of their kebabs (on request). Their online customer service is fantastic and delivery times are reasonable. My only complaint is that the cheese is on the sweet side as is the sauce. More salt please!

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Pizza Express They have many gf, df and veggie option for mains, sides and deserts and can be flexible (up to a point) with changing food to suit dietary needs. It will be such a shame when they cease trading late next year.

Bonus

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Aside from the Gu, these are free-from items I like but don’t absolutely love. Clive’s gf pies are surprisingly good microwaved (like a chip shop Pudding); This Gosh! falafel is the best falafel I’ve tried; Dragon fly make small but substantial gf burgers; Soulful pots make two wonderful nut curries/meals that I would happily pay for in a restaurant. Their other options have the usual veggie/bean tangine flavours.

I hope you found this helpful and it gave you food for thought – sorry!

🍔Chrissie🍔

 

 

Would You Rather tag (with bonus christmas questions)

I came across this on the awesome Hunida’s blog. It originated with The Newbury Girl  (I think) but I wanted to keep the chain going so I joined in!

1. Would you rather lose all of your money or all your sentimental items?

When I first read this question I immediately thought I’d want to keep sentimental items (I do have a giant shoe box as a ‘memory box’) but having no money would take away all of my independence and make me totally reliant on others. So it would have to be the items *sob*

2. Would you rather experience unrequited love or never love at all?

I don’t think I’d like to be incapable of love. The guys I’ve loved haven’t loved me back to the same extent and vice-versa. So to never be madly, intoxicatingly in love again would be okay with me!

3. Would you rather own your own business or work for someone else?

I don’t have the executive functioning to be my own executive (bad Aspie joke) and I’ve actually liked a lot of my bosses, so I’d work for someone else.

4. Would you rather give up television (including streaming/YouTube) or reading?

I get eye strain really easy when reading and I love that I can watch telly with people and chat about it.

5. Would you rather give up sushi or tacos for the rest of your life?

I’d give up tacos. The ones in the UK are really hard and crispy and just break in half as soon as you bight them. I love veggie sushi, it’s so refreshing but filing.

6. Would you rather live in your hometown and never travel anywhere, or live in another country but never visit home?

I have lived in my hometown all my life and love Manchester but it would be cool to live somewhere else and have my Dad visit me (he loves travelling btw).

7. Would you rather live in the desert or live in a frozen tundra?

Hmmm, extreme heat fatigue probs or terrible circulation probs. I’d be unconscious with the heat so frozen tundra it is.

8. Would you rather eat dessert (but never dinner) or dinner (but never dessert)?

I’m such a salty person – so to speak. I find a lot of deserts too sickly after a while.

9. Would you rather run a successful blog or a successful YouTube channel?

Blog! I hate the sound of my voice as my Dyspraxia means my pitch and tone can accidentally be a bit over the top (too dramatic) or really monotone (too sarcastic sounding), plus when I’m fatigued I sound a bit pissed, ha!

10. Would you rather give up all makeup/cosmetics products or give up “dressing fashionably”?

I need skincare but I actively try to avoid wearing anything that happens to be in fashion at the time. So I’d bin fashion (or the idea of things being in or out of fashion) in general actually.

5 Bonus Christmas Questions!

1. Christmas jumper or Christmas Jewellery?

These 5 are my questions so I can cheat and say both jumper and jewellery, and a Crimbo scrunchy and pin badges and socks and…

2. Classic or Contemporary Christmas Songs?

Contemporary as in Stay Now by East 17 and All I Want For Christmas by Mariah.

3. Christmas dinner with ALL of your family or dinner cooked by your fave chef in a restaurant?

Well seeing as my Dad is going on holiday and he’s my only family, it would have to be a restaurant in this scenario. There’s a really fit Asian chef that was on Celebrity Masterchef this year.

4. A big surprise present or five things off your wish list?

As I’m (just about) financially stable and can’t buy my own stuff, I’d love a big surprise! Maybe a trip to see The Northern Lights.

5. Snowball fight outside or ice skating at a rink?

I tried to ice skate once, for fifteen terrifying minutes. I’m ace at snowball fights though, tactical and ruthless!

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Please feel free to join in with this tag and include your own photos of your choices if you want, or just comment instead!

🎄Chrissie🎄

Tips For a Stress Free and Safe Night Out

Learned from over 21 years of Friday and Saturday nights out, my realistic tips include prep, keeping track of your mates, getting there and back and keeping the fun going while you’re there.

1. If you’re unsure about the area, speak to friends or locals to find out about the streets or places to visit AND to avoid.

2. Phone a taxi company before hand a book a return cab for a realistic time (probably a little bit before the club/bar chucking out time) and agree where to be picked up. Have other local cab company numbers in case it doesn’t work out or find where the nearest base/office is.

3. Buy a stylish cross-body handbag bag that has a zip or solid clasp so your bad doesn’t get ‘dipped’ by thieves. Wear it inside your coat when out on the street.

4. Always store enough money for food and a taxi in a separate part of your purse, bag or (ideally pocket) so you don’t accidentally spend it.

5. Have a pair of fold up ballet flats in your bag. So no limping around on blistered feet at the end of the night. Practical and it doesn’t make you look like a target.

6. Always be friendly to the door and bar staff, you never know what they might be able to help you with.

7. If you are in a big club or area and go separate ways, agree on a place to meet back up.

8.  If your good mates say you are too pissed, believe them and get them to escort you to the toilets to freshen (sober) up a bit. You do not want to get suddenly thrown out on your own by the doormen, making you vulnerable.

9. If you do end up worse for wear, it’s safer to trust groups of women rather than a man, no matter how charming they may seem.

10. Keep an eye on your drink at all times or ask someone you know and trust to watch them. Don’t accept physical drinks from strangers, instead go to the bar with them, order it and then let them pay.

11. Before leaving a place check you have everything (coat, bag, phone) and everyone. No one wants to get left behind because they went to the loo!

12. When walking to a place either walk the same speed as the slowest person or break into two groups (if there’s a lot of you), with clear agreement on where you are heading.

13. Same as when you are getting food. Everyone needs to make it clear where they are going and who they are going with or if they want someone to wait for them.

14. Don’t be that dick who just goes home without telling anyone. People will be worried if you just disappear.

15. Make sure you are getting into a registered taxi. Is the logo familiar? Do they have photo ID with their driver number on ? If you have booked it, they should know your name and address. Agree on a price first so they can’t inflate the fare.

16.  When you’re at home, message each other to say you’ve had a top night and you’re home safe.

Happy partying people!

Guru by Rupaul

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Guru by Rupaul (Sphere publishing £14.99) is 191 page photograph book that is also full of wisdom, insight and and one-linners that slay, proving she’ll never sashay away.

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I decided to treat myself to this for Christmas and I’m so glad I did! This would make a great little coffee table book for anyone who’s more creative and quirky, rather than pretentious and snobby.

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A lovely detail I found at the back is a list of Ru’s fave books, films and music!

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🖤✨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

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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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Hallowe’en Inspired Accessories

I know it takes some people a lot of confidence to really go-all-out for Hallowe’en but that doesn’t mean you can’t Vamp It Up a bit. Sorry, I couldn’t help it!

Deaths Head Moth Pin (print also available in dresses and tops) – Em and Sprout

Jezebel Tote Bag – Vivienne Of Holloway

Zombie Girl Pin – Worn To Death Apparel 

Cobweb Tassel Earrings – Boohoo

Chrissie V- -V

Alternative Tees from EMP

How adorable is this tee! ‘Skeleton Lovers’ £24.99 I bought this in a Small but I’d say it’s equivalent to a 12. Nice length and curvy cut to it. The marbled finish is unusual well done too.

I must confess that I’m not a huge fan of the band Volbeat; yes, I do like some of their songs but I really love this rock n’ roll design ‘Denmark Skull’ £14.99

I bought this in a Medium (going off the EMP size guide which is usually bang on) but I should have bought a Small as it’s boyfriend fit and is more like a generous 14 on me – oops! I’ll cut off the bottom of this and wear it as a boxy oversized tee.

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I need to stop buying T-shirts, it’s an obsession. I have an entire large draw stacked full. Right, no more for two years! Gulp.

Chrissie