Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How Not To Be Late All Of The Time

  • I’ve struggled terribly for years with keeping track of time, planning my time and executive functioning (getting around to doing tasks). For me, this is due to my Autism and Dyspraxia but I know it’s a general problem for so many people. Do you often get so (hyper) focussed on doing a single task that you loose all sense of time or often get too distracted by irrelevant tasks?
  • Here are the coping strategies for being on time, that I’ve learned over 30+ years:

  • Get everything ready the night before by putting all of the essentials in your bag or together in a pile (which you have to walk past on the way out).
  • Plan your outfit and/or make sure your shoes/bag/coat are clean and presentable beforehand.
  • To figure how long it will take to get ready break down your daily routine into tasks, then assume each task is going to take a few minutes longer than you would think.
  • At the start, factor in ten extra minutes for zoning out or hyper-focussing on something or for one of those ‘Oh crap, I’ve properly arsed this up’ sort of moments.
  • If you are able, get into the habit of agreeing on a time to meet up a bit later – even though (in your head) you are still aiming for the original time – to give yourself a margin.
  • Set an alarm or a timer to go off half way through the time you have left to get ready, to give you some perspective on how you are doing.
  • Don’t rely on public transport/a lift/taxis to be on time either and allow for rush hour traffic.
  • Now you should fall into the middle of the time slot you’ve mentally and socially allocated yourself.
  • If you are still late sometimes? Try not to stress. Shit happens.
  • 🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤
  • Cutting My Own Hair & Bringing Out Natural Waves/Curls

    Before

    As you can see it has an undefined frizzy shape and then it’s gone crazy at the bottom where it’s been twisted up overnight. As it’s thick and long, it tends to sit around my shoulders like a very warm cape.

    Cutting My Own Hair

    I used a technique for cutting your own hair by Brad Mondo, which is simple and effective. Basically, you divide your hair into quarters, two at the front, two at the back and put little hair bands at the length you want to cut. Do not lift or pull the hair at the back around to the front when cutting, instead keep it straight and behind your shoulder. Cut below the hair band. Please do watch the vid, don’t take it from me!

    The sensible style

    I look so much like my Mum here, it’s uncanny!

    The 2000’s Bone Straight Style

    I used to wear this style to look a bit edgy for clubbing (so much product) but then that flat, straight look became the norm!?

    After

    Big chunky waves and curls!

    The easiest way to bring out natural curls & waves

    1. When you come out of the shower, tip your hair upside down and gently scrunch with a flat pile towel or thick T-shirt to remove excess water.
    2. This also lift the roots of your hair allowing for more movement.
    3. While hair is still very wet (but not dripping) and your hair is still clumped into curls/waves apply a lot of curl cream. Don’t rake it through but squish it into the individual curls/waves.
    4. Warning: If you let it get too dry before applying products, it will split and go stringy and/or frizzy. Then you have to soak it all over again.
    5. Apply any hair oil afterward. Oil acts as a barrier and will seal in the moisture you just added.

    Would you/have you cut your own hair? Do you think you could bring out any natural movement in your own hair? Let me know in the comments!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Monthly Round Up – July

    Style

    I’ve mostly been wearing this combo or these pants with the-dye tops. I’m all about clashing prints this summer.

    I bought these adorable and very unique Freda Kahlo earrings by Wilderness from Sour Cherry, who are located in Afflecks and they also have an online shop.

    I’ve been wearing this outfit (shrug, maxi dress, black gladiator sandals) the few times we’ve been out and about.

    I posted about Items of Clothing That Seem Ideal in Theory but…

    Hated my heavy, long fringe in the heat so gave myself a short choppy one instead.

    Food

    After reading that Pizza Express will be slowly closing branches permanently from September my Bloke used up his Tesco points and treated us to a meal. We thought it crap that the rocket didn’t come with the mozzarella and tomato so we ordered that as well. We also ordered three 14″ pizzas which were amazing. A spicy, smokey one with aubergine, peppers and humus (added after cooking); a slightly sweet one with sultanas, black olives and red onion and a cheesy one with garlic.

    I tried Aldi’s No Steak Bake which had the loveliest flakey pastry and a mince sauce that was so rich it would have suited a Spag Bol better!

    Did a comprehensive Cupboard and Fridge Shop at Ocado (didn’t realise they have Follow Your Heart Cheese unfortunately). It’s all gluten and dairy free apart from the pepperoni which has milk in the flavouring.

    We visited V Revolution. I had this cheese burger with bacon, slaw and onion rings. My bloke had the burger between two doughnuts which he said was very tasty and not as weird as you’d think. Okay…!?

    I’ve started putting chilli (fresh, or oil, or sauce), spring onion and crushed roasted peanuts on everything. So refreshing for summer!

    Skincare and Makeup

    If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product this is what I chose and explained why.

    I blogged about my Lifestyle Tips for Maintaining Healthy Skin.

    Unpopular Opinions – Makeup Tag was surprisingly fun to join in with. Spotted on Just Geeking By.

    Lifestyle

    I posted 20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

    Another tag which I find by the lovely Heather over at Just Geeking By was The 90’s Tag I was a teen in the 90’s so this was so much fun!

    The last tag I joined in with was The Daily Gratitude Tag – Home Sweet Home

    TV

    Limitless – a spin off from the film staring Bradley Cooper. A guy who’s on pills which expand his mind consults for the FBI. Light and entertaining.

    Preacher – About a preacher, a con-woman and a vampire ft. God and a murderous Saint. Totally nuts!

    Films

    The Avengers films – Never get bored of these.

    Captain America – Kinda boring.

    Mortal Engines – Film Set in the future most cities will have morphed into huge machines which move around and swallow smaller cities to survive but not all cities are as ruthless as this. Two young people fight to find justice and fairness. Based on the Mortal Engines Quartet books by Philip Reeve.

    Super 8 – A film incredibly similar to Stranger Things before that series was created.

    Youtube

    Brad Mondo – Very honest, funny, sweet hairdresser who reacts to people doing their own hair and also does tutorials.

    Music

    Kate Bush album Hounds of Love; Fun Loving Criminals album Scooby Snacks; Lady Ice (fellow Mancunian) single No Silence; Nadia Rose single Skwod.

    If there’s anything you want to ask me or to tell me, please leave a comment, I love reading them and replying to you!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    The 90’s Blog Tag

    I knew I had to join in with this tag when I voted for it on Heather of Just Geeking By‘s Twitter poll. Great idea to let your readers vote, Heather!

    Favourite TV Show

    Queer as Folk, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, My So Called Life and Footballers Wives. Lots of box sets on VHS. I was a teen for the majority of the 90’s so I’d love anything that was ‘cool’ or ‘mint’.

    Favourite 90’s Song

    One cassette single I remember being played on repeat for an entire six week school holiday is Trouble by Shampoo about two girls in their late teens missing the night bus home.

    What’s Going On by Four Non Blondes, Stay by Shakespeare Sister, then later a load of Happy Hardcore, Gangsters Paradise by Coolio and Breathe by The Prodigy.

    Favourite TV Add

    It has to be the famous Guinness beer surfer advert with the awesome track Phat Planet by Leftfield.

    NSYNC or Backstreet Boys

    In the UK it was Take That or East 17 (I preferred the latter but new all the words to every TT song) and then later Oasis V’s Blur (I went with Blur as I realised Liam Gallagher was/is a bit of dick. Alex James from Blur seems to be a bit of a snobby tw@tt though so, whatever).

    Did You Collect Anything Back Then

    Garfield stickers and shag bands (skinny rubber bracelets and if one broke it was meant to be a sign you’d get a shag soon – they were not intuitive AT ALL).

    How Many Tamagotchis Did You Go Through

    Two. A cute little dinosaur which turned into to a Tetradactyl and flew off the screen! I couldn’t be arsed with second and kept loosing it but people kept passing it on until it’d get back to me!

    Favourite Video Game and Console

    Sega Megadrive and Sonic the Hedgehog or Streets of Rage.

    Favourite Cereal/Free Toy

    There was one cereal that gave out big Casper (the film about the friendly ghost) stickers which glowed in the dark.

    Who Was Your 90’s Crush Growing Up

    Mel Gibson – don’t judge, he was fit in the Leathal Weapon Films! Oh, and Christian Slater and Bruce Willis.

    What Was Your Fave Disney Channel Movie

    We were too poor to afford a Sky dish.

    Disney, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network

    I watched Sky at my mates after school. No idea what channel/network it was on. Pinky and the Brain, Anamaniacs, Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Sharky and George and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Sister Sister.

    Weirdest Fashion Trend

    I know people think 90’s style was cool and alternative but in a rough high school that was considered weird. Halley Hanson sailing jackets. Why were a bunch of scally’s wanting those!?

    What Were Your Fave Toys You Would Play With

    A little Boglin (I made mine all punky with loads of piercings), a giant slinky, those smiley sunflowers with arms and legs you won at the fair and ‘plushies’ when they were just called ‘soft toys’.

    Fave Early Morning or Saturday Show

    Before school the nation would watch The Big Breakfast with Chris Evans, Johnny Vaun, Denise Van Outten and Paula Yates (and that chemistry laden interview with Micheal Hutchens from INXS). Live and Kicking was on a Saturday with Philip Scofield and a young John Barrowman as the Hollywood reporter.

    Favourite McDonalds Happymeal Toy

    I was grossed out by the texture of dead animal until I was 14 and even then only liked chicken nuggets but I do remember getting a mate (who’d just started working there) to pinch me a rare Rugrats chunky blue watch, haha!

    Favourite Book

    I hate horror films so naturally I progressed from Sweet Valley High to POINT HORROR! Teachers Pet and Freeze Tag were wicked!

    What Would You Watch When You Got Home From School

    Blue Peter (the days of Matt Baker trying boxer-size or Connie Huq jumping out of planes SAS style), then while eating our tea on our knee, would be the The Simpsons and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with my Mam and Dad.

    What Is The One Thing From The 90’s You Wish Were Available Today

    My posse of around 12 mates, which included friends of friends that I was (nearly) always happy to see. They never singled me out as ‘the weird one’ even though I struggled so much with what I now realise is Dyspraxia, Autism and Hypermobilty Syndrome. They never asked how I could somehow be ditzy and witty or adventurous and clumsy all at the same time, they were just accepting and patient. I met some of them a few years back and they have changed…a lot -_-

    Tag Your All It!

    Anyone who wants to join in with this tag please do, seriously please, I love reading these things.

    This has been so much fun and has really challenged my memory, seeing as I drunk copious amounts of alcohol every Friday night through most of my teens, I think I did rather well!

    Which answers do you relate to….?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Life Lately – June

    June has flown by, which is weird considering I’ve been out of the house a whole…one time! I’ve been very grateful for the, frankly shite, weather Manchester has had this month, as it’s been a well needed break from the crazy heatwave of May.

    Pride Month

    My love and respect goes out to the LGBTQ community as always, whatever your sexuality and however you identify. I’ve always been proud that I live in a city with year-round acceptance (in a general sense) and awareness. I think this is thanks to the The Gay Village, plus a great Pride Parade and festival.

    Food

    Been switching all month between having cups of tea with sausage and mash to having a cold beers and mezze.

    Independent Artist or Business

    GDBEE Art is by Geneva who makes the most gorgeous graphic art of women of colour. She’s also created the webtoon Hovergirls, about two alien fighting cousins who work in a coffee shop by day. The entire Hovergirls series is available to read on phone/device or PC.

    Lifestyle

    I’ve changed my bedroom from being the place where stuff gets dumped, into a place where I actually want to spend time. a) I’ve had a big clean and tidy b) I’ve brought in more storage c) Updated a dark toned LOTR poster to a lighter toned and very neat dragon canvas d) I’ve reduced the amount of Funko Pops and books/papers piled everywhere.

    Reading

    The Getaway Girls by Dee McDonald is roadtrip comedy about three rather different friends, all past middle age, who decide they are unhappy with their lot and want to start a new adventure through France and Italy. I’ll review it once I’ve finished reading. I’m a third of the way in and enjoying it!

    New Fringe

    I was sick of my giant wavy fringe which needed cutting constantly and was way too hot and wide. I watched Birds of Prey (which I loved, but thought the bad guy was just plain annoying) and cut myself a new punky, shorter fringe. Freshly cut it looks a little too perfect but it does naturally have a lot of movement and looks spikey if I apply styling putty.

    Here is me as a kid in the 80’s with a very different kind of fringe lol

    I hope you’ve all been finding things to make you happy, in these turbulent times!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Pyjama-style Fashion

    As seen on catwalks and in glossy magazines over the past several years, pyjama-style fashion is sticking around. It’s cool how items which look like PJ’s separately, can also look surprisingly smart when you put them together right.

    I should have rolled the sleeves up for the first one though.

    Shirt – Missguided

    Cami – Boohoo

    Palazzo Pants – Matalan

    Sandals – Newlook

    Earrings – Forage

    Hair Clips – Claire’s

    Scrunchy – Claire’s

    I’d love to know, in these strange times have you managed to pull off wearing actual PJ’s outside and how did that go?

    🖤✨Chrissie ✨🖤

    The Stuck at Home Blog Tag

    The Rules

    • Thank the person that nominated you (I found this tag on Cranky Autistic and decided to join in!)

    • Answer all the questions below

    • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn at Allonsythornraxxbooks

    • Nominate five other book bloggers to do this tag (or just leave it as a free-for-all)

    What Are You Currently Reading? 

    Tina Turner’s autobiography My Love Story. She writes like she’s having a chat with a friend, with all of her personality coming through.

    What’s Your Favourite Can’t Leave The House Activity?

    Connecting with people through blogging and social media. I don’t have a smart phone, so can’t do this out of the house, unless I’m in a free wi-fi area. I want to be fully engaged in the moment outside the house anyway.

    A Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read?

    The Velveteen Rabbit. I watched a cartoon film of it as a little kid and it was the first story that made me feel a crazy amount of emotions. “Whaaaaaaah!” “Yaaaaaaaaay!”

    An Intimidating Book on Your TBR?

    The last two books in the Otherworld series by Tad Williams. It’s very thick and pretty trippy and also disturbing in places so it was giving me vivid, hyper-real dreams of that nature. So literally and literary intimidating!

    Top Three Books on Your TBR?

    The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (prequel to film Practical Magic)

    On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (an urban drama about an up and coming female rapper)

    Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin (Patti Smith loves this book)

    Recommend a Short Book

    Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley. A gritty neo-noir detective novel, covering race, the American dream, status, trust and self respect.

    Recommend a Long Book

    His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. An amazing multi-layered story. The film and TV adaptation missed out entire plot lines which were vital to understanding the thing as a whole. Please just read the book instead.

    Something You’d Love to Do While Stuck at Home? 

    Get into baking but have someone else shop for ingredients, take it out of the hot oven and then tidy up and wash up afterward. So I’d be chucking stuff into a bowl, mixing and awkwardly rolling/folding and messily filling/icing, all the fun stuff basically! I’m heavily playing the Dyspraxia and chronic fatigue card here aren’t I, hehee!

    What Book Do You Plan on Reading Next?

    A comedy-drama about three more-mature women going on a road trip together through Italy, having fun and discovering lots of surprises about themselves and each other. Can’t for the life of me remember who it’s by or what it’s called! It’s my light summer read for when I’m brain fogged in the heat (appropriate vague answer then I guess).

    Hope you found my (slightly random) answers interesting. I’m not tagging anyone as I don’t want them to feel pressured in this weirdest of times, so if you want to join in, then just join in!

    Tag me in your post so I can have a read of your answers and please make sure you mention the original creator Ellyn (link above).

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Monthly Life Update – March (Yup, I know we’re well into April)

    March was a bit of a non-month really. Me and the bloke started our quarantine, apart from him having an hour in the park every few days. It’s a big park with wide paths and wide gates so no need to be anywhere near anyone else. A Submotion Orchestra gig (dub, orchestral, hip-hop) got cancelled which was sensible but sad. Luckily we hadn’t booked anything else or made plans to go anywhere else.

    Lifestyle

    In January I made a secret resolution to avoid gluten as it effects my breathing and doesn’t help with my naturally challenged memory and concentration skills, as well as making me bloated. I’m doing better with the above which is wonderful and I’ve have discovered I have a little square chin, rather than the two (or even three) rounded chins that I normally have. Bonus!

    At first I thought the Jay was screeching at me for food, until I put some out and it ignored it. It carried on screeching right next me. I went into the kitchen at one point and noticed it stopped. I came back and it started. I realised it had looked at me, sat in my living room and decided I was too close to the branch that it had chosen and was shouting at me to go away! Erm…..!?

    This is Little Groot, the huge chilli plant we cut right back to a tiny stump when it stopped giving us chilli’s. It’s a tenacious little fecker and has come back with a vengeance, which we hoped but didn’t really expect.

    I find the trend of young women shaving the peach fuzz off their cheeks such a shame. It’s natural, your skin isn’t supposed to look as smooth and shiny as a Barbie Dolls and why are we adding yet another step in the relentless quest to look perfect’? Here’s me with my fluffy face (you can see it on the right hand side in contrast with the shadow) which most people find really sweet.

    Style

    I went through a pastel-goth moment (perfect style to cheer up grey, cold weather) and found this huge metal quote pin from Crazy Crafty Chick Club.

    I’m still rocking my custom Airforce 1’s and find that they go with basically everything. I can fit my orthotics in them and I can wear my ankle brace with them too. If you need spacious, stable but fairly light weight footwear, these are dream shoes!

    I’ve finally got all of the styles of boots I’ve ever wanted so I will not be buying any more, ever. The chunky pair are from Koi and the slimmer pair are from Newlook (detachable wings from Koi) and everything is vegan.

    Beauty

    I stumbled across this independent soap brand in Tesco of all places as it was the only soap left but it’s the best soap though, how odd!? Vegan, cruelty free and genuinely natural. They do a range for pets too!

    Cheered myself up with a sparkly coral mani.

    Food

    I bought this beautiful vegan porcini mushroom sauce and gluten free gnocchi in a huge (and perfectly timed) shop from Ocado just before all of their delivery slots got maxed out.

    First salad of the year! With Violife Greek Block (supposed to be feta, tastes exactly like goats cheese instead) and Gosh! Mediterranean Red Pepper Falafel. I do get boxes of cheap falafel mix from the corner shop as well but these are quick and easy for when I’m fatigued.

    Amy’s Burritos are the perfect size between a snack and a meal. This one is the tofu breakfast scramble and there are several others with rice and one with cheesy baked-beans. So good!

    I tried Violife extra cheesy block and ‘ham’ slices, which had such similar textures and even flavours, that they blended together to create one weird flavour in my sandwich. Fail! The ‘ham’ is perfect on a sarny with pickled onion/cauliflower or a teeny bit of mustard. The cheese is perfect on a sarny with spring onions or on a cracker with sandwich pickle.

    What a strange, almost surreal month that was.

    🖤✨Chrissie🖤✨

    Simple Selfcare List for Brain, Body and Soul

    Everyone needs a bit of motivation and simple reminders sometimes, especially when you’re in the house most of the time and loose track of time easily. That’s just me normally btw!

      Get the feck up (Maybe use needing the loo as an excuse to stay up)
      Brush teeth
      Wash (preferably with something that smells uplifting)
      Apply deodorant
      Skincare/bodycare routine (or at least some of it)
      Get dressed (oversized cardigans/hoodies totally count)
      Comb hair
      Coffee or protein smoothie
      Catch up with friends on social media or message them
      Do something a little creative
      Have something to eat
      Order or buy some fresh fruit or veg
      Wash clothes/Vac up?
      Read a book/Watch telly/Gaming/Exercise
      Make a nice meal, maybe enough to freeze a portion as a ready-meal
      Bath/Shower?
      Hug or FaceTime your family/pet/loved one
      Cleanse face
      Brush teeth
      Take a cup of water to bed
  • 🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤