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✨🖤

    10 Positive Things My Disabilities Bring

    If this list serves as ‘inspiration porn’ for someone, then frickin fantastic!

    (there’s a full list of my disabilities and chronic illnesses at the bottom of this post)

    1. Being a very sensory person and also having a lot of extra movement in my hips and spine means I have natural rhythm to dance.
    2. My legs are surprisingly strong through them having to correct my balance constantly when I stand and walk. The Amazons have nothing on me lol
    3. I have a really fast metabolism which is great for never having to worry about getting overweight (just hangry) and it means I can totally justify ordering sides and desert. img_7655
    4. Being tall is handy to see where I’m meant to be going in a crowd. 5’8 is usually the same height as online clothing models so I know how clothes will fit me too.
    5. My immune system may attack me but cold and flu viruses beware, it’s effectively coming for you too!
    6. I struggle to keep up academically but I’ve always had loads of emotional intelligence. It helps me navigate social situations as I pick up on the subtext of what people are saying and doing. Thank goodness as I was way to too trusting!
    7. I have weirdly good balance and fine-motor skills if I really concentrate/hyperfocus
    8. Being hypermobile is really handy when trying to reach past a load of clutter or when something has rolled under furniture or for painting my toenails.
    9. I’ve gotten some interesting scars over the years from accidents but I also heal surprisingly quickly.
    10. Feeling different to everyone for numerous physical, sensory, neurological and emotional reasons that you don’t understand, makes you feel like a total freak at first but later helps you to understand and love your true, individual bad-ass self.
  • 🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Note: Incase you wondering, the disabilities chronic illnesses I have are: Demyelination (usually as a result of Multiple Soroses ), Dyspraxia (effecting mental and physical cognitive skills but not intelligence; Neurological in nature), Aspergers (again not a mental-health issue just Neurologically diverse), Sensory Processing Disorder (imagine most of your senses are dialled up to 11; relating to Aspergers and Dyspraxia), allergies/food intolerances, PCOS (suspected by GP’s), Hyperthyroidism, Hypermobilty Syndrome (too loose/stretchy joints, ligaments, soft tissue, digestive issues). These all have the symptoms of chronic fatigue/brain fog in common.

    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!

    ________________________________

    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🎄

    Breakfast, Dinner or Tea?

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

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

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Selfcare Feck Up’s, Victories and Weirdness

     

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    I’ve been a lazy bunny by not getting up until 1.00pm because I’ve been enjoying the comfort of staying in a real bed again, for as many hours as I choose (long story). The down side of that is getting woken by glorious sunshine but by the time I get up washed and dressed, it’s buggered of behind thick cloud for the rest of the day. That has not helped my mental health or motivation…I swear I’m some kind of emotional weather vane! Anyone else?

    List of my self care feck up’s and victories

    Bad – Not getting up until pm

    Good – Been flying through the novel Mirror Mirror

    Bad – At around midnight I realised I was so hungry but the simple burrito I was meant to warm in the microwave collapsed into a soggy mess, I then salvaged it and promptly dropped half onto the floor

    Real low – I then sobbed over it (literally), while I cleaned bits of it up and then ate the other half. At least my tears added some well needed salt. I then started bargaining with a God I don’t even believe in to make my Dyspraxia and chronic fatigue easier. Although, to be fair, I had just watched Bruce Almighty. The voice of Morgan Freeman did not reply.

    Good – I’ve been keeping up with my skincare routine everyday

    Bad – I’ve been abandoning my hydration flask and glasses in random places around the house and then feeling constantly dehydrated. Ironically, this is probably why my memory of where I’ve put stuff has been so crap.

    Good – Did shopping with specific meals in mind so everything works with everything else for once.

    Bad – Forgot to prepare food to eat for when I’m tired and hungry, then left it too late to be able to cook anything, so had to order takeaway again as very wobbly.

    Good – It was a healthy one, with veg curry, avocado sushi and an edamame and spinach salad.

    Bad – The next day I forgot that English mustard is much hotter than the squirty American stuff and practically buttered my bread with it!

    Good – I’m getting better at keeping track of time and/or setting alarms for things

    Bad – Ended up wearing PJ’s two days straight as all of my chillin clothes were in the wash basket and I repeatedly forgot two wash them.

    Good – Washed clothes

    Bad – Forgot the damn washer had stopped and left the clothes to crease to oblivion for an hour. Had to do another quick wash to sort them out – sigh.

    Good – Had a shower and washed my hair, did body and hair care.

    Good – Been well on top of my blogging and reading other peoples.

    Bad – Having a nightmare with getting on the housing register properly. Every person I’ve spoken to on the phone (as I’ve had total silence from them since July and I’ve noticed several big mistakes) hasn’t had a clue what’s going on. I’ve heard “Oh, that’s odd!?” about four times now. They keep making notes and saying someone will phone me to explain the confusion.

    Hmmm – Their medical assessment team will be arranging a visit ‘soon’ apparently….

    Good – Finished having a huge clear out. Finished buying new stuff to replace old/unsuitable stuff and am now saving to move into a suitable flat of my own, finally!

    Plans

    Keep saving.

    Use post it notes more often.

    Get up before 11.00am.

    Plan evening meal and make it/eat it earlier.

    Keep up with washing and styling hair, when I have the energy.

    Chrissie

     

     

     

     

     

    J-Pillow for Sleepy Upright People

    Even with chronic fatigue I still struggle to sleep upright. This is why I decided to review J-Pillow (£19.95 Amazon), a pillow which is supposed to support your head and neck in the correct position so you don’t put any strain on your spine.

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    It’s a bit clumsy so I’m glad it comes in a travel bag and also has a little loop to hang up. There is a reason I’ve orientated the pillow this way as it looks reminiscent of something else (just me?) when stood upright.

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    This one is a lovely blue-teal colour (described as ‘Navy’ also available in Red and Fern Green) and it feels so plush! It comes with an instruction leaflet with photographs, which I was glad about. It also has a handy loop with press-stud to fasten around a bag or case.

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    When sitting in a normal chair at home (one suggested use in the leaflet), the pillow only works with a high-backed chair and is only good good for a light doze. If I were to nod off properly, my head and the pillow would start sliding off to the side.

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    The main idea of the J-pillow is that when travelling, you squish the pillow between your head, the back of the seat and the window. I’ve found this works perfectly because I fell asleep!

    When using a basic neck support when my head dropped forward I’d drool a bit (classy) and when my head was leaning back I’d start snoring (even classier). Because of the front support here, my head is kept upright so neither of these things happen.

    Chrissie