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✨🖤
  • 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✨🖤

    My Lifestyle Tips for Healthier Skin

    A few months back I set myself a challenge to get healthier skin in just one month and I achieved it! Here are some general lifestyle tips, which have helped me to keep my skin healthy (along with that skincare regimen) since.

    🖤 Cutting right down on foods which don’t agree with my digestive system for better gut health, like dairy and gluten (making sure I found suitable replacements).

    🖤 Imagining I’m a big pebble in a river and letting the water (life’s stresses and problems) pass around and over me, while I remain stable and steadfast, rather than shaken up and disturbed. There’s a certain amount of ‘ What will be, will be’ attitude to this in order to not worry about or wring yourself out trying to get the ‘perfect’ outcome. The deep furrow in the middle of my forehead has actually relaxed and I don’t get indigestion from stress or feeling anxious anymore.

    🖤 Keeping up my water intake and my salt intake so my body absorbs and uses the water properly, rather than it going straight through me.

    🖤 Using a gentle cleanser (at least once a day) which includes T-tree oil to balance my skin and keep any blemishes at bay.

    🖤 Realising when my skin is de-hydrated and needs moisturiser or dry and needs oil.

    🖤 Still getting takeaway but from places that use a large range of freshly cooked ingredients like Eastern/Asian takeaways or including healthy mezze/tapas/a big salad with any junk food type meals.

    🖤 Keeping my hair fastened back off my face when the front pieces are dirty or oily. Not touching my face and fringe as much. Washing my hands more often.

    Simple but affective! What do you think?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

    TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

    1. Recycle/Upcycle
    2. Reuse/Repair
    3. Buy organic
    4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
    5. Avoid single use plastic
    6. Support independent companies
    7. Buy local produce
    8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
    9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
    10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
    11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
    12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
    13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
    14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
    15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
    16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
    17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
    18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
    19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
    20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

    Just do your best and don’t stress!

    💚✨Chrissie✨💚

    If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product…

  • It would have to be the Comfort + Hydrate MICELLAR CLEANSER from Neal’s Yard Remedies!

    Why?

    • Easily removes makeup and cleanses skin.
    • You don’t have to rinse it off if you are in a hurry.
    • It’s certified organic
    • Packaged in an easily recycled glass bottle (I love the look of them lined up on the window ledge).
    • Kind on sensitive skin
    • Skin is left feeling soft and replenished
  • What is your hero skincare product?

    🖤✨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✨🖤

    How I’ve Brought More Colour Into My Wardrobe – Part 2, Styling Tips, Tops & Jewellery

    As I mentioned in part one of this post, since the start of the year, I’ve been on a mish to slowly replace darker coloured items with more upbeat and vibrant one’s. I’m mixing and matching so not chucking owt out, unless it’s seen (much) better days.

    What if you tend to stick to basics though?

    Well, from the start I decided that all of my colourful clothes would be basics! I build the outfit around them by adding neutral colours. A camisole/vest top can dress up anything (like jeans and trainers) and a tee can dress things down (like maxi skirts or fitted pants). Then you have that band tee, maxi skirt and trainers combo, which I love on others but haven’t tried yet.

    The Accessories Rules

    I was finding that including bright accessories too was a bit confusing so decided on these rules.

    1. Pick a bright accessory, either the same colour as your outfit or a flattering, contrasting colour that subtly ties in somewhere else (like blue dress and yellow bag with gold jewellery).
    2. Wear several bright accessories but only with a neutral coloured outfit (greys and neons look awesome together)
    3. Have bags, belts and shoes in metallic silver, gold and rose gold, which are fancy neutrals.

    Here’s the original top that inspired the idea. I’d love to know what this pattern stitch is called?

    Ideally Summer is like….

    But honestly, it’s more like this…

    But when this Covid craziness is mostly over, I’ll be going out more, as well as wanting to look more cheerful indoors.

    (From top – bottom)

    1st Column

    Stay Wild Moon Child tee – Bellelily (an Insta add which reeled me in!)

    Nirvana tee – EMP

    Sakura unicorn tee – Tokidoki

    Tiger racer back vest – Brave Soul London

    2nd Column

    Butterfly tunic (cropped into vest) – Joe Browns

    Orange camisole – Boohoo

    Grungy tie dye tee – Veronica Fever (Ebay)

    Tie dye racer-back camisole – Persephone Apparel (Etsy)

    3rd Column

    Lime green vest – Not a clue!? Either I was drunk or half asleep when I ordered this, ha! (Edit) Really versatile day-night item as it turns out, yay!

    Neon tie dye tee – Brave Girl Official (Ebay)

    Teal green tee (cut into tank) – EMP

    Most of these earrings are from Claire’s Accessories apart from the owls which were a gift, the blue and silver raindrop ones were from EMP, the pink drop earrings I made from guitar plectrums and the peace sign earrings I got from Moss-side Caribbean Carnival.

    Being able to pick a colourful item of clothing and accessory each morning is making such a difference to my moods, especially on dull days. I look forward to getting up and getting dressed now, rather than it being a chore.

    As always, I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration or you’ve simply enjoyed having a nosey at my stuff. ✌🏽🤘🏽

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Your Fave FOOD Photo’s From The Last 6 Months

    (Clockwise)

    Veggie black pudding with beetroot sauce and salad from Vertigo, Mcr.

    Gf Seeded Nairn’s crackers with vegan Flora, Violife original ‘cheese’ and green olives and capers.

    Veggie stew of everything from the back of the cupboard, the fridge and the freezer.

    Mashed spud made with vegan Flora, Linda McCarneys gf Red onion and Rosemary sausages, green beans and peas with Bisto (happens to be gf) caramelised onion gravy.

    Salad with Original Tofoo and tamari (gf soy sauce).

    Salad with Smoked Tofoo, Gosh! falafel and Siriacha sauce.

    Oomph! Kebab Strips, rice, pea and sweetcorn with chilli oil.

    Smoked Tofoo covered in toasted sesame oil and grilled, with Helmans mayo and 1/3 tin of Co-op mixed bean spicy salad.

    (Centre)

    Gosh! Falafel and Violife White Block (taste and consistency of goats cheese not feta) salad with home made hummus (lots of tahini and olive oil).

    I hope this has given you some ideas for simple and tasty veggie and gluten/dairy free food. 😋

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Your Fave LIFESTYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

    I post a selection of photo’s from this blog onto my Instagram and share a few general images everyday. Come follow me if you don’t already @vamp_it_up_mcr

    I’ve gone through which photos got the most likes (on Insta) and divided them up into four categories, Lifestyle, Style, Food and er, Me!

    Lifestyle

    (Clockwise)

    Gap Between Buildings When you walk down Whitworth Street heading to Oxford Road, you cross over a tiny bridge without realising and that’s the view of the canal and swanky apartments to your left.

    Baby Jay I’ve only ever seen a Jay twice before so this little’un sitting right outside the window was lovely surprise.

    Sorting my makeup and storage I chucked out anything old or crap and arranged everything here into one bag and base coverage and tools/brushes into a wicker basic. I indulged my left over OCD traits and lined up everything colourful for this photo; so satisfying!

    Pins I have so many pins I have to rotate them on bags and coats. I need to make space on my pin board to display them all properly.

    Skincare Routine After setting myself he challenge to get healthier skin in one month, I narrowed down my products to these and found a consistent routine and it worked!

    Street Art This is a very old photo of the side of a block at the start of The Northern Quarter. The beautiful art (subject now replaces by Mcr bees) is by Faunagraphic who’s responsible for all of the nature inspired, pastel or brushstroke effect street-art in town. Check out that pretty fire-escape too.

    Narwhals Narwhals Swimming In The Ocean (the pre-curser to the baby shark song) My Bloke got me these slippers last Xmas.

    Bench In Our Tiny Backyard All my Dads work. I offer to help with our yard but he always refuses as he loves doing it so much. He’s like me, if he gets an idea in his mind, he knows exactly how he wants it. I’m not arguing as it comes out looking lovely every time ^_^

    (Centre)

    Sustainable (what used to be referred to as Eco) Purchases I got everything here from an online shop called Ecologue. Metal flask, really light but efficient; Bamboo toothbrush, the most comfortable one I’ve ever used and biodegradable; Cleansing pads, also made from bamboo and machine washable!

    As always I’d love to hear your thoughts…

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤