The Best Lip Balms and Oils for Under £10

Hello lovely people! 🍃🍂

After a lot of trial and error, I’ve gotten together the best lip balms and oils for Autumn and Winter, all under a tenner!

The Body Shop – Hemp Balm £4.50

Yaoh! – Mango (Hemp) Balm £2.95

Weleda – Pomegranate Oil US travel size $2.99

(UK big version £26.25)

e.l.f. – Hydrating Core Lip Shine £6.00

Lottie London – Oil Slick £5.95

Badger Balm – Lip Tint $5.49

(Available in UK from some Holland and Barrett shops)

Bleach London – Coconut Bowl £4.65

Do you use any of these? If not, which lip products do you recommend?

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

What Does Someone Who is Plant Based and Gluten-free Actually Eat?! A Look Inside my Fridge and Cupboard

Hello lovely people! ✨💙✨

Even if you have a vegetarian, gluten-free and/or dairy-free diet (mine is for ethical and food intolerance reasons), there are still so many things you can eat! So I thought I’d share my tiny fridge and stupidly large cupboard with you.

Top (left to right) Nairn’s Whole Grain (gf) Crackers, Momasa Lemon and Peppercorn tortilla chips, Biona Fruit Bears, Kind Dark Choc, Nuts & Sea Salt, Pulsin Brownie Peanut & Choc Chip.

Middle Asda Sesame Oil, Felippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Wicked Kitchen Garlic and Herb Nooch (nutritional yeast which gives things a cheesy taste like mild Parmesan), Nice and Easy Cheese Flavour Sauce Mix, Amy’s Kitchen Tomato Soup, Amy’s Kitchen Lentil Soup, Amoy Rice Noodles.

Bottom Kikkoman Gluten Free Soy Sauce, Le Conserve Detla Nonna Green (vegan) Pesto, Nice and Easy Chickpea and Vegetable Curry, Garlic cloves (I prefer garlic purée in a tube lol), Tilda Microwave Mushroom Rice, Morrison’s Hot Paprika, Ground Black Pepper.

Top shelf Vitalite spread, Clover spread (my Dad’s), mushrooms, gluten free Peroni, radishes.

Middle shelf Olives, bananas (no idea ?!), more beer, guacamole, humus, halloumi (the blokes), Vivera kebab strips.

Bottom shelf Always some kind of energy drink, cranberry and apple sauce, jars of antipasti, spring onions, bell (sweet) pepper.

In the door Fresh orange and mango juice, eye gel (so cooling!), Mayo, sriracha, chilli oil.

Nearly every item here was bought from either Asda, Morrison’s or Tesco but the dairy free guacamole was from Ocado (as I don’t have the time and energy to make it myself).

I hope this post helps to make any transitions in your diet and/or lifestyle a little easier!

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

The Best Gluten Free Pizza in Manchester

Hello lovely people ✨💙✨

I’m so glad I’ve come across Ask Italian, a nationwide restaurant chain that has wonderful vegetarian options, a gluten-free pizza and pasta menu, plus a vegan menu.

This is their Non-Gluten Verdure pizza, with mushroom, red pepper, black olives, artichoke, mozzarella and basil (£9.95) You can add any extra topping and a spicy tomato dip to your order for around a quid each.

This has to be the best gluten-free base that I’ve ever tasted. It’s thin, floppy but still slightly crispy, like a traditional Italian base. It doesn’t have that thick, flowery texture that gf takeaway bases have.

Ask Italian, One Piccadilly Gardens, M1 1RG

0161 236 6600

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

e.l.f Hydrating Coconut Mist

Hello lovely people!

Today I’m sharing e.l.f Hydrating Coconut Mist (£8) with you. It really is saving my skin and my mood on these absolutely roasting days that we are having in England.

It contains hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, Vit E and B5 to hydrate, soften and sooth.

The mist has kept my skin cool around the house and hydrated even though I’ve been sitting in front of a (surprisingly drying) fan a lot of the time. It also soothes my skin which is prone to redness as a result of mild allergies.

Bonus use as a moisturising setting spray

Earlier I moisturised with e.l.f. day moisturiser and applied their matte foundation (necessary in this heat) which made me look quite flat and meh, so I sprayed the Hydrating mist over the top and still I look fresh faced (with my foundation intact) three hours later!

💙 free from phthalates, parabens, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban, hydroquinone and sulfates

💙 Vegan

Rating 💙💙💙💙💙

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

Disability Pride Month & Buying My First Wheelchair

Hello lovely people!

It’s Disability Pride Month Which, I have to admit, I’ve only just discovered! I’m not ‘proud’ to be disabled but I’m certainly not ashamed or awkward about it either. I am proud of how I’ve learned to deal with being Dyspraxic and and having Hypermobilty Syndrome over the past 40 years (with an astounding amount of ignorance and attitudes bordering on ableism from Dr’s).

Here is the awesome super lightweight, fold-up chair (even the back folds down) which I bought for car travel. It’s sparkly electric blue ✨💙✨

To be independent I need to be given an electric wheelchair. Because of my disabilities I have muscle weakness and chronic fatigue, so the GP gave me a self propelled chair which I’m unable to use BECAUSE OF MY DISABILITIES. How’s that for sick irony? Apparently this is ‘a very common mistake if it’s a GP who’s made the referral’ the man told me as he was delivering it and taking it away again.

I’m having another phone consultation with a GP on Tuesday and (after arranging this myself) I’m being properly assessed by a Physio from Social Services Neuro Team soon. I must mention that Manchester and Thameside Social Services have been more understanding, knowledgable, kind and professional over my disabilities in just four months, than most Dr’s have been in four decades!

✨✨💙Chrissie💙✨✨

Soothing Super Balm by Lucky Cloud

Hello lovely people!

This Soothing Super Balm by Lucky Cloud (£7) is a skincare superstar in a jar. It contains organic cocoa butter and oat oil and works wonders on any patches of dry skin. I use it on my face and hands.

It also instantly calms irritated skin if you’ve been absent- mindedly scratching it, instead of applying balm straight away.

The fully recyclable packaging is also appreciated.

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

My Tiny Urban Garden

Hello lovely people!

This is how my tiny backyard looks at the moment.

I’m chuffed to bits that these are all still alive and thriving, several weeks after planting. I’m doing my best to water but not over-water them. Difficult when I’m only awake for around twelve hours a day so I don’t know how sunny or shaded it’s been earlier on.

Any tips, greatly appreciated!

✨💙✨Chrissie✨💙✨

Wild Refillable Natural Deodorant

I’ve decided to try Wild refillable natural deodorant. I didn’t sign up for a renewable, letterbox subscription but instead, bought a one-off package with the metal case (I chose the Aqua shade) and 5 refills.

I chose 2 limited edition Lemon Meringue (you will smell like desert for hours) refills and 3 Coconut ones.

The case is recyclable and the refills are compostable!

I’ve been using natural stick deodorant for around three years now so I’ve not needed time to adjust and it’s working really well!

One thing I struggled with (possibly because of Dyspraxia and Hypermobilty) was pressing in the little buttons at the side to change the refill. Easier to get my carer to that as you do need some strength and it’s a bit fiddly.

Would you make the swap to a refillable natural deodorant?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How I Gained Weight and Got Healthier Over 10 Years

Photos: Clockwise from Top left – At my thinnest, Top right – At least my arms are a bit stronger, Bottom right – Doing well but tummy bloated from gluten, Bottom left – Curvy, healthy and happy!

Hello lovely people! Someone suggested it might be a nice idea to share my weight gain and consequent health journey with you.

The reality of me being so thin and also unhealthy in my late 20’s early 30’s:

I was ALWAYS cold; if I got ill I’d become under weight and weak so easily; if I fell down (which I am prone to do when fatigued/not concentrating) I’d get really hurt because I had no padding over my bones; I struggled carrying my heavy boobs around on such a narrow frame and always had a bad back. I was so pale and not olive skinned like I should naturally be (which I covered up with fake tan).

BUT I was constantly told by people that I looked amazing and should feel grateful that I was ‘so skinny’.

I honestly thought through my 20’s and early 30’s that it was normal for young people to be over-worked, slightly stressed and to push their body to it’s limits and then prop it up with caffeine, sugar and beer/cocktails because that seemed the social norm at the time.

How I got healthy in my 30’s:

I mostly cut out foods containing gluten and dairy as I have an intolerance to them (meaning the body doesn’t absorb nutrients from those foods as it can’t digest them properly but it can, confusingly, make people look fat/bloated in places). I eat regular balanced meals with enough protein. I priorities sleep (even though that means saying no to morning invites). I don’t push myself to the limit of my strength and energy for fear of missing out (using up all of my body’s resources). I got a full blood work-up and found I was totally lacking in B12 and Vit D (no wonder I was so weak, brain fogged and grey!).

Even though I have MS now, I still feel healthier overall these days!

Has wanting to gain or loose weight prompted you to start a health journey? Let me know what you think in the comments!

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

How Depression Crept Up on Me and Advice

This time two years ago I posted the photo below to Instagram and said I was having a girly-night to myself and made it sound so positive.

What I didn’t say was that I’d had to go on Just Eat to find somewhere local which sold food and beer/wine because it felt like an overwhelming physical AND mental impossibility to go to the local shops. I was so hungry and really needed something to cheer myself up too.

I’d gotten into the habit of not getting (dragging myself) out of bed until 4.00pm (sadly after it had gone dark) so I hadn’t seen daylight for five days. I’d stopped being bothered to get dressed or comb my wildly frizzy hair or to tidy up.

The bloke had to be elsewhere and he was so stressed and busy he really needed to get on with it and I was trying to be as supportive as poss. But I was on my own all week, until weekend and felt really lonely. But I also felt guilty and silly bothering him.

I realise looking back that the Depression had crept back but at the time I was kidding myself that I was having fun enjoying not having any responsibilities or structure.

Ironically that is exactly what helps me, as it stops the endless days and nights all blending together. Plus someone to bounce my thoughts off so they aren’t swimming around in my head and growing more negative and repetitive is vital for me.

I wish I’d put an honest caption on Insta about how I was feeling at the time or told my Dad or my bloke how I felt. BUT I’d been fighting for decades to have my disabilities and chronic illness recognised and to get on ESA benefit so I could rest at home all day. I felt guilty that I wasn’t now happy and thought I must be being ungrateful or overly-dramatic. But actually, when you can’t or aren’t doing much, whole days and nights alone can seem like an eternity.

After doing this on repeat for about a month (literally just living for the weekend when my bloke would be able to come back basically) I phoned him in floods of tears.

We talked for an hour and worked out a better way of doing things and it made a vast amount of difference to my mental health.

———-

There isn’t always a reason though. Sometimes clinical depression can hit you for no reason at all and that’s perfectly normal, not your fault and just as valid.

If you are feeling crappy or apathetic to stuff you normally love doing or are struggling to keep your head above water, please don’t fool yourself you are ‘fine’. Admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling okay and then tell someone else, even if it’s just one other person (i.e. a considerate family member, a friend, an empathetic friend of a friend or your GP for instance) IRL or online.

You don’t have to be fine all of the time and forcing yourself to try can do more damage than good. Being open and honest about your feelings can lift a huge weight.

It’s ok not to be ok 🙃

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨