What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Well, the answer is not much as I’ve had a cold for a week but luckily the evening before it started me and the bloke went to the pub. We love The Gateway in Didsbury as it has friendly staff and punters, free wi-fi, lots of cheap but tasty veggie food, a nice gluten free beer as well as many guest beers and ciders. Plus, the loos are down stairs so it’s not like navigating that Escher painting trying to find them.

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I was too hot and restless to sleep in so I got up and ‘painted’ my hair again. Literally just slapped it on the front bits with a tint brush, then read a magazine for an hour and then sat on the bathroom floor, leaned into the shower and rinsed it off.

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‘Discovered’ a great takeaway called Saki in Droylesden on Justeat who do veggie sushi, this lovely mixed tofu salad, Gyoza dumplings and ramen. Okay, I’m getting hungry now…

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I can take no credit for this what-so-ever, it’s all down to my Dad!

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I found this plastic glass at the back of the cupboard which has inspired me to make banana and strawberry milk shakes, with a splash of almond milk.

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I changed my avatar to look all summery (they didn’t have a streaky hairstyle, just posh balayage) and then, of course, it pissed it down for the rest of the week.

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Came across this great graphic on Instagram and gave the little guy an activity to do because disabled people also do things.

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To use up some stuff I made a deli bowl of Mediterranean salad, pomegranate bits, mixed seeds, stuffed vine leaves, the ever important inclusion of pickles, and pieces from a giant block of silken tofu I cut up into big chunks and fried in sesame oil (tastes like chicken).

Over the past four months I’ve been watching The Goldbergs, then Schooled, Speechless and Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory nearly every evening. I’m at a bit of a loss now that two have ended for good, one might not be coming back (Speechless) and two are in between series.

I seem to have replaced them with the gameshows Tipping Point (based around the 2p waterfall arcade machine), Pointless, Egg Heads and The Chase. My general knowledge is pretty impressive now and it’s massively helped my recall and logical reasoning. Oh and there’s series five of Black-ish starting!

Coming up soon I review green mascara and purple lip gloss from The Body Shop and two Rockabilly blouses from Hell Bunny.

Chrissie

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Fantasy/YA

Karou has two lives to juggle. She is a seventeen-year-old student in Prague and an errand girl to a creature who owns a business in Elsewhere. Raised in his shop but never visiting Elsewhere, she knows nothing of how she came to be there as a baby and never quite feels whole. Now she has to choose between her comfortable life here and the war ravaged world that may hold of the answers.

This almost felt like a book of three parts and four perspectives but when the reason they were interlinked was revealed, I was genuinely surprised. There was another very revealing (and shocking) moment similar to this toward the end but I cannot tell you the reason for that either as it would spoil the entire story.

Don’t let the almost chick-lit parts of the first half of the book put you off if you are into epic fantasy. This is a huge story that really gathers momentum and weight around half way through. It is part of a trilogy and so the plot and characters develop in accordance to that. Trust me, by the time you reach the end, you will be obsessed with reading the next book in the series.

Chrissie

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

An older couple Jack and Mabel move to a homestead in 1920’s Alaska to find a better quality of life. Mabel quietly longs for the child she lost years before and prefers the isolation of their cabin, rather than socialising at first.

On a rather unusual evening they have fun throwing snowballs and building a snow girl together. After that, each catch a glimpse through the trees of a little girl with a fox.

This is a wonderful book about how people come into each other’s lives, sometimes at the perfect moment. Ivey’s vivid descriptions of the bleak, yet awesome Alaskan countryside and the hard work it takes to survive in this environment really drew me in.

****SPOILER ALERT****

In the entire book there is only a very short and vague sentence which actually ties fact and fairytale together; when Mabel says that Faina surely would have died in the cold had we not built our snow girl at that very same moment, and now Faina is here with us.

The best I have been able to decide is that she is a human who was about to die but through the couples wish to have a child, she was saved and bestowed by nature with powers to thrive in the freezing weather and to control it but also a kind of curse relating to it as well.

Rating 4/5

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

October & November Round-up

I’ve been a bit of a nomad these past few months going between home, my blokes flat and his Dads. No wonder I haven’t been sleeping, my body doesn’t know where ‘my own bed’ actually is anymore! Here is a two month round-up for you.

October (a fair bit)

I reviewed this Maleficent tee which I bought from Pop In A Box who sell Funko Pops! but also other alternative pop-culture things.

I was lucky enough to get gifted some products from my one of my fave natural brands Yaoh to review. Total skin saviours in the crazy changing Autumn weather.

With Halloween coming up I put together a Modern Witchy OOTD. I’ve found that this style of dress is perfect if you want something over-the-knee and strappy but have a bit of belly as they emphasise the right curves and hide the ‘I’ve eaten way too much pizza’ kind. I also love this style of boot because they look stylish, don’t cut across legs mid-calf (which is never flattering) and the heel is low and chunky enough to support a wobbly wench like me.

It was my blogs 6th birthday! I’m so glad that I’ve stuck with this particular blog for six whole years and that you’ve all stuck with me too. Thank you so much!

Dyspraxia Awareness Week (7th-13th Oct) celebrated 30 years. For any posts I’ve written relating to Dyspraxia just type the word into the search bar on the lower right side of this blog.

I reviewed Ciate Dewy Stix in Gleam Gold and had mixed feelings about it.

I bought some seasonal and creepy-cute pins from Little Lefty Lou and Em & Sprout (the cat I’d previously bought from Punky Pins and it tends to spin around upside-down unfortunately).

I put together 6 Simple Autumn Style Essentials as we all want to be stylish and warm!

For Halloween I also treated myself to these pre-loved Monster High dolls from ebay which were about a quarter of the price they would have been new. One is a punky vampire and the other is a goth looking ghost. #stylegoals

I reviewed Ciate polish in Paradise Lost – part of their Gelology collection as it’s perfect for Autumn and the upcoming party season.

I compiled a list of Spooky TV Shows to Binge Watch – old and new.

I was so happy to be gifted these beautiful Moonstone rings from Gemstone Silver Jewellery to give my thoughts on.

I bought the oversized bat-wing jumper from Boohoo and lived in reviewed it. Why I look like the actor Ron Perlman in this particular photograph I don’t know.

November (not so much)

My hair was very happy that I reviewed this Shampoo and Conditioner from Yaoh but I begged to differ at one point!

10 Cozy Ideas for Autumn & Winter. I love doing posts like this each year as it makes me feel all cozy and optimistic for the months ahead.

I was gifted an Exercise (resistance) Band by Care Co. and had a lot of fun and some mishaps reviewing it.

When Hunkemoller asked my to choose something from their range of PJ’s and loungewear range I knew I wanted these velour joggers immediately. Here’s what I thought of them.

I thought it only fair to share My Autumn and Winter Skin and Hair Saviours with everyone.

I’d say this photo pretty much sums up my October and November lol

Chrissie

Athleisure Style Joggers from Hunkemoller

When you spend a lot of time chilling in doors, you want to wear something cozy but you don’t want to greet people when wearing washed out cartoon PJ’s from a decade ago. You know you need a serious (grown) up-grade. This is where Hunkemoller comes in handy as they offer pretty and practical pyjamas and lounge-wear.

How cute is this box ^_^

Look at my gorgeous new joggers! With a silky tie at the waste, sparkly sporty stripes down the gently tapered legs and a rich burgundy colour, I invited people around just to show them off – not kidding. They are also warm and pretty enough to go outside in, if you don’t have the time (or simply can’t be bothered, let’s be honest) to get changed.

They are made of a velour type material which I love because a) They are bunny soft b) They have some substance about them so they don’t end up getting baggy knees after a day of wear and c) They look sumptuous, especially in burgundy.

These are a ‘Small’ and although I agree with that as far as the waste band goes, I think they could have been a little more fitted around the top and the back. I’m glad I have slightly thick thighs and a lot of junk in the ole’ trunk, put it that way! To be fair, they are one of the few tapered pants I can wear that don’t feel like they are cutting off the circulation in my ankles and the length is perfect for my 5’8″ height. I’d say overall Hunkemoller sizing is generous.

If you could treat yourself to a lounge-wear/pyjama upgrade for the winter, what item would you choose?

Chrissie

🎃 Spooky TV Shows To Binge Watch Over Halloween 🎃

Stranger Things 2016 –

How could I not include this! With every 80’s horror-fantasy clique, this series somehow manages to seem fresh and retro at the same time. It’s equally charming, funny, subtly creepy and action packed.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1996 – 2003

Total classic about a teenaged slayer, her ‘Scoobie gang’ and her grown up (and very handsome) Watcher who, together, deal with all sorts of supernatural goings on in the town of Sunnydale. Snappy dialogue and wonderful three-dimensional characters.

Preacher 2016 – 

Based on the adult comic book series by DC’s Vertigo line, this story is about a jaded preacher who, stirred by a crazy happening at a church, joins up with his ex and a vampire to fight injustice and to find god. If you are vegetarian you might want to skip all of the scenes with the self proclaimed ‘King of meat’. Thoughtful, darkly funny and a bit nuts!

Supernatural 2005 –

Two brother follow their fathers lead and hunt supernatural creatures. Some episodes can be genuinely creepy but it’s a bit of a mixed bag – depending on what creeps you out.

Doctor Who 2005 –

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The Dr arrives again – this time in the form of a woman who can’t quite remember who she is. When strange things start to happen in the Northern town, she teams up with the people who found her as a race to survive ensues.

The Strain 2014 – 2017

One of the more creepy shows in the list but as a result of a particular person and circumstance, rather than the marauding zombies hordes. The Strain goes from sci-fi outbreak thriller – to holocaust flash-back drama – to zombie horror.

Charmed 2018 –

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Modern take on the beloved 1998 series of three sisters who discover they are much stronger together as they have magic abilities. And boy will they need them!

Grimm 2011-2017

A detective realises he descended from a line of Grimms who are sworn to hunt vesesen – people who turn into animals and other beings – who are disrupting the equilibrium. What happens when he realises some of them are his neighbours and how does he explain everything to his girlfriend and colleagues? Loosly based on Grimms Fairytails, this show is so much fun!

The X-Files 1993 – 

This classic, iconic show has covered, sci-fi, fantasy, pseudo science, the paranormal, myths and legends and in a few episodes straight up horror. Here’s a link to the 10 most scary episodes so you know what to avoid, hehe!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Sabrina is still about a teen witch coping with everyday teen life but it’s darker than the original; a mash-up of True Blood meets Pretty Little Liars in tone maybe?

Which ones have you watched or are planning on watching? 

Chrissie V—-V

Simple Ghoul/Undead Look Using Everyday Makeup

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Brains!

Fringe (bangs) – Dry shampoo and styling putty. I ran out of dry shampoo but would have like to apply more so it looked white.

Face – White and light green eyeshadow, mixed with a silvery highlighter to give my face a pale but eerie glow. Used my fingernail to gently score out bits of makeup around my nose and chin for an uneven look (top picture).

Eyes – Grey eyeliner randomly applied, blended up to my eyebrows. Sparkly green liquid eyeshadow dabbed in the middle. Grey and green smeared down my cheeks like slimy sludge (bottom picture).

Lips – A nude-brown lipstick with foundation lightly dabbed over the top.

Chrissie V—-V

The Mancunian Spray – Charity Art Battle

The Mancunian Spray – Charity Art Battle commences on Saturday 15th of Semptember and will involve street artist creating their best effort to win the battle, as well as music, food and drink. It’s free entry and these things always have a great vibe to them. The point is to have fun while raising money the Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund. It’s on until 6.00pm so plenty of time to have a lie-in after a Friday night out and a great distraction from a hangover!

Saturday September 15th

11.00am – 6.00pm

Baird Street

Manchester

M1 2WQ

Chrissie

Hype Iridescent Trainers

I was looking on the Schuh website for my Autumn Wishlist post and came across these wonderful iridescent trainers by Hype (not available on the U.K. Hype site anymore) for £20. I think they deserve their own post!

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These are comfortably wide, have a medium grip on the sole and don’t dig into your toes when the front creases. The inner sole is slightly padded so you could be on your feet all day and not have your feet or joints hurting. They are proper lace up trainers with long laces, not those fake pull on ones.

The only criticism I have is because I have ankles that can get a bit thick after a long day, the tongues aren’t the softest and can feel a bit pokey. It’s fine if I double over my socks though.

I think I’d like a holographic/iridescent backpack next, to go with my laptop case and trainers.

Chrissie