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!

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

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?

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissie βœ¨πŸ–€

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…

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

The Stuck at Home Blog Tag

The Rules

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

β€’ Answer all the questions below

β€’ Pingback to the creator: Ellyn at Allonsythornraxxbooks

β€’ 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).

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

The Ultimate Film List Challenge

Put an emoji against each film you’ve seen, count them up and see how you did!

I got 162 out of 225

The Revenant πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Rocky Horror Picture Show πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Grease πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Pirates of the Caribbean franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Harold Lloyd Safety Last πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Footloose

Fight Club πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Parasite

Maze Runner franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Great Gatsby πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Neverending Story

Blazing Saddles

Airplane πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Princess Bride πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Anchorman πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Crazy Rich Asians

A Few GoodmenπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

In The Line of FireπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

How to Train Your Dragon films πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Napoleon Dynamite πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Labyrinth πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Saw

Step Brothers πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

White Noise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Some Like It HotπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

50 First Dates

The Princess Diaries πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Nightmare Before Christmas πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Scream franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Dark CrystalπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ginger SnapsπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Edward Scissor HandsπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Superbad πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Million Dollar Baby πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Harry Potter franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Resident Evil πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Wedding Singer πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Lilo & Stitch πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Finding Nemo πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Finding Neverland πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Jurassic Park films πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Signs πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

My Neighbour Totoro πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Coralline 😱

White Chicks πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Butterfly Effect πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

13 Going on 30

iRobot πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

AIπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Universal SoldierπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Devil Wears Prada πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Deep Impact! πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Gridiron Gang πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Never Been Kissed πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Meet The Parents πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

10 Things I Hate About YouπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Mean Girls πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

A Knights TaleπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

KING KONG

The Terminal πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Sisterhood of the Travelling PantsπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Baby Driver

Dumb & Dumber πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Final Destination franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

HalloweenπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Ring

Bad SantaπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Hitchcock’s Rear Window

Mrs Doubtfire πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Rock of AgesπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Practical Magic πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Chicago πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ghost Ship πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

From Hell πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

HellboyπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Secret Window πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I Am Sam πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Truman ShowπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Day After Tomorrow πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Hunger Games franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Child’s Play

Seed of Chucky

Bride of Chucky πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

P.S. I Love YouπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Just Married πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Gothika

Sixteen Candles

Coach Carter πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Grudge

The Mask πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Bad Boys franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Joy Ride

Lucky Number Slevin

AvatarπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Alien Franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ocean’s Eleven πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ocean’s TwelveπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ocean’s ThirteenπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Howls Moving CastleπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Bourne franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Bond franchise (new)πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Black Swan πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Kingsman: The Secret Service πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Princess and the Frog (Disney)πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Mummy franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Predator franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Fog πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ice Age franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Best Exotic Marigold HotelπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Independence Day πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Cujo

A Bronx Tale

Darkness Falls

Christine πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

ET πŸ’—

Children of the Corn

Leon πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Maid in Manhattan πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

War of the Worlds πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Rush Hour franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Best Bet

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

She’s All That πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Calendar Girls

Sideways πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Mars Attacks πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Event Horizon

Ever After

Wizard of Oz (original)πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Forrest Gump πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Big Trouble in Little China πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Terminator franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ant Man πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ant Man and the WaspπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Die Hard franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Spider Man franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Batman franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Blade RunnerπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Jeepers Creepers

Jeepers Creepers 2

Catch Me If You Can πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Little Mermaid πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Freaky Friday πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Reign of Fire

The Skulls

Cruel Intentions πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

BurlesqueπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Shrek️ franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Swimfan

Miracle on 34th Street πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Old School

The Notebook πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

K-PaxπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Krippendorf’s Tribe

A Walk to Remember

Kidulthood films πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Boogeyman

The 40-year-old Virgin

Little Miss SunshineπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Lord of the Rings franchise πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Indiana Jones franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Basketball DiariesπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Hostel

Do the Right Thing πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

House of 1000 Corpses

Devils Reject

Elf πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

HighlanderπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Mothman Prophecies️

American History XπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Jacket

Kung Fu Hustle

Shaolin Soccer

Night Watch

Monsters Inc πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Titanic πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Monty Python and the Holy Grail πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Shaun Of the Dead πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Legally BlondeπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

High Tension

Club Dread

Hulk πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Dawn Of the Dead πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Hook πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Mad Max (old or new)πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

28 days later πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Ghostbusters franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Phantasm

Water World 🀣

Kill Bill Vol 1 πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Kill Bill Vol 2 πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Mortal Kombat

Wolf Creek

Kingdom of Heaven πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Hills Have Eyes

Miss Congeniality πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Last House on the Left

Re-Animator

Army of Darkness

Star Wars franchise

Joker

The Irishman

The Matrix franchiseπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Evil Dead1

Evil Dead 2

Team America: World Police

Red Dragon πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Silence of the Lambs πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Hannibal πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Breakfast Club πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Grown Ups

Dazed and confused

Natural Born KillersπŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Pretty in Pink πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Sweet Charity πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Polar Express πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

American Werewolf in London πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Fantastic Four πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Leprechaun

The Blindside πŸ™‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Inside Out

How did you do?

Let me know your score and what you want (or don’t want) to watch! I’ve got The Irishman, Joker and Inside Out on my watch list. I have no intention to watch any horror films – ever.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Have You Ever… Blog Tag

A bit of geeky, PG fun in this time of craziness.
Have you ever…?

🏎 Driven or been driven at 100 miles an hourNo but that sounds fun!

βš”οΈ Learned a possibly deadly skill – Axe throwing?

🚁 Ridden in a helicopter- Yes for my 21st but it was a bit boring
πŸ™€ Gone zip lining – No because it was closed! *sob*

🏈 πŸ’ Been to an NFL game or Ice Hockey – Yes (Manchester Storm)

πŸ‘½ Watched Dr Who – Yes, because Peter Capaldi was the Dr

🍁 Been to Canada – No but I’d like to live there
🏰 Visited Disney – Nah

πŸ— Visited an actual castle – Many times on holidays in Wales

🎲 Visited Vegas – No
🍽 Eaten alone at a restaurant – No, unless you count cafes

🎹 Played an instrument – Saxophone (badly), Electric Guitar (a bit better)

🏍 Ridden a motorcycle – No, sadly
πŸ‡ Ridden a horse – Do Blackpool donkeys count?
πŸ’‰ Donated blood – Not yet. My blood pressure is all over the place because I get tachycardia easily.
πŸ‚β›· Been skiing/snow boarding – Not but I’d love to try snowboarding

πŸ• Gone camping – Once, it was cozy.

πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ€ Gone to a festival – Beatherder. The 1st time, we won The Golden ticket and got in for free and got Β£100 beer money and free merch and it was warm and sunny. The 2nd time was a total, freezing mud bath.

πŸš— Driven a stick shift -Yes, 3 lessons, never again! My instructor who I got on brilliantly with asked me to reconsider driving!
πŸš“ Ridden in a police car? – Taken me home a few times
🚀 Driven a boat – I was on a boat and we rescued another little boat that was sinking.
🐌 Eaten Escargot – No!
🚒 Been on a cruise – No
πŸŽ₯ Been on TV – No

πŸ“° Been in a paper/book/magazine – A few times, winning competitions. I got to ask actress Saroise Ronnan and (my idol at the time) Juliette Lewis questions. I also won a huge goodie bag (the middle shelf of Cosmopolitan magazines beauty cupboard) for best outfit. I got the below photo published in Festival Annual (and therefor got a free copy of it).

🍣 Eaten Sushi- Yes all the time (avocado)
🌌 Seen a UFO – Maybe?
πŸ— Been Bungie jumping – OH HELL NO!

πŸ¦” Rescued an animal – A hedgehog outside a theme park. Everyone was just staring and photographing it so I picked it up with my hoodie and put it in some bushes across the motorway (where it was heading).

🀩 Met someone rather famous – Erm, Eddie Izzard, Hurley from Lost, Craig Charles

___________________

Okay, your turn, just copy and paste the questions and include a link to the blog where you found it.

___________________

Hello lovely people, I can’t wait to read your answers!

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Monthly Life Update – February

I’ve broken my record for often being ten minutes late by being ten days late as I thought I’d already posted this. Here’s everything I’ve been doing and reviewing!

Sorry I’m a bit grainy. Manchester doesn’t get much daylight in February.

Lifestyle

I created a list post called Self Imposed Ban on Buying and wrote down everything I have a lot of, the reason why I have a lot of it and why I shouldn’t buy any more of it. It’s a lot easier to realise what’s going on and to harden your resolve when you can see it in black and white.

I reposted Spring Cleaning My Beauty Cupboard from last year because I’ve done so well with keeping it ordered and thinking thoroughly about my purchases, that I’ve not needed to do it again this year.

Food and Dinning Out

Me and the Bloke have decided we are going to take it in turns to choose where we want to eat out for the evening (and who pays), at least once a month. The bloke chose Sai Spice an Indian place in Chorlton.

We ordered the veggie starter platter to share and four smaller curries. One spinach and dumpling based, one chickpea dahl, a nutty yoghurt based one and a spicy but not too hot Kolhapuri. Everything tasted amazing! It’s a brightly lit, affordable, family style place and I think Lilly’s would have some competition if they were closer to each other. Couldn’t resist grabbing a kulfi to go.

Here’s my review of Vertigo, the plant based restaurant at First Street, Manchester, which was my choice. I’d been wanting to go for a while but waited until I heard some good reviews as I’m not exactly rolling in cash.

I bought some ‘facon’ in the form of Coconut Bacon by Pimp my Salad, which I’m throwing on pretty much everything or just eating straight from the jar.

We made English Gluten Free Pancakes for pancake day or Shrove Tuesday as they call it.

I sampled one of Clive’s Tarts which I realised tasted lovely chilled or heated up. I was surprised it was both dairy and gluten free.

I’ve finally discover how wonderful Tika is! Tika panner, Tika broccoli (Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to come across that one either) and tika mock chicken. I reviewed two very different Tika Masala Veggie Readymeals, one from Tesco and one from Asda.

Skincare and Makeup

On my never ending quest to find a base that makes me look all glowy and healthy, rather than matte and a bit sallow, I bought Pixi Beauty Balm. Did it do the trick? You’ll have to click!

I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint bit by bit, so I was pleased to find Zao essence of nature, a natural beauty brand that uses refillable bamboo packaging. I bought the essentials: Concealer and Mascara.

Thank you lovely people, for catching up with me.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

I Try Vertigo plant based Restaurant

There are quite a few vegan and vegetarian eateries that have opened in Manchester the past few years and first on my list to try out was Vertigo. Located at 1 First Street (a relatively new area including Indian Tiffin Room, Home cafe/restaurant complex, Junk Yard Golf where you get pissed and then play crazy golf and Bunny Jackson’s a dive bar-esque place with live music) Vertigo is an airy, contemporary, yet cozy little place.

Yes, it is a tad hipsterish with it’s glass jars and bottles, mini condiments and teeny clipboard menus but everything is well thought out; functional and quirky.

This is me eying up my food arriving. We snagged a cozy booth for four even though there were just two of us. I ordered the homemade pink lemonade which was lovely, if a little too sweet. All of the beer was local and gluten free and they had a great range of fresh juices.

Small plate (to share)

3 Chickn’ Lollipops with satay and sambal dipping sauce to share. The chickn’ was quite dry but tasty and the satay sauce was one of the best I’ve had. Not keen on the sambal though as the flavour was too sharp for me.

Small Plate (starters)

Eee yuh can’t beat a bit’uh veggie/vegan black pud! This was lovely and rich with the complimentary flavours of black pudding (from Bury Market), beetroot ketchup, a huge heap of mild rocket and a light mustard dressing. I wish the pud was crunchier on the outside but is that even traditional?

Large Plate (mains).

I’m English, it’s been winter and somehow I haven’t had pie and mash for four months, four! This was a well filled mushroom pie, with savoury gravy, mash, pickled cabbage and….where are my crunchy onions!? Now, I love anything pickled but would have preferred peas (mushy or otherwise) with this particular dish. The Bloke makes the creamiest vegan mash, which still has a bit of texture to it and sadly, this slightly bland (and suspiciously smooth) offering just didn’t compare.

Desert (pudding)

Seeing as me pie want gluten free (I’m sounding Northern again), I decided not to push my poor tummy and to order a gluten free apple and plumb pie to go. Our lovely server knocked a quid off because we didn’t want to try and package the ice cream or to carry it around. Perfect pastry to fruit ratio and perfect sweet and tart ratio. Perfect apple to plumb ratio? I reckoned so.

Overall

I really like the sustainable ethics (glass not plastic bottles, paper straws and paper takeaway boxes), the simple cross-cultural menu and the styling of Vertigo and will be visiting again.

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Vertigo, Unit 9, Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester, M15 4RA

vertigomcr.co.uk

This post is not sponsored in any way.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Ohii Pure Stick Deodorant in Citrus Tea

I started using natural deodorant ten years ago as I couldn’t find any others that were cruelty free at the time. The salt based ones didn’t really work but the solid cream ones worked really well, even in summer. I thought I’d try this charcoal-based one by Ohii in Citrus Tea Β£10 from Urban Outfitters to deodorise and care for my skin even more. It also has a lovely fresh unisex scent.

  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan
  • Aluminium free
  • Baking soda free
  • Doesn’t leave white marks/dries clear
  • Soothing Aloe

The Ultimate Test and Result

I was having food intolerance related hot flushes all day and night and by 7.00pm I have to admit I was smelling a tad ripe!

However…

The bloke wore this and cycled 6 and a half miles, spent the day in a meeting and cycled the same home and smelled fresh as a daisy!

  • Rating 4/5

  • I would have given it five out of five if it was packaged in glass, rather than plastic (two lids on top of one another as well) or if it was refillable. I also found the labelling extremely hard to make sense of, to the point where I missed the brand name completely!

    πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

    Best Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free Products & Places 2019

    Best Meat Free Options

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    Oumph! Kebab SpicedΒ (soya based, gluten free) Incredible flavour, very filling, really easy to stir fry or grill, chunky and chewy!

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    Like Meat, Like BBQ ChickenΒ (soy based, gluten free) Ah-maze-ing! Similar taste and texture to a BBQ thigh but nicer. Another very versatile replacement but this time not as chewy.

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    Quorn Fishless FingersΒ (Vegan, Not gluten free) Better than the fish fingers that I remember; these are lovely on a butty with citrusy or vinegar flavoured crisps or on a plate with beans and chips.

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    Aldi No Sausage RollsΒ (Vegan, Not gluten free) If I didn’t already know these were vegetarian I would never have guessed. My only complaint is that the filing only fills 2/3rds of the width.

    Best Dairy Free Ice Cream

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    Perfect World, Caramel PecanΒ Ice Cream (Vegan, gluten free) This is full of flavour and vitamins and minerals. Personally, I’d have made the pecans chunkier but I’d still buy it again.

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    Cornetto VeganΒ (Vegan, gluten free) The only noticeable difference between these and the usual ones are that they’re quite a bit smaller.

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    Ben & Jerry’s, Coconutterly Caramel’dΒ Ice Cream (vegan, gluten free) Gorgeous! As good as Chunky Monkey, almost as good as Cookie Dough :op

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    Bouja – Bouja, Caramel Pecan PralineΒ Ice Cream (dairy free, gluten free, organic) Very strong – almost smokey – flavour, really creamy consistency but the pecans and pralines are too blended. I add broken up digestive biscuits for more texture.

    Snacks and Treats

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    Manomasa, Tortillas (gluten free, dairy free) – Full of flavour and perfect for scooping up dips.

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    Bouja-Bouja Chocolate Truffle Collection (dairy and gluten free) – Vanilla and rhubarb, cherry, salted caramel, caramel, hazelnut, ginger, rum, Champaign, espresso are the flavours in these truffle selections. Possibly the best dairy free chocolate in the world.

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    KINDΒ Snack Bars Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt (gluten free, NOT dairy free). Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt (gluten free, dairy free). Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate (gluten free, dairy free). These are expensive at Β£1.50 each (!) but they are full of complementary flavours and really substantial.

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    Genius Double Chocolate/Blueberry MuffinsΒ (gluten free, dairy free) Nommmmmm, that’s my breakfast and supper, right there.

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    The Coconut Collaborative, Banoffee PotsΒ (dairy free, gluten free) If you are getting these teeny pots of joy for your kids, you’ll want to buy a second lot for yourself – believe! Similar to creme caramel that’s been stirred around but with the addition of banana.

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    Gu, Strawberry & Rhubarb/Lemon Cheescakes (gluten free, dairy free) Not quite as solid as traditional cheesecake but equally delicious, these two flavours are both sweet and refreshing.

    Manchester Vegan Takeaway/Dinner

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    V RevolutionΒ This is the place for an incredibly creative take on traditional American junk food. Vegan mains, sides, milkshakes, cocktails and cake. The atmosphere is pop-culture with a twist. In the photo above my expression is a mix of excitement and wondering how the hell I’m going to fit this burger in my mouth!

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    Zad’s Vegan with very little gf options but incredibly well thought out food. The ZFC (rather than KFC) fried cauliflower is an utter revelation, the pizzas and burgers are well balanced and not too sweet and they sometimes give away free cupcakes. Hardly any remote customer service but lovely and friendly in person.

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    Vegan Shack This is the place to order from if you are either dairy free or vegan and gluten free as they have gf options of pizza (including the above topping) and one of their kebabs (on request). Their online customer service is fantastic and delivery times are reasonable. My only complaint is that the cheese is on the sweet side as is the sauce. More salt please!

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    Pizza ExpressΒ They have many gf, df and veggie option for mains, sides and deserts and can be flexible (up to a point) with changing food to suit dietary needs. It will be such a shame when they cease trading late next year.

    Bonus

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    Aside from the Gu, these are free-from items I like but don’t absolutely love. Clive’s gf pies are surprisingly good microwaved (like a chip shop Pudding); This Gosh! falafel is the best falafel I’ve tried; Dragon fly make small but substantial gf burgers; Soulful pots make two wonderful nut curries/meals that I would happily pay for in a restaurant. Their other options have the usual veggie/bean tangine flavours.

    I hope you found this helpful and it gave you food for thought – sorry!

    πŸ”ChrissieπŸ”