Chaophraya – Thai Restaurant – Manchester

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It was the Blokes birthday recently and he chose to go to Chaophraya (named after the longest river in Thailand). We’ve always found the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the staff to be lovely so it’s always been a treat to eat there. I was a little disappointed there were no gluten free beer options and that they only had Singh beer on offer but the cocktail menu more than made up for that. The Banana Daiquiris were as amazing as they sound, although the Bloke wasn’t quite as keen.

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I’ve always appreciated that the chefs at Chaophraya know how to cook veg so it’s almost al dente but not a challenge to bite. They also use the lightest tempura batter and make surprisingly thick pancakes which taste more like comfort food, rather than part of a starter.

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We have started our own trend of ordering a starter or a big main salad, as a side that we can both share. The shredded papaya salad with peanuts, veg, lime, chilli and sugar sounded appealing. All of the flavours combined to make it the tastiest and most refreshing salad I’ve ever eaten.

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We both love the creamy, spicy Masaman curry but they had it with lamb on the menu so we asked if we could have a veggie version. They said no problem and even asked if we wanted to include tofu. We also ordered coconut rice as we thought it would go well with the curry and the lime flavours in the papaya salad, which it did.

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Note: In some areas of the restaurant they have soft banquette seating and some are much lower than average chairs with no back support. So depending on your needs, it’s worth noting when booking if you want to sit at the many tables and chairs.

Chaophraya

19 Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HN
T: 0161 832 8342
E: manchester@chaophraya.co.uk

Chrissie

Monthly Roundup – Feb & March

FEB

I’m going to start off with ‘Our Day’ as we call it because it’s around Valentine’s Day but it doesn’t HAVE to be on that exact date. We went to our favourite Asian vegetarian restaurant for traditional dishes, contemporary dishes and as many of the amazing mock meats we could fit!

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For Autumn and Winer and lets face it, most of spring in the UK I’ve taken to wearing JJH – Jumper, jeans and heels. For warmer days I pick a light knit with a wide neck, looser boot cut jeans and strappy heels. For colder days a chunky oversize knit, skinny jeans and high heeled ankle boots.

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After a busy afternoon or a night out at a gig, I’d be pretty useless the next day. I was being defeated by simple things like opening bottles, getting dressed and combing my hair, and also saying sentences which went around in circles without any point because I was really brain fogged as well as fatigued and utterly uncoordinated. So I sat down and kind of forced myself to think of 10 Reasons Why I Love My Wonky Body. The post got so many positive responses, from gentle encouragement to people saying they totally empathised and I’d made them feel better.

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I have to confess, in the 80’s I loved bumbags or fannypacks (for peeps in the US). Now the trend has been recycled into the more fashion friendly ‘belt bags’. So here are 12 Belt Bags for Spring.

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I also blogged 10 No Nonsense Life Lessons as it’s taken me a while to figure some of them out and I wished I’d have know all of them in teens and twenties.

Me and the Bloke celebrated Shrove…Pancake Day this year and made some rather substantial pancakes by adding too much flower – oops! We have them in the traditional neutral/savoury way, with lots of sugar and lemon.

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I always get flabby over winter from over eating and hibernating but I figured while the weather is cool I should get my butt moving now, before the weather gets too hot in Spring/Summer. I’m pretty pleased with the result, although those shiny nylon type of leggings act like cellophane (saran wrap) and do a lot of the work aesthetically!

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MARCH

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What a top night! The supporting band was Afro Cluster (reminds me of a retro hair product) who’s sound I’d describe as funky jazz hip-hop with a fantastic MC. Charles obviously knows his Northern Soul, trad soul and funk as he’s been doing this for over a decade now but I loved that he threw in three of Stevie Wonders funkiest tunes. Band On The Wall were lovely when it came to reserving me a banquette (as part of their disability accommodations) so I didn’t have any anxiety over standing in pain or passing out with heat fatigue.

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It snowed!!! Yes, as you can tell, I love snow. This is my view from the living room window. Rather Narnia-esque isn’t it? ^_^

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I’ve finally found a dairy-free chocolate and nut spread which tastes like Nutella, better actually! Here’s my review of Meridian Cocoa & Hazelnut Butter.

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Now the weather is getting milder (utterly indecisive) for Spring, I’m moving toward my trusty 90’s grunge look as the layering is so practical, plus, it’s more socially acceptable than going out in PJ’s.

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Eeeh, pie! For too long it has been a case of No woman, No pie, so for British Pie Week we accepted an invite to Pieminister on Church Street – which is quickly becoming my fave city centre street. I chose Wild Shroom pie; mushroom and asparagus in a creamy white wine sauce and the Bloke chose Saag Pie-neer; pea, paneer cheese, potato, chilli and mango, both with mash spud and gravy, of course (£7 for one).

The pies were amazing, pastry not too flakey, not too stodgy, with perfectly balanced flavours. I loved the mash but the Bloke thought it a little over-worked. He liked the gravy and I thought it would go perfectly with any pie on the menu but, for me, it didn’t taste savoury enough. Pieminister also offer three gluten free options but it depends were you go for your pie (pub, cafe, restaurant) as they aren’t available everywhere.

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It would seem that I’m going grey early, or rather, gold. My nearly black hair has been getting lighter and lighter, as have my pale green eyes, which are now a golden-amber shade. So does that mean I’m going to be a golden oldie? Haha! Sorry.

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I was sent this Hempz body moisturiser which has the scent of banana, which is just heavenly! It contains pure hemp seed oil, an absolute saviour for dehydrated, under nourished skin. It also contain Shea butter and ginseng to sooth skin (I used it after shaving my legs and it didn’t irritate them) and vitamins A, E and C to protect against environmental damage.

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We are growing a chilli plant, well it was three chilli plants but we killed the other two somehow. I was going to give it a name but the Bloke advised me not to get too attached, going off the overall survival rate.

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These Violife dairy free (and vegan) cheese slices taste like Kraft Cheese Slices but better. I’ve been melting them onto nachos in the microwave for 40 seconds for very melted on with salt and pepper or 20 seconds which is like that sweet, gooey, cinema cheese.

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I decided to check out Peacocks, a brand I used to love in my 20’s. They’ve gotten even better. I bought, beautiful lingerie, an initial cup, an initial makeup bag, a rose gold (and very sturdy) charging lead, and the most blinging hand-warmers and beanie I’ve ever seen. Everything I bought is well made, well fitting, reasonable priced, not to mention, very pretty!

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For anyone who is too old or just too damn cool for an easter egg, I did a little post of Dairy-free Chocoalte Treats for Easter.

Chrissie

Belt Bags for Spring

Belt Bags for Spring

 

Wear around the waist, slung over hips or across the body for a bag that’s secure and stylish.

10 Reasons Why I Love My Wonky Body

I’m going off when my body and energy levels are on good form because I’m trying to be nice to myself these days ^_^

  1. It’s got a lot of natural rhythm which makes it easier to dance without me really loving-yourselfover-thinking it.
  2. My legs are long and 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 with my main meal.
  4. Being tall is pretty handy to not feel claustrophobic in a crowd and to see where I’m meant to going if it’s somewhere new.
  5. My immune system may attack me but cold and flu viruses beware, it’s effectively coming for you too!
  6. I tan quickly which is awesome after a grey winter – I mean my skin, not the weather.
  7. I have weirdly good balance if I really concentrate.
  8. Being hypermobile is actually really handy when trying to reach past a load of clutter or when the lid off something has rolled under furniture.
  9. I’ve gotten some interesting scars over the years but I also heal surprisingly quickly.
  10. I’m going to be inhabiting my body for the rest of my life so I might as well appreciate it!

Chrissie

Note: Incase you wondering, the conditions I have are Demyelination (similar to but not actually MS), Dyspraxia, Aspergers, Sensory Processing Disorder (relating to the latter three conditions), allergies, PCOS (suspected by GP), Hyperthyroidism, Hypermobilty Syndrome (including food intolerance), which can all have the symptoms of chronic fatigue/brain fog in common.

10 No Nonsense Life-lessons

  1. People show you the side of themselves that they want you to see so don’t be naive. People act differently around different people so for example, someone who may seem like a really kind person to you, might be utterly awful to someone they have an unjust prejudice against. If they are very gossipy to you about others, then what are they saying about you when you’re not there? Even a hyena can look like it’s smiling before it eats you.
  2. Say “No” to being a shmuck. “Can you just get me…” “You won’t mind letting…” “So you’ll do this…” Nope. “What!?” People can easily confuse your nice, patient and generous nature with you being a shmuck. Be kind to yourself and don’t be a shmuck.
  3. You are not an android. As someone with Dyspraxia, who has also developed chronic fatigue, I now understand that a human can only do so much before they burn out. Yes, you might have lots of stuff that you have to do but all we can really do is our best at that moment. You might not have the time, energy or emotional resources to make everything possible and that’s completely ok. Try not to feel like you have already failed because you weren’t able to start yet.
  4. Let that shit go. Things like someone always being disorganised or never a9747ff7042e602ee8707613e894c9acc9a87ee6b20439830f86537b1c3319bbfilling up the water filter etc. isn’t that important. Life can be hard anyway without making everyday a battle. This also applies to arguing with complete strangers on social media over anything/nothing. Just chill your boots.
  5. Only surround yourself with decent people and don’t put up with arseholes just because it’s easier. There’s no point in putting up with people who are randomly shitty, to you or others, no matter how much of a laugh they can be other times. Turning a blind eye to their behaviour ‘for the sake of the group’ is basically condoning and encouraging it. Plus, you will feel so much more upbeat without them sucking up all of your positive energy like some arsehole black hole.
  6. Your relationship with your partner is your business. Do you really need to confide in people over your relationship woes all of the time? This sounds strange but figuring out how to deal with some problems between yourselves – without immediately turning to others for advice – can be very empowering and will build your confidence (and possibly your relationship) long term. Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve confided in friends about a relationship when I’ve been really upset or angry, then made up with the person I was talking about, only for the friends to act really negatively around them from then on or feel stuck in the middle or be annoyed that I didn’t take their advice. Awkward! Sometimes it’s better to deal with your own shit.
  7. Getting frustrated and angry over things not working out does absolutely nothing. Of course it’s important to acknowledge your frustration (rather than keep on saying you are ‘fine’ and then totally loosing your shit over a wet towel left on the floor later) but there are better ways to deal. a) Accept it as just ‘one of those things’ and move on b) When you have calmed down, think how you can possibly rescue the situation c) Have you learned anything that can help things go smoother next time?
  8. Karma/The world is not conspiring against you, honestly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had ‘one of those days’ where it’s just one crappy thing after another but the trick is to not add them all up into one big ‘Gaaaaaagh!’ Just try and deal with each thing as it arises and don’t take it personally. See above.
  9. Try seeing things from your loved one’s perspective. Now I only apply this to people who are a) Complicated b) Absolutely bloody lovely. You know that you are a good judge of situations, you have set up reasonable boundaries for how you are to be treated and what you will accept, you are a bad-ass actually…But, sometimes it’s best to give a person you love the benefit of the doubt,  just until you have had a proper heart to heart with them and gotten their perspective on the situation.
  10. You never know what difficulties strangers are going through so try not to be a judgmental dick. I remember this man smoking at a crowded bus stop and being rather snappy about it when we asked him to put it out. He then jumped onto the bus ahead of the queue as if it were a race. When I overheard his phone conversation on the bus I realised he was on his way to the emergency room as his wife had just been run over! I remember one time, hearing a child screaming in the supermarket; proper spawn-of-the-devil kind of sound. When I begrudgingly walked into that isle I saw a very exhausted and concerned looking Mum sitting on the floor, showing the child emotion/situation cards to try and determine if they were sad, angry, hurt, hungry, tired etc. I realised the child was having a genuine meltdown because they were totally overwhelmed and couldn’t communicate why. Next time you are tempted to roll your eyes and judge a complete stranger, just think how you’ve felt when someone has done the same to you on a bad day and don’t be that person.

Chrissie

Selfcare To Do List (a fun one)

I thought I’d bump up this post as it is a Sunday – probably the best selfcare day of the week, if you don’t have the time or energy to do everything, every day.

It’s so easy to let small habits slide when we are busy, tired and/or ill but it’s those small things that, when added together make such a big difference to our emotional and physical wellbeing.

Here’s my handy list of things that I do, some of which are fun, some are simple but make such a big difference and some are selfless but not really because, let’s be honest, it feels nice to be nice. ^_^

Daily

Drink water, probably should drink a bit more

Take meds/vits

Coffee or Protein Smoothie (which still contains coffee)

Eat x3 (preferably not all at once toward the evening!)

Lip balm

Facial Serum/Oil

Fix hair (combing the beast totally counts)

Wear at least one thing I really like such as earrings, pointy boots, mascara or a sparkly pin.

Record one thing which made me happy/grateful that day, either on Instagram or happiness journal.

Take at least 30 minutes to myself with no interruptions if needed.

Drink some coconut water or aloe vera for the easily absorbed electrolytes.

Get off my ass and volunteer to make a brew/take empty plates into kitchen etc. x3

Gentle stretching/balance/co-ordination (whisper it) exercises

Weekly

Treat myself to any food I like

Have an evening totally to myself

Read part of novel (C,mon you have seven days to choose from, seven!)

Watch trashy TV shows that make me smile or laugh

Herd caterpillar (pluck eyebrow/s)

Pet or feed a cute animal (caterpillar does not count)

Some kind of grocery shopping OUTSIDE (yes, that place where there is sunlight and air)

Facemask/facepack/natural skin peel

Do a good deed

Blog/comment on other blogs

Do a load of washing

Iron (bahahaahaaaahaa!)

Hug or at least phone my Dad

Exercise on cross trainer

Get tipsy

(important to get the latter two in the right order)

Monthly

Go out for a fancy meal

Have a completely needless but totally indulgent bubble bath

Check bank statements (for possible beer induced purchases)

Trim hair-canopy back to recognisable fringe/bangs

Monthly round-up on my blog/Instagram

Drop that item off at the charity shop/food bank in supermarket

Watch a film I love

Have fresh flowers in the living room

Chrissie

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Monthly Round Up – January

I’ve not posted that much this month, mainly because January is a bit bloody meh. I’ve only been averaging three hours of daylight with me being a night person, so not exactly motivating…Well, motivating me to turn on the TV and order takeaway!

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At the start of Jan I compiled a post of quirky motivational quotes – one for each day of the month. Some of my own making and other unclaimed one’s that I’d seen pop up on social media several times.

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I lost one of my snowflake earrings my Ma bought me (totally gutted) but found these beautiful one’s on Etsy by Pretty By Susan Jewellery. They were wrapped with such care, like a little gift.

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My only beauty review this month was Human + Kind Dry Hair Conditioner. What a wonderful start to the new year for my hair!

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I cannot justify spending money on tiny plastic unicorns, especially when I can’t tell which one I’m going to get as they are in blind boxes. Toki Doki notebooks on the other hand… ^_^

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I’ve slowly gotten into the habit of just accepting myself in piccies, rather than asking “Do my eyes look expressive/big/kind enough? Is my smile even?” Yes, I do have exquisite ‘resting bitch face’ and the photo often looks like it should be a meme captioned with a sarcastic ‘Yeah, right.’ or ‘As if.’ but it’s my face and I like me, so I guess I should like my face too – unintentionally disdainful expressions and all.

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I’ve been searching for some glam black heals with a bit (ok a lot) of sparkle for months. They were all either too high, too narrow, too slip on or too open toed. Then I found these in a wide fit and in the sale at New Look. I incorporated them into a sports-luxe outfit, with black straight-leg pants with a sporty beige side stripe, a velvet look rose-gold strappy top, black cotton cardigan, a metalic cross-body handbag and big hoop earrings. See bellow…

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To celebrate being together for just under a decade – but not sharing one tiny abode, which would drive us both nuts – me and the bloke went out for a meal. With lots of fun things planned in the next five months and having no money tree or generous genie tucked away, we decided to use up some vouchers to do what we’ve always both loved doing together; indulging in delicious dough, cheese and chocolate cake at Pizza Express.

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I decided to vicariously collect some urban apparel by putting together 12 Street Style Hoodies, all of which I’d wear myself and all of which are fairly affordable from the high street.

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More ‘Funny’ but Very Earnest Things I Said and Did as an A-typical Kid. If you have a sec and want a giggle and/or think you might identify with this.

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I made a fantastic peppercorn sauce by mistake! I combined 4 tspn dairy-free cheese sauce powder with 300ml almond milk, a teaspoon of nutritional yeast, salt and a lot of pepper.

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At this point in my life I’ve decided, unless my accessories are literally attached to me, then I can’t be responsible for not loosing them. I keep my handbag under my coat when walking through the city at night and love how versatile, cute and practical cross-body handbags bags are, so I selected 16 of the best.

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To help my conscience and the condition of my skin, I decided to try Zads vegan takeaway in Chorlton. I really want to say it was fantastic. It was not. For every positive, I found there was a negative (in my opinion) so fair-to-middlin I s’pose. If you live in the South Manchester area, please check out my review of Zads, then order something from them yourself and see what you think.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 16.49.43It’s happened again, I do a thing on Polyvore and the glossy magazines copy me. SMH. I think I’d faint in those trousers though.

Chrissie

More ‘Funny’ but Very Earnest Things I Said and Did as an A-typical Kid

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I remember the Dr’s making a fuss that I wasn’t crawling yet and thinking I was ‘backward’ – a supposedly acceptable medical term in the 80’s. My Mum called my name and I noticed the new Dr and shouted “Hiya!” as I determinedly pulled myself up onto my feet and stood up.

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Another time the Paediatrician asked me “Can you draw me a picture” with a little frown I replied incredulously “Yes!?” My Mum had to explain to the Dr that he needed to ask “WILL you draw me a picture?”

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I got sent to speech therapy as a kid as I wasn’t saying (repeating parrot fashion) the ’normal’ amount of words for my age. The therapist who had a thick London accent said “Lorry” and pointed to a truck. Little Northern me said “No silly, it’s l-u-r-r-y! Mam, the lady needs school!”

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Apparently on my first day of nursery, it didn’t occur to me to play with another kid at the table-height sand pit. I just queued up behind them and patiently waited my turn!

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Also at my first day of nursery school when the teacher announced it was story time I headed straight for the beanbag, curled up and closed my eyes. It wasn’t until I heard everyone laughing that I realised they were all sat on a square of carpet cross-legged. Feeling totally embarrassed I guess I decided to style-it-out and just dragged the beanbag over onto the carpet and curled up on it again.

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In junior school the dinner lady brought out the big skipping rope but got distracted talking to another kid. Knowing that when you mess up – which I usually did after only three jumps – you have to join the back of the queue all over again, I saw my chance. I got my mates to hold the rope and began awkwardly skipping. When she noticed, the dinner lady freaked and told me to form a queue. I stopped and asked “So you’ve stopped me taking my turn skipping, to form a queue, to be the first one in the queue, so I can start skipping again?!” She waited until a big queue had formed and then sent me to the back of it – the cow!

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As a kid my Dad tried to engage me in math homework by asking “If you had nine oranges and you gave three to Mum and three to Nanna, how many would I get?” I replied “Two.” “No love, I’d get three.” With a rather perturbed expression I replied “Er, I’m really sorry Dad but you’d only get two otherwise I wouldn’t get ANY and you said they were my oranges!”

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Do you have any examples of you or your kids wonderful logic? I’d love to hear them!

Chrissie