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✨🖤

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?

🖤✨Chrissie ✨🖤

Your Fave STYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

Here’s another part of this little series and today it’s my style posts and photo’s which got the most likes on my Instagram and on this blog. The previous one was Food and the one before that was Lifestyle.

(Clockwise)

Outfit – EMP

Bag – Lumiliu

Top – charity shop, originally Boohoo; skirt and sandals – Newlook

Boots – Koi

Camo tee – my blokes, originally Army and Navy; trousers – Newlook

Biker Jacket – vintage

Boots – Newlook; Batwings – Koi; Tie dye tee – Brave Girl Official on Ebay Moomin tee – EMP; cardigan my Mams.

Which are your faves and what would you pair with some of these? I’m always up for suggestions!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Through The Keyhole – Bohemian Accessories, Vintage Items and a Lot of Geekery

A lot like a teenager, the room that has 80% of my stuff in is my bedroom, since I’ve moved back in with family but and spend a lot of time at my boyfriends tiny flat, it’s all ended up back in here. Which, if like me, you have a terrible memory and don’t want to be going up and down stairs constantly to find and fetch things, is actually really convenient.

Dressing table which is in the shade so I just store vintage and modern jewellery/trinket boxes, perfume, nail varnish and trinket boxes.

An area that isn’t crowded, wow! Small amount of plushies (including a vintage E.T. Wonder Woman mini, Totoro, and Tiny Clanger); a print of Tourne Le Chat Noir by Rudolphe Salis and a vintage mirror.

Sparkly prisms on my wardrobe from an old blind; Llama draft excluder (on bed); vintage vases; shelves with various figures including Funko Pops, Tormund who I turned into a White Walker because I was bored, a troll doll who’s turned decidedly cyber punk over the years, crystals, Japanese style wooden dolls, books and alternative dolls (one’s a ghost, one’s a vampire and one just looks like she’s into BDSM).

The space on my desk was where I intended to blog and edit but I actually sit on the sofa with my laptop or iPad. The Zeplin was a great idea for iPods (which no one has anymore) but luckily I can use a lead to plug in my tablet and listen to Spotify.

Publicity shot of Richard Dean Anderson, vintage light, pinboard with cards/post cards and broken but pretty jewellery, more books, more Funko (don’t judge me on buying the shit version of The Joker, I liked his outfit), vintage pineapple vase.

DVD’s of old favourites, which I do still watch and a bloody big (gifted) dragon canvas.

What are your fave cute or cool things and do you have anything similar?

🖤✨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✨🖤

How I’ve Brought More Colour into My Wardrobe – Part 1, Reasons and Replacements

I’ll always be a mixture of hippy chick and urban Emo at heart but at the start of the year I noticed that somehow, the Emo part of my wardrobe had totally taken over. Black, grey, black, and more black. Lots of awesome items but hardly a cheerful boost to my mental health on overcast days (meaning the weather and/or my mood).

I’ve tried to match new items for old items in a general sort of way. I’ve kept most things but given some items to charity that weren’t working for me anymore, mostly due to my changing sensory issues: Too hot, too tight, too sloppy, too short etc.

On the left is the brighter item and on the right is the original.

Velour top from Cotton Traders (very Stifflers Mum or the Mum with the dog in Mean Girls I know, ha!).

I bought this from an Insta add I was bombarded with from Coralinlin.com and it’s the perfect length and has adjustable straps.

I bought this boxy (but still long enough) jumper in a light green as well, from Peacocks.

I found this pre-loved jumper on Ebay. I call it my Fraggle jumper.

This gorgeous cream shirt is from Missguided and has bat wing sleeves that magically disappear when you lower your arms, thanks to clever pleats.

In summer I live in soft Palazzo pants and wide PJ bottoms, which are almost the same item anyway, right? These are from Matalan and are a great length but not crazily high-waisted (like a lot of pants these days).

Another basic item from Matalan, I’ll be wearing this with all of my black band tees.

Colourful tops and jewellery, along with some useful tips are here in part 2

I know this is a very light and basic post but I wanted to share my cheerful lifestyle idea (you could replace/add colourful homeware or stationary, rather than clothes etc.) for anyone who’s feeling down at the moment. *hugs* 🤗

I’ve just heard about a page on Insta @mymonthincolour where you tag any photos of your home or colourful items you’ve bought and they feature their favourites.

🌈Chrissie🌈

Can This Jackfruit Ready-meal Really Work?

I decided to get this ready meal as an introduction to Jack Fruit. I’ve tried other things from Tescos Plant Chef range and been woefully underwhelmed so this was more of an experiment for me.

Cooked (supposedly) after only 35 minutes in a pre-heated oven…

It looks so watery! Lets poor some of that away and sprinkle some nutritional yeast on the top. I hope the sauce is a nice flavour and that there’s a load of jackfruit underneath the potatoes….

Oh shit, it’s stone cold in the middle!

After another 15 minutes in the oven…

This tastes really nice! The BBQ sauce has a strong flavour and isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. Some of the potato is crispy with a nice flavour and the red pepper works well, not sure where the onions are though. I wish there were more Jackfruit, although there are some big chunks underneath the potato.

The texture of the Jackfruit is like pulled pork and it’s really absorbed the flavour of the sauce. It cooks much better in big chunks as the smaller pieces are a bit mushy.

The answer to ‘Can this Jackfruit Ready-meal really work?’ is Not without a lot of faffing about!

Rating 2/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Stuck at Home Blog Tag

The Rules

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

• Answer all the questions below

• Pingback to the creator: Ellyn at Allonsythornraxxbooks

• 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).

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤