Sunny Side Up – 15 Stylish Sunglasses

Sunny Side Up!

 

Always choose sunnies that balance your features and flatter your face shape.

Gluten & Dairy Free Veggie Shopping List & Reviews

Tesco Onion Rings

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Tasty and crispy.

Cauldron Marinated Tofu Pieces

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I absolutely love these simply fried up with some white onion and covered in salt, Szechuan pepper, black pepper, a tiny bit of BBQ sauce.

nakd Peanut Delight and Banana Crunch

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I know a lot of people don’t like nakd bars that much because of how squidgy they are but these two bars are crunchy with lots of texture. Whenever I come across the peanut one’s I buy about five at once.

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B Free Fajita Kit consists of some of the best gluten free tortillas I’ve tried, slightly sweet but spicy seasoning and spicy salsa.

Terra Vegane Easy Cheezy is a powder which is really easy to mix with any milk substitute and freshly cooked pasta in a pan. The flavour is very subtle so I use rice milk, a pinch of salt, a flat teaspoon of sugar and some smoked paprika to add a unique cheese flavour.

Cortas Falafel Mix is so simple to make. You just ad the required amount of water, stir  and let sit for two hours. It looks a little sloppy but if you plop a spoonful into a frying pan and leave the underside to fry before you try moving it you will get crunchy falafel where the centre is still soft and slightly moist.

Tesco Curry Noodles taste similar to a curry Pot Noodle (which is a nice change from Thai style curry flavours) and the rice noodles have a more solid consistency than some others I’ve tried. Perfect quick meal that’s surprisingly filling.

Schlar Cream Crackers taste a lot like Jacobs cream crackers but they are rather brittle and end up in pieces every time I try to spread something on them!

Curried Patra

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A roll usually provides two servings. This is easily reheated and rehydrated when nuked in a microwave for two minutes. Really tasty, even more so with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Ten Acre Crisps cheese and onion (I refuse to pretend that a piece of cheese is meeting an onion) flavour

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Me and my friends all read the ingredients because we couldn’t quite believe that these crisps were dairy free. They are delicious! Ten Acres (veggie) Chicken Soup flavour crisps are also amazing.

Meridian Pesto (I drew the ‘C’s’ on it so as not to confuse it with the Bloke’s jar)

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I love how much texture and protein this pesto has because of the large amount of cashews. I do wish it contained more salt and oil though as I always end up adding some.

Mrs Crimbles Bakewell Slices

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These Bakewell Slices along with Mrs Crimbles Coconut Chocolate Macaroons and Jam Coconut Rings have meant I’ve been able to eat cakes again when ever I want. They are so moist and lovely.

Good Hemp, Hemp Seed Hearts

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I was intrigued and a tad baffled when I was presented with these. Turns out they are perfect for adding a mild nutty flavour and a lot of protein to cereal or salads.

Go Falafel

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Yeah, I know this chain is really well known but it’s so good! I don’t know how many years the one just around the corner from Piccadilly on Newton Street was there before I found out about it. They are dairy free and you can ask for the Lunch Box with another piece of falafel instead of bread if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy. The salad is always interesting and fresh and changes slightly daily.

Which one’s do you like and which will you try?

Chrissie

The Geeky Girl Tag

The Geeky Girl Tag

This tag has been going since the start of the year and was started by Zombie Goddess Beauty  but I came across it on A Geek Girls Guide. I’ve been under representing the geeky side of me on this blog recently so thought it would be a great tag to join in with!

1. What is your must-have tech gadget?

My Macbook Pro as it’s essential for blogging (the WordPress app on the iPad can be quite hit and miss) and for storing all of my photo’s.

2. Which house do you belong to in Hogwarts?

So I’ve done a few of the sorting hat quizes to answer this question and decided to ignore the very mixed answers. I’m clever in an unconventional way, intense sometimes but open minded, creative, determined, street wise and have a strong sense of fairness and loyalty. So who knows!?

3. Who is your favorite Doctor?

I have never been able to take it seriously tbh But I’m willing to give the one’s with Peter Capaldy a go because he’s a fantastic actor.

4. If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?

Captain Sean Renard from Grimm because he would appreciate the finer things. I doubt there would be any immediate threat of peril and if there was he’s pretty handy. He looks good in a suit and especially out of one incase we skipped desert.

5. What is your gaming system of choice?

I’m going to say the original Playstation because their are so many classic games on there that I love, like Spyro The Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, Cool Boarders, Tekken and Odd World and Devil Dice.

6. If you had a super power, what would it be?

I think a fair one would be Teleportation because I could visit countries that would be too hot or too cold for me to cope with IRL (which are a lot of them) and then just leave when I’d had enough. The second would be to have people notice I’m struggling because of chronic hidden illness and to offer to help me. Amazing for days when I’m exhausted and feeling week and/or brain foggy but I have shopping to do. However, that’s robbing people of their free will so not exactly fair!

7. What is your favorite fantasy world?

Most of the ones created by Studio Gibli and the Miyazaki’s as anything magical can happen there.

8. If you could be any fictional race, what would you be?

Sometimes I feel rather Vulcan but I think I’d quite like to be from Helion Prime (The Chronicles of Ridick) way before the Necromongers arrive obviously as they look like a nice people on a nice planet.

9. Star Trek or Star Wars?

I’ve tried to watch Star Wars three times and even as a kid I could never take it seriously when Jabba The Hut and other aliens would show up I’ll give The Last Jedi a chance though. I love the two modern Star Treck films and it’s really given me an appreciation for the type of man Spock is. I say ‘man’ rather than Vulcan deliberately, as he chooses to be his own man and make his own choices and not to just follow blindly what went before him.

10. List your top 5 geektastic movies or TV Series.

Oh you are killing me with this question!

TV series – The Flash, Westworld, Jessica Jones, Grimm, The Man in the High Castle. Retro shout out to My So Called Life, Daria, Third Rock From The Sun and The Mysterious Cities of Gold.

Film – The Crow, Sin City, Terminator, Avatar, The Craft. Retro shout out to Teen Witch, Fright Night, Legend and Labyrinth.

11. List your top 5 favorite video games.

At the moment I’m stuck with C.O.D. on the Bloke’s PS4. Even though I like it, it gives me sensory overload after a few hours. If we are talking all time, I’ll go with Bounder (C64), Bubble Bobble (C64), Sonic The Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive), Translworld Snow Boarding (XBox), Spiro The Dragon (PS1).

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Me as a Pop! Cat edition

If you want to join in then here are the questions

1. What is your must-have tech gadget?
2. Which house do you belong to in Hogwarts?
3. Who is your favorite Doctor?
4. If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?
5. What is your gaming system of choice?
6. If you had a super power, what would it be?
7. What is your favorite fantasy world?
8. If you could be any fictional race, what would you be?
9. Star Trek or Star Wars?
10. List your top 5 geektastic movies or TV Series.
11. List your top 5 favorite video games.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my answers and I’d love to know what you think!

Chrissie

Stylish and Sensible Summer Shoes

Stylish and Sensible Summer Shoes

 

Summer shoes shouldn’t end up being carried in your hand after an hour of walking!

Signs of Dyspraxia/Aspergers in Females and My Own Quirky Examples

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I’m approaching this post from the point of view of someone with Dyspraxia and/or female Asperger’s – a high functioning version of Autism. It’s really difficult to tell where Dyspraxia ends and Aspergers begins as symptoms overlap regularly and quite often people have both! Here are some behaviours which are related to Dyspraxia and/or Aspergers that are obvious in children/teens if you know what to look for. Clearly no one in my life new about these and were just totally perplexed as to why I was so different, including myself. Hopefully this post will make things easier for anyone who can relate personally or parents who are confused.

Skipping the crawling stage

Lots of babies with Dyspraxia/Autism/Developmental Disorders go straight from sitting and reaching out to walking. It’s like we just don’t have that crawling instinct in us! I used to pull myself up and wobble my way around the room going from couch to couch at a really early age. My parents and Paediatrician thought this was astonishing progress but it’s actually more of a red flag of a hidden condition.

Sensory issues with food, clothing, loud noise, touch or movement 

This can just be Sensory Processing Disorder in-and-of it’s self but I usually find it’s related to Dyspraxia and/or Aspergers. Quite often it’s the texture of the food that the child might struggle with or too many flavours in their mouth at once. I used to eat every food separately but I didn’t mind if different foods touched on my plate.

I was highly sensitive to the texture of fabric (and still am). Anything vaguely rough i.e. not soft, used to make me itch and squirm like crazy! Also sitting on cheapo carpet for story time, I’d have to sit on my coat. I also need weight on me to feel snuggly and calm. So even in the middle of Summer I can’t sleep without a duvet on me. I remember my Mum telling me every time I’d be upset I’d wrap myself in this really soft and (more importantly I realise now) rather heavy blanket, and I’d instantly calm down.

As a kid if there was a sudden loud repetitive noise it would debilitate me to the point where I couldn’t even think straight or move properly. Even slightly high pitched sounds cause me physical pain so I have to wear noise cancelling ear plugs to concerts.

My eyes have always be light sensitive so these days I have transitions lenses in my glasses and a great pair of sunglasses that are polarised and anti-glare.

I’m mostly under sensitive to touch meaning as a kid I loved my hair platted, brushed and cut but I know some kids find this painful and stressful even when it’s done gently.

I loved swinging, bouncing, jumping, rocking motions, anything with speed and movement. I found it really exciting and calming in equal measure. I’ve gotten more sensitive to movement as I’ve gotten older though.

Questioning and Analytical Personality

From a young age, maybe seven or eight, I started wondering about EVERYTHING. What is the meaning of life? Why can’t we feel the earth spinning and why don’t we get dizzy? If we evolved from Apes will we evolve into something better than human or is this as good as it gets? If fate existed then who would decide it? Why do different people around the world all think that their god is the real one? What exactly is oxygen and gravity and where does it come from? Are there aliens out there and would they think that we were the aliens if they saw us? I’d contemplate these things with my best friend for at least half of playtime each day and then we’d go home and ask our parents these baffling and sometimes amusing questions.

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Issues with Co-ordination, Balance and Spacial Awareness

Our bodies internal compas and steering tends to be calibrated wrongly making it hard for us to do things like throw and catch a ball, ride a bike and swim. I only learned to ride a bike when I was 7 and my mate lent me hers (mine still had stabilisers on) and pushed me down a gentle grassy hill. For once, momentum worked in my favour. When I’d try to throw a ball my hand would open to late and I chuck it at the ground in front of me. Same for catching, I’d react to late and it would just hit me.

Special awareness can mean the object around you, your own limbs and how much space both things occupy and the space between them. A person who cannot automatically judge these things will end up bouncing off things, walking into things and falling over things. I get bruised daily from this. I also do not possess the natural reflex to put me hands up when I fall or if someone suddenly throws something at me, so I’ve amassed a rather wonderful collection of scars.

Difficulty with Spontaneous and Unstructured Play

At the age of around three Mum dropped me off at a play group to learn social skills and how to exist separately from her. The assistant suggested I might like to go on the slide after me pointing at it while jumping up and down enthusiastically the moment we got there. When my Mum came to pick me up it turned out that’s ALL I had done. For an hour. My Mum was a little annoyed that the assistants hadn’t suggested to me that I do something else because she knew that it wouldn’t naturally occur to me, even though I was surrounded with other things to play with. I hadn’t talked to any other kids either, again because it hadn’t naturally occurred to me that this is what I was meant to be doing, simply because no one had explained this option to me.

No Idea of Boundaries or What is Unsafe

Oddly enough, considering my lack of communication with little kids my own age, I would enthusiastically say a loud “Hiya!” to any adult within 12ft. As I was getting older I started acting fearlessly when it came to jumping off stuff that was too high or climbing giant trees or play fighting really roughly or standing up on swings and wondering if it might be fun to let go of the chains (it really wasn’t). Yet, at the same time I’d be stupidly scared of going on fairground rides with the theory that if I couldn’t cope with it, I’d essentially be stuck on the bloody thing until it finished. Having tested this logic a couple of times as an adult – with literally sickening consequences – I now stick rigidly to it!

At the age of 10 I got chatting to one of the keepers at the zoo we were visiting who was around 18 I reckon. When I say chatting, it was more strolling and chatting to the point where my parents where awkwardly tagging along behind. My ability to make this guy laugh and to ask questions and tell him facts about the animals that he actually found intriguing, both pleased and worried them equally and think they were very glad that he was an employee of the zoo and not some random man. I think this behaviour also ties in with being able to communicate/feeling more comfortable with people who are much younger or older than ones self.

Not Getting the Natural Rhythm and Impulse Control in Conversations.

I would butt in constantly because a) I would mistake someone taking a breath or pausing to think as them finishing their sentence. b) It would take me so long to process what someone was saying and think of a response, that they would have moved onto another topic. I’d suddenly blurt out (but actually I’d been waiting for a gap in conversation and missed many of them) what my thought on their previous topic was and they’d look at me like I was nuts. c) I’d be constantly saying “Oh I did that as well.” or “Well, when I did that…” not because I was self absorbed but because I was delighted to have something in common with some one (proving I was normal) and I was desperately trying to empathise with them. Not the best idea though when someone is trying to tell you something important that’s bothering them or what they did well etc.

Sometimes I blurt out something which is meant as a compliment and certainly sounded like it in my head but seems to get lost in translation between my brain and my gob. As a teen I enthusiastically said to a lad I fancied “Your hair gel makes you look like Sonic The Hedgehog!” I thought Sonic was The.Best.Thing.Ever at the time but everyone laughed and the poor kid just looked mortified. Oops!

Something that amuses me is when I’m deep in thought with an imaginary scenario going through my head I might end up saying a bit of it aloud by mistake. I swear my imagination has a life of it’s own and not just in my really vivid hyper-real dreams. Something that drives my bloke mad is when I don’t answer him because I’ve thought the answer in my head so strongly that I’m sure I have said it aloud already.

I tend to take people with dry humour very literally, even though I’m quite dry humoured myself, which is odd. With expressions that I might not have heard before, it never occurs to me that it’s a tern of phrase and I take those literally as well.

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Memory and Concentration and ‘learning difficulties’

I’ve put ‘learning difficulties’ in quotes because I think a lot of people with Dyspraxia and/or Aspergers are fairly bright but struggle to learn things because of short term-memory, recall and concentration probs. As a kid in class I would have this whole amazing adventure in my head and I mean an epically long adventure. What completely escaped me was the fact I only had just under an hour to get it down on paper so a) It should be a manageable length and b) I should start writing as I went along, not think it all up first and then start writing five minutes before the end of the lesson. When these two things were explained to me I attempted some vague time management but again and again I disappeared into my own thoughts where it was like time stood still.

My recall is useless, it’s like I know I know something but I can’t figure out where my brain has stored that piece of knowledge. In Junior school my hand would fly up and I’d look chuffed that I knew the answer but when the teacher picked me I’d just sit silently with a very confused look on my face as the answer slid away the more I tried to think of it. I confidently told the teacher once “Give me a minute, It’ll come back to me.” and everyone laughed, apart from the teacher who frowned and told me “Question and answer time doesn’t work like that as you well know!” I didn’t know or should I say I hadn’t remembered how structured it was. After that, I didn’t put my hand up again until I was well into high-school many years later.

When you notice absolutely everything it’s hard to filter out what’s not relevant to be able to concentrate. The sound of the clock ticking, the smell of someone’s deodorant (or lack of it), what the weather is doing outside, how tight the neck of your top is, what you’d like for dinner, that joke about the llama last night, why is there a stupid silent ‘gh’ in words. Ah, right, what was I doing again? Why is this in my hand? I can use that as a clue!

Sequencing (thinking straight) and Logic

My thought processes seem to go from A-B-D-A-E-D and then No! Now it’s ALL slipped away! Those logic questions like ‘If Suzanne had 12 apples and she shared 3 with Bobby and…” Bloody Suzanne and her frickin apples! Why’d she have to share them unevenly anyway! Even as a teenager I would physically have to arrange my pens and pencils into groups as if they were the apples (using them as counters essentially) to be able to answer these questions. My logic does not work in a straight line. I’d think myself into a loop with the same two bits of the equation going round and round yet I’d manage to miss out the third part entirely and I’d go straight to the last bit, then be utterly confounded as to why my answer was wrong.

In high school I started making notes for maths. Notes which looked nonsensical to anyone else. I was utterly delighted when the teacher said we had to show our ‘working out’ to show her our logic. I made my copious notes in a circle all around the sum and crossed out each one as I used it so I could keep track and proudly handed it in. Her face was an absolute picture! She had no idea that these scribbles even were mathematical notes. I learned how to write my notes to keep track of all foggy, sum related thoughts on a separate piece of paper, then I’d neatly write down my working out in the style that they wanted to see in my text book. This meant I took twice as long to do every sum/problem and never finished the page, making the teacher think I didn’t understand the questions in the first place. *face palm*

Not the case at all. I found a lot of questions in high school – mathematical or otherwise – mind numbingly boring. Not the actual subjects just the textbook questions so I liked to ask my own, which drove teachers crazy, partly because they didn’t always have the answer  – unless it was in the textbook and on that particular page and partly because they had a lesson plan to follow.

A lot of the time I loose the point of my sentence and then just try to wing it but end up coming to an increasingly quieter waffle that just trails off. It helps to quickly loosely plan the structure of my sentence before I open my mouth when I’m around new people. Sometimes when I’m listening to someone, by the time they’ve come to the end of their sentence, I’ve already forgotten what they said at the beginning. Sometimes when I’m telling someone something I don’t start at the beginning of the sentence so there’s no context to what I’m saying. I tend to recognise that specific confused look on people’s faces these days and quickly (almost as if it’s part of the original sentence) add on what should have been said at the beginning. This makes me talk backwards, like Yoda, a lot.

Sequencing issues also apply to the order of letters in a word and the order of the words in a sentence, which is why it’s taking me forever to write this post! If I left this utterly unedited, some words would be unrecognisable and some words would be left out and some words would be repeated twice etc. As well as everything mentioned in the paragraph above. It would read as jumbled up as I think basically.

Just not getting stuff

It used to be really difficult for me to weigh up new situations. I don’t naturally have the ability to asses what I’m supposed to be doing or how I’m meant to be doing it straight away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just blundered straight into a situation and someone has said “Excuse me! Can I see your ticket?” and I’ve looked at them blankly, having walked right passed a very obvious illuminated ticket office. I remember being totally sensory-overloaded one summer after being stuck in a huge, noisy, meltingly hot cue at the post office, only to find out it was the wrong cue! I was told I’d have to cue up all over again in the right one. I tried to reason with the lady that it wasn’t fair but ended up bursting into tears. It was a really good lesson though as it taught me to just pause for a moment and assess situations first before throwing myself into them. I’m actually really quick at assessing stuff these days because of that.

After saying all of this I need to state that Dyspraxia/Asperger’s does not effect intelligence unless there are other developmental problems.

Honesty, Naivety, Tactlessness and Manipulation

My honesty meant that I was blunt to the point of being tactless. Often if someone was avoiding saying a certain thing or they’d messed up in some way and were trying to wriggle out of it I’d assume that I mustn’t have understood the situation properly (pretty average occurance for me tbh) and so I’d say “Yes, you did! You told her that blah blah…” or “I thought you knew you were supposed to do blah blah because I was there when they told you to.” That made me really popular in the first years of high school!

My natural in-built honesty meant that up until I was around 11-12 it never occurred to me that people lie. They lie to make themselves look good, feel better, to get ahead, to stir things up or simply to see if you are daft enough (or naive enough) to believe them. I was. Even aged 12-13 I believed that if someone was your friend then they wouldn’t play a joke on you or manipulate you because that’s a mean thing to do and friends are never mean. Wrong! It would take someone else to notice what was going on and point it out (practically bang me over the head with it) before I’d realise. Luckily this stopped when I got friends who were more mature and realised that I had ‘difficulties’ in certain areas that they shouldn’t take advantage of.

Oddly enough I became a really quick study in reading people as I got into my mid-late teens in order to fit in and appear ‘normal’. I think this is why Dyspraxia/Aspergers is so overlooked in females as we can be great chameleons at blending in. I’d never just go along with stuff to be popular but I was good at staying quiet and observing peoples tone of voice, or little gestures or how they would back track and subtly change their meaning if what they were saying wasn’t going down well with others. I started to notice people’s pride and the need to be popular and the fact that they were more prone to agreeing to do something if they thought it was their idea in the first place. I also learned that people like people who listen and give just enough advice that’s helpful but doesn’t entirely go against what they ultimately have already decided to do anyway.

I was becoming, without realising it, a little manipulative. All those years of studying human nature to be able to understand it was meaning I was now able to predict it and use it. I’d say 80% of the time it was just to talk my way out of forgetting something yet again or to hide something quirky thing about myself or to pretend I’d listened to or understood what was being said but the other 20% was to get my own way. I found it easier than people respecting me enough to take my opinion seriously, especially when I was struggling to explain it properly. Plus, when I couldn’t mentally keep up with group conversations to be able to give my input at the time, manipulation was a handy short cut to steer things the way I chose later on. I was only strongly presenting the pro’s of what I wanted to do and none of the cons but still kinda manipulative.

Turns out I was so emotionally guarded (to make sure I didn’t get my very fragile emotions hurt), sarcastic (sometimes I was being serious), ironic (again thanks to my many observations of situations), totally calm in stressful situations (naturally detached) that my group of friends thought I was actually kinda cool. Bahaahaa! No. Apparently I was also cool because they (mistakenly) thought I didn’t care that much about social norms and had a strong sense of self. It was more that I just didn’t get them. Like when someone dies and you say “I’m sorry” to the relatives. My reply was “I’m not saying sorry. It’s not like I killed them!” Dark humour right? Nope, just being honest. I did know exactly who I was but that was someone who was clearly from another planet. I had been getting the distinct message from teachers and society in general that I was wrong in some way, which was upsetting and so confusing. It was due to my amazing friends and in-part to my parents love and patience that I fought to keep myself as myself and not change too much.

My naivety still effected me into my mid 20’s as a travelling temporary Admin Assistant where I wouldn’t be able to tell if groups of people were just humouring me and letting me hang out with them, as they felt too mean to ignore me. I would think I was genuinely friends with these people until others strongly hinted otherwise.

Empathy and Highly Sensitive Emotions

A lot of females with Dyspraxia and/or Aspergers feel emotions really deeply so things like a situation being unfair, involving us or another person can really bother us. When we empathise with some we really empathise with them to the point of feeling upset because they are and crying and we might end up crying with them! It took me all of my teens and 20’s to realise that even nice people don’t always behave in a fair way though, and just because you may have massively gone out of your way for someone many times does not always mean that will do the same for you.

Me: You didn’t do that important thing for me.

Friend: I was a bit busy with, er, something.

Me: But I did that thing for you that time and you knew it was really inconvenient for me.

Friend: I didn’t make you, that was your choice.

Me: ?????!

I realised that a) It’s not fair to expect everyone to be as emotionally involved and intense with everything as you are, including your friendship b) There is such a thing as being too nice to the point where people take you for granted or even take advantage. c) Self respect comes from setting boundaries with yourself and others. d) EVERYONE makes mistakes or forgets things, or stops paying attention, it’s human nature and it doesn’t mean they don’t care. However, it’s good to keep in mind just how regularly this occurs as they might be trying to tell you something!

Coping with Change and Unexpected Situations

I’m still getting there, day by day. However, I no longer have a melt down over takeaway orders being wrong – even if I’ve looked forward all week to the one thing they’ve forgotten to include. Recently my bloke suddenly suggested we go to a Thai restaurant in town which we’d literally just read about and which closed at 11.00. It was 9.30 so we had to go right away. I was in my PJ’s and in relaxed slob mode but I calmly said “Yeah let’s go”. I acted (notice I say ‘acted’) like a serene in control person the whole time I was putting together my outfit and tidying my hair and applying concealer all within a 15 minute time slot before the cab arrived.

That would have been completely out of the questions 6 months ago. The mere idea would have been ridiculous to me because I would have immediately felt anxious. Anxious because I hadn’t expected and therefore gotten my head around what was happening. I’d have been in the totally different mind set of “Of course I can’t.”

It’s also about things not happening. Looking forward to going clubbing all week and then people saying they’re not in the mood. I’d be gutted. I’d planned it. I’d gone through scenarios in my head about it on a loop. ALL WEEK. I’d skip straight over distraught onto determined – determined that the person would go! Now I realise that’s selfish and slightly insane. I deal with unexpected situations a hell of a lot better these days. It’s all just part of life and no big deal most of the time. The unexpected can even be a good thing. That Thai place was great!

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I hope this has helped people to feel a little less weird or to be proud of how weird they are. Remember that your neuro-diversity means you are just different (to Neuro-typical people) and not inherently wrong. And as comedian Francesca Martinez says “What the F**k is normal anyway!?”

Chrissie

Veggie review – Lilly’s, Ashton-under-lyne

The Bloke asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and I suggested going to Lily’s vegetarian Indian restaurant, which he was chuffed about. It’s in Ashton-under-lyne so that meant a bus and a tram (in rush hour) but it was totally worth it.

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We were struggling to decide what to have from the amazing menu so we decided to order the rest as takeaway. To start The Bloke had Bhel Puri a mixture of puffed rice, potatoes, chick peas, crushed puris (fried bread), onions and tamarind sauce. For a change I didn’t get any kind of Puri and chose Aloo Tiki instead, deep fried potato patties with spices. These arrived with a dairy free spicy mint (?) sauce after the waiter inquired wether I was having dairy or not.

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I then decided that it was my birthday so I’d treat myself to dairy after all and went off menu, ordering the Special Sizzler for my mains. A heated pan of fried onions, paneer cheese, green bell pepper, a meat substitute which tasted similar to bacon and a vegetable I thought might be parsnips but forgot to ask. I ordered two puri on the side. I love them so much I could eat them without sauce just for breakfast! The Bloke went for a Vegetable Jaipuri of mixed vegetables, paneer and cashews cooked in an Indian sweet and sour sauce, with Pilau rice on the side.

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It’s lucky I find Indian sweets almost too sweet and that I don’t like the texture of Rasmali as it meant that I was able waddle slowly back to the tram stop around the corner. I have to thank the transport people for linking up my bus stop in town to my fave restaurant with a tram line and a ticket which costs only £3.80.

The thing which really clinches it with Lilly’s is not just the quality of fresh food or how clean the place is but how friendly the staff are and how considerate they are of dietary needs. The prices are also very reasonable so obviously it would have been rude if we had not left with seven takeaway dishes, two Battered Stuffed Chilli Peppers and 12 Batada Wada’s (chickpea battered balls of fluffy curried potato and onion). Hehee!

Maybe next time I’ll try some of their Southern Indian and/or Indo-Chinese options for a change. I’m sure if it’s made at Lily’s it will be wonderful.

Lily’s, 75-83 Oldham Road, Ashton, OL6 7DF Tel: 0161 339 4774

Chrissie

My Lifestyle Lately – April Flashback

Style

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I found some really nice sports-luxe trousers from Very. They can be worn at waist height with a fancy belt, fitted top and block heels for a casual evening look or lower slung with a hoodie and trainers in the day. So versatile for Spring/Summer!

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I found some fat laces from B Boy Laces so now my trainers finally look proper old skool.

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If I’m going to wear summer makeup and an outfit that’s pretty, it’s going to have to be tropical! Click here for where to buy each item.

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I always feel that I verge on the modern glam-rock side of alternative style when I go on a night out so I put this together. I’ve just realised this look would also be great for a festival if you replaced the heels with ankle boots or wellies.

Beauty

Naturtint

I’ve really struggled to find cruelty free shampoo for coloured hair, that has a decent use-by date on it and a mouse that gives a natural look. Read my review of these two here.

hand wash beauty

Beauty isn’t all about complicated skincare and haircare solutions, sometimes your household products can help too. Read my review of Beauty Kitchen Hand Wash here.

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I absolutely love this colour of Zoya nail polish! A pretty medium 80’s kind of pink in daylight, tropical pinky-orange in the evening and almost illumines orange in bar/club lighting. Read my review of Zoya nail polishes here.

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Practical and natural Dr Organic lip balm. Read my review here.

Drinks

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Could this limited edition packaging be any cooler. Nope.

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I like Chai tea with milk and sugar so I thought I’d give this a go. It’s a really nice spicy-sweet milkshake.

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I usually make my own smoothies but I’ve been too tired to keep up with shopping for fresh ingredients so I bought this. It did give me a boost of energy and was thick enough to water down by a third so it lasted for hours. However, I did have a big sugarless slump several hours after I stopped drinking it.

Random

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My bloke found this pad he’d had for a while but not used. He said it looked cute and wobbly just like me, ha! I love that it matches my pen.

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My mate was gigging with his band The Breath at my mates bar MASH in Macclesfield so he gave me a lift down there. What a lovely gig! I always find it funny how many muso’s around Greater Manchester are friends, I mean it’s hardly a small place.

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The backyard is doing really well, thanks to my Dad ^_^

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My bloke got a little accidental visitor. The Bluetit was surprisingly chilled out considering, and left when it’s mates called to it through the open window. Much nicer than the giant pigeon we had last time o_O

Chrissie

Monday Motivation – Silly Quotes

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Yours Sincerely,

Princess Mermaiden, rider of Unicorns and the odd dragon now and then.

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An important question which should be asked on all occasions.

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True story.

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Sometimes it’s the people who make the place.

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Embrace your ‘lasagne days’

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*sings* “We’re busy doing nothing…”

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Lets hope neither wear off for a long while.

_______________________

Remember, it takes more muscles to frown than smile, unless you are equally amused and confused.

Chrissie

Homeware – In The Tropics

Homeware - In The Tropics

Motivational Monday – Telling It Like It Is

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So volunteer for the next tea round or go to the corner shop for that forgotten loaf of bread. Maybe have a quick tidy up or get off the bus a stop earlier, it all adds up.

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Apparently our brains are hard wired from caveman days to continually analyse our mistakes and bad situations so we don’t repeat them. Also, life isn’t fair and bad shit happens to good people obviously. However, you gotta choose to let the past go though, before it negatively effects your future.

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This can apply to how you treat others as well as yourself. Next time you are about to open your mouth to criticise someone (again) for something they did in the past, maybe don’t.

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Fair enough lol

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This actually gave me goose bumps I thought it was so clever and bad-ass.

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The birds are singing, I’ve got food in the cupboards, my socks actually match, I patted a friendly doggy today.

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Life lessons.

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Sometimes what you have planned your life to be doesn’t make you happy and sometimes, something totally unexpected does.

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If it’s just not you, then why are you wearing it? There’s a big difference between giving new things a try, and wearing what others expect of you, especially if it makes you miserable.

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Absolutely.

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Especially in a zombie apocalypse.

Chrissie