Replacing Our Favourite Scents with Cruelty Free Ones from Eden Perfumes

On our journey to replace all of our favourite scents, me and the bloke have been trying a lot of samples to the point where we are having to make notes! The scents the bloke is trying to replace are Oud by The Body Shop (as they no longer stock it anymore) and 1 Million by Paco Rabanne. Mine are Heat by Beyonce (I’ve never smelt anything more ‘me’ ever before) and Deep Red by Hugo Boss (I have a fairly good one from Floral Street already). All uplifting, musky orientals essentially. There’s also Burberry Woman as the bloke noticed an amazing aroma float past and asked this lass what she was wearing.

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Eden perfumes are an independent, vegan company from Brighton who don’t test any ingredient or finished product on animals (they don’t ship to countries who demand testing by law). You can post bottles back to them and they will refill them for you.

The main thing that attracted me to them over other cf perfume companies is that, as well as creating original scents they also sell some highly recommended dupes for existing perfumes. The perfumes have similar names to the original name/brand or you can search by which notes you prefer under the perfume shop tab such as ‘fruity’ ‘woody’, ‘musky’ etc.

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The Sample Gift Box (£21.60) contains three 10ml perfumes of your choice and is incredibly useful for figuring out if you’ve made the right choice before committing to a 30ml or 50ml bottle. I find this sample size of bottle to still be handbag friendly but they are far easier to spray than some smaller tester bottles, which are way to fiddly for me.

Left: SHE 060 is a very fresh, sexy scent that reminds me of the best selling unisex scents in the early 2000’s. Centre: TREASURE 019 is an oriental fruity/floral and isn’t meant to be a dupe for Beyonce’s Heat but really reminds me of it, plus it’s lasted all day – 1 down, 4 to go! Right: BERRY BERRY 018 is meant to be a dupe of Burberry Woman but the bloke immediately said that wasn’t anything like the one he meant. I don’t know if the lass just said Burberry and didn’t know which specific one she was wearing or what? Sadly, it also faded incredibly quickly on my skin so was no use as a general perfume even. We’ll have to keep trying…

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In the second gift box I’ve ordered, I’ve included ‘Million Dollar Man’, ‘Oud Wood’ and ‘Virgin Waters’ which is a dupe of Virgin Island Water by Creed which I’ve never heard of  but apparently it smells of the beaches in the Bahamanian islands. Sold!

Keep in touch, I’ll let you know how our search goes…

Which scent would you want a dupe for?

Chrissie

 

How The Hell Do You Sit Down In High Waisted Trousers & Jeans!?

It took me ages to find some cargo pants that weren’t skinny fit or cropped and then I came across these by Stradivarius £20.50 at ASOS. I thought I’d give high waisted pants one more try to define my waist and flatter my podge.

Kinda cool right? Well made, neutral colour, decent fit, decent length and very comfy…when standing…that’s the problem.

When sitting they come right up to my boobs like I’m an old lady. If I squish them down a bit I look like a horny old man! Oh. Hell. No.

I’m usually the same height as the online models but then, they rarely have DD’s. I was wearing a decent bra though so it’s the waist band that’s too high or my torso is too short, not that my babs are too low. LOL

So I untucked my top…

Much better. I think I look like I have bigger hips (so more shape) with this swing vest untucked anyway. So these pants are going to keep my legs cool but my back nice and toasty for Autumn/Spring then, which is quite nice actually.

If you’ve managed to sit down comfortably, and without looking ridiculous in high waisted pants/jeans with your top tucked in or a cropped top, I’d really love to know! Anyone want to help me out here?

Chrissie

Finding the Perfect Cruelty Free Perfume with Floral Street Scent Exploration Kit

It sounded like the most perfect perfume, containing every note that I like. I bought it and loved the fruity top note, as I knew I would…Then it changed. The middle note was very strong and I absolutely hated it! The bottom note was warm and musky which I liked but I’d had to endure the middle not for three hours to actually get there – gaaagh!

This is why I vowed never to buy a perfume a) without smelling it first and b) without seeing how it changed over time on my skin.

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Floral Street perfumes have three notes but they all mix together perfectly and immediately so no unpleasant surprises. The scents also last for hours and are noticeable without being over-powering. All their perfumes are vegan and no ingredients or finished products are tested on animals.

Floral Street offer this fantastic Scent Exploration Kit (£68) with 8 perfumes in 1.5ml tester spray bottles to eliminate any guess work. It comes with a voucher for a full size 50ml bottle, once you’ve picked your favourite scent (which also arrives in a recycled/recyclable cardboard box). If that sounds a bit pricey you can buy The Discovery Set (£14) to either help you decide which larger perfume to buy or to simply have a choice of handbag-friendly sized scents.

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I’m going to go through each scent and try to describe it in my own simple, honest (and slightly unknowledgeable) way.

London Poppy – This reminds me of every lads aftershave in the 90’s. The one’s the girls used to pinch because they were so unisex and fresh.

Wonderland Peony – Fresh, light, flowers of Spring.

Neon Rose – The air on a sexy Summer evening.

Wild Vanilla Orchid – Warm, sexy and sweet. Nothing like an obvious perfume – more like the natural scent of someone you’re snuggled up to.

Iris Godess – I’m sorry but this is more like ‘Iris Grandma’. Next!

Chypre Lotus – About as subtle as a brick but incredibly sexy. Similar to YSL Belle d’Opium. Prrrr

Ylang Ylang Expresso – The scent drifting from a hipster coffee house. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.

So the one I’m going to buy is….

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Wild Vanilla Orchid!

I have nothing like this in my perfume collection but I’ve always wanted something subtly sexy, which actually lasts on my skin.

Which one would you choose?

Chrissie

Shopping at Ocado for Free-from Food & Review of Items

Why Ocado?

I’m not able to get out of the house much (especially in the warmer weather) and I feel awful sending my Dad and my bloke out with lists of incredibly specific items that not every individual supermarket stocks. Imagine my Dad asking a member of staff for “This quinowaa stuff in a tub? It was on the Instagram.” “Sounds exotic, try the foreign isle.” (That’s the only thing they ever suggest because they can’t be arsed looking) and my bloke trying to explain that “No, harrisa paste won’t be in the DIY section!”

Is it easy?

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So easy! For a start there’s a ‘Browse Shop’ tab (top left) which reveals all of the different sections of the shop including toiletries, gardening, baby as well as frozen, fresh etc. I chose ‘Free From & Organic’. From the next list I choose ‘vegetarian’, ‘dairy free’ and ‘gluten free’. You can also filter by brands and what’s on offer. Minimum order is £40, which I would say is an average family, weekly shop anyway.

Booking and deliveries

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It’s displayed on an easy to understand grid, with the dates across the top and the 1 hour delivery times underneath. I’m not sure how far into the future you can schedule a delivery but it’s best to bear in mind that a product may be available when ordering but not necessarily available by the time your delivery happens.

You can alter your delivery times and edit your basket (you do have to check out again for the latter) up until the day before it’s due to arrive. You get a text the day before your delivery reminding you of the time, then another on the day telling you the name of your driver, the colour of the van (‘lemon’ which had giant lemons all over) and the reg. It also tells you if any item is unexpectedly out of stock. I found it amusing that, of all things they’d run out of my plain old toothpaste.

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Staff are so friendly and will carry your shopping right into your kitchen for you. Everything comes in named and colour coded bags so you can see where everything should go.

It is easy being green!

A little green van symbol indicates ‘greener delivery slots’. These are when an Ocado van is already doing another delivery in your area, so less millage and fuel burnt. You keep your bags and hand them back and any cardboard beer/wine holders on your next delivery.

The Food

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The Good

Everything by Sacla is always perfect.

Biona Fruit Bears are so much juicer better than Haribo.

Nakd Salted Caramel Bars are perfectly balanced between sweet and salty. They are so soft that it’s better to store them in the fridge on hot days.

Livia’s Nuglets are similar in flavour and also better kept in the fridge, for that chunks-of-cookie-dough-in-ice-cream effect.

Gu Spanish Lemon Cheesecakes are absolutely dreamy!

Gosh! Spinach and Pinenut Bites are basically a mild, soft falafel. These taste great with a few drops of water splashed on and warmed in the microwave for 10 seconds, then teamed with humus and salad.

Soulful One Pot, Brazillian Tomato and Black Bean with Cashews and Quinoa was so creamy for something dairy free and the ingredients were all so perfectly balanced, it was a delight to eat.

Violife block of cheese is the best dairy-free cheese I’ve eaten. Like a giant block of Dairylee slices.

Quorn Peperoni slices do contain milk in the flavourings but not enough to have an effect on me. Perfect cold in sandwiches with American mustard or hot on a pizza.

The Bad

Bakery of Main GF Muesli Banana flavour – No where near enough banana pieces!

Warburton’s GF Loaf – Sticks to your teeth like a sponge rehydrating it’s self. schaar white loaf is so much better.

Free and Easy Chickpea and Vegetable Curry – I was expecting something like an Indian daal, what I got was a Mexican chilli. Hmm.

The Meh…

Soulful One Pot, Mexican Bean and Sweet Potato with Quinoa – I thought I might not like the flavour of the quinoa but it was pleasant. I was disappointed that the flavour of the sweet potato was barley noticeable. I found that I was begrudgingly plodding my way through it, simply because I was hungry.

Clive’s Pies – These came out of the oven so damn dry! It didn’t say to microwave them but I did and they came out like a pudding from the chippy, nom! Still not a patch on other veggie pies I’ve eaten as they are stingy on the filling. Sort it out Clive!

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I’ve found the whole experience so much less stressful and time consuming than doing a physical shop. It wasn’t anymore expensive and I now have a fully stocked kitchen of lovely food that won’t make me ill. I accepted my second delivery (filled with more every-day type stuff, as well as a few new things) as I was typing this. After I’ve tried everything I’m going to edit my favourites list online and then just have it as a repeat order every month I reckon.

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

A Photo Tour of My Fave Place in the House

Even though for me to feel peaceful and relaxed I need the main living area of a house to be airy, open and calm, my fave place in my home has to be the bedroom. It’s like a little cave filled with sparkly, interesting and collectible things.

I do my hair and makeup in the bathroom as there’s a really wide mirror and more natural light. This is for costume jewellery, perfume, nail polish and pin badges etc in trinket boxes.

The view I have at the foot of the bed. Nice and plane but bright with the light pouring in through the yellow and gold curtains. Oh, and Guss the gargoyle.

Books, gifts, geeky collectibles and fossils, rocks and gems. Some of my fave albums on CD which should be in the ‘memory crate’ instead on display.

Above the bed.

I had a marble desk and pin board before I was a blogger and it was such a bloggers clique lol. Some pretty little things now live on the left of my pin board because they aren’t fit for their original purpose anymore. Film books, graphic novels and free copy of Festival Annual that one of my photo’s was featured in. A cut glass vase I rescued from a house clearance (hiding behind my Funko’s) that looks like a pineapple.

Hope you enjoyed the tour! I’d love to have a nosey around your fave place.

Chrissie

Drink 1 Litre of Water for 5 Days Challenge

Hi lovely people!

I don’t know about you, but I need to drink more water as I’m feeling thirsty far to often and my skin and energy levels hate me for it. So you’ve probably heard that Beyonce drinks 2.5 litres of water a day but seeing as I ain’t busting my arse in a studio or on stage and my day is much shorter, I thought I’d reign that goal in a bit. I’ve decided that 1 litre is more realistic for me, plus I like a few beers in the evening so I don’t want to end up all bloated trying to cram in too much liquid.

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The rules

  1. As my body has always loved to piss away most of the water I drink, rather than absorb it and because I have chronic fatigue, I’m filing the bottle up like this 1/3 energy drink, 2/3 water, with a pinch of salt included.
  2. I’m using the same bottle for each day
  3. I’m not counting tea, coffee, orange juice or beer.
  4. I’m starting at 12.30pm when I get up and finishing at 4.30pm so leaving tea-time and evenings free.

The Bottle

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It has a fancy button which pops open the spout and a button to lock that button so it’s safe to travel, oh and a handy carabina clip. It also has times for morning and afternoon down one side and measurements down the other. Really though you could up-cycle any bottle as long as you draw lines to show where each litre and half litre is. My memory is bobbins though so I appreciate that it’s divided into hours.

Day 1

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On track…

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Lagging behind by an hour and a half!

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Just finished it at 6.12pm. It was a real effort and I noticed that it really curbed my appetite so I’ve only eaten a small bowl of nachos and humus all day. That can’t be good can it?

Day 2

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Way ahead today as I woke up thirsty and it was a warm day.

Day 3

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Stopped at 3.30pm as I really fancied sitting in the sunshine with nice cold shandies. I did finish the rest off later though.

Day 4

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Kept perfectly on track all day and found it easy.

Day 5

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It was one of those days where the weather is changing like crazy – from getting baked out of bed and drinking water and craving a glass of cold, fresh orange – to it turning cold and making me need a coffee with 2/3 hot hazelnut milk in to warm me up. I’ve met my liquid intake goal, it just wasn’t all water.

Verdict

My skin does look really healthy and I must admit, I didn’t once get that ‘Oh, I really should get up and get a drink but I’m tired or busy so I’ll do it in a minute.’ attitude because the water bottle was always right next to me. I’ve been going to the loo for number two more regularly and seem to digest heavier foods quicker, which has made me less bloated. Was that TMI?

Doing this can be a great way of making sure you stay hydrated but I still think we should be intuitive and listen to what our body needs and when. There is no point in trying to force water into your body when it might need something else. Two things that weren’t factored into this challenge were a) The space in my tummy that food took up and b) I have a mainly plant based diet so I absorb water (a lot more easily) from my food.

I’ve kept up trying to drink my litre-of-water-a-day for just over a week now, with varying degrees of success but that’s ok as long as I’m not thirsty or too bloated! :o)

Chrissie

Ahoy Me Hearties!

Hi lovely people!

I’ve decided for Outfit Of The Day posts I’m only going to link to wear to buy one or two main items. This is partly because I’m sure your savvy enough to find your own wardrobe basics (to suit your own budget) and partly because I want to promote delving into the back of our own wardrobes and only adding a new piece every now and then to create outfits, rather than always buying fast-fashion.

Clearly Instagram knows me very well as it suggested I follow Hell Bunny, a UK shop which sells a lot of retro Rockabilly and sexy vintage styles of clothing and accessories. The clothes are new and well made and the sizing is spot on. I bought this Poseidon blouse because I’d never seen a pretty blouse with such a an awesome and unique pattern as this one before!

I already had the ‘pirate’ ankle boots after seeing them in the Vivienne Westwood shop and spotting an affordable pair in Topshop. I already had the the little cute-but-punky hoops and black skirt from EMP, and thin leggings from Matalan. Am I the only one who gets claustrophobic/stupidly hot wearing those really thick, shiny leggings that are everywhere now?

Chrissie

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chrissie

 

Kirsty’s Classic Margherita Pizza Gluten & Dairy Free review

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It’s unusual for me to find a pizza that is GF and DF, especially one that has a fair amount of toppings. I found this in Tesco.

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Studies have found that our gut health does directly relate to our emotions because they are connected by the vagus nerve, which transmits signals between them. Ever been really nervous and had a slushy feeling in your stomach or received bad news and felt your stomach drop? Ever eaten something you know doesn’t agree with your stomach in the evening and then had really chaotic anxiety dreams? It does make you wonder!

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They could add more cheese around the edge but the sauce is delicious and the thin base is lovely and crispy so I wasn’t too bothered. My only complaint is that the ‘cheese’ was too sweet. Nice flavour to it but I had to add salt and pepper to make it more savoury.

In my gas oven I had to put this on the shelf that’s above middle but not right at the top, rather than the middle as suggested. I also had to put it on gas mark 7 (higher than the temperature suggested) and leave it in for five minutes longer. Frustrating at first but I’m glad I persevered.

The bloke cooked his in a microwave-combi oven and followed the instructions exactly. It came out perfect!?

Rating 4/5 (depending on oven)

Chrissie

 

When People Still Don’t Get It After The 10,000 Time

Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it….

When you have repeatedly explained your disability, symptoms and needs to someone, in every way you can think of and they still aren’t getting it.

Breathe….

I know it’s tempting to want to strangle them or head butt the desk repeatedly or scream – actually screaming into a pillow is very therapeutic – but eventually you will have to accept it and let it go for the sake of your mental health.

Not everyone’s empathy works in the same way. Some people will instantly get it (whether they have experienced it or not) simply by listening and taking the info on board. Some people need to have experienced something similar for themselves so they literally know what you mean. Others, because it is different to their experiences will never, ever be fully onboard. Even if you have gone through something and they were witnessing it, they still won’t have learned from that past experience.

Now, that’s not to say they don’t care and don’t want to understand. It is entirely possible for a person to sympathise, yet manage to say or do something ignorant and tactless purely by mistake.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t take it personally and don’t beat your head against a brick wall (metaphorically I mean) by thinking you can change someone like that and enlighten them. Some people are all ready at their maximum capacity for understanding and empathising.

Essentially at that point, it is up to them to get their own head around what you need and how you function. I’ve arrived at the conclusions at the start of this post. Trying to make someone understand, isn’t always worth your mental health or your relationship with them deteriorating. If they obviously care about you, sometimes you just have to accept that no matter how much they try, maybe they never will really get it and you have to be cool with that.

Chrissie