Tips For a Stress Free and Safe Night Out

Learned from over 21 years of Friday and Saturday nights out, my realistic tips include prep, keeping track of your mates, getting there and back and keeping the fun going while you’re there.

1. If you’re unsure about the area, speak to friends or locals to find out about the streets or places to visit AND to avoid.

2. Phone a taxi company before hand a book a return cab for a realistic time (probably a little bit before the club/bar chucking out time) and agree where to be picked up. Have other local cab company numbers in case it doesn’t work out or find where the nearest base/office is.

3. Buy a stylish cross-body handbag bag that has a zip or solid clasp so your bad doesn’t get ‘dipped’ by thieves. Wear it inside your coat when out on the street.

4. Always store enough money for food and a taxi in a separate part of your purse, bag or (ideally pocket) so you don’t accidentally spend it.

5. Have a pair of fold up ballet flats in your bag. So no limping around on blistered feet at the end of the night. Practical and it doesn’t make you look like a target.

6. Always be friendly to the door and bar staff, you never know what they might be able to help you with.

7. If you are in a big club or area and go separate ways, agree on a place to meet back up.

8.  If your good mates say you are too pissed, believe them and get them to escort you to the toilets to freshen (sober) up a bit. You do not want to get suddenly thrown out on your own by the doormen, making you vulnerable.

9. If you do end up worse for wear, it’s safer to trust groups of women rather than a man, no matter how charming they may seem.

10. Keep an eye on your drink at all times or ask someone you know and trust to watch them. Don’t accept physical drinks from strangers, instead go to the bar with them, order it and then let them pay.

11. Before leaving a place check you have everything (coat, bag, phone) and everyone. No one wants to get left behind because they went to the loo!

12. When walking to a place either walk the same speed as the slowest person or break into two groups (if there’s a lot of you), with clear agreement on where you are heading.

13. Same as when you are getting food. Everyone needs to make it clear where they are going and who they are going with or if they want someone to wait for them.

14. Don’t be that dick who just goes home without telling anyone. People will be worried if you just disappear.

15. Make sure you are getting into a registered taxi. Is the logo familiar? Do they have photo ID with their driver number on ? If you have booked it, they should know your name and address. Agree on a price first so they can’t inflate the fare.

16.  When you’re at home, message each other to say you’ve had a top night and you’re home safe.

Happy partying people!

Pocket Dolly Wisdom book – Wonderful, Witty & Wise!

The second book I treated myself to for Christmas is Pocket Dolly Wisdom by Hardy Grant Books (£5.24), a little hardback book full of quotes from the simultaneously fabulous, yet down-to-earth Dolly Parton.

 

Full of Dolly’s opinions on fashion, her career, love, her hair, life, men, and her womanly assets!

Me and my Dad ended up reading out our fave quotes to each other and it started some interesting conversations about life, self worth, style and also gave us a good laugh, so please don’t think that Dolly is just for middle aged Mums!

As I once apparently said as a kid “I want to be like Dolly Parton when I grow up.”

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

 

Zad’s Vegan Takeaway Manchester

Last Saturday I treated myself to Zad’s takeaway in Chorlton; it was a treat because the minim order for delivery (even if you are only a mile away) is £15 which is expensive for me. Still, I’ve had their wonderful food before and thought it was worth it.

I ordered a 9” vegetable pizza, curly fries, ZFC – spicy fried cauliflower instead of chicken – which tastes weirdly like KFC and a salted caramel cupcake.

I ordered using their app at 8.00pm and selected delivery for the earliest available 9.00pm as I was starting to feel hungry. By 9.50 I had to make a snack as I was getting really bad hunger pains. I’d tried to phone several times but it just rung out. My food arrived at 10.10pm! No apology or acknowledgment that it was over an hour late .

The pizza was hardly warm, the fries were cold and soggy. I was so hungry and gutted! The ZFC was amazing as was the cupcake. I didn’t have the energy to reheat the pizza and bake the fries in the oven so I had to save them for the next day. They were both awesome once heated/cooked again but that’s the opposite of why people get a handy takeaway.

I left a polite complaint via email but that as well as two other phone call attempts have been ignored.

I really want to give Zads a great review but I can’t because of how late the food was, how soggy the food was and how non- existent their customer service is.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

 

Yaoh! Mini Haul

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I use Yaoh! because their products are hemp oil based, which really conditions my skin and my hair, they are BUAV (leaping bunny) approved, they don’t use palm oil and are affordable on a budget; the perfect brand in my opinion!

The Coconut and Lime scent of the Shampoo is as wonderful as the shampoo it’s self. It leaves my coarse, frizzy hair so soft and shiny it totally transforms the texture. I don’t need to add hair oil afterward either, just curl cream. I’ve bought the body butter to match and I’m going to get the shower gel too next time.

The Mango Lip Balm is hydrating and adds important oils, while smelling like a Mediterranean cocktail. It’s nice and thick but it does sink in, unlike other brands that are too heavily wax based.

I decided to try a Tropical Fruits Body Butter (not shown) as the scent sounded lovely and exotic. The body butters feel light on the skin and sinks in easily but it’s still incredibly hydrating. The scent isn’t as strong as I’d prefer but it is pleasant.

The Tropical Fruits Moisturiser barley has any scent, which I prefer. It sinks in quickly but I think this would be best for dry or possibly combination skin as it is rather rich. Considering it’s slightly scented and rich, it doesn’t

Because I’d bought 4 items amounting to £25 I got the face moisturiser free!

Rating 5/5 for everything!

Chrissie

Guru by Rupaul

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Guru by Rupaul (Sphere publishing £14.99) is 191 page photograph book that is also full of wisdom, insight and and one-linners that slay, proving she’ll never sashay away.

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I decided to treat myself to this for Christmas and I’m so glad I did! This would make a great little coffee table book for anyone who’s more creative and quirky, rather than pretentious and snobby.

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A lovely detail I found at the back is a list of Ru’s fave books, films and music!

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🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Banoffee Pots by The Coconut Collaborative – Dairy Free!

 

A8884073-F675-4D47-AD95-379956FD109FThe rather sad freezing but I’m still chuffed that the bloke found these dairy free Banoffee deserts in Morrisons! They taste a cross between banana and butterscotch Angel Delight with the texture of creme brûlée. 🤤

The only problem is that they are in little plastic posts which aren’t recyclable, not in Manchester anyway. 😔

Chrissie

All of Superdrug Own Brands Are Cruelty Free!

Five years ago I got invited to Superdrug in Manchester for a makeup masterclass, launching their new collection of cruelty free makeup. Since then I’ve used B. makeup and B. skincare. Now Superdrug have gone one step further and made all of their own brand – not just their B. line – cruelty free and Leaping Bunny (BUAV) approved – hurrah!

I think this is wonderful because not everyone has the time or can afford multiple postage costs to buy online from different independent brands and not everyone is lucky enough to have Neals Yard, The Body Shop and other CF shops local to them (mine are a 30 minute bus ride into town if I had the energy and the balance to safely ride a bus). Now people can easily pick up everyday items on their local high street with a clear conscience.

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It was 3 for 2 on minis so I bought these so I could try the Hand and Nail Cream before committing to the bigger 150ml bottle and 2x bottles of Balancing Facial Oil. I need a little bottle of oil to carry around in my bag as I use it on my lips several times a day and this should last me ages.

Superdrug Balancing Facial Oil (30ml £2.99) has apricot oil and Vitamin E to calm and balance skin, which it does really well. I’ve used many more expensive facial oils that have had an equally good effect and some that weren’t as calming for my skin. It’s also saved my lips from drying up in central heating and is a great base for certain foundations and lipsticks as it’s a dry oil.

Rating 5/5

Superdrug Hand and Nail Cream (£1.50 30ml) does exactly what you want a great cream to do; it strengthens nails but also softens hard skin on hands and makes cuticles supple so that they don’t crack. It sinks in easily and doesn’t feel oily and, I’m glad to say, doesn’t have that strong old-fashioned hand cream sort of smell – which I like but find it always conflicts with the perfume I’m wearing.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

 

The Perfect Winter Jumper

You know that common response when people are asked what they are going to wear out somewhere and they respond with “Oh, just jeans and a nice top”, well here’s my Winter edition.

It’s the Sparkle Jumper by Soon at Matalan also described (rather misleadingly) as ‘pearl’, which is also available in teal. I’m wearing it with tight Topshop boot cut/kick flare jeans and black pointy-toed ankle boots with a small heel.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s searched EVERYWHERE for a fancy Winter jumper?

Most were either off the shoulder, (brrr!), got cut-outs (they call them cold shoulder tops for a reason), open back madness, really small round necks (choke!) or turtle necks (get it me, get it off me, get it OFF!) , long length (am I the only women out there that actually likes her bum?) or cropped (it’s SNOWING in parts of the UK), so I was really relieved to find this.

I need to tell you that the sparkles are actually IRIDESCENT! It’s a light, medium length jumper; the sleeves are good but I’d love them right to my knuckles like the secret Emo I am. It’s warm but not too thick so you won’t melt when you encounter central heating. It’s also soft and a little stretchy, with gentle shaping so you could go up a size and it wouldn’t look too baggy or a size down for it to be really fitted.

I’ve just realised I don’t have any hoop or sparkly earrings in – my ear lobes are naked!

Chrissie

Bloom and Wild – The ‘Letterbox Flowers’ Saga

I couldn’t think of a more convenient way to have flowers delivered than to get them posted through the letter box. No embarrassing scenario of my flowers being carted down the street to neighbours if I didn’t answer the door in time or if I wasn’t available (awake) when they arrived.

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It was my Dads 75th birthday so I went onto the Bloom and Wild site and ordered him some Poinsettia’s in a contemporary zinc planter. They’d be a treat for his birthday and because they were planted in moss, they would last all through December, very festive!

A few problems ensued

a) The website explained that the flowers may arrive a day late (depending on the type of postage selected) so I ordered them for Tuesday as my Dad’s birthday wasn’t until Friday. By Wednesday 5.30pm they still hadn’t arrived.

b) I phoned up customer service and spoke to a really lovely bloke. He was surprised I hadn’t got an email to track the delivery. He was surprised that they HAD in fact been delivered but I didn’t have a card/email saying where the hell they were. He looked on the notes and apparently they’d just been left in the garden on Tuesday morning! He gave me a refund and apologised profusely, saying he’d send me some more. How lovely is that?

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c) I ventured out into the little garden the next day and they were on full view, not hidden in the foliage where most packages are discreetly left (although they can be a real pain the back and very fatiguing to find). Apparently Gorton scally’s are only interested in stealing clothing or food deliveries, statues and bikes from gardens, so they were actually still there. The fact that they were perishable and should be left with neighbours and a card posted to me (as stated on the label above) seemed to be lost on the delivery person. As for the condition of the box, well…..

d) I opened them up and they were the wrong flowers anyway!

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Eventually on the Friday the Poinsettias arrived (they were out of stock on Thursday so it had to be arranged on Dads actual birthday) and they were gorgeous. I’m glad each plant came with a care card as I would have overwatered them otherwise. They also arrived with a medium sized card with the design and message I’d chose, which was a nice touch. The font really was small though so I had to read it out to him.

 

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Dad thought that they were both really pretty and liked the fact that they would last longer than cut flowers. He also liked how compact they were as he could put them on the little windowsill and brighten up the kitchen in the small terraced house.

Wild and Bloom’s Letter Box Flowers option is brilliant when it works and fairly shit when it doesn’t, although they have the best over-the-phone customer service I’ve ever come across. You can also get full sized cut flowers which I got for someone as an apology for something and it worked!

Chrissie

Vegan Shack Review Manchester

I first heard of Vegan Shack from the Manchester Vegetarian and Vegan Group on Facebook. MVVG are a friendly bunch and so helpful (anyone who gets arsey and argumentative, rather than constructive, get called out by moderators or other members)   they are worth checking out.

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Menu

Vegan Shack provide all of our vegan junk food desires, including kebabs, pizzas, burgers, ‘chicken’ poppers, frickles (fried pickles) garlic dough balls and loaded fries. They deliver around a large radius of Central/South Manchester so Chorlton is included and I think they just about cover Denton, I’m not sure about North Manchester, sorry!

The five gluten free offerings on the menu are three pizzas, basic fries and on request kebabs too! I chose the Chick n’ Chunk with a 10″ stone baked base (my fave) tomato and herb sauce, ‘cheese’ and strips of ‘chicken’.

Ordering

I used the website on my iPad and it kept saying there was something wrong and to try ordering something different (even though what I’d chosen wasn’t ‘sold out’). I gave up in the end and asked the online customer service person. They were incredibly helpful and told me to give them my order and they would do it for me. My food arrived so fast, I’d not even sat down on the couch and got settled for the evening!

The Pizza

The problem I’ve always had with vegan cheese is that it’s too sweet and when paired with a fairly sweet (but tasty) tomato sauce you have a very un-savoury pizza. The ‘chicken’ strips had a realistic texture and really balanced out the overall flavour. I ended up scraping off half of the cheese (which they were almost too generous with) and adding a lot of salt. Then it tasted awesome!

Verdict

I would say Vegan Shack is up there with V Revolution and Zads when it comes to creativity but a hot dog option and some deserts would be great additions.

Chrissie