Best of My Alternative & Urban Lifestyle 2017

January 

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Best footwear – Iridescent Nike ID with my name ‘Wench’ on the back.

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Best Chinese/Japanese/Thai Eatery – Lotus, Wilmslow Road, Withington, is a vegetarian family restaurant serving an amazing choice of mock meats and fish as well as traditional EA dishes.

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Best Cruelty-free Face Serum/Moisuriser/Oil – Eden’s Semilla Serums. If you have an uneven skin texture or your skin is dry/combination or you are seeing signs of ageing, then these two serums will leave your skin noticeably plumped, hydrated and balanced all day.

February

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Best Stationary – I bought this diary from Paperchase as I loved the colours and the layout. I decided to use it as a ‘Best thing today’ or ‘happiness’ journal where I write down anything positive that happened that day, even if it was just getting creative in the kitchen for lunch.

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Best Dairy-free Snack – These Ten Acre crisps taste amazing! I had three people insisting that they read the ingredients because they just couldn’t believe they were dairy free. Gluten and MSG free too.

March

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Best Cruelty-free, Temporary, Hair Dye – Manic Panick (the one in a tub) has a thick consistency which means it’s really easy to dip a tint brush into and apply, without getting it every where. It comes in every colour you can imagine and is gentle on coarse/dry/damaged hair. It started out a deep teal colour and has now faded to this after around 12 washes.

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Best Place To Buy Affordable Jeans – Matalan. Yup, for real. They do various fits with several styles in each. I chose a skinny, mid-rise style. Even if if you have a food-baby the next day it doesn’t matter because they stretch to fit, which also means you can wear them for ages before they go baggy at the knees and need washing.

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Best Cruelty-free Mens Skincare – My Bloke loves Bull Dog Original range because it doesn’t have a strong scent and is cruelty free with no unnecessary ingredients so it’s very simple yet effective.

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Best Place For Omnivores and Vegetarians To Eat Together – Zouk. I was invited to try their new menu and found that there were enough choices to keep me satisfied and the food was of good quality and cooked well. There’s also a little cocktail bar with a wonderful menu. I can imagine most groups of friends being happy here.

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Best Smoothie/Blended Drink Recipe – I will share this with anyone who will listen LOL Rice Milk/Soy Milk, Heaped tbl spn peanut butter, Medium banana, Maple syrup/Golden Syrup. Add Bournville choccy powder (mixed with a little cold milk first) to turn into a Snickers smoothie.

April

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Best Cruelty-free Nail Polish – I love the original colours and finishes that Zoya offer. I’ve also found that it’s very gentle on my brittle nails and last as long as other ‘long wear’ polishes which are double the price.

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Best Manchester Outdoor Space – Fletcher Moss. Is a beautiful landscaped garden filled with flowers, trees and a pond, with a little heather garden to the side. They have toilets (very rustic) and a cafe. Stenner Wood is right behind if you want to feel like you are in the countryside for a little while.

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Best Cruelty-free Household Product – Beauty Kitchen. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t dream of using beauty products tested on animals but never consider getting CF items for around the house. Gentle on sensitive and/or dry skin with a beautiful scent this organic hand wash is a winner.

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Best Alternative Online Shop – EMP have branched out from rock/goth wear, band merch and geek pop-culture to also include urban style. Honestly, I could browse it all day. Some clothing items can be a bit pricey (depending on the brand) but they have little twists of originality, are of high quality and the sizing charts are the most accurate I’ve come across.

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Best Dairy-free Easter Chocolate – Choices, found in Holland & Barrett and supermarket free-from isles – if you are lucky. Remember those white mice you used to get as a kid? Well this is 100% better!

May

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Best Spirit – Dark rum in general of course but has to be Sailor Jerry, followed very closely by The Kraken. SJ took it for their perpetually creative labelling.

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Best Unexpected Bargain – I got bored while my bloke was in the army surplus shop and found this tiny vest on sale! I chopped the neck out slightly so it was more flattering.

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Best Tidy Solution – I used this pretty box a prezzie came in and an old watch tin a friend gave me to store the makeup that I use daily. I’ve chucked out anything that really wasn’t working for me and the rest (very similar colours to what’s here already or party makeup) is in a transparent wash bag under the sink. So much quicker to see what I’ve got and where it is!

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Best Indian Eatery – Hands down has to be Lilly’s in Ashton, Greater Manchester. They have an extensive but comprehensive menu of the most delicious vegetarian food. From hearty traditional dishes to quick street food for lunch and creative combinations of ingredients on their Indo-Chinese menu, you will want to visit several times to try it all.

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Best Cruelty-free Makeup Brand – Elf. Every single one of their product I’ve used has worked perfectly for me. Products are true to how they’ve been shown/described on the site, they are easy to apply and long wearing. Worst goes to Soap & Glory – just ugh!

 June

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Best Charity Merchandise – This One Love Manchester jumper I bought for the survivors of the Manchester Arena bombing. Obviously being a Manc this is very close to my heart but I genuinely love the graffiti style of lettering.

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Best Cruelty-free Shampoo – Weleda, Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash. Rarely have I come across a shampoo that is so gentle on my coarse frizzy hair as this. Some ‘natural’ shampoo’s I’ve used have left my hair matted and feeling like straw but I didn’t even need conditioner after this! As usual I just oiled my hair when it was still damp and left to air dry. Perfect.

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Best Full Vegetarian or Vegan Eatery – V Revolution. Creative American-style fast food, which is surprisingly healthy and tastes of individual ingredients, rather than salt and ketchup. Order a White Russian cocktail for a glass of heaven.

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Best Energy Drink or Snack – I had to go with Rockstar as they taste like fizzy pop, rather than that sickly, slightly medicinal thing other energy drinks have going on. I fill a drinks bottle with 2/3 energy drink, 1/3 water and a pinch of salt and sip it when I’m flagging to keep my energy and electrolyte levels up. One bottle usually lasts me two days.

July

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Best Cruelty-free All Round Moisturiser – Faith in Nature Coconut Body Lotion. I use this on my body and my face as it’s thin enough to sink in quickly without being oily.

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Best Accessory – I’ve looked at so many pins from various places this year. This Milk & Moon one was thoughtfully packaged and the gold and black theme looks classy rather than cartoonish, which is what I wanted.

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Best Book – Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (YA Fiction) is the perfect blend of fantasy and every day, which escalates to serious proportions. Easy to read, with engaging characters and a plot which could lead literally anywhere.

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Best Funko Pop! – I have to go with The Cheshire Cat from (the modern) Alice in Wonderland. He’s so quirky-cute and makes me smile every time I notice him. Plus the fur and stripe detailing is really well done.

August

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Best Cruelty-free Skin Treatment – Murad Radiance Peel has transformed my skin from being dull, flakey and hopeless to being smooth, radiant and able to absorb moisturisers, serums and oils.

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Best Book I Would Recommend – I do love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but the first part of the book, before the two main characters even meet was hard going for me. However, I thought the rest was wonderful and utterly absorbing.

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Best Impromptu Selfie – I took this while I was waiting to get ready for a night out and liked it so much more than the one I took when I was ready! Check out my sexy owl PJ’s lol

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Best Alternative/Urban OOTD – I usually like to mix alt and urban style but I decided to go all out rock festival with this one for Summer.

September

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Best Surprising Food Combo – Edamame and Avocado. Followed closely drinking Tia Maria with seaweed/miso/Chinese flavoured food. Try it ^_^

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Best (Gluten Free) Larger – Peroni has always been my fave larger for how light and refreshing it is, and now they’ve started doing a gf one, which is just as good.

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Best Everyday Look – I love this outfit because it’s practical, flattering and represents the Gorton girl in me with the hoodie and big sparkly hoop earrings. I can also take my hoodie off and have a nice top underneath for evening.

October

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Best Place To Buy Lingerie/Nightwear – Boux Avenue make THE BEST bra’s. Pretty but comfortable and in a flattering range of styles and colours. Their night/lounge wear is also really lovely.

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Best Gluten Free Pizza – Pizza Express by a mile. They also have other great gf options and are very understanding of dietary requirements.

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Best High Street/Drug Store Cruelty-free Makeup – Well, Topshop makeup is new to me as I’d never used it before. Affordable, great colour payoff, easy to apply and stays put. I’m really impressed!

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Best Dairy Free Choccy – Sarelle is like a Fererro Rocher but with sweet dark chocolate, rather than milk. This is a decent sized choccy bar but it still isn’t big enough, ha!

November

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Best Cruelty-free Party Makeup – Barry M, Matte Me Up lip linner and lip paint. Metallic, yet oddly matte this is actually really wearable for anyone with an olive-dark skin tone. I think if you were paler, you would be making a much bigger statement with it.

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Best Fashion Trend – Apart from Rosegold – which I’ve always liked since I was a 13 year old looking at jewellery in the Argos catalogue – it has to be knitwear with subtle corset and grunge detailing, mainly fraying, large gaps in the crochet and random lacing.

December

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Best Veggie Sweets – Made with real fruit juice, these Organic Mini Fruit Bears by Biona are possibly the tastiest sweets I’ve ever tried. Everyone I know who’s tried them – loved them.

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Best Tech – Nokia 105. You can drop it, accidentally sit on it, play different versions of Snake on it, it’s a petty retro colour, it has a torch which is actually effective, it’s really light weight, no scally will want to rob it off you and you will only need to charge it twice in your life time. Bargain!

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Best Cruelty-free Lipbalm/Skin Saviour – I know that I could just buy a big cheap jar of coconut oil from the local market but Dr. Organic is organic (duh), contains an SPF 15 and is so handy to carry around. One of the very few things that makes any noticeable difference to my lips at all.

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Best Healthy Convenience Food – This veggie sushi from Tesco is as tasty as it is pretty.

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Best Homeware – I love the duck egg blue colour of this Tesco blanket and it is unbelievably soft! I live in it now – we are one.

Best Alternative/Independent High Street Shop – Aflecks, Tib Street/Oldham Street (established the year I was born – a fact which I love). This giant maze-like building s an Alladin’s cave of independent shops. I don’t know any other place where you will find quality fancy dress, vinyl records, American candy, vintage clothes, Japanese imports, band merchandise, a vegan shop, a cute cafe, a clothes embellishing and customising service, retro toys/collectibles, rave/rock/urban clothing, cruelty free makeup and hair dye, along with piercing, tattooing and hairdressing studio’s.

I hope you enjoyed my alternative 2017 awards!

Chrissie

Monthly Round Up – December

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Me and my Bloke decided to try both christmas menu’s at Greens on two consecutive Mondays. We were not disappointed, but then we never are. I loved their Xmas decor, the food was inventive, made with quality ingredients and cooked to perfection. Just don’t ask them for an iced coffee, unless you want a rather indecisive luke-warm offering.

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I reviewed these gf, nutty, chewy Atkins bars.

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I haven’t been feeling the happiest of bunnies lately (not relating to the festive season) so the Bloke bought me a few sweet goodies…At the same time I was buying myself some lol

I went to V Revolution to show my support as they have recently opened again after some awful flooding. I ordered a sheese and facon burger with slaw on the side and loaded fries. I also had the best iced coffee I’ve ever had!

Style

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12 of the Cutest Christmas Jumpers because wether you are geeky, into your bling, have been a bit naughty or want to have a laugh, there is an crimbo jumper for you.

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I bought this duck egg blue super soft blanket for the sofa/bed from Tesco and keep resisting the urge to just walk around wearing it lol

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I’ve always adored rose gold as I think it really flatters my pale olive complexion so I just had to make a Rose Gold Wish List.

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Now I’m in my 30’s I seem to be appreciating more traditional decorations and festive style. So here’s my traditional christmas.

 

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All of my old cocktail rings are either looking shabby or have gotten lost or broken over the years. I always treat myself to a little prezzie each year and so I chose this, also from Tesco Direct. *NOT a promotion

Lifestyle

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I tried to start a thing on Instagram and Twitter where you post your #bestworstphoto of yourself with the reason why. This is mine because I look a lot bigger than I actually am due water retention and I don’t like my teeth (and chewing gum) showing – BUT I love that I was having a good laugh on a rare night out with old friends and was totally in the moment and not posing.

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Here is mine and my bloke’s small but shiny tree ^_^

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My lips do not produce anywhere near enough natural oils and are constantly dry and peeling. This is the only lip balm I’ve found which makes a lasting difference to them for at least half of the day. I must have a lot in common with a coconut! I’m going to start using coconut oil at home (for my dry frizzy hair as well) and save this for when I’m out.

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This started off as a general Christmas film post but I realised they were all from the same decade. Here are my Favourite 90’s Christmas Films.

 

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My health at the moment? One day functioning – one day recharging, seems to be working well.

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Me and my Bloke have made an early New Years resolution to support independent brands and crafts people/artists so I bought him two handmade mugs (only one featured) from Old Sun Pottery.

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Here’s me and my Dad in our festive jumpers. His is a giant Rudolph face (which he got from a charity shop for £3.00) and mine is a polar bear (wearing sequin antlers) and a penguin who have crossed the globe to share one giant sparkly christmas jumper together. D’aaaaw!

Merry festivities!

Chrissie

 

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Not using this little dude until after crimbo as he’s my bathroom decoration.

 

McCall’s Organics – A Great Resource for Dairy-free & Gluten-free Vegetarians in Manchester

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McCall’s Organics is located on Church Street, where the family have been trading since 1920! They stock fresh fruit and veg, baking goods, snacks, veggie pâté, veggie ready meals, fresh bread, spreads, healthy drinks, cruelty free beauty and household goods, dairy free cheese and chocolate.

Usually in a small-ish shop I have to really search to find anything gluten or dairy free and have even been so pleased to find something that I haven’t noticed it contained meat! McCall’s stocked every single veggie free-from thing that I usually buy, apart from the Genius brand, which I can get from any supermarket anyway. It was like someone had made a shop just for me!

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Here is my shopping, you might have noticed I’ve reviewed some of these before. I would have gotten more but this is all I could carry. (clockwise in a spiral sort of shape) Eat Real Quinoa Chips in Sundried Tomato and Roasted Garlic; These are so tasty and perfect for scooping up humus or guac. Free and Easy Tomato Soup; I’ve really missed Heinz cream of tomato soup and this is fairly sweet with a lovely thick consistency. V Pud, veggie black pudding which, although not perfect, is very recognisable as black pudding and very tasty. Vio Life Pizza Cheese; Not only does this melt well and grate well but it actually tastes of pizza! Bouja Bouja Hazelnut Truffles; Little sweet choccy truffles with a light dusting of bitter choccy on the outside (best kept in the fridge so they don’t go too gooey). Kingfisher Toothpaste (they stock various flavours) which is cruelty free of course. Free and Easy Vegetable Balti is a spicy vegetable stew type of curry, which is great with rice but surprisingly filling on it’s own. Weleda Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash for kids but I love it as it makes my course hair incredibly soft and shiny. Organic Smoked Tofu; I like this fried with white onion and yellow sweet pepper, with added salt and pepper. Faith in Nature Soap, which helps to balance skin, rather than dehydrating it. Ecoleaf Aloe vera Handwash (not seen), which is antibacterial, cares for skin and only has a subtle scent so perfect when cooking.

What are your favourite free-from and cruelty free shops?

Chrissie

Kula Gallery ft RagPots, Northern Quarter, Manchester

Kula Gallery, located on Oak street in the Northern Quarter is a wonderful amalgamation of gallery and craft shop. They sell wall art, contemporary hand made jewellery, unusual mugs, mini terrariums, arm warmers and coasters.

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Several months ago Me and the bloke had walked past Kula on the way to get the bus home and noticed the mugs in the window but were in a hurry. So with Christmas coming up when I asked the bloke what he wanted he asked for ‘one of those mugs, we saw ages ago’.

Luckily he remembered where the shop was and they still had a lot for sale. We bought three in the end, two for the Bloke and this one (£15) for myself. RagPots is a pottery studio established by Richard Gales in 2016, located in Reddish.

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It fools the eye into thinking it’s almost iridescent with the use of light and shade and layering of glazes. I wish I had the skill to capture it better.

Kula, 7 Oak Street, Manchester, M4 5JD Tel: 07933311740

Ragpots, 270 Gorton Road, Reddish, SK5 6RN Email: info@ragpots.co.uk

Which independent shops are your faves to buy gifts from?

Chrissie

October Monthly Round-up

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I’ve added a few more halloween decs around the place. Black, white and neon green seems to becoming a theme lol

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Food 

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You can read my review of these dairy free delights here

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I’ve been having Genius dairy and gluten-free blueberry muffins for breakfast recently. They are so moist and full of blueberries, I think they are the best muffins I’ve ever eaten!

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The Bloke treated me to a meal at Pizza Express (my fave pizza place for my 5th Blogversary) and I ordered a gluten and dairy-free starter and main and then cheated on the desert. Here’s my review of the food and alternative gf and df options.

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As banana is my second favourite ice cream flavour after caramel I was so happy to find this dairy free (vegan) version of Chunky Monkey in Tesco. The dark chocolate and the nuts really do add a nice chunky texture.

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This is very similar to a dark chocolate Ferrero Rocher. I have to ration myself on these or else I’d just devour them in under a minute and then reach for another.

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Vegetarian and dairy-free sweets with a surprising flavour and texture. Here’s my review.

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Well there had to be some kind of pumpkin related spice somewhere didn’t there, ha! This smooth spicy soup also works well as a sauce for gnochi or dumplings or as a rich base for a homemade winter vegetable soup.

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Not the best lighting but then, not the best pizza either. This is the gluten-free option from Pizza Hut with a very thick, very dry base. I’m glad I ordered extra toppings otherwise the grainy texture of the bread base would have overwhelmed the whole thing. I’m glad they have a gf option but it really does need more work.

Style

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I’m so happy the weather is now cold enough a) for my chronic fatigue to not impact me quite as much and b) for me to wear my ‘One Love Manchester’ charity jumper.

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I put together this Halloween homeware board with clickable links of where to buy. Obviously items won’t arrive in time today but you might catch some bargains in the sale for next year.

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I bought two amazing (and much needed) balconette bras – one in light pink and one in turquoise – a cute cocktail glass key chain, lounge pants, polar bear slippers and a compact mirror from Boux Avenue. The slippers are really cozy and easy to walk in but the large size was too small for my size 7 feet! I had to remove their pompom tails and cut a slit down the back to get me feet in and out.

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These are the lounge pants. As I sit around the house a lot, I need to wear something more comfortable than jeans but warmer than thin pj’s bottoms. After getting sick of just jogging bottoms and leggings I found these furry things.

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I love animals but feel like my home could easily end up looking like a zoo’s tacky gift shop. So I put together Animal Accessories for You and Your Home and was very discerning with the lovely items I included.

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I figured seeing as I sleep well into the day, wake up at night, can be grumpy but also cuddly and love junk food, I’m already half racoon so I was delighted to find this racoon dressing gown from New Look.

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I compiled the best Autumn and Winter Accessories  with clickable links of where to buy each item. I literally have a whole cupboard for my A/W accessories.

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I’ve realised I was a little bit ahead of the fashion last year when I bought a jumper with corset style lacing around it. It’s a big cozy jumper but also feminine with the lacing and bows. It also doesn’t have a really slouchy (read cold) neck line, like so many of them do.

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So I create this post and then notice this month’s Cosopolitan magazine has done the same edit with so many similar jackets. Here’s me thinking I’m being original, ha! I used to wear a puffa for many years as a teen and it’s seriously like wearing half of your duvet.

Lifestyle

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I’ve been blogging for 5 years. Everyone has said “Wow, I can’t beleive you’ve been blogging for five years!” but I feel like it’s something I’ve always done. Probably because I had a photo blog on the sadly defunked Blip Photo for a couple of years before and kept paper journals (with glued in collages, postcards and ticket stubs etc.)  all of my life before that. Thank you so much to every one for reading, liking and commenting. It puts a smile on my face everyday.

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Here’s the first Outfit of the Day post I ever did. I was determined I wasn’t going to use a bedroom mirror with a load of clothes piled on the bed in the background, so I grabbed my Nikon and dragged the Bloke into his communal garden instead!

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The light is getting worse and worse for taking piccies now the nights are drawing in and when I use in door lighting, everything looks too yellow – gah! Anyway here is my review of these lovely scented soy candles.

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October is Dysautonomia awareness month, which is very important as it’s often overlooked and not recognised by Dr’s. Basically it’s when a persons autonomic nervous system doesn’t automatically regulate what it is meant to. For me this includes not regulating my heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, appetite, digestion and temperature properly. It also doesn’t signal to me what’s going on until I’m really really hungry, hot, tired etc. It also means that I barley sweat (unless I over increase my salt and water intake) and I’m not capable of shivering to keep warm – ever. Unless a symptom is incredibly severe it’s just up to the person to keep an eye on everything themselves – quite a task for me, given my memory and concentration probs but I’m getting there with the help of the Bloke and my Dad.

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Activewear, athleisure, whatever you want to call it and however you want to use it, here’s some of the most stylish and user friendly items out there.

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I’ve been giving myself and my avatar a bit of a makeover lately.

Beauty

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It’s been fairly quiet on the beauty front this month as I’m trying to cut down a on the amount of makeup I buy, unless it’s a staple product I’m renewing like concealer or nude/brown lipstick or it’s something Metalic because shiny! Here’s my review of Topshop eye colour and matte lip bullet.

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Speaking on cutting down, I wanted to get one nail poilish in a subtle pretty shade which I could wear everyday and which would go with everything, which would last. Read my review to find out if Nails Inc Gel Effect worked.

Which genre would you like to see more of on Vamp It Up Manchester?

Chrissie

What is the Point of Blogging?

I know many bloggers wonder ‘What is the point of my of my blog?’ along certain points of their blogging journeys. My blog started off as a personal blog – personal between me and the city of Manchester and what I got up to in it, featuring festivals, eateries and news. Then I turned it into more of a magazine/lifestyle type blog with reviews and then I started mixing in more personal posts to do with my health because I wanted to share all that I’d learned to help other people who were as confused as I’d once been.

I’ve now decided that I don’t want to involve that side of things in my blog anymore. I spend far too much time thinking of my health (mental, physical, emotional, neurological) as well as the lack of understanding I’m getting from the medical profession and the huge amount of understanding and help I’m getting from other people with the same chronic illnesses/conditions/disabilities/disorders and what I need to do to move forward…Literally.

I prefer having this blog as a little ray of light to dive into and to take my mind off of all that sh!t and I want it to be a place for other people to do that to. At first I used to throw everything at my blog but since I started to attract brands and review their items/services, I started to automatically questioning ‘Is my own silly thing worth a place on my blog or should I just put it on Instagram instead?’. The funny thing is, my engagement on Insta is great, I don’t just mean followers (772) but the comments and the laugh that I have with the same people, sometimes everyday, is really lovely. I also like how quick and spontaneous posting to Insta is, where-as I have to really be in the mood to write a blog post.

The thing is, I actually prefer Instagram for those reasons. So, I’m going to keep my blog going with all of the usual content like style, veggie food, restaurant reviews, cruelty free beauty and I’m not going to lower the quality either, but I’m now going to throw a lot of shorter more regular posts up such as geeky things, or little things which have brightened my day, social commentary and quick book reviews etc. After-all, It is my lifestyle blog, rather than an online magazine so I want to make it reflect my actual, everyday lifestyle more. All the lovely bits!

How’s your attitude to blogging changed?

Chrissie

 

My Lifestyle Lately – July


Random Stuff

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I made a Geek Blogger Tag and no one joined in with it *whaaah!* :o(

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This is one of those books that is so well written, with a protagonist who’s so easy to like and a premise so interesting that you don’t want to finish reading it. You always want it there to dip into when you want something easy and familiar, like an old favourite TV show who’s repeats are always on some channel, somewhere. Sometimes I actually read quicker when I don’t like a book as I’m impatient to get rid of it, but I want to make this one last.

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I bought this from Topshop because it’s totally functional so I don’t spill my coffee and it’s refillable. Would I actually take it into Starbucks? No. Do I even frequent Starbucks? No.

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Very glad to see a fat furry bumble bee! He had a snack and flew off out the window again.

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It’s been torrential rain on and off for days. It’s ended the unbearable humidity which I am pleased about as I don’t feel faint anymore and my hair is frizz-hallo free.

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I’ve really gotten into gaming again with Metal Gear Solid V. I found the previous one to be very dark but this is much more entertaining. It’s the usual kind of open world RPG where you can roam around randomly or select missions. It also includes a hat shaped like a chickens head which you can wear if you want to be a metaphorical chicken and not have your enemies see you; A device which extracts enemies from the area by suspending them from a balloon and whooshing them away, including various animals which is equally cute and hilarious; Cheesy 80’s pop songs blasting out from your helicopter and an option to detach your robotic hand and send it scurrying around after your enemies.

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This is my new iridescent laptop case by Skinny Dip London. I love how the colour changes completely in different lights and from different angles. From silvery pastel shades to glowing sea green and hot pink. The creases in it show up quite a bit but that’s just the nature of the material so I’m sliding my laptop out and trying to keep the case as flat as poss.

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It’s always good to appreciate the everyday things so I wrote this.

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It’s my back yard, it’s so pretty and I can’t take any credit for it at all, ha! So glad my Dad likes plants and flowers.

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We went to Bundobust again for gluten free beer and Indian veggie street food. We both have old school Nokia phones so if we want a photo we need to use an actual camera or iPad but we were too busy scoffing our scran!

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For my cheat day one Friday I had a Mediterranean roasted veg and feta pizza and added some extra pesto and a little Gouda cheese. So good!

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I got another free-from food haul (from The Vegan Kind shop and Holland & Barrett) and I reviewed all of the products here.

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I’ve discovered more cheese flavoured dairy-free crisps which are so tasty and won’t have any ill effects on me.

Style

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I’ve continuing with the cute rocker chick combo – black tops, plaid skater skirt/kilt and black boots. Does anyone know where I can find a black mesh top with full long sleeves? I’ve had to give my old one to charity because it started feeling too coarse because my sensory issues have gotten more er, sensitive.

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I swapped the white laces for black as I thought they went better with my Hello Kitty Vans and added some lace jewels because, cute + black + sparkle + Vans = Awesome.

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Finished customising my leather jacket (or pleather? I can’t remember) with a gorgeous little ‘Up all night’ pin from Milk and Moon UK. I don’t get to sleep until between 1.00 – 2.00pm, plus this is my ‘going out out’ jacket for evening.

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I bought something by Disney. Normally I’m a Tim Burton, DC Comics, Studio Gibli type of fan girl but it was affordable, teal/turquoise and fantasy themed so it won me over. If anyone has any other quirky-cute Disney suggestions then please let me know.

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If Disney made fortune cookies. Seriously though, I genuinely found this in my fortune cookie xoD

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The Bloke, dyed my hair Cyan again. We made a joint decision to put it all over my hair this time to make it darker in general. I much prefer my hair dark to a sun lightened mid-brown. You can read my 12 Tips For Dying Hair Easily here.

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I put together a Pastel Goth outfit I was really pleased with. Although these boots are made for walking, symmetrically patterned tights are not – unless you want to faff about matching them up again every 15 minutes.

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I put this together for those people who still want to look glam on Summer evenings and not like they just walked off a beach in Cyprus. Plus as you can tell, I love shiny things!

Beauty and Skincare

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I reviewed Arbonne’s Calm range here and absolutely loved it along with their shampoo and conditioner. I reviewed their Advanced range and got a horrible allergic reaction from two of their products. I was asked astonishingly to amend my review by their client who insisted that my unbearable itchiness, glowing red skin and sudden burning temperature was just how the products work! Ah, no. I mean one of them was a night cream FFS!

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I reviewed these two lip colours by Soap & Glory with both positive and negative thoughts about them both. You can read it here.

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I reviewed this natural shampoo to tame frizz with surprising results. You can find it here.

Always lovely to read your comments as they are always lovely comments, ha! No, but even if they weren’t quite so lovely it’s still nice hear from you all.

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Lifestyle Lately – May 2017


Obviously as I’m Mancunian there has been one big event for me which has separated May from any month surrounding it. The terrorist attack. I have so many things to say about this, how upset and angry I am, the social and religious politics, the possible ramifications and what actions could be taken now, but I’m emotionally exhausted by it so I won’t. What I will say is that the resilient and empathetic spirit of my fellow Mancs and the support from people around the world has been amazing. I’m actually writing this to the sound of The Courteeners concert drifting over from Old Trafford Cricket ground and they are doing a cover of Oasis’s Don’t Look Back In Anger, with all of crowd singing their hearts out. Aw shit, I’m filling up now. I really do love Manchester.

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Food & Drink

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Have you been drinking lots of water but still feel more thirsty, brain foggy or fatigued because of the heat? I’d give this a go. It tastes like blue ice pops (you can get other flavours like strawberry and tropical) and because of the aloe (i.e electrolyte) content, it hydrates better because our bodies use it more efficiently, rather than just rushing it through our system like it would with water.

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As the weather has been so warm I’ve only been able to manage very light meals. I’ve discovered that Original Sheese spread can be broken up and used as a creamy feta cheese alternative.

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I’m starting to see why people mistake me for a vegan but it’s actually my wonky body that can’t cope with dairy and egg white for gastro and auto-imune reasons. I miss having omelettes though so I was pleased to come across this. If you use it with a small amount of say, mushrooms and are sparing with the cooking oil and leave it alone to cook, rather than harassing it with the spatula, this comes out brilliantly! Unfortunately I was too hungry to take a photo of my perfect first time attempt. Then I fracked it up something terrible the second time – doh!

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At the begging of the month it was my birthday so me and the bloke hopped on a bus and then a tram and went to our fave Indian restaurant of all time, Lilly’s in Ashton-Under-Lyne. You can read my review of Lilly’s here. We also got a lot of takeaway which lasted us for around three days!

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I’ve been making cold mocha’s every evening so there is one waiting for me as soon as I get up. I actually take it back to bed with me. 1 heaped tspn dark cocoa powder (mixed with a little cold water), 1 heaped tspn instant coffee, 2 rounded tspn sugar, 1 tspn vanilla essence, a little hot water to mix, fill up beaker with unsweetened almond milk. Chill.

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I compiled a dairy and gluten free shopping list and reviewed each item to make it easier for people who are feeling a bit overwhelmed with this kind of dietary transition.

Fashion & Style 

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I put this Romwe wish list together right at the start of the month and managed to resist buying anything for myself. op

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It’s funny that in the same month that I’ve stopped approaching any brands, two brands have asked me to collaborate with them on Outfit Of The Day outfit reviews. However, the items (around six of them) are taking ages to arrive so those will be live on the blog next month. I’ve also ordered stuff from EMP, yet again and opted for everything to arrive together but apparently it’s not all available (even though they weren’t ‘Out of Stock’) so that hasn’t arrived either. Only just realised last week that my fave jumper works really well with my fave skirt, both of which I’ve had for ages, ha!

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Even though I don’t rent a place I can call my own, I still love compiling homeware posts every now and then like this In The Tropics one.

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I made a Stylish and Sensible Summer Shoes post because I like alteration and not falling over when I walk in summer.

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No, not me going for a job as a waitress at a sports bar but me melting in this fracking horrendous heat. My feet still get cold in the evening though due to circulation issues, hence the Uggs. I actually love this basic look but haven’t been brave (crazy?) enough to leave the house in it yet. I’m managing to keep weight on these days but my muscles tone is disappearing fast so I’m getting a cross trainer for less fatigued days (I’m being very optimistic here) as it will give me a whole body work out but the machine gathers it’s own momentum quickly so you can put as much or as little effort into it as you want.

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I’m a firm believer in wearing what you want no matter what size or firmness you are so I gathered together the 15 best shorts. There is a style here to suit everyone. I’ve bought the denim scalloped hem one’s from H&M and wear them with very sheer black tights and they look great! I keep meaning to get some black fishnet tights to wear with them and with my ripped jeans for a grungy feel (like I used to in the 90’s) but I keep forgetting.

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I would stagger around blindly in summer if it weren’t for my sunglasses. Some of these are off-the-shelf but some are designer so they should be widely available in options if you need prescription lenses like I do. I suggest getting polarised lenses to decrease glare if you are light sensitive.

Random Stuff

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As a fellow geek I decided to join in with the The Geeky Girl Tag after I enjoyed reading other bloggers answers.

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I wrote this post as I wish my parents would have come across something like this when I was a kid as they and they and my paediatrician and my teachers where clueless as to why I was struggling so much and therefor how they could help me to help myself. Actually my Paediatrician barley noticed. *giant face palm* As a child I was very aware that I was different. Things didn’t come easily to me, yet the other kids magically seemed to instantly know what to do and how to do it, without constant mishaps. As a teen I realised I had a rather different thought processes going compared to my mates as well a lot of the time. Like what is the point of over analysing the way that cute guy said “Hi” to you for hours. Just be glad he said it and maybe even have an actual conversation next time. Reading something like this would have made me feel a lot less like an alien from another planet.

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I made a Funko Pop! of myself, which I’m pleased with.

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May has been Ehlers Danlos Syndrome awareness day, which is so important as it’s one of the most misunderstood and miss represented genetic disorders out there. I’ve been given a verbal diagnosis of EDS but several Rheumatologists are still refusing to put it in writing on my medical records. Preferring instead to say instead “Christine is having it that she has EDS” er, I’m ‘having it’ because I was TOLD that I have it FFS!?!? It’s important to mention that all of this stubborn ignorance and arrogance from specialists (and I do use that term lightly) makes dealing with EDS so much worse as it’s a constant battle with people who’s actual job it is to know better. It really does make us emotionally exhausted and just adds to all the other shit we have to deal with. I’m so lucky to have received support from an amazing online community of fellow zebra’s here, otherwise I would have been questioning my own sanity.

Beauty and Skincare

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I reviewed e.l.f. Studio Tone Correcting Powder and Studio Flawless Foundation and was impressed with both products. In fact their foundation was the best I have ever used!

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I arranged my lipsticks in colour order and had a general makeup clear out. I just kept on buying the same 3-4 shades of lippy over and over again, having forgotten that I already own them. I’ve thrown out any shade that needs mixing with another to create the colour I bought it for in the first place and any lipsticks which are either too drying or slide off after ten minutes. Same with foundations as I don’t have the time, storage space or patience to have to mix several together to get the right colour or consistency. No more making-do with crappy makeup.

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palette

I reviewed Soap & Glory Perfect Ten Shadow Palette but wasn’t that impressed with it for some unexpected reasons.

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I finally found a use for my old metal heart cage. Storage for all of my mini’s and free samples.

Well that was quite a catch up! Let me know if there was anything you found interesting.

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