Star Map from Modern Map Art

I was offered a Star Map by Mordern Map Art and decided it would make a lovely Father’s Day gift as my Dad has always taken an interest in the stars, the planets and our universe in general. The map shows exactly what the stars looked like on the date that you specify from the latitude and longitude of your chosen place.

There is a feature on the website which allows you to customise all of your Star Map. You can choose from colours, borders, fonts and the tittle.

The map arrived promptly, rolled up in tissue paper, inside a sturdy tube. Dad said it was a wonderful surprise and that he was going to frame it in a simple contemporary frame “to do it justice”, rather than just having it as a poster.

Dad declined to appear on my blog as he’s “Not into all of that socialised media” and has “No intention to start Twittering any time soon.” Fair enough, I say.

I’m thinking I’d quite like my own Star Map now; maybe for my next birthday.

Chrissie

Monthly Roundup – May

I started May being a little obsessed with everything pink and grey and wore the same two basic outfits for most of the week. Check out the OOTD post to see the other outfit and where to shop both looks.

I’ve returned to The Body Shop now that they have a parent company who are committed to be cruelty free. I love a non-drying lip colour you can apply easily so I use a lot of tinted balms and glosses. Unfortunately Born Lippy gave me a sore throat immediately! Some do and I’ve never figured out why. I’m using it as a blush instead as the colour is very subtle and sheer.

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It was my birthday so me and the Bloke headed off for An Afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.  Which involved picking up my first ever comics for Free Comic Book Day, trying some new health foods, taking photo’s like a tourist and then dinner and cocktails at V Revolution.

 

After hearing of the demise of Polyvore I posted all of my style mood-boards and outfit boards that I’d made over the years in two posts here and here.

I decided that now my skin has changed from oily-combination to dry-combination I’d try B. Pure Micellar Water instead of cleanser and toner.

Another OOTD, this one inspired by Johnny Cash; Smart, Dark, Country.

I’d not received any blogger nominated awards for years and then two came along at once. I decided to go with The Mystery Blogger Award as it sounded a bit different and I only had the energy to do one!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We decided to eat again as we’d had a tough week and I’d been inside for days. So we cashed in our Tesco vouchers and headed to Pizza Express for large glasses of wine, gluten free pasta, a giant super food salad and caramel gelato with salted caramel sauce.

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I was in the mood to do a wish list post and chose the Woodland Trust S/S shop. I think it’s importance is growing along with issues like global warming, extinction of native species and disappearing woodlands, due to mass farming of mono cultures and countryside being built on.

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My skin has a nice healthy glow to it, thanks to the sun but my foundation kinda kills that a little so I thought I’d try and put some back with Drops of Glow, Lustre Finish Creator in Illuminator. Why do products practically have two names squished together, these days?

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It was also the Blokes birthday recently so I got him a dragon.

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I’ve been watching Heart of Dixie; Jessica Jones S02, Startrek: Discovery; Lucifer S03 and Freaks and Geeks. I’ve been listening to 90’s R&B; Gary Newman’s latest album and The Crow Soundtrack.

Chrissie

SaveSave

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Style Mood Boards Vol 1 & 2

It’s the end of Polyvore as we know it as it’s now turned into a shopping website called SSense, meaning all of our mood boards and outfit collages have just disappeared – never to return! Luckily the reason why I started using Polyvore was to share my creations on my blog so I still have them – phew!

VOL 1

Fruity and Fabulous

Stylish Stationary

Summer in the City

Jumper, Jeans & Heels (JJH)

Late 80’s Early 90’s Cool

Girls Cagool, Boys Drool

Life is Better, Down Where it’s Wetter…

Rose Gold

Belt Bags, Belt Bags, What Ya Gunna Do

Superhero Stuff

Chill-tastic

Cross Your Heart

Rainbow Unicorn

I’m So Fancy – Velvet

Colourful Kicks

VOL 2

Glam Goth

Rose Gold & Monochrome

Geek Girl

It’s the Vinyl Countdown

Miss Sporty

Summer Style Sensible Shoes

Stranger Things…Have Happened

Girls Night Out

Sneaker Pimps

Looking Well Shady

Glam Rock

Back to Nature

Big Kid

Tough Bitch

I’m going to stop now and post more next week. I mean, how many mood boards can one handle at once, really? ;o)

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

 

Old English Company – Quirky Stationary, Homeware and Gifts

I’m one of those people that loves to be surrounded by nice things. No item is just a note pad or a coaster or a cup, everything I own has been chosen for it’s function but also it’s form. Old English Company is a brand that excels in the design of these types of items, quirky, yet relatable, pretty but practical. Here are my top picks.

This coaster captures my early morning thoughts exactly and sits on my blokes bed side table as a not so subtle hint! I really like that the daily planner has a to-do list on one side and a dairy/journal page on the other. I wish all diaries and planners had space for you to fill in your own dates like this one does as I think it looks awful when you miss a day or two in the pre-planned ones.

As I don’t drink much tea and didn’t grow up in a household where the kettle was always on, I often forget to ask people if they want a brew. So now this coaster can do it for me.

I was surprised to see that Old English Company also do enamel pin badges and greetings cards as well stationary and homeware. I treated myself to three badges; A cute pumpkin one for halloween as I love pretty seasonal accessories, ‘First coffee, then the world’ and a ‘Coffee first’ pin as I clearly have more coat lapels available than I do cups of coffee. I chose an Xmas card for my Dad (I like to plan ahead) and a birthday card for the Bloke.

A wise person once said ‘Why have plain stuff about the place, when you can have pretty stuff instead.’ Okay, that person was me ^_^

Chrissie

 

Products mentioned we’re gifted to me.

Monthly Round Up – January

I’ve not posted that much this month, mainly because January is a bit bloody meh. I’ve only been averaging three hours of daylight with me being a night person, so not exactly motivating…Well, motivating me to turn on the TV and order takeaway!

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At the start of Jan I compiled a post of quirky motivational quotes – one for each day of the month. Some of my own making and other unclaimed one’s that I’d seen pop up on social media several times.

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I lost one of my snowflake earrings my Ma bought me (totally gutted) but found these beautiful one’s on Etsy by Pretty By Susan Jewellery. They were wrapped with such care, like a little gift.

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My only beauty review this month was Human + Kind Dry Hair Conditioner. What a wonderful start to the new year for my hair!

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I cannot justify spending money on tiny plastic unicorns, especially when I can’t tell which one I’m going to get as they are in blind boxes. Toki Doki notebooks on the other hand… ^_^

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I’ve slowly gotten into the habit of just accepting myself in piccies, rather than asking “Do my eyes look expressive/big/kind enough? Is my smile even?” Yes, I do have exquisite ‘resting bitch face’ and the photo often looks like it should be a meme captioned with a sarcastic ‘Yeah, right.’ or ‘As if.’ but it’s my face and I like me, so I guess I should like my face too – unintentionally disdainful expressions and all.

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I’ve been searching for some glam black heals with a bit (ok a lot) of sparkle for months. They were all either too high, too narrow, too slip on or too open toed. Then I found these in a wide fit and in the sale at New Look. I incorporated them into a sports-luxe outfit, with black straight-leg pants with a sporty beige side stripe, a velvet look rose-gold strappy top, black cotton cardigan, a metalic cross-body handbag and big hoop earrings. See bellow…

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To celebrate being together for just under a decade – but not sharing one tiny abode, which would drive us both nuts – me and the bloke went out for a meal. With lots of fun things planned in the next five months and having no money tree or generous genie tucked away, we decided to use up some vouchers to do what we’ve always both loved doing together; indulging in delicious dough, cheese and chocolate cake at Pizza Express.

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I decided to vicariously collect some urban apparel by putting together 12 Street Style Hoodies, all of which I’d wear myself and all of which are fairly affordable from the high street.

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More ‘Funny’ but Very Earnest Things I Said and Did as an A-typical Kid. If you have a sec and want a giggle and/or think you might identify with this.

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I made a fantastic peppercorn sauce by mistake! I combined 4 tspn dairy-free cheese sauce powder with 300ml almond milk, a teaspoon of nutritional yeast, salt and a lot of pepper.

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At this point in my life I’ve decided, unless my accessories are literally attached to me, then I can’t be responsible for not loosing them. I keep my handbag under my coat when walking through the city at night and love how versatile, cute and practical cross-body handbags bags are, so I selected 16 of the best.

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To help my conscience and the condition of my skin, I decided to try Zads vegan takeaway in Chorlton. I really want to say it was fantastic. It was not. For every positive, I found there was a negative (in my opinion) so fair-to-middlin I s’pose. If you live in the South Manchester area, please check out my review of Zads, then order something from them yourself and see what you think.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 16.49.43It’s happened again, I do a thing on Polyvore and the glossy magazines copy me. SMH. I think I’d faint in those trousers though.

Chrissie

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

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

The Highs & Lows of Shopping Online

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I’ll use it everyday!

High – You can eat, do the laundry, look after pets and/or kids and stay in your PJ’s while you buy things.

Low – It encourages you to not go out and get any sunshine or exercise or any face-to-face communication with people.

High – If you really need time alone you don’t have to have any face-to-face communication with people.

Low – When you forget your log in details and choose ‘reset password’ and then forget that as well. Then try to set up another account, only for it to say ’email is already in use’.

High – When you get a little card on your door matt saying ‘Sorry we missed you’ and you see your lovely next door neighbour has taken it in for you.

Low – When you come home to find the posty has left your parcel ‘in a safe place’ which means it’s on public display in your tiny front garden.

High – To be able to compare brands and refine your search results, brings an afternoon of shopping down to an hour online.

Low – Late night impulse buys. Of course I will use this coffee cup holder which doubles as selfie stick!

High – Having access to speciality things such as certain foods or limited edition collectables or retro and vintage things that you can’t get on the high street.

Low – When you get clothing in your size but the silhouette is box-like, yet something else in your size imitates clingfilm, even though it looked an average fit on the model.

High – The little spy glass that lets you zoom right in on the details and the list of specs underneath the photo.

Lows – Buying black clothes and only noticing stealthy bows/slits/laces when you’re actually wearing the item o_O

High – Feeling under the weather, having a chronic illness or not having access to viable transport but not needing to hunt and gather your stuff from all over town.

Which one’s do you identify with?

Chrissie

Miniature Stationary

Have you noticed how so many things become ‘cute’ just because they are small? I once got a sample of coffee in a perfect miniaturised glass jar and squealed at how ‘cute’ it was – in the middle of Tesco. Is it just women who do this?

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Mini Roll added for scale lol

I seem to be acquiring (collecting?) mini stationary at the moment, my excuse being it takes up less storage space. I’m on the look out for mini highlighters next. Any suggestions for mini stationary shops? Literally the actual shop, nah I’m kidding.

Chrissie