Your Fave FOOD Photo’s From The Last 6 Months

(Clockwise)

Veggie black pudding with beetroot sauce and salad from Vertigo, Mcr.

Gf Seeded Nairn’s crackers with vegan Flora, Violife original ‘cheese’ and green olives and capers.

Veggie stew of everything from the back of the cupboard, the fridge and the freezer.

Mashed spud made with vegan Flora, Linda McCarneys gf Red onion and Rosemary sausages, green beans and peas with Bisto (happens to be gf) caramelised onion gravy.

Salad with Original Tofoo and tamari (gf soy sauce).

Salad with Smoked Tofoo, Gosh! falafel and Siriacha sauce.

Oomph! Kebab Strips, rice, pea and sweetcorn with chilli oil.

Smoked Tofoo covered in toasted sesame oil and grilled, with Helmans mayo and 1/3 tin of Co-op mixed bean spicy salad.

(Centre)

Gosh! Falafel and Violife White Block (taste and consistency of goats cheese not feta) salad with home made hummus (lots of tahini and olive oil).

I hope this has given you some ideas for simple and tasty veggie and gluten/dairy free food. 😋

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Your Fave LIFESTYLE Photo’s from the Last 6 Months

I post a selection of photo’s from this blog onto my Instagram and share a few general images everyday. Come follow me if you don’t already @vamp_it_up_mcr

I’ve gone through which photos got the most likes (on Insta) and divided them up into four categories, Lifestyle, Style, Food and er, Me!

Lifestyle

(Clockwise)

Gap Between Buildings When you walk down Whitworth Street heading to Oxford Road, you cross over a tiny bridge without realising and that’s the view of the canal and swanky apartments to your left.

Baby Jay I’ve only ever seen a Jay twice before so this little’un sitting right outside the window was lovely surprise.

Sorting my makeup and storage I chucked out anything old or crap and arranged everything here into one bag and base coverage and tools/brushes into a wicker basic. I indulged my left over OCD traits and lined up everything colourful for this photo; so satisfying!

Pins I have so many pins I have to rotate them on bags and coats. I need to make space on my pin board to display them all properly.

Skincare Routine After setting myself he challenge to get healthier skin in one month, I narrowed down my products to these and found a consistent routine and it worked!

Street Art This is a very old photo of the side of a block at the start of The Northern Quarter. The beautiful art (subject now replaces by Mcr bees) is by Faunagraphic who’s responsible for all of the nature inspired, pastel or brushstroke effect street-art in town. Check out that pretty fire-escape too.

Narwhals Narwhals Swimming In The Ocean (the pre-curser to the baby shark song) My Bloke got me these slippers last Xmas.

Bench In Our Tiny Backyard All my Dads work. I offer to help with our yard but he always refuses as he loves doing it so much. He’s like me, if he gets an idea in his mind, he knows exactly how he wants it. I’m not arguing as it comes out looking lovely every time ^_^

(Centre)

Sustainable (what used to be referred to as Eco) Purchases I got everything here from an online shop called Ecologue. Metal flask, really light but efficient; Bamboo toothbrush, the most comfortable one I’ve ever used and biodegradable; Cleansing pads, also made from bamboo and machine washable!

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts…

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Assembling a Dragon Canvas from Photowall.

When Photowall got in touch asking me if I’d like to review their service I was intrigued. Photowall specialise in posters, canvas prints and more surprisingly, detailed wallpaper designs. As I have so much furniture against the walls of my room I chose a canvas print.

Choosing the Size and Subject

This is a print of Hobsyllwin painted by Ciruelo. I wanted the subject of my canvas to be a peaceful looking dragon with neutral blue and golden tones to match the rest of the decor of my room so this one was perfect! It was easy to browse on the site by looking under different categories or using the search box. You can also upload your own image, such as a photograph.

Once I’d  chosen the subject, I choose the dimensions on a sliding scale (so no working out numbers) and then I saw what it would cost, had I not been gifted this.

Packaging and Postage

The print arrived within two days! I’ve never had anything arrive that fast. It was environmentally packaged in a thick cardboard box, padded with brown paper. It included the canvas, four sides of a frame and fixtures and fittings.

Rather than assembling the frame and stretching the canvas over it like I’m used to, this came with very sticky tape along the edge of the very sturdy frames. You place the edge of the frame planks onto the edge of canvas and then fold them in, to create the frame shape.

This is me practicing before peeling the backing off the tape. Sadly, even though I’d stuck three sides perfectly to the edge of the canvas, the top frame didnt have room to fold over into place. It just sat awkwardly on top of the sides frames at the corners. I had to move it back a little to fit it into place but that meant it was overhanging the canvas slightly. I wished I had a bit of canvas space to spare. The print is going to hang high up so it will be too high to notice it doesn’t reach the edge, very fortunately!

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Screwing the frame together was incredibly easy and I did it by hand. I’ve not hung it up as it’s too big for me to manage on my own.

I’d have much preferred it to have been professionally mounted for the price, if I’d have bought it but overall I’m really pleased with my dragon. He’s going to hang high-up at the side of the chimney breast (if he’ll fit), facing the door so he’ll be the first thing you see on entering the room.

If you are interested in getting 25% off a poster, wall paper or a canvas you can use vampituppw2020 at the checkout. Hurry though as offer ends 6/6/2020.

💛✨Chrissie✨💛

Monthly Life Update – March (Yup, I know we’re well into April)

March was a bit of a non-month really. Me and the bloke started our quarantine, apart from him having an hour in the park every few days. It’s a big park with wide paths and wide gates so no need to be anywhere near anyone else. A Submotion Orchestra gig (dub, orchestral, hip-hop) got cancelled which was sensible but sad. Luckily we hadn’t booked anything else or made plans to go anywhere else.

Lifestyle

In January I made a secret resolution to avoid gluten as it effects my breathing and doesn’t help with my naturally challenged memory and concentration skills, as well as making me bloated. I’m doing better with the above which is wonderful and I’ve have discovered I have a little square chin, rather than the two (or even three) rounded chins that I normally have. Bonus!

At first I thought the Jay was screeching at me for food, until I put some out and it ignored it. It carried on screeching right next me. I went into the kitchen at one point and noticed it stopped. I came back and it started. I realised it had looked at me, sat in my living room and decided I was too close to the branch that it had chosen and was shouting at me to go away! Erm…..!?

This is Little Groot, the huge chilli plant we cut right back to a tiny stump when it stopped giving us chilli’s. It’s a tenacious little fecker and has come back with a vengeance, which we hoped but didn’t really expect.

I find the trend of young women shaving the peach fuzz off their cheeks such a shame. It’s natural, your skin isn’t supposed to look as smooth and shiny as a Barbie Dolls and why are we adding yet another step in the relentless quest to look perfect’? Here’s me with my fluffy face (you can see it on the right hand side in contrast with the shadow) which most people find really sweet.

Style

I went through a pastel-goth moment (perfect style to cheer up grey, cold weather) and found this huge metal quote pin from Crazy Crafty Chick Club.

I’m still rocking my custom Airforce 1’s and find that they go with basically everything. I can fit my orthotics in them and I can wear my ankle brace with them too. If you need spacious, stable but fairly light weight footwear, these are dream shoes!

I’ve finally got all of the styles of boots I’ve ever wanted so I will not be buying any more, ever. The chunky pair are from Koi and the slimmer pair are from Newlook (detachable wings from Koi) and everything is vegan.

Beauty

I stumbled across this independent soap brand in Tesco of all places as it was the only soap left but it’s the best soap though, how odd!? Vegan, cruelty free and genuinely natural. They do a range for pets too!

Cheered myself up with a sparkly coral mani.

Food

I bought this beautiful vegan porcini mushroom sauce and gluten free gnocchi in a huge (and perfectly timed) shop from Ocado just before all of their delivery slots got maxed out.

First salad of the year! With Violife Greek Block (supposed to be feta, tastes exactly like goats cheese instead) and Gosh! Mediterranean Red Pepper Falafel. I do get boxes of cheap falafel mix from the corner shop as well but these are quick and easy for when I’m fatigued.

Amy’s Burritos are the perfect size between a snack and a meal. This one is the tofu breakfast scramble and there are several others with rice and one with cheesy baked-beans. So good!

I tried Violife extra cheesy block and ‘ham’ slices, which had such similar textures and even flavours, that they blended together to create one weird flavour in my sandwich. Fail! The ‘ham’ is perfect on a sarny with pickled onion/cauliflower or a teeny bit of mustard. The cheese is perfect on a sarny with spring onions or on a cracker with sandwich pickle.

What a strange, almost surreal month that was.

🖤✨Chrissie🖤✨

‘This & That’ Indian Cafe have started delivering!

We ordered a delicious Vegetarian Curry Hamper £50 quid from This & That (rice and three type place). 2 chickpea curry, 2 Kidney bean and potato curry, 2 spinach curry, 2 mixed veg curry, 4 rice, 4 naan/chapatti (we replaced the bread with an extra bag of bahji’s), 4 onion bahji, 4 samosa. Amazing authentic curry! 😋

Phone to arrange delivery of a hamper (within around 3 miles) 0161 832 4971

Limited Edition Barry M Wildlife Eyeshadow Pallets

Barry M have collaborated with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and artist Emily Lamb to create three limited edition, vegan Wildlife pallets (£7.99). The special thing is that 20% of the net profits go straight to the specific animal on the pallet you have chosen. The tiger pallet has neutral and very warm tones but I’ve always loved pangolins and rhinos so I chose those two. They happen to really compliment each other too.

The Pallets

The Pangolin is the brightest little pallet that I’ve ever seen!

The Rhino is much more neutral but shimmery.

The Pallets

These prove that pallets made out of cardboard can still be sturdy and durable. I love how light and transportable these are and the small but functional mirror is a great touch.

The shadows

The immediate colour pay off isn’t quite as much as I was expecting from such velvety soft shadows and vibrant colours but to be fair, they are very solidly pressed in the pan. They do glide on and are very easy to build to get the depth of colour you want.

The pigment doesn’t shift easily so they aren’t the easiest shadows to blend but because I have oily eyelids and hooded eyes I prefer that they stick around.

The matts have great depth and even the neutral tones show up against my warm skin tone. The shimmers are beautiful with ‘Powerful’ in the Rhino pallet being an actual pan of glitter!

Applications

Ideally I would use the shimmers for my lid, inner corners and under the highest part of my brow. I’ll use the matts in a rounded shape above my lid and outer corners. It would look stunning with just two colours applied all around the eye, like teal and bronze or purple and pink, which is what I’ll do most often.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

‘Everything Curry’

Made this curry a few days ago from everything I had in the kitchen cupboard, fridge, freezer and vegetable rack.

Ingredients used

1 tin of chickpeas

1 tin of sweet corn

Frozen ginger and garlic paste (pre-frozen into portions in an ice cube tray)

Frozen edamame

Frozen green beans

Frozen chillis (from chilli plant)

Fresh button mushrooms

Fresh courgettes

Fresh sweet (Bell) pepper

Ancient potatoes

Ancient onions

Forgotten about chunk of ginger

Box of corn flower I found in the back of the cupboard to thicken sauce

Curry paste from opened jar in fridge

A load of basmati rice from giant 10kg sack

8 servings!veggiecooking #simpleveggiecooking #simplevegancooking #easyvegancooking #easyvegcooking

#viruscooking #isolationcreation #isolationcooking #makedowithwhatyouhave #cookingonabudget #simplecooking

I’m interested to know what’s the nicest meal you could knock up from what’s in your kitchen right now?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Best 4 Natural Deodorants

Our bodies need to sweat so we can cool down, rather than passing out. Usually we don’t need to sweat excessively, unless we are pushing ourselves physically or we’re in a hot climate and we certainly don’t need pong, yes even with natural deodorant!

Ohii Pure Stick Deodorant in Rose or Citrus Tea 72g £10

This very chubby stick uses charcoal to absorb sweat and treat odours. I recommend the Citrus Tea scent to Male you smell as fresh as a mountain top. Don’t use this if you are wearing a black bra or top as it can leave white marks if you spread it on your body very thickly.

Amphora Aromatics Roll-on Deodorant in Grapefruit & Cedarwood 50ml £4.90

There are three scents available but I find this unisex scent so sexy that I bought a vegan perfume which smells exactly like it! It doesn’t contain any aluminium, synthetic perfume or alcohol.

Your Nature Life Stick Deodorant in Sandalwood & Bergamot £7.95

A stick with oils and butters to nourish skin and arrow root powder to absorb sweat, this push up deodorant stick is packaged in cardboard only. Available in six scents, I love the sexy warmth of the Sandalwood & Bergamot scent.

Ku.tis Natural Deodorant £6.59 55g

This vegan deodorant is made with sunflower oil, rather than beeswax and comes in a biodegradable or recyclable cardboard tube. Available in five very mild scents, this little stick is really handy to pop in your handbag.

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All of these deodorants are cruelty free and work reasonably well but do need reapplying toward the end of the afternoon/early evening. I’ve not found any of them to block my pores or irritate in anyway. Another big plus I’ve noticed is that after a night out, even though I’ve been sweating, my top still smell great. I hope I’ve made your natural deodorant journey easier, lovely people!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Discovering – Little Soap Company

One good thing about all of the big brands selling out is that smaller, independent brands get chosen by shoppers instead. I found a soap from the Little Soap Company for sensitive skin which my face and body love!

Little Soap Company was created ten years ago by Emma Heathcote-James who wanted natural, organic and cruelty free soap to be available to everyone when doing their normal weekly food shop. Her soap is available at Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods and Sainsbury’s.

Their products are recognised as Vegan, Cruelty Free and organic are free from:

  • Detergents
  • SLS
  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
  • Sorbates
  • Silicones
  • Sulphates
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Synthetic preservatives

The companies products include:

  • Bar soap
  • Liquid soap
  • Soy candles
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Gift sets
  • Pet shampoo
  • A Mum and baby range
  • A range especially for men
  • This has come at the perfect time for me as I want a British, independent brand where I can shop online for simple blocks of soap and natural shampoo and conditioner that are reasonably priced.

    What’s one of your favourite natural skincare/haircare brands?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤