Narwhal Novelty Slippers

The bloke got me these Narwhal novelty slippers  £9.99 from eBay for Christmas – how adorable! ^_^

They are available in adult and child sizes but I still had to try them on to see if they’d fit. They are SO COMFY but if you have high arches and feet that are a size 7, you will need to sit down to pull them on. So if you plan on taking them on and off frequently you might want to try and find backless one’s. Me, I intend on living in them; might even go to the local shops in them ;o)

Chrissie

Bloom and Wild – The ‘Letterbox Flowers’ Saga

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

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

A few problems ensued

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Chrissie

Halloween Fashion

Dangerous Affair – Ciate

Arcane Mini Skirt – Hell Bunny

Hocus Pocus TeeFairyseason

Black Velvet Dress – EMP

Bite Me Tee – Boohoo

Part Time Mermaid [or ghoul] – Ciate

Florescent Skull Print Tights – Pamela Mann

Skeleton Earrings – ASOS

Lace Trim Long Sleeve Body – Boohoo

Moon Hair Streaks – Cyberdog

Jack Reversible Hoodie – EMP

Ghost Diamante Keyring  – Newlook

Chrissie V—-V

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

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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.

 

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

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

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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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