Monthly Life Update – February

I’ve broken my record for often being ten minutes late by being ten days late as I thought I’d already posted this. Here’s everything I’ve been doing and reviewing!

Sorry I’m a bit grainy. Manchester doesn’t get much daylight in February.

Lifestyle

I created a list post called Self Imposed Ban on Buying and wrote down everything I have a lot of, the reason why I have a lot of it and why I shouldn’t buy any more of it. It’s a lot easier to realise what’s going on and to harden your resolve when you can see it in black and white.

I reposted Spring Cleaning My Beauty Cupboard from last year because I’ve done so well with keeping it ordered and thinking thoroughly about my purchases, that I’ve not needed to do it again this year.

Food and Dinning Out

Me and the Bloke have decided we are going to take it in turns to choose where we want to eat out for the evening (and who pays), at least once a month. The bloke chose Sai Spice an Indian place in Chorlton.

We ordered the veggie starter platter to share and four smaller curries. One spinach and dumpling based, one chickpea dahl, a nutty yoghurt based one and a spicy but not too hot Kolhapuri. Everything tasted amazing! It’s a brightly lit, affordable, family style place and I think Lilly’s would have some competition if they were closer to each other. Couldn’t resist grabbing a kulfi to go.

Here’s my review of Vertigo, the plant based restaurant at First Street, Manchester, which was my choice. I’d been wanting to go for a while but waited until I heard some good reviews as I’m not exactly rolling in cash.

I bought some ‘facon’ in the form of Coconut Bacon by Pimp my Salad, which I’m throwing on pretty much everything or just eating straight from the jar.

We made English Gluten Free Pancakes for pancake day or Shrove Tuesday as they call it.

I sampled one of Clive’s Tarts which I realised tasted lovely chilled or heated up. I was surprised it was both dairy and gluten free.

I’ve finally discover how wonderful Tika is! Tika panner, Tika broccoli (Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to come across that one either) and tika mock chicken. I reviewed two very different Tika Masala Veggie Readymeals, one from Tesco and one from Asda.

Skincare and Makeup

On my never ending quest to find a base that makes me look all glowy and healthy, rather than matte and a bit sallow, I bought Pixi Beauty Balm. Did it do the trick? You’ll have to click!

I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint bit by bit, so I was pleased to find Zao essence of nature, a natural beauty brand that uses refillable bamboo packaging. I bought the essentials: Concealer and Mascara.

Thank you lovely people, for catching up with me.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Crazy Crafty Chick Club Pin

I came across Crazy Crafty Chick Club on Etsy when this awesome badge (Β£10.64) leapt out at me. Everyone I showed it to laughed and said it was perfect for me – in a good way!

It arrived fairly quickly considering it came from Canada and was packaged in a funky bubble wrap envelope and a cute cardboard box.

I know it’s hard to tell in these photographs but it’s actually made from a dark silver metal and big enough to need two pins. It really makes a statement!

Crazy Crafty Chick Club also sell other pins, stickers, iron on patches, jewellery and totes with feminist, geek or alternative style sentiments.

____________

I’d love to know, who else still adds pastel-goth influences to their style?

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Mummy Meagz Vegan Chuckie Eggso

These Mummy Meagz Vegan Chuckie Eggs are the perfect sweet treat for Easter, along with free-from hot crossed buns or maybe as a melted sandwich filling in hot cross buns! They taste so much better than cream eggs as they are made with darker chocolate, so not as sickly but the fondant is still lovely and sweet!

I love how easy they are to crack open and eat. I bought these from Holland and Barrett and they are also available from Alternative Stores and other alternative health food shops.

Rating 5/5

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Trying Vegan Shoes from Koi and New Look

My feet are the softest, most un-resilient feet that you can imagine so I’ve always worn soft leather shoes….or Docs, not quite sure why those are so comfy!? But I’ve had enough of buying leather shoes and vegan Docs are really expensive!

This is when I came across Koi vegan shoes. They’ve a reasonably priced brand that always have loads of sales on. These are obviously vegan with the black PVC fabric being very matte and thick. They are a lot lighter than chunky soled shoes and boots I had in the 90’s. Think hip-hop and goth street-wear, not Spice Girls, ha!

I’ve bought footwear from New Look since I was a teen, as they are always so comfy and affordable. So much of their footwear is now vegan too, like the boots below. You’d never know that the New Look boots are vegan as they have a slightly shiny leather-look finish. These also feel lighter than you’d expect.

I bought the batwings from Koi as soon as I saw them and then got the black boots from New Look a few weeks later. I bought boots to go with my wings! Nah, I’m joking, I’d been wanting plain black ankle boots for years, after I wore my old one’s to destruction.

The wings I attached (from Koi) have exactly the same finish as the boots (hurray!) and are padded for a quality look. I’ve been able to bend them around the boot slightly so I can walk in them properly.

I know having pale grey laces with hiking-style-boots is a trend that’s trickled down from the catwalks but I hate it. I replaced the grey laces with black ones from a pair of the Bloke’s old army boots.

I squashed the lace hooks closed with some pliers so they wouldn’t catch on the laces of the other boot and send me flying. Much betta!

I was impressed with the Koi packaging as each shoe came in a protective bag and the box had a hole and lots of silica packets to keep the shoes dry and aerated. The New Look shoes just came in a plastic bag, which I thought were a bit shite really.

I love both of my boots and the wings so much!

Rating 5/5 for everything!

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Clive’s Vegan Tart, Tomato and Olive Provancale

Clive’s Vegan Tart, Tomato and Olive Provancale is gluten free and obviously dairy free as it’s vegan. It has such a thick, almost creamy filling, that I thought I must be eating dairy by mistake!

I either eat this tart hot and just in its own for a warming breakfast or I have it chilled (like quiche) with salad for dinner. I’ve not found a way to eat it for my tea yet as it doesn’t go with gravy. Any ideas lovely people?

Rating 5/5

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

*First posted 1 year ago*

I’ve decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!

IMG_5810

This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.

___________________________

Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!

IMG_5695

Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

IMG_5697

A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

IMG_5732

Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps with your declutter! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free English Pancakes

I call these English pancakes because they are thicker than French crapes but no where near as thick as bread-like Scotch or US pancakes.

Ingredients for normal pancakes is always equal amounts of:

Eggs

Milk

Flower

Ingredients for gluten free pancakes is equal amounts of

Eggs

Milk

Cornflower

You will need to keep slowly adding more cornflower and blending until you get your desired consistency.

Top with masses of sugar and lemon juice.

Here’s The Bloke being a right tosser. πŸ˜‰ I managed one perfect flip and then tossed the second one so enthusiastically, it landed on the floor – on the other side of the kitchen! 🀣

Hope you have a flipping good time!

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Coconut Bacon by Pimp My Salad

This is a vegan and gluten version of bacon bits, made mostly of dried (not baked) coconut so it retains all of the nutrients. They are fairly thin, crunchy flakes and have a strong bacon flavour, like Frazzles crisps!

The seasoning on the coconut bacon is slightly powdery and dry, so it’s preferable to eat with sushi and salad or to top stew and buttery baked-potatoes.

This brand originates from Australia and is also widely available the US. There are some health food shops which stock it the UK though, like Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic, Alternative Stores and Healthy Supplies.

If you adore bacon, this is not for you. If you’ve been veggie or vegan for a while and like various brands of ‘facon’ then I think you will appreciate this.

Rating 3/5

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Self Imposed Ban On Buying…

This list is me banning myself from buying more of the things I already have far too much of, and why.

Food

Thai curry ‘flavour’ things – They all taste like lemons, perfume and disappointment.

Oat/Rice cakes – They last five minutes and then taste like a limp biscuit (not the band).

Tins of Indian style curries – Let’s be honest, I’m just going to order one from Uber anyway.

Vegan/dairy free cheeses – I love the vegan Applewood Smoked, anything else is just a bit meh.

Supplements (apart from Omega’s) – These either give me indigestion and I should be getting them from food anyway.

Takeaway – Yeah, right! πŸ˜†

Clothes

Those ‘waterfall’ cardigans that don’t close – They’re a bit shit when worn with leggings. “Hell no, don’t want no camel toe!”

Trainers – I rarely wear them because I’m always in boots.

Boots – 10 pair 😐

Yoga/lounge pants – Always either too tight, too hot or far too short. Seriously, is it just me, seriously?

Pointy toe’d shoes/High heel shoes – Oh the horror!

Countless Tees and Hoodies – Even I’m getting bored of seeing me in this combo.

Flannel shirts/Big Jumpers – I swapped the above obsession for this obsession instead!

Hair accessories – I wear my hair in a low bun with curly/spiked bits fanned out 95% of the time. Who am I buying these for?!

Dressing gowns – 6! To be Fair one has ears and another has ears and embroidered raccoon eyes on the hood. I’ll give a few to the charity shop.

Stationary

Partly this is because I’ve gotten gifted quite a bit, through brands or for Christmas but mostly it’s because I can’t resist cute journals.

Jewellery

If it’s dainty I either break it or loose it. I have amassed so much medium-chunky stuff, I’m only buying charity items like pin badges now. I like how I found a reason for more pin badges there. 😁

Certain Disability Aids

Some joints just don’t want to be braced it seems, or shouldn’t constantly be braced anyway, plus they’re too bloody expensive and I can’t try them on beforehand.

Heated neck & shoulder pads – One wouldn’t switch on. One eventually scorched and welded it’s wires together, WHILE I WAS WEARING IT. 😳

Nail polish

I stopped painting my nails for a year because they were too weak but every time I’d see a polish that had an unusual look I’d still buy it. Now my nails are healthy I have a lot of catching up to do!

Makeup

(I should just stop at ‘makeup’ lol)

Foundation/Base – I’m sticking with the one that works. I need to buy more of that actually.

Eyeshadow – I have a whole rainbow of colours in every finish/texture. Enough!

Eyeliner – Too subtle on my narrow eyes. I slap a load of eyeshadow on instead.

Liquid Lipstick – I don’t want my lips to look like shrivelled prunes after an hour cheers.

Books

I’m a slow reader in the sense that it takes me ages to get around to even starting new books. My reading list is ridiculous and my physical ‘to read’ pile is actually intimidating.

Skincare

This is the one category I use constantly so I’m applying a one-for-one rule. Use one item up – buy another one to replace it. No multiple versions of the same item.

No face masks – I can never be arsed to use these.

Bath bombs – I don’t own a bath. 😢

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€

Pixi by Petra Beauty Balm & H2O Skindrink Mini

About eight years ago I tried a lot of the BB and CC creams that came onto the market, with varying success. Then I got rather obsessed with finding the right radiance boosting foundation, with absolutely no success. So I thought I’d give Pixi Beauty Balm (High Coverage Foundation) Β£22 in Nude a try, as it looked like it might combine both.

Active Ingredients

  • Adenosine restores & smoothes
  • Ceramide NP provides time-release moisture
  • Chamomile calms & soothes
  • Hyalorunic Acid

Before I applied this I looked so fatigued and I’d not been taking care of my skin for several days (as a result of illness, my diet and my lifestyle choices) so it looked dull, greasy and blotchy with big grooves at the side of my eye bags.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

The first time I applied the Beauty Balm to unprimed skin it glided on so easily, matching my skin tone perfectly (darker than nude in my opinion) and it made my skin look flawless!

The second time I applied the H2O Skindrink and OMG did I look glowy and healthy!

It wore really well and evenly and my skin felt hydrated through the entire day.

After using this duo I now realise there is skincare and makeup and then there’s CAMOUFLAGE and MAGIC!

Disclaimer: No way in hell am I showing you the ‘before’ photo (recall the worst mug shot you ever saw and you’re nearly there). I couldn’t get an ‘after’ shot either as there’s hardly any natural light in my house in the afternoons. I tried using my very bright SAD light but that just bleached out my features (and any contrast) like those awful ‘youth boosting’ skincare adverts that are so prevalent now.

Anyway, below is an approximation…

Before

After

Seriously though….

Rating 5/5 πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½πŸ’ƒπŸ½

I am gutted that I can’t buy a full sized Skindrink H2O because – and I rarely say this – I need this in my life…and on my face.

πŸ–€βœ¨Chrissieβœ¨πŸ–€