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🖤✨

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✨🖤

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✨🖤

    Protein Salad using Gosh falafel and Violife Greek White Block.

    I know blogging about a salad is a little like when Carrie in Sex and the City resorted to writing ‘Men are like socks…’ because she’d run out of shit to say BUT we are on lockdown and to be fair it is a great salad, with two of my fave products, hopefully still available from your local supermarket.

    Gosh Mediterranean Falafel

    Black olives

    Red and green bell pepper,

    Ice berg lettuce

    Rocket

    Cucumber

    Humus

    Violife Greek White Block

    Olive oil, salt and pepper

    Sprinkle of mixed seeds

    The Violife block wasn’t remotely salty or crumbly enough to be feta but Is was uncannily similar to goats cheese, yum!

    I always steam falafel for a minute in the microwave to warm and soften it up a little. Gosh falafel is always tasty and never dry but if you get a brand that is, steaming will also help with that.

    What are your fave salad additions?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Can You Make a Cheese & Ham Sandwich Gluten Free & Vegan?

    I used to love the cheese, ham and English mustard or pickled onion butties my Mum used to make me for my packed lunches at school and even work if I was running late. As a lot of you will know, now I have a gluten and dairy free diet and I’m veggie, I try most of the time to be vegan because it’s the kind thing to do and I’m nearly there anyway.

    Here’s what I used

    Genius Seaded Loaf

    Vitalite Vegan Spread

    Violife Flavour Ham Slices

    Violife Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block

    Colman’s Mustard (a teeny bit)

    Verdict on the Ingredients

    The ham had some decent flavour and the texture wasn’t too bad, just a little soft. The last ham substitute I tried had the texture of a damp flannel, so this was an improvement.

    The block was, almost aggressively, cheese flavoured. It tasted more cheesy than cheesy puffs, Wotsits and Mini Cheddars put together and I have to admit that I liked it!

    OMG I do not remember English mustard being blow-your-head-off kind of strong. Whew!

    I love all kinds of Genius bread because it really is THE best gf bread you will find.

    Vitalite do one of the best dairy free spreads. It doesn’t taste strongly of olive oil (like some) and it’s not as wish-washy as others.

    The Result

    The ‘ham’ and ‘cheesetasted unexpectedly similar and the textures were identical. I should have cut the cheese chunkier but then the flavour would have been overwhelming. The ‘ham’ and the mustard where perfect together so I just stuck to that for the next sandwiches I made. Ive been eating the cheese on crackers with different sandwich pickles or in a toasty with fresh spring onions.

    Can you make a ham & cheese sandwich gluten free and vegan?

    Nope!

    Hope you enjoyed my little experiment. At least now you know what products are good for other things.

    What are your suggestions for gf vegan sandwiches?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    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

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    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

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    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!

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    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.

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    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!

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    Here’s what I’ve thrown out.

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    A slightly smaller pile, heehee.

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    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.

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

     

     

     

     

    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

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤