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✨🖤

Best Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free Products & Places 2019

Best Meat Free Options

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Oumph! Kebab Spiced (soya based, gluten free) Incredible flavour, very filling, really easy to stir fry or grill, chunky and chewy!

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Like Meat, Like BBQ Chicken (soy based, gluten free) Ah-maze-ing! Similar taste and texture to a BBQ thigh but nicer. Another very versatile replacement but this time not as chewy.

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Quorn Fishless Fingers (Vegan, Not gluten free) Better than the fish fingers that I remember; these are lovely on a butty with citrusy or vinegar flavoured crisps or on a plate with beans and chips.

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Aldi No Sausage Rolls (Vegan, Not gluten free) If I didn’t already know these were vegetarian I would never have guessed. My only complaint is that the filing only fills 2/3rds of the width.

Best Dairy Free Ice Cream

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Perfect World, Caramel Pecan Ice Cream (Vegan, gluten free) This is full of flavour and vitamins and minerals. Personally, I’d have made the pecans chunkier but I’d still buy it again.

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Cornetto Vegan (Vegan, gluten free) The only noticeable difference between these and the usual ones are that they’re quite a bit smaller.

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Ben & Jerry’s, Coconutterly Caramel’d Ice Cream (vegan, gluten free) Gorgeous! As good as Chunky Monkey, almost as good as Cookie Dough :op

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Bouja – Bouja, Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream (dairy free, gluten free, organic) Very strong – almost smokey – flavour, really creamy consistency but the pecans and pralines are too blended. I add broken up digestive biscuits for more texture.

Snacks and Treats

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Manomasa, Tortillas (gluten free, dairy free) – Full of flavour and perfect for scooping up dips.

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Bouja-Bouja Chocolate Truffle Collection (dairy and gluten free) – Vanilla and rhubarb, cherry, salted caramel, caramel, hazelnut, ginger, rum, Champaign, espresso are the flavours in these truffle selections. Possibly the best dairy free chocolate in the world.

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KIND Snack Bars Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt (gluten free, NOT dairy free). Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt (gluten free, dairy free). Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate (gluten free, dairy free). These are expensive at £1.50 each (!) but they are full of complementary flavours and really substantial.

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Genius Double Chocolate/Blueberry Muffins (gluten free, dairy free) Nommmmmm, that’s my breakfast and supper, right there.

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The Coconut Collaborative, Banoffee Pots (dairy free, gluten free) If you are getting these teeny pots of joy for your kids, you’ll want to buy a second lot for yourself – believe! Similar to creme caramel that’s been stirred around but with the addition of banana.

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Gu, Strawberry & Rhubarb/Lemon Cheescakes (gluten free, dairy free) Not quite as solid as traditional cheesecake but equally delicious, these two flavours are both sweet and refreshing.

Manchester Vegan Takeaway/Dinner

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V Revolution This is the place for an incredibly creative take on traditional American junk food. Vegan mains, sides, milkshakes, cocktails and cake. The atmosphere is pop-culture with a twist. In the photo above my expression is a mix of excitement and wondering how the hell I’m going to fit this burger in my mouth!

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Zad’s Vegan with very little gf options but incredibly well thought out food. The ZFC (rather than KFC) fried cauliflower is an utter revelation, the pizzas and burgers are well balanced and not too sweet and they sometimes give away free cupcakes. Hardly any remote customer service but lovely and friendly in person.

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Vegan Shack This is the place to order from if you are either dairy free or vegan and gluten free as they have gf options of pizza (including the above topping) and one of their kebabs (on request). Their online customer service is fantastic and delivery times are reasonable. My only complaint is that the cheese is on the sweet side as is the sauce. More salt please!

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Pizza Express They have many gf, df and veggie option for mains, sides and deserts and can be flexible (up to a point) with changing food to suit dietary needs. It will be such a shame when they cease trading late next year.

Bonus

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Aside from the Gu, these are free-from items I like but don’t absolutely love. Clive’s gf pies are surprisingly good microwaved (like a chip shop Pudding); This Gosh! falafel is the best falafel I’ve tried; Dragon fly make small but substantial gf burgers; Soulful pots make two wonderful nut curries/meals that I would happily pay for in a restaurant. Their other options have the usual veggie/bean tangine flavours.

I hope you found this helpful and it gave you food for thought – sorry!

🍔Chrissie🍔

 

 

Tips For a Stress Free and Safe Night Out

Learned from over 21 years of Friday and Saturday nights out, my realistic tips include prep, keeping track of your mates, getting there and back and keeping the fun going while you’re there.

1. If you’re unsure about the area, speak to friends or locals to find out about the streets or places to visit AND to avoid.

2. Phone a taxi company before hand a book a return cab for a realistic time (probably a little bit before the club/bar chucking out time) and agree where to be picked up. Have other local cab company numbers in case it doesn’t work out or find where the nearest base/office is.

3. Buy a stylish cross-body handbag bag that has a zip or solid clasp so your bad doesn’t get ‘dipped’ by thieves. Wear it inside your coat when out on the street.

4. Always store enough money for food and a taxi in a separate part of your purse, bag or (ideally pocket) so you don’t accidentally spend it.

5. Have a pair of fold up ballet flats in your bag. So no limping around on blistered feet at the end of the night. Practical and it doesn’t make you look like a target.

6. Always be friendly to the door and bar staff, you never know what they might be able to help you with.

7. If you are in a big club or area and go separate ways, agree on a place to meet back up.

8.  If your good mates say you are too pissed, believe them and get them to escort you to the toilets to freshen (sober) up a bit. You do not want to get suddenly thrown out on your own by the doormen, making you vulnerable.

9. If you do end up worse for wear, it’s safer to trust groups of women rather than a man, no matter how charming they may seem.

10. Keep an eye on your drink at all times or ask someone you know and trust to watch them. Don’t accept physical drinks from strangers, instead go to the bar with them, order it and then let them pay.

11. Before leaving a place check you have everything (coat, bag, phone) and everyone. No one wants to get left behind because they went to the loo!

12. When walking to a place either walk the same speed as the slowest person or break into two groups (if there’s a lot of you), with clear agreement on where you are heading.

13. Same as when you are getting food. Everyone needs to make it clear where they are going and who they are going with or if they want someone to wait for them.

14. Don’t be that dick who just goes home without telling anyone. People will be worried if you just disappear.

15. Make sure you are getting into a registered taxi. Is the logo familiar? Do they have photo ID with their driver number on ? If you have booked it, they should know your name and address. Agree on a price first so they can’t inflate the fare.

16.  When you’re at home, message each other to say you’ve had a top night and you’re home safe.

Happy partying people!

Hallowe’en Inspired Accessories

I know it takes some people a lot of confidence to really go-all-out for Hallowe’en but that doesn’t mean you can’t Vamp It Up a bit. Sorry, I couldn’t help it!

Deaths Head Moth Pin (print also available in dresses and tops) – Em and Sprout

Jezebel Tote Bag – Vivienne Of Holloway

Zombie Girl Pin – Worn To Death Apparel 

Cobweb Tassel Earrings – Boohoo

Chrissie V- -V

10 Ideas for a Cozy Autumn & Winter

  1. Treating yourself to a new scarf, hat or gloves
  2. Hot chocolate or spiced tea/coffee in a big mug, which you can wrap both hands around
  3. A stroll around a big indoor artisan food or craft fair
  4. Fairy lights decorating a room, before and after Christmas
  5. A candle or perfume with a comforting fragrance
  6. Extra blankets and big cushions on the settee/bed to make a nest from
  7. A thick novel or biography which really engages you
  8. Donating food/clothes to projects and charities for people who are especially vulnerable around this time of year
  9. Big, hearty homemade stews or pies
  10. Having the heating automatically turn on for a while, just before you get out of bed

Chrissie

Mystery Blogger Award

I was nominated for this award by Hunida over at Hunida’s Blog; a lifestyle/journal type blog that’s as honest as it is amusing and interesting. Thank you so much! It came at a good time for me as I was thinking my blog was all over the place these days but now I realise that’s why it’s fun!

About the award:

This is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

Rules:

  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
    Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Nominate other people to receive this award.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird/funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Hunida’s Q’s to Me

(Weird/funny) Are you able to poop in public restrooms?

LOL Only if there’s enough loo roll to pad the toilet bowl with first, to reduce the sound!

What are your favorite foods in the breakfast category?

I have my breakfast around 12.00pm – 1.00pm, usually some light deli type stuff from the fridge or a halloumi wrap if it’s a cheat day.

What is your favorite brand and style of pens? How about pencils?

Anything non scratchy and with a wide rubber grip as I grip my pens so tight, it’s like my life depends on it. Nothing smudgy either as I’m left handed.

What do you do when you have a really bad headache?

Curl up and sleep, wherever I happen to be!

Do you use a laptop, desktop, cell phone, or tablet to blog on?

Laptop or tablet depending on whether I’m typing and adding links or editing photo’s with apps.

Three Things About Myself

  1. I’m proud to be neurodiverse (Google it)
  2. I need hugs on a daily basis as they sort of recharge me
  3. I’ve never met anyone who likes a larger range of music and TV genres than myself – although I’d love to!

I Nominate:

Megan @ A Geeky Gal

Cher @ The Chicago Files

Alexis Chateau @ Alexis Chateau

Mariah @ Bizarre Brunette

Meghan @ Got Meghan’s Blog

Michelle @ A Geek Girls Guide

I get the feeling the dudes I follow wouldn’t join in with blog tags, but if you identify as a dude or an alien or whatever and you want to join in, please do!

My Questions for you

  1. Would you rather be a famous super hero and have lots of vague friends OR be the normal you and have a few close friends?
  2. How has your blogging style changed since you started and why?
  3. If you could make a pizza OR a milkshake/smoothie and add ANY ingredients to it (no judgment) what would you make?
  4. If you could have one small-medium wish, what would it be? (NOT endless wishes lol)
  5. What is the most important thing in the world to you?
  6. What decade do you feel suits your personality and style the most?

My Best Post

Polly Pocket Bag from Truffle Shuffle review

Chrissie

An Afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

 

I think the reason me and the bloke haven’t gone on more city breaks for long weekends is that living in Manchester can sometimes feel like a city break in itself.  It has a vibrant city centre including shops, bars, restaurants and unusual fun things to do, axe throwing, climbing, trampolining, mini golf with cocktails, Crystal Maze and Escape Rooms anyone? It has little mini town centre’s like Chrolton, Didsbury, Fallowfield and Denton with high street clothes shops, quality charity shops and independent cafe’s. For a city it also has surprisingly large parks like Alexandra, Debdale and Heaton park.

It was my birthday recently so we went to V Revolution again. Is it possible to get tired of yellow stretchy cheese, too many sauces at once and fried/pickled things? Probably not.

If you ignore my double chin, I swear this burger was as big as my head. The Bloke commented ‘It’s a shame that your jaw isn’t hyper-mobile as well’ with a wink. I tried my first ever Long Island Iced T and was a little disappointed it didn’t taste anything like traditional iced tea but I did like the watery raspberry flavour. It would certainly do the trick on an empty stomach, even if you did eat a literal tower of food afterward.

I nipped in Forbidden Planet and the ever-friendly Travelling Man to pick up some comics thanks to Free Comicbook Day. I chose these four as I thought they were all pretty individual and something I might want to check out further.

 

I could have spent hours documenting the cute and sometimes thought provoking, wheat-paste art that was on every lamp post and bollard. But you know when you’d rather enjoy the feel of a place, rather than obsessively recording it?

I decided to try some new things and the lady who works at McCall’s Organics is so friendly and knowledgable about everything, you don’t feel silly asking for ‘kefoocha?’ and ‘Kimishi?’

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I bought Kingfisher Aloe Toothpaste as my teeth are getting more sensitive. My gut is also on the sensitive (read big giant diva) side so I got the above drinks and kimchi which have live cultures that help digestion.

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As the queues for gelato were astounding, I decided to treat myself to these dairy free dreams that McCall’s keep in their fridge.

 

 

 ❤ Chrissie

 

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The Geeky Girl Tag

I know I’ve done this before but it was quite a while ago and likes and dislikes change over time, so I’m doing it again! I noticed this recently on A Geeky Gal and those are the questions I’m using today.

What is your must-have tech gadget?

It has to be my iPad. Here’s a pretentious thing to say – if I didn’t also have an iMac, I’d be lost without my iPad. Urgh, I know right!? I realise I’m very, very lucky to have both but I can’t choose between them as often they are my link to the outside world and company during the day, rather than just house plants and delivery drivers.

Which house do you belong to in Hogwarts?

I’d have to say Gryffindor because it’s summed up by courage, honour, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak. I am a very full-on person when it comes to standing up for myself and calm when navigating possibly dangerous situations. I’ve always stood up for others too and have a very strong sense of fairness and justice.

Who is your favorite Doctor?

Has to be Christopher Eccleston, mainly as I fancy the arse off him.

If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?

If you look at how Spock behaves when he’s been on the Enterprise for a long time and how he logically thinks about problems but how he cares about others welbeing, I’m sure he’s an Aspie (although no one has ever officially confirmed this).

What is your gaming system of choice?

Playstation is what I had then and its what I have now, with a mostly ignored XBox in between.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Teleportation. I would go on clothes shopping sprees (where I’d get to try stuff on, rather guessing sizes online) and buy free-from veggie food for lunch from my fave places. I’d visit cities and national parks around the world. I’d go on beach holidays but only for ten minutes at a time because of the heat. I’d do some superhero stuff too, of course but only after I’d finished my Humingbird cupcake from New York’s Magnolia Bakery.

What is your favorite fantasy world?

Rivendell. Just look at that architecture and nature!

If you could be any fictional race, what would you be?

This is a bit of weird answer but I look very different from most English people and from my family. I’m also an Aspie so I don’t get a lot of what people do. For instance in Manchester people say “Y’oright?” but they aren’t actually asking “Are you all right?” It’s just a way of saying “Hi”. But I find myself thinking they must be concerned about my health if I’m having a wobbly/fatigued day and genuinely answering them – doh! Also when people say “Yeah, we’ll have to catch up sometime.” I’m like “Ok, when?” then I realise they didn’t actually mean that either. So a lot of the time I feel like I’m already from some other race, from some other planet anyway.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek as I think the new Star Trek Discovery series is engaging, well written and well acted and because Jason Issacs.

List your top 5 geektastic movies or TV Series.

  • Westworld
  • Jessica Jones
  • Elementary
  • Santa Clarita Diet LOL
  • Extant
  • List your top 5 favorite video games. (26 years of gaming!)
  • Spyro The Dragon/Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Metal Gear Solid – The Phantom Pain/Titan Fall
  • Teken/Mortal Kombat
  • GTA/Any Winter X game
  • Devil Dice/8 Ball Pool

Hope you found my answers interesting and feel free to join in!

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Chaophraya – Thai Restaurant – Manchester

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It was the Blokes birthday recently and he chose to go to Chaophraya (named after the longest river in Thailand). We’ve always found the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the staff to be lovely so it’s always been a treat to eat there. I was a little disappointed there were no gluten free beer options and that they only had Singh beer on offer but the cocktail menu more than made up for that. The Banana Daiquiris were as amazing as they sound, although the Bloke wasn’t quite as keen.

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I’ve always appreciated that the chefs at Chaophraya know how to cook veg so it’s almost al dente but not a challenge to bite. They also use the lightest tempura batter and make surprisingly thick pancakes which taste more like comfort food, rather than part of a starter.

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We have started our own trend of ordering a starter or a big main salad, as a side that we can both share. The shredded papaya salad with peanuts, veg, lime, chilli and sugar sounded appealing. All of the flavours combined to make it the tastiest and most refreshing salad I’ve ever eaten.

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We both love the creamy, spicy Masaman curry but they had it with lamb on the menu so we asked if we could have a veggie version. They said no problem and even asked if we wanted to include tofu. We also ordered coconut rice as we thought it would go well with the curry and the lime flavours in the papaya salad, which it did.

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Note: In some areas of the restaurant they have soft banquette seating and some are much lower than average chairs with no back support. So depending on your needs, it’s worth noting when booking if you want to sit at the many tables and chairs.

Chaophraya

19 Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HN
T: 0161 832 8342
E: manchester@chaophraya.co.uk

Chrissie