McCall’s Organics – A Great Resource for Dairy-free & Gluten-free Vegetarians in Manchester

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McCall’s Organics is located on Church Street, where the family have been trading since 1920! They stock fresh fruit and veg, baking goods, snacks, veggie pâté, veggie ready meals, fresh bread, spreads, healthy drinks, cruelty free beauty and household goods, dairy free cheese and chocolate.

Usually in a small-ish shop I have to really search to find anything gluten or dairy free and have even been so pleased to find something that I haven’t noticed it contained meat! McCall’s stocked every single veggie free-from thing that I usually buy, apart from the Genius brand, which I can get from any supermarket anyway. It was like someone had made a shop just for me!

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Here is my shopping, you might have noticed I’ve reviewed some of these before. I would have gotten more but this is all I could carry. (clockwise in a spiral sort of shape) Eat Real Quinoa Chips in Sundried Tomato and Roasted Garlic; These are so tasty and perfect for scooping up humus or guac. Free and Easy Tomato Soup; I’ve really missed Heinz cream of tomato soup and this is fairly sweet with a lovely thick consistency. V Pud, veggie black pudding which, although not perfect, is very recognisable as black pudding and very tasty. Vio Life Pizza Cheese; Not only does this melt well and grate well but it actually tastes of pizza! Bouja Bouja Hazelnut Truffles; Little sweet choccy truffles with a light dusting of bitter choccy on the outside (best kept in the fridge so they don’t go too gooey). Kingfisher Toothpaste (they stock various flavours) which is cruelty free of course. Free and Easy Vegetable Balti is a spicy vegetable stew type of curry, which is great with rice but surprisingly filling on it’s own. Weleda Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash for kids but I love it as it makes my course hair incredibly soft and shiny. Organic Smoked Tofu; I like this fried with white onion and yellow sweet pepper, with added salt and pepper. Faith in Nature Soap, which helps to balance skin, rather than dehydrating it. Ecoleaf Aloe vera Handwash (not seen), which is antibacterial, cares for skin and only has a subtle scent so perfect when cooking.

What are your favourite free-from and cruelty free shops?

Chrissie

Yes to Blueberries Smooth & Shine Shampoo Review

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I was surprised to find that Yes to Bluberries Smooth & Shine Shampoo spread through my hair easily and shampoo’d well, even though it contains no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Like the good little tester-of-products that I am, I applied a basic conditioner after using this, rather than one of my thick moisturising one’s, to see how much effect this shampoo actually had.

The results were impressive. Super smooth, shiny, silky feeling hair! The ends of my hair were coarse but that’s just the natural texture before I oil them. I did notice my ends appeared healthier and less split than before though. My hair has remained manageable and balanced with no oily roots or fluffy ends for seven whole days! My hair still went crazy in humidity but after brushing it (yes, you read that right) with a plastic cushioned paddle brush (after apply a little anti static spray) it calmed down and appeared sleek and shiny again. This never happens to my kind of hair!

I love the shape of the packaging because I’ll be able to get every last bit out of the bottle. I was expecting the shampoo to have an amazing scent of blueberries but didn’t notice it much, but then I’d prefer that, rather than a large amount of synthetic fragrance.

  • 98% natural ingredients
  • Paraben free
  • SLS free
  • Phthalates free
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free

Yes to products are available from the usual places including Superdrug, Ocado and Walmart.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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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palette

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

 

Roots & Rituals Deep Conditioning Hair Oil

“You put oil on your hair? Seriously!” “Of course, before I shampoo…” “Ah right, I see!” “And whenever it starts to get too dry.” “Weird!” I’ve had similar conversation many times – even with people who have frizzy hair themselves. I think that’s weird, ha!

Who are Roots & Rituals?

Roots and Rituals are an independent company who see hair care as pampering time for your head and not just a necessity. They use natural ingredients and their products are silicone, mineral oil, SLS, paraben and artificial fragrance free.

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About The Product

Deep Conditioning Hair Oil £15.99 (cost and postage) 100ml ‘Pure and carefully selected ancient hair oils to create a truly effective ritual for both hair and scalp. Coconut, olive & avocado oils penetrate deeply into the hair shaft to lock in moisture. Amla, almond and sesame oils nourish and hydrate the scalp to help promote optimal hair growth. Argan, hibiscus and basil oils condition and repair the cuticle (outer layer of hair strands).’

How I Used It

I waited until I had an hour to myself and gave myself a soothing scalp massage with the oil. I also gently rubbed plenty into the very dry ends of my hair. I washed my hair as normal and then let it dry in the sunshine. When my hair was still damp I rubbed a tiny little bit between my palms and gently rubbed it onto the ends of my hair.

My hair is still damp in places

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Now my hair is dry

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Result!

I didn’t use any heat styling products or balms or curl cream. I was seriously impressed! I apologise that the bottom picture is slightly out of focus my Mum took it and she’s not used to my camera. It’s the first time I’ve not needed to flatten fly-away hairs at my roots with small hair straighteners. My hair is still like this two days later despite really bad humidity. In this climate I usually end up looking like Monica from that episode of Friends or Cousin IT or Side Show Bob from the Simpsons!

Good points

  • Wonderfully effective mixture of oils
  • The push and tip lid distributes one drop of oil at a time so you won’t spill it
  • I think the packaging looks cute and quite bohemian

Bad Points

  • The lid can be pressed open when the product is in the post but the packaging is so secure it won’t leak outside of the envelope.
  • I really didn’t find the scent appealing but my hair only smelled of the oil for a few hours and if you’re applying before washing only, then it won’t matter anyway.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie xx

Dr Cabello Argan Oil Treatment

If you regularly read this blog you will know that I have thick, coarse and rather wild hair, if not, you do now. Dominican Haircare were kind enough to send me a big tub of Argan Oil Treatment to try out, which as you can see looks rather like custard but smells wonderful! It contains essential fatty acids, Omegas 3 & 6 as well as Vitamin E.

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You can use this as a deep conditioner and leave in for ten minutes with hair wrapped in a turban or shower cap as I did and you can use a little sparingly on very damp hair as a curl cream. I did both. I used a blob a quarter the size of my palm in the shower, then a slightly smaller amount worked into very damp hair where it’s dyed as it’s naturally frizzier anyway.

Before using the treatment

(It was due for a wash so there’s some natural oil, rather than the usual fluff I get straight after washing)

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After using the treatment

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I couldn’t believe how defined my waves looked (my hair is completely dry in these photo’s) and it was so soft and shiny! I’ve also noticed that I’m not shedding as much hair as I used to throughout the day so my hair must be stronger after just one treatment. I only need to wash my hair every two weeks so this 16 oz tub will last me ages!

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Rating 5/5 

 

Chrissie xx

 

LUSH Curly Wurly Shampoo & Retread Conditioner

First up LUSH Curly Wurly Coconut (£9.95) shampoo which has been specially formulated to put the curl back into coarse frizzy hair. This has actual bits of coconut in it! It’s like putting something Gwyneth Paltro would have for breakfast onto your head. I’d forgot to comb my hair before I got into the shower and was worried I’d end up with a mass of tangled goop but it lathered up fine and untangled my hair quite a bit. After rinsing it off, my hair didn’t feel like straw which happens with most brands.

LUSH Curly Wurly Shampoo Retread Conditioner

Lush Retread Conditioner (£10.25) is for hair that’s been dyed, dried and styled to death and needs rescuing. I’m gentle with my hair but it’s so naturally coarse and frizzy it still needs that level of conditioning. Retread made my hair feel so silky the second I applied it, I could run my fingers right through it. I usually wrap my hair up and leave conditioner on for over 5 minutes but I deliberately skipped this step and rinsed it off with warm water rather than cold, to put the conditioner to the test.

I towel dried my hair, skipped the hair oil I normally use and refrained from flattening my usual halo of frizz with straighteners. This is the result.

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At this point my hair would normally be a coarse, wiry mass of fluff, I was amazed by the result! My hair felt so soft and fell into defined curls around my shoulders. In fact, my hair is still so silky 3 days later my hair bobble keeps sliding off. The. Best. Hair. Products. Ever!