The Best of Vamp It Up 2020 – Style, Plant-based Food and Lockdown Lifestyle

Even though this has been one of the weirdest years I’ve had, being in ‘lockdown’ isn’t that different from having chronic fatigue anyway really. Lots of telly watching, reading, putting outfits together for no particular reason, eating copious amounts of takeaway and going out to have a quick drink, when I’m able.

Leave your questions or comments below and I will consult my foggy (but sometimes, strangely encyclopaedic) brain to reply to them lol

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

My Hero Beauty Products of 2020

These are the products I’ve been using and purchasing repeatedly over the past year. They have been perfect for balancing my combination-type skin and hair.

Skincare

Haircare

General

I hope you’ve found this helpful and, as always lovely people, leave any questions or comments.

Extra…

Over the next couple of months I’ll be reviewing more skincare and beauty (including tinted lip balms and super moisturising lipsticks), as well as self-care and pampering products. Keep an eye on my Insta for a heads up!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Independent Business #1 Love Absolute skincare

This year I’m going to be doing a series of posts focussing on independent business, starting off the year with skincare.

Love Absolute was created by Holistic Therapist Sarah Bisset and specialises in botanically derived skincare. The brand is 100% cruelty free, vegan, organic and uses locally sourced ingredients, to support farmers, biodiversity and to cut down on carbon emissions.

I love their minimalist and recyclable packaging and it’s also good to know that their products are natural, fresh and free from unnecessary chemicals.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

December in Photo’s

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Hunkermoller

Ugg/Emu style boots – Dorothy Perkins

Making the most of the dark afternoons by making the living room feel all cozy.

Lots of natural skincare and lifestyle goodies in this Freedm Street advent calendar (items available to buy individually from heir online shop).

Making ‘special coffees’ by adding Baileys or Sailor Jerries Spiced Rum and throwing in pieces of salted caramel or hazelnut caramel choccy.

Jumper – Shein

Joggers – Cotton Traders

Bizarrely, for someone who has disabling arachnophobia when I see one, this was one of my favourite books as a child. It’s magical and a little creepy!

Little reindeer I found at the back of a cupboard!

Sparkly chocolate vegan brownie from Zad’s takeaway.

Dad decorated the whole downstairs in under 15 minutes. Secret festive ninja!

I’ve been watching His Dark Materials on BBC iPlayer and I am so impressed with this adaptation. Especially my favourite bad-ass actress, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter.

I’ve developed quite a obsession with cute cartoon penguins so I was really happy to get this card from my Dad ^_^

Tee – Next

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Cotton Traders

At the Blokes flat we have our 22inch Christmas tree. I swear, after Christmas this is being packed away exactly as it is now – it was so fiddly to decorate!

Like most people in he UK we don’t have candy canes but we do have gelatine-free sweets!

This wonderful wreath gives me serious Narnia vibes. Unfortunately where we live, neither of us can put wreathes on our front door as they would get nicked and given to someone’s Mam or Missus.

MOOEY CHRISTMAS YOU LOVELY LOT

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄

A Wonderful 2021 Diary by Pepper and Cute

This Pepper and Cute 2021 diary (£19.95) is a diary, organiser, planner and journal. With extra pages for TV, book and music lists, motivational illustrations, a zip-lock keepsake pocket, pretty post-it notes and stickers it’s a fun combination!

There are four different covers so I chose this one as it seems rather apt for someone living with disabilities and chronic illness like myself. I’m just that much of a diamond!

The lettering is rose gold, violet, sparkly rose gold or rainbow sparkly depending on how you tilt it. How clever is that!

Some of the Serious Bits

Some of the Fun Bits

CUTE LITTLE DETACHABLE BOOKMARK

My only complaint is that, even though this diary comes with several sheets per theme, you can’t buy extra refills so you have to be selective/frugal with how you use some parts of it.

This would make such a lovely, thoughtful present for someone. I’ve not been as excited to start a diary since my Smash Hits Magazine one which I got for ‘Crimbo’ as a teen in the 90’s, hehee!

🌟✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨🌟

Balm.com & Future Dew Oil/Serum by Glossier Reviews

Balm.com

This Balm.com by Glossier is one of the best lipbalms I’ve ever used. It leaves lips hydrated and moisturised, non sticky and with a sheer tint of colour. The mango flavour is delicious!

I just wish the tube were bigger and that it wasn’t so hard to squeeze out, maybe a tin would be better and still easily recycled.

Note: Balm.com isn’t tested on animals (otherwise it wouldn’t be on this blog obviously) but it isn’t vegan as it contains Lanolin, which is basically sheep grease (from their wool). Gross but highly effective!

Rating 4/5

Future Dew Oil/Serum

Futuredew Hybrid Oil/Serum (sample) is so similar to the balm at first but then melts into skin making it look naturally radiant and healthy. My dehydrated skin loved it!

Less is more with this as it can feel thick and sticky if you over-do it. I only needed half the sample for both cheeks and my nose.

Rating 5/5

Note: Both products create a subtle sheen (rather than a gloss or a metallic/pearlised looking finish) and even-out pores and dry patches, rather than accentuating them.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Round Up – September

Now the weather has cooled my chronic fatigue and brain- fog has calmed a bit. Unfortunately this makes my ADHD (self diagnosed as a teen but wildly obvious) a lot worse. It’s like I’ve drunk three espressos all of the time. Nice to have some energy and my quirky personality back though! 😄 It took me five six attempts to be able to write this properly. 😆

Style

MY SLIPPERS
CUTE…
CREEPY (but very adorkable)

My ‘sensible dress’ which I hardly ever wear. However, I got so many compliments on it (over on my Instagram) that I’m going to wear it a lot more.

Food

We went to Allotment Vegan Eatery in town, which had beautiful food and cozy decor but would have been too dear if we hadn’t taken advantage of the government ‘eat out to help out’ scheme.

Had a lovely meal at Sai Spice in Chorlton. Here are leftovers of Mutter Panner (peas and cheese which tastes nicer than it sounds), Young coconut and green beans and vegetable Kolpahuri which was really piquant!

Vegan and gluten free cheese-on-toast using Genius bread and Follow Your Heart, Pepper Jack flavour. Wow!

Beauty

After three months of loosely following The Curly Girl Method (but with other products) my hair is shiny and soft, with less frizz AND holding it’s curl shape.

Lifestyle

The most geeky and awesome book I have ever read! This is like the crazy dreams I’d have regularly as a kid in the 80’s.

Still writing down happy things that have happened, as and when they occur, so I can read them back when I’ve been having a succession of shitty mental/physical health days, to give me some perspective.

Watching

Dark – Complex, family oriented sci-fi

Boardwalk Empire – Sprawling 1920’s Gangsta series set in Atlantic City

Hero’s – Series featuring time travel and a big cast of characters discovering they have unique powers.

The Months Most Used Emojis

_______________________

Really looking forward to a chilly but beautiful Autumn and Halloween of course. 🦇

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Round Up – July

Style

I’ve mostly been wearing this combo or these pants with the-dye tops. I’m all about clashing prints this summer.

I bought these adorable and very unique Freda Kahlo earrings by Wilderness from Sour Cherry, who are located in Afflecks and they also have an online shop.

I’ve been wearing this outfit (shrug, maxi dress, black gladiator sandals) the few times we’ve been out and about.

I posted about Items of Clothing That Seem Ideal in Theory but…

Hated my heavy, long fringe in the heat so gave myself a short choppy one instead.

Food

After reading that Pizza Express will be slowly closing branches permanently from September my Bloke used up his Tesco points and treated us to a meal. We thought it crap that the rocket didn’t come with the mozzarella and tomato so we ordered that as well. We also ordered three 14″ pizzas which were amazing. A spicy, smokey one with aubergine, peppers and humus (added after cooking); a slightly sweet one with sultanas, black olives and red onion and a cheesy one with garlic.

I tried Aldi’s No Steak Bake which had the loveliest flakey pastry and a mince sauce that was so rich it would have suited a Spag Bol better!

Did a comprehensive Cupboard and Fridge Shop at Ocado (didn’t realise they have Follow Your Heart Cheese unfortunately). It’s all gluten and dairy free apart from the pepperoni which has milk in the flavouring.

We visited V Revolution. I had this cheese burger with bacon, slaw and onion rings. My bloke had the burger between two doughnuts which he said was very tasty and not as weird as you’d think. Okay…!?

I’ve started putting chilli (fresh, or oil, or sauce), spring onion and crushed roasted peanuts on everything. So refreshing for summer!

Skincare and Makeup

If I Could Only Use One Skincare Product this is what I chose and explained why.

I blogged about my Lifestyle Tips for Maintaining Healthy Skin.

Unpopular Opinions – Makeup Tag was surprisingly fun to join in with. Spotted on Just Geeking By.

Lifestyle

I posted 20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

Another tag which I find by the lovely Heather over at Just Geeking By was The 90’s Tag I was a teen in the 90’s so this was so much fun!

The last tag I joined in with was The Daily Gratitude Tag – Home Sweet Home

TV

Limitless – a spin off from the film staring Bradley Cooper. A guy who’s on pills which expand his mind consults for the FBI. Light and entertaining.

Preacher – About a preacher, a con-woman and a vampire ft. God and a murderous Saint. Totally nuts!

Films

The Avengers films – Never get bored of these.

Captain America – Kinda boring.

Mortal Engines – Film Set in the future most cities will have morphed into huge machines which move around and swallow smaller cities to survive but not all cities are as ruthless as this. Two young people fight to find justice and fairness. Based on the Mortal Engines Quartet books by Philip Reeve.

Super 8 – A film incredibly similar to Stranger Things before that series was created.

Youtube

Brad Mondo – Very honest, funny, sweet hairdresser who reacts to people doing their own hair and also does tutorials.

Music

Kate Bush album Hounds of Love; Fun Loving Criminals album Scooby Snacks; Lady Ice (fellow Mancunian) single No Silence; Nadia Rose single Skwod.

If there’s anything you want to ask me or to tell me, please leave a comment, I love reading them and replying to you!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

  1. Recycle/Upcycle
  2. Reuse/Repair
  3. Buy organic
  4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
  5. Avoid single use plastic
  6. Support independent companies
  7. Buy local produce
  8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
  9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
  10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
  11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
  12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
  13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
  14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
  15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
  16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
  17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
  18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
  19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
  20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

Just do your best and don’t stress!

💚✨Chrissie✨💚