I Share the Veggie, Gluten and Dairy Free Contents of My Cupboards, Fridge and Freezer!

“You’re vegetarian, gluten and dairy free, so what do you eat then?” I’m often asked this question because lots of people are some of the above but most people aren’t all of those things. So here is my response in photo’s.

I Eat

Crisps, natchos, bombay mix, nuts, seeds, cake bars, sweets, cooking sauces, gf pasta, gf gnochi, rice, soup, daal, chilli, gf muesli, ratatouille, roasted peppers, falafel, smokey sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts in garlic oil, tamari (soy sauce), gf pies, gf tarts, Vitalite, quinoa, lots of pickles, veggie kebab strips, veggie chicken pieces, McCain Smiles (crunchy on the outside, fluffy in the middle), humous, df cheese, curry, burritos, tacos, all manner of fresh veg, garlic mayo, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, salad cream.

I Drink

Strawberry/chocolate protein powder and rice/almond/coconut/hazelnut milk, innocent smoothies, orange/pomegranate/mango/guava  juice.

[I’m sorry that some of the photos could be clearer but it’s so difficult taking pictures inside a very deep cupboard and of backlit items in a fridge.]

If you have any queries about brands and ingredients, I’ll do my best to help you out :o)

Chrissie

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

Hangover Prevention and Selfcare Bedtime Routine

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These items are the reason I wake up feeling and looking refreshed, rather than trashed. I’m thinking this will come in handy for people who like to have a drink over the weekend too.

Beauty Kitchen Products – Oil

They are an independent UK company who try to be as sustainable and natural as possible. This oil is wonderful for taking makeup off with, to give the face a quick massage with and to nourish skin. No more waking up looking like a dried up Mummy, with curiously puffy eye bags.

Laptop/Book

Before I go to sleep I watch an episode of 90210, Lucifer or You Tube makeup tutorials by Wayne Goss, with the screen dimmed. If my eyes aren’t too tired I’ll read a character driven novel. Anything that’s interesting but not taxing.

Healthy Crisps

I always find I need salty food to soak up the sugary alcohol I’ve had. It also means I don’t wake up starving but too tired to make breakfast/lunch. I find the crunching really relaxing as i carry a lot of tension in my jaw.

Oil Based Lip Balm

Skin needs both oil and moisturiser so I apply this before it’s needed. I’m such a mouth breather at night XoD

Scrunchy 

How do people sleep without their hair tied back, how!?  When I do that, it wraps around me like a Face-hugger from Alien and then I wake up with it looking like statically charged spaghetti.

HYDRATE! (Waiting for my new flask to arrive)

I always have weak, sugar free cordial (water just goes straight through me) to sip before I go to sleep, throughout the night and before I get up in the morning. This stops me feeling shite, keeps my skin clear and reduces eye bags and ‘desert mouth.’

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Before I started this routine I used to wake up with a really flushed face, crazy hair, bloating, bone-dry skin and feel more tired than when I went to bed! This has made a significant difference to my morning chronic fatigue and mental health; most days I’ll happily get up at 11.00am, rather than dragging my sorry arse out of bed at 1.00-2.00pm like I used to.

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Autumn Reading List

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Two funny uplifting books, two modern mysteries and a down-to-earth story with people who dangerously have their head in the clouds. I thought it was time I gave fantasy and sci-fi a rest for a while.

Is It Just Me by Miranda Heart

Similar over the top but very relatable scenarios to her show. This time she’s explaining how she experiences things such as fashion, Dr’s, technology and dating to her younger – rather naive but hopeful – self. Jolly good fun, if a tad awks!

Who Is Tom Ditto by Danny Wallace

Toms girlfriend has left a note to say she has left but not actually left him. Confused? So is he. The more clues he tracks down as to her whereabouts, the more he learns about his girlfriend and himself. He realises maybe he didn’t know as much about either as he first thought and why is there a random girl following him?

Junk by Melvin Burgess

I read this when I was 14 and it was a bit of a reality check compared to Sweet Valley High and Point Horror books! It’s about a love affair between two teenagers, heroin and the quirky group of people they fall in with. It’s about pushing boundaries because you feel you should but not caring where they should end.

Mirror Mirror by Cara Delevingne 

Red and Naomi are in a band together until Naomi suddenly disappears. As Red follows the twists and turns of events she realises that it’s not just their friendship at stake but their lives.

The Getaway Girls – Dee MacDonald

Connie has freedom to do what she wants for the first time in decades. She meets glamorous Gill and downtrodden Maggie and they decide it’s time for a change. A tour of France and Italy in a luxury camper van to be exact. They have funny shared experiences but each still have their own story going on including a secret that catches up with them.

Have you read or would like to read any of these? Let me know – no spoilers though!

Chrissie

 

 

Replacing Our Favourite Scents with Cruelty Free Ones part 1

On our journey to replace all of our favourite scents, me and the bloke have been trying a lot of samples to the point where we are having to make notes!

The scents the bloke is trying to replace:

Oud by The Body Shop (as they no longer stock it)

1 Million by Paco Rabanne.

Mine are:

Heat by Beyonce

Deep Red by Hugo Boss (I already have a fairly good one from Floral Street)

Burberry Woman (the bloke noticed this on someone and asked what it was)

All uplifting, musky orientals essentially.

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Eden perfumes are an independent, vegan company from Brighton who don’t test any ingredient or finished product on animals (they don’t ship to countries who demand testing by law). You can post bottles back to them and they will refill them for you.

The main thing that attracted me to them over other cf perfume companies is that, as well as creating original scents they also sell some highly recommended dupes for existing perfumes. The perfumes have similar names to the original name/brand or you can search by which notes you prefer under the perfume shop tab such as ‘fruity’ ‘woody’, ‘musky’ etc.

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The Sample Gift Box (£21.60) contains three 10ml perfumes of your choice and is incredibly useful for figuring out if you’ve made the right choice before committing to a 30ml or 50ml bottle. I find this sample size of bottle to still be handbag friendly but they are far easier to spray than some smaller tester bottles, which are way to fiddly for me.

Left: SHE 060 is a very fresh, sexy scent that reminds me of the best selling unisex scents in the early 2000’s. Centre: TREASURE 019 is an oriental fruity/floral and isn’t meant to be a dupe for Beyonce’s Heat but really reminds me of it, plus it’s lasted all day – 1 down, 4 to go! Right: BERRY BERRY 018 is meant to be a dupe of Burberry Woman but the bloke immediately said that wasn’t anything like the one he meant. I don’t know if the lass just said Burberry and didn’t know which specific one she was wearing or what? Sadly, it also faded incredibly quickly on my skin so was no use as a general perfume even. We’ll have to keep trying…

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In the second gift box I’ve ordered, I’ve included ‘Million Dollar Man’, ‘Oud Wood’ and ‘Virgin Waters’ which is a dupe of Virgin Island Water by Creed which I’ve never heard of  but apparently it smells of the beaches in the Bahamanian islands. Sold!

Keep in touch, I’ll let you know how our search goes…

Which scent would you want a dupe for?

Chrissie

 

How The Hell Do You Sit Down In High Waisted Trousers & Jeans!?

It took me ages to find some cargo pants that weren’t skinny fit or cropped and then I came across these by Stradivarius £20.50 at ASOS. I thought I’d give high waisted pants one more try to define my waist and flatter my podge.

Kinda cool right? Well made, neutral colour, decent fit, decent length and very comfy…when standing…that’s the problem.

When sitting they come right up to my boobs like I’m an old lady. If I squish them down a bit I look like a horny old man! Oh. Hell. No.

I’m usually the same height as the online models but then, they rarely have DD’s. I was wearing a decent bra though so it’s the waist band that’s too high or my torso is too short, not that my babs are too low. LOL

So I untucked my top…

Much better. I think I look like I have bigger hips (so more shape) with this swing vest untucked anyway. So these pants are going to keep my legs cool but my back nice and toasty for Autumn/Spring then, which is quite nice actually.

If you’ve managed to sit down comfortably, and without looking ridiculous in high waisted pants/jeans with your top tucked in or a cropped top, I’d really love to know! Anyone want to help me out here?

Chrissie

Finding the Perfect Cruelty Free Perfume with Floral Street Scent Exploration Kit

It sounded like the most perfect perfume, containing every note that I like. I bought it and loved the fruity top note, as I knew I would…Then it changed. The middle note was very strong and I absolutely hated it! The bottom note was warm and musky which I liked but I’d had to endure the middle not for three hours to actually get there – gaaagh!

This is why I vowed never to buy a perfume a) without smelling it first and b) without seeing how it changed over time on my skin.

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Floral Street perfumes have three notes but they all mix together perfectly and immediately so no unpleasant surprises. The scents also last for hours and are noticeable without being over-powering. All their perfumes are vegan and no ingredients or finished products are tested on animals.

Floral Street offer this fantastic Scent Exploration Kit (£68) with 8 perfumes in 1.5ml tester spray bottles to eliminate any guess work. It comes with a voucher for a full size 50ml bottle, once you’ve picked your favourite scent (which also arrives in a recycled/recyclable cardboard box). If that sounds a bit pricey you can buy The Discovery Set (£14) to either help you decide which larger perfume to buy or to simply have a choice of handbag-friendly sized scents.

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I’m going to go through each scent and try to describe it in my own simple, honest (and slightly unknowledgeable) way.

London Poppy – This reminds me of every lads aftershave in the 90’s. The one’s the girls used to pinch because they were so unisex and fresh.

Wonderland Peony – Fresh, light, flowers of Spring.

Neon Rose – The air on a sexy Summer evening.

Wild Vanilla Orchid – Warm, sexy and sweet. Nothing like an obvious perfume – more like the natural scent of someone you’re snuggled up to.

Iris Godess – I’m sorry but this is more like ‘Iris Grandma’. Next!

Chypre Lotus – About as subtle as a brick but incredibly sexy. Similar to YSL Belle d’Opium. Prrrr

Ylang Ylang Expresso – The scent drifting from a hipster coffee house. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.

So the one I’m going to buy is….

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Wild Vanilla Orchid!

I have nothing like this in my perfume collection but I’ve always wanted something subtly sexy, which actually lasts on my skin.

Which one would you choose?

Chrissie

Shopping at Ocado for Free-from Food & Review of Items

Why Ocado?

I’m not able to get out of the house much (especially in the warmer weather) and I feel awful sending my Dad and my bloke out with lists of incredibly specific items that not every individual supermarket stocks. Imagine my Dad asking a member of staff for “This quinowaa stuff in a tub? It was on the Instagram.” “Sounds exotic, try the foreign isle.” (That’s the only thing they ever suggest because they can’t be arsed looking) and my bloke trying to explain that “No, harrisa paste won’t be in the DIY section!”

Is it easy?

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So easy! For a start there’s a ‘Browse Shop’ tab (top left) which reveals all of the different sections of the shop including toiletries, gardening, baby as well as frozen, fresh etc. I chose ‘Free From & Organic’. From the next list I choose ‘vegetarian’, ‘dairy free’ and ‘gluten free’. You can also filter by brands and what’s on offer. Minimum order is £40, which I would say is an average family, weekly shop anyway.

Booking and deliveries

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It’s displayed on an easy to understand grid, with the dates across the top and the 1 hour delivery times underneath. I’m not sure how far into the future you can schedule a delivery but it’s best to bear in mind that a product may be available when ordering but not necessarily available by the time your delivery happens.

You can alter your delivery times and edit your basket (you do have to check out again for the latter) up until the day before it’s due to arrive. You get a text the day before your delivery reminding you of the time, then another on the day telling you the name of your driver, the colour of the van (‘lemon’ which had giant lemons all over) and the reg. It also tells you if any item is unexpectedly out of stock. I found it amusing that, of all things they’d run out of my plain old toothpaste.

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Staff are so friendly and will carry your shopping right into your kitchen for you. Everything comes in named and colour coded bags so you can see where everything should go.

It is easy being green!

A little green van symbol indicates ‘greener delivery slots’. These are when an Ocado van is already doing another delivery in your area, so less millage and fuel burnt. You keep your bags and hand them back and any cardboard beer/wine holders on your next delivery.

The Food

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The Good

Everything by Sacla is always perfect.

Biona Fruit Bears are so much juicer better than Haribo.

Nakd Salted Caramel Bars are perfectly balanced between sweet and salty. They are so soft that it’s better to store them in the fridge on hot days.

Livia’s Nuglets are similar in flavour and also better kept in the fridge, for that chunks-of-cookie-dough-in-ice-cream effect.

Gu Spanish Lemon Cheesecakes are absolutely dreamy!

Gosh! Spinach and Pinenut Bites are basically a mild, soft falafel. These taste great with a few drops of water splashed on and warmed in the microwave for 10 seconds, then teamed with humus and salad.

Soulful One Pot, Brazillian Tomato and Black Bean with Cashews and Quinoa was so creamy for something dairy free and the ingredients were all so perfectly balanced, it was a delight to eat.

Violife block of cheese is the best dairy-free cheese I’ve eaten. Like a giant block of Dairylee slices.

Quorn Peperoni slices do contain milk in the flavourings but not enough to have an effect on me. Perfect cold in sandwiches with American mustard or hot on a pizza.

The Bad

Bakery of Main GF Muesli Banana flavour – No where near enough banana pieces!

Warburton’s GF Loaf – Sticks to your teeth like a sponge rehydrating it’s self. schaar white loaf is so much better.

Free and Easy Chickpea and Vegetable Curry – I was expecting something like an Indian daal, what I got was a Mexican chilli. Hmm.

The Meh…

Soulful One Pot, Mexican Bean and Sweet Potato with Quinoa – I thought I might not like the flavour of the quinoa but it was pleasant. I was disappointed that the flavour of the sweet potato was barley noticeable. I found that I was begrudgingly plodding my way through it, simply because I was hungry.

Clive’s Pies – These came out of the oven so damn dry! It didn’t say to microwave them but I did and they came out like a pudding from the chippy, nom! Still not a patch on other veggie pies I’ve eaten as they are stingy on the filling. Sort it out Clive!

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I’ve found the whole experience so much less stressful and time consuming than doing a physical shop. It wasn’t anymore expensive and I now have a fully stocked kitchen of lovely food that won’t make me ill. I accepted my second delivery (filled with more every-day type stuff, as well as a few new things) as I was typing this. After I’ve tried everything I’m going to edit my favourites list online and then just have it as a repeat order every month I reckon.

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

A Photo Tour of My Fave Place in the House

Even though for me to feel peaceful and relaxed I need the main living area of a house to be airy, open and calm, my fave place in my home has to be the bedroom. It’s like a little cave filled with sparkly, interesting and collectible things.

I do my hair and makeup in the bathroom as there’s a really wide mirror and more natural light. This is for costume jewellery, perfume, nail polish and pin badges etc in trinket boxes.

The view I have at the foot of the bed. Nice and plane but bright with the light pouring in through the yellow and gold curtains. Oh, and Guss the gargoyle.

Books, gifts, geeky collectibles and fossils, rocks and gems. Some of my fave albums on CD which should be in the ‘memory crate’ instead on display.

Above the bed.

I had a marble desk and pin board before I was a blogger and it was such a bloggers clique lol. Some pretty little things now live on the left of my pin board because they aren’t fit for their original purpose anymore. Film books, graphic novels and free copy of Festival Annual that one of my photo’s was featured in. A cut glass vase I rescued from a house clearance (hiding behind my Funko’s) that looks like a pineapple.

Hope you enjoyed the tour! I’d love to have a nosey around your fave place.

Chrissie