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 but natural. 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

Drink 1 Litre of Water for 5 Days Challenge

Hi lovely people!

I don’t know about you, but I need to drink more water as I’m feeling thirsty far to often and my skin and energy levels hate me for it. So you’ve probably heard that Beyonce drinks 2.5 litres of water a day but seeing as I ain’t busting my arse in a studio or on stage and my day is much shorter, I thought I’d reign that goal in a bit. I’ve decided that 1 litre is more realistic for me, plus I like a few beers in the evening so I don’t want to end up all bloated trying to cram in too much liquid.

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The rules

  1. As my body has always loved to piss away most of the water I drink, rather than absorb it and because I have chronic fatigue, I’m filing the bottle up like this 1/3 energy drink, 2/3 water, with a pinch of salt included.
  2. I’m using the same bottle for each day
  3. I’m not counting tea, coffee, orange juice or beer.
  4. I’m starting at 12.30pm when I get up and finishing at 4.30pm so leaving tea-time and evenings free.

The Bottle

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It has a fancy button which pops open the spout and a button to lock that button so it’s safe to travel, oh and a handy carabina clip. It also has times for morning and afternoon down one side and measurements down the other. Really though you could up-cycle any bottle as long as you draw lines to show where each litre and half litre is. My memory is bobbins though so I appreciate that it’s divided into hours.

Day 1

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On track…

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Lagging behind by an hour and a half!

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Just finished it at 6.12pm. It was a real effort and I noticed that it really curbed my appetite so I’ve only eaten a small bowl of nachos and humus all day. That can’t be good can it?

Day 2

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Way ahead today as I woke up thirsty and it was a warm day.

Day 3

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Stopped at 3.30pm as I really fancied sitting in the sunshine with nice cold shandies. I did finish the rest off later though.

Day 4

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Kept perfectly on track all day and found it easy.

Day 5

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It was one of those days where the weather is changing like crazy – from getting baked out of bed and drinking water and craving a glass of cold, fresh orange – to it turning cold and making me need a coffee with 2/3 hot hazelnut milk in to warm me up. I’ve met my liquid intake goal, it just wasn’t all water.

Verdict

My skin does look really healthy and I must admit, I didn’t once get that ‘Oh, I really should get up and get a drink but I’m tired or busy so I’ll do it in a minute.’ attitude because the water bottle was always right next to me. I’ve been going to the loo for number two more regularly and seem to digest heavier foods quicker, which has made me less bloated. Was that TMI?

Doing this can be a great way of making sure you stay hydrated but I still think we should be intuitive and listen to what our body needs and when. There is no point in trying to force water into your body when it might need something else. Two things that weren’t factored into this challenge were a) The space in my tummy that food took up and b) I have a mainly plant based diet so I absorb water (a lot more easily) from my food.

I’ve kept up trying to drink my litre-of-water-a-day for just over a week now, with varying degrees of success but that’s ok as long as I’m not thirsty or too bloated! :o)

Chrissie

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Well, the answer is not much as I’ve had a cold for a week but luckily the evening before it started me and the bloke went to the pub. We love The Gateway in Didsbury as it has friendly staff and punters, free wi-fi, lots of cheap but tasty veggie food, a nice gluten free beer as well as many guest beers and ciders. Plus, the loos are down stairs so it’s not like navigating that Escher painting trying to find them.

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I was too hot and restless to sleep in so I got up and ‘painted’ my hair again. Literally just slapped it on the front bits with a tint brush, then read a magazine for an hour and then sat on the bathroom floor, leaned into the shower and rinsed it off.

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‘Discovered’ a great takeaway called Saki in Droylesden on Justeat who do veggie sushi, this lovely mixed tofu salad, Gyoza dumplings and ramen. Okay, I’m getting hungry now…

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I can take no credit for this what-so-ever, it’s all down to my Dad!

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I found this plastic glass at the back of the cupboard which has inspired me to make banana and strawberry milk shakes, with a splash of almond milk.

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I changed my avatar to look all summery (they didn’t have a streaky hairstyle, just posh balayage) and then, of course, it pissed it down for the rest of the week.

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Came across this great graphic on Instagram and gave the little guy an activity to do because disabled people also do things.

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To use up some stuff I made a deli bowl of Mediterranean salad, pomegranate bits, mixed seeds, stuffed vine leaves, the ever important inclusion of pickles, and pieces from a giant block of silken tofu I cut up into big chunks and fried in sesame oil (tastes like chicken).

Over the past four months I’ve been watching The Goldbergs, then Schooled, Speechless and Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory nearly every evening. I’m at a bit of a loss now that two have ended for good, one might not be coming back (Speechless) and two are in between series.

I seem to have replaced them with the gameshows Tipping Point (based around the 2p waterfall arcade machine), Pointless, Egg Heads and The Chase. My general knowledge is pretty impressive now and it’s massively helped my recall and logical reasoning. Oh and there’s series five of Black-ish starting!

Coming up soon I review green mascara and purple lip gloss from The Body Shop and two Rockabilly blouses from Hell Bunny.

Chrissie

 

When People Still Don’t Get It After The 10,000 Time

Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it….

When you have repeatedly explained your disability, symptoms and needs to someone, in every way you can think of and they still aren’t getting it.

Breathe….

I know it’s tempting to want to strangle them or head butt the desk repeatedly or scream – actually screaming into a pillow is very therapeutic – but eventually you will have to accept it and let it go for the sake of your mental health.

Not everyone’s empathy works in the same way. Some people will instantly get it (whether they have experienced it or not) simply by listening and taking the info on board. Some people need to have experienced something similar for themselves so they literally know what you mean. Others, because it is different to their experiences will never, ever be fully onboard. Even if you have gone through something and they were witnessing it, they still won’t have learned from that past experience.

Now, that’s not to say they don’t care and don’t want to understand. It is entirely possible for a person to sympathise, yet manage to say or do something ignorant and tactless purely by mistake.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t take it personally and don’t beat your head against a brick wall (metaphorically I mean) by thinking you can change someone like that and enlighten them. Some people are all ready at their maximum capacity for understanding and empathising.

Essentially at that point, it is up to them to get their own head around what you need and how you function. I’ve arrived at the conclusions at the start of this post. Trying to make someone understand, isn’t always worth your mental health or your relationship with them deteriorating. If they obviously care about you, sometimes you just have to accept that no matter how much they try, maybe they never will really get it and you have to be cool with that.

Chrissie

Oumph! Kebab Spiced

Oumph! Kebab Spiced strips really do taste like Greek or Turkish kebabs made with traditional spices.

I’ve used them to add texture and protein to a salad; I’ve had them in a wrap with fried onion, mushroom and bell pepper with a little yoghurt sauce and thinly sliced cucumber and as a simple burger replacement topped with melted cheese, tomato sauce and lettuce.

The first word that comes to mind when describing the texture is chewy. ‘Very resilient hot dog sausage’ is a fair comparison. Be aware that this does not change, no matter how much you fry them.

I love them for their authentic flavour, versatility and yes, even the texture. A girl can only eat tofu for so long without wanting a change.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Dying My Hair Peachy-Pink with Manic Panic!

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Does anyone remember ‘tiger stripes’ from the early 2000’s? Well I got a subtler version done as a base for my colour. My lovely hairdresser Maria informed me that the lighter you bleach your base, the lighter the colour will be, perfect for pastels. But if you want a more vibrant colour then leave your hair a rich gold tone to give your colour more depth. I got a few inches cut off too.

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I used Tish & Snooky’s Manic Panic semi-permanent colour in Pretty Flamingo, a pinky-peach, to colour some streaks but not others creating an effect like a Fruit Salad sweet. I’ve always wanted hair like that since being a kid! Now my hair has gotten naturally lighter I thought I should go for it.

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According to The Bloke, who generously volunteered to do it for me as long as he chose the music (Thin Lizzy) it’s creamy and easy to apply. Maria kindly gave me a tint brush which made it much easier. It’s left my hair soft, shiny and conditioned, even though we rough dried it to create a grungy texture.

Although I love the colour, I know it’s going to fade too quickly unless I dye it one more time for more depth. I think I’ll just do the top layer myself and then leave it at that.

Chrissie

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Fantasy/YA

Karou has two lives to juggle. She is a seventeen-year-old student in Prague and an errand girl to a creature who owns a business in Elsewhere. Raised in his shop but never visiting Elsewhere, she knows nothing of how she came to be there as a baby and never quite feels whole. Now she has to choose between her comfortable life here and the war ravaged world that may hold of the answers.

This almost felt like a book of three parts and four perspectives but when the reason they were interlinked was revealed, I was genuinely surprised. There was another very revealing (and shocking) moment similar to this toward the end but I cannot tell you the reason for that either as it would spoil the entire story.

Don’t let the almost chick-lit parts of the first half of the book put you off if you are into epic fantasy. This is a huge story that really gathers momentum and weight around half way through. It is part of a trilogy and so the plot and characters develop in accordance to that. Trust me, by the time you reach the end, you will be obsessed with reading the next book in the series.

Chrissie

Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

Seeing as it’s the first day of Spring and International Happyness Day, I 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! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.

<3Chrissie<3