Thursday, 29 September 2016

October To Read List

It's that time again - how exactly has this year gone so fast that I'm suddenly planning October's to read list (although, on that note - we're definitely getting much closer to it being acceptable to have daily pumpkin spice loaf and it's almost acceptable to get my halloween on)? Anyway, the Lush Halloween collection is out, I've seen a couple of people wearing scarves and it's time to talk about what books that I'll be reading this Halloween month. Ahem, I mean October.

1: Flawed - Cecilia Ahern
Last month I read The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern and absolutely loved it so when I saw this, I was super excited to see how her first young adult novel would measure up. From what I can gather from the somewhat lacking blurb, this is a book that is about a society wherein everyone has to be perfect, and the one girl who can't fit into the ideal. It sounds (and looks) creepy and I'm actually really excited to give it a go, I have high hopes now I've fallen back in love with Cecilia Ahern.

2: Maestra - L.S. Hilton
I'm really not sure what this book is about except I know there's a violent murder and it's got an 18+ rating, which I've just never seen on a book before. I can't really comment on the story because I have literally no idea, the blurb is honestly about three sentences long - but it looks creepy and the comments on the front of the book seem to suggest it'll be pretty good; so we'll see!

3: The Girl In The Spider's Web - David Lagercrantz
I'm nervous about this. Seriously, so nervous. I love the original Millennium series,  I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo four times on one holiday, and I'm excited about the fact that this might continue the series - but, I'm also really nervous that this just isn't going to live up to the Stieg Larsson legacy. This is a few years down the line from the original novels and it seems a lot more modern than the other books, and I am excited to see how it measures up; but I'll be very disappointed if it doesn't do well, I'm afraid.

4: The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams - Stephen King
Oh come on, you knew that my halloween loving soul was going to have a book in here to satisfy it's dark side, and so I of course picked Stephen King. I've had this for ages to be honest, but now seems like the perfect time to read it - especially with us being into the spookiest month of the year. These are a collection of short stories, some published prior to this and some new; I'm excited to read them and update you on my favourites - here's hoping Stephen King pulls through for me.

What are you reading this month?

Sammy xo.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Makeup Geek Full Spectrum Eyeliners

I have a post going live next month rating the best and worst eyeliners for a good wing in my humble opinion and these were supposed to be a part of that - however, I tried these and then tried them again and suddenly I was wearing one every day for a solid fortnight and it seemed like maybe I had to conclude that these probably deserved a post of their own. So, without further ado - I need to talk to you about pencil eyeliners; unheard of, right? Whilst it's true that I'm normally a girl that's all about liquid or gel, I'm humbly hanging my head and admitting it - Makeup Geek's Full Spectrum Eyeliners just might have me converted.

When Makeup Geek sent me out five of their Full Spectrum Eyeliners to try - I didn't really know what to make of them. Not only are pencils not really my things, but the colours weren't really my thing either, given that I was sent Cobalt (a deep electric blue), Royal (a dark plum), Mint (a mint green), Spice (a mid toned brown) and Obsidian (a straight up black). I didn't hold out much hope for these, I expected them to be smudgey, too over the top, and generally just not for me. I'm willing to admit that I was wrong.

I have to admit, these are smooth and creamy and everything I like in a gel liner, only with the pencil making it even easier to apply. Need a sharper point? Sharpen the pencil. Need a smudge for underneath the eye? No problem. But, know that when you're done, this will set down and be almost unbudgeable. More waterproof than my usual gel or liquid offerings? Check. Easier to get off? Check. All in all - these just seem superior. Opaque, easy to use, easy to get the perfect shape, easy to manipulate them to create the perfect eye look - and they'll even stick in your water line.

As for the colours - they're surprisingly wearable. I've learned that, as they create a much softer look than a liquid or gel liner, it's much easier to get away with a much brighter colour. That's good, because my favourites have definitely come to be Royal and Mint - and although royal looks like black on the lid unless you're pretty close up, which adds a new aspect to the look; the mint is a real standout colour, and yet it somehow still seems light, fresh and wearable, especially for me during the last few weeks of Summer. I'm hoping for the Winter I'll be getting a lot more wear out of the Cobalt.

(Bottom To Top; Obsidian, Spice, Royal, Cobalt and Mint)

So there you go - maybe not the perfect winged eyeliner, but pretty damn close, and absolutely fabulous for all round eye looks. Plus, they'll only really set you back around $9 and that's definitely not to be sniffed at!

If you have any of the other colours of the Full Spectrum Eyeliners, I'd love to see how they measure up!

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Happy 2nd Birthday Little Fickle

There are some things that were the making of me; my mental illness, my recovery, figuring out that I love dogs, my cousin's baby being born - relationships, births, deaths and break ups. Amongst them all there's been one thing that really has been the making of me, and one thing that's been alongside me through every good thing and every bad thing that's happened within the last two years - and that's Little Fickle.

Little Fickle is my fourth attempt at a blog, it's the one I've been the most honest on, the one that's stuck, the one that has my whole heart put into it. It's brought me friends, opportunities, a meeting with Charlotte Tilbury and the most supportive people I've ever met. It's brought me a group chat of people in my area that make me howl laughing every day, that are a genuine friendship group at events - it's brought me confidence, event planning abilities and many, many drunken nights that I'm so lucky to be able to call work.

I'd be lying if I said I liked it this much every day - there are many 4am cold sweats when I realise my post goes live in less than five hours, 10pm tears on the week of an event when I'm still working through emails and me, absolutely hammered because I forgot to eat in the morning and went to an event in the afternoon. In the words of my mother when I was being a little shit; I might not always like it, but there's not a time when I don't love every word that I put on here.

So maybe I've never changed anybody's life with what I write on here, but the fact is - I've kind of changed my own; I'm stronger, more self sufficient, my winged eyeliner is insane and I'm a boss at contour. I've learned my own worth, and I've learned to be so honest that all of a sudden my whole life is online and I don't bat an eyelid at it. I've worked towards changing stigmas, raising awareness and boosting people's knowledge of make up and Disney.

So here's to Little Fickle - this site might not mean too much to anybody else, but it saved my life. Thanks for two amazing years, and here's to many more.

Sammy xo.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Autumn With T-Sticks

I've said it before and I'll say it again; I'm all in for a good gimmick - seriously, I would happily (and do happily) buy products based purely on gimmicks and/or gimmicky ad campaigns alone. So, when T-Sticks offered to send me out some of their products to try, they seemed to be the ideal gimmick to give a go for Autumn and Winter. No tea dust from teabags, no mess, and no need for a spoon? It definitely peaked my interest enough to agree to give them a real good try.

As gimmicks go, this definitely isn't the worst one that I've seen; or at least it definitely has some sound reasoning behind it, in my opinion. These are, in essence, portable tea infusers - and they don't come in cheap at £4.75 for 15 (or £35 for 120) plus postage. So are they worth the extra money, or is it better to just shell out a couple of quid on some PG Tips and leave the last mouthful at the bottom of your cup to avoid a huge throatful of teabag dust? Well truthfully, I have a few conflicting opinions on these strange little inventions.

Let's talk about the actual tea, as that seems as good a place as any to get started. I'm not sure as to how many flavours and varieties of tea T-Sticks sell, but I can tell you that I have six of them and I have managed to try them all; Moroccan Minty Green Tea, Fruity Forest Tea, Perfectly Peach Tea, The Earl's Favourite Tea, Striking Strawberry Tea and Breakfast Brew Tea. The teas are definitely a lot stronger than any of their tea bag counterparts, or at least any that I've tried. This is, in theory, due to them being actual tea leaves suspended in a pre-perforated stick (this might be made of foil but I can't quite work it out to be honest). Anyway, this was pretty much a very round about way of saying that it's good quality tea (and how British was that sentence?)

These do minimise mess; they simply go straight into hot water, you stir them and infuse them for two minutes, pull them out, turn them upside down to prevent dripping (only one side of the stick has perforations) and then when you're done; bin it. Voile. Easy as. My main issue besides the price is that, you might not end up with tea bag dust in your tea but, you will definitely end up with a ton of tea leaves; which may actually be worse in my humble opinion.

In essence; these are fancy but hella expensive. I can't say I'd never buy them again though because, truthfully, I think these would be great to take to Spain where I often can't get good tea - especially when out and about. You probably won't be replacing your Tetley's with these, however, if you're a big tea love and a traveller, it might be worth shoving a box of these in your hand luggage, just in case.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Pleasures Of Men Book Review

Straight up - I probably bought The Pleasures Of Men by Kate Williams because I thought it was about sex and I am the worst at judging books by their titles and/or covers. I mean, now I'm thinking about it - the fact that the girl on the cover is holding a knife really should have been the tip off, but here we are. So to clarify - it's not about sex; it's also one of the hardest reads that I've come across in a while but after getting right through to the end, I'm ready to talk about it.

The book follows Catherine, an orphan living with her uncle. Left by the maid she loved so much and with only her uncle and other girls of her own age and class to speak to, she feels lonely and does not wish to relapse back into a madness that was starting to be cured when she moved to her current home. To fill her days, Catherine finds herself becoming fascinated with a series of murders in her area linked to one killer; The Man Of Crows. The book shows us all the clues that Catherine has at her disposal, and alongside her you must attempt to find the murderer before it's too late.

Now, I found it really hard to get into this book, and to read it all in one go - which is pretty unlike me to be really honest with you. I find this is unnessecary elaborate, and whilst it does create the right atmosphere for the book, it also just makes it feel like you're really dragging your way through the book, instead of keeping it fast paced like I might imagine I would find in similar-ish murder mystery or crime novels. It's not impossible to read - I just find it a little fluffy, a little too padded out. It's just not my usual style, basically.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it though. It's easy to empathise with Catherine, it's easy to be invested in her past life, in her romantic endeavours - it's easy to want the best for her, to worry for her, and your feelings towards Catherine are hugely important to the story; as you regard everyone around her with the same suspense that she does herself. I found it hard to read, but I would probably recommend it and I'm pretty sure that I actually will read it again. It kept me guessing, and although I did see where it was going, I was still engrossed when it got there. 

All in all, I really did enjoy The Pleasures Of Men, and so if you don't have it I would recommend going to get it - but if it's already in your to-read list, it's probably not worth bumping up any higher, just read it and enjoy it when you get to it.

If you've read The Pleasures Of Men I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sammy xo.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

September Degustabox

You all know Degustabox is one of my absolute favourite deliveries every month, but this month I couldn't wait and so actually took a sneak peek of Katy's when hers arrived a few hours earlier than mine. So, this month it wasn't a surprise, but that doesn't mean I was let down by it in any way - and you know I love to talk about food and by the views it seems you like to read (listen?) about food; so let's talk about September's Degustabox.

I'm all about chia seeds so I liked seeing these Chia Bia offerings in the box because buying them can be hella expensive to be honest - I like the handy little packs but I'm especially intrigued by the milled Chia Seeds because I don't think I've really seen them before. Can you make porridge out of them? Will they be gross? Only time will tell. Next up is something I gave a good bash but I honestly just can't get over the texture; Emily Fruit Crisps; these ones are the Crunchy Banana flavour. I like bananas and I like crisps, but I really, really hate dried fruit and so I'm afraid this really wasn't for me (how cute is that packaging though???)

Next is the Mrs Crimbles gluten free pasta and sauce. Now, I find mushrooms personally offensive and so I definitely won't be trying this, but I do like to see dedicated gluten free brands within the box as it just opens it up that bit more and makes it accessible to more people. Not something I'll be eating, but something I was very pleased to see in the box. You might all know I also don't get on with the Get Fruity bars on the whole and the Pineapple Coconut and Lime one was no different; at least I can say I gave it a go though - but healthy food just really isn't me, to be honest.

Next up though was a strong favourite and that was the Metcalfe's Popcorn Thins - thin corn cakes covered in milk chocolate. A favourite type of food from a favourite brand; I knew that these weren't going to disappoint and I really enjoyed them. They could do with a better corn to chocolate ratio (as in more corn or less chocolate) but they were fab nonetheless. Next was the product I was most excited to try; cordial in a can from Teisseire in the Raspberry and Cranberry flavour. This is nice and has no added sugar but it still does taste really syrupy and thick; more like a syrup than a juice. I love the packaging for this though, although I've never seen it about to try other flavours to comment on (I am keeping an eye out though!)

Next up were these CAPE drinks - and I really enjoyed this. Sparkling water with an addition of tea; refreshing, healthier than drinking a can of coke given that this has no artificial sugars - and to be honest I'm all about these and if I see them I'll definitely be adding more to my basket to have them on hand in the fridge. Next up were the Say Yes To No Bread Crisps in Sour Cream and Onion flavour and these were surprisingly nice. Somewhere between a crisp and a crouton as you might expect, and the flavouring is so strong it makes it feel like a delicious treat (although the list of things not in these listed on the front of the packet makes me think that these are actually pretty healthy!)

Borlotti Beans from Cirio came out next; and surprisingly I haven't dug into these yet, instead opting to leave them in the cupboard to see whether or not we might get some use of them in cooking. Not my usual thing, and not something I'll be going out of my way to use, but a fine product to have all the same. Finally were 4 Hartley's jelly pots. Every bit as amazing as I remember them being in school - enough said.

If you want to get your own Degustabox you can get 7 pound off by using the code BLDEG15. Not sponsored or affiliate, just a boss deal. You're welcome.

Sammy xo.
Contains PR samples/items gifted to me by companies however all opinions are my own - please view my disclaimer for more information.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Jumper Wishlist

I'm totally guilty of getting into the spirit of seasons (and holidays) way earlier than is strictly necessary, and so it might not be jumper weather quite yet, but that isn't going to stop me lusting over ones that I likely can't even afford, and definitely don't need just yet. If you're looking for fashionable options, probably don't get your hopes up - but if you love a cartoon, a strong feminist message or jumpers that look like they'd be the comfiest things in the world, I got your back.

1: Feminist Apparel - Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word (£34.42)
You all know that I think that we should talk about feminism more, and so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm lusting over wearing a jumper with it on. I love the fit of Feminist Apparel clothing and this just looks super cosy, plus it's sending a really good message which is a bonus. It always shocks me just how affordable that Feminist Apparel is, to be honest, but this will definitely be added to my wardrobe when Autumn/Winter fully kicks in.

2: Oneon - Open Lattice Sleeved Jumper (£120)
Straight up - this will literally never ever be in my wardrobe because there isn't a single person out there that can afford £120 on a single jumper and is still writing wishlist posts. I love this though - it looks so cosy, it's a chunky cable knit but the open lattice sleeves add something really unusual to the style. Not one that I will ever be willing to shell the money out for, but definitely one that I'll be lusting over nevertheless.

3: Topshop - Spliced Mickey Sweatshirt (£30)
I went through a phase of absolutely loving vintage Disney jumpers, but I can be a bit iffy about buying things second hand online (more because it often arrives worse than described as opposed to me being an absolute prin about taking in people's cast offs) and so it was nice to see this vintage design on a brand new jumper. Plus, Topshop - so you know the quality will be okay for what you're paying.

4: Lazy Oaf - People Are Stupid (£70)
Again, probably not a jumper that I'm going to shell out on but I'm obsessed with these Lazy Oaf oversized jumpers. Imagine these worn as dresses with tights and doc martens, chuck in a chunky scarf and that's my staple outfit sorted for the winter. I really do want this jumper, but unfortunately I also want to keep what little dough I have and so, might have to give it a miss, really.

5: Feminist Apparel - All Genders Are Valid (£34.42)
I started with my favourite brand, and I'll end with them. once again - a cosy jumper with an amazing message. You really can't go wrong with Feminist Apparel.

What's on your wishlist?

Sammy xo.