Wednesday, 1 April 2020

My Top Nostalgic Disney Plus Picks

I have to admit that a huge part of getting Disney Plus for me was their newer offerings. I think Coco is one of the best films that they've ever made, I love watching the new Disney shorts when they come out, I was really excited to see the new documentaries that were created or curated for the service. However, when the whole premise is creating an archive of both old and new Disney offerings, it's hard not to come across something that reminds you of the good old days, and so I thought I'd share my top picks to watch when you'd like to be a little more nostalgic.

Recess
Possibly one of my favourite cartoons of all time. There is possibly nothing better to pass the time than weirdly shipping TJ and Spinelli, hating on Randall and wishing you were one of the Ashleys (they're just so, so, so... scandalous!) Seriously, this is every bit as good as I remember it being as a kid, it's probably the one show that I've watched so far that gives me that warm, nostalgic feeling in my stomach. They also have all of the films and spin offs, so it's good if you're looking for a long term watch when you've finished running through just about everything on Netflix and Prime.

Flubber
Is this film absolutely ridiculous? Undoubtable. Is the plot the oddest thing that's ever been proposed? It's definitely up there. Did I sit and watch it anyway this week? 100%. It's a known fact that any film with Robin Williams in is always worth a watch, however this genuinely is a great film that takes me back to my childhood. If you've never seen it before it's odd, stupid and really, really hard not to love. Just trust me on this one.


Cheaper By The Dozen
A classic, old school favourite. I'm pretty sure I remember going to see this in the cinema and it always reminds me of me and my friends doing the stupid lie detector scene to each other. Not only is it brilliant to see so many Disney film stars as children, but it's also just so fun to watch in general. Plus, when you've finished it and you're really sad at how quickly it was done? They have Cheaper By The Dozen 2 so you can keep the vibe going (at least for another hour and a half or so, and that's an hour and a half closer to the end of lockdown!)

Honey I Shrunk The Kids
This used to be my brother's favourite film (well other than Toy Soldiers, but anyone that watched that as a kid will tell you that it's genuinely horrific) and so I always remember it so fondly. I haven't actually gotten round to watching this one again lately, but it's right there at the top of my list. It's probably not nostalgic to you guys in the same way that Disney Princess films are, but it's definitely worth a revisit and I can't wait to do it.

Freaky Friday
The more I think about this film, the more I think it genuinely may be one of the best films ever made. Okay, so I'm being dramatic, but this is a comedic masterpiece. Every part of this is so well thought out to create a film that I remember all of my family constantly reordering on LoveFilm's DVD service when my brother and I were a lot younger than I am now. Plus, the soundtrack to this is lowkey really, really good.

So there's some nostalgic favourites I definitely think that you should go back and revisit, but what nostalgic favourites can you recommend to me?

Sammy xo.

Monday, 30 March 2020

How To Support Freelancers Right Now

I am one of the lucky few who worked from home even before the current lockdown and so, though I have lost a small part of my wage, overall I am in a good financial position. However, a lot of my friends are freelancers or self employed, and so I've been reaching out to them to see how we can help so I can compile a list and as many of us as possible can help as many of them as possible.

1: Share as many of their posts as possible
Now more than ever our freelance friends are sharing their work and skills on a lot of social platforms, I know it's likely not possible to share them all, but share as many as you can as you see them. You never know if one of your followers might be able to provide a little work for your friends or family, and so it's always worth the three seconds it takes to retweet.

2: Consider paying freelancers that you would regularly pay
Pay to have your hair and nails done every few weeks? Now is the time to consider paying your freelancers even if you can't be there to have the treatments done, if you can afford to. I know many people are facing financial troubles now and it's not always as easily said as done, but if you are in the financial position to, and you'd usually give the money to them anyway, consider doing it now so they'll still be there in the job they love - and ready to do your gels or roots - when all of this starts to calm down a little. Even if you can't afford the full amount, a little donation goes a long way to help people during this time.

instagram header of @rebxrat
@rebxtat - a fantastic tattoo artist and great human based in Liverpool

3: If people offer gift vouchers, buy gift vouchers
Probably going to want a tattoo in the future but can't get it now? Buy a gift voucher. Hairdresser offer gift vouchers and you're going to need your ends trimmed at the end of all of this? Buy a voucher. Where possible, if a service that you're going to use in the future offers a voucher and you can afford to do so, buy it. It's win win, you help to keep a freelancer a little further above water, and you get a little treat for yourself on the other side of this (and you deserve that).

4: Pay your fucking freelancers
We get it, times are hard right now, but pay for work that's been done. There's absolutely no excuse for it, if you had the budget and they did the work under that agreement, you owe them the money.

Twitter header of @katygilroyblog
@katygilroyblog - A content writer and social media specialist based on The Wirral

5: Need something doing and can afford a freelancer to do it?
Get them on board! Need a new blog template and got some cash spare? Need something writing?Hire a freelancer. Obviously don't go beyond your means or get pointless jobs done, but if you've been putting off a job for ages and you can afford it now? Now's the time to get them in to help. They'll appreciate the work, and you'll get that niggly job you've been putting off done!

6: Consider giving work to freelancers with no other income
I am really lucky to still have consistent work during these weird times, and yet weirdly I still get a few stray offers of paid posts etc. Where I can, I've been trying to recommend other freelancers who I know don't have this work coming in, and no steady income. I know we could all use the extra money, but I don't need it nearly as much as other people, and so definitely throw someone a bone if you're in a position to do so.

Instagram header of @benjofbagend
@benjofbagend - A brilliant photographer and filmmaker based in Liverpool

Like I said, it really all depends on your position, times are difficult for everyone, but we rely on freelancers more than we know and so if you can afford to help a freelancer? Now's the time.

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Why Come Back Now?

From an admin point of view, coming back to blogging now seems like a weird choice, right? Especially given that all I've read for the last month is how blog views are down across the board. To me, though? This seemed like the obvious time to come back to blogging. As I write this it's the first morning of lockdown, things feel different and - just like when I first started Little Fickle - all I really want is a place to help, if I can - a place to speak, given everything. I feel like I should preface this by saying I am aware I am lucky right now, I have managed to keep a job that I normally work from home in anyway, I have good open spaces that are ours privately, I am within walking distance of shops that are seemingly fairly well stocked. However, in times of uncertainty like we're in now? It's okay to still feel down, or upset.

Already missing the boys.

Mainly, though? I feel completely hopeless. Not only because the wellbeing of myself and those around me still feels out of my hands despite lockdown, not even because I can't see my partner, mostly because I want to do more for people if I can and I just don't know how. So, I've decided to write. Like every other time that I've written when I felt like I couldn't or wouldn't get through something. Little Fickle has always been a home for me, and now feels like the exact right time to come home, if there ever was one. I'm going to share what I'm doing to keep my head above water, what I'm doing in order to help businesses around me and literally what I'm doing to get through lockdown every day.

I know it's been said so much that it doesn't feel like a real phrase anymore, but we really are in unprecedented times. We've never gone through something like this before, we don't know how to act in this situation, and that's okay. Do whatever helps you get through this. For me, that's writing, and so welcome back to Little Fickle.

Sammy xo.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

[GIFTED] Christmas Gifting With Sous Chef

[GIFTED] Post contains gifted products from Sous Chef, however all views and opinions are my own.

As some of you may know, there are very few things I enjoy more in the world than food, and so when Sous Chef offered to send me some gifts to review from their Christmas ranges, I was more than happy to comply. There's absolutely nothing better than Christmas food, and there's definitely something that feel forbidden about eating the fancy stuff before Christmas Eve (my mum is cringing thinking about me taking them out the cupboards with little to no regard, I'm sure) and so I'm here to talk you through what I'd recommend from the Sous Chef Gift Collection.


Whilst I really wanted to be selfish when it came to my picks, it really didn't seem fair, and so I did go for a mixture of things that I could share with Josh and his mum. Having said that, my first pick was something that definitely didn't get shared around, and that was Shluckwerder Edel Marzipan with Dark Chocolate (£1.49). I'm well aware that to many people this sounds like actual hell, but to me this was the dream. Was it amazing? Yes. Did I eat the whole bar in one single sitting? Wouldn't like to comment on that one. I will say though it's very rich, so if you can't handle quite as much sickly sweet in one sitting, then maybe opt for just a piece at a time.

I also opted for the Buttermilk Christmas Cracker (£4.89) which had a selection of clotted cream fudge, mince pie flavoured fudge and caramel sea salt. This was a little divisive, the sea salt was far too salty for Josh but I felt like it cut through what could have been something sickly sweet for me, both Josh and his mum liked the Clotted Cream but it just wasn't for me, and it was quickly decided that the Mince Pie fudge actually tasted a lot like birthday cake icing, but I really wasn't mad about it. Both the inside and outside packaging for the fudge was beautiful, and I think it would make a really lovely gift for someone who might typically be a little hard to buy for.


The final products that I opted for were Love Cocoa's Assorted Christmas Collection, and also their Boozy Collection (£9.31 for a box of eight truffles). Though nothing let this parcel down, these were definitely the unanimous hit; with beautiful packaging, beautifully made truffles and just a wow factor that you want when you're buying chocolate as a present. We sampled everything from prossecco truffles, right through to the elephant in the room (photo?) the brussel sprout truffles. Though they might look unappealing, these are actually milk chocolate filled with an orange centre and they were some of our favourites out of both boxes, but if you want to put your kids off eating the last one? The way they look is definitely effective.

All in all, for fancy Christmas food at a price that really isn't going to break the bank as much as you think, Sous Chef could be a fantastic option, just make sure you hide them away so they don't get stuck in the do-not-touch-until-Christmas cupboard! Their express delivery is running right up until December 23rd for Christmas Eve delivery, and so if you're cutting it fine, keep them in mind!

Sammy xo.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Liverpool's Baltic Market

I have to admit that when it comes to Liverpool, I'm pretty lazy. I stick to what I know, what I like and, for the most part, the middle of town because I never think about walking further out if I can avoid it. Though I have visited the infamous Baltic Market before, it's usually been in the day with my brother who works in Liverpool, rather than with my friends. A few weeks ago, though, we were in Liverpool anyway and trying to find a food place that we all agreed on; cue the ridiculous amount of choice that The Baltic Market has to offer. We found ourselves there and ready to eat pretty much anything we could lay our hands on, and I definitely wasn't disappointed.


Vendors within the market do change pretty regularly, but when we went our offerings were from Chop! Chop!, Lunya, Pattersons, Hafla Hafla, Little Furnace, Caribou Poutine, Bacaro and Fritto, most of which already have huge followings within the city. Now, I will say, we weren't very adventurous in picking our food; but we'd been to Pattersons to do our original review two days earlier and it'd been playing on our minds since, so me and Josh opted for some of their Chicken Strippers (£4.95). Dan, who originally raved about Pattersons so much that we went, came with us and also recommended Caribou Poutine which I hadn't been to since the branch opened in the city centre and so we also opted for Original Poutine with meat gravy and fried onions (£5).


The chicken here was every bit as good as the chicken we had in the bigger restaurant a few days earlier, and we scoffed that down really quickly - I have to say though, that it was the poutine that was the star of the show for me. Melty, squeaky cheese with thick, herby gravy on soggy fries with more crispy onions than it should ever be okay to eat? Definitely count me in for that again. This is the type of meal that you think about and crave for days after, and even writing this now I'm wondering when I can next fit time in to go and grab another portion. We shared the chicken and poutine and it was more than enough food, and so for £9.95 we had a whole meal between us. The bar is a little more expensive than I'd like, but I feel like it evens out somewhere around moderate however you look at it.


I'm also a sucker for dessert and so when I saw that they had The Midnight Delivery, I was more than willing to try some desserts. Josh and I are the kind of couple that like to get two things we really want and then split them because we're both so indecisive and so we ended up with Hot Kinder Cookie Dough (£6.50) and Salted Caramel Filled Churros with milk and white chocolate drizzle. (£7.50). Did we spent more on our desserts than we did on our main meal? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Absolutely. The Kinder Cookie Dough was a little too sweet for me, but was definitely Josh's favourite of the two desserts, and we all agreed that the Churros with it's cinnamon outside and sweet, rich inside were a general, overall winner. I'm actually really sad that I'm not in the Uber area for The Midnight Delivery, but it definitely is probably a good thing for my bank balance.

Overall I really love the atmosphere of The Baltic Market, and I think it's really nice to have a place essentially on your doorstep that you could create a different meal within every single time that you went (within reason). If you've ever been to The Baltic Market, I'd love to know what you'd recommend for next time!

Sammy xo.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Lush Christmas Gifting Event

[PRESS EVENT] This post is discussing an event I was invited to, and features gifted products, however all views are my own. Please view my disclaimer for more information.

There's a real place in my heart for Lush events, the Halloween launch in Chester Lush was one of the first blogging events I ever remember going to. So, when Katy invited me to go to Liverpool Lush for their Christmas gifting event, I jumped at the chance to be back at some of my favourite events of all time. Luckily this time, because he's currently doing my photography, I could take Josh and so we got to spend a night last week smelling bath bombs, chatting with some old (and new) friends and just generally getting into the Christmas spirit. I have to say it's been a while since I've kept up with Lush releases or even actually been in the new Liverpool Lush store, and so it was definitely nice to see what they're offering for Christmas 2019.


The event started with us getting a rundown of the perfume consultation that Liverpool offer, and though the perfume at Lush really isn't the thing that catches my eye for the most part, it was quite interesting that you can go in and give an essence of the person that you want to buy for via answering some questions and come out with the perfect scent. We got to discuss how the consultations work, how you can go about picking out your own scent, and we got to smell some of the iconic fragrances such as Lord of Misrule, Rose Jam and American Cream. We also got to see the black label range of fragrances that Liverpool Lush offer, and it's definitely something I plan on looking at a little more in the coming months when I get the time to revisit to do so.

The ceiling of the Tales Of Bath treatment room

A really cool part of this event, however, was that we also got to visit the spa as nobody was booked in and so we weren't going to interrupt their treatment. The spa is honestly one of the coolest things that I've seen in a long while; set out like a comfy kitchen, you can sit and have your consultation to make sure that you're getting the best of your treatment and then head into the consultation room itself. We got to go and see the consultation rooms for both The Comforter and Tales of Bath and truly, if I had £115 to spare I'd be booking Tales of Bath just to relax in a room that pretty! I don't, however, though I am considering booking in for The Energiser in the new year, because I can definitely spare £45 to relax and get more motivated. The staff took us through a good few of the treatments, let us smell the spa exclusive products and then sent us on our merry way feeling a lot more relaxed just from being in the space (which is sound proofed so you can't hear the noise from the rest of the store, by the way!)


Finally, we got to see the Christmas floor. That's right, currently the top floor of Lush Liverpool is nothing but Christmas products, and I'm absolutely living for it. Not only are the products all fantastic, but we got to speak through their environmentally friendly changes (including recycling their bottles into their knot wraps, as well as saving on water waste by changing demos to their app and on screens available within the store) and also got to see some knot wrap demonstrations. When we had talked through all of the products, we got to pick some to take home for ourselves and so I picked Snow Fairy bath bomb for Josh's sister, Yog Nog Shower Cream and Snowflake Body Lotion (potentially reviews to come if I like them!) and we had them knot wrapped for us with new personalised tags that you can opt for in the store if you're buying from Liverpool.


All in all the event was great fun and I actually felt like I'd come away knowing much more about Lush, so good work, Katy! Also if you've ever been to the Lush Spa let me know if it's work me dropping that amount of cash on a treatment because I really do want to.

Sammy xo.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

[AD] Manchester Challenge - The Ultimate Date Night

[AD] Post written in collaboration with, and spending money provided by, Hotels.com

Manchester isn’t too far away from home for me but it’s somewhere I don’t really tend to head to often. That said, when I was offered the chance to go and write a post about how to spend a date night in Manchester (and if you're headed yourself from further away, there's some great hotels and serviced apartments in Manchester), I jumped at the chance to explore with Josh and see just what the city has to offer that we might have skipped over in past trips. So, with no real plan but food and cool things, we head off on a Monday afternoon to see what gems that we could stumble upon in the city. The coach to the city took us about 40 minutes and so our starting point was Manchester coach station, just for reference.

1st stop - Salt and Pepper, Arndale Market


We initially intended to head to Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, however it was closed for training across all the branches, and so we just decided to wander and see what took our fancy. Luckily for us, literally just across the road was The Armadale Market and just inside the door a smell hit us in the face and had us straight into the queue - Salt and Pepper. This tiny little booth offers all variations of salt and pepper food, and we opted for crispy chicken flatbreads and the classic salt and pepper chips. The flatbreads were subtle, but tasty and filling (plus 2 for £6 which definitely isn’t something to stick your nose up at) and crinkle cut salt and pepper chips are a game changer and a definite highlight. With the flatbreads coming as two in a portion and a portion of chips easily shared, lunch came to just £9 for the both of us. 

2nd Stop - Manchester Markets, and a general wander


We got a little caught up in the beauty of the Christmas markets in the city centre and so we went for a quick walk through them and to see if we could stumble upon anywhere else we fancied visiting. We didn’t, but there’s plenty of cool little places to see on the way to the town hall in Manchester, and there’s ton of cute little Instagram spots, so definitely worth the ten minute walk. After a few google searches, we quickly decided on destination number 3. 

3rd Stop - NQ64


This was one of my favourite parts of the whole day, it’s a little bar downstairs that looks like very little from the outside, but inside it’s a neon wonderland of graffitied tables, and so many old school arcade machines. I got an Irn Bru, Josh got a Camden Pills as recommended by the girl working on the bar, and we got 15 tokens between us. Including the tokens we spent just over £12 and lost an hour to playing shooting games, bad Simpson’s arcade games, and watching countless rounds of Mario Kart. This is a little hidden gem and it’s really affordable for what it is, and so if you want to get competitive or old school gaming is your thing, it’s definitely worth the visit. 

4th Stop - Crazy Pedro’s


After quickly nipping to Outhouse (possibly the most famous street art location in Manchester) and it’s surrounding graffiti spots, we headed back to NQ64, and then straight next door to Crazy Pedro’s for pizza. As it was happy hour between 5 and 9pm, we grabbed a cocktail each (Candy Skull Collins for me, and Ped’s Meds for Josh) and ordered four slices of pizza at just £2 each. We went for a mix of classic and a little more unusual; Can’t Cook, Won’t Cluck was a vegan pizza with potato waffles, vegan chicken, vegan cheese and tomato sauce (great taste, very weird texture), and Chippy Tea which was mushy peas, sausage, chips and curry sauce (mushy peas on a pizza is... an experience). Looking for something more classic? The Margherita and Pepperoni were well worth their £2 per slice price, and with 2 slices and a cocktail each, we paid just £18. 


5th Stop - Central Perk


You may all know that me and Josh can’t function long without coffee, and so the next stop fit nicely - with Josh remembering Manchester Primark has a Central Perk inside, and me needing caffeine. This is actual a really lovely little coffee shop, with it’s false exterior nestled in the back of the busy first floor of the huge Primark. The infamous sofa is outside if you want a photo opp, and inside there’s surprisingly nice coffee available; for a Vanilla Frappe and a Mocha we spent just over £7, and sitting in the cafe was definitely a lovely way to lose some time just people watching.

6th Stop - Manchester Cathedral Fountains, the bridge behind The Lowry Hotel


Reinvigorated we decided to head down and see some of the bits of Manchester that we, as a couple, love. Our first trip away together after we got together was Manchester, and we fell in love with the dancing water fountains with their coloured lights opposite the Manchester Cathedral. Last time we visited we couldn’t get a good picture because of the sheer amount of people there, but this time the whole place was ours and so we took some photos before heading off to the Bridge behind The Lowry Hotel, another favourite spot of ours with some beautiful views across the canal. Definitely a nice spot if you have some time to wander there.

7th Stop - The Liar’s Club


Luckily for us when we came off the bridge we were actually facing a bar we’d talked about visiting but didn’t know if we’d actually have time to go to - The Liar’s Club. This is a beautiful downstairs Tiki Bar which is definitely my favourite place we visited the whole day. The atmosphere is so, so friendly, the bar staff were so happy to help us pick drinks and the extensive list of rums is definitely something to behold. I opted for a TLC cocktail and Josh opted for Captain’s Grog and one of the nice things here is that their menu is helpfully laid out from less alcohol options to more, which is definitely good when one of you (me) can’t handle your rum that well, and the other one of you (Josh) is nothing short of a rum connoisseur. This is definitely the type of bar that you want to take your friends to, and it’s easy to see why it’s gaining more and more popularity. We also managed to hit happy hour here, and two cocktails of this calibre for £10 is definitely a bargain that can’t be sniffed at.

8th Stop - Yates


If you come in on the coach pretty much the first sight you see, and pretty much the last sight that you see when leaving, is Yates - and something about the sight of aYates just makes you feel at home wherever you are. We stopped in here for a quick Diet Coke for me, and a quick rum for Josh whilst we waited for our coach.

The total price of our date came to just over £65, and I don't really think that's something you can complain about - Manchester has plenty to do, see and eat and so why not try it for your next date night?

Sammy xo.
Most, if not all, photos taken by Josh
 
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