Monday, 3 August 2020

A Weekend Down South







A couple of weekends ago, Sam and I decided we needed to get away from Stockport for a few days. We’ve been more than good during lockdown, and with both of us feeling the cabin fever, we decided we would go and spend a weekend down south visiting Sam’s family (who we hadn’t seen since February)

We drove down on Wednesday after work, and we made really good time, one perk of the roads being less busy, and I had an excellent nights sleep. We woke up early Thursday morning, and had a tasty breakfast of croissants, before driving to Kent so Sam could pick up his new car. Afterwards, we went for an afternoon in St Albans, where we saw a couple of friends in the park, and had waffles. It was lovely and warm, and when we got back to Sam’s parents, we had our evening meal in the garden and then had a relaxing evening. Friday was another warm day, and we went for lunch at Caffè Nero with Sam’s mum whilst we waited for the dog to have her hair cut. We had an afternoon in the garden, splashing in the pool and playing badminton (not me) before having a bbq in the evening.

On Saturday we headed into Brighton for a few hours, and despite the wind I was overjoyed to see the sea again. We had fish & chips and doughnuts, wandered around, and I spent too much money in Artbox Cafe. We then headed back to have homemade pizzas, before driving back up North to end the weekend. All in all, it was a lovely few days, and it was great to get away, and we were lucky we did, because we in Greater Manchester aren’t allowed to go and see anyone again now. Sigh.


Nic
xx


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Mickey Rice Krispie Treats




Recently, I have been desperately craving Disney snacks, but of course, we can’t get them as readily as usual, so I have been having to make them myself. I’ve only attempted two: the dole whip and the Mickey Rice Krispie treats, so I thought, as this was the easier one of the two (not that the dole whip was hard) I’d share the recipe for it, so you too can have magical snacks to brighten up your days.

You will need: 
200g of marshmallows (I just used a full bag)
Rice Krispies (I kind of just poured them until I thought I had enough)
2 tablespoons of butter
100g Dairy Milk
Mickey shaped biscuit cutter
Smarties to decorate

To make:
1. Melt the butter on a low heat, then add the marshmallows and melt until you have a fluffy white texture.
2. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until they are all covered in marshmallow. Place on a greased tin (I used butter) and put in the fridge for about half an hour.
3. Take out of the fridge and cut into Mickey shapes. Melt the chocolate and dip the treats in to it/spread it out over them.
4. Add the Smarties and put them back in the fridge for around 20 minutes, just to set the chocolate.
5. Take out of the fridge and enjoy!

And there you have it. I’m pretty sure most people know how to make Rice Krispie cakes anyway, but this is a must for anyone missing the magic.



Nic
xx

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Things I’m Excited to do when all of this Is Over


As someone who loves having things to look forward to, this year has been, shall we say, a bit of a disappointment. But because I’m not one to dwell on things, today I thought I’d share a list of some of the things I’m excited to do once this is all over. So I’m just going to jump straight in. Also I know these are all first world problems, and I don’t wish to come across as insensitive, but I just wanted to write this list to remind myself that we can all get through this and go back to doing the things that make us happy.

Book Disney trips
Yes, I am planning on booking more than one Disney trip once this is all over, because I think we’ll all need some magic back in our lives after the dreaded virus has gone away.

Eat at a restaurant 
I am really looking forward to being able to go and eat at restaurants again. I just really miss desserts.

Hug my friends
One of the things that is keeping me going on a day to day basis lately is my friends. From chatting via WhatsApp to visiting each other on Animal Crossing, they have been the best, and so I am very excited to be able to give them all a hug again.

Go to the library
Other than my house and my workplace, I think the library is the building I spend the most time in, so I am very much looking forward to it opening again.

Travel/ Go to events
I know I spend a lot of my time at Disney parks, but I do love travelling to other places too. I also love going to various events, so I am excited to finally start doing things again.

There are more, smaller things that I’m looking forward to doing when this is all over, but these are the main things.

Nic
xx

Monday, 18 May 2020

Things That Have Kept Me Happy in Lockdown


I like to think of myself as a positive person; I try to stay upbeat as much as I can, and with all that’s going on in the world, I, like everyone else, have found that a struggle some days, but there are things that are making sure I’m staying my usual happy self as much as is possible. So I thought I’d share a couple of these things with you, and I hope that they make you feel a little bit of happiness in this difficult time.

Disney+
We all knew this was going to feature on here, let’s be honest. By far the thing that has kept me the most upbeat is Disney+, even if I do cry at most of the shows on there. Disney has been my happy little bubble almost my whole life, so naturally it’s getting me through lockdown too, and also making me excited for when we can all finally return to the magic.

Animal Crossing
Yes, I know, another one that will shock no one. It’s fair to say that Animal Crossing has been the dominant force in most people’s days recently, and I am no different. I love how relaxing it is, and, as someone who is a huge fan of escapism, this has been perfect for me.

Reading
Before I was furloughed (which was only 2 weeks ago) I was in a huge reading slump, the library had closed and I only had 2 physical books to read. Then someone told me about BorrowBox, and now I’m reading more than I have done in ages.

Creativity-ish
Ok so I’m also in a bit of a creativity slump. But I am slowly getting there, doing a lot of planning, but I have also loved seeing the ways that everyone else has been being creative. It has been wonderful to see, and I hope it continues long after this is all over.

Twice
Yes, a kpop group. I have had a strange relationship with music in the past few years. I went through something pretty personal and went off most music because of this, and so discovering something new to me was a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, I still like all kinds of music, but it has been really nice for me to hear music that, to me, is unashamedly hyper feminine and upbeat. I know it’s not “cool” to like kpop or whatever, but I just like songs that make me feel happy ok?!

Gin
This needs no explanation.

So there are some of the things that have kept me feeling happy during lockdown. I hope you are all ok and staying safe.

Nic
xx

Thursday, 23 April 2020

It’s Been A While


Well hello there, it’s been a long while since I’ve done this. To be honest, I’ve been feeling very unmotivated lately, and since the C-word hit, I’ve been feeling it even more so, but I’m trying to take baby steps to feeling ok again, so I thought I would make a start by writing something, even if it does come out a bit like word vomit.

So how has everyone been spending lockdown? I’m still working, but I have been grateful to have a lot of blossom trees in our local park, which I have been admiring on my allotted outside time. I have a few ideas for blog posts, so I’m putting it out into the universe (or, internet) that I’m going to try and revamp this little space here, because, when I’m feeling motivated, I absolutely love doing it. 

Keep everything crossed for me, ok?

Nic
xx

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Studio Ghibli Films Ranked: Part One


The greatest news ever to grace Netflix was announced in January: the Studio Ghibli films were being added on the 1st of every month for February, March and April seven at a time, and my inner web was elated at the news. So I decided that, every month, I’d rank the seven films, from least to most favourite, and my reasons why. So, without further ado, here is my ranking for the first seven to be added.

7. Tales from Earthsea
Now, before I start, I don’t think any of these films are boring. However, this one just did not grab me at all. I think it is because it is based on short stories, but the whole thing felt a bit disjointed, and not really about dragons as the Netflix description states.

6. Only Yesterday
One of the things I love about the Ghibli films is their emphasis on the natural world and nature, it makes them feel pastoral and I am here for that, but this one was about not much more than the countryside, and, as a city girl, it wasn’t for me.

5. Porco Rosso
This one was Sam’s favourite, and I loved the outfits, the fact Susan Egan was in it, and the general vibe of the story. The only reason it’s in the lower end of this ranking is the characters, I liked them but didn’t love them, if that makes sense?!

4. My Neighbour Totoro
Ok, don’t. I love this film as much as the next gal, and before they started adding the films on Netflix it was in my top three for sure, it’s a classic, and perfectly whimsical. I do love Totoro still, but the two other films that have bumped it down were personally more enjoyable for me.

3. Ocean Waves
Other than that slap, I absolutely loved this film. I really liked the main characters, the main girl especially, and I love the angle of the story told from an albeit slightly male gaze perspective . I also love the fact it was subbed, as I was expecting all dubs, so that also came as a pleasant surprise.

2. Castle in the Sky
Oh, Laputa. This film was absolutely stunning. I loved the myth/urban legend aspect of the story, I thought it was magical, mysterious and wonderful, as someone who finds steampunk fascinating I also adored that, and I enjoyed every single minute of it from start to finish.

1. Kiki’s Delivery Service
If I were to rank every film I’ve ever seen ever, then this film would be in my top 5. It has always, and I suspect will always be my number 1 favourite Ghibli film, it’s just stunning. I have no bad words to say about this film; it’s simply breathtaking. If you haven’t already, go and watch it now, you will not regret it.

There we have it; my first of these posts. I’ll do one at the end of March and April. I’d love to know everyone else’s rankings too, so come tell me over on Twitter.

Nic
xx

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Cafe Rouge Afternoon Tea







Can you believe that this is only the second time I’ve ever had afternoon tea?! Wild!

On Sunday, Sam and I decided to have an early Valentine’s Day treat and go for afternoon tea. So, a couple of weeks ago, I was looking around at places we could go, and I remember my parents talking about having afternoon tea at Cafe Rouge, so I thought I’d look at the menu. I loved it, and booked a table. Then the day of the tea came around, and I decided I was going to wear a flouncy outfit. So, all dressed up and ready to go, we headed to Cafe Rouge. 

When we got there, they told us we could have any hot drink, so we both went for hot chocolate, because I’m never going to turn that offer down, and soon after the tea arrived. I was overjoyed to find croque monseiurs on the sandwich tier, so we munched away on those, had the great scone debate (jam first, always) and then shared the cakes and chocolate mousse.

It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and at £12.50 each, it was also a nice affordable way to enjoy a little luxury.


Nic
xx