Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Brexit and rainbows.

We seem to have lost our sense of community as a country.

It feels like these things have been somewhat of kilter in the UK in the last few days - first with the whole Brexit saga (which I'm not even going to go into) and then us crashing out of the Euros the other night. (whoops!)

All of a sudden the country seems to have been turned pretty much upside down with the stock markets losing a silly amount of money and a scary increase in reports of hate crime...

The country is divided and everyone seems to have turned on each other.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised by the sense of spirit at Pride, London this weekend. It was definitely the polar opposite to all of those negative reports being pushed out to us by the press.

I went into London with a close friend and we seemed to find ourselves in the middle of the party. Surrounded by quite literally a rainbow of colour, party music and a crowd of smiles, I had this realisation that, although everything has well and truely gone to s**t and not  quite gone to plan, that if we all stuck together like those celebrating pride, we would all come out of it together ok.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

10 things to look out for when buying a car.

So I've finally done it, I've got rid of my little KA and upgraded to a brand new second hand car. An impending MOT and a list of problems with the KA pretty much sealed the deal - I didn't want to pay to fix it when I was thinking of buying a new car in the next six months so I was forced to speed up the buying plan.

And realistically, as sad as it was to see Bug the KA driving off into the sunset, I was so ready for a new car.

I started looking online and then realised I literally had no idea what I should be looking out for, or what I should be avoiding. Today I'm sharing what I learnt, so that buying a new car becomes easier and less of a hassle.

1. Pick a reputable garage - I don't think there is anything worse than the idea of buying a car, and days or hours, the engine couching and spluttering and then cutting out. Now I'm not saying that this will happen with a car from a small independent garage, but generally speaking it seems that the warranty from the known garages is bigger than those the smaller garages.

2. Have an idea of what you want to spend - Go to the garage with a game plan and only look at the cars that fall inside your budget. I fell in love with a beautiful car on the forecourt of the garage with would have been perfect, but it was two grand too expensive. I would genuinely have had to sell a kidney to afford it.

3. Have an idea of the size or model you want - It's pretty simple. Otherwise you'll spend hours wandering round and round/surfing the internet without actually getting anywhere.

4. Keep the mileage low - The lower the mileage, the less miles the car will have done, and in theory the less likely the engine will have parts worn that will need replacing. That combined with the fact the car should last longer, makes whatever you choose to buy a much better investment.

5. Check  the brake pads for a lip - Shove your fingers behind the hub caps and check the brake pads don't have a huge lip on the edge. If they do, steer well clear as this means you'll be replacing the brakes before you even realise.

6. Check the front and back number plates match - If they don't, its proper dodgy, and not even worth you buying it. My guess would be that the odd plates would be the least of your problems.

7. Pop the bonnet - My mechanic brother gave me the complete lecture about checking for a clean engine. Start by looking for leaks around the engine. Check that the nuts (I guess that's what they'd be called) look like they haven't been unscrewed in a long time.  Better that than anyone fiddling with the inside of the engine!

8. Always test drive - How are you seriously able to tell what a car is like without taking it for a test drive? You may even find that you do't like the way it feels and rule out a certain model or make because of it. Spend the drive listening for knocking or rattles, try the brakes and window screen wipers to make sure everything is in proper working order.

9. Have a peak at the foot pedals and ignition - If they look like they've seen better days, then there's more of a chance that the car was owned by a boy racer, as silly as it sounds. I would avoid that because realistically I want a car that hasn't had the engine regularly pushed to it limits.

10. Find  car you like and remember to ask about the fees - Nothing worse that finding your dream car then finding it isn't as affordable  as first thought because of the hidden fees.

What do you think? Is there anything  else you'd check for when buying a car?

Monday, 13 June 2016

SensatioNail - The nail varnish that just won't chip.

The one thing I hate about painting my nails is that without fail, within days, the varnish has chipped. I have literally tried everything with 'normal' nail varnish to stop it chipping and nothing I try works - even tried giving up washing up and making the OH do it, but that didn't even seem to work.

I figured that the only thing that may work was having my nails gelled but that seemed to be the expensive option when you factor in the cost of having in done every couple of weeks, plus, I'm slightly neurotic and know that I can paint my nails as evenly as the people I would be paying to do it.

So I invested in a SensatioNail kit. (I say I invested, the OH bought it for me, which is the same thing right?) Everything you'd need to gel your nails including the UV lamp.

First thoughts were it takes a ton of steps and probably slightly longer than standard nail varnish.  That and the starter kit is seriously expensive, I'm thinking £60? (that alone put me off buying it for myself, hence being gifted by the OH - he knew there was not a hoe in hell of me spending that sort of money on myself...)

But the more practice I get, I must admit its getting easier, I've learnt the steps and I can get it done in no time at all.

And when you look at how much it'd cost at the salon coupled with the fact that I'm nowhere near organised enough to make regular appointments, this is definitely the easier way for me.

I've even persuaded my mum that they're the way forward so sh's gone out and bought one!

What do you think? Better than nail varnish? Or would you rather head out to the salon?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. All views as always are my own.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

The Garage Lounge - One of Portsmouth's best breakfasts.

Me and my OH love nothing more than heading out and trying new places to eat which makes up lucky that we live in an area which is so full of local independent traders.

We've stumbled across some real gems in recent months and so I'm going to start sharing some of our favourite places in the Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.

The Garage Lounge - Southsea. ****

The Garage Lounge sits on the corner of Albert Road, which is easily one of the most vibrant streets of Portsmouth. Think Camden combined with the breeze off the South Coast. One thing the Garage Lounge has is character, and lots of it. From the furniture to the decoration, to the broad scope of people who visit, I could easily spend several hours sitting on the sofa, watching the world go by whilst trying to narrow down my choice of food on the menu.  This is definitely the place for American style breakfasts, sandwiches and cakes.

Whilst I always find myself torn between a couple of options, my other half always knows exactly what he'll be ordering before I've finished asking him if that's where he fancies eating. And its always the All American breakfast he goes for. Think bacon, sausages and eggs paired with pancakes and maple syrup.

He's convinced this is some form of magic combination and when sitting watching the orders coming out of the kitchen on our last visit, it's safe to say these were very popular...

I'm more of a fan of keeping things simple so opted for a bacon sandwich. Soft, fluffy bread and lots of bacon. Perfect!

The only reason this wouldn't score five starts as it isn't the cheapest place to eat. For the two of us, breakfast and a drink was somwhere in the region of £25, but for the amount of food alongside the atmostphere I definitely think it's worth the money. I know that we'll be back in the near future.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Returning from the blogging break.

Well it's been a while since I had the time - or inclinations - to write in my little corner of the internet. Things in the last year have been mad and wonderful and I'm in such a different place than I was this time last year, both literally and physically.

Since graduation, I've managed to find myself a fully time job using the skills blogging taught me whilst at university and bought my first flat with my boyfriend. Which I guess means I'm somewhat successful at the whole adulting thing!

The stress of it all, all but killed any slight chance of me coming home and letting loose online.


Now that things are settling down, I'm back. I've missed it all and I'm determined to get back to this world. Only difference is it'll be more prosecco and houses than snakebites and deadlines.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

A little bit of change

The last few weeks have been a period of change for me, both on here and in real life. Those of you who read this blog on a semi regular basis will know that I graduated this summer and so am no longer a student - making me blogging about surviving university seem a little bit obsolete,

There has been a few people that have asked me where my little corner of the internet is going to be heading so I'd been thinking what is best.

Thing have been somewhat busy for me recently with work and finding a new job which has meant that my posting here has been somewhat sporadic lately, but I've decided that I want to keep my place for ramblings - for my sanity, more than anything else.

And so, I present to you '#Gingersnapblog, Surviving life one week at a time'. because we all know that life is a journey!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Peanut Butter Oreo Martini

 This is my entry to the Foodies100 Wonderfilled recipe challenge sponsored by Oreo, marking the launch of two new flavours; peanut butter and golden. The delicious new flavours are available in all major supermarkets at an RRP of £1.08. To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/oreoThe people at Oreo sent me all the Oreos for this post - both the ones that I used and the ones that I ate in the process! 

I was challenged to use these wonderful new flavours and my imagination to create something spectacular. Those of you who often read my rambling will know that I write about students and that students know how to drink. So it seemed logical that this is where my creation started. 

And so I present to you... Peanut Butter Oreo Martini. (Think Espresso Martini, but not...)

All that you need: 
- Half a cocktail shaker of Ice
- 2 shots of Vodka
- 1 shot of Baileys
- 3 Crushed Peanut Butter Oreos
- Garnish

All that you need to do: 
- Add all the of alcohol to the cocktail shaker. 
- Add ice, seal and shake like your life depends on it. 
- Add the crushed Oreos. Shake it again. 
- Strain and Serve with a garnish, think cream, an oreo, or even crushed oreo on top. 
- Ta-da! 

His & Her's Oreo Martini - With opposing views on how to
Disclaimer: This is a PR Collaboration