Monday, 8 December 2014

OOTD - Work Christmas Dinner

I love dressing up as much as the next person and so when it came to the Work Christmas Dinner, I knew exactly what it was I was going to wear. I've decided I'll be wearing the exact same thing when I go to see Andre Rieu and on Christmas Day because quite honestly, I love this skirt and it gives me the chance to be a princess, even if only for a short while.

Black Vest Top - Primark
Pia Skirt - ChiChi Clothing (online)
Grey Leather Boots - New Look
Chunky Jewellery - Independant Store in Portsmouth.

It was the perfect outfit for an evening that was definitely something else. Cannot wait for the next chance to wear it - although I think wearing it to lectures is not the best plan!

Friday, 28 November 2014

The Perfect Breakfast - with just 3 ingredients.

There is nothing better than a lazy day where you can sit back and enjoy the day, starting with breakfast in bed. Which is why, as my entry to the #PowerOf3 Challenge, I am showing you the perfect breakfast - for me anyway - that you can make in the quickest amount of time and enjoy fresh.

Chocolate filled croissants. 

All you need: 
- Ready Rolled Croissant dough. (Because life's to short...)
- A Tube of Rolos
- A dash of flour just to stop the dough sticking.

All that you need to do:
- Turn on the oven to 200'C and dust the work surface with flour.
- Open the tube of dough and separate into the pre-cut triangles.
- Line up Rolos against the short end of the triangles.
- Roll and Shape into Cresents
-Place in oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
-Take them back to bed for a relaxing breakfast in bed.

Disclaimer: This is my entry to the #PowerOf3 Challenge by EcoPure, E-Cig liquid made with just 3 ingredients. I was not paid for this post, but was reimbursed for ingredients.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

5 Weird Things That People Used to Think Were Contraceptives

 There is this idea that students are somewhat promiscuous at best and that we open ourselves up to a whole host of risks. We are extremely lucky to live in a modern world where sexual health is considered really important and there are plenty of helpful tips and support at our fingertips.

So although there is no excuse for ignorance these days, but what about before?

In the past people have used weird and, potentially dangerous things, to prevent pregnancy.

Here are the top 5:
  1. Credit:https://www.flickr.com/photos/finchlake/5459881413
    Squat and sneeze – no, this is not a gym workout. It was once considered to be a post-sex position to clear the body of sexual fluids. In Ancient Greece, doctors recommended that women squat immediately after sex and try to do the biggest sneeze possible in order to rid their bodies of semen and prevent pregnancy. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t a success.
  2. Beaver testicles – women in Ancient China believed that drinking tea made from dried beaver testicles would work as a contraceptive. There is no medical explanation as to why they believed this and there is no evidence to suggest it was successful.
  3. Queen Anne’s lace – known also as wild carrot, produced seeds that were used as contraceptives. Hippocrates wrote about it over two millennia ago and it was thought that the seeds blocked progesterone synthesis which disrupted semen from fertilising a woman’s eggs within 8 hours. This could be the first ever mention of a “morning after” form of birth control. The only problem was that Queen Anne’s lace looks similar to two deadly plants, Hemlock and Water Hemlock, making it very risky indeed.
  4. Papaya – in South Asia and Southeast Asia, unripe papayas were used to prevent or terminate pregnancy. The unripe fruit supposedly interfered with progesterone and prevented fertilisation. The seeds from a papaya were also used as a male contraceptive and, taken daily, were supposed to cut down a man’s sperm count, making it harder to conceive. As soon as a man stopped taking the seeds their sperm count would revert back to normal. This is not considered an effective form of contraception today.
  5. Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/verzo/9266905178
    Mercury – the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks were fascinated by mercury and convinced themselves that it could treat many medical conditions, from skin disorders to syphilis. However, Ancient Chinese women were recommended to drink mercury before sex to convince their bodies that they were unfit to carry a child. There were many miscarriages as a consequence of this practise, however, mercury is also highly toxic and many women suffered organ failure and even died from exposure to it.
These days we live in a society where there are many forms of contraception available, and for free.
As a student it is important to look after your sexual health. Always have an STI check before any contact with a new sexual partner – you can findyour nearest clinic here. As Klaus Erling Johansen, a GUM Specialist Nurse who works for CNWL, advises, "The standard of services in our NHS sexual health centres ranks among the best in the country. You’ll find welcoming staff in bright, friendly surroundings. And to make it even simpler, you can choose to receive your test results by text.”

Remember that you should never feel pressurised into having sex with anybody and seek confidential advice if you have any concerns. It's your body after all.

Disclaimer: This post was put together with help from NHS CNWL Trust

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

#SotonMeetup #2


Credit: @TanyaNoreenxo
A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend the #SotonMeetup hosted by the wonderful Alice & Amzy who always
Most amazing wrap I have ever had!
manage to make these events a chance to sit, chat with each other, network with some amazing brands and drink... Pretty much the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

We were back at the Orange Rooms in Bedford Place, Southampton for this event although we managed to land this rather funky private room - the only disadvantage is that ever photo has a rather orange tint....

I must say a huge thankyou to Gemma and Caroline who helped me navigate from the station and put up with me all afternoon! I don't like turning up at events on my own, and you guys made it a billion times easier!

So between chatting and drinking, the girls and I took the chance to chat to the amazing brands who'd turned up to show us what they had on offer.

Bee Good are a British based company who create and sell natural skincare products using the excess honey and beeswax. I must admit, at first I was sceptical as to how good these products could be, but as soon as I'd tried the handcream I was converted. I will definitely be getting my hands on some more for when my hands are dry after work!

The next brand was Weleda, a well known homeopathic company who have the likes of Victoria Beckham as a fan. They source the purest form of flowers and other herbs and make them into natural products with amazing result.

Last but not least, was the team from Lush Southampton, who talked me through pretty much the entire store and then tried to entice me into spending the rent money - and I was very very close to doing it.... I'm a huge fan of Lush and love nothing more than trying all the products!

The most amazing goodie bag - full of amazing brands!
At the end of the event we all recieved goodiebags filled with lots of different samples... It was definitely like christmas came early and I can't wait to get stuck in and try all the products!

Thankyou the both of you, and roll on the next #SotonMeetup!




Monday, 24 November 2014

Student Fuel Poverty.

Students can have complete control
over their heating by buying a Calor
gas heater and can easily limit how
much they spend on heating.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how to combat the cold (and try to avoid turning the heating on straight away) after realising that it is at this point in the year that many families begin to turn the heating on, especially after the incredibly cold weather reported last week...

I admit, we as a house, now have our heating on for a couple of hours in the morning and then again in the evening to combat the cold and damp that is becoming ever more an issue. We were trying to avoid it because it just gets very expensive, very quickly which means spending money we quite frankly don't have. Thing is, without the heating the house is going to feel ill which we cannot afford in the 3rd year of university whilst juggling lectures, dissertations, and work.

The media are always reminding us that there is a high level of fuel poverty among the elderly generation  but studies show that students fall into group experiencing the highest level of fuel poverty in the UK. In fact 79%  of students either turned the heating off or hesitated to use it because they were worried about the bill according to research by NUS and Friends of the Earth.

Which is madness because it means that they are continually having to work out whether to spend a large amount of their income, be that the limited student loan we receive or the money they earn from working part time, on heating their home and keeping warm or to go cold and spend the money on other essentials and with gas prices continually rising, this isn't something that is going to change over night.

Research also shows that more and more students are turning to the world of portable heaters, I know I have, as a way to limit costs and keep warm enough without having to have everyone pay. Calor heaters, for example, allow you to heat a room for less that £1 a night without adding to the cost of the household electricity bill.

It is crazy that this is even a worry for students living in privately rented accommodation. It is crazy that such a developed country that more and more people are going cold and suffering because of it...

What do you think? Have you experienced this?

Disclaimer: This is a PR Collaboration

Friday, 14 November 2014

Christmas is coming: Shop Online with Flamingo Gifts

The beginning of getting organised...

Christmas is practically upon us. 

There is only 40 days. 

Only a handful of weeks

And more worryingly just 2 more paydays.

Time to get planning and find a way to spread the cost to avoid the way that the Christmas costs just seem to mount up.... 

Generally I'm the worst person for managing to get organised and pick impressive presents...

But this year, I may have found a way of making that Christmas shopping easier, and managing to keep the costs down whilst managing to deliver presents that are original and manage to leave the recipient with (what I hope) to be a smile on their face.


Flamingo gifts means I can shop online for all the family in one place, managing to find something for literally everyone - and everyone could not be more different in my family - and have it all delivered for 99p, you can't really go wrong.

From scarfs, to mugs, to photoframes, to jewellery. With items from a couple of pounds to a hundred or so (I'm totally lusting after the Voodoo Knife Block - Santa, for Christmas maybe? ) 

You can't fault the world of choice that is at your fingertips. 

I myself was left searching for hours (and that isn't an exaggeration!) and pretty much decided I want the whole site, for myself. 

Its safe to say that I'll be back to order the next round of my presents on the site and to order everything when I win the lottery, of course. 

Check it out, and let me know what you thing!




Monday, 10 November 2014

Fat.

In the last few days, I was called fat. Which I am most definitely am not.
A Primark Mannequin spotted in Primark over the Summer.

I may occasionally grow out of clothes, split my jeans through wear and tear and find that I need the next size up in clothes but I am most definitely not fat.

But it got me thinking, if the world is making the judgement on me, what are they thinking about other people? And more importantly if I'm being called fat, what is it that this person believes is the 'perfect size'?

Is it the mannequins that Primark had? Or the other highstreet retailers who are picking tiny models for their advertisments?

How can we expect the world to be a positive place, in which we are all comfortable in our bodies when we are forever having to live up to the unrealistic expectations that society seems to have? How will our daughters feel when they fall short of the unobtainable goal?

I myself am happy, I may have bad days but all in all I am how I am and that's fine for me. I've developed a fairly tough skin over the years and so can let these comments go but I wonder whether there are people out there who would hold onto that one word said to them all day.

Fat.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

5 Ways to avoid turning the heating on - and saving yourself money.

What with the recent weather change, it has finally started to feel just like November - cold and generally just grey and miserable - and with this more and more of us head towards  the heating in the hope that we can manage to find the perfect balance between being warm enough and not having to sell a kidney to afford the bills.

@MrAlexWard and his beanie to keep warm...
1. Double up on socks - Use socks that don't have holes to keep your feet warm (I only say this because I seem to have this knack for picking up holey socks when I'm in a rush...), because realistically they are one of the first things to get cold. And cold feet make for a thoroughly miserable person.

2. Wear a hat - Heat rises and most of the body heat leaves out the top of your head. The picture over there (>>) says it all.

3. Comfort foods - Winter is the perfect time in the year to eat proper hearty meals. Recipes for which I have covered before here. Its either that or you eat as much as you can and pray that you build up some sort of winter coat...

4. Hot drinks - Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate or even soup. You name it, it'll warm you up, and if you go all out like me, it'll be a nice little indulgence...

5. Spooning - Grab someone and spoon. I'm sure I saw somewhere the other day that in winter months when people scrimp on the heating that levels of romance dwindle. Somehow the idea of sharing body heat should combat this - just remember spooning leads to forking...

What are your suggestions for combating the cold?

Monday, 3 November 2014

Student Life Hacks.

Being a student can be hard work, its the first time living away from home and having to remember all the somewhat grownup things that you don't necessarily think about - from signing up to gas & electricity  providers, to making sure the bins are actually put out and emptied on bin day..

But if you search the internet there are many life hacks that aim to make life that little bit easier. The people over at Virgin Media have compiled a list of amazing student hacks that blew even my mind... (And I'd like to think that I do everything to make my life as simple as possible.)

Check out my favorite three below:








So what do you think? Reckon you will benefit from these easy hacks? You can see the rest of the Vines on Virgin Media here. And whilst you're there, you can checkout the cracking student internet deals with a easy calculator to split the bills between you and your housemates. What could be easier

Have you got any life hacks to share?





Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Naked Noodle Presents Chinese Fakeaway.

Takeaway, an essential in the student diet. Where else are you going to find food that you actually want to eat that doesn't take cooking and contains vegetables (something that most students won't bother to try and afford for at least the first semester...)?

Thing is, it gets awfully expensive very quickly and who can even begin to imagine how bad it is to live a life of takeouts, nights out and little sleep...

But I think that I may have found a solution.

Naked Noodle Chow Mein. Somewhat similar to the Chinese counter part and ready in a whole less time.

The instructions are simple, drop the noodles and seasoning into boiling water, bring to the boil again and leave for 4 minutes and you're done.

Add chicken and veg if you really fancy pushing the boat out. I just fried chopped chicken and cooked the frozen veg in the microwave but the whole meal can be complete in under 10 minutes (which is about the time it takes to choose and order with the Chinese down the road...)

The best bit? The noodles cost £0.89. So the whole meal is literally a couple of pounds, which isn't bad when it tastes somewhat like the original. And you can't rally go wrong for the size of  the portion. Hindsight says that it could possibly go two ways but me being greedy finished the lot of one lunchtime...

I'll definitely be back to try the rest of the range, that's the noodles and rices!

Anyone for Beef Teriyaki Noodles?

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

Monday, 27 October 2014

How being a student is somewhat like being a toddler...

Living life a student is almost akin to living in the twilight zone between being a 'child' and remaining dependent on your parents and flying the nest and becoming a financially fully fledged adult (scary thought!). But there is several reasons why students can take that one step further back and be compared to toddlers...

Revision Meltdown.
1.Naps - Before University, naps were reserved for those days when you were ill but this changed as soon as you get to university. Naps are the vital part of actually surviving your time because realistically in your first year, the nights out and 11 oclock early lectures are not a clever combination, especially when you haven't had sleep.

2.Hours can be lost infront of the TV. - Netflix is something that every student should and probably does have. There is nothing better than losing an afternoon to an assortment of old films when realistically coursework and assignments should take priority. It is the ultimate procrastination tool and boredom killer.

3.Mess is everywhere! - The mess is exactly how I imagine it to be with a toddler, and an inquisitive one at that. Drawers are left open, the contents strewn everywhere. Food packaging sits on the floor and the washing up is left on the side, until someone thinks that covering the kitchen in bubbles sounds like fun...

4. Potty Training - Although by this age students should be able to control themselves, there has been an awful lot of students who seem to lose control on a night out... More than you'd have thought considering this is one part of their life you'd expect them to have their s**t together, so to speak...

5.Tantrums - This may not happen straight away, but pile a couple of deadlines on a student, then add in the inevitable technological setbacks (there is nothing worse than a good days work gone in the moment of a computer crash...). There will be tears, and panic attacks and just general stropping for no reason. Best bet is to let it go and sit down with a movie and chocolate (See reason number 3.)


What do you think? Students and Toddlers have similarities?


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Coffee #1 - Palmerston's Hidden Gem

After finding that I'm at my wits end after spending my time between lectures, my room & the library, I like to find  somewhere different to settle down for a few hours and just take the time to watch the world go by (God, how clich├ęd is that sounding?!)

But I have found myself the perfect little hide away.

Just off the most hidden high street in Portsmouth, Palmerston Road, Coffee #1 has set up shop and become that little oasis of calm in my somewhat crazy life.

It's dark walls would lead you to think that it should be dark and uninviting but it is in fact the complete opposite. There is so much light being let in from above, and coupled with the quirky wall art, makes Coffee #1 feel welcoming. Coffee #1 has oodles of character which is built from the decoration and mishmash chairs that surround the tables.

The staff themselves are friendly, chatty and make you feel welcome, even when you cannot choose from the rather extensive variety of cakes that they have on offer. This service is wonderful when it isn't so busy but I can imagine it would make service slow at the peak times. Although its definitely worth waiting if you have time and inclination.

What sets Coffee #1 apart from your other coffee shops? They care about the environment. More so than the next company. Napkins the napkins encourage you to take only what you need because they're from trees which aren't going to be around forever and the coffee is ethically sourced - according to the BF tasted pretty good as well.


Safe to say I will definitely be back. With a book, and a few hours to kill.








Monday, 20 October 2014

The perfect tablet case?

I have somehow become one of those high-tech students who sits in lectures writing my notes on my iPad whilst trying to keep up with what the lecturer is saying. My notes are organised and saved in multiple places so that an major technology crash means I won't lose everything - which is a far cry from the stack of scrunched up paper I tried to pass as last years notes...                                                                                           The fact that my iPad is a vital part of my university kit (and the pretty much all of my life...) and is something I can't live without, means I tend to take as much care as I possibly  can. This begins with a decent case that gives me the chance to adjust the angle of the screen so that I can type the words as they fall out of the lecturers mouth, and ends with me just generally being careful and not putting my iPad into any stupid situations. 

I used to have a cheapish lime green case, much like the many available online that served its purpose well but had worn out past the point of help. but the wonderful people at Logitech stepped in and asked me to try the Logitech Hinge case and give it a good run for its money.                                                                                                                             Well what can I say? I'm impressed. The case itself is sturdy and even though I received it way back in August and its taken a fair bit of a beating day in day out, it still looks exactly as it did when I received it. I'm loving the fact that I can full adjust the angle of the screen - something that my old case never did - perfect for when the sunlight is just reflecting through the window at that odd angle. The case also has that really clever (which really isn't so clever, I'm just easily entertained...) which turns the iPad off when its closed and on when its open. 
My only downside? The colours somewhat match my carpet... (Although, I quite happen to like it!)






Thursday, 16 October 2014

5 ways to sell yourself to companies!

It's reached that point in my degree where I have to start to think about my future after university and I must admit the idea of the future used to terrify me. But I think I may have reached a point where I have an idea of where I want to be in a years time. And it's exciting!

I have only managed to achieve this by attending the Graduate Fair & Networking evening organised by my university. These events gave me chance to talk to people in industry and sell myself. Only thing is, is finding a way to sell myself and stand out from the other couple of hundred students all in the same situation as me.

So my top five tips are:

1. Be confident - whats the worse that can happen? You make a fool out of yourself in front of someone you've never met? Stand up tall, take a breath and be sure to talk about what you know. Having that level of confidence will set you apart from the other shy, retiring types which is a fair few people before you've started.

2. Research the particular company and choose quality over quantity -  Pick the companies that look like they will benefit you, but be picky. It is better to focus on few companies and do well with them than choose lots and find that you haven't given them enough to leave a lasting mark on the people that matter. Plus by researching you are again setting yourself apart. It saves you asking questions that could easily be answered and give you conversation topics if you find yourself struggling.

3.Dress smart - Take the time to dress up. Stick with formal clothes. It just shows that you can make the effort and this will reflect better on you.

4. Have business cards/CV's to hand - This is your chance to leave your mark. Give them something so that when they get back to the office they still remember you. The smallest things can have the biggest impact.

5. Take the time to talk to the staff - This is your time to shine. Take the time to interact with the staff. At networking events, you will find that the staff are interested in you and that you can learn a lot from them. I certainly have!


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

3 Minute Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Week is now fully underway and so today I'm sharing my go-to chocolate cake recipe, ready in under five minutes and perfect for when you just need that little indulgence...

All that you need:
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- A splash of vanilla extracts
(And if you want to be a little bit more naughty 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips)

All that you need to do:
-Take one large mug
-Add all dry ingredients, stir.
-Add egg, stir.
-Add milk & oil, stir.
-Add chocolate chips & vanilla extract, stir.
- Put mug in microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. (Don't panic if the cake rises over the top of the mug...)
-Allow to cool and tip out onto a plate.
-Tuck in!


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Naansters - Naan on the go.

Laziness and a dodgy timetable are the two things that make being organised near on impossible. And with the lack of organisation means that the first thing to go is proper food. There just seems not to be enough time to cook everything from scratch as much as I try

I love my food but I now find that I don't have time to make myself a proper meal but there are some very clever people out there that have solved my lack of time and created a filled naan-bread that is ready with just seconds. It is literally as simple as unwrapping, putting it in the microwave, wait for the ping, and then tuck into the light fluffy naan breads filled with curry and rice.

Naansters have revolutionised my lunchtimes (and dinner times and even snack times) especially when I only have an hour to get back from university, cook, eat and then get back all in time for my next lecture. I've worked my way through the four flavours; Balti Chicken,  Beef Madras, Chicken Tikka and Vegetable Tikka and would definitely eat all four flavours - although, my favourite is definitely the chicken tikka... Mind you, most people know that I love nothing more than an Indian takeaway or curry at the local pub so these snacks would find it difficult to be wrong in my eyes...

So when you are next doing the food shopping and need something quick and convenient to eat, keep your eyes peeled for naansters. You won't regret it.

Monday, 29 September 2014

#MagicMoment - My day at the BBC.

Every been asked to do something so different to what you would normally do, or something that you never in a million years thought you could do? Yes? Well that happened to me when I was invited to be on BBC Radio1's Surgery University Special with Aled Hayden Jones and Dr Radha. The BBC wanted me to give advice about life at university!

It was amazing and crazy and the most out of body experience... And I am so unbelievably lucky to have had this chance. I was the guest on the surgery, something I've listened too for such a long time.

The hour was gone in the blink of an eye, and any nerves (which there were loads!) were gone in the first 15 minutes. By the end, I was wishing it was just beginning!

Best bit is it's opened doors for me - I now am a presenter on the university radio team and I can't wait to get started on it. I've definitely got the bug and I'm not letting go!









Friday, 26 September 2014

5 Ways to help a Long Distance Relationship Survive.

Those of you who are regular visitors to the blog know that for a period of time me and my BF lived just over 100 miles from each other. And that it wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. So today I'm sharing my five top tips for making long distance relationships that little bit easier.

1. Set aside time to share your day. - You may as a couple be several hundred miles apart but by making sure that you spend time in your day to actually talk, via skype or on the phone, means that you can still feel close. It's the little things that make a relationship and by having this time uninterrupted by your flatmates or work you can share these things. Plus, it can never hurt to show that you can make time for each other.

2. Be spontaneous - Keep the love alive with spontaneous act. A romantic letter. A surprise visit. Or even the occasional gift (Something as simple as a jumper the can have when they are having a hard day, because these days happen...)

3.Countdown the sleeps between visits - There may be weeks between each visit, but by counting the time down together, you will find that before you know it you will be back together.

4.Understand that you cant talk 24/7 - When you both start university and find yourself apart, you will both need to meet new people. This will inevitably mean that you will not be able to talk the whole time. By understanding this, you will help alleviate the feelings of the other not wanting you - they wouldn't be with you if they didn't - and you can make it so you are happy where ever you are together or apart.

5.Just remember why you are together - Situations change. Relationships will change. Just remember what brought you together and why you are putting yourself through all of the heartache.

It may seem hard to start off with, but eventually it will get easier. Something in the situation will change and before you know it, it gets less hard. I promise.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

T is for Trying Something New.


This photo is my entry to the letter T Linky run by Charly over at www.podcastdove.com/

This photo was taken of a very nervous me live on international Radio1 where I was invited onto the Surgery. I will definitely be blogging about the whole experience so watch this space!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Drinking. With Water-to-Go.

For a period of time, I was looking at buying one of those water filtration jugs. I figured that drinking more water was never a bad thing but I'm not the hugest fan of the water in Portsmouth, as daft as it sounds. So when I stumbled across the Water-to-Go bottles, I was transfixed.

These clever bottles promise to filter water making it safe to drink, where ever the water has been sourced, including 'not for drinking' tapwater, pond, stream or even rain water. The bottle itself contains a filter, which although I'm not the cleverest at the science-y type stuff, I know that the Water-to-Go filters are more effective than the standard carbon filters that general filtration bottles have. Considering the filters were developed in partnership with NASA's technology, you'd kind of expect that! These filters are so specialized that the bottles are often taken abroad to countries where tap-water is dangerous to save the travellers getting bugs which have the potential to ruin their trip/

On a slightly less technical front, I'm in love with the actual bottle. It is the perfect size for taking to my lectures or off on my travels and although I haven't put it in my bag upside down (I'm not that daring!); I've had it in my bag for several hours with my pride and joy, my Ipad, and it's stayed dry.

I know that by having this in my bag I'm drinking more water, which can't ever be bad. And I'm not spending money on bottles of water which I'm hoping will save me money, to be spent on better things. When you look  at the costs of buying water several times a week (which I'm totally guilty of...) against buying a bottle of water like this that you can refill and have the same quality of water, you can save several hundred pounds. It's crazy! The bottle looks expensive when you first look at the price (cough, £24.99, cough) but when you think of the long term saving, it's kinda more acceptable...

The only downside, apart from the price, is the having to replace the filter, which I figured I was bound to forget seeing as the filter lasts for 200 litres or 3 months but I signed up for reminders so I'm sorted! Just got to make sure I don't leave it anywhere; the car, lecture theatre or gym.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I received the bottle for the purpose of the review. All views are the truth.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Want 25% of Takeaway this Freshers?

Too drunk to turn on the oven? Late Lecture? Heavy night out? Can't be bothered to cook? Don't know how to cook?

I have found the perfect solution!

Those clever people at HungryHouse.co.uk know how crazy the first few weeks at university are and so they are giving us students 25% of your order during Fresher's Week so you don't have to even step into the kitchen.

All that you need is to grab your university email address (that's the one with the .ac.uk at the end...) and visit their special student portal. You'll get sent an email with the discount link. Order, kick back and wait for the food to arrive. (And you'll even be kept in the loop about other deals for the rest of the year so you can't miss out. )

If you can't even begin to work out what it is infact you fancy, then you can just copy the recent orders from those in your local area, which scroll up the side of the site. A major revelation for me, the chronic undecider.

But there is more!

Selected restaurants have a 45 minutes guarentee where they will have the food with you in the 45 minutes or less. And if they don't for some reason manage to get the food to you, you can get a refund. Meaning another takeaway for you...

So what are you waiting for? Find an excuse, and get ordering!

Disclaimer: This is a PR Collaboration





Monday, 15 September 2014

5 Things You Must Remember to Take for Fresher's Week & How to survive the week.

You're nervous. It's your first week at university which could be the best years of your life. There's so much going on; new people, new places and most definitely new experiences and you get the fun of starting this whole adventure with Fresher's week (or fortnight if you're at one of those lucky universities...) It can be one of the most crazy weeks of your life where alcohol is drunk in abundance and sleep is for the weak but it is the only time when you are not worried about deadlines or attendance.

Obviously by the time Fresher's Week you have got pretty much all of the essentials but today I'm sharing the last 5 things that you will definitely need to make the most of it all. These are the last few things that you will need to make sure that you're first few weeks are the most fun stressfree weeks of your time at university.

This is the Freshers Survival Kit sent to me
by the wonderful people over at
www.stressfreeprint.co.uk. With the green tea,
multivitamins, plasters and cookbook along
with the other pieces, I think that I'd be
prepared to take on freshers - again!
1. A Pack of Cards - No night out is complete without the prerequisite game of ring of fire when predrinking. (Which obviously everyone does because its unbelievably expensive to go to a club sober and come out drunk...) Best part is, its not just ring of fire you can play; the internet is full of different variations of games. Great for bringing a house of people together.

2. Bottled Water - Just what you need by the side of the bed for the morning after. Trust me, you'll be thanking every god under the sun that you don't have to get out of bed to get a drink when you wake up. Plus, if its in a bottle noone can knock it over on the way back in...

3. Face paint - Themed nights mean themed costumes. And is there is one time that there are themed nights its Freshers. It will help you make an outfit fit the theme that you need with minimal money (although I firmly believe that going all the way with a costume is always the best way.)

4. An inexpensive camera - You will get drunk. You will want photos to help
work out what quite happened the day after. Best bet is to get a cheapish camera that can document it all and that you wont be too worried about if you do happen to lose/break/damage it. The photos you take will be the lasting memories of your first year which I've known people to display for years to come

5. Sense of adventure - Just go out and do the things you never thought you would. Have fun, say yes, and experience everything. Its definitely the best way.

Savour every moment of Freshers, You may get one a year, but noone will compare to your first.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I received this Fresher's pack in return for me sharing the items I think you need to make your Fresher's stressfree and perfect.



Friday, 12 September 2014

Hands to the Keyboard with Microsoft's #Typingmatters.

The Microsoft Wireless 800 Desktop Keyboard,
set up at the only desktop n the house...

I would like to think of myself as fairly technology-friendly (although I'm no expert...). There isn't a day that goes by where I haven't logged onto my laptop and typed a couple of hundred words - be it blogging or getting my assignments and notes for university but according to some research, many workers can't touch type and cannot type more than 50 words per minute (which is the average.)

Microsoft have also found that a third of bosses won't hire someone who can't touch type - which many people can't - and half of their workers fall below the 'minimum' standard. Which is just crazy!






Typing may not seem to most important skills when working full time but it has been pointed out that the more words a minute you can type, the more you can be of value to a company, after all, you are utilising your time better. After putting it to the test I have found that I can type 60 words per minute, which is more than the average but less than it could be. (Imagine how fast I could get my dissertation written at 100 words a minute....!)

But I have a plan. Microsoft have partnered up with 'UK Youth' and are gifting every single purchase of their keyboards with Mavis Beacon teaches Typing software, making my new keyboard a chance for me to type faster & work more efficiently. I will definitely be using it to put myself ahead of the competition.

Well it can't hurt, can it?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

R is for Rose.


This photo is my entry to the letter R Linky run by Charly over at www.podcastdove.com/

This photo was taken at the beginning of the week in a small park hidden in the centre of town.The perfect place to sit back, and watch the world go by...

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

DoubleDate for Dinner at LaTasca.

The View at dinner
I like food. And I like to have a different dinner put in front of me where I don't then have to wash up, so dinner out is most definitely something that suits me down to the ground. The only problem is where.


GunwharfQuays has such a huge choice of restaurants, I tend to struggle. Things were even harder tonight when I went out with my LS and her other half. As previously documented on my site, she in allergic to wheat which makes eating out slightly more difficult - but not impossible. That coupled with various other allergies meant that our list of potential choices was limited massively but then we found LaTasca.

For those of you that don't know, LaTasca is spanish food where you pick several dishes each and tuck in. Perfect for those - like me! - who often struggle to choose between different meals and don't know quite what they feel like. Best part for us and all the awkwardness is that a good half the menu is gluten free and is easy to find. A far cry from other restaurants in the past.

A Selection of our dishes.

The staff in the Portsmouth branch are the most helpful staff you could have ever ask for, especially when we needed all the menu checked for a lactose intolerance and the food was perfectly spot on. Again. (Even if I personally found that I wasn't a fan of the porkcheeks - the BF on the other hand demolished them...)

It is always worth the money in LaTasca. The service, the food and the company was perfect. Just wish the portions were bigger! 10/10 LaTasca.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Five Top Tips for Standing out in an interview

At some point in your life it is guaranteed that you will have to work and hold down so that you can pay all those bills - the food, the house, the car - and so it is more than likely that you will have an interview. As with every job, there will be more than you applying and so it is vital that you sparkle and stand ahead of the competition. I've been there recently, got myself a new job and so today, I'm sharing my top five tips to bag yourself a brand new job

Smile 
This sounds really silly that smiling makes a huge difference, but I'm convinced it does. It just shows the interviewer that you're a relaxed, happy person who realistically is going to benefit them by hiring you. Plus it makes you more approachable and if you do get remembered for smiling loads that can't be such a bad thing....

Be Confident
Do not be a field mouse. Stand up, be bold and walk in with your head held high as if you can take the world. Chances are, you can.

Be Organised
Have an neat, easy to follow copy of your CV. There is nothing worse than a CV that you can't follow - infact most managers just won't bother. Turning up on time - if not early - gives the potential employer the idea that you are prompt and totally worth their time. Be prepared for the questions that they will ask you, about yourself and how you can benefit the company. Plan ahead.. which leads on to....

Dress Appropriately
Remember that you are trying to sell yourself in the best way that you can. Pick clothes that are smart and show you off to the best of your ability. Don't wear scruffy clothes and make an effort to not look unneat. It has also been suggested that you don't wear just black - a bright colour will stand out.

Be yourself
Perhaps the most important  of all. Being yourself. There is no point pretending to be something that you are not just to get a job, else you will struggle if you manage to secure a job based on the fake you. You will get the job if you honestly are a fit for the job itself.


Monday, 1 September 2014

The #icebucketchallenge

Let's face it, the videos are everywhere. You cannot scroll through any Facebook timeline without finding an icebucket challenge video, let alone live life without being nominated - trust me I tried....

Me in my #icebucketchallenge,
in the pouring rain, in the sea at
10 o'clock at night. I'm as guilty
as trying to keep up with the next person.
But realistically, why is everyone throwing water over themselves? And is it really a way of helping charity for just a chance for the narcissistic among us to show off?

It is thought to have all stared several months ago in the US as a way of raising awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) which is a horrendous progressive illness which will eventually leave the sufferer paralysed. All that the video requires was that you donate then declare why you are doing the challenge, nominate three people and then pour a bucket of icewater overyourself. It has raised millions of dollars for the US ALS charity and nearly £5 million for the UK's equivelent Motor Neurone Disease Association. Which is really great!

But this challenge seems to have its downfalls. 

I believe that whilst many people have paid the donations, more people are only completing the challenge just to be part of the craze by trying to top the previous videos and aren't paying which is what this whole scheme is part of. Even worse is that the American ALS Charity has come underfire for paying its staff six-figure salaries whilst the money raised going to a very small percentage of researching what can be done to prevent and help those who already suffer from the condition. 

So if you are completing this challenege, take a moment to donate, but please consider who you donate to...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

BT's Sizzling Student Broadband Deals.

There is one thing that every student needs. Something that won’t necessarily be something that students think about when they pack up and move into their new homes. The internet. And with so many different providers and a huge choice of packages from each of them, it can be difficult to find a deal to suit what you are after. It becomes even harder when you realise that it is highly unlikely that you will be in your halls/house/flat for the whole 12 months that most providers offer.

But I have found a solution. A solution that makes connecting to the internet unbelievably easy, without the annual contract.

BT.

BT are offering deals specifically for us who want the best service, for as little money as possible and don’t want to be paying for extra months that quite frankly students just couldn’t afford anyway. Better still is that these deals save you money – which realistically we all need! They are offering 3 different packages, for different prices which obviously suit different people. The BT packages all consist of the monthly price, as well as a monthly line rental of £15.99 but all of these deals have Unlimited Weekend Calls to other BT phone lines. Which means that it’s not going to cost you to call home and tell your parents that you are most definitely attending all your lectures and are in no way going out drinking every night.

The first choice is BT Unlimited Broadband, which has been explained to me by the IT Support Monkeys. Apparently broadband connects your house to the central network by copper cable and you can get an upload/download speed of 1Mb/17Mb which is plenty fast enough for a few of you in the house together. It is just £16 per month (plus the line rental) which means that you can save £96 against the standard not-student price. That’s nearly £100 that you could spend elsewhere!

The second and third choices are BT Infinity (BT Infinity 1 Extra broadband & BT Unlimited Infinity 1 broadband) both of which uses a much faster fibre optic cable in place of the copper cable. This gives you the faster internet with faster upload/download speeds so that nothing holds you back whether you want to update Facebook or stream Netflix whilst your flatmates play Xbox online and download music. BT Infinity 1 Extra has a download limit of 40GB but costs just £14 per month, plus line rental over the 9 month period which saves £138, more than the BT Unlimited Broadband. For even more savings which choosing the student deal against the standard price, the Unlimited Infinity 1 broadband costs just £19 per month plus the line rental, giving you a saving of £222. This sounds slightly more expensive but it has an unlimited download limit so if you are a house of 5 or 6, somewhat like me, this is perfect. You have the speed and the lack of limits which is everything that you need.

And if these deals aren't enough to draw you in – which in all honesty they should be – all the packages come with unlimited access to BT Wi-fi when you’re out and about for those who like to stay connected, free BT sport online for those who like to keep up with the latest goals, games and league tables and the BT SmartTalk app for those who want to make use of the unlimited weekend calls but don’t want to be the one accused of stealing the phone line.

So if you’re set to move into a new house and have to set up your own internet with a provider, check out the Student deals at BT. You could be saving way more money than you think.


Monday, 25 August 2014

#OOTD - Dressing to the 90's


That's me on the left. Dressed up for my OtherHalf's Great Nan's 90th Birthday with all of that side of his family without having to wear heels which I know for a fact I couldn't have managed to wear all day.

Dress: Butterfly Sweetheart Dress from Dorothy Perkins £18
Jacket: Navy Blue Blazer. Like this Navy 3/4 Sleeve Single Button Blazer £19.99
Shoes: White Strappy Sandals: Something like these Schuh Sandals £45
Pair it with a Statement Necklace and you're ready!