Monday, 31 March 2014

A Taste of Summer with Morrison's.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it would finally appear that we have managed to step into spring (I, for one, am definitely hoping that there is no more rain or even snow which some of the country seemed to have last week...) And so in light of what I hope will be a hot proper summer, I've decided today I'm bringing you a couple of summer recipes that I've stolen borrowed from the Morrison's Chefs....

The Tagine Kit!
To me, Summer is about sun, heat and the chance to be that little bit more exotic. And where fits the bill more than Morocco?! Here's an easy Tagine that you can have done before you could realise it...

All you need:
-Your meat. (Lamb or chicken or whatever takes your fancy.)
-Morrison's Tagine Kit. (Due to be released in May - which sounds miles away but really isnt!)
-One can of Chopped Tomatoes
-CousCous and/or Morrison's Chickpea Salad.

And all you need to do:
- Brown Meat
- Add Tagine kit one step at a time.
- Add chopped tomatoes into pan
- Pour Boiling water over CousCous in a bowl and cover with clingfilm.
- Stir Tagine and simmer.
- Uncover CousCous and fluff with fork.
- Serve and Enjoy!

(Best Part is, you can freeze the Tagine, reheat it, or even put it all in
the slow cooker and come back to it later. Perfect for me after a day at lectures!)

Disclaimer: I attended the Launch of Morrisons Summer Range. I was not paid to write this post.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

How to battle the dreaded hangover...

The Hangover Part II: Original Motion Picture ...
The Hangover Part II: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Let's be realistic, most people have been drunk at some point in their life, and with the being drunk comes the hangover.... unfortunately. There is one thing that students are known for... getting drunk (I'd like to point out that I am not one of these students... the library is my favourite place, honest...!) But how can you combat the dreaded hangover if you happen to find yourself falling into the dreaded morning after the night before....?

Today, I've asked a few flatmates how they deal with hangovers, and with 11 of us, there's quite a few different answers.

"I don't drink" - Slightly more obvious one there. Best way to deal with a hangover. Don't get one.

"A can of full fat coke, and a packet of ready salted crisps." - Fill your body with sugar and salt, its supposedly what you need to get back on track. Not sure I can handle food though....

"Just getting out of bed and forcing yourself to do something." - No way is this something I could ever ever do. Those who know me, know that I am most definitely not a morning person, nor will I ever be...

"Lemonade to settle my stomach... And a fry up wouldn't go amiss..." - The smell of bacon frying when hungover is never a good combination for me. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Of course there is always the lucky one that 'doesn't get hangovers' although I have a sneaky suspicion that maybe they do and they don't want to admit it to everyone else...

How do you shift a hangover after a heavy one the night before? Comment below and who knows, maybe you could help someone become the perky flatmate when everyone else is suffering...

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Monday, 24 March 2014

Mother's Day Madness.

There are several stages that occur when Mother's Day is brought up in conversation. 

Stage 1. Mother's Day is mentioned. Child had no idea before this conversation.
Stage 2. Child realises that they need to find a present that is both impressive and interesting...
Stage 3. Child has to sit down and give it some thought whilst Mother drops repeated hints about the skirt/flowers/gardening gloves (delete as appropriate) they are currently lusting after...
Stage 4. Time is running out for child so they have a mad dash around the local shops to try and find something suitable.
Stage 5. Child buys present and hopes for the best.
The cake arrived boxed up with candles,
balloons and cake in the sweetest tin...
Stage 6. Mother opens present, loves it, and remains in the dark about how much of a close call it was....

Either that or they just land up with a card. (It's the thought that counts though... right?)

I always find my mum hard to buy for, and so I've scoured the internet for perfect present. And this is what I came up with. A personalised cake from Baker Days. Everyone loves cake. (They even can make them gluten free if you're sending them to someone with an allergy - which at one point was almost unheard of!)

The wonderfully, bright, Mother's Day
Seeing as Mum decided that her and Dad were heading off on a last minute break -I'm so jealous of their good weather right now  - that I had to plan ahead. We've half celebrated Mother's Day with this cake and we'll be having the other half when they get back.

I must admit, this cake is far far far better than a bunch of flowers. Firstly it was delivered quickly and the ordering of it was painless... Gluten free cakes, have this tendency to be dry, bland and downright awful (sorry, but it's true...) whereas this one really wasn't! I'm sure I could have managed to eat the whole 5" myself if no one else had got in on the act. 

Initially I thought that at £16.99, the cake was expensive, but when the cake was delivered, with card, balloons, candles and cute presentation tin, it is better value of money than you realise. Besides, it's a similar price to a bunch of flowers and is something completely different. 

Definitely will be ordering more of the cakes, I quite fancy the look of the personalised cupcakes for my birthday. (BF take note!)

Get ordering, make your Mother's Day. Besides, this is the easiest thing you could do!

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Friday, 21 March 2014

The World is a Huge Place.

The view of the evening. Portsmouth at Night.
Photo taken by @hollyrobbo
There are only two things that are certain in life, that you are born and that you die. You cannot guarantee which path you will take, where you will end up for what impact you can have on the world.

This week me, the BF and the other couple (OC) spend an evening being thoroughly spontaneous, seeing where we landed up. It involved a rather cold late night paddle on the beach, yet another trip to McDonalds and us admiring the view of Portsmouth at night from the hills looking over the city.

Standing on top of that hill and admiring the view, we all realised how small we actually are and that the world is this huge unexplored place that holds the possibility for all these adventures and experiences. In that moment I realised that we are at the age to take on the world.

We can, in essence, achieve anything that we want. We are the future generation of this planet and with that we can shape the future. We can lead our mark. Every single one of us. Of this, I am certain.

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Britmums, Haircuts and the chance to win a Canvas.

Before and After/
Way way way back in January, I wrote a list of the things that I wanted to achieve over this coming year. I thought about it. Wrote it. And then forgot about it. Until I figured about now, was time to check out the list and see what I'd actually achieved in the last 3 months....

My tickets are officially booked for Britmums 2014, which I am super excited about... It cannot come soon enough!

I've had my hair cut a good few inches off. The change was massive at first, but I'm loving it. (Plus it a billion times easier to deal with when I'm running late for those horribly early lectures. )

I'm taking more photos! Even the silliest little thing that has made me smile is being photographed. And with that I'm making use of these photos. I was approached by those lovely people at CanvasDesignUK for one of their canvases, I figured I'd make use of the photos that I do have. Once we'd established a photo that wasn't going to blur as it was blown up, my order was submitted and I sat back and waited. (I was gutted my first choice of photo wasn't a high enough quality but that's photos taken on my iphone for you!)
The Final Product!
What I didn't expect was for the canvas to be delivered under 48 hours later! (10/10 CanvasDesignUK!!)
I will definitely be blowing more of my adventures through this year up on to canvas. It's the perfect way to remember an occasion, or the perfect gift for a friend or relative.

The best bit - apart from the free shipping? That once you've can designed your own here, you can get 15% off by using this code: BLOG15

Even better is you can enter my competition to win a canvas from CanvasDesignUK below....
Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway - Goodluck!!

Disclaimer:I was not paid to write this post. I received a free Canvas for the Purpose of this review, but as always the views expressed are my honest opinion.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Vinyl Record Clock.

I get bored very easily and so tend to find that I need to find things to do to occupy my mind - partly where the inspiration for blogging came in! More often that not it means that I sit down and make something, rather like a small child... Be it homemade jewellery, cakes or blog headers, I like to try something

Last week, when off on an adventure the BF & I came across old vinyl records for a knockdown price which I couldn't pass up on so I bought one (I couldn't help it but I went back the next day and bought a few more for this new 'project'...) and took it home with the intention of making something from it.

Somewhere over there >> you can see the first creation. I'm not going to lie, both the BF and I are pretty pleased with the final outcome. It's impressive what you can do with a vinyl and a clock mechanism kit.

One project down, we started to try something else. Something I'd seen on those tip exchange type websites. A Vinyl Bowl.

I confess, it really did take us 20 minutes longer than it should have - my perfectionist nature really came to light - but you can see the final effect was quite impressive. It's perfect for all the cr*p that the BF has in his pockets so that it doesn't spread about my room...

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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Vodka won't hug you back.

Today you guys are being spoilt with something a little different. Instead you can all be serenaded with the words of Emma, one of those poor few that have to put up with me this year. Best known within our group for having a wicked sense of humour and always filling our lives with her hilarious anecdotes. She's the perfect person to ask about her university experience and so when I asked her what she'd learnt at university and this was her reply....

I come from a rather large family; I have 2 sisters, 2 brothers and 2 completely dedicated parents (my house should be renamed, Noah's ark). Although I am the first to go to university there is one education they all have - a degree from the University of Life. Being the youngest of the bunch, they had some true words of wisdom to send me away with, advice that like many a lectured sibling or child, I ignored. So here it is, my guide to making the right friends.

When you first start university as much as your parents tell you that you are there to better your education and future; you and I both know that that's not the first thing on your mind. Making friends is a common worry among all new students. Are they going to like me? Am I funny enough? Will they accept me and my extensive toenail collection? It's an understandable worry. But you have to realise everyone is in the same position.

What I wished I had listen to before hand is the accurate - although cynical - view that fast friends are not always future friends. First year is brilliant, you have a large overdraft that the kind and rather hot bank lady gave you, your parents have left you with nothing but your independence, a recipe for Spag Bol and a £2.99 3 litre bottle of Strongbow and you're off to pre-drink with your new house mates/course mates and possible drunk people you have met in the lift of your building.

What is hard to grasp when you are constantly dazed by the sheer volumes of alcohol you are consuming and the haze of hangovers that follow, is how true these friends are when the many bottles of Lambrini and copious array of shots have left your system. When freshers has finished and the 7-14 day binge has slowed (only slightly) take the time to really get to know the people you've shared the end of the beer bong with. 

In all student halls and student houses, people have been placed in such positions where the necessity of niceties is paramount in making friends. Delving into a persons true nature is really worth doing, especially if your plans are to continue avoiding the washing up and doing 3am chocolate runs to the 24/7 shop together for the remainder of your uni life. Only when you sit down and find real connections with people that aren't based on the similarity of your drinking abilities will you find your true friends.

It is common opinion of university graduates that the friends you meet at uni are your friends for life and this is true, they really are. You and your house/course mates go through so much together, moving out, money problems, adult relationships (adult break ups!) and so much more. The trick is to work out who are those whom you like to go out and have a great time with, walking home with various traffic accessories, riding home in trolleys or even police cars; and those who you can cry with, share things with and laugh with without the need to actually impress. 

Uni is a great experience and by all means I'm not telling you to find the nearest psychology student and lock them in your room to force your problems on over a packet of Rolos but just to be weary that good friends come when you take the time to get to really know each other, take your time. You probably grew up with your friend's from home so consider the time it took for you guys to become what you are now.

Remember, uni friends are for life, not just for student night.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Blavod. The Black Vodka.

Lets be honest, students drink. We know how to have several a good night in a week and somehow manage to maintain a fairly decent daytime... but somehow I've become one of those students who has toned the going out in the second year of my degree. Although I know that there are students out there who are willing to go out two/three/even more times a week, but if I even want to have the chance of making my lectures then I can't even dream of  trying to keep up with these people! (I've almost become middle-aged!) so I save my going out for the nights when there is an event or birthday.

Last week we had a birthday within the group that I live with and so, what better reason to take a night off and enjoy the company of those around me - especially as I was up to the neck with work for my assignments. It was a house party, something that we have found the best way to include everyone and have a great night - This is what we deem the result of a good night! But for this I needed to find something to drink. Vodka.

I've seen this Blavod Vodka advertised on twitter and was desperate to try it for a while so when I found it in Asda I figured that was the drink for the night even though it was slightly more expensive that the usual vodka I drink. And it was definitely was worth the money.

The bottle itself is beautiful. The drink itself was beautiful, high quality and when poured a midnight black colour. Definitely a drink that would look good if I knew any cocktail recipes that would allow the blackness to show through (it goes a grey colour when mixed with orange juice - not so appetizing unless its Halloween....)

All in all though, its a good vodka that is something different. (And it didn't give me a hang over....!) Just need to master their cocktails at

I bought this product myself. Any views expressed are entirely my own.

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Friday, 7 March 2014

Mint Chocolate Shots

Here's something a little different for finishing off your meal. Just like the After Eight Mints, but a whole lot more grown up. All that you need is:
Mint Chocolate Shots. 

-Shot Glasses/Sherry Glasses/Something of this description.
-Creme de Menthe (Or some other Mint Liqueur)
-Creme de Cacao (Or some other Chocolate Liqueur) 
-Baileys (Or some other Irish Cream)

Take the glass. 
Pour a third of Creme de Cacao into each glass. 
Pour a third of the Creme de Menthe into each glass.
Top up with Baileys.

And Voila! One adult After Eight Mint. You'll never look at ending the meal with just chocolates ever again. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Getting through the deluge of assignments.

I've spent the last few weeks freaking out about finishing off the last of this years assignments, trying to keep on to of the work loads and not losing my head with all the stress. So today, I'm going to attempt to share my pearls of wisdom of how to limit stress and make it through the deluge of assignments that lecturers give you at university.

Don't leave it all to the last minute - This is something that I am definitely am never any good at. I am forever spending the last week before the assignment stuck in the library desperately trying to get it all done. (To be fair, I've never submitted a piece of work late. And I don't intend on letting this change any time soon....)

If you find you've already managed to ignore rule one. Then you have to get hardcore. It'll become a case of work, work, work, with the occasional break just to stop the stress, but by following these steps, I'd hope it'd get easier....

Keep Hydrated - Make sure that you drink while you work. Keep your brain hydrated and you'll find you can work for longer without losing concentration. (Besides, if you drink that much, the enevitable walk back and forward to the bathroom gives you a chance to get the blood flowing. Leading onto the next point...)

Get up and walk around when you find you're stuck - Get the blood flowing, clear your mind and hopefully when you go back something will give and it'll all be easier to work out.

Work with someone else that you know - Even if you aren't working together, the chance to sound ideas off each other or clarify something isn't such a bad idea. I find it so much easier. Plus you have the added bonus of having someone with you can be a great motivator...

Eat three proper meals a day - I sound like a parent, but your brain needs food and in all seriousness, how much work will you really get done if your stomach is protesting?!

Avoid Facebook/Twitter/your mobile/Blogs (delete as appropriate) - These only exist during assignment time to distract and waste time. Which you will probably need!

What do you guys think? What gets you through assignments? Comment below!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Blue Sky.

Portsmouth has spent the last few months weeks of pure miserable-ness. The weather has been wet and its a running joke that Portsmouth only has the colours purple and grey in its ability. But this was the view that I was met with when I went out to lunch in a study break last week.

Turns out, Portsmouth also does red, yellow, green, blue and purple. It was beautiful. And I just wanted to share those with you.
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Monday, 3 March 2014

Returning after a hiatus.

The perfect way to approach an
Right guys, this is it. I'm back after the most stressful period to date (well maybe just from this year...). Its been an endless cycle of assignments, work, university and right back to the next assignment, interspersed with Valentine's day, getting my highest score to date, and my anniversary with the bf. . I've definitely found that I've hung out in the library more recently than I have with my friends - and I live with them!

I'm pleased to report that normal service with resume as of now and that I have one presentation to go then I no longer have to think about any work to hand in on time... and maybe, just maybe I may manage to keep my room tidy... seeing as I finally have time to think.

So sit back, and hopefully keep on reading!