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 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!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Release your Inner #MeatLust.

We try and have family dinner in our house once a week. Its our chance to chat and gossip even through more often than not our schedules mean we are life ships passing in the wind. We try and take it in turns to cook and get takeaway - dependent on how far into the student loan we are. On the nights that we do manage to have our dinners, I try and cook different things, things that we wouldn't normally have or be inclined to cook. So when the wonderful people at Flava-it offered us some marinades to unleash our meatlust, its safe to say that we had to seize the opportunity.

The marinades arrived and the planning for dinner begun. The final choice, Barbecue chopped beef burgers,buffalo chicken drumsticks and potato wedges. Should be simple enough, just mix the meat and marinade, leave for 10 minutes, then cook and serve... I say should be, but I somehow wasn't 100% successful. The chicken, although I think I may have overcooked it, wasn't received so well by the rest of them. They thought there was less flavour and too much spice... The beef on the other hand, was delicious. One person thought it would be better more smoky, but everyone else wolfed it down and there's already requests for it again. Success!

The picture over there shows everything I needed. And considering it only worked out as £2.50 per person, I didn't think that was too bad when you consider the amount of meat there was...

All that you need is a cut of beef, the marinades and rolls and you have the perfect burger. Just cut the meat into small chunks, marinade the meat in the flava-it marinade, slow cook the meat for a few hours, then reduce the sauce by heating on a high heat, allowing to sauce to thicken then slice buns, fill and serve. You really can't go wrong! It's easy and tastes like you've put way more effort into dinner. Perfect for those meals when you want to impress without breaking your back in the kitchen. I will definitely be picking more of the Flava-it Marinades when I do my shopping at Morrisons!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Upcycling: Giving Glass Jars a New Lease of Life.

My own personalised glass.
There are a billion and one different things you can do with glass jars. Reuse them for homemade jam with cutisie labels or storage of little things that you don't want to lose, but in recent weeks one rather clever flatmate came up with two 'alternative' solutions to those old jars - or even accessories for around the house.

1. Cheap, shabby-chic glasses. - Vintage jar-type glasses seem to be all the range this summer. And they are perfect for something different when having a BBQ and cocktails. Glasses aren't cheap at the best of times but the jar glasses are unreasonably expensive. Plus, by reusing the jars, you are saving the environment...

2. Tealight holder - A tealight in a glass jar burns bright and is easily decorated with a paintbrush and glass paints. Definitely the way to set the mood and light the way when the evening darkness rolls in. Besides, it'll protect the flames a little if there is a breeze.

The story of how these ideas came to light begins with a student working nights travels to work with a empty suitcase and travelled home the next day with a suitcase that was full. "What did she buy?", I hear you ask. The answer; 20 jars of lemon curd. Not that anyone would believe her. Those jars became part of the perfect summer farmer party.

What do you think?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Easy-Peasy Salmon Pasta.

Stuck for a quick and easy meal? Need something a little different to the usual dinner but can't be bothered to flick through those old recipe books that spend their time on the shelf gathering dust? This is perfect.

Creamy spaghetti with flakes of salmon and prawns. 

All that you need:
- 2 Portions of Pasta/Spaghetti
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 Fillets of Salmon
- Half a packet of Frozen Prawns
- 3/4 of a packet of Cream Cheese
- A dash of Milk

And all that you need to do:
- Set a pan of water to boil.
- Place prawns in a bowl of cold water.
-Finely chop garlic and fry.
-When pan of water reaches boil, add the pasta/spaghetti
-Place salmon fillets in frying pan on top on garlic and leave to cook through. Flip halfway through cooking to make sure that the salmon is cooked all the way through.
- Flake the salmon and add the prawns.
- Add cream cheese and milk to the fish and allow to melt, adding milk until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.
- Drain the pasta/spaghetti & add to the creamy fish.
- Mix, Serve & Enjoy.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Scoop's Gelato, Portmouth.

I am a huge fan of ice-cream, alongside most other foods that are detrimental to my waistline. And so after a wonderful meal out with my family last night, we decided to pop into Scoops in Portmouth for our pudding. I must admit, I was impressed. It's somewhere I've been meaning to try for months since it opened up and compare it to the other icecream parlour I've come across in Portmouth, Swirls.

We walked into the parlour, decorated in reds, whites and blacks, very America-meets-Italy - which in hindsight I should have taken photos of - and after we'd realised that we should have just gone in and picked a table we sat down and started to look at the menu. The menu has everything from the 20+ flavours of icecream, waffles and drinks which gives you a choice suitable for everyone, although the menu is somewhat confusing

We all opted for the waffles which were massive, on the expensive side, by seriously huge and covered in fruit. Our service once we'd ordered was fast and prompt and I can't really fault it. My only downside was that the music was loud - yes, I get the whole making atmosphere thing, but when it makes it difficult to hold a conversation then you know the music is a fraction too loud.

I did enjoy myself, but I know that there have been some negative reviews. It's definitely somewhere that I will be trying again and seeing whether the service I did have was the way it is, or just a fluke. Based on this experience though, I'd recommend it almost as much as Swirls.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Choc'n'Berry Cake

I've been looking for a while for the perfect recipe for a little bit of indulgence and I have finally found one that is perfect - and isn't so guilty as it could be. It's an old recipe from a friend that has somehow managed to stay within my things through several house moves and countless spring cleans. And I can totally see why it has. It is amazing and incredibly easy.
English: Alaska wild berries from the Innoko N...
English: Alaska wild berries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All that you need:
- 175g of Margarine.
- 175g of Caster Sugar.
- 4 Eggs.
- 175g of Self Raising Flour.
- 55g of Cocoa, sieved.
- 115g of Chopped Dark Chocolate.
- 115g of Chopped White Chocolate.
- 150g of Frozen Mixed Berries.

All that you need to do (in 4 steps):
- Preheat oven to 180'C/Gas Mark 4 & grease a 8in Cake Tin.
- Beat together margarine, sugar, egg, flour and cocoa into a bowl until smooth.
- Spoon half the cake mixture into the cake tin. Sprinkle with half the chocolate and berries and cover with the rest of the cake mixture. Scatter remaining chocolate and berries over the top, pushing the berries into the mixture slightly.
- Bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 5 minutes until the cake is cooked through but remains slighty squidgy in the middle.

The all you need to do is find a quiet space, cut a slice & sit back and enjoy.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Moving on up.

Our Leaving Photo, where we
channeled Friends - taken by @messinav04 
Things have been crazy and mad and haven't really left much time for me to properly check in here with everyone.

I've successfully moved from House B to House C and have fully unpacked all the boxes without killing the BF who's finally moved in. The internet is all connected. The gas and electric is registered with its providers. And finally we can start to live and enjoy this year.

I've started a new job. I'm not going to go into tons of details, but in the first few weeks it seems to be going well and I can see myself getting the hang of everything that I need to remember - even if at first thought it seems like there is half a ton of stuff that I need to learn.

This are on the up... let's just see how this year pans out!

Monday, 4 August 2014

7 Things that every student should take to university... (including my Logitech Z200 Review.)

Univeristy is often the first time that many people have left home. The first time away from all those creature comforts that Mum & Dad provide. The first time having to fend for yourself. And the first time that you are responsible for everything.

But what should every student pack? What are the vital things that you need to get through the first year of life in the big bad world?

1. The same fabric softner/washing powder from home. - Realistically homesick-ness will hit, and it will hit hard. It has been suggested that by having your washing and bedsheets washed with the smell of home gives you a constant reminder of home. Plus the fact that washing powder is so expensive that you'll either; avoid buying in in favour of other such neccesities or have to sell a kidney to afford it.

2. An emergency bottle of liquor. - Every student will drink, there are no ifs, buts or maybes. It is almost a fact of life. There will be times when you cannot afford the prequisite alcohol for predrinks when everyone wants to go out, so rather than be left out, this is the best bet.

3. A set of speakers. - Your speakers will become your pride and joy so choose a pair wisely. It is a case of weighing up quality against cost. The speakers become the middle of the party, the saving grace through exams and the one thing that helps you give a soundtrack to your life.  I'm loving my Logitech Z200, for the simple fact that they can go loud enough to drown out the music in the next room, without losing the quality of the music. They fit with the style of my room, are light and easy to move and won't break the bank. I've been trialling mine with the Logitech Blutooth Audio Adaptor so that I can be incredibly lazy and change music using my tablet without having to get up - and its brilliant, very very easy to use (even if you're an idiot like me...). The instructions - which I read for once - say that it will only pair with devices if it is in eyesight of the adaptor, but we've found it goes so much further. Although I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing as the BF's Iphone syncing as he came in through the front door at the onther end of the house, woke me up and gave me a heart attack. Not cool.

4. A spare bottle of shampoo - I will never forget the day I got in the shower, when I realised I'd run out of shampoo completely. I 'borrowed' shampoo from another bottle, but never heard the end of it. It's more worth having that spare than being in debt to someone else. You may have some lovely flatmates that don't mind, but it could be the start of WW3 and it really isn't worth the hassle.

5. An abundance of teatowels. - They get all grimy very very quickly, they go from white to dingy brown in a matter of weeks, either that or they mysteriously go missing. I'm sure we started the year with 20+ and when we moved out I managed to salvage 1...

6.Posters & Pictures - I have yet to see a student room that hasn't been made their own with pictures and posters. Some people take it further than others, with their whole walls  covered, whilst with other people it is the occassional photo on the desk. Either way, everyone makes their little square home.

7. A printer - Although this is not vital, it was something I wish I had had from the word go. There is nothing worse than working through the night to complete a piece of coursework then having to shlep across the city to the library to print off the work before rushing to meet the deadline on a piece of work. Life is so much easier when you can print it off at home and then head over to university to submit the work whilst bypassing all the other students at the library frantically trying to print their work and get on...

Obviously there is a whole host of things that need packing, clothes, toothbrush and everything you will need for the kitchen, but this list is the things that you may not neccessrily think of as neccessities. Although, I'm sure all of this list should be classed as neccessities, because realistically you will find that you need it.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I recieved the speakers and adaptor to review, but as ever all comments are the truth.