Lifestyle: What’s on my Desk (Office Edition)

I love reading other student blogs about how they study, what stationery they use (I’m a stationery addict!) and I’ve been itching to update you all on my own. Thing is, I’m technically a student this year, but not really – out on my placement year I’m working in a fancy office, with massive desk and two (sometimes three) computer screens. Pretty sure what’s on my desk isn’t as exciting as most students, though I’ve tried to make it as ‘me’ as possible.

 photo f50ac2a4-1d99-42ab-954e-7b04ce7634e6_zpsb0gkadx4.jpg photo 2846c901-b355-49f1-8973-5798b328c73f_zps9rnmwass.jpgI’ve found a good stapler and hole punch an absolute must in the office. Anything printed has to be filed away immediately, and definitely not left unattended on your desk (confidentiality and all that)…and whilst the printer generally at least handles the stapling side (but not for my fancy Adobe software that took four months for IT to give me permission to have) hole-punching is definitely beyond its capabilities. I prefer to keep these items as small as possible, and I’ve found Leitz to offer some great ones. The hole-punch* might be small, but it can still go through at least 25 sheets. The stapler* is pretty damn strong, and it also comes with a 5-year guarantee…though I’m finding it pretty difficult to find Leitz branded staples!

As I’m on placement, I have a mountain of paperwork I need to keep up to date with from university. Monthly blogs, quarterly reviews, a report, plus gradings from my supervisor and the standard H&S rubbish. This all gets thrown into the Leitz magazine rack* – not only functional and sturdy, the lovely pink colour really brightens up my desk!

 photo 2014-09-24175026_zps64eef189.jpg photo 13bb4b5a-0572-4b23-93d0-fc022f362a89_zpsdefa7e5f.jpgRegular readers will know I can’t live without my Filofax, and this has become even more true for this year. Keeping track of meetings when I’m not in the office would be impossible without it, as I don’t have a laptop (reason: I requested not to have one as I’d never switch off). I also use it to keep note of what I’ve been doing, meal planning, calorie counting, and blog organisation. You could say my entire life is in there!

 photo 2de67eb9-89f8-4edb-a0ad-a4fd471cacff_zpsxuimufpd.jpgSome beauty treats also feature in my desk – my top drawer is actually dedicated to them! I couldn’t live without a decent handcream or lipbalm – air conditioning is a killer! My current handcream is from Yes Nurse*, and is one of the better ones I’ve used. Lightly and subtly fragranced (I loved one from Orla Kiely, but the smell made it impossible to take to work), quick to absorb and it comes with an adorable cover. It also raises funds for Breast Cancer Care, to which I donated on receiving this to review. I’m unfussy about lipbalms, and tend to switch between Bodyshop offerings, or Burts Bees. I’ll always have the lipstick I started the day wearing in my handbag too!

 photo 74f2d434-3c32-4551-90e0-047e3dec8a76_zpspedgkr5j.jpgPens are one of the banes of my life (along with my hair). Being left-handed everything seems to smudge. I get covered in ink and my work is illegible. For rough notes I’ve taken to using BIC biros*, as they are cheap, cheerful and come in pretty colours. I can’t use these for proper notes though, as they do smudge if I write properly. So I’m still resorting to my Pental Frixon erasable ones – and yep, they still cost a small fortune.

 photo 04f3618d-67f6-4753-aa1f-f9f6161a75d4_zpsmdmboahr.jpg photo 04765d23-91d3-402e-b297-a1bd49b12ede_zpsy26jda6s.jpgOther less exciting things – a stock of fruit (apples and oranges seem to last best at work), and some emergency biscuits and chocolates. The lovely mug W got me for Christmas. My Logitech mouse, it’s so much easier on my RSI strained hand. A stash of Yorkshire teabags (the company provide PG Tips…), and a pair of black ballet flats (so if it rains I can walk to work in wellies and change).

It’s a wonder there’s any space left on my desk to work! What are your desktop essentials? 

Beauty: January Sort-Out

I’d been putting it off for ages. Living between my ‘spareroom rental’ in Surrey, my parents house, and W’s house means that I have a lot of stuff. I’d accumulated a full makeup bag at each place, but if I’m honest I rarely used it. I just bought my favourite bits and pieces with me. The last weekend I got everything together,worked out what I no longer wanted, switched up products, and generally had a good ole organisation spree.

 photo 3a47ad62-21fc-471b-9feb-22282eb1a565_zps0ceb687e.jpg photo 10d1d699-24e6-44c1-863f-2b767cc39246_zps3c58802d.jpgFoundations were the easiest. I threw out my bottle of Maybelline Better Skin; it’s a little dark for me, but more importantly it’s gone off. Its thick, lumpy and it smells. BIN! Rimmel Wake Me Up moved from my regular makeup bag to W’s house. To be honest, I nearly chucked it out as I really don’t like it. It feels like it sucks the moisture out of my skin, and I hate the finish of it. But it’s barely used and the student in me can’t waste money, so it’ll do for the lazy days. Or until it goes off…

 photo b277c7c3-d2b6-49ed-8eb8-18f71b6ed428_zps7efe44b7.jpgI also chucked my MUA Creme Blusher. I love the shade of this, but it’s dried out since the summer. I’ll probably just repurchase another when the weather warms up as it’s so cheap!

 photo 0a7d91e5-d8ed-437a-b385-71a7c6ce04fe_zps96c5504a.jpg photo 66e082e4-ed9d-43f0-9d38-a51311a3aef2_zps337b9542.jpgClearing out nail polishes really defines my style. Out with the pastels (there were five other bottles), keeping the berries, the neutrals and the greys. I do love my red nail polishes, but having three was excessive so I tossed out this Bourjois one as the brush is a little too wide to paint neatly. The Ted Baker one hit the bin as it consistently turns my nails yellow despite wearing a base coat.

 photo d30cd3cf-cd39-49e2-bd76-723f9fb35d36_zpsf6320282.jpgEye shadows are my weakness, but I have to admit I find the quality of high-street ones really poor now. They irritate my eyes, don’t last nearly as long, and take forever to blend. I’m in love with my Naked palettes, and I’m 50p worth of Boots points away from a very much anticipated purchase. Sleep palettes are the very best of the high-street, but I’ve moved my Storm and Vintage Romance home to clear space in my small room. And now I’m not carrying palettes up and down the country every other weekend…Almost all other eyeshadows got tossed. I kept my one and only creme offering – from Bourjois (and I’ll probably buy a lighter shade soon), and a matte brown from Sainsbury’s thats the perfect shade for my brows. The Bourjois smokey palette got a place at my parents house, though I’m pretty sure I have two of these as this looks unused.

 photo 842b0c0c-20e5-4d42-8d71-b7dd6639ee95_zps5441d970.jpgI anticipated getting rid of far more lip products than I did, but it turns out I’d been doing that gradually anyway! Among the three tubs of vaseline, this MUA lipstick didn’t make the cut. It’s a lovely, lovely nineties nude shade, but it’s also ridiculous drying and difficult to apply. I bought it to see whether I suited the style, and I’ve since added two MAC shades to my collection…

My makeup collection feels a little more focussed now. I’ve gotten rid of things that aren’t ‘me’, I’ve thrown out those bits that are unwearable. It’s clear that the past 12 months I’ve definitely gone high-end, but I have no regrets. Makeup is definitely more a considered purchase now, rather than a trip into Superdrug when I get bored…

Have you had a clear out recently? How do you decide what to chuck out? Find any forgotten favourites?

Student Summer: A Filofax for University

My first Filofax is one of my most treasured possessions, and I’m rarely without it. It was a gift from my parents for my A-level results, and I was so, so, so sure it was the one I wanted. Sure it was expensive at the time (around £50) but it’s definitely been worth it. Its not fallen apart like past diaries, and I actually want to use it. Plus I’ve had offers/emails to buy at at ridiculously high prices (I’m not selling) as it turns out it’s actually quite a rare organiser. Anyway, I thought I’d do an update on the system I’ve got set up for now – it’s working really well for keeping me organised whilst on my placement, and also worked well during my second year. Here we go…

 photo 2014-09-24175026_zps64eef189.jpgI’ve finally found a pen that fits in the pen loop of my Malden! I was sent this Pink Gold Parker pen a few months ago from Pen Heaven (see here) and I keep it in my filofax all of the time. Means I will always have a pen with me, though I do wish it was black ink.

 photo 4bce8a46-d4a7-4f15-91af-c4b1efccba35_zpsefa76f54.jpgOnto the inserts, and I’ve finally found my perfect combination for keeping myself organised. I was going to take photos of the system in action, but I’ve gotten rid of last year’s inserts, and my placement involves some confidential details. So blank pages it is! I use the standard mid-year diary from Filofax – a week to view. Sandwiched between this is an undated ‘day’ planner for each week. This gives me enough space to add daily appointments/meetings/lectures, important things, deadlines, to-do’s and notes. For university, I’d generally put my lectures into the standard diary, and all other important things into the planner.

 photo 13bb4b5a-0572-4b23-93d0-fc022f362a89_zpsdefa7e5f.jpgTo keep track of deadlines, payment dates and boyfriend visits I like using a fold out year planner, though monthly planners are also useful. My pretty dividers are from an Ebay seller – I can’t remember the name off the top of my head, but I do have her business card at home so will add it in soon. I also have inserts tracking finances and address of networking contacts, but obviously it’s not appropriate to post pictures of those on my blog!

I’ve found going simple with my Filofax is the key – I was using an undated planner for each day, but found that required a lot of work keeping it completely up to date. This way is much simpler, and it’s easier to keep track of the whole week too. I may get mocked by my friends for having a Filofax, my bag may be slightly heavier, but I find a paper diary so much easier to handle than typing into my phone. Plus technology always breaks on me – hence why my blog has been offline with a down server for the last few days (sorry guys!). Paper is the way I’m going from now on!

 photo 2014-09-24175015_zps1b3bd22c.jpgOh, a little note about Student Summer…with the sad end of summer, and the great reaction to the series, I’ll be continuing with University themed posts every weekend. Unsure yet whether it will be Student Saturdays or just University, but either way they will be sticking with the blog past summer now! So…

How do you stay organiser?

Blogger Link Up: Coping With University Timetables

I know when I first started university I really struggled with keeping up with my timetable each week – it changed! I generally had very few changes, but even those threw me and until I got myself organised I quite often found myself rubbing shoulders in a History lecture (for those that don’t know, I study Maths…). I wish I’d had this post by Loretta from The University Project to help organise me! I hope its helpful for you:

 photo photo29_zps48e7fbaa.jpgAt sixth form my timetable varied on a fortnightly basis as in I had a Week A and a Week B but when I got to University I thought that I would end up with a nice weekly timetable as some of my friends had. Boy was I wrong my timetable is different from one week to the next and some weeks I can have just 4 hours of lectures whereas the next I can have up to 30 hours. This made developing a routine very difficult and it was something that I really struggled with during my first year at University but I feel like I got the hang of it much better in my second year.

I don’t know if it is the same for all Universities but I generally have about 2-4 weeks to complete most of my assignments and generally I know when all of my midterm exams are at the start of the semester. I often find myself tempted to put off doing work until the next week but my timetable means that sometimes this is the best option if say the following week I have a low hour week and will have a good day or so to focus solidly on my work. However if the week of the deadline is a high hour week then putting off my assignments to this week generally leads to high stress levels and me not completing my work to the best of my ability.

So here are my tips that I have come up with for combatting the demands of a varying timetable:

  1. Have a diary. I am an avid believer in having some form of organiser to keep me on track and I am very rarely seen without my Filofax but you don’t necessarily have to have a paper based diary and I have a lot of friends at University who swear by Google Calendar as you can still colour code events as well as having the option to get reminders sent directly to your inbox or smartphone so you never accidentally miss a deadline.
  2. Get into a routine. This is perhaps the most painful thing to develop and it took me a good month to get into my routine but even on days when I don’t have 9am lectures, or any lectures at all I still set my alarm for 7.30am and try to get up and ready as though I did have an early lecture to go to so that I start working early on in the day.
  3. Make the most of your Library. This might just be me and my lack of self-control but I find that I am much more likely to focus and do my work if I make the effort to go to the library rather than staying in my room all day where the draw of my bed and Netflix is often too tempting! On my low hour weeks I often have at least one day which is completely free and I try to spend this in the Library so I can either get a head start on next week if it is heavy hour week or play catch up if I have had a few heavy hour weeks in a row!

Like I said it took me most of first year to get into a good routine and even now I still have days where I am completely unproductive and end up making more work for myself in the long run but I am relieved that I have at least figured out what I need to do to stay on track before I have started third year which is worth a whopping 2/3 of my degree!

Thanks Loretta for this great post! I know I’ll be putting some of the tips to great use! Remember to check out her blog here.

Do you have a varying timetable? How do you manage it?

 

Blogger Link-Up: Stationery for University

First of all I’d like to thank Chloe for allowing me to write a blog post for her amazing (& yummy blog – seriously the images always make me drool)..

My name is Sarah and I’m a 19 year old university student due to finish university in 2016! I blog over at EverydayConcepts about organisation, beauty, fashion and entertainment as well doing some giveaways so keep tuned!

Since I am really obsessed in love with anything related to organisation and stationery, I thought what could make a better post than where my passions lie?!

Before starting university, I went onto a massive stationery haul and purchased many things I didn’t even need. This caused me to waste a lot of money and just stare at the beautiful writing instruments and gorgeous notebooks I wouldn’t be needing. By the time second year started I sold nearly all of my items on ebay at discounted prices which was bad in terms of me losing money but good in terms of me allowing others to feed their passion and helping them get organised for cheaper!

However, I learnt my lesson. In year two, I stuck with a strict budget and only purchased items I needed:

 photo DiaryOrganiser_zps5969491d.jpg1) Diary/Organiser – This is a definite item all students should purchased. I’ve had a bit of a hassle finding out how to organise myself jumping from well known organisers to self-made diaries. Then, I popped into my local supermarket and found the diary of my dreams for only 70p!!! Advice: Always visit supermarkets first before hitting large stationery outlets.

 photo NotebookArchlever_zpsaf81c7ff.jpg2) Notebooks – I prefer good quality Oxford notebooks. I purchased two A4 ones to see if they lasted me a whole year and luckily they did! I LOVE the paper quality and how smoothly the pen writes on them!

 photo Writing_zpsf2cc1250.jpg3) Pens – Obviously a MUST (unless you use your IPad which I have seen many students use but I’d hate all my work to get lost in a dramatic technology fail!) I use Papermate inkjoys for note-making in my own time and frixion pens for rushy lectures and seminars because then at least I can rub wrong things out! I’ve not really used highlighters because I get carried away and highlight everything , so instead I use sticky notes which brings me onto my next point.

 photo StickyNotes_zps7b2415d1.jpg4) Sticky notes – These have saved me a lot of times. I am forever indebted to you sticky notes! During revision time, I use larger ones which I stick around my room. They are always popping out from my diary reminding me of deadlines and meetings. Finally, they always allow me to further cut down my notes into concise versions which are easier to remember – they are the reason for my success.

5) Arch Levers  – I have two arch levers – one with a copy of all my assignments and grades and another with all my notes. The one with my assignments and grades usually stays put until I print out everything however the one with notes sleeps under my bed! I update the notes throughout the year and collaborate notes from other modules together and develop them with further research. This helps greatly when it comes to revision.

On a final note, don’t splurge on stationery and stick to what you really need, unless of course you use your IPad (or other technology). It’s best to always see what sort of modules your degree entails – if it’s more chemistry/maths based, go overboard with the notebooks and pens! If it’s more hands on, only buy the essentials. As for me, I’m on intercalation for the following academic year, so it will be great to see what I discover however I won’t be able to indulge in stationery much! Also, for the 1st anniversary of my blog (29th July) I will be doing a HUGE stationery giveaway and fundraising for a charity so stay tuned!

Sarah 🙂

Massive thanks to Sarah for writing this post – I know I find organisation really important for university! I’ll definitely be entering her giveaway, and although I don’t want you to ruin my chances keep an eye on her blog here.

What’s your must-have bits of stationery?

Giveaway: 150 Followers

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A few days ago I got a rather welcome email – I’d finally hit 150 followers on Bloglovin’. This was shortly followed by hitting a rather larger milestone in terms on email subscribers (which then disappeared when I moved my hosting, though I am assured WordPress are in the process of moving this over!), so I thought I’d treat my readers to a little giveaway.

Its not a huge giveaway unfortunately, as I am restricted on budget, but it does contain some products that I absolutely love, and things that I would genuinely want for myself. The ‘prizes’ are:

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This includes some majorly cute ‘list books’ which I think would be perfect for shopping lists, jotting down blog ideas, or to-do lists for all those important student deadlines. There’s some matching giant paperclips (I just liked them, and they would be great for organisation!), then continuing the shopping theme a shopper key-ring with a coin for the trolley. I always find these useful as then it means I can store my pounds securely in a piggy bank rather than risk spending them! On the beauty side there’s a thin nail file, which I find great for slipping into plastic wallets for work/uni in case of breakages.

Finally there’s some great bits from my favourite budget brand MUA – a power pout in a gorgeous nude shade, that has a hint of coral about it. I love these lip products, and this colour is definitely my favourite! Finally there’s two eyeshadows. I find these pans aren’t too chalky (there’s only a bit of glitter fallout) and stay on surprisingly well.

Oh, and there’s also a lip-balm from the Bodyshop (I completely forgot to photograph it with the rest of the stuff!) and a few other little bits and pieces if I can get hold of them!

I’m sorry this probably isn’t as great as some giveaways (trust me, I’d like to be able to afford high-end products for me, let alone to giveaway!) but I really wanted to thank my readers. All you need to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking forward to reading the comment everyone – and thank-you for letting me reach all of these milestones. I never dreamt when I started blogging that anyone would read my posts, and now being included in round-ups and even nominated for awards is just so amazing – I’m totally grateful to you all!

Weekend Wishlist (#1)

This isn’t going to be a regular series (you all know from my Fortnightly Finds that I can’t keep that up!) but I thought it would be nice to do. I like to map how my tastes change over time, but I also like to keep a note of things I really like just in case I win the lottery. So here goes with my first wishlist!

PicMonkey Collage

I’ve become a massive fan of Revlon’s lip products by reading various blogs, and I want their new stains/balms in pretty much all colours. I’m trying to resist the temptation but one has already accidentally made its way home with me! I’m going to have to resist though as I had some large and unexpected expenditure to deal with this week – so no pennies left for treats!

As you know from this post a few weeks ago, I love Massaman curry. I’m craving it again, but I can’t afford the paste, fish sauce and tamarind that I know it needs…I’m going to start picking up ingredients gradually over the next few weeks to spread out the cost!

It’s getting very cold at night, and rather than turn the heating up (and raise the bills!) I’ve been relying on blankets to keep cosy. I love this one from Muji (which happens to be one of my favourite shops at the moment!).

Valentine’s is coming up, and everything seems to be turning red/pink and heart-covered. I’m normally not a fan of this, but I’ve taken a shine to this notebook from Paperchase. I really am a stationary lover, though already have far too many notebooks!

Since receiving Naked 3 for Christmas I’ve been on the lookout for a good eye-primer to really enhance the shadows. The Artdeco one is something I really want to try at some point.

You probably all know that I’m a fan of Filofaxes – whilst I love mine I think this Osterley would be the perfect compliment to it. Having said that, the new release Filofaxes should be published around now, so I’m looking forward to seeing what will be available to buy this year.

Finally, I really fell in love with this shirt dress in Dorothy Perkins today. I love shirt dresses as they tend to fit me perfectly, and I love the pattern and colours of this. So pretty!

Have you fallen in love with anything recently?

Year 2 Term 2: Aims & Ideals

Today marks the beginning of the Spring term of my second year at university, so today I thought I’d go with a more studenty post – what do I want to achieve this term, and how am I going to go about achieving it?

 

First, I want to improve on last term’s results. I finished my first year with a high 1st and I definitely want to continue with that this year. I felt my first term went okay (although with much room for improvement!) – we covered a lot of completely new and more applied material than before, so I have a lot of revising to do to make sure it’s up to scratch to prevent falling behind!

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I also want to work on my study skills, or at least at not wasting time! I really struggle to work at university when I have a single hour’s break and last term those hour’s turned into a little bit of a gossip session. This term I really want to make the time a little more productive! The type of work I generally have to do isn’t really suitable for an hour’s work (short of reading over notes, I find an hour is too little for settling down and getting a really good grip on a maths problem of this level!) so instead of studying I’m thinking of making those hours into time for me to work on this blog. I even bought a mini keyboard for my tablet, which is an old one of my boyfriend’s kindly gifted to me over the holidays, which will make this a whole lot easier. Does anyone have an recommendation of blogging-related apps which could be useful?

Also in terms of study skills, I want to continue to improve on my technique when I’m actually studying. I want to share some of these tips with you guys, if its something you’d be interested in reading about?

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In terms of my cooking and diet I want to become a little more adventurous. I really enjoyed experimenting with some new ingredients when making my Chicken Massaman Curry, and I want that to continue. Following on from reader feedback (I love getting it, so please get in touch if you have a suggestion!) I want to work on more vegetarian/meat-free recipes so will be doing that!

Looking at my timetable, I’m due to be doing a lot more full days at university this term (I had a strange timetable last term – full on mornings, but finished by 1 three days a week, which was lovely as I got a decent lunch at home!) so I really need to work on making up a decent packed lunch. Currently toying between salad filled wraps, or rice/pasta combinations, but I’m sure I’ll rotate these ideas over the term!

2013-11-20 15.58.25Budgeting wise – I need to, and I need to save money! I may need to shell out for a deposit on a new rented place in a few months, and invest in some workwear so the pennies need to be saved. I managed to save a huge amount of money using a ‘piggy bank’ last term, and I’m hoping this method along with experimenting with cheaper ingredients will help my savings mount up.

And whilst I am budgeting, I’m also experimenting with my make-up and beauty regime. In the spirit of things, however, I’m trying to keep everything as low cost as possible. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming ‘budget buys’ post as I’ve nabbed some great sale bargains (including the aforementioned workwear!)

So that’s a broad outline of what I want to achieve over the next term. Now for the important bit! What do you want to see on my blog over the next twelve weeks? All and any suggestions are welcome!

12 Days of Christmas (#2) – Dear Santa

Today I’m going to show you what’s on my Christmas list. I’m lying a tad, in that I didn’t ask for a few things because I knew they were over budget, or they’re things I’m planning to treat myself to. And of course, if anyone wants to buy me Naked 3, you can email me to get my address…

CollageFrom left to right, top to bottom we have…

A cute raspberry/plum toned nail polish. I’m desperate for one of these colours, not too fussy about brand (as long as it doesn’t take five billion coats to be a smooth finish)- I just think it’s the perfect winter shade!

Bodyshop’s Ultimate Brush Collection. I know this will be in my stocking this year, because I ordered it myself (thank you Love Your Body discount!). I’m very excited to get these brushes. Photograph from Essie Button.

A lovely jumper. I’m not really one for Christmassy jumpers on me (they just don’t sit right on my body shape), so I’d far sooner have a pretty classic to wear instead. This one is sparkly but still sophisticated, and I’m in love!

I said I’m not one for Christmassy jumpers, but I love this one as it’s not too cheesy.

I’m in the mood for a new perfume, and at the moment I’m quite taken by my namesake – Chloe. I’ll have to try this on my skin before committing it to Santa’s sack though!

This curler has been well talked about on the internet lately, and I’m so intrigued. I don’t particularly like to heat style my hair, but it would be nice to have a safer option than going natural when it comes to placement interviews!

I know, I know, I don’t NEED another Filofax, I have two (see here and here). But Plum Osterley’s are just so pretty, and I want one so much…

I think it is pretty obvious on this blog that my camera specs aren’t great – I love the ease of wireless uploading, so I’m loathe to part with money for a camera when I know I’ll revert to not using it. This bit of gear would solve that, but its just so, so, so expensive. Well, well out of my student budget anyway! If anyone knows of a cheaper option, please let me know!

Quite a few cookery books made it onto my list this year. Bread by James Morton (because I loved him on Bake Off, I want to bake more bread, and he is the spitting image of my boyfriend), The Leftovers Handbook (it just looks so useful!), James Martin’s Fast Cooking (I just love his recipes), and Save with Jamie.

 

There we are, that’s what I’m secretly hoping Santa will bring me. Of course, I’m not expecting a lot as I’d sooner my parents spend money on a food shop for me next term! The thing I’m looking forward to most of all on Christmas morning – watching everyone else unwrap the presents I’ve carefully chosen them – I hope they like them!

What’s on your Christmas list?

 

 

What’s Cooking Wednesday (#6) – AND What Went Wrong Last Week

Time for another week!

You might be able to tell from last week’s post that I didn’t keep it updated very well! Here’s my excuses – firstly, the ‘beginning’ of the week was busy for me, as I was trying to get uni work done so I could enjoy my weekend at home. Once home I didn’t really want to start taking photos of all my meals, as I just wanted to dive in. Readers, chipotle ribs are amazing! Then, arriving at my birthday meal on Monday, my housemates surprised me hugely. They’d arranged for my boyfriend to travel down and stay for a few days. They’d been planning it for weeks, I knew nothing about it, and so had no food in. I pulled together a pretty decent meal though, cooking some of the pies I’d frozen a few weeks ago.

Hopefully this week’s post gets updated more successfully!

Wednesday – Tomato-Free Bolognese

2013-12-04 19.23.54Boyfriend went home today, but took a late train, so I needed something quick for when I got back in – relying on my freezer again I pulled out a serving of Tomato-Free Bolognese, served with spaghetti, stirred through some fresh spinach, and added a bit of garlic bread too. I really enjoyed the addition of the spinach!

Thursday – Something with Leftover Mash

A housemate gifted me some leftover mashed potatoes, and I’m not too sure what to go with. I quite fancy being inventive, so may give gnocchi a try!

2013-12-05 19.38.28I did end up giving gnocchi a try, and I think it turned out quite well, although it was a little too greasy. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but I think I did better than most of the professional chefs on Masterchef a few weeks ago! I served it with bacon and sausage balls, and plenty of cheese – I think it would have been better with the addition of some wilted spinach too!

Friday – Cottage Pie

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I ended up moving this from Saturday – and making six meals! I will be posting a recipe shortly!

Saturday – Mac’n’Cheese

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I tried a new recipe, and it was amazingly good. There is already a blog post scheduled!

Sunday – House Dinner

It’s K’s turn to cook, and I think we are getting Toad in the Hole. It’s one of my favourite meals, so really looking forward to it!

Monday – Sausage Casserole  Cottage Pie

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Due to an emergency doctor’s appointment I didn’t have time to make my casserole (moving it to tomorrow instead!) so reheated a cottage pie, and served with; curly kale, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, and broccoli. With the veg already in the pie too, it felt like a very healthy dinner!

Tuesday – Sausage Casserole

I didn’t take a photo of this, nor did I photograph the lovely Pear & Raspberry Hazelnut crumble I made. I think that’s an excuse to make another just so I can share it with you!

How do you cope with cooking when circumstances unexpectedly change?