Lifestyle: Valentine’s Cooking and a #ShareTheLove Giveaway

Our fifth Valentine’s together, and the first we actually spent the day with each other. I’m not the mushy, lovey type and really don’t go in for the commercial aspect. If I want to show my boyfriend how I feel I won’t wait until the 14th of February! That said, it was nice to spend a day focussing on each other, no ipads, few phone interruptions. We spent the day in the kitchen, slowly creating a delicious but simple meal to enjoy.

 photo 2015-02-14 21.20.04_zpseqpt0fnq.jpgOur favourite things, without the extortionate price tag of eating out on Vlentine’s. Plus we could snuggle up in PJs AND both of us could have wine. Bliss!

 photo 2015-02-14 14.22.09_zpsrxiqb4hi.jpg photo 2015-02-14 14.23.38_zpseffg5dat.jpg photo 2015-02-14 14.35.22_zpsp6lsro6s.jpg photo 2015-02-14 15.45.42_zpsh9ppu3ld.jpgFirst up was pasta. Yep, we made pasta from scratch!  It was surprisingly simple, the dough was more basic than my usual pastry recipe. Just pasta flour, egg and olive oil, gradually combined on a work surface and knead until firm. This was chilled, and then rolled. W was lucky enough to get a KitchenAid for his twenty-first, and it’s pasta-machine attachment made the rolling and cutting of the pasta a breeze…and extremely fun. We went for fettucine, which we left to air dry whilst we got on with desert…

 photo 2015-02-14 15.47.42_zps2ntjuomj.jpg photo 2015-02-14 15.59.11_zps0pmxy0hv.jpgMars Bar Mousse. Again, surprisingly simple with the help of the KitchenAid (I never want to whip egg whites again by hand!) and absolutely delicious. The Mars Bars mean this isn’t as rich and bitter as usual recipes, and being a mousse it’s deceptively light. We definitely felt a bit ill after gorging this whilst watching James Bond (we’re trying to get through allllll the films this year).

I’ve teamed with with Intellcig, and together we’re offering you the chance to win a box of goodies – all baking themed, and many from Paperchase. They sent me the same box (I wanted to keep the contents a surprise) and it really was a treat, full of things I can’t wait to use! To enter (it’s UK only I’m afraid) just use the widget below, I’ll contact the winner in two weeks and send their details off to Intellicig who will be sending the package direct. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The set will include; A Paperchase baking recipe notes book, an apron, heart shaped measuring cups, heart cookie cutters, heart shaped muffin tray, set of teacup cake moulds, cupcake cases and toppers, vanilla/strawberry icing and heart sugar sprinkles. Intellicig are running a campaign called ‘SpreadTheLove’ – encouraging you to do something lovely for someone else. Be it a bunch of flowers, the washing up, or baking them a cake – just make them feel loved.

Now, I will be validating entries so please leave usernames etc so I can check. I’ll email the winner asap on the closing date, but if I don’t hear back from them by the end of that Friday’s working day I’ll have to choose another winner. Prize will be sent direct from Intellicig and may differ from described, but I hope you love it as much as I loved mine!

 photo 2015-02-15 18.57.57_zpsx80zmvsh.jpgI so enjoyed spending Valentine’s with my man, doing something we both love. It’s been a while since we spent a good long time in the kitchen so it was well overdue. Fingers crossed we can have more baking days over the next few months…diet or no diet!

Would you like the recipe for Mars Bar Mousse? How did you celebrate Valentine’s day? Hope you were all spoilt rotten!

Savvy Spending: House of Fraser Black Friday Deals & £30 GIVEAWAY

It’s coming up to the time of year where deals and sales are everywhere. Black Friday deals might be an American thing, but I’m more than happy to see pre-Christmas sales. Not only is it a chance to stock up on Christmas presents cheap, there’s often more electrical items on sale making it the perfect time to invest in anything you need. I’m keeping my eyes out for a new mini-chopper, though I’m desperate for an air-fryer too!


House of Fraser have kindly offered to give one of my lucky readers a £30 voucher to spend online with House of Fraser. Just enter using the giveaway app below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now for a few general nit-picking rules. I will be verifying entries, so please be honest. Also please not serial competition entries, this is for genuine readers and I will be checking. The winner will be notified on Thursday and will need to respond ASAP as the voucher will be sent on Thursday evening. I will make all reasonable attempts to contact you, but no response will mean me picking another winner. And UK entries only please – sorry!

Now back to the fun…what are you hoping to pick up in the sales? How’s your Christmas shopping going – I’m hoping to really kick start mine this weekend! 

Student Summer: Barrel Bag Giveaway

I promised giveaways during my Student Summer series, and here is the first. The lovely people at Unineed offered to donate this fabulous Zatchels bag as a prize. Now, I have no experience with this particular bag brand, but I do love the design and colour. Its small, so the perfect size for taking on an evening out, or nipping out to the shops.

As a site, I’ve become really impressed with Unineed. Some of the savings are pretty impressive, and I’ve not had a bad ordering experience. I still prefer to buy makeup in a shop, purely cos then I know if it gets damaged its my fault, but this site is great for just about anything else you could want. It reminds me of an online duty-free shopping experience!

Onto the giveaway  you’ll win the lovely bag that’s pictured throughout this post. It’s run through Rafflecopter (obviously given the widget below!) and I’ll be picking one winner at random in two weeks. I’ll give them 48 hours to get back to me before picking another. Oh, and I’ll also be checking entries. Please no serial comp accounts! Finally, the prize will be sent out directly by Unineed; I bear no responsibility to damage, loss etc caused by shipping – though obviously I doubt this will happen! Here you go…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is also great timing – it celebrates A-level Results Day two days ago (so congratulations if it applies to you) and the publication of some of my blog work (ok, two little snippets!) in the Guardian!

Are you liking the Student Summer Series? What would you like to see more of?

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!