Saturday, 18 November 2017

Easy Peasy Lemon Drizzle

There's something about Winter and cold whether that makes me want to have cake on the table at all times. We've done pretty well over the last few weeks with an endless supply of cake on the kitchen table made my either myself or my house mate. After my little disaster with trying to make a banana loaf with bananas that weren't really ripe enough, I thought I would just stick to what I know.

Lemon Drizzle is one of my favourite cakes - well, apart from a massive chocolate one but I can't be too picky when the only ingredient I had to pick up was a few lemons at 35p a pop.

This is also super simple to make. I simply measure the weight of two eggs (approx 125g) and then measure out the flour, sugar and butter with that same weight. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Then I grated the zest of two lemons and added that it and put it in the oven in a loaf tin at 180 degrees until it was golden and the skewer came out clean which was about 30 / 40 minutes.

To make the sugary crust, I squeezed the juice out both of the lemon and mixed it with a generous amount of sugar - perhaps too much, but I'm not complaining. I would suggest to use icing sugar instead of caster, but that's something for next time I make it.

Make a few holes in the cake and pour over whilst it is still warm.

Scrumptious weekend (or week day) cake.


Saturday, 4 November 2017

Getting Started With Photoshop

1. Inspiration
I didn't really know what I wanted to actually learn or get out of Photoshop. As I work in marketing, I looked on companies social media accounts. Companies were creating images, text, gifs and graphics and this gave me a good focus of what I wanted to learn and eventually create. I screen shotted things I liked and saved loads of Instagram images to have a look through later. 

2. Hit The Books
I actually bought a book as I thought this would be a good place to start. I bought Photoshop CC In Easy Steps (which you can find here). I didn't work through it like a workbook, but it is handy to know what all the side buttons do and when I need to know how to do something small, the information is easily found in there. 

3. Tutorials
I started with the tutorials made by Adobe themselves. They are a really good way to learn some of the basics like what layers are, adding text and creating shapes. Take a look at them here.

I then moved onto Pinterest and found so many bloggers and creatives offering tutorials along the lines of what I wanted to create. I also found lots of free fonts, backgrounds and general inspiration that are great to get started.

Have a look at some of the tutorials that got me started:

With Youtube, I also found it confusing to find exactly what I wanted, but Teela Cunningham has some great tutorials on loads of Adobe CC products. My personal favourite is this video on how to create a confetti brush. 

 I can't wait to see what else I can find and expand my skills. The next step for me is to treat myself to a camera and eventually move onto some of the other Adobe CC products. Who knows, this could be a great step into a new career. 


Monday, 16 October 2017

In Defence of Not Moving To London

As a graduate, I always expected to finish University and move to London to find a swanky graduate job in the big city. My friends who have graduated this summer also had that view. However, that didn't really work out for me. And actually, I'm quite glad it didn't.

The industry I'm in calls for a job in London. Working in arts marketing, of course, some of the most creative people are expected to be in London. But for me, it was all a little overwhelming. I remember coming out of a job interview just down the road from Oxford Street and crying because it was all a bit too much. I then decided that London wasn't really for me, at least not now.

I lived for a year at home, and managed to find a dream year long internship. When that ended, I thought I would try London again. I thought I was ready, but once again, coming out of interviews, London seemed the scariest and most overwhelming place. Plus, looking at rooms on Spare room in preperation for if I got any of the jobs I had gone for was also a depressing sight.

But it's not all doom and gloom. I'm in an industry that I love. Granted, my current job isn't fantastic yet, but it has only been 5 weeks and I'm still finding my feet. I think my problem is that I feel that I am not confident enough or know enough to be able to slot into a big London company and live that life. So, at least for this job (which luckily doesn't have a leaving date in sight), I'll build up enough skills and confidence to one day go for that London job and not feel like a fraud.

I need to remember I am still young, I have a lot of time to try the London thing and it's okay if it doesn't work out. But for now, here's some things that I love about not living in London:

No tube or bus for me. A 25 minute walk is absolutely free!

And bigger rooms! Also, pretty much cheaper everything

I can easily drive home or to the supermarket. After finally feeling confident driving, the idea of giving up my little car didn't come easily!


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

TV Shows I Used To Love*

I was looking through my old DVD boxsets last weekend when I was home and remembered how I would watch them all the time, who even remembers life before Netflix? When Panasonic got in touch and asked me to write a TV themed post to celebrate the launch of their new Ultra HD 4K TV, I knew exactly what I would write about. So dust off those boxsets and rediscover an old gem this Autumn.

From the age of 12 I was asking for Friends box sets every Christmas and Birthday. I had no spoilers and so every episode was completely new. I also had the agonising wait between series if I didn't have the next DVD to move onto and my mum would take them away if I was getting through them too quickly! I still occasionally stick in a random disk and watch them when I can't get to sleep.

This progamme made my early teens. I was absolutely obsessed and I would get every series on DVD after watching them on TV. Every Friday night my Dad would let us stay up and we would watch it together. Not necessarily great family watching, but it was our tradition. Betty was easily my favourite TV character (and still is!). I think that's why I love Jane The Virgin so much as they have so many similarities!

Before Netflix, I watched Gossip Girl on DVD and would lend them out to my friends. I am actually re-watching them on Netflix (they make great morning viewing getting ready for work).

I was obsessed with Smash a few years ago - a TV show about making a Broadway musical? Of course I was hooked. The music was absolutely great, and Megan Hilty was an absolute star in it. I will be digging out the cast recording and belting Let Me Be Your Star in the shower tonight.

Whilst doing our A-Level History, my friend and I thought it would be a really good idea to watch BBC's The Tudors which our teacher had said was wildly inaccurate. I would watch it and pretend I was doing school work (it didn't fool my parents though!). It's also all on Netflix which is great because I would only re-watch the first series all the time.

I will definitely spend the upcoming cold nights re-watching some of my old DVD boxsets. My brother also got all of the Game Of Thrones DVDs for his birthday, and as the only person in the world who doesn't watch it, I should probably get in with the times and steal his DVDs.

- Gossip Girl
- The Good Place
- Gilmore Girls
- Pride And Prejudice
- The Great British Bake off (I actually really like it on Channel 4 *unpopular opinion*
- Strictly Come Dancing

*This is a sponsored post


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Things I Miss About University

With freshers starting again and people I know returning to University, I can't help but feel the urge to do it all again. I've been very lucky with finding jobs after uni, but there are some things I definitely miss.

Trying to cram in chores, food shopping and relaxing is a bit tough for a two day weekend. I loved the student lifestyle of having days off in the week. I could get all those bits and pieces done without the crowds. Plus, being able to make a doctors or hair dressers appointment in the middle of the day is something I could only dream of now. 

I often find myself at a bit of a loss of what to do and I often feel like I am wasting my weekends. During my studies, I would wish I could just sit and take a day or an evening to do nothing, but now sometimes I find myself wishing I had something productive to do. I am currently looking for online courses to fill up my time!

Finding people with things in common with you was super easy at university. I found myself having more opportunity to meet others, but apart from people at work, I am finding it very difficult.  

Paying full price for shopping, no thank you!

After moving out of halls, living in town with your closest friends was brilliant. I loved that everyone you were close to lived a 5 minute walk away and you could see them whenever you fancied, whether that was 8am or midnight. Living with friends meant lots of shared dinners, borrowing each others clothes, makeup, perfume and spontaneous trips out.

I guess I am feeling a little nostalgic. University was tough for me, but I also met some of the best people and got involved with loads of societies. Would I go back, potentially yes. If I could turn back the clock, I would have done a lot of things differently, including a different degree and hanging out with a few different people. But I've now got to build up my career and skills, which in itself is pretty damn exciting.


Saturday, 30 September 2017

Things I Have Loved In September

September has been a super busy month, filled with lots of new experiences and people. Here are a few of my favourites:

Look how beautiful my new walk to work it! I'm just waiting for the weather to cool down a bit more, but I wore a turtleneck for the first time in months the other day and felt so happy. Bring on hot chocolate, fluffy dressing gowns and new winter coats.

I'm currently rewatching Gossip Girl and I am realising how much I love it. Sometimes, if I am up super early, I can fit in two episodes before I have to leave for work.

On that note, I have moved house for my new job so I can leave the house at 8.30, walk to work and make it for 9am. I also love having a proper evening, and if I don't take a long lunch break, I can be home by 5.30 which works perfectly for the rest of my housemate's routines.

I absolutely love my house share - thank you Spare Room! It is really nice to have people to hang out with when you want, but we all respect each other's privacy so if you want some time alone, you can have that too. We all make the effort to sit down together and eat cake whilst watching Bake Off.

I have been wearing my new cord dungaree dress from Primark a lot - I usually wear it with a patterned shirt or blouse and feel it is smart enough to wear to work. I can't wait to wear it with my chelsea boots and comfy jumpers too.

- Colder weather
- My 23rd Birthday!
- Meeting up with old work collegues
- Exploring more of my new town


Monday, 25 September 2017

A 'Me' Weekend

It's been a stressful few weeks. Leaving my old job which I absolutely loved, moving out and in with 5 strangers, starting a new job, travelling back home and questioning daily whether I made the right decision.

So this weekend, I decided to not travel home, and spend the weekend completely by myself. My new house mates are pretty busy people and I don't know many people in the area. But a weekend to my self was just what I needed!


Fully prepared for my 'me' weekend, I picked up some supplies, including a bag of magic stars and some hot chocolate on the way home from work. I went back to my house, and straight into the shower and got into my pyjamas. I then had dinner which was left over curry and mango chutney on toast, because I couldn't be bothered to cook rice. I watched Pride And Prejudice, and went to bed. Bliss.


Saturday was my day to get stuff done. I woke up early, drove to the supermarket and did a food shop (of course, after writing a very detailed meal plan!), did a lot of clothes washing and tidied the kitchen. I then went shopping, bought everything on my list and discovered a new favourite gift/home ware shop which I know I will be buying all of my birthday presents and cards from from now on! I came back, put the kettle on, had some laptop time and then settled on the sofa for Strictly and hot chocolate.


After an amazing sleep and a bit of laptop time re-watching Gossip Girl, I treated myself to a bowl of Krave. I finished tidying my room and read for a little while before meeting up with a friend who I haven't seen since I finished university who happens to live in the town I have moved to. We chatted for 3 and a half hours over smoothies and it was lovely to catch up. I made dinner, helped a house mate with a massive spider and set my alarm ready for Monday.

This weekend was just what I needed, a few chores, some great TV and just a bit of time by myself. I now feel well rested for the week ahead. Let's do this!

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