Sunday, 7 August 2016

Birthday G&Ts

I've had a change of taste.

Long gone are teenage nights with Caribbean Twists and Vodka and Mixers. So turning twenty *cries under breath* called for a new tipple: gin and tonic. 

At first I was fearful, firstly as it`s my dad`s drink of choice (although this hints to some sophistication), and secondly, I`d heard it was pretty gross. But after finding a few recipes, gin and tonics each with a different twist, the results were pretty fab. So if you're a G&T novice, or fancy a twist on your favourite tipple, here are a couple of recipes tried and tested by a beginner-in-gin-and-tonic birthday girl.

Strawberry and Mint Gin and Tonic 
(For 1 person)
2 shots (50ml) dry gin
1 handful (around 8) strawberries
250ml tonic water
1 sprig (4 or so leaves) mint 
Ice cubes (to serve)

First, grab your gin, strawberries and a couple of leaves of mint and either crush or blend until the strawberries form a thick, watery paste. Then, take a sieve and strain the gin infusion into your glass. 

Then, pop in your ice, top off with your tonic and use the last couple of leaves of mint to garnish. 

Cranberry and Thyme Gin and Tonic
(For 1 person)
2 shots (50ml) dry gin
150ml cranberry juice
100ml tonic water
2 or 3 pieces of thyme
Ice cubes (to serve)

A rather simple, but sweet concoction. Take the gin, top with the cranberry juice and tonic over the ice, and pop the thyme in to infuse for a few minutes.

My question of the day is: what`s your favourite summer drink? Let me know!

See you on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Turning 20

Balloons afloat, 
Numbers in the air
The cake is cut,
Into slices square

Drinks are sipped,
Tipsy thoughts on mind,
Laughter is shared,
Wandering in hind

Sight of stumbling,
Inebriated friends,
Midnight is leering,
Another year will end

Tears are shed,
Salt and rum infusion,
Friends are fed,
Eating food with trusion

Forcing into bed,
Intoxicated glee,
Singing under breath,
'Happy birthday to me'

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Caught in the Rain

'...if you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain'

Well, they're not pina coladas, but you get the point. A couple of months ago my friend came down her university city to mine, Cardiff, for a much-needed catch up, which was naturally paired with several coffees and cocktails. I took her to somewhere my friends had been for first dates or just for some cheeky 'Sex on the Beach' (the cocktail, you dirty-minded people) but I had never actually been before myself (only briefly on one of their club nights) - Buffalo; a bar by day, intimate club by night, this restaurant is tucked away on one of the side streets off of Cardiff's central shopping strip; Queen Street. Inside was fairy light-lit and buzzing - even at 4pm - so much so there was no seating left inside, probably because it was pissing it down outside (welcome to Wales). But the barman assured us that the outside terrace was undercover and seating was heated.


As for the cocktails, the whole menu is on a BOGOF offer before midnight most nights of the week, so my friend and I bought two of each cocktail and split them between us. One which I think was called 'Bramble'; with a gin base infused with lime and syrups over crushed ice. And the second, and my personal favourite, 'The Frozen Daquiri'; this time a rum base with raspberry syrup - coming together to resemble an adult-appropriate slush puppy.

Nevertheless what with the heated seats, adult slush puppies, and of course, the good company - Buffalo was a definite hit! What's your favourite cocktail? For me it's definitely a Mojito!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

January's Read

As exam season is well and truly underway, my head is currently burrowed in a core textbook, but between the lecture write-ups and mind maps I've been reaching for a few titles to rewind a little, and to remind myself that reading can be fun (something easily forgotten during exam season!), however one in particular has caught my fancy this month...

'One Day' By David Nicholls 
You may have seen the movie, starring the babe that is Anne Hathaway, but both the movie and the book tell a story that spans over a couple of decades, but takes place on the same day - St Swithin's Day. Emma and Dexter are two university students who spend the night of their graduation together, and incidentally the novel tells of their struggles together as two twenty-something's; with family, friends and career prospects, and of course, their love-lives.

A clever, witty and carefully written book - it's definitely one you won't be able to put down. Plus it's perfect paired with a cuppa, naturally.

Nevertheless I am looking forward to delving into another David Nicholls book or two. What has been at the top of your must-read list this month? Leave a comment below and let me know - I love getting book recommendations!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A New Year

Inspired by one of the biggest babes in blogging; Olivia, I'm thinking it's time to cut the 'new year, new me' crap for now, and celebrate some of the things you've achieved in the past 365 days (well, 369, I'm a few days late)

Here are a few of mine, for team spirit and all...

Receiving offers from all of my university choices
After sweating over my personal statement the September, it would have been amazing to get one offer from all of the universities I had applied for, let alone 5! 

Working two jobs (and surviving)
This is something I did for the most part of 2014 also, but looking back now I don't know how I did that, and managed a third round of A-Levels simultaneously.

Voted for the first time
As my 18th birthday was only a couple of months short of the local elections in 2014, it was quite special to cross a ballot paper for the first time, and for a General, too.

Volunteering for charity 
...and being able to watch bands as I work? Win-win.

Seeing amazing live music
My festival hopping with Oxfam this summer meant I not only worked several gruelling night shifts, dealt with dozens of drunken punters and had many laughs in the meantime, but I also got to see some of my favourite bands in the flesh, from the likes of Panic! to Frank Turner.

Getting into my dream university 
The greatest achievement of the year for me was definitely getting my unconditional offer from Cardiff University on results day. Hands down.  

Moving to a city 
Even though I've moved several times in my lifetime, I've always been a small-town girl, so moving to a city, a capital city even was a definite adjustment. And I'm loving every second of it. 

Attending Fresher's Week (heck, fortnight)
This definitely deserves a medal, particularly for how shit I felt when the 14 days were up. But even though the whole fortnight is a bit of a haze, some unforgettable memories and amazing friendships were surely made.

What made your 2015 amazing? Pop a comment below or perhaps you've been inspired to blog about it!

Looking forward to posting more in 2016!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Life Lately

Long time, no catch up! To say life has been hectic in the last couple of weeks is an understatement, from back-to-back festivals, to birthday celebrations, everything has been put on hold for a three week party! But I'm back to posting twice-weekly now - so keep an eye out for a new post this coming Wednesday!

First things first - my birthday! As I was in a field in deepest Dorset on my actual birthday, my family, friends and I pretty much celebrated a birthday week. The weekend before being the main event, with a cocktails night in (see Mojito above) and a riskay v-neck playsuit number from Motel (found half price on ASOS...) for a night on the town on the Saturday, followed by an obligatory lazy Sunday nursing a hefty hangover, of course!

And after two weeks in a tent, a (very small) handful of showers, numerous train/coach journeys, I have spent some of the last 14 days volunteering at both Camp Bestival and Boardmasters festivals. I will write a full blog post on my experience very soon, as my final festival, Reading & Leeds, is yet to come, but I worked several shifts with Oxfam and it was a lot of fun! And I can't wait to print my memories with the Polagram app, as I did for my birthday celebrations (see above) - perfect for displaying in my university room in September!

As mentioned earlier, a new post will be up here on the blog on Wednesday (festival related, obvs) so if you're heading to Beautiful Days/V Fest/Reading/Leeds/Bestival in the next few weeks, I'm here to help! 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Quit Your Job

Don't be intimidated by the title of this post, I just thought that I would take the rare opportunity to write a post about something personal and life changing for me.

Recently, I handed my notice in at my 2-year strong part-time job, and this weekend, I waved my goodbyes to my first second job.

There was no other reason for leaving the role other than my voluntary work over the summer booking my weekends up and starting at university in September, but nevertheless the move was emotional, but I am confident in moving forward in doing what I really want to do.

It was lovely to see my way through college with cash in my pocket (with some more thanks to my second job in my third year), getting a taste for the work environment and cementing my goals and aims for my future, i.e working hard wherever I work, just as the women, my former colleagues, showed me for almost 2 years.

So going back to the title - this isn't a blog post to convince you to pack in your 9-5 and travel the world, because well ain't nobody got cash for that! 

But it's more of a paraphrase - be happy, and always take steps (big or small) every day to earn happiness. Because you deserve it. And sometimes stepping back can make you realise what you have learned, and what you are/have been grateful for.