Meal Ideas for Uni

Hi guys and gals as we get closer to the start of another year, It got me thinking about what new stuff I want to try/cook while away from home, which also made me think about some of the main things I cook at the moment. I decided to make this blog just in case it gives anyone unsure of what to cook while on their own some inspiration.

Chicken and Noodles

At uni sometimes meals just need to be cheap and nutritious without being overly elaborate and this is one of my go to favourites. Cook off some chicken breast, I usually buy large frozen bags since they are more cost friendly, when the chicken is nearly done, boil and simmer some egg fried noodles, dice the cooked chicken and add back into the saucepan used to boil the now drained noodles. Then finally you want to add a stir fry sauce sachet, you can get these in most food shops, recommended flavours include: Hoisin and Garlic and Sweet Chilli. The sachets usually say serves 2 but I find one sachet per person is more generous and your done. Simple and full of nutritional value.

All Day Breakfast Wrap

This one has been my go two plenty of times, more comfort food than healthy meal but sometimes you need that come mid January, fry or grill off your breakfast items of choice. I usually go with bacon sausage and fried eggs (I eat a lot) Then add it all into a wrap, you can also add some grated cheese for extra taste.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Sometimes looks complicated but is actually pretty simple. Add mince to a saucepan and cook till browned, then I would usually just add a jar of bolognese sauce, Dolmio is always a good bet to add to the mince and simmer for however long the jar says. While it’s simmering boil some pasta of your choice, drain and add to the mince and sauce, simple. If your a bit more adventurous I usually fry off onions and mushrooms and mix them in to the bolognese at the end. You can also make extra extra bolognese and chuck it in the fridge, then next day just microwave it off and all you have to cook is pasta.

So there’s a few of the things I would make when i’m at uni. You’ve probably heard the whole ‘living off pot noodles’ thing but honestly if you want proper meals there easy to make, trust me. Thanks for reading!

Jordan

Being Vegan or Vegetarian at Edge Hill University!

Hey everyone! With the rise in veganism, vegetarianism and just the general rise in people eating less meat in their daily lives, I thought that I would put a simple post together on how this can be done at Edge Hill and in Ormskirk as it is a small area with a much more limited choice than you would get in a city. I myself don’t consider myself vegan or vegetarian as I still eat fish and eggs but no dairy, red meat, chicken, etc. When I moved into university and was living on my own, I began to make more plant based and vegetarian meals which were quite easy. I know that this lifestyle can be quite tricky for people but hopefully this post will help some of you!


Shopping!

This was what I found the easiest when I first started eating more plant based. I shop in Aldi and Iceland because they are cheap and I can get everything I need for a week for under £20! Iceland have a whole section of plant based foods such as pizza, sausages, meatballs, burgers, pies and chicken strips! Aldi have the most amazing beetroot burgers and sweet potato burgers that go amazing with some frozen and roasted veg and potatoes! I also bulk buy the cans of chickpeas and butter beans because these can be so amazing in a curry or in a salad. Leading a more plant-based lifestyle does not have to be expensive!

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I would also shop a little in Holland and Barrett for things I might not be able to get in the main food shops such as tofu, tempeh and Linda McCartney items (if you know, you know) and these items would usually last me a couple of weeks as they can be frozen. Morrisons is also a good place for vegan, vegetarian and free from options but if you want to stick to a cheaper option, I would opt for Aldi or Iceland.

Eating Out!

I thought that when I moved to Ormskirk I would never be able to find anywhere with vegan or dairy free options but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was way easier than it was in my own home town. I will compile a little list of all the places that have a vegan menu or that I find are really accommodating to this type of lifestyle;

  • The Fat Italian – has a full vegan menu
  • Cobble – really good carrot and hummus bagel, just saying
  • Nordico Lounge – vegan-friendly
  • The Bagel Deli – vegan bagels, need I say more?
  • Wetherspoons – vegan meals on a budget? Perfect.

You can also treat yourself to going into Liverpool if you want even more options but for Ormskirk being so small, it is amazing what you can get.

Take Outs!

This is what I have found to be the hardest part about living this lifestyle because there is cheese or milk in A LOT of takeaway places however, I did manage to get a vegetarian dominoes pizza delivered to my flat with the rest of my flat mates which was really really nice but not vegan. Also, in terms of getting a Chinese takeaway, there is no harm in asking what they have that you could eat. I got a black bean dish from a local Chinese takeaway which was dairy free and full of veggies!

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Ordering food to the flat and getting a takeaway is a lot harder on this lifestyle but if you know that your flat mates will be having food like this, be prepared and have a frozen pizza in the freezer just incase so that you don’t feel like you are being left out.


I hope that some of you found this useful and are not so worried about having difficulty with continuing your amazing vegan/vegetarian/dairy free lifestyle. It was only when I started university that I cut out a lot of meat products and started cooking plant based meals and I would not have been able to do that if Ormskirk had not made it as accessible as it has.

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

-Albert Einstein-

My favourite places to eat in Ormskirk!

Hello!

I’m going to share with you my favourite places around Ormskirk for grabbing some grub, be it nice restaurants or greasy takeaways!

We’ll start with my top 3 favourite restaurants:

Image result for the cricketers ormskirk

My all-time favourite place to go is The Cricketers. A traditional but elegant pub that serves the most delicious food. The menu is updated regularly with new dishes but you must come here on Sundays for their roast, it’s divine. I came here for lunch with my family when I’d moved into my halls room and I always recommend this place to people when they come and visit!

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Barnyard is a favourite spot for many people around Ormskirk. Their menu is packed full of the most delicious dishes and they have a ‘Mac Shak’ where you can order a side of Mac and Cheese with different toppings… amazing! They serve grill, pizzas, burgers and some chicken classics. My recommendation is the skin-on garlic parmesan fries and the surf-and-turf steak. I’m hungry.

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I don’t know about you but I love a good Italian meal and The Fat Italian does not disappoint. They have a great wine selection too. I’m unfortunately a bit boring when it comes to Italian restaurants because I will only order a carbonara so I can’t recommend any other dish – but their carbonara is right up there with the best I’ve ever had!

On to the takeaways:

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My go-to takeaway after a night out is chicken lovers. There’s so much to choose from but their cheesy garlic bread and chicken wings are a definite favourite from me… and it’s cheap.

The other takeaway I love it Wan’s Chinese. Again, their menu is packed full of good food and there is so much to choose from. There is great food all around Ormskirk and I’m sure you’ll find your favourites but definitely give these a try!

Thanks for reading!

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First Year – An Overview

Okay, I am not going to bore you with the whole ‘it’s true what they say, first years goes by in a blink of an eye.’ because, you will soon find out that this is very true.

I hope you enjoy this blog of my first year at Edge Hill University in three sections that I felt were the most prominent in my year and what I thought would be the most challenging. However, looking back at my first year, I have realised that these sections of my life were much more simple and less stressful than I thought they would be.


At first, I thought that I would never, EVER make any new friends because it felt that all my friends had come naturally to me and I never had to go out of my way to make friends. However, looking back at my year, I realised that all my friends I have made at university have come naturally without me even knowing it. I want to make this point first because I know how scary the prospect can be. The best advice I can give you is to BE YOURSELF! You will attract the right people into your life like I did.

I even realised this year as a ‘newbie’ to university, my independence has grown so much. For example, I can cook! Who would have guessed that I was able to keep myself alive with the meals I make? There is obviously more to becoming independent like; washing your own clothes, shopping for food and getting yourself up in the morning but, I am so happy that I learned what I did about living away from my mum and dad because, I can already tell that it will/has benefit me in the future.Image result for independence

Assignments! They sounded scary to me at first and, truth be told, I did give myself a headache on the day I was getting my first results back but that is just me being dramatic. I quickly realised that if I really organised myself, assignments and deadlines would not be an issue and that is exactly what I did.

I don’t mean to boast but I did meet my deadlines often long before they were due and I still achieved great results…I’m just saying. Organisation in first year  is key.Image result for i'm just saying gif

 


I hope that this helped calm your nerves about starting first year. I found that looking back on my time at university, I definitely over-thought these things and I should have been more relaxed about making new friends, living on my own and completing assignments. However, I also found that being myself and not trying to fit in with the crowd really benefited me and I hope it will for you to.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

-Oscar Wilde-

Prepare Yourself for University – What no one tells you!

Hello everyone! I thought I would do a post all about how to prepare yourself for a university life and becoming more independent as it is rather different to living at home. I really wish I had prepared myself more for starting university as I got the shock of my life when I arrived and my parents left me all alone.

Really hope you enjoy this post and find it useful!


Start to cook for yourself!

You might be thinking, “it’s fine, I’m pretty sure I know how to turn the oven on and throw in some frozen chips etc.” This may work for the first few weeks of cooking for yourself but there comes a time when you crave a good, healthy, wholesome meal that didn’t come out of the freezer. 

Picture courtesy of @aliceliveing on instagram!

Being able to make your own meals from scratch that are healthy and make your flat mates jealous is such an essential skill for university. Luckily I cooked a lot for myself before I moved out but since living on my own, I have explored many dishes that are super easy to make and are so good for me! Start now and discover your love for cooking!

Do the washing!

Not going to lie, I did not do a lot of my own washing before I came to university. The only time I did do any washing was when I had to get it out of the washer and hang it up on the line. Let me tell you now, washing all your own clothes is not fun so I would highly suggest to start early and get used to it.

However, saying that, it does feel strangely rewarding to come back from the laundry room and have lovely clean clothes. Always a silver lining!

Push yourself!

This is something I was wish I had done before coming to university. I was never very good at conversational skills and kept to myself a lot. When I came to university, socialising and talking to new people was a whole other concept to me. I came to campus as a really shy, introverted  Irish girl who couldn’t hold a decent conversation for more than 3 minutes.

I wish that I pushed myself more to open up to people and learn how to talk to new people before coming to university as I know for a fact this would help me make friends quicker and not feel so nervous about the situation. You could do this by joining a club in your hometown so that you can familiarise yourself with talking and socialising with people you have never met before.

Be more independent!

The above pointers all kind of link to this one but I want to speak about this one more generally. What I mean about being more independent is not relying on the people at home to do things for you like cook, clean, washing the clothes, do the food shopping etc.

Before I moved out of my home, I made the conscious decision to do more things for myself. I generally was already quite independent but I wanted to make sure that I could handle the things that my mum or dad would normally help out with. For example, the summer before university started, I started to do the food shop by myself instead of my mum and I going together. It was hard shopping for five people but it definitely prepared me for when I started to do my own shopping. Another independent task I started to do for myself was the dreaded…booking your own doctors appointment. I know, I know, it seems scary but, that is what independence feels like sometimes!

 


All jokes aside, becoming more independent before coming to university 100% helped with the transition. It may seem awful to start with but it has to happen sometime, so why not start now?

I hope you enjoyed this post and find it helpful! See ya next time – Lauren x

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

– Coco Chanel-

My Favourite Spots in Ormskirk 😍

I won’t lie to you. Ormskirk town was a rather large contributing factor to my decision of choosing Edge Hill. I was already sold on the University but when I visited the town, that was it. It’s just my kind of place, – quiet and quaint with bunting and fairy lights everywhere. A Waterstones and a Wetherspoons around the corner, what more could you ask for? A few of us have written about the places you can go in Ormskirk but I’m not really a clubbing person so Alpine isn’t exactly my vibe. If you’re like me and prefer somewhere quieter, keep reading!

If you’re a history nerd, this one’s for you!
As part of our history seminar, we took a lovely stroll into town and our history tutor took us along the Ormskirk Heritage Trail. It’s amazing what you miss when you’re looking down at your phone. Look up! There’s so much history around the town, you can download the map on the website here. How many gingerbreads can you find around Ormskirk? I’m currently at 6!

Image result for the cork wine bar ormskirkThe Cork 🍷
This is one of my favourite places to go because they sell an absolutely amazing carbonara there for £5.95! It’s a very relaxed place with a great music selection and great wine at good prices. It’s also next door to Alpine, so if you want to have some fancy pre-drinks first before you get sticky and sweaty in the club, that’s your place. Also around the corner from there is spoons, the Ormskirk Wetherspoons is pretty decent if you can find a seat. The rooftop garden is great in summer too.

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Salon One 💇🏽💅🏽
By far the best place to get your hair or nails done. I’ve been going there since I moved to university and the girls there are just amazing. I’ve always been scared of hairdressers because they always seem to want to cut all my hair off. Frankie, who does my hair, really listened to what I was after and I’ve never walked out of a hairdressers beaming so much. Not only that, they have a 20% discount for students – bargain!

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Books!!!!!!!! 📚
The best thing about the town is the Waterstones for me. I love books, I love reading, I love getting lost in stories and when I saw they had a Waterstones I was over the moon. It’s not the biggest but it’s got everything you need and the staff are so welcoming and just lovely. Just up the road is The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. An absolutely stunning building with a little bench against the wall, under a huge tree. I like to take a book up there, I’m not religious, but it’s a lovely spot to do a little reading or reflecting.

Thanks for reading!

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Saving money by cooking as a pair! 🍲👩🏽‍🍳

Hey everyone! I’m currently on placement for my teacher training which lasts around 7 weeks. I’m placed up in High Peak and I’m living with three other students. I and another girl have decided we need to save some pennies while we are here and are buying our weekly shop together and cooking our meals together. Our shop last week came to  £10! Honest, it is possible!

Plan plan plan📝:
Before we went out shopping we planned our breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week. We’re at school Monday to Friday now so it’s a little easier to be more disciplined with our food, no more snacking! 🙅🏽 We both like cooking and so take it in turns to cook each other food. Anna planned to make Thai red curry, jacket potatoes and I make a creamy mushroom pasta and a vegetable stir-fry. We are still managing to eat healthy which is the most important thing. We wrote down a little list on Anna’s phone and kept to it as much as possible.

The benefits✅:
It is so much cheaper. Our bill came to £10 each from the last shop and we got everything we needed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That included snacks! On the days when you don’t cook and someone else is doing it for you, you can come home to a lovely meal and it’s just like being at home! It’s also a lot easier knowing exactly what you’re having that day, instead of opening and closing the fridge and cupboards multiple times before settlings with a pot noodle. I can’t recommend it enough, even if it’s just for a few weeks to save some pennies.

Other info about living/eating on placement☺️:
If you’re looking at the Primary Ed course, they offer a regional opportunity, which is what I’m currently on, and the university provides £3 a day for breakfast. You can reclaim this weekly or as a chunk at the end of the placement. This works out at £105 for the entirety, which is really great for them to offer to us.

Hope you’re all having a great January and prepping hard for the interviews you may have coming up! Best of luck 💕

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You Gotta Love Ormskirk

Happy new year! (in 3 days)

What plans have you got this weekend? Tomorrow I am visiting a friend in Liverpool and I’ll be returning to Liverpool to celebrate New Year’s with my uni friends… obviously I must be a big fan of Liverpool!

Edge Hill University is the perfect location to visit nearby cities such as Liverpool. The centre of Ormskirk has all the important places (Spoons, Maccies, Aldi… you know… all the student essentials). Jokes aside… it is great how everything is a small walk away. Now that I am in third year, I have discovered more places to eat (somehow I keep finding new ones). These are some of my favourite places to visit. (Please note: Alpine is not included in the list as it is already known to be the greatest place on Earth).

Dinky Dory

This has got to be one of the cutest cocktail bars I have been to. It opened fairly recently and is absolutely lovely! With 2 for 1 cocktails and delicious bites to eat, it has become a big place for Edge Hill students. Did I mention you can drink your cocktails whilst you’re sat on a swing?

Styles

Styles has made it on the list because it is a reliable place for a good night out. Downstairs is a bar whilst upstairs turns into a club where you can dance until your heart’s content!

The Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter’s bar is a recent discovery of mine… and I LOVE it! The live music makes it a bit more special.

Il Padrino

Moving on to restaurants if you’re feeling a little more classy… Il Padrino is a nice little Italian with amazzzzing food (I recommend the Bruschetta). While my friends and I have less time to go out during our placements, we find cute places like this for a little treat every so often.

Passage to India

Another nice restaurant is Passage to India (An Indian… as you may have guessed). We have celebrated a few birthdays here including mine. The staff are lovely and the food is even lovelier.

BUT if you want to venture out of Ormskirk for a drink or a bite to eat, Liverpool, Southport AND Manchester are only a train journey away. You gotta love Ormskirk! However you choose to celebrate New Year’s, I hope you have a good one. Here’s to  a new year filled with health and happiness.

Best wishes,

Staying Healthy at University

When I first arrived at university, I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to keep up my healthy lifestyle because of the temptations of take-outs, not having time to go to the gym or not being able to cook for myself.

However, I quickly found that there were many things that I could incorporate into my daily routine that has helped me maintain this lifestyle and still be able to enjoy the university experience with my friends. In this blog, I aim to share with you some of my healthy tips that I have picked up over the past couple of months in university.


  • Do a weekly shop! – For me, this one is so important. Not only does it save so much time it also ensures that you are not buying foods for your dinner and lunch out of convenience which may not be the best choice. By doing a weekly shop, you can plan out what you are going to make in advance and pick foods that are healthy but also what you will enjoy. Ormskirk has many supermarkets to shop in that are cheap and provide good quality foods.

 

  • Go for a walk when you can – I think that this is my favourite tip. I find that if I have been working for a long period in the library, I start to get stiff, lack concentration and become unfocused. This is how I know that I need some time to stretch my legs and clear my mind with a refreshing walk around campus before starting work again. I also do this every morning before breakfast as a way to wake myself up, start thinking about what I need to do that day and just to feel fresh. And yes, it is freezing this time of year but it is so worth it when you go back inside for a cup of tea! It also helps that the university campus is quite scenic!

 

  • Drink more water – I am really not trying to sound like your mother here, but I cannot stress this point more. I carry a water bottle around with me everywhere I go and consciously take sips of water throughout the day and then fill it up again using the water fountains around campus. It saves you having to buy an energy or fizzy drink everyday. Drinking more water helps your concentration levels and keeps your skin nice and hydrated through the day even during the winter months.

 

  • Eat Breakfast – I do apologise for sounding like a parent, but I can’t help it, I live by these tips! I know it can be hard sometimes to make something to eat before going to class or school as you are rushing out the door buttrust me, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. If you wake up a little earlier and make yourself some toast or porridge (my favourite), it will do wonders not only for your hunger but also your concentration in class. You will then be less likely to buy something from the shop like a chocolate bar or energy drink because you will already have been satisfied by breakfast.

 

  • Take a break when you need to – This is one tip that I find has been the most helpful these past couple of months. It is easy to get caught up in all the work and assignments and even social life of university that you often forget that the body and mind need time to relax and re-charge. I love coming back from a long day of classes, making a good fulfilling dinner, finishing off any homework and then chilling out with a good book. Whatever way you like to relax, do it! It is so important to have time to yourself and don’t be afraid to do so. Look after your body and mind.

And those were my five top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in university which have really worked for me. I will admit, there has been times that I have caved and ordered a pizza with the flat but that is totally okay because that is part of the university experience.  Enjoy your time at Edge Hill if you decide to come which, I think you should, and I hope that some of these tips help!

See ya next time,

Lauren.

Also, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

“Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle.”

-Pinterest- 

First Blog – The Christmas Lights Turn On

Hey guys! For my first blog post I was going to do a bit about myself, but since I’ve just been to it, I thought I would do one on the Christmas lights switch on in Ormskirk town centre.

While Ormskirk is a pretty small town, there is usually something going on and this weekend was no exception. To be honest, I’m not one to get over-excited about Christmas, in fact I compare myself more to the Grinch then your typical Whovillian (someone who really likes christmas). But I thought it was time I actually went to a ‘switch on’ since I had never actually gone to one before, ( I know right).

Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights

Anyways, to my surprise I was actually pretty impressed by what I saw, for a small town the event sure was popular with the locals, the main square was packed, music was playing and even though it was proper Baltic (freezing) out everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were various stalls of food and drink, doughnuts, sweets, pizzas, pies, and Candy Floss as well as your usual christmas staples like Mince pies. To my dismay, the Gingerbread stall was already gone when I got there which I was proper gutted about considering I had recently found a new interest for the stuff, it’s got quite the history and popularity in Ormskirk.

Ice Sculpture
Ice Sculpture

As well as the various food stands there were also different knick knacks to buy if that’s your sort of thing, if you like Christmas it definitely would be. The countdown was then done by the Town Crier, who when I saw instantly made me think of Homer Simpson yelling HEAR YE HEAR YE. After some dazzling lights switching on, we were treated to a performance from the definitely legitimate Tom Jones, who did a few stone cold classics.

Finally me and my girlfriend grabbed some Candy Floss for the road to satisfy our inner child. All in all a pretty enjoyable mini trip, part of Ormskirk if any prospective students choose to come here, is it’s typical small town charm that you just don’t get in the big cities, which is one of the reasons I chose Edge Hill. Anyways I hope you enjoyed my random segment and see you soon!

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

Jordan