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 💕

Untitled

 

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

Food on Campus – Eating at EHU [Part 2]


Eating on campus will be a massive part of your first year and it helps when you know that there is more than just a Subway to cater for your hunger needs. From McColls to Sages there are many offers of great food at decent prices every day. Last week I gave you 3 great places to eat and i’m going to do the same this week. So without anything else here we go.


McColls

It might be a shop, but it has some great food to go. The deli counter is packed full of home cooked pastries, baguettes and a few sausages. Worth checking out especially at the price. And if you call in after 8 o’clock most of the hot food is 50p. Perfect if you’re on a tight budget, bad if you’re on a tight belt. And don’t forget the fresh sandwiches.


Grab-and-Go

Grab and go is a small outlet just at the far end of the hub, nearest the new catalyst building. It offers a selection of always freshly prepared sandwiches and paninis. But that’s not all. They also have pasta to go that is always full of flavor and a great way to kill hunger. Lunchtime specials are great and cheap here always.


Food Carts

Various street food vendors visit the hub throughout the week. Everything from candy floss to Nutella crepes can be found in the multitude of carts throughout the hub. They also offer farmers market like stalls with fresh fruit and veg on occasion. A must visit for anyone who enjoys fresh produce straight from the farm.


That’s all for this weeks blog. If you want to find out more about EHU food and more information you can check out here!

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Food on Campus – Eating at EHU [Part 1]


Eating on campus will be a massive part of your first year and it helps when you know that there is more than just a Subway to cater for your hunger needs. From McColls to Sages there are many offers of great food at decent prices every day. So if you want to know the best place to get a hangover-cure-breakfast or a hunger-beating-brunch this is the blog for you.


Sages

Sages at EHU (Check them out here) is open during the week and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. During the term they tend to stay open late on weekends (9PM) for pizzas and chicken nuggets. Worth checking out for their 5 item breakfast deals and variety of wholesome dinners if you are sick of fast food.


Subway

A personal favorite of mine. Standard Subway chain. Serving the usual great food at affordable prices. The campus Subway is also operated by the Students’ Union so when you eat here you are supporting your campus and union. Try the cookies in the morning when they come out of the oven. Melt in your mouth goodness.


SU Bar

I’ve written about the SU bar before. It does in fact also serve decent food. Wings and burgers. Well made and delivered straight to your table. Again buying your food here is putting cash right back into your union to improve and make your university experience better.


That’s all for this weeks blog. If you want to find out more about EHU food and more information you can check out here! And stay tuned for part 2 of this blog with 3 more great places to eat on campus.

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Food Shop – Budgeting Your Money

For a lot of people, one of the biggest worries about coming to uni is money. Will I have enough of it? What happens if I spend too much in freshers week? How does paying for my accommodation work? All of these are things I worried about before arriving at Edge Hill, so I’m here to pass on some knowledge I’ve learnt in my time here.

Firstly, if you’re worried about spending too much of your loan before your accommodation payment comes out, you can arrange with the accommodation team to take the payment out as soon as it comes in, so you can’t be tempted to spend too much too soon!

Another way I learnt to keep track of my spending was to budget my weekly food shop. I was lucky enough to have parents that sent me £30 a week for this purpose, as my maintenance loan minus my accommodation fee wouldn’t allow for this.

£30 may not sound like a lot, but with some careful planning and shopping around, (as we’re lucky enough to have multiple supermarkets in Ormskirk)  I found out that it was plenty to keep me fed for a week, and I often even had a little left over for a treat or two.

Here is a basic break down of a generic weekly shop for me:

Aldi: I would usually use Aldi as a starting point, as it has lots of different food bits that I could pick up, such as sauces and salad kits, which I could then add to from Morrison’s.

Potatoes: £1. Sweet Potatoes: £1. Stir Fry Kit: £2.50. Instant Noodles (x3): £1.20. Cheese: £1.90. Apples: £1.30 Pasta Bake Sauce: 65p. Crisps: £1. Sweet and Sour Sauce: 85p. Spread: £1.90. Ham: £1.45.

Added together this cost me £14.75, about half of my weekly budget, and I now have the main elements of evening meals and lunch.

Morrison’s: I know would use Morrison’s to add to the dishes, and pick up any extra bargains I could see, as Morrison’s often have clearance areas, and these are great for finding meat, cheese and other treats.

Steak: £2.50. Chicken and Pork: 2 for £5 offer. Part baked baguettes (x2 packs): 90p. Pasta: £1. Pineapple: £1. Ice Cream: £1.50. Squash: £1. Milk: £1. Cereal Bars: £1.

Added together this comes to £14.90, giving an overall total of £29.65, keeping just under budget. Some weeks, this would be considerably less, as I wouldn’t need some items every week, such as the packs of meat, squash, and spread, leaving me some money left over for the occasional takeaway of fast food trip.

Hopefully this has helped some people, or at least given you an idea of what to expect when you come to do your very first food shop for yourself!

Budget-Friendly Recipes for Beginners!

Cooking for yourself is a big part of coming to uni, which for some, might seem like hell. So today in this blog post I’m gonna suggest 2 easy meals, with links on how the professionals make it, then show you my student budget-friendly version of that recipe. All the recipes will be super quick to cook and will taste great! Disclaimer: all my recipes are vegetarian/vegan, however, you can add in meat if you wish.


So let’s start with an easy one: Tomato rice!
Rice dishes are super easy to make as it’s all about throwing your vegetables in a wok with sauce, before placing it on rice. Anyone can make it! So you can either follow the BBC food recipe on how to make spiced tomato rice or try my version!

My version: spicy tomato vegetables with rice!
2 person portion – price calculated by how much you’re using in the recipe.

Ingredients:
70g of rice for one person, 140g for two people – 5p (45p a bag)
½ a bell pepper – 15p (30p)
A handful of Bean sprouts – 10p (60p a bag)
½ of a Courgette – 15p (30p)
⅓ of a pack of Chestnut Mushrooms – 24p (72p a tub)
⅓ of a pack of Cherry tomato – 24p (72p a tub)
½ of an Onion – 3p (59p a bag)
½ of a Carrot (optional) – 2p (35p a bag)
3 teaspoons of Jar Garlic – 15p (£1.19 a jar)
½ a jar of Spicy Tomato sauce – 33p (69p a jar)
Couple drops of light soy sauce – 1p (£1 a bottle)
2 teaspoon of Paprika – 6p (49p a jar)
1 teaspoon (or less) Chilli powder – 2p (49p a jar)
1 teaspoon Oregano- 6p (49p a jar)
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil
Total cost: £1.37 or 68p each!

How to guide
Step 1: Place rice in a pan with water on medium heat until it boils, cover, then let it simmer for about 12 minutes.
Step 2: Cut up all your vegetables. Cut your tomatoes into quarters, and finely cut or half the rest of your vegetables (except the bean sprouts), depending on how you like them.
Step 3: Grab a wok and lightly cover the bottom of it with olive oil, add your garlic and onion, and cook it on medium heat for a minute. Move continuously.
Step 4: Add all of your vegetables, sauce and seasoning to the wok and moving it around every so often, for about 8 minutes.
Step 5: Add rice to bowl, place vegetable mix on top and enjoy!


Next up: Sausage and Mash!
Sausage and mash is a tasty and homely dish to make! So you can either follow the BBC Good Food recipe on how to make sausage and mash or try my version!

My version: Big, Quick and simple bangers and mash!
2 person portion – price calculated by how much you’re using in the recipe.

Ingredients:
Meat Free Sausages 75p (£1.50 a bag)
3 big Potatoes and 3 smaller ones – 30p (1.50 a bag)
½ of an Onion – 3p (59p a bag)
Carrot – 4p (35p a bag)
Courgette – 30p
Parsnip – 13p (65p a bag)
3 teaspoons of Jar Garlic – 15p (£1.19 a jar)
(Optional) ½ a bell pepper – 15p (30p)
(Optional) 4 Yorkshire puddings – 33p (£1 a bag)
Vegetable Stock 22p (90p a pack)
Parika – 6p (49p a jar)
Chilli powder – 2p (49p a jar)
Cajun – 6p (49 a jar)
Mint – 6p (49 a jar)
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil
(Optional) Mint Gravy
Total cost: £2.60 or £1.30 each!

How to guide
Step 1: Wash all your vegetables. Peel the 3 bigger potatoes, then cut into 4, adding them to a pan of water on high heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut the smaller potatoes into little slices, place them on an oven tray with tin foil on top. Add a dash of oil, and place them on medium heat for ten minutes for homemade roasties.
Step 2: Cut all remaining vegetables.
Step 3: Grab a wok and lightly cover the bottom of it with olive oil, add your garlic, onion, and vegetable stock, and cook it on medium heat for a minute. Move continuously.
Step 4: Add sausages, vegetables and seasoning to wok, moving it around every so often, switching between medium and high heat for about 8 minutes. If you want you can also place 4 Yorkshire puddings on a tray for a couple of minutes.
Step 5: Mash the potatoes. Fry the roastie for a couple of minutes if you have a fryer. Make your gravy, take the yorkshire puddings out of the oven and plate everything. And most importantly, Enjoy!


I hope you enjoyed this post, it was quite a fun one to make! I hope you found this post interesting or found it somewhat useful. I might make more of these in the future as cooking is a very useful skill to have after all. Anyway, thanks for reading.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Isle of Dogs (2018)

Edge Hill University Applicant Days – Seeing is believing


Edge Hill University applicant visit days are the reason that I am here today, blogging for this fantastic university. In February 2017 I made the trek across the sea to see what all the fuss was with Edge Hill. I did it mainly to meet a few friends of mine who were starting the university in September, and I honestly had no plans to move away from home and start a new life here in Ormskirk. That all changed on my applicant visit day. I want you to experience the same feeling I did when I first saw the campus and realized that I wanted to be here for the next 3 years. Here are three reasons why you should get on campus.


Image result for applicant day edge hill1. Experience the campus

The campus at EHU is one of the most beautiful in the country. Just seeing the modern buildings, scattered lakes and amazing views are just some of the sights to take in. I guarantee you will not find another university in the country as beautiful as EHU.


Image result for applicant day edge hill2. Get a look at your course

Getting to have a look at your course and meet your tutors will get you excited for university in general. But heading into what could be your classes next year will do the same, but for EHU. Every tutor is friendly and there to help you. Meeting them face to face is a great opportunity.


Related image3. Meet some of your new friends

I arrived on campus knowing nobody apart from one person I had met online. When I left the applicant day I had 30+ new facebook friends. The applicant day will show you just how many legends like yourself are on the way to EHU in the new year.



That’s all from me, but if you want to find out more about Edge Hill Applicant or Open days and how you might get involved in hosting them when you attend the university check out their amazing website here!

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Places to Eat in Ormskirk

Hello again! If you’re anything like me and always have food on your mind, you’re probably concerned about the food aspect of university. Well…don’t fret! There are loads of places to eat and drink whether you want a casual lunch with your friends, or a crazy night out.

CASUAL

The Cobble

I only recently discovered this small coffee shop when I heard about it from a friend. Located next to NSW properties, it is easy to walk past. However, once you step inside this quirky café, it is full of life and delicious food and drink! (my favourites are their chicken pesto panini and Oreo milkshake).

Love to Eat

This wonderful café provides afternoon tea with reasonable prices (great for us students). When my mum and dad visit me, this is one of their favourites. Eating on their outside tables next to Ormskirk’s clock tower on a nice sunny day is the best!

The Edge of Ormskirk

The Edge of Ormskirk is a lovely café situated near the bus stops. The nicely decorated interior makes you feel classy when pigging out on your cooked breakfast. Other cafe suggestions include Costa, Morrison’s cafe and Water’s Edge at Edge Hill.

FAST FOOD

McDonalds

A classic after a night out. Recently it has been refurbished which means a new interior, board games on each table and of course, new self-serve machines…welcome to the 21st century Maccies!

Marmaris

In my first year this was one of our favourites after nights out in Alpine because it is just opposite a local taxi rank. With lovely people who work there, and AMAZING chicken burgers, it is one you’ll have to try. Other fast food suggestions are Just Eat, Chicken Lovers, Nom and Subway which are both located on Edge Hill’s campus.

PUBS

The Stanley Gate

Another place I like to take my family is The Stanley Gate. Just up the road from the university, it is a lovely country pub with a warm interior and friendly atmosphere.

Horseshoe

My friends and I are also regular visitors of Horseshoe (mainly because the drinks are so cheap). A lot of Edge Hill’s societies pre here as it is big inside with lots of different rooms. I highly recommend! Other suggestions for pubs in Ormskirk include Wetherspoons and The Sandpiper.

BARS

Lime Tiger

This cocktail bar is located on the high street and has a large selection of cocktails to choose from. There are often offers on drinks, but even without offers the drinks are of reasonable price for a student budget! My favourite thing about it is their theme of a jungle… it makes a night out a bit different!

Styles

Styles is a great place for a chilled drink and dance if you’re not really feeling like a mad night out. Downstairs, you can enjoy fishbowls with your friends and once you make your way upstairs, the dance floor is the place to be! Other bar suggestions are Milo & Co, Mimi and Gin, and Edge Hill’s very own student’s union bar.

I hope this gives you ideas of where to go with your friends, and makes you realise that although Ormskirk is a small town, it has endless possible places to visit! There are still restaurants, cafes, pubs etc that I haven’t even visited yet after 1 and a half years here!

Thank you! Drop me a comment if you have any queries,

Anna 🙂