Tag Archives: UCAS

Happy Days

9 Sep

Bonjour mon amis, how is everyone? Do you ever feel wrapped up so tight in your little bubble you forget there is a world out there? I have certainly been in my own little world lately and ever so aware that i’ve my blog has been on the quiet side, so apologies for that!

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What’s happened in my world recently? Well I quit my full time job to go back to college, I wanted to study a HE Access to Art course for mature students which would bridge the gap between my last point of education and getting into university. However there is just NO help towards the cost of living if you’re a mature student doing a further education course. Cue major panic as there was not enough time left in the week to work and earn what I required to make ends meet.

I decided to try my luck and apply straight to university instead…simple right? WRONG! I sat my A Levels 7 years ago and although I was accepted into university when I was 18 the grade requirements have increased considerably since so I was nowhere near the entry level. So I waited for the clearance to open and started to enquire about a place, countless nerve racking phone calls later and after trying to send select portfolio pictures across by email I had a verbal offer!

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Literally could not believe it, I really thought I wouldn’t get into university and I had been offered a place only a few hours after enquiring about one. We should never underestimate ourselves! Then started the onslaught of filling out my UCAS application and trying to apply for my student loan. Thankfully because university is classed as higher education I qualify for a maintenance loan and grant so I can still afford to live!

There was still the issue of needing a part-time job however and I was being turned down right, left and centre as I am ‘over qualified’ for everything. This isn’t me blowing my own trumpet, this was the general theme of excuses I was getting when applying for bar work or waitressing. Lets face it i’m over 18 and you’d have to pay me minimum wage, that’s what the issue was.

So I sent my CV around to a few agencies with a cover letter and low and behold I got sent down the path of applying for Aldi’s head office. I secretly really wanted this job. It was 15 minutes in the car from where I live, it was Saturday and Sunday only and it was a massive cut above minimum wage. However I wasn’t holding out hope that i’d get it or anywhere near being offered it.

For this job I had to attend the agency to show I could spell, do simple mental arithmetic and use Microsoft Excell. If I completed all the above along with a short interview, i’d be sent to the assessment stage at Aldi. The assessment was a group of 8 of us and we had to complete several tests and activities. We could only be marked on how much we input as individuals but how well we interacted and communicated as a team. Eeeeeep.

This immediately put my out of my comfort zone, I am let’s face it a wallflower in some respects, I like to sit back and observe the lions fighting over the meat. Times like this though you have to push yourself and it paid off. Whether I got the job or not I survived the group assessment and felt that I had done better then I initially expected. The assessment consisted of; a scenario that needed to be discussed in a group, a listening exercise, an attribute test, a maths test (yes one question we had to divide 8 into 13453279 in our heads…), a spelling test, a priority test, a customer service role play with no prep time! and finally another group discussion.

I finally got offered the job after a further interview, so relieved!

Phew. Following that we got two new kittens! Awwwweh!! They’re little monkeys but so cute so they totally get away with murder. We named them Inca & Nala and they have settled in nicely.

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What else, what else let’s see… I guess also I felt like i’d lost my blogging mojo, if I ever even had it, but even if just one person reads and enjoys it then that is wonderful.

Looking forward to updating you all shortly as I start training for my new job and my first week at uni! So nervous but super excited!!!

Much Love x

 

Recipe #1 – Key Lime Pie

24 Aug

Hi lovelies, it’s the last bank holiday of the year and in traditional British style it’s overcast, grey and raining but that’s fine with me. I have been so so busy of late it’s nice to just sit still for 5 minutes and stop my head from spinning. Since our friends wedding I attended my first bloggers event which you can read all about here.

I have also had several job interviews and assessments, agency appointments, I applied for university so i’ve also had the absolute pleasure of sorting out UCAS and Student Finance. Throw in a mix of the vets, family visits, food shopping and pitching in for a few shifts at the local you have an idea of the chaotic mix of the last two/three weeks.

To unwind,  I sometimes let my domestic goddess stretch her culinary skills… nah who am I kidding?! but I do love to bake. I don’t seem to get the chance as much anymore, partly because I hate to face the clean up carnage afterwards.

My latest creation was from a recipe given to me by a friend. She had made it for us in the past and it’s super tasty and very more-ish.

Key Lime Pie

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Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make my version of Key Lime Pie, not too complicated! The picture below shows you the brands I used. You don’t have to use these particular ones, these were just what my local shop stocked.

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Here is an idea of the equipment I used, I love this recipe as it’s minimal washing up! All you need is a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon or spatula, a flan dish for your Key Lime Pie (as I didn’t have one, the good old Pyrex did the trick!), a juicing tool thingymabob is useful but I don’t have one and just used a fork.
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Step One

Take your Ginger Nut biscuits and place them into a freezer or sandwich bag. This will help contain the mess as you bash the hell out of them. Take a rolling pin or like me a rubber mallet (random to have in the kitchen yes, it’s from our camping gear – honest!) and begin to carefully break the biscuits until you have crumbs and small to medium chunks for your base.

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Step Two

Take your butter in a small pan on a medium to high heat until it’s melted completely. Pour into your bashed biscuit crumbs and mix together. The melted butter will bind the crumbs and hold the base of the Key Lime Pie together.

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Pat the mixture into the bottom of your flan dish and press down so it’s firm and then set aside for the next step.

Step Three

Take your cream cheese in the large mixing bowl and add the condensed milk. This step takes quite a while as you need to ensure that your mixture is lump free. So i’m afraid it’s just a case of mixing, mixing mixing.

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This is quite a tedious part of the recipe but believe me, you don’t want any lumps of cream cheese in your finish Key Lime Pie!

Step Four

Time to squeeze and zest your limes! You can save yourself some time on this and have the correct tools to do the job as I didn’t! Picture 705

All I did was roll the limes on my chopping board before cutting them in half. This helps to loosen things up inside so hopefully you get more juice out of your limes! Zest them before juicing! Believe me it’s easier and then once cut in half I stabbed them a bit with the prongs of my fork and used my owl mug to collect the juices.

Rinse and repeat with all 5 limes.

Once you have all your juice and zest required, add it to the cream cheese mixture, don’t worry that it immediately looks like it’s separating, just continue to mix till combined.

Step Five

Time to put the whole thing together! Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and smooth with the back of your spoon.

Time to put the whole thing into the fridge and allow it setting time of around 2 and a half to 3 hours.

Picture 707Once chilled and set, I like to serve it with a drizzle of single cream. I find it’s not rich or too creamy as the lime cuts through to give it a pleasant tangy taste. It’s nice and cleansing after a big meal or just as a stand alone treat.

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Either way if you try my recipe, please let me know how it turns out! i’d love to see your photos and hear your reviews.

Much Love and happy baking! xx