Saturday, 29 September 2012

5 Things That Happen More Than They Should on Nights Out

1) Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' is played and even though I don't really like the song and wouldn't listen to it before midnight I suddenly know all the words and have found someone to do a moving sing along with.
2) People are sick in the street, like a lot. It reminds me of those cheap electronic games you'd get as a child where you'd have to get a car through traffic or a frog across a pond. Funnily enough if you didn't make the lilly pad the frog died, which is so unrealistic.
3) I have to tell someone to stop touching me.
4) There is some form of nudity (bum/breasts/occasionally a game of cock or balls).
5) Photos are taken and I will have red eye in at least 50% of them. I once went out and had about 20 photos of me taken, all with glowing demonic cat eyes. And the worst part is it's only me! Even in big group photos it's only my eyes which glow. Obviously I have some form of supernatural power...just not a very good one.

My friends and I last night

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Review: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

On Monday I received an e-mail from Starbucks telling me they’ve brought their ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’ to the UK by popular demand. I won’t question how people have demanded a product they could have only tried a few times on holiday or how demanding Starbucks customers really are. I’ve never seen any picketers or protesters in the queue, but maybe they avoid the lunchtime rush.
I thought this would be a good excuse to combine the two things I love; Starbucks and blogging. So the next day I headed down to my favourite branch (Albion St, Leeds…they have the best looking baristas) and ordered myself a pumpkin spice latte.
On first appearance it’s just like another latte with nutmeg sprinkled on top. It would look more impressive if I got my drink with cream but then I’d be forced to write a terrible review because I hate cream. But a Starbucks coffee is a Starbucks coffee, it looks yummy and inviting.
I wrap my hands around the warm cup, a welcome change from the wet rain outside, and hold it to my nose. I can instantly smell the nutmeg. The mix of spices makes me think of cold weather, scarves and coming home to blankets on the couch.
There’s a slight amount, about half a centimeter, of foam. The nutmeg isn’t overpowering and there’s an undertone of clove. There’s also a slightly creamy texture to the foam which reinforces the cosy feel of the drink.
The latte is at the perfect drinking temperature, like all Starbucks coffees. I take my first sip and find that it is surprisingly sweet. To me it tastes a lot like vanilla, but apparently it’s pumpkin syrup. I didn’t notice a large amount of difference between the two. Honestly it’s like a strong vanilla latte with a hint of spices. Personally, I would enjoy the drink more if the spices were slightly stronger.
Even thought it's very sweet it doesn't become sickly, though I should point out I only had a coffee. I don't think it would go well with a slice of cake or a muffin because the combined sugar content would most certainly give you diabetes.
Overall I think it’s worth trying. I felt a bit let down because I was anticipating a brand new drink like they do at Christmas. I was excited to try something new and yes, when I took the first sip I was disappointed. But that doesn’t take away from the fact it’s a lovely drink. It delivers a feeling of comfort and indulgence while retaining the class you’d expect from a Starbucks coffee.

I’d like to leave the review there but I feel I should mention the nutritional information. According to the Starbucks website a grande pumpkin spice latte made with 2% milk with whipped cream is 380 calories.  Wow! That’s a lot of calories for one drink! If you’re trying to cut the calories in preparation for the Christmas splurge then try leaving the cream off and it’ll save you 70 calories. If you can’t live without the cream get the tall size for 300 calories.

The top sort of looks like a cream pond with
nutmeg lilly pads
(I was on a caffine high when I thought of this)

Before I go I’d like to say a big thank you to Steve who funded this review.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Not so Sweet Situation

I’ve started getting the bus to college on a morning instead of the train. A drawback of this is getting the bus at 8:30am means you’re on the school run. I cannot explain how annoying it is to be around small children at that hour. Seriously, it should be written on condoms.
I can block out the noise (how can they be so loud so early?) with my headphones but I can’t concentrate on the paper when there’s music playing so I tend to look around. A few days ago I saw a mother with three children, aged 4, 6 and 7 at a guess, all of whom were clutching a bag of sweets. Yes, they were all happily munching away on sugar coated jellies at half past eight in the morning. To make things worse they weren’t even child sized bags, they were the sharing bags which have three or four servings in them. Each!
What sort of parent does that? There’s no one alive who doesn’t know a bag of sweets isn’t a proper breakfast to send your young child off to school on. I don’t understand how parents can do that to their children, it’s so wrong. Especially because of all the healthy eating campaigns slapping us in the face and obesity horror stories making you afraid to eat more than 500kcal a day in case you get diabetes, have a stroke and a heart attack then fall over because you’re flabby stomach is too much to stand up with all while going blind and being riddled with cancer.
If you want my opinion, and tough if you don’t this is my blog, I think not feeding your kids properly should come under child neglect. Obviously I mean extreme cases where all they get fed are sweets, chips and pizza. It sets children up with such bad habits and it’s a danger to their health. When you’re a child you’re constantly growing and changing, you need good food to be able to reach your full potential. If you don’t get this you’re more likely to have a poor immune system and health complications. Something as simple as cavities can be a big problem, who would want a mouth full of fillings?
Just a quick clarification before I end this post, if you are one of those people who has a chocolate bar for breakfast or a packet of crisps at 11am then that’s fine. It’s your choice, I’m sure you know that it isn’t the healthy choice but do it anyway because those snacks taste darn good. What I’m against is people not giving their child a chance. If you grow up and decide to eat those foods that’s your choice but it’s a parent’s responsibility to guide their child as best they can until they're old enough to make their own decisions.
Think of it this way; you’re raised eating processed high fat/sugar/salt foods all your life. You grow up and have no major health complications but your weight is an issue and it’s one that can lead to some nasty ailments. You have to lose weight but it’s hard, why? Because you have a lifetime of bad habits to reverse that you didn’t start. You have to learn basic food rules like ‘5 a day’ that children in primary school know about. All your favourite meals are suddenly off limits. How difficult would that be?
My takeaway message? Your kids, whether they’re sat on the couch right now or are accidents waiting to happen, are one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Basic nutrition, while boring, is more important than you’d think. Even if you don’t have the time to cook fresh meals I guess what I’m getting at is…don’t feed them family sized bags of sweets for breakfast.

Cornflakes? Yes. Smartie Cereal? No.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Price of Pop

Something that really bugs me is how much pubs charge for soft drinks. They get it dirt cheap by taking advantage of economies of scale (thanks, business studies) but charge about £2 a glass. It seems really unfair that most soft drinks could be traded in for something lovely and alcoholic for an extra 50p.
Now you might be thinking “yeah, but who goes to the pub for a coke?” well lots of people actually. My mother and I often go for a pub lunch on a Wednesday afternoon. I have homework to get on with and she has to pick up my little brother from school. Generally it’s not acceptable to be standing at the school gates with beer on your breath. Designated drivers will also be on pints of pop. It’s not fair for them to still spend almost as much as the people who are drinking alcohol.

The worst part is that it discourages people from calming down and having a break from the booze. This is how your mind should work: oh, I’m a little tipsy. I know, I’ll have lemonade. So you’re thinking all the right things until you get to the bar and, price wise, it doesn’t make sense to order pop. Then before you know it you’re hanging off every guy in the bar and less ‘dancing’ more ‘stumbling off beat’ (this isn’t me, this is a reference to a girl I saw on a night out last month…I always stumble to the beat).
At the end of the day it’s just carbonated water, sugar and flavourings. Don’t charge over a quid for that when I can get a double vodka and coke for £2 in selected places*.

*savings are based on monetary values, shame measures may vary

£1.80? I'll be having the
whole lemon then

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Five Students You’ll Meet

If you’re progressing onto university or college this year then you’re going to meet a lot of new people. At first it may seem scary, the unknown usually is, but let me help you by describing the five students you are guaranteed to encounter.
1)      The one that went to a festival. This type of student is really easy to identify as long as you can see their wrists. They like to advertise the fact they did something more than watch Jeremy Kyle over the summer and think a few brightly coloured, old wristbands will make them look cool and interesting. What they don’t realise is they’re actually wearing germ magnets. Think about it, the wristbands are worn day and night near the area of your body that you use the most. You (hopefully) wash your hands frequently but what about these wristbands? They’re collecting bacteria from everywhere and are in the perfect position to contaminate food or other things you may put in your mouth. Worse still is when the wristbands are from more than a year ago, oh this is too shudder provoking, next student please!
2)      The student that takes life easy. This person, usually a guy in my experience, is chilled out. They don’t stress about exams or homework assignments and look at people like me as if they’re mad for thinking about more than one thing at once. Usually they’ll be found outside having a cigarette or in a more secluded area having a special cigarette.
3)      The student that drinks. Obviously this is a lot of students, except the few that choose not to because of religion, personal views or maybe they turn into a complete eejit and are sensible enough to stick to a virgin rum and coke. This student is the person who talks about getting drunk every Friday and tells you how hungover they were on Monday. They’ll recite every drop of alcohol that went into their body and all the wild, crazy things they did. Not to be confused with the genuine party animal you’ll also find roaming the halls (or passed out in them) this person is exaggerating. They think getting trashed somehow makes them cool, it doesn’t. Throwing up isn’t cool (although supermodels are rather popular). Anyone with a hangover can tell you it isn’t cool and they’re never drinking again. And those dodgy Facebook pictures? Hilarious. But not cool.
4)      The student that talks about everyone, including you even though you’ve never said more than two words to her (let’s face it this person will be a her). Pay attention to this, you didn’t do anything to this person. She has no reason to talk about you. She has no reason to talk about anybody in the class. Actually no, she does have a reason. This student has low self-esteem and talks about other people to make herself feel better. It’s a classic situation, your mother warned you about her type and the world is full of them. Try not to take it to heart and remember, for every finger they point at you there’s three pointing back at them.
5)      The student you can call a friend. One of the best things about going somewhere new is meeting new people and making more friends. The absolute best thing about it is when you find someone you really get on with. Not just someone you can eat lunch with. Not just someone you can borrow notes from. But a proper giggling, phone calls, swap clothes, stupid photos, inside jokes, secret sharing, dancing partner type of friend. The sort of person you’ll still know long after you’ve lost your figure and your hopes and dreams. Who’ll pick you up, pass the wine and stick with you through office dramas and big life moments. The sort of person who’ll be your head bridesmaid or best man. You’ll know them when you meet them.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Results Day

After about 2 months of waiting I’ve received my results and they’ve confirmed the worst. I’m bloody stupid.
Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. But it is 33% true as I got a U for my English Lit and Lang paper. I mean a U. I’m not even worth a grade! To put my shock in perspective, I was predicted an A. That’s quite a leap. I’d known I messed up the first question a bit, but that’s only worth a third of the paper and I thought I’d still get okay marks for it. Plus I was quite confident about the second question, misplaced confidence as I now know. With my coursework grade of B I’ve come out with a D which I will resit, obviously. Still, though…a U! I write a blog and I got a U!
But fortunately my other grades were, not to be big headed, wonderful. I got an A for my Business Studies paper which has combined with my A from January to make an overall A. I was so happy about this, if I’d failed business I think I would have broken down and cried and seeing as my Chanel mascara isn’t waterproof that would have been a disaster.
Now onto Law, back in January I got a C which I was…let’s just say not happy with. It was to do with how I’d answered the question and my teacher told me if I’d just put in these small details I’d known but had thought were unimportant I would have got an A. So I retook it and I did amazingly well. 79 out of 80! That’s like 99% (98.75% to be precise) so I’m quite chuffed. I did wonderfully in my May paper too with 110 out of 120 (that’s 91.6*% but we can call it 92%). I was apprehensive about these results because the paper was so hard to prepare for. The volume of things I had to cram into my brain was mental (I actually forgot my pin number shortly before my exams. I had to go into the bank and everything). To have to do that paper again…I honestly don’t think I could. The exam was so intense too, two straight hours of furiously scribbling down law.
All in all, I’m okay I guess. I know I should be happy, straight As in 2 of my subjects is amazing, but it isn’t enough, not for me. Now all I want to do is get my script back and find out where I went wrong, but I guess there’s time for a few bottles of wine before I get cracking with that.

10 Signs I’m a Grown Up

1)      I have a specific place for ‘documents’ instead of just whichever drawer is closest.
2)      75% of the time my bra and knickers match.
3)      I buy boring things like milk and bread.
4)      I have bills.
5)      I can stop after 2 glasses of wine, although by Sainsbury’s standards I’ve drunk a bottle by then.
6)      I have a diary where I can write down appointments and other important things I must not forget. It’s spotty and has little masterpieces (doodles) inside from where I’ve gotten bored of reminding myself of things. But it allows me to say, “Oh let me just check my diary and I’ll get back to you” when people need me for stuff.
7)      A lot of my favourite bands aren’t playing anymore, like King Adora. Last time I heard their lead singer works in a leisure centre somewhere down south. Rock and roll.
8)      I look for ‘sensible heels’ in my day shoes.
9)      I’m happier to see the cat than I am to see my own mother.
10)   I know the meaning of phrases like ‘low GI’, ‘ISA’ and ‘GDP’.

Back to the Daily Grind

Hi everyone,
I'm back after my summer hiatus. I've written a few posts that I'll put up soon, so if you're like me and have had to come back to the glum learning facility you call hell at least you'll have something to read that reminds you no matter how bad your life gets, mine is more embarrassing.
Well, I'm going to go drink  coffee and think up some more ideas. Happy September!