It's no secret that cooking as a university student can become slightly boring and repetitive, especially if you're a student with a lot of contact hours or extra-curriculars. It can also be so hard to have any inspiration for a meal that actually tastes good that doesn't take 3 hours or need expensive ingredients to make, and that'll impress your visiting family and friends, without embarrassing yourself. Thankfully, seasoning can really uplevel your food, and only requires the tiniest bit of effort. For me, as a vegan, it's also super important to have food that is nutritional, but is tasty as well, which can be difficult when you have to work with mostly vegetables, rice and pasta and things such as chickpeas and legumes.


PESTO




Pesto is such a perfect way to make your university food more exciting because you can put it in toasties, use as a sauce with potatoes and vegetables, as a base sauce on pizza, or as an accompaniment to salads! Also, as literally every university student knows, pesto pasta is a classic staple of a student's diet. However, it can become a little more difficult being vegan, as regular shop bought pesto contains parmesan, and shop bought vegan pesto can be really expensive on a student budget. Thankfully, pesto is really easy to make yourself at home, and you don't need fancy, fresh ingredients, Schwartz's dried basil works perfectly! I don't actually measure ingredients out when I cook (mainly because I have no weighing scales), but it's really easy to judge what you need more or less of as you're making this by judging the texture and taste. Blend together a good helping of dried basil, cashew nuts, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper and adjust as necessary! Pasta alla genovese (pictured) is one of my go to meals at uni, and this pesto works perfectly in it, and tastes so good that I made it for my boyfriend when he came to visit and got the highest of compliments!



POTATOES



I am officially bored of chips. This is honestly something I never thought I'd find myself saying, but I've eaten so many over the past year and a half that I'm a little fed up with them. The way I like to try to make my potatoes more exciting is again through seasoning! My favourite way to cook potatoes is to slice them into thin slices, add them into a frying pan with a little bit of oil, add the seasoning, and then let them cook until they're crispy, and this also works really well for popping some thinly slice potatoes in the oven! Potato wedges are also a favourite of mine, and they're so easy - just slice up potatoes into the general shape, place into a bowl and drizzle olive oil, and then cook add seasoning such as basil, salt, pepper and garlic, and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes!


VEGETABLES


Veg can also get so boring when you eat so much of it. I find veg the hardest to make more versatile, because there seems to be less you can do with it. Roasted vegetables are my favourites, because I think the smoky flavour that roasting seems to add just makes veggies have a new level of flavour! I usually cut up a range of vegetables - peppers, carrots, broccoli etc, coat in olive oil and seasoning, and roast in the oven. Roasted veggies make a great accompaniment to any meal, but I particularly love them with rice and tofu, or chickpeas, a tomato sauce and rice!


What's your favourite way to make cooking more exciting, whether you're a student or not?


All my love,


Em x


  • February 23, 2020

how to make university cooking more exciting | #ad

It's no secret that cooking as a university student can become slightly boring and repetitive, especially if you're a student with a lot of contact hours or extra-curriculars. It can also be so hard to have any inspiration for a meal that actually tastes good that doesn't take 3 hours or need expensive ingredients to make, and that'll impress your visiting family and friends, without embarrassing yourself. Thankfully, seasoning can really uplevel your food, and only requires the tiniest bit of effort. For me, as a vegan, it's also super important to have food that is nutritional, but is tasty as well, which can be difficult when you have to work with mostly vegetables, rice and pasta and things such as chickpeas and legumes.


PESTO




Pesto is such a perfect way to make your university food more exciting because you can put it in toasties, use as a sauce with potatoes and vegetables, as a base sauce on pizza, or as an accompaniment to salads! Also, as literally every university student knows, pesto pasta is a classic staple of a student's diet. However, it can become a little more difficult being vegan, as regular shop bought pesto contains parmesan, and shop bought vegan pesto can be really expensive on a student budget. Thankfully, pesto is really easy to make yourself at home, and you don't need fancy, fresh ingredients, Schwartz's dried basil works perfectly! I don't actually measure ingredients out when I cook (mainly because I have no weighing scales), but it's really easy to judge what you need more or less of as you're making this by judging the texture and taste. Blend together a good helping of dried basil, cashew nuts, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper and adjust as necessary! Pasta alla genovese (pictured) is one of my go to meals at uni, and this pesto works perfectly in it, and tastes so good that I made it for my boyfriend when he came to visit and got the highest of compliments!



POTATOES



I am officially bored of chips. This is honestly something I never thought I'd find myself saying, but I've eaten so many over the past year and a half that I'm a little fed up with them. The way I like to try to make my potatoes more exciting is again through seasoning! My favourite way to cook potatoes is to slice them into thin slices, add them into a frying pan with a little bit of oil, add the seasoning, and then let them cook until they're crispy, and this also works really well for popping some thinly slice potatoes in the oven! Potato wedges are also a favourite of mine, and they're so easy - just slice up potatoes into the general shape, place into a bowl and drizzle olive oil, and then cook add seasoning such as basil, salt, pepper and garlic, and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes!


VEGETABLES


Veg can also get so boring when you eat so much of it. I find veg the hardest to make more versatile, because there seems to be less you can do with it. Roasted vegetables are my favourites, because I think the smoky flavour that roasting seems to add just makes veggies have a new level of flavour! I usually cut up a range of vegetables - peppers, carrots, broccoli etc, coat in olive oil and seasoning, and roast in the oven. Roasted veggies make a great accompaniment to any meal, but I particularly love them with rice and tofu, or chickpeas, a tomato sauce and rice!


What's your favourite way to make cooking more exciting, whether you're a student or not?


All my love,


Em x



This is a bit of a weird post for me because I post a lot about my studying, note taking and how much I love my degree over on my instagram, but I don't often talk about the other side of uni, when things aren't always perfect, and it can all be a bit tough sometimes. It's no secret that university can be tough, there's a lot of little things that can go wrong, and unfortunately one of them is the motivation to do work.

For anyone who doesn't know, I'm currently studying psychology at the University of Durham, and although I'm in my second year at the university, I'm in the first year of this degree as I changed last summer. Although I'm technically in first year, I think I'm feeling the pressure to be on top of work more because my friends are all second year and are constantly working towards deadlines because they count towards their final grade. Also, the way my degree course is set up means I don't have January exams, they're all the in the summer, and I have 5 week blocks of content, followed with a formative test at the end of these 5 weeks, meaning I have to be on to on top of work for these. My degree has an average of 9 contact hours a week (so the hours I'm actually in university, for lectures & seminars) and outside of uni, I'm supposed to read for independently read 6 hours worth for every hour of lectures. Ultimately, I have a lot of work to do, at my desk, by myself.

Since going back to uni in January, I've actually been surprisingly on top of work, and I think the reason I've had a burnout this week is because I'm at home this weekend. This is my first time coming home this term, 4 weeks in, and going home is great, but I don't get much work done there. I've also had my best friend Daisy come to visit, so didn't get much work done, and my boyfriend is coming to stay next week, and I won't get any work done then either. So recently, all the opportunity I have to do my uni work is during the week. I think it's this mid-week pressure that's made me have a burnout. But, burnouts are completely normal, and we all go through them at uni and just in general life. I don't see many people talking about them online, but they really are something that happens to us all, those days when we have no motivation to do anything except sleep, eat and watch Netflix. It's so frustrating, especially as someone who loves their degree, and genuinely (and really sadly) loves studying.

So, what did I do about it?

Well firstly, moaned about it to my flatmates, my mum and my boyfriend, without actually trying to do anything about it. I then moaned about it to instagram too! I still made it to my lectures and seminars, so I wasn't missing out on content, but other than that, I let myself take it pretty easy. I tried to spend time with my gal pals, talk to family and boyfriend more, and just do things that made me feel happy and relaxed. I read a lot, watched some films (which is a rarity for me, I'm normally much more of a series kind of girl), did my painting by numbers (it's the kiss by Gustav Klimt, before you all laugh at me), and caught up on some sleep. I basically just let myself do what felt right, and not to feel bad about my burnout. And, the good news is, that it worked. It's Saturday evening as I'm writing this, and I've managed to do 3 hours of work today, building back up to my normal amount of work!

The main thing I've learnt from this is not to put too much pressure on myself, but that when it does inevitably happen, that that's okay, and to just take it easy and take care of myself for a few days until I get my motivation back!

Have you experienced something similar at uni or at work? What are your top tips for getting your motivation back on track?


All my love,

Em x


  • February 09, 2020

I Had A Burnout At Uni This Week - Here's Why That's Okay, and What I Did About It


This is a bit of a weird post for me because I post a lot about my studying, note taking and how much I love my degree over on my instagram, but I don't often talk about the other side of uni, when things aren't always perfect, and it can all be a bit tough sometimes. It's no secret that university can be tough, there's a lot of little things that can go wrong, and unfortunately one of them is the motivation to do work.

For anyone who doesn't know, I'm currently studying psychology at the University of Durham, and although I'm in my second year at the university, I'm in the first year of this degree as I changed last summer. Although I'm technically in first year, I think I'm feeling the pressure to be on top of work more because my friends are all second year and are constantly working towards deadlines because they count towards their final grade. Also, the way my degree course is set up means I don't have January exams, they're all the in the summer, and I have 5 week blocks of content, followed with a formative test at the end of these 5 weeks, meaning I have to be on to on top of work for these. My degree has an average of 9 contact hours a week (so the hours I'm actually in university, for lectures & seminars) and outside of uni, I'm supposed to read for independently read 6 hours worth for every hour of lectures. Ultimately, I have a lot of work to do, at my desk, by myself.

Since going back to uni in January, I've actually been surprisingly on top of work, and I think the reason I've had a burnout this week is because I'm at home this weekend. This is my first time coming home this term, 4 weeks in, and going home is great, but I don't get much work done there. I've also had my best friend Daisy come to visit, so didn't get much work done, and my boyfriend is coming to stay next week, and I won't get any work done then either. So recently, all the opportunity I have to do my uni work is during the week. I think it's this mid-week pressure that's made me have a burnout. But, burnouts are completely normal, and we all go through them at uni and just in general life. I don't see many people talking about them online, but they really are something that happens to us all, those days when we have no motivation to do anything except sleep, eat and watch Netflix. It's so frustrating, especially as someone who loves their degree, and genuinely (and really sadly) loves studying.

So, what did I do about it?

Well firstly, moaned about it to my flatmates, my mum and my boyfriend, without actually trying to do anything about it. I then moaned about it to instagram too! I still made it to my lectures and seminars, so I wasn't missing out on content, but other than that, I let myself take it pretty easy. I tried to spend time with my gal pals, talk to family and boyfriend more, and just do things that made me feel happy and relaxed. I read a lot, watched some films (which is a rarity for me, I'm normally much more of a series kind of girl), did my painting by numbers (it's the kiss by Gustav Klimt, before you all laugh at me), and caught up on some sleep. I basically just let myself do what felt right, and not to feel bad about my burnout. And, the good news is, that it worked. It's Saturday evening as I'm writing this, and I've managed to do 3 hours of work today, building back up to my normal amount of work!

The main thing I've learnt from this is not to put too much pressure on myself, but that when it does inevitably happen, that that's okay, and to just take it easy and take care of myself for a few days until I get my motivation back!

Have you experienced something similar at uni or at work? What are your top tips for getting your motivation back on track?


All my love,

Em x



WHAT I'VE READ

YOU by Caroline Kepnes 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

So, I bought this a while back in Tesco and was a bit apprehensive about reading it because I really enjoyed the TV series (this is the book that inspired the first series) and I'm a bit of a wimp and don't like scary things at night (I know, I know). However, I absolutely loved the book! The first part of the book is very similar to the Netflix series, but the second half is quite different, and the characters of Beck & Peach are in much more depth.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I generally stay away from books that involve a religious aspect because it's generally not my thing, but wonderful best friend (hi Jas) read this last term and really enjoyed it, and recommended it. I'm luck that my college at university has a small free 'library' where others donated books, and so I manage to pick this up from there. I was surprisedn at how much I enjoyed this, and how quickly I read it. It've a very 'coming-of-age' book, which I think is why I enjoyed it, and it was written very beautifully.

WHAT I'VE LISTENED TO


I received a record player for Christmas, and suddenly was faced with the question of what I actually wanted to listen to on it?? I could only tell you a few albums off the top of my head that I love every song on, but having a record player has allowed me to rediscover some albums I used to love and just forgot about!

Firstly, I rediscovered Fleetwood Mac. I absolutely adore Fleetwood Mac, but rarely actually listen to their albums, and only really thought about it when my dad mentioned them in passing. I started out simple with their greatest hits vinyl - which granted, doesn't include some of their best songs (the chain), but is a fantastic compilation of the songs they're best known for, and there were a couple of songs on there that were new to me!

I also rediscovered my love for all things 80s. My music taste is heavily influenced by my mums, and so having a record player meant that I could go through all of her records and find some to play (although they were all really dusty and really need sorting out). The best ones I took were by Wham!, George Michael and Duran Duran, and I also had a little 60s throwback with the best of the Monkees vinyl!

JANUARY'S PLAYLIST






WHAT I'VE WATCHED 


I've watched quite a lot of tv and films this month, mainly because what I've watched is single season shows, but I'm going to limit how many I write about purely so I have some to carry over for my next post.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I'm a big star wars fan, (not like weirdly obsessed or anything though) and so obviously jumped at the chance to go and see this with my family before I went back to uni after Christmas. The reviews for the film seem to be really mixed overall, but I really enjoyed this final one and thought it was a good conclusion for the films. The plot was semi-predictable, which I think is usual, but the scenes were all really great, and the character explorations were also really good.


Virgin River 🌟🌟🌟
I found this on the off chance on Netflix, and not going to lie, to begin with, I thought it was quite twee and predictable and that the characters were very 2 dimensional and was tempted to give up on it a couple of episodes in. I carried on watching because it was an easy watch before I go to sleep, didn't pay that much attention, but it got a lot better as it went on. It's a really simple story of a nurse moving to a new town after something happens in its personal life and making new friendships and 'finding herself' again. It's very simple, but quite a nice, heart-warming touch.


All my love,

Em x


  • February 02, 2020

January Favourites: What I've read, watched & listened to


WHAT I'VE READ

YOU by Caroline Kepnes 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

So, I bought this a while back in Tesco and was a bit apprehensive about reading it because I really enjoyed the TV series (this is the book that inspired the first series) and I'm a bit of a wimp and don't like scary things at night (I know, I know). However, I absolutely loved the book! The first part of the book is very similar to the Netflix series, but the second half is quite different, and the characters of Beck & Peach are in much more depth.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I generally stay away from books that involve a religious aspect because it's generally not my thing, but wonderful best friend (hi Jas) read this last term and really enjoyed it, and recommended it. I'm luck that my college at university has a small free 'library' where others donated books, and so I manage to pick this up from there. I was surprisedn at how much I enjoyed this, and how quickly I read it. It've a very 'coming-of-age' book, which I think is why I enjoyed it, and it was written very beautifully.

WHAT I'VE LISTENED TO


I received a record player for Christmas, and suddenly was faced with the question of what I actually wanted to listen to on it?? I could only tell you a few albums off the top of my head that I love every song on, but having a record player has allowed me to rediscover some albums I used to love and just forgot about!

Firstly, I rediscovered Fleetwood Mac. I absolutely adore Fleetwood Mac, but rarely actually listen to their albums, and only really thought about it when my dad mentioned them in passing. I started out simple with their greatest hits vinyl - which granted, doesn't include some of their best songs (the chain), but is a fantastic compilation of the songs they're best known for, and there were a couple of songs on there that were new to me!

I also rediscovered my love for all things 80s. My music taste is heavily influenced by my mums, and so having a record player meant that I could go through all of her records and find some to play (although they were all really dusty and really need sorting out). The best ones I took were by Wham!, George Michael and Duran Duran, and I also had a little 60s throwback with the best of the Monkees vinyl!

JANUARY'S PLAYLIST






WHAT I'VE WATCHED 


I've watched quite a lot of tv and films this month, mainly because what I've watched is single season shows, but I'm going to limit how many I write about purely so I have some to carry over for my next post.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I'm a big star wars fan, (not like weirdly obsessed or anything though) and so obviously jumped at the chance to go and see this with my family before I went back to uni after Christmas. The reviews for the film seem to be really mixed overall, but I really enjoyed this final one and thought it was a good conclusion for the films. The plot was semi-predictable, which I think is usual, but the scenes were all really great, and the character explorations were also really good.


Virgin River 🌟🌟🌟
I found this on the off chance on Netflix, and not going to lie, to begin with, I thought it was quite twee and predictable and that the characters were very 2 dimensional and was tempted to give up on it a couple of episodes in. I carried on watching because it was an easy watch before I go to sleep, didn't pay that much attention, but it got a lot better as it went on. It's a really simple story of a nurse moving to a new town after something happens in its personal life and making new friendships and 'finding herself' again. It's very simple, but quite a nice, heart-warming touch.


All my love,

Em x


hello hello and welcome to my blog! I'm Emily, a twenty-something year old blogger based in Lincolnshire, and a psychology student at the University of Durham. I blog about almost everything, including student life, books, my favourite music & living with a chronic illness.

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