Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Offers and purchases...

Over the last few weeks I've been taking advantage of the British Gas free swim offer which I've been meaning to mention on the blog. If you register your details, select your local pool and a date that suits, you can then go for a free swim for up to two adults, twice!. The offer ends tomorrow BUT if you register today or tomorrow you can still select dates going into September.

It's been made all the more awesome by the fact that I was able to select the pool nearest to me, which only happens to be in the Beetham Tower/Hilton Hotel on Deansgate, Manchester! I'd love to be able to show you pictures of the sheer luxury of it all but cameras aren't allowed (understandably). 

The pool itself isn't that big but its lovely and clean and features a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.You also get a towel provided and a bag to take home your soggy swim wear :) The second amazing thing is that it has glass panels in the bottom looking onto the hotel reception and is glass paneled all the way round the room so you can look out onto the Manchester skyline (or sunset as I saw last night).

My second top tip for bargains is via Stylist magazine (the freebie magazine that you get at stations if you are a commuter) and is for 50% off online orders at the Body Shop. The code is ES40 and runs until 4th September 2012.

Final tip is for REN skincare (honestly I'm not sponsoring them or anything!). I've just purchased a new shower gel and used code: HAIRCARE to receive a free shampoo and conditioner, along with 2 x free mini samples. I'm looking forward to receiving a parcel from them in the next day or so :)

Off the subject of online offers and onto my trip out at lunchtime today to Superdrug, here's what I got... (excuse the shaky camera phone shot - I was just so excited to share!)

Its the GOSH holographic hero nail polish, £4.99. I'd read about it ages ago and tried to find it on ebay but it was ridiculously expensive and I didn't have the time or money to spend tracking it down. 

I also bought the Me Me Me Arch Angel brow kit, £7.50. I saw it when I was working through my blog reading earlier (sorry I can't remember which blog it was on!) and the results looked great. You use one end on your actual brow and the highlighter end underneath your brow to lighten and brighten the eye area. Can't wait to try it later.

So much for my 'I'm not buying anymore toiletries' stance I took a couple of weeks ago! x

Friday, 17 August 2012

Bramble bashing!

A post or so ago I mentioned I'd been bramble picking. Well not one to resist free stuff I've been back a few times since and found myself with a fridge full of brambles:

Last night I decided to do something with them all and found this recipe online for making bramble jelly using only blackberries (not sure what the difference between blackberries and brambles are??), lemon and sugar:

It promised to be 'quick' in the title so I thought 'yes - this is something I can start at nearly 9 o'clock at night and be done by 10!' Ha - as if!

The basis idea was to simmer them, add the sugar and lemon, rapidly boil then sieve them into a hot bowl. Once the sieved mixture was in the hot bowl you could decant it into sterilized jars....

This sort of went to plan with the exception of it not taking an hour and ending up with my kitchen resembling a murder scene...(that's not my foot by the way, its my boyfriend's. My toes are much nicer!)

The end product does not have a jam consistency. It's more like a strawberry sauce to go on ice cream. But it does taste nice. So a jar is heading off to give my sister when I see her tonight whether she wants it or not! She's getting the better jar of the two, we'll use up the messy one!
Have you had any jam disasters, any tips on how I can get my jam to set (if I ever put myself through jam making again!) x

Friday, 10 August 2012

Bye Bye Beekeeping

I've had a little blog spruce up today as I realised my blog blurb mentioned that it was a place to talk about starting beekeeping. Unfortunately that adventure is now over. I handed in my beekeeping notice this week.

I had great hopes of looking after my own hive and being a top beekeeper but after completely the training and fortnightly trips to Heaton Park I realised that wasn't going to be the case. There are a few reasons I decided to quit.

Firstly I was struggling. I came to understand that I didn't have the same passion other people had and I was starting to dread attending each week.

I couldn't lift the brood boxes and frames without my feeble arms shaking.

I wasn't taking in all the information about laying patterns, swarm control and disease management.

I was still scared of the bees and hurting them or worrying they would sting me.

I found out that in my heart of hearts I think bees should be left to do their own thing and not be interferred with, apart from by trained professionals. I honestly believe that it should be regulated hobby, people should at least complete their first BBKA exams before owning them.

The people at Heaton Park are doing a brilliant job trying to educated and train people and I have nothing but good things to say about my time attending the Monday night sessions. Plus I wish all my fellow beekeepers at Manchester Art Gallery the best for their bees and I hope to occasionally post updates about them on this blog.

For any aspiring beekeepers out there I would definitely say 'give it a go' but before you do I'd recommend reading a few books/blogs on the subject to get a feel of what's involved. Good Luck!


Monday, 6 August 2012

Since my last post...

I have:

* Been off work poorly with a sore throat and general off 'colourness'. Which gave me time to:

* Read the first of the Fifty Shades of Grey book and move onto the second one. When I first started on Fifty Shades of Grey I thought it was quite gripping and a real page turner. However after the first half I got a bit bored by the indecision of the main character's 'will I sign the contract', 'am I enjoying this', 'he's so attractive but messed up' pondering. So why have I started the second book? Who knows! I'm only skim reading the series so I reckon by the end of this week I'll have finished and the trilogy should be back with my friend who has kindly lent them to me.

* (After feeling better) I went bramble picking yesterday with my Mum & Dad. I live pretty centrally in Manchester (which is amazing after years of commuting from various different sides of town) and near my flats are large wastelands which are fascinating and full of wildlife and foraging opportunities. They are also full of rubbish and general nastiness - but I try to look past that! The brambles are just becoming ready so it was fun filling an enormous bag with all the ripe ones. Weirdly I'm not actually a fan of berries but the fact they are free really impresses me :) My next step is another trip later in the week and to find recipes to do something with them. Any ideas welcome! I'm thinking jam as I can cope with berries when they are all sugared up!

* Got totally up to date yesterday with all my boring paperwork, cleaning and tidying. YES!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...