Wednesday, 5 November 2014

147. Making A House A Home: The Office

As I'm currently a part-time student with the Open University, I knew as soon as S and I looked around our new flat back in August, that I had to make the spare bedroom my study space. 

Although one end of it acts as a laundry room and, to be honest, general junk space, I've tried my best with a limited budget, time and resources to make part of the room a warm, inviting and inspiring space for me to get my head down and get on with some work.

I've had this desk for a couple of years and the chair was originally my mum's grandma's; it's a really cute pine chair that we've painted white (although it definitely could do with a fresh coat now). I always have some kind of comfy cushion on there too, currently it's a bright red leather one that my mum gave us. 

As you can see in the photos above, I've tried to add some character to the plain, white walls by sticking up a couple of postcards as well as some family memorabilia. My actual desk is over run with my course books, DVDs and of my course my laptop which takes pride of place on this hot pink laptop tray I picked up in IKEA for a few pounds. The plant pot currently housing my pens is from a charity shop and - of course - I always need a cute candle; the pretty little owl candle on the far side of my desk is from Primark.

The cards decorating the door to my right are from a huge pack of Penguin Postcards that I found on Amazon. For just £10.49, I was able to buy 100 postcards of famous book covers, including Wuthering Heights, Brighton Rock, Animal Farm and many more. I thought these would be a nice touch as they add some colour and are also relevant to my degree. I picked my favourites to go up on the door. Any idea what I can do with the remaining eighty or so?!

I plan to share a few more posts about my home over the coming weeks, including one focused on my bedroom and one about our (limited) outdoor space!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

146. Marshmallow Chocolate Brownies Ft. Degustabox

I've been signed up to Degustabox for a couple of months now and each month when that email pops up in my inbox to say that my order is on its way, I can't contain my excitement. What could be better than a box of food being delivered to your door? And not just any food; exciting new foods, foods that aren't even available in the shops yet, or foods you would never have thought to try! That is why I love Degustabox

In this months Degustabox, amongst various other products, I received some Dr. Oetker Premium Extra Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder. I couldn't wait to try these out so today I whipped up some dark chocolate brownies using Cadbury's recipe which you can find here (I substituted the Cadbury products for the Dr. Oetker ones that I received). 

They were lovely and crispy on top with a delicious soft, gooey centre but the fact that they were made with only dark chocolate and no milk or white chocolate at all, made them a little bitter. So, I decided to have a root through my Degustabox to see if there was anything I could find to spruce them up a bit.

That's when I found Solo Marshmallow Creme. The most American looking, sounding and tasting food ever. If you haven't tried it before, its pretty hard to describe.. It's almost like the inside of a meringue mixed with melted marshmallows.. think the inside of a Tunnock's teacake - just like that.

I've never tried anything like it before but I guessed from the sweetness of the Marshmallow Creme that it would counterbalance the bitterness of the dark chocolate pretty well and, oh my God, it definitely did. 

I topped each brownie with a generous dollop (great word, by the way) of Marshmallow Creme, sprinkled chocolate balls and popping candy over the brownies: a match made in sugary heaven.