Thursday, July 18

Lunch at Chez Mal Brasserie Malmaison Dundee

On Saturday, thanks to a voucher from It Is On, we treat ourselves to lunch at Chez Mal Brassier at Malmaison in Dundee. We've been to their restaurant in Aberdeen and still dream about how good the food was so we were excited to go back. Our voucher included a two course meal for 4 and a glass of prosecco for £58.

You can have a look at the set menu before you go and there are some time restriction but we could still go on a Saturday lunch time and not feel rushed. We added wine and deserts to our meal which we were happy to do because the voucher was already saving us 50%.

To start I had the Spanish charcuterie slate with Serrano ham, Salchichón, chorizo, BBQ baby chorizo, fresh peach & aged Manchego cheese. Not something I'd normally go for but it was beautifully presented and all the meats were delicious. Especially the chorizo which I love anyway and the peach complimented the strong flavors to stop it feeling too heavy. I got to try one of the thai sticky chicken lollipops which were delicious as well.

I was drawn to the poached salmon, new potatoes, watercress, shallot & hollandaise sauce for my main. Salmon is my favourite fish and it was cooked perfectly. Overall it was a fresh, delicious summer dish but it would have been better if the hollandaise was more of a pouring consistency.

Finally, I can never resist dessert. I was torn between the strawberry vacherin sundae and the warm sticky chocolate & hazelnut brownie. Luckily for me my boyfriends mum opted for the brownie so I could have the best of both worlds. The Sunday served with fresh strawberries, coulis, ice cream, Chantilly cream & meringue shards was delicious. However, the brownie with caramelised banana & salted caramel ice cream was a real show stopper. It was a huge portion so everyone had a taste and the chocolate was mouth watering.

If you manage to pick up a voucher like this for Malmasion I couldn't recommend it more. Not only is the restaurant a lovely place to sit for a few hours the food is outstanding too. I'm going to keep my eye out for their autumn menu launching and rush back. There was also a family enjoying afternoon tea and I'm already thinking if I can justify a trip back this weekend...

With two bottles of wine between the four of us and four deserts it wasn't the cheapest meal but so worth it for the experience. Normally the prix fixe menu costs £19.95 for two courses and £24.95 three courses.

Tuesday, July 16

Why I Didn't Graduate University with a Job

I've had thoughts buzzing around in my head for this blog post for well over a year. Graduating from university is as exciting as it is terrifying and something I thought about everyday during my last year. From the moment you start your degree the question everyone asks is 'what do you want to do when you leave' and it's something I've never had an answer for. So today I wanted to share some of my thoughts around why I didn't graduate university with a job. 

"Graduating from university is as exciting as it is terrifying"

My degree in Geology is broad with lots of transferable skill so getting a job as a 'geologist' isn't as simple as it might be for student teachers or lawyers say. So while I did have courses I enjoyed more than others I had no idea how to find entry level jobs in these areas. 

"My degree in Geology is broad with lots of transferable skill so getting a job as a 'geologist' isn't as simple"

Lets rewind to summer 2017, my last long summer holiday as a student, the perfect time to get work experience? Wrong! I spent nine weeks away from home completing compulsory field trips and my solo mapping project. In fact that mapping project was a constant stress in my back of my mind for the next eight months until it was finally submitted in January the following year. My brain didn't get the chance to take a proper time out then we started back for my fourth and final year...

I remember a particularly harrowing presentation from the careers adviser piggy backed onto our morning lecture. Her main points seemed to be that the chances of finding a job or graduate scheme in Geology was so slim but even if we were looking most schemes closed in the next few weeks so we should really have been spending hours working on CVs and applications already. 

"I remember a particularly harrowing presentation from the careers adviser"

Well I went home and cried. Already feeling swamped by course work and my mapping project the news that I was already too late to apply for graduate schemes (which seemed like the only option) and on top of that I wasn't confident I'd be graduating with the 2:1 I'd need anyway.

So I made a decision, one I don't regret, I wouldn't focus my energy on finding a job. I'd focus on course work and finishing my degree with the best possible result. Mentally I couldn't deal with applying for job and the rejection that comes with it while I had to work so hard to complete all the projects that were thrown our way. 

"I made a decision, one I don't regret, I wouldn't focus my energy on finding a job"

The rest of the year continued with lots more people asking about plans when I graduated and me feeling rubbish about it. All while knowing I was doing what was right for me. I heard snippets about 'friends' applying for jobs but it all seemed ridiculously hush hush. We were, after all, in competition with each other...

In the end none of my group of friends had a job to go into the day they graduated. I know some of them who are still successful in the part-time jobs they had a students, some found jobs in the months after graduating but the majority are currently doing masters. The route it felt like the university was pushing you down but the one thing I knew definitely wasn't for me and maybe why I felt I couldn't ask for help - but that is another topic for another day.

After a summer of avoiding being an adult and an autumn/winter of sickening anxiety because I didn't feel capable and had no idea how to find a job there was finally a turning point at the start of the year. Not without another few tearful months, I am now in a job I enjoy everyday.

"Not without another few tearful months, I am now in a job I enjoy everyday"

Wednesday, July 10

Summer Leopard Print Midi Skirt

T-Shirt: Primark | Skirt: Wallis | Heels: F&F 
We have a flat viewing scheduled in for Thursday so this week has been nothing but work and housework – I’m knackered but hopefully the hard work pays off. I still wanted to share this outfit with you because I love my new skirt.

I picked up the skirt in the Wallis sale last week for a bargain £10. I’ve been looking for a leopard print midi skirt for a while after I missed out on one from Nobodys Child earlier in the year. I paired it simply with a white t-shirt – my current one is from Primark but I’d like to invest in a better quality one when this one inevitably gets discoloured or stretched.

I wore this outfit on Saturday when Mum and I went to a local Beer & Berries festival. It was the perfect look for a summers day which wasn’t particularly warm and no matter how windy it was my skirt didn’t fly up. Although we didn’t have any beer (driving is such a pain) we came home with more berries than we could carry. Plus lots of bargain bedding plants from a nearby charity plant sale so I count the day as a success.

Check out my last outfit post - My First Interview Outfit