Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Sunday, 30 April 2017
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Saturday, 11 March 2017
March the 22nd. Put the date in your diary. No, it's not the coolest festival coming to town, nor the world biggest pizza being given out for free, it's better... it's the return of the compers favourite - McDonalds Monopoly.
I only really got into this last year, as it was the first year I had a Maccy D's within walking distance. The other reason I got so into it, is that it is on at the same time that revision starts big time for uni exams. This means that when I was bored of the library (most of the time) or couldn't be bothered to cook (also most of the time), McDonalds was the perfect solution. I would sit down with my meal deal and whip out the study books.
So, how does it work?
When you order certain foods, they will have a sticker on them - either an online code, an instant win or a sticker that resembles one of the Monopoly properties. Then, you can stick your property on one of the Monopoly Board sheets that you can pick up in the restaurant. These are either on the Tray Liners, or a pocket sizes fold up version can be found at the entrance or tills. Once you collect all the properties of the same colour, you win a prize!
Just like the classic Monopoly board game, some stickers are more valuable than others (everyone got fond memories of family bickering about who always collects the dark blues?). Mayfair and Park Lane are both the rarest and highest ticket items, so if you see one of them, grab it and and guard it with your life (last year one of these sold for over £1,000 on eBay).
What should I order?
Certain items have more stickers than others. For example, a large fries has 3 while Mozzarella sticks have 2 . Sorry all you chicken nuggets fans, they have no stickers on them at all. Every Game Piece is either a double or a triple this year, meaning that there is always an Online Game sticker, and then either an Instant Win or a Property. The Online Game stickers have a code on them which can be entered online at any point during the game period (22nd March - 2nd May). Try to enter these at less popular times (such as early morning or late at night) rather than lunchtime or after school when people may be entering codes as they find them. However, with two winning moments a minute, don't feel the need to miss out on some quality sleep for it. Some prizes are of higher value, but all prizes are randomly distributed to winning moments throughout the day.
Not a McDonalds fan? Fear not! I often went in and bought a large Coke Zero (3 Stickers) to get me through my studying and wombled the rest (for more on wombling, see below). So what's best to buy? Here are the lists of Double and Triple stickered items:
Double: Medium Fries, Medium Fizzy Drink, Cadbury Creme Egg/Caramel McFlurry, Mozzarella Dippers, Regular Iced Frappé or Iced Fruit Smoothie.
Triple: Large Fries, Large Fizzy Drink, Premium Salad (excluding Shaker Side Salad), Chicken Legend (on own, with bacon or 3/5 pieces), Big Tasty (on own or with bacon), The BBQ, The Classic or The Spicy from The Signature Collection
Also note that the Shaker Side Salads, medium or large hot drinks and drinks served in bottles or cartons only get stickers when ordered after 10:30am as part of a Medium Meal (2 stickers) or a Large Meal (3 stickers).
Know the items that do and do not get your a sticker, and always, always, always ask for a sticker if your item didn't have one when it should. They began to run out last year and so many places just stopped putting stickers on the items. When I mentioned that the competition period hadn't finished yet, the manager magically found some stickers to attach to my items. Perfect.
Sitting in McDonalds for a long time while I studied not only gave me a change of scene, but allowed me to do a fair bit of wombling too. Not everyone is a keen Comper, and so when they saw that their sticker wasn't an instant win, they just discarded it. Once they had left I would move over to their table and snap up the stickers. Even if you already have the property, you can swap 10 spare properties for a 1 month NowTV pass.
Some people may give you funny looks (it's all part of comping), but some people might actually help you out. Last year I had one guy chat to me about my comping and then before he left he gave me a massive bundle of stickers that he had been collecting. What a nice guy!
There is also the chance to womble on the streets (bus stops and McDonalds car parks are good) but this is far less hygienic so I tend to stick to the restaurant...unless it's Mayfair of course.
From free meals (read free stickers) to £100k in Cash, there is a wide variety of prizes on offer. Even a wee £30 boohoo voucher or a NowTV pass is worth the odd trip to your local Maccy D's. So get involved and get ready to collect. I will be setting up a thread on my Facebook group for swapping properties and tips, so stayed tuned for that!
Played before? Comment below with your success stories and tips.
Luck and Love,
Friday, 3 March 2017
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
University can be a tough time for many young adults. For me, it was so tough that I left the University of St. Andrews after one year and took a year out to regather my jumbled thoughts. Now in my third year of a Geography degree at the University of Glasgow, I am more comfortable with being away, learning to be independent and managing the increasing deadlines most of the time. Most being the operative word. There are times at university when all we need is a wee pick me up - a phone call from the parents, a coffee with an old friend, or a wee care package coming through the door.
This is where UniBox comes in. Every month, they send out care packages to students around the UK, taking away the hassle of having to choose items to send and remembering to send it. Even if you are ordering it for yourself, it feels so nice to get a parcel all made up for you to open like a present encouraging you to power through coursework. The boxes are filled with items that every student will love (mine came with tea and chocolate this month, what more could I ask for?). All you have to do is sign up on their website and pick a subscription and they do all the hard work for you! There are two types of subscription to go for:
Monthly Subscription: This can be cancelled anytime before the end of the month (i.e cancel by the 30th January if you do not want a February box).
Pre-paid Subsciption: Chose from either 3-month or 6-month. These work out cheaper overall than the monthly subscription, but you cannot cancel as you can with the monthly.
I received a January box to review, watch the unboxing below to see what treats I got!
My favourite treats this month:
Tea. Anyone who knows me at all will know that I love tea. Black tea, green tea, herbal tea and....unusual tea (which popcorn definitely falls into the category of). Teapigs is a great company and a cuppa is the perfect way to chill out after a long day at uni. Also a great ice breaker with your new flatmates - who needs popcorn at a movie night when you can have popcorn tea!
Now I love chocolate as much as the next person but I can be a wee bit fussy when it comes to the cocoa percentage (try not to judge me). This chocolate however beats the >70% rule by a whole 2%. Also it has honeycomb in it which is an instant bonus and is as beautiful as the Welsh accents of the country it is from. A company I will be keeping an eye out for in the future.
If you have been following my blog from the start (hello!) then you may remember that I made apple crisps as a way to save money. However tasty and money saving the DIY version may be, sometimes it's so much easier to have a bag of them for taking to uni. It can be really hard to satisfy snacking cravings when out and about, especially when surrounded by the vending machines on campus, so I'm really looking forward to having these as a go to healthy snack between lectures.
Would you like to win a February box for you or a student in your life? It will be a whole new box full of mystery treats for them to enjoy. Enter via the Gleam app below!
Luck and Love,
Sunday, 15 January 2017
January is a time of year when we are surrounded by magazines and adverts encouraging us to lose the weight we gained over Christmas and guilting us into splashing out on expensive gym memberships and fad juice diets that leave us hangry and skint. This year, I am setting a New Years Resolution intended to last longer than a diet and teach me more than a self-help book that ends up dusty on the shelf. Two weeks ago I embarked on a challenge that may seem easy to some and impossible to others – I'm going make up free for the month of January. For me, it lies somewhere between the two - I love a wee make up free day, but the thought of going out clubbing or to a fancy meal without it isn't something I'm comfortable with. I am doing this both to show that there is nothing wrong with embracing the natural us, and to raise money for the incredible eating disorders charity B-eat. To read more about my recovery and to donate, please visit my just giving page <here>.
Two and a half years ago, I was admitted to a general mixed psychiatric ward in which I would stay for 5 months and 5 days (not that I was counting). I learned a lot in this experience, but more than anything I learned that there is no such thing as a perfect body, but that yours is perfect for you. I am not saying that I love every inch of my body, I miss my thigh gap and toned abs, but I now have curves that make me feel attractive and like a woman, rather than a skeleton. I am learning to love my body for how it is, flaws and all.
I am now two weeks into my challenge and have already faced some of the things I was most worried about. I had never been on a night out without makeup, and this week I discovered there are some major benefits to hitting the dancefloor make up free. For one, getting ready takes half the time (although at times, the getting ready is one of the best parts of the night) but most importantly, your make up with last the whole night - because you aren't wearing any, You don't need to worry about it getting ruined by some guy tossing drinks at your group. You can simply give him a wee glare and get back on with the dancing. Also, to wake up the next morning without massive panda eyes was a serious benefit, because however well you THINK you've taken off your make up after a night out, it's never enough.
Another big challenge for me was going to an interview without a layer of foundation and mascara to hide behind. It's almost a given that we dress ourselves up and present ourselves at our best when going somewhere that makes us nervous. Yet why I thought that urban decays latest products would make me any better suited for a summer internship at an accounting firm, I do not know. I settled for some glasses and a smart blazer instead, and got an extra 10 minutes in bed as a bonus.
As well as the extra snoozing time in the morning, I am doing this challenge to show people that we can embrace the natural us, rather than striving to be like the unrealistically perfect, skinny and flaw-free models that we see emblazoned on magazines. It’s okay to go into a club without makeup, you can appear attractive to people as the natural you and a life without panda eyes is a good one.
We are beautiful, exactly the way we are.
Let’s embrace it.