Settling In

I have been at university for exactly nine days, and, so far, they have been nine pretty amazing days; it's been a pretty emotional roller coaster, plenty of unnecessary tears, lots of laughing, far too much alcohol, and some serious flatmate-bonding (with the odd dose of over-sharing).
I didn't get my internet up until yesterday (apparently my gorgeous new MacBook Air wasn't quite good enough for my university's special network requirements, and I had to order a cable for it), so there's been a disgusting lack of posting for the past week and a half (why does it always feel so much longer in the Blogosphere?), but I'm sure I'll be up to my usual frequency now that we've all settled down a little and actually have to start learning.
I was the first in my flat of eight students to contract the dreaded 'Fresher's Flu', which I have ungraciously passed on to at least three other people, but we've all soldiered on quite well, considering; the fact that I've made my way through an entire pack of Lemsip tablets in about three days probably helps matters.
The above pictures are all from my new room - unsurprisingly, the fairy lights were the first thing to be unpacked, and one of my noticeboards is already packed with photos from home!
I'm actually dreading the first wave of homesickness, which hasn't quite hit me yet, but my mother's visiting next weekend so it'll probably be pure devastation when she leaves and I may well be inconsolable, who knows?

I hope everyone else who made the move either last week, like me, or the weekend that just passed, is settling in as well as I am to their new lives away from home, and that you're not all missing your hometowns too much.

To everyone who's 'been there, done that' - how did you cope with homesickness when you first left home? How did you cope with Fresher's Flu? And, most importantly, how on earth did you keep yourself awake during lectures after a serious night out?

Ultimate Brownies & Giveaway Winner!

I swore to myself I wouldn't allow myself to end up in a frantic rush in the lead-up to my imminent move to university, but making preparations before results day almost seemed like tempting fate - meaning, inevitably, that the past few days have been a completely manic rush.
My days aren't permitting me an awful lot of 'blogging time'; they currently comprise of shopping (I have never, in my life, felt as pathetically helpless as I did upon stumbling into the kitchen/dining department of John Lewis for what my mother referred to as 'essentials' - as if I knew what was essential in a student flat!), list-making (lists of 'things I need to buy', 'things I need to pack', 'clothes I need', 'applications to complete/check-up on', etc), having various disputes and mix-ups with both the accommodation department at my university and student finance, texting/emailing/calling various friends for advice (they've all been saints for putting up with me!), attempting to find my new flatmates etc on Facebook/YouGo, and, more often than not, falling asleep over various post-it notes/notebooks at an unnatural hour.
Today, however, was a family day - and given that my family is at least 90% Greek, family days generally include food. Now, given how busy I've been of late, my dessert making duties (are mine the only family that assign various culinary roles for get togethers?) were neglected slightly, and I decided to kill two birds with one stone in providing entertainment for my young cousins by getting them involved; lacking inspiration (and time to go to the supermarket), we headed to Tesco Express, and upon seeing the Betty Crocker mixes in the 'baking' section, I remembered the recipe for Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie & Oreo Brownie Bars I'd seen online, and decided I couldn't much go wrong with an Oreo/brownie/cookie mix. 
Notice how the Oreos have been opened here - the downside to baking with anyone under the age of twelve.
Of course, being me, I cheated and got a pre-made cookie mix, too; I wish I hadn't, though, because I'd never tried Betty Crocker cookie mix before, but it is not pleasant, in my opinion - at least, not as good as actual homemade cookies.
Anyway, after pressing the made up cookie dough into the base of my (abnormally large) brownie tray, I lay double-stuff Oreos over the top (of course, my sticky-fingered co-bakers had managed to successfully sneak several Oreos out of the pack by then, so there weren't enough to ensure even coverage, meaning I had to improvise a little and break up a couple to sprinkle in the middle. 
Brownie mix soon followed (although, again, my cousins had several suspiciously large spoonfuls of the batter, too, meaning it didn't spread as well as it could have over the Oreos). Still, I'm told licking the bowl isn't as fun when most of the mix has been scraped out. 
The mix went in the oven on 190ÂșC (I think that's gas mark 4/5?) for 30 mins, if you're interested in trying them out for yourself! 
Given the 'family' nature of the meal, I felt a little guilty at providing such an immature dessert, so I grabbed some coffee ice cream for anyone who didn't feel like getting partially melted brownie or Oreo crumbs all over themselves. The kiddies made short work of the chocolate fudge frosting.

And now onto the best part of the post: announcing the winner of my Sigma giveaway! The goodies are about to head off on their way to the lovely Emma, one of my long-term tumblr followers (and recent Bloglovin' followers) - here's hoping she likes them!

This has been a bit of a mishmash of a post, I'm afraid, but I've got some better stuff coming up in the next couple of days, promise! 
So, do you have any go-to, default, last minute dessert recipes? Or better yet, a sure-fire way to entertain young relatives? 
& on a side-note, wishing lots of luck to anyone else who's getting ready for the big move to university in the next couple of weeks!
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