Food review: Lloyd Grossman Mint Masala

Last weekend I decided to make a curry at home instead of a naughty takeaway. I used to make curry all the time but got out of the habit when I moved from Norwich to Sheffield. I wanted to keep things quick and simple and luckily Loyd Grossman had armed me with a couple of new sauces (thanks guys) earlier in the week.

Some of you might say that I’m cheating by using a jar, but after a busy week of work all I want to do is settle down to watch some South Park and enjoy delicious and easy food (before picking up my laptop again). I spend most evenings of the week cooking so it’s nice to kick the weekend off with an easy dish.

This is what I used to make my Friday night curry:
-Chicken
-Peppers
-Mushrooms
-1 green chilli
-Loyd Grossman Mint Masala sauce

Remember, you can use whatever you want in terms of veg and meat. There are no rules!

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Get your rice ready.

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Wash the veg you’ve picked to use.

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Chop up your onion and vegetables.

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Fry the onions – I’ve heard it’s best not to use olive oil when you’re making curry, I didn’t have an alternative this time.

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Fry up the onions and then dice the chicken and add it into the pan.

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I fried my vegetables in a separate pan because mine was quite small.

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Get your sauce ready to add into your pan.

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Finally add your in your veg and mix together.

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The curry didn’t feel greasy or heavy and we both really enjoyed it. The mint and coriander in the sauce gives it a fresh flavour which I’ve not experienced from other sauces. If like me, you like a spicy curry then it’s important to add a chilli to give it an extra kick of spice.

I’ve already picked up another jar of this sauce to keep for a rainy day.

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Posted in Food & Drink, Food & Drink

A Make-Under with bareMinerals

Last week I took the tram to Meadow Hall, a fairly large shopping centre here in Sheffield. I was heading there for a Make Under with bareMinerals, a brand which is new to me. Well, it’s obviously not new, I’ve heard about it ever since I was living in Manchester but never got ’round to trying out their products. After hearing me talk about this on Twitter they invited me for a Make Under, I could hardly say no!

Within this post I’m going to mention some of the products I particularly liked but there wont be any full reviews.

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I arrived early and took a few snaps around the make-up counter. They have a cute set-up inside Debenhams with a wide range of make-up and skincare. Am I the only person who didn’t know they did skincare products? Probably.

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I noticed that there were lots of lovely starter kits and gift sets available. I personally fell in love with these classic make-up brushes, good for Christmas but even better as a naughty treat to yourself.

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After snapping away I finally sat down and after hearing a little bit about the history of bareMinerals it was time to crack on with trying out the products. The lovely lady removed my make-up with their facial cleanser. I love cleansers that remove make-up, it makes your evening routine just that bit quicker. I wasn’t wearing much make-up but after my skin felt soft and refreshed.

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Next up was the Active Cell Renewal Night Serum, I really liked this stuff. I often use a serum or oil both at night and in the morning, especially during the winter months because my skin is very dry. To finish off I applied a little eye-cream and moisturiser to my face. Both of these glided onto my skin with ease and felt light and refreshing. I think in terms of the moisturiser I would need something a little thicker during the winter months.

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After the skincare came the make-up, who would have guessed? It all started with a primer, something I go in and out of phases with. I’ve not been using one recently but after trying the Prime Time BB (a tinted primer) I’m keen to get back into them. What I liked about this one was that it helped to give me an even skin tone and it’s also good for dealing with dry flaky skin.

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I then had the chance to try the new bareSkin foundation. This is a mineral foundation and serum in one. The consistency of the product is very light and it’s easy to build up, so you can keep it light during the day and go for more coverage at night.

I often worry about the dark circles under my eyes, so I was told that the Stroke of Light would help. As you can probably guess, this is a product used to diffuse dark circles and brighten the area around your eyes.

Last was mascara. They have a good selection of mascaras, the one I tried was Lash Domination, a volumising mascara. This is one of those 10 in 1 mascaras that does all the things! I’ve only used it the once so I can’t give you a full review or verdict on it.

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As always, not the best of photos, but it will have to do. I really enjoyed my Make Under and was pleased not to have any bad reactions to the products. I almost felt like I wasn’t wearing make-up, this foundation has potential to be a firm favourite over the next few months.

I’ve very kindly sent some of the Bare Minerals products to test out. I’m looking forward to seeing what I think and getting back to you with a full review of everything soon!

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If you happen to pass by a Bare Minerals counter then it’s well worth asking about their latest products. In my experience the staff were very friendly and helpful, even though they were real busy. FYI I wasn’t asked to write this blog post, I just really enjoyed myself and thought some of you would like to hear about my first time with bareMinerals.

Do you have a favourite product from the brand?

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Posted in beauty, make up

Career Inspiration: Kirsten Buchanan – Marketing and Communications Executive

Career Inspiration is a new series here on Prettygreentea. I’m spending my evenings interviewing and having a good old chat with inspirational and hard-working people from the blogging world. The aim of these interviews is to help those of you looking for career inspiration, change or a kick of motivation. I think that today’s interview is going to be useful for those of you currently in university.

It’s very hard to know what you want to do in life and I’ve always loved finding out about what others do and the journey they took to get there. So, I hope you enjoy today’s interview with the inspirational Kirsten, a Marketing and Communications Executive at Squareknot.

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What did you study at university and why?

I studied English Literature and Classical Civilizations at the University of Glasgow. I always knew I wanted to study English, as it can open so many doors and I think a few too many episodes of Superman left me idolising Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane a tad. I paired it up with Classical Civilisations, basically because this was a subject at school that I adored and wasn’t ready to give up. It was an amazing four years and I have to say that by the end I’d gained so much more than just a degree.

Aside from the obvious lectures, tutorials and hours in the library I managed to come out of University with more than just a degree. Getting involved with things like the Union and ski teams meant I gained the confidence to get out there and find ways to put myself ahead in the career game.

What is your current job?

I’m currently working with a crowdfunding company called Squareknot, as the Marketing and Communications Executive. I never thought I’d say I’d be working in the ‘financial-world’ but lo and behold here I am learning about equity and capital gains. However, this side of it doesn’t really come into my role much – I concentrate on social media, blogging, thinking up rewards and generally just keeping everything organized.

What experience did you gain in your jobs leading up to Squareknot?

I always tried to be doing something that would put me ahead of competition when I eventually went on the job hunt, during term times I took extra-curricular creative writing classes and volunteered to write for anyone and everyone. One summer I also did a course at the London School of Journalism and gained a diploma with merit. I even went back when I had a week off Uni to do a Magazine Writing Course there. This is all gave me the confidence and drive for what came next.

Once I graduated I jumped at any chance. I made the decision not to do another course at University, instead I wanted to gain as much practical experience as I could in the working world. This led to big changes and with a weeks warning I packed up and moved to London, unsure of where I’d be and for how long! I started off doing a seven week internship with an entertainment website, writing news stories and features. While there I also got the job as an intern again, this time with a magazine. Here I worked as an unpaid intern – now something I strongly disagree with – for three months, until they asked me to stay for another few months as the Assistant Editor until the run of magazines finished (it was a seasonal publication). Here I learnt a lot that led me to where I am today.

Next came a job back in the city that I love – Glasgow, this is where the social media work that I had picked up previously allowed me to shine. Unfortunately this role came to an end and I was back on the job hunt. However between hunting for a full-time career and working part-time I also did a part-time internship as a Digital Marketing Intern. All of these things combined and made up an interesting CV! I think the practical experience I gained in the year after university proved that sometimes people like to see that you can take on a real challenge in the working world and prove yourself by gaining a whole host of life skills that can’t be learnt from behind a desk.

What was your biggest challenge along the way?

I think there were a definitely a few big challenges along the way. I would say the first big one was when the novelty of London living had worn off and I found myself struggling in an unpaid position with a difficult work environment. However I can now say that it was worth it in the end.

The next biggest challenge was when I found myself out of work. I worked part-time in a local shop, which don’t get me wrong I actually really enjoyed, but it was never what I truly wanted to do. Constant job-hunting is not fun and neither is rejection, but in the end you just have to keep telling yourself that it’ll all come together.

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What is a typical work day like?

When I get in in the morning I usually make myself a big mug of green tea and go through any emails, adding to my to-do list. From then on it can be meetings with clients, organising events, writing blogs, scheduling social media, making up rewards for crowdfunding pitches and really anything that needs done!

What direction do you hope to take your career in 2015?

I’m really hoping just to carry on gaining a wealth of experience to help prepare for my next step up the career ladder. As I seem to have been moving in the direction of marketing I looked at some evening classes, however after speaking to my boss he had the idea of sub-contracting me one day a week to a marketing company. This was a great solution as potentially I can bring clients back and I’m also learning a whole ton more.

Now that my CV has been really built up and I have a range of experience in a variety of industries fairly soon I’ll start looking for the next step and progressing. Ultimately I want to end up working in the fashion industry in some capacity. But you never know, I love where I’m working now and never thought I could say I work in a finance/funding based environment! So who knows what’s next!

When did you start your blog, Letters from Marion and does it play a part in your career?

I actually started my blog when I found myself out of work after moving back from London. I’d been saying for so long that it was something that I wanted to do, but always found an excuse to put it off. However, when I had the time I made myself sit down and get on with it! It was a great way to keep me occupied and gave me a project to look forward to doing when job hunting got too much.

I’m not sure if it’s played a huge part in my career just now. Although some of the practical skills help and the practice of writing on a regular basis is always good. Perhaps it will play more of a part in the future, but for now it’s something that I enjoy doing, about things I love after a long day in the office.

What motivates you?

I recently read an interview where Ralph Lauren was asked about the ‘American Dream’ and this is what he said –

“I’m not sure why people call it the American Dream; it’s everybody’s dream to want a nice life, the freedom to do what they believe in and the ability to have a great career as well as having a nice home and a nice family. Everyone wants to look good, be healthy, to afford the things you see and say: “I’d love that”.’

I think that pretty much sums it up for me and keeps me motivated!

Do you have any tips for people who’re unsure what to do after graduation?

I think before you graduate put yourself out there and try to pick up bits and pieces of experience. Get involved with things at University so that when graduate interviews come you have more to say than ‘I sat in the library’.

It’s not always as easy as graduating, going away on an amazing summer and then walking straight into a job. Try out some internships if you find yourself in a rut. I used Adopt An Intern to find opportunities when I came back to Glasgow and it really helped me. It also means that you can try out different roles for a short amount of time in different fields and it could help you decide where you want to go next.

Just say ‘yes’ take a risk and get out there, you never know it could massively pay off!

Thank you so much to Kirsten for taking part in this interview. I think this is an excellent example of how you really must make the most of your time at university. Taking on internships can help you to figure out what you want to do, or even better, find out what you don’t want to do. You can find Kirsten over on Letters from Marion, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

If you would like to take part in my Career Inspiration series then just drop me a message on Twitter and we’ll get it sorted.

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Posted in Career inspiration

My Shopping Basket: TK Maxx

Today I’m here to share a few things I picked up from TK Maxx earlier in the month. I really enjoy shopping in TK Maxx, mainly the home-ware section. On my latest trip I picked up a bunch of things for the kitchen and I thought that you might like to see.

First up is this set of Le Creuset Stoneware Ramekins. Le Creuset stoneware items are one of my favourite things to buy in TK Maxx. I’ve picked up bits in Norwich, Cambridge, Sheffield and Manchester so it’s safe to say they’re widely available. They regularly have new colours coming into the store and these little ramekins are something I’m always keeping an eye out for.  I actually have a bunch of them in different colours. So, what do I use them for? Well, as these can go in the oven so you can make desserts, small portions of stuffing or even just melt down butter for when you’re baking (I don’t have a microwave). I also find these excellent for serving up olives, dips and sweets. These are one of my top 5 items for the kitchen (I feel another blog post coming) and I use them on a daily basis. I paid around £7 for this set, they usually retail at £16.00.

Next I treated myself to a box of Bloom tea. I’ve never picked up any tea or food bits from TK Maxx but others have said it’s a good way of trying out new brands. I’d heard of Bloom teas before but never tried them and decided to grab a box of the rooibos flavour. I’m sure I’ll do a full tea review soon. This was about £2.99

Next we have the recyclable glasses. They didn’t come with any packaging and I picked up the only two I could find. These are made from a very thick glass and feel sturdy. I’m keen to get some more of these because I really do like them. I can’t explain why, but they’ve quickly become by favourite glasses to use. They have a bit of a rustic feel and look to them. These were £1.50 each.

Finally I picked up this silicone pig spatula. I’d been eyeing this up in TK Maxx for months, they always seem to have them in stock. This has already been really handy for baking, flipping eggs and just a handy thing to have in the kitchen. I think this was about £3.

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If you would like a full review on any of these products then please let me know.

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Posted in My Shopping Basket

Life: Blogger meet-up at the Mill Kitchen

Do you remember when I attended  Toast of the Town? Well, off the back of that a few bloggers got together (via Twitter, of course) and arranged a meet-up in Leeds. No brands, no freebies just a chance to have a good old chat about life and blogging.

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Last Sunday I headed off to Leeds with Frances. We jumped on a train from Sheffield to Pudsey (a town just outside Leeds). The destination for lunch was the Mill Kitchen which is situated in Farsley, somewhere I’d never been to before. It made a nice change to get away from Sheffield for the day and I enjoyed catching up with FrancesNatalie, Jen, Anna, Nadine and Fran.

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The Mill Kitchen is based in a historic textile mill. The shop is spacious and light with comfortable seating, a display of popular cookery books and a good selection of tea, popcorn and other treats to takeaway after your lunch. I was also really pleased with the service, the staff were friendly and attentive.

The folks at the Mill Kitchen are passionate about offering good food and ensure that it’s made with organic vegetables, organic milk and quality meat only from suppliers they fully trust. They also sell locally baked bread and cheese – if I lived close this would be very dangerous on a Saturday morning.

I was pleased to find that they’ve been documenting their business journey over on their blog.

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The food was fantastic and everyone else seemed to agree. I went for fresh mint tea and a tuna, olive, red onion and basil sandwich. I spotted a few people with the breakfast options which looked excellent, think perfectly poached eggs on chunky toast. You can see the full menu here.

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I think it’s very important to make an effort to go along to these types of meet-ups (as well as brand organised events). They can push you out of your comfort zone, give you the chance to meet new and interesting people as well as trying out a new cafe.

When did you last meet up with a blogger friend IRL? 

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Posted in life

Career Inspiration: Stephanie Large – Veterinary Nurse

Career Inspiration is a new series here on Prettygreentea. I’m spending my evenings interviewing and having a good old chat with inspirational and hard-working people from the blogging world. The aim of these interviews is to help those of you looking for career inspiration or simply a kick of motivation.

It’s very hard to know what you want to do in life and I’ve always loved finding out about what others do and the journey they took to get there. So, I hope you enjoy today’s interview with the fantastic Stephanie Large, a Veterinary Nurse.

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Firstly, could you give us a brief explain of what veterinary nursing is?

Google description: Veterinary nursing is the supportive care of animals receiving treatment within a veterinary practice. A works as a member of the team, providing expert care for sick animals. also play a significant role in educating owners on maintaining the health of their pets.

I always say we’re like human nurses. The eyes, ears and sometimes common sense to the Vets. As well as supporting them we’re caring for and supporting the patients in hospital and as day patients.

When did you realise you wanted to be a veterinary nurse?

Fairly late on. When I decided I had enough of people in the retail industry I started to look into animal care jobs. Honestly, a Veterinary Nurse isn’t even a job I knew or thought a lot about. After much research I went back to college at 19 and got a few extra grades so I could apply for the course and try to get a training job.

Is there more than one training route and are there any entry requirements? 

There’s basically two ways to get into it, but the second way will depend on the college and training practice you work with.

The first route is university, so general grades will apply to get in (usually concentrating on the sciences and maths). It’s a 4 year course, at university, with placement but generally a lot of theory work. Degree students aren’t known as “better” in the VN industry, nor do they (usually) get paid a lot more.

The second option is through a training practice, you apply to the practice that is known by the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) as somewhere you can learn to become a VN. You need your GCSE’s A – C, again the sciences and maths are important. If you’re an older student then other qualifications or experience in the animal care field will help you highly.

I did the in-practice route, where I went to college once a week and then trained at work. I was employed full time, and I also had to finish my portfolio of practical assignments through that time too. The general training time is 2.5 – 4 years (depending on how your college works). I struggled a lot, so it did take me the 4 years, but the experience I got in that time worked well when I eventually became qualified. I chose to do it this way mainly because of money, at 19 I was established as working full time and having my own money and time, so going back to uni just wouldn’t have worked. However, it’s not a path way to discourage.

What is a typical work day like?

A typical working day for me will depend if I’m in kennels, or in prep with the operations. I work at an orthopedic referral practice, and so we have two lots of operations happening at once. Drawing pre-medications up, giving medications, taking x-rays, monitoring anesthetics, clipping and prepping for operations, passing kits for operations and scrubbing in for operations. Cleaning and tidying is also a huge factor, Vets are known to make a mess and you’re the ones that have to sort it. As well as cleaning the theaters down every night, checking oxygen and anesthetic trolleys, filling up stock and packing the kits away for the next days operations.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

When you’re in kennels you’re with the animals more, both day patients and long term hospital ones. Giving medications, walking, giving physio and other care they may need. Cooking and sorting out meals, again cleaning the kennels, the floors and washing and drying the beds the animals use. 

I love having a patient go home that you’ve cared for, and see them improve and go home well. It’s lovely to know you’ve made that happen. 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The sadness that comes with it. Having to be a part of putting animals that are cared pets to sleep is never easy. Also the uncertainty of it all, an emergency could come in at any time. Over time is done on a weekly basis and some times daily, you can’t just leave if there are things to do. Even on a Friday evening when pizza and wine is a’calling!

What keeps you motivated?

My team keep me motivated a lot, if I didn’t work with the girls I do, it would certainly be a lot harder. Also the love you get from the patients and knowing what you do actually means something.

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When did you start your blog, Stephanie Dreams and does it play a part in your career?

I think I’m on year 4, December is my 5th year blog Birthday- crazy! My job doesn’t come into it, however the lifestyle side and me featuring the dogs works well. I’ve worked with a few wonderful pet stores and my woofers appreciate the items they’ve had to feature.

Finally, do you have any tips for others thinking about veterinary nursing?

Look into the different options, and what would work best for you. Start getting work experience in any sort of animal care to show that you’re willing, and be sure that it’s something you want to do. The pay isn’t great, the hours are long and you work HARD!

Thank you so much to Stephanie for taking the time to answer a few questions. I wish you the best of luck with your career in 2015 and hope you’re enjoying your new married life (make sure you check out her beautiful wedding photos). You can find Stephanie over at her lifestyle and fashion blog – Stephanie Dreams, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.

If you would like to take part in my Career Inspiration series then just drop me a message on Twitter and we’ll get it sorted. 

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Posted in Career inspiration

Sheffield: Street art around the city

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Street Art Sheffield town

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Street art in the centre of Sheffield

I’ve been getting out and about in Sheffield a lot over the last few weeks and noticed even more street art. I think it’s got something to do with the fact I walk everywhere, but there really does seem to be a lot more street art here than other cities I’ve lived in. I’ve not had as much time to take my camera out and about because I’m usually going to the gym or carrying shopping bags. However, I always have my phone with me and snap away whenever I see something that catches my eye. I hope that some of you enjoy this little selection of photos.

Next weekend I plan on going to the Peak District so I should have some interesting photos to share with you.

I would love to see any street art that you’ve seen around your city. 

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Posted in Sheffield

Beauty: Nude Magique Eau De Teint review

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I’m fully aware that everyone else has talked about this L’Oréal foundation so I’ll keep it short. I wanted to tell you that the Nude Magique Eau De Teint has been my most used foundation throughout 2014. I think I’ve purchased about 5 bottles of this during the year and I’m sure I’ll be onto one more before the year is out.

It’s safe to say that this is my all time favourite day-to-day foundation. The consistency of the product is very light, almost like water and yet it offers a good medium coverage. The product glides onto your skin with ease and leaves a silky soft and smooth finish. You can build it up easily and it never becomes cakey. When my skin is dry I have to avoid using the foundation because it doesn’t sit well on the skin. Luckily, that’s not happened very often this year and if it does I tend to give my skin a few days to breathe without any make-up.

I often use a concealer alongside the foundation to hide away dark circles or marks on my face. I’m currently using the L’Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer, let me know if you would like a review.

One of the best things about this foundation is that it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing make-up. I’ve even forgotten I was wearing it a few times before I went to cleanse my face. It’s not often I feel like this about a foundation, I’m usually keen to remove my make-up as soon as I’m home.

The only irritating thing about this foundation is the bottle. Now, I love how it looks, it’s a pretty glass bottle with a metallic purple lid. However, I find that it’s very easy to use too much of this product. I suggest tipping the product onto your finger and then applying it to your skin. Sometimes I pour a little onto the top of my hand and use it from there. Despite me saying the bottle can be annoying, I’ve still continued to purchase it because I simply love the formula. The addition of a pump to this bottle would be very handy.

This is a very affordable foundation at just £9.99 and it’s often on 3 for 2 offers in Boots.

Have you tried Nude Magique Eau De Teint yet?

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Posted in beauty

New York: Mast Brothers chocolate

Tonight I want to share a selection of photos from the Mast Brothers factory in Brooklyn. I’m fully aware that this is something I should have done back in 2012, just when I’d returned from my holiday in New York. Sadly, I never got ’round to it. I was busy with a new job and unhappy with my photos. Thankfully I’ve got to the stage where I’ve realised that sometimes you can’t control the lighting and that’s not a bad thing. I believe it’s better to share some interesting photos than wait for another trip to New York, right?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos and you can find out more about Mast Brothers in this video if you’re interested.

Mast Brothers Chocolate Brooklyn

Michael and Rick Mast are the brothers behind the magical dark chocolate.

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The front of the store is filled with beautifully wrapped chocolate, their own cookbook and t-shirts (I now have both t-shirt designs).

Inside the Mast Brothers shop/factory

There is also a bar filled with freshly baked brownies and cookies.

Mast Brothers choc chips

The chocolate has been made in Brooklyn since 2007.

Mast Brothers Beans

Mast Brothers chocolate is made with cacao pods (from South America) and cane sugar.

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They grind the nibs and cane sugar for two days.

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They leave the chocolate to age for 30 days.

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Each bar is hand-wrapped with their beautifully designed paper – they originally wrapped them in butcher paper.

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The paper is now designed by the Mast Brothers team.

Mast Brother chocolate packaged

It’s really hard to get hold of Mast Brothers here in the UK. I managed it back in 2012 but since then I’ve not found it. I’ve heard (read around the internet) that they’re looking to open a factory in London.

I’ll be sharing my review of their chocolate later in the week. Have you ever tried it?

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Posted in new york

Career inspiration: Drea Ogunbadejo – Freelance film producer

Career Inspiration is a new series here on Prettygreentea. I’ve spent the last few months interviewing an inspirational and hard-working bunch of people from the blogging world. The aim of these interviews is to help those of you looking for career inspiration or simply a kick of motivation.

It’s very hard to know what you want to do in life and I’ve always loved finding out what others do and the journey they took to get there. So, I hope you enjoy my interview with Drea, a freelance film producer based in London. 

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I’m really enjoying your blog at the moment, it’s a good mix of topics. When did you start it and does it play a part in your career?

Thank you! Well I actually started my blog back when I was a student mainly consisting of outfit posts, wishlists – typical blogger stuff really! I recently decided to revive my blog and focus more on all aspects of my life and interests which are pretty varied – I can go from talking about nail polishes to books to what I’ve been up to film wise. I think it plays a part in career because it makes what I do seem more accessible – most people don’t actually know what working in film production actually consists of, and it helps get my name out there and showcase some of my projects.

When did you decide you wanted to work in film?

Around the age of 16. Sometimes I try to think back to when was the exact moment but I honestly can’t remember. I was studying English and music production at college and one day I must have had a light bulb moment and decided I needed to study film, so after I got those AS Levels I started all over again and chose film and sociology. It was at college that I fell head over heels for everything to do with film – I had awesome teachers so that helped!

What did you study at university and has it benefited your career journey? 

I took Film Studies at the University of Kent and it definitely helped a lot – my course was divided pretty evenly between theory and practical, so half the time I was learning about film history and the other half I was shooting and writing. The biggest thing for me was uni helped shape what side of film making I wanted to go into. I noticed on projects I would gravitate more towards the organisational aspects, so by the time I graduated last year I knew I wanted to produce, as opposed to directing or cinematography.

When and why did you decide to venture into the freelance world?

I was working full time in retail once I finished uni, and wasn’t getting anywhere applying to production companies – I wasn’t even getting responses for internships. I decided the only way to get my foot in the door was to start doing things myself – working for free, getting experience, meeting people. I went completely freelance in April and I’ve been pretty fortunate with jobs coming my way, but it most definitely hasn’t been easy!

Have your friends and family been supportive of your decision?

Completely. I have a pretty creative family: my dad’s a cartoonist, my mums a journalist and psychotherapist, one sister is a fashion designer and the other is a musician so creativity was actively encouraged in my house! When I told my parents I was quitting my day job they were fully supportive and encouraged me to pursue what they believed I could achieve, which for me was the biggest boost of confidence I could have received.

Congratulations on your current project, The Journey. Can you tell us more about your involvement in the film please.

Thanks Daisy! I’ve been a producing a feature film called The Journey, focused on budgeting and finance, marketing and I’ve been organising our London premiere which is at the end of November. It’s a low budget feature shot between London and Greece, and we’re super proud of it. Our writer/director, Lance Nielsen is an incredibly talented guy, who has managed to tell this epic story which we really feel a lot of people are going to be able to relate to – our premiere selling out all 300 tickets in 5 days was a pretty good indicator!

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What projects have you worked on during 2014?

I’ve worked on quite a variety of projects this year – music videos, features and shorts. The last film I was involved in was something I production managed – a short called Coil by director Stephen Kenny. It was shot out in Galway, Ireland which was really great – I actually spent a year studying in Galway at the National University of Ireland a few years ago so it was great being back and I got to chance to work with some of my friends out there who are doing some really cool and creative things.

How do you find clients and projects to work on?

That is hands down the hardest thing about this industry. Most jobs are found through referrals so for someone starting out that can be quite hard. Scouring websites like Mandy.com and filmandtvpro.com can definitely unearth some great opportunities for crew positions (production coordinator, production manager etc), both paid and unpaid. I also go to different industry and networking events where I tend to meet a lot of people who I can potentially work with. Being a producer I also get emails pretty regularly from directors and writers who are looking to bring their projects to me to produce, so I always try to be working on something at any given time.

Please give us an overview of what a typical day might look like.

There’s two different types of typical days – when I’m on a shoot and when I’m in development. On a shoot, I would normally be up at around 5 or 6am to be on set for 7 or 8, which is usually the call time. If I’m managing or coordinating the shoot, I’m usually overseeing all aspects of the production – handling the petty cash and daily finances on set, managing the runners, liaising with the assistant directors to make sure we’re running on time, dealing with any issues that arise, and also trying to get my head down to plan for the next day. Shoots are pretty intense – my friends and family pretty much accept that they won’t see or hear from me for however long the shoot is!

When I’m between shoots or in development, I’m usually up around 9am, and I’ll check and reply to emails for a while. Then I’ll spend a good amount of time looking at different film job websites, seeing what films coming up are looking for production crew – anyone who works freelance knows it’s a constant priority to find the next job. Then I’ll spend the bulk of the day on whatever project I’m working on – usually that’s putting a budget together, researching, or scheduling. Then I’ll try and find some time to write a blog post!

What keeps you motivated?

Each job I do, I get more confident and even more sure that this is what I want to do. Sometimes it’s hard – either because the time between jobs is slightly too long, or a shoot is stressful, and all I want to do is crawl under the covers and watch YouTube videos all day (which, ya know, I do on occasion). But I just keep reminding myself that I’m lucky enough to be able to make a living off something I love.

What direction do you hope to take your career over the next year?

I created and launched a production company, CWO Films, with a super cool and talented director Adrien Biosse Duplan, who I’ve worked on a bunch of projects with. We are currently working on our slate for the next year, and we have quite a few projects in the pipeline which is really exciting.
Once The Journey premieres, it’s time to start working on its distribution, which is the last main phase of filmmaking for a producer. I would love to get another few features under my belt in the next year, as well as grow my company.

Finally, do you have any tips for others wanting to pursue a career as a freelance film producer?

The main thing for me is to know exactly what you want and go out and make it happen. I hear a lot of people say “I’m just gonna work as a runner for loads of films and hopefully that will lead on to other things.” Being a runner on loads of films just shows you’re good at being a runner. Running is good to get set experience and make contacts, but go out there and produce small projects – work for free, get your name out there. It’s the only way to get experience. The industry is tough on young people trying to make their way so don’t get discouraged: be professional, be confident and believe in your talent.

I want to say a big thank you to Drea for taking part in this series. I wish you the best of luck with your career and hope that 2015 will be just as busy and exciting as 2014. You can find Drea over at Drea’s Junkyard, CWO Films, Andrea, OgunbadejoTwitter, Instagram,

If you would like to take part in my Career Inspiration series then just drop me a message on Twitter.

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Hi, I'm Daisy and this is my little space on the internet. This is the place I record the different chapters of my life. It's where I write about business, beauty and baking. I can also be found sharing photos of my daily outfits, the food I eat and the treasures I find.

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