Sunday, 19 November 2017

Getting Into The Christmas Shopping Mood.

This week has been an especially busy one for me as we had started our Black Friday deals in work.   I am obviously aware that Black Friday is officially this Friday coming....but at House Of Fraser we start our deals a week early.

It's not been a bad week really.  It started off quite quiet and then gradually got busier, which is good.  Still finding that, the same as last year, a lot of customers are buying online, rather than buying in store.  But that is with a mixture of things and now purely just based on the department I work on.   I had an early finish on Tuesday and Wednesday, where I finished work at 1.45pm on both days, so that was really nice.   It meant I could do a bit of Christmas shopping, which I did on the Tuesday.   So far this year I have been doing my Christmas shopping in little bits so not spending too much time going round the whole of town, or sitting on the internet at home for four hours scouring Amazon.   I have kind of just been picking the places where I want to go, get what I need...providing I find it, and then come home again.  I'm finding it's working quite well for me so far.   I always find 'little and often' is good.  Can't be doing with rushing about at the last minute.

Having had a busy week at work preparing Black Friday, I was a bit wrecked yesterday (Saturday) so I will admit I didn't really do much at all, apart from a bit of colouring and watching a bit of TV.  I actually watched Strictly Come Dancing last night, which I don't normally watch, and it was actually very good.  I do like Alexandra Burke, I thought she did particularly well.  I loved the 'movie dance' she did, that was awesome.  Classic movie style!  I did end up going to bed last night a bit later than I planned, but sometimes after you have had a busy week it can be hard to wind down, despite being off all day.

Today was a really nice day to round the weekend off because we went to Springfields in Spalding, and even though part of me first thing this morning was considering whether to go or not, I'm pleased I did because it was a lovely day, and also quite importantly, I managed to get a couple more Christmas presents whilst I was there too.   Then I came home and slept for an hour.  Not even joking.   Here are a couple of pictures from Springfields...

I really love this Christmas tree because it has roses on it and I love roses... and  I love purple and silver too.  I think it's stunning!

I did enjoy the little shopping trip today, it's a nice way to end a busy week with a bit of retail therapy.   I even treated myself to some books which were 3 for £5 from The Works.   Bargain.  Need to see how I get on with reading those, seeing as I haven't been reading much in the last...year.    Looking forward to starting them anyway.    Definitely put myself into the Christmas shopping mood today anyway!

Thanks for reading!

Sarah x


Sunday, 12 November 2017

A Productive Weekend.

Evening all.

We have now started our late night shopping at work....and you can tell because it has been a week again since I have written a post.   Mind you, a lot of bloggers whom I have read, do just one post a week, depending on their circumstances I guess.  I think I would really love to be able to write two a week, being honest, but that is still a work in progress.

So what has gone on this week for me..... well, I have been working all week, apart from...yesterday and today. I know I have had an entire weekend off and I am only now just writing a post at five minutes to 10pm on a Sunday evening.  That's just the way I roll sometimes.   Work has been busy, mainly on our 'Buy and Collect department, as people are already starting to by their Xmas gifts.   I bought a couple of gifts this week too.   I got mine from The Range.  

I hadn't been in a while, so decided to go for a look round yesterday with my mum, and came out with twenty quid's worth of stuff.  It's brilliant in there.  They have loads and loads of gift ideas, and their prices are not 'through the roof'.   I'm going back next week because I saw loads more that I could get, I wrote a list of ideas of course whilst I was there.  It was a good day yesterday.

I also raided H&M and New Look this week because I wanted some new tops for work so I got a few.   I bought a new CD from Amazon, which was only £5, I was really pleased with that because it is a 3 disc CD.  What was interesting was I saw a similar CD in Tescos for three times the price.  I don't think so.  That is what I love about the internet.

Been listening to this on and off over the weekend.  It's really good.  If you love dance classics I would definitely recommend it.   It's really brilliant.  Not bad for a fiver anyway.

I have also been reading my Vogue magazine, and doing my collages too, which I have really enjoyed doing.   I even find cutting out the images quite therapeutic too.  That might sound a bit strange, but it is true.  I find it quite relaxing.   I really do like Vogue magazine and it has started giving me some ideas recently, although to be honest, most of those ideas are actually handbags I have seen.   I don't know what it is about them but I really love the small rectangular, box style bags you can get.  Well, I actually mean medium sized.  I do have plenty of small bags.

I did buy something else for myself last week.   I purchased this print from one of my favourite bloggers Jemma at
Do check out Jemma's blog if you get a chance sometime, if you haven't already, and check out her Etsy link too because she has some stunning art pieces on there that she has done, and they are perfect for a gift or for yourself.

The only other thing I did this weekend is go out for dinner at Beefeaters, and I really enjoyed that.  They are really good in there, and it is nice to go out for dinner as a treat.  So all in all, a pretty good weekend.  I am so pleased with what I managed to buy whilst I was out at The Range too.  I don't know about anyone else?  But I really do hate rushing at Christmas time!!

Thanks for reading.

Sarah x


Saturday, 4 November 2017

Saturday 4th November.

This has been an interesting week for me because right at the start, I discovered that my manager, Jackie, was leaving, to go to a different store because she had got a promotion.  So all week I have been thinking about writing a blog post to try and put into words how things are after finding this out, and as the week has gone on, it's got better and acceptance is finally looming around me.

I am really happy for her.  It's what she wants, and she has worked so hard for it and I am so proud of her for getting it.  On the flipside, I am slightly sad for me too because, Jackie has been such a great manager, firm, fair... a bit crazy, in a good way, and I will miss her.  But I am also so pleased for her that she got this job,it is what she wanted, and she is really happy, and that is what is most important.

The week has seemed to just disappear. I have said this a few times before, but it did just start and  end.  It's the middle part of it that seems a bit hazy.  However part of that was because I spent the majority of my day off on Tuesday sleeping, because I had caught a cold from someone from work.  That's where Tuesday went.  I didn't do anything on Tuesday apart from watch an episode of Stranger Things.  That was really good.  I am really getting into that at the moment.  The characters and the story so far have been really cool.

Yesterday was a nice day for me because I met up with my good friend Misha whom I haven't seen for about six months.  We used to work together and then Misha left, earlier this year and you know what it can be like, time flies and before you know it, it's nearly Bonfire Night!   Anyhoo, we went for dinner, and then for coffee and just talked for ages about how things were for both of us.  It was a really nice evening.  We were really close when we worked together.   We said we definitely wouldn't leave it too long next time!

Now I do feel like I am ready for my day off tomorrow.  Watched X Factor...from last week tonight.  Not seen tonight's episode yet.  I am quite bad this year at keeping up with it.  I have enjoyed it though and I like the new 'layout' of the show, and there are some really great singers in it this year too.  I love Grace, she is really good, in fact there are quite a few people I like in the show this year.  The Cutkelvins are good, I like Rak-Su and Lloyd Macey, and Kevin Davy White, he has a lovely voice too.  All the singers are good this year, which is quite unusual for X Factor.  I feel like they have stepped it up a gear!  But they needed to really because Strictly Come Dancing has taken over the last few years.   Though to be fair that's rather good too.

I did also start my Christmas shopping this week which I'm pleased about.  Just a few little things I have found on Amazon, which is good because they were really good prices.  I usually leave it till December and rush about for four weeks.  Not this year!   Don't do rushing about anymore.  Too old for that, haha.  I do need to do a proper list really, so might do that tomorrow.  One for me as well, not that I have thought of anything for myself yet.  I am sure I will eventually.   Better not leave it too long though.

Thanks for reading.

Sarah x


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Ways To Improve Time Management.

Time management seems to have become a major bugbear of mine over the last couple of years.   It is probably the one skill I have yet to master, and despite the fact I am not expecting to master it completely, as it stands at the moment, I still have not yet been able to utilize my time as effectively as I would like.

So recently I have been looking for some quality tips to help me out, most of which I have heard of before, and straight away there is one phrase that has kept cropping up time and time again....

Stop procrastinating!

So, procrastinating is; putting something off time and time again, particularly if it needs immediate attention.

I don't feel like I put things off that need 'immediate attention'.   If something needs doing immediately, I will do it ( and get it out the way with), but I will admit I do tend to put things off in general.

Things like:

Taking cash out.   On occasion my mum will pick something up for me, lately it has been coffee, and I'll say I will get the cash out for her.   Three days later, still not done it.   This I need to improve.

What else....

Work tasks.  Sale for example.  Leaving it too late to start printing tickets for sale.   Leaving it too late to have my lunch, though that one is slowly improving.   I used to be a bugger for that in the past.  Oh and my favourite one, leaving it till twenty past five to start cashing five tills up.   All because I think 'I'll wait five more minutes' just in case we have a late customer.   No! You just need to do it.  Or at least start them.   I do still need to improve on that one.

When you really think about it, managing your time will considerably reduce stress, and that is definitely what I want to achieve for myself.  Not just at work, but at home too.  Here are a few tips I have found that I think might help me, and hopefully others too, in improving my time management.

1) Know what it is you have to do.

Write a jobs to do list.  If you are at work, and you are unsure of what needs to be done, ask for a job list.  If you are at home, it's a bit more relaxed and you are probably not restricted to any time limitations, but you could still write a to-do list, and tick it off as you go along.

2) Prioritize.

Ok, so after you have your jobs list it is good to prioritize.  This is an area I do struggle with occasionally, but the best thing to do is just ask for help.   Which I have vowed to do a lot more of now, if I get stuck.

3) Know your goals.

This is handy to know too.  What is it exactly do you want to achieve by the end of the day?  And then at the end of the day, how many of your goals have you managed to achieve? And why didn't you achieve any that are left?

Normally my answer to that is, there were too many customers and not enough staff.  Just remember at the end of it all, you can only do so much, so just do what you can.

4) Don't commit to doing more than you can.

I suppose this goes back to prioritizing.   Don't over-commit.  I have made this mistake a few times in the last few years.   It's best not to take on more than you can, know your own limits and start small and work your way up.   That's how I look at it.  It's the easiest way and it save a hell of a lot of grief.

5) End well.

This is, again, is one I am yet to master.  This actually ties into leaving myself enough time to cash up several tills at the end of the day.  One of the handiest tips in any job, not matter what it is, is to leave yourself plenty of time to stop the days allotted tasks, and start tidying and preparing for the next day.  It might mean that some tasks might not be completed, but that's why (on the chance you are not in the next day) they created 'the handover'.  And yes you do need to leave enough time to do that too.  In the past I had a habit of managing to cash up all the tills at the end of the day, but not do a handover, so I used to do one really, really quickly on a scrap piece of paper that most likely wasn't in my best handwriting.  Another thing I need to improve on, and I am sure I will soon get the chance.

For now, I feel these tips are pretty cool to start with, and admittedly, I will more than likely refer back to these on a few occasions myself.

Thanks for reading.

Sarah x


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Charity Race Night.

It's really dark this morning, it looks like it's going to rain outside, and I feel like I want to stay in bed all day.   But I won't.  I'll be good and get up soon.   After more coffee.....

I was surprised I didn't wake up later than I did as I was out last night at a charity 'Race Night' event for the Royal British Legion and Disability Lincolnshire.  I have been to lots of charity events before, but this was the first time I had ever been to a 'Race Night' so I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised because it was really good, it had the usually bar drinks, though I was driving so I had soft drinks, and a really nice buffet to go with it, just your general sausage rolls, pickled onion and cheese on sticks (I love them!) pizza bread etc. And it had a fantastic turn out too.

This is what I wore.   A simple, slightly sparkly silver top, with silver cardigan, and my little Ted Baker handbag (check out the Ted Baker site for more gorgeous stuff!!!) I got for my birthday this year, and I wore some smart jeans with it, as it was a 'casual thing'.   If everyone has seen, the cardigan was actually from Bay Trading, those of you who remember that store.  That was my first retail job at Bay Trading, at seventeen.   I was there for about two and a half years.   And the silver cardigan is still doing me proud!

There were eight races in total, you picked your own horse and it was a pound a bet.   I only did a pound at a time, I am not particularly one for betting really, so I just stuck to a pound a go, and that made it really fun!

All the horses had great names.  You had football stadiums, Anfield, Old Trafford etc.  There were movie characters (that was my favourite) so there was Indiana Jones, Jason Bourne, Harry Potter etc. I had Harry Potter! TV shows, so Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones so that was pretty cool.  I actually won on my TV show which was 'The Affair'.  It was probably the least popular TV show out of the bunch, but that was why I went for it.   Hey, I won a few quid so it was good.

That's not all I won however.   Normally I would say I wasn't particularly a lucky person really, but throughout the evening, raffle tickets were on sale a pound a strip, all towards the charity obviously, and you got to pick your own prize which I thought was really cool.  On this table were your usual bottles of bubbly (one of which I chose when I won) a few gift sets, Sanctuary I think was one and YSL etc and there were three envelopes which I actually have no idea what was in but it could have been gift vouchers or a Spa Day perhaps.  All in all the prizes were pretty amazing.   Anyway, I won twice.   The first prize I picked was a bottle of bubbly....

You can't go wrong with a bottle of fizz now!!  There was a couple of  prizes however, that they were keeping back so people got them towards the end, and one of them I managed to get.   Considering I normally feel like I'm not really a 'lucky' person, I was over the moon with this....

A portable induction hob!! Bloody brilliant! I think it's for if you go on holiday in a caravan (which I do not have) but I don't care!  I will still use it, if only to practice my cooking.  It's awesome.   Can you imagine if you were doing your kitchen up and you didn't have an oven for a few days.   This sort of thing would be perfect.  And, I do have some induction pans already too in case anyone's wondering.   Wouldn't work properly otherwise, haha.   I am so happy.

Lots of money was raised last night, as of yet I don't have the exact figure but I will find out over the next couple of days once I get back to work.  As I said, all the money we raised last night will be going to the British Legion, Disability Lincolnshire, and Action For Children which is absolutely fantastic.   I thought it was a very successful evening, and I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading x

Sarah x

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