I Have Been Waiting For You

my new dark salted caramel friends. Yes, years I have waited. Why nobody made a dark salted caramel chocolate that I could buy on supermarket shelves, I am still baffled by. But here it is. And I am about to try it, right now, while writing this post on the blog. OMG yes it is awesome but a bit up money at $6 for this block. I will stock up when it goes on special.

Work has been fabulous. The new job is awesome and I am having a great time, with some minor adjustment issues all on my side.

You see, I had fashioned myself a uniform of sorts. It had to be very warm because my last workplace was like being set down on an Arctic ice shelf, with two air-conditioning vents directly above where I stood for much of my day blowing cold air on me. And hilariously in summer, the hotter it got outside, the colder it got inside. I wore Uniqlo heat tech long sleeve turtlenecks and a suedey puffer vest – with great pockets – and I was still freezing most of the time.

The new place is warm and if it wasn’t, I would be able to change the temperature myself. There is no uniform and probably no need for one though I could definitely come up with one if I wanted to. I did not realise how much time knowing what I would wear saved me each morning. I pick out my outfit the night before.

I also never wore earrings to my old job – it was actually too dangerous with the machinery. I always wore a brooch to make up for it. But now I can wear earrings, and I will.

Since the start of the year things have been quite chaotic in this household. With family from interstate visiting we had a lot more outings than usual and we’ve got out of the habit of many household routines, like the regular fortnightly grocery shop.

It has been more bitsy shopping here and there, picking up things for a few meals at a time because we weren’t sure where we would be. Batch cooking has also taken a back seat with The Other Half only at work three days a week and only needing three lunches.

It is time to get back on the no spend days horse, and time to get back on the grocery budget and meal planning. We’ve started that process today.

Home, work

I Don’t Work There Anymore.

You may recall last week my post Pondering small and large frustrations. I wrote that on the Sunday. On Thursday of that same week I resigned from my job because I had found a new one!

If you had asked me in January whether I would leave this job anytime soon, the answer would have been NO WAY. Absolutely not. I loved every minute I spent at work, I loved (with two annoying exceptions) the people I worked with, it was challenging, fun, interesting, never the same two days in a row.

There is a long version of this story but why would I bore you with that when I did not enjoy living it? Instead I will give you the super short version..

A day arrived when I was literally SHAKING with anger at work. That was the point I knew I had to move on.

I went to see my employment guru, we re-wrote my resume, I got my head in the job-seeking game, updated all my online profiles, set up email job alerts and joined the local job search groups on Facebook. I officially started job seeking on the 12th of March.

I found out about my new job in a store that I am a regular customer of via the Facebook – it seems these days a lot of jobs are not found on the job search websites.

Having been there a number of times and knowing their general vibe, I wrote a funny cover letter and attached my resume. I was the only one to take such a risk but it paid off, the receiver absolutely loved it and thanked me for making her laugh in the midst of many oh-so-serious cover letters, and scheduled an interview with me as soon as she had a spare minute. When I got there she told me she’d already decided to hire me just based on our emails back and forth – there had been several.

My interview was at 9 on Thursday 28th March, by 11 on Thursday I was at my now-former work resigning, and on Friday I did a shift at my new job. It was very fast and slightly a shock to most people when they found out. Heck, it was a bit of a shock to me but I am totally fine with being shocked this way. :)

I did not need to give any notice and I had made a pact with myself that if I did not receive a roster for the next week before I arrived to resign, I would not offer to work any more shifts other than to train someone new if they needed it.

I arrived to resign only to meet a new staff member who was being trained to work in my area as a surprise. Cheapskate Boss had not even bothered to tell me he had employed a new person to replace my offsider once she went on maternity leave.

We had talked about that happening eventually but I believed we had agreed to involve me in that process so we could find the right kind of person. That just confirmed to me – not that I needed any further confirmation – I was making the right choice in leaving.

I had thought it would be very difficult to walk away when the time arrived but in truth, it really wasn’t. When I went to pick up my stuff today – stuff I needed and bought with my own money in order to do my job because Cheapskate Boss would not buy it – I found out he has cut the shifts down to 4 hours instead of 5. I won’t miss many of the people but I will miss certain parts of my job.

My first shift at my new job went very well, it is a place I always loved to visit. It is definitely a different vibe to where I have been.

I’ve had a little bit of unexpected time off this week as I normally worked Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday. That has been good for me. I took some time to get organised wardrobe wise and house wise.

I also took some time to get out and exercise. We had some gorgeous weather as you see above! While exercising, I mentally packed my boxes of former job related shyte up and stored it somewhere that I won’t have to look at it.

For me there are some unresolved issues that simply will never be resolved. Years ago that would have driven me crazy. I hate unresolved stuff. Now I am pretty good at resolving my side of it and letting it go.

work

Toting

I’m known to be one of the worlds most organised people – if I think I am going to need something I bring it with me. I tote bag a lot. At one point in her 2018 New Zealand tour, the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle was provided with a gorgeous tote bag.

This sent me on a tote bag tour of my own. I eventually found some brilliant ones at Society 6. My experience has been that they are well made out of a good material and thus far I have been unable to destroy them with toting – as tends to happen to your cheaper and some of your more expensive options. They have three different sizes – the 13×13 is on the small side but perfect for lunching out and strolling, the 16×16 is a more useful size for shopping in general, and the 18×18 is good if you have to take a lot of spare stuff with you eg shoes and an entire other outfit like I did last weekend for the election.

There are many different kinds of designs. I was very tempted to get one for my Mother at Christmas that said “It’s beginning to look a lot like fuck this” because that is exactly how she feels about Christmas. Here are some of my personal favourites.

Succulent Garden

Gold Indigo Malachite Marble

“Honeybees”

Koi fish – Yin Yang

REALLY MERMAID BLACK GOLD

Effervescent Orange Atomic Age Black Kitschy Cat Trio

Purple Lavender Quartz Crystal

This is just a very small selection. They have over a thousand totes you can choose from, many of them unique art uploaded by the artists themselves. You can search by colour if you know what colour you would like, or you can type in a word and see what pops up – perhaps peacocks?

Perhaps dogs?

I’ve got 3 in my cart right now which are going to be gifts for family the next time they do 30% off with free shipping. ;)

shopping

Pondering small and large frustrations

Yesterday I worked at the state election. If you have never worked at an election I highly recommend it and there will be a federal election coming up this year – you can check out the employment page here and register your interest.

In the process of updating my info for the federal election I was surprised to see I have been working at elections for nearly 10 years now. I always enjoy it even though it is a very long day. I got up at 6:20 and I didn’t get home till nearly 10pm. Once the booth closes the staff have to do the counting.

The contrast between this one-off casual job and my regular job is vast. While I truly love what I do at work, there are a lot of frustrations there at the moment and I am pondering a possible departure as a result.

I might be a strange being but for me, I do not tolerate boredom well. In my travels out and about in the world, I see a lot of staff in stores who stand about chatting to each other while customers roam unapproached and unserved. I’ve had to interrupt such conversations as a customer when I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

I honestly can’t understand it. I guess that is their way of escaping the boredom but for me, my way of escaping it is to DO SHIZNIT. AKA clean, move stock, tidy, mini-stocktake, merchandise, make tickets, do something anything.

As I sat yesterday in my chair at the election, I said to my co-worker – I never sit at my job. Never. In fact some time ago when I discovered other staff would use the stool in my area as a place to rest their bones for a while and browse the internet, I took the stool out into the warehouse and asked the staff there to hide it somewhere it would not be found.

This hiding plan was a success, the stool has never returned, and now nobody uses that computer to waste time and surf the web. It is a good thing too, I was forever having to move that stool out of the way. I don’t know where the warehouse guys put it and I am fine with that.


(I’ve done some editing so I could post this without identifying my workplace, apologies for that. This was an early version, the current version has spaces for 7 days of ticks.)

I recently made some check lists for work as my coworker had suddenly started to forget important things that needed to be done, like the till. She went home and left all the money in there. Another co-worker found it at the end of the day and had to reconcile that till as a surprise to herself.

While I am pretty good at remembering things and have never once left my till money in the register I have found the checklists to be extremely useful. I love ticking things off. I love that anyone can walk in there and see exactly what I did that week and when I did it. I just laminate them and use a whiteboard marker because you can clean that off easily without much effort.

My coworker thought this was a great idea and ticked things off for a couple of days, then forgot the checklists exist. I’m not mad at it because I am loving the checklists for myself but I am worried for her that she’s mentally not present a lot of the time and a bit concerned she might forget the till again..

With The Other Half starting uni this year, his mind was full of stuff, and the very first day he went he forgot to lock the back door. I decided a home checklist was a great idea, and we now have one on the laundry door. It has been handy because he gets up and leaves before I get up, so at one glance I can tell what he has done and what I need to do before I leave.

Most of the time I appear to be serenely floating across the water like a swan but the feet are always madly paddling underneath. Occasionally there is a day where it seems the swan is upside down and all you see is my madly paddling feet, but those days are further apart than they have ever been. I feel confident in what I am doing and 99% of the time am absolutely loving it.

When I think about leaving, I think of the things that challenge me, things that I LOVE doing – and bear in mind I am the only person in the store who enjoys those particular aspects of that job. Everyone else hates those tasks. I would truly miss them and be unlikely to find them in any future role.

There are just some small and large frustrations that make me think maybe it is time to look and see whether there might be another place for me, where my hard work is appreciated and valued. So, I ponder. :)

This post was inspired by another post – Working.

work

February Goals

This year I am getting back on the focused exercise train. Too much work, allowing some undesirable foods to creep back into the diet and not enough walking or running have seen a small weight gain on the scales. Not much, because I am doing something about it before it continues, but enough to make me feel slightly uncomfortable.

I wasn’t really sure what kind of goal to set. I did a few walks in January and generally felt they went ok, but I would like to get back to running again. I also wanted to get some serious distance in across the month BUT I have to be realistic about it.

In general I work 3 days a week at the moment but that could increase without much notice as a surprise to myself, in fact I could be called in to cover at the last minute. Making plans and appointments is a bit difficult for that reason. I just have to be prepared.

What I’d like to do at the end of the month is take my mileage and divide it by 28 and it works out to 5km per day. That means I would have to walk 140km in the month of February. I could do it as 14 10kms, which leaves me free days if I don’t get a chance to walk. Is it doable? Who knows. But I know when I set a goal I like to smash it, so.. we will see. I’ll check in once a week to let you know how I am going. We are now 3 days into Fitness February so here is the first check in.

I kicked off the day before February began – this walk will not count to the February total, but I’m just going to put it here for the record.

On Friday February 1st, I did my first 10km for the year. I divided it up into two 5kms when I tracked it on my Fitbit because I set two different pace goals – 8 minutes per KM for the first half, and 10 minutes per KM for the second half.

Friday was a really good day for it, overcast with cool temperatures of just 22C (71.6F) and not much breeze – it would have been too cold for me if there were one.

For the first 5km I ran 100m out of every 500m, which might have been a bit ambitious but felt ok at the time. The next day I was a bit sore and I had to work plus we had family over for a BBQ so I couldn’t go for a recovery walk on Saturday. But I made up for that on Sunday.

I did not set pace goals for Sunday, I really just wanted to stretch out and try to sort out the muscle soreness. My plan was to walk 45 minutes in one direction, then return back to the car.

It was a gorgeous hot sunny day, about 27C (80.6F) with a strong sea breeze. It turned out I needed a bathroom visit mid-walk and I decided to keep going to my preferred bathroom rather than stop at the most used one at Moona Moona creek, which was absolutely packed. This added an extra 1.5km onto my walk, and some extra time as well. It was ok, I wasn’t in a hurry.

In fact every carpark was packed and I couldn’t get my usual favourite spots, so I will have to keep that in mind for Saturday and Sunday walking this month.

February Total so far – 21.08

exercise, Fitness February 2019, Snoskred Lives

Merry Christmas To All

That about sums up how I am feeling today, less than 5 hours after I completed what I have secretly nicknamed “The Santa Obstacle Course 2018”.

When I realised I had finished it, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and I felt like dancing. But I still had two hours more work to do, stocktaking our little area, tidying up because my offsider is a bit of a hurricane at times and also forgets to put things back where they live, cleaning, sorting, fixing.

After that I caught a lift home, made coffee, cleaned some in preparation for tomorrow – we are hosting Christmas – snuck out for a quick take away dinner, had afternoon coffee at the late hour of 7pm, cleaned a little more, and I still have a bit more cleaning to do.

I had no idea it was possible to be this tired. I’m ready for sleep already. It isn’t physically tired, though there is some of that. I’ve been getting my 10000 steps every single work day these past weeks. I’ve actually kicked the chair out of my area because I don’t have time to sit and I don’t have room for the chair.

It is 90% mentally tired and part of it is Aspie tired. You see, usually at any given time in my job, I might have 20-50 items with various names on them, waiting for the customer to pick them up. All of that is mentally catalogued via my Aspie Super Powers, filed away neatly in my brain. When the customer arrives, I ask for the surname, and it takes me mere moments for my mental file system to tell me exactly where that item is.

Over the past 5 weeks, I have had double to triple the amount of items with various names on them. I’ve also had 200 or so extra items with names each week to catalogue. I’m not the only person working there, either. I’ve had to create “maps” of where everything is, so the other folks can find things fast when they need to. That plan seems to have worked really well.

I did get my Christmas Glitter Nails, and promptly forgot to take any photos. Here they are two weeks in. You can’t see the rainbow holographic glitter on the thumbnail but believe me it is there. I’ve been loving these nails, even though they are “mismatched” and somewhat weird to some folks. My nail lady thought I was cuckoo, she is probably right. ;)

I wish you all the compliments of the season and hope you have a lovely Christmas day filled with whatever floats your boat. I’ll try to remember to take some photos to share with you this year. :)

Nail Art, work

Year Of Buying Nothing Update #10

No Spend Days

16 out of 31 days in the month were spend days. For the most part these were preparing for November & December expenses. In the lead up to Christmas we will both likely be working 5 days a week – and I might even have to do 6-7. The good thing is the shifts are relatively short – 5-6 hours – but the bad news is I will be working every single weekend while The Other Half will be working all the weekdays.

I took some surprise opportunities both to save money buying in bulk (Petbarn, Nowra Fresh, one of the Aldi trips was 9 punnets of large mushrooms) and to save future time by food prepping and freezing. I also did some Christmas shopping while I had the chance. More about these things later in the post.

My spending saboteur has now returned to Adelaide and I will be busy working, but I do have a couple more Christmas shopping things to do yet.

No Spend Goals For November

I would like to get back to 2 grocery shops maximum each month, and 2 other spend days. As we are already halfway through November, spoiler alert, I have failed the November goal before I even set it. :)

But now, for the great news –

Grocery Spending

Coles – 13.50
Aldi – 477.53
Woolworths – $3
Total grocery spend – $494.03
Grocery cost of $15.93/day.
Bulk food spend – $72.04

The grocery budget for October was $620 and we came in well below that – $125.97 below. I counted the mushroom bulk buy in with the normal Aldi shopping because that is where I got them from. Part of this was using two $10 off my shops at Coles, part of this was eating out of the freezer more, part of this was a couple of meals out which we did not pay for ourselves, and I was at a conference overnight where all my food was included.

Why did I spend $3 at Woolworths? We needed pizza bases, and neither Coles or Aldi had them.

Grocery Spending Goals For November

November has 30 days = $600
Bulk food budget $100

October Thoughts

The big field mushrooms were on special for $2.99 at Aldi when I dropped in there with my Aunt to get something she needed – I had not intended to do any shopping but when I saw that, I thought maybe I could stock up, cook up, freeze up, and be set for a while. That is $1 off per punnet, so I went a bit crazy and bought 9 of them. We had a couple of hours to kill before our nails appointment that day, we went home, rinsed, chopped, cooked and drained all 9 punnets in the space of an hour.

I put them into a very large bowl and into the fridge till I could return. Later that day, The Other Half and I measured out equal amounts and put them into foodsaver bags. I now have 12 vacuum sealed bags of mushrooms which will give me mushroomy Pizza Fridays until mid-January.

We’d bought two bags of kitty litter as we were about to run out on the 20th and a few days later I got this email –

This is a super great deal for us. We’re never going to NOT need kitty litter, we have room to store it in the shed, and $70 off is nearly three of the very large bags for free. I believe we got a deal like this late last year or early this year and this is why running out came to us as a surprise because we are so used to a new bag just being there when we need it. We bought every single bag they had in stock, which was 9 if I recall correctly, and we also got a bag of chicken food to take us over $250 and get the $70 off.

We bought chicken breast in bulk and made up some more kievs, and also chicken pieces as we were running out. I may have to do pieces again this month but if so I will like to buy enough so we don’t have to do it again in 2018.

Realising that Christmas is nearly here when I saw a gift for Mother that would work, I grabbed it. I know what I am going to get for Dad, and I will also pick up some spare things in case we have some extra folks arrive on Christmas Day. I had to buy Christmas themed things for myself for work, as Christmas is a bit of a deal where I am now.

I finally ran out of hair conditioner, so I had to get some more from “The Warehouse” and they had a special deal where if I bought shampoo I got the conditioner for free.

But in good news, I got reimbursed over $150 for some former work clothes purchasing, and I won a $50 visa gift voucher at the work conference.

I had to fill up the car again. This time I had to get the more expensive fuel because the other option was not available, and I was low enough on the gauge that I didn’t want to drive anywhere else. Still, I think filling up twice in a year is pretty awesome – if I need to do it a third time that is ok, and I may need to depending on how much I can carpool to work on the upcoming days.

2018yobn

Whipper.. what?

Something is not quite right there.. :) That is not the photo I was expecting for whippersnapper! That is a photo of what is commonly known in Australia as a “whippersnipper”

A whippersnapper = a young and inexperienced person considered to be presumptuous or overconfident.

It has been busy here this week, I have been trying to write the #yobn end of month post from October but still have not managed to finish it. So here is your Friday post on a Wednesday, and I should have a chance to finish it before Friday.

Fail Whale

The Signature Fragrance

When I took on this new work role, one of the first things I had to do was clean out the work area and get things organised. The previous occupant of that space left behind an almost empty perfume container for Beyonce Heat. It made me realise that I did not currently have a specific scent for work.

Sure, I had plenty of scents available here at home but none of them were especially work appropriate. Some of them I like to keep for going out, they are too expensive to wear daily to work. Unlike my previous warehouse role where everything I wore would go in the washing basket when I got home, parts of my new work uniform do not get washed after each wear and they will retain any scent that I wear.

I also now have two lanyards I need to have around my neck at all times, and they hold on to scents too. So my old “wear whatever I was feeling like from my fragrance shelf because it will be going straight in the wash at the end of today” was no longer very practical.

My Dad is someone who LOVES fragrance. As a former smoker he never wanted to smell like cigarettes and so he would overapply whatever fragrance he was wearing. This habit of his continues. To the point that when I went over to start up his car two weeks into their Canada & Alaska adventure, it smelled like he was sitting right next to me in it. He smells fantastic 24/7 and people always ask him what he is wearing.

Dad alternates between 4 different Paco Rabanne fragrances – my favourite being 1 million. But it is quite Up Money and not something I would be happy to wear every day. That is more of a special event fragrance.

I wore quite a few Avon fragrances in the past – Night Magic being my favourite. However Avon is no longer available in Australia and I have just a few last sprays of Night Magic left. I will save those for a special event, too. If this were available I would have gone with it. It wears well, it smells good, it is reasonably priced and you can get other things like body lotion or a purse roller in the same scent.

For me, the process of finding a new signature fragrance is not as easy as one might think. I can’t just walk in, spray some stuff on myself, and say that’ll do and wander up to the checkout with a perfume bottle. I want to spray on the fragrance and see how it wears on me. In order to do that, I was keeping my wrists fragrance free and visiting a nearby chemist on my break to try a different perfume each day. This was a scenty time. Some of the perfumes I tried were just ok, one or two were possibles.

What I really wanted was a cheaper version of Spicebomb. But I wasn’t finding it. And Spicebomb is Up Money at $95 for 50ml, even more up money than something like 1 Million. It is a mens fragrance but I love the cinnamon-y spicy scent. I have often worn fragrance meant for men – Cool Water was a favourite of mine growing up.

One day I tried an old perfume I once wore – Maroussia. It is a lovely scent, I was just not sure I wanted it to be my daily scent. The Other Half was not the biggest fan of it but after a bit of discussion we agreed it was the best option I had tried thus far.

I don’t know how many of you watched Gruen this year but they had a completely hilarious episode on Chemist Warehouse which my Mother and I have been laughing about since it aired. If you missed it and you are in Australia, you can still catch it on iview here, it is episode 3.

One August day while out and about with my parents and my Aunt, I jokingly suggested we go and see “what’s on in the warehouse” and they actually wanted to go.

Perhaps Dad was down to 4 bottles backup of his usual scents rather than his usual 20. I am not kidding, he stockpiles. His storage cupboard is like a mini Paco Rabanne warehouse.

Chemist Warehouse had Spicebomb out $69.99 for 50ml so I grabbed one. Maroussia was the crazy price of $12.99 for 100mls, so I got one of those too.

I am still hoping to find the ultimate in signature fragrances for work, but these will do for now. I can wear Maroussia much of the time and occasionally treat myself to a day of Spicebomb. The two scents do work together if there is a lingering trace of the other one, but Spicebomb does not linger quite as much as I would like.

fragrances, Things I Did Buy 2018