Monday 27 November 2023

A Trip to the Mall, an Xmas Shopping Trip and Lunch Out W/E 25th November 2023

This week started with a lovely dog walk on Sunday. We went to a favourite spot that I haven't been to in a few weeks and had a lovely leisurely walk. It was nice to get out into the fresh air after working the previous week.

When we got in I did a bit of sewing and then persuaded OH to come to the local Mall with me, as I needed to drop off the yearly Shoe Box donation for Operation Christmas Child. He didn't take much persuading, as he wanted to find somewhere to watch the cricket on TV and soon found a bar where it was on.

Unfortunately, the shop where I needed to drop the shoe box was closed. I was really disappointed as it meant a second trip there the next day. Anyway, I wanted to pick up an item from Primark, to wear for work. I'd seen it on a visit a couple of weeks ago when I got my hair cut, but I didn't buy it then as I wasn't sure if it was appropriate work wear. Having worked this week, I think it will be suitable and very useful. It was a fleecy gilet. I figured it would be good for keeping warm at work, but hopefully not too warm. It wasn't expensive, just £12 and will do the job perfectly. I made a minor adjustment to the pockets to enable me to keep my phone in an inside pocket whilst working.

After the cricket had finished, OH accompanied me to John Lewis to take a look in the Xmas department.  It's got to be done at this time of year.  He treated me to an ornament for the tree. I chose this little felt reindeer:

So cute and only cost £3.50.  

(You can see my homemade advent calendar in the background to this picture. Inspired by a post on Pinterest, I made 24 little pouches like this one from brown paper, filled them with different chocolates (that average 30 calories per pouch), threw them all in a glass jar and each day I will pick one out at random. I think they're cute. A bit like Chinese fortune cookies, but the pouch is not edible and without the message.)

I also bought some sparkly red ribbon at John Lewis, to decorate the fabric Christmas crackers I'm attempting to make this year. Here's a picture:

It is very pretty and was only £1.50 per metre which was a steal.

We then picked up an Xmas present for LB, before heading to the food court for supper. I got food from Tortilla. I had a naked veggie chilli burrito, which was really tasty and not too calorific. OH went for a Rogan Josh from the Indian food concession. It was a treat to eat out and not have to worry about cooking when we got in.  The Mall was super busy. Shopping is better suited to young people on the weekend. I don't have the energy or patience anymore. I much prefer visiting mid week, whenever I do need to go. We enjoyed ourselves, but were super glad to get home again.

On Monday, I had quite a few errands to run.  The first was to pick up my prescription from the pharmacy. I'd tried to collect it on Saturday, but they were closed, so had to return today. I took a detour there on the dog walk.

After lunch, I needed to return to the Mall to take the Shoebox to the drop off point. To avoid any further expense, (the parking at the Mall the day before had been expensive) I cycled there. It didn't take too long and I was straight in and out again. I took care of another errand on the way, i.e. posting a parcel.

Once I'd done these errands I could relax and chill for the evening. I received my work schedule for the week today. I'm going to be working a couple of afternoons, as opposed to working all lates, which will be good.

On Tuesday, I was up early and off to the gym. My work shift today meant that I wasn't able to go to my usual class, as it didn't leave me enough time to get showered and get to work, so I booked a gym session instead.

Luckily, it was quiet in the gym, so I really enjoyed the session and didn't have any difficulty getting on any of the machines.

When I got home, I got ready for work and then had some lunch. Work was good. I got to do some more merchandising of Xmas products. One of my afternoon shifts this week was cancelled, which was fine, as it gives me an extra free day.

I got paid from my last temping job back in October today, and once again I got a bit more than I expected, which I was thankful for.

On Wednesday, I was all set to spend the day sewing, but then I decided to take a trip to Home Bargains and B&M. I'd tried to go at the weekend, but they were so busy, I couldn't park easily, and the last trip I made to Home Bargains I got stuck in traffic for over an hour just leaving the car park, so I was determined not to experience that again. Going in the morning, there was much less traffic. I got a regular few bits we needed, a few small Xmas presents/cards and a few Xmas food bits I'd been looking for for a while. I treated us to some Xmas scented hand wash, totally unnecessary, but nice all the same. This was the only one that I actually liked the scent of.

I then headed to Tesco to pick up a few bits for the dog and ended up getting a few more Xmas presents and other bits of food/toiletries we needed.

Next was a quick visit to Lidl for some more food bits, another couple of Xmas presents and to use a voucher for a free item. My spend took me to £250 spent there this month, so I earned 10% off my next shop which is always welcome.

Last of all, I called in at B&M and ended up buying a whole basket full of stuff. This included another couple of very small presents, lots of dog treats, some food bits (including a few reduced ones for the freezer that I couldn't resist) and another few Xmas bits. I was looking for an Xmas reed diffuser, but I couldn't find one I liked. I did buy this cute Santa wax melt burner, which I'll enjoy using this Xmas, but I'm still looking for the reed diffuser.

I've got this White Company candle to use this Xmas, which was a gift last year, so once I've got the diffuser and then splashed out on some Xmas scented Zoflora, I'm done with the home smellies for this year.

I don't have many presents left to buy now, which is all good. I don't want to be rushing around shopping at the last minute, when the shops are packed with people. I'm waiting for a few things to be delivered and I may buy a few things from work, but other than that, I don't think I'll be doing many more Xmas shopping trips.

Thursday, marked the end of week 24 of my weight loss/fitness journey and was monthly weigh in day. I hadn't lost any weight this week to speak of, probably because I have eaten over my calorie allowance on most days, but over the month I've lost 4lbs so far, which is consistent if nothing else. I had lost an inch here and there though, so I was happy with this. I'm hoping I can continue losing at this pace right up to Xmas, so that I can reach 2 stone of weight loss, which will be a big milestone.

I did my usual of taking pictures.  The difference is starting to show more now, which is satisfying. It feels quite nice when my clothes feel a bit loose for a change.

I headed to the gym early again today and had a good session. When I got back, I did a bit of sewing on my machine and then had some lunch before getting ready for work. I was ready a bit early, which gave me enough time to do some hand sewing to finish off the first of my Xmas crackers. I was happy with the outcome and it works pretty well when you pull it.  This one is for the dog, hence the dog print and paw print ribbon.

Work tonight was okay. I was trained to do a different job in the store, which made a change. It wasn't too busy where I was working, which was good whilst I was learning the ropes. I put my name down for the work Xmas meal and Secret Santa tonight. I haven't done one of these for many years, so why not?

On Friday, I was quite tired after not sleeping well. I wanted to do some sewing today, but after getting up late and walking the dog, half the day was gone. I then needed to go and do a weekly shop, as we were very low on the things we use daily and I can't go tomorrow or Sunday as I'm working and we're going out somewhere, so I did it today. I used my 10% off voucher which saved me £5 off my shopping.

By the time I got back and unpacked it was 3pm, so I ended up snoozing on the couch. I just needed a bit of down time after a busy couple of weeks starting the new job. Sometimes, a nap is the only thing that hits the spot. I made up for it by doing a bit of hand sewing later, on the new quilt and then spending two hours doing food prep in the kitchen before heading to bed.

On Saturday morning, I woke after the first good night's sleep I've had in days. I took myself off to the gym early again for the free over 50's session. I cut down my routine today, as I had to leave early.  We were going out of town to visit some friends in Kent for lunch. We drove out to Kent and had a lovely meal in a very nice Italian restaurant. It was almost 3pm by the time we finished the meal and we had to set off back to London very soon afterwards as I was due at work for 5pm and didn't want to risk getting caught in traffic.

We got back in time for me to go to work and then OH picked me up when I finished. He'd bought a couple of ready meal curries for supper which was much appreciated when I got home from work. I was so glad to get home and relax after getting through a very busy week.

How was your week?

Sunday 19 November 2023

Starting A New Job and Another Week Getting Up to Scratch W/E 18/11/23

My week started with an induction for the new job on Sunday morning. I thought that I might perhaps be given some hours for the week, but I wasn't, I was told to look out for  a working hours schedule to appear on the work app. The induction went okay, but took quite a while to do a whole lot of essential online training.

I started to come down with a cold on Sunday evening. I wasn't happy about that, but I'm hoping it won't be a bad one and I can shake it off if I look after myself.

I managed to sneak in another Xmas hexie project this weekend.  I had some large Xmas hexies left over from the large quilt I made, so I used them and some of the leftover green fabric to make an Xmas cushion. It didn't take too long to make the top and I was happy with the result.  

This week, I was actually quite glad of the reprieve from starting work straight away, as the house is a mess and I was keen to get on top of everything before I get busy with work.  I think that as soon as I do start work, I won't have time for much else. I therefore determined to make it a cleaning week at home this week.

I started things off on Monday afternoon by cleaning the living rooms. We've been using the front living room all summer, but in the winter months, we tend to have a changeover and move the comfy sofa into the back living room where the fire is. It's a smaller room and is cosy in the winter, when we get the fire going. In addition, we have no shutters on the front living room windows at the moment, as OH needs to do some work on the bay windows, so there isn't much privacy of an evening. Moving into the back room affords us more of this, which is good. 

It took all afternoon, but it was very satisfying to get it cleaned and changed over. I'm going to consider this to be a pre-Christmas clean, as the tree will go up in a couple of weeks. I'll probably run the vacuum around again then, but probably not do much more than that.

On Tuesday, I was booked into my usual class at the gym, which was good, despite my being very snuffly.  It was raining most of the day, so after having lunch, I decided to go up to the sewing room and do some sewing on my machine. I had good intentions of cleaning, but I just wasn't really feeling it, so I finished the Xmas Hexie cushion. Here's a picture of it:

I just need to iron and then sew the star to the top of the tree, it is backed with fusible interfacing.

Talking of cushions, as promised, here's a picture of the mushroom cushion I made for LB last week:

It's not perfect, but I think it turned out okay. I hope she likes it. 

On Tuesday afternoon, I also attempted to make some reusable pullable fabric Christmas crackers. I cut out all the fabric to make 4 and went ahead and started to make 2. I made quite a few mistakes, particularly on the second one, so I might remake it, as it will be a different size to the others if I don't, which will look a bit odd. It was good practice though. 

It was a little tricky, especially with regard to pattern matching, but I think they will work out okay. I'd had my eye on buying some from a seller on Etsy, but it would have cost me £32 for 4, so making them will be much less expensive and it's been on my to do list since last year at least. I did have to buy some 10mm hook and loop from eBay, but that cost just £3.99. I may also need to buy some ribbon to tie the ends, but the cost will be nothing like if I bought them. I'll post a picture when they're finished.

Here's a link for the YouTube video tutorial if anyone's interested:

If this link doesn't work, the video is from Abi's Sewing Den.

I did a bit more work on the new star block hexie quilt too in the evening. I've almost finished the third block. I think I will need 10 blocks for this quilt, plus lots of infilling between blocks. I'm probably going to have to set this aside soon, as I really need to give priority to cleaning the house. I'd much rather be sewing though, so I often get distracted by it.

On Wednesday, I went to my usual Soca Aerobics class. It was the last class for a few weeks, as the instructor is going away. To be honest, if I start work I might not get there anyway, so I made myself go when I wasn't really feeling it. Just as the class was about to start, I got a call from the new job, telling me I had a shift that evening at 5pm, which was exciting.

Not wanting to waste the couple of hours I had free, I did a bit more cleaning. I only managed to clean the main bedroom upstairs, but it was a start. 

I set off early for work, not wanting to be late, but found there was hardly any traffic at all, which was surprising at rush hour, so I was way too early. This ended up being costly, as I killed the time by dropping into a couple of shops and buying a couple more bits of clothing to wear for work. Both were very inexpensive though.

The work shift went OK. I wasn't working on a till, which made a change. I was just recovering a particular of the area of the shop, tidying each row of shelves, returning items to their proper place in the store,  removing broken items, putting a bit of new stock out, answering customer queries, etc. It was pretty straightforward, so not too stressful a start to the new job. It will be interesting to see how things progress from here. I enjoyed it though, as I was mostly just doing my own thing for most of the shift, which suits me fine.

I was on the rota three consequetive lates this week from 5-10pm. I don't mind working lates, except that it does reek havoc with my eating patterns, as 4pm is too early to eat, but I don't get a break in which to eat, so I end up eating later when I get home.  I need to work out how best to deal with this, whether this means having a slightly bigger hot meal at lunchtime and then something light, either after or before my shift.

On Thursday morning, I had to get out of bed quite early, as the dog was desperate for a walk. When I got out of bed, I ached all over. I couldn't believe how achey I felt and I hadn't even been doing any heavy lifting or anything. Maybe I'm just using muscles I don't normally use in daily life. I'll have to see how it goes and maybe be careful, just in case I'm moving in a way that will cause me future problems. I did learn very quickly that 5 hours on your feet walking around the store means you need very comfy shoes, so I'll be wearing trainers from now on, in the hope they'll be more comfortable. It did add lots of steps to my daily step count though, which ended up at 14.5K.

On Thursday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours in bed. I got so cold and was tired after going to bed late and getting up early. When I got to work, I was working the same job recovering the same part of the store. I felt better for having done it the night before. I wore a pair of LB's trainers that she left at home and they were so comfy for the whole shift.

It already surprises me how different it seems, working for this company, than at my previous commercial retail job last Christmas. It seems to be much better staffed and less stressy, but it is very early days and it could all change a lot as the Christmas shopping season progresses. I finished a little early on Thursday night, which was good. OH and I watched the first episode of the new series of The Crown on Netflix when I got in.

On Friday morning, I woke up a lot less achey. I don't know if this was because I was more aware of how I was moving on my previous shift, or just that my body is getting used to a new routine and new repetitive tasks. Time will tell. I had a bit more energy on Friday too and managed to do a bit of sewing, which I hadn't picked up for a couple of days. I also did a bit of Xmas shopping online for LB. I've bought just about all of her Xmas presents now. I'm just waiting for some of them to be delivered.

Work on Friday night was okay. I was given a merchandising task of colour blocking a whole section of products. It took me most of the shift, but I was pleased with the result. I didn't manage to get it completely finished, but did what I could. It's a steep learning curve for me, as I haven't really had much experience on the merchandising side before. It was fun though.

I felt almost back to normal in terms of stiffness and aches and pains by Saturday morning and took myself off to the free gym session. I was a bit tired after three consequetive lates, but worked as hard as I could. I enjoyed the session and left feeling energised which is good.

On Saturday afternoon, I took myself off to do the weekly shop again.  I haven't got a work schedule for next week and I am not sure when or if I'll get one, so I decided to get the shopping done when I could, so that I was ready for whatever next week holds. (The working week starts on a Sunday).

When I got home, I was finally able to chill for the rest of the evening and do a bit of sewing and watch the final two episodes of The Crown that were available on Netflix.

It's been a good week. Nice to get started at the new job. Hoping it continues to go well. I hope you've had a good week.

Sunday 12 November 2023

A Week of Finishing Projects and Jobs W/E 11/11/23

On Sunday last, I woke up to a new week and a lovely sunny day. It was great to have a break from all the rain we've been getting lately. My first job, after breakfast, was to buy a jacket for LB on Vinted. It was a particular vintage jacket that she had put on her Xmas list. 

I'd spent most of the previous night trying to find one that was both in good condition and a reasonable price and we eventually settled on one, so I bought it. It's the first time I've bought anything on Vinted, although I've heard good things about the app. I'll reserve judgement until the item arrives, but I have been having a look on there for some work items, mainly trousers and shoes. I haven't bought anything for me yet though.

I took the dog for a long walk in the morning, which was nice. I had lunch when I got back and then headed off to do the weekly shop and use a 10% off voucher at Lidl, that I'd earned through the month.  I then dropped into our local Tesco store to pick up a few other bits including a few treats and used a £4.50 voucher there, that I'd been sent last week.

When I got home, I cooked up lots of offal for the dog. She's got a bit bored of her food lately, so I went back to making her some home cooked dog food, which she used to like. I then pickled the last of the beetroot from the allotment.

I'm now starting to get a bit excited about Christmas. I bought our first minced pies today, just little mini ones that are less than 100 calories each. I enjoy knowing I can eat just about anything I want to, but just need to adjust the amount of what I eat to fit in with my daily allowance. Nothing is really off limits which is good and helps to prevent me craving anything in particular. Having said this, however, I think Xmas might be a challenge, with all the temptation that there will be to overindulge.

Monday was a strange day. OH took the dog out in the morning, so I had a lie in as I'd not slept well the night before. I eventually surfaced and had breakfast around 11am. Later in the day, I received an email about the new job with a whole list of onboarding information that I had to read/sign. It took most of the afternoon, but I was glad to get it all completed. It was quite interesting too, in terms of finding out more about the company I'll be working for.

Once I'd finished with that, I took the dog for a walk. We're taking her for a second walk again, as she keeps waking OH up at 3 or 4 am wanting a walk and to play out with the foxes, so we're trying to get her out of the habit, as it's so distruptive to his sleep. She still woke him at 4.30am on Tuesday morning though!

I didn't do a lot else on Monday, after making supper, cleaning up and then watching a bit of YouTube, I was ready for bed.

On Tuesday, I got up early allowing plenty of time to take the dog out.  She always wants a two hour walk when I take her and I get stressed if I've got to be somewhere and start running late, which spoils the walk. We had a nice walk this morning though and I was back in time for my class.

I had to get there in a rush as I was pottering about when I got in and lost track of time, but I got there before the class started. It was a good class. I always come away feeling a lot better.

After lunch on Tuesday, I decided to go up to the sewing room and try out a new small project. I bought a small tissue holder from a charity shop when we were in Whitby a couple of years ago I think. It could have been somewhere else. It's pretty and I find it useful to keep in my handbag. Looking at it closely the other day, it looked very simple to make, so I decided to have a go. I started with some Christmas fabric, to make a Christmas version. I found a contrasting plain fabric and I was away. 

It was a bit of trial and error to begin with, but it looked okay when I'd finished. Here's a picture:

I made it a little big, but I thought it was cute, so I made a couple more, one of which I decided to donate, as I didn't really like it. The other one I made and am keeping is this one made with a scrap of African waxed fabric that I had in my scrap box:

I liked how this one turned out. I'll probably put the original bought one in my dog walking bag, as I often need a tissue on dog walks. It needs a wash first though, as it's been knocking about in my handbag for a couple of years. If I'm honest, the ones I made weren't finished as well as the one I bought, but as they're just for my personal use, I'm not too bothered. The person who made the original one, took every care to make it look good inside and out and stitched it by hand too. I was impressed.

When I'd finished sewing, I decided to wrap the shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, so that I can take it to the toy shop and drop it off. I don't enjoy wrapping shoe boxes, but it looked okay and was another job done.

I then decided to make a gift for LB for Xmas.  She's big into mushrooms at the moment, not the psychedelic or edible kind, but decorative one's. I decided to make her a mushroom cushion. I had some red and grey felt and some white fabric to make the spots. I cut out the shapes to make the mushroom and then backed them with fusible interfacing. I now just need to sew them onto a cushion cover that she already has. I'm hoping it will look okay when finished. I'll post a picture when it's done, she doesn't read my blog.

So, I had a lovely creative afternoon. The best kind in my book, so satisfying to the soul. I found a great instagram account today, that focuses on using the scrappiest fabric scraps to make beautiful things. It really inspired me and is called thesweetstitches. Check it out if you love using up the tiniest fabric scraps. One post really resonated with me. It was about preferring scraps to fabric lengths. I think that's me in a nutshell. I almost never want to cut into a length of fabric, as I don't want to spoil it and often prefer to make things with the smallest offcuts. No wonder I've got so much fabric in my stash. I am getting better at using it these days though. I decided that it just doesn't make sense not to and have it stashed away in a box. If I make it into things, I can see it, admire it and use it everyday.

On Wednesday, I went to my usual Soca class and then went onto our high street to get a few bits we needed. I also dropped into Primark to buy a couple of things to wear for my new job. Just some flat shoes and a couple of sweaters. I spent about £20. I also dropped into our local charity shop and found another top to wear for work which cost £7. I now feel like I've got everything I need for the moment.

When I got home I spent the afternoon working on the new quilt. I made quite a bit of progress on the second block. 

On Thursday, I found another great instagram account, a quilting one this time, which inspired me to start labelling the quilts I've made in the past.  It's called chalcraftdesign. There was a lovely post on there about labelling quilts, and I've had it in my mind to label mine, but never got around to it. I was so inspired that I immediately jumped out of bed and made some labels, that I now just need to sew onto my quilts to remind me of when and why I made them.

Later, I worked on the second block of the new quilt again, but unfortunately, I miscalculated the amount of fabric I had for the last row of the block and was five hexies short. I ended up having to buy some more fabric on Etsy to complete the block. As it was the only thing I've spent money on so far for this project, I didn't mind. (It cost £5 or so) I could only find one seller with the exact same fabric, so I just went ahead and bought it whilst it was there, for the sake of continuity in the pattern.

OH took the car into the garage on Thursday, for an MOT, service and to change an internal battery that powers the ignition, as we've been having problems with it not starting lately. It came through everything okay and didn't cost too much. It's nice to know that it's been attended to, especially if I need to use it for work this winter.

In the afternoon, I did some sewing up in the sewing room. I made and attached some labels onto some of my quilt projects and then worked on the cushion I'm making for LB. I finished it later in the evening whilst watching a really good film about long distance swimmer Diana Nyad on Netflix. Well worth a watch. It stars Annette Bening and Jodie Foster.

On Friday, I'd booked myself into the gym, so I headed off early. I had a good long session in the gym, as I won't be going on Saturday morning this week, because OH is going on a cycle ride and I will need to walk the dog.

I had a pretty quiet day on Friday.  My order for the LB's jacket on Vinted got cancelled today, which was very disappointing, so we're back to trying to find another one. I was a bit annoyed if I'm honest. It's so flaky to just cancel and order 6 days later, for no apparent reason.

Anyway, I finished sewing the binding onto the Xmas wreath quilt in the evening and attached a label. I'm very happy with the resulting quilt. It's lovely and warm with the wadding I made inside it.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to beautiful blue skies with not a cloud in sight, which was lovely.  I had a two hour walk with the dog, did some washing and then in the afternoon, I headed out to do our weekly shop. It was a bit more spendy this week, as I added a couple of Xmas gifts onto the shop. I received a call whilst out to say that I need to report to my new job on Sunday morning at 10am for an induction, which will make an interesting start to a new week.

In the evening, OH and I were invited to a 50th birthday party. I was a bit worried about leaving the dog home alone, on account of all the fireworks that have been going off lately, but it was nice to go out and meet some of OH's cycling friends. There was, however,  a bit of an altercation between a couple of individuals in the group, due to the overconsumption of alcohol, but apart from that it was a nice evening. We didn't stay out late though and I didn't drink, as I was driving and was starting the new job in the morning.

I'll keep you posted on how the job goes.  Hope you had a great week.

Saturday 4 November 2023

A Great Week and a New Quilt Project - W/E 4th November 2023

I woke up on Sunday morning to the sound of the dog wrenching and vomitting. Not a great start to the week, but things did get better, and so did the dog, thankfully, bless her.

I managed to get her out for a short walk before a downfall of rain. I picked up a couple of books from the Little Free Library on the walk. One was a book about herbal medicines, which looked interesting and the other a novel by John Updike. I was happy to get home though and stay inside while it poured down outside. I took the inclement weather as an opportunity to start work on a new hexie quilt project that I had decided I wanted to make. 

The new project is a lovely one. I'd seen the pattern on Pinterest and instantly wanted to try it. It is a lot more complicated than one's I've tried in the past, but that's half the challenge. It should be a good stash buster too.

Anyway, after a couple of hours of working on it, I decided to head off to Lidl to do the weekly shop, as we had virtually no food left in the fridge and my scratchcard voucher was burning a hole on my Lidl Plus app. 

Before I headed out, I received a phone call from a place where I'd applied for a job, probably a month ago now, inviting me to an interview on Monday afternoon.  That was a nice surprise.  I figured they were possibly doing a second sweep of the applications, on account of the amount of time that had passed. Either way, I was grateful to be considered.

As a consequence of using the voucher (for £47.41, which was the value of my last shop) I got this week's groceries for the sum of £15.45.  The cashier was surprised when my £60+ spend ended up costing me £15 or so. I explained that I'd won on a Lidl Plus scratchcard, but his surprise and that of his colleague, did make me think that they'd not actually come across many winning vouchers to date. I felt very blessed and grateful. I kept the shopping as minimal as I could again this week, with only a few extras thrown in.

I returned home and after supper, spent the rest of the evening doing more work on the new project and catching up with some of my favourite YouTubers. Once I start something new, I get a bit obsessed. The first block is coming along nicely and I'll make a post about the project when I've got a bit further on with it.

I've got lots of ideas in my head at the moment, of things I want to make. I seem to have got my creative mojo back with avengence. Many of them are small projects, I just need to make time and headspace to actually do them. 

Monday, was a mostly quiet day. OH took the dog out and I'd done the weekly shop, so I didn't need to go out. I had a leisurely morning doing some sewing at the kitchen table and later after lunch, I got ready to go out to the job interview. 

The interview seemed to go okay, but as always, I came away thinking I could have done better. I didn't expect to get the job, for reasons relating to availability for work, but it's always good experience to go for interviews and learn from them.

OH made us some chicken soup for supper, using up some bacon bits from the freezer and some veggies that had been languishing in the fridge for a while, so super frugal and very tasty.

Later, I started work on making a homemade advent calendar with chocolates in it. I may make a post about how I made it. It was an idea I got from Pinterest and is very simple indeed. I'm using chocolates that I'd already bought for Xmas, so it isn't costing me anything really and it will save me buying a chocolate advent calendar this year, which I always like to do. I got about half of the calendar done and then went to watch TV with OH. We're currently watching a series about the Beckhams on Netflix. It's quite interesting.

On Tuesday morning, I was up and out with the dog before my usual class at the gym. When I got back, I made myself my usual big bowl of salad and then spent a couple of hours working on the first block of my new quilt project. Each block takes quite a long time to make, but I'm liking the results.

I caught up on a bit of blogging and blog reading this afternoon and as it was the last day of the month, I did a bit of financial reckoning as well for the month. Got to be done.

OH was out in the evening until late, so I was able to please myself for supper. I always tend to go for my default supper of a baked potato, on this occasion with taco beans and cheese. Very tasty and not too calorific.

On Wednesday, OH got up, despite his late night and took the dog out, so I had time on my hands before going to my usual Soca class. I did a bit of sewing on some new small projects I'm attempting, which are Christmas themed.

The class was really good fun today, I enjoyed it. After lunch I went upstairs to the sewing room and dug out some old projects that I'd put aside. There was a basket full of them. They just needed sewing on my machine, so I worked my way through as many as I could.

I made two table runners and a tree skirt for our new small Xmas tree, using the fabric that a neighbour had put out at the weekend, I also made some wadding for the Xmas wreath quilt, as I figured it wouldn't be warm enough without any. 

I made the wadding out of lots of samples of wool/wool mix fabrics and old woollen scarves, that I've had in my stash for ages. I just set the sewing machine to a zigzag stitch and stitched all the various sized pieces together until the whole was big enough. It didn't need to be particularly neat, as it's not going to be seen. I was really pleased to have done this, as it both saved me money buying wadding and also used up pieces of fabric that I don't like that much and haven't got any other use for. I've got lots more too. I remember buying a whole bin liner full of them from a fabric warehouse for £1, probably 10 years ago. I may use more of them for future quilt project wadding. I'll post a picture when I do a quilting update post.

Whilst I was making the wadding, I got a phone call from the company I interviewed for on Monday. The manager told me that I'd been successful in my application and I'd be getting an email to start the onboarding process. I was really pleased, as I'd told them I wasn't able to work over Xmas week, as we were visiting family and they still agreed to hire me regardless, for a seasonal job too. It has restored my faith in commercial retail companies, I have to say.

The job is a bit more local to where I live, but I still may drive there. It takes 10-15 minutes.  I can catch a bus or even cycle, but it will depend on the weather. I'm very happy to be returning to working again and earning money, especially with LB's 21st birthday coming up in January. I put a bottle of wine in the fridge to chill and had a glass with my supper that evening to celebrate.

I finished the first block on my new quilt project tonight, here's a picture:

As you can see I've returned to using hexies, I just love working with this shape. I will post more as the project progresses.

On Thursday, I had a free day where I didn't need to go anywhere. It was another rainy one and it was a while before I could get out with the dog. 

Now I know that I'm going back to work, I need to get my hair cut and possibly buy a couple of items of clothing to wear for work, as there's no uniform as such, but you do have to wear clothes of a particular colour. I mainly need a smart sweater, cardigan or fleece top, incase it gets chilly in the shop. A lot of my clothes are looking a bit worse for wear now. They're okay for wearing at home, but are a bit worn for work. I don't want to spend too much money, but I want to look presentable.

I'm now trying to finish as many small projects as possible, as I know I probably won't have the time or energy to do them once I'm working, as life will get very busy. I spent most of Thursday doing just this, which felt very satisfying.

On Friday, I set out early to get my hair cut. I did my usual of heading to Supercuts in our local mall to get it done. I was seen to straight away, which was great and the stylist who cut and blow dried my hair was a lovely lady. I really liked the cut she gave me and was super happy to leave looking much more put together. 

I needed to do a bit of shopping whilst out. I went into Primark to look for a few bits to wear to work. I didn't find a lot, just two tops. I may wait and see what other members of staff wear, before committing to spending any more money just yet. I also found a padded gilet, which will be part of OH's Xmas present to me. I couldn't get my size in the colour I wanted i.e. black, so opted for a dark grey, which was also nice and a bit different. It was nice to buy clothing in a size down for once. 

I picked up a few other bits whilst in there, but it was very busy, so I was glad to finally get out of the store. I had a few more stop offs for a few other bits I needed and then it was time to head home. 

When I got home, after having some lunch, I decided to re-organise my wardrobe, so that clothes I could wear for work were in one side and then general clothing in the other side. This should help me decided what to wear for work when I do start and see what I might need to buy in the future. In the process, I found a PU skirt that I forgot I even owned which was a bonus.

Saturday, was another rainy day here. Luckily, we weren't really affected too badly by storm Ciaran, but I do feel for those whose homes suffered damage. On Saturday morning, I went to my usual gym session which was good. I had a chat to one of the ladies there who has been learning to lift weights in a special class taught by a professional weight lifter. Unfortunately, I don't have the same membership as she does, so I can't join the class, but I'd really love to learn to lift weights safely and with good technique. 

I may start incorporating bar bells into my normal gym routine next time I go into the main gym. I think I can just about manage the lowest weighted bar bell and then just try to progress from there. It will make a change.

When I got home, I spent most of the afternoon emptying the ironing basket, which had piled high again. At least once everything is ironed an put away, I can see what clothes I have got to wear for work.  I've got one more wardrobe job to do and that is to go back through clothes I put away when I put on weight and see if any fit more comfortably now. I did this a month or so ago, but I'm hoping that some things might fit better now and I might be able to wear them for work. I'm trying every avenue to avoid spending any more money at the moment.

Anyway, it's been a great week with lots of positive things happening.  I hope you've had a positive week too.