Posted in Diary

A day in the life of a Newsagent Supervisor

Photo by Tim Samuel on Pexels.com

Nobody ever talks about what it’s like to work in retail. Why? I don’t know, maybe it’s a fear of losing their job and upsetting their boss, or it’s just because they don’t want to relive the experience. I’m going to change this, I am happy to share my experiences with you so that you can see what it’s really like to work in retail, why retail workers complain about their jobs but also love it.

You will find weekly updates on my vlog channel, but for today here is an introduction to my A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A RETAILER series.


Why does working in retail automatically give everyone the right to think they can treat you with no respect? They complain about every little thing, they dont even give you a chance to explain.

“This product was £1 last week why has it gone up to £1.50” before I can answer a demand to speak to the manager.

The truth of the matter is, I AM the shift MANAGER so your stuck talking to me. Also that product was cheaper last week as it was on promotion. This week is another product.

Then we get the same people every day walking into the store claiming they have “forgotten” their mask. I just look at them like “funny, its every time you come to this store that you have “forgotten” your mask”. Or we get the opposite, someone coming in thinking they have the right to abuse our one way system and demanding that everyone wear their masks despite the fact they arent wearing theirs properly.

And let’s not get me started on the news delivery customers. You get your newspaper delivered to your house, cant you just be grateful it turns up at all, rather than ringing to tell me that you wont be paying for delivery today as your paper was 10 mins later than yesterday?

A. The staff I see on the weekends are different to the staff who deliver during the week.

B. You will be paying for delivery as your newspaper was in fact delivered.

C. As long as you have your paper by 9am (baring in mind we open at 7am) I think that we should call that a success

Another thing that grinds my gears, is when the shop has just been unlocked. Not open, not set up ready for trade, no, just the front door being unlocked and then idiots decide it is their right to be served 1hr before store opening. On a sunday. Has noone heard of sunday trading hours? I cannot serve you because it will be illegal, I will not serve you as my job is worth more to me than 1 poxy paper.

What most customers don’t understand, is that we don’t get treated great by our head office. We are forced to work long hours, we have no overtime pay. We are forced to work Christmas day and customers have the cheek to claim that it is wrong yet STILL COME TO THE SHOP on CHRISTMAS DAY! We get no break at all. So when someone comes in feeling hard done-by because something is not quite what they were expecting, it’s no wonder we literally roll our eyes and sigh. Sorry Karen but a chocolate bar which is broken is not a problem, you’ll only break it to eat it anyway. *inserts fact palm emoji*.

I’m looking forward to opening up this segment of my blog, as I work 3 days a week and every single shift I has is completely different to the last. Look out for my vlogs and live posts as something happens or is fresh in my mind.

I hope you enjoy what is to come as much as I am going to enjoy showing what it’s really like to be a retail worker. ESPECIALLY during this time of the year.

Much love x

Posted in Diary

My Skincare Routine

See my Video on how I do it. x

Hello everyone, and a hearty how do you do. Today I thought I would break barriers and do something that I am not entirely comfortable with. And share my daily skincare routine with you all on the tube!

Lighting is terrible, and it was recorded on my phone as I couldn’t find my camera, but I hope it is ok. P.S. couldn’t really edit it either, as my computer is 10 years old and beginning to give up the ghost. Roll on Christmas!

Products used in this video are:

I use these products in the order I have placed them, and occasionally will also use a face mask, usually once a week. The face masks that I use are just the Soap and Glory clay mask, or the Neutrogena Black mask which is a peel off mask to remove your blackheads.

Finding the time to be able to look after my body and skin, is very important, and difficult. I usually cleans my face whilst my little one is playing in her bedroom (supposed to be getting ready for school), and then will put my makeup on when I get back from the school run, as she is usually in every piece of makeup if I do it when she is around.

The trick to making time to look after yourself, is to do it in short bursts which are easy to control. For example take 5 mins to wash your face, then go back to sorting out your little one. No one said the whole routine should be done in one go. My whole face care routine takes around 10 mins so I do it in 2 spurts, and this works well as there is usually something that mummy needs to sort out when she has a face full of product.

I hope that you enjoy my video, there will be plenty more to come. Please subscribe to my channel for instant updates on my new releases, and let me know what you think (or any tips on how to make my video better xx)

Much love to you all

Emma xx


DISCLAIMER:
Some of the links above are affiliate links. Using an affiliate link means that I receive a % of the revenue made from purchasing products through this link. This doesn’t affect you as the consumer or the price of the product.


Posted in Diary

Feeding my Family for £40 a Week

How much should we spend on our family food shop? How can I save money but still eat well? How can I survive on a tight budget every week? Is it possible to shop locally and still keep to a budget?

Absolutely!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Food shopping doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, in fact it can be rather “cheap” and you will be surprised how much food you can get for your doe.

I have managed to do each food shop every year for around £30-£50 every week, which has saved me hundreds of pounds a year and we haven’t really seen a change in the quality of food which we have purchased.

How do I do it?

Costly Loyalty

One of my biggest tips for saving money on your food shops is to shop around. Staying with just one retailer or using a familiar brand every single time costs you money in the long run.

However sometimes loyalty can help save you money. Downloading the loyalty apps for the shops you go to is a great way to save money. They produce coupons and deals especially for their returning customers and the more points you earn the better deals you get. But don’t think that it means you have to only shop in one place every week. Sometimes the products you need for the week might be cheaper else where.

I have about 4 apps on my phone for the different shops I go to – Lidl and Aldi included and this is brilliant! It means I am always able to save money and shop where ever I desire.

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

List it up

Making a list of the food you want to buy for the week is absolutely crucial! If you don’t do anything else that I suggest then please at least take this one away with you.

Making a list ensures that you only get the products on your list. You don’t get anything that’s not on the list, even if you have a sudden desire for that extra packet of crisps.

I always organise my list in the order of the store to make sure that it is easy for me to follow and less likely that I am going to forget something or miss something from the ingredients needed for the week. Making a list literally only takes about 5 mins of your life and will save you soo much money as long as you stick to it. Plus this also ensures that you know what is in your cupboards, fridge and freezer as you check you haven’t already got the product before shopping.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Ignore offers

Unless you actually need 2 packs of whatever is on the BOGOF offer, don’t touch it. Double check the prices per 100g or 1l, and check out what product really is saving you money.

Only buy what you need.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

So many times I have heard from customers at my shop “I’m buying 4 packs so I can put 2 in the freezer”, or “most of this will probably end up in the bin (awkward laugh)”. The problem is, if it goes into the freezer and it’s not already frozen you don’t need that product. If the product is probably just going to go to waste, then again you don’t need that much.

We all have different requirements for our food needs and buying more than we need is just throwing our money away.

Eat before the shop

NEVER shop on an empty stomach. Doing this for me adds about £20 onto my shop. When you are hungry you are more likely to buy snacks and food you didn’t intentionally go out to buy.

Having a snack or going out after your meal (any time of the day) is probably the best way to go shopping in order to save money. I always make sure that I am not food shopping on an empty stomach as going out hungry has resulted in me purchasing items to eat “now” but ending up with 2-3 weeks worth of snacks and food instead. It isn’t worth it.

Write your list, stick to it and eat before you go shopping. x

Know what’s in your cupboards

This is important as you don’t want to end up purchasing food you already have. This also includes checking your fridge, freezer and fruit bowl as you don’t want to end up with too much food, resulting in a lot of food waste.

I usually check my cupboards when I have done my meal plan for the week as it is part of my routine for planning my food shop, it ensures that I know exactly what I need for my meals for the week and what I have surplus off in the cupboards so I can plan a meal to use up all the food in my cupboards.

Planning Ahead

This is something I have always done. I plan my meals for the week, and I make a list of the ingredients I need. Having a plan means that you are less likely to end up buying a takeaway, as you know what you are going to make for your meals.

To see how I plan my weekly meals out see my post My Weekly Meal Plan.

Planning ahead has really been a life saver for me, it saves me time during the week as I don’t need to think about what food I am making, and it saves me the arguments of “I want this” or “I don’t want this” as I can ask whether my plan sounds good, or even leave at least 1 day as a day for others to choose the meal.

Budget

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to buy items that are in the reduced to clear section, as most of the time the products have a day or 2 on them and can be used a little past their date too. (Things like bread don’t go out of date just mouldy, and veg can last a lot longer than their best before dates)- knowing the difference between a best before and a use by date is important when looking at items in the reduced to clear section. You can bag yourself some real bargains from these sections.

I’m not saying to bring a calculator with you when you go shopping, but just to be conscious of how much you are spending on products, a 20p can of baked beans is just as good as a £1.09 can, sometimes healthier with lower salt/sugar levels.

I hope that my tips help you in saving money for your food shop.

Please let me know what you think. Or anything extra that you do to save money.

Much love

Emma xx

Posted in Diary

Mum Bod

We all worry about how our body is going to change when we have children. I was one of these women who had a flat stomach and was never really “big”, until I had my daughter.

Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

Everyone has a different perspective on what their body should be for their confidence and what constitutes as “big” or “small” for ourselves. For me my perfect weight was where I was just before falling pregnant with my baby, and the size I reached after having her which lasted for just over a year.

Situations change and therefore our eating habits and exercise habits differ aswell. This can cause weight changes, along with hormones and the like. I went onto a different kind of contraception which really helped me out with my periods (I suffered really bad), but with the pros came the cons, and whilst at the time I didn’t think much of it I have noticed a huge change in my weight.

Weight Changes

As someone who has always been quite conscious of my weight and body seeing myself put weight on has been incredibly hard for me. What doesn’t really help is others noticing and talking to me about it.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

I’ve had people asking me if I’m pregnant, to which the answer is NO, and that really hurts. I have spent time in my life looking at women wondering if they are pregnant or not, and not wanting to ask them through fear of upsetting them, and yet some people are brazen enough to actually ask without thinking about how it might affect someone.

Hearing your own family and friends talking about your weight gain is incredibly hard. You see the way they look and judge you, and you see the way they are whispering in the corner as they don’t want to talk to you about their speculations.

I’m not very happy with my weight gain, but that doesn’t mean that I need to do something about it. When I look at old photos of myself and how I used to be I can see that I didn’t look very healthy at all. This weight gain is a good thing for me. I am at a point now where I am not putting anymore on, and it doesn’t seem to be fluctuating which means it must be a healthy weight for me.

I don’t weigh myself.

If I was to jump on the bathroom scales and weigh myself I know that I would go over the top to reduce my weight. I would rather be healthy and slightly larger (no matter how long it takes me to embrace and like my body) than being under weight and looking unwell.

When I was at my smallest I barely ate. In all honesty I was exercising heavily and eating very little. This is the worst thing you can do to survive, it’s not a good way to diet and lose weight, and it certainly isn’t healthy. This is why I refuse to weigh myself, as I do not want to go back to a time when I had hardly any energy, and was over working my body.

Mum Bod Changes

When I was pregnant with my daughter I was bordering onto a UK size 8, by the time she was born I was fitting into size 12/14 clothes. My stomach is covered in stretch marks and bumps from where it was stretched so much by my baby, and I have never really liked it since.

As the stretch marks begin to fade I have been becoming more accustomed to my new tummy, there has always been a little bit of a “mum pouch” since giving birth, and I guess it will always be there. You can’t have a child without sacrificing something. For me it was my stomach.

My breasts have enlarged massively, I breast fed my daughter and whilst I was breastfeeding they were huge. Since weening little one off they have never gone back to their original size, and with the hormones I am on, it looks like I’ve had a boob job! This is a part of my Mom Bod which I absolutely love, I have never really had big breasts so this is one change that I really am embracing.

How I am remaining Healthy

This bit is the challenge that I face everyday. When I am at work it is very easy to skip a meal or eat something that I really shouldn’t (I work in a corner shop so temptations are everywhere). I have had to make sure that when I go to work I don’t bring any money with me at all. I have not linked my bankcard to my phone for this reason, as I cannot risk me buying sweets, chocolate and crisps just because of boredom or feeling a little peckish.

Instead I have a cooked meal before my afternoon-evening shift, and I will bring some fruit with me for the early morning shift, and use my 20min break to go home and get something more substantial for my breakfast. I will have Lunch after my shift has finished.

I attempt to work out each morning for at least 10-15mins a day. I usually do a Pilates or Barre work out alternating, this keeps my mind sharp and my body buff.

We go for a daily walk no matter what the weather. I will take my little one out for a little walk to the woods which is just behind our house, or round by the river for something a bit different. We explore our surroundings to keep us from going stir-crazy and from cabin fever kicking in. These walks are a bit of a mental refresh for me, I can clear my mind of everything and just enjoy nature with my little one. At this time of year we collect leaves, sticks, Conkers, Pinecones, Acorns and anything else we can find.

Plus the woods just look wonderful at this time of the year, and are so inspirational for the writer within me.

Healthy eating is also very important for me, I create meal plans for each week and stick to them. This allows me to keep the cost of food down and to ensure that we are having healthy, nutritional meals every day. I get Isabelle to help me choose our meals for the week by showing her pictures from my recipe books or giving her a choice of meals she knows well. Plus with her helping me choose for the week she is guaranteed to eat her dinner.

Learning to love yourself

Every mum has had a new body since having their children. Whether you are a mum of 1, 2, 3 or 20 your body will never look the same as it did before children.

We will all have things that we absolutely love and things which we absolutely hate as our bodies change. And the number 1 thing we all need to remember is that our bodies are constantly changing. They are different year to year, whether it is through weight gain, weight loss, childbirth, or anything else, our bodies show everything that we have been through, and that’s what makes us extra special.

It is down to us to learn to love our bodies as they change, as without our own personal love it will be hard for others to love you. Cliched I know. But it is very true. It takes time and a little work for us to get there but when you do your confidence will radiate and you will look and feel so much better for it.

Stay strong ladies we are all in this together, our bodies change but that doesn’t have to change who we are.

Much love

xx

Posted in food

Potato Rosti

I came across this recipe by attempting to make a hash brown, instead we now have these with our fry ups or just an egg and beans. This is a wonderful alternative to a hash brown and are very filling, so we usually have them as a brunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 Med Potatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of chives
  • 1 handful grated cheese

How I made it

This is a really simple recipe to make, but a bit of practise will ensure that you get these perfect every time. It took me at least 4 attempts before I was happy with my creation.

  1. Boil the potatoes for 5-10 mins (whole)
  2. Take potatoes out of boiling water and leave to cool to room temp.
  3. Peel the potatoes to remove the skin
  4. Grate potatoes and place them onto a clean tea towel. Gently squeeze to remove excess liquid. This tip is absolutely vital as without this step you will end up with soft Rosti’s with no crunch.
  5. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix with hands
  6. Create small balls of the mixture and flatten slightly.
  7. place into the frying pan on a low/med heat until golden, then flip until golden on the other side (about 4-6 mins on each side)
  8. Serve.

There really isn’t a lot of skill in creating the potato rosti’s it is just about making sure that you do every step and are able to work out when they are cooked just right.

The more you try this recipe the easier it will become and soon you won’t need to even look at a recipe to make them.

I serve these with a fry up instead of a hash brown, or even just sausages and beans instead of mash. This makes the meals different and more interesting.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know how it goes.

Much love xx

Enjoy !!!

Posted in food

Perfect sausage rolls

Sausages rolls always go down well in my house. When we have visitors round I always make sure I have a fresh batch cooked ready for us to snack on. The children love them, and the adults love them even more, they are so easy to make that they literally take no time at all to make.

What I love about this recipe that I use is the versatility and thousands of adaptations you can make to make something individual and amazing. This is such an easy recipe that I even let my little girl help me make them as she loves to help me in the kitchen, she has now got to the point where she needs very little supervision to be able to put the sausage rolls together, and she absolutely loves it!

Ingredients

1 pack of ready to roll puff pastry (or make your own)

1lb Sausage meat – I got mine from the local butchers which he infused with herbs and spices to make the sausage rolls extra tasty.

1x egg beaten – for glazing the sausage rolls

Optional Ingredients

  • Grated Cheese
  • Grated Apple
  • Sage (fresh or dried)
  • Sesame Seeds (for topping)
  • Chilli Paste

You can literally add anything you like with your sausage meat to make something truly special. Theses are just a few examples of things we have tested in our kitchen. (not all ingredients at once). So experiment and have fun with it, even make a little competition with your children on who can come up with the best fillings for a Sausage Roll. I love to make cooking fun and involving my daughter and her friends in the baking and cooking which happens in my house.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Line baking tin with greaseproof paper
  3. roll out the puff pastry
  4. Place small amount of sausage meat (and any other ingredients desired), along the long edge of the pastry.
  5. gently roll the pastry and meat mixture to create the classic sausage roll shape.
  6. Cut remaining pastry to reuse later
  7. Slice the long sausage roll into desired lengths, I got 6 sausage rolls out of this first piece.
  8. Place onto baking tray
  9. repeat with left over pastry
  10. Slice the top of each sausage roll, to allow steam to escape (see picture for example)
  11. Brush each roll with egg (called egg wash) and place into oven

It usually takes about 20-30 mins to cook thoroughly.

These Sausage Rolls are best eaten when still warm, there is nothing quite like the taste of them warm compared to cold. They should last a couple of days in the fridge (although they don’t last 5 minutes in my house).

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (and my best friend), let me know how you get on if you do try it out!

Much Love xx

Enjoy!!