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On my trip to Morecambe to visit Father B we took a last wander down the Promenade past the Clock tower and came across this lovely little cafe on the Promande front. The perfect little stop for late lunch and a cool drink.

 

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The selection of vintage clothes and accessories is small, but each item is worth looking at especially when waiting for your cup of tea.

I was trying to be good as I am saving my money for a holiday….however I came across this.

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A real silk chinese jacket for £25! When I worked for river Island they were selling a similar one (not as nice) for £40…so I had to take it. I am afraid you will have to trust me when I say it looks lovely on….havent found the courage to put photos of myself modelling my clothes yet.

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Encouraged by my favourite blog  A Beautiful Mess ,  I have decided to perfect my crafting skills and focus on something I could possibly sell and possibly make some money out of. So I am trying to break in to the……..(drum roll) Handmade Jewellery world!

Yup I’m going to do it, it has been a little dream of mine to try to become brilliant at one of my many little finger twitching hobbies (knitting/card making/jewellery making/ attempting to learn to draw making) and start a little craft stall. So with inspiration from such blogs as A Beautiful mess I decided to try give myself until December to create something good so I can have a stall ready for Christmas.

I present my latest creations with the aid of the Beautiful Mess photo app for iPhone to add a little quirkyness to my photos.

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I have found origami to be a relaxing finger twiddling past time and decided how wonderful it would be to make the delicate paper objects in to beautiful pieces of jewellery.

It is a challenge trying to find suitable glosses and glue to make the paper hard-wearing so someone can wear the piece without fear of squashing it. I am still discovering new ways of making the origami into suitable jewellery but hopefully my little handmade stall will be appearing at christmas.

Any constructive criticism would be great to help me along with this process.

Living with your partner for the first time opens up a new way of living. When I lived alone I hated cooking for myself, did not see the point of creating culinary creations; having someone to cook for and enjoy meals with is far more satisfying and I have discovered a deep urge to learn to cook with recipes and even attempt baking.

The cost effectiveness of some of my creations have been a little exerting to my dwindilling bank balance, especially when I could have picked up cakes and biscuits for a few pound and couple of pence if I opted for the Value range (the chocolate chip cookies from Asda value are quite yummy…actually better then my attempts Ha!)

My baking venture all started with a ripe bannana. To save the ripe bannana from the perils of the bin I decided I could make banana cupcakes with chocolate icing. I promptly went out and bought icing sugar, plain flour, vanilla extract, butter and eggs. Luckily I already had caster sugar and chocolate powder. Total expenditure was £7.40 to use up my ripe bananas which cost £1.20. The outcome was not a disaster and my enjoyment surely outweighs my loss of money….right?

 

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My less frivolous cooking experience making rhubarb crumble. My rhubarb was free from a friend and I already had caster sugar and water to reduce it down. Flour was taken care of and had some unsalted butter left over too. All was going well, they looked delicious….until the custard.

 

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The Birdseye custard instructions did tell me to use 2 tablespoons and a little bit of water to first make a paste. It then resembled flubber, then you add the paste to the warm milk….nothing happened. So I added more powder…it just looked like yellow milk….added more powder. Then suddenly I ended up with this.

 

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In Korea I spent a whole day trying to make flubber out of PVA glue and corn starch for a childrens science lesson…it didnt work! Now, if I had known about custard powder.

Lesson learnt? Have patience for custard, and when trying to save money using up food do not spend more money for that said food item.

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Budget £60.

Shopping Goal: Affordable work shoes

As a reward for getting a new job I decided to buy some new black office shoes since all my shoes were not suitable for an office enviroment….to be honest they are appaulingly scruffy. My new shopping buddy Sarah and I decided to spend a Saturday shopping and exploring Newcastle.

First stop was TK Max, Sarah had never experienced the bargins especially the design section Gold Label which has clothes from Vivienne Westwood to Calvin Klein at discounted price. Sadly still out of our budget.

Back to focusing on finding shoes. I usually end up going to the high street shop Newlook for cheap but pretty shoes; but my feet are getting a little fed up of wearing shoes with not enough soles (might as well go barefoot sometimes). With all this in mind Office promised a little better quality for shoes that would hopefully give me style and comfort. There was a sale and I found some black buckle brogues which look nice with trousers and skirts, for £38.50. Purchased and shopping task completed!

Budget Total £21.50

We were not expecting to go to the clothes fair but as we walked through Newcastle City Centre, people carrying purple bags labeled Vintage Kilo Sale kept appearing. Northumbria University’s Students Union is the usual host for Judys Affordable Vintage http://www.judysvintagefair.co.uk/ Paying £1 to get in and for our own purple shopping bag to keep the clothes in we entered.

Kilo Fairs are nothing like vintage fairs with pretty boutique tables and racks of organised priced up clothes….oh no, in this Vintage experience you rummage through large buckets. We came late so the floor was covered in piles of clothes which had been removed from the bins, I did not have high hopes finding anything.

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Sticking your head in a plastic a little too close to a smelly stained denim jacket, or green camouflaged trousers is not the most appealing way to shop but it is fun as the buckets become time capsules which swallow you up and you discover old pink track suit tops which your mother used to own in the 80’s or a tartan pleated skirt your mother tried to force you to wear as a child. Sarah and I had a giggle wandering around and I stopped looking for something good and started pulling out the items which not even Lady Gaga could look cool in.

In the end once I stopped looking I found loads of great stuff!  a Major League baseball top, a patterned white t-shirt, an Oriental print white shirt, a green army shirt, a lovely crochet blue jumper and finally a red 50’s style jumper which I am holding in the picture above. I promise photos to come of the items once I feel photogenic :). Towards the end you really have to look at what you have picked up as you can walk away with stuff you will never ever use. I took my bag and a guy weighed and priced it for me….£15 for 6 items! Will be doing that again.

With £5.50 left over from my budget one last splurge on cake and coffee was needed.

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After graduating from University with a degree in English Literature in 2008 I was left with a huuugee gap and such confusion on what I should do next. Since leaving University I have had seven jobs, I moved from York to Newcastle in 2009 to be nearer my boyfriend and to find a new career path tried to get on a Primary PGCE (teaching course) but wasnt succesful and in 2011 I worked in a call centre until I finally snapped and decided to go and teach abroad.

I wish I had done it straight after University as it was a fantastic opportunity to see the world and earn money doing a job I enjoyed. I went through an agency called Flying Cows (http://www.flying-cows.com) all you need is a degree then fill in the application online and wait for a school to choose you. The agents through Flying Cows communicated with the school and within a month I had a phone interview with Avalon English Academy with the Headteacher Kenny. Kenny asked some basic questions about my experiences and the question ‘What do you think about the quote “When in Rome do as the Romans do” means? He wanted to ensure I would follow the Korean cultures and work ethics and not expect western ideas.

I got the job and the school was in Daegu the 3rd largest city in South Korea, the school paid for my flights and my apartment. Within 3 months of applying I was in Korea August 2011.

The school was an after school academy in which children would finish school at 2/3pm and then start their Academies at 3/4pm. There are academies for every school topic and the parents would pay for their children to go in order for them to achieve the best school grades so they would attend the best universities and then have a good career. These children would sometimes attend 3 academies a night and then have to finish homework every evening. They were often tired and grumpy with the amount of work they would have to do, which was heart breaking.

I loved the children they were funny and naughty which made every day a pleasure to teach them. I taught them Reading, writing and speaking for ages 7-13 year olds with various abilities. Having never taught before it was relatively simple to jump in to because you were provided books to work from, the difficult task was making the lessons interesting and fun whilst having everything covered in the books all in 40 minutes.

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It was a fantastic experience and I got to explore so much of South Korea and save enough money to pay off some debts back home. I will probably do another entry on South Korea in the future as it has been such an influential part of my life.

I woke up this morning feeling sad and down…worried about money and the lack of it. Upset about not being able to afford to visit friends or parents. Frustrated about not being able to pay my way and support myself and my boyfriend financially. Not  hearing from jobs I had applied for, my part-time job not wanting to give me more hours…I felt  useless. These were the thoughts which covered my head and made it difficult to get out of bed.

As I got ready for my 4 hour shift at River Island my phone rang with an unrecognised number….it was Newcastle College. The interview I had for the Administration Assistant job was my job to have if I wanted it! Oh my goodness how I cried to my new manager! Finally, I am in a Further education institute a door difficult to get in to but once in the opportunities are available.

Maybe I should change the name of this blog as I now feel a little fraudulent, as in a months time I will have a stable income which will allow more opportunity to support myself in a more comfortable way. I am just extremely grateful for this opportunity and hope I can continue to get myself where I need to be.

For those still searching for the job, its difficult but try not to give up and believe that you can do it. Its very important not to allow yourself to lose faith in your own abilities.

Here is a video my friend sent me which I think everyone needs to hear when looking for work.

Hunting!

Hunting!

After being back in the country for 8 months it has been incredibly difficult trying to find full-time work. I have sent out countless amount of applications and received no responses, the first job I heard back from was River Island in December 2012 to work as a part-time  christmas temp. Luckily I was kept on and I work 20 hours a week so I cannot be ungrateful for that as so many people are without work, but trying to support yourself on a part-time wage is difficult and I have been trying to find a full-time job that I would enjoy.

Working in a job which is not fulfilling for you is soul-destroying, especially when it appears as though no other job wants you. It can be difficult to think positively which then makes it hard to continue searching for the job you really want. I can torture myself with such thoughts and read the job specifications as lists of everything I can’t do rather than believing I can do it.

I was beginning to think my applications were appallingly bad and in the past the only job interviews I have achieved are after a relative has helped me structure and proof read my application. This time I am determined to try to do it all myself …as a 26-year-old I should be able to. However, last week finally I got an interview for a job at Newcastle College. Having enjoyed my time at University I would love to work for a higher education institute.

I don’t know what the outcome will be, I have a terrible problem of putting all my eggs in one basket (over active imagination) which means I fall hard when I fail. So I have to start thinking logically, I have chosen to reward myself with a pat on the back for getting an interview and today I sent off a job application to keep my search going if I fail.