One Girl, One Factory, MANY Men: Working in Manufacturing & the Supply Chain

Hi guys! Today's post is a bit different from the usual - in the past six weeks there has been a lot of changes for me, moving house, moving job location and experiencing a WHOLE new work environment too and I want to record some of the mad and also mundane things that have been going on! I would never have thought that I'd be spending six months in a factory, wearing a hairnet and ugly safety shoes every day and yet am totally loving it, and hey, maybe there's someone else out there who's in a similar testosterone-filled boat or just a 100% life/work change who can relate to my mumblings.

I work in the food industry and am on an eighteen month graduate scheme in the Supply Chain in which I develop experience and knowledge and undergo training to supposedly 'set me up to be a future manager/director/whateveryouwanttocallit'. Firstly, let's go back a few years - my degree is in German with Linguistics & Phonetics. Ask me two years ago what the Supply Chain was and I would have only thought of paper chains. Ask me if I thought manufacturing sounded up my street and I would have laughed. And yet, through a series of fortunate circumstances (and a gruelling application process, I might add...), here I am, after two placements in cosy, plush head office learning about planning and procurement, up to my ears in dough and walking around a factory floor for 10 hours a day!


I am surrounded by men. In the factory office. In the factory itself. The engineers (a WHOLE other species). I am about to go onto PERMANENT NIGHTS for 3 weeks (totally mad, I'm petrified that I won't sleep at all and become a horrible zombie but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it). In the six weeks so far I have learnt a few things about being a girl in a manufacturing, man-filled environment and they may help you out too if that's why you're reading (if you're reading for a laugh at my hairnet photos, that's also a-ok with me).

Crazy lady. Why have one horrendous hairnet photo when you could have two..!?
  1. Swearing no longer becomes offensive. Not even the C word. If you haven't heard that the production line is f***ing this and the weather's f***ing that by 7.30 in the morning then something's not right.
  2. Days are long. 10 or 11 hours running around on your feet gets tiring, but you won't realise at the time because there's enough going on to keep that adrenalin pumping around your body until you get home and crash anddontgetoutofbedagainallnight.
  3. Your hair can look disgusting and noone will know. Hairnets can be a blessing in disguise.
  4. You can't say a single sentence without someone making an innuendo from it. Roll with it.
  5. There is a moment, when you are accepted by your colleagues. You know this because they feel they can make digs at you and you'll be ok with them. It's a big moment, for both parties.
  6. It SUCKS to not be able to wear any jewellery, scarves, watches, strong perfumes, nice shoes or skirts. Weekends become all the more reason to dress up nicely and be girly.
  7. Be friendly (not friends) with the operators. Be firm, too. (This is something I'm working on - I am naturally very relationship-focused and always want harmony with my colleagues so 'difficult conversations' - the politically correct way of saying giving someone a good talking to - is a work in progress for me...)
  8. If you get opportunities then grab them - this is the only time I'll get to work shifts and nights so I want to give it a go and say I've done it, even if it's hell on earth for a few weeks!
  9. Enjoy it! Relax, you don't know anything everything, you've just started, you're allowed to make the odd mistake. A (food) factory is a fast-moving, disaster-any-minute, exciting environment to work in and no day is boring so forget the fact that you look like a tramp, forget that you've been up since silly o'clock and get stuck in!

Nutella and Banana Bites - The Boy Who Bakes

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Edd Kimber, aka The Boy Who Bakes and winner of the first series of the Great British Bake Off and as part of the event, won myself a signed copy of his book (hurrah!) - also titled The Boy Who Bakes. Edd was absolutely lovely, and the recipes in his book all look SO delicious. The book is divided into various sections and includes the likes of cakes, bars & cookies, desserts and help on the basics too e.g. different types of pastries, creams, custards and fillings.

I have not yet had much of a chance to get properly stuck into trying delights such as PB & J bars, apple & pecan tart or speculaas blondies, but the other day had a spare few minutes so rustled up one of the easiest bakes in the book Nutella and Banana Bites (in fact, so easy that not even a 'bake' is required!).  This recipe is clear and simple, I amended only a teeny bit and they taste UH-MAZING. So, here goes!

You will need:
3 tablespoons butter (plus extra for greasing)
140g mini marshmallows
75g rice crispies
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces (could also use dark if you prefer things a little less sweet)
275g Nutella (I only used 200g - one small jar - and had just about enough)
2 large bananas

1. Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper and lightly grease.
2. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat.

3. Once melted, add the marshmallows, allow to melt and then stir together.

4. Remove from heat and add the rice crispies then stir to coat evenly.

5. Once all mixed together, press firmly into the tin and set aside (at this point I popped it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process whilst I prepared the next stage)

6. For the chocolate topping, break the chocolate into a bowl and add the Nutella then microwave gently, stopping frequently to stir, until all the chocolate has melted.

7. Avoid temptation to forget the recipe and eat the chocolate instead.

8. In order to avoid temptation, spend time slicing bananas onto rice crispie layer.

9. Cover with the chocolate mix and then leave to cool.

10. Once thoroughly cooled, slice into squares with a sharp knife.

Note: these do not keep that well - the banana can lead to some sogginess although taste remains top throughout, all the more reason to enjoy them with a nice cup of tea asap!

Let me know if you give these a go, or anything else in the book. I definitely would recommend it and can't wait to try something else out when I have a spare afternoon sometime soon! Have a lovely weekend!

Coastal Castle Adventure - Corfe, Swanage & A Ferry!

Hi guys! As you know, I have moved down to the south coast of the UK for 6 months with work and not long ago, J & I went exploring my new surroundings! Our journey started in pretty exciting fashion - we caught a ferry! It wasn't entirely intended, we thought we were headed around the coastline but then ended up being directed by the satnav to a little ferry port instead where we (obviously) decided to go for it and hop on the boat, car and all! Sadly, the trip was over as quickly as it began, we had just clambered out of the car onto the deck with cameras ahoy when the boat started to slow down and we had to jump back in and drive off - fun all the same!

The drive over to Corfe from Shell Bay is a stunning one, rolling hills and heathland as far as the eye can see and then coastline and white sand around every corner - can definitely see why this is a popular tourist spot. When we got there, we parked and then trekked up about 20 minutes to the town (village?) of Corfe. Met a nice sheep on our way. 

Such 'Englishness' - Corfe Town.
The ruins are pretty spectacular the whole walk up so after a quick look around Corfe and one of the worst lunches I have had in a pub ever (awful awful awful!), we paid our National Trust entry fee and entered the castle! The child in me took over and I played with the medieval dress up and masks straight away (J pretended not to be with me - sorrynotsorry). We then explored the various towers, rooms and arrowslits (new word alert! Wikipedia even references the very arrowslit we saw...!) of days gone by. The view from the top of the castle was mp

This wood + sky + rope just appealed to me too much to not take a photograph.

When we were medieval castled-out, we headed back and drove via Swanage, another town nearby where we had afternoon tea and a quick wander along the beach. It feels so nice living by the sea, but so disappointing that as soon as the weather becomes good enough for sunbathing and surfing lessons, I'll be finished here and heading back to head office!

All in all, we had a LOVELY day on our exploring adventure, who knows where we'll try out next!

Saturday Style Sessions - Day Look & MaxFactor Thoughts!

Hi guys! If you read last week's post you'll know I'm enjoying make up lately and this week have been trying out the new MaxFactor goodies I bought. As part of this, I thought I'd show you my weekend daytime makeup look (I tend to wear much lighter makeup during the week at work). All the make up I used is below:

Revlon Balm Stain (see previous post), Maybelline lipstick, Philosophy Be Your Best BB Cream, MaxFactor bronzer in 02 Bronze, Benefit Erase Paste, Collection Blusher, MaxFactor 2000 Calorie mascara, MaxFactor Mono Eye Shadow in 06 Velvet Violet, L'Oreal Colour Appeal Eye Shadow in 150 Real Silver, Collection Work the Colour Trio (including cream used as highlighter, Eco Tools & Ruby and Millie brushes.

Now that we're heading into winter (big time, so it seems - it's been COLD!), one thing I have been trying is switching from golden glow bronzer look à la beach-style to using bronzer and blusher to enhance contours instead. I'm cautious about too much bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks, particularly my new one as it is fairly deep in colour, so have been trying to avoid being heavy handed. Below is mid-way through, before any eye makeup:

The other thing I have been experimenting with is eye shadow. When the MaxFactor lady in Boots suggested purple for bringing out blue eyes, I'll admit that my first thoughts were: black eye... However, with some shimmery silver on the outer edge of the lid, I actually really like how this look came out! One complaint about my new shade, it's IMPOSSIBLE to open! I had to get J to help - not at all good for anyone with long/weak nails!

The final item I bought was the MaxFactor 2000 Calorie mascara and I have loved it. It's not at all clumpy, add loads of volume (maybe not QUITE the "300% more volume" claimed on pack...?!), and makes my lashes look lovely and long too. I am used to putting on two different mascaras to get the different benefits but actually feel like this one is good enough alone - winner!

Dodgy Eyebrow. Must. Get. Sorted!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post, any other thoughts on shades to suit blue eyes please let me know - looking forward to trying out more options so I need suggestions! Have a lovely weekend.