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  • Listening to: Office chatter
  • Reading: My long list of things to do
  • Watching: People eat their lunch
  • Playing: my camera
  • Eating: Ham and Cheese roll
  • Drinking: Guava Juice, yummy
Hello all you lovely people,

So iv been nominated into the Designer Toy Awards 2013! Which is pretty exciting stuff. But having two entries is even more awesome! My nominees this year are Elliot and Mooeti. But I really need your help! By voting for either one of my entries you can push me into the top 9 finalists.  So if you like my work then please support me by voting for my work. I would be very grateful :D
  • Listening to: Lots of different bird calls
  • Reading: African Newspaper
  • Watching: Sky News
  • Playing: my camera
  • Eating: Ham and Cheese roll
  • Drinking: Guava Juice, yummy
I am writing this journal post from the beautiful country of South Africa. It is about 31 Degrees out here so I have burnt my shoulders already lol I am looking forward to Ushaka Marine World and Kruger Park! Cant wait, so excited! Got a tonne of photos already and seen so many different bird species within the space of about an hour... Things are extremely different here, a far cry from England right now where it is apparently snowing. Spoke to my family who are all freezing to death by the fire wishing they were here. Cape Town was so fantastic but majorly expensive, my next stop is the lovely coast of Durban, then off the Kruger Park. With my last week staying in Urban Johannesburg... let my adventure continue....
  • Listening to: TV presenter Joey Grecco's voice
  • Reading: Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin
  • Watching: Cheaters
  • Playing: with templates for hats
  • Eating: Crisp Sandwich
  • Drinking: Cherry Coke
So, I finally completed my first ever event under the 'Affectionate Gizmos' name :) A craft show at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight. I was so pleased with all my families support, coming down to see the stall and even buying from me. I also received support from a lovely couple with a jewelry stall at the event who was very complimentary about my work. I was glad that there was no other stall like mine which made me stand out. I got a lot of attention from passing customers and quite a few business cards were taken. Even though I didn't get as many purchases as I would have liked, it was nice to hear all the people who 'cooed' over the sloths, monsters and other cuties on my table. My boyfriend got a bit bored and ended up playing football games on his phone lol :D But he was a really big help. The hall was also quite cold so I was glad that I brought my gloves along too! I watched my stall closely to see what people prefer and have decided that I need to make more hats (possibly with gloves) and keep the bigger and more expensive plush for online buyers. People were out looking for a bargain and I do not want to sell my work short to make some quick money. It has been a learning experience for sure...
  • Listening to: a documentary on Michelangelo
  • Reading: my depressing bank account figure
  • Watching: Michelangelo Documentary
  • Playing: with watercolour Illustrations
  • Eating: Curly fries
  • Drinking: Nil pwa
Two major things have happened in the past month. My beautiful nephew was born, Dylan 6lbs 1.5 oz and I have now booked travel plans with my boyfriend to visit his family in South Africa! I am going at their summer time (January) as everyone here in the UK will be freezing lol :D It's so typical though that with great news comes bad news almost always. As soon as I booked my flights and hotel I was told that my job was not secure anymore and now I am grabbing at extra shifts in my other job. I am going to have to hustle if I want to pay rent, afford Christmas and go to Africa! I am so excited for Ali to see his family though. Flying to Cape Town then Johannesburg to stay with his mum, dad and brothers. We are even staying in Kruger National Park and visiting lovely neighboring Durban before coming home. Will be an amazing trip and a welcome break from busy life.
  • Listening to: my boyfriend muttering to himself
  • Reading: Google analytics
  • Watching: Britians strangest pets
  • Playing: with watercolours
  • Eating: Thin air
  • Drinking: English tea
Hello everyone,

So, I have my website up and running but still have not acquired the skills to get people to actually visit it! So this is a shameless plea to all people out there who like my work please please visit my site: and if your are really kind then you might like my facebook page?…

I really need some nice people to spread the word about my work and what better people than the ones on DA! :D Been on this site for so many years and everyone is awesome! I know that most people understand the struggle of getting your work 'out there'....

Anyway, I am also trying to add some freebies to my website soon. You could find some interesting stuff by taking a quick peek. If you have a website or facebook page I will like/visit this in return to.

Thank you in advance.
  • Listening to: The tv in the background
  • Reading: My new journal
  • Watching: Border Patrol
  • Playing: with my workstation
  • Eating: A cheese toastie
  • Drinking: A cup of tea
I am excited to announce that my new website is up and live for the whole world to see! I have been working hard on the contents and proud of it :D (Now i just need to remember to update it all the time) There is also Port Sunlight Craft Festival coming up in August which I have been planning to take part in since going last year. I need to research cheap Public Liability Insurance amongst other things for promotional use. The only down side to this process is trying to get hold of the events manager! I have left emails with no reply and even went to their offices. They explained that the festival requests come in months in advance of the start date so I just need to keep pestering him for a response! I am sure I know someone who pitched his food business there last year so need to ask him for some advice perhaps..... My birthday is coming up this weekend and I am going to an African festival :) I am sure all the bright colours will inspire my work. I have also been working on and now finished a beautiful baby monster plush for when my nephew is born. I needed to ensure that there was nothing he could chew off :) Cant wait to go to my sisters baby shower and present the little guy to the party, she will be made up ^_^ A photo of him is still to come.... Gonna be busy these next few months!! Hopefully I will get to do the craft festival and not stress out too much lol
  • Listening to: My phone battery dying
  • Reading: The Handmade Marketplace
  • Watching: Pirates of the Carribean
  • Playing: with pages
  • Eating: Hawaiin Pizza
  • Drinking: Sprite
Wow, so much has changed in the past month or so! I am now living in a flat with two guy mates, split up with my boyfriend of three years and it's so crazy... one of my flat mates (who I think is awesome) has his brother staying over for two weeks. They are from South Africa so his bro has had a bit of a culture shock. Still laugh to myself when I remember his reaction to Argos. He was like wow, you just pick what you want in a book then you get it hehe Bless :) I am still looking for full time work, hopefully in a school or college..... Been reading this amazing book about selling my work and how to make my business better. I am definitely considering an up and coming festival in Port Sunlight Village this year. So much to prepare for it tho, got until August. I have been canoeing around the Albert Dock which was great as well as seeing a cormorant bird fishing for the first time on my way to work this morning, that was pretty cool. My flat mates have tried to make me feel welcome, its so different to what I am used to. Never lived with two guys before! All they eat is Steak and chips lol I would to start saving to go to Africa at the end of this year, I need to re new my passport first tho! The amount of amazing photographs and things I could do is boggling my mind. I have my Birthday to look forward to next month and I have a gift from Christmas to hand feed rhinos at Chester Zoo that I am going to book.... loads to do with life right now as well as my shop. Things can only go up from here....
  • Listening to: the fire blowing out its lovely hot air
  • Reading: Kony Campaign tips
  • Watching: Rocky
  • Playing: with acrylic paint
  • Eating: Nothing, tummy rumbles
  • Drinking: Red Bull......... O_o
So, I finally got another job. The fact is though it pays only just enough to cover my rent and bills. (Guess I wont be eating for a while then lol) Still keeping my eyes open for another one but I guess it will do for now. I narrowly missed out on the actual job I wanted so that was a pretty hard pill to swallow... I have to assume the attitude that its there loss and get on with my search. The job i am at now is coffee bar and admin role in the Water sports centre on the dock. Its kinda confusing as I have nil pwa catering experience and all of a sudden they expect me to cook things from scratch... I have managed so far so I guess il be alright. I am hoping to hint around if the centre does scuba diving so I can at least get some perks lol Also might drop huge hints to my boss that I can paint landmarks of Liverpool and discretely try and hang them in the coffee bar to sell them... worth a try. That brings me to my next point, I am having a bit of a 'mare with my painting for the newa exhibition I wanted to enter. I think I have stupidly picked the hardest photograph to paint. It was one i took of a bird in a tree, not realising how many branches, flowers, general blurred crap was in the background. Why do I make life harder for myself.... I have a few drinks with friends coming up in the next week which brightens my spirits a bit. Let's face it, i am not gonna get any job satisfaction anytime soon so I might as well plan stuff outside of work to cheer me up. My tenancy on the house me and my boyfriend rent is up for renewal soon as well (brilliant timing as ever) as lately we have not been getting on too well. I have all these things in my head that I wanna do and at the moment it feels as though im standing still. I will get there in the end, just might have to put in more of an effort than i first anticipated.... things would be much easier if i could drive, but this takes money and getting money means having full time hours, its a vicious cycle -__- Also, im about 90% sure I am allergic to certain noodles... probably the cheap ass ones iv been eating. The thought of them is turning my stomach right now. I have a psychological thing with food sometimes as I have have food poisoning that many times. If i convince myself the food is 'bad' i will literally not eat it, got to get out this habit and fast if I am now working in a kitchen. Was actually proud that I cooked frozen chicken from scratch this week (only because i was forced to and the fact that I didnt eat any myself) but its a step in the right direction :) Might check out this Sea Oddesey Giants going around Liverpool in between working this weekend. Its meant to be awesome..... *starts cleaning my camera lenses*
  • Listening to: Fifa noise from the next room
  • Reading: Job Adverts
  • Watching: America's Next Top Model
  • Playing: with my CV
  • Eating: Mr Pizza is on its way
  • Drinking: Flavoured water
So, I quit my full time job 3 days ago and I am feeling pretty terrified. Basically the company messed me around alot money wise and as soon as I started mentioning what they promised me when I started 'all of a sudden' I was doing this, this and this wrong. The company was not worth waiting around in so that they could dimiss me whenever they feel like and then it would be twice as hard to get a job with a sack on my record. I am hoping that fate has made me quit and that around the corner is a nice, lovely company that is willing to treat me fairly. Right now my bar job and my creations I am selling are barely keeping me afloat. I need to pay my rent! :O Getting up and applying for job after job is so mind numbing and soul destroying to say the least. I am pretty happy about the response to my new monsters, everyone seems to really like them ^_^ I do need some serious cheering up though. Even just a call to an interview will make me feel better.... I have been arguing with my boyfriend who is feeling the pressure of the thought that he might have to pay both our rents until I find something. Hopefully my boss in my bar job will magic some shifts out the air for me as i desperately need them. I am trying to stay positive but it's so hard! Might have to look at trying to get out of the gym contract that I signed up to but I still have like a whole year on my phone contract! Stress! Lol Anyway, enough ranting for now. If you love my creations then please help me out and buy one if you like any in particular. I can also make custom orders so why not take a chance and contact me..... Hopefully things will get better soon and that all important job is just around the corner.

Hiding in work and 2012 ideas

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 5:58 AM
  • Listening to: angry phone calls
  • Reading: Incident reports
  • Watching: the flasing lights on the server
  • Playing: with my sanity
  • Eating: Ham and Philedelphia butties
  • Drinking: Capri Sun

So, I am sitting in work and for the past two days the server has completely shut down due to some idiot electrician who thinks its ok to start switching stuff off and crashing the whole network system. I found him downstairs in the basement happily flicking switches with a cup of coffee in his other hand. I was like 'erm wtf are you doing?! Upstairs has been turned into chaos from one tiny switch! With a huge pile of work to do and no system access the only way to amuse myself is to rant my frustration on this here journal entry. I have been working so hard on building my website for Affectionate Gizmos and finally got the logo animated last night :) Really pleased with how its coming on. I have also been thinking about entering the NEWA Competition this year (National Exhibition of Wildlife Art) but what should I enter? Hmmmm..... I have felt exhausted ever since I came back from my weekend in London. It was an awesome weekend though, apart from I am now totally broke until pay day :( Got so many great photos and bought the cutest Totoro Plush from Soho China Town. I suppose I better stop journalling and face the angry phone calls from the other offices asking me why the network is still broken :( Boo bad times! I do not have all the answers people stop yelling at me!  Go and shout at our IT Technician, the one who is being paid to fix all the crap that breaks... Anyway, I am going to go and stare at the flashing lights on our server now and pray that something happens. Wish me luck...

CSS by im-not-sana
Graphics by pronouncedyou
  • Listening to: a crackling radio in work
  • Reading: Risk Assesments... fun
  • Watching: A technician rip apart our work printer
  • Playing: with my curly hair
  • Eating: Chocolate seahorse biscuits
  • Drinking: Tea
I have finally moved into my new house... so nice to have freedom and space. Even though I learnt that I have way too much 'stuff'. I will get round to sorting my mass of clothes out one day (maybe) There has been a few minor glitches on the way. One being the landlord is a lying pile of do-do and likes to make up the fact that the boiler 'suddenly' broke on the exact same day that we moved in, how convenient... So far I am refusing to pay his scandalous 'plumber callout charges' and 'very important unusual looking boiler valves'... Making flat pack furniture was a lot of fun (sense the sarcasm) my pregnant sister proceeded to stand and watch as I attempted to build a wardrobe, double bed and bookcase whilst she passed me the wrong screws and turned the instructions round and round. In between all the back breaking lifting was the worst scenerio I could have imagined.... moving the fish tank was an actual nightmare! Everything that could have gone wrong actually did. After I had squashed the monsterous tank into the tiny car I had fish balanced in bags around my feet with Slinky my eel in a bucket on my knee. The tank decided to slide around when we turned every corner to the new house as well as being covered in fish water, it just dawned on me that I had forgot the heater and water conditioner to put in the new water or the fish would die -____- At this point I was so knackered, I went out bought the new heater only to get back to the house and realise I forgot the water conditioner. Crap! After another trip into the cold outside I return with the conditioner which I leave on the side (and not take me eyes off it) The fish are shivering in their bags at this point so I slump myslef down by the fire with them trying to keep them alive enough to see the new house :( If i rewind back a few hours earlier to the point when I was trying to catch them (which by the way should be an olympic sport) I was horrified by the reaction of Slinky (my fire eel) to the sight of my swooping net. He swam into a ceramic dome with holes (that used to serve as a tealight candle holder that I decided to drop into the tank when I was in one of those inventive, creative moods) Anyway, so Slinky panicks and swims straight through the tiniest hole in the ornament and gets stuck half way (too much fish food and hoovering around inside the castle you stupid fat eel) He cant seem to wiggle out and to make matters worse he has spines running along his back which completely wedged him right in there. Putting him into a bucket of water I delicately try and extract the fat blighter out of the ridiculously tiny gap. After 20 minutes of screaming, crying and cutting my hands to bits on his spines I decide to leave him for a bit to see if he can wiggle out. After 5 minutues of watching him helplessly lie there I know I need to take action. Do I smash the thing with him inside?....I cant bring myself to do it. I grab a tea towel and eventually manage to pop him out. In my head im thinking 'Oh god, im a fish killer, theres going to be internal damage...' He swims around sorely with a huge gap of spines missing. He's Alive!! It was traumatising for both me and him. I can happily say he has stopped sulking about his ordeal and has started eating again (after a bit of yummy persuasion) It has been so stressful, trust Slinky to throw a spanner into the works. I have learnt my lesson to not put tiny holed things into the tank now... even if he did love his little dome of security. Back to the monotemous task of wrapping presents, although my works Christmas night out is tonight so it's not all bad! Hope you enjoyed reading about my traumatising ordeal. I wish everyone an awesome Christmas!
  • Listening to: Coldplay
  • Reading: My shop policies
  • Watching: A health and safety power point -_- Joy...
  • Playing: with my work keys
  • Eating: Apples and Grapes
  • Drinking: Cuppa Tea
So, today was going well... until I got up. I was woken by the sound of my blackberry to find an email from one of my customers. There has never been a 'bad' email since my shop opened two years ago so naturally I smiled as I opened it to get the lovely warm feedback I am used to. I'd like to say that this happened this morning but obviously you come across people now and again who really like to take the piss.... she might be one of those people. It stated that her item had arrived with lots of the stitching coming apart (which is quite strange considering it was in perfect condition when I posted it) Anyway, without trying to call her a liar I have to be diplomatic and use 'The customer is always right' attitude. All my items are one off creations so when she asked for a 'new one' I laughed to myself. Clearly she has not read my shop policies saying that all my items are uniquely made and are not made twice (as well as a section on refunds and shipping notifying potential customers that there is a small possibility that delicate hand stitching can sometimes be weakened by travelling in a small space via air mail) I apologised and gave her the option of a refund or to restitch the item and send it back to her. But to be honest its so close to Christmas I want to just get the plush back and give her the money instad of trying to fix it. If you dont like hand stitched items then dont buy from a shop with all the items having an element of hand stitching! It makes sense. Anyway with that rant over... I have been thinking of the huge responsibility and commitment of moving into my own house in two weeks. Everything seems so permenant and I have never really thought about it much until now. I am so glad I have a few amazing people around me though so I can feel supported in taking a leap of faith. I was freaking out and panicking until I realised that moving house and commitments are just a part of life. 99 times out of 100 these can shape future decisions and learning from mistakes. If I dont try out these mistakes then I guess I will never learn anything. I suppose I am always the pessimist when it comes to these things but realistically I am looking at commiting 6 months of my life to something, minimum. Its hardly going to kill me is it! Lol I am sure il be fine in the end, I am made of stronger stuff :D
  • Listening to: my boss on the phone sounding mad
  • Reading: Angel by L.A Weatherly
  • Watching: My boss pacing up and down
  • Playing: with Polynesian designs
  • Eating: Ham and cheese Baguette
  • Drinking: Orange Juice
I am working on a painting of the Liverpool Skyline (Night version) for my friends flat warming present. Its finally taking shape and I finished the Liver Buildings the other day (which took so long, god how many windows does one building need anyway!?) So I am hoping to finish this in the next couple of weeks. I have signed up to a gym this month as well which seems to be going well (so far) Ok so I didnt know how to lift weights or anything properly until my friend showed me how... but the body combat classes (that also nearly kill me) are pretty good and the pool and jacuzzis are awesome. We have a moving date for the house which will be 20th December, not too thrilled about it being only 5 days before christmas tho! I have been looking into polynesian designs lately, they are quite good with their little hidden faces and swirly black and white motifs.... I might try 'polynesian-ing up' some drawings of animals. I also have the urge to paint a snow leopard recently. It would look purr ferect in my black paper skecthbook (see what i did there) lol I still havent got round to making an xmas editions for the shop :( But I have been so busy vertially every night so I never get the time for my sewing machine. Maybe I should put new plushies for the new year.... It's been non stop in work (especially today) Got so much to do, good job I can multi task isnt it!
  • Listening to: Scott Mallone
  • Reading: about spreadsheets :|
  • Watching: Cars drive past my window
  • Playing: with formula
  • Eating: tomato pasta snackpot
  • Drinking: Capri Sun
So I am in a pretty chipper mood today :D I got the job I was going for, even though I had to go through two nervous interviews to get it. I will be working with people who have learning difficulties in a beautiful building in the centre of Birkenhead Park! I am so excited to start, i finally have an excuse to go shopping and buy new clothes Yay ^_^ Today is the last exams for my computer course as well (I should be researching spreadsheet formula right now) lol I need to focus on my new job then start looking for a new house to live in :D I can then try and get some shop products made in time for the christmas rush.... :O Lots to do in the next few months. I finished my huge piece of work and will be posting it up shortly. The best thing about it is I can add canvases either side to expand it if I get bored. It will most definately be going up pride of place in my new house... a shop to Ikea will be needed soon as well to snoop out some funky stuffs ^_^ Love decorating in my own way <3 Loads of new works to cover the walls hehe Yay I also had a cool idea to put a huge map of the world to track were all my work is being sold to... that would be awesome! So many things, were to start.......
  • Listening to: Jordin Sparks
  • Reading: My Course tests on screen
  • Watching: The screen and falling asleep
  • Playing: with words
  • Eating: breakfeast this morning Wheetabix
  • Drinking: Ribena
Ok, so I have enrolled on a ECDL course (European Computer Driving Licence) I am finding it quite easy so far... I have also started a new piece of work combining two huge canvases and photographing the different stages of production. This course is 9am -4pm everyday and is quite boring so when i get home my mind is actually glad of the break from the mind numbing crap I have been doing all day! This gives me a perfect attitude for detailed work :D (I am actually writing from my course right now as I have finished all the work they have given me!) When this course is finished I think I will book some driving lessons to get me back into trying to drive and just pray that I have a patient instructor :| I do not like being shouted at nor do I appreciate being rushed by an angry little man! Lol Yes I am talking to you, my last driving instructor! *Shakes fist* On a brighter note I am looking forward to Halloween :D One of my fav holidays! Yeah I know its not even October yet but I am already thinking of my costume to wear for work ^_^ hehe Last year I was a bat but my wings kept annoying everyone haha so maybe an unwinged creature this year. I might even go all out and get coloured contact lenses! I have been given a few more shifts at work (which I have desperatly needed to eat lol) so I am pleased about that. Maybe I wont have to use my overdraft this year... Christmas money is being collected from the profits of my shop in an online bank account (so I dont stress out like 2 weeks before christmas!) So far I have about £100, not too bad I suppose.

Peace out peeps xx
  • Listening to: My Vocals
  • Reading: Angel
  • Watching: Beauty Pagents
  • Playing: with sounds
  • Eating: Bangers and mash
  • Drinking: 7UP
Do I look like a door mat?... I am tired of people thinking they can walk all over me lately. So work has been rubbish and I have skipped out on two nights out with friends so far... in a row (which i desperately needed to chill out) I could swear that some people think i can read minds so its ok to not tell me whats wrong with them and expect me to just know?! I am having a little rant on this journal as writing it down makes me feel better. I would like to think Im an honest, decent person so when people are off with me for (it seems) little or no reason I just cannot understand... I am sure some people out there will agree. I am struggling right now and I have thought of a possible creative outlet that I have never really appreciated... my voice. I am going to give singing a try as I have all the equipment (be it not my own) to record professional vocals. Trying to be taught all this technical computer recording was quite bafilling but possibly worth it, as I had a voice I never knew I had. Let me see what happens with this 'vocal experiment'...... keep my mind off other things anyway... :/
  • Listening to: Lauryn Hill
  • Reading: Job descriptions
  • Watching: Animal Planet
  • Eating: Jaffa Cakes
  • Drinking: Orange Juice
Ok, so... one of my favourite people in the world is going on holiday for two weeks and I am trying to keep myself occupied (otherwise il prob lose my mind) o_O I will miss him so much, the more i think about it the more i start thinking 'oh my god two weeks is like half a month!' I need to find a new job as well so that should eat at least a week... I have a mass of green stripy fabric and need to use it up for making stuff, but i just cant think of anything cute and green.... caterpillar perhaps... or a big pufferfish? My shop has been neglected as of late :/ But im planning to make up for it... when iv stopped mulling around feeling sorry for my lonely self lol ^_^ Miss my Africa already...
  • Listening to: Mohombi
  • Reading: My record keeping assignment
  • Watching: The video of me shark diving
  • Playing: Pokemon White
  • Eating: Lasagna
  • Drinking: Ribena
Its so weird how i have gone from feeling so low to on top of the world in the space of about a week! Hahaha My teaching course will be finished in two weeks and I experienced scuba diving with sharks the other day :D Was probably the most amazing thing iv ever done.... Bought as part of my birthday present and I even found a shark tooth inside the tank that is hanging round my neck! I definately want to dive again, maybe with loads of reef fish next time, trust me to be addicted to the most expensive hobbies: photography and scuba diving lol. That would be so sweet to have the little fish swirling round as they come up to you in the water like a cat wanting loads of attention lol Who said fish dont have personality? You just have to be in their environment to experience their true potential ^_^ Feeling invincible at the moment.....
  • Listening to: Taylor Swift
  • Reading: My lesson plans
  • Watching: Friends
  • Playing: Pokemon White
  • Eating: Macarroni Cheese
  • Drinking: Ribena
Feeling pretty low at the moment. Loads of work and the cat we have had for 8 years had to be put to sleep not so long ago. Such devastating news :( I am also in the process of finding a new job so its all getting too much :O I am teaching a lesson next week and I am so nervous!!! Trying really hard right now to keep my head above water. I know my friends have their own problems and I dont feel like I can bundle all mine on them as well (even tho that does make me feel better) Needing to cheer up big time for my Birthday next week........
  • Listening to: Akon
  • Reading: Stray Sock Sewing Book
  • Watching: Border Force
  • Playing: with my Graphics tablet
  • Eating: Chicken and Chips.
  • Drinking: Dr Pepper
Ok, so I work in a school with Special needs and I am in the middle of planning an art project for a year 10 class. I am going to get them making sock monsters and was so excited! That is until i realised how much hard work goes into planning a lesson let alone a whole project :/ Not only am I drawing their design sheets by hand but need to make a 20 min presentation about techniques and my own work. The thought of children being the biggest and most truthful critics whirling round in my head is not really putting me at ease right now lol I shall be posting pictures of some design sheets and all their finished monsters so everyone can see :D Wish me luck! At least I have two weeks off for easter to prepare, which helps a lot!