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We're having a boy!

February 28th, 2012 at 08:43 pm

We had our 20 week morphology ultrasound on 18/2/12. Growth rate is good, baby appears to be healthy and well-formed, and she was pretty certain we're having a boy! Nice exciting news, we are both very happy.

We are fairly certain his name will be James, it is my grandfathers name and we both like it.
But, I guess it is hard to tell until he is finally born! Could change our minds.

Have been getting bits and pieces for him in the form of presents from friends and family. Have only spent around $100 on six modern cloth nappies. My dad and stepmum will be buying me the rest. (The only reason I bought them was because they were on special, one brand marked down from $36 to $17.95 and the other brand marked down to $15.40 from $26).

We have been pretty slack with saving conciously but for some reason our accounts are looking the healthiest they ever have, we have $9000 in our EF. It is a long way from the dribs and drabs we were trying to hold onto when my old boss decided to cut my hours and I was only earning $250 a week!!!

The new job has been very good to me, and I think I will want to return in 12 months time even if it's only a few shifts a week, on nights or weekends. PLUS a store is being built about ten minutes walk from my house! I am hoping it will be built by the time my maternity leave is over! (I get 12 months maternity leave).

Most of you know that Australia doesnt have a big coupon culture, but my work is currently doing a new promotion for something their developers have been working on for several years. For their own brand of products they have eliminated all artifical colours and MSG, and to celebrate the launch they have given all staff members a coupon book for half price products to try. I looked through it and there is actually a lot of stuff I can use, so I'm looking forward to trying that! The offer ends 31/3 so I suppose I should get my act together.

I started a new semester of uni on Monday, and got my results for the summer semester last Friday. I got an A for Marketing and a B for Financial Accounting. Big Grin This semester I am only doing one subject, Economics. Hoping I do well in this one. Only four more subjects until I can start my minor in Personal Finance!

That's all my news for now! Hope everyone is well.

Long time no see!

February 8th, 2012 at 09:07 pm

Gosh it's been a while since I posted last!

All sorts of things have been happening so it's time for a big update.

Well I'm 18.5 weeks pregnant and everything seems to be going alright so far. In a week and a half we find out the gender and get to see our baby again (last time was the nt scan at 12 weeks). I think sometimes I feel little movements but I can't be sure - everyone says between now and 20 weeks I will feel them so perhaps it is.

I haven't had any really bad pregnancy problems like out-of-control nausea or anything like that, but I *have* been really really tired. I usually have a 2 hour nap on top of my regular 8 hours sleep a night. DH has been really great, doing all the washing, sharing the dishes and cooking with my little sister so I have to only do it if I feel up to it.

Not to say I haven't been doing anything though! I've been working about 6 days a week with my new job and my book-keeping job. I got a lot of hours over the holiday season which was great. Some days I got double time and a half pay.

I've also still been studying at Uni. In hindsight I probably would have been better off doing one subject if I'd known how tired I'd be and how much work I'd get. Alas, the summer semester is over now and I am really confident I got great results too! Not sure how I managed it, I didn't really do as much studying as they recommend. Most of it was done on my lunchbreak at work.

My little sister has moved out again. This time she's living with my brother, so atleast she's in partially capable hands (??). He lives two states away, and her plane leaves this afternoon. My parents are taking her to the airport - it was sad this morning to say goodbye to her, I will miss her even though she could be a handful. I just hope everything goes well for her. She's going to be studying fashion design at Latrobe.

We're beginning to accumulate things for the baby now. So far we have been given (or promised to be given things that havent arrived yet) most of what we need of the big ticket items.
Some friends have lent us their cot. DH's sister is lending us: a change table/baby bath, bassinet, newborn capsule & car seat, newborn clothes, breast pump she didnt use.
We just have to buy a pram and I have my eye on one that is currently on special, a Steelcraft design for $215 (normally around $499).
My dad and stepmum are buying us cloth nappies (the modern cloth type). I've still bought a few on sale the past week, just because the specials have been so great. Found some 'unpopular' colours on cushietushies.com.au for $17.95, marked down from $35.95. Also found at babybeehinds.com.au their hemp fitted nappy on sale for $15.40 from $26 each. I bought three of each and hopefully what my dad and stepmum can buy for us will be all I'll need nappy-wise - for this baby and the next. (I will be buying a box of newborn disposables for the first week or two).

I think that's all my news for now. I have to run and catch up with a friend I havent seen in ages.


December 3rd, 2011 at 03:00 am

The new job is going great. I am still learning everything and all the goings on.
I have two tests for uni due on Monday. Ah! Kind of freaking out but I should be fine. I have a half hour (paid) and one hour (unpaid) break so I have been using those to read my textbooks. I realised this will take atleast a good five hours off my total twenty eight hours of study a week. If I'm organised with my studying I an usually knock another four or five off just by being thorough and taking adequate notes.

Pregnancy is going well so far (as far as I know, anyway!). I am nine weeks on Monday. We have booked our first scan for 28th December. Was hoping for before Christmas but it can't be helped.
DH is nervous and excited, as I am also. :-)

We told all of our parents. My mum as usual is being a bit overbearing. She has already told me I should be extremely worried and that there is something wrong because I have not had vomitting morning sickness, only mild nausea. :-/ thanks mum! She is also telling me what nappies to buy! Even though her last baby is now 16! Sigh. It will be interesting when I tell her I plan on having a hospital birth and not home births like her. (I swear I am the only child in the world who's mother is unhappy that I AM going to a hospital / birth suite to have a baby! Sheesh!)

Other than that, I've had a bit of a cold which has been a bit worrying. I am going to go to the doctor on Monday just as a precaution.

DH got his (much late) birthday presents today. Usually our 'presents' to each other are several hours of tattooing (not done by each other! Obviously! But by a good friend and very talented artist), but this time DH got something different.
There are good specials around at the moment. He finally got his ps3 he has been wanting for two years. Talk about delayed gratification! We found the cheapest at Kmart, $288 less my company staff discount of 5% made it $273. He used his vouchers from friends for his birthday to buy some games. (elder scrolls, midnight race club and grand theft auto). It's been a long time coming, the last piece of electronic equipment he bought himself was his computer, around 7 years ago.

His other present is finishing his sleeve, which won't be until late January.

We are going to have a nice weekend away soon, our belated honeymoon.
Remember that free hotel stay at dh's uncles hotel? Yeah well we have not gone yet! But soon, I hope...

That is all my news for now!

I got fired!

November 18th, 2011 at 11:40 am

At the bakery I am only working monday and friday, but my new job needed me to work on friday, so I called the boss's wife yesterday to tell her that I could not work on Fridays after next friday. She said alright.
Then today My boss tells me that because I am only working mondays now, that does not suit them, so they have to 'let me go'. He then asked ME when I wanted to finish up! I said that the reason I got another job was because we could not live on the hours they gave me, and now that I had gotten a new job we would just be getting ahead. I said that I'd only worked there for five years and so I guess tha must not count for much! And then said that whatever legal minimum amount of notice they had to give me, then that would be my last day and to let me know.
I got a call from His wife not long after and she tried to tell me it was my fault, that she had offered me lots of extra shifts (actually was only a few lots of two extra hours, tacked onto the shifts I already did, while a lady went away) and that I had 'thrown them back at her'. And that I had told her to 'not bother about any afternoon shifts ever'. What I'd actually said was that I was able to do them where they fitted into my uni schedule but that I needed notice as I plan my assessments based on times Im able to do them.
And also she said that with permanents, the amount of notice a person gives when resigning is the same amount of notice they recieved when being fired. I said that first of all, I'm not permanent and secondly I never resigned, so I don't know what that's got to do with me. And she tried to tell me that I did not give appropriate amount of notice for not being able to work Fridays. (after I got off the phone I looked at the calender and realised that YES I did, I gave her 14 days and she was trying to tell me I didn't... I sent her a text message about it but she has not replied. probably banging her head against the wall saying 'dammit!'). She told me that the last time we 'had words' it would have been grounds for instant dismissal because of the way that I spoke to her. I don't really think that is true. I told her I didn't appreciate the way she spoke to me and that she gives off the feeling that she does not care about anyone's personal situations and how their actions affect their staff - since when is that grounds for dismissal? Well, I guess it must be.
Anyway, she told me she did not know how much notice she had to give me. Why would you fire someone and not find this stuff out? So, I'm waiting to hear back about it. I wanted to continue working there until early next year. Well, we'll see how that goes!
Nice to know what 5 years hard work looks like at the end of it!
I guess you can only look at it in a positive way if you want to get on with life; I am relieved they made that decision for me, so I don't have to feel bad about leaving in a couple months. I just really dislike the way they have treated me.

I sent an email telling my dad what happened (he lives two states away) and he is FUMING. He told me to make sure I call one of the fair treatment government bodies and make sure I get treated right at the end.
I'm casually employed - but I have been there for five years. I always thought casuals could just get sacked for no reason, at any time, but when my boss was trying to sack another woman (and give the hours to ME! Oh how things change...) apparently you have to give three written warnings...
We will see.
I know I am being stubborn - I don't WANT to work there, and I PLANNED to leave soon - but I feel as though the way they've treated me (& other staff) has been disgusting so I should at least make them work for it if they want me gone that bad. In the end it doesn't bother me so much - I would have left after Christmas anyway, it was only going to be an extra $200 or so of earnings. They did not find out any information before sacking me so I guess it was an impulse decision and they thought I would go without a fuss.
One of the things that sits in the back of my mind gnawing away is that I always envisioned when I left this place, I'd come back and see my boss and catch up occasionally. We have been friends for about 6-7 years - 4 of which I worked for him. The last year and a bit their true colours have shown and they're both obsessed with money - it has been disappointing. Now if I ever saw them in the street I'd not even wave, I'd keep on walking.

some exciting news

November 15th, 2011 at 06:57 pm

I have been waiting for what seems like ages to post about this, and technically things are still in the early stage so I wouldn't be surprised if things still don't work out.

I'm pregnant! Six and a bit weeks.
We are excited, but still wary seeing as a lot of close friends had miscarriages in a very small space of time, a couple years ago. We know that it is fairly common and so we don't want to get our hopes up (but, it's hard not to!).

We have only told DH's mum so far, and a couple of very close friends. We are waiting until Christmas time/12 weeks before we tell everyone else.

Our due date is 9th July next year.

So far I've only felt a mild amount of nausea a couple of times. I've been getting tired a lot more. I know the best of the morning sickness is just about to start Frown (if it does - here's hoping it's not too bad).

Our first ultrasound is a week before christmas, so that will be a nice early christmas present for us!

more work! uni thoughts. 70's dressups.

November 14th, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I had my general induction on Saturday (it was so boring I could've fallen asleep!). I got paid to do it too, which I wasn't sure I would! Fantastic! $22.70 an hour to sit and listen about their values and goals is ok by me!

Yesterday I got a call from the bakery sections manager. I have apparently been 'given' to her by the deli manager and have been offered a permanent part-time position, 112 hours a month, and I also get trained on checkouts and deli. I have four more training and induction sessions before I actually start doing any shifts, my first is on Thursday.

Initially I jumped excitedly around the house singing about quitting my (current) job. Until I realised it would probably be beneficial to keep working that job as long as it fits in with my new job, for as long as possible or atleast until Christmas is over and DH gets more work (He can't work most of december and half of January as most trade suppliers are closed).

This means I will be working 48 hours a week plus studying two subjects (each require 10-12 hours a week study). (I have 13 hours at my current job, 7 hours at my book-keeping job and will now have 28 a week at my new job!)

I think I can do it. I will give it a try anyway. I have until December 3rd to drop a subject without financial or academic penalty.

If I did drop a subject - that would be the hard choice. I know I SHOULD do the accounting subject - but it's so hot now that summer has started and I find it difficult to concentrate. Also, I realised my marketing textbook is the 2009/2010 edition, which is apparently being used this year too, but I'm not sure I can stretch it to next year and I don't want to have to buy another one. (I bought this one second hand for only $50 - new its over $85. Small savings I know, but every bit counts!)

The marketing one is FUN, so I doubt I will have a problem concentrating on it. I just feel as though I SHOULD be doing the accounting one. Oh well, there is always next semester.

I have a 70's party to go to and while DH is all excited about dressing up (he's planning on short, bright gym gear, head bands and maybe some roller skate haha) I'm not overly enthused. I find dress up parties a PITA most of the time. I've just bought an orange patterned kaftan top and will wear it with some brown jeans and cork wedges I bought on sale for $5. Is that 70's enough? I wouldn't know... I wasn't born then!
It seems there's a lot of 80's stuff in the stores but also there's starting to be a bit more 70's styles, must be the 'new' thing. Gosh I remember being a teenager and that stuff mattered... now, if it doesn't make me look fat and its comfortable and reasonably priced, you've just made a sale to me. Big Grin

you have GOT to be kidding me!

November 8th, 2011 at 05:21 pm

So just after I hear back about getting the new job, wouldn't you know it, a coworker at my current job resigns!

I get a call from the boss's wife telling me this, and then offers me four days work instead of the two I have now. I used to do four days - but they are 6.5 hour days, 26 hours a week in total. With the 'new' schedule I would probably be looking at around 24 hours a week. LOL!

Initially, I was not going to tell her I had just been given a new job. Why? It's none of her business. Especially since I was hoping to leave anyway.

So she asks me if this was my plan. I tell her that the new work knows that I have work on Mondays and Fridays. (Well, they do...)

Of course I get off the phone and now feel like I did the wrong thing. Should I have taken it? I don't know. I am incredibly unhappy working there, so I don't think I did the wrong thing.

I have the opportunity to work ~38 hours a week at the new job, and they also give work to people who are NOT 18 years or younger on public holidays ($60 an hour - something I have not experienced due to my current works' cheapness). And, there are a lot of those coming up.

But then I worry with plans of having a baby in the future, what would the new work be like? Are they going to dismiss me when they find out? It is casually based employment, so they are within their rights to sack people for no good reason. My current work (the one I hate) would probably let me work there until I no longer was physically able to.

I guess I just have to take the chance. The new work is also 15 minutes drive away, versus current work 30 minutes. I'll be halving my driving time anyway. I also get a 5% discount on groceries Big Grin

I spoke to DH after the call. He asked me if I told the boss's wife that the reason I found more work was because they cut my hours and we were struggling. DAMMIT. Why did I not think to say that? It would have been the perfect opportunity to put her through a guilt trip - god knows she deserves it after all the ones she's put me through! Don't you hate it when you realise there were so many more things you could have said? Dang.


November 6th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I know I can't get too excited because it *is* just a supermarket deli job... BUT IT'S A JOB!

I recieved an email from Coles saying I wasn't succesful, which made me moody and depressed for an hour before I decided to apply for yet MORE jobs. After sending off application # 4, I got a call from the deli manager at Coles (yes - who just sent me an email an hour before saying I didn't get it - lol, WHAT?!). Anyway, she asked me if I would still like the position and if so, please attend an induction on Saturday from 9-2. HOW EXCITING. It is not exactly a job to aspire to have, I know, but for reasons which I will save for another post, it is the type of job that suits me right now. Plus I am excited at the opportunity to get my foot in the door of a national company because it will no doubt help me limp along while I keep doing my degree. Big Grin

I have a job interview tomorrow!!!

November 1st, 2011 at 04:39 am

It is just a casual supermarket deli-counter customer service job interview... BUT it's an interview!

I know it's not exactly stepping up from my current job, but I need the money, and it's actually an appealing thought to be able to show up, do the work and go home without having to listen to the owner whinge about how he doesn't have any money, while also whinging about how he never gets to take his boat out on the water.

I will see how it goes. If it turns out I get a decent amount of hours I'll be quitting my current job so fast they won't know what happened. No use staying on in a job that makes me depressed every time I walk in the door, if I'm working another that is pretty much the same kind of work but no ill feelings. I also kind of like the idea that once I get employment at one supermarket, it looks better on your resume when applying at others. (While I'm studying I either want a job that reflects my current mode of study - or a no-thinking type of job.)

I also had my first exam today, last one is next wednesday. End of my first year at university! Time flies. I start the summer semester five days after my last exam, heh heh. No rest..!


October 25th, 2011 at 08:50 pm

Ahh, it has been a little while. Update time.

I have had my head in the sand re: our finances lately. I do not have the motivation to track our daily expenditure again. I have not done this in over a year now. Funny thing it though, we are SO much better now, than we were then. Hardly any needless spending during the week ('Oh, I'm thirsty, I'll buy a drink...') and we do not buy a lot of things these days, generally.
Perhaps I should? It might be good to see. Maybe even give myself a little surprise...?

AGAIN still no luck on the job front, however I received an email stating I am on the shortlist for a job at a local supermarket. Not exactly a career opportunity, but with studying, it is actually something I want: a no-think type of job. My main aim is to secure as many hours as I had at the bakery (30 p/w) and then RESIGN from the bakery.

It is sad, but I have been daydreaming about it. Yes! Actually imagining it in my mind, (embarrasingly, I do this a couple times a day) the day that I resign...

I am pretty sure, that is an absolute sign that I should be leaving. Big Grin

Just had my older sister stay a night and two days with me. I have not seen her for over two years as she has been living in the UK. She is quite depressed as she has left 'the love of her life' over there and can't find a single way to get back there. (He will not get married - nor will he visit her in Australia). I didn't want to say anything, as the memory and pain is still fresh, having only been back for two weeks, but he sounds like he is not worth it... He wants to work and live in the same place he has grown up in. His plans next year are to climb some big trees in california with his friends (redferns? or something?) and he wants to keep doing what he is doing (he is a tree surgeon). I feel bad for my sister, she is so upset at having to leave him, but at the same time I hope she will realise that if he is not willing to even change a tiny bit of his life for her, then maybe he does not love her as much as she loves him. Or, is just being selfish.
But, that's just me. I would put love over pretty much anything. Life does not always work out how you expect it to.

So, that's kind of sad Frown

My younger sister has taken it upon herself to move out of home (she is 16 but thinks she knows everything there is to know). I visited her yesterday, with my other sister and younger brother. The place she is living is TERRIBLE. She does not even have any sheets on her bed! (My mum said she tried to give her some and she said she had some - obviously too proud at the moment) She shares a room with a guy she goes to school with (they are just friends) and they pay $190 a week for a little room, use of a washing machine, bathroom and kitchenette. It is just horrible. There isn't even a light in the kitchenette.

I am not overly thrilled at having her living with us again (she is a messy hormonal teenager, what can I say? added onto the fact that we hope to have a baby next year...) BUT, I can't stand to have her live in such a place. I sent her a text message and said that if she wants to leave there for ANY reason, she ALWAYS has a place here, and if she decided she wanted to be here long term she could always rent, for less than what she's paying there. UGH.

I give it another month. She has been there two weeks. I think she needs some time, and then she will realise it is not something she wants to do. Once the novelty of having no one telling you what to do wears off, she will realise it's really not all that great.

My friend has asked me to help her make wedding cake toppers (the edible kind made out of modelling icing). It seems like a good opportunity. I feel bad though because this friend always leaps into everything head first, and I cannot afford to shell out money for something I'm not really sure about. She has not asked me for any money though, and has bought everything herself. She wants me to decide if I want an hourly rate or a piece rate, and how much I want. Sigh. Is this really something I should be deciding? She seems to think it's 'our' business and she keeps talking about 'splitting everything down the middle'. It is so confusing. I don't actually know what I'm doing! And she has a tendancy to do things the hard way (ie handcutting something out instead of using an icing cutter). Anyway. We'll see how it goes. I just don't know if this is something serious, or if she's just asking me to do it for her so she can give me some money and not feel guilty about what happened at our work. (She was the friend who was employed full-time when I lost half of my hours at work).
We will see. She apparently has a lot of orders. But she is terrible at the business side of things, and doesn't want to learn anything either. She is the type to say 'I don't know anything about business' and then when you try to tell her she will just not listen. You can see that in her head she is telling herself she doesn't know, so she should not even try. It is extremely frustrating.

In other news, my dogs killed a goanna the other day. It was the day my sister came over to stay. I did not have time to remove it from their kennel before I had to get her from the rtain station (they like to find dead things and put them in their kennel - weird, weird dogs) so when we got home she goes 'WHAT is THAT!?' with a horrified expression on her face.
Naughty, naughty, naughty boys.
A possum and also a bird have, at different times, crawled into our yard after being attacked by a neighbours cat and passed away. With the possum, they sat next to it until I came home and then whined until I went downstairs to investigate. With the bird, well, Jed decided it was his new best friend and took it into his kennel, and rested his head next to it on his blanket. Would have been cute if it wasn't a dead thing...
Not sure about the goanna though. Perhaps it attacked them, or perhaps they were being territorial. They are Jack Russells; it is their instinct. Either way, I feel really sad for the goanna, they really are beautiful to look at. (If you don't know what it is you should google it, they're amazing creatures).

Healthwise, I have to get an iron test today or tomorrow. Fingers crossed my levels are up!
I have not lost any weight that I wanted to, and in fact have put more weight on. I feel fat and bloated, and my clothes are tight. DH makes it harder because he is going through a junk food & chocolate phase. Keeps bringing home copious amounts of chocolate that he finds on sale. ARGH. It is infuriating. (I am the type that will not eat it if it is not there... but if it IS there, well, that's another story altogether...)

Well, I should get going. I have an accountants appointment then time to study for my data analysis exam next week! EEEEK.

33 ways...

October 18th, 2011 at 06:23 pm

I just saw CreditCardFree's post about the article '33 ways to reduce debt'.
Technically, I don't call myself frugal. Not at all. I'd say we're conservative, at best. It leads me to thinking, what exactly is frugal? While one person can say someone who does the following 33 things are frugal, another (like me) may say that it's not, or that it's just common sense, or whatever. I guess it's the same as what we view as a want and a need: it's subjective really.

Anyway, I decided to analyse our financial habits according to this article. What about you? Where do you stand?

1.Re-shop auto, home and life insurance to see if you can bring down your payments.
My auto insurance was the cheapest I could find this year. When it expires, I'll search around again. Our life insurance and home & contents insurance is one of the cheaper ones combined with a 15% multiple-policy discount which makes it the cheapest I can find, also.(It should be noted that you always need to consider your location and risk in association with insurance - no point having it if it's never going to help you, you may as well have no insurance at all).

2.Downgrade your cable package, or get rid of it entirely.
Never had cable in my LIFE, and until recently the Australian free-to-air television stations consisted of exactly 5 channels. Now we have about 14. I hear people in other countries have more free-to-air channels than us... why on EARTH would you pay? Sheesh.

3.Disconnect your home phone if you have adequate cell service at your home. Or downgrade to a cheaper package.
We do not have a home phone, and our internet is the cheapest you can find, unless you're willing to use dial-up, which we're not, as I use it for uni...

4.Buy and sell clothes at your local consignment or shop at Goodwill.
I sell old clothes on eBay, and I shop at opshops. We don't have consignment stores here (that I know of)

5.Have a massive garage sale. (If you’d rather be out of debt than have an item, choose to sell it to help you get you there.)
We just had one, and netted a nice chunk of money for savings.

6.Advertise higher quality items on Craigslist, Facebook, or your local newspaper to get better prices.
I'm currently selling a piece of furniture in the paper right now.

7.Focus on buying mostly sale items at grocery store or generic brands to reduce your cost.
I shop at aldi. Can you get any more generic?

8.Use a grocery store awards program to earn money off gas.
I do this, and I also fill up on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (cheapest petrol price day)

9.Cancel unnecessary expenses like magazine subscriptions, newspapers, manicures, pedicures etc. Anything that could be considered a “want” instead of a “need” should go until you are out of debt or greatly decrease your debt.
Subscriptions? Manicures? What are they? LOL. The only subscription I have ever had has been a gift from my dad.

10.Go to the matinee movies instead of paying full price (and skip the concessions).
Or better yet - try not going to the movies for over 12 months. Big Grin (and when you finally decide to go, use a cinema loyalty card that offers half priced movies).

11.Or better yet, use the Red Box for at-home movie entertainment.
We borrow movies from friends and the library? Does this count?

12.Get temporary work or seasonal part time work to boost your income.
I have two jobs, and DH is part of a family business. I'm currently looking for a third job.

13.Read books from the library or take a few trips to Barnes & Noble to complete a book.
Well, I don't know how welcoming the bookstore would be about that, but I do use the library regularly.

14.Buy your most expensive groceries in bulk at Coscto: meats, breads, cheese, produce, paper products. Establish a monthly grocery budget for the additional needs at regular grocery stores.
We don't have a Costco, but when I spy something cheap at bulk price that we use, I buy it.

15.When eating out, skip the soft drinks and stick with water. Skip the extras too (dessert, etc.).
We eat out very rarely, and usually only have the meal, nothing else. You can also try to stick to the specials board too...

16.When eating out, share a large entrée or have small appetizers instead of the costly meal.
Often these end up being of a similar cost in my experience.

17.Plan your errands more efficiently to conserve gas.

18.Find friends that you can trade services with…haircutting, handyman, photography, babysitting, pet-sitting.

19.Give home-made gifts, baked goods, or service IOU’s rather than expensive presents.
We don't give expensive presents, in fact most times we don't give presents unless someone needs something. For children, we screenprint shirts.

20.Boxed cereals are expensive; switch to oatmeal, eggs or fruit for more nutritional and financial bang.
We don't eat cereal, full stop. I work at a bakery so bread is free, this is what we eat for breakfast.

21.Call the utility companies and get on a budget plan to give you more consistency with expenses each month.
We have signed up for two year plans in exchange for two months free service.

22.Set a spending limit with family at Christmas and/or draw names.
Or in our case, just don't buy presents for anyone.

23.Use exercise videos, walking or hiking instead of paying for the gym.
I have never paid for a gym membership in my life.

24.If your haircut is too expensive, find a less expensive stylist or see if your hairdresser will cut you a break on price temporarily – ours did.
My hairdresser is reasonably priced, so is DH's, and they both offer a loyalty card scheme for free hair cuts after the 6th or 7th cut.

25.Say “no” to hosting and/or attending in-home parties where you feel pressure to purchase.
Luckily we don't have friends that pressure us to purchase anything to attend their parties.

26.Does your family live nearby? Once a week dinners with mom or dad saved us a meal out of our shopping budget. Additionally, it usually led to leftovers and our parents looked forward to our visit each week.
Yeah this is one thing we do occasionally but avoid. Our family is a little... different.

27.Make your coffee at home instead of buying it each day.
We no longer drink coffee every day.

28.Pack your lunch – not once a week, but regularly.
We never buy our lunches unless we have special guests on the weekend. Even then, we will usually suggest bringing some salads and having chot hips at the park.

29.Make extra dinner servings on purpose to have leftovers for lunch.
Yep, this is what DH takes nearly every day.

30.Our dentist advised us we could skip the fluoride treatments if we were using a daily dental rinse – which we did… and bought on sale.
Flouride treatments? Never had one. My teeth are fine.

31.Program your thermostat for savings on heating/cooling when you’re not at home.
We don't have aircon or heaters. We do, however, have long pants & jumpers, pedestal & ceiling fans...

32.Tempted by certain retail stores? While digging out of debt, avoid window shopping these places where you’ve failed to control your impulses before.
We actually like window shopping. We are not impulsive buyers and so this is kind of like cheap, free entertainment for us.

We give to a certain charity every year, and make regular deposits to op-shops.

textbooks, and once-a-something cooking...

October 17th, 2011 at 03:10 pm

I was looking over my next semesters course and realised I don't have the right version of MYOB for it on my computer. SIGH. And here I was thinking I'd saved some money!
Freaking out about how I'd have to shell out a chunk more money for a new textbook for just the cd that comes with it (i bought the textbooks second-hand from a fellow uni student), I quickly googled 'student version of MYOB' and lo and behold, they do offer one. I was initially excited because it was $15, which means I'm still saving money, BUT they charge $15 freight. FOR A CD. WHAT?!
Ugh. Anyway, so after all that, I paid 60c less than buying them new. Bah. I suppose on the bright side, I'm helping the environment a little bit, instead of contributing to more waste...?
I have no problem keeping them in the condition they are in now (which is fairly good) and then I can resell them for what I paid in Feb next year.

I have sold a few things on eBay lately. Not everything I had hoped to sell, but I have made around $100 so that's nice.

I've been thinking off and on about doing once-a-week or once-a-fortnight cooking. SIL just started doing it. (Ok, well she has done it once...)
Usually I will make a double batch of a sauce, or mexican beans, and put some in the freezer. But I like the idea of buying all the vegetables fresh, making a whole heap of dishes, freezing them, and then just having to make a salad or a side of vegetables each night. DH will most likely do it every night then Big Grin

I just don't know what to do at this stage. I have done it before, and from memory, I made:
- spinach & feta filo pie
- vegetable lasagne
- meat lasagne
- spaghetti bolognaise

Which doesn't really seem like a lot. This time around I would probably make a curry of some sort, mexican beans (I use these for nachos, burritos & just heated up with a bowl of rice).

What else can you make that freezes well? I've never been that great at making stews. I have a slow cooker, but they never turn out well. If you have a recipe you'd like to share...?

I was thinking minestrone soup. We make that a lot, and usually I just leave the pot in the fridge and we have it for dinner for maybe three nights. It wears out it's welcome on the third night. Might actually be a good idea to freeze it haha.

Any other soups? Bakes? Ideas? Vegetarian dishes would be great, but DH does eat meat and if we fall pregnant I may reconsider eating meat for the duration, so meat dishes are appreciated too...

have you ever been judged by someone with no right to judge you?

October 11th, 2011 at 07:00 pm

I guess lately I've been in a bit of a dark mood. With my hours cut and 50+ applications for jobs out there and no result, Christmas looming (for DH, it means no work for atleast 2 weeks if not several months, trade usually slows down after December) and our TTC plans hanging precariously on a thin thread, there's not a lot to be positive about. Every time I step into work I have to fake smile, and of course when you don't like your job, work is about ten times harder.
I don't like to burden my friends and family with my worries and problems, so I keep them somewhat internal. Usually, I could unload on my best friend - she does the same with me, so it's mutual. But I can't this time, because my reduced hours are due to her getting full-time at work. I want to be happy for her, and I am, but I don't want to make her feel bad so I can't talk much to her about what I'm going through right now. I don't like subjecting people to my black moods, so my excuse is often 'uni assignments...'. Plus, I have to cut my 'coffee with friends' expenses to $0 now. Add onto that, I want to limit fuel consumption, so I don't drive anywhere other than to work!
I feel like a hermit! But it's my own fault. Eventually things will be ok again, but at the moment, I just feel like hibernating. Is that so bad?

Anyway, onto the point of my post. My initial rambling did have a point though: I've been in a bit of a bad mood lately. And so I get annoyed quickly. I have to vent somewhere.

When I lived with my SIL and DH 3 years ago, she was the messiest person I have ever lived with. We had a roster system where we all took turns doing a chore, for example, I do the dishes, then it's DH's turn, then it's SIL's turn, and for vaccuuming, we figured it would be easier if one of us did it one week, then the next week, the next person, etc.

She would leave the dishes for three days before doing them. The bin would be overflowing before she emptied it. She vaccumed ONCE in the year and a half we lived together, because she would conveniently 'forget' until it was the next week, and so the next persons turn.
She was at tafe studying fashion, so the dining room table and the coffee table was always covered in pieces of fabric and magazines, the floor littered with offcuts, thread, pieces of magazine. When she moved out, she didn't even clean the windows or vaccuum her room, or the spare room where she kept all her stuff. She left it covered in rubbish. When she made herself something to eat, she'd leave crumbs all over the bench, chopping board and knife etc. Wouldn't wipe it, wouldn't even put it near the sink.
And she had the nerve to complain about how her courseload was overwhelming, but every time I saw her, she'd be literally lying on the couch, watching television. Apparently she would 'flick through magazines for cuttings, while watching tv for background noise'. LOL. I'm sure that's what she thought she was doing...

Anyway. So, since having two kids in the space of two years, suddenly she's realised you have to keep on top of cleaning otherwise you're living in a cesspit (also probably because no one else does it for her...). They live out in the sticks, clean air, nice property, etc etc. Nothing like suburbia. When they visited and stayed for a night, a few weeks ago, she had a stuffy nose. She went on and on about it. 'Maybe it's the cobwebs, you know, keeping the dust'. Implying our house wasn't clean.
For some reason, this really irked me. This is a woman who, three years ago, didn't lift a finger unless she absolutely HAD to. Suddenly she's the domestic goddess?? Excuse me?

DH bought a cobweb-duster thing for $2.99 at the discount store, and I swiped it around the corners of the roof. You know what? Hardly any cobwebs at all.

I feel judged! By someone who really has no right at all to judge me! Argh. Have you ever felt like this?

Anyway, of course they leave with their two kids, our house a mess. Crumbs everywhere. Doesn't offer to sweep or anything. Thanks a lot.

Anyway. They are staying again this weekend, for one night. It is my MISSION to have the house SPARKLING. Even though I have two assignments approaching deadline, and exams in three weeks... my house is going to be spotless if it kills me.

Sigh. Why do I do it to myself?!

recipes to use up yoghurt? ... & stuff....

October 4th, 2011 at 12:44 am

I have some natural strawberry yoghurt that has hit its useby date. I don't feel like eating it, and neither does DH. I don't want to waste it - it's nearly a full 1kg tub!!! Does anyone have any recipes that uses yoghurt? I am sure there's a yoghurt muffin recipe or something...??? It will have to be a baked goods recipe... thanks in advance!

I finally feel like I'm on top of this university/study thing. I've been getting my mid-semester marks back this week, and I am so pleased:

3 x High Distinctions (A+)
2 x Distinctions (A's)
and 1 x Credit (B)

Now all I have to get through are two more major assignments and one smaller assessment, and of course, the final exams. It looks as though for one of my subjects, I will have passed without even doing the final exam Big Grin This makes me SOOOOO happy.

I have a month to go until this semester is over, and four days after my final exams, Semester 3 starts :/
Oh well. I am happy to keep on keeping on. I am actually looking forward to the two subjects I am doing next, Financial Accounting, and Marketing.

I picked up my second hand text book from a girl doing the same course as me, for my next subject, and have organised a second hand textbook for my other subject as well.
In total, buying second hand this time, I have saved $105! Yippee.

Next week marks the start of my 'reduced' hours at work. Bastards.

Anyway, in an effort to atleast make up SOME of the money lost, I have started doing internet surveys again, and am auctioning some items on eBay. I have about $100 to claim very soon on three survey websites, and am hoping to net a few bucks on eBay (at least). Also I have around $100 in our paypal account from past sales to withdraw. So, that's a start, atleast.

Did you know eBay now allows you to list 30 items for free a month? I think this is fantastic. I will definately be using this to my advantage, getting rid of the clutter etc. And if it doesn't sell, relist it! It's free! Big Grin

Already selling some unused, unopened makeup (bought the wrong shade a couple times). I have some watchers already which is great.

Healthwise, I've decided to wean myself off sugar. Working as a cake decorator, you must be able to imagine this is a feat in itself. It is not that I eat cake all day (you do begin to loathe the sight of it, actually) - but, you do get into the habit of tasting a little bit of everything. In some cases, it is, believe it or not, quite neccesary. But other times, it is just a habit you fall into. So, unless it's absoltely neccesary, I'm cutting it out. I no longer have it in coffee, and will allow myself a dessert once a week. Shortly coffee will go too *cries*. Greek no fat yoghurt and honey is my new best friend Smile

some updates from me

September 27th, 2011 at 02:43 pm

Hello everyone. Yes I know, it's been awhile. I did write an update entry last week but the site logged me out in the writing process and I lost everything. Frown
So here I am again! Don't get much free time these days, it seems.

Here's some random update trivia of Whitestripes' Life, in no particular order:

- My hours are due to be halved starting next week, although my boss assures me that it won't be for a little while longer because 'he needs a break'. Well, that's nice. Glad I could be of service to you.
- I recieved a letter that stated the above hour-cutting event, and was also informed that 'if my circumstances change and I am available for afternoon work, they will be able to give me more hours if they become available'. Which basically means, 'I get the last say' from my boss's wife (seeing as this whole thing started because I wasn't available for afternoon work because of uni, when she wanted). I just feel like it's all give and no take with these guys. Have never met someone so bitchy, so controlling, so up-her-own-@$$ and so unsupportive.
- I got a call back about a job I applied for weeks ago. In truth, I can't remember the actual job, I have applied for over 40 now, possibly 45-50. It sounds great, 9-5, monday-friday, full-time book-keeping & accounts job. Only thing it is in a suburb 35-40 minutes away. This was the first call, and she said she would call again in a few weeks to let me know where I was on the application process, and if I made it to the short-list (apparently I made it atleast to the 'list'). IF I do get a chance at getting it, I will obviously go for it. I worry about my car doing that much driving, especially to a new job. But I have no choice, really. And the actual job sounds great. I will have a lot on my plate (part-time book-keeping job, full time job and part-time uni) but I will just have to focus.
- Uni is going great! I have gotten 100% and 79.5% for two assessment pieces for one subject (which equates to an A+ and an A). This is for Information System Concepts (basically - introduction course to IT & IT security, as well as advanced courses in Microsoft Access, Excel & Powerpoint). For my other course, Data Analysis, I got 92.5% on my first assessment, and am waiting for the marks for my second, AND am about to start working on my third assessment, which I am quietly confident about. I felt lost re: this subject at the beginning, but it all seems to be clicking together now and I am confident I can pass it. (I'm probably asking too much to pass with a Credit or Distinction, but a girl can dream!) Big Grin
- I am super excited about my next subject, Financial Accounting. For the whole year I have been doing subjects that only partially, or don't at all, relate to my degree, and have found myself yearning to do one like my first accounting subject. It has made me realise that although I wasn't sure in the beginning, I think I've found something that I want to, and am happy to do. In the beginning I felt as though I was starting a degree that I wasn't certain about, and afraid of realising later down the track that it's not something I liked, and wasting all that money. I guess this is testament to the fact that if you don't know, sometimes it's best to just try something out.
- I know I have posted about taking a bit of a break over the summer semester this year, like a normal person does. But then I decided because I only did one subject when we got married, I would do one over summer. Then last week I thought to myself, oh, what the heck. I am now doing two: Marketing as well. I figured, I did well last semester. It's a short one, but it means you really just have to get in there and do it. And it means I'm two steps closer to finishing. By February, I will be 7 down, 17 to go!

There are more updates, but this is all I have time for at the moment! Hope everyone is doing well.

decisions decisions...

September 8th, 2011 at 02:09 am

I've come up with an idea, and to this point, although being on the wary side, no one has tried to talk me out of it. They've pointed out pros and cons but ultimately been supportive of my 'idea' and I'm at that very scary stage of taking a leap and doing something about it. It's something I haven't just thought of - BUT, an actual opportunity has presented itself as of the past two weeks, and slowly the cogs have been turning in my head, crunching numbers, etc etc.

My idea?

I'm thinking of buying a bakery. In my local town.

I don't know the figures yet. I need to look at their books. It might not even be worth it at all. I know the initial daily takings that I need in order to make things work. But I need to know the revenue and the rent. Everything else I already know from 7+ years of working in bakeries.

My best friend has already said she'd work for me. She's accepted the full-time job with our boss but would leave in a heartbeat if I bought the place. Unfortunately her financial situation prevents her from forming a partnership with me; but I think it may be for the best anyway. Partnerships between friends? Hmmm. However, we have identical ideas on how we would run a place, and she would rather not 'own' anything or have anything to do with managing a place, so this works for her.

The issue with the place, the only thing, is the parking. Or rather, lack of. It is on the busy main street, which has carparks along it but no actual carpark. However, it is less than 100m away from a library, a police station, a firestation, the local welfare office, a telecommunication businesses main service centre, the local council, several banks, and of course, the other businesses along the main street. The only other bakery is at a shopping complex on the other side of town.

The place is a little rundown and sad looking. My goal would be to have different breads that the supermarket and other bakery dont sell (sourdoughs, exotic mixed grains, italian olive breads etc). I also have the advantage of knowing the only place that makes novelty shape cakes anywhere around here is... yep, you guessed it: my boss. Now wouldn't that be a kick in the pants for him?

Considering, well, I'm actually the one that makes most of them ANYWAY. Big Grin

But, there's things I don't know yet. I need to know their figures, and I need a business loan. The plant and equipment in the shop will most likely cover the security of the loan I'll be asking for ($145k-ish). So those two uncertain things are... uncertain. Business loans aren't given out easily at the moment, but when I initially went in to ask questions, once they heard our plan (my friend and I went in together) they practically tied us down trying to get us to make an appointment.

DH is excited and supportive. He will carry on with his flooring business (which I will still do books for) so that we don't rely on just one income.

Hmmm. Things to think about.

(oh and I will continue studying as well, and continue with the baby plans... Big Grin things might get a bit crazy in the next few months!)

feel like I wasted 5 years of my life...

September 6th, 2011 at 07:39 pm

After quitting a few weeks ago, my best friend offered to work for my boss last week, for a few nights 'as a favour to a friend'. She decided she missed working there and tentatively talked about maybe getting her job back. They agreed.

This week, my boss asks me what my plans are. I had no idea what he was talking about and told him so. He said to me "Awhile ago you said you were looking for another job and would be leaving soon." I said to him "Actually a part-time job, and I committed to Jen (his wife) that I would be here until atleast May 2012". He said 'Oh. Well, we're going to have to put on a full-time baker, as when we advertised for a casual 26-hour a week job, we didn't get many applications. If we advertise for a full-time baker we will get a better quality person apply for the job. Anyway, so you won't have as many hours anymore.'.

Right. Thanks for that.

I told him he has to do what he has to do, doesn't he.

I find it interesting that this all comes a few weeks after my disagreement with his wife.

Also find it interesting that my friend had no idea, he had never mentioned this to her but had been given the impression she had her old job back, had even go so far as to turn down the offer from another place of employment.
She decided to talk to him about it, as she was understandably scared that I had lost hours, and she didn't have a job after all, and he said to her 'oh, well, do you want the job then?'
Like it was an afterthought or something.

Which puts her in a predicament, because if she takes it, she is taking my hours, technically. But if she doesn't, it goes to someone else anyway.
I told her to take it. I would rather have her get the job than someone else. All she has ever wanted in the four years I've known her is a full-time job. She needs stability. I just feel so sad for her because it had to happen like this, where she is not even happy about it. She is completely overwhelmed with guilt. It doesn't change our friendship, for me. It's not her fault.

I am just mainly mad at my boss and his wife. I think it's horrible the way they've gone around things. My friend even asked my boss directly, if this was because of my argument with his wife. He said no. (As if they would admit something like that, I told her, I could use it against them in labour laws). Anyway. Totally, totally over it. I have no respect for them whatsoever, anymore.

I feel like I have wasted 5 years of my life. I've worked for a crappy wage, and worked my butt off. In return I've gotten nothing. No qualification, no understanding, not even decent treatment, and at the end of it they decide to get rid of my by drastically cutting my hours, forcing me to quit so it doesn't make them look bad for firing me. Though I know on one part it's a business decision (they are paying my friend $70 extra to work 12 more hours a week, but she also gets 4 weeks of holidays a year and security that they can't just fire her at the drop of a hat), atleast a tiny portion of it is to do with the fact that I told her she treats people horribly. Even my boss has said that to me, and that her friends are too scared to tell her! And now that I am actually the one to speak up and say 'This isn't right', I get this!

I suppose for that part it is my fault. Maybe I should just take her bad treatment and say nothing. Should I have to put up with that? Apparently so.

Anyway. No luck so far on the job hunt but I'm still looking. Not sure exactly what I'll do when my hours do get cut if I can't find something by then. Could be anywhere between $140 and $280 a week. I just feel like curling into a ball on our lounge and crying. Frown

hmmm. meat?

September 2nd, 2011 at 04:42 pm

It's time for an update before I get cracking on the final pages of my assignments (due Monday and Wednesday). I have officially passed the halfway mark for these two subjects! I am aiming for a pass - that is my goal at this stage. They are both difficult and require a LOT of reading and understanding of the subject matter. Of course, the Accounting subjects do too I suppose, but I don't generally need to work hard to wrap my head around the subject matter in those subjects - I just 'get it' more or less.
Having said that, I'm not giving a half hearted attempt. Being intense subjects that I'm not really into, I need to give my all in order to get any half way decent grade Smile It would be nice to get a Credit atleast... but, I'm not getting my hopes up!

Speaking of not getting my hopes up, I didn't get that job. Sigh. Figures! Oh well, I will keep looking, applying, hoping.

In the meantime, my co-workers keep telling me my boss and his wife are asking THEM what MY plans are.
It would be all fine and dandy if they actually asked ME. I find it all a little bit amusing, actually.

I did have a conversation in May this year where I told the boss's wife I planned to be here for a further twelve months at the minimum. My boss and his wife don't communicate very well with each other, and so apparently, according to my co-workers, my boss believes this conversation was had this time last year - hence he is worried I'm finding a new job now and leaving. LOL. (I mean - I AM looking, but I do on some level expect that I probably won't find anything in the current economic climate, so I am prepared to work here until I leave to have a baby - which is May-ish next year...).

I have decided I'm not broaching the subject at all, it is their responsibility as employers to go to the source of the information in a time like this and not prance around like a child in the school yard and rely on rumours and second-hand information. If they want to know what my plans are, why not ask me? Are they afriad of me? Am I the only one that will talk straight with them and not attempt to kiss their ass?


In other news, DH and I had our pre-conception check ups. I have low iron, (meant to be between 30 and 126 and mine was shown as 11 - however I'm a little skeptical it's exactly THAT low because the test was taken at the end of the day where iron is typically lower). However, I have been pretty tired lately (put it down to studying though). The weirdest thing is that in four years of not eating meat, I suddenly have been looking at DH's dinners and thinking ti myself, that actually looks good, I could eat that if I wanted to. I have never been like that, even when I did eat meat, I never EVER felt like eating it or craved it. Hmm, must have been my body telling me something!

So we have put off the TTC plans for a month while I take an intense (doctor-prescribed) course of iron-tablets for a month. Complete with vitamin C and lots of fibre, LOL! Big Grin

I also have to do some thinking on my choice of diet while pregnant. I have never been a very strict vegetarian (rather... pescatarian) - it has always been a choice I have made for my health above all others. I totally get the ethical reasons for vegetarianism but I think that my unwillingness to give two hoots about what others think about me and my choices is why it's never bothered me if I take the meat out of a curry and give it to DH, or cook tofu & steak on the same pan. I know it's not being a true 'non-meat eater' but I'm ok with that - I don't do this for the outward appearance to others or to live 'the lifestyle', I do it because I feel much better when I don't eat meat. In saying that, I'm all for people who do live an extreme vegetarian lifestyle, my dad is one of them, after all. It's just not me. I like to have the freedom to make choices.

So, after all that, what I'm getting at is, I made a decision long ago that if, while pregnant, I felt like eating meat, I would. (we live near an organic butchery who farm locally, so that'd probably be the only meat I'd eat, if I did). I'm not going to go and eat it just because it's there, because that's never been the way I am. But if I feel like I need to eat it then I probably do need to eat it. In saying that, it's possible with iron supplements I won't feel like it at all. We will see.

I also have to have vaccination boosters, which I'm organising next week. If it weren't for the low iron, we'd have probably not bothered with the vaccines. So I guess all in all, it's probably a good thing.

In other news, I noticed that fruit & veg at our local organic supermarket is CHEAPER than at the regular supermarkets


August 24th, 2011 at 05:11 am

I applied for a job today that I'm a little excited about. I am really trying to not get my hopes up - having applied for a lot of jobs already (at last count, 33...) with absolutely ZERO interviews. But, it can't hurt to hope, right???
Anyway. Im posting about it because I don't want to tell anyone in real life (other than DH), because there's probably only a 0.0001% chance I'll get a shot at it.
It's a full-time, entry level (read: teller) job at a bank branch IN MY TOWN. Now the best part: a close friend whom I use as a personal reference works at a higher up position at this bank, in the city. I use him on my resume. (& he will call me if he ever gets calls from what could be a potential employer). He went to school with DH, and has tried to get me to apply for jobs at his bank before (when I was happy at my job...).
Could this be my lucky break? Do I dare to dream? Keep me in your thoughts over the next week or so... Please!

my favourite porridge recipe

August 20th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I have had a weekend of studying and have caught up mostly. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to... but I am nearly ahead of what we're supposed to be doing. I still have about three hours until I plan to stop though, so hopefully I'll get there!

In saying that, I thought I'd take a break. Big Grin

I decided not to do the grocery shopping for a couple more days. DH bought some milk which is all we really need at the moment, we will survive a few days with what we have.

Last night we had Indian takeaway for dinner, but both still have enough left over for each of us to have it for dinner tonight Smile

Today I was sitting at my desk listening to a presentation for one of my subjects, eating a bowl of porridge for lunch, when I realised how screwed up my eating patterns are. Not that I mind. I just don't get around to having a big breakfast and on the weekends it usually gets to midday before I am hungry. I like sweet food as opposed to savoury, and in my mind, porridge is a lot healthier than, say, a slice of cake for lunch! Big Grin During the week I take muesli and low-fat berry yoghurt for my mid-morning/lunch snack. Wednesdays I usually have a salad for lunch.

Anyway, the main point of my post was to share my favourite porridge recipe (I think it's called oatmeal in the states???). This is usually what I have (for lunch, but you can ignore that bit...)

1/4 cup rolled oats
pinch salt
tsp desicated coconut
pinch cinnamon
handful sultanas
(combine in a saucepan with 2/3 cup cold water and bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for a few minutes until cooked)

in a bowl, combine:

2 dried pitted prunes, sliced thinly and
3-4 dried apricots, sliced thinly

add the cooked oat mixture to the bowl and stir to combine the other dried fruit. add some honey if wanted.

update time (& cute dog pics)

August 19th, 2011 at 05:34 pm

After a late Friday night (full of laughing and talking with our tattooist... well, we were laughing and talking and DH just grimaced for most of it Big Grin it was in a painful spot on his arm...) I'm up late after a nice sleep in (til nearly 9am!!)and about to start a weekend chock full of study!
Thought I would update, first though... Big Grin

The guy who bought the tyres has just picked them up and given us the $60 he owes us. The lady who bought the cabinet dropped by on Thursday to pay $50 off and buy 10 cupcakes she asked me to make for her. She asked if she could pay for the rest of the cabinet next week, as she is a bit short of money this week due to unexpected kids expenses (totally understand - my mum deals with this all the time), I told her it was fine. She is a lovely lady, single with two kids and I think she is doing it tough (obviously not too tough as she can buy cupcakes!). I have her address and phone number, and she has already given us $60 toward it. We could sell it again for no hassles if she changed her mind.

Also, she asked if I made birthday cakes Big Grin I doubt my abilities with cake decorating, even though that is what I am employed to do. (BTW, 'cake-decorating' as a term, when I use it anyway, actually means: making the cake, and then decorating it... in case people are confused!) I don't like making things for people I know, or people who seek me out as an individual. I am afraid they won't like what I do. I need to get over this, as I realise I can make some pretty good-looking and great-tasting cakes most of the time. (sometimes... most times... better than my boss Big Grin shh, don't tell him I said that...)

I just don't have any of the supplies or equipment to make them at my house. DH is always encouraging me to 'invest' in these things and I think it's an unneeded expense. Maybe not. I don't know? I could probably make some good side-money, and even if I just bought the decorating equipment and left the actual cake-baking to be done at work, in my own time and paid for the scratch ingredients from my boss. Things to think about, I guess.

Heard back from one of the jobs, unsuccessful. (what a surprise... not). I suppose I will not hear from the other ones. I do not always get an email saying I was unsuccesful, they usually just leave you hanging. Nice.

I have begun taking some pre-conception vitamins Big Grin (holy dooly, are they expensive! I don't take vitamins as our diet is varied and healthy, but I figured I probably should for this as it's recommended... even at a discount chemist a months supply is $20) DH had a doctors appointment on Thursday and has to get some blood tests done next week. I also have to find a doctor, and get a check up. And go to the dentist. Sigh. Next week...

Work update:
My best friend quit. It was the day after she had that guilt-trip from my boss's wife, and after I had that horrible phone conversation with her too. I did not work that day (worked at my other job), but the next day (thursday) I went in and my boss was SUPER nice to me. Almost too nice. I guess he is afraid that I will up and leave too, because of his wife. You know... even though he is a really nice guy (apart from the lying and obsession with his social status) I wish I was offered a job right now, just so I could ring up his wife and say 'I quit, and it's because of you and your unprofessionalism'.
I know, it's a bit low and immature. But look at what I have had to put up with! Would you really blame me??
My boss would survive. He's worked very long days before. Perhaps his wife will have to help out at the shop a bit more than her token once-a-month visit? Big Grin

DH has some work this week which is great. Even though he's had a few weeks off, our bank account is still looking healthy.

We have been doing the weekly grocery shop on Saturdays or Sundays, together. It is easier for me this way and saves time with DH coming. (Even though he usually wanders around looking at other stuff). This week looks like it will be a really small shop: we have so much stuff in our pantry it's ridiculous, even though I have not bought a lot of stuff over the past couple of weeks either.

We're doing the shop tomorrow (Sunday) and I am going to make our meal plan off what we have in the pantry, and just nip into town for the essentials, and fresh fruit and veges.

I'm thinking our meal plan will go something like this:
sweet & sour tofu with egg noodles
pumpkin & cashew stirfry with basmati rice
minestrone soup
vegetarian pasta
baked fish, salad & sweet potato
mexican beans & rice
steamed vegetables, tofu & rice

We ate our first bananas since January, last week!!! It was very exciting for us. Since the floods in January bananas have been about $15-$20 a kilogram. Doesn't matter if they are organic or not, price is the same. Well, shopping at our local organic grocer we spied them at $9.99 a kilogram so we bought four little golden, beautiful, sweet cavendish. They were lovely! The oranges have been delicious lately too...

DH is having sellers remorse on some of the items we sold at the garage sale Big Grin oh well. He sold a PS1 for $7 with a whole heap of games, a chip, two guns etc. His uncle rang him the next day to see if he still had it, and said he would have given him $40! Even still, last night our tattooist said he would have given us $60! What are the chances?! (But, it went to a young high school girl who is no doubt going to have a lot of fun with it... I personally think it went to a good home). In the end, we made $450 and I think the reason we made that much was because our prices indicated we wanted to sell the stuff, not have people umm and aah over the price, but instead go 'hey! I'm going to buy that! Right now!'.

The coffee table (the one I didn't want him to sell! lol!) he sold for $40. Then two people came back that had been in the morning to ask about it, and asked how much he sold it for. LOL. But like the PS1, it has a nice selling-story to it too: the guy bought it because he wants to teach his grand-daughter to play chess. I mean, could you ask for it to go to a better home?!

And lastly, my poor baby Banjo!!! Earlier this week, he kept licking his face and seemed to not be closing his mouth. (He is a dog that pants half the time... so I wasn't especially worried at first, but then it got to a stage where I was a little worried). We tried looking at his gums and teeth, nothing. His breath was a lot smellier than normal. I took him to the vet on Thursday. The vet looked at his gums and teeth (as DH and I did), couldn't find anything, suggested maybe he had a sore throat and got a flashlight to inspect the inside of his mouth. Opens Banjo's mouth and what do we find, but a piece of a stick jammed in the roof of his mouth, horizontally between the molars on the left and right side! (hard to describe...) The vet said 'ahh, this is your problem!' quickly reached in and pulled it out. Our poor Banjo must have had it in for a few days, two great big holes on the inner side right next to his teeth and huge cut across the roof of his mouth (and blood!). The vet gave us some painkillers and antibiotics to clear up the infection. He asked if Banjo had trouble eating or drinking. Nope! I had even given him a bone the day before. Our vet laughed and said 'This ones a tought nut!'

On the trip home he sat in the front seat and when I looked over, he was curled up in a little ball with his paws on his snout. Fresh pain after getting it pulled out... ouch. He was a brave little fellow. I feel so bad that I didn't know, but the vet said unless you knew what to look for you wouldn't have known - he said he didn't expect to find that at all, he just thought Banjo had a sore throat, and that you wouldn't have been able to see without a light, as the roof of Banjo's mouth is speckled anyway, the stick was pretty much camoflaged. Poor Banjo!!! Total cost $70.25 for short vet visit, A/B & pain meds. (worth every penny I should add!!!!)

Here are some pictures of the last time we took them out, to my little sisters birthday picnic in the park:



end of the line

August 16th, 2011 at 05:54 pm

It is nearing breaking point at my workplace with everyone. I don't like to whinge too much about my job here (because well, I know I do it a lot, so every extra post is another whine that no one wants to hear about). But I can't really anywhere else... sorry guys!

My best friend quit this morning. She has been off sick a few times lately. First with a broken arm - tripped over something at her house in the dark getting ready for work (works night shifts). Second time, she had salmonella poisoning. Third time, which she is off work right now from, a bulging disc in her back is pressing against a nerve. She is on extreme painkillers, spends all day and night lying on a mattress in her parents loungeroom. Is only allowed to get up for roughly 5 minutes, three or four times a day (basically... to go to the toilet). Will be like this for a week.

These things are not her fault, but even so, she made the painful journey to work yesterday, to talk to our boss and his wife. My boss has no balls (excuse the crass language) and did not talk to her. Let his wife do the talking. And did she talk! And, within earshot of everyone at the workplace, which I thought was very unproffesional.

She talked to my friend (who is a 26 year old woman) like a naughty child. I have heard her talk to her children, and that is how she talked to my friend. She went on to say that her husband has to get up off his deathbed (no, he's not dying. not even sick) to work for her and that they can't rely on her. If they still had the other baker (who left, 9 months ago) she would have been fired by now. Also that she needs to take better care of herself, and if she has any time off after this, she is getting fired. She also went on to say that this is extremely stressful for her because her and her husband have not had a holiday in years, and now she feels like she can't go away for a week without stressing that no one will show up for work.

First of all, she's being a drama queen about it all. Secondly, her personal aspects of running a business have nothing to do with the staff she employs. And lastly, it's a small family business, what exactly does she expect if she employs the bare minimum of staff with the lowest amount of hours possible? Of COURSE her husband is going to have to work extra if someone is sick. If that's the way you operate, that's what you get when it all goes kaphooey. Idiot.

Anyway, my friend quit. She sais she's saving everyone the hassle of firing her and doing it to herself. She has a car that's about to stop working because it needs a new gearbox, she booked and paid for a holiday a year ago that's due in a month and is freaking out about that. She told me if she could get her money back she would do it in an instant - but she can't, not even half.

On top of that, which is enough to make my blood boil, the boss's wife, shall we call her J, asked me yesterday if I wanted extra hours while people take holidays later this month. I said sure. She then went on to talk about me working afternoon shifts, which is something I don't do normally, and I wouldn't be able to organise uni around. I said to her (nicely) that if it meant extra hours but doing afternoon shifts, then no to worry about it, as I couldn't do it. She got in a huff, said 'Fine! Don't Worry about it!' and stormed off. A few minutes later came up to me and started on about needing to know if I could EVER work afternoons and if they could RELY on me and whether I wasn't FLEXIBLE anymore. I initially started to explain but when I saw that it was more about her talking at me rather than listening to what I had to say, I ignored her and carried on with my work. Later on when I had gotten home, I sent her a text message. It read:
'I don't expect my studies to be important to you, but they are important to me. I started them because even though I asked, there is no possibility of advancement in my current job. To change my schedule, I need a lot of notice as I plan my semesters' assessments and tutorials based on times I will be available to do them. I don't expect you to know several months in advance when you will need me, and I don't expect you to care about my workload either. I just wanted you to understand this is why it is difficult for me to tell you if I am available for afternoon work.'

This is the way she talks to people, she is blunt and unapologetic. I can be blunt. I usually am a little nicer but I figured this is what she gets. She rang me to tell me 'accusing her of not caring is being catty'. I told her I didn't say she didn't care, I said I didn't expect her to. (she is always talking about how hard her life is because she has two young children, and no one would understand how little time she has unless they have children too. And run a business)
She went on to say that I ahve been hostile and resentful to her lately, and that she feels like I would not give her the time of day. I said 'actually, you're right. I wouldn't. I don't appreciate the way you talk to me, and other people, and I know I am not the only one who feels this way.' Other things were said as well. I didn't lose my temper, I just got everything out in the open.
As usual though, she didn't take anything in at all. She turned it all around on me and the other staff ('We have given you SO much, more than any other business would. Who else gives you birthday presents? Engagement presents? Huh? And I spend all this time defending you against other staff because you didn't lose as many hours as them.')
And when I brought up the incident a few months ago to do with my sister, she turned it, as usual, on me. ('I know you must have been stressed out, and that is why the conversation ended up as it did'). I said, 'You come across as though you don't care at all about what's going on in people's lives at all. We all hear about how the business is affecting you and how cutting staff hours affects you and your husband, but you do not care, do not want to listen and don't give anyone the time to talk about how losing shifts affects them. You don't ask how anyone is going and then you get angry when you hear people complain.'. She went on to say I was contradicting myself, because when I called about my sister, I didn't want to discuss why she couldn't work. Excuse me? That is a completely personal matter - all that she needed to know was that she could not work - there is no reason for her to know why a 15 year old junior casual staff member can't work a four hour shift. When I mentioned that she yelled at me after I told her my sister was in hospital she said 'that's not the way I remember the conversation'. She said she sent me a text the next day because she felt the conversation didn't sit well with her (oh? really?). I interupted her at that point, and mentioned that the text meant nothing, as she had never apologised for her actions, even now. She completely ignored me.

Anyway. At the end of the conversation, she said all she needs to know is that I will turn up to work, do my shift with 100% effort, and that she understands 'our relationship'.

Also - I think she recorded my conversation, or, that I was on loudspeaker the whole time and my boss was also listening. I could hear a funny echo. My friend said she heard the same thing, and thought it odd that J asked her several times 'Now, I need to know if you are NOT going to go for workers compensation and that you DID NOT do this injury at work'. She asked my friend to repeat it several times, so it's highly likely they recorded it. I should make it a point to mention to her one day that it is illegal to do that without consent...

I after that conversation, I emailed my dad about it, and applied for five jobs online. My dad sent me a late email telling me that if my heart wasn't in it anymore and the workplace had gone sour, that I should leave soon and not let it drag me down. Something will turn up, he said. You just have to look.

I am planning on spending the weekend studying, and will set aside an hour to print resumes, track down a lovely old couple who employed me a few years ago to use as a reference, and spend a few afternoons next week visiting businesses in the area to find SOMETHING. I can't work for someone who can't admit even one fault about herself.

A whole day to study!

August 13th, 2011 at 04:10 pm

I have cancelled going to a friends birthday to catch up on my studies. DH is still going though, and leaves in about an hour. Hes going early to spend a day catching up with friends and is picking up a piece of art we bought a few weeks ago. He's also giving a friend some items to sell in his shop, fingers crossed that goes well!
Yesterday I learnt quite a few people dropped out of one of the courses I'm doing (sta2300 - data analysis). I'm determined NOT to fail. It is a hard course, but I only need 50% to pass. I have found that the ones who have dropped out and complain about how hard it is, how far they are behind, how Italy it is they have to learn ALL the info in ONE semester... Are also the ones that spend the most time on the university course forum, and the Facebook study page one of them set up. I feel like saying 'maybe if you didn't waste so much time you might be up to date on your studies???' argh. People are so frustrating.

garage sale success

August 13th, 2011 at 02:55 am

Whew! What a day! The garage sale is over. We were up and selling very early, first customer arrived at 6am and continued on until roughly midday. We made just over $440 in total. The guy who bought the tires owe us $60 (paid a $20 dep), and a single mum with kids owes $90 for a tv cabinet. She paid $10 deposit and is also paying us $15 if we can deliver it to her house on Wednesday when she gets more money. I made cupcakes to sell as well (sold about 12 for $2 ea) and she has asked me to make 10 more on Wednesday... And wants to order some for a birthday as well, later on. Yay! I am only charging her $1.50 each for the bulk orders. I have to find out how much I can buy the ingredients for from my boss. I don't make a lot on them (they are not cheap ingredients... Cream cheese, strawberries etc) but anything is good really!)
After the garage sale we did our weekly grocery shop and had Mexican for dinner from a new place in town. Naughty having takeaway two nights in a row... Especially after just doing the shopping! But... So tired!

Already made $117!

August 12th, 2011 at 02:44 am

it is the night before our garage sale and we have already made $117 from it! An older guy (I'm assuming hes a collector, one of those that arrive really early to get the good stuff and then resell it elsewhere) asked if he could take a look today as he wouldn't be here on Saturday. We said that was fine. By the time he arrived we had most things already priced. He haggled a little which was fine and in the end he bought an old hat stand for $15, a golf club set for $10, a frame for $2 and a set of Tyres from my old car for $80. :-)

garage sale officially going ahead!

August 9th, 2011 at 07:38 pm

I booked an ad in the newspaper today. Hopefully it doesn't work against us, but I booked it with a state wide newspaper rather than the local one. Our local wanted $55 for one day, $75 for two day ad, whereas the statewide papers' ad was $18.54! I know a few people who read the statewide ad so I'm figuring people DO read it in our area, and the woman taking the details said she does list ads regularly for garage sales in our area. I just can't justify paying that much for 8 lines of text (funnily enough, we got 10 lines in the statewide one...!)

We don't even have to buy price stickers because DH has some from his home-brewing kit. He thought it would be a good idea to stamp the stickers with a date and stick it on the top of the bottle - then found out it's just easier to write a number on the cap instead, with pen.

Hopefully we sell some stuff. DH is even letting go of MORE bigger items too, which is extremely exciting. A few tables, like I mentioned in a previous post, plus a snowboard & associated gear, an electric stainless steel oven (my boss actually gave it to me - hoping to get $100 for it, but would be happy with $50 or $40 if someone offers). I'm going to go through my baking-ware drawer too. I have so much stuff I have been given that I don't use. Who needs seven muffin trays??? I have books to sell too, and clothes.

Any tips from fellow SA'ers who have held garage sales? It's been so long since I was involved in one, and even then I was very young.

university: subjects, semesters, ramblings, textbooks etc.

August 8th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I got some marks back for a small assessment piece (one of the first for this semester). Actually, all I've gotten back is my peer marks - but, they were positive, and I got 4/5 & 5/5 for the peer markings. I have three more assessment pieces like this. Still waiting on the marks from the actual course leader.

I have so many assessments this semester I've actually had to write it all down on a wall calender and put notes of when I hope to have completed sections of some of the larger ones, just so I don't fall behind or forget them (already nearly happened...) It's crazy.

For CIS1000 I have 4 presentations, 2 assignments & one 2 hour closed-exam. For STA2300 I have 9 online tests, 3 assignments and a 2 hour restricted exam. Full on compared to my last subject LAW1101, where I had four online tests and a 2 hour exam...

I enrolled in Semester 3 already. I have holidays in a month so I hope to spend a few days trying to track down cheap textbooks for this one. I am doing ACC1102 (financial accounting). I am actually excited about this one because it mainly involves using the MYOB software package... which I already use for work! I'm looking forward to learning neat tricks and new things I can utilise at work, and hopefully by the end of the subject I'll be able to confidently say I'm proficient in MYOB... instead of just mumbling something about 'using it at work sometimes...' Big Grin

It's funny, in this day & age I feel I need a piece of paper to say I know how to do something. (Everyone else is qualified in this or has a degree in that, etc etc). Otherwise I have no confidence in myself at all. I've passed on THREE book-keeping jobs to other people. Yes, THREE. And I KNOW I could do them myself, I'm just terribly afraid of making a mistake and feeling like I'm not qualified to be doing something, so why am I charging someone to do it for them?

The funny thing is, one of the jobs I passed on to a friend of a friend (I must say here, I don't particularly like her much) I have had the opportunity to see her work, as the job I gave her was doing the book work for the butchery who supplies my workplace with meat. And I know she's not doing it properly. Every time I see the invoices... I want to go in there and fix his accounts up! Argh! Anyway. It's not my problem. He has an accountant as well - I'm assuming he fixes it. LOL.

Anyway. I'm rambling. This is a university update post.

Assuming I pass the two subjects I'm doing now... will mean I have done five subjects in a year. I'm doing one over the Summer semester. And then... Not entirely sure. Depending on when (if) we conceive, it's possible that a due date will be around exam dates of Semester 1, 2012. And I'm unsure how I'll go studying whilst being pregnant. Don't people get tired and forget things? I'm already tired all the time! Eeek. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, as I'm not even remotely pregnant yet. LOL.

But, I do plan on doing two subjects a semester after the birth, anyway, whenever that is. Maybe even three. We will see.

I had to buy my textbooks NEW again this semester, grrrr. Spent $370-ish for two subjects! Got three books, three or four different computer programs... AHHH. So many resources, so little time to utilise them properly! Add onto that my actual course CD that I have to work through as well...

On top of the $370 I also have to buy the Microsoft Access program, as my student version of Microsoft Office Suite only had a trial pack of Access (which has expired). I was able to download another trial version that lasts for two months, and can buy it at a discounted rate for $99 online. I had an idea today though, that PERHAPS I will be able to bribe my little sister into giving me her username and password for her school account email, and letting me download ANOTHER trial version. I only need it for four months... this could actually work! Big Grin (assuming they don't track your IP address, only your email account name...).

When doing my tax return two weeks ago, it became official that I have a HECS debt. I am sure in a few years time I won't be excited to see it, but at the moment it is still a bit of a novelty. I owe $6750.00 so far! Probably a bad thing to get excited about debt - but it is one debt that I don't have to worry about. The interest is minimal, and I am not required to pay a cent back until I earn over a certain amount (I think at the moment it is $47-50k a year... but it goes up every year). If I do choose to pay it back earlier, which, once I graduate and we are earning more, I plan to, whatever I pay back I get an extra 10% paid off as well. (So If I pay $500, $550 actually gets paid off the debt).

Back to the topic of textbooks, I have looked on eBay and some student sites, and I think I may be able to sell the books for roughly what I paid for them, thank goodness. It is good to get some money for them - and with these I won't be marking them in any way either. The only one I have hung onto so far has been my accounting textbook for the first accounting course, ACC1101. I think that they do actually use it in ACC1102 anyway, so I am glad I kept it! Otherwise I'd have to buy it all over again...

Well, time to go and actually do some studying now! Take care gang!

weekly update

August 7th, 2011 at 09:41 pm

Another week, and another weekend, gone so fast. I can't believe it's a week into August already.

DH and I had a nice weekend. We went to a local market to check out what they had and whether we'd be able to have a stall there. So far it seems no one else is selling what we want to, which is a good sign.

I bought a skirt while I was there. It was $AU60, handmade, organic cotton, and was able to meet and talk to the lady who made them.

Also bought some curry spice mix ($10).

Due to studying, I've changed our 'grocery shopping day' to Saturday, and now DH comes with me and helps. It's quicker this way, and we get to spend the morning together. Then we go home, I settle into my uni work and DH unpacks and does whatever he wants/needs to (lately, usually car stuff).

DH has been cooking more lately too. We just bought a wok. I know it's something most people have but I've never gotten around to buying one in all the years we've lived by ourselves. Someone usually has one. Anyway, long story short, found the cheapest possible one for $19 and DH is trying it out tonight and making sweet and sour tofu stirfry with egg noodles.

No word on the job front. My current job is annoying as usual. I get to work with my boss's wife tomorrow, which will be interesting, as I haven't really said more than two words to her since the incident involving my little sister.

Looks like we might definately have the garage sale this weekend, if the weather seems like it might be good. Exciting! DH has already made some signs up. The only thing we have to do is put an ad in the paper.

garage sale, keeping & getting rid of things...

August 4th, 2011 at 09:52 pm

DH doesn't have a lot of work lined up for the next two weeks (and has already had a week off, save for a small 6 hour job), so for the first time ever he's actually been extremely motivated to hold the garage sale we've talked about having since we moved in (two years ago...).

My DH is a bit of a hoarder. He reckons he's not, but his motto is 'if I can use it at some stage, some day, possibly... then we should keep it, we have room after all!'
Yeah, right. That 'room' we had (the entire basement) is full of crap. Big Grin I'm sorry, I meant useful stuff *cough*. I have a few items to sell as well.

DH wants to sell our coffee table though. He made it about five years ago and I love it. It's solid hardwood with a parquetry top that you can play chess on. When he said he wants to sell it and use another one he has (that's in the basement somewhere) I said I wanted to keep it because everyone always comments on it when they enter our house, it looks nice, and also he MADE it. He says he doesn't want it BECAUSE he made it. Frown

Oh well. I guess we have to learn to let go. And I suppose I shouldn't be trying to make him keep it - after all he does have a bit of a problem with that anyway! Why am I discouraging him!?

I remember when my dad & stepmum had a garage sale years and years ago. I was about 13. My stepmum gently suggested my dad sell a few of his records (he has... oh... a few thousand...). After much thought and sorting he emerged with an entire milk crate, with about 20 he was willing to let go. Big Grin
He told me later, that when someone flicked through the crate and picked up a record for a closer look, my dad felt his stomach clench when he realised he just wasn't that ready to let it go. At that exact moment, the mans daughter threw a tantrum, distracting him. My dad whisked the milk crate away and put it back in the house Big Grin

updates, diets, outings.

August 2nd, 2011 at 07:09 pm

I just checked my account and my tax refund has been cleared. Yay! That means DH's will go through tomorrow.

(I had done mine and looked at the pile of reciepts for DH's and decided to post-pone it to the next night. And thank goodness, it took me nearly an hour!)

I have been inspired again reading Ceejays blog to start a short and sweet health kick regime. Even though we *are* much healthier right now than a month ago (and even then - we were much healthier than a lot of people we know!) I have found I haven't budged any weight that I wanted to. Frown I blame winter, studying, lack of energy etc etc. But, I only have about five weeks until TTC and even though some would think it's pointless (seeing as, well, I'll probably be putting on a lot more weight in the 9 months after...!) I still want to be as fit and healthy as I possibly can before pregnancy.

My aim is to take the dogs for a longer than usual walk/run (around an hour) on a different walking track. This one has a few hilly areas and gives me a bit of a workout. I'm hoping to do that five days a week, one day of rest and one day of yoga. Also hoping to slip a few sessions of boxing in there too, but that's only a maybe, depends on the time.

Diet-wise, I have cut out drinking coffee during the week, and only drink one or two cups on the weekend. This is for a few reasons: firstly sometimes I get weird heart palpitations, sweats and shakes when I have a cup of coffee (I haven't gotten them since I stopped, a few months ago). Also, because obviously I won't be drinking coffee while I'm pregnant, so this is me weaning Big Grin. And lastly, because DH had to give up drinking, I figured I'd do something too.

You should have seen us the first night! Sitting down to dinner, It went something like this:
DH: Can't I just start this tomorrow? I've had a long hard day working with dad and I want a glass of wine.

Me: What! No! If you do that, then tomorrow you'll say the same thing, then the next day, and the next, then there won't be any point at all. And besides, I haven't had a coffee all day and my head feels like it's about to implode. So you CAN'T have a wine.


Continuing on the diet discussion, I haven't quite figured it out actually. But I'm thinking along the lines of a few weeks eating steamed vegetables, brown rice, soups etc. Might have one day in there to relax a little and eat something naughty. But for the most part I want to eat fresh unprocessed organic food, mostly vegetables. Minimal dairy. Extremely reduced sugar intake (probably only my 'free' day). Etc Etc. We'll see how I go. It's so difficult trying to study though, with low energy levels. I find my concentration wanes a lot. Now I understand why my old flatmate used to eat 1kg of lollies every week - the sugar keeps you UP. lol.

We are thinking of going to Greazefest on Sunday ( www.greazefest.com ). It is a 1950's car/fashion/style/hotrod/music themed festival that we've wanted to go to for a few years and finally we have the weekend spare when it's on! Exciting. But, we are still deciding, because the day will probably cost $100+ ($25 each entry, petrol to get there, food etc). And DH is just about to spend a bit of money on some screenprinting paint and a bulk lot of blank tshirts. We have a friend who operates an art studio who has offered to sell some of DH's designs.

Even though we're about to embark on running the flooring business ourselves with less input from DH's dad, I think DH wants to find a way to make money without having to do physically draining work, use chemicals, and deal with pedantic clients. (Unfortunately the clients can't be helped, DH's dad runs a premium flooring business that is unlike the subcontracted ones you hire out from a carpet shop who do a usually sub-par job.)

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