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Archive for June, 2009

June Totals

June 30th, 2009 at 09:00 pm

DF: $2888.00
Me: $2326.70
Other: $20.00 (surveys)
Total: $5234.70

Mortgage (Min): $1523.08
Mortgage Extra: $607.00
Groceries: $454.56
Petrol: $146.04
Phone & Internet: $77.39
Car Repairs: $120.10
Mobile Phone: $55.76
House Insurance: $69.39
Life Insurance: $53.67
Property Rate (Adjustment): $65.00
Car Payments: $148.00
Pet Supplies: $22.31
House Maintenance/Repairs: $504.14
Appliances/House Gadgets: $52
DF Fun: $349.99
Me Fun: $218.85
Dining Out: $258.74
Entertainment: $92.00
One Off Purchases: $320 (Engagement Ring Deposit)
Bank Fees: $2.00
Gifts: $67.30

TOTAL: $5186.01

$48.69 remaining

Under budget in the grocery category, which is good, by about $7 a week. Next month will be interesting, as I will be counting Jeds food into the grocery budget as well.

I transfered $607 into the mortgage today, we've made over $1200 in extra payments so far. Interest hasn't hit yet, (hits tomorrow) but I am enjoying having our loan balance at under $300k, even if it is just for a day!!! Next month it should be *officially* under 300k though.
Spent a bit on house stuff this month, star pickets and fencing, etc.

DF did well this month with his Fun money - only $7.49 extra per week than his alotted amount. Considering he paid for framing for some posters and the rest was probably beer, he did very well. Smile

My fun money total was $5.30 less per week than I was allowed to spend. I am going to leave this amount in the accounts, but in the future I am thinking of transferring it over to my car loan.

Dining out and entertainment were a little high, but we did not over indulge as such - the largest expense was a really nice restaurant which was kind of obligatory to attend that night as it was DF's sisters last 'childless night out'.

One off purchase was the engagement ring deposit - I thought I would be picking it up and paying the $2k this month, but they rang me and it will not be ready until August now. Which is a bummer - but that gives us another 4 weeks to buffer the cost.

I haven't really started on saving this month - more focused on making some extra payments. We still have approx $8k EF and around $700+ in our bills account.

End of Financial Year!

June 29th, 2009 at 03:50 pm

Like Kitty has posted also, it is the end of the financial year for us ol' aussies.

For most, this means waiting for our employers to give us group certificates, getting ready for tax (though most people leave it until October) and maybe taking advantage of the stocktake sales. Some people might have to do an hour or so of counting stock for their work.

Me, however, and anyone else that does any type of work to do with finances, has a lot on their plate during this time.

This week at work I have to:
Calculate employees total yearly earnings, tax etc and send out individual group certificates.
Total the jobs and income for the year, and for the quarter.
Print a quarterly statement from our financial software, and prepare a backup disc for the year to give to the accountant.
Send the total wages information to the tax office.
Send an estimate of next years wages to Work Cover.
Reconcile Junes Bank statements.
Prepare the last quarters business activity statement.
Make an appointment with the accountant.
Total the last quarters superannuation payments and mail.
Prepare everything for the next financial year (starts tomorrow!).

So, in the next two days I have to do all that, plus my normal workload.

But, I am still young and foolish enough to get excited about the EOFY, because tax refunds and bonza sales. Big Grin I am sure it will wear off in a few years.

My dad once didn't do his taxes for ten years!

What's your top 10 songs?

June 28th, 2009 at 02:46 pm

In Australia there is a radio station, Triple J, which is not a commercial radio station, but is very well known. Every year they release a cd of the Top 100 songs of the year, which is voted for by the public. In 1989 they released an album, Top 100 Songs Of All Time. (Love will Tear Us Apart being the #1 song at that time).

This year they are doing it again, so DF and I voted. The voting closed last night at midnight.

DF voted for a lot of Ween songs Smile, Beethovens Fur Elise, Queens of the Stone Age and The White Stripes.

I voted for:
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) Golden Brown (The Stranglers) All Along The Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix) Times Are A Changing (Bob Dylan) Buckingham Green (Ween) Jailhouse Rock (Elvis) Billy Jean (Michael Jackson) Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes) Fur Elise (Beethoven) and O Fortuna (Carl Orff).

Fingers crossed some of them make it into the top 100!

You also have to pick your # 1 song and explain why, and the winner gets an all expenses paid trip to the Reading Festival. So cool! My # 1 song was by Bob Dylan.

Anyway. This doesnt really have anything to do with finances... unless you count MAYBE having a trip to England? Or that we'll be spending $30 on a CD soon...? Big Grin lol.

What are your top 10 songs?

i am SO angry

June 28th, 2009 at 02:11 am

Today my older sister called - she lives in the city so I don't get to see her often. She is going to the UK very soon on a holiday. Because our mum was born in Wales we are able to get an ancestral visa, allowing us to work and live in the UK and EU for 4 years, and then we can apply for residency.
All my sister needs for this is a copy of my mums Birth Certificate, signed by a Justice of the Peace. All easy to do, you would think, on my mums part. Something you think a mother would gladly do for her daughter, right?


At first, she said yes. She even copied the documents and everything.

But all of a sudden, she changed her mind (I did not know this - I thought she had sent them). She sent my sister a text message that said, she had thought about it and decided not to do it for my sister, as my sister is not a seasoned traveler (whatever the F that means). She does not believe that my sister 'deserves' this.

I am SO f&!@#ing angry right now. How is that our mothers decision, how is that her right, to say that her daughter doesnt DESERVE to live in the UK for 4 years???

Of course, that is my mother for you. When you need something from her, she is manipulative and controlling. And she makes such a big deal out of what she is doing for you. I just can't believe hwo much of a control-freak she is being.

Long story short, my sister rang me and told me all that, and that she has told our mum that she no longer wants anything to do with her, atleast for a while. My sister told me she, at this moment, feels she would like to not talk to our mother for at least ten years. Some of you know some of my previous stories about my mother, so you can probably understand that I agree with my sister 100%. It's so hard to explain, but I can't put into words how much of a piece of work my mother is.

Oh, and my younger brother and sister, 14 and 15 years old, who live at home still, are not allowed contact with my older sister now. I find it completely ridiculous. My mother raves on and on about 'segregation of family' and how people 'disrespect her', and yet, she is the one that segregates everyone, and can you really blame any of us for disrespecting her???


My poor sister, she only has bought her ticket to france and is now saving her spending money. She was relying on this working visa, she will only have $4000 in spending money. Frown


How to Make Dog Food

June 26th, 2009 at 06:44 pm

I saved some money yesterday my using my brain. I NEARLY bought a gift pack from the body shop - saves me wrapping it nicely, but I decided at the last minute to just check out their individual pricing - and I realised I nearly paid $8 for wrapping paper!!! What the hell?

For $32.70 I would have gotten 1 body wash, 1 body lotion, a bar of soap and a wash mit. But for $29.70 I got two bars of soap, a body wash, a body lotion and one of those little fancy facewashers, the ones that are packed in a tiny little cylinder and you have to add water, they're called Magic Flannels. So I saved some money and got something extra.

Today am going to be making some meals for Jed. I found out the other day that my friend T also makes dog food for her dogs. Here I was thinking I was the only weird hippy that believed dogs shouldn't be fed out of cans. Who woulda thought???

For anyone that's wondering, this is what I do:

(as a general rule - dogs should have 40% meat, 30% vegetables and 30% starch)

800g meat (I use whatever is least fatty on special, ie. rump steak, chuck steak, bbq steaks etc - usually around $13 a kilo)
600g finely chopped vegetables (carrots, beans etc)
600g cooked pasta or rice

I sometimes put 1 clove of garlic in the food, but it must be cooked and must be fresh garlic. Garlic helps repel fleas - but spoiled or raw garlic is bad for dogs.

Usually I cook the rice and saute the vegetables and garlic. Once the vegetables are soft, I add the chopped meat and turn off the heat.

If your dog prefers cooked meat you may want to cook it all the way through, but most dogs I have looked after prefer it on the rare side (but completely uncooked meat gives dogs the runs if you give it to them in large quantities without a lot of fibre).

Once the rice or pasta is cooked, add it to the pot with the vegetables and meat and stir through.

Then I put the mix in small containers (usually two serves in one container - but that is for small dogs).

Don't keep the cooked mix in the fridge, unthawed, for more than three days.

I do feed dogs dry food, we buy an organic one made from lamb and rice enriched with vitamins from a guy at the sunday markets.

I have heard you can use oatmeal too, in place of rice or pasta, but I have never tried this - though my parents sometimes feed their dogs porridge in the morning in winter time - same as everyone else in their house! It's cute to see the whole family eating breakfast together, even the dogs, lol.

I have had one person on here, and many in 'real' life, say that making dog food would be too hard and time consuming, but it really is not. Also, I know what my dog is eating, and that it is not some unidentifiable stodge from a can! I feel much better knowing that.

today i spent... $2320.00

June 25th, 2009 at 12:50 am


The engagement ring is now IN THE MAKING.

I am able to pick it up on 16/07/09.

Ok, well technically I did not pay the full amount, I paid a deposit of $320, and will pay the rest when I pick it up. Or DF will pay it when he picks it up.

So then we will be able to start telling people, properly. I didn't feel the need to rush really, we will not get married for a good few years yet anyway. I don't mind being 'engaged' for a long period either, it gives you more time to appreciate the work that went into the engagement ring, and to enjoy being engaged as a separate thing from marriage, not distracted from stressful wedding organisation either, instead of just looking at it as a stepping stone to a wedding/wedding band.

So finally, eh!? It has been a few months since DF proposed, in January. About time!

Ways I Cut Costs &... how do YOU cut costs?

June 23rd, 2009 at 07:53 pm

I have always tried to get the best deals for everyday things. A lot of the time getting a good deal means locking into some type of contract. I've never had a problem with this, but at the same time, you have to weigh up whether a better deal will come up halfway through your 'lock in' phase. And then, you must be prepared to pounce once your lock in period expires, to avoid falling into the lazy trap and paying a higher price for an old product.

Over a year ago I locked into a 24 month contract for our internet. At the time, there were 3 of us sharing the cost, so we had a reasonable amount of downloads to go with that. (It was $75 a month for line rental and 5gb of downloads).
The plan expires around January 2010, so while I've still got a while to wait, it's a good opportunity for me to see whats out there. Also, I have to take into consideration that being just myself and DF, we only use about 1-2gb of downloads a month now. After only a little searching, I was able to find a plan for 3gb downloads for $68 a month, including line rental. I could probably go a step further and get the best separate deals on line rental and internet; but usually there's a bundle discount, which would probably cancel out any savings.

We don't 'do' cable television, and probably never will. I just don't see the point, I'm sorry. (And here we only have 7-10 channels, depending on whether you have HD or not - and we don't). So that's a monthly expense saved.

Gas - well, we are probably a while away from getting a refill for those. We have two massive bottles that the previous tenants filled before vacating, and in the near-four months we've been living here, we haven't even used one whole one yet. I have considered when the time comes, ringing different gas companies and seeing what type of deal they can give us if we signed some type of contract with them. My boss told me that his wife signed up with one and they gave them 2 free bottles (they cost $100 each, so that's a good saving!).

Electricity - It's probably the one thing I would be hesitant signing a contract for. Electricity prices are getting higher by the second, and there are so many clauses in their sneaky contracts, so much fine writing to read, and the fact that energy has been privatised recently has lead to a lot of disgruntled people I've spoken to who've been dealing with the new 'energy' salesmen. So, I might leave that one for now, and simply try to save money the old fashioned way: turninng things off at the switch, switching off the lights, making sure we ONLY switch the second fridge on for parties etc.

Bank Fees - something some people don't consider when cutting costs. We are fortunate to be 'good' with our credit cards, and pay off the balance each month. Also, we only have one fee for our banking, which comes yearly. It's hefty, at $395, but with a bit of planning I am hoping to offset it against our credit card rewards and interest earnings/savings. Also, if either of us incur a withdrawl fee for using another banks ATM, there's hell to pay! We keep on each others backs about that.

Heating/Cooling Costs - We don't have any! So that's a plus. However, DF hopes to get an airconditioner next summer. So we have about 6 months to find a good deal, and 6 months to prepare ourselves for the astronomical electricity bill. And 6 months to decide what constitutes an appropriate temperature to turn it on in the first place (to lower the before mentioned electricity bill).

Entertainment - It's one of the few things you can find coupons for in Australia. That, and car tinting! So we always try to use a coupon when bowling, to save ourselves a couple of bucks per game. We are members of a movie club, and try to see movies either on cheap Tuesdays ($9.50 tickets) or the movie of the week ($8.50 tickets). Now and again we will pay full price for a movie, but not very often at all. At $15.20 a pop, we'd be broke in seconds if we paid full price every time we went to the movies!

Groceries - I have to admit I am not as savvy a shopper as some of you are here. We also don't have such a large scale coupon culture here either. But I do try to take advantage of good deals, and shop around. Another confession I have is: I don't mean to, and certainly don't want to come off as a snob, but I turn up my nose at a lot of the junk that DOES sell for incredibly cheap prices at the supermarkets. I just can't fathom paying money, however small the amount is, for something like premade mac and cheese (just an example) and putting it into my body for fuel. I just can't do it. So while I realise those are two big money losses on my account, I do try to make up atleast a small amount of savings by buying extra of an item I normally buy when it is on sale. DF is also getting in on this. He found the coffee we normally buy, an organic rainforest brand that sells normally for $9 for 250g, on special for $5 a pack, so he bought three packs. I found Extra Virgin Olive Oil, normally $9.99 for 1L, on special for $2.99 and bought three bottles.
So we do cut costs sometimes with grocery shopping.

What are some ways that you cut costs on every day items?

Meal Plan

June 23rd, 2009 at 03:48 pm

This is a loose meal plan for the week, starting from tonight. I say 'loose' meal plan, because sometimes, as a lot of you probably experience as well, you just don't feel like eating/cooking what you planned to.

Wednesday: Beef Ragou Pie for DF/ Miso soup for me

Thursday: Feta and Oven Roasted tomato tart.

Friday: Pumpkin stuffed ravioli with a tomato sauce.

Saturday: BBQ at a friends house

Sunday: Rice Pilaf (with lamb for DF)

Monday: Bolognaise for DF/ Vege Pasta for me

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Meal for DF/Mexican Tomato Beans for me with rice.

I found out something the other day: DF doesn't like seafood. He likes fish and bug tails, but nothing else! Seafood is the only meat I will occasionally eat (like, once a month or less), and DF grew up with his dad being very into fishing and seafood. I love prawns and crab meat, and we were watching master chef the other day and I mentioned I might make some kind of grilled prawn dish and DF was like 'YUCK!'. So then I found a recipe in a book for a crab linguine that looked delicious, and he said the same thing. It came as quite a shock to me, I've known him for 9 years!

Anyway. I guess you learn something new every day eh?

meals, ring etc

June 22nd, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I am addicted to Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook. It's getting out of hand - I use it as a treat to myself when I finish a work goal lol. ('reconcile the credit card statement - and then one game' or 'pay the wages - one game') Ah!


I've just turned the Lamb Ragou onto the 'warm' setting on the slow cooker. I took Jed for a walk (he was quite good! excited to go for a walk, but good!). He probably wanted to go for longer (took about 20-25 minutes) but my lazy self, having had no exercise for a couple of weeks, decided that was a big enough walk for today.

It's meant to be winter but I would guess it's about 20 degrees C outside right now. Yesterday it rained all day. Damn Queensland weather! Never know what to expect.

DF's dad and my mum came over to see Jed. They believe he isn't 100% Jack Russell - he may have some kelpie in him. (?) I don't care, I love him anyways! Big Grin DF's dad is still fine with him siring his Jack Russell though. How exciting! Little puppies!!!

They bought him a bone that they got the butcher to cut in half lengthways. It's nearly the size of HIM! I will have to post a photo of it with him next time.

Tomorrow I am going grocery shopping with a friend for the week (I know it's weird). So in a few minutes I am going to pour myself a cup of tea and go over my recipe magazines. I wish I could get my recipe BOOKS unpacked, but in our haste to clean up for the housewarming party, we stacked them against the basement wall, then stacked half our worldy possessions against those to get everything out the way. *Sigh* so I will have to wait a while for those. I have so many beautiful recipe books and I just want to flick through them all...

I spent $5 on breakfast this morning, I bought a spinach & fetta roll and a strawberry crumble scone. Oh so good!!! I have been good with my personal spending, but our dining out total for the month is disastrous! It's so easy to go 'lets get dinner as a treat for ourselves'.
In our defence, a large amount is due to the dinner out at the fancy restaurant with DF's mum, sister and her partner. Their last non-child dinner out for a while, I presume. And what a dinner! Oh, it was so delicious, worth the money, every last cent. ($30 mains, $15 desserts - and reasonably cheap cocktails at only $10). I had a sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom & spinach sauce, DF had lamb with pea puree and roasted pumpkin with a tomato jus. The desserts we shared, crusty canoli with lemon zested cream and berry compote, and a tiramisu with honey fairy floss on top. Makes me want to drive all the way there again tonight for dinner!

Next week I am going to focus on clearing out our freezer. It is in simple terms... a mess. It's chock full of frozen leftovers, bread, ice, scones, meat, tofu etc. For some reason we also have a zillion ice bricks in there.

And I need to make space for Jeds food. (we do not feed dogs 'dog' food from a can or sausage - we feed them a small portion of chopped meat, some veges and rice mixed together, and dry food. The vets are always amazed that we do that, apparently it's rare to make your own dog food??? I have grown up that way, with all pets we have had. And it's so much cheaper too - don't understand why more people don't do it!). It is funny though - the previous carers told us he is fussy with food, so I only made a small portion for him at first. The first meal I gave him, he ate it all, in about 30 seconds!

Anyway, enough dog talk, I am sure you're all sick of it by now.

So, I am thinking I will make the appointment to go and see the jeweller on thursday or friday this week. I bought a jewellery magazine a few weeks ago, and I have marked all the pages that I like different designs. When I went, the lady really did not get what I wanted. She was ever so helpful, but I don't think she realised exactly how simple I want the ring. I said 'a plain band' and she showed me an array of, yes plainER than the previous lot, but not actually PLAIN. Lol. Who knew you could be called fussy for being unfussy?


June 22nd, 2009 at 02:44 pm

Got home from work today and Jed was still in the yard! I stressed out all day thinking he would dig himself out and run away, but he didnt.

My boss, his wife and two kids, an older woman colleague and my friend/colleague came over for tea and coffee this afternoon, and so that my boss's wife and my other work colleague could see the house. (My boss has already seen it, and so had my friend/work colleague - but she was just there for moral support lol)

Spent 50c on a can of coke today at work. Another work colleague *may* have swine flu, but i think it's a long shot - i think she just wants some days off, and some attention (she's THAT type of person).

I have been so busy (doing what, I don't know) that I haven't even noticed I have been doing once-a-week grocery shopping. Usually I have had to run into the store atleast twice during the week to get something I need, but lately, not!

Last night I had a grand plan to make Baked Romani Gnocchi - but it all fell through after everyone left at 5pm and I couldn't find the recipe, so we had toasted sandwhiches for dinner instead, hehe. The bread was fresh baked today, does that count? (Never mind the baked beans I had, or the tinned spaghetti DF had). It's our one plunge into bad food that we have, along with takeaway pizza every couple of weeks. Normally I make everything from scratch out of fresh ingredients - but my guilty pleasure is toasted sandwhiches and baked beans. Combine the two and whala! Terrible eating habits! LOL. DF prefers the spaghetti in the can. We probably use half a can each in a night and then he uses the rest for his breakfasts.

Tonight I am making a Lamb Ragout for DF in the slow cooker. I might make some mexcian beans and have that with rice tonight instead.

I have to buy a small birthday gift for a friends 28th birthday. She is the wife of a guy, B, who worked with DF's friend, R. B got sacked at the start of all the GEC nonsense, but found a job he is much happier with. DF's friends are all a very tightly knit group who have been friends with each other since primary school and high school, but somehow B managed to wrestle his way in this past year and is well liked by everyone, along with his wife M. They are just very friendly and easy to get along with people. (They were the ones that bought us that lovely bottle of wine for our housewarming - I don't even drink red wine and I drank it, it was that nice!)

So you can see my dilemma, I don't know them very well, but seeing as they bought us a gift for our housewarming I feel obliged to get atleast a small present for M's birthday. Our problem is that we haven't spent enough time with her to know what she likes. DF wanted to screenprint something for her - but the problem there is that unless you know a girl fairly well, you can't get a shirt for her (the issue with sizing - what if you get it too big? you'll hurt her feelings. what if you get it too small? you'll also hurt her feelings and she won't ever wear it!). Then we thought about a blank bag that we could screenprint something on, but there's the problem of not knowing her very well - so what if we printed something she didn't like?

So I suggested some body stuff. Girly things like lotion, scrubs, foot soakers etc always go down well don't they? I could get a gift pack from the Body Shop, and it probably wouldn't be any more than $30 and still seem slightly fancy...?

Anyway, I am sure we will figure it out.

DF is going to make a kennel for Jed. We were joking that we could make it weatherboard to match our house, hehe. That would be so cute!

DF bought him some toys yesterday. He seems to favour a bone made out of rawhide (?). He's been chewing on it a lot and it's hardly made a dent, so I am thinking that's a very good buy!

One thing happened yesterday: we were on the balcony and Jed was below it (could see him through the cracks in the deck). DF looked down and goes 'What the HELL!' and said he saw Jed ON the downstairs table. I said it was probably just his eyes, but we went downstairs and there were paw prints on it! Now, not only is it bad for him to be jumping on a table, that is not our main worry (a few taps on the nose and he will realise he is not allowed to do that). No, our main concern is that the table height is the same as the fence DF put up!!! Which basically means at any time if he wanted to, Jed could jump the fence and stroll away. So here we were being worried that he would DIG himself out, and he can just jump it!!! It's not a surprise that a dog can jump, of course, but he is a fairly bulky boy - he does not seem like he could jump very high. The pictures show him to be normal sized, but I think his previous carers had over fed him a lot.

Which leads me to thinking, why hasn't he run off yet? He was alone all day yesterday but didn't leave. So he must like it here. I am thankful he is obedient in that sense, that he stays with you, even when DF was building the fence. I guess it means he has adopted us as his owners now, as we have adopted him as our pet.

meet Jed

June 21st, 2009 at 12:24 am

Finally getting some pictures up!

DF has spent the whole day setting up a fence so that Jed doesn't run away when we are at work tomorrow. As I said in my last entry, I will be working at home on Tuesday and Wednesday so I can spend time with him and let him get used to his new surroundings. I have been trying to clean up the house for some guests that are visiting for a cup of tea tomorrow afternoon, and trying to reassure Jed that he isn't alone (he has been crying and whining a lot today - poor thing has been by himself mostly for the past few weeks).
He has some annoying dog behaviours - peeing on everything, jumping up at you, licking your face and CHEWING! So we're going to train those out of him pretty quick smart. He responds to the 'satan voice' which is good (how do we know? well, Jed peed on one of DF's cars - you can imagine the reaction!). He also comes when called, which is good, and does not run off. We have let him roam around while DF's been working downstairs, and he stays in our yard. Good boy!

So, I hope you like the pictures! He's a gorgeous little boofer!

we get him tomorrow!

June 19th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

We pick up Jed (our jack russell pup) tomorrow, Sunday. He comes with papers and everything, I am so excited! DF is going to build a temporary fence tomorrow, and Monday will be the first day Jed is by himself all day at his new home. Tuesday and Wednesday I will stay home and work from home to keep him company.

we're becoming a 'family'!

June 16th, 2009 at 03:53 pm

We're getting a dog!
Next week!

His name is Jed, and he is a 2 year old Jack Russell.

I don't have any pictures yet, but he is an adorable little boy.

His owner was an older man who had to move to Darwin unexpectantly, and his kids were looking after Jed while the older man's unit got sold. It has been sold and the contract date for handover is the end of next week. If they couldn't find a home for him, they were going to give him to the pound.
Poor little guy, he has gone from being with someone all day every day and going for two or three walks a day, to only seeing someone when they turn up to feed him and throw a ball for him for 10 minutes. When they opened the gate to let him out, he was so excited to see so many people there to play with him.

I noticed a few things I am thrilled about too: he didn't bark at passing dogs, nor did he chase after them. They said he has never been a 'digger' (notorious for the Jack Russell breed), and he did not run away or stray from the group of us talking on the lawn either.

I am so excited! DF is excited, but hesitant at the same time. He is hesitant because Jack Russells have a lot of energy and need walks every day (fine with me!). He is also worried about Jed being alone the three days I work at the bakery. I think he will be alright, I will be home at 2pm anyway. The other two days I can take him with me to work, so he can play with DF's dad's dog (also a jack russell) and my mums dog (a maltese - but she doesn't really 'play'). On the weekends he will be with us constantly.

I am soooooooooooo excited.

Did I mention, I was excited???

BAD day at work.

June 15th, 2009 at 12:39 am

Argh. Bad day at work.
It must be the current economical troubles coupled with bitchiness at work with the retail ladies (two in particular) but I can't shake this feeling that my job is no longer safe. It sucks, especially when only weeks ago I was as confident as could be.

So, I know this is about to come out sounding paranoid, and I really don't mean it to sound like that, but I feel as if J & V (two older ladies at work) are out to get me. Not in any psychotic way or anything, but I can just FEEL them bitching about me. I don't understand WHY, and I really don't understand their reasons either. I don't understand why they have to make a big deal over something so small. Do they have nothing else in their lives that is more important to worry about? It just annoys me, because I am the type of person that, if I have a problem with someone at work, will go and TELL them. I'm not going to whinge and complain to everyone else about it, and hope they eventually get the point. And I'm not going to clean up after someone or do their work for them because I'm scared of telling them they're doing something wrong either. ARGH.

Now would you like to know the back story on this? I really don't even want to tell it, because it is INSANELY stupid to begin with. It's just eating at me. I just can't believe how unnecesary all of it is.

So. I can do the retail staff's job, as well as most tasks in the kitchen. I cover the shop front from time to time when someone has a day off. J has a few days off, one of them this mornings shift.

V comes in at 11.45am, the start of her shift. She looks around and sniffs 'oh, you've sliced all the bread. It goes all soft when you do that.' (as opposed to leaving it unsliced and unbagged on the racks). I say 'um well, I usually do that.' (I do - I find it so boring out the front so I slice all of the bread. You have to do it throughout the day anyway, why can't I do it all in one go?).

Thinking that's the end of it, I go to finish my shift in the kitchen. I mention it to S, the apprentice. She says "Yeah, V said that to me. She said 'Oh she sliced all the bread, it's all soft.' like it was a bad thing or something. like, that's how it is in the supermarket. wouldn't you want soft bread rather than hard dry stale bread?".

I went out the front and said to V "Look, I sliced the bread for you thinking I was helping. Obviously it wasn't a help, so I won't do it again. I just want to ask that if there's anything I'm not doing, or anything I'm doing wrong, please tell me rather than talking about it to other people." V tries to pull a stunned expression and says "Oh, it just goes soft, like I told you. If that's what you do then that's fine you can do it your way." I said to her "Look, I won't do it again. It's all fine."

Later S says to me "V asked me if I told you that she said the bread was soft."


Well, that was TODAYS story. There's another recent one, which is basically the same but involved me writing in the order book a cake was paid, but not writing it on the sheet that was attached to the cake box (I didn't know where the cake box was at the time). J decided to go on and on about it at work, and I wasn't there, and then wrote a long lovely note in the order book for me.

See now, I know it's not something that should be getting me that upset. But it is just so frustrating and annoying. Why the HELL do these silly old ladies bicker to one another, why don't they just talk to the person it INVOLVES. I just don't understand. ARGH.

Apparently they also have a problem with me working two Tuesdays (the day I normally work at my other job) because the other baker is away. They seem to think that I am getting special treatment because I didn't lose any hours over the public holidays last week. They don't seem to get that they CAN'T do MY job. Why should they get extra hours when they can't do what I can???

ALSO they asked S why *I* was the one covering the absent shifts when all of our hours get reduced, and not S. Why does it matter? Why is it any of their business?

It just makes me feel all sicky inside. I don't like the feeling. I just feel not liked and not wanted.

I could be a grown up and brush it off. Or I could behave like a little kid, sulk and say 'THEY SUCK'.

Is it bad that the little kid approach FEELS better?

this makes for an awkward situation

June 13th, 2009 at 07:16 pm

Some of you know that one of my closest friends is also one of my work colleagues. I've known her for just over two years now, but I probably know her much better than some of her primary school friends.

We had only worked together for a few months when she decided to tell me (after some, in retrospect, strangely coincidental conversations and comments) that she has a very severe case of OCD and anxiety.

I was the second person she had told about it, wilfully. The first person she told was her best friend, who then proceeded to expose her to the very things she feared, and then forced her to talk to a doctor. This resulted in my friend, T, trying to commit suicide, being commited, and then placed under the very watchful (and intruding) eye of state health, while having to attend weekly sessions with a psychologist with the threat of being institutionalised if she didn't attend.

I don't know how T expected me to respond to her confession, but I doubt it was what she recieved. Having already known a lot about OCD (I don't wish to discuss why at this point) I was slightly fascinated with her predicament, but it didn't bother me in the slightest (why should it?). The only things I ever interfered with were things that she did that hurt herself, otherwise, it wasn't my place to change her. I let her talk when she wanted to talk and probably made her talk when she didn't want to, too, but she has said that I am the only person she doesn't feel weird talking to about it.

So anyway, fast forward a year, and she is having money and car problems. Our boss's wife, being a bank manager, decides she's going to help T with her finances, and goes through her bank statements with her. She questions her on some recurring transactions which T eventually tells her are for medication and psychologist appointments, and then makes her promise to not tell her husband (T's boss). She promises, and that seems to be the end of it.

Last week, another co worker seems to go a little a-wol, and finally tells our boss that she has been on anti-anxiety medication for many years, and that she has just changed to some new ones, and they seem to be affecting her moods.

On a night shift, when it is just T and our boss, he suddenly starts talking about the other co worker, and about medication and disorders etc. (you have to understand here that our work and boss is not like a normal work situation - he is not the normal boss-type and so everyone knows everyone else's business at work - it is a friendly situation to begin with).

T thinks this is all just a little too close to home so decides to divert the conversation to safer ground, but our boss will have none of it, eventually saying that he has guessed T is on some type of medication, and that he believes she has anxiety and some other thing, 'it can't be schizophrenia so I'm guessing it's some type of OCD'.

T tries to find out how he knew, he says he just picked up things here and there.
(I think personally that his wife told him but told him not to tell T that she told him - so he tried to figure out a way to tell T he knew without incriminating his wife).

So, my problem is, that I KNOW that he knows that I know - even though T says that she didn't tell him I know. And this makes for an awkward situation at work.


meal plan for the week

June 12th, 2009 at 06:34 pm

Spent $32.50 on fresh fruit and veges today at the farmers market.

Menu for the week:

Spicy Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup
Grilled Veges & Tofu/Lamb for DF
Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup
Slow Cooked Rendang Curry
Potato & Leek Soup
Miso Soup, Udon Noodles & Steamed Veges
Thai Pumpkin Soup

Found an interesting soup recipe, broccoli and cauliflower soup with pinenuts and basil. I think I will try that one the week after. Also going to try a vegetable & bean soup, and a cauliflower, chickpea and pumpkin curry with rice.

2 degrees today! Baby hamper contents. Spendy shopping day.

June 11th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Today has been a nice day, a bit busy but overall nice to be able to get some things done and then know that I still have the weekend off Smile

It was 2 degrees celcius this morning. I wanted to get up and have a coffee with DF before he went to work at 6am, but it was so nice in bed that I just lay there until 8.30! I really need to get out of that habit I have been forming. Sleep ins are good, but only once in a while!

I had breakfast with my friend (pancakes with strawberries, which I am also counting as my lunch!) and totally forgot about the 15% public holiday surcharge. So all up coffee and pancakes was $20.85.

Then I went shopping for the baby hamper supplies. I spent just under $30 and got: and 80 pack of baby wipes, baby powder, baby lotion, nappy rash cream, a 6 pack of face washers, two pairs of newborn socks and two singlets. I decided to wrap everything individually and put it in one of those big gift bags. The $30 includes the gift bag and wrapping paper too Smile

I bought myself two black long sleeved skivvys too, $20 for both. I realised the other day I don't have anything except t-shirts that isn't a V-neck!

Also bought another coffee for the drive home ($4.85) and a jewellery magazine for $19.95. It's about 200 pages so hopefully this well help me translate to the jewellery designer what I want.

I could have spent more money today, but I didn't seem to be in a spendy mood, which was good!

Also though, I realised that while I have been nagging at DF about him spending more than his allowance each week, I realised I have too, for the past two weeks! Frown But I know that the next two weeks I won't spend much, and this will keep the average down.

what to put in a hamper for a babyshower???

June 11th, 2009 at 04:44 am

Tomorrow is a public holiday (yes! I have had a three day week! It has been fantastic!) and I am having brunch with a friend. Then I am planning on going into town and buying a whole bunch of stuff to stick in a basket for SIL's babyshower.


So far I have: babywipes, baby powder, little socks (sooo cute!).

So yeah. That's a pretty disappointing hamper. So I would love some ideas. Things that SIL will USE for the baby.

And, I am planning on buying a couple of long sleeved shirts with a higher neck. It's freezing cold in our new town, and I realised I don't have any long sleeved skivvy type tops, I usually just wear a Tshirt and a cardigan.

Aaaaanyway. So I am hoping tomorrow won't be too spendy. SIL and her fiance are staying tomorrow night, and they want to go to the movies before the baby arrives as they are thinking they probably won't be able to go for a while after she's born.


June 9th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I have a late shift tomorrow, which means I work from 10.15am til 5.45pm (ok, not really late, but late for ME!). Problem is, it's a shift working out the front of the shop. I am the only one there in the afternoons so I tend to get a bit bored, and well, when you're surrounded by food and you're bored... lets just say it's not that great a combination!

I plan to get up reasonably early (around 7am), have a coffee, blog, do some chores, and eat a late breakfast of porridge, around 930am. That should see me through with a snack, until dinner time. I have taken some meals out of the freezer, lentil dahl for myself and a beef and red wine slow cooked meal for DF.

Last night we had grilled veges (eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, asparagus, pumpkin and haloumi) YUM. I made a dressing to pour over the veges, with chilli lemon and coriander, which just made everything delicious.

DF liked the potato and leek soup I made. Smile

Tonight I think we will have a stirfry with flat rice noodles. I will make extra for DF's lunch. He told me he is trying to not take 2-minute noodles for lunch anymore! Finally, it is getting through to him. Just because the whole meal costs him $1.65 does not mean it's good for him in any way, financially or physically. I am NOT one of those people that say 'it's cheap, it's good' when it comes to food. There is NO WAY I would sacrifice health for a little savings at the checkout. DF sometimes doesn't think this way, but slowly it's getting through to him.

i feel like beating my head against a brick wall!

June 9th, 2009 at 07:21 pm

because that will have about the same impact as my constant lecture-type talking-tos I have been giving to the parents regarding their financial position. ARGH! I have not been this angry in a while.

(warning: rant)

It's a long running saga that a lot of you already know. I am not going to recount the whole story, only that my mum and her partner own a flooring business (DF also works there as the main tradesman). They are absolutely TERRIBLE with money. My mum has been terrible for ever with money, never having enough, I remember her borrowing money from ME, when I was 13, for groceries. Her partner has always believed he 'deserves' things, and thinks nothing of having massive debt. He banks everything on the fact that in a few years he will sell his house in the suburbs (yes, it is worth something, even in these times) buy a block of land in a cheap as chips area, build a house (he is a builder) and live self-sufficiently with my mum for the rest of their years. He doesn't take into account that if his debt equals what his house is worth ... there's no money left!

So it is a revolving door with money for their business (it is not a company), mostly the bills get paid, but they are so far behind that we are relying on jobs just completed to pay for bills one to two months old - there is no cash flow buffer, even though I have tried very hard to build one up, it just doesn't happen because, oh, they need a holiday, oh, they're buying a new car, oh, they need to buy this or that or whatever.

So, it has come to the point now, where even though I have literally been saying this for months, there is now no money to pay the bills. This week we are lucky in the fact that there are only a couple of bills due: $2072, $15.40 and $6.04 as well as the credit card $4333. But OH! There is only $32XX in the account, I find this morning. I get in a shitty foul mood and my mum runs around saying 'oh there's a cheque here for $1310, oh I guess we could call customer X and get them to pay, oh and there's that other customer Y who is three months overdue'. She then leaves for her acupuncture session ($100+ a pop, once a week), telling me 'oh, we are making a $50 donation to X charity'.


She doesn't seem to get that it's not going to make a difference really. Next week there are going to be more bills to pay. The week after that, more. It's all these little things that keep adding up, even though they say 'we are not spending money' they still do it. They don't seem to listen when I say 'don't spend ANY money except on-job costs'. Why is that so hard to understand?

Sorry, end of rant.

so my health kick lasted all of TWO DAYS...

June 8th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Well, I made the worst decision *EVER* yesterday: I decided to BAKE.
(And yes, I do realise that it's somewhat odd that I have a day off from work due to a public holiday, and I spend the day doing ... what I do every day at work anyway...)

I made chocolate chip cookies, spicy pumpkin & herb scones and tomato chutney. We ate the scones with chutney and a salad for lunch. Then we decided to watch a movie (Con Air - I realised I have never seen it before, I was getting it confused with another movie... and anything with Nicolas Cage in it is fine with me...) so I made some popcorn. Then it started getting chilly so I made a cup of tea. Then I needed a chocolate chip cookie to go with my tea...and then another one...

I redeemed myself with potato & leek soup for dinner, but alas, my health kick died the second I started flipping through my recipe books with my morning coffee...


I have decided that this is just a minor stumble on my (long and weary, and sometimes chocolate coated) road to a happier and healthier body.

I have discovered SOUP.

Ok, so technically I didn't discover it. But generally my soup consists of throwing everything in the pot and waiting til its cooked. I hardly ever cook a proper soup, from a recipe, except pumpkin soup. But, this week I made a delicious spicy lentil and sweet potato soup. (I don't think DF was overly fond of it, but that's hardly the point here, because *I* liked it). Then I got all enthusiastic about it and made the potato and leek soup I mentioned before. So I think soup is going to be my answer in the battle against winter hibernation-weight-gain. Soup and herbal tea.

If anyone has any good vegetarian soup recipes PLEASE share! Or even soup-esque curries, etc. Next week I am going to attempt to make a roast tomato and fresh basil soup, and also a coriander, coconut and pumpkin soup (I have made that one before - I discovered coconut powder which you mix with hot water to make coconut milk, and it has ZERO cholesterol!)

Anyway, so yes please share your recipes. Or even just the names, and I can google it. Big Grin

Who's blog have you read *every* single entry of?

June 7th, 2009 at 04:25 pm

I was just thinking about this the other day. Sometimes when posting is slow here, or I am bored, I go and start reading some archives. It is so interesting to read someone's blog from the start - and I have read quite a few. Some of them started when I started my blog (or my blog before that, or my blog before THAT) and others had been here for a year or so before me.
It is easy to read someone's blog if you were already here to read their first post, but to go back and read entries that span a year is a bit of a commitment!

It's disappointing sometimes when someone stops posting too. There are so many bloggers who I really like and then they just disappear. But things happen, life gets busy and interests wane.

So back to my question, who's blog have you read every single entry of? Who's did you read an entry of and go 'they sound interesting, I think I am going to go back and read the whole thing!'???

Me, personally, I have gone back and read quite a few. In particular: Ceejay74, Brooklyngirl, Monkey Mama, Amber and Broken Arrow, Shiela, and Baselle. (There are so many more though. ) And those who joined around my time, who I have tried to make sure to keep up to date with entries: Gamecock, Cassandra, Smiley, North Georgia Girl, Frugal Texan...

There are more, but I just can't think of you all!

I just thought it would be interesting to see who goes back and reads the archives.

buddhist monastery for lunch, thoughts

June 6th, 2009 at 05:03 pm

Today I am going to have lunch with a friend, and a few of her friends, at a local buddhist monastery. I have grown up going to things like this so while I am excited to go there, I really do not think it is that 'different'.
Her friends however, are of the 'normal' variety. And while I think there is nothing wrong with being normal, I am a little apprehensive about the whole thing. They are the type to point and laugh at things (should I be mentioning the fact they are in their mid 20's?) that they think are strange. Not only do I think it's rude and offensive, I also think it's very closed minded. But then I feel bad, because I am judging them on something they have not experienced, and have no understanding of. And THEN I think, why should I feel bad? They have the ability to broaden their horizons, knowledge, understanding, and yet they do not!

It makes me think about when the time comes to raising my own children. I want to expose them to as many different things and experiences that I can that will influence them positively. I think it's important to have a wide understanding of the world around you; to have cultural understanding and acceptance.

Does anyone else agree?

Different food, places, people, culture, area, lifestyle, religion etc. It is important to not get yourself into a rut. I am not saying I am going to bring my child up like a gypsy, quite the opposite. I did not have a stable upbringing, so that is something I will strive to provide for my own family. But at the same time I want them to understand that there is a whole world out there, and you cannot expect people to all be the same. And even if you don't agree with someone's lifestyle, it doesn't give you the right to judge them for it.

raking in the survey $$$

June 6th, 2009 at 03:54 am

I just cashed in a $20 GC from one survey site (valuedopinions), and tomorrow I will be claiming a $30 cheque from another (emailcash). I deposited a $63.80 cheque from globaltestmarket on Tuesday as well (it was USD $50 but was converted to $AU63.80 - cool!).

And this was with me not really trying - I had lost a bit of interest in surveys lately and let a few expire. But now I am down a shift every three weeks I am more motivated to do them.

At a guesstimate, I would say it took me about 4-6 months to earn this amount. I am only a member of four survey sites, there is no way I could devote a LOT of time to them, but one every couple of days is good for me.

I will be counting them as income, and just using the money as normal, with groceries and bills etc.

health kick?

June 5th, 2009 at 03:59 am

I've decided to go on a bit of a health kick next week. Actually, starting tomorrow. I always go 'I'll start on monday, I'll start on the 1st of the month' etc etc. NO MORE!
Tomorrow is market day. I will be stocking up on fresh fruit and veges, and my aim is a week of super healthy eating, and atleast 40 minutes exercise per day.
This is my proposed eating plan (not really that different from normal, but minus snacks that I usually forget I eat Big Grin)
Breakfast: (weekend) sourdough toast & scrambled egg (weekdays) Fruit & Yoghurt, Peppermint Tea
Mid Morning: Coffee/Tea
Lunch: Carrot/Cucumber/Celery Sticks with hommous.
Snack: Piece of fruit
Dinner: Steamed Veges, Soup, Stirfry, Salad etc.

I am not sure yet if DF will be doing it. He eats whatever I cook him, but if he wants something different I may make it for him, he works physically so I do not want him to get dizzy or anything. Smile Wish me luck!

June Goals

June 4th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I haven't really thought about goals for June. It is a very busy month normally, both personally and professionally. It is tax time - so at work (work # 1) I have to prepare everything for the employees and the accountant, and at home I have to do the same for DF and I so that we can do our tax asap to get our refunds.

Financially, we are going quite well. I only have a few goals for June in that respect:
- Begin to keep track of my savings towards offsetting my day off every three weeks (I am beginning the $20 challenge! sort of...)
- Keep my personal spending below my alloted amount.
- Send any extra remaining to my car loan.
- Keep a watchful eye on DF's spending and let him know when he's close to the limit.

In other areas, my goals are:
- finding a present for a friends 28th, and attending her party at the end of the month.
- Making a baby hamper for SIL's baby shower
- Finding a teapot, hopefully at an op shop, before the 22nd (having some people over for tea - and I don't have a teapot!)
- Buying a front door mat.
- Continue with our compost plans.
- Revisit the jewellery store for first stage consulting and designing on my engagement ring (try to make DF come as well!)
- Clean out and turn off second fridge (from party - I don't want to get used to having a second fridge again!)
- 4 x sessions 40 min+ exercise per week.
- DOwnsizing meal portions, 2/3 then to 1/2 size of current.


June 2nd, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Well, the housewarming went like a flash. It seemed to be a whole lot of organising, a whole lot of waiting around, and then BAM! it was 2am, cleanup time, and everyone was leaving, we were putting out the fire and making beds for those who were staying, and searching for a friend who decided to drunkenly go for a walk and didn't return (turns out he sat in a neighbours yard and threw up in their driveway - yep, glad we're making good impressions on our neighbour-folk).

We scored some good presents. 6 of our friends pitched in for a compost bin, which DF set up a day ago. We got about 6 or 7 plants and fruit trees from various friends, some chocolates, 2 x $50 gift cards, an old-style coffee canister, a faux-fur throw rug and a bottle of Borie De Maurel.

I was ecstatic that nearly ALL of the food got eaten! (it probably helped that I personally wasn't drinking, and was more focussed on hostessing and making sure everyone was having a good time).
There was also hardly any mess to clean up either which was good.

So I have entered the middle stage of the engagement-ring process. I have decided, I think, on the place to get it made. I visited them today, after calling them about a week and a half ago, and the lady remembered me (from a phone conversation!). I just felt a little more valued at this place, than the last, even though I am in the lower spectrum of customers, price wise. They also offer a life-time warranty on the handmade rings, not 10 years like the last place, with free cleaning for the life of the ring as well.
And yes, we've decided to get it made. I am getting used to the fact that I will be wearing something the price of a second-hand car on my finger. It's a bit nerve-wracking.


So I have figured out I am actually losing a shift every THREE weeks, not every month. Still fine, I had a sinking feeling that was what it was but another co-worker assured me it was once a month, until she rang me and told me she got it wrong. Oh well. It just means every three weeks I get a day off!


I have not been very frugal the past two days. I spent a wopping $152 on groceries yesterday, stocking everything up after my pantry challenge. I bought lunch, which is something I never do at work, vegetarian noodles for $11.50. Today I got a coffee and a truffle while waiting for my mum to finish at the acupuncturist, and a brownie while getting the mail and banking at $4.50. (Note to self: eat breakfast!!!!)


This week has been a blowout health/exercise/food/money wise. BAH! Must set June goals promptly! to be continued....

and here I was thinking it wouldn't happen to me. I've lost hours!

June 1st, 2009 at 03:34 pm

Well, after being reassured that I would not lose any hours at work, due to it becoming increasingly slower with less takings as the months go on, my boss came into work yesterday (he usually does not work on Mondays) and handed a piece of paper around. It first went to co worker J, then V, then me.

When he started handing it around, I was thinking 'oh, I won't have lost any'. But I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. By the time I got the piece of paper, my mind was screaming 'HOW MUCH HAVE I LOST!?'.

It took me about five minutes to read the paper, and my boss was watching me read it. So at first I had to concentrate on having an unemotional face. And then I couldn't read the numbers on the page. And I stupidly scanned it, and saw my name twice, scared myself and decided to read it from the top.
It had the average daily takings, compared to last years. It confirmed that coworker T had been taking out cash from the till for our boss (I already knew that, but two other coworkers have a problem with it) but also confirmed that it had been happening for a year, so it did not make any difference to the daily takings.
Then it had the weekly wages totals, which I scanned but didn't read.

Finally it got down to the cutting of hours.
The baker has already lost one day a week.
Coworker J has already lost one day a week.
Plus then, coworkers J, T, V and myself, all lose one shift a week on a rotating basis. So, it means I lose one shift a month.
The apprentices cannot lose any hours as they are full-time.
Then it went on to say, the retail workers (J, V & T) will have their absent shifts covered by Moi.

I can be thankful, as I believe we will be alright. While it relieves some pressure on my boss, it is really only a small amount for me personally to handle. Any more, and I would have been stressed about it. It works out to be around $160 a month that I lose, if worked out on an 8 hour shift. I think with some considerable effort, I might even be able to adjust things so that we save money on other things to make up the difference.

I called DF when I was driving home, and then we talked a little about it when he finally arrived home. He asked what I would do on my day off, and then suggested gardening. I am pleased he has a frugal response to the situation.

To tell you the truth, I always look forward to public holidays because I always have them off. So one day a month, I know I will look forward to. While I would most definately rather be working, it is something that I can deal with.

We recieved a compost bin for a housewarming present from a group of friends, so I know a few hours each month will be taken up with vege patch construction/upkeep. Once we start harvesting some vegetables, this will most definately offset the loss each month!

The cut has also made me more motivated to do surveys again. I have been leaving them in my inbox til they expire, as I can't be bothered. Now I have a reason to do them again. It will be similar to a $20 challenge to me now. Except it will be a $160 challenge, monthly.

So. Sorry for the rambling. I am just trying to get my thoughts in order. I knew that work was not going so well, but I truly believed my hours would be ok. Alas, I was wrong. So keep your fingers crossed for me that it picks up, or atleast does not get any worse!

May Goals Update

June 1st, 2009 at 12:26 am

-Begin to drop sugar-laden, processed and white flour products from everyday eating habits. (this is a long-standing goal)
(well - I did try. I was mostly unsuccesful with this goal but I probably have dropped around 30% intake compared with a month or two ago)

- Continue to drink teas and mineral water/juice in place of coffee and soft drinks.
(I have done really well with this goal - I am down to 1 or 2 cans of coke a week, only at work. I have been drinking water, tea or juice & mineral water at home. I very rarely have coffee in the afternoons at home, only when out meeting with friends.)

- Ensure that I drink 1-2L water each day.
(Did really well for the first 3 weeks of May but last week I probably drank about two glasses of water all week - just kept forgetting to keep my intake up. Must try harder!)

- Complete 12 sessions minimum of 40 minutes or more exercise each week (walking, jogging or yoga).
(Did well on this goal - approximately 16 sessions all up for the month of May!)

- Succesfully host our housewarming party at the end of May. This goal includes:
Sending the invitations
Making a large portion of the fingerfood
Cleaning up our downstairs area
Finding something to hold a fire in

- Keep track of our stimulus money spending, so as to not overspend it.
(have been doing this. I only require a few small items, so the rest of the money will just be absorbed into our accounts, around $300 - I am going to allow myself $100 for some workout gear and new work shoes)

- Keep track of all expenditure through the month.

- Formulate a plan for keeping track of extra payments and savings (I am thinking a spreadsheet for now)

- Take weekly photos of my gardening efforts.
(unfortunately only took one photo, and haven't taken anymore)

- Take my ultrasound results to the doctor and get the results for my blood test.