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Archive for July, 2009

a nice dinner out. inappropriate behaviour?

July 31st, 2009 at 07:01 pm

We went out last night for dinner. The food was delicious. We have never dined in there, only had takeaways (which are always good, too!). We walked, it took us about 20 minutes. All up the food cost $41.50, and DF and his mum went halves in a bottle of wine ($12).

It's my birthday in a month. I would like to have a dinner out at a restaurant, but am a bit afraid of offending some people if I don't ask them. See, I have gotten to know a friends other friends pretty well, so they would expect me to ask them. They are all lovely girls, but it is as if they don't know how to behave when out in public.

I am YOUNGER than them (I'm 21 turning 22, they are 24-25), but when I go to a nice restaurant, I am concious of the other diners. DF's friends (28-32 years old) are concious of their surroundings too. I have no problem inviting every single one of DF's friends (who are, of course, my friends too). But these other girls, they talk loudly, about inappropriate topics (in a family restaurant), they swear, I have even had the pleasure of being out in a restaurant with them when they have started taking photographs of each others cleavage, and making it obvious.

It might be alright in a pub (possibly - I wouldn't do that kind of thing though) but I just feel very uncomfortable being around them in that kind of situation. But I don't want to offend them either. I don't know them well enough to tell them to stop, it's not as if they're children either, so it's not my place to tell them, even if I did know them well.

Am I being a prude, is this the kind of behaviour expected from people in their mid 20's? They're not 'trash' types. They're normally fine to be around, it just seems when they get together they revert to being 16 years old, at school. Or something.

Anyway. I guess I could just have a dinner without telling any of them. *sigh*

I did well!

July 31st, 2009 at 12:43 am

I have done so well this month with my personal allowance. I have been really trying hard to not spend any money, as I wanted to make up for my speeding fine, and also wanted to put any money I can onto my personal loan. On average I have spent $38.22 of my $60 (per week) allotment. DF has also done well, spending $46 of his $80 allotment.

My spending total also includes the dvd I bought, which I then sold some items on eBay to make up for.

Today I spent $3 on a coffee with friend. I didn't order anything else Smile

When I got home from work, DF and I and his mum weeded a part of our property for 2.5 hours. Now we are going to go out to a local thai restaurant for dinner. We are going to pay for DF's mum because she helped us. The bill should be well under $100.


sneaky sneaky!

July 29th, 2009 at 09:59 pm

I nearly bought a tape recorder the other day, because I wanted to see how long Jed whined for when we leave in the morning. I had completely forgotten DF bought a video recorder for his trip to America last year. Today I got home from work and it was on the floor infront of the back glass door, pointed out onto the back deck Smile I switched it off, and I'll wait until DF gets home so we can watch it. I feel sneaky for some reason, spying on our beloved pooch. He deserves some privacy, right? Big Grin

gift ideas? credit limit increase? fixing interest rate?

July 28th, 2009 at 07:07 pm

I sold all of my eBay items, made just over $100 which is good. Unfortunately, I spent $62 on eBay while listing the items (I slipped and fell... and bought a tv series on dvd...) But! That's fine because that's what the sales were for anyway.

This weekend I might look through my stuff and list a few more items. The eBay fees and PayPal fees are a killer though, sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it.

I don't know what to buy for my friends birthday gift for Saturday. It needs to be not very expensive - I do not know her that well and it only needs to be a small gift. Whatever it is, I will give her a bunch of flowers as well (there is an abandoned house accross the road from us with some lovely flowers next to the footpath - so that's free). I was thinking either some body stuff or chocolate. I am not feeling very imaginative today.

Ideas???

We have lots of expenses coming up next month. Rates are due ($1023) my speeding fine Frown the engagement ring and normal bills, we need to buy a new queen sized bed and mattress so we can put our old one in the spare room, plus we might get cracking on building a fence around the property, and I have no idea how much that will cost. It will just be the cost of materials as DF and his apprentice can do all the labour on their slow days or work.

We have not seen a movie at the cinema for the entire month! And we have both kept well under our allowances. Dining out has been below average and our groceries are on budget! Woohoo! I feel like we are getting somewhere this month. Or atleast, preparing for a huge expensive month in August...

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I think I am going to have to call our bank and request a credit card limit increase. We come very close to the $5k limit every month. It's useless to us if we have to transfer money over to it BEFORE the bill is due, and BEFORE the interest hits on our mortgage. I may as well buy everything with our debit card, or withdraw cash and pay that way. Better yet, why don't I pay with seashells! Big Grin
I just don't know if they will approve the increase; we have only banked with them since Jan/Feb of this year. We have $700 remaining in available funds and it is due August 3rd. Will that be enough to last? Hmmm, we will see...

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I'm thinking very seriously about calling to fix half of our mortgage on the current interest rate. Things seem to be picking up - but is it just the eye of the storm? I have not really felt the recession has impacted much around here. Sure, I got a shift dropped for a few weeks, work was a bit slow, but it is nothing like everyone describes in the US. I've only known a couple of people who've lost their jobs, and they seemed to have waded through a little bit, picked themselves up and got another job pretty quick.
Decisions, decisions!!!

it has arrived!

July 27th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

I bought the first season of In Treatment on eBay (which kind of cancels out all the good I've been doing with selling other items on there!) and it arrived in the post today.

I am excited because I've never heard of it before, but it looks interesting. They've never played it on freeview and we don't have cable.

43 episodes on 9 discs, $57 well spent I think (1109 minutes for the whole series, apparently). If it's good but only a 'once-watch' type of series, I will re-sell it. I don't pretend to think I can get all my money back, but I can atleast get most of it back.

To Do List

July 27th, 2009 at 06:58 pm

I think I will be finished my bookwork earlier than normal today, so I plan to go home early and get some things done I have been neglecting lately. DF's dinner (lamb and veges) is in the slow cooker and I will just make some miso soup for myself. So I have plenty of time to do all the things I need to accomplish, if I get home by around 2-2.30pm.

To Do:
- Take Jed for a walk
- Tidy my desk
- Sort out and archive all my paperwork
- Organise a filing system for our paperwork for everything 'post-house purchase'
- Do a load of laundry
- Tidy the living room and dining room tables
- Give the floors a sweep
- Get all the paperwork ready to do our taxes.
- Wash all the dogs bowls.
- Clean the fridge and freezer.
- Do the dishes.
- Write up a meal plan for the week
- Make a grocery shopping list.


Also, a list of things to do during the week:
- Find out the serial number for our fridge and buy door shelves for it.
- Find out how to make extra payments to my personal loan.
- Send all my ebay parcels once payments are recieved.
- Finish cleaning the leather couches and move them into our loungeroom (yay! can't wait!)
- Find a small and inexpensive present for a friends birthday. I don't really know her that well, but she has invited me to her birthday dinner. WHAT DO I GET?! HELP!

people CAN change

July 26th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

This week at work (at the bakery) one of the juniors (who usually works on the weekend) is doing work experience with us out the back in the kitchen. Now this girl has worked with us for a while, and she annoyed the CRAP out of me when I worked on Saturdays a couple of years ago. She is still in high school, and before even speaking to her you can tell she has that 'I don't care, I'm so good, I know everything' attitude.

So I was really dreading this week, even though I am only working three days.

BUT!

It has been awhile since I've seen her, and it appears she has gone through a major personality change. She was previously very lazy, wouldn't do something even if you specifically asked her to do it. But today, she did the worst jobs and kept smiling. She did things the previous apprentice wouldn't THINK to do after working there for several months (like wiping the sink down after doing a load of dishes). She did jobs properly AND fast. AND she isn't getting paid either. It was amazing! It was actually a pleasure to have her help me all day.

So I think I will tell her that she's been wonderful. I just don't want to sound like I am a gushing idiot though. What should I say?

expensive dog toys

July 26th, 2009 at 11:55 am

Our neighbour came over on Saturday and said some other neighbours had complained to him about our dog making a noise when we leave in the morning. First of all, we HAVE no other neighbours except them and the people who are on the higher side of the street - who also have a dog and are fine with Jed. There is also another dog three doors down that makes a racket about everything, and I mean everything.

Even so, I apologised and told him unfortunately it is going to take him a long time as he is older, already been with another owner, yadayadayada...

When we went to the shopping centre on Sunday to buy him some more toys, we pretended to leave and then when he started making a noise, DF went back and got him, and put him in the toilet and left him there for the time we were out

( and with his waterbowl, food, a couple of toys and a bed - why the toilet? because it is the only room you can have a window open where no one will break in!)

I am hoping by doing this he will start to associate his noise with being put in there. (???) He was quiet when we returned, so I don't think he makes the noise for a long time. Poor little guy has some serious issues!

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So on the financial aspect of this post, we spent $80+ yesterday while shopping. I bought some new work shoes ($30) and DF bought two dvd's ($18). The rest were dog toys and treats. We bought him one of those toys called a kong ($14!). First we put vegemite in it because that's what some other people told DF that their dog liked, but Jed didn't like it that much, so we tried peanut butter. He liked that! But he is still a weird dog that prefers our company to food, bones or treats.

We also bought a coffee for me ($5.40) and a juice for DF ($6). How expensive are things lately? I realised I have not bought takeaway coffees for along time, only at cafes.

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We also had lunch (fish and chips) with our friends again at the park. This time DF and I got less chips, so got the price down to $18.90.

a free leather couch? why not?

July 25th, 2009 at 01:08 am

DF has a habit of aquiring second hand goods from the people he works for. He just seems to be in the right place at the right time, when they are about get rid of, say, a TV, or some screen doors, an oven, a shelf etc.

Our latest aquisition is, as the title suggests, a leather couch. Actually, two leather couches. They are charcoal colour, real leather, five years old and apart from being dusty, in perfect condition. Dare I say, near-new. DF said the client who gave them to us paid $3599 for one!

Even though all this is GREAT, it still saddens me that people have so much money they feel the need to get rid of perfectly good furniture to buy it new again. Sure, tastes change I guess. But it's not like a couch is a jacket or a pair of shoes. I would hope that when someone buys something that big, that costs that much money, that they would consider it a long term buy. Not 'oh well, we can buy another one later if we don't like it'.

DF got some leather cleaning/reviving type stuff for $30. We are going to move the fold out sofa to one of the spare rooms and have the two couches in the living room.

The best part of all this is of course, that we actually wanted leather couches! (and by we, I mean 'I' Big Grin).

When I was a young girl....

July 24th, 2009 at 03:06 pm

... I used to visit my grandparents, who lived in a lovely country town in Victoria. (My dad and his family now live there). I would visit them every time I visited my dad, which was three times a year. And every time I visited, my grandmother would give me a jar of tiny, delicious, shortbread style biscuits that were made by a friend of hers who lived across the street. They were only about 2cm in diameter, and she would make them in double chocolate or ginger. They were so delicious, and I remember them even now, 10 years later. They are the type of short biscuit that is not too crumbly to pick up, but they melt in your mouth. Literally, melt. As I was 7-11 years old when I was getting these biscuits, obviously the chocolate ones were my favourite! Big Grin But I loved the ginger ones too. They had chewy little pieces of glace ginger in them, and the short bread melted and then left a warm gingery feel.

My grandmothers friend passed away about 4 or 5 years ago. And my grandmother passed away over a year ago as well. My grandfather passed away in 2001.

In my post yesterday I mentioned I was making ginger snap biscuits.
Now, my impression of ginger snaps is the ones that are quite hard to bite into, they are the only ones I have ever had. You dip them in tea and they soften a bit, but ultimately they are a hard biscuit.

But the ones I made from a recipe last night turned out tasting EXACTLY like the biscuits I used to get from that lovely lady across the street from my grandmother. They were so alike that I had images in my head of the hot dry Victorian summers, crunchy leaves, and I could nearly smell that fresh bush smell, eucalyptus leaves, paperbark trees etc.

DF quite liked them too. I made the ginger ones last night, to the way the recipe told me, which was to chill the mix and slice it thinly to get a 'thin' biscuit. But the next time I make it I will do it how the little old lady used to make it. I might even make the chocolate ones too!

all will sell! quiche for dinner

July 24th, 2009 at 01:33 am

All of my ebay items have bids on them. So far only a couple of bucks, but one face lotion has $8.50 on it. All of the items are popular and sell for higher amounts so I am not worried. Bring on the bidding wars!

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I made a quiche for dinner, it is in the oven now. I wanted to use up the veges in the crisper so I can buy everything fresh tomorrow at the market. I put roast sweet potato, fetta, fresh tomato, sundried tomato, olives, onion and leek in it.

I also made some ginger snaps. Not sure how they will turn out. Hopefully, good!

what to use corn starch for?

July 23rd, 2009 at 01:58 am

Spent 50c today on a can of coke, and DF spent nothing!

My boss pulled a bucket of raw sugar in from the back storage shed because he needed some for his house. (we hardly use it for anything at work) Last time he did that he said I could take some home, and I did this time too. I think I probably took about 2.5kgs! Big Grin

He also told me to help myself to some corn starch, as we hardly use it either, so I took about the same amount in that too.

I know you use corn starch as a thickener for pies and stuff, and to make custard, but what else can you make to eat with it?


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We were at wits end with Jed today. He has been so fussed over not being around DF's dads dog he hasn't eaten ardly anything for two-three days. He won't eat unless you hand feed him, which we are NOT going to do! He is starting to get a bit skinny I'm worried about him. Today he whined all day at work with DF whenever DF went away from him.

But then, when we got home, we started to teach him the 'sit' command, and use dry food as the treat (so he would eat!). Then DF had a shower and I decided to just do some more 'sit' commands just to make him eat some more, and I put a handful of dry food in a plastic container and he started eating it if I patted him! So then I fed him some more handfuls, and then went and got his meat and he wolfed it down!

So glad THAT has been sorted.

He is also responding to being sprayed with a water sprayer when he whines. I think if we can keep that up we might manage to teach him not to whine. It will be a slow process, but as long as we begin to see results we will persevere!

First Vet Visit! Anti-bark collars?

July 21st, 2009 at 07:55 pm

Today was Jed's first ever vet visit!

(His previous owner 'didn't believe' in vets. When I told the vet that, he said 'really, it's not that they don't believe in vet care, more that they don't believe in parting with money'.LOL!)

I have to say I think he did quite well. He did not pee on anything! He tried to bite the vet after the first needle, so he put a muzzle on him for the second, which worked fine.

The two things DF and I were worried about turned out to be completely normal quirks that are characteristic for a small dog breed. (His last ribs stick out instead of in, and one of his front legs turns to the outside when he sits or stands still).

For two needles (vaccination and heartworm), 3 months of flea control treatment, a worming pill and health exam it cost $209.50. We saved $15 for booking at the same time as our parents two dogs.

To get him desexed and microchipped it will cost us just over $250, which we will get done very soon. (He has been 'spending time' with DF's dad's female Jack Russell - we are 99% sure she is pregnant now, so we are just going to wait a bit to make sure, then book in for the procedure).

After that is done, his yearly registration will be $10 a year, instead of $106! So in three years the procedure will sort of pay for itself. I mean - if we didn't have a dog that would obviously be the cheapest option... but this is the best you can get next to NO dog!

I really liked the vet we went to. It was a man and he was very nice and helpful, and very calm, even when Jed went to bite him! He printed out LOADS of information for me because he is our first dog, even a leaflet on separation anxiety! Smile And he gave me some numbers for obedience school too, which we might think about. He is quite a good boy to begin with but it wouldn't hurt to take him to some lessons.

One of them offers anti-bark collars for hire - anyone have any thoughts on those? Have you ever used them? Why would you NOT use them? Jed doesn't bark, but as I've mentioned, he howls. I know howling and barking are different - not sure if he should be 'punished' for howling. Don't even know if they work for it!

Thoughts, experiences and advice would be appreciated! I have never used one, only have known one person who has (who has used them on their farm work dogs) and am undecided on them. Please share! (Note: I don't actually INTEND to use one, I have no plans to get one, as he doesn't bark. I just want thoughts and experiencs! So, before anyone starts on me - I am not thinking of getting one FOR Jed.)



separation anxiety

July 21st, 2009 at 03:10 pm

Jed has some serious separation anxiety that we thought might get better as he got used to us, but instead seems to be getting worse!

I have been researching how to stop his cries, and apparently the best method (which in retrospect is completely obvious and makes a lot of sense) is to take him for a walk in the morning. They said 'you can't expect a dog to sleep all night in his kennel, then sit around all day while you are at work'.

Then you have to take him for a walk in the afternoon.

They also said the worst thing you can do is yell 'No' or 'Shutup' at him, as this only reinforces his behaviour. Unfortunately, that is what our neighbours do. (the ones that threw water at our dogs). I don't want to talk to them again about the dog, because they have never once come and said anything to us about their problem. I have always been the one to try and clear the air with them. They are very odd, as well. I would rather just have nothing to do with them. Alas, if I hear them yell at him again, I will have to leave them a note in their letterbox, telling them they are making it worse by doing that.

So from now on, DF takes him for a walk on Monday morning (I can't because I start at 5.30am - which means I would have to get up at 3.15am) Tuesday and Wednesday I get up at 6.30am and take him for a 30 minute jog. Thursday I get up at 4.15am and take him (because I start at 6.30am). Friday DF takes him (he starts at 7am most mornings, on Fridays I start at 6am). Saturday and Sunday we will either go together or take turns. I will take him in the afternoons most days too.

Why do I do all the work, you may be asking? Well, I do not do a lot of exercise. I get bored, so having a dog will give me a reason to do it. Also, DF's job is also very physical. While he needs to get his heart rate up, I don't want him to tire himself out too much or he might make himself sick. Basically you could compare his work to being at a gym doing muscle definition, for 8 hours. Big Grin

So! We'll see how this goes. Hopefully it puts a stop to his crying.

just like gamecock!

July 20th, 2009 at 10:23 pm

I decided to do a cool graph just like gamecock. Why? It's possible (probable) that I am procrastinating. But it was also interesting to see expenses broken up in a different way like that.
These are all averages. Sometime we put more into savings. Usually our bills are less per week. But as I said, averages. Smile superannuation is put in by our employers, we do not make extra contributions.

got to meet her!

July 20th, 2009 at 02:28 pm

We got to meet DF's sister & partners daughter on Sunday. She is so very cute! Neither DF or I could hold her because DF has the flu and I probably did (I do now).

I thought I would post a picture for you all:



It turns out she was induced but they just didn't tell anyone until after the birth, which was around 9pm on Wednesday. The labour was 12 hours and DF's sister went home on Friday (they live so close to the hospital that they were able to walk home!). (I meantioned the length of labour, which I understood to be pretty normal for a first birth (they say on average 16 hours for your first born), to a friend who has had two kids. She said 'Wow, that's long!' so I asked her how long it took for both of her boys. 2.5 hours for the first! 4 hours for the second!!! What!)

Just after the little girl was born DF's sister was cradling the newborn, and her partner said he heard her say 'you're going to be our ONLY child!'. It was not a nice pregnancy to go through so I can understand why!

DF's sisters partner is able to take a week off which is nice, and DF's & DF's sisters mum is living with them until September, so she has been doing all teh cooking, cleaning and washing for them.

starting to sell on ebay again!

July 18th, 2009 at 04:53 pm

I have decided to sell some more stuff on ebay. I was burned a few months ago and haven't really felt the desire to deal with people through ebay recently, but there are some things I want to buy, (mostly new tv series on dvd's) so I want to first sell some things to offset that cost Smile

I have some skincare items that will fetch me approx $100+ all up. I paid for these over 6 months ago so while it's not strictly 'profit' I am counting it as such. I am also going to sell series 1 and 2 of Hotel Babylon on DVD. It's a cool series and I really like it, but I don't think I would watch it again. It's one of those 'once only' types. I also have a book to sell, maybe a pair of sunglasses and some other random things. Even if I can make a buck or two, it all counts!

What do I want to buy? Oh, too many to choose from:

X files series 3-9
Dexter series 1-3
Torchwood series 1-4
Scrubs series 8 (when it is released)
Northern Exposure series 2-?
Californication series 1-2
Lie to Me series 1
Long Way Down
Long Way Around
Bones series 1-4
Weeds series 3
In Treatment

However will I decide??? I suppose this is all the more reason to sell copious amounts of 'stuff' on ebay.

updates

July 18th, 2009 at 04:44 am

Not much to report on lately.

Had a late lunch of fish and chips with some friends at the wharf. Spent $20.90.

Went to the markets & got our weeks worth of fruit & veg. We also impulse bought an owl carved out of gemstone for $8. Big Grin

Went op shopping. DF bought a suit (he has an obsession with buying second hand suits - if he finds one that fits him he's ecstatic because he doesn't find many - he's tall with long arms and fairly slim). I bought some books, a baby name book, a homeopathy handbook, a chocolate cookbook and a detox recipe cookbook (yeh I know, they go well together don't they?!)

Less than four weeks to go til I can pick up my engagement ring!

Friends are coming over later on tonight. We're going to watch a dvd and maybe play scrabble.

Today I cooked a pineapple cake and some more chocolate chip biscuits. I made them half the size this time, so they are bite sized. They turned out really nice and are very tasty!

The pineapple cake I made because I found a super-dooper simple recipe (literally super dooper simple: 2 cups SR flour, 1 cup caster sugar and 450g pineapple, stir, put in a cake tin and bake for 40 minutes) and I had some pineapple to use up. I added half pineapple half peaches. It's yum! I cut most of it up and froze it in individual pieces for lunches.

Tomorrow we are visiting DF's sister and fiance and the newborn baby.

I think that's all my updates for now Smile

DF's sis had the baby

July 17th, 2009 at 03:45 am

She didn't have to get induced. Their daughter was born 15/7/09 weighing 6 pounds 14 ounces, 51 cm long. Her labour was 12 hours long and we are going to see her tomorrow.

Mortgage *officially* under $300k!

July 16th, 2009 at 03:04 am

Our weekly mortgage payment came out today, and that leaves the balance owing at $299 781.76, with $2168.26 in available funds.

It wasn't actually a goal or anything, but it feels good nonetheless!

$4 for 2L milk!

July 14th, 2009 at 08:37 pm

So, I have been doing especially well with this 'only shopping once a week' thing. I mean, I always *tried* to do it, tried being the key word. Before, the shop was literally two minutes drive away, and it was JUST a supermarket. Now, it's about 7 minutes drive and it's a shopping complex. It makes me feel tired just thinking about it. I can feel my personal space being invaded already Big Grin. I think I just can't be bothered going to the store more than I have to, it takes time and energy and I would rather be doing other things.

However, due to cold nights and cravings for hot chocolate, I had to get some milk earlier than usual. I decided to walk down to the corner store. I knew it would be expensive (at our work it is $3.60 for 2 L - compared to under $3 at the supermarket). But $4.00! What a joke!

Anyway. To further the idiocy of going to the corner store, I impulse bought a packet of gourmet double chocolate biscuits (well, you guys call them 'cookies'). $6.95! What the HELL was I thinking. Clearly, there was no thinking involved.

If it makes it any better, they were nice biscuits...? And there's half a packet left? But I've decided to make them from now on. I just need a good biscuit recipe. (as in, cookie recipe). Anyone? I tried making some a few weeks ago but they were too crumbly. DF ended up mixing them with icecream and I didn't eat any (I like one with my tea).

Half Yearly Goals Check List

July 13th, 2009 at 08:58 pm



Health & Body
- goal weight loss 1: 3kg
- goal weight loss 2: 6kg
- goal weight loss 3: 8kg
- final goal: 10kg
x continue to eat vegetarian, with the exception of occasional fish meals.
x buy organic as much as possible
x incorporate natural cleaning products into the household
/ walk/run/cycle 4 days a week for 30 min or more.
- some muscle definition work each day (10 min atleast!)
- swim atleast once per week (goal 3 times)
- limit sugar/white flour intake
/ 1-2 L water every day
- regular (3 monthly) haircuts
- bi yearly dentist appointment
x yearly doctors visit
- visit a naturopath
/ 1 hour each week body care (nails, eyebrows, body brush, foot soak, pamper etc)
/ use sunscreen!

Money:
- $1000 EF
- $500 Gift Fund
- $1000 Holiday Fund.
- Begin making extra payments again on loan
x Save as much as I can for house deposit.
x Cut down expenses in areas of: dining out, takeaway beverages, entertainment, groceries, clothes.
- Spend a set amount for 2009 on clothes and shoes.
x Plan weekly meals and eat smaller portions.
/ Maintain a freezer stock of meals for lazy nights.

Relationship:
x keep things going the way they are!
- try to have one date night a month
- maybe once every three months have a weekend away or a massage together
x begin to plan our future (combining incomes, declaring partnership, house, children)

House:
x use environmental cleaning products
- sort out my filing and paperwork neatly (and stick to the system!)
- Sort through old boxes and establish a sell pile
- Have a garage sale?
x Begin to actively watch the property market
x research the steps of buying a house

Friends:
x Take a good hard look at those I count as my "friends".
/ Shed the friendships that have a negative impact on my life or that do not contribute to my happiness.
x Pursue friendships that are fulfilling.
x Make an effort to get out more with those I want to spend time with.

Spiritual/Education
x Read a book once a month.
- Make myself speak up more often when something annoys me.
- Try to be more outgoing and approachable.
- Try to not watch a lot of television.

Car:
- Try to drive less and walk more.
- Get regular services for my car.
- Fix the dent that someone made running into my car with a trolley!
- Fix the broken Taillight.
- Fix the chip in the windscreen.
- Regularly vaccuum and wash my car.
- Maintain the logbook for work trips.


All in all I have not done too badly. I am a serious procrastinator when it comes to my car, anything to do with my hair or health and filing stuff. Basically, if it isn't the internet, cooking or television related - it's possible it won't get done for a realllly long time. Smile But I am happy with my achievements so far. I will have to redo the 'savings' part, because it no longer really applies anymore - seeing as our accounts are linked and we are saving for other things now.

Jed was gone!

July 13th, 2009 at 04:12 am

... when I got home from work today, he was no where to be seen. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I called DF just to see by chance he had taken Jed with him that morning (he took the other two dogs back with him today - I though he might have taken Jed too). But no. He hadn't. I was *so* worried about him. I walked around a nearby estate where we walk him, asked a few people, but no one had seen him. I went and talked to the neighbours (THE neighbours - the ones that threw water on our deck twice). While I was talking to the husband, he said 'Is that him?' and I looked behind me and there he was, trotting up the road!!! I was so happy to see him alive I just patted him and hugged him non stop. Probably not the best reaction in hindsight - I should have scolded him. Sigh.

So after that panicked afternoon I went straight down to the council chambers to register him. I'd been putting it off because I wanted to get him microchipped first - as I had heard that reduces the register fee. But it doesn't, so oh well.

$106 a year! Eek.

Luckily he's not a dangerous dog, that is $400 a year. Crazy! The reason he's $106 to register a year is because he's not desexed yet. We'll be leaving him for a year and then will think about it next year.

Next on the list is a vet visit.

I'm just so glad he's safe. He must have gotten lonely and bored, having been around two other dogs all day long for a week, then suddenly being by himself again all day (well, until 2pm). Poor thing.
I will take him to work with me tomorrow and Wednesday, and then on Thursday and Friday he will have to stay on the deck until I get home. Atleast neither of us have 'ordinary hours' jobs.

thoughts on inducing

July 12th, 2009 at 03:54 am

So, DF's sister was due about a week ago. The actual due date is a bit hazy, the hospital and the dr's say different dates.

Anyway, so SIL has NOT been a happy camper for the whole of pregnancy. Granted, she did lose 9 kg's at the start due to morning sickness (which lasted 3 months non-stop). Admittedly that would put me off the whole journey of pregnancy too. But she is just SO difficult to please. She has been fine for the last 6 months other than tiredness, hungryness, normal pregnancy aches and pains etc. But everything has to be SUCH a big deal, and everything has to be about her.

So now she is unhappy because the hospital will not induce her until the 18th. Personally, I am not a fan of inducing unless it is for actual medical reasons (not 'I want it out' reasons). A baby should come when it is ready, and when your body is ready to let it go. But that's just me and my humble opinion.

So because she can't be induced, according to her mum (who visited us today, she is living with SIL at the moment - just to get away) she is just being a pain about everything. As usual, it is all about her. It is all just 'too much'.

Does this not ring warning bells for anyone else?

For reference: DF's sister started uni, quit after a year. Moved in with her dad, left after only a month. Started another uni course, left after a year and a half. Broke up with her ex, moved in with us and planned to save for a trip overseas. Got a job at a bar to save money. Gave up on going overseas, decided to start a fashion course - loaned the money from her and DF's dad for it. Started dating DF's best friend. It was too hard to not see him and go to the fashion course, so she quit that. Started planning to move into a shed that her BF was going to build on their land. Also decided to have a baby together (after being together less than 6 months). Lost the first baby. Was told to wait 3 months before trying again. Got pregnant after a month and a half.

Anyway, as you can see - she can't finish things, and she's impulsive. She's a lovely person when she wants to be though. (when she WANTS to be).

So I am just concerned - a baby is not exactly something you can 'quit' when you want. You can't get a refund and then lie on the couch for three months. So I talked to DF tentatively about it -it's his sister after all. He knows what she's like. I asked him if he knew how much hard work having a child will be. I don't mean 'hard work' I just mean, responsibility. He said yes, of course.

I don't know why I worry about these things. I don't even think I was worried about it, I think I just wanted to make a point about SIL. We have completely different circumstances to his sister to begin with. And I think we tend to think things through a little more. We might actually think a little TOO much. But we do PLAN as well, which is important, right?

$29.50 worth of fruit & veg

July 11th, 2009 at 03:51 pm

I went to the Growers Market yesterday like I usually do. It's organic and locally grown.

This is what I got for $29.50:

1kg ladyfinger bananas
1kg cavendish bananas
1kg baby carrots
1kg potatos
1/2 pumpkin
1 capsicum
500g green beans
500g field mushrooms
500g zucchini
1kg roma tomatoes
3 bunches bok choi
2 leeks
1 fancy lettuce
4 cucumbers
1kg brocolli
250g baby spinach leaves
500g onions

I usually only take $30-$40 each week. If I get everything I need for under that amount, I might buy some incense or some soap of some kind.

how nice!!!

July 11th, 2009 at 03:54 am

DF got a call from the man, P, who we bought our house from, asking DF if he would be able to sand their deck. As luck would have it, DF is free this weekend so he said yes. When DF said he would have to call him back with a price, P said 'Don't worry about it, I trust you, just tell me the price when you finish.' He also said he would give DF cash (as in, no tax! no declaring income! woo!).

First of all, P is a builder, so I am sure he has loads of contacts when it comes to sanding and sealing floors and decks. So it's nice that he thought of us.

As I've said in previous posts, he IS actually a really nice guy, so is his wife. I went there today to help DF for a couple of hours, their house is gorgeous. It's fairly big (but not ridiculously big) with huge grounds and gorgeous gardens. It's very much what you would call 'an estate'.

They actually live on the same road as us too, only further up.

Anyway, so that is about $800 extra we will have made this week, for two days work. Smile DF will be giving some of it to his dad, probably around $200 (who owns all the equipment) and then we will use the rest for spending money (groceries, petrol etc). We will use $400 from our accounts for a personalised plate for DF's car (already talked about it ages ago - we also get a $50 voucher for free when we get a PP) and the other $200 for my fine Frown

I'm also going to drastically reduce my personal spending money and find as many good deals grocery-wise to make up for my fine, too.

Anyway, I just wanted to write about it, because I thought it was nice for P and his wife to think of us!

nooooooooo! i'm such an idiot!

July 9th, 2009 at 12:04 am

Last night we went to dinner at DF's uncles house. His other uncle and auntie and their children were up from Tasmania, we had not seen them in about 3 years. It was a one hour drive to get there, we left to go home at around 10pm.
The entire way home is a highway, which is usually empty at that time of night.
Anyway, long story short I got a speeding fine!!! ARGH! $200 and I think 3 points off my license.
I am on my Provisional license ( once you get get your Learners through a written test, you then take the driving test after a year for your 'real' license, then you are on your P's for 3 years, then you get your Open license after that). I am not really sure of all the laws now, they recently changed. I could have 4 points in total, or I could have 6 points.

i thought you would all like this story...

July 7th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

A little while ago my dad told me a story about a co worker of his. My dad is a music buyer and works in the head office of a large music store chain. They are all rather well paid, and as you can imagine, every single one of them buys a coffee or three every day. Big Grin
One day, my dads co-worker announced that he would be drinking the company supplied instant coffee every day, and saving the money he would have spent through the year, to speed up the savings for a new car. His challenge was, if he could commit to not buying a single cup of coffee out for an entire year, he would buy himself a Mazda 3 wagon (trading in his 4x4 as well).
Every day, my dad said, they would all come back to the office with their cups of freshly brewed espresso coffee and tease him as he choked down the instant coffee. 'You bastards,' he said to them as they wafted the cups under his nose. He stuck with it though, and he now has his new car, and the others are all suitably impressed with his determination.

He's now saving for a new guitar amp in the same way.

My dad's office also has a swear jar. Every time someone swears, they have to put 20c in. Apparently it's at around $300. Big Grin

Menu Plan

July 7th, 2009 at 04:16 pm

My loose menu plan for the week:

Wednesday: Spinach Ricotta & Haloumi Rustic Pie with green salad.

Thursday: Baked Sweet Potato with Salad & Greens

Friday: Pasta Bake (a new recipe I found online - pumpkin, ricotta, spinach etc)

Saturday: Pizza (thanks to ceejay & AS's recipe!)

Sunday: Risotto


I won't plan next weeks yet as it's a bit far away Big Grin I don't know what I will feel like making. But rest assured it won't be takeaway! I will make something from what I have.

food + money = childhood issues

July 6th, 2009 at 09:03 pm

I know that personally, and for a lot of other people too, their relationship with food can be closely tied with their relationship with money.

I know I am strict with money (in an organisational way) because when I was raised, my parents, well, my mother particularly, was very strict with food. When I grew up and started doing things for myself, I knew I didn't want to have the relationship with food that my mother has. So it carried onto money instead. While a lot of people would say I'm pretty relaxed with spending, I still suffer a lot of guilt over spending on certain things.
It is the same with food. My mother, for so many years, ingrained in us what foods were good and what were bad. And it's not the ordindary good and bad. Even today it's hard for me to eat those foods without feeling guilt - and my parents (mother and stepfather) eat them now too. I wonder if parents ever think about their actions, even the very very small actions, and wonder if years down the track that small thing is going to make such an impact on their small childs life.

So you're probably wondering, what were the bad foods? Well, here's a few: anything with sugar (except in my mums coffee - of course), dried fruit and fresh fruit together (separately they were ok), soy, black pepper, wheat, corn, potatoes (for a short while), yeast, anything with aspartame, anything artificially sweetened or flavoured etc.

*sigh*

So on my dads side, everything in moderation is fine. My dad, personally, is medically diagnosed ceoliac, but he doesn't think gluten or wheat is 'evil' more that he can't eat it. It's interesting how different my mother and father are. I wonder sometimes how different it would have been had I grown up more around my dad.

So I grew up with a weird mentality towards food. Of course I gorged myself on junk food at school so we have that whole 'binge - deny - excess - deprivation' thing going on there too, and that's where the money thing comes in because once I started working, I was able to treat myself, and where to start but with food, eh? And so then I felt guilty because I was spending the money I earnt, well, a lot of it, on food I wasn't supposed to be eating!

DF struggles too. He also grew up with the whole 'wheat is bad' thing. So we're a couple of basket-cases when it comes to food. And considering I work at a bakery and get bread for free, you start to get an idea of how mixed up we both feel sometimes. Smile

So while on one hand I try to live a life where I tell myself that I am alright if the majority of my food is fresh and free of preservatives and additives - but on the other hand there is this whole mix up of what is good and bad. And I am starting to realise that the control my mother had over food, has been pushed to my finances. I guess that is an element I will always have in my life; that a certain part of it must alway be 'under control'.

DF and I, as we grow up and together, are realising that our parents aren't always right. Isn't it just the saddest and most confusing thing when you start realising these things? I think the first time that happened to me I was about 13. And I mean hey, even you guys can see my mother doesn't have it all figured out. Sure, she may eat organic this and no-sugar that, but it doesn't cancel out the damage all that alcohol is doing to her system!

So atleast I recognise this and can make sure there aren't any excessive binges in the financial department. I just need to concentrate on allowing myself to enjoy certain purchases (magazines, coffee, books, clothes) without feeling excessive guilt over the items in question. It is why I constantly have to remind myself that we are on this earth for a lifetime, and we must enjoy that lifetime. Not irresponsibly enjoy it, but not deprive oneself either. And to always focus on the bigger picture.


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