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Archive for January, 2010

natural beauty care...?

January 30th, 2010 at 02:48 pm

I found a book at the library with recipes to make your own skin care items and have found it really interesting. Lately I have been getting more and more concerned about the chemicals in things I use every day.

I rather wish I didn't know sometimes. I know a lot of it is very extreme and the anti-cosmetics movement uses fear to make their point - but it is hard not to think I have several forms of cancer just from standing in close proximity to the items in my bathroom drawer.

While I think it would be a while before I gave up a lot of things (clinique foundation, for one) I think there are a few bits and pieces I can incorporate into my routine to see how it goes.

Financially it makes sense too. The recipes call for things that I already have in the house anyway (chamomile tea, oats etc) and the finished products will end up being cheaper in the long run, even if I do have to buy some items in the end.

I'm not one to throw everything out and rush head first into it. I will be using up my old stuff and just experiment with the natural products to see how they go.

If I find that I am not liking the home-made stuff, I might have to bite the bullet and start looking for commercially made natural ingredient beauty products. But I think it would be nice to be able to make your own.

Thoughts? Ideas? Recipes? Anyone?

Meal Plan for the week

January 28th, 2010 at 10:41 pm



Slow Cooked Vege Pasta Sauce with Spinach Pasta Spirals

Garden Salad, Grilled Tofu/Lamb Chop & Steamed Veges

Homemade Sushi

Slow Cooked Indian Vege & Tofu Curry with Rice

Salad & Grilled Vege Patty/Lamb Chop

Toasted Paninis

Vege Pasta/Spaghetti Bolognaise

Fresh Spring Rolls

I'm going to continue to tackle the grocery expenses in February (and dining out expenses). This menu plan should see me only having to purchase rice and pasta for dinners, as well as veges and fruit from the markets.


this is why I don't take DF grocery shopping!

January 28th, 2010 at 11:22 am

Yesterday afternoon DF and I went grocery shopping. I was meant to go on Wednesday, and I usally go with a friend and we share a cart; take about an hour to walk up and down the aisles and make fun of various items while catching up and getting our weekly groceries. It's odd, but we've been doing it for nearly two years now so I'm used to it.

So DF and I agreed that I will not ask him again, for atleast another year. The reason he doesn't like going is because I make him push the trolley Big Grin And the reason why I won't allow him to come anymore is the amount of extra items he put into the cart that we don't need:

Chocolate: $2.69
Chocolate: $2.69
Jelly Crystals: $0.92
Jelly Crystals: $0.92
Chips: $1.19
Chips: $1.89
Ice Cream: $5.88

Total: $16.18

While it doesn't seem a lot, it is when you think about the fact that I am trying to NOT overspend this month on groceries! *sigh* It is just that these are all items that I do not buy...

I mean... honestly, who buys Jelly Crystals if not for their kids or a party???

grrrr. already overspent this month.

January 27th, 2010 at 11:55 am

Due to various factors, we've spent more than we earned this month. The two biggest factors in overspending are:

- Our income was decreased, as DF has only been working one or two days a week, therefore only bringing in around $200-$400 a week. Frown

- Instead of working, he has decided to be useful around the house and started on a couple of our renovation plans. While that's GREAT, it meant we took money out of our buffer to pay for materials. *sigh*

It's kind of like a catch 22: he's not working, so it's the best time to do these things, but it's actually the worst time to do these things BECAUSE he's not working (and so it's eating up our funds!) Big Grin

-----

He has nearly finished downstairs. I want to post pictures, but I am waiting until the weatherboards have been painted. At the moment they look horrible, as we re-used them from DF's dads house and they only have an undercoat of paint on them - looks somewhat like we took them off an abandoned house - dirty and a bit gross... Big Grin But still, the house looks very different. So, picture soon, I promise!

australia day...

January 26th, 2010 at 06:14 pm

was yesterday.

We usually go to a popular park, meet with a big group of friends and listen to the Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown, which is what we did.

The day involves swimming, fishing, music and catching up with friends.

I generally avoid crowds on Australia Day as over the past few years I've noticed every public place seems to be swarming with bogans off their heads, wearing the flag as a cape and not much else.

But the park, although crowded, was peaceful in terms of behaviour.

Police drove quad bikes up and down the strip and the only word our group, or any group near us, got was 'Please put your empties in the bin'. (Which was nice, if they wanted to, several of our friends could have gotten fines for drinking in a public place - which is actually illegal...but, I guess that's Australia for you.)

I bought DF's sisters birthday present yesterday too. We got her a $40 bookstore voucher and some Billie Goat Bath Milk Soak for $10.95 (two baths' worth). Billie Goat Soap is something I heard about years ago, and I had to look everywhere to find it. Basically every product that is made by the company contains only natural ingredients and is good for sensitive skin/children/elderly/allergies etc etc.

Also spent $8.75 on dips and crackers for the park gathering, $5.30 on an iced latte, and by the time we got home did not feel like cooking so ordered in pizza: $27.45 (damn 15% public holiday surcharge!)

free stuff is good stuff

January 25th, 2010 at 02:46 pm

While helping his mum move last week, DF aquired some items that she was going to throw away:

- 4 beach towels
- 2 matching bedside tables
- 1 double bed-frame
- assorted weights and dumb-bell sets.

The beach towels and bed frame are a plus, and will no doubt get used.

The bedside tables are something that we were actually looking at buying soon, but had been put off by the price of any good ones we found that went with our existing furniture. As it happens, the ones we have been given go perfectly with our bed and room, and DF is just fixing them up and giving them a sand and seal at the moment.

The weights are something we have both been wanting to get, but again have been put off by the price. So this is fantastic!

menu, surveys

January 24th, 2010 at 11:45 pm

It was 34C today. Eugh.

I just checked a survey site account and had enough to cash out a $20 GC for a shopping centre I use. There's $5.50 remaining in the account too, and I am close to getting a $30 check from another survey site.

Menu Plan for the week:

Salad, Lamb Chop/Vege Patty, Steamed Veges
Toasted Paninis
Indian Vegetable Curry with rice
Dinner Out (DF's sis's bday)
Vege Sauce & Pasta
BBQ & Salad

I shopped at the markets on Saturday - BIG difference in the produce. Smile Oh well, I tried. It might be convenient to drop by the store during the week instead of every Saturday mornings - but it's so much fresher at the markets.

I will hopefilly only need to buy olives, feta, tofu & some other assorted goods from the grocery store. Not a lot needed this week.

That's all for now!


Currently Reading: Half-Assed - A Weightloss Memoir

photo for you!

January 24th, 2010 at 11:02 am

Thought I would post a couple of quick pics for you guys of our pooches. Not very good ones, just some action shots. They move too fast to take any decent portrait style photos! The first one Jed and Banjo are playing together which is kind of cute. The second one isn't really a great photo but Banjo just looks so cute!!!



updates

January 22nd, 2010 at 03:13 pm

I have been reading people's posts but not writing any of my own lately.

It was our one year engagement anniversary this week (on Monday, to be exact). We didn't do anything, but it's crazy to think how time flies. In two months time it will be 7 years since DF first told me he liked me Big Grin

Not a lot financially is going on. It is the beginning of the slow months for DF - so he has been earning about half of what I do - and I usually earn half of what he does... *sigh*

So this month does not look good even though our spending has been drastically reduced. I think we will most likely break even for the next few months, and any big purchases will be coming out of the EF, or other sources.

On a good note, we will most likely be in budget for groceries, which hasn't happened for two months Big Grin

I have decided to stop buying vegetables from that fruit and vege store I mentioned a while back. It is just not fresh. When I shop at the markets, even though we hardly have anything left at the end of the week, the few things we do have are still edible, which I usually use in soup or make stock. Now when shopping at the fruit and vege store, things go slimey within a few days. YUCK. The few bucks I was saving go in the compost bin. Yay.

I have succesfully lost the 1kg I had planned to for January Big Grin I am down to X5.00kg. Weee! It's a good feeling.

If I lose 5-7kg more, I will be the same weight I was in year 10 when I was 16 years old. So I think I am going to make that my goal. And I have set myself a time limit. I have 6 months. It seems easy enough to do so we will see how it goes. Is that a crazy goal? Technically 16 years old was when I stopped growing taller...

We still don't have an oven, and I think the most part of that is due to the fact that I am lazy and can't be bothered getting a repairman in (and paying for it). So we'll just see how long we can last. In the meantime, it's nice to not have a choice for dinner sometimes. It's either salad, or salad! Big Grin

It's been about 33-37 degrees celcius here lately. And humid. Ugh. I hate humidity. Thank god summer is getting closer to ending. I think we are halfway through at least.

I bought a rashie (a long sleeved swimming top that you wear over your bikini). DF bought one for himself about two months ago, for $80. I bought mine from the same shop and it was only $45! For once in my life, a piece of clothing that is cheaper than the equivalent in boys. It was amazing.

The friend that I go swimming with laughs at me when I wear it. I wear shorts and a long sleeved top, while she 'dries' herself lying in the sun. I'm sorry, but I don't want to make friends with cancer. (The state that we live in, has the highest rate of skin cancer etc etc). Whatever.

Our doggies are going well. Banjo has grown a lot (I think - it's hard to tell when you see them every day). They both get along well too. They play fight all day and Jed has taught Banjo all the things we were meant to teach him Big Grin (like walking on the lead, where to go to the toilet, where to sleep, what to bark at etc etc).

Jed is a master at begging. When he wants a pat or a treat he will stand on his hind legs and use his tail to balance on behind him, and he can stay like that for ages. The other day Banjo copied Jed. It was so cute. Big Grin

Well, I think that is all my updates for now. Hope everyone is well! Smile


Currently Listening To: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

rates up! mortgage payment up!

January 21st, 2010 at 11:27 am

The variable portion of our mortgage has had the rate (finally) adjusted. Rates rose about two months ago, and the bank has finally made our payments more. I like that they take their sweet time doing it!

Old weekly payment: $159.23
New Weekly Payment: $176.77

Our fixed portion remains the same at $259.23 per week.

Our variable interest rate has gone from 5.21% to 5.91%

screen printing shirts!

January 16th, 2010 at 02:20 pm

Yesterday while screen printing a shirt for my friends sons' 1st birthday, I decided to do one for myself. It is a print DF cut out years ago that I have always liked. I've had it on three different shirts but they have gotten old. I love that I can throw out a shirt and not have to worry about whether or not I really like the print on it - because I can just do it again. Big Grin



Hope you like the picture! The singlet cost me $5 and the material costs are basically nil because DF got most of it when he was 15. It looks a little rough because I printed it on a ribbed tank - technically you're not really supposed to print on this type of material as it doesn't always turn out great, much better on plain cotton t-shirts... but ribbed tank singlets is all I wear in summer...
(I forgot to take a picture of the shirt that is the present - it is a shirt with a stripey red and black tie on it and the little boys name on the pocket - so cute)

working at home today

January 12th, 2010 at 03:34 pm

I am working at home today and my little sister is staying with us for a few days. (she's being a horrible teenager and my parents don't want her in the house - and she doesn't want to be in the house - so we offered to take her off their hands for a few days).

I am going to get stuck into work in a few minutes - and hope to reconcile the December accounts. After that, I am free to get things sorted around the house. These are my goals:

- Personal Filing
- 2 x loads washing hung out
- Water plants on verandah
- Tidy lounge & dining rooms
- Tidy Kitchen
- Re-fold & tidy clothes in closet
- Clean bathroom

My little sister is folding a massive pile of washing for me Big Grin while watching the first season of Black Books (HILARIOUS show - if you ever get the chance to watch it you definately should).

overindulged

January 12th, 2010 at 12:09 am

I spent $5 on an iced coffee today, and my friend and I shared some hot chips. Then we decided to drive 15 minutes to a french patisserie we know to buy a hazelnut macaroon cookie with coffee-cream ($2.50).

So financially and health-wise, it was a terribly crap and overindulgent (albeit tasty) day! I feel like I am full of oil and sugar.

Revised Meal Plan

January 10th, 2010 at 11:56 pm


Monday: Slow Cooked Potatoes with Salad & grilled Tofu/Lambchops

Tuesday: Slow Cooked Vegetable Risotto

Wednesday: Mexican Beans with Rice

Thursday: Jacket Potatoes & Mexican Beans with salad.

Friday: Toasted Panini

Saturday: ?

Sunday: Lentil Dahl.

dining out

January 10th, 2010 at 10:55 am

We had a bit of an eating out frenzy on the weekend. DF had a takeaway breakfast on the way to work on Saturday ($7). Then we had lunch out together ($34) with his apprentice. And then I had dinner at a friends place ($10 - pizza delivered). And then on Sunday we had breakfast out ($28)!

It was nice though, to not have to cook. It's been so hot here. Euch. Apparently it was 40 degrees celcius (I think that's 104 F??? Could be wrong...)

There will be NO eating out until Saturday now (a friends birthday).

financial lives of friends

January 9th, 2010 at 04:40 pm

I went to a friends place last night to catch up with a group I don't see often. I have known most of them for around 2 years, and one girl I have only met twice.

After a few drinks were consumed (by others - I wasn't drinking) the subject got around to debt. Since we are all in the same age group (22-25) it was interesting to hear everyones financial situations, as it's usually not something so openly talked about. And well, didn't I get a shock?

I already am aware of one friends financial situation. She got into a lot of credit card debt ($30k) at 19 and signed a debt agreement to pay it back. She is at around $17k now and will have it paid off in 3 years. Most importantly, she hasn't gotten herself into any other debt and I have to say she's doing quite well - I've been around to watch her change her financial viewpoint and hopefully I have helped her a bit here and there.

As for the others, I am just in shock. I guess because my other group of friends is responsible with money (and in their late 20's or early 30's), I just assumed that these girls would be too. Besides, they're only in their early twenties!

One has two maxed out credit cards ($6k) and a large personal loan ($9k)- and is unemployed.

Another girl, along with the father of their two children, has a mortgage (that's actually more than the house is worth) of $335k, a personal loan FOR THE DEPOSIT that her and her partner put down on the house ($20k), two loans for two brand new cars (~$40k)and three maxed out credit cards (totalling ~$30k). The sad story is that they have just split up too - she does not work and is now living with her mum and has decided to do an advanced diploma in nutrition - the father is an electrician.

And the last girl has two nearly maxed credit cards ($7k), a personal loan ($5k) and a car loan (~$11k).

Except for the girl with the mortgage, the others have no assets at all except for their cars.

-----------------

AND!!! when we went out, we had to find an ATM for two of the girls that would do cash out on credit cards (cash advances) - as the first two ATMs wouldn't allow it. Their reasons for getting cash on credit?

'Oh, I'm broke til pay-day... Wednesday.'

said with a kind of shrug and a smile on their faces.

Huh? Why are you even coming OUT tonight???

-----------------

I just don't understand all this. I've seen it all before here, but it's different because they talk about it as though it's normal, like it's a fact of life or something, and it doesn't seem to bother them. WHAT?! Atleast reading people's blogs here, you get the general idea that everyone is not so happy with their financial situation and are taking steps to change it. It seems like with these girls, they don't have any desire to change, and it's some kind of competition to see who owes the most.

(After much prodding, I finally told them our shared mortgage debt ($297k-ish) and personal loan of $2k. Their response was 'yeah, but how much do you owe on your credit cards...?'. When I said we had 3 credit cards but no credit card debt I was met with a confused look Big Grin )

*sigh*

over a month!

January 6th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

DF and I realised today that we have not watched commercial television in over a month. We have a few series on dvds that we have been watching, and have hired out movies from the video store (on cheap Tuesdays of course). But no tv.
I can tell you now I haven't missed the advertisements at all. Or the media-beat-up 'news'. I suppose if a show I liked came back on I might watch it, but it's kind of nice not being on a tv timetable.

Weekly Meal Plan x 2

January 5th, 2010 at 07:17 pm

Meal Plan for the week:

Monday: Minestroni Soup
Tuesday: Takeaway Pizza
Wednesday: Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup
Thursday: Salad, Steamed Veges (Lamb Chop for DF)
Friday: Mexican Beans & Rice
Saturday: Steamed Veges & Rice/ Spaghetti Bologaise for DF
Sunday: Mexican Beans & Jacket Potatoes.

This week should be very minimal in grocery expenditure as I have most of the items I need at home already. I am hoping that January will be a 'Clear Out The Pantry' month.

On that note, this is a loose meal plan for next week:

Monday: Vegetable Risotto
Tuesday: Minestroni Soup
Wednesday: Salad & Grilled Tofu/Lamb Chops
Thursday: Lentil Dahl
Friday: Vegetable Curry & Rice
Saturday: Dining Out (friends bday)
Sunday: Bolognaise for DF/Steamed Veges & Rice

The only items I need to buy food-wise are:
Meat for DF/Meat for Dogs
Tofu for myself
Fresh fruit & Veges
plus some other extras for lunches etc.
We don't need many other grocery or household items, so I am hoping this will be an under-budget month.

Net Worth January 2010

January 4th, 2010 at 07:03 pm

Liabilities:
Mortgage: $297 265.26
CC Balance: $1447.73
Personal Loan: $2145.56

Total Owing: $300858.55

Assets:
House (current median market value) $325k
Savings: $5000.00
Superannuation 1: $17 000.00
Superannuation 2: $9000.00
Car 1: $5000
Car 2: $4000
Car 3: $4000
Artwork: $5000
Tools: $4500.00
Other: $10 000.00

Total Assets: $388 500.00

(I only include the assets that I know would sell, and at the lowest price we could get for them at short notice.)

Total Net Worth: $87 641.45

Up $12 624.45 since the beginning of September, 2009. Woo!

saved $160

January 4th, 2010 at 02:06 pm

I have been whining at DF that we need a filing cabinet. There are piles of paperwork on my desk and it annoyes me to put them back in archive boxes, only to get it all out again when I need something.

So a few weeks ago we went and looked at Officeworks, and I was put off by the price. $170 for a two-drawer one (with smooth flowing drawers - I am not going to pay money for crap) and $400 for a four-drawer one.

We decided to wait a while. DF went back this week and there was a four-drawer one on special for $200, which was a good quality one, and the last one in stock - and postbox red. Hmmm. I wasn't that keen on the colour, or the fact that it was 4 drawers either. It would mean we were paying an extra $30 for something we don't need anyway. Too big.

So I told DF not to buy it. Yesterday he called me and said he was in an op-shop, and there was a 2 drawer filing cabinet for $40. He bought it and now it's in our office!

How is that for a stroke of luck?!

2009 goals recap

January 4th, 2010 at 12:15 am

Here is a recap of my 2009 Goals.
I think I did an alright job. Most of the important things were accomplished.
An X means I achieved the goal.
/ means I half achieved it, or atleast did my absolute best to.
- means I didn't at all.



Health & Body
x goal weight loss 1: 3kg

x 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


- swim atleast once per week (goal 3 times)
/ limit sugar/white flour intake


x 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:
x $1000 EF
x $500 Gift Fund
x $1000 Holiday Fund.
x 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.
x 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.


market vs fruit store

January 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 am

My posts have been dwindling the past few months, but I am going to attempt to post more in January.

December totals will be up soon. Unfortunately I already know we spent more than we earnt last month - my broken car window tipped us over the edge.

Groceries are still high, on average almost $20 more per week than what I am wanting to spend. I have decided that I will trial buying fruit and vegetables from a store near us. The past few weeks I have gone there as the farmers markets have been closed (due to christmas and new years), and have spent roughly the same amount, or less, than at the farmers market. And the fruit and vegetables are the same: organic & freshly picked. The store owns several large farms and grow their own produce. They are kind of a local secret around here, always have been well priced. I never went as I liked going to the markets, but lately it seems like a drag going to the markets on a Saturday morning.

So I will see how that goes. Who knows, maybe our grocery bill will decrease a little?

It's back to normal at work today and from now on - no more holidays, super busy days or public holidays. Which is kind of nice, it means constant money, but also it was nice having time off too!