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Archive for February, 2010

tsunami

February 28th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

What terrible news about the earthquake in Chile. It seems lately that there is more bad news than there is good.

Closer to home, over the past week, a 22 month old toddler drowned in a dam 40 metres from his home, an 8 year old girl was abducted from her bedroom, murdered by a 19 year old boy, and found 12 hours later dumped in a drain, two separate car crashes have claimed the lives of 6 young people, a 13 year old boy was stabbed to death by another boy at a school, two men died trying to rescue a mate who fell over a cliff, who also died, and a man may have lost his eye after being glassed outside of a pub...


It's times like these that should make people realise just how much they really have, and if they can, to give a little to those who have lost a lot.

And to not take so many risks. So many people lose so much sometimes when unnecesary risks are taken.

A report on the radio this morning talked about the fact that our area had a tsunami warning from the Chilean earthquake, the beaches were closed for the day and people were told to stay away. Instead, crowds of people gathered ON THE BEACH. Sure, nothing happened, but are people so ridiculously STUPID that they think nothing bad can ever happen to them???

i told my dad, so now i actually have to go through with it!

February 25th, 2010 at 12:21 am

I told my dad about my plans to enrol at uni in November, and sent him a link to the course outline (Bach. Commerce) etc etc.

I think I'm doing this, actually, I KNOW I am doing this, so that I actually go through with it. I feel a little like I'm standing on the edge of something, about to jump, with no idea of what I'm jumping into! Scary! Frown

My best friend is not happy with my decision. *shrug* At least she is honest right? I have to separate her concern with the fact that she probably doesn't want me to leave our workplace, which is where we met, and where we both work. I know she's concerned because I've expressed on occasion that the thought of Uni makes me want to cry/sleep/scream out of boredom. However, it really depends on my mood, like with anything for any normal human being.

Take cooking for example. Surely most of you have experienced joy at some stage in your life out of preparing food, and probably a lot of the time it's been a chore too.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. It's impossible for me to explain to her my future plans, because she's one of the types that has to 'do do do' all the time and doesn't see the need to lay foundations, everything has to be instant or it's not worth it, and on top of that, she thinks everyone should do what they want to do. (I'd love to make a career out of watching Scrubs re-runs, however, I don't think it's entirely possible, nor profitable...)

*sigh* does anyone get where I'm coming from? I mean, I'm aware that the next 3-7 years isn't going to be exactly glamourous, but, I know it's going to give me insight, tools and security to allow me to eventually do what I want to do - which is something I am unable to do 'right now' at this very moment.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that yes, I told my dad. So I think it's actually going to happen. DF is excited about it for me too Big Grin

The semester starts in November, so over the next few weeks I am going to look at the things I have to do regarding HECS-help and the actual applying process. *eeek*

I am also going to give my boss a few months more RE: the Apprenticeship. I don't have high hopes, but it could possibly happen. I can't remember exactly when I asked the first time, but I am sure it was around November last year.* If I give him til June, then I know I've waited long enough, right? I think? I don't know! What would you do in a situation like this? How long are you supposed to leave something on the table before changing your mind? How long do you leave the ball in your employers court before deciding that it has been ignored for long enough???

* EDIT: I checked through my entries, and I asked my boss on the 19th of November.

fighting off a cold

February 24th, 2010 at 11:53 am

I have had the beginnings of a cold/flu/whatever for the past couple of days. It started with a massive headache, then the next day a sore throat, sneezing and sinus. It has not progressed past that, and a bit of tiredness. A pretty terrible flu has been going around so I hope that my intake of ginger, garlic, lemon, honey, zinc, vitamin c and ecinacea over the past few days is what has stopped it progressing!

It is rather odd, this happened last time everyone else got a flu bug going around - I thought I was getting it, but only got the minor stuff. Which is great! I'm not complaining!


updates

February 21st, 2010 at 10:56 am

I have been generally sticking to the meal plan that I made for myself about a week and a half ago, which is great Big Grin We have not had takeaway and other than running out of coffee and milk, I haven't really had to go to get supplies for anything other than on shopping days.

This afternoon I will post another weeks worth of meals. I think we will be eating out on the weekend, as we are staying at DF's cousins house to help her with moving and putting in a new floor at her new house. (DF is making $200 in side money too, which is nice! Technically I am too, as I'm helping. I am dreading it, as every time I help DF with work, my hamstrings KILL me the next day) Smile

It is 4.50am here on Monday, another week of work JUST about to begin. I listed a book on eBay, after selling one last week. But it hasn't had any bites. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I have two more books to list but I have to finish reading one first.

I screenprinted my little sister a shirt for her birthday, I am sending it by express post today. The shirt was $12 and the postage will be about $5 - hope she likes it.

My plan is no takeaway this week again. We did well last week and the week before, our expenses are going well, except my $80 shorts Frown but I wore them yesterday, LOVE them.

DF built Banjo his kennel last week and it's finally sitting next to Jeds. He went in it straight away, and Jed in his. It's so cute. When you go outside they both run out to greet you. Big Grin

all I want is some shorts!

February 19th, 2010 at 03:58 pm

I really don't know why it's so difficult for me to find a pair of shorts that I like, but it is. It's now getting closer to winter which will mean stores will stop stocking them and then I will really be in trouble!

I have had one pair of past-the-knee length shorts and one pair of short(er) shorts for a while now, and the shorter ones are now too big and fall down (butt cleavage = NOT an attractive look) and the longer ones are so threadbare that they ripped in the washing machine a few weeks ago Frown

So I decided this time around I would go for one pair, and go an in between length.

Well guess what, the only pair I can find that I remotely like is EIGHTY DOLLARS!

WHAT?!

I guess I live under a rock re: the price of clothes. I have a lot of clothes and the only time I *usually* buy them is when I don't need them, but I see a good price/deal etc. So I guess when I do NEED something, I am shocked with the full price of things.

I don't think I've ever paid more than $30 for a pair of jeans, and they aren't CHEAP jeans, I just seem to find them when they ARE on sale and buy them then, instead of waiting until it's winter time when I'm in deperate need of something.

Same with shirts and t-shirts. I rarely pay more than $10 for them, usually only $5, and these tshirts normally sell for $40 or more, button up shirts around $50.

But hey. I guess I've resigned myself to the fact that I may have to spend the money this time. I would wait - but there are just some things you can't do while wearing a skirt... Frown

feeling a bit unappreciated :(

February 18th, 2010 at 12:16 am

I'm probably not surprising anyone with what this blog entry will be about; because I've blogged about it several times before.

I'm sure a few of you remember my previous posts on the whole "what am I going to do for my future career/job/employment/study" issue.

However, this time it's different! Because it's not actually my fault for *not* doing anything.

Basically after several years of tossing up between some sort of apprenticeship (chef or pastry chef) or going to university to study something that would result in an office-ey job, I finally decided to talk to my boss about doing a fast tracked apprenticeship so I could get qualified for the job I do now (pastry chef). It was supposed to take 18 months and the details about pay were rather hazy; my boss waved his arms around and said it would be fine and I could just do the same hours and get the same pay I get now, instead of doing full time work for apprentice wages. He said he would talk to the trainer that does everything for our apprentices, and I would probably be qualified in no time.

We started to have a conversation about it last week at work, it actually started because he said that he would be looking to put on another apprentice soon, as one he has is about to qualify, but this time he would put one on that is under 18, as he gets more benefits for them. I jokingly bought up the subject of MY (nonexistent) apprenticeship.

He said that he HAS talked to the trainer, which is a good step. And then he started to go on about how they don't do some things now that they used to do, and something about it taking three years, and something else about reduced pay and 38 hours a week. He then finished with "but you'll be fine anyway, you'll be able to get a job anywhere as a cake decorator."

Which is all fine and dandy, except I've been there for nearly five years and I'd like atleast something to show for it. I also find it hard to believe that it's impossible to work out some sort of individual training contract with me. I'm not asking for MORE money, or MORE work, I'm asking for the SAME thing I have now, only a signature on a slip of paper at the end. I even offered to pay for my training costs.

Basically what I got from the conversation is that it's too hard, they can't do it, and I should probably forget about it.

So this conversation happened last week, and this week I feel rather unappreciated and a bit glum to tell you the truth. Normally I don't mind my job - I'm happy when it's home time, but I don't *hate* being there. But today I just could not wait to leave. Even though I've been there since my boss started the business (he personally asked me to work for him, and poached me from another job I had), I feel like 'just another worker'.

So all this has started me thinking again on the subject of what I'm going to do. I know I'm 'only 22' and that I have 'lots of time' and that 'I don't even have to DO anything at all anyway other than work a day to day job', I just personally feel like, yes, I do have to DO something.

My other option was to study accounting at university. It's a three year course. Sometimes the idea of it bores me to tears, but other times I think it'd be nice. I do *love* figures, money, tax etc, all that. I find it interesting when other people's eyes glaze over at the mention of it. So I know I'd possibly not be *bad* at it.

My Ultimate Goal in life is to open my own cafe with possibly some sort of design/art/book store theme. Maybe.

Anyway, so both of these inital 'career options' I had in mind will help me with this Goal. I will at some stage have to do more study into book keeping if I do this. It's what my other part time job is, but I do it with the knowledge that an accountant will check everything over for me at the end of each financial year.

If I did an accounting degree and got a cushy job at a company, or started my own book keeping business for tradesmen & sole traders, I would be able to a) live reasonably comfortably, possibly get some sort of maternity benefits and even allow DF to stay at home with the kids (a la Monkey Mama style! Smile) and b) save up enough to have a 'starter fund' for my Ultimate Goal.

The pastry chef apprenticeship and eventual qualification would have resulted in more knowledge and ability to create products to eventually sell at my eventual Ultimate Goal - and learn a bit more about the goings on of a hospitality business (though I do have a firm grasp at this point).

However, it looks like the pastry chef thing is a no-go. I've had enough waiting around for other people to get things rolling, I think it's starting to wear me down a bit and I feel a bit restless. I feel like while I'm currently doing what I'm doing now, I need to be doing something else as well. Otherwise I feel like I'm going no-where. You know???

So I'm thinking that mid year (August, I think) I will apply for the Uni course. I think I just need to dive in and do something, even if I do one module and hate it, the $1k the module will have cost me is a small price to pay to make me realise I *don't* want to do that.

So overall it's a fairly happy outcome.

But the main thing that annoys me is that it takes so much effort for me, personally, to ask people for things like that (the apprenticeship).

I get stressed, worried and fear getting rejected. I get this niggling feeling that people will think I'm not worth the effort. So for it to fizzle out like this with no real enthusiasm on my boss's behalf only reinforces my belief that I shouldn't bother, and if someone, anyone, wanted to offer something to me they would have already.

breakdown of property rates

February 16th, 2010 at 07:14 pm

Paid our 6-monthly property rates today. We got a $61.50 discount for paying it before the 19th.

Would you like to know what we get for our property rates? (I mean other than being safe in the knowledge that our council members just approved themselves a 3.2% payrise...)

Water Consumption Charge: $59.40
Water Base Charge: $105.50
Sewerage Base Charge: $258.00
Waste Bin: $93.50
Environmental Levy: $30.00
Public Transport Levy: $10.00
State Fire Levy: $75.60
General Property Rate: $521.50

Total: $1153.50
Less Discount: -$61.50
Total: $1092.00


Oh! The joys of being a homeowner!

hmmm... odd!

February 15th, 2010 at 05:29 pm

Since my rant here a bit over a week ago, DF has cleaned out the gutters, dipped the dogs in flea treatment, mowed the lawn, taken the dogs for a walks in the mornings a few times and started to make salads for lunch again. Big Grin

So either he reads my blog (hello darling! i love you!) or is psychic.

On the weekend I repotted my tomato plants (pictures to come soon!) and my basil and parsley. I also planted some rosemary seeds (again) to see if they would germinate. I doubt the temperature drops below 23C at any time right now, so they SHOULD germinate, otherwise there is something wrong with the seeds!

I can't believe my basil and parsely are still alive. I am a terrible gardener. I get all excited about growing my own food, but then remember to water and feed them about once a month. My mint and marjoram have died, withered into brown dried up clumps. Frown I grew the mint from seed so will try again with that soon.

I have gotten a single cherry tomato from the tomato plants. They are about two feet high and I have staked them. I grew them from seed too, so that's very exciting for me Big Grin There are six plants.

I also planted some more lettuce seeds, this time in a different pot with more room. Last time they grew to about two inches high and then stopped growing. Might be ok if I was a fairy and in the mood for a salad, but I'm obviously not (a fairy, that is.)

I think this weekend I will go to the market and buy a couple more herb seedlings - and this time LOOK AFTER THEM properly.

Meat Free Monday!

February 11th, 2010 at 11:15 am

Every week I get the Goop Newsletter (written by Gwyneth Paltrow) sent to my inbox, which is probably the closest I will ever come to following a celebrity. I find the articles interesting and sometimes I learn new things.

Last week was a letter written for the Goop newsletter by Paul McCartney, about an initiative called Meat Free Monday.

Obviously I'm not learning anything new here, but the concept is great and the facts are interesting. Everyone knows that meat is expensive, so this is where the financial side of it ties in. I thought all you SA'ers might like to read the article anyway! Smile


Ok, here's the story on Meat Free Monday. In 2006, the United Nations issued a report which stated that the livestock industry as a whole was responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the whole of the transport sector put together.

I found this interesting particularly because people at the UN are not a vegetarian society and therefore, could not be accused of bias. They pointed out the following facts:

The Livestock industry produces gases that are extremely dangerous for the future of our environment.
The two main gases, methane and nitrous oxide, are considered to be more harmful than CO2 (methane is 21 times more powerful than CO2 and nitrous oxide is 310 times more powerful than CO2) so the data suggests that this is causing a highly dangerous situation for ourselves and, more importantly, for future generations.
Methane also remains in the atmosphere for 9 to 15 years; nitrous oxide remains in the atmosphere for 114 years, on average, and is 296 times more potent than CO2 - the gases released today will continue to be active in degrading the climate decades from now.
Livestock production is land intensive: a recent report by Greenpeace on land use in the largest meat producing state in Brazil found that livestock (cattle) production was responsible for vastly more deforestation than soya.
A third of all cereal crops, and well over 90% of soya, goes into animal feed, not food for humans. Eating less meat will free up a lot of agricultural land which can revert to growing trees and other vegetation, which, in turn, will absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Livestock production is water intensive: it accounts for around 8% of global human water use. The estimated 634 gallons of fresh water required to produce one 5.2 ounce (150g) beef burger would be enough for a four-hour shower. For comparison, the same quantity of tofu requires 143 gallons of water to produce.
Livestock production is the largest source of water pollutants, principally animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures.
The meat industry is set to double its production by 2050 so even if they manage to lower emissions by 50%, as they have promised to, we will still be in the same position.
With this in mind, my family and I launched Meat Free Monday in the UK, an idea which has been gaining support from people like Tom Parker-Bowles who, after a lifetime of denigrating vegetarians, recently wrote in his Daily Mail column, "I wince at the memory of my boorish "antics" and who pronounced himself "intrigued" by MFM: "There's no doubting the plain common sense of the messageā€¦Meat Free Monday is something to really savour". Another supporter is Al Gore who stated that initiatives like Meat Free Monday "represent a responsible and welcome component of a comprehensive strategy for reducing global warming pollution and simultaneously improving human health."

Even a number of schools have already done this in the UK with great success. The town of Ghent in Belgium has a meat free day and, amazingly, Sao Paulo has one even though Brazil is a large exporter of meat. In Sweden, the government is now labeling food to give the consumer the opportunity to understand the dangers of indiscriminate food consumption and there are many more examples appearing online.

The point is that so many people these days are looking for ways to "do their bit" for the environment. We recycle - something we never would have dreamt of doing in the past. Many people now drive hybrid cars but most people understand that we cannot leave this important issue to the politicians of the world. Recently, at the Copenhagen Conference for Climate Change, this issue was not even on the agenda and so I believe it is once again left to us, the people, to do it ourselves.

It's amazingly easy to take one day in your week, Monday or any other day, and not eat meat. When you think about it, there are so many great alternatives, for instance, in Italian cooking, so many of the dishes are vegetarian already and Thai and Chinese cuisine are the same. All it means is that you have to think a bit about what you'll eat that day but, in actual fact, far from being a chore, it's a fun challenge.

Having been a vegetarian for over 30 years, I find it very simple and in fact, tasty and most enjoyable.

So there it is! Next Monday - don't eat meat and do your bit to save this beautiful planet of ours. For more information, ideas and lots of meat free recipes, go to the official Meat Free Monday website.


two more points to the challenge

February 11th, 2010 at 04:00 am

Today I had coffee with a friend, but she paid for me Smile Next time I will pay for hers.
Yesterday I also had coffee with another friend (I know right? I'm a social butterfly...) but I used a reward card that had enough points on it to redeem for a small double shot mocha.

Does this count? If I did not have the reward card, I would have not purchased the coffee with cash, as I wanted to add an extra point to the challenge...?

paid $4.50 for a cup of coffee yesterday :O

February 9th, 2010 at 11:19 am

I have always lived under the general assumption that smaller, sidewalk cafes were cheaper. And GENERALLY they are! I can on most days, get a double shot flat white for under $3.80. (AU)

Imagine my shock when I had coffee with a friend and was told the price was $4.50.

It's not a big deal, but I still felt robbed.

It was a bad day for eating out. Temptation was rampant:

Yoghurt Clusters: $2.97
Coffee: $4.50
Icecream: $2.45

Frown

Saved $3.45

February 8th, 2010 at 08:45 pm

I just switched my mobile phone bill to an e-statement, as they decided to start charging me a $2 fee for paper statements last month.

Also I decided to pay our electricity bill by B-Pay, which saved a 0.6% processing fee (which works out to be $1.45).

Isn't it funny how many fees they try to hit you up with?

In other news, our electricity bill is around the normal cost, which at first was VERY disappointing for us because we have been diligently turning powerpoints off when things are not in use (only thing using power when we are not home/not using something is the fridge - for obvious reasons) etc etc. HOWEVER then I realised that for the same length of time as the bill, we have been cooking with electricity, as opposed to gas which we would have used if the stove or oven was going. So technically our work has paid off... sort of.

health food store shopping

February 8th, 2010 at 05:05 pm

Spent $25.00 at the health food store today. I bought:

dried kidney beans
ground psyllium husks
rolled oats
dried pineapple chunks
whole brazil nuts
dried apricots

yoghurt cranberry clusters

bentonite clay

The yoghurt cranberry clusters were an impulse snack buy, so today I don't get a point for the challenge Frown

Bentonite clay is something I have been looking for. It is used in face masks for cleansing. I bought $7 worth (it is $35 a kg), but it should last me a loong time, as you only need a little bit to make into a paste. I am excited to try this out.

All the rest are for healthy snack bundles for DF's lunches and for me to make my own muesli.
Since we have had no oven for months now, my baking products shelf has been sitting there, contents unused and neglected. Then I realised at the supermarket the other day, as I was contemplating buying a packet of muesli, that I have virtually everything I need, on that shelf (rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, coconut). I bought some bran for $1.87 and made my own muesli. Big Grin
So I used up some items, and decided to purchase some more to make my breakfasts a bit fun. Hence the dried pineapple and brazil nuts.

I have heard that psyllium husks are one of the best sources of fibre, and it is so over priced to buy it in the supermarket (in fancy containers with exciting names and bright packaging).
This is where some health food stores are great, as this particular one I go to, you can buy it from containers and scoop out as much or as little as you need. I will be adding the ground psyllium husks to my muesli.

Plus everything that I just bought, was certified organic. Smile




Currently Listening To: Warriors Dance - Prodigy

updatorama

February 7th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Had a good day money-wise, NSD for both of us. Which means another point to the challenge as well! I think that's 3 now.

I took the dogs for a walk today but it was cut short by Jed getting bitten on the paw by a green-ant. Poor thing hopped the whole way home. I tried to put some ice on it, but he just ate the ice Big Grin He's a tough little nut.

After that it started to rain, so I utilised the weights we were given. I have to say it FELT like I was using weights for half an hour... but more like probably 10 minutes Frown

After that I did an hour of ashtanga yoga (with a dvd), had a shower, washed my hair, took an overnight dvd back (Red Cliff) and got home just as DF did too.

He had collected a bench press seat from his grandad. How exciting. I used to bench press weights in school (I know - not exactly a girly thing to do - it was only because a friend of mine had one in his room and I used to go there and hang out. eh. *shrug* the things you do when you're bored huh!)

It has rained for the past four days. It's been beautiful. I LOVE rain.

It feels like the cooler weather is coming soon. Bring on jeans, cardigans, scarves, soups, hot chocolate (with low fat milk *cough*) chai tea, blankets etc... Can't wait!

I have an extra shift this week, only a 6 hour shift, but it will bring me about $122 extra before tax. Yay!

We have started watching TV again. Correction: I have started watching TV, and have therefore forced DF to Big Grin The Biggest Loser & So You Think You Can Dance have both started. They're absolute trash but it's my guilty pleasure.



Currently Reading: Concertina - Susan Winemaker

Meal Plan (two weeks worth!)

February 6th, 2010 at 03:08 pm

THIS WEEK:

Saturday: Greek Salad, Grilled Lambchop/Tofu & side of beans.

Sunday: Dum Aloo with Rice (Indian Potato & Spinach Dish)

Monday: Steamed Brocolli, Garden Salad & Grilled Lambchop/Tofu.

Tuesday: Vegetarian Pasta (fresh tomatoes, zucchini, brocolli, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, basil)

Wednesday: Indian Tofu Curry with rice (slowcooked)

Thursday: Rice Paper Wraps (vermicelli noodles, tofu/chicken, grated carrot, mint, cucumber, capsicum)

Friday: Toasted Panini (turkish bread with cheese, pineapple, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomato, cracked pepper)

NEXT WEEK:

Saturday: Greek Salad & grilled steak/vege patty

Sunday: Rice with Steamed Veges

Monday: Pasta with Pesto Sauce & Grilled Veges (capsicum, zucchini, squash)

Tuesday: Mexican Chili Beans with Rice (double lot - freeze a portion for later)

Wednesday: Minestroni Soup with sourdough toast

Thursday: Slow Cooker Risotto (peas, green beans, pinenuts, pesto)

Friday: Homemade Sushi (cucumber, tuna, tofu, avocado)


Purchases required:
Vegetables (mint leaves, squash, capsicum, zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, rocket, fresh spinach, kidney beans, corn, green beans, fresh ginger, avocado)
Chicken, Turkish Bread, Tinned Tomatoes, plain yoghurt.

Everything else I have in the pantry/fridge/freezer. We will see how I go with two weeks worth of meals planned!

I am determined that we will not eat out for any dinners unless there is a really good reason (like friends birthdays etc).

Simply cannot afford it. Or rather, if we eat out, it means we cannot afford OTHER things we would RATHER buy. I know at times when I am tired (and everyone else, no doubt), takeaway seems like a brilliant idea, but the reality is that the money would be better allocated somewhere else. Big Grin



quiet weekend

February 5th, 2010 at 05:15 pm

Yet another week has gone by. Time just seems to fly doesn't it?

We are having a quiet weekend. It's too hot to do anything anyway. I think it's about 35c - and humid. It's 11am and I have yet to find the motivation to do some household chores, because I know anything other than sitting will make me sweat Big Grin. Sigh.
But, I do have to get some things done, as we are having some friends over this afternoon who have not seen the improvements we've done to the house - even though out of all our friends they live the closest! It's funny how that happens. They have a 10 month old and things just get in the way every week.

I listed a book on eBay yesterday, one of the Imogen Edwards-Jones books. It already has one bid and two watchers. Yay. I bought it on sale for $8 so I hope I can atleast get that back.

I checked my inbox yesterday and I had a nice surprise, a survey offer. I completed it and am now *this* close to cashing in the $30 check I wrote about earlier.

We finally filled out and filed the forms to link DF's high interest account to our normal accounts. (There is nearly $900 in there that we had forgotten about from over a year ago). Around $500 of that is already spoken for, but the remaining money is just going to go into savings.

So far I have only had one day to claim a point for this months Challenge. Frown

I went to the farmers market this morning, spent $35 and got lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, rocket, cherry tomatoes, brocolli, bananas, apples, strawberries, nectarines, peaches and plums.

Tonight we will most likely have a salad with toasted turkish bread, grilled tofu/lambchops.

I have overdue library books which I will probably return today (we don't get charged for overdue books - only if we lose them). But first I need to copy some recipes from one - it is a Slow Cooking recipe book, with lost of good recipes. One thing I like about it is that everything is from scratch. No premade pastes or anything like that. yay.

My plans for today:

- 3 loads of washing (wash/hang out/fold)
- Wash dogs
- Wash dogs bedding & tidy deck
- Tidy kitchen & give a good wipe over
- Sweep & mop floor
- Take dogs for a run.

I have been using a facial cleanser that I made myself for nearly a week now. No complaints - I don't know if I'm convincing myself that it's better because it's homemade, but I really do think my skin appreciates it more than bought, chemical-filled cleansers...

But we'll see, I will give it a month or so and see how it goes. But I have high hopes for it - I really think I could do this from now on!

If all seems to be going well after another week, I will post the recipe. I have recipes for other things too, but I am going to wait a while, as there are things I need to buy to make them, and at the moment I already have commercially made products to use up. You can call it frugal - but moreso it's just laziness and me being a tightwad! Big Grin

rewards

February 3rd, 2010 at 11:59 am

I have a $20 GC coming in the mail soon, from surveys I have done. I'm putting it toward groceries to lower those costs a bit. Also I should shortly be able to cash out Emailcash for a $30 check.


We have enough points from credit card rewards to get a $200 voucher. I have looked, and the vouchers are a better deal than getting credit on our account, you get something like 20% more when you get a voucher.

The tough part is deciding what voucher. I can't get it for anywhere to buy groceries, which would have been useful. Before any of this financial stuff (non-working...) started happening, DF and I talked about getting a voucher for a place so we could buy some more CD's and DVD's, seeing as those are things we like to buy but usually don't end up getting.

But we can also get a voucher for a hardware store, and DF sometimes buys things from this store for work, and then doesn't get reimbursed for it. So I was thinking that would come in handy too.

The other option was to get a $100 voucher from each place so it's split, one for entertainment and one for ordinarily incurred expenses.

What do you think?

From now on we should get more points, because I finally figured out that American Express gets double the points that Mastercard does. They are both linked to the same account, so it is no bother to use the Amex instead.

updates

February 2nd, 2010 at 06:41 pm

First of all thanks to those who commented on my last post Smile I am trying to keep my whining posts to a minimum (there's nothing more depressing than reading someones blog and finding that EVERY single entry sounds like it's been written by someone stuck in the bottom of a well)... but sometimes it has to be done, right?

So I had coffee with a friend yesterday, got home and DF was playing computer games. I thumped around for an hour or so and cleaned parts of the house, slightly annoyed that DF was still on the computer, but then when we had dinner he was quiet and not very talkative and I realised that he is not that happy either. So even though I feel better for letting it all out, I feel bad for being a selfish whiner because DF feels the same way about not getting a lot of work and all the things that are on our shoulders. We didn't talk about it but it's ok Smile sometimes things don't need to be said. Also... we both come from families where everyone TALKS about everything all the time, and it's often an agreement that we don't overanalyse each other, because it gets very draining and makes us both think of being a sullen teenager being lectured Big Grin

Now the house is slightly tidy I feel a bit better. Dinner is in the slowcooker for tonight, and I am doing the grocery shopping when I finish work in a couple of hours.

I went to the doctors today, for something that I have been meaning to do for about five months (get my calcium checked) so that is something to tick off my list to do.

For the February challenge of not eating out - I have miserably failed these first 3 days. I bought a drink at work on Monday, yesterday I had coffee with a friend, and today I bought an icecream Big Grin sure was nice though...

I am not liking 2010 so far...

February 1st, 2010 at 05:33 pm

You know those times when EVERYTHING seems to be weighing on you, and you feel like curling into a ball somewhere dark and pretending you're not an adult and you don't have responsibilites? Yes well...

Prepare for a rant of selfish whining:

- I have a tooth ache. I need to get the tooth pulled but I don't want to because a) it costs money b) it will be partly visible when I smile very widely and c) it will mean going to the dentist, and no doubt being told what ELSE I need to get done.

- Every time I get in my car I see little glass shards that the vaccuum didn't pick up and I get annoyed, because it means I have to clean my car again. And it reminds me of the recent $456 expenditure we had to cough up because some no-nuts kid threw a brick through the window.

- It's hot and I hate hot weather.

- The gutter on one side of our house is full of leaves from a Jacarandah tree and it is DF's job to hack the tree branch off and clean the gutter, but he has not done it.

- There is a cement pipe in the ground that DF found that has broken and he thinks it might start causing problems for the foundation of the house if we don't get it fixed soon.

- Yesterday I scraped my mag wheels on the gutter. It's the first time I have ever done that in the 5 years of my driving life and now one of my wheels looks utterly crap.

- DF made a big deal about it because he was there when I did it, inspected the wheel, and found that my tyres are so worn down that we have been driving on the metal thread. I'm annoyed because I have been saying for MONTHS that I need new tyres and now I find that my tyres could have popped at any time while I was driving.

- Why am I annoyed? Because every time something happens to my car, I have known for months that something needed to be fixed, but DF has insisted that he will do it. He then never gets any time to do it, and then it's MY fault beause *I* haven't fixed it. And because I don't know as much about cars as he or his dad does, I feel like I shouldn't go to the mechanics by myself because I'll get duped. So then when I do go, I'm nervous about it. (Which it always ends up being fine anyway...except I then get into trouble from the *mechanic* about the state of my car...)

- So today I have spent $228 on new tyres, which is depressing because of the amount of money my car seems to have sucked up lately.

- I told DF how much money we had in our account yesterday, and he remarked that I should bring home more pies from work. I know he was only (partially) joking, but this is a long running annoyance of mine. Because I work at a bakery, people assume that I eat a lot of crap, and that I can take whatever I like home. And DF seems to believe this too, and is constantly bugging me to bring home 'treats', like end bits of slices and broken bits of cake etc. First of all, I'm so busy at work most of the time that I don't get a chance to eat AT ALL, for my entire shift. Secondly, I have to pay for everything just like customers do, except for ONE free loaf of bread each day that I work. If I took pies home to eat for dinner instead of shopping for groceries, it would probably end up that we spent MORE. And lastly, I am of the type that will eat something if it is THERE, and DF knows this, but still asks me to bring things home, which I refuse to. So then he says it's not fair (?? whatever) and then uses that as an excuse to buy chocolate and icecream every week.

- Furthermore, DF's eating habits are grating on me lately. I don't know WHAT has happened, but in the past two years he has gone from being mostly healthy, to completely UNhealthy. When he first started working for his dad, he weighed about 95 kgs. In our first four or five years together, he would get up a little earlier every morning and make a salad for his lunch as well as a Carmans muesli bar and some fruit, and he got down to about 78 kgs. Then all of a sudden he decided he was sick of that, started getting up later and took 2 minute noodles for lunch instead. His argument was that it was cheaper anyway, so what did I care? Only that it allows him to say 'hey, i can get a pub lunch because i only have two minute noodles and they won't spoil in my esky'. Coupled with getting up later usually means he gets a drivethrough breakfast as well, and all this is costing FAR more in money AND in health than a salad ever did. DF's now back up to about 86kgs, and his dad has remarked that he works slower and is more sluggish than he used to be.

- At the same time, DF insists that *I* should be healthier and exercise more. While I am NOT the type to be overly sensitive or get upset like most girls do when they are assessed on their fitness/health/appearance/weight etc, I *do* find it slightly annoying that he can say this to me on one hand, but then do the complete opposite for himself and write it off because 'his work is more physical than mine'. Pffft.

- The house is a mess and I don't feel like cleaning it. You know when you have a big party and you look at the cleanup job the next morning and don't know where to start? Well, it feels/looks like that. Minus the vomit.

- I haven't been able to sleep properly for what feel like weeks. At the best of times I get around 5 hours of sleep a night - I do *go* to bed with enough time to get 8 hours, but it generally takes me 2 or more hours to drift off. But lately I have nights where I don't sleep at ALL - about two or three times a week. It's getting to a point where everything is annoying me, just because I'm tired and cranky. (Hence, this entire post...) Furthermore, DF doesn't understand my predicament because he can fall asleep in 10 minutes. He says to me 'just go to sleep'. If it was THAT easy, don't you think I would have done that by now???

- It has rained for the past four days, and I haven't been able to do any washing. I don't feel like doing any washing anyway, but that's not the point. The point is that I can't, even if I wanted to.

- The dogs are a handful at the moment. Technically they're not any different than they were a month ago - but it just feels like it. DF was the one that insisted we get *a* dog. Then he was the one that insisted that we get a second one, to keep the first company. While that's all good and well and I love them, I feel like I am doing all the work. When we first got Jed, DF would take him for a walk every weekday morning. I would take him for a walk Monday, Thursday and Friday afternoons, and Tuesday & Wednesday mornings, and then we would usually take him together on Saturdays. Now, I have to practically drag DF to take both of them for a walk with me on the weekend - and I am the only one that walks them during the week. Sometimes DF will throw a ball for them in the mornings, but I don't think he does it every morning any more. On top of that, I also have to make their food every week and wash them.

*sigh* well, I feel slightly better after letting it all out. don't I just sound like a whinger?