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Archive for May, 2010

ooh! unexpected expense!

May 29th, 2010 at 01:03 am

A book has just been released which DF and I have been hoping to get. It is Vol.3 of the Sailor Jerry Flash books. We have a very close friend, C, who works at a high end bookstore, and is able to get these books for us at cost price. He already has first editions of Vol 1 & 2.

The first edition of Vol 1 is completely sold out - or so we thought. Yesterday C calls us to tell us that the initial order for Vol 3 wasn't filled, so we will have to wait for the next shipment for those - HOWEVER, he found a copy of Vol 1 & 2 in the store, that he didn't know they had. So he has posted them to us (FREE postage! I love perks!). I am super excited to have our own copies of these books. Not only will they eventually be worth a lot more than we paid, being first editions, I just love the books anyway.

So, it is an unexpected expense this month of around $170 (for both books). But oh-so-exciting. I think I might have done a little dance when we found out we were getting them. Big Grin

detox, adding to the gym

May 27th, 2010 at 03:44 am

Not a lot of news on my end lately.
We've been spending a bit here and there. It's one of those months where I'm afraid all the little purchases are going to add up BIG TIME. *sigh*

Tomorrow I'm embarking on a detox mission. I call it a mission because I've never done one that has been quite so long - the minimum is 3 days, they recommend 10 days, so I'm aiming for 6 Big Grin (Which will take me to Wednesday) I'm quite excited about it really. I haven't done one in some time, and I always feel super energised and brighter after. I need to make a note to not leave it so long til the next one. I don't think there's anything wrong with cutting out all the bad stuff for a week or so. Thoughts?

I had a very low spend day today. Just some grocery items. DF is excited because my food will be very basic for the next week or so, but as he does not want to do the detox with me (his work is much more physically demanding - it would be silly for him to do it while having to work) I will be cooking him super special meals, like beef stew and all sorts of goodies I can't be bothered cooking normally (because I'd have to make my own meals as well as his - this way it's easier because I'm just cooking for him - my meals are simpler).

Hmmm. What else?

We're about to begin hunting for a punching bag, to add to our 'home gym'. So far we have a full set of weights and a weight bench, a spin bike and chin-up bar. I'd love a treadmill, but they're so expensive and take up so much room. Plus, the WORLD is really a treadmill, when you think about it! Also, I'd feel guilty using the treadmill when our doggies sit there, waiting for a walk. Poor darlings!

Have seen one (punching bag, that is), not on special, for $200 which is well made and durable. So, hoping with some sales hunting we can find that brand or similar, for less.

I also REALLY want some fitflops, but I can't justify paying $100 for them. They're thongs! (flip flops for you guys). Argh. But I just love the idea.

That's all my news for now!

Doctors visit

May 25th, 2010 at 06:49 pm

Went to the doctors this morning. She said my calcium levels are good!!! So that means the supplements are making a difference. But my B12 levels are low, and she suggested I get another blood test for that. This one will cost $45. Darn. I also have to get an ultrasound for a check-up on what another doctor told me was a benign cyst... and which my current doctor says could be something else. I only asked about it because it hurts sometimes. She says that cancer doesn't hurt, so atleast it's not that. Great! I think?

I spent $8.90 this morning on a coffee and a savoury muffin, as an early lunch. I really must stop buying takeaway food, it's starting to get to be a habit, and it all adds up. Grrr.

That was my only expense today, though. The doctors visit was free. (well... technically I guess a portion of my tax pays for it...)

bbq skewers

May 24th, 2010 at 06:50 pm

I put barbecue vegetable skewers on our menu plan at the beginning of the month but have been putting it off because for some reason I thought they would be bland and boring. So last night I decided to make them because I wanted something quick and easy to make for dinner, and I had just bought a whole heap of fruit & vegetables as well.

I remembered seeing an add for a vegetable stock powder which we actually have in our cupboard (Vegeta - if anyone's interested). They suggested sprinkling it over grilled vegetables to add flavour. So I did, and the skewars were delicious. My only problem is that I didn't make enough, and we ended up having grilled corn as well Big Grin

Anyway, so I guess that's a tip for anyone out there that is looking for a quick meal.

I used pieces of: yellow squash, capsicum, mushroom, asparagus, zucchini & chicken for DF. Yummo.

Oh and another thing: on my last entry, it says I have 2 comments, but when I check, there is only one. Can anyone see the other one, or is it just a glitch (in the matrix Big Grin) ??

updates and such

May 22nd, 2010 at 01:10 am

Hmmm. Update time.

I did buy the bathroom set. First off I looked at all the other, apparently cheaper, stores and couldn't find anything for that price or less. So I think it was a bit of a score in the end anyway... even though I initially just wanted it because it was pretty. Big Grin

I also bought some footless tights, as the ones I had from last winter have a huge run in them. I only just noticed it the other day. Don't know how it happened. And bought some 'house socks'. They're wooly and knitted and cute, with pom-poms. Big Grin Not really neccesary, but they will do instead of slippers this winter. Spent $13 on the tights and socks.

Spent $5 on a coffee for the drive home as well. Geez they're getting expensive. It would have been cheaper if I'd gotten the small size, but I went all out and got a regular mocha. Living a little crazy!

Poor DF is still working, it is 5.30pm on a Saturday Frown He is not sure when he will get a day off next - he has lots of work ahead. His last day off was last sunday .... and the one before that was three weeks earlier. Which is good, in a way. I just hope he remembers that he hasn't had much work. And remembers that there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel - sometimes you just have to stick your head down and keep going til you reach the end.

Jeds foot seems to be getting better. I was able to take them for their normal walk yesterday and today. and did not see him limp once. YAY! must have just been sprained. I am also glad to get back to the walking - I did not have the energy to while I was sick. I am still slightly sick - the cough always seems to stay about three weeks longer than it does for anyone else I know. I'm special Big Grin. But I have the energy to take them (and the guilt is wearing me down!!! poor little puppies want to go frollicking!)

DF says on the next day he has off (whenever that is) he is DETERMINED to fix the stove and oven. He keeps suggesting things we could make (he thinks about food more in winter - soups and stews and crumbles...) and I keep saying 'Well, I could make it .... *IF* we had an oven/stove!' LOL.

Paid our car registration yesterday. DF and I have ours due three days apart. Last year the annual registration was around $523 per car... THIS year it was $655 each. GREAT.

My dad sent me and DF some music. It all started because DF asked me to buy an album by the Clash, so I went to the store where we generally buy all our music and could not find anything by them. And I couldn't find a sales rep either, so I phoned my dad while I was at the store (he works at their head office as a music buyer) and asked if he could look and see if the store had any in stock and they didn't - which would be the reason I couldn't find it! Anyway, so he said not to worry and he'd send it to us. Big Grin And whenever he sends me a CD, I get about 20 others as well, and some DVD's and stuff. So yeah, that's a bonus! Love getting parcels from my dad! Big Grin

Tomorrow is my day off this week. I am going to the markets to buy incense Smile

a want, not a need... but i want it!

May 20th, 2010 at 12:56 am

I don't know why the purchase of these items are bothering me so much, but they are. You see, I really want to buy this:



(Just the 3 piece set, not the background items)

I've been wanting to get a bathroom set for a while, currently we don't have a soap dish, our toothbrushes are in a cup, and the soap dispenser is one of those cheap plastic ones you buy the soap in.

Anyway. DF doesn't care about this stuff at all. He literally has no interest whatsoever. I showed him the catalogue with the picture in it and his eyes immediately glazed over. Great!

I would just kind of like our bathroom to look a little more... refined. Or something.

Anyway. So I'm not sure when the sale ends, but the set is reduced from $29.95 to $20.95 at the moment.

Seriously, I have no idea why this even warrants a blog entry! I just bought a dress that cost more than three times this amount and didn't even blink.

(Maybe because the dress came out of my own spending money, but this is a household item...) Eh. I might go in on Sunday and see if it is still there...

getting new phones!

May 18th, 2010 at 05:06 pm

After a big hassle and drama with our service provider (SP), DF and I are getting new phones. iPhones!

As I've blogged previously, we weren't expecting to renew our contracts until September (for DF) and November (for me). Post Paid mobile phone plans are typically held on 24 month contracts. However the company we're with seems to be cutting it back to 18 months, which is odd. But I'm not complaining.

First of all, our family business got calls from our SP offering free phones with the renewal of a 24 month contract. Normally we go through a guy who is a rep for a lot of companies - he finds our business the best deals, and is a nice, genuine guy who will drop everything to help us if we need it, and fix anything we have problems with. We've been using him for about 6 years now, so there's a bit of loyalty involved.

So our SP calls and offers this renewal-free-phones thing, and when we ask if that means it cuts out our rep, the guy on the phone from the SP says no. I tell DF to wait, because I wanted us to go on a plan at the same time, so that from now on our contract expiries are synced (I don't know if that's necessary really - but it makes me feel more organised...Big Grin). THEN the guy from the SP calls ME and offers the same renewal, even though mine is not up for renewal until November. (Mine is a personal plan, DF's is linked to a business one at the moment, and we wanted to make his personal and put it on the same bill as mine). So then I start thinking, Well hey! Why not?

So we agree, then later call our rep and he says it DOES take our business away from him, and the mobile phone portion of our telecommunication structure will no longer go through him, meaning he won't be our rep for that part. So they LIED!

Anyway, so I call and cancel the personal portion (Mine & DF's) and DF's dad cancels the business portion. This morning a delivery person came with the free phones for DF's dad and my mum, so we sent them back.

So now our Rep will organise the plans for us, and the phones. In the end, it works out better as DF and I get free car kits for our iPhones, and screen protectors, so that's about $250 value right there.

It boggles my mind though. Our rep works FOR our SP, but the SP is undercutting him. Huh!? How does that even work? If I didn't like the coverage, plans and offers of our SP, I'd consider changing, simply because that really pisses me off!

Anyway. So that's kind of exciting that we're getting new phones, and at the same time, AND six months earlier than we thought we would. Big Grin

Don't worry, neither of us are the type to buy a lot of applications. It's exciting to have a new 'toy' but the main functions are what we will use it for anyway (phone, camera, recorder, music player, internet). *sigh* I feel like a yuppie.

thinking of going prepaid for broadband... monthly bill cost analysis

May 17th, 2010 at 09:31 pm

For awhile now I have been researching internet plans & costs.

I want to reduce our monthly living expenses, and seeing as we are pretty no-frills anyway, it's quite difficult. We don't have cable television, subscriptions of any kind, or memberships to anything either.

Basically we have car costs, insurances, electricity, gas, groceries, petrol, mortgage, a personal loan, internet & phone, mobile phone, pet costs & property rates.

Other things like health costs, fun & entertainment & house repairs are variable and sometimes non existent, or can be cut back at any sign of trouble.

Those are our expenses in a nutshell.

Petrol expenses can't be helped that much, short of using one trip for multiple purposes and driving like a granny.

Personal Loan is nearly paid off, we're not worrying about it too much as it's less than $1k now and I'd rather have that money available to us at this time. If our account experiences a nice surge upwards, I'll transfer the money straight away. In the meantime, security means more than $37 a week payment that will soon be gone anyway.

Property rates are fixed, nothing we can do to change what they are.

Mobile phone, I'm on a plan that suits my usage, and will be until November. DF will shortly be ending his work plan (in september) and starting up a personal mobile plan, so that will actually be an INCREASE in monthly expenditure for us, but it is the right thing to do by his dads business. I will just have to see how DF's usage goes and fingers crossed he can go down a value level on his plan, bringing it from $80 a month to $50, like mine is. I'm hoping by September/November, iPhones will be available as a free upgrade and we'll both get one Big Grin It would be at no extra cost, so I don't see why not. Currently the cheapest model is $6 a month + plan costs. Giving it until September I am pretty sure they will be $0.

Pet costs... We get a discount at the vet because we have 2 dogs - and soon their registration will go from $112 each a year to just $10 a year when we get them desexed & micro chipped. An initial cost of ~$500 will pay for itself in a few short years, and probably solve a few other problems (like weeing everywhere!) along the way. Their food, I will not skimp on. Simple as that.

Foodwise, I've blogged about how I've saved money by doing a monthly shop at Aldi. So while I've only been doing that for a few months, my guesstimate is that it's a monthly saving of between $20-$40.

Electricity bill has been decresed over the past six months by always switching the power points off at the walls, and the lights. We don't have aircon or heaters and we don't use a clothes dryer. Monthly saving is around $10, I *think*, but of course it is hard to tell, especially when we are billed every three months, and have only been living in this house for a little over 12 months.

Our gas bill is non-existent (as in - gas for cooking via stove/oven) because the stove and oven still aren't fixed, and we haven't used all the gas since the previous owner filled the bottles before we bought the place. So that's a plus, I guess. Smile

I'm looking at decreasing our monthly life insurance cost by rolling our superannuation over to our main bank, and having our life insurance billed from our superannuation account. If we choose to, we can make additional deposits into our superannuation account and recieve 150% of that amount from the government as well (it's a government superannuation building incentive).

Our house and contents insurance actually went down I think, because we renewed our policy. (It was automatic, so technically didn't do anything at all...)

The bill that has been on my hit list for some time now is internet and home phone. We don't use our home phone, and the only reason we have it is so that we can have an internet connection. So we're wasting around $45 simply because there's no other way to get around it. Recently there's been a few releases of different ways to access the internet from home, regularly (mobile usb stick broadband, naked dsl etc, that kind of thing).
I'm looking into Pre Paid USB sticks because I think it might be a good idea cost-wise and will probably save us money. I'm just worried I guess, because we've had the same plan for over two years now and never had a problem, you know when you're about to take a leap into something new, it's kind of scary? Ok, so technically we're not doing anything life-changing... it's just an internet plan... Big Grin

So what I'm looking at is:

For a start-up pack, we pay ~$140 and get the usb stick and 5gb.
The 5gb expires in 6 months.
On average, we use around 1.5gb-2gb a month. So that would be 9-12gb usage in 6 months. So far so good, we'll either use up the 5gb each before the 6 months is up, OR just come close.

So far, that's $280 for 6 months of internet access.

If we were to STAY with our current plan, we would be spending ~$462 (current plan costs ~$77 a month for 5gb per month of usage - which we never come close to anyway. So far, that's an approx saving of $180. But the initial outlay is a straight up $280. Hmmmm.

Initially my list of pros and cons included running out at a time when we couldnt recharge (seeing as we mainly use the net at night anyway) but you can now do it all online, so that doesn't even present an issue anymore.

The recharge costs are:
575MB 15 days exp $15
750MB 15 days exp $20
1.15GB 30 days exp $30
2.3GB 30 days exp $40
3.45GB 30 days exp $50
4.6GB 60 days exp $70
6.9GB 60 days exp $100


If we were to both get the 1.15gb each month we would still be saving money, and we could play it smart and share a USB to stretch out recharging, overlapping at 2 week intervals instead of recharging at the same time. But I think most months we would only need a 750mb recharge each. Which would be a saving each month of $37.

Anyway. So the cost issue is worked out, I just need to work out the technical side of things, like if we can actually use it, what the coverage is, speed etc. Hmmm. Well, atleast it's a viable option *so far*.



bah! waste of $333!

May 17th, 2010 at 05:43 pm

DF got a speeding fine last week, driving on the highway. Argh! It's unfortunate, that is the only thing. I'm not going to say it's unfair, obviously. DF even says the same. He was doing the wrong thing and had to suffer the consequences. But it still bites. Essentially, while he *was* doing the wrong thing, he was actually doing the right thing while doing the wrong thing (confused?) - he was moving out of the way of a motorbike which was tailgating him. It was safer on all counts to go slightly faster and let the pushy biker fly off into the distance. But at the time he didn't tell the police officer, because he didn't want to sound like he was making excuses - even though the officer asked him if there was a reason he was speeding! Geeze, DF! *sigh*

Anyway, it's 4 points off his license (a full license has 12 - DF isn't sure how many he has as he got a fine last year which also had 3 points, and no one can tell us exactly how long it takes for the points to get put back - we think it's either 2 or 3 years.) and $333 fine. We know two other people who got fined on the same day, and on the news apparently it was a 'speeding enforcement day' which basically means every able bodied policeman was out with their speed guns.

On other, more exciting news, I only have two and a half months until I get my full license! I was on my provisionary license for 3 years (as is everyone when they first get their license) and I stupidly got a speeding fine (on a highway) and had to do a 12 month good behaviour period, which only allowed me 1 point (which basically means, do anything other than run a stop light and you're screwed). That 12 months is nearly up! And I think it's safe to say I'm a granny driver now and forever. I think everyone should do a 12 month good behaviour period - it really does teach you a lot, you have no leeway whatsoever. And it's not just driving matters that it makes you think about - because I can't go a little faster on the highway, ever, it means I have no option of ever running late. So I have to be organised. Smile I guess you just have to look at it in the way that the glass is half full, LOL.

getting better.

May 13th, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Even though I *hate hate hate* cold & flu tablets, I have had to take them this week, like DF had to as well.

I have been thinking, it must be nice for those people who have jobs where it really is ok to take days off to get better.

For us, it is not even the money that we keep working through sickness, it is knowing that there is NO ONE to do our job and that it cripples a business substantially if we are to be sick. While it's not an ideal way to run a business, unfortunately that's the way it happens. (I'm talking about two different businesses here too!) I guess it's all just bad timing really.

Anyway, as I was saying, I had to take the tablets. I really don't like them. I actually don't like *any* type of thing like that at all. I have a few friends that think I'm odd, but I just don't think it's right to go 'Oh, I have a headache, I'm going to take a pill and it will go away.' Huh? How is that normal?
But, aside from all that, I think I am on the home stretch to getting better. Yay! I might even be fighting fit on my day off on Sunday.

This afternoon I washed our doggies. Jed has a sore leg, I am worried about him. I catch him limping every now and then - we think he did it to himself when we caught him jumping the fence (again, yes - we found out he can jump HIGHER than we originally thought...). So - I am unsure what to do. Vets are expensive, but this obviously has nothing to do with it really, as whatever needs to be done, will be done. BUT I don't want to spend unnecesary money for our vet to tell us that he's sprained his leg and to just wait until it heals, which is highly probable. So I don't know if I should wait a little while or not. Yesterday DF and I watched him INTENTLY for hours and he didn't limp. But today he did. Argh! Silly boy!

My friend is now staying at our work. She had a meeting with our boss and his wife, and they worked out some sort of agreement.

I was annoyed to hear a point that the boss's wife used in their argument for her to stay. She said to my friend "We always try to do what is fair for our employees. Look how nice we are to Whitestripe, when there is a public holiday, we offer her another day to work that she doesn't normally work."

HUH?!

The only times I ever work extra are:
- when someone is sick, I will work on the weekends and
- when the baker was away on holidays and that coincided with a few public holidays, they asked if I could work on a Tuesday (which is a day I work at my other job).

So I don't really see how that's meant to be 'being nice to me'. I mean sure, there were a few days where I didn't quite lose hours that I might have if I didn't get the extra days, but it was always done because of OTHER reasons, not because my boss & his wife were looking out for my personal financial security. Pfft. What a load of...

Anyway. *sigh* Annoying!

updates & a photo

May 11th, 2010 at 06:57 pm

Yesterday we had takeaway for dinner because I didn't feel like cooking. We had pizza - probably not the best thing to get my body fighting fit, but eh. Tonight we're having felafel pita breads with salad, so I am sure that evens it out just a little bit.

My friend is having a meeting with our boss's wife to determine her 'future' with the business. I'm finding this all really annoying, it's being blown way out of proportion and it's kind of like my boss and his wife are using some kind of 'damage control' technique.

On one hand, I'm annoyed at my friend, because she keeps using all these excuses which contradict and don't make sense, as to the reason she resigned. First she says that her goal was to earn more money when she completed (as is most peoples goals when they do some sort of training). Then she says it's not about the money. It's about security. Then I point out that just because she's employed casually, doesn't mean it's not 'permanent'. As everyone knows with our boss, unless you attempt to murder him, he will never fire you Big Grin. Then she says she's not good with money, so the public holiday thing worries her. Which our boss then tries to work out a plan for her, where they keep a portion of her pay each week so she gets paid normally when there's a public holiday (because she's terrible at saving her own money). But then she says that won't work. So then I said to her, it's ok if you want to work somewhere else or if you want to leave, it's ok to want to do those things. But she says "No, I LOVE working there". So I am just sort of like WTF?!

And then on the other hand, I'm annoyed at my boss and his wife because they're going on about how this is a real 'kick in the guts' that she's leaving after she completes her training etc etc. I mean, what did they expect? They pay her peanuts for three years, and told her that when she completed she'd be going onto casual employment (like the rest of us). Is it so wrong that she wants to see what else is out there?

Anyway, but the best part out of all of this, is that I technically DON'T KNOW ANY OF IT, according to my boss. I told my friend I didn't want him to know that I knew. So it's really all rather amusing, in an annoying way. I can't put in my two cents, but it's probably just as well that I don't get caught up in it. *shrug*

I took a picture of my new shoes to share:


Just in time for winter! Big Grin

DF has been working the past few weekends for cash, so next week we will get around $1000. Not quite sure what we're planning for it yet. I think we're splitting it 50/50 for savings/household items.

A friend of mine has two more bookcase to give us. DF's been working until 7pm each night, so I don't know when we can pick them up. I hope she doesn't give them away before we can get them. She asked me why on earth I would want two more, seeing as she just gave us an 8 foot tall bookcase a few months ago. 'Uh, to put more books in?' I said to her. She looked shocked. 'Do you really have that many books?' I laughed at her. 'And more!'

I guess it's a personal preference, some people don't see the need for books. But we both love them, and have so many. The good thing is a lot of them are first prints, and are starting to get up there in terms of value. It's comforting to know we have a few months of mortgage payments sitting in our bookcase, if it ever came to that. Big Grin


Currently Watching: Deadwood

sick/ detox.

May 10th, 2010 at 04:55 pm

I seem to have gotten DF's flu. It seems inevitable when you're sharing the same space for roughly 15 hours a day. My friend also has it too. Must be going around with the change of seasons. So far it's just a head cold for me. Fingers crossed I shake it off at that, DF had the whole body thing, aches, pains, dizzy etc. But he also had to work non stop. I am working 6 days this week, but today and tomorrow are easy office job days.

Last week I started thinking again about trying out a detox-type thing for a couple of weeks. This was before I got sick - maybe an even better idea now that I have gotten sick! Might give my body a makeover, internally atleast.
And no, none of that 'buying a box of stuff from the chemist' type of detox. That is not what I mean when I say 'detox'. I mainly mean reducing intake of harsh ingredients, chemicals and processed foods.

Technically I eat/use/take a lot less of the above mentioned than the average person anyway. 'Average' being relative, of course. Smile

But, this will be an interesting exercise anyway. I think the main thing for me is cutting out coffee. I've been thinking about it for a while so I might give it a try. The problem is that I really enjoy a nice cup of coffee. I don't drink it for the caffeine effect, I just really like the taste and the smell. LOL.

Anyways. Time to get my sick self motivated to do some work, so I can go home soon!



Currently Listening To: Kid A - Radiohead

I spent a lot today!

May 8th, 2010 at 09:14 pm

Started off buying two almond croissants for Mothers Day. Went to mums and had a coffee with her and my little sister. Then went to the shops for a few random things, but ended up finding good deals on items that I had been meaning to buy for a while.

Even though individually the items were good prices (compared to what I have seen around) all up I spent a fair bit today Frown

Todays Expenses:
2 almond Croissants: $5.80
Coffee: $4.35
Underwear x 2: $55.26
DF's home brewing supplies: $18.25
Ankle Boots: $49.00
2 x Watersaver Planter Troughs: $28.00
Animal Repellant: $10.54
Pumpkin Seeds: $1.32

Total Spent: $144.52

Also put $20 fuel in my car. It was $1.35/L for E10! Which is expensive, but, it's Sunday, so I don't know why that particularly shocks me.

I'm excited about the shoes, I might post a picture later on. I'm waiting for DF to get home from work to tell me if he thinks they look any good, as I usually need a second opinion. Big Grin

The animal repellant is to stop the doggies going where we don't want them to go. They have been naughty digging holes underneath our stairs that leads from our backyard up to our deck. Grr! Also I was thinking of spraying the stuff on all the areas they like to pee on, hoping that maybe they stop doing it. Has anyone ever had success with this???

I bought the pumpkin seeds to scatter over our hill. I figured that we may as well utilise the hill the best we can, because we're too lazy to do any upkeep on it (It's really steep! And I hate weeding! Isn't that a good enough excuse???). If the pumpkin grows rampant, atleast it will be a useful plant, and might possibly overtake any weeds on there.

As soon as I got home I did about an hour of repotting/gardening/planting etc. I replanted my basil plants (about 10 of them grew in a pot that I was growing lettuces in, the orginal basil plants seeded and died - then after I planted the lettuces, the basil grew as well!). So they are in a separate trough all on their own now. I also scattered some extra seeds in the pot too.

I watered, fertilised and added more potting mix to my lettuces, and added more seeds to that too.

Then with my last trough-pot, I sprinkled a heap of mint seeds. I love mint, so even they all turn into seedlings, I won't mind.

Also I moved our tomato plants over to the trellis that DF set up for our passionfruit. I'm not sure if you should grow tomatoes and passionfruit together, but oh well. We'll see how it goes.

Also found my marigolds, which I thought were dead, had regrown from seeds dropped from the original plants flowers. They were just growing from a random patch of dirt where I'd kicked over the planter pot. Big Grin So I moved one of the seedlings to my lettuce trough in the hopes of deterrring those pesky grasshoppers.

From now on my gardening technique will be referred to as Accidental Gardening, because most of my success is purely accidental.

So I feel like I accomplished a little bit today, and it's only 2pm! After this entry is finished, I'm going to give the house a vaccuum and mop, then bring in the dry clothes off the line and tidy the kitchen. Then I might watch some Scrubs while I fold washing.

For my only day off this week, I feel like I achieved a good amount, granted I do what I plan to this afternoon. Poor DF is sick with the flu, has worked 14 days straight and has atleast another 7 to go WITHOUT A DAY OFF. Frown

So far this week I have stuck to our menu plan. I find that I don't stick to a particular meal-for-each-day plan, but rather pick what we feel like out of a list of meals for each week. It seems to work better that way - sometimes if you make an eating plan so rigid, you end up ordering takeaway because you can't be bothered cooking what's on 'The Plan'. Tonight I'm thinking of making a sundried tomato pesto sauce over pasta with steamed green beans, grilled capsicum and parmesan cheese.

Well, time to drag myself off the computer and start vaccuuming!

working saturdays.

May 7th, 2010 at 01:21 am

Looks like I will be working a few more Saturdays. I don't mind - it's one less day to spend money, and nearly an extra $200 a week. Smile The downside is my only day off (Sunday) is usually crammed with friends, washing, cleaning etc. Bit stressful. Trying to get into a routine of doing laundry during the week, so I don't have to do it on the weekend. Same with cleaning, but eh. Sometimes I just don't feel like doing anything when I finish work.

Not much else to report really. I'm trying a new recipe, from a Stephanie Alexander book: Indian Carrot Fritters. I made raita to go with it and a salad, which I'm just about to go and start cooking. Big Grin



savings at aldi

May 4th, 2010 at 05:14 pm

I collected a few reciepts to see how much I'm saving at Aldi, to get a rough idea of whether or not it's actually worth going there. So, listed below are a few items that we regularly buy, the first price is the supermarket price (Bi Lo, Woolworths, Coles) and the second price is Aldi.

Tinned Tuna 95g: $1.82 - $1.29
Coffee 250g: $8.49 - $4.99
Muesli Bars 6 pack: $4.99 - $2.99
Cola 2L: $3.47 - $0.99
Chocolate 200g: $4.29 - $2.79
Plain Yoghurt 1kg: $5.74 - $4.69
Chocolate Biscuits: $2.89 - $1.79
Cheese 1kg: $9.99 - $5.99
Rice 2kg: $6.99 - $3.49
Dishwash Liquid: $2.49 - $0.99
Tinned Tomatoes: $1.19 - $0.75
Coconut Cream: $1.09 - $0.85
Pasta 1kg: $1.42 - $1.14
Toilet Paper 16rolls: $9.00 - $4.99
Laundry Liquid 2L: $5.99 - $9.99
Pesto Tapenade: $4.37 - $2.69
Handwash: $7.50 - $2.99
Raw Sugar 1kg: $1.12 - $0.89

So yes, I think continuing to shop there is going to save money in the long run Big Grin

have you lost weight?

May 3rd, 2010 at 05:13 pm

I'm a little bit excited because I think that maybe my recent weightloss is finally starting to show. In the past week, two people have commented, on two separate occassions. Who thankfully aren't the type to just say something and not mean it. I've never been one to broadcast publicly (well, except on my blog) about weightloss, simply because it's so easy to put it back on, which is a big un-motivator for me. And also because I know that just because you lose one or two or three kilograms doesn't mean it's immediately noticeable, and then it seems, atleast to me, that you're fishing for compliments. Which is the opposite of what I'm doing this for. I'm not setting about to lose weight for the benefit of others; I'm doing it for myself.

Also, another thing. I have a few friends who DO harp on about their weightloss, and I have found that atleast for me, it starts to grate on your nerves. A friend of mine, who has struggled with her weight for years, the main reason being her unhealthy diet and excessive eating, announces on facebook nearly every day how much personal training she has done, how many hours of exercise, how much weight she has lost etc etc. However, having spent a fair bit of time with her, I notice she neglects to mention exactly how much incredibly unhealthy food she eats, as well as the resulting gain from the binges. It's not my place to judge, and I really couldn't care what she eats or how much exercise she does, I just don't want to be bombarded with it every time I log in to facebook, you know? After a while, no one cares about your weightloss or your fitness regime, because they know every single detail of it thanks to multiple daily updates.

I think it could be lumped into the same category as 'oversharing'?

Anyway, in saying that, I think it's important to tell someone when you *do* notice a change - only because, from personal experience, usually the change that you see in a person is something they have been working on for a lot longer than you think.

In saying all this, I actually haven't lost a gram since before Easter Big Grin To be honest, I gained about two kilos over the Easter weekend, because DF's sister organised the food and I was not used to eating so much (heavy meals, three times a day). Thankfully I have lost that again, but my weight has stayed steady since early March. *sigh* but hey, I think the comments I recieved might be my second wave motivator!

friend is leaving (maybe)

May 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 pm

My work colleague/friend might be leaving. T is an apprentice and she qualifies in August. She has always known that when her contract is up, she will go onto casual employment. That is just how our work, and most other hospitality-based businesses, do things.

It is more cost-effective to pay several people to work a permanent roster on a casual rate (which is more per hour than full-time rate). Casuals earn about 25% more per hour, but cannot work more than 30 hours a week (or else earn overtime) and do not get holiday or sick pay. If you don't like that kind of deal, obviously you don't seek out a casual-pay-based job. For someone like me it works fine, because I don't take a holiday every year, and I am hardly ever sick, and I have another job.

So, T decided to give our boss a couple of months notice, because she has been there for 3 years. Her reason for leaving is that she does not think that she could handle her money efficiently while being employed casually. Whenever a public holiday comes up, all of the mature aged staff do not get to work on that day, as the federal award rate that we are paid under stipulates that we are to be paid 2.5 times our normal rate for public holidays. (Which would mean that we would earn over $50 an hour). The business would suffer a loss for the day because sales don't necesarily increase, so instead all the juniors are rostered on to work (as schools don't open on public holidays either). Even though I personally have been working there longer than T, and never got to work on public holidays, T has only just realised that *she* won't get work on public holidays, and it will muck up *her* finances. I love my friend, but I am really annoyed that she only thinks of these things when they happen to her. There have been numerous times when I've mentioned something about not working when a public holiday comes up, or having to 'save' or put money aside for these things, and she has kind of ignored, or not taken in, the conversation. But now suddenly it's about to happen to her, and it's a Big Deal. Which really frustrates me.

At first she was just going to make up some story about why she was leaving, and blame it on 'personal reasons', because she didn't want to 'pressure' our boss. He would not let her go easily, and she is the type of person to make up her mind, and then not be swayed by anyone once she's decided to do something (I've written about this a few times in other entries). I got pissed off about her plan. Only because, well, there are several workers, including a guy who is the sole income earner for his family and supports three children, and not to mention myself, who ALSO have to deal with the dilemma of public holidays. And she is leaving BECAUSE of the public holiday dilemma, but doesn't have the balls to even say why she is leaving, which makes it difficult for things to ever change around here. She's leaving, so why does it matter? Why is it so hard to say the truth, and maybe give the boss a chance to think about how hard it is for the REST of the workers who loyally show up every day for work, even though sometimes his & his wifes methods make it financially difficult for their employees??? Huh?

Anyway. In the end she DID tell him the real reason why she's leaving. And he said he would talk to his wife, and they would all sit down together and try to work out some sort of agreement.

That was last week, on Thursday.

On Friday, T asked him if he had spoken to his wife, and he said no.

Saturday, same thing.

Today (monday) he had finally spoken to her. He told T that they would make a time to sit down and chat.

It kind of makes me laugh, internally, a little bit. Because THIS is what I have had to deal with for the past seven months, as some of you know. Waiting for my boss to do something, which to him probably either isn't important, or doesn't really affect him, and so he therefore doesn't really relate it as being important to someone else. (You know, it's not like it's someone's FINANCIAL SECURITY and their FUTURE CAREER PLANNING that's at stake! Frown)So atleast someone else knows how it feels. I feel a bit evil, but it's someone else's turn to feel how frustrating it is.

Anyway, so that's the 'big thing' that's been happening at work lately.

I kind of hope that my boss forgets about my whole 'fast tracked apprenticeship' while he deals with possibly losing T, and subsequently thinking up ways to make her stay, so then by the time he remembers about me, I can say 'Sorry, you left it FAR too long, and I have applied to university... Maybe if you did something *six months ago* things might have been different'. (I've been told in confidence by another co-worker, that my boss and his wife have said that if my friend T, or myself, ever left, they feared the place would fall apart. Kind of an ego-boost for me, a little bit. Big Grin)

I'm not doing this to be mean, I just feel burned that's all. A normal apprenticeship is THREE years. I've been there for about five years now. I know I've gotten a heck of a lot more in pay than an apprentice, and worked less hours per week, but I've always worked extra, always been reliable, always covered other people's shifts when they've been sick, and worked a lot harder than a lot of people who work there, and maybe if my boss had gotten his sh*t together, I'd atleast be halfway toward a qualification, which I kind of see as just a little something that I deserve for what I've put in. But hey, that's something I have to let go. I can use the skills I've learnt in my future self-employment business plans, and that's all. I can't use it for other employment opportunities (I could, if I were qualified...) so instead I will now focus on my plan B (Accounting), safe in the knowledge that the only thing holding me back from THIS particular qualification, is my own motivation Smile.

skincare, hangovers.

May 1st, 2010 at 04:08 pm

Today DF's sister is hosting a skincare brand party at her house. She's only doing it because she gets free stuff Smile and I'm only going to get pampered Big Grin

I don't plan to buy anything; my skincare routine is about as basic as you can get (cleanse with goatsmilk soap, witchhazel toner and Vitamin E moisturising cream).

I don't like having a huge array of products, it makes me feel stressed and cluttered. It's the same with my makeup, if and when I wear it - I use a clinique foundation, a mineral loose powder, mascara (which I always get free from magazines) and Clinique eyeliner. I'm boring, but atleast I don't ever have to put much thought into it. The products could be considered expensive to some people, but to others it could be cheap (the foundation is about $50 a bottle, the eyeliner is $40) but I buy them because it feels nicer on my skin than the cheaper brands, and besides, if I had to find another brand, that would mean I'd have to go to the store, try a ton of different varieties and be badgered by salesclerks. eugh.

So other than the petrol, today should technically be free, and apparently there is food as well Smile

Yesterday I worked, and so did DF, and then we went out for a friends 30th. I was only out for an hour, but the birthday boy had organised a bar tab so my 2 x glasses of Coke were free Big Grin
DF is supposed to be working today, but it is 9am and he is still in bed with what looks like a big hangover. Teehee. I've only ever had a couple of those, and with good reason. I don't like them!