<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: July, 2010
 

Archive for July, 2010

saved some $$$

July 31st, 2010 at 05:06 pm

As some of you are probably aware, DF and I are big music fans. Up until we bought our house, one of our biggest expenses were music festivals, the second probably being buying actual music. Without doing any calculations, I'd say we easily spent $2k a year each attending festivals (four or more a year). Accomodation, transportation, tickets, drinks, food and an overpriced tshirt sure add up!

So obviously that expense was cut when we decided to jump headfirst into the joy that is 'the mortgage'. We have not been to one since the Big Day Out 2009.

But, buying music is still something that we occasionally shell out on. My dad works in the music industry and we are regularly blessed with packages of 20 or so discs of music that he knows we like. Always a good day when I find one of those on the doorstep! (This also explains why I don't download music, if anyone is wondering - my dad would probably disown me. I don't mind loading it from a friends copy if it has been bought, but I won't support illegal downloading).

DF and I have very similar tastes in music, there are some that one likes and the other doesn't care for, but for the most part we like the same stuff.

However, it becomes hard to buy something when the other doesn't like it. Neither of us see the point in buying a cd if the other doesn't like it. Odd I know, as a normal couple would probably think the opposite way: the person who didn't like it wouldn't want the other to buy it. *shrugs*

Being the weird child I am, I have a love for death metal, especially when I'm working. (I'm sure people could read into this in some psychological way, and I'm also sure some people probably think it is in some way related to the devil - like some people also believe the world is flat... *cough*) Anyway, DF doesn't like it at all and I've never bothered to buy any because of this, and my dad doesn't work in that genre (and doesn't have any desire to aquire any for me Frown), so I usually just listen to it, streamed from youtube or some other source, because I'm too cheap to buy it just yet, if only one of us is going to enjoy listening to it. (I'm working on it though. "Listen to that guitar, dammit! There's some skill right there, I sure as heck couldn't play like that... if I could play a guitar at all..." Eh! Can't say I didn't try...)

So I just discovered that my little brother (little, being 16) has pretty much all that I could ever ask for. He happily put it all on my iTunes (I think this was the moment he discovered that his OLD sister may, in some extremely minute way, be just a tiny bit cool), and I didn't have to spend a cent, and DF doesn't have to listen to it in some justification of the money spent on it. Thanks lil bro!

i don't get some people (rant)

July 30th, 2010 at 05:45 pm

*sigh* seriously, some people annoy me. I don't understand how they can justify some things that they do, and then act shocked when someone points out how silly they are being.

A friend of a friend & her partner are in serious financial doo-doo. They owe more on their house than it's worth (it's not like it is in America - in our area that's kind of a hard thing to pull off, but somehow they managed). Even better, they don't owe that money to a bank, they owe it a business partner. They pay $750 a WEEK on their 'mortgage' (in comparison, DF and I pay $460 a week for a bigger house and land twice the size, and could probably get an equal, if not more, amount as them if we were to sell right now, even though they are closer to the beach which is typically more valuable).

Not only do they owe a huge amount to some random guy, they also borrowed the inital deposit of 30k from the partners father, and then decided to get a 40k loan from the bank to buy two new cars.

Then they decided it wasn't working, and split up. They rent the house out for $350 a week (which is all they could get, and personally I wouldn't pay that much to rent it), and the partner lives on friends couches while the woman and their two young boys now live back with her mother.

It's 'sale' time now at the shops, being the end of the financial year, and also the end of winter. Out of some stroke of 'luck', the woman gets a $4000 payment from government assistance (which she doesn't actually check to see if she is supposed to get it, or if it were a mistake). She goes and spends ALL the money on clothes, jewellery, toys for the kids and christmas presents. Yep, totally what I would do as well. Not.

I also found out the other day (via facebook, gotta love it) that she has a CLEANER. I might be ok with it if she actually WORKED, but she doesn't. She does uni part time and she lives with her mother (read: full time babysitter on hand).

She was amazed that DF and I don't owe any money other than our mortgage. It was like it was a concept that has never occurred to her. "Not even on your credit card?". Before I could think, I blurted out that I thought it was stupid to rack up credit card debt on frivolous items. 'If I want something, I'd rather pay for it with money that I have. If I don't have the money, then I obviously don't need it and that would be a stupid financial decision'. Well, that earned me some REALLY sour looks! Big Grin
And when I was talking about how we were wanting to buy a new TV, she didn't understand why, when I found a good deal, why I didn't just buy it then. (Um, because we already agreed that, seeing as the one we have decided to buy is more expensive than what we previously planned, we will wait a month or two so that our 'buffer' creeps up, instead of raiding all of our saved money.) We have a small tv that works, it's not that big of a deal. Sheesh!

I just get so annoyed at people like this. And then she has the gall to whinge about being in debt. Oh, just shutup!

TBH though, I think that we really approach things in a different way, in every aspect of our lives, so I can't really say I'm surprised about her financial decisions. Parenting, shopping, food, exercise & diet, even with relationships. I'm a 'Let it Be' type of gal. DF and I are very cruisy and always have been, we don't get in each others way and don't try to control each other, and neither of us are 'over-thinkers'. We talk and are frank with each other, whereas this girl constantly has bitching sessions about her partner (while they were together, when they were thinking about getting back together, and now that they aren't together). Sometimes I would point out 'um... hate to point out the obvious here, but why don't you tell HIM that/talk to HIM about it/ask HIM that question???'. To which I am greeted by a very very vacant stare and am then waved away with a flick of her hand. Aaaah well. We're all different I guess! :S

first glance at july

July 27th, 2010 at 07:36 pm

I have put in the final figures for July - though I am sure there will be a few dregs to catch up on, cash expenses here and there of DFs etc etc and a few grocery purchases. However, it seems we are ahead this month by around $300, and that includes paying for the dogs vet visit, which was over $600. So technically speaking, we are ahead by $900, because I have that money aside in our bills account.

I'm going to put $400 into our mortgage account, and another $200 into savings. The rest will serve to top up our 'buffer'.

Next month might be a bit spendy, I am planning on getting new curtains, and also have a booking that will cost ~$350. DF wants to buy some new work shoes, and I need some too. I get the cheapest ones I can find, because I need to replace them every couple of months, so I get the cheapest I can find which are about $12. DF's don't get covered in flour regularly Big Grin so he can spend a bit more on his and they will last him a couple of years. I am thinking they will be about $100.

Also, I have a car service booked for next Tuesday (but that will come out of our Bills account), our bi-annual rates are due ($739) and I want to get a tooth removed (~$200). EEEP! Next month is going to be a whole lot of sitting at home watching TV and brainstorming ways to make extra money Big Grin

Speaking of extra money, has anyone on here heard of threadless.com? It's a great site, I buy a t-shirt here and there from them because I love that real people actually design them, and some of them are excellent! I was thinking of designing one to see how it goes, I have a couple of ideas.

Basically people vote on your shirt idea, and if you win, it gets printed. Was wondering if it would be in bad taste if I linked to it from here when I finally get around to it? Are you actually allowed to do that, or is it against SA rules?

Meals

July 26th, 2010 at 04:25 am

I haven't been posting my meal plans lately. But I have been keeping to them mostly, which is good. Sometimes going out or getting takeaway is unavoidable though, but we have been keeping it to a minimum. Also trying to keep the meals to their healthiest, it's so easy to eat badly when it's winter! Lasagne, Pasta, Toasted Sanwiches, Pizza, Nachos etc etc. Homemade still, and good in moderation... NOT for every dinner meal of the week! *sigh* LOL Big Grin

This weeks meal plan:

- Minestroni Soup & Toasted Sourdough
- Roast Balsamic Vegetables & Salad
- Chili Ginger Vegetable Stirfry & Brown Rice
- Lamb Steak/Tofu Burgers with baked potato wedges.
- Dum Aloo Indian Curry & Naan Bread
- Dinner Out (Friends Birthday)
- Roast Pumpkin & Spinach Risotto


I made some banana & choc chip muffins on the weekend, which have all gone, and also some dark chocolate and ginger biscotti.

weekend happenings and spending

July 24th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Well, time for a weekend update. It was going to be a busy weekend but ended up being not quite so. Friday night we said goodbye to DF's grandparents who were staying at his dads. That was kind of a late one, got home around 11pm.

Saturday I went to the markets in the morning (spent around $25) and DF went op shopping. I think he spent around $10. Then we were going to be having DF's sister, BIL & neice staying but they ended up not coming because they were all sick. So instead we were going to invite other friends over for dinner, but they weren't available either! We gave up and watched movies together instead, somehow the day just disappeared. Did a late night run to the corner store for an icecream each ($7.50) and it ended up a late night, we went to bed at around 1am after watching two movies and then watching the end of Oceans 11 on television.

This morning was my little sisters birthday so we went to my mums and had mudcake for breakfast Big Grin then coffee and english mufffins. Cost was zero, except for the materials for the cake, which I will pay for at work next week. LOVE being able to make my own cakes in a commercial kitchen... so much easier! Also spent ~$15 on my little sisters present, a plain black hessian messenger bag, some cool buttons, patches and badges that she can decorate herself. We have a badge maker and at the last minute DF made her one with her favourite saying 'Loose Lips Sink Ships' (an old sailor saying).

DF and I went to a friends place and picked up a bookshelf they were holding for us. DF drove it home and I stayed for an hour or so, then went to town and bought a pair of shorts I'd been meaning to buy for AGES. It must have been my day, because they were marked down from $89.95 to $49, and only in my size Big Grin Super awesome! (As a side note, I know $49 is expensive for a pair of shorts, but I only had one pair of shorts, and I find the ones I spend a little more money on, last waaaaaay longer.)

Just got home and we have some friends that have dropped over. One seems to think he is staying the night! So it's dinner for an extra person. Here's hoping he likes tofu, because I was planning on making a tofu curry. Too bad if not, I think we have some two minute noodles somewhere in the pantry... Big Grin

sunsets...

July 22nd, 2010 at 03:40 am

Not financially related, but thought I'd share a photograph I took on Tuesday afternoon. This is the view we get from our back deck.



decorating ideas

July 20th, 2010 at 08:52 pm

I haven't been recording our daily expenditure lately, so I don't really have an accurate reading of how we've been doing this month. I'm really annoyed at myself. I guess we will just call July a relaxed month, and go back to it full swing when August starts. I still haven't gotten around to putting an expense tally on our fridge, which I think will help.

And there are things I want to buy, for our house. Thankfully not expensive things. Well, maybe added up, but in small bite sized chunks it won't be. Every time I go to another couple's house I get inspired by their decorating or storage ideas. Not in a 'let's go and spend hundreds of dollars so that we can copy them' way, but in a way that gets me thinking about what we could do with those niggling annoying things that... annoy me. Just storage, mainly. And decorating. And nifty things. All that jazz.

For instance, we have the same curtains that the previous owner had. Most are fine, but the kitchen, bathroom and toilet ones annoy me because they're lace, and don't really seem to serve a purpose. And the one that is at the door leading from the dining room to our deck, is floral. I feel like I live in an old lady's house. Not that there's anything wrong with that... except that we aren't old ladies, and it's really not our style.

So I've gotten DF's approval to search for, and eventually purchase, curtains for this area in sort of a baroque-print-style. Can't wait. I think I know the perfect store too, and they're quite affordable.

The lace curtains, well, we'll see for now. I might try and find something that slightly matches the dining curtains. Or I think DF has some black fabric dye - has anyone ever dyed lace? Is it tricky to do???

Other things I want to achieve:

Bathroom Storage. DF's aunt and uncle had this nifty little cupboard in their bathroom, that was about 6 inches wide, but about 5 feet tall (did you see how I used non-metric measurements? huh? huh? Big Grin). It would be the *perfect* thing for our bathroom, because it's very small, and we don't have much space. Because at the moment all of our toiletry items are shoved into three drawers and a small cupboard under the bathroom sink, and it's really an absolute mess. DF hasn't quite warmed to this idea yet, but that's because he only has a razor, a hairbrush and some nail clippers. Everything else, he thinks it's fine to 'borrow' off me, and therefore my overstocked drawer of lotions and hair products and accessories and moisturisers is my problem...

A cake stand. Or rather, a cupcake stand. Okay, so it's technically not a neccesity by any means. But I've been meaning to get one, because we have a few parties every year and usually have some type of cupcake or cake, because I made them one year and now everyone expects me to make them every time we have a party, because apparently they're 'amazing'. LOL. So, I've seen an idea in a magazine, where someone made a cupcake stand out of old china plates superglued together in a three tiered tower (with obviously something in between to separate them - I was thinking of using teacups to keep with the theme of tea and cake). So I was going to attempt to make this, and use plates and cups from op shops. The whole thing will probably cost me around $5. Might post a picture if I'm happy with the results.

A bag holder. You know those 'sleeve' type things that you stuff your plastic bags in? Well we need one of those. I was thinking of making one, so then I could get the type of material I want, and it wouldn't cost a lot either because I'd need less than a meter. Except I'd have to hand sew it, because we don't have a sewing machine.

While we're on that topic, I'd love to get a sewing machine. I might put that on my wishlist. I haven't used one since year 8 (10 years ago) though, so it's basics for me! Pillow covers and mending things I think, for me. LOL.

Office Tidy-Up. There are a few things I think would make our lives a lot easier in terms of home office organisation. I use the term 'home office' loosely, because it is used for a variety of things:
- working from home (me)
- screenprinting design & research (primarily DF, some me)
- art research & creation
- computer games (DF) and computer use (both)
- craft, card decorating etc (me)
- filing

So you see, there's a lot that goes on in this small space, and it can get messy pretty quickly. So I've come to the decision that it needs to be organised, fast. The decision was made on the weekend after frustration boiled over, in the form of DF not being able to find an acetate cut out and turning it pretty much upside down. That's when we said Hmmmm. Time to fix this.

So it's going to be a pretty involved process, but I have started with the filing portion. DF has a lot of crap to sort out, but I think once he sees what I am doing, he will get motivated. He's like that Big Grin. But my plan is to aquire a whole lot of slightly ab-normal storage facilities to keep stuff in. For example: cool mugs for pens, 70's tupperware containers for papers & craft items, funky jars etc etc. That kind of thing.

Any other suggestions re: storage? What cool ideas have you come up with?

Also, I've been nagging DF to make me some extra shelving for the kitchen. We have space for it, it's just a matter of getting the timber, painting it and putting it there. I want a couple put up, and I think this will definately help with making things look more organised. Of course, once that is achieved, I'll then want some nice spice jars Big Grin Though I already know the style I like: there is a certain brand that sell artichoke hearts in small jars for $1.99 and I LOVE the shape of the jar, it's sort of short, squarish rounded with a wide-ish lid... So, it's just a matter of cooking lots of things with artichoke hearts Big Grin

more babies

July 19th, 2010 at 05:57 pm

Our niece's 1st Birthday went well. We got 2 shirts screen printed the morning of the party - we were actually about 45 minutes late to the party, but we arrived when most people were getting there as well, so thank goodness for that. (It was an hours drive to the destination from our house). DF wasn't feeling well in the morning (too much ginger wine the night before, methinks) and that kind of slowed us down.

Yesterday my only expenditure was $23.85 on fresh fruit and vegetables for the week. We are going out to dinner on Friday night, as DF's grandparents have been staying with his dad and they are leaving on Saturday morning. On Saturday we are having DF's sister and BIL stay the night. I was planning on making a Mexican banquet for dinner: a pot of mexican chili beans, steamed rice, corn chips with melted cheese, homemade guacamole and sour cream and maybe some tortillas and baked potatoes. I will only have to buy kidney beans, corn chips, avocado and sour cream, and I was thinking of making the chili beans the day before so I only have to reheat it.

DF's sister and BIL announced at their daughters 1st birthday party that they are expecting their 2nd child. They had already told us the week before, so we had to act surprised. Smile Exciting news for them, and for DF because he loves being an uncle. But extremely daunting for DF and I (having to endure about an hour of interrogation from all sides of the family and some friends as well. Some questions and comments that stick in my memory:

"You better have some soon!"
"You're next!"
"When are you going to start a family?"
"Don't leave it too late!"(excuse me? I'm 23 in a months time...HOW is that leaving it too late?)
"When are you going to give us more grandchildren?"
"Wouldn't it be great if you had them now and they could grow up together?"
"It's best to have them young, you know..."

and my personal favourite, from a friend:

"When are you going to pop one out?"

Absolutely charming, is all I can say.

crumble recipe for TheNest

July 18th, 2010 at 01:00 am

My recipe is pretty basic, but hope it's useful for someone!


(Serves 4-6)

Topping:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup desicated coconut
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup caster sugar
2-3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and rub in the butter with fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. In a large rectangular dish, pour in the fruit and then liberally sprinkle the topping mixture over the top (I try to get a 1cm even coating over the fruit). I sometimes drizzle with golden syrup or honey - but usually forget! It's great with or without, so don't stress too much. Bake @ 200 C until the topping has browned and serve with yoghurt, cream or icecream.

Note: I use a variety of different fruits as the base, so I haven't listed it in the ingredients. If I'm making it at a friends place, it's easier for me to use canned fruit. A great combination is mango and peach (I used an 800g tin of peaches and a 400g tin of mango cheeks). The measurement of the fruit doesn't really have to be exact, but I'd say you would use about two to three times as much fruit as you would the topping. (Maybe about 800gm of fruit?) With tinned fruit, I use some of the juice (or syrup) but not all of it. If you are using fresh fruit, it's a good idea to add some fruit juice so that it doesn't get too dry - or stew the fruit beforehand and use the stewing liquids.

Other good combinations:
- banana, apple & currant
- apple and pineapple
- mixed berries
- pear & apple
- custard & apple
- apricot & peach
- mango and banana

but you can use pretty much anything you have on hand. I sometimes add other dried fruit and nuts (like pecans or walnuts) and even lime or orange zest. Also during winter I make up three or four times the amount of topping and keep it in the fridge or freezer, ready to go. It lasts a while.

dinner at friends

July 16th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

We're going to a friends new place for dinner tonight. Totally unplanned and last minute but looking forward to it nonetheless. They have a fenced yard and two dogs, so we are taking ours so they can also 'socialise'. I offered to bring dessert and decided to make a crumble, it's a very appropriate dish for a winter dessert, super easy and even though I had to nick out to the shop, only spent $4.85. (Could have been cheaper, but decided to do peaches and mango. Apples would have been waaaayy cheaper, but *shrug* it will be yummy). Of course had all the topping ingredients in the pantry which helps. Also bought vanilla ice cream.

shopping.

July 15th, 2010 at 03:51 am

Went shopping for a birthday present for our neice's 1st. DF and I have an idea in mind for a screen print, so just had to buy plain leggings and a tshirt. Couldn't find many baby items that were plain though, everything had some kind of print on it. Eventually did though, and spent $15. So expensive. *sigh* Probably would have been better just buying something WITH a print! I thought the presents that were hand made that 'come from the heart' were meant to be cheap! Ha!

Anyway.

Also tried to find myself a skirt but had no luck. Everything in the shops at the moment is high waisted which I really can't be bothered with, it's not my style. I know it's IN STYLE, but that doesn't really concern me. Gah. So, everything I pick up off the rack and look at thinking 'Hmm, that's a nice skirt and a nice length' I get to the change room and realise it's high waisted - so actually much shorter than I originally thought. Frown

That was pretty much my day today: work, walking the dogs and shopping. Eugh. SPending time with the dogs was the only good part!

Tomorrow I am hoping to get a bit more accomplished. I have plans to get all our washing done so I don't have to do any on the weekend. Also want to bake some biscotti, send off DF's jury duty letter and my application documents.

Oh yes. DF got a jury duty notice. He forgot about it, and now it's too late to get a letter from work, even though he can't take time off. This is his second time, anyway. He figured on the day he would just wear a short sleeved shirt. Big Grin Though I do get annoyed at how judgemental people can be, I guess this is one instance where it actually comes in handy Big Grin aaaah well. Gotta take the good with the bad!

The September Issue

July 14th, 2010 at 12:43 am

I just did some research and found out that all Australian residents can apply for a HECS loan, regardless of income. So that's some exciting news, and something I don't have to worry about so much now. Also found out my course *might* only be costing me ~$8500, a bit less than I originally thought. And I won't have to pay it back until my annual income exceeds $44k - OR if I choose to pay portions of it back early, I get 10% more paid off for each payment. (So if I pay back $500, the balance is reduced by $550). Awesome.

DF is bottling a homebrew, and then my mother is hosting a dinner party for DF's dad and his parents, who are visiting from inter state. DF and I aren't particularly thrilled about going, it's been a veeeerrrryyy long time since I've been to any night-time sort of function with my mum and I doubt she'll be abstaining from alcohol, even though she knows how everyone feels about it. But DF and I are the only people that ever say anything about it, so we are the baddies. Everyone else just keeps their mouth shut. Excuse me, but I didn that for 8+ years and it didn't help. *shrug* I told DF if it seems like it's going sour, we're leaving, even if our plates are half full.

I just watched the documentary The September Issue. It was fantastic. Has anyone else seen it? It's the real-life version of The Devil Wears Prada, pretty much. Starring Miss Anna Wintour herself.

On a side note, this is my 500th entry!



Currently Reading: And The Ass Saw The Angel, by Nick Cave

paperwork, uni, thoughts on work.

July 12th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I am getting all my paperwork together for the rest of my application. I didn't know, but apparently some people have to do a bridging course if they have been out of secondary school for a while, before they do tertiary studies, so that they know how to 'study'.

But I *think* that I may not have to because I have done two separate tertiary courses since I left school. Actually I didn't know they could be classified as tertiary, but it seems I'm more educated than I thought Big Grin

I haven't mentioned it to my boss yet. I feel kind of weird, because there hasn't been anything said about my apprenticeship since my last post on the subject. (Him saying I don't need to bother, because 'I can get a job anywhere' and then later saying to my friend/colleague 'We need to get Whitestripes fast-tracked apprenticeship going'. Ummmm?). But, I think 9 months is a long enough time to wait for something to happen.

I'm killing two birds with one stone though: The documents I have to prove my other qualifications need to be copied and certified. And guess who can certify them? My boss's wife! She's, how shall we put this nicely? extremely nosy, so I have no doubts she'll pry as to why I need them, and that will solve my problem of how to break the news. The news being that I'm pursuing a career outside of the baking industry, and they won't have me forever.

Is it rude or ungrateful of me to want more than a job that can only ever be 30 hours and $610 a week? (I currently work 22 hours a week there, which is three days. If I asked, I could get four days, or 30 hours. This doesn't include my book-keeping job, which is $300/15 hours and two days a week at another premise)

I already know I'll never have a full time job there, with holidays or sick pay. And I know they will never pay overtime - they will always keep my hours under the 30 hour a week limit. And we're all on a federal award wage, so I'm never going to get any more per hour than is standard for my age.

Atleast by doing this uni course, I am atleast pursuing the possibility of having a different job/hours/pay/employment terms. Right?

I just don't want to get stuck, which is how I feel right now. We're comfortable and getting by, and we can do some of the things we want (within reason) but other than that, I'm just making money for someone else, and it seems, holding my hand out and waiting for them to give me a little bit. So frustrating.

On the other hand, I'm a little bit excited about starting this course, however boring it's probably going to be. I just don't want to get *too* excited, because there's still a chance I won't get in, and there's still a chance I won't get HECS either. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

weekend, TV, hair straightener, aldi

July 10th, 2010 at 11:49 pm

DF and I just got back from a long weekend away with his family, which was lovely. DF's BIL has a holiday house which we stay in occasionally, and because we're 'family' we don't have to pay either (it is $50 a night otherwise) Big Grin

Weekend Expenditure:

Meal Out: $55
Drinks: ~$15
Groceries: $7
Food: ~$20
Petrol: ~$60

We will also have to pay a bit more for groceries, but don't know how much yet, as DF's sister did the shopping. I expect around ~$40 or so.

We got home in time to check out an electrical and appliance store that was having a sale on TV's.
I think we have decided on the TV that we are eventually going to get. If we found one we wanted under $1k today, we would have bought it. As it happens though, my dad is able to get a staff discount so I might see what price he can get for us.
The one we have decided on is a 200hz 40" Sony Bravia HX series HD LCD TV. The sale price today was $1698, marked down from $2199. The quality seems to stand out more than the others it was around - though I know that sometimes it can have a lot to do with contrast settings as well. But it was much more clearer and defined. Is anyone here a wizz at these things?

Because it is much more than we were originally going to spend, we are going to wait a couple more months before we buy it. DF also wants to try and get a free Xbox with it Big Grin And it will probably be even less in price by then.

How exciting.

So we didn't buy a TV, but I did end up buying a new hair straightener. I have been planning on getting a new one for months now, but haven't gotten around to it. And the deal they had, I couldn't refuse. Even DF said I would be crazy if I didn't buy it. It is a Vidal Sassoon Tourmaline Ceramic Straightener. Original price was $119.95, and sale price was $59, plus it came with free ceramic curling tongs and a three year warranty. I don't see how I could go wrong!

Anyway, in other news we found out that an Aldi store is being built closer to us! It is only 30 minutes drive from our house, or 10 minutes drive from my work! Which is a far cry less than 45 minutes from our house, or 30 minutes from work. This means I'll be able to do weekly shops there, and will definately increase savings, as there are often a few things I underestimate how much we need, then have to buy them at the supermarket halfway through the month, and pay more. So even though I sound like a frugal-grocery-nerd, this is probably the most exciting news of the week for me Big Grin

I Applied!

July 8th, 2010 at 04:48 am

Today I completed the online application for my course at university. I am not entirely sure when I find out if I am succesful, but atleast it is one step closer. I'm a little bit excited! Big Grin It seems like I have been waiting forever to even get this far. No doubt the next four months will fly by and I will be making my first attempts at assessments and so on. Eeek! I spent $55 on the application fee.

Today I spent $4.55 on a coffee, and $3.05 on a drink at work. I went to the shops intending to buy some boots for this weekend but couldn't find anything I liked. I found a jumper I REALLY liked, for $60. But I didn't buy it. I'll think about it. It's a lot for a jumper... but really well made and I love the design.

biopsy :(

July 6th, 2010 at 06:27 pm

So I had what I thought to be my last doctors appointment for a year or so - turns out it isn't!

I have to get a needle biopsy done in the next two weeks. (see my previous entry about my frustration to do with doctors) Granted, it is 'to just be safe'.

This doctor (whom I have been seeing for the past two years) got the name of my previous doctor, but didn't tell me why. I am assuming she's going to give him a serve for not getting the test done three years ago, she seemed slightly alarmed and concerned that he didn't issue it.

Even though it involves a test which is no doubt going to be painful, it only strengthens my resolve to keep seeing this current doctor. I feel some sort of relief that I've found one that actually cares about her patients.

In other news, I'm finally going to see Sex & The City 2 with a friend this afternoon. I got a speical deal on tickets, $10 each, through a loyalty program. Funnily enough, the friend I am going with constantly makes fun of me for having a wallet full of loyalty cards. Look who's laughing NOW! Big Grin I should charge her a 'laughing tax' or something...

1st birthday ideas???

July 4th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I was getting a little worried about Jed as the area near the surgery site was a bit red, compared to Banjo's, which seems to be healing up nicely. So I made a last minute appointment to go in today and get him checked. Well, the vet said that Jed is doing great, and if Banjo looks better, then he won't need to see either of the dogs for a follow up appointment! Which is great news. He didn't charge me for today's visit either, but I did buy Jed's flea control for the next 6 months. ($81.65)

I have a doctors appointment tomorrow, and then hopefully won't have to go again for a year. YAY.

Tomorrow I am doing our big Aldi Shop. Estimated expenditure ~$150.00

On Wednesday I am going to the movies with a friend. I'll be eating dinner at home though, so should only spend $10 on the movie and ~$5 on a coffee (and maybe some chocolate Big Grin)

I have to try and find some flat ankle boots, but I don't want to pay a lot of money for them. I already have a pair of heeled ankle boots which I LOVE, but I just need a pair of boots for everyday, slightly dressed-up kind of wear. I might try and find them on Thursday afternoon.

Not a lot of spending planned this week other than those. We are going out for dinner on Saturday though.

Also we have to get a present for our niece, who is turning 1. I have no idea what to get! DF said he wanted to make something, but I don't think he has enough time now, as work is kind of hectic for him at the moment. So... any ideas? In the $30-$50 mark? Thankyou in advance!

risotto...?

July 3rd, 2010 at 01:29 am

Just wondering what your favourite risotto additives are?

I love risotto, and I'm always looking for new combinations. Sometimes I chuck a whole heap of veges in, sometimes only a couple, depends on my mood, or what we have Big Grin

So I am interested in what your go-to recipe is, just for ideas. Obviously I am mostly looking for vegetarian recipes, but any is fine!

Mine? Lately I've been loving:

Roast Pumpkin
Fresh English Spinach
Toasted Pinenuts
& crumbled feta.

deeeeelicious....

quiet weekend

July 2nd, 2010 at 07:35 pm

I'm having another quiet-but-busy weekend. DF is working again, and I am just hanging around at home today. I am going to try and get all our landry done today, weather permitting. I have already done three loads, and it seems to be quite windy, which is a good thing!

I've scrubbed the shower and tidied a bit, mopped the floor and given the doggies their last dose of pain medication. They seem to be doing well!

I am planning on cleaning out and sorting our pantry today, that is my one big job of the weekend.

Also I am going to make the orange and almond cake I made a few weeks ago. This time I'm going to make it in a square tin, shallower, and cut it into fingers. Exciting! I love this cake. It's not too sweet, and you can't eat a lot of it. It's delicious with tea or coffee, and gluten free. YUM.

Tomorrow I am going to the markets for our fruit and vegetables, taking them home, and then going to ANOTHER market with a friend. LOL. Didn't plan it very well, but I will just get up early, around 6ish. On the plus side, I'll also miss the crowds, which is annoying when you're trying to shop for food.

We're having brunch at one of her friends patisseries as well. I have been there a few times. He is French, super friendly, and makes the most amazing little cakes. Mmmm... I will try and remember to take a photo! Probably won't happen though Big Grin

Other than the vet, we did not really have a very spendy week, which is good (because the vet cost a LOT!).

This week coming I am going to try and get our tax returns filed. DF and I earnt prety much the same amount for the year! Actually, tbh I earnt $1k more. This is mainly because of DF having a few slow months, but also because he did a lot of work for cash. Where that's gone, I have no idea Big Grin Just joking. Mainly used for fresh fruit and vegetables, because market vendors obviously don't take cc's!

Hopefully we get a decent amount of tax back. I'm pretty sure it should be in the $1-2k range, which will be a nice boost to the EF & mortgage. yay. If it's more, I *may* consider bringing our LCD TV purchase closer. I can just picture DF jumping up and down like a little kid 'can we? can we? pleeeeassse?' LOL! Big Grin