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update time (& cute dog pics)

August 19th, 2011 at 05:34 pm

After a late Friday night (full of laughing and talking with our tattooist... well, we were laughing and talking and DH just grimaced for most of it Big Grin it was in a painful spot on his arm...) I'm up late after a nice sleep in (til nearly 9am!!)and about to start a weekend chock full of study!
Thought I would update, first though... Big Grin

The guy who bought the tyres has just picked them up and given us the $60 he owes us. The lady who bought the cabinet dropped by on Thursday to pay $50 off and buy 10 cupcakes she asked me to make for her. She asked if she could pay for the rest of the cabinet next week, as she is a bit short of money this week due to unexpected kids expenses (totally understand - my mum deals with this all the time), I told her it was fine. She is a lovely lady, single with two kids and I think she is doing it tough (obviously not too tough as she can buy cupcakes!). I have her address and phone number, and she has already given us $60 toward it. We could sell it again for no hassles if she changed her mind.

Also, she asked if I made birthday cakes Big Grin I doubt my abilities with cake decorating, even though that is what I am employed to do. (BTW, 'cake-decorating' as a term, when I use it anyway, actually means: making the cake, and then decorating it... in case people are confused!) I don't like making things for people I know, or people who seek me out as an individual. I am afraid they won't like what I do. I need to get over this, as I realise I can make some pretty good-looking and great-tasting cakes most of the time. (sometimes... most times... better than my boss Big Grin shh, don't tell him I said that...)

I just don't have any of the supplies or equipment to make them at my house. DH is always encouraging me to 'invest' in these things and I think it's an unneeded expense. Maybe not. I don't know? I could probably make some good side-money, and even if I just bought the decorating equipment and left the actual cake-baking to be done at work, in my own time and paid for the scratch ingredients from my boss. Things to think about, I guess.

Heard back from one of the jobs, unsuccessful. (what a surprise... not). I suppose I will not hear from the other ones. I do not always get an email saying I was unsuccesful, they usually just leave you hanging. Nice.

I have begun taking some pre-conception vitamins Big Grin (holy dooly, are they expensive! I don't take vitamins as our diet is varied and healthy, but I figured I probably should for this as it's recommended... even at a discount chemist a months supply is $20) DH had a doctors appointment on Thursday and has to get some blood tests done next week. I also have to find a doctor, and get a check up. And go to the dentist. Sigh. Next week...

Work update:
My best friend quit. It was the day after she had that guilt-trip from my boss's wife, and after I had that horrible phone conversation with her too. I did not work that day (worked at my other job), but the next day (thursday) I went in and my boss was SUPER nice to me. Almost too nice. I guess he is afraid that I will up and leave too, because of his wife. You know... even though he is a really nice guy (apart from the lying and obsession with his social status) I wish I was offered a job right now, just so I could ring up his wife and say 'I quit, and it's because of you and your unprofessionalism'.
I know, it's a bit low and immature. But look at what I have had to put up with! Would you really blame me??
My boss would survive. He's worked very long days before. Perhaps his wife will have to help out at the shop a bit more than her token once-a-month visit? Big Grin

DH has some work this week which is great. Even though he's had a few weeks off, our bank account is still looking healthy.

We have been doing the weekly grocery shop on Saturdays or Sundays, together. It is easier for me this way and saves time with DH coming. (Even though he usually wanders around looking at other stuff). This week looks like it will be a really small shop: we have so much stuff in our pantry it's ridiculous, even though I have not bought a lot of stuff over the past couple of weeks either.

We're doing the shop tomorrow (Sunday) and I am going to make our meal plan off what we have in the pantry, and just nip into town for the essentials, and fresh fruit and veges.

I'm thinking our meal plan will go something like this:
sweet & sour tofu with egg noodles
pumpkin & cashew stirfry with basmati rice
minestrone soup
vegetarian pasta
baked fish, salad & sweet potato
mexican beans & rice
steamed vegetables, tofu & rice

We ate our first bananas since January, last week!!! It was very exciting for us. Since the floods in January bananas have been about $15-$20 a kilogram. Doesn't matter if they are organic or not, price is the same. Well, shopping at our local organic grocer we spied them at $9.99 a kilogram so we bought four little golden, beautiful, sweet cavendish. They were lovely! The oranges have been delicious lately too...

DH is having sellers remorse on some of the items we sold at the garage sale Big Grin oh well. He sold a PS1 for $7 with a whole heap of games, a chip, two guns etc. His uncle rang him the next day to see if he still had it, and said he would have given him $40! Even still, last night our tattooist said he would have given us $60! What are the chances?! (But, it went to a young high school girl who is no doubt going to have a lot of fun with it... I personally think it went to a good home). In the end, we made $450 and I think the reason we made that much was because our prices indicated we wanted to sell the stuff, not have people umm and aah over the price, but instead go 'hey! I'm going to buy that! Right now!'.

The coffee table (the one I didn't want him to sell! lol!) he sold for $40. Then two people came back that had been in the morning to ask about it, and asked how much he sold it for. LOL. But like the PS1, it has a nice selling-story to it too: the guy bought it because he wants to teach his grand-daughter to play chess. I mean, could you ask for it to go to a better home?!

And lastly, my poor baby Banjo!!! Earlier this week, he kept licking his face and seemed to not be closing his mouth. (He is a dog that pants half the time... so I wasn't especially worried at first, but then it got to a stage where I was a little worried). We tried looking at his gums and teeth, nothing. His breath was a lot smellier than normal. I took him to the vet on Thursday. The vet looked at his gums and teeth (as DH and I did), couldn't find anything, suggested maybe he had a sore throat and got a flashlight to inspect the inside of his mouth. Opens Banjo's mouth and what do we find, but a piece of a stick jammed in the roof of his mouth, horizontally between the molars on the left and right side! (hard to describe...) The vet said 'ahh, this is your problem!' quickly reached in and pulled it out. Our poor Banjo must have had it in for a few days, two great big holes on the inner side right next to his teeth and huge cut across the roof of his mouth (and blood!). The vet gave us some painkillers and antibiotics to clear up the infection. He asked if Banjo had trouble eating or drinking. Nope! I had even given him a bone the day before. Our vet laughed and said 'This ones a tought nut!'

On the trip home he sat in the front seat and when I looked over, he was curled up in a little ball with his paws on his snout. Fresh pain after getting it pulled out... ouch. He was a brave little fellow. I feel so bad that I didn't know, but the vet said unless you knew what to look for you wouldn't have known - he said he didn't expect to find that at all, he just thought Banjo had a sore throat, and that you wouldn't have been able to see without a light, as the roof of Banjo's mouth is speckled anyway, the stick was pretty much camoflaged. Poor Banjo!!! Total cost $70.25 for short vet visit, A/B & pain meds. (worth every penny I should add!!!!)

Here are some pictures of the last time we took them out, to my little sisters birthday picnic in the park:



hello everyone!

July 31st, 2011 at 12:44 am

It's been over a month since I last posted, sorry everyone. I have missed SA, and I find I think about a lot of you sometimes. Even though I've never met any of you, you all feel like my extended family. I've tried explaining this to DH once before, and he doesn't really understand. (I suppose, we do use the 'imagine-everyone-you-don't-know-on-the-internet-is-a-huge-fat-guy-sitting-in-his-underwear' example with my little sister when she decides to not use her brain and adds strangers on facebook, myspace, etc).

I see there are lots of newbies here too, welcome! (I was, once upon a time, a 'regular', however it seems I don't get time to scratch let alone write a blog post, and when I do, I find I don't have much content, so I delete it! I'm determined to post this one though.

So, for about a year now I've completely stopped recording our expenditure/earnings etc. The organisational freak in me sometimes has a spin-out and panics a little bit. I did think, about six months ago, that I felt like I had no idea where we were with our savings and expenditure. I feel like I'm walking on a tightrope very high with no safety harness. However, the bank account begs to differ. It seems that once we relaxed a bit with our financial situation, it did the world of good. Perhaps recording everything isn't for us; maybe doing that meant we had more binges and blowouts because we both always felt like we were pinching pennies. Whatever the reason, our bank balance is almost at where it was when we first bought our house and had a bonza of additional funds from settlement. Basically, the EF I've always stressed about having, is actually there for once.

We just submitted our tax returns for the 10-11 financial year too, and are getting a nice $2300 back. Where is it going? Savings, of course.

I passed my last subject, LAW1101. I'm now about to start my third week of STA2300 (data analysis) and CIS1000 (business information system concepts). I'm actually liking them a lot! Having been met with looks of horror and pity when telling people one of my next subjects was data analysis, I think I'm now shocking people even more by telling them I'm enjoying it. But... someone has to right? And if I didn't like it a tiny bit, then why the heck would I be studying accounting anyway?

I've been applying for a couple of jobs a week. So far, no luck, but I'm waiting on three recent applications I submitted. Fingers crossed!

On the current job front, well, things are still the same level of frustrating. Atleast ALL the staff are frustrated, and at the same person (our boss, and his wife). In some way, that makes it bearable. We are able to joke an whine to each other about it, and pretty much everyone is in some stage of looking for a new job.
Our boss seems to be doing a whole lot more lying lately, and is intent on talking himself (and his wife) up on the social status ladder. He goes through stages of doing annoying things. Lately it's this.
I am not the type of person that cares about what someone earns, how big their boat is, what car they drive, how prestigious their house location is, etc. But, I have to listen to my boss talk about his friends in this way. It actually makes me a little sad, as I've realised lately that I don't know his friends names, what they're like, what they do in their spare time (other than sail their yacht around), how well they get along with their spouse, if they're funny, or a little weird, or their quirks etc. When I talk about my friends, that is what I talk about. I talk about THEM. I've also caught him lying outright (to a customer he didn't even know, who happened to have a bank uniform on) about how his wife is a bank manager. First of all, she hasn't worked at a bank in about two years. Secondly, she approved loans, she was never a manager.
Little things like this, EVERY DAY, begin to drive a person insane.

That, and the wife still hasn't apologised for yelling at me after I told her my sister couldn't work because she was in hospital. So, I'm not really a happy chappy at work right now.

In other income-related news, DH's dad is partly handing his business over to us in a few months while he moves interstate to help his parents (DH's grandparents) fix up their house. Before that happens, I am working with our accountant to turn it into a company. I think eventually DH's dad will retire and hand the business over to us. Things are actually going alright in that section of our lives, for once. Normally it is all sorts of hell with the family's business, but not right now.

My little sister was diagnosed with PCOS last week. I am not really sure how they picked it up because she does not exhibit any appearance related signs (hirsutism, obesity, acne etc) but atleast she knows at a young age and can learn to cope with it now.

Tomorrow will be DH's third week of not drinking alcohol. He has struggled with it, but it is for a good cause. We decided long ago that when we wanted to conceive we would stop all drinking and unhealthy habits, for atleast two months before initially trying. So that is another bit of exciting news: we hope that by the end of the year we'll be pregnant. I'm hopeful, anyway. We're both relatively young and so we hope it shouldn't be too difficult, but have known people who have struggled, so at the same time we're not overly confident that it will be something that happens straight away. We'll see.
My sister having PCOS has made me worry a little bit. I'm not sure if it's something that is genetic? Should I be checked for something like that?

What else? Our dogs are well. I actually took them for their yearly check up and was told they are too fat! So, I have begun to feed them slightly less dry food and take them for walks more often. I did slack a bit with the walks during my exam preparation in June. They seem to have lost a little already (it's been a bit over a month).

I think that is all of my news. I have not had much time to scroll through everyone's regular blogs - so feel free to leave me a little update of what's been happening in your life lately in the comments section! Big Grin

stressing out. updates. etc.

September 13th, 2010 at 08:21 pm

Our tax refund hit our account today. Woo! ~$3k.

Though it is rather stressful at the moment. I am trying to not let it weigh me down too much, but DF's dads business is not doing so well. Just when DF's dad had turned a corner financially speaking, and it looked like he might be able to manage his money appropriately - the industry up and dies on us! I am keeping my fingers crossed that he gets a slew of jobs to keep them super busy up until the new year - which is generally what happens, but not so sure it will happen this year with the economy and all. They say it's picking up, but I don't know who 'they' are or where they work either.

What worries me most is DF's ability to find another job. Well, let me rephrase. I don't doubt his ability to find a job (he is skilled in several industries), rather his motivation. Sometimes it seems like he has blind faith and loyalty to the business, and won't consider looking for outside work. Even when there is no work, he will do something to do with the family business (which equals no pay, obviously) instead of, I don't know... day labour? listing some junk on ebay?

So, that is what is stressing me right now. Even though the tax refund calmed my fears a little bit, not I am not so sure if we should go ahead with our plans to buy a new TV. We are already discussing downsizing from the original idea of a 40" to a 32". I know a flat screen TV is not a neccesity - which is why we have not bought one yet - but it is something we have wanted to buy ourselves for a reallllly long time (like, five-years-long-time). And seeing as every tube-tv we have has broken in some way or another, bar the one we are currently using - which is about to, I might add, it is not as if we are going out and just buying one because everyone else has one.


Anyway. To further stress me out, DF has a couple of days off work right now, and is utilising his apprentice (who must work every day - or get paid for doing nothing) to paint the exterior of our house. I just wonder how much the paint is going to cost. Frown Though, I do forget sometimes that we have money put aside for renovations. And I guess we are saving a lot of money by not paying someone to do it. And atleast DF is actually doing something productive. I guess I should just calm down and breathe. Smile

Thanks for letting me get that out. You know when things seem so much bigger in your head? Yeah, that.


In other news, I registered Banjo finally today, and re-registered Jed for the year. $20 it cost to register them! Instead of $224 it would have cost if we hadn't de-sexed and microchipped them. The surgery will pay for itself in two more years. Big Grin
On another note, they also seem, dare I say, a little happier? Since the surgery there has been NO, I repeat NO pee on our deck. It's incredible. And Jed seems to be finally mellowing a little bit, which is nice. Though we have another couple of years with Banjo acting like a crazed little thing before they both settle down. Banjo is much nicer and easier to hold than Jed (don't know how long that will last - Banjo is definately smaller than Jed which is one thing, but he is still growing), though now Jed will have moments where he will sit on your lap and not try to cover your face in slobber and claw you. Big Grin For about two minutes. This morning I read two pages of a book before I had to put him down. It was lovely!


I know this completely contradicts my previous whine about money (or lack of), but in my defense I have been looking out for this sale for aaaaages. It just so happened to appear during the week where I have a big stress. *sigh*.
Anyway: every year Clinique have a special 'Gift Time' sale where if you spend over $60 you get a free makeup bag full of products. I always try to buy my foundation during this time. I pretty much buy foundation and an eyeliner pencil- any other makeup products I use come directly from this 'freebie' I get. I'm kinda cheap when it comes to makeup - except for the fact that I don't actually use 'cheap' brands, I buy the absolute basic items and everything else I do without unless I get it for free somehow. So anyway, I bought it today. The foundation is $49 and the eyeliner is $36. Eyeliner lasts me about 3 years - foundation about 1. They did not have my shade in stock, so they gave me a sample pot and will call me when it comes in. I also signed up for their rewards program. For every 200 points you get $10 to spend. I already have 85 points. It's at a chemist, so I am sure I will buy other items from them anyway.


I made a delicious pumpkin, feta & caramelised onion tart for dinner last night. We had it with a garden salad and steamed vegetables, and because DF is working at home today, I was able to take the leftovers for lunch. Big Grin So good!


My little sister is due to go home tomorrow as our mother is back from her trip. I have noticed over the week how much my poor little sister cares about what people think/what she looks like/what clothes she wears/letting down her friends/going to parties etc. Also realised how much I DO NOT CARE. Big Grin Is that a good or a bad thing? I am polite and nice, which helps I guess. Not sure if DF and I were at all a grounding influence on her, but I hope to maybe some extent we were. She does not get a lot of support from our mother, but maybe staying with us she has realised there is a bigger picture in life than the things she is currently worrying about. In *so many* ways my little sister and I are similar, but unfortunately my little sister is rather impressionable, which I never was. I wasn't really an outcast at school but I was always on the sideline because I didn't really understand why everyone worried about stupid little things when there was so much more to consider in life.

Weekend To-Do List, Enrolment

September 3rd, 2010 at 06:46 pm

I have completed a few things on my Weekend To-Do List, but have a lot more to do. Always the way!

I got one of the biggest jobs out of the way though. I enrolled! I have picked the first two classes I will be studying as well, starting 15th November through til February, and have finalised all of my funding and HECS-HELP loan. So I think all I have to do now is wait for my course materials to arrive in the mail. Exciting!

It took me ages to figure out how everything works with the courses and prerequisite courses, but I think it will all work out. And it's possible I may finish WAY earlier than in 6 years time if I can handle the workload - but also found out that I have 9 years to complete the course if something arises.

So, feeling a lot better about having all that sorted out.

I also completed and sent off both of our tax returns. YAY! $2900 coming our way in the next two weeks. New TV and the rest is going to savings.

And now this is everything else I want to accomplish this weekend:

- 2 x loads laundry, fold & put away. X
- Wash Dogs bedding. X
- Give Dogs their monthly flea products. X
- Wash Dogs.
- Sweep our deck & tidy, remove clutter.
- Tidy my desk.
- File all loose paperwork.
- Vaccuum & mop entire house. X
- Water outdoor plants. X
- Tidy lounge & dining areas. X
- Clean Walls & Windows. X
- Fruit & Vegetable Shopping @ Markets tomorrow.
- Meet a friend for coffee.

My plan is to get as MUCH AS POSSIBLE done today so I don't have to do anything tomorrow except market shopping & coffee with a friend. Big Grin

argh! I hate waste! what do you think?

September 3rd, 2010 at 03:01 am

So, I just bought home 4kg of fresh kangaroo meat for our dogs. I diced it up (took about an hour - eugh) and packed it into daily portions and put it in the freezer.

Then as I was throwing the packaging in the bin, I noticed on the pack it said it contained Preservative 221. Having heard something from a co-worker about something like that, I Googled it.

And have now freaked myself out, and am about to throw it all in the bin.

I looked at a few sites and articles just to make sure this wasn't a one off thing, but basically this explains it all:


Sulphur Dioxide is coded as 220-228, and seems to strip the food/body of Thiamine.

I talked to DF and read him the above article. DF said $23.80 isn't a big deal and to throw it out if I am at all worried, which I am.

But I hate waste too.

But our dogs health is more important than wasting $23. I guess I am disappointed that I was, first off, excited that I would be saving money (they never mentioned it had the preservative to me, but apparently they don't have to) and secondly, that it was going to be good for them. HA!

I'm not going to ask for a refund, because I should have read the packaging first. And I've already chopped it all up. A refund is out of the question.

The choice I need to make is feed it to them this one time, and hope it doesn't hurt, or throw it all out and find another supplier who doesn't use this, or find another source of human-consumption-grade meat that is approx the same price.

Really I think I am just going to throw it out. I mean ...If someone gave you a steak and said 'You can eat this, but it could do X, X and X to you', would you eat it? I think not. What gives me the right to do that to my pets???

What do you think?
Am I over-reacting?

we are trialling roo meat

August 29th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

I am about to embark on our first week of trialling fresh kangaroo meat for our dogs. I have found a supplier (a pet store near my work) who gets their deliveries on Fridays. You can buy it frozen in 1kg lots, or fresh if you order it before Wednesdays (to be picked up on Friday).
I will be buying the fresh product, because they generally eat a little over a kilogram in a WEEK, so I will have to separate it into daily portions (which is what I do with their regular meat).

Why roo meat, you ask?

Two reasons:

Firstly, it's cheaper than what I can get at the supermarket. I can normally get some type of chuck, Y bone or rump steak for between $8-$10 a kilogram in bulk packs. Let me quickly say that our dogs do not eat a LOT of meat, but I believe a little fresh meat is beneficial. They only get a small handful for dinner each, it is all they need. I can't imagine how much pet food would add up if you owned a large breed dog. That takes commitment!

Fresh or frozen roo meat, from this particular pet store, is $5.95 a kilogram. So the savings WILL add up quickly.

The second reason is that roo meat is actually very healthy - for animals and humans. It is very lean - has NO fat, and loads of iron. TBH, I have never eaten it, though I hear it has a distinctive taste... maybe one day when I'm pregnant, low on iron and if craving meat I might give it a shot... Big Grin
Anyway. So those two reasons are good enough for me. I am excited about the savings and am pretty sure the dogs will like it also.

Revisiting our Spending Plan

August 24th, 2010 at 07:46 pm

I call it a spending plan because we're not really ones for 'keeping to a budget' like some. I admire those who do it (including the whole thing of not buying XXXX for two days because it will put this weeks budget out, etc etc) but it really doesn't suit us. But, we do have a 'spending plan' which I try my best to keep track of. Up until recently I tracked every cent, but the past two months I have laxed. I was thinking our spending plan is probably outdated a bit, and I think a re-doing of the plan and our weekly expenses was in order. Having an up-to-date plan might spur on my interest in keeping track again. Well, fingers crossed anyway.

So, this is what I have come up with:

Mortgage Payments: $480
Extra Mortgage Payments: $20
Savings: $180
Bills: $200
Groceries: $150
Misc: $100
Fun: $80
Petrol: $70
Personal Loan: $37
Total: $1317.00

This accounts for an average income per week on the lower side with a bit of a surplus after the above expenses. More often than not, our weekly income is higher, but I'm keeping it lower so we don't get our heads stuck in the clouds.

Now, for some explanations. Looking at the expenses, I'm sure you're probably wondering 'where's this expense?' 'Where's that?' etc. I have put everything into very general categories this time. For example:

Bills include the following: Mobile Phone, Internet, House & Contents Insurance, Car Insurance, Life Insurance, Car Registration, Car Repairs, RACQ Membership, Gas, Property Rates, Water, Electricity and Pet Expenses.

Misc covers a variety of expenses that don't occur regularly, such as health & grooming, gifts, bank fees, charity donations, clothing, stationery, electronics and house purchases etc.

I have upped our grocery limit to $150, from $120. Generally it is ~$130, so any surplus we have will flow through to other areas. I just don't want to feel bad or stressed out by constantly going over the 'grocery limit' each week. While to some people's standards our grocery expenditure is outrageous, I don't really care. We cook from scratch, use wholegrain products, buy organic and locally grown produce, and use cleaning & body products that don't hurt the planet or our health and wellbeing. And we're alright with that. It's taken me a while to realise that this is something I truly don't mind spending money on. If I can find the items I normally use, cheaper, then ok. If not, oh well. Life goes on.

Personal Loan: is actually going to be paid off shortly, I just keep forgetting to transfer the remaining money. So this $37 a week expense won't be up there for much longer. We will probably add this amount to our EF savings, and have in mind that we will probably look at buying a new (to us) car in the near future.

Savings: Our total amount per week in savings is actually divided into four categories:
- EF (Goal 1: $5000, Goal 2: $7500, Goal 3: $10000)
- Baby (Goal: $30 000)
- House Renovations
- Short-term
The total amount saved per week goes into ONE account, which I keep track of on a spreadsheet. (It is actually our mortgage account, to reduce interest. No, we don't get charged for withdrawals or deposits).

Most of the savings are self explanatory, except Short-term. Basically Short-term covers all sorts of higher priced entertainment and consumer-ey expenses like seeing a band, gallery exhibitions, ink, higher-priced book purchases, art purchases, electronics, screenprinting supplies, furniture etc.

Fun has been reduced by $60 (Used to be $60 for me, $80 for DF.) Now that we are earning roughly the same amount, I figured now was the best time to reduce it to LESS than 10% of our take home and equal it out. DF's weekly spending has reduced anyway, since he is home-brewing. Basically our fun money covers any frivolous purchases we don't feel like explaining Big Grin or the odd take-out or movie night.

Petrol is generally less than $70 a week, but better to plan for more than less right?

Mortgage Payments & Extra Payments: Technically, our normal mortgage payment pays off extra AS WELL. But I figured it is better to schedule an extra $20 to go in as well. Can't hurt.

The one thing I have not put in there is university costs, because I have no idea what they are. But, our EF should take care of this if our 'Misc' doesn't as I don't think it will really be all that much to get started.

So, that's it. Feeling very motivated with our new spending plan and can't wait to talk it over with DF and get it into action. What does everyone think?


August 13th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

This morning I went to the famers market and DF took the dogs for a walk. I got home just as he was running up the hill with them. I realised how funny both of us must look when walking the dogs - as they walk ahead of us on their leads, practically touching each other (Banjo has a habit of leaning into Jed while walking) and trotting along, mouths open and tongues hanging out. Almost looks like they're grinning - they LOVE their walks.

Spent ~$35 at the market. $29 on fruit and vegetables for the week and $6 on some freshly made turkish pastries for breakfast. Oh so good.

Then DF and I went into town and did a morning of op-shop touring. I bought 2 novels for $6, an Abercrombie & Fitch skirt for $1, a Motley Crue tee for $6.50 and a Groove Armada tee for $3.50.
DF bought two hats for 50c each, a pair of shorts for $4.50, some woodworking magazines (11 of them) for $2.

Amazing how the prices differ from store to store. I always find great things at one particular op shop but just refuse to buy some of the stuff because it's so overpriced. $8.50 for a plastic plate with a retro sailing ship picture on it! I would have bought it for maybe $4...

My tooth (or lack of, I should say) is healing. Still kind of hard to eat though, but I am getting there.

We stopped at Bunnings (a huge, chain, discount hardware store) and bought some fancy brackets for the spice shelves and some new bins. Never thought I'd get excited about buying bins, but I am. They're sleek stainless steel ones with a foot-pedal - we got one for the kitchen and one smaller one for the bathroom.

I have some things planned to do before the day ends - it is nearly 4pm now. Washing, tidying, watering plants etc. Well, I guess I better stop procrastinating!

Currently Listening To: The Clash

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!

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

doggies are recovering!

June 29th, 2010 at 04:51 pm

Jed & Banjo are doing well. They don't have cones on their heads or anything like that. When I picked them up they were very quiet and a bit drowsy. Kind of like what normal dogs are, all the time! Big Grin

I am at work today but I might go home in my lunch break to check how they are doing.

The vet visit yesterday was $652, but included four days of pain medication (which I forgot we would need to get), microchipping and registration, heartworm & vaccines for Jed, sterilisation, anaesthetic etc. Well, from now on our vet bills should only be around $300 a year. Whew!

doggies are getting the snip today

June 28th, 2010 at 04:26 pm

After talking with DF, we decided this week would be the best one to book in the doggies for de-sexing. In a few weeks we are going away for the weekend and taking them, so it would be nice if they were recovered, and a little calmer.

Jed is also getting his annual checkup and heartworm injection, plus both of them are getting microchipped.

I have no idea how much this is going to cost but I think it will be in the vicinity of $500-$600. Ah well. If we hadn't done it, we would have paid $224 in total just to register both of them, in a months time. As opposed to just $20 it will now cost us.

I know that there is a remote chance there could be complications, as with any surgical procedure, but I am trying not to think about that!

Please keep Jed & Banjo in your thoughts today! The vet will call me in three to four hours to let me know how it went.


June 26th, 2010 at 09:34 pm

It is Sunday afternoon here and I thought it time to update my blog.

I had a nice weekend.

Banjo had his checkup at the vet. He is in perfect health. The vet visit was $262, which included: 6 months of Comfortis Flea Treatment, three months of gastrointestinal worm protection, his yearly heartworm shot, his second batch of vaccinations and yearly health checkup.

Next week I am going to book them both in to get desexed. The vet said they were fine to get done at the same time. I think the cost will be around $500, but also includes microchipping for both of them as well. And Jed will also have his yearly checkup in about a month, but should be less than Banjos, probably around $170.

After that, I went to visit a friend and she cooked me breakfast (that was actually lunch, by the time we ate it) Smile

After I left her house I decided to go to the shops. I bought a new pair of black ballet flats for $10, as my old ones are vinyl and are coming apart. Also spent $5.60 on a coffee (yikes!)

I got home at the same time as DF (he has worked all weekend). I pulled out all my clothes and sorted through them. Threw some away/donated some, and packed some others away. Found a few things I had packed away that I think I might wear again. DF cleaned about 120 beer bottles for his next two batches of home brew. He took an idea that our tattooist suggested, attaching a bottle brush to the end of a cordless drill to clean them. Big Grin It's funny, but it definately works!

We have finished watching Deadwood, and are now onto True Blood, which we watched a few episodes of last night.

This morning I went to the market and bought our fresh fruit, eggs and vegetables for the week. Spent $25.40.

DF also bought some cleanskin bottles of wine, mainly for cooking.

I decided to go on a bit of a cleaning blitz after that, so I have vaccumed and mopped the entire house, did three loads of laundry, and scrubbed the tiled floors in the bathroom and toilet, & lit some incense. House feels a bit cleaner now, and smells yummy.

Tonight we're having roast lamb (for DF), roast vegetables & salad.

Also made a batch of biscotti today Big Grin I'm planning on making that gluten free almond and orange cake again next week, when I buy more almond meal. It really was delicious.

Well, that's all my updates for the weekend. How was yours?

argh! doctors!!!

June 22nd, 2010 at 08:09 pm

First of all, guys might want to skip this entry Big Grin

Three years ago I found a lump in my breast. It took me six months to actually go and get it checked (I know, I know). So I got an ultrasound done, went back to my then-doctor and he said I had a benign cyst and it wasn't anything to worry about.

Anyway, fast forward to this year, and I notice that I get a bit of pain every now and then. So I go and see the doctor (a different one from the first time, I have been seeing the current doctor for about two years and like her). She refers me to get another ultrasound.

I go in today to get it done, and the radiologist tells me that particular lump is fine - it is just tissue. HOWEVER, she tells me on the report that I had three years ago it mentions I have a fibroadenoma as well - which is news to me, as the doctor never mentioned it at the time.

She says to me "Usually your doctor is supposed to get a sample of the tissue by inserting a needle. If the sample is fine, they will just leave it alone. However, your doctor doesn't seem to have done that. But, this was found three years ago, and if it was a baddie, you'd be dead by now, so obviously it's not, and you probably won't need to get it done."


Feeling a little weird right now, but atleast it was good news, so far, atleast.


I spent $8.30 on a coffee and a date & apple muffin. The ultrasound was free, and I am going grocery shopping this afternoon when I finish work. I only plan to get a couple of items, so fingers crossed it's only about $50 or so. For some reason I always underestimate how much groceries are going to cost. I expect $30 when the total actually comes to ~$70. I guess my mind needs to catch up with inflation!

Obviously I completed some of my to-do list from my previous entry Smile Now that I have had my ultrasound, I need to book an appointment with the doctors. I also booked Banjo in for his vaccinations on Saturday. I chose a Saturday so that DF can stay with Jed. It will be the first time they are apart since we got Banjo - interesting to see how they are when they are separated! I asked the vet about de-sexing, and they only need 1-2 days notice. So I am thinking of booking them in either separately or at the same time, next week or the week after.

Who has had their dog de-sexed in the past couple of years? Is there anything I should know? Do they have to rest afterwards? What about playing together? How long until they fully recover?

having a bit of a slack attack.

June 21st, 2010 at 07:43 pm

It feels like I haven't posted in ages. Probably only a week or so, but feels longer.

I had a three day week last week, which was nice, relax-wise, not so nice money-wise. I went and visited DF's sister in her town (an hours drive from our place) to go op-shopping with her, and DF finished work early and was able to go at the last minute as well.

I only bought three cups (one coffee cup, two teacups) and spent $2.20. The main expense was lunch, but it was nice to have a meal with DF's sister and our niece. Spent around $40 on two meals and drinks.

Saturday it seemed we caught the op shop bug, went into our town and spent a couple of hours poking around various stores.

DF found a good quality bottle-capper for his home brewing, for $15. (They are $49 brand new). He already has two others though! I am going to sell one of them on eBay, hope to make atleast the money back he spent on it. We also bought a book, a painting, a jigsaw puzzle and DF bought himself a pair of pants.

I think jigsaw puzzles are going to be my new 'thing' hehe. DF, myself and my little sister sat around for about 6 hours on Sunday trying to piece together a 1000 pce! We're slowly working at it. It's good fun though. I just hope all the pieces are there. That's the problem with op-shop jigsaw puzzles! But I guess it adds an extra element to it. Well, that's what I'm telling myself anyway... Big Grin

My meal plan is working well this month. Next week is our big shopping week, so I will be working on July's meal planner soon.

Last night I made potato gnocchi for the first time, from scratch! And it actually turned out really well! I was so pleased. And the sauce I made to go with it was delicious too, just a really simple garlic, fresh tomato & fresh basil pasta sauce. YUM.

I did some baking last week too, now that I have an oven! Big Grin (Though everything I made has since been eaten...) I made various batches of biscotti (gave some away to friends as well) and an orange & almond (gluten free) cake. It was soooo good.

Anyway, this week is going to be a healthy eating week heh heh.

I have lots of things to do, plan, book etc over the next week or so. But I am feeling so unmotivated!

I have to:

- book a time to get an ultrasound (NO! NOT pregnant)
- order a new bottle of gas to be delivered
- make a time for Banjo to get his second bathc of vaccinations
- organise to pick up 2 x bookshelves from a friends place
- make a new ink booking
- Schedule a time BEFORE the 13th July to get Jed & Banjo desexed.
- Book a follow up appointment for the doctors to see about my ultrasound and my blood test results.
- start getting all of our reciepts ready for our tax returns (earliest I can file is start of July).
- start thinking of ideas for our nieces birthday present - she turns 1 in two weeks and DF wants to make something for her. eeek!
- also have to mend several of my cardigans which are coming apart at some seams around the neck - I am so lazy I just stopped wearing them, then realised the other day I have hardly any cardigans to wear! LOL.

Anyway. It feels like I have a huge amount of things to get through, but a lot of them are really easy to accomplish... But *sigh* it just takes a bit to organise, and when I go to do something, I think of all the things I have to do to achieve it (such as: booking the vet is easy enough, but then I have to WASH the dogs, and drive them to the vet, and then deal with them healing, argh. But if I don't do it, their registration will be over $200, compared to $20 if I DO get them desexed...)

Or ordering gas is simple enough, but then because we have not set up an account (still on the same bottle that was full when we bought the house) I will have to go through all that. Not to mention I have no idea of the size of the bottle... and I am at work now so I can't check it.

Booking a time to get my ultrasound means I will actually have to GO THERE and get it Big Grin

Booking in more ink means I will have to call, and then at some stage take in the drawings, and then ...

anyway, you get the picture...I just can't be bothered. I think I'm having a major procrastination attack! I would much rather be doing my jigsaw puzzle... Big Grin

Anyway... now that I have all that out of my system, I am going to make some calls, book some things, make appointments, and generally work through til I see the light at the end of the tunnel!!! Wish me luck (and send me motivational energy!) lol. Smile

missing cd, biscotti, pizza recipe

June 14th, 2010 at 04:43 pm

Yesterday I got a few things done. I sorted out our music collection alphabetically (600+ cd's - quite a mission!). Found out one of my cd's is missing so I am trying to track that down. (Radioheads' In Rainbows) We have one friend who takes a pile every now and then - we trust him to bring them back but maybe he might have misplaced one. Grrr. And don't ask how I managed to know that ONE disc was missing out of six hundred, I am clearly a freak in that regard Big Grin

I also partly tidied our office. Well, I did my half. DF's is just too messy and cluttered to deal with. I hope that my side being clean will encourage him to sort out his! I just have a pile of paperwork to sort through and file, and then I need to sort out a bunch of reciepts for tax (July 1st).

I baked Anzac biscuits and biscotti yesterday. I've never made biscotti before and it was a success! And sooo easy. I estimate the cost is probably the same as buying a packet, seeing as it has four eggs in it for a single batch (and at $6 a dozen, egss aren't cheap!) But atleast I know they are fresh, what goes in them, I can make different varieties, and play around with the sugar content. Not to mention all my ingredients are organic - the packet ones are not. So I guess if I were to make it vs. buying and ORGANIC packet biscotti... cost-wise we'd probably come out ahead.

Anyway. DF really liked them too, and his dad! Who we had over to help Banjo-proof our fence. There's now two layers of wire, and bricks holding the ends down so he can't dig out, if he ever decides to do that, AND it's higher. Hehe. Try getting out of that one, sucker!

Yesterday I didn't spend any money. Today I have to buy milk and meat for the dogs. I'm having a coffee with a friend, but if we go to the place we intend to - I have a loyalty punch card that has a free coffee on it. So I'm technically not spending any money! Love that!

Tonight we're having pizza - but I'm making it. On pita bread bases. DF has some leftover roast lamb which I was going to put on his.

I'm making a pizza we used to make when I worked at a restaurant, it's delicious! (my then-boss won a state award for it)

The toppings are:
Fresh sliced tomato
crumbled feta
Sundried Tomato
Red onion
Tzatziki Yoghurt sauce drizzled over the top after it comes out of the oven. It's divine!

Obviously I won't be putting lamb on mine. I was going to try roasted pumpkin, fresh spinach, feta & walnuts on a pizza too. I might make 3 - the lamb one, one minus the lamb, and then the pumpkin one. DF can take the leftovers for lunch. Big Grin

stupid neighbours = surveyor

June 13th, 2010 at 04:31 pm

I think Banjo is turning into an escape artist. We have had him on the deck since his recent runnings-away, this morning I got up to find him on the ROOF of his kennel, which I had pushed against a piece of ply (about 1.5m high) to block the opening to the stairs (which are a full 1 storey high - jed is petrified of jumping over anything to get to the stairs, obviously Banjo does not share this fear). The dog is crazy!


I guess this means we are going to have to put a rush on building a fence around the property. The 1.5m chicken wire was fine for Jed, but he is a 'boundary' dog, where clearly Banjo is not.

I think we have enough to build it now, but I would like to have a buffer. I don't like to clean out our house renovations fund in one go, it makes me feel a bit uneasy. Plus I have no idea how much it will actually cost, seeing as we'll only be buying the materials - DF will build it. But probably the biggest cost will be a surveyer - we already know that one of our neighbours takes issue with our boundary line. Or rather... takes issue with the previous owners boundary line.

Funny. It seems that none of our neighbours liked the previous owner, even though he did not live there, he only rented the house out. They talk badly of him chopping down the trees on our land - even though the only trees he cut down were Camphor Laurel trees, which are a BIG pest and dangerous for our environment. They spread their roots under the ground and send suckers out, take over everywhere, and strangle the life out of anything else, and also create a 'blanket' over the ground, blocking out the sunlight so that nothing can grow, and their leaves fall and poison the ground. However, apparently according to the neighbours, as long as it's big and green, it deserves to be there. (DF and I don't share this sentiment).

Anyway, to get back to my story: our neighbours (who are actually our next door neighbours' neighbours - our neighbours land ends in a triangle at the bottom, and the neighbours' neighbours joins with ours for about a metre at the bottom - I KNOW! STUPID!) believe that when the previous owner of our house cut a pathway down the side of our property to the park, he cut into some of their land. According to the plans we have, which our solicitors aquired from our council office, he DID NOT. But they think he did. DF has already had a discussion with these people, and he left because they were not listening to him. He didn't make a big deal out of it, he just said 'I have to go now.' Then came back and bitched about it to me lol Big Grin

Anyway. I believe that the previous owner of our house is right, and correctly cut the land on our property. Why? Because he has been a builder his entire adult life. He is one of the most well known builders in our area, and he does the entire project from start to finish, has been doing this for nearly 40 years - so, somewhere along the line, I think he *may* have figured out how to read plans and borderlines. Call me crazy!

Anyway. So because of our neighbours' neighbours pig-headedness, we have to hire a surveyor to peg out our property, so that they can *SEE* this for themselves. I have no idea how much a surveyor costs, but I think it's around the $1000 mark. *sigh* AND I have to make sure I'm actually there when they are, to take photos of the pegs, incase the neighbours MOVE them (people are known for doing stupid things like this). HA!

Anyway. So I'm estimating that the materials for the fence will be around $2000, and the surveyor will be around $1000. But I really have no idea at all. AND it's a public holiday so I can't even call people to find out today. It's really annoying me.


creature comforts

June 12th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Yesterday I didn't get as much done as I was hoping. I did some washing, tidied up and cleaned the kitchen.

This morning I was woken up by our neighbour who said Banjo had escaped twice and gone to visit their staffy. (who is also a boy, lol - i think Banjo's made a friend) The neighbour said she found the way he was getting out. I then watched Banjo escape a third time, from another part of our fence!!! eeek. Anyway. Little rascal. They are confined to our deck until DF gets home. I can't find any wire to fix the fence.

After that fiasco, I went to the markets and bought fresh veges for the week. Spent $16.90 on avocados, english spinach, pumpkin, capscicum, green beans and broccoli.

Then I decided to get some bits and pieces from the shops that I've been meaning to. Little things that aren't strictly necessary, but are nice to have and serve a purpose. Creature comforts, I guess you'd call them.

I bought a dutch tea strainer for $5.99, something I have been meaning to get for a loooong time and never got around to it. Best invesntion EVER.

Also bought a kitchen timer, ~$10 (cheapest digital I could find), an oven mit (20% off $16.95), a gas stove lighter ~$5, 2 x filters for our water jug (30% off $23) and some underwear (which probably shouldn't have bought, but it was such a good deal I decided to lol - $9.95 each, marked down to $5 each, then 30% off the marked down price... so $3.50 each - woohoo!)

I also bought a muffin for breakfast because I was getting a headache which I assumed was because I hadn't eaten. But it has not gone away all day, which is really annoying. So I used it as an excuse to rent a movie (for $1, our local store has cheap Tuesdays AND Sundays) and I watched that while folding the mammoth pile of washing we had on our couch... from last weekend. Big Grin

So, my Sunday is nearly over and I have done basically nada. Not feeling very motivated with an irritating pulsing feeling in my skull!

I'm cooking DF a roast for dinner, and I will probably have roast veges. Tomorrow I was planning on catching up with friends, but I think I will cancel those plans and do all the things I didn't get done today.

Oh, and here is a photo of my new oven mitt: Big Grin (and in the background, you can see our NEW stove/oven)

family portrait

June 5th, 2010 at 08:37 pm

I am dogsitting DF's dad's JR Trinity (who is Jed's 'girlfriend' and Banjos mother Big Grin) and was able to take some great pictures of them. They arranged themselves like this while I was hanging out the washing... soooo cute!

(Jed is on the higher step, Trinity is in the middle and Banjo is on the right.)

and no! I didn't pose them, they did it all by themselves Big Grin

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*.

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!

dog food trial

April 12th, 2010 at 12:18 am

We have started to trial our doggies with a new brand of dogfood (dry food - we don't feed them tinned food).

Previously we were using a couple of different types of mid-range dryfood, like Pal, Pedigree etc. About $7.50-$8 for a 3kg bag. It lasts about 8 or 9 days between the two of them.

Having spoken to the vet about which is the best to feed them health-wise, he said basically with dry food, you get what you pay for, and he explained that with premium brands generally you don't feed them as much as you do the mid to low priced range.

So at the moment I'm trying out a brand called Optimum - $11.55 for 2kg. I measured out the correct amount to feed them - and it was literally HALF what I had to feed them with the other brands.
I felt like I wasn't giving them enough over the past few days with it, as they really seem to like it and eat it as soon as I give it to them, unlike the other stuff which they pick at through the day.

So today I gave them some more after they'd eaten the first amount, but they didn't touch their seconds Big Grin I guess this means they're getting enough.

(BTW: I can buy it in larger bags which means it's slightly cheaper, I just wanted to try it out first.)

What do you feed your dogs and why? The reason I ask why, is because for our own groceries I would never sacrifice my health to save money at the checkout, so I don't see how it can be ok for me to do that with our dogs either. So to a certain extent, money doesn't come into play when it concerns our dogs food. I'm obviously not going to feed them Wagyu Beef and Caviar, but I'm not going to feed them something full of preservatives, sodium and pigfat either.

updates of a random nature

March 30th, 2010 at 08:20 pm

Thanks to my massive ($131) Aldi shop three weeks ago, I have not had to buy many groceries these past few weeks. For once our grocery expenditure was UNDER budget for the entire month (by $4 each week - but still...atleast it was under!)

I am going to try and be more motivated to save those small amounts here and there. The mild annoyance of researching phone plans etc and grocery shopping at three different places will hopefully be offset by the savings. Hopefully. Big Grin

Today is grocery-shopping day and I only have to get a couple of items. I have to keep in mind that we are going away for the easter weekend to a friends holiday house. DF's sister is doing the shopping, and we are transferring the money into her account once she works out the cost. Last time it was around $25, which isn't too bad. I expect it to be around the same again.

Finally got a replacement tray for our coffee machine. It started to rust out last year, and I called Sunbeam as it was still under warranty - in AUGUST 2009. They told me they had 'developed' a new tray that had a plastic lining and was stainless steel, apparently even though the rest of the machine is stainless steel, the old tray was not. It was a 'design flaw'. Pfft. I call it 'cutting costs'. :P

Anyway, so it arrived yesterday. Only took 7 months.

Ummmm... Sold a couple of books on ebay. I think the sale price covered the fees and postage, and I might have made about 40c. But oh well. Waiting for my friend to finish In Treatment and return it to me, so I can re sell it. With the earnings from that I was hoping to buy X Files season 4 Big Grin

Our boys (and by boys... I mean our dogs) will most likely be getting de-sexed in April, if all goes well. And in May I think we might have enough of a surplus to consider buying a new TV. LCD and Plasma prices have reaaaallly dropped lately. Vieras are $595. When they were first released I think they were about $1200. Exciting stuff!

Normally I'd roll my eyes at someone getting excited about buying a flat screen tv, only because it's (usually) associated with bad money choices. HOWEVER. Our current television is around 12 years old, and the cables from the set-top box, xbox and dvd player are held in place with paddle-pop sticks and pieces of folded up cardboard. Yep! Big Grin Kind of in need of a new tv... about two years ago. After that we will be looking at a new dvd player. Unless the tv comes with a built in one, which would save a whole lot of hassle and drama.

updates: family, friends, dogs, garden.

March 23rd, 2010 at 09:39 pm

I haven't really had much to update lately.

We've had some family drama to deal with. Long story short, my mum and step-dad split up. I don't really feel like explaining the details, but it's probably for the best.

The only people I have told the entire story to are DF and my best friend, and I only told my best friend because she kept hassling me about it. (I'm not really the talky type and to add to it, the whole story annoyed me so much that I get frustrated just thinking about it. Basically, I hope in some way or another this will be a wake-up call to my mother - but I seriously doubt it. *sigh*)

Ummm. What else?

I have been catching up with old friends from high school. It's a bit weird.

My best friend moved out of her parents house and is living by herself. It's kind of good for the budget because often I just go to her house now instead of meeting at a cafe. I don't know how long she is going to last though; she's incredibly lonely. Poor thing. I told her she can move in with us, but she doesn't want to.

DF's second-cousin who was going to move in with us, found another place to move into. DF and I breathed a silent sigh of relief. DF offered a room to him and he accepted, when he started working for DF as an apprentice. But then a few weeks later DF told me he hoped the guy would find another place because 'he's a bit annoying'. Big Grin And I understand. Apart from not wanting to live with anyone else in the first place, I can understand that working with someone, and then having to come home and be with that same person while you're trying to relax, would only work if you got along splendidly. And I don't think they do. The cousin is 19 and 'knows it all'. Even though he is an apprentice, he seems to think he shouldn't have to do apprentice work, like cleaning and fetching tools for DF, as well as trying out 'the cool stuff'. So DF's getting a bit frustrated. Frown

Financially we are having a good month. We will have a surplus *fingers crossed* which I can add into the EF.

We're going to get the doggies de-sexed soon. They are peeing on EVERYTHING. Does anyone have any tips on this? They do not come inside, it is only outside that they pee - but they go on the corners of our outdoor chairs, our pot plants, their own KENNELS etc etc. It's disgusting and it smells, even though we wash everything with boiling water and disinfectant it nearly every day. *sigh* The vet said that while it won't be instant, desexing them will gradually reduce their need to 'mark' everything.

My weight has plateued. It has not gone up or down - atleast it has not gone up though. I seem to have a month where I slip up and start eating bad stuff, and then two or three months where I am mostly healthy, and then the cycle continues. Anyone else like this?

DF's work is picking up, which is nice. I have two days off coming up, because of Easter. I hope we don't have anything planned, I would like to just relax at home.

Our lettuces are nearly big enough to eat! I am so proud! Big Grin
I am thinking of 'investing' in more gardening supplies. I have been super attentive to the tomatoes, basil, lettuce and parsley, and they are all lush and green. Yay. I want to plant some more tomatoes and maybe buy some seedlings from the market; but for now everything will be in pots. Is that an ok way to have a vege garden? Our soil is not that great and there is, at the moment, not really any proper place to make a patch, even if we were to build it up and buy good soil for it.

Uh, well. I think that's all my ramblings for now. Smile How are y'all?


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


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

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

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?

photo for you!

January 24th, 2010 at 11:02 am

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


January 22nd, 2010 at 03:13 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Currently Listening To: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

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