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We're having a boy!

February 28th, 2012 at 08:43 pm

We had our 20 week morphology ultrasound on 18/2/12. Growth rate is good, baby appears to be healthy and well-formed, and she was pretty certain we're having a boy! Nice exciting news, we are both very happy.

We are fairly certain his name will be James, it is my grandfathers name and we both like it.
But, I guess it is hard to tell until he is finally born! Could change our minds.

Have been getting bits and pieces for him in the form of presents from friends and family. Have only spent around $100 on six modern cloth nappies. My dad and stepmum will be buying me the rest. (The only reason I bought them was because they were on special, one brand marked down from $36 to $17.95 and the other brand marked down to $15.40 from $26).

We have been pretty slack with saving conciously but for some reason our accounts are looking the healthiest they ever have, we have $9000 in our EF. It is a long way from the dribs and drabs we were trying to hold onto when my old boss decided to cut my hours and I was only earning $250 a week!!!

The new job has been very good to me, and I think I will want to return in 12 months time even if it's only a few shifts a week, on nights or weekends. PLUS a store is being built about ten minutes walk from my house! I am hoping it will be built by the time my maternity leave is over! (I get 12 months maternity leave).

Most of you know that Australia doesnt have a big coupon culture, but my work is currently doing a new promotion for something their developers have been working on for several years. For their own brand of products they have eliminated all artifical colours and MSG, and to celebrate the launch they have given all staff members a coupon book for half price products to try. I looked through it and there is actually a lot of stuff I can use, so I'm looking forward to trying that! The offer ends 31/3 so I suppose I should get my act together.

I started a new semester of uni on Monday, and got my results for the summer semester last Friday. I got an A for Marketing and a B for Financial Accounting. Big Grin This semester I am only doing one subject, Economics. Hoping I do well in this one. Only four more subjects until I can start my minor in Personal Finance!

That's all my news for now! Hope everyone is well.

Long time no see!

February 8th, 2012 at 09:07 pm

Gosh it's been a while since I posted last!

All sorts of things have been happening so it's time for a big update.

Well I'm 18.5 weeks pregnant and everything seems to be going alright so far. In a week and a half we find out the gender and get to see our baby again (last time was the nt scan at 12 weeks). I think sometimes I feel little movements but I can't be sure - everyone says between now and 20 weeks I will feel them so perhaps it is.

I haven't had any really bad pregnancy problems like out-of-control nausea or anything like that, but I *have* been really really tired. I usually have a 2 hour nap on top of my regular 8 hours sleep a night. DH has been really great, doing all the washing, sharing the dishes and cooking with my little sister so I have to only do it if I feel up to it.

Not to say I haven't been doing anything though! I've been working about 6 days a week with my new job and my book-keeping job. I got a lot of hours over the holiday season which was great. Some days I got double time and a half pay.

I've also still been studying at Uni. In hindsight I probably would have been better off doing one subject if I'd known how tired I'd be and how much work I'd get. Alas, the summer semester is over now and I am really confident I got great results too! Not sure how I managed it, I didn't really do as much studying as they recommend. Most of it was done on my lunchbreak at work.

My little sister has moved out again. This time she's living with my brother, so atleast she's in partially capable hands (??). He lives two states away, and her plane leaves this afternoon. My parents are taking her to the airport - it was sad this morning to say goodbye to her, I will miss her even though she could be a handful. I just hope everything goes well for her. She's going to be studying fashion design at Latrobe.

We're beginning to accumulate things for the baby now. So far we have been given (or promised to be given things that havent arrived yet) most of what we need of the big ticket items.
Some friends have lent us their cot. DH's sister is lending us: a change table/baby bath, bassinet, newborn capsule & car seat, newborn clothes, breast pump she didnt use.
We just have to buy a pram and I have my eye on one that is currently on special, a Steelcraft design for $215 (normally around $499).
My dad and stepmum are buying us cloth nappies (the modern cloth type). I've still bought a few on sale the past week, just because the specials have been so great. Found some 'unpopular' colours on cushietushies.com.au for $17.95, marked down from $35.95. Also found at babybeehinds.com.au their hemp fitted nappy on sale for $15.40 from $26 each. I bought three of each and hopefully what my dad and stepmum can buy for us will be all I'll need nappy-wise - for this baby and the next. (I will be buying a box of newborn disposables for the first week or two).

I think that's all my news for now. I have to run and catch up with a friend I havent seen in ages.


December 3rd, 2011 at 03:00 am

The new job is going great. I am still learning everything and all the goings on.
I have two tests for uni due on Monday. Ah! Kind of freaking out but I should be fine. I have a half hour (paid) and one hour (unpaid) break so I have been using those to read my textbooks. I realised this will take atleast a good five hours off my total twenty eight hours of study a week. If I'm organised with my studying I an usually knock another four or five off just by being thorough and taking adequate notes.

Pregnancy is going well so far (as far as I know, anyway!). I am nine weeks on Monday. We have booked our first scan for 28th December. Was hoping for before Christmas but it can't be helped.
DH is nervous and excited, as I am also. :-)

We told all of our parents. My mum as usual is being a bit overbearing. She has already told me I should be extremely worried and that there is something wrong because I have not had vomitting morning sickness, only mild nausea. :-/ thanks mum! She is also telling me what nappies to buy! Even though her last baby is now 16! Sigh. It will be interesting when I tell her I plan on having a hospital birth and not home births like her. (I swear I am the only child in the world who's mother is unhappy that I AM going to a hospital / birth suite to have a baby! Sheesh!)

Other than that, I've had a bit of a cold which has been a bit worrying. I am going to go to the doctor on Monday just as a precaution.

DH got his (much late) birthday presents today. Usually our 'presents' to each other are several hours of tattooing (not done by each other! Obviously! But by a good friend and very talented artist), but this time DH got something different.
There are good specials around at the moment. He finally got his ps3 he has been wanting for two years. Talk about delayed gratification! We found the cheapest at Kmart, $288 less my company staff discount of 5% made it $273. He used his vouchers from friends for his birthday to buy some games. (elder scrolls, midnight race club and grand theft auto). It's been a long time coming, the last piece of electronic equipment he bought himself was his computer, around 7 years ago.

His other present is finishing his sleeve, which won't be until late January.

We are going to have a nice weekend away soon, our belated honeymoon.
Remember that free hotel stay at dh's uncles hotel? Yeah well we have not gone yet! But soon, I hope...

That is all my news for now!

I got fired!

November 18th, 2011 at 11:40 am

At the bakery I am only working monday and friday, but my new job needed me to work on friday, so I called the boss's wife yesterday to tell her that I could not work on Fridays after next friday. She said alright.
Then today My boss tells me that because I am only working mondays now, that does not suit them, so they have to 'let me go'. He then asked ME when I wanted to finish up! I said that the reason I got another job was because we could not live on the hours they gave me, and now that I had gotten a new job we would just be getting ahead. I said that I'd only worked there for five years and so I guess tha must not count for much! And then said that whatever legal minimum amount of notice they had to give me, then that would be my last day and to let me know.
I got a call from His wife not long after and she tried to tell me it was my fault, that she had offered me lots of extra shifts (actually was only a few lots of two extra hours, tacked onto the shifts I already did, while a lady went away) and that I had 'thrown them back at her'. And that I had told her to 'not bother about any afternoon shifts ever'. What I'd actually said was that I was able to do them where they fitted into my uni schedule but that I needed notice as I plan my assessments based on times Im able to do them.
And also she said that with permanents, the amount of notice a person gives when resigning is the same amount of notice they recieved when being fired. I said that first of all, I'm not permanent and secondly I never resigned, so I don't know what that's got to do with me. And she tried to tell me that I did not give appropriate amount of notice for not being able to work Fridays. (after I got off the phone I looked at the calender and realised that YES I did, I gave her 14 days and she was trying to tell me I didn't... I sent her a text message about it but she has not replied. probably banging her head against the wall saying 'dammit!'). She told me that the last time we 'had words' it would have been grounds for instant dismissal because of the way that I spoke to her. I don't really think that is true. I told her I didn't appreciate the way she spoke to me and that she gives off the feeling that she does not care about anyone's personal situations and how their actions affect their staff - since when is that grounds for dismissal? Well, I guess it must be.
Anyway, she told me she did not know how much notice she had to give me. Why would you fire someone and not find this stuff out? So, I'm waiting to hear back about it. I wanted to continue working there until early next year. Well, we'll see how that goes!
Nice to know what 5 years hard work looks like at the end of it!
I guess you can only look at it in a positive way if you want to get on with life; I am relieved they made that decision for me, so I don't have to feel bad about leaving in a couple months. I just really dislike the way they have treated me.

I sent an email telling my dad what happened (he lives two states away) and he is FUMING. He told me to make sure I call one of the fair treatment government bodies and make sure I get treated right at the end.
I'm casually employed - but I have been there for five years. I always thought casuals could just get sacked for no reason, at any time, but when my boss was trying to sack another woman (and give the hours to ME! Oh how things change...) apparently you have to give three written warnings...
We will see.
I know I am being stubborn - I don't WANT to work there, and I PLANNED to leave soon - but I feel as though the way they've treated me (& other staff) has been disgusting so I should at least make them work for it if they want me gone that bad. In the end it doesn't bother me so much - I would have left after Christmas anyway, it was only going to be an extra $200 or so of earnings. They did not find out any information before sacking me so I guess it was an impulse decision and they thought I would go without a fuss.
One of the things that sits in the back of my mind gnawing away is that I always envisioned when I left this place, I'd come back and see my boss and catch up occasionally. We have been friends for about 6-7 years - 4 of which I worked for him. The last year and a bit their true colours have shown and they're both obsessed with money - it has been disappointing. Now if I ever saw them in the street I'd not even wave, I'd keep on walking.

some exciting news

November 15th, 2011 at 06:57 pm

I have been waiting for what seems like ages to post about this, and technically things are still in the early stage so I wouldn't be surprised if things still don't work out.

I'm pregnant! Six and a bit weeks.
We are excited, but still wary seeing as a lot of close friends had miscarriages in a very small space of time, a couple years ago. We know that it is fairly common and so we don't want to get our hopes up (but, it's hard not to!).

We have only told DH's mum so far, and a couple of very close friends. We are waiting until Christmas time/12 weeks before we tell everyone else.

Our due date is 9th July next year.

So far I've only felt a mild amount of nausea a couple of times. I've been getting tired a lot more. I know the best of the morning sickness is just about to start Frown (if it does - here's hoping it's not too bad).

Our first ultrasound is a week before christmas, so that will be a nice early christmas present for us!

more work! uni thoughts. 70's dressups.

November 14th, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I had my general induction on Saturday (it was so boring I could've fallen asleep!). I got paid to do it too, which I wasn't sure I would! Fantastic! $22.70 an hour to sit and listen about their values and goals is ok by me!

Yesterday I got a call from the bakery sections manager. I have apparently been 'given' to her by the deli manager and have been offered a permanent part-time position, 112 hours a month, and I also get trained on checkouts and deli. I have four more training and induction sessions before I actually start doing any shifts, my first is on Thursday.

Initially I jumped excitedly around the house singing about quitting my (current) job. Until I realised it would probably be beneficial to keep working that job as long as it fits in with my new job, for as long as possible or atleast until Christmas is over and DH gets more work (He can't work most of december and half of January as most trade suppliers are closed).

This means I will be working 48 hours a week plus studying two subjects (each require 10-12 hours a week study). (I have 13 hours at my current job, 7 hours at my book-keeping job and will now have 28 a week at my new job!)

I think I can do it. I will give it a try anyway. I have until December 3rd to drop a subject without financial or academic penalty.

If I did drop a subject - that would be the hard choice. I know I SHOULD do the accounting subject - but it's so hot now that summer has started and I find it difficult to concentrate. Also, I realised my marketing textbook is the 2009/2010 edition, which is apparently being used this year too, but I'm not sure I can stretch it to next year and I don't want to have to buy another one. (I bought this one second hand for only $50 - new its over $85. Small savings I know, but every bit counts!)

The marketing one is FUN, so I doubt I will have a problem concentrating on it. I just feel as though I SHOULD be doing the accounting one. Oh well, there is always next semester.

I have a 70's party to go to and while DH is all excited about dressing up (he's planning on short, bright gym gear, head bands and maybe some roller skate haha) I'm not overly enthused. I find dress up parties a PITA most of the time. I've just bought an orange patterned kaftan top and will wear it with some brown jeans and cork wedges I bought on sale for $5. Is that 70's enough? I wouldn't know... I wasn't born then!
It seems there's a lot of 80's stuff in the stores but also there's starting to be a bit more 70's styles, must be the 'new' thing. Gosh I remember being a teenager and that stuff mattered... now, if it doesn't make me look fat and its comfortable and reasonably priced, you've just made a sale to me. Big Grin

you have GOT to be kidding me!

November 8th, 2011 at 05:21 pm

So just after I hear back about getting the new job, wouldn't you know it, a coworker at my current job resigns!

I get a call from the boss's wife telling me this, and then offers me four days work instead of the two I have now. I used to do four days - but they are 6.5 hour days, 26 hours a week in total. With the 'new' schedule I would probably be looking at around 24 hours a week. LOL!

Initially, I was not going to tell her I had just been given a new job. Why? It's none of her business. Especially since I was hoping to leave anyway.

So she asks me if this was my plan. I tell her that the new work knows that I have work on Mondays and Fridays. (Well, they do...)

Of course I get off the phone and now feel like I did the wrong thing. Should I have taken it? I don't know. I am incredibly unhappy working there, so I don't think I did the wrong thing.

I have the opportunity to work ~38 hours a week at the new job, and they also give work to people who are NOT 18 years or younger on public holidays ($60 an hour - something I have not experienced due to my current works' cheapness). And, there are a lot of those coming up.

But then I worry with plans of having a baby in the future, what would the new work be like? Are they going to dismiss me when they find out? It is casually based employment, so they are within their rights to sack people for no good reason. My current work (the one I hate) would probably let me work there until I no longer was physically able to.

I guess I just have to take the chance. The new work is also 15 minutes drive away, versus current work 30 minutes. I'll be halving my driving time anyway. I also get a 5% discount on groceries Big Grin

I spoke to DH after the call. He asked me if I told the boss's wife that the reason I found more work was because they cut my hours and we were struggling. DAMMIT. Why did I not think to say that? It would have been the perfect opportunity to put her through a guilt trip - god knows she deserves it after all the ones she's put me through! Don't you hate it when you realise there were so many more things you could have said? Dang.


November 6th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I know I can't get too excited because it *is* just a supermarket deli job... BUT IT'S A JOB!

I recieved an email from Coles saying I wasn't succesful, which made me moody and depressed for an hour before I decided to apply for yet MORE jobs. After sending off application # 4, I got a call from the deli manager at Coles (yes - who just sent me an email an hour before saying I didn't get it - lol, WHAT?!). Anyway, she asked me if I would still like the position and if so, please attend an induction on Saturday from 9-2. HOW EXCITING. It is not exactly a job to aspire to have, I know, but for reasons which I will save for another post, it is the type of job that suits me right now. Plus I am excited at the opportunity to get my foot in the door of a national company because it will no doubt help me limp along while I keep doing my degree. Big Grin

I have a job interview tomorrow!!!

November 1st, 2011 at 04:39 am

It is just a casual supermarket deli-counter customer service job interview... BUT it's an interview!

I know it's not exactly stepping up from my current job, but I need the money, and it's actually an appealing thought to be able to show up, do the work and go home without having to listen to the owner whinge about how he doesn't have any money, while also whinging about how he never gets to take his boat out on the water.

I will see how it goes. If it turns out I get a decent amount of hours I'll be quitting my current job so fast they won't know what happened. No use staying on in a job that makes me depressed every time I walk in the door, if I'm working another that is pretty much the same kind of work but no ill feelings. I also kind of like the idea that once I get employment at one supermarket, it looks better on your resume when applying at others. (While I'm studying I either want a job that reflects my current mode of study - or a no-thinking type of job.)

I also had my first exam today, last one is next wednesday. End of my first year at university! Time flies. I start the summer semester five days after my last exam, heh heh. No rest..!


October 25th, 2011 at 08:50 pm

Ahh, it has been a little while. Update time.

I have had my head in the sand re: our finances lately. I do not have the motivation to track our daily expenditure again. I have not done this in over a year now. Funny thing it though, we are SO much better now, than we were then. Hardly any needless spending during the week ('Oh, I'm thirsty, I'll buy a drink...') and we do not buy a lot of things these days, generally.
Perhaps I should? It might be good to see. Maybe even give myself a little surprise...?

AGAIN still no luck on the job front, however I received an email stating I am on the shortlist for a job at a local supermarket. Not exactly a career opportunity, but with studying, it is actually something I want: a no-think type of job. My main aim is to secure as many hours as I had at the bakery (30 p/w) and then RESIGN from the bakery.

It is sad, but I have been daydreaming about it. Yes! Actually imagining it in my mind, (embarrasingly, I do this a couple times a day) the day that I resign...

I am pretty sure, that is an absolute sign that I should be leaving. Big Grin

Just had my older sister stay a night and two days with me. I have not seen her for over two years as she has been living in the UK. She is quite depressed as she has left 'the love of her life' over there and can't find a single way to get back there. (He will not get married - nor will he visit her in Australia). I didn't want to say anything, as the memory and pain is still fresh, having only been back for two weeks, but he sounds like he is not worth it... He wants to work and live in the same place he has grown up in. His plans next year are to climb some big trees in california with his friends (redferns? or something?) and he wants to keep doing what he is doing (he is a tree surgeon). I feel bad for my sister, she is so upset at having to leave him, but at the same time I hope she will realise that if he is not willing to even change a tiny bit of his life for her, then maybe he does not love her as much as she loves him. Or, is just being selfish.
But, that's just me. I would put love over pretty much anything. Life does not always work out how you expect it to.

So, that's kind of sad Frown

My younger sister has taken it upon herself to move out of home (she is 16 but thinks she knows everything there is to know). I visited her yesterday, with my other sister and younger brother. The place she is living is TERRIBLE. She does not even have any sheets on her bed! (My mum said she tried to give her some and she said she had some - obviously too proud at the moment) She shares a room with a guy she goes to school with (they are just friends) and they pay $190 a week for a little room, use of a washing machine, bathroom and kitchenette. It is just horrible. There isn't even a light in the kitchenette.

I am not overly thrilled at having her living with us again (she is a messy hormonal teenager, what can I say? added onto the fact that we hope to have a baby next year...) BUT, I can't stand to have her live in such a place. I sent her a text message and said that if she wants to leave there for ANY reason, she ALWAYS has a place here, and if she decided she wanted to be here long term she could always rent, for less than what she's paying there. UGH.

I give it another month. She has been there two weeks. I think she needs some time, and then she will realise it is not something she wants to do. Once the novelty of having no one telling you what to do wears off, she will realise it's really not all that great.

My friend has asked me to help her make wedding cake toppers (the edible kind made out of modelling icing). It seems like a good opportunity. I feel bad though because this friend always leaps into everything head first, and I cannot afford to shell out money for something I'm not really sure about. She has not asked me for any money though, and has bought everything herself. She wants me to decide if I want an hourly rate or a piece rate, and how much I want. Sigh. Is this really something I should be deciding? She seems to think it's 'our' business and she keeps talking about 'splitting everything down the middle'. It is so confusing. I don't actually know what I'm doing! And she has a tendancy to do things the hard way (ie handcutting something out instead of using an icing cutter). Anyway. We'll see how it goes. I just don't know if this is something serious, or if she's just asking me to do it for her so she can give me some money and not feel guilty about what happened at our work. (She was the friend who was employed full-time when I lost half of my hours at work).
We will see. She apparently has a lot of orders. But she is terrible at the business side of things, and doesn't want to learn anything either. She is the type to say 'I don't know anything about business' and then when you try to tell her she will just not listen. You can see that in her head she is telling herself she doesn't know, so she should not even try. It is extremely frustrating.

In other news, my dogs killed a goanna the other day. It was the day my sister came over to stay. I did not have time to remove it from their kennel before I had to get her from the rtain station (they like to find dead things and put them in their kennel - weird, weird dogs) so when we got home she goes 'WHAT is THAT!?' with a horrified expression on her face.
Naughty, naughty, naughty boys.
A possum and also a bird have, at different times, crawled into our yard after being attacked by a neighbours cat and passed away. With the possum, they sat next to it until I came home and then whined until I went downstairs to investigate. With the bird, well, Jed decided it was his new best friend and took it into his kennel, and rested his head next to it on his blanket. Would have been cute if it wasn't a dead thing...
Not sure about the goanna though. Perhaps it attacked them, or perhaps they were being territorial. They are Jack Russells; it is their instinct. Either way, I feel really sad for the goanna, they really are beautiful to look at. (If you don't know what it is you should google it, they're amazing creatures).

Healthwise, I have to get an iron test today or tomorrow. Fingers crossed my levels are up!
I have not lost any weight that I wanted to, and in fact have put more weight on. I feel fat and bloated, and my clothes are tight. DH makes it harder because he is going through a junk food & chocolate phase. Keeps bringing home copious amounts of chocolate that he finds on sale. ARGH. It is infuriating. (I am the type that will not eat it if it is not there... but if it IS there, well, that's another story altogether...)

Well, I should get going. I have an accountants appointment then time to study for my data analysis exam next week! EEEEK.

33 ways...

October 18th, 2011 at 06:23 pm

I just saw CreditCardFree's post about the article '33 ways to reduce debt'.
Technically, I don't call myself frugal. Not at all. I'd say we're conservative, at best. It leads me to thinking, what exactly is frugal? While one person can say someone who does the following 33 things are frugal, another (like me) may say that it's not, or that it's just common sense, or whatever. I guess it's the same as what we view as a want and a need: it's subjective really.

Anyway, I decided to analyse our financial habits according to this article. What about you? Where do you stand?

1.Re-shop auto, home and life insurance to see if you can bring down your payments.
My auto insurance was the cheapest I could find this year. When it expires, I'll search around again. Our life insurance and home & contents insurance is one of the cheaper ones combined with a 15% multiple-policy discount which makes it the cheapest I can find, also.(It should be noted that you always need to consider your location and risk in association with insurance - no point having it if it's never going to help you, you may as well have no insurance at all).

2.Downgrade your cable package, or get rid of it entirely.
Never had cable in my LIFE, and until recently the Australian free-to-air television stations consisted of exactly 5 channels. Now we have about 14. I hear people in other countries have more free-to-air channels than us... why on EARTH would you pay? Sheesh.

3.Disconnect your home phone if you have adequate cell service at your home. Or downgrade to a cheaper package.
We do not have a home phone, and our internet is the cheapest you can find, unless you're willing to use dial-up, which we're not, as I use it for uni...

4.Buy and sell clothes at your local consignment or shop at Goodwill.
I sell old clothes on eBay, and I shop at opshops. We don't have consignment stores here (that I know of)

5.Have a massive garage sale. (If you’d rather be out of debt than have an item, choose to sell it to help you get you there.)
We just had one, and netted a nice chunk of money for savings.

6.Advertise higher quality items on Craigslist, Facebook, or your local newspaper to get better prices.
I'm currently selling a piece of furniture in the paper right now.

7.Focus on buying mostly sale items at grocery store or generic brands to reduce your cost.
I shop at aldi. Can you get any more generic?

8.Use a grocery store awards program to earn money off gas.
I do this, and I also fill up on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (cheapest petrol price day)

9.Cancel unnecessary expenses like magazine subscriptions, newspapers, manicures, pedicures etc. Anything that could be considered a “want” instead of a “need” should go until you are out of debt or greatly decrease your debt.
Subscriptions? Manicures? What are they? LOL. The only subscription I have ever had has been a gift from my dad.

10.Go to the matinee movies instead of paying full price (and skip the concessions).
Or better yet - try not going to the movies for over 12 months. Big Grin (and when you finally decide to go, use a cinema loyalty card that offers half priced movies).

11.Or better yet, use the Red Box for at-home movie entertainment.
We borrow movies from friends and the library? Does this count?

12.Get temporary work or seasonal part time work to boost your income.
I have two jobs, and DH is part of a family business. I'm currently looking for a third job.

13.Read books from the library or take a few trips to Barnes & Noble to complete a book.
Well, I don't know how welcoming the bookstore would be about that, but I do use the library regularly.

14.Buy your most expensive groceries in bulk at Coscto: meats, breads, cheese, produce, paper products. Establish a monthly grocery budget for the additional needs at regular grocery stores.
We don't have a Costco, but when I spy something cheap at bulk price that we use, I buy it.

15.When eating out, skip the soft drinks and stick with water. Skip the extras too (dessert, etc.).
We eat out very rarely, and usually only have the meal, nothing else. You can also try to stick to the specials board too...

16.When eating out, share a large entrée or have small appetizers instead of the costly meal.
Often these end up being of a similar cost in my experience.

17.Plan your errands more efficiently to conserve gas.

18.Find friends that you can trade services with…haircutting, handyman, photography, babysitting, pet-sitting.

19.Give home-made gifts, baked goods, or service IOU’s rather than expensive presents.
We don't give expensive presents, in fact most times we don't give presents unless someone needs something. For children, we screenprint shirts.

20.Boxed cereals are expensive; switch to oatmeal, eggs or fruit for more nutritional and financial bang.
We don't eat cereal, full stop. I work at a bakery so bread is free, this is what we eat for breakfast.

21.Call the utility companies and get on a budget plan to give you more consistency with expenses each month.
We have signed up for two year plans in exchange for two months free service.

22.Set a spending limit with family at Christmas and/or draw names.
Or in our case, just don't buy presents for anyone.

23.Use exercise videos, walking or hiking instead of paying for the gym.
I have never paid for a gym membership in my life.

24.If your haircut is too expensive, find a less expensive stylist or see if your hairdresser will cut you a break on price temporarily – ours did.
My hairdresser is reasonably priced, so is DH's, and they both offer a loyalty card scheme for free hair cuts after the 6th or 7th cut.

25.Say “no” to hosting and/or attending in-home parties where you feel pressure to purchase.
Luckily we don't have friends that pressure us to purchase anything to attend their parties.

26.Does your family live nearby? Once a week dinners with mom or dad saved us a meal out of our shopping budget. Additionally, it usually led to leftovers and our parents looked forward to our visit each week.
Yeah this is one thing we do occasionally but avoid. Our family is a little... different.

27.Make your coffee at home instead of buying it each day.
We no longer drink coffee every day.

28.Pack your lunch – not once a week, but regularly.
We never buy our lunches unless we have special guests on the weekend. Even then, we will usually suggest bringing some salads and having chot hips at the park.

29.Make extra dinner servings on purpose to have leftovers for lunch.
Yep, this is what DH takes nearly every day.

30.Our dentist advised us we could skip the fluoride treatments if we were using a daily dental rinse – which we did… and bought on sale.
Flouride treatments? Never had one. My teeth are fine.

31.Program your thermostat for savings on heating/cooling when you’re not at home.
We don't have aircon or heaters. We do, however, have long pants & jumpers, pedestal & ceiling fans...

32.Tempted by certain retail stores? While digging out of debt, avoid window shopping these places where you’ve failed to control your impulses before.
We actually like window shopping. We are not impulsive buyers and so this is kind of like cheap, free entertainment for us.

We give to a certain charity every year, and make regular deposits to op-shops.

textbooks, and once-a-something cooking...

October 17th, 2011 at 03:10 pm

I was looking over my next semesters course and realised I don't have the right version of MYOB for it on my computer. SIGH. And here I was thinking I'd saved some money!
Freaking out about how I'd have to shell out a chunk more money for a new textbook for just the cd that comes with it (i bought the textbooks second-hand from a fellow uni student), I quickly googled 'student version of MYOB' and lo and behold, they do offer one. I was initially excited because it was $15, which means I'm still saving money, BUT they charge $15 freight. FOR A CD. WHAT?!
Ugh. Anyway, so after all that, I paid 60c less than buying them new. Bah. I suppose on the bright side, I'm helping the environment a little bit, instead of contributing to more waste...?
I have no problem keeping them in the condition they are in now (which is fairly good) and then I can resell them for what I paid in Feb next year.

I have sold a few things on eBay lately. Not everything I had hoped to sell, but I have made around $100 so that's nice.

I've been thinking off and on about doing once-a-week or once-a-fortnight cooking. SIL just started doing it. (Ok, well she has done it once...)
Usually I will make a double batch of a sauce, or mexican beans, and put some in the freezer. But I like the idea of buying all the vegetables fresh, making a whole heap of dishes, freezing them, and then just having to make a salad or a side of vegetables each night. DH will most likely do it every night then Big Grin

I just don't know what to do at this stage. I have done it before, and from memory, I made:
- spinach & feta filo pie
- vegetable lasagne
- meat lasagne
- spaghetti bolognaise

Which doesn't really seem like a lot. This time around I would probably make a curry of some sort, mexican beans (I use these for nachos, burritos & just heated up with a bowl of rice).

What else can you make that freezes well? I've never been that great at making stews. I have a slow cooker, but they never turn out well. If you have a recipe you'd like to share...?

I was thinking minestrone soup. We make that a lot, and usually I just leave the pot in the fridge and we have it for dinner for maybe three nights. It wears out it's welcome on the third night. Might actually be a good idea to freeze it haha.

Any other soups? Bakes? Ideas? Vegetarian dishes would be great, but DH does eat meat and if we fall pregnant I may reconsider eating meat for the duration, so meat dishes are appreciated too...

recipes to use up yoghurt? ... & stuff....

October 4th, 2011 at 12:44 am

I have some natural strawberry yoghurt that has hit its useby date. I don't feel like eating it, and neither does DH. I don't want to waste it - it's nearly a full 1kg tub!!! Does anyone have any recipes that uses yoghurt? I am sure there's a yoghurt muffin recipe or something...??? It will have to be a baked goods recipe... thanks in advance!

I finally feel like I'm on top of this university/study thing. I've been getting my mid-semester marks back this week, and I am so pleased:

3 x High Distinctions (A+)
2 x Distinctions (A's)
and 1 x Credit (B)

Now all I have to get through are two more major assignments and one smaller assessment, and of course, the final exams. It looks as though for one of my subjects, I will have passed without even doing the final exam Big Grin This makes me SOOOOO happy.

I have a month to go until this semester is over, and four days after my final exams, Semester 3 starts :/
Oh well. I am happy to keep on keeping on. I am actually looking forward to the two subjects I am doing next, Financial Accounting, and Marketing.

I picked up my second hand text book from a girl doing the same course as me, for my next subject, and have organised a second hand textbook for my other subject as well.
In total, buying second hand this time, I have saved $105! Yippee.

Next week marks the start of my 'reduced' hours at work. Bastards.

Anyway, in an effort to atleast make up SOME of the money lost, I have started doing internet surveys again, and am auctioning some items on eBay. I have about $100 to claim very soon on three survey websites, and am hoping to net a few bucks on eBay (at least). Also I have around $100 in our paypal account from past sales to withdraw. So, that's a start, atleast.

Did you know eBay now allows you to list 30 items for free a month? I think this is fantastic. I will definately be using this to my advantage, getting rid of the clutter etc. And if it doesn't sell, relist it! It's free! Big Grin

Already selling some unused, unopened makeup (bought the wrong shade a couple times). I have some watchers already which is great.

Healthwise, I've decided to wean myself off sugar. Working as a cake decorator, you must be able to imagine this is a feat in itself. It is not that I eat cake all day (you do begin to loathe the sight of it, actually) - but, you do get into the habit of tasting a little bit of everything. In some cases, it is, believe it or not, quite neccesary. But other times, it is just a habit you fall into. So, unless it's absoltely neccesary, I'm cutting it out. I no longer have it in coffee, and will allow myself a dessert once a week. Shortly coffee will go too *cries*. Greek no fat yoghurt and honey is my new best friend Smile

some updates from me

September 27th, 2011 at 02:43 pm

Hello everyone. Yes I know, it's been awhile. I did write an update entry last week but the site logged me out in the writing process and I lost everything. Frown
So here I am again! Don't get much free time these days, it seems.

Here's some random update trivia of Whitestripes' Life, in no particular order:

- My hours are due to be halved starting next week, although my boss assures me that it won't be for a little while longer because 'he needs a break'. Well, that's nice. Glad I could be of service to you.
- I recieved a letter that stated the above hour-cutting event, and was also informed that 'if my circumstances change and I am available for afternoon work, they will be able to give me more hours if they become available'. Which basically means, 'I get the last say' from my boss's wife (seeing as this whole thing started because I wasn't available for afternoon work because of uni, when she wanted). I just feel like it's all give and no take with these guys. Have never met someone so bitchy, so controlling, so up-her-own-@$$ and so unsupportive.
- I got a call back about a job I applied for weeks ago. In truth, I can't remember the actual job, I have applied for over 40 now, possibly 45-50. It sounds great, 9-5, monday-friday, full-time book-keeping & accounts job. Only thing it is in a suburb 35-40 minutes away. This was the first call, and she said she would call again in a few weeks to let me know where I was on the application process, and if I made it to the short-list (apparently I made it atleast to the 'list'). IF I do get a chance at getting it, I will obviously go for it. I worry about my car doing that much driving, especially to a new job. But I have no choice, really. And the actual job sounds great. I will have a lot on my plate (part-time book-keeping job, full time job and part-time uni) but I will just have to focus.
- Uni is going great! I have gotten 100% and 79.5% for two assessment pieces for one subject (which equates to an A+ and an A). This is for Information System Concepts (basically - introduction course to IT & IT security, as well as advanced courses in Microsoft Access, Excel & Powerpoint). For my other course, Data Analysis, I got 92.5% on my first assessment, and am waiting for the marks for my second, AND am about to start working on my third assessment, which I am quietly confident about. I felt lost re: this subject at the beginning, but it all seems to be clicking together now and I am confident I can pass it. (I'm probably asking too much to pass with a Credit or Distinction, but a girl can dream!) Big Grin
- I am super excited about my next subject, Financial Accounting. For the whole year I have been doing subjects that only partially, or don't at all, relate to my degree, and have found myself yearning to do one like my first accounting subject. It has made me realise that although I wasn't sure in the beginning, I think I've found something that I want to, and am happy to do. In the beginning I felt as though I was starting a degree that I wasn't certain about, and afraid of realising later down the track that it's not something I liked, and wasting all that money. I guess this is testament to the fact that if you don't know, sometimes it's best to just try something out.
- I know I have posted about taking a bit of a break over the summer semester this year, like a normal person does. But then I decided because I only did one subject when we got married, I would do one over summer. Then last week I thought to myself, oh, what the heck. I am now doing two: Marketing as well. I figured, I did well last semester. It's a short one, but it means you really just have to get in there and do it. And it means I'm two steps closer to finishing. By February, I will be 7 down, 17 to go!

There are more updates, but this is all I have time for at the moment! Hope everyone is doing well.

decisions decisions...

September 8th, 2011 at 02:09 am

I've come up with an idea, and to this point, although being on the wary side, no one has tried to talk me out of it. They've pointed out pros and cons but ultimately been supportive of my 'idea' and I'm at that very scary stage of taking a leap and doing something about it. It's something I haven't just thought of - BUT, an actual opportunity has presented itself as of the past two weeks, and slowly the cogs have been turning in my head, crunching numbers, etc etc.

My idea?

I'm thinking of buying a bakery. In my local town.

I don't know the figures yet. I need to look at their books. It might not even be worth it at all. I know the initial daily takings that I need in order to make things work. But I need to know the revenue and the rent. Everything else I already know from 7+ years of working in bakeries.

My best friend has already said she'd work for me. She's accepted the full-time job with our boss but would leave in a heartbeat if I bought the place. Unfortunately her financial situation prevents her from forming a partnership with me; but I think it may be for the best anyway. Partnerships between friends? Hmmm. However, we have identical ideas on how we would run a place, and she would rather not 'own' anything or have anything to do with managing a place, so this works for her.

The issue with the place, the only thing, is the parking. Or rather, lack of. It is on the busy main street, which has carparks along it but no actual carpark. However, it is less than 100m away from a library, a police station, a firestation, the local welfare office, a telecommunication businesses main service centre, the local council, several banks, and of course, the other businesses along the main street. The only other bakery is at a shopping complex on the other side of town.

The place is a little rundown and sad looking. My goal would be to have different breads that the supermarket and other bakery dont sell (sourdoughs, exotic mixed grains, italian olive breads etc). I also have the advantage of knowing the only place that makes novelty shape cakes anywhere around here is... yep, you guessed it: my boss. Now wouldn't that be a kick in the pants for him?

Considering, well, I'm actually the one that makes most of them ANYWAY. Big Grin

But, there's things I don't know yet. I need to know their figures, and I need a business loan. The plant and equipment in the shop will most likely cover the security of the loan I'll be asking for ($145k-ish). So those two uncertain things are... uncertain. Business loans aren't given out easily at the moment, but when I initially went in to ask questions, once they heard our plan (my friend and I went in together) they practically tied us down trying to get us to make an appointment.

DH is excited and supportive. He will carry on with his flooring business (which I will still do books for) so that we don't rely on just one income.

Hmmm. Things to think about.

(oh and I will continue studying as well, and continue with the baby plans... Big Grin things might get a bit crazy in the next few months!)

feel like I wasted 5 years of my life...

September 6th, 2011 at 07:39 pm

After quitting a few weeks ago, my best friend offered to work for my boss last week, for a few nights 'as a favour to a friend'. She decided she missed working there and tentatively talked about maybe getting her job back. They agreed.

This week, my boss asks me what my plans are. I had no idea what he was talking about and told him so. He said to me "Awhile ago you said you were looking for another job and would be leaving soon." I said to him "Actually a part-time job, and I committed to Jen (his wife) that I would be here until atleast May 2012". He said 'Oh. Well, we're going to have to put on a full-time baker, as when we advertised for a casual 26-hour a week job, we didn't get many applications. If we advertise for a full-time baker we will get a better quality person apply for the job. Anyway, so you won't have as many hours anymore.'.

Right. Thanks for that.

I told him he has to do what he has to do, doesn't he.

I find it interesting that this all comes a few weeks after my disagreement with his wife.

Also find it interesting that my friend had no idea, he had never mentioned this to her but had been given the impression she had her old job back, had even go so far as to turn down the offer from another place of employment.
She decided to talk to him about it, as she was understandably scared that I had lost hours, and she didn't have a job after all, and he said to her 'oh, well, do you want the job then?'
Like it was an afterthought or something.

Which puts her in a predicament, because if she takes it, she is taking my hours, technically. But if she doesn't, it goes to someone else anyway.
I told her to take it. I would rather have her get the job than someone else. All she has ever wanted in the four years I've known her is a full-time job. She needs stability. I just feel so sad for her because it had to happen like this, where she is not even happy about it. She is completely overwhelmed with guilt. It doesn't change our friendship, for me. It's not her fault.

I am just mainly mad at my boss and his wife. I think it's horrible the way they've gone around things. My friend even asked my boss directly, if this was because of my argument with his wife. He said no. (As if they would admit something like that, I told her, I could use it against them in labour laws). Anyway. Totally, totally over it. I have no respect for them whatsoever, anymore.

I feel like I have wasted 5 years of my life. I've worked for a crappy wage, and worked my butt off. In return I've gotten nothing. No qualification, no understanding, not even decent treatment, and at the end of it they decide to get rid of my by drastically cutting my hours, forcing me to quit so it doesn't make them look bad for firing me. Though I know on one part it's a business decision (they are paying my friend $70 extra to work 12 more hours a week, but she also gets 4 weeks of holidays a year and security that they can't just fire her at the drop of a hat), atleast a tiny portion of it is to do with the fact that I told her she treats people horribly. Even my boss has said that to me, and that her friends are too scared to tell her! And now that I am actually the one to speak up and say 'This isn't right', I get this!

I suppose for that part it is my fault. Maybe I should just take her bad treatment and say nothing. Should I have to put up with that? Apparently so.

Anyway. No luck so far on the job hunt but I'm still looking. Not sure exactly what I'll do when my hours do get cut if I can't find something by then. Could be anywhere between $140 and $280 a week. I just feel like curling into a ball on our lounge and crying. Frown

hmmm. meat?

September 2nd, 2011 at 04:42 pm

It's time for an update before I get cracking on the final pages of my assignments (due Monday and Wednesday). I have officially passed the halfway mark for these two subjects! I am aiming for a pass - that is my goal at this stage. They are both difficult and require a LOT of reading and understanding of the subject matter. Of course, the Accounting subjects do too I suppose, but I don't generally need to work hard to wrap my head around the subject matter in those subjects - I just 'get it' more or less.
Having said that, I'm not giving a half hearted attempt. Being intense subjects that I'm not really into, I need to give my all in order to get any half way decent grade Smile It would be nice to get a Credit atleast... but, I'm not getting my hopes up!

Speaking of not getting my hopes up, I didn't get that job. Sigh. Figures! Oh well, I will keep looking, applying, hoping.

In the meantime, my co-workers keep telling me my boss and his wife are asking THEM what MY plans are.
It would be all fine and dandy if they actually asked ME. I find it all a little bit amusing, actually.

I did have a conversation in May this year where I told the boss's wife I planned to be here for a further twelve months at the minimum. My boss and his wife don't communicate very well with each other, and so apparently, according to my co-workers, my boss believes this conversation was had this time last year - hence he is worried I'm finding a new job now and leaving. LOL. (I mean - I AM looking, but I do on some level expect that I probably won't find anything in the current economic climate, so I am prepared to work here until I leave to have a baby - which is May-ish next year...).

I have decided I'm not broaching the subject at all, it is their responsibility as employers to go to the source of the information in a time like this and not prance around like a child in the school yard and rely on rumours and second-hand information. If they want to know what my plans are, why not ask me? Are they afriad of me? Am I the only one that will talk straight with them and not attempt to kiss their ass?


In other news, DH and I had our pre-conception check ups. I have low iron, (meant to be between 30 and 126 and mine was shown as 11 - however I'm a little skeptical it's exactly THAT low because the test was taken at the end of the day where iron is typically lower). However, I have been pretty tired lately (put it down to studying though). The weirdest thing is that in four years of not eating meat, I suddenly have been looking at DH's dinners and thinking ti myself, that actually looks good, I could eat that if I wanted to. I have never been like that, even when I did eat meat, I never EVER felt like eating it or craved it. Hmm, must have been my body telling me something!

So we have put off the TTC plans for a month while I take an intense (doctor-prescribed) course of iron-tablets for a month. Complete with vitamin C and lots of fibre, LOL! Big Grin

I also have to do some thinking on my choice of diet while pregnant. I have never been a very strict vegetarian (rather... pescatarian) - it has always been a choice I have made for my health above all others. I totally get the ethical reasons for vegetarianism but I think that my unwillingness to give two hoots about what others think about me and my choices is why it's never bothered me if I take the meat out of a curry and give it to DH, or cook tofu & steak on the same pan. I know it's not being a true 'non-meat eater' but I'm ok with that - I don't do this for the outward appearance to others or to live 'the lifestyle', I do it because I feel much better when I don't eat meat. In saying that, I'm all for people who do live an extreme vegetarian lifestyle, my dad is one of them, after all. It's just not me. I like to have the freedom to make choices.

So, after all that, what I'm getting at is, I made a decision long ago that if, while pregnant, I felt like eating meat, I would. (we live near an organic butchery who farm locally, so that'd probably be the only meat I'd eat, if I did). I'm not going to go and eat it just because it's there, because that's never been the way I am. But if I feel like I need to eat it then I probably do need to eat it. In saying that, it's possible with iron supplements I won't feel like it at all. We will see.

I also have to have vaccination boosters, which I'm organising next week. If it weren't for the low iron, we'd have probably not bothered with the vaccines. So I guess all in all, it's probably a good thing.

In other news, I noticed that fruit & veg at our local organic supermarket is CHEAPER than at the regular supermarkets


August 24th, 2011 at 05:11 am

I applied for a job today that I'm a little excited about. I am really trying to not get my hopes up - having applied for a lot of jobs already (at last count, 33...) with absolutely ZERO interviews. But, it can't hurt to hope, right???
Anyway. Im posting about it because I don't want to tell anyone in real life (other than DH), because there's probably only a 0.0001% chance I'll get a shot at it.
It's a full-time, entry level (read: teller) job at a bank branch IN MY TOWN. Now the best part: a close friend whom I use as a personal reference works at a higher up position at this bank, in the city. I use him on my resume. (& he will call me if he ever gets calls from what could be a potential employer). He went to school with DH, and has tried to get me to apply for jobs at his bank before (when I was happy at my job...).
Could this be my lucky break? Do I dare to dream? Keep me in your thoughts over the next week or so... Please!

garage sale success

August 13th, 2011 at 02:55 am

Whew! What a day! The garage sale is over. We were up and selling very early, first customer arrived at 6am and continued on until roughly midday. We made just over $440 in total. The guy who bought the tires owe us $60 (paid a $20 dep), and a single mum with kids owes $90 for a tv cabinet. She paid $10 deposit and is also paying us $15 if we can deliver it to her house on Wednesday when she gets more money. I made cupcakes to sell as well (sold about 12 for $2 ea) and she has asked me to make 10 more on Wednesday... And wants to order some for a birthday as well, later on. Yay! I am only charging her $1.50 each for the bulk orders. I have to find out how much I can buy the ingredients for from my boss. I don't make a lot on them (they are not cheap ingredients... Cream cheese, strawberries etc) but anything is good really!)
After the garage sale we did our weekly grocery shop and had Mexican for dinner from a new place in town. Naughty having takeaway two nights in a row... Especially after just doing the shopping! But... So tired!

Already made $117!

August 12th, 2011 at 02:44 am

it is the night before our garage sale and we have already made $117 from it! An older guy (I'm assuming hes a collector, one of those that arrive really early to get the good stuff and then resell it elsewhere) asked if he could take a look today as he wouldn't be here on Saturday. We said that was fine. By the time he arrived we had most things already priced. He haggled a little which was fine and in the end he bought an old hat stand for $15, a golf club set for $10, a frame for $2 and a set of Tyres from my old car for $80. :-)

garage sale officially going ahead!

August 9th, 2011 at 07:38 pm

I booked an ad in the newspaper today. Hopefully it doesn't work against us, but I booked it with a state wide newspaper rather than the local one. Our local wanted $55 for one day, $75 for two day ad, whereas the statewide papers' ad was $18.54! I know a few people who read the statewide ad so I'm figuring people DO read it in our area, and the woman taking the details said she does list ads regularly for garage sales in our area. I just can't justify paying that much for 8 lines of text (funnily enough, we got 10 lines in the statewide one...!)

We don't even have to buy price stickers because DH has some from his home-brewing kit. He thought it would be a good idea to stamp the stickers with a date and stick it on the top of the bottle - then found out it's just easier to write a number on the cap instead, with pen.

Hopefully we sell some stuff. DH is even letting go of MORE bigger items too, which is extremely exciting. A few tables, like I mentioned in a previous post, plus a snowboard & associated gear, an electric stainless steel oven (my boss actually gave it to me - hoping to get $100 for it, but would be happy with $50 or $40 if someone offers). I'm going to go through my baking-ware drawer too. I have so much stuff I have been given that I don't use. Who needs seven muffin trays??? I have books to sell too, and clothes.

Any tips from fellow SA'ers who have held garage sales? It's been so long since I was involved in one, and even then I was very young.

weekly update

August 7th, 2011 at 09:41 pm

Another week, and another weekend, gone so fast. I can't believe it's a week into August already.

DH and I had a nice weekend. We went to a local market to check out what they had and whether we'd be able to have a stall there. So far it seems no one else is selling what we want to, which is a good sign.

I bought a skirt while I was there. It was $AU60, handmade, organic cotton, and was able to meet and talk to the lady who made them.

Also bought some curry spice mix ($10).

Due to studying, I've changed our 'grocery shopping day' to Saturday, and now DH comes with me and helps. It's quicker this way, and we get to spend the morning together. Then we go home, I settle into my uni work and DH unpacks and does whatever he wants/needs to (lately, usually car stuff).

DH has been cooking more lately too. We just bought a wok. I know it's something most people have but I've never gotten around to buying one in all the years we've lived by ourselves. Someone usually has one. Anyway, long story short, found the cheapest possible one for $19 and DH is trying it out tonight and making sweet and sour tofu stirfry with egg noodles.

No word on the job front. My current job is annoying as usual. I get to work with my boss's wife tomorrow, which will be interesting, as I haven't really said more than two words to her since the incident involving my little sister.

Looks like we might definately have the garage sale this weekend, if the weather seems like it might be good. Exciting! DH has already made some signs up. The only thing we have to do is put an ad in the paper.

job searching, uni, etc etc

June 21st, 2011 at 09:17 pm

I am not dead, I have just not had the time or energy (or motivation) to blog, or think about money.

Things seem to be going well and our bank account is looking healthier than it has in about six months. Which is nice.

I finished my Law subject last week and had the final exam. I think I actually did well. I hope I am not being overconfident with this one, as last time I thought I did terribly and recieved a Credit for one, and a Distinction for another. Still am not sure how I managed that.

I enrolled in my next two subjects, starting 20th July. They are: Data Analysis & Business Information Concepts. Data Anaylis, ick. But, I am kind of looking forward to the BIC subject. I think it may help me get a job, more so than now anyway. I have to shell out around $350 for textbooks and supplies in the next few weeks. Better start looking for things to sell on Ebay!!! Unfortunately I have already looked, and there is no way I can buy these used or second hand, as they come with computer programs I need. To buy the programs separately, it is nearly the same price! Pfft. What a rip.

I heard back from three out of the four jobs I applied for a month or two ago. Didn't even get an interview for any of them. The one I haven't heard from, well, I'm assuming they just aren't letting people know they were unsuccesful.

I applied for two more the other day. Already heard back about one (no interview) and still waiting on another. *Sigh*. There are SO many people looking for jobs. Oh well. Atleast I am in the position of actually HAVING a job as I am looking for one. That is a luxury I am sure not many job-seekers out there have at the moment.

I heard that a woman who advertised for a receptionist, recieved 410 applications. Just for a little office in town. So, that gives me some idea of what I'm competing against!

Amy ideas?

May 23rd, 2011 at 11:25 pm

As I mentioned in my previous post, we had a lot of help with our wedding party. Mainly family but also a few friends contributed too. They were happy to, but I also wanted to get a few thankyou gifts. One couple are notoriously hard to buy for as they have everything they could possibly ever want. For that reason, I was thinking of going with a nice bag of freshly ground organic coffee. For others I was going to go along the lines of chocolate, more coffee and for a few who are mothers, a natural bath soak concoction. I am running out of ideas though, and DH is never the one to ask about these things, he just shrugs his shoulders and says he doesn't know. Any ideas??

wedding party

May 23rd, 2011 at 02:17 am

Our 'Wedding Party' is over, done and dusted! It turned out to be a very fabulous night and 70-ish guests all said they enjoyed themselves greatly.

My dad, stepmum and little sister boarded their plane back to Victoria today and now I'm sitting at home by myself, waiting for DH to get home so we can make dinner.

There were a few stressful moments leading up to do with family, but in the end everyone behaved themselves and got along, which we were very thankful for.

It rained during the night but was misty and grey for the photogrpahs. I can't wait to see them, I think they are going to look amazing. It suits DH and I as we love that grey, rainy, wintery weather, so we are SOOO pleased that the day was like that, and the backdrop to our outside photographs will have gorgeous mountain ranges with misty air!

And so now it's time to tally up our costs. Probably the only place where people are interested in the money we *saved* on an event like this, is here!

Spanish Paella: $1225.00
Other Food: $80.00
Drinks: $82.63
Hall Hire: $150.00
My clothes: $175.90
Accessories: $34.40
DH Clothes: $172.40
Wedding Favours: $14.50
Tableware: $87.69
Canvas: $24.95
Total Cost: $2047.47

We had friends & family chip in/provide for free some items:
- cake
- honeymoon stay (2 nights hotel accomodation & breakfast)
- hair styling
- hall decorations
- champagne
- photography

and recieved $2000 in cash & $100 in GC's. I'm depositing it in the bank tomorrow. Of course money isn't the reason we decided to throw a party - but money WAS the reason we decided to have a party INSTEAD of a fully blown wedding, so in a way I am really relieved at the outcome. We do have the money to cover the costs (otherwise, we would not have organised it!) but it is nice to know that money can now be absorbed and/or go into savings.

June will mark the start of a ruthless savings plan! We need two new cars and want to start organising some failry major renovations to our house, so it means hard work & not much play. Or at least, cheap play!

My exam is June 16th, I have a lot of study to do over the next three and a half weeks! Then a bit of a break before I am back into it again. Eeep. Would love to have the summer semester off, but I think I will do an extra subject over the break to make myself feel better for only doing one this semester.

From my dads side for our wedding present, we were given a Stephanie Alexander gardening/cookbook which is about 2000 pages of gardening tips and instructions, and recipes for once the produce has been grown, and is *amazing*, as well a piece of artwork my late grandfather completed in 1951, a sketch of the Irish countryside he made when he was travelling with my late grandmother. It is something that not only has huge financial value but is most importantly a piece of my grandfather that I will never let go and treasure for our lives. I think DH also feels as though this was a huge welcome to the family gesture. We are going to get it framed shortly.

In other news, I have discovered some paypal/credit card fraud. Only around $120 worth, in five small payments (so weird!), but it makes me feel uneasy. I have deleted my details from paypal, which will be a pain in the future but makes me feel better. I have changed all passwords and security details for paypal, emails and banks. Argh.

I wish I could light my workplace on fire sometimes...

May 10th, 2011 at 07:43 pm

I don't think I could have enjoyed working at my current place any less, but it has happened. I now officially *hate* my workplace. Wow. What a week!

First of all, I went into work with my friend (who also works there) so that she could drop something off, on a day when I was not working (it was a public holiday, I am too expensive to pay to work on those days, so I don't get any hours, and no pay either). My boss & his wife were there. While I was standing there, minding my own business, boss's wife came up to me and starting raving on about two plastic plates that were in a drawer out the front of the shop. Apparently, she had put them out the back, and they had been moved back out the front. She requested that I please inform all the staff members that if she finds them, or any other 'useless crap' out there, that she will throw it out. Why *I* am required to do this is beyond me, and to be talking to me on my day off? Uh, I don't get paid enough to deal with that kind of BS. (excuse me).

So then on Friday I have to call her to tell her my little sister could not work her shift the next day. At the time, I am giving her 24 hours notice exactly. My sister by this time, has been in hospital for two days. I do not want to discuss why, but she nearly died. So yes, I am not in the mood for anyone else's problems. My sister is 15 and works a 5 hour shift. She's a casual junior and has NO obligation to her employers for ANYTHING, technically speaking. She does not get holiday or sick pay etc, so does not have to divulge why she cannot work on certain days, etc.

So I call this woman to tell her my sister cannot work tomorrow. 'Why?!' She says. 'I can't discuss that with you.' I say. 'Well! I need to know why!' She says again. Again, I tell her I can't discuss it with her. 'Well, I'm GOING to need to KNOW WHY, this has really put ME in a lurch, you know. You are giving me NO notice...' she raves on. 'She's in hospital. If you want to call to make sure, that's fine.' I tell her. All of a sudden, she starts yelling at me. 'You don't have to get SHIRTY with me, you know, she could want to go to a PARTY or something. That's all you needed to say, that she was in hospital.' (seriously? wtf? My sister has NEVER taken time off to go to a party, never been late, never been hungover on the job or ill-fit to work for any reason. She has actually never even had a day off). I tell her that I did not want to, or need to, tell her or discuss it with her, that it was personal information and she did not require that knowledge. She carried on shouting for a moment, then says that's fine. She will work something out, somehow. (Like I care? NOT my problem?!)

She then has the gall to ask if I'm ok! By this stage, I have nearly hung up on her twice. I'm ready to throw my phone, or scream, or resign. I am nearly crying. I tell her I am quite fine, and terminate the conversation.

The next day, she sends me a text message. It reads:

' Hi Whitestripe. Feel bad about our conversation yesterday. Let me know if (my sister) needs any more time off or if there is anything I can do to help. '

I am with my friend/colleague at the time, and she reads it too. We are both gobsmacked at the fact that this is clearly meant to be some kind of apology, with the absence of anything that resembles 'I'm sorry'. It does not even say *I* feel bad. It just says 'feel bad'.

My sister quit yesterday Big Grin (Partly due to the fact she will not be able to work for a few weeks, but also partly because my boss's wife scares her, and she hates working there). Can't say I blame her!

I feel as though she will call me at some stage. I did not reply to her text message.
On one hand, I know I should be careful of what I say. I do need a job to pay the bills. I suppose we would be alight for a few months if I were to get fired, but I don't want that. On the other hand, I feel as though I should say *something*. I do not believe the way she spoke to me was acceptable. I am not a student at school. She is not my mother. I am sure somewhere it states that it is not technically legal to talk to someone like that? Surely? She spoke to me as though I was a child that needed discipline. I just don't really get how someone can think it is appropriate behaviour. She seems to think she is the greatest person on Earth, because she owns a bakery. Sigh.

Anyway, that is the end of my rant.

In other news, I have heard back from two places - did not get an interview for both. But am still waiting to hear back from two more. I would be happy with working for either, so keep fingers crossed for me. I fear I may just explode in a fiery ball of rage very soon at work. It is just almost too much to take sometimes.

I mean, who YELLS at someone after they tell them their sister is in hospital? It's not like I said she was at Disneyland! Urgh.

- for those that were wondering, my sister is doing alright. Will be able to return to school next week. Scared the hell out of everyone. She is now living back with her mum too. Smile


April 18th, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I have been trying to sell some things on eBay lately. Have made a little money, but everytime I sell on there, something goes wrong. Why are my customers always the fussy ones that expect their parcel to have arrived last week? Excuse me, it's Easter! You must be mad if you expect your item to arrive on time!

I bought a skirt which *hopefully* goes with the rest of the outfit I have planned for the wedding party. We just have to find something for DH now. Fingers crossed my items arrive in time. (and that they FIT!)

I have lost a little weight. Really, it is just losing weight that I had gained over the past few months. My teenage sister being around eating all the time means that somehow I will find myself eating when I probably shouldn't be!

So, now the hard part begins where I lose the weight I actually want to lose, not the extra weight I shouldn't have put on in the first place! Gah!

I have finally finally finally done all the paperwork to change our superannuation funds over. Will now be saving $65 a month in insurance costs, and hopefully making more money on our superannuation (retirement) as well, as this fund has better rates.

We have done a bit of de-cluttering lately. I seem to be in the mood for it. Sorted through all my clothes and got rid of about four shopping bags full. Have a few to sell on eBay, but DH will use the unsellable (read: trashed) clothes as rags. Also got rid of appliances that don't work, a whole heap of junky craft items that I will never use, and an assortment of other stuff that basically was taking over my office space. Feels so good to get rid of clutter! Our house is slowly forming into something that can be called 'adult family' rather than 'bunch of twentysomething room-mates sharing a house'. Big Grin

We have DH's aunt & uncle staying with us for a weekend, end of April. This will definately spur us into more cleaning as well. DH has a lot to do. I know we're married & have been together for 8 years, etc etc, but I still believe he should put away his own clothes & sort out his own paperwork! NOT my job! Alas, he will have to get a move on, because the spare room is covered in boxes of his paperwork and knick-knacks.

I have five days off in a row this weekend (Friday through to Tuesday). So will hopefully get in a few full days of study, one or two of tidying, and maybe one to just hang out with friends and relax!

Oh, and of course, job search! Now that I am able to and have willing referees, I seem to be stalling myself. I don't know why. I guess now there's nothing holding me back except, well, ME. It's my own fault if I can't find another decent job, and my own fault if I don't even try. *sigh*. And I'm scared! Working at the same place for 5 years makes you very comfortable. Time to step out of my comfort zone, I guess...

Though, in preparation I *did* buy some nice interview/office-job shirts. So I guess that's something. Bought one on sale for $10 and another with a gift card. Sheesh, looking at corporate-wear makes me realise what I miss out on. I love corporate wear, but I only have one day a week where I can wear it - and I don't really even have to. I could wear my pajamas and my boss wouldn't bat an eyelid. Sooo many cute shirts...! Anyway. Won't get ahead of myself. Don't have a job yet to wear them to, let alone pay for the shirts, and will probably be provided with my own uniform. Sigh.

rambles & updates & pic

April 12th, 2011 at 06:04 pm

Time for an update.

We have been getting most of our RSVP's for our wedding party. It looks like the ones we expected not to come, aren't coming (which is actually a relief because we invited too many).

We also got our first contribution to our wishing well, from my aunt and uncle who cannot make it. They sent us a $100 check.

Today I plan to buy some thankyou cards, and send them one today. Thankfully the stationery we used for the invitations have a matching thankyou card, so that will be easy.

What is the etiquette on check-cashing? This amount will be going to our baby fund... but do I wait, and deposit it, say, the day after our wedding party?

I have done away with the idea of a dress, and ordered myself a new steel-boned corset:

which I'm hoping to find either a black/red 50's style swing skirt to wear with, or a plain dress to go underneath. I already have shoes & jewellery so in the end it's a lot cheaper to do it this way. All I really need other than a skirt is some stockings. My only issue is whether it gets here in time, as it is being shipped from the uk. :S My other option is to buy one from a store in the city. It is a LOT more expensive that way. DH is opting for a waistcoat instead of a traditional suit.

I have my 3rd online test for my law subject due this week. after that, one more online test and the exam!

I have worked out, if I do another 3 subjects this year I will have done 6. If I can keep that up, I can achieve my degree in 4 years instead of 6. I think it's possible even with adding children into the equasion. We will see.

I talked to my boss & his wife about job searching. I don't have any past references any more, as the last two places closed down. So, I had to ask. They were rather shocked at the possibility of my leaving (I did say I was looking for part-time work outside of my normal working hours - but if I was unable to find this, then my qualifications lay in office administration, so that would be where my search would end up if all else fails. They have brains, and realised office admin equals 9-5 work, which doesn't suit what I'm doing now without changes.)

Basically they told me they are thinking of letting go of another staff member (one that I, and others, have had problems before with. she does not make it easy for herself, let's put it that way). And that if they could get a commitment from me for 12 months, they would look into doing that, and giving myself and other staff members more hours. I of course, did NOT give my commitment.

So, now I REALLY need to find another job. I do not want to be responsible for someone else losing their job. Thoughts?

I did get permission to use them as a reference. They think it is for part-time work, but she also did mention, very early on in the conversation, before any talk of firing other staff, that she understands if I find something that fits in with my studies, career-wise. So, that is a load off my mind and gives me a bit more confidence in my resume. I have begun scoping the adverts already.

wedding party update, dress please...

April 2nd, 2011 at 07:01 pm

The 50's housewife themed babyshower was great. I went yesterday. I love it when there is a dress up theme for a party and everyone actually goes to the lengths to dress up for it! I have been to a few babyshowers in my time and it was definately THE best I have been to. I can't stand the really terrible games like eating baby-food blindfolded, etc. I get that these events have to have those types of things (mostly) but please! No one wants pureed corn & pear on their dress!!!

DH and I are thinking of starting a family soon, and these things make me even more clucky. I have always wanted to have children, and being around people with kids, kids birthday parties, babyshowers, pregnant people, etc has always made me go 'awwh... one day'. But now that it's a decision we've made for the very near future, it seems the cluckiness bubbles over sometimes (and even DH said the same thing - nice to know it's not just me. & I think that is a sign we are both ready for the next stage!). Still annoys me when people ask the baby question though - none of your goddam business!

Wedding party updates:

Only 6-7 weeks away now and I have typically done NOTHING organisation wise. Big Grin I know, I'm fantastic.

However, we have these things sorted out:
- Hall booked ($150)
- Main meal booked, deposit paid ($246 paid, $1056 to pay)
- Alcohol organised & paid for (FREE thanks to DH's uncle & auntie)
- Entree partially organised (various friends & family bringing so far: bruschetta, toasted turkish pide & dips, homemade vegetarian samosas, salmon & cream cheese/spinach & ricotta pastry twirls, mini quiche, cupcakes).
- Cake organised (FREE thanks to my best friend)
- Music organised (iPod playlists)
- Hair (FREE thanks to a friend who is doing it in return for posting pictures on her vintage hairstyling blog)
- Some decorations (MIL is preparing succulent plants in terracota bowls for tables instead of flowers)
- Photography (we have several friends with amazing photography skills & hugely expensive equipment - why bother paying someone else?)
- post-wedding 'honeymoon' (DH's uncle owns a hotel)

When I say I have these things organised, what I really mean is that people have come to us and offered their services/money etc. I had no part in sourcing any of this Big Grin So when people look at all the things that are going into this party, it appears to be a lot. It is a lot more than I would have planned myself, but then again, I didn't plan any of it. Unlike many other brides, I have taken a backseat in all of this. I don't really mind what happens - it is after all, NOT a wedding. We are already married. It is just a party to celebrate it - a very, very post reception, I guess.

Only things I have to organise now are table cloths & chair coverings (Do I even need chaircoverings? what a waste of money...) and our clothes. No, I don't have a dress. I like the idea of dressing up for events, but when the time comes, I can't be bothered. DH loves dressing up for things. So, I am trying to put in the effort of finding something unique to us. I hope to wear the dress again. I have so far come up with these (which I can wear again to conventions):

What do you think?

job hunting.

March 28th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Yesterday I applied online for a supermarket chain, check-out operator job. It was just a general application - I do not know if there are any positions available, but I pretty much put that I am available for any work (full-time, part-time, casual). I can work out the kinks later, if I do happen to get a call. They are supposed to call if there is anything fitting in with what I'm applying for. I guess I should probably start looking at office-ey type jobs too. I have had a break from those types of jobs since school (save for my book-keeping job) and I guess it might be time to change back. We'll see.

The hard part is... do I tell my current boss that I'm looking? Do I ask them to be referees? (The last two places I worked before this, five years ago, have gone out of business). I don't think I would get fired straight away if they were to know I intend on leaving... but you never know. And what if I can't find anything, then they'll know I want to leave. Argh. How annoying. I hate job hunting.

I've never had to have this conversation before in the past. Each time I've left a workplace, I've had another job lined up, and had only been employed on a casual basis, with the knowledge that I wasn't a hugely integral part of the business anyway (that they could get by quite fine without me).

Not that I don't think my current place wouldn't survive without me - it's just that my boss flips out when anything happens regarding shortages of staff, such as someone being sick or two staff going on holidays at the same time. He freaks out and gets emotional, saying things like 'Oh my god, I don't know how we'll cope' etc etc. I can just imagine it will be like that - and I feel like that should NOT be my problem, and I shouldn't have to hear about it either. (*if* I was a mean person, I would probably say something like 'well, I guess now you'll have to hire a qualified person to do my job - looks like it's going to cost you about $5 extra an hour...' - but I'm not, and I won't. I don't need to say it for them to have to think it.)

Anyway. Sorry about my rambling! What are others experiences with leaving jobs/getting new jobs etc? How have things gone when you've told a long-term boss that you're leaving? What did you say? What did they say?

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