We had a busy weekend and I have only just been able to sit down and take stock of the money spent
The damage wasn't so bad in the end.
DF's uncle had a 50th Birthday Surprise party on Saturday night, so I decided that day was as good as any to get my hair style cut, blow dried and straightened. ($63.95) I had been meaning to book it in for about a month. Turns out my last visit was 3 months ago! I am getting better. Last time it was 6 months. I think 3 months is a good enough time - the hairdressers recommend 8 weeks - but seriously, who goes to the hairdresser that frequently???
The 50th was catered and drinks were provided, organised by the Uncles' girlfriend.
Sunday we had breakfast with DF's sister, BIL, niece and mother. We spent $26.90 on breakfast, $7 on juices and $9 on coffees. We decided to have a bit of a stroll through the shops and DF bought a shirt for $25 and we bought some books that were on sale ($23.95)
Then we dropped by a friends place for an hour or so (free!), and then on the way home DF dropped me at a coffee shop to catch up with a friend ($7).
Next weekend is just as busy. On Saturday my friend is apparently throwing a Christmas party, and then we have DF's group of friends throwing one on Sunday morning, and then in the afternoon is my staff party!
Every year I get a bottle of champagne and a $50 GC from work - I am thinking of cashing in our credit card rewards to get another GC. Also, I have enough Flybuys rewards for a $20 GC - and nearly enough in rewards on a survey site to get another $20 GC!
I was thinking of putting these to good use on the Boxing Day sales... Hmmm.
Archive for November, 2009
We had a busy weekend and I have only just been able to sit down and take stock of the money spent
I have lost 2 kgs more since the last time I blogged about weightloss. I don't weigh myself regularly so it was a bit of a surprise, I kind of let my healthy eating habits slide this week. So, I am going to use this little bit of a loss as a motivation!
So far that makes a 4kg loss since mid October.
Old weight: X1.0 kg
October 27th: X9.0 kg (loss of 2kgs)
November 27th: X7.0 kg (loss of 4kgs)
So, I realised that I have achieved my first weightloss goal for the year! (3kgs)
My next goal (these are the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year) was a loss of 6kgs. So my target is x5.0 kgs. Maybe I can amp it up a bit and achieve this BEFORE Christmas.
So, today I did the supermarket grocery shopping. I think that prices *have* gone up a lot and I have just failed to notice. We used to be able to get by on $120 at the MOST per week for groceries/fruit & veg, now it seems like so much more - as I mentioned in an earlier post.
I spent $58 today and bought:
2 x cans tinned tomatoes
4 pairs rubber dishwashing gloves
1 box vinyl disposable gloves
4 naan breads
block of feta
1 bottle plain mineral water
organic espresso coffee
When you break it down, you don't get a lot for your money these days, do you?
Our grocery expenditure is sky high, and I have no idea why or how. While we are not eating out once a week like we used to, it still doesn't explain why we are spending so much!
I have one more week to go this month and we have already overspent our 'budgetted' amount per week!
And the funny thing is, we are not really eating adventurous or exciting new dishes that cost a lot in ingredients (it's impossible, we still don't have a stove or oven - I mean lets face it, how do you make an adventurous, exciting and expensive dish in a slow cooker or barbecue? unless you're cooking lobster, it's not going to happen). Last night we had mexican beans (made from scratch) with rice and salad. The night before we had the same. The night before that we had salad and DF cooked tofu and rissoles on the barbecue with chopped sweet potato.
It's just weird because I can't explain it. Our farmers market expenditure has only gone up $10 since the start of the year - from $30-$40 to $40-$50, and that is where we get the bulk of our food from. The supermarket we only get things like dairy, rice, pasta, cleaning stuff etc. We don't even pay for bread! I get it for free!
I just don't get it!
Actually, I do mind.
(warning: rant ahead)
I have worked as a barista and never once commented to a customer on their drink choice. Now, I don't find a lot of things rude but for some reason it just never felt right.
Of course, inwardly I wondered why on earth someone would bother to get the 'skinny-milk' option on a mocha-with-cream-and-marshmallows-plus-two-sugars, but I digress... I would never SAY that to the person who was ordering it.
I'm a strong coffee gal. I cannot STAND milky coffee. I've been drinking (real - not instant) coffee since I was 13 or 14 and I know what I like. I also have the ability to be able to drink a (strong) cup of coffee and then go to bed immediately after - I don't get that 'no coffee after 3pm or I'll be awake through the night' thing that other people seem to get. Have I over-consumed caffeine? I have no idea. I've never felt that rush or alertness that people describe when they have a coffee, or a Red Bull or some other 'energy device' invented recently. Never. Never Ever.
Why do I drink it then? you ask. Well, I like coffee. I like the smell and taste of it, and the good memories associated with it. Coffee is like a culture. For me it's not about the pick-me-up or the 'get me through the day' approach. I don't HAVE to drink coffee every single day and sometimes I don't - I just like a good cup of coffee.
So as I mentioned, I don't like milky coffee. So, I usually order a double-shot flat white or cappucino. Which is normal enough.
However, I frequent a place with a friend (who doesn't even drink coffee) where they serve their coffee in GIANT cups (they are like mugs, but in a cup shape). To compensate, all coffees are double-shot as standard. So when I ask for a flat white with an extra shot, every single time they explain that to me, I have to say 'Yes - I would like an EXTRA shot, please.'
And then they fluff about, stutter, raise their eyebrows, elbow each other, give a shrieking laugh and/or say some stupid comment like:
- Ooooh. Switch to decaf, girl.
- you know that's THREE shots of coffee?
- I don't think I've ever made a coffee that strong before.
- You'll be buzzing all afternoon.
- Why not just stick a caffeine drip in your arm?
- Don't feel like sleeping tonight?
- Had a long day?
- Gosh I don't think I could handle that much caffeine.
- It's not our fault if you decide it's too strong.
- Are you that tired?
- Our coffee is quite strong, you know.
Take your pick, it's all been said to me before. And not just at the place I went to today - MANY places have said that to me.
I don't need your opinion on my drink, it's not going to influence my decision, I've been drinking the same type since I was in high school. ARGH!
Anyway, I'm not really sure where this rant is heading, it's just that I'm annoyed. Is it really that difficult to shut your yap and just make me my damn coffee?
So I am sure that maaaaaany of you are familiar with my wailing and whining about the inability to make a decision regarding my 'future' in terms of job/career-ness.
I am sure that there are a few of you that have read each post I've made where I've decided to do one thing, then changed my mind and decided to do the other, and then ultimately done nothing at all.
Well. I am writing to inform you that *deep breath* I have made a decision on what I'm doing, and have now put it in the hands of someone else. So once that 'someone else' does what they have to do, I will be advancing down one fork in the road (figuratively speaking), instead of dancing around at the intersection wasting time and looking like a goose.
So here it is.
I spoke to my boss today, and I asked him if I could possibly do that fast-tracked apprentice-ship we had talked about earlier this year. I said I had no intention of leaving after it was done, I had no qualms about apprentice wages if it came to that, and working 5 days a week (on top of the two days a week I work at my other job), and that when it was all a done deal, I would be happy going back to my original 22 hours a week if that is what he wanted. Oh, and I would pay for the training.
And he said he had forgotten to ask the apprentice trainer last time he was here, but will ask him next time, and that I could probably do it part time anyway, and he would try to get me qualified in less time if he possibly could, even if he had to lie, cheat and steal. (I think he was joking about the last part - but you never know with him...)
Oh my gosh! I think this means... that I am going to be a Pastry Chef.
I know this is not financial, but it is really frustrating me and I have to get it out somewhere. And I know a lot of you are parents, and a few of you are step-parents, so I hope I can get either some insight or understanding on this matter.
To be honest, this issue does not even concern me. The only way it relates to me is that it is about a friend - and it is annoying me. So I realise I should stick my nose elsewhere - but that is exactly what I'm doing - I'm sticking it here!
So, I have this friend (the same one I mentioned that has an addiction to gambling and racked up $2k on her credit card doing so). Let's call her E.
E has been with her partner N for nearly 3 years. They have two boys together, a 2 year old and 8 month old. N has an 11 year old son from a previous relationhip. The 11yo lives with his mother and visits E & N on some weekends and some holidays.
E does not like the 11yo boy. I guess it probably stems from the 11yo not initially warming to her. She is not nice to him, doesn't include him in things with the other two boys etc etc.
Obviously this has gotten back to the mother of the 11yo and she is not happy about the situation. It has caused strain on the relationship between the two exes and strain between N and E, as N does not like the way E treats his son either.
The 11yo forgets things sometimes, and leaves them at N & E's house. The mother of 11yo gets annoyed at this and has told him if he keeps forgetting things he won't be allowed to visit his father and will have to do day-trips, as they live far apart and it is a hassle to retrieve the things he forgets. N offered to post any items his son forgets, so that it doesn't cause the mother hassle and he still gets to see his son.
In light of this knowledge, E now HIDES things that 11yo forgets, in the hopes that he gets in trouble so he doesn't visit.
Apparently this has all been going on for quite a while, and a mutual friend just told me the other day that the mother of 11yo (so - N's ex) sent E an email. In it she suggested they meet face to face as they never have before, sort out their differences so that 11yo can have a good relationship with his father. She went on to say that she is unhappy with the way that E treats her son, and that he should not be excluded the way he is, that E should behave like an adult and accept that 11yo is a part of her family. She also said that she thinks E might have postnatal depression and that she would really like to help her out with any issues she might be facing. She then said if this cannot be worked out then for the well being of her son she will be forced to stop N seeing his son, as E's negative attitude towards him is affecting his self-esteem.
E's reaction to this email, she sent in a text message to our mutual friend, was that 'how dare she speak to me like that and tell me what I am thinking. Post natal depression, what a load of rubbish. I am NOT meeting with her, and her son is NOT a part of my family so why should I treat him like it? And really, it's no bother to me if 11yo never visits again anyway, so why do I care?'
To make matters worse, the father, N, has no idea any of this is going on. He probably only sees the tip of the iceberg, when E excludes his son in front of his eyes - and he does pick E up on it when he sees it. So he thinks he is putting a stop to it, but in fact it is so far from the truth.
Is it just me, or is this friend of mine being a horrible, selfish, insensitive, uncaring b****?
The sad thing is that she doesn't know I know any of the latest developments, and I know that she won't talk about it with me because we don't really talk about subjects like that - we are not really close. But I am disappointed because the one person she has chosen to tell, our mutual friend, is one of those types that will never say what is on her mind and will just agree with E to keep the peace.
So, even though we are not close, it still really affects me because I keep thinking about it and feeling sad for that poor little 11 year old boy who is stuck in the middle of all this.
It seems like every couple of weeks I hear something E has done or is doing, and I lose a little bit more respect for her each time. Honestly now, I don't think I could stand to look at her. *sigh*
Why do people do these things? What exactly is going through their minds that makes them think what they're doing is alright?
but I find that I hardly ever stick to them. Sometimes I just don't feel like eating anything I've planned on, and other times I have a brainwave and try something different with the ingredients I already have.
Plus I've noticed since the weather has been heating up, all we ever really feel like is 'cold' food, like salad, tortilla wraps, pita breads or rice paper rolls.
Tonight, however, we are having pizza. We haven't had a takeaway dinner nearly two months (!) and it's cheap pizza night tonight, $5 each.
I have really been enjoying making Indian curries in the slowcooker, however. I don't know if I mentioned, my dad bought me a whole heap of spices when they were visiting. So I have been getting into making different mixes.
So, even though meal plans don't seem to be working for me, I am hoping to cook an indian curry to have with cous cous two nights this week, and a potato and leek soup.
It's definately getting to summer temperatures here. On Sunday it topped 37C, Monday was apparently 36C (though at work it is always a good few degrees hotter - blergh) and today I saw it was 34C. No doubt once summer is in full swing temps will be around 40C. Yuck.
DF bought a home brew kit on the weekend. He drinks one or two beers every day, so this will definately be a money saver in the long term. The kit cost $99.95 and you are able to make 23L of beer with everything included, and after that you just have to buy the sugar/yeast etc. DF's uncle also brews his own beer. He and his wife have gotten their costs down to 30c per 375ml bottle over the years.
I don't drink beer (or other alcohol for that matter) regularly, but I don't mind the occasional one in the hotter months. So, this can only be a money saver in the end!
A friend recently gave us the first season of Dexter to borrow.
I had seen the first episode when it first aired, but it was on too late for me to watch it regularly and I wanted to watch it all the way through, so we purposely haven't watched any more of it since the first show.
We watched the first season in two days.
One of the (many) things we like to spend money on is series on DVD. DF hates advertisements on television and I don't like watching whole movies on weeknights because it leaves me little time to do anything else.
I was looking on eBay to try and find the best price for the second season, and realised it was cheaper to buy season 1, 2 and 3 together. The cheapest I could find was $120 including postage.
Then I realised we set our DVD player to region free a few years ago, so I started looking in other countries.
I found series 1, 2 and 3 for $66.92 (US$61.95) with FREE postage from the US.
After some questions with the seller I decided to buy it, when I discovered that we already had $69.72 in our Paypal account (which I had forgotten about).
Even though it WASN'T free, it certainly feels like it.
I have two skincare products to sell on eBay this month too. I am hoping to buy Californication season 1 with that money. I also want to get True Blood. All of our friends have been going on about it, and someone even copied the discs for us but they didn't work. So eh. We can wait for that one, but I'd still like to see it eventually.
Lately I have been feeling the pressure to have a baby. It is not something on my mind every day, but I do more often than not get the comment 'oh, so when are you guys going to...?' when we are in large groups, whether it be friends or family.
Funnily enough, it does not occur as regularly (actually - hardly at all) in DF's group of friends - who are the group with the massive amount of babies born this year (7 at last count...). And they are all aged between 28-32.
It mostly seems to be coming from family (which is no surprise) and MY friends - who are all around the same age as me (22). Excuse me? I know that all the studies and news articles are showing that people are having children later in life, but seriously, it does not look like this from my point of view. The only woman I can think of off the top of my head who has left children til a later stage in her life is my stepmother, who had my little sister at 39 - my little sister is now 11.
With all the pressure of 'When are you guys going to give us a niece/nephew/grandchild/great-grandchild?etc etc' or as one of my friends likes to ask rather crudely: 'when are you going to pop one out?' (I don't know why, but that statement makes me want to vomit), I know I have mentioned that DF has asked me a couple of times "When ARE we going to have a baby?" He is worried about being an old dad, worried about the health side of things, worried about timing etc etc. All this has had my mind whirring quite a bit.
On one hand I'd love to have children now - as disappointed as my dad would be to hear this, I really would not have a problem in the world being a SAHM for the next 10 years or so. I know that women are pushed to strive for 'more' than this, and sometimes it feels like an expectation, like a massive weight on my shoulders. I remember mentioning this once to our old flatmate (that I wouldn't mind being a stay at home mum) and GOSH, you could SMELL his contempt in the air. I was quite shocked really. Isn't the point of equality that people can CHOOSE what they want to do?
On the other hand I have the expectation that I'm meant to do something with my life before having children. Which I'm trying not to care too much about, simply because I'm meant to. Also, our financial situation is the biggest factor in our decision on when to have kids. It's aaaallll about the money. So it's a catch 22 really: I have to get a decent paying job to make the money, but I feel tired just thinking about it. At the same time and am annoyed that I have to do one thing to achieve the other, but I don't WANT to. LOL!
Anyway, getting back to my point. So I was feeling not quite stressed out, but rather perplexed at everything surrounding this issue.
So imagine my reaction yesterday, when DF arrived home at 5pm (early for him - normally it is 6pm or later). He got home, dunped his things in the hallway, opened a beer, sat at the table and flicked through some junk mail for 15 minutes while talking about his and my day. He then tinkered on his car for 10 minutes downstairs and played with Jed. After having a shower (leaving his clothes in a pile on the floor which he will probably pick up later in the night when he brushes his teeth) he opened another beer and said "You know, I really don't think I'm ready to have kids yet. I'm too lazy in the afternoons and I can't imagine having to do anything when I get home other than what I've just done, which is sweet F-A."
And then we talked about all the other things which we weren't ready for (finances, taking time off work, house renovations, time, the fact that we still like to party occasionally). So it was not JUST laziness that was the major factor - but you get my drift. I think DF's time, the time he takes for himself, is important to him and he just realised that he wouldn't have that anymore. When he does work full time, he leaves at 6am, gets home at 6pm or later and often has to work 6 days a week. And it's not really laziness that he's worried about - he's worried about not being a proper Dad. He WANTS to be there for his kids, he WANTS to be home in the afternoon and there on the weekends.
I think the pressure of all his friends having children, as well as family pressure (which is always going to be there) and the age issue were really bearing down on him. It was one of those instances where he really just woke up and realised that now is not the best time, and that while some people aren't lucky enough to be able to plan when they start a family, if we are, we should take advantage of that fact.
So that's something neither of us have to think about for a few more years
DF is working tomorrow (Saturday) and I have no plans. I was invited to dinner with friends, but it is with 'those' friends that I have blogged about previously. Nice to catch up with at a party, but I realised pretty quickly I don't want to go to a restaurant with them EVER AGAIN.
Lovely people, most of the time, but yeah, I must be an old fashioned lass who thinks people should be quiet when indoors with strangers trying to eat their meals. I guess you could say, hmmmm, I have respect for the people around me?
Anyway. So I would like to have a productive but very laid back weekend. My plans are:
- Sleep in (until 7am atleast)
- Farmers market
- Put a meal on in the slow-cooker
- Wash Jed
- Do some laundry & fold washing
- Clean the fridge
- Clean the pantry
- Take Jed for a walk
Obviously, not setting the bar too high
Thought I would share some more photos with you all.
And on a slightly more *ahem* financial note, we spent $127.40 yesterday at the vet for the two puppies vaccines. The vet said that he wishes all puppies came in looking this healthy
Brother and Sister playing together:
Little Girl is at the front, to the left is Banjo and to the right is Mummy!
Our little one, Banjo! Soon he will be at our house!
Little Girl (still unnamed). Isn't she ever so cute! She will only be two streets away from her mummy (she is being given to DF's grandparents), I think it is nice that they will be able to grow up together, and be able to see their mum and dad often too.
We are taking the puppies to get vaccinated this afternoon, and then the little girl is going to DF's grandparents tomorrow. We are taking the little boy this weekend.
And we have (I think) decided on a name.
It is the mother dogs' dads name. He was killed by a paralysis tick about two years ago, and Jed very much reminds us of him. So we thought it would be nice. Jed and Banjo.
It is going to be tricky with work and the puppy. They are not inside dogs so we are thinking of making a smaller enclosure in our yard until the puppy gets a bit older.
And apparently he is already toilet trained! He is 8 weeks old and he already crawls out of his kennel, and out onto the grass before going. Could you ask for much more?
We got our first electricity bill since we moved in, March 2nd this year.
Normally power companies bill you every 3 months here, but there was a mix up with which company we were using, so we never got one 3 months ago - we have now been billed for 7 months and 2 weeks. Which is fine, it doesn't really make any difference to us.
It works out to be roughly $225 per 3 month period - pretty standard for us. This is with a different power company too.
We have just started turning everything off at the power point again - we lapsed at this for about a year . So, the only thing that's running at home when we are away is the fridge.
We have a box of the energy efficient light globes that we have been using to replace the old ones when they blow out. Hopefully that might have a bit of an impact down the track too.
What do you do to save power? Other than the usual of course, turning lights off when you're not using them, etc etc.
Well, I guess you would call it flatmates really. Except we are getting paid rent.
After some thinking, we've decided to let DF's cousin rent a room from us. Remember this from ages ago? I posted about it. I was really not ok with it then - because I had not met him.
He has been living with DF's dads family for a few months now, so we have been able to get to know him. He is working for the family business, so DF spends a good 9 hours a day with him, or more.
He's a nice kid. He is only 19 and does not know anyone in this state, he moved two states to work for DF's dad as an apprentice. DF's dads house is a little crazy at the best of times, and there is not a lot of room there either.
I am thinking it will be fine - he is quiet, considerate and NICE and at first would not even accept our offer as he didn't want to intrude.
We'll be setting ground rules first off - isn't it amazing what a difference it can make when you actually MEET someone? I did not think I would change my mind about this, but I have.
This is the recipe I use for minestroni soup, cooked in a slow cooker. There are a few things you can serve with it, a dollop of pesto is goo