I interrupt regular broadcasting…

… to bring you breaking news!

I’ll soon have one more person living in my place ūüėÄ

The BF’s lease is up in two short weeks (sort of caught him by surprise), so he plans to move to my place to buy us some time while we hunt for the ideal rental. ¬†We both think it’d be best to have ‘our’ place, rather than ‘my’ place, cause let’s face it, I know I can be a little particular! ¬†There’s so much to organise, in the next two weeks, and then looking forward from there, I thought I’d share my list with y’all

The next two weeks

  1. Get spare cardboard boxes from work/fruit & vege shop for the BF to pack
  2. Make space in my wardrobe for his clothing
  3. List all BF’s bigger ‘stuff’ (furniture etc) with measurements
  4. Make space in my house for his furniture (and a plan for what’ll be at mine in the short-term)
  5. Speak to my parents about temporarily storing some of the BF’s furniture
  6. Go to open for inspections – see the places, but review the leasing agents…
  7. Make inquiries with agents about renting my place, and the likely rent
  8. Make a budget – rent I’ll receive, bills for my house, bills for a new place, rent I can pay out, savings goals
  9. Work out suitable rent/cost sharing between me and BF in the interim period Half of what my neighbours pay
  10. Speak to my cousin about borrowing his trailer for move day 1 Find a car with a toe bar first!
  11. Collect details on utilities etc for BF to cancel/change his address
  12. Book cleaner to do ‘final clean’ at BF’s place (then I’ll likely want to stay there!) Saturday/move out day
  13. Book in accountant (for tax) and discuss best $ options with house/loan etc
  14. Bore readers with inventory posts ūüôā
  15. Share my new rental ‘wish list’ with readers, and my ‘what I (inadvertently) love about my current place’

After finding a new place

  1. Procure even more boxes
  2. Start packing up my house
  3. Patch holes and paint (ie Lack hanging shelves, maybe hanging birdcages?)
  4. Switch-a-roo washing machines (? Leave bf’s at my place, and take mine to new place, perhaps)
  5. Set up new utilities
  6. Advise all of change of address (yikes, but I’m good at it now!)

I’m sure there’s more for this list – so suggest away! And ask questions too, cause that’ll prompt my brain!

Electronic inventory

If it plugs in, it’s on this list (whether I bore you with a photo, is another matter!) ¬†Oh and thieves, eat your heart out. ¬†The TV and the VCR/DVD player were freebies, so I’m not too fussed if you take those. ¬†My phones, well, they hardly work well, so I can’t imagine you getting a great price. ¬†Washing machine and fridge – try sneaking those out past my building manager. ¬†Basically, I am not too scared about ‘showing’ all these things off to the world wide web!

Living Room

Oh the Acro lamp - and so cheap second hand!
Oh the Acro lamp – and so cheap second hand!
TV from a friend, and speakers for the laptop
TV from a friend, and speakers for the laptop
DVD and VCR player - thanks to freecycle
DVD and VCR player – thanks to freecycle

Bathroom

Iron
Iron
Great little washing machine!
Great little washing machine!
Breville Hair dryer
Hair dryer
Fairy light (a rubbish room find)
Fairy light (a rubbish room find)
Oh how I love this obscenely expensive vacuum!
Oh how I love this obscenely expensive vacuum!

Kitchen

Microwave
Microwave
The fridge to fit the space
The fridge to fit the space
A seldom used toaster...
A seldom used toaster…
The reason I got this toaster - lift and look! A little more!
The reason I got this toaster – lift and look! A little more!
Quiet boil, supposedly? I'm not convinced
Quiet boil, supposedly? I’m not convinced
Stick mixer and attachments (asked for one on freecycle, and a friend responded!)
Stick mixer and attachments (asked for one on freecycle, and a friend responded!)
Food processor how I love thee
Food processor how I love thee
Freecycle blender (ie free!)
Freecycle blender (ie free!)
Hand beater and phone charger
Hand beater and phone charger

Dining

A thrift store find, but from Ikea orginially
A thrift store find, but from Ikea originally
Radio - with CD players and a retro tape deck!
Radio – with CD players and a retro tape deck!

Bedroom

Cheap plastic box fan (thanks mum)
Cheap plastic box fan (thanks mum)
Metallic bulb lamp base
Delicious metallic based lamps (a Christmas sales gift to myself!)
A great lamp that gently wakes you up with music/sounds and light.  Sadly only possible to purchase it in the US
A great lamp that gently wakes you up with music/sounds and light. Sadly only possible to purchase it in the US

It’s really hard to share the cost of these items with you, and then work out the replacement cost. ¬†It’s just so detailed! ¬†My best estimates are:

What I spent: ~$3,000

What it’d cost to replace: ~$4,500 (man finding a comparable TV is hard, I don’t wanna UPgrade!)

Photos that are missing

  • Laptop (at the boyfriend’s, but it’s also a legacy of my mother’s former employer)
  • Other phone’s charger (cause really, you don’t need to see that!)
  • Oven & stove – not technically ‘mine’ but the place’s, so not costed
  • Fixed lights – which I did install, so I can cost, but it doesn’t seem right to include them here

And some ‘weirdness’ in the money amounts

  • If it was a gift, or ‘inherited’, I mark it as costing me $0, but full ticket in the replacement cost
  • Laptop not included in the totals as ¬†I’m not sure if I would replace it if it died. ¬†Which it might have. ¬†ūüôĀ

A lot or a little?

Random Round Up

TGIF! Wow, for someone who only works every second Friday, my body was shocked and dismayed to have to work this Friday! And usually, on a super tired morning, I’d stop for a mocha on the way to work. ¬†But a mocha has both sugar in it (which I’m trying to trim down on til the end of July) and it’s ‘buying takeway’ which I’m also not doing in July. ¬†Thankfully, there’s a coffee machine at work, and I got a hit the minute I got in!

In today’s random Friday wrap up, I’ll just collect my thoughts, and receipts, and look at how the week, and the month so far have been, in Carla’s of Daily Half Dozen’s¬†relaxed style (I know we share some readers, sadly I won’t be as concise as she is!).

Money

Yikes, what a week! Last week, I got a double pay, thanks to back pay, overtime and on call pay. ¬†So I quickly siphoned that off to my savings goal of $26k by 22 Dec for my mortgage. ¬†I even paid two weeks of my mortgage last week. ¬†It was all going so well…

This week I got paid my new normal weekly pay. ¬†And then I proceeded to spend $1400 on a two day course! ¬†To regular readers, this is part of getting my chartered professional engineer status – I need 150 hours of continuing professional development. ¬†75 of these hours can be ‘anything’ – which cover all the internal courses we do more or less annually. ¬†But the remaining 75 hours are divided into specific ‘skill sets’ and I was woefully under subscribed in ‘area of practice’ courses. ¬†So I found a course in August, but with two days until the ‘early bird’ rate of 10% off ended, I signed up straight away. ¬†In the past, these courses have been paid for by my employer. ¬†Sadly, with the current climate, I am not at all confident I’ll be reimbursed this time. ¬†Nonetheless, I’ve found some paperwork, and commenced my case with my (new) boss. ¬†He’s on board, and willing to watch me fight ūüôā

After paying for the course, other enjoyable hits to the budget included

  • ¬†finally fixing the ikea kitchen lights (that’s a post in itself!) for $160. ¬†This will be reimbursed by Ikea
  • I helped crowd fund a great book from a blog I love 52Suburbs¬†– you won’t be disappointed if you like photography and diptychs
  • I got all my nails done in preparation for the wedding, which set me back¬†$85. ¬†You know how I feel about the cost of being vain, so this was a hit!
Right after getting them done
Right after getting them done
  • accommodation¬†for the wedding was $180.¬†Most places in Orange are minimum two night stay, so it severely limits the competition if you’re looking to stay one night. ¬†It was well worth it though!
  • thanks to An Exacting Life, I went and found concert tickets! I’m due to see Rudimental in September (which I initially thought had sold out), and then also bought two tickets at the same venue for theatresports next weekend. ¬†I’m sure I’ll enjoy both, but that was another $140
  • for the first time in months, I had acupuncture AND physio (which I was having weekly for a long while). ¬†Combined, my out of pocket was $90, better than the $120 it could have been
  • I’ve signed up for a 9km bridge run ($57)! I can reimburse myself from the 12 in 2 adventure fund though. ¬†Sadly the 5km color run I was going to do with my family sold out quick sticks, so we’ll volunteer instead, to still be involved. ¬†Whilst on 12 in 2 goals, I’ve also found an accountability partner for running (Pauline for Make Money Your Way) and for the bible reading I have Brian from¬†Done by Forty¬†who I met through comments at Jen’s blog The Happy Homeowner¬†– yay to have encouragement!

That’s about all, til I spoke to the physio about my running and shin pain. ¬†She suggested I needed new running shoes – I’d like to get some for the ~$100 mark, but in Australia, it’s more likely to be ~$200. ¬†I’m almost tempted to take that US trip I’m dreaming of, to save me the $100 dollars.

And I’ve decided I’d like to try skinny jeans after a great wardrobe post by Into Mind, though I did wander around, and now I’ve decided I need to at least TRY skinny jeans whilst I’m this side of retirement… I mean seriously, why have I never owned a pair? ¬†I just think they might be the silhouette update I’ve been looking for. (yes I think of what I’m wearing in terms of the shape, and I’ve been a little less than impressed with a lot of my winter wardrobe of late). ¬†So that’ll likely be another $100.

I’m not game to add this all up – but let’s just saw, I’m sad to see a lot of last week’s gains be lost this week or so. ¬†Hopefully some reimbursements will settle it out, otherwise I’ll just have to be ok with achieving my savings target slower.

Stuff

I’m getting so hung up on ‘stuff’. ¬†The price of stuff vs the quality. ¬†Thinking about the conditions of who made it. ¬†The wage they were paid. ¬†Should everyone earn what an Australian ‘minimum’ wage is? ¬†It’s all getting to me – and came up last night with my parents who’ve just enjoyed 2.5 weeks in Asia, where a watch was $2.90. ¬†How do you work out a fair price?

This thought process was probably kickstarted by a radio segment where I heard the found of Slavery Footprint¬†speak about the way they are trying to change industries (rather than companies) to address slavery. ¬†You can input your ‘stuff’ to work out how many slaves you had. ¬†Best part of the interview was when he mentioned that his people emailed Steve Jobs – to which he off handedly suggested ’email the Queen too’. ¬†His staff explained that Jobs always replied to emails. ¬†And he did! He said ‘thanks for bringing this to my attention, I’ll look into it’. ¬†And since then, Apple’s gone form being a secret company, to disclosing their suppliers and the conditions and what Apple is doing to improve things. ¬†Certainly heartening.

Screen capture from http://slaveryfootprint.org/
Screen capture from http://slaveryfootprint.org/

The radio presenter had 34 slaves. ¬†I got 44. ¬†You should try it – it’s a cute interface if you have 5-10 mins to spare! ¬†You can fine tune every step by pressing the cog on the left (shown above), which I did for food, technology & clothing (using my wizz bang inventory, and it was still hard!) <- actually I went back and tried to fine tuned them all, til they cleared my old clothing tally!

I think that’s all that’s on my mind. ¬†I have the fancy birthday dinner this Saturday (my one eating out exception that I planned at the start of my ‘no eating out’ July Challenge). ¬†It’ll be great – I believe it’s 5 courses of south american food, with the option to match wines (sorry Lucinda, it’s not a dry July for me!). ¬†It’s also another cost, but hey, I knew this one was coming.

Let me know how your slavery footprint goes when you get a chance – I’d love to talk about that more!

Is my house an Ikea showroom?

I really hope not!!

But then I thought, what is from Ikea?

So another photo essay it is.

PS none of the links are affiliate, but to help you should you want to source anything. ¬†I’ve tried to link to Australia’s Ikea, as a more factual reference to the prices.

    • Bed – Malm Queen Bed in Dark brown, which I don’t think is a colour they still do
I think my bedhead isn't totally centred on the wall, oh well.
Ikea Malm bed with Malm hacked bedhead
Ikea Kasset blue
Storage underneath and my perfect bedside height
    • Box for elevating the fan (stolen from the parent’s house!) – the cute Hol – I love that lattice pattern and it’s stood up to many years of service!
Ikea Hol
I love the lattice pattern, and it’s strudily built!
    • Bedroom curtains – Vivan for the sheers (not shown below), and Sanela is a red velvet (which is out of stock, and the tops of mine are different to this new model), all on the awesome Kvartal triple track system
Ikea Sanela Red
More colourful than a hotel room.
    • Smalls storage – Skubb boxes, but bought years ago to fit in a wardrobe hanger thing
ikea skubb
On the floor of my wardrobe live my ‘smalls’
    • Lighting – the kitchen has discontinued and the living room has the¬†PS Maskros
Ikea light fitting
Ikea’s flowery light fitting
      • Kitchen table – I bought this second hand from the old tenant, but it’s a Sanfrid table top and Adils legs (I think?)
The perfect table to compliment my stainless steel benchtops
The perfect table to compliment my stainless steel benchtops
    • Semi-armchairs – found in a thrift store, so I forgot they were Ikea’s Nils
Doesn't everyone have one of these?
Doesn’t everyone have one of these lamps?
Exif_JPEG_PICTURE
The other chair
    • Salvaged trolley – from the kerb! But the real deal is the Bekvam
    • Magnetic notice board – sort of like the Spontan, but different
Bekvam trolley found on the roadside
The trolley was a kerbside find! The noticeboard was not
    • Lamp in the dining area
A thrift store find, but from Ikea orginially
A thrift store find, but from Ikea orginially
    • Lamp in the living area – I swear everyone has one of these, Dudero, it’s $15!! (Maybe it’s the cool name? Shown in the Nils chair photo above)
    • Second hand entertainment cabinet – the Besta, didn’t realise he was¬†Ikea¬†til someone told me (can be seen in the lighting picture above)
    • Side tables/stools – love the double duty Marius, and the limited edition teal colour of them
Ikea marius stool
Stool or side table, it works double duty for only $6!
    • Floating shelves in the entry way – those little Lack’s
Entry way with floating shelves
Entry way with floating shelves
    • Bathroom bin – love the shiny Rundel (til it’s not of course!)
Ikea Rundel bin
So shiny and easy to use!
    • Kitchen bin – so cheap at $3, you can’t go past Fniss¬†(just why did I buy the white one?)
Ikea bin
Kitchen bin – with no wet waste, being unlidded doesn’t matter.
    • Stationary storage set of nine drawers
Covered drawers
Stationary etc drawers
    • Blue platters
A thrift shop find, and I love them true
A thrift shop find, and I love them true
    • Bedroom lamp shades (Jara)
Metallic bulb lamp base
Just the shade is from Ikea

What do you think? Do I have more than the average (keeping in mind, I was a ‘poor student’ until 2009)?

I’m pretty happy with the smattering of things I have, but I do wonder at what cost to societies and the environment where these things might have been made.

Zero Waste & dental floss

*sorry to anyone who got this before it was ‘finished’!*

For regular readers of this blog, it’s a weekly¬†obsession¬†of mine to aim for zero landfill. ¬†Each week I weigh in, but there’s some recurrent items in my waste. ¬†Today I’ll look at whole I’ve conquered dental floss.

Floss

Whilst floss is¬†negligible¬†in weight, it’s still something I was regularly adding to the trash heap. ¬†The only solution I could find was silk thread. ¬†Given I’m not a vegan, I don’t have a huge concern with this option, and it can be composted. ¬†So from plastic box, wheel and nylon floss (I assume it’s nylon), I’ve gone to silk thread, of course on a plastic spool. ¬†Ah well, you win some you lose some.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

In practice? It was a FAIL. ¬†The thread is too thin, and it tears. ¬†And at $6.70 a spool, it’s not cheap!

Lucky I got it in a colour I like, I should be able to find a use for it.  Oh well, you have to try to know!

This week’s weigh in:

Waste weigh in on Wed 10/7/13 (total for two weeks)
Waste weigh in on Wed 10/7/13 (total for two weeks)

220g – 95g =¬†125g.¬†Not too shabby, as the bf’s nachos was made again, complete with foil chip bag & meat tray. ¬†There was also turkey & salami packaging from my road trip meal. ¬† I’m ever vigilant – in buying the salami I asked about BYO containers, and we talked about the logistics. ¬†It seems possible, but difficult. ¬†Another deli made it seem simpler, but it’s more of a walk.

Book review: The Heart Broke In by James Meek

Thanks to the blogging community, I picked up this fiction novel about betrayal (thanks Dar, at An Exacting Life, she mentions it in this post). ¬†At 550 pages, it wasn’t a short read and at times I did wonder whether it was worth finishing. ¬†Slowly the various characters lives were woven together, and as the final chapters came together, the true characters presented themselves. ¬†All this book has on it’s back cover is “Would you betray someone you love to give them what they want?” ¬†It’s a pretty chilling question, and not at all simple to answer.

source: bookoxygen.com
source: bookoxygen.com

It’s hard to explain all the characters in this story, but there’s a pair of brothers, and a brother/sister pair, and their associated families. ¬†The first brother, Alex, is a successful scientist and incredibly esoteric. ¬†His brother Dougie has become a postman, and is the family failure. ¬†The other due is a Ritchie a former music star who now produces a teen music contest for TV, and his sister Bec is a scientist looking to find a vaccine for malaria. ¬†Both these duo’s marriages and family, partners and parents are also included in the stories, which at times makes it a full house! [I’m proud to report, to regular book review readers, I remembered those character names without looking them up! My brain and name memory must be improving!]

Overall, the snippets of the book I quoted to the bf (in the closing chapters) left him saying ‘that’s one messed up book you’re reading there’, and to an extent he is right. ¬†But every life has these silent betrayals and compromises. ¬†This book touches on fidelity, blackmail, torture, forgiveness, love, lust and a sprinkle of nepotism and family feuds. ¬†I wasn’t bored whilst reading this – none of my other books got a look in whilst this was on the go, so whilst it might be murky and like a wet day in winter, you can’t help but wonder how things will turn out. ¬†I’d definitely recommend it, so long as you’re ready for a cloudy day!

Weekend away without eating out

I did have a super exciting post on retirement savings written. (Australian retirement savings are called ‘super’, so that’s a play on words). So not really ‘super exciting’. ¬†But then, I just spent the weekend in Orange, NSW about 3.5 hours from Sydney. ¬†Given that I challenged myself to no eating ‘out’ for the month, I had to be super organised!!

Firstly, the no eating out challenge is largely a financial exercise, so I didn’t reject the dinner at the wedding reception. ¬†And I gave a gift, just in case anyone thought I might be cheeky enough to truly have a ‘free meal’!

Here's everything I packed for a 'no eating out' weekend road trip
Here’s everything I packed for a ‘no eating out’ weekend road trip

We left Sydney at about 8am Saturday morning. ¬†Knowing the bf, I didn’t make breakfasts for him, but I did expect the need to stop off for coffee, repeatedly! ¬†So, within walking distance from my house, we stopped for his first cappuccino (in a keep cup!). ¬†He’s not really his charming self without a coffee, and he’s not in on the ‘no eating out’ challenge. ¬†Whilst he procured coffee, I munched on my granola parfait. ¬†That’s the fancy name for my layers of muesli (granola), yoghurt, grated carrot and frozen berries. ¬†It was a little dry, but certainly edible. ¬†I may have also sipped from the poisoned chalice of bought coffee too… I am weak. ¬†And coffee is strong!

self catered road trip
Bottom left is a breakfast parfait

For morning tea, I enjoyed a mandarin as I waited at the rest stop. ¬†For those non Australians, this rest stop involved a sturdy, new hut, with two ‘long drop’ toilets (google it for you’re game!). They kindly have picnic tables nearby but I settled for the car due to the biting wind and the smells it carried! ¬†For the bf, there was oven dried salami. ¬†It excreted so much greasy/oily muck, ewww… ¬†But it did crisp up nicely. ¬†I though the bf would enjoy it alone, but mentioned it’d be nice with cheese and crackers, so I happened so have some, and whipped them out!

Somewhere between the middle of the drive, and more open countryside, we stopped for the n’th time at a McDonalds. ¬†Mainly for the bathrooms. ¬†But also for the coffee. ¬†The bf might have broken my ‘no eating out’ rule when I succumbed to a coffee. ¬†I just didn’t want to be a sleepy/crabby lady any longer! But I didn’t pay, so maybe I’m safe on a technicality. ¬†(I did buy the bf a coffee on Friday morning, so maybe that voids the claimed technicality?)

The swanky bedroom in de Russie
The swanky bedroom in de Russie

Lunch happily coincided with our arrival at the hotel. ¬†It was lovely – if anyone wants somewhere swanky but relatively affordable (because it allows you to stay one night, rather than most places with a minimum stay of 2 nights) I’d highly recommend de Russie Suites in Orange (they are also in Mudgee). ¬†We had delicious turkey, cranberry, baby spinach and cream cheese croissants/gluten free wraps.

Turkey croissants for the bf
Turkey croissants for the bf

After the ceremony, there were some delicious hot finger food – like pork belly and gallettes (savoury crepes, which are the specialty of the region the bride is from in France). ¬†Not to be deterred though, on returning to our hotel, we had wine and cheese on crackers. Yes, I’d even made gluten free biscuits for myself! ¬†When that was all munched up, I moved onto some gluten free pear and walnut bread. ¬†And maybe some spiced nuts. ¬†Oh and some cut up carrots and capsicum.

Dried salami, candied nuts and pear and walnut bread to the left
Dried salami, candied nuts and pear and walnut bread to the left

The wedding dinner was lovely, in line with the delicious hors¬†d’oeuvres¬†after the service. ¬†The mains were lamb or pork, which is unusual. ¬†It always seems to be chicken and beef. ¬†In any case, it was tasty! And dessert was also yum – the bf and I diligently split it all down the middle – between a gingery/creamy/jelly topped something, and a caramel and chocolate tart (yes, I also ate sugar… sigh). ¬†We were surprised the wedding didn’t have a menu, so every dish was a surprise.

Sunday saw a repeat of my breakfast parfait, but the hotel provided a little breakfast pack. ¬†So from the pack, I made the bf some coffee and toast. ¬†The coffee was a start, but there were two further McDonald’s coffees on our journey – though none for me!

Sunday snack included walnuts spiced with egg whites and cinnamon, and sliced strawberries which I froze, and then thawed making them a nice soft stewed mess. ¬†There was also an apple too. ¬†Lunch was samosas, which sadly contain ‘the gluten devil’ as the bf calls it. ¬†I’m just not sure making gluten free puff pastry is worth the time! ¬†And that more of less ended the epic menu of DIY road trip food.

Now in list form

Overall, I think we succeeded. ¬†The bf remarked how ‘cheap’ the weekend had been when we were sorting out dinner on Sunday night (with a $2 DVD from the store, yes, they still exist!). ¬†He reckons he spent a grand sum of $15 on coffees, and that was it! ¬†I covered the accommodation and fuel, seeing the wedding was for my friend. ¬†I’m so thankful to the bf and his lovely car, which he did all the driving in – all the way there, between all the wedding components (including in -3.5 C with black ice!), and back to Sydney. ¬†He was also a pretty good sport about eating all my inventions! ¬†I’ll leave you with a less than ideal photo of the married couple:

Alice and Alex
Alice and Alex

So there you have it, a self catered road trip! What’s your go to snack or rest stop meal when you’re on a long car trip (or even flying)?

Bathroom trolley shelves

Some more photos in the inventory series. ¬†Today are photos of what’s on each of my bathroom cabinet’s shelves. ¬†The drawers are jam packed, as shown in this post.

Top shelf for bangles and my wooden bead necklace
Top shelf for bangles and my wooden bead necklace
Toothbrushes in service and a tea light (and a hiding jug for filling the iron)
Toothbrushes in service and a tea light (and a hiding jug for filling the iron)
Earrings and other jewellery that is better suited to not hanging in the open
Earrings and other jewellery that is better suited to not hanging in the open
Mop bucket on the bottom shelf
Mop bucket on the bottom shelf
The shelves of my bathroom storage - mainly for jewellery!
The shelves of my bathroom storage – mainly for jewellery!

There’s also a post on how I store all my jewellery¬†if you’re interested – as this isn’t all of it!

Goals Update – June

Financial

$20k $26k target by 22 Dec: On target to reach it by 21/11!
May: $16,413.13
Jun: $17,938.69 (+$1525.56)

12 in 2 adventures fund

May: $574.32
June: $898.81

Generosity target
Slower month this month, but annualised, I think I’m still doing fine. ¬†Maybe I’ll report on my hours volunteering?

Health

Cook at home twice a week:¬†Easily met, especially with the BF’s cooking mixed in

week 1 –
Dad’s graduation dinner (Sat)
Ceasear salad at BF’s (Sun)
Red Rooster (Mon)
Spag Bol with zuchini (Tue)
Garlic cheese pizza (Wed)
Chicken Ceaser Salad (Thu)
Satay pork pies, Zucchini slice & Pumpkin Pie (Fri)
Malaysian at Mamak and N2 gelato (Sat) <- my go to for out of town visitors!
Curry and Rice at parents (Sun)

week 2 –
nothing… Ice cream at vivid festival (Mon)
Oven roasted cheery tomato gnocchi (Tue) <- can I just say, I didn’t think something so easy could be so tasty! I even skip on the basil and it’s awesome
Chicken with Bombay potatos (Wed)
Zuchini slice? (Thu)
Pepperoni pizza (Fri)
Mamak again, different location and different people (Sat)
Nachoes by BF at my place (Sun)

week 3 –
Ceaser salad at BF’s (Mon)
Gnochhi with slow roasted tomatos(Tue)
McDonalds (I had a freebie) (Wed)
Gnocchi (from ricotta) (Thu)
Salt and pepper squid at the pub (Fri)
Onion tart (Sat)
Pad Se Ew (sp?) at BF’s (Sun)

week 4 –
Onion tart (Mon)
Onion tart (Tue)
Food at Coop Fundraiser (Wed)
Dominos pizza (Thu)
Nothing (some cake?) (Fri)
Gnocchi with oven dried tomatoes at BF’s (Sat) yes again!
Stew at a friends (Sun)

Sugar: Back on a good thing, but only 1 week this month

After a shock on Monday week ago (seeing my whole reflection in the mirror!), I have decided to cut sugar at least til the end of July. ¬†My loop holes are that if I bake it at home, it’s ok (like a great gluten free pear and walnut bread mmmm). ¬†Natural sugars are ok (milk, fruit). ¬†And I won’t be a Nazi – I did nibble a tiny bit of a snack Mars Bar and the BF ate the rest. ¬†Or the super good organic chocolate at the coop that someone kept offering me – with coconut sugar I think.

Train for polo:

Taking the season off.  I am pleased I got a continuous 4km run in on Wednesday and it felt a-ok.  It was relatively flat, and I only walked about 30m at a time before I started running again, so law of averages says I ran!

Cultural

2 films a month: Happily yes!

Definitely! There was the silly This is the end (which we saw with free tickets… which is the only way I’d ever suggest anyone sees this – unless you are a man who likes¬†toilet¬†humour); we also went and saw The Great Gatsby¬†and¬†The Internship which I enjoyed more than I might have expected. ¬†Technically, World War Z also came in during this month too!

2 books a month: Also a yes!

I read The World Without Us and Perfume, click the links if you missed my reviews

Social

Call/connect with an out of town friend : Achieved, gold star here

A friend from Victoria visited, so she made all the effort ūüėČ And is now a reader – yay! ¬†And at the beginning of June I went to the Gold Coast and caught up with a school friend. ¬†So two good activities with two out of town friends! Win!

Career

Certification: Bah, not so much progress :s

I’ve got my mentor to read three of the woeful 16, and updated two of them. ¬†The third one, all about ‘evaluation’ – he said what I wrote doesn’t really prove that I have this skill. ¬†He is, of course, right, but I just don’t know how to fix it! ¬†Maybe start again :s

Looking for next role: Moving along nicely

Interestingly, one has found me. ¬†I spoke to my boss a week or two ago, looking for some growth/learning areas he thought might be useful. ¬†At the same time, i told him about my career goal. ¬†A week later he called me into his office and suggested a lateral move, with the view that it will enhance my skills, and may give me some management ‘practice’. ¬†So, I think it’s a no brainer that i take it!

So the month that was June. ¬†All round, pretty good. ¬†On track with savings (and a HUGE backpay/OT/on call pay supplement this week too!). ¬†Killing it on my cultural goals, and ok on the career and social fronts. ¬†Maybe I should add ‘running’ into the health part – and keep myself a little more accountable, as I had a huge hiatus after this post.

The mess & update in the niche

I try to be zen. Decluttered. Minimal. And then, I have dirty little secrets, that I’m ashamed of. ¬†And that’s my storage niche.

See the niche, at the back there?
See the niche, at the back there?

First, I don’t like any of this being ‘out in the open’ – ie visible from other parts of my bedroom. I did buy some shutters (from the op shop, so second hand) to refashion to hide this area. They are living with a friend, who may never get around to cutting them to size. Which really should encourage me to keep this area tidy and minimal! ¬†Here’s what’s in there:

Two suitcases, the water polo bag (with gear in it), additional throw, mosquito net, blow heater
Two suitcases, the water polo bag (with gear in it), additional throw, mosquito net, blow heater
More mess - carpet offcuts and the summer rug
More mess – carpet offcuts and the summer rug. Oh and dumpster scavenged Christmas wrapping paper!
This mattress used to be under my bed, but it went back here.  I don't love it, it's a bit messy, but easier than trying to get it under my low rider bed
This mattress used to be under my bed, but it went back here. I don’t love it, it’s a bit messy, but easier than trying to get it under my low rider bed
Before: with old carpet but empty
Before: with old carpet but empty

From what’s in here, this is my ‘plan’

  • use carpet¬†off-cuts¬†to¬†re-carpet¬†the niche (it’s the old¬†beige¬†carpet, and the rest of the upstairs is grey)
  • use or lose the blow heater (deadly things that they are)
  • consider storing mozzie net and throw in linen closet (or install shelves in niche…)
  • do I need an empty box for my Le Creuset? No! Let’s get that reccyled/repurposed now the box for all gluten free flours!

Well since I’ve drafted this, I got a bee in my bonnet, and got that carpet changed! Here’s the afters!

New carpet in the niche!!
New carpet in the niche!!
Sometimes, my house is a mess! (All the stuff from the niche)
Sometimes, my house is a mess! (All the stuff from the niche)
Another view of the empty, newly carpeted niche
Another view of the empty, newly carpeted niche

Wow there was something seriously up with my camera there! Sorry for blurry/blotchy!

Now for it filled up again:

And the mattress, keeping it all 'hidden'
And the mattress, keeping it all ‘hidden’
Suitcases now on a different wall, with the throw, heater and a winter jacket to the left
Suitcases now on a different wall, with the throw, heater and a winter jacket to the left
Summer rug, wrapping paper, and some of the mattress
Summer rug, wrapping paper, and some of the mattress

Sigh. ¬†My dirty little secret. ¬†Once it’s hidden, bare bones minimal and proper organised, I’ll be content.

For now, you’ll know, not every where is show room ready… ¬†Any wizz-bang tidy up ideas? Ways to store what I more nicely?