Ways I ‘save’ money

Sometimes saving money is as simple as just not spending it, rather than spending less or finding a cheaper way.  There’s a number of things I notice others do, and think ‘wow, imagine how much money I’d spend if I did that/bought those?’  These things are

source: www.omnilab.com.au
source: www.omnilab.com.au
  • magazines: I never ever buy them. That’s not to say I wouldn’t LOVE to know what Kim Kardashian has done now, or the latest decorating trends.  I just can’t justify the $5-$10 for the drivel and paid advertising.  And then the ‘waste’ (even if it is all recycling).  Best I send the publishers a message by not buying them.  There’s always the library.
  • books: Whilst I have no philosophical opposition to the purchase of books, I can’t handle the clutter they create.  I’d rather borrow books from family,  friends or a library, and keep my collection concise.
  • hair colour: I’m ‘only’ 28, but I’ve never felt the need to colour my hair.  Not that I have the best natural shade, but it’s what God gave me, and it’s not too shabby!  However, until recently I also didn’t spend much money on… (Thanks to Simply Living Free for the link to My Journey to Ithaca who has so many well articulated reasons that I couldn’t agree with more)
source: www.homehaircuts.com
source: www.homehaircuts.com
  • hair cuts: up until a month ago, I would not cut my hair until I could no longer brush it – when the split ends had taken over! However, since I shaved my head (which was done for free by a friend – and raised close to $5k), I have decided to enlist a professional to help me grow it out with style.  I’m not sure the Bart Simpson look is what I want!
  • cleaning products: I planned to move into my own home and only use green products – which means I’ve never owned oven cleaner, window spray, toliet cleaner, floor cleaner, surface spray etc etc.  I do however have dishwashing liquid, vinegar, bicarb soda, soap and washing soda.  Oh and a plethora of microfibre cloths.
  • phone plan:  I’ve always bought my phones outright, and then selected my credit in the form of a prepaid or postpaid plan.  This gives me flexibility, and prepaid really helps manage costs – particularly when you add global roaming!  I’m yet to get a ‘scary’ bill, and I wear that with a badge of honour!
  • internet: I don’t have ‘internet’ at home. I use my phone for all my browsing.  Given I have internet at work, my parents and my boyfriends, I like the mental quietness of only having the internet on my small phone.  And given it’s a smart phone, there’s pretty much nothing it can’t do!
  • smoking: I have never smoked (except in a VERY realistic dream!).  I haven’t even experimented with any drugs, so this is one clear way I’ve avoided a black hole of costs!
  • gambling: I never buy a scratchie, lottery ticket or anything similar.  I even (try to) avoid being in the sweeps for ‘the race that stops a nation’ – the Melbourne Cup.

What things do you do without to save money?

“Sunday” Chit Chat

I love Carla’s blog My Half Dozen Daily, and am so sad I can’t work out how to comment.  Every Monday (in Australia) I see her Sunday chit chat post and think ‘oh no, I’m too late’.  But today, I’ve decided, nope, I’ll give it a whirl!  Here’s how it works, if you want to get involved:

For anyone new joining in this week, here are the (very loose) rules:

  1. Start your post with a favourite photo (your own, “borrowed”, etc…)
  2. Copy my ‘text’ after “your turn”, paste on your blog to start a new post.
  3. Come back and put in your info in the comment section below so everyone can see what you’ve been up to!
  4. You can also just play along in the comment section if you like!
Sushi share plate - thanks from my house guest last week.
Sushi share plate – thanks from my house guest last week.
  • Reading? The Blade Itself, by Marcus Sakey.  Thanks to some Facebook recommendations, I now a list of books to borrow from the library. I’m enjoying this book, enough to stop playing Freecell on my phone
  • Watching? Keeping in mind it’s work week time now, I’ll answer for my weekend: Gossip Girl Season 6 – which is totally confusing as I haven’t seen the end of Season 5 and people have come back from the dead?!  Also an episode of Law and Order: SVU
  • Listening to? Just the radio, so popular/indie music.  Would like to have listened to a Sunday night radio program but it’s about religion, so I’m not sure the BF would be on board to listening to it with me in the car – I should look into pod casts (and things to play said pod casts on…)
  • Cooking/baking? Sunday I made a zucchini slice for a light lunch after church.  Otherwise, I ate KFC for dinner.  Tonight it’s ‘leftovers’ as I’ll be at a meeting from 6.30pm which is my hungry, dinner eating time.
  • Happy you accomplished this week? Glad I got something baked for Church on Sunday.  And I got a lot of paperwork prepared for early April at work.  And I set myself a plan for posts…
  • Looking forward to next week?  Hmm, it is sad when I say ‘having no Saturday night plans’?  There’s still time to be booked ‘in’, but I like the idea that a lazy Saturday night might be in store.
  • Thankful for today? No Water polo training to ‘have’ to go to, as the last game of the season was last night.
  • *Bonus Question* Are you shy or outgoing? Definately outgoing – but I wouldn’t have it any other way, working with all men!

Ok, your turn!

  • Reading?
  • Watching?
  • Listening to?
  • Cooking/baking?
  • Happy you accomplished this week?
  • Looking forward to next week?
  • Thankful for today?
  • *Bonus Question* Are you shy or outgoing?

Jewellery organisation

Following on from yesterday’s post, which ended in the bathroom, I thought I would continue to show you some of the innovative storage and organisation solutions I have for my jewellrey.  Everything is stored in the bathroom, as it’s where I put on make up (and then jewellery) and where I take it off when I remove make up or shower.  The bathroom is also conveniently close to the front door, so if a last minute checks deems the need for some ‘bling’ it’s oh so close (rather than upstairs with my clothes/bedroom/wardrobe).

Earrings – Frame one

Some of my best ideas aren’t really mine! I see something out shopping, and I think, wow, I could MAKE that! I’d seen jewellery organizers made with ornate frames and the glass removed and replaced with mesh.  So one bored weekend, I raided my parents collection of surplus frames.  Given this was my first attempt, I didn’t really go for the prettiest, just one that I thought would fit all the earrings I owned.

Finding the ‘mesh’ was harder than it should have been.  See, I thought I could find something in an auto like shop – like a decorative mesh plate.  Sadly nothing seemed to suit what I was looking for.  I could also have used vent covers, as I’ve seen since on lovely blogs – but vents aren’t as common in our warm little country!  In the end, I settled for fairly rigid insect mesh! You can by this by the meter (or less) making it an affordable project.  I have enough left over that I could make another few for friends (add that to the ‘one day’ list).

Mesh earring and bracelet frame
Mesh earring and bracelet frame

I cut the mesh to size with scissors and then attempted to nail in the mesh.  It was a little a hard to hold and nail in the small recessed bit of the frame where the glass once sat flush against.  So then I tried a staple gun.  This also provided a bit of a fight, as getting the pressure for the staple meant pushing onto the mesh, and given the mesh isn’t 100% rigid, well, things didn’t always staple effectively.  Lastly, I tried some PVA glue around the edge.  IN the end, a combination of these three methods got the frame to ‘near enough is good enough’ (for me).

I quickly transferred all my earrings across.  I realised I could hang bracelets too – initially i used bent paper clips, but they weren’t standing up well! In the end, a sliced cork and a thumb tack (to hold the cork to the mess) worked a treat.  However, I soon realised that my stud earrings would be a bother to always put in, as I’d have to secure them with their backs through the mesh.  So the led me to a new solution…

Stud earrings

And then sometimes the solution to a problem comes from another problem.  My parents have a growing collections of wine corks.  So I did what any good pinterest fan would do, and I searched for projects.  There were some amazing ideas, but eventually, I stumbled onto the idea that an intact cork could happily be ‘pierced’ with my studs, without having to worry about removing and reattaching the backs.  There’s enough length on the posts so be inserted into a cork, with the backs still on.  And when I can’t be bothered with that, I just place the loose earrings in the velvet lined case, where the cork also lives.  Happy home for all the non dangley earrings.

Earring storage with rings (sorry for the sad photo)
Earring storage with rings (sorry for the sad photo)

Bangles

I wear a few bangles, but I did buy a collections of Indian bangles when I went to India a few years ago (yikes, are they noisy when you wear them all – and you shower glitter everywhere!)  Anyhow, seeing they are mostly ‘unworn’ than worn, I thought it would be nice to display them in a way that looks good (reminding me to wear them), but also keeps them neatly stacked together.  And seeing I’ve done a floristry course, I have a few vases more than your average, just sitting around.  So I decided to put one to good use!  (you can also use vases to store excess toilet rolls!).  And seeing those Indian bangles get the least wear, it’s not that inconvenient having them at the bottom!

Bangles stored in a vase - beautiful and simple
Bangles stored in a vase – beautiful and simple

Necklaces and rings – Frame two

With all my earrings safely stored, it left necklaces and rings to be equally ‘stored’ and ideally displayed in a way that would increase how often I thought to wear jewelry.  I’m an engineer, and by nature not girly, so I take some visual prompting! Spurred on my my earring frame, I thought I could do the same for necklaces, but I knew I’d need something firmer and more rigid than mesh.  And besides, how would I hold the necklaces onto the mesh?  So I asked the freecycle community for a long thin frame, something that would suit my longest necklace.  Of course, the Gods of freecycle delivered.  I decided I’d update the picture using some excess paint cards (cause of course they are in my favourite colours which happen to match the bathroom tiles).  Lastly, some small 3M hooks stuck onto the glass for each of my necklaces.  When I noticed I had some space at the bottom (and some rings that were not yet on display) I added some small hooks to include them.  I could also include my few bracelets, however, I have more space on the dangley earrings frame, so I settled with putting them there.

Re-purposed picture frame for necklaces and rings
Re-purposed picture frame for necklaces and rings

In terms of wear and tear, not everything stands up to being in a moist bathroom.  However, most of the my jewellry is from cheap stores, so I’m not too concerned about most of it.  The few real bits of jewelry are made of metals that can be cleaned and polished.

My list of banks

I have more bank accounts than is usual.  But, most are suit a practical purpose.  For those that are in semi retirement, I wonder whether I should declutter them, though they are costing me nothing and causing me no grief.

ANZ ANZ

My main financial institution in the ANZ bank.  It’s one of the ‘big 4’ in Australia.  It’s also my father’s former employer – which is how I came to have my very first account with them (that I still have to this day).

I also have my mortgage with ANZ.  I flirted with all banks when I started looking about two years ago.  I dated Heritage Building Society pretty seriously when I put in an offer for another loft apartment.  Sadly, HBS were scared of the long term commitment.  Despite pre approval, their valuation of the property (which also includes  a risk analysis of a number of factors), came back lower than what I’d offered.  The timing of my offer was around the same time I was heading to Israel and the US for a few weeks, so I didn’t have the luxury of time to move to another lender, and recommence the loan process.  It was  a shame that HBS didn’t come through, as I liked the idea of supporting a building society.

By the time I got serious again about buying, rates had changed, and a Big 4 came out looking VERY competitive.  I knew I wanted a fixed 2 year term, so it was simple to compare.  There are SO many choices in a mortgage, I intentionally narrowed the field early.  I’m well aware there are pros and cons of every loan type, and this suited me best then (and now).

I also have an E*Trade account which is ANZ’s trading account.  This was something I got into in 2009, and haven’t really actively pursued since.  I basically have an itty bitty portfolio – money I don’t miss, but know is silently sitting there, perhaps growing a little as I reinvest my dividends.

Ubank

Ubank

This is probably my preferred bank.  They make me happy! They have great online tools, their call centre is in Australia, you don’t need to spend time or energy setting up your first account with them – they use all sorts of modern identity checking methods, without making me get things signed by a justice of the peace.  They also offer tricky checks to move your money – which trip up others when their overseas, but I’m never without my Australian mobile phone,  so I’ve not had a problem to date.

I have several savings accounts with them.  I have my ‘cushion’ account – a nice way of saying it’s an emergency fund, as it will also hopefully grow to be my mortgage refinancing account at the end of this year.  I also dip into it for expenses I can’t cover with week to week pay, but aren’t regular, planned expenses.

I also have my ‘bills’ savings in another Ubank account.  There’s no cost to any of these accounts and I feel more comfortable with this ‘seperate’ from the slowly increasing ‘Cushion’ above.

Finally, I have a third Ubank account that’s currently in the black at the tune of $4.68!  It’s my former ‘holiday’ fund.  I don’t have a clear holiday plan in my head (a date or a location), so I’m not actively contributing to the account.

ING

ING Direct

More savings accounts! Before Ubank, ING Direct was the leader in the field.  At last check, they did also have better interest rates on their high interest savings accounts, but only for new customers (which I am not).  Sometimes, ‘new money’ qualifies, but not this time.  I don’t mind ING, but it’s all about interest in these accounts.  And I don’t think I’ve EVER had to call them, so that is a bonus in my book.

I have two accounts with them.  The first is for ‘Health Insurance’.  I think I thought I should utilise this bank, seeing I had active accounts.  Hardly logically, but still.  I put away money every week for my annual health insurance premium.  I prefer to pay annually than await the direct withdrawal weekly or monthly from the health fund.  At least this way, I’m in control!

The second account has 50c.  I could close this account.  Perhaps I will.  I have now

Bankwest

Bankwest

When I grew up (hahaha) and was moving to France for a year in 2006, I thought it would be worthwhile to have a credit card for emergencies.  I found the cheapest card (ie no annual fees) that offered a competitive interest rate (at least when I was applying).  I applied, with bated breath, as I was a student with a variable, casual job – so my ‘salary’ wasn’t easy to ascertain.  Interestingly, the bank did NOT reject me (as ANZ would have, based on their policies).  I’ve not had any emergencies, but do use the card to tide me between pays, or buy a great deal on an airfare.  I don’t think I’ve ever paid interest!

I also have two one savings accounts with Bankwest – one with 46c and 51c each.  A legacy from times where i would use ING and Bankwest to leverage their ‘introductory’ offers to ‘new deposits’.  Seems like I could declutter these two as well.

I love that when I rang, there was no ‘press this number for this’ and I got right onto a real person.

28degrees

28degrees (GE Capital)

My newest ‘bank’ was for a credit card that offers no foreign transaction fees.  I used this as my sole ‘money’ whilst in Dubai/Morocco/France last year.  I was happy with being able to withdraw as a cash advance at no cost with the positively loaded card.  My only disappointment was the delay on showing transactions on it’s website.  Given this lack of functionality, I won’t give up my other credit card, and this card will be left solely for travel (or, if the other card gets stolen with the cash card).

BNP

BNParibas

I still maintain an everyday transaction account with this French bank, from when I lived there in 2006.  The charge an annual fee – my only account to do this.  And I’m willing to pay it, knowing HOW hard it was to GET the account (France is chicken and egg with accommodation and bank accounts – you need one for the other).  I plan to move back to France one day, so this account lingers.  I love that it accesses real money but it’s also a ‘credit’ card at least for booking stuff online.  So modern – this sort of functionality didn’t happen in Australia in 2006!

In summary I have

– 1 mortgage

– 2 credit cards

– 2 ‘everyday’ banking accounts (with cards and direct access to money)

– 1 trading account

7 5 savings accounts

13  11 ACCOUNTS across 6 banks! No wonder I sometimes confuse my passwords. I think this list has made me realise I can cull at least two savings accounts (one each at Bankwest and ING), if not more!

And that’s just what I did – no sense talking about it.  I just did it.  It was so simple as well – just rang both banks.  I think it took more time to ID me than to close the accounts!

Bucket list

First time here? This list started in Feb 2013, and has been a work in progress since – adding items as often as completing items.

This was updated in Jan 2014, to include more details 🙂 I periodically update this, most recently late March 2016! Feb 2017, where I’d done 26 from 65 listed… though a good 10 or so were recently added.

Thanks to Danny Dover, I have a longer bucket list!  I won’t set a deadline though!  And the list isn’t in a priority order either.

Travel

1. Visit every continent (Completed: Australia, Asia, Europe, Middle East – need South America & Antarctica)
2. See Machu Picchu (to think my brother just did this Jan 2014!)
3. See Aurora Borealis (maybe in an igloo?)
4. Visit tulip fields in The Netherlands
5. Go to the super bowl
6. See Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (could do it with the bro in 2014, but alas, I realise I don’t love crowds and big parties, so maybe another time)
7. Go to Burning Man, Black Rock desert, Nevada USA
8. Go to (the original) Mardi Gras in New Orleans
9. Visit The Maldives
10. Visit Russia – see the St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, the Bronze horseman, the summer and winter palace  Aug 2016
11. Visit Serbia/Croatia/Bosnia/Romania – sail in Croatia, see where Romanian gymnasts train, visit Sarajevo, Split, Dubrovnik, Belgrade Aug 2016
12. Visit Mauritius
13. Visit Ethiopia – the birthplace of my cousin/god daughter
14. Visit Oradour-sur-Glane, France – a town annihilated by Germans by torching – May 2017
15. Spend Christmas or Thanksgiving in the US
16. Visit Vietnam/Cambodia Oct 2013
17. Visit Scandinavia (no more exact than that yet!) – likely Norway to see friends, definitely go to Iceland (2016 addition)
18. Fly FIRST class – maybe Emirates where I can shower?
19. Stay in Igloo Village – and see the Northern lights
20. Stay in a tree house
21. Live in NYC
22. Ride the bullet train in Japan Jul 2014
23. Visit San Francisco – see the Golden Gate Bridge Jan 2015

Activities (that aren’t location specific)

24. Go zorbing (all the blue things are on my 12 in 2 list!) Apr 2015
25. Get hypnotised (ideally to solve a bad habit!) done 2015/16
26. Ride a segway planned Aug 2016
27. Drive on a race track
28. Go on a ‘big boat’ style cruise (maybe in retirement)
29. Fly on a trapeze June 2015
30. Swim with dolphins in NATURE (not in Dubai…:s)
31. Watch a movie at a drive in (if they still exist!)
32. Go jet skiing  (on the 12 in 2 list) Dec 2013 and I saw dolphins
33. Get my palm read/fortune told
34. Make a gingerbread house Dec 2013
35. Get body painted for an event
36. Go cave diving <- went canyoning and walked in caves in March 2016
37. Be part of a flash mob (thanks Moonwave for the tip!)
38. Complete a half marathon  July 2014
39. Learn the name and location of all the countries in Africa
40. Own a cello for purely decorative purposes (though I do know how to play, as does my bf..)
41. Own a luxury European vehicle (BMW, Audi or Mercedes)
42. Write my will
43. Prepay and plan my funeral
44. Learn to surf Jan 2015 wouldn’t say I ‘learnt’ but ‘tried’
45. Build a bonfire and make S’mores
46. Pay for someone else’s groceries (I LOVE this one, thanks www.lifed.com) Jun 2013
47. Go to a silent retreat
48. Go white water rafting – real rapids, not the ones we built in Sydney for the Olympics
49. Join the MHC
50. Get married (before the children)
51. Have children (thinking 3, BF thinks 2, so compromise is 2 unless 2 the same gender, or twins)
52. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge June 2014

Newer items (Jan 2014)

52. Visit Portland, Oregon2015 go to the donut place, eat at places mentioned here, shop and eat here.
53. Go zipling2015 did it in Phuket
54. Go stand up paddle boarding
55. Pay off my mortgage
56. Fully fund my retirement
57. A home with a passionfruit vine, a frangipani tree, a magnolia grandiflora… and a vegie patch.
58. Reiki massage 2015

(April 2015)

59. Try kite surfing
60. Try a pilates reformer
61. Try barre body classes (ballet with yoga/exercise) Jan 2016
62. Zero Gravity yoga 2015
63. Go floating 2015
64. Hot stone massage 2015
65. Go gliding June 2016

Remember, not in any priority order 😉

Completed Bucket List items

Adventure

– Hot air balloon (Dubai 2012)

Hot air ballooning
– Hang glide (fixed – Tasmania, freely – Wollongong 2011?)
– Sky dive (Wollongong 2010?)
– Helicopter ride (New York City 2011)
– Bungee jumping (really a canyon swing, but similar and less impact on the body 2005)
Go gliding June 2016
– Go zorbing (all the blue things are on my 12 in 2 list!) Apr 2015
– Get hypnotised (ideally to solve a bad habit!) done 2015/16
– Ride a segway planned Aug 2016
– Fly on a trapeze June 2015
– Go jet skiing  (on the 12 in 2 list) Dec 2013 and I saw dolphins
– Go cave diving <- went canyoning and walked in caves in March 2016
– Go white water rafting – real rapids, not the ones we built in Sydney for the Olympics
– Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge June 2014
– Go zipling – 2015 did it in Phuket

– parasailing

– ride an ATV

‘Education’

– Get a floristry certification 2009

Wedding flowes
Flowers for a friend’s wedding

– Get a motorcycle licence (for a scooter) 2009
– Learn to play cello 1995-2002
– Learn to play trombone 2001-2002
44. Learn to surf Jan 2015 wouldn’t say I ‘learnt’ but ‘tried’

Travel

I’m lucky to have nomadic, travel loving parents, so up until 2005, they covered the cost. 2006 was on my own dime. India was at their inspiration. I have left off some of the smaller European destinations (BE-LUX – NE made it in, Andorra)

– Visit New Caledonia – 1988?
– Visit Tokyo (overnight) – 1992 & Japan 2015
– See the Statue of Liberty – first in 1992
– Visit Hong Kong – 1993
– See the Eiffel Tower – first time in 1993
– Live in France – 1993 & 2006
– Visit Barcelona – 1993
– Live in Vanuatu – 1995-1998 (went to boarding school in Brisbane)
– Visit Auckland NZ – 1995/6?
– Visit Bangkok – first in 1996? (my parents LOVE the place!)
– Visit Laos – 2004?
– Visit New Orleans – ?? 1997?
– See the Colosseum – 2006
– Visit Prague – 2006
– See the Pyramids – 2006
– Visit Venice – 2006
– Visited concentration camps (Aushwitz) – 2006
– Visit Singapore (overnight) – 2008
– Visit Germany – 2008
– See the Taj Mahal – 2008
– Visit Cuba – 2009
– Visit Canada (Montreal) – 2009
– Visit Bahamas – 2009
– Sail the Greek Isles – 2010
– Visit Amsterdam – 2010
– Visit Chicago – Summer 2011 & Winter 2016
– Visit Israel – 2011
– Visit Dubai – 2012
– Visit Morocco – 2012
– Visit all major Australian Captials (Brisbane – birthplace, Sydney – current home, the most recent ones were Alice Springs/Ayres Rock in 2011, Adelaide in 2009, Perth in 2011, Hobart in 2009.  Darwin ain’t major… so not been there yet!)

– Visit Portland, Oregon – 2015 go to the donut place, eat at places mentioned here, shop and eat here.
– Visit San Fransisco – see the Golden Gate Bridge Jan 2015 & Feb 2016
– Visit Russia – see the St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, the Bronze horseman, Aug 2016
– Visit Bosnia/Romania – visit Sarajevo Aug 2016
Visit Vietnam Oct 2013
– Ride the bullet train in Japan Jul 2014

Experience

– Attend Olympic Games – 2000 for water polo (which I still play, and in the SAME Sydney Olympic pool!) and volleyball (which I did play)
– See penguins in the wild – 2005

– See the Tour de France live  – 2006
– Fly business class long haul (one way Paris – Dubai – Sydney)

Business class

– Go paint balling
– Try acupuncture (regularly!)

– Try cupping
– Donate Blood
– Swim in the dead sea
– Visit Disneyland (Euro in 1994 and US style in 1996 I think)
– 100% debt free (credit card debt) – I never really wasn’t though!
– Go skinny dipping (we had a back yard pool as kids)
– Learnt to use chop sticks (enforced from a young age!)
– See Cirque du Soleil Show
– Order room service (ah, work trips!)
– Make a gingerbread house Dec 2013
– Try a pilates reformer
– Complete a half marathon  July 2014
– Try barre body classes (ballet with yoga/exercise) Jan 2016
– Zero Gravity yoga 2015
– Go floating 2015
– Hot stone massage 2015
– Go stand up paddle boarding
– Reiki massage 2015
-Pay for someone else’s groceries (I LOVE this one, thanks www.lifed.com) Jun 2013

– Get a fish pedicure

Stuff

– Buy a scooter – 2010
– Buy an (gorgeous) loft apartment by myself – Dec 2011!
– Own a luxury European vehicle (BMW, Audi or Mercedes)

12 in 2 list

Extra Organised is a blog I used to read, lost and have refound…  As is often the case, other people’s posts inspire my own, and so without further ado, I shall too make a list of 12 goals to achieve in 2 years.  I have linked above to her specific post.  Sadly for me I can’t comment on this blog (or any typepad blogs) which makes me sad, but hopefully the link will alert her to my interest!

1. Dinner at Quay – done in January for my birthday.  They have the menu online so you can all ooo and ahhh

2. Dinner at Aria – next birthday seems like a good idea!

3. Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb – might just happen this month with a Norwegian friend in town.  Otherwise, the BF and parents are getting sick of it being on the gift list so…

Source: http://www.bridgeclimb.com/
Source: http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

4. Go jet skiing

5. Go Zorbing (likely on the Gold Coast) The Gold Coast site shut up shop, so to NZ it might be!

6. Visit Lexi in NZ – if I don’t put this on a list, I know I won’t make it a priority.  And NZ is oh so close to Sydney, I’m not sure why I can’t just DO IT!

7. Do a knife skills course – for cooking of course

8. Learn to surf – I have a friend who seems to be into the idea of doing a camp style adventure!

9. Read the new testament – thought I’d down grade from ‘whole bible’.  I want to ACHIEVE these goals not get down that they are too hard! See my progress

10. Go on a silent retreat – people who know me will wonder.  A friend has done it, so I have an ‘in’

11. Run a half marathon – this is really putting it out there! Anything that’s money based, I seem to have the commitment, but health and fitness, not so much! (Update 1)

12. Plan and prepay my funeral – morbid, but then people call these bucket lists!

To be honest, I struggled with this list.  I feel like I have to have achievable goals.  Things I can actually DO!  Some of my goals aren’t that short term… some are just having stuff (silliness personified!)  And travel destinations (whilst I have one or two) don’t really excite me the way I wish they coulda/shoulda/woulda.  It helps that I’ve been privileged to tick off so many travel based goals I see on other bucket lists – maybe I’ll post of all the bucket style stuff I have already done?

What’s your 12 in 2?

Make a list of house projects – January Cure @ Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy dropped off my radar (probably the n’th time Chrome lost all my bookmarks to be honest) but now that I have re-found it, I’m oh so delighted for their January theme!  Day 1 was Make a list of projects

Well you don’t need to tell this girl twice!  But I thought I might share January 2012’s list, then May 2012’s list and today’s list.  Anything with a ? following it isn’t a definite project, just a thought.  Oh and I’ve listed from recent to less recent lists.  I’d hoped to get some more photos of finished projects, but no such luck.

Today’s list (Jan 2012)

Entry:

– Empty out box (which means I’ve DONE Day 2 of the cure!)

– Tidy/declutter drawers

– Tidy/declutter shelves

– Install small ledges for displaying things ?

Bathroom

– Regrout corners

– Get bath resurfacing fixed

Kitchen/Dining

– Open shelf lighting?

– Pantry lighting?

– Wall art

Living room

– Frosting on the windows

– Replace blinds ?

– Sliding Screen door

Bedroom

– nothing!

Niche

– recarpet?

– complete ‘hide the niche’ project

May 2011

I did this in a matrix form – with four boxes – hard and easy, and cheap or $$.  I thought this would give me a better ‘balance’ on what to do, so I didn’t feel like I was leaking money, but still moving forward.

Easy & Cheap

Recolour damaged dining chair legs (easy, just found the product, bought it, rubbed it on)

– New toilet roll holder (it was old and dingey like my soap dish) (impossible to find ‘new’ toliet roll holders that have two mounting points like my existing one – project abandoned)

– New wardrobe handles (why would I have no standard spaced handles? All handles are 96mm apart (from hole to hole), and mine… are 100mm.  I don’t want more holes in my wardrobe that much, so again, abandoned)

Easy & Pricey

– Window screens (in the last month, so Dec, I DIY’ed on for the hopper window.  But I would still like a sliding screen door for the balcony door.  These mosquitoes are KILLING me!)

– New roller blinds (not even attempted)

Rug for living room (This was soon after accomplished, once I found the rug, it was just expenditure!)

– Wine rack (the search continues… the only one I like is this one… all the way in the US)

Hard & Cheap

– Window film (have been in contact for a quote, waiting to hear back now that we’re in the new year)

Perspex sofa arms (Pricier than first expected, so I only got one fabricated, at about $60, but it’s great to have a stable place for a wine glass/plate/laptop or pad of paper.  So pleased I did this)

– Shelves to cover niche (ah… well now there’s not shelves, but a shutter.  But it’s not totally screened yet :s)

Fix damaged corner on ottoman (This was EASY once I got all I needed from the hardware store!)

– Recarpet niche (no movement on this one – seems I lost the carpeter’s number from last year, and finding a handy man for such a small job, impossible.  Carpet comes from mega companies and their minions install it… sigh!)

Hard & Pricey

Curtains in bedroom (really not all THAT pricey – Ikea’s Kvartal system, and existing curtains.  This took so long to get done as I needed to await YHL’s favourite gauzy curtain, the Vivan, to come back in stock.  Then I needed one more velvet curtain, but alas when Ikea got them back in stock they were a different colour and style.  So then I have worked around.

Before
Before
The velvet curtains from my flatting days have returned!
The velvet curtains from my flatting days have returned!

Bed ledge (again, not as $$ as I thought, with a $50 second hand bed and the right hardware and Mr DIY, it was DONE – here’s the post on how!)

The final product
The final product

Bath resurfacing (This was a case of book, and do.  And be disappointed.  It’s just not bright white.  Or smooth)

Install new taps (Just a case of getting the coin together and booking a plumber and a day off – all coincidently the same day as I met a lovely blogger, Colleen Marsden from www.365lessthings.com)

Display Hermes scarf (This was a drawn out process, to draw out the cost (ie the framing cost more than the scarf, which was a graduation gift, but getting no wear.  Then operation ‘hang’ – cause it was 10kg with perspex.  Last thing I want is something falling off my wall!)

Safely on the wall (and horrible lighting...)
Safely on the wall (and horrible lighting…)
The scarf in context (complete with Mr DIY's back!)
The scarf in context (complete with Mr DIY’s back!)

Find side table for living room (A closing down antique store I drove past during work one day had just what I needed.  It was $50 I was told.  I was SO pleased to find the $275 sticker when I got home.  See the business was closing down and the caretaker just wanted to move stuff, and we couldn’t find a price on it at the store.  So yay for solid wood, non ikea AND a great steal!)

– Bird cage display (yep, still on the current list – not done)

Jan 2011

Living Room

Choose couches (oh I love these beasts, every time I see them in an ad, I think, wow that’s a LOVELY sofa – and it’s like sitting on a cloud or a hug)

Choose lights and placement (went for an Ikea Maskros PS which I love, and just recently inspired a friend to buy the smaller option)

Choose paint colour (and style – like stripes?) (stripes just seemed too hard, so just went for an all over yellow tinted white, to lighten up my dark apartment)

Choose rug (this took FOREVER as Australia doesn’t really do geometrics, which is all I pined for and saw in the US.  In the end, Ikea came through, in blue tones that I love.  Sad to see it $200 off in the latest sales though)

Collect TV (thanks to friends who have three for two people!)

– Hang or install shelves to display birdcages (still lingering in my mind, but instead of 7 ornamental birdcages, I now have three, so it’s more manageable, but less impactful)

– Steam clean dining chairs (never happened – did try some spot cleaning with isopropyl alcohol)

Kitchen

– Where to store Kitchenaid/grater (wow, big fish to fry – in one of my underutilised cupboards…)

Buy microwave (again, just confirm measurement, and ORDER – simple, and slots into allotted cupboard well (even if I did remove have to remove the door to get the microwave past the hinges!))

Design lighting scheme (thank goodness for being able to see if a dish is clean whilst washing up – this was an amazing project to get finished!)

Fix stove knob (multi stage drama – new knobs didn’t cut it, I also needed a new post, which came with a new regulator.  And then the new knobs didn’t fit on new post properly (so the new knob sits higher than the others.  I’ve ‘settled’ for this – it’s all functional)

Bathroom

Buy washing machine (this was early days – I just needed to decide on brand etc, and order)

Replace damaged tiles (Impossible to find the matching colour, so now have three ‘feature’ mosaic tiles, and they look great.  Admittedly, they aren’t flush cause it was too hard to get the old adhesive and grout out of such a small space without risking more damage.  And then the new tile adhesive/grout combo was stark white, where all the other grout was greyed.  Enter ‘re-grout bathroom entirely’ project, commenced at 9pm one night when work calls meant I was locked out of a concert.  Wow, what a night that was!)

New soap dish (for old scummy uncleanable one) (Such a simple fix!)

Buy new taps (Thanks Aldi, $50 per set was a GREAT deal)

– Build in shelves or a rail (went for a rail option – with tension.  Meant no scary drilling of tiles)

– Mount iron and ironing board (abanonded, turned out to be a bit of effort for little gain – I tuck the ironing board into the space between shelves and the wall, and the iron sits on said shelves)

– Resurface bath (what a shmoozle – did it in July, but entirely unhappy with the colour, texture etc and have followed up with the company, still waiting to hear back after the Christmas holidays)

Bedroom

– Beside tables? (dreamt up a bedhead/ledge idea, and continued to use the cardboard storage boxes used for years prior!)

Paint colours and style (went for the same as the rest of the place)

– Try storing books on railing (nope, they’d fall, and they look untidy to me)

– Shelves to cover niche? (went with some shutters I found in the Op Shop up the road)

– Curtain divider (oh, man alive, does this make SUCH a difference to my sleep… but also impeded the hot air of the loft bedroom escaping.  Not that I regret this decision!)

Plumber

– Install new tapware (it happened – and then I felt flat, as it seemed the last ‘big job’ on my list!)

– Drippy sink fix (yes, though with two unprofessional attempts and two professional attempts!)

– Attach washing machine (are they required? No they weren’t)

– Install garbage disposal? (nope, decided against this with just one sink)

Electrician

– Powerpoint near entry (no can do – just too hard!)

– Rafters light in kitchen (semi solution for the kitchen part of rafters area)

– See if old kitchen light location usable (nope, it wasn’t 🙁 )

– Install pendant in either living or dining room (in the end, I got both!)