I definitely overthink things

Electricity

I actually find myself thinking ‘I should take the stairs, and not ‘waste’ electricity on the lift’. If I’m exiting the garage on foot, I’ll opt to use the manual personnel gate, not the beeper to open the vehicle gates. I start to wonder if other people think like this…

Food waste

Yesterday, I added cheese to a dish.  I’ve stored it outside it’s original packaging, so I have no idea of it’s proposed ‘best before’ date.  It smelt strongly, but I used it.  I felt unwell later in the day.  That was the final nudge I needed to ‘waste’ this remaining segment of the block by throwing it out.

I have some prepared fish cakes in the freezer.  None of the times I’ve prepared them have I enjoyed the texture or taste.  But I cannot fathom throwing them in the bin.  I should grin and bear it – it’s food, it will sustain me.

Definitely more ambitious than what I’d prepare!

Clothing

I have two tank tops, bought in 2012, maybe earlier.  I loved the cut of them.  But they definitely wear mis-shapen and mis coloured, being lighter colours.  I kept them year on year, despite them not improving!  It was only the kick in the bottom that moving house can be, and a collection of items to give to fabric recycling at H&M that prompted me to move them on.

Errand bundling

The library I usually pick up and drop off books to, is a few blocks from a community compost bin.  Both are (relatively) close to an appointment I periodically have, as well as the local shopping centre where I can do soft plastics recycling.  I get SO annoyed with myself if I do one of the four tasks without packaging it in with another one.  It’s also now a 30 minutes walk (according to Google, I think I am a touch faster), one way.  I often end up driving.  Then I start to think… is the compost worth the fossil fuel to drive here!?

Chores

I don’t like to vacuum until after I’ve changed my sheets, as removing bedding is a sure fire way to sprinkle lint around.  What burdens my brain is trying to find an optimised chore trajectory; cause I often imagine changing the sheets will be an epic undertaking, even though it’s less than a few minutes to do!  Interestingly, I read a lot about people who have stress about washing – not once am I worried about hanging out or folding or ironing my laundry.  All those tasks are in the pleasant column for me.  Comparatively, nightly meal preparation and clean up are firmly in the ‘do I have to?’ whining column!!

Maybe hipster meals out aren’t helping things?

Meal selection

Following on from above, I don’t relish nightly meal prep.  So I try to batch cook something that will last a few meals.  When I start planning, I get bogged down in ‘best’.  What is healthy – ie includes veggies?  What limits gluten (which can inflame my skin condition).  What reheats well? Will I enjoy it?  The last question seems to loom large in my mind, which is somewhat illogical.  For seven years of schooling and some years since, my meals have been pre determined by where I live and/or work.   I haven’t always loved them, but I haven’t starved.  And I haven’t suffered much at all… And I have no qualms with the same meal for a few successive lunches or dinners (but draw the line at the same lunch and dinner for the same day…!)  I think I just need a handful of meals that meet my stringent conditions, and rotate through them.

Any of these thoughts common to you?

September Summary

A little later than I’d hoped to get this post out, but it’s better to keep note of what I did, even if not promptly!

Beautiful wedding tables became magical as evening fell and the fairy lights glowed

Culture

The big ticket item here was making an effort to see the Archibald Prize at the Gallery of NSW, which I did a post about here.  Otherwise, I went to Byron Bay for the Labor Day weekend, which made flights back to Sydney on Sunday cheaper than they might otherwise have been.  A delightful friend of me was getting married, and had the most beautiful garden wedding and reception.

I’ve taken some seeds… now for a garden!

Romance

So many dates!  I saw one guy five times, and over quite a short period of time.  But then he seemed to get really busy, so… not sure where that’s headed, but we’re meeting again soon, and I might have a better idea afterwards.

I also met with some ‘misses’.  Thankfully, for one first dates, there was enough lack of spark of chemistry that I never heard another thing from them, which avoided any awkward or uncomfortable conversations.  I did meet another guy twice, and had to let him know I didn’t see a future, but we’re content to proceed as friends and do things like bowling and kayaking.

Work 

I took a week off work after my Grandmother passed away.  The week off was a great pressure relief valve, but it wasn’t a holiday, as I became involved in packing up my Grandma’s house and preparing the funeral, including doing flowers in my Aunt’s church.  As I’d had some sick days in the past month or two, I knew I was best to take a full week and appoint someone into my role for that period of time.  My successor for that week did a great job – stayed on top of time sensitive issues and made some proactive steps in my absence, all whilst keeping me in the loop for an easy transition back into work.

I also got a chance to go to a one day conference, thanks to my boss suggesting I attend.  It was very intense, as I expected – there’s always some very specific presentations on such in depth topics.  Those topics makes me wonder how someone is paid for such detailed analysis, when my brain often breaks with the sheer quantity of day to day operational decisions.  I feel like the tempo of their work is so vastly different to mine – potentially so controlled and a level of focus which I don’t really know!

Health

Should you be wondering what F45 looks like

I was pretty good at F45.  The week I took off work, I made an effort to attend Church and F45 both days – attending to my physical and mental health.  I was actually pleasantly surprised when planning to meet my mother and aunt, that we all were structuring our meeting time to meet our hopes of working out.  It made me feel like I was in good company; with shared habits.  In other circumstances, I might have cancelled a class rather than try to adapt plans.

Bought

I had a little op shopping spree which I blogged about.  I’ve worn all the items too! The teal dress was worn to the funeral, and the white dress has been worn once and is a little too short to be overly decent… I might take mum’s suggestion and modify it to get a little more length.

Ate out

Far too much?  I didn’t track it as much, and combined with lots of dates in late September…

My friend had a birthday, so I took the day off work to spend with her.  We had brunch, browsed stores, had high tea and then a massage.  The QVB tea rooms are quite a lovely location!

QVB high tea

My friends from water polo have been great at planning and suggesting events, so we had a picnic one Saturday afternoon in Balmain, and then continued back at one person’s house, playing games.  The following weekend they went on a 14km bushwalk, which I declined…  Perhaps a shorter distance and I’ll join in!

Picnic’s view

Read

I picked up Gone Girl from a little library on the street, and I read it, and was disappointed that there was nothing to be gained between reading the novel, having watched the film.  It was a great movie, in the twists, but there wasn’t anything in the novel that the movie missed.

I also battled through A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara on a recommendation from a friend.  She was adamant I was NOT to start Gone Girl (which I picked up when I was with her) until I’d finished A Little Life, which at 700 pages, was no mean feat.  In a strange coincidence, I saw it on my parents’ shelves, right at eye level when I sit at their dinner table!  I couldn’t reconcile the unwavering friendships in the book, and I wonder if that bond came through what was lacking in the childhoods of two peers, and the loss of a child in the adoptive father.  How could a workaholic who clearly didn’t care for himself, have such solid support people, who just seemed to unrelentingly support him?

How was your September?  Can you remember?

Op Shopping Spree

I was getting bored of my wardrobe, which I curated to 30ish items at the start of August.  Of course, I didn’t blog about this, and it helped me donate a few items that kept being passed over in the winter season.  I suspect my lack of blogging about it was due to me not expecting the August decisions to last a full three months as per the Project 333 rules. It really helped me think more critically about what wasn’t included and why.

I’m in love! It’s the right level of casual summery but not so casual I feel it’s not for public wear

Anyhow, I continue to gravitate the cheap prices of thrift stores (op shops here in Australia).  I collect armfuls of items and often find half don’t fit.  But with a much more limited supply of items in any one store, I find I am more open minded to styles and colours, and give anything a chance in the fitting room.  If it fits, it can be bought.  The losses are low if it doesn’t end up fitting in my wardrobe as a star.

A dress I didn’t know I needed. I often feel I don’t have the right casual summer dresses for BBQs and social events. This will be it (if not the white one!)

Today, I started at my favourite store (Red Cross Paddington) then continued to Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul) also in Paddington, before heading to the Vinnie is Glebe as I had another errand to do there.

Teal – love. It’s a little snug in the arms, but looks great on. Good for church

I’m headed out to dinner tonight, and now I’m seriously stumped on what to wear!  It’s a great problem to have, given how ‘blah’ I was about my wardrobe choices yesterday.

Only concern is my work trousers are largely black and this is navy

And the best part?  All this for $100.  I’d be lucky to get 1.5 items at ‘new’ retail for that price.

Deep burgundy is really pretty and I have nothing ‘red’ in my wardrobe right now. And it’s SO soft
I usually ignore cream but know this could easily be an outfit with jeans and a jacket. And I love sparkles!

Which items would you add to your wardrobe?

August Summary

Church flowers – meant to look ‘flame like’ due to the patronal festival story

Culture

In the month of August, I didn’t make it to any’cultural’ events (yesterday’s post was in Septemebr). I did put two book talks into my calendar, and then got analysis paralysis.  You can purchase an annual membership and then book talks are included.  I always want to ensure I get the value for money.  Perhaps I need to ‘treat’ myself the $40 for a year – it also garner’s a discount on book purchases, but I know that’s a habit I don’t have.

I met with Mum, on her birthday, to complete two urns of flowers for the church for our ‘feast day’, St Laurence, who was burnt on a grill if I recall correctly!

Romance

After laying low one day (ie a sick day) I was starved for company and said yes to a drink nearby.  It turned into dinner and he was generous to pay for the whole event.  That being said, we were not a match.  For me, there’s one thing I’m not ‘liberal minded’ about and it’s drug use.  I’m all for them being legalised, and reducing harm.  But they aren’t for me, and they aren’t for someone I would share a life with.  So it was a lovely night out, easy conversation and no awkward follow up.

Some friends sometimes keep me ‘at home’ and we cook!

Work

Recently spending a day with a friend with a baby, who I don’t see regularly, she said ‘you’ve not been happy in your job for a while now’, and even mentioned a year!  It was shocking to have this reflected to me.  I do admit that it’s been more challenging since Easter when there were big changes in management.  I was definitely refreshed by my three week holiday in May. I took the step of telling my boss this today – he didn’t offer much reassurance.  I actually drafted a long post about work, but figured there was nothing to be shared but it did help me process and sort my thoughts a little.

Health

I seem to persistently have a niggling cough or sore throat.  I took 3.5 sick days, around what would have usually been a weekend I’d have worked, due to a huge wind storm.  One upside of the bed ridden time was seeing my weight down to my target weight (72kg), and it hasn’t stayed that low, but it was a small reward.

I have noticed that I often only need two meals in a day.  That helps reducing my eating out expenditure at least :p

In between the on again off again cold, I went to F45.  My three months is rapidly approaching, and so is water polo season.  I’m trying to decide if I do one or both.  I am intending to change water polo clubs to be closer to one closer to where I live.

Bought

New work out top selfie (after working out!)

I had set myself a weight loss reward, and I met it, so I went and purchased more work out gear.  I went planning to buy ‘a top’ and ended up with two tops and a sports bra.  Two were on sale.  I can’t even recall when I last bought a sports bra, so I’m hardly being reckless.

I also bought

  • two part epoxy to mend a glass bowl I store pegs in
  • Lush items – solid deodorant & shampoo & tooth powder
  • flights, a night’s accomodation and car hire to Byron Bay for a wedding at the end of September
  • hair cut and colour <- MY FIRST HAIR DYE EVER

I’m noticing other than the above, eating out and targeted savings, there’s nothing too interesting in my expenses: some fuel, public transit card top up, phone credit & insurance for my scooter.  I feel reassured that I’m not cluttering up my home with things,

Ate out

My friends drag me to the prettiest places (yes, sick weekend)

Oh so many times! It seems predominantly on the weekends, and almost all meals!  Thankful for a ‘sick’ weekend, but I still went out to savour some social contact! I tallied up as best I could, and it comes to about $500, and 5 a piece on b’fasts, lunches and dinners, and then some ‘drinks’ either coffees, alcohol, or dessert/cake.  I’m not sure the numbers are enough to see me start havign people over for meals – I just get such anxiety about their comfort, but also waste.

Read

The hyperlinks are to Goodreads – I don’t believe in buying books remember

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea – Barbara Derrick – incredibly well written, and given I’ve felt down on my life, it’s helped me realise how extremely comfortable and happy I am.

The Most Good You Can Do: How effective altruism is changing ideas about living ethically – Peter Singer. I didn’t finish this and couldn’t renew it as it was requested by someone else.  I did enjoy it, and it certainly further added to my analysis paralysis on career, earnings, spending and the ‘most good’.

From Sand and Ash – Amy Harmon. This was read in ONE SITTING.  This isn’t at all common for me – I was off sick, but I just loved this book.  Reading about war was interesting, especially after reading about war last month too, by Scott Turow

What was the highlight of your August?

Archibald Prize 2017

As per my 2017 goals, I’m trying to make an effort to do cultural things, that I enjoy but often pass me by.  If I’m smart, I can time my visit to the Archibald portrait prize with the weekend for complimentary tickets for people who bank with the major sponsor, ANZ.  Last year, I went a weekend late, but there’s been a black out and so they were extending the generous deal in the following weekends!  Again, I mis-timed this visit, but they did reduce the price to concession, which was a nice bonus.

This was an amazing collaboration – painted blocks by school children to make a portrait of their outgoing principal. I remember very similar wooden cubes being used in early schooling to aid counting practice.

Going to the exhibit alone, I had so many thoughts, so I started drafting this post (in notes in my phone).

Australia seems so small sometimes – none more so that attending the annual portraiture prize this year.
For example, Ahn Do is a well known comedian, whose written at least one book “the happiest refugee”, his family having migrated from Vietnam. But also, he’s more recently had a tv show where he paints portraits – usually known characters so there’s interest in the conversation as much as the outcome.  Therefore; not at all surprising one of his works is in the exhibit.
Notice the reflection. The subject is incredibly interesting in and of themself.
Then there were staid paintings, and on reading the blurbs, all dull and boring in their similarities: chairman of this board or that. Largely conservative but redeemed by philanthropy. The conservatism, politically, was actually expressed by listing the subjects family line. It just bored me. And it was a commission for one of the board he sits on. How is it that people have high executive roles 9-5 and also chair boards? It’s just not something I’m buying into.
There’s also a lot of artists painting other artists (the next picture). That figures. Like fashion designers modelling.  And then there’s pieces that I think “I saw this last year” or was it last prize, when the style remains consistent if the subject has changed.
It’s not to say the prize wasn’t without some stunning pieces but overall, there weren’t many I loved or appreciated.
Are artist couple – the artist intentionally stripped the surroundings.
Another coincidence was a stunning portrait of an old (you can surely say that of people older than a centrists?) women, a dancer and choreographer. What surprised and delighted me was that she was painted by a plastic surgeon. The juxtaposition of a wrinkly old lady by a person whose career in some part is about refining and restoring skin.
A very well executed piece of art – the subject is a 102 years old!
This was an interesting comment on souvenirs and the projection of indigenous culture onto artefacts for tourism.
One of at least two self portraits of recent mothers. This one she’s named it clown or similar, and it’s her daughter’s tutu. The other mother self portrait was… not at all to my taste.
A famous TV personality – so the TV behind her shows a reflection of her family. I didn’t realise it was a reflection until reading the children’s blurb. The red bandana’ed man was painted for the portrait prize the year prior by the same artist.
Some pieces do not seem to indicate any talent. Even any real investment of time to make something – be it thoughtful or beautiful. I wonder if that art is just someone making a joke at the expense of the gallery or the ticket buyers?
Not my favourites

The black with white writing was plastic sheeting with ‘unstirred’ house paint.  Seriously?  And the blurb was as inane.  At least the bottom right was related to Cane and Abel and a self portrait, and it seemed a little more considered at least.

In addition to the Archibald, there’s the Sulman and Wynne’s – one is indigenous art, another is landscapes.

The caption panel for this said: In my opinion it is axiomatic that if a painting requires an explanatory text it has failed. IN this particular painting, the title is specific. I certainly need someone to explain it! It was called The Arcadian repose
Related to the connections of conscious and sub conscious mind. Incredibly well done, the artist is Michael Peck
Invisibleness: this was a comment on how women of colour are both invisible and highly visible. It’s incredibly true (from my non coloured perspective). In television, mainstream film politics and art, coloured women are largely invisible. Unfamiliarity makes her highly visible in her everyday life. It’s features which are noticed and seem peculiar.

Lastly, they have (outside the exhibit) children’s contributions.  I loved the one below:

What a dad

As I expected, I’m thankful I took the time to look at this art (and then the gift store – I love museum and gallery gift stores).  It helped me think and ponder what I do and don’t like.   Do you have a favourite of the art I photographed?

Oh, and Lucinda, I couldn’t help but think of you:

Fascinating story!

Bridge Room

A friend and I decided to have a healthy month, which included her starting work outs (I’d been going F45 for about two weeks at that stage I think).  She also somehow shoehorned me into Dry July a few bottles of wine in too… And we settled on an ‘end of month’ reward being a fine dining meal at The Bridge Room.  I’m no stranger to some fancy fine dining, so of course I was in.

Rose sake cocktail

Awkwardly, I was about 30 minutes EARLY for the reservation and my friends.  So I broke Dry July with a great cocktail.  I love when you can’t taste the harshness of alcohol, and this was definitely easily drinkable!!  I did feel completely slack using my phone in a fine diner, but I was alone, and a drinks menu isn’t captivating reading for that long!

Raw fish I’d never heard of (Emperador) with smoked white eggplant
Raw wagyu shoulder

The above dish was a little tricky to cut, with the raw meat, and even the mushrooms (enoki).  This was a clearly Japanese inspired meal, but the decor was largely Scandinavian.

Murray cod cooked with butter

The puddle it’s on is black vinegar, and aged pancetta on top.  We weren’t loving seeing the translucent fat on the pancetta!

Ash grilled duck with prunes, burnt apple and canele

 

An enjoyable sweetness to this dish (and I AM a sweet tooth), but I wouldn’t say I’m a duck fan like some.  My father drools at the thought I think!

Bring on the desserts:

Whipped black sesame (not actually ice cream)

The vertical column was melon, and quite tart compared an otherwise very sweet dish.

Honey pear, burnt bread, pear butter, muscovado sugar, candied pear, lace biscuit

This was delicious, although one of our table of three missed it being served, and the habit of them explaining the dish.  A misstep for a fine dining resturant.

Petit fours

One of the fabulous things about fine dining with set menus is that ‘six courses’ was seven course with a petit fours.  So, BONUS!  There was a jelly like thing there,  and I have no recollection of what the ball was!

It has the top accolades with 3 hats, but I have to say, it didn’t feel three hats.  I’m not sure if I’m jaded in all my experience? I’m not for a minute saying it was horrible.  Just it lacked sparkle or something perhaps?

July Summary

Vera Blue – yep, second concert of hers this year I’ve been to

Culture

Zero waste events – screening of the clean bin project with a great three person panel afterwards.  Also a waste reduction talk which was a little more homegrown.  I’m so thankful for a friend I play water polo with for suggesting these, and proud all my nattering about my ways over the years have taken seed in her mind.

Caught up with a friend who lives out of town, but we went to school together.  She announced she’s got a great job ‘back’ in Melbourne, where she was until her role brought her to Newcastle.  IT feels right for her, but me too, for her to be in Melbourne.

A close friend had a birthday and quite last minute I joined our friends to axe throw! Yep, inner Sydney has a place to axe throw.  We were all equally rubbish and awesome in different rounds so there were lots of laughs and fun had.  Here’s our instructor – looks the part right?

Maniax

Right on the border of the end of the month, I went to a concert with a close friend, whose middle name is also Vera! It was my second Vera Blue show this year, and I did prefer the other venue as it was more spacious, and I didn’t experience a group of unruly men last time.  This same friend and her partner joined me for a great fancy dinner, post up next.

Romance

Brunch with a gal pal – rose water porridge. SO much awesome.

Started talking to one or two guys in a more authentic and genuine chats than recent experiences – I continue to refine my profile to include my thoughts/expectations and I think it’s weeded out some of the sorts of people who used to reach out but I found no match with. I also added or started using a different app (Bumble) as another single male friend kept mentioning it.  It’s a lot less information about people, and women must initiate conversation.  It’s not struck any gold yet.

There was someone I was very keen on lately, but realised that we weren’t a good match and it would only lead to me being very hurt later on.  I made the tough decision to stop contacting him, with a brief warning to him.  It’s been easy some days and incredibly hard other days.

Work

Agh, can we not?  Work’s been challenging.  The change is really impacting one of the team, and I take his outbursts and dissatisfaction to heart.  Many of the things that are driving him to be so angry are beyond my control and sometimes, squarely sit with decisions of my manager.  Taking it one day at a time.  Some days are better than others.

Health

Trending the right way, but life y’know

The first week I was injured with a glute strain, so I did 2 works outs at F45, Sat (injury day) and Monday and a Barre on Tuesday. After seeing a physio and giving myself a little rest, it cam good, and I got back to F45 3-4 times a week.  Barre kept being booked out when I wanted to go (or just far more challenging than before), so I decided to drop the $35 a week cost for two classes, and focus on F45 for the remainder of my 3 month trial.  This month I took on Dry July somewhat unexpectedly.  I have a friend who has a way of phrasing things like we’d already talked about it, and it’s decided.  She’s done the same with a Christmas trip to Japan, but that’s a bigger thing to be roped into!  Anyhow, I started being dry earlier than July to allow for our ‘reward’ dinner  which I’ll blog about.  Part of our goals were to both lose 4kgs.  Neither of us truly met out targets.  However, I did, in a way…  The night after our Dry July pact, I weighed myself and was 80kg.  This was uncharacteristically high and I attribute to some food poisoning.  Sometime in July I did weigh 75.7kg.  So, target met! However, I haven’t stayed that low, since going back to 77kg, and then back to under 76kg.  Late in July, I paid to have a full body analysis as part of F45, which goes beyond weight.  They explained that water retention changes throughout a month for women, so perhaps it’s that?  In any case, the body scan is repeated in eight weeks, so I’ll see how I go with that.

Bought

I like to track all the stuff that trickles into my home – cause having a streamlined or minimal home takes a watchful eye.  I did eat out and spend on food, and sometimes think I should track my eating out and keep it a little lower for financial savings, but also help my health.  Maybe a new category (and a way to share food photos I take :p) The first two dot points hardly count, as they are gifts and not staying!

  • An engagement gift, right in line with my zero waste ways and help them set up their home 🙂
  • Two gifts for hostesses – one was a plant, the other was a bunch of flowers
  • Lush tooth powder
  • Phone case – after dropping it cleaning and cracking the glass screen protector, I decided on a robust case and haven’t looked back

Read

I borrowed a book by an author I quite like, Scott Turow, but between it being large print, hard cover and a slow start, I just couldn’t get into it, and returned it rather than renewed it when it came time.  Not to be discouraged, I borrowed another Turow book to try again, as I have really enjoyed the other two I have read.

  • Money: A love story – Kate Northrup – I can’t recall how this was on my reading list.  I found it a little too meandering for my liking, so started leafing through to the activities, which were lots of journal writing.  When I did the money quiz, it was clear I had little need for reform! Actually, I thought I wasn’t tracking well in the quiz (ie not knowing my bank balance within $100s, not knowing how much I spent last month within $100) but overall, I scored sufficiently to be in the most proficient category.
  • A beginners guide to acting English – Shappi Khorsandi – I LOVED this book. I didn’t realise until I had finished the book that she’s a comedian.  It’s about her childhood and moving from Iran to England, during a very interesting time in Iran’s history.  I would now read anything she writes!
  • The most good you can do – Peter Singer – an interesting book to be reading after my post on paying off my mortgage, and in the month I received an inheritance.

How was your month?

Dave Ramsey made me wanna

So, for reasons I can no longer recall, I started to follow David Ramsey for Australians on Facebook.  I have a history of reading personal finance blogs, and whilst they often drive me insane (the content is very repetitive, and they all want to monetise… And a little ranty). This is how I’ve come to know the bible belt financial gospel guru.  Aside from books, he also has a podcast.  I do not listen to it.

I know the basics – there’s baby steps, and they are pretty darn simple and logical to me, a daugher of a banker

  1. Save a $1000 emergency fund
  2. Pay off consumer debts, start with the smallest debt and work through them.  AKA Debt snowball
  3. Save for (three to) six months of expenses
  4. Pay into your retirement fund at 15% of income
  5. Save for your children’s education
  6. PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE
  7. Spend/donate etc

That’s from memory… If I got it wrong, I’m not too fussed.  My post is about what reading all these posts have made me wonder…

How long would it take me to pay off my mortgage?

I kept turning the idea over in my head, and couldn’t work it out.  So I broke it down.

First I’d get my offset account to “fully paid up”.  For long term readers, you might recall that I go to this point with a previous lender.  I am onto my third lender – each time the fixed term component ‘matures’ I review the market and go for the lowest interest rate.  Cause..  loyalty gets you no where.  So I started with

  • ANZ (2 years, all fixed), then went to started in Dec 2011
  • Bankwest (3 years, 20% variable with offset, 80% fixed), and now I’m with
  • ING (2 years, 40% variable, 60% fixed) started in Jan 2017

When I looked at my regular ‘inputs’ to my offset account, I could work out roughly what goes in monthly, less what goes out monthly (namely, moving money out of offset to the two mortgage components), and a quarterly strata bill.  I did a calculation and found out I could do it 10 months.  Which was pretty darn close.  And then… I received an inheritance, quite unexpectedly (and I never count those sorts of things). And now I’m close to 6 months. (And I don’t plan to put all the inheritance onto the mortgage, I plan to purchase two ‘big ticket’ items which I see as heirlooms  – one is a gorgeous desk and the other is getting a ring made.  Cause… a paid of mortgage is great, but the two items will hold memories, and were things I was saving for before this unexpected windfall).  Let’s call that out – it would be January 2018! Wow.  By my birthday!

My place is NOT this pretty

And then, I looked what would happen if the same monthly amount *could* go onto the fixed mortgage month on month, knowing it can’t due to stupid rules.  That’s not the point – the point was to motivate myself with the timeline of when I could have it ALL paid off – and the answer was, that amount would take 2 years and seven months.   I was gobsmacked it was such a small duration of time.  You ‘buy’ 25 and 30 year mortgages!  And I’m talking about August 2020.

Of course, I don’t have a step 5 to fund of Dave Ramsey’s plan.  (And I’m at 12.5% +$50p/w on my retirement). And I’m at prime child rearing age, so I’d happily have this plan hijacked by having kids.  But each month I’m not pregnant (ha! I’m single!) is a month I could shoehorn some money into that mortgage and get closer to that end goal of NO MORTGAGE!

I dream of a garden like this (via)

Oh, and 2020 is a much mentioned year where I work.  Because politician Fred Nile got it written into law that if our company was sold (aka long term leased) there could be NO job reductions until 2020.  Well… provided there wasn’t an agreed forced redundancy policy introduced – and you can be sure our strong union will die fighting a forced redundancy policy.  But there’s this concept of job guarantees (when we have 3,570 employees, and Treasury did also say that could be certain types of contractors) until 2020.  And… well… No one knows where we are at relative to that magic 3,570.  To me, it doesn’t matter.  Working hard is what matters.  Take it a day at a time.  That being said, so many people say ‘well we won’t have jobs in 2020’.  I cannot think that far in front of me, there’s enough going on RIGHT NOW.  But, that some mythical 2020 is when I could have a mortgage paid off.  Imagine… I could be someone who takes in rent from my tenants (ha) and due to the rent differential, could live on the spoils.  Ha! It’s not a plan I conceive actually happening, but it’s fun to imagine!

Now every time the doom and gloom mongers say ‘2020’ I will think about having no mortgage.  What fun!

Feel free to check in, in a few months.  Who knows, I might get seduced by international travel, and adjust this back a month or two… Let’s see.

Plastic Free July 2017

I’m delighted to see friends, from different spheres of life, announcing their intentions on Plastic Free July! It warms my heart.  As this is a public blog, many of my friends know I have posted at length about my Zero Waste hopes and intentions!

So, what am I doing for Plastic Free July?

  1. Use it up challenge for moisturisers.  I have a handful of small containers (from flights or samples) of moisturiser.  I’m not a regular moisturiser user, so… there’s that! The idea is to get to one bottle, and then refill it (where, I haven’t sorted yet).
The use is up area. Notice anything Lucinda?

Ok a numbered list might have been overkill there!

Let’s revise what changes I’ve made since blogging (and for long term readers, it’s a check in and update on this post). It’s great to see progress in four years (items in italics)

This is what I have on me most days
  1. Joco glass cup for take away coffees daily, upgrading from plastic keep cups
  2. Glass bottle with silicone sleeve – a bit heavier than the steel one I lost, but pretty
  3. Bamboo cutlery – always in my handbag, to say no to single use packs.  It was a ‘gift with purchase’, which I’m thankful for 🙂
  4. Bamboo straw – a recent addition to the cutlery in my handbag.  Still mastering learning ‘when’ I might need to warn against a straw.
  5. Fold up shopping bag – also always in my handbag with 3 & 4
  6. Pyrex glass dishes with plastic lids – this removes almost all my need for cling film or similar disposable
  7. Hessian bags for grocery shopping (cough… or work out bag.  Nothing if not multi purpose)
  8. Deodorant – years ago I tried Lush and it’s so so, I also found a cardboard ‘pop top’ style deodorant, which is even poorer at odour control.  But these two are all I’m using currently
  9. Shampoo bar from Lush – I do re-use stockings with runs, to hold fragments together
  10. Lunette menstrual cup – not ideal I have two, but one seemed to cause bad smells
  11. Cotton buds with cardboard stems – so at least there’s a little less plastic
  12. Toothbrush – it’s bamboo with charcol bristles
Stylishly plastic free
  1. Bottle brushes – again, no plastic.  How often do I was my bottle? Not enough!
  2. Glass blender – I freecycled a plastic one, then bought second hand a glass one.  Small things, but all are minimal waste.

Things I need to work on:

  1. Toothpaste – or perhaps tooth powder.  I want something that works for travel as well as day to day.  So far, a powder has seemed a little ‘far gone’
  2. Conditioner – solids ones are a fail (from my trial), but I can either get a Lush bottle (you can return their containers – not clear if for refill or recycling) or refill at a bulk store
  3. Dental floss – I tried and failed with silk thread… SInce then, there’s a great company  in Germany who provide it in a glass vial, then Dental lace from the US
  4. Face wash – I have two.  One is the biggest I can get (Cetaphil) but the other was a purchase when I forgot to pack face wash
  5. Body wash – I have one that’s scented; another is an exfoliant
  6. Razors – one handle, and only replacing the head.  Perhaps when I’m through the blade heads, I should look at a plastic free option, but there’s a little fear.
  7. Freezer food – so, since I’ve been single, I’ve resulted in buying and eating meals ready-to-eat from the freezer.  They are cheap.  They have more vegetables than I’d otherwise be bothered with.  The containers are recyclable, but the soft plastic is often soiled and NOT recycled.  I’m icky that I’m this lazy.

Things that are acceptable passes for me

  1. Band aids
  2. Medication or painkillers in blister packs
  3. Ear plugs – I use them for SO long, but they are foam which isn’t recyclable
  4. Storage of bulk items (flours etc) as they aren’t heated, and 2kg of rice is heavy without ALSO storing it in glass
  5. Dish sponges – still cut in half to use one for longer. Though I could retry natural alternatives or options

Finally, some things are just building habits.  Things like:

  • preparing to grocery shop, so taking your bags
  • thinking to take a Joco cup for a coffee, or having a sit down coffee
  • storing cutlery, fabric serviette and a straw in my handbag with a fold up shopping bag
  • planning to refill certain items from a bulk store
  • planning when and where to drop off compost at community gardens with compost bins. Thankfully there’s one near the library I go to

June summary

The other day, my mobile phone recharged (yes, I’m on prepay) and I realised a month had flown by since i got back from Europe.  I spent a week or two after returning recovering from mild but lingering cold.  Work gobbled me up, however, these summary posts remind me, that’s not ALL that happened!

Culture

I started thinking I’d done nothing, but then I found photos of a band I went to with my brother.  Simon doesn’t know them, but enjoyed them, and said more than once that he couldn’t believe I like this genre of music.  Shrugs.  They sung a cover of a song I love too – a cover that they adjust the words to, and make EVEN better!

Thundamental concert – Blue Mountain’s born and bred

I also had my turn of doing flowers for the church.  There was a funeral, right after I did it, and I had requests for the colours and flowers.  I hope they were happy!  In any case, I was proud of the outcome.

Church flowers, for a funeral

Romance

We should rename this section “photos I took of food when I ate out”, because none of the following were at ‘dates’!  I’ve really slowed down from dating.  Some of this is due to focusing more on my fitness.  But also, you get fatigued with profile reading and become very judgemental.  So instead, here’s snippets of a breakfast with friends, a great cafe near my parents, so I spent the night at their house.  Actually, three Friday nights I stayed with my parents, once for the flowers, once for this brunch and once to take them to the airport on Saturday morning.

German pancakes

I have a lovely friend who I met at church who also lives locally, and when he’s in town we catch up for coffee or breakfast prior.

Thia French toast

Work

I have settled back into a groove – the week or two post holidays I was clearly revitalised and much more perky and upbeat than some around me.  It’s worn off a little, but I’ve worked long hours again this week – really trying to take some load off my team, but also preparing to hit the ground running in the new financial year with all the ambitious targets and programs.  So much so, I left work late on Friday 30th June, and was mighty angry at my boss <- it was NOT his fault, but being angry at myself was not fun :p

Health

I did  it – I joined F45.  I did a week’s trial and attended three classes, and still did my usual 2 Barre tone classes.  It’s around $580 for a 3 month membership, and I feel this is a timeline I can commit to.  I paid upfront, as I HATE automatic deductions and all the rules to cease the deductions.  And, to be totally hypocritical, I do happily pay $35 per week for two classes at Barre Body, and sometimes miss weeks due to illness.  Seems sometimes, the ‘cost per class’ I can stomach!?

I also did a special Barre class on the 30th, and was late, which was by candlelight.  I thought it would be darker, with the light dimmer more, but alas no.  Still, it was a different teacher and routine/style to usual so that was a mix up from usually doing F45 on Fridays and Barre on Saturday.

Bought

Shopping haul – pillow protectors, suction hooks, a moisture absorbing egg and candle making items
  • Candle wicks – to remake candles from leftover wax
  • Suction hooks to hang coats – sadly didn’t work on our loggia tiles, but the internal bifold glass is a winner!
  • Moisture absorbing ‘egg’ – ceramic with material inside that can be microwaved and reused!  An impulse purchase
New jacket
  • Marcs cropped Lani wool jacket – $100 off spot sale, so $179.95
  • White bra from Target
  • Wooden shelf and hardware to ‘expand’ storage in my pantry
  • Cancer council sunglasses – replacing the pair left overseas
  • Cancer council lip balm – an impulse purchase
  • Two pairs of runners – one pair for high impact, blue and pretty, one pair for lower impact, black and great for long walks
First work out done with the new runners
  • New (second hand) bed frame.  The Ikea Malm fell apart when I moved, and I made do, but it creaked and felt on it’s last legs.  I wanted a padded head so I could sit up and read, or blog.  $175!
  • The Ikea bed

    The new bed head, and the existing (hacked) ledge

Between paying for the F45 membership, and these little shopping moments, I feel quite cash poor.  Hopefully in coming weeks and months, it’ll feel better having prepaid the workouts at least.

Read

  • The bricks that built this house – Kate Tempest.  Very disappointing, I have NO idea why I read it to completion
  • Innocent – Scott Turow – a great author, I really feel like you get to know the characters but without making it long, and a compelling story that isn’t predictable.

Looking ahead to July, I hope to continue on the 5 weekly work outs, trying Dry July with a friend, and rewarding ourselves for those two feats with a fancy dinner at The Bridge Room.