Friday, October 31, 2008

NaBloPoMo and Fiscal Fast

I thought that I would try and combine two things that are interesting to me into one interesting thing to keep me entertained this November.


What is That - you may ask??? Simply put - November is National Blog Posting Month. The concept is that you post a blog post every single day for the month of November.

Harder than it seems BUT I figure if I combine it with my money thrifting / Stop food wastage challenge - then it may not be quite so difficult.


The rules for the Money Thrifting Challenge are as follows (kindly borrowed and adapted from The Shopping Sherpa):

Please note: these are the rules (guidelines?) I feel comfortable with. If you fancy playing along you can use these or make up a set of your own that you feel comfortable with...

During the duration of the Fiscal Fast I can only spend money on the following:

1. Groceries. Planned out and purchased on the fortnightly shop. Fruit and vegetables only may be purchased at other times throughout the fortnight - although attempting to limit to 2 extra shops. Anything over and above this will be posted in green.

2. Bills that come due: electricity, gas, phone, insurance, internet etc.

3. Baby related items that are on the list. See previous post.

4. I am allowed one "Get out of jail free" card per week.

5. Medicine related items. This does not include Lipstick, mascara etc etc...

In terms of entertaining, it is permissible for me to cook dinner for friends and have them bring wine, nibbles or dessert as this is what usually happens when I have a dinner party. Not permissible is expecting friends (or strangers!) to pay for my dinner, tickets to things or buy me chocolate or wine just because I've decided to do this challenge

Seeing as this is the first time I have attempted something along these lines I believe that the rules may need to be altered or added to along the way to account for essential things that I may have forgotten right now.


- Eating out, getting takeaway coffee etc
- Making frivolous shopping purchases because I can
- Paying for parking

I will dilligently write down how thrifty I have been each day and how much money I have spent each day. I will keep a tally in the side bar to see how I am going.. updating on a Sunday.

I'm scared. Tomorrow it begins.

Daily Categories:
Morning tea:
Afternoon Tea:
Finished Today:
Spent today:

Over it... glad it is Friday

I am entirely over work today. This place can be incredibly inefficient and some of their timings, processes and protocols just make it worse.

I am sick of standing up and sitting down again 100 times in a day and my back hurts.

Nothing I can really do about it because this is the most stalwarted opposing change work place I have ever worked in.

I want a portal to the 'old world' so I could make them see how hard they all work without really having to.

It is days like these that I really don't fee bad about counting down the weeks until I go on maternity leave. I am positive that raising a baby (Despite the sleepless nights) will be more rewarding than my job is some days.

Silly beauracratic place that it is.....

Anyway - that is enough of my rant- On to more interesting things.


I recently came across an interesting thing in Notebook magazine about reducing food waste.

This is something that really interested me because I really really hate throwing out food - that had we been a little more thrifty with using it up in the first place or simply cooked less in the first place - we wouldn't be throwing it out at all.

I have always been one for recipie/menu planning but I think that I would like to make a more concerted effort to only buy and consume what we need - and hopefully spend less money in the process.

I think it really just comes down to being a little more conscious of eactly what is available in the cupboard and fridge at home and trying to use those things to make a dish - instead of going out to the shops to get just one or two things and then coming home with three grocery bags worth of shopping. I am very guilty of that one.

One blogger who is extremely good at this concept is The Shopping Sherpa. This lady (Who happens to be from Canberra) - I love looking back over her blog to see what she has done simply with what shes got in the house. She only really does it full on for 1 month per year and I am contemplating taking up the challenge.

I know that I will need to get better at keeping the pantry basics list and the freezer stock up to date - but hey - all I can do is have a go!

I am off to a good start today at least.

- I used up the last of the raisin bread (Including a crust) for breakfast and made my coffee in the plunger at home (Saving $5.70 at the work Cafe in the process).

- I had half a can of fruit and the end of a tub of jalna yoghurt for morning tea.

- Leftover Beef Stroganoff and the remains of a packet of brown rice for lunch.

- A museli bar for afternoon tea.

and well..... tonight is Laksa night ($10 - a once a fortnight treat)

So - total spent today $13.00 on Laksa and a drink.

Absent mindedness

To be honest I have felt pretty normal throughout my pregnancy when it comes to forgetfulness. I haven't had too many problems at all.

Although I did something funny the other day that I thought I would share.

We had turkish pizza on Monday night with some pide bread and Beetroot dip.

On Tuesday afternoon I got the dip out and the bread out and had a bit of a snack.

Once I was done, I put it away and got on with the afternoon.

When Mark came home from work he wanted some bread and dip and he asked me where the dip had gone or whether I had eaten it all. I said "no no I didn't eat it all - I put it back in the fridge". He replies... "nope - not there".

I said yes it is - I only put it back an hour ago. So off I go to the fridge to prove him wrong - only it wasn't there. Hmmmnnn....

Just out of interest I had a peek in the freezer.....

Sure enough there is the dip - on the top shelf of the freezer. Only slightly frozen but our freezer is pretty good so it was a bit ice cream like.

Mmmnnnn.... Beetroot dip ice cream....Yum!

I found it rather amusing......Mark however, did not. LOL.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The most hated word in my dictionary

isn't what you might imagine....

No no - it is a much simpler word that when I try to apply it and stick to it I get slowly driven insane.

What could possibly do this you might ask????

The simple word BUDGET.

I hate them witha passion and would much rather just live and spend my money as I please within reason. I kind of have what I like to think of as guidelines instead. My money gets sectioned up and a portion goes here and a portion goes there. The second I refer to it as a budget I almost get cold sweats and go on a spending spree like you wouldn't imagine.

The problem is - that next year I am going to be earning MUCH much less than what I do presently and this is going to force a major alteration in my spending habits.

mark and I have been talking about this tonight and I can already feel the tingles of panic welling. When I feel like I am not going to have the money to do what I want to do - quite simply I get a bit paniky.

I feel as though I need to begin to get over this little hurdle in the coming months and now is as good a time as any to start.
I know the things that I am going to want to put money towards once my income is reduced so I think I need to start the thinking off now - simply so that I dont freak out entirely when it is forced on me in February.

Soo.... I guess there will be no more spur of the moment Pedicures for me ......

Time to engage the brain to start creating the patterns it will need to feel normal.

It sucks but it is life and life wasn't meant to be easy 100% of the time.

That was a pep talk in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I took yesterday off work because I really wasn't feeling up to it - both physically and mentally - and I had an RDO today so I have spent the majority of thepast two days at home lying down - doing very little. It feels really good actually to not be out and about rushing around and I should remind myself to stay at home and rest more often I think.

Forced relaxation is essential sometimes and I know for one that I am already feeling much better for it. Both in terms of clarity in my mind and in how I feel physically.

I don't actually get tired as such. In fact I still feel as though I have as much enery as I normally would - I think it is just that sometimes tasks seem so much more difficult than they really are.

I was thinking yesterday about schedules and routines and how important it will be to give myself one when I am not working - simply so that I don't go mental. I know that it will be different with a baby but I can't let myself get out of the habit of good routines just because I don't have that one big fixed one of going to work each day. Perhaps I will have to make the daily exercise routine equivalent to going to work in my mind. The gym that I am looking to join is having an open day this Saturday so I am going to go along and check it out. I know that they don't have Les Mills classes - which means no RPM and that it a big deciding factor for me - I also need to see from what age they take babies in their childcare facility. There is a fitness first which is a little bit further away but it may work out being more convenient if their childcare facility is better.

Righto - I am off to make beef stroganoff for dinner which we are having with steamed broccolini and green beans. Mmmmnnnn..........

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary to my darling husband.

I really cannot believe that it has bee 1 year. Last night we sat reminiscing about how different things were this time last year. It has certainly been one very hectic and busy year and we are hoping that after the baby is born that things start to settle down a little bit. I am probably dreaming right!

Officialy 6 months pregnant this week - I am starting to count down the weeks now - is that bad? I think I am actually just counting the weeks until I finish up at work! 13 and counting. LOL

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Right now I am very happy that I have a woreless USB because it turns out that the telephone cabeling in our house is stuffed and we cannot access our newly connected ADSL2+ high speed internet connection, nor our newly connected VOIP phone line.

V. Frustrating!

Have been shopping today and Mark bought 'us' an anniversary present - get ready for it because it is realy romantic!

A new vacuum cleaner - Yaaaaayyyyyy....

I am actually pretty happy about it because the carpet here appears to need vacuuming at least twice per week.

He did do the right thing however and bought us a dyson - like this:

So now we will have clean floors!

I also went and did some baby shopping and bought the following:

A Baby Jogger City Elite pram - this little baby is going to be my best friend I think!

A Tetra Snuggle bed. These are designed to allow bubs to go straight into the cot and feel all snug and protected. There is a line of thinking that says if bub can go into the cot from the very start that they never get used to having something different. Hence, changing from the bassinet to the cot doesn't freak them out because they don't have to do it. I'm willing to give it a go! Our bedroom is right beside the baby's room and I am happy to have him in his own room right from the start.

AND - you may wonder what this strange looking contraption is! It is actually a change mat to sit on top of the change table BUT the material it is made from allows it to be stable on any surface - so you can put it on a bed for example. It also is Very easy to clean and doesn't need to be covered with something fabric that will require washing. Although I am goingto have some cloth nappies on hand to put under bubs when I am changing him. Plus it is a little bit cute. I got the blue one.

So the list of things to get is slowly getting smaller. Just a trip to Ikea to go now and the rest is pretty much small things which I am going to keep an eye out for Kmart, Target, Big W sales on Baby things.

These are the things I have left to get:

  • Linen - I have been give a few things but I need 3 more sets of cot sheets, a few more wraps and blankets and some towels for bathtime.
  • Breast pump - I am going to get the Avent Isis manual pump (and I am sure you all wanted to know that!)
  • Stereliser and cleaning equipment
  • BPA (Bisphenol-A) Free Bottles for giving expressed milk top ups.
  • A safe- n-sound car seat
  • A Nappy Bag (I am going to spoil myself and buy the Oroton one in the after christmas sales)
  • Pram Rain and Shade covers
  • Car Window shade
  • Baby Bathing toiletries - wash, shampoo, massage oil, powder, nappy rash cream
  • Infra-red Digital thermometer
  • First aid and medicines for bubs
  • Ikea Shelves and baskets for shelves
  • Foot Stool
  • Cushions and decorations for Nursery
  • Nappies!

there is probably more - but I haven't thought of it yet!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some of my nursery inspiration Pics...


Grandpa's funeral was this afternoon and it was a lovely service.

We went to the cousin's house afterwards and stay for a little while - but then I started to get tired and decided it was time to go home.

I was feeling really sore and tired at work this morning and sitting down didn't seem to make all that much difference. Really sore hips, lower back and feet. I am going to try wearing my other shoes tomorrow and see if it makes a difference.

Mark's cousin gave us a whole heap of baby related things on the weekend - including some big ticket items like a cot and a change table. Also in there was a rocker, a baby bjorn baby carrier and an older model Peg Perego pram. When I got home this afternoon I spent some time looking over the things and trying to decide whether I would use them.

The cot and the change table are a given - too expensive not to put to good use. I am going to buy a new mattress and a change table mat but apart from that they are fine.

I had a play with the rocker and took the cover off and gave it a wash. It came up good as new and while it's not really quite as pretty as I would have liked (mainly becasue I like this one:)

I think that the one we have been given will do the job for now. Unless I happen to have a spare $140 at some stage.

The baby bjorn carrier will do the job nicely - although Mark wan'ts one that can go on his back. I told him that would have to wait until the baby was a bit older. I would still like to get a sling style one as well - but I have heard on the grapevine that these aren't too difficult to make - so I may give that a go.

The Pram - well - I really wanted to like the pram. I wanted to have a second pram to just have in the car and that is slightly more compact than the rugged baby jogger pram I am getting. Don't get me wrong - I love the Baby Jogger but it is heavy and has a wide wheel base. For a girl who loves shopping - a pram that can easily maneuver shops was high on the priority list. But alas it wasn't to be. The pram we were given was heavy and hard to drive. The wheels have all siezed up and don't turn easily and it is filthy. I was will ing to give it a go it I could get it clean - but I can't even get the cover off to wash it. I was also a bit scared of losing my fingers in the folding mechanism.

So I guess you can't ask for too mcuh can you! Back to the drawing board on the stroller. I will keep dreaming of getting the silver cross Dazzle:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Walking up Hills

Went for a nice long walk up a big hill with Mark tonight. It was good to be able to feel those hamstrings working hard.

it is such a good hill for doing hill sprints on. I said to Mark that he is going to have to have some Daddy time a couple of afternoons a week so that I can go up there and torture myself with hill work.

I have been suffering a little bit of discomfort with eating and I'mnot sure whether it is from old food intolerances raising their head again or just that the baby has grown so much that there is no room left for food. All I know is that I can't eat chocolate at all without suffering a considerable amount of pain - and the marmalade toast I had this morning didn't really go down that well either.

By the end of most days I am very bloated and feeling a lot of pressure in my abdomen. So I am going to cut out refined sugar and wheat for the rest of this week and see if it makes any difference. I am trying to drink lots of water too.

That walk was so good tonight - that I might just get up early and go again tomorrow morning!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tickers etc

I was just sitting here looking at the ticker on the sidebar and thinking to myself -wow - still 119 days to go. I kind of wish that the ticker also said how far I have come - because I know that I am past the halfway point now.

Apart from dying grandfathers - this has been a fairly uneventful week.

I booked us a restaurant to go out for dinner next weekend. It is called Anise and I chose it based on these good reviews:

Canberra Times Bryan Martin, 12-07-06 "The restaurant has an elegant French feel to it with the high-back bench seat running down the length of the room. The tables are simply and tastefully arranged and you can glimpse the busy chefs through the serving portal. The menu has eight starters and mains and tends towards hearty and exotic flavours and ingredients. ."

Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2007 Score: 14/20 "In just five years Anise has become one of the senior members of Canberra's best restaurant strip, opposite the law courts in leafy West Row. Muted lighting, a comfy banquette running along one wall with pillows placed just so, and good acoustics make it a pleasure to spend an evening here."

So hopefully it is nice.

I have started wishing that I could take a slightly more pregnant person with me wherever I go so that people would stop telling me I look big. I know that I am looking completely normal for the stage of pregnancy I am at. But it really messes with you psychologically and it makes me think about when I can get back to exercising - a lot. I keep looking at all these people out jogging with the mornings with much envy and I want to go jogging and not have to limit myself. I even found my hydration belt the other day and looked at it wistfully. The only positive is that my ipod is broken so at least that makes me feel better.

There is a largeish hill near our house and Mark and I decided yesterday that we need to do a lap that means we walk up that hil at least once a day. I feel so weak in my hamstrings and glutes and it annoys me. I am (hopefully) going to do some serious muscle building when we are finished being pregnant. I need some shap and strength in my leg and I also need some serious shoulders.

Little baby is still kicking away. It is funny but sometimes it is ever so slightly uncomfortable. I wasn't feeling great on Friday and some of yesterday. I had a big of a headache and felt really achey. I took my blood pressure and it was really good - 116/64 - so at least that wasn't the cause.

Right - had better go. We have people coming over for roast tonight and I need to go and research how to get crispy potatos - my potato's never seem to be crispy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One of those weeks

where there just seems like a million things to do and nowhere near enough time to get them done AND everything that you planned just goes out the window for one reason or another.

Gpa's funeral is next Tuesday and it just happens to be on an afternoon that I had taken off anyway - but so I could have the internet guy come and I could finally get my name change on my passport sorted out. So I have had to reschedule all of that. I absolutely hate not having a job where I can just take half an hour out of the day to do those administrative things that are required to be done in working / business hours.

It is Mark and my First wedding anniversary next week (the 27th) and I was really hoping to be able to go away for the weekend. But with everything that has been going on and still trying to get the house all set up and pressing things done I think we are just going to stay here and go out for dinner somewhere instead. Save going away for a time when we can both really enjoy it. I just don't think that I will enjoy a three hour drive for an overnight stay and it will feel all rushed and like we are doing it just for the sake of it.
I am a bit dissapointed but I figure - sometimes you have to put things into perspective so that you dont do something just for the sake of it and then have bad memories because it wasn't as good as you had hoped.

So - if anyone can recommend me a beautiful 5 star experience restaurant in Canberra - I am all ears!

I guess we are also a bit stressed because everything we are doing right now feels like it is costing so much money. no money is going into true savings - it is all either being spent on the house or going away for the baby. Perhaps this is what is goingto be like from now on?

I have decided to start buying things for the baby's room and the baby so that I can just get it all done and out of the way. I am going to make an excel spreadsheet and list it all down and then I can tick it off methodically as it is done.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day Off

I am pretty lucky as I get an RDO once a fortnight. Today is my fortnightly day off and its a good thing too because I am feeling quite ordinary today.

My feet have been hurting this past two weeks - a lot. Considering that I have a job where I walk all day long this is not really making my life much fun at the moment. I basically get home and just want to sit and put my feet up.

Today however it feels twice as bad as normal and I haven't even done as much walking as I normally would. I still have one more erand to do and I really don't want to go out again.

So far today I have been and put an order in for the comfy chair for the baby's room, been to the maternity shop and bought two comfortable pairs of work pants in black, looked at a fabric store and bought some more veggie plants - a capscum, zucchini and an eggplant.

But I am feeling very large and uncomfortable and I know that it is only going to get worse.

Mark's Grandfather - who broke his leg and went into Kidney failure about 4 weeks ago - died ysterday. So grandpa Eric - may you rest in peace with your beloved wife francis.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Forgetting how...

I have a theory that when we haven't done something for a while, that we kind of forget how - and in saying that I don't mean that we forget how to do it - but that we forget how to have confidence in our ability to do it.

For example.

I have a very large make up collection, I used to quite enjoy experimenting with different shades and all that. I especialy loved putting it all on and feeling great on the weekends when we went out places. For some reason I stopped doing that a little while back - I guess that I just stopped being bothered about doing it. mark is a very unfussy person and I felt the need to be a little more uncomplicated!

So last weekend, after I had been to the hairdresser and on my way to the wedding I thought I would just ask if any of the make up counters in Myer had a free make up appointment. Of course they were all booked up - and then I got a little bit angry because I felt that I was so out of practice I couldn't do a very good job anymore on my own make up.

To put this into perspective - the last time I paid someone else to do my make up I was so dissapointed in the job she did that I viwed to never pay someone again because I could do a better job myself. So - reminding myself of this. I went upstairs to the bathrooms and did my own make up.

Did I do a good job? Of course I did - I did a really good job because I know how to and I have always known how to - I had just lost the confidence in my ability to do a good job.

I am a little bit worried that I will feel like this when it comes time to shift all this baby weight next year. I did come to the conclusion that given I am halfway through (only 18 weeks to go - not that I am counting down or anything) and " they" (They - being all the baby books and bibles) say that you put on around 13 kilos of baby related weight (i.e. not fat) then I am probably carrying around 6kg of baby related weight at the moment. So of the 10 kilos I have put on only 4 of that is true weight gain. I can live with that. I believe in my ability to shift that at the end of all this.

BUT I spent sooo long forming all of these grreat exercise, eating and positive self talk habits in the past couple of years and I really do eel that I have put that all aside at the moment. Not so much the eating habits - although I am not watching what I eat (apart from the fact that it is healthy) in the slightest. More so the thinking patterns and habits I had that went with it all.

I really do hope that when it comes time to get back into it - these all come back to me. In saying that though - I will be enlisting the help of someone in a porfessional capacity and most likely setting myself a goal so that I have something to work towards.

Anyway - here is the pic from the wedding last weekend. I worked very hard at perfecting my celebrity baby bump pose.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ahh... blissful tidy house!

Today I have spent the day tidying the house and putting everything in it's rightful place.

That basically involved unpacking the remaining boxes and doing some more chucking out. There was far too much rubbish in my life before this move. Now I have slightly more organised rubbish!

Setting up a new house is always a little bit expensive as you find the things that you are missing that you wouldn't normally think about. Like a garden hose - we didn't have one of them but they are quite handy to have around.

I have all these visions for this house - this being the first house that Mark and I have owned together. But I think that some of my visions are going to have to take time and happen slowly. Especially the fact that I have a bout $5000 worth of furniture in my head that I would love to buy right now!

I have bought a few small things like a new doona cover and some new lamps to tide me over but I do have to keep reminding myself that it is a work in progress and it doesn't all have to happen and come together at once.

My next project now that the house is unpacked is the baby's room. I have visions of how I want it to look - but first I need to see what we are getting from the cousins house. I hope to be able to do that this weekend. I have to let go of it being perfect though because to be perfect I would need it to have all white furiture - and I know for a fact that the cot is made from a blonde coloured wood. But I will make do with what I have.

I planted a tomato and a chillit today - so hopeully they grow. We also discovered that quite a few of the trees in our yard are fruit trees of some description - so I am looking forward to seeing what they yield. Next weekend I would like to buy a lemon tree and possibly a capsicum plant.
The only thing left will be managing to keep them alive!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Back on it

the internet that is.

I have a look at the coming weeks and realised that I had 2 assignments due - my final 2 assignments at that. So I don't particularly want those two to be late. I just want to get them done.

So I investigated a wireless USB modem and found one at 3 mobile which I could buy outright - and not be connected to plan. It was only 129 dollars with 15 dollars for 1gig. I thought that wasn't too bad considering.

Things have settled down at home now and we have the hot water back on. I have decided that having a hot shower is one of the most luxurious things in the world and one of my favourite most relaxing things at that! So I lapped it up this morning.

So as I only have 1 gig to play with in terms of my at home internet use. I am trying to limit my non-uni related web surfing until after the uni work is done.

I am really looking forward to this weekend though. It is time to tidy and sort the study and get rid of the final boxes - which is a good thing as I can't wait to paint the feature wall in our living room so that it is no longer terracotta and more like a lovely different colour. I'm thinking either something in a berry shade or just to stick with the neutrals.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Internet love

God I miss just being able to get on the internet and look up whatever it is I am thinking about at the time that needs more information.

Although it is getting closer - I know that it will definitely be another 2 weeks before we get the internet connection sorted out at home.

I can't actually get on the net that easily at wor now either because I have changed sections and now run to a strict patient schedule each day. I can access the internet in my lunch and tea breaks but at the point I am at right now. I need them for resting and eating.

I am utterly exhausted right now and I hate feeling like this. I am past the point of falling asleep if I sit still for too long and I have moved on to emotional exhaustion.

Remember back at the start of when I first moved to Canberra and the cat was driving me insane? Well we moved her to the new house last weekend and she is back at it again. Meowing through the night and scratching her litter box beyond belief. To top it off our hot water system at home kicked the bucket on Sunday and I have been having to come into work early to have lukewarm showers in the staff change room.
All that, combined with changing sections at work and not being able to 'rest' at work when I am ther because I am on my feet all day, and further deterioration of Mark's mums condition - is leaving me feeling stressed and generally crappy and I feel bad because I know that me being stressed is bad fot the baby.

I can't see an end to feeling stressed and I don't really know what to do to reverse it. The only thing I know would help is having a week off work where I don't have to do anything at all except sleep. But that is hardly possible. It sucks because last week I was feeling really good and calm and all of a sudden I am a mess emotionally from everything that is going on.

I don't even want to go away for the weekend because it is too stressful. Perhaps after the weekend - if I force myself to rest. I will start to feel better.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Wow - Big weekend

Wow - It has been a really big weekend and I am tired!

I literally haven't stopped since I arrived in Brisbane and while it has been great catching up with all of my friends and dosing up (as I won't be able to come up again until around April most likely) - now I am tired and wishing that I also had Tuesday off work so that I would have a day to rest!

I'm not going to write too much now but I do have a pic or two to pop up in the next couple of days!

Congrats to all the girls who competed this weekend.

Baby's kicks are getting stronger and stronger. He is cute and I found out that he likes to dance (or kick) along to Maori music!