Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Wedding Day

Hi Everyone!
Our wedding day was amazing, went off better than expected. A very special day, if the rest of our married life goes 1/10th as well as yesterday did, I will be one happy girl :)

We went back to the hall at 9am Sunday to clean up, 'unsetup' everything, and make bacon and egg rolls for everyone. It was a lovely morning with our family, everyone was abuzz with happy talk about the day/night before.

My husband (that sounds weird!) spent most of Sunday in bed trying to sleep off a shocking hangover before we met with the last of our family Sunday night for dinner before they fly back to Vic yesterday!

Thank you everyone for all of your support, advice, good vibes & wishes, I have felt the love through the screen :)

I will post a 'proper' entry with photos soon, we were blessed with a lovely day after a week of pouring rain, we had some rain while getting photos done, but when the sun broke thru again the light was amazing, according to the photographer! Hope to have some photos before we head to Vanuatu on Thursday, if not we'll definitely have them when we return in 2 weeks, and I will post them here.

PS - the bunting looked amazing!!!!!!! :) :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wish us luck, our big day today!


wedding day today, shall update after!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Lotto Splurges

Ok so it should probably be titled 'My Dream Lotto Splurges' maybe?

I have been lusting over this house for about 6 months, it first came on the market, about 4 months ago, and every time they had an open house organised we were away, then when the auction was scheduled we were away, I was not a happy camper.

The property got passed in (yay in my dreamland!), and now it's back on the market with a price tag of $1.29 Million!

Now if we win Lotto this Saturday, which seeings as it's our wedding day, it only seems fair that we will, doesn't it?  If we win, we could buy it and move in when we get back from our honeymoon in Vanuatu, perfect timing, surely 3 weeks settlement would be long enough?

I don't usually go for modern, we bought a 100 year old Federation home, but for this I will make an exception! And the 10 acres is just perfect, we could always buy more acreage down the road with the rest of our Lotto winnings should we need it!

I'm a strong believer in the Dream Big theory :)

Till next time,

Friday, July 15, 2011

The age old money dilemma!

On my mind today is money, why oh why does it cause so many issues!
Mr Mel and I are financially comfortable, we have worked very hard to get to where we are at.  We're not flying but we do own about 60% of our home, have stable jobs, and have some money invested.  We are able to go out for dinner, and can splurge on holidays now and then, although I'm not sure if you could call my first proper holiday in 11 years (our soon to be honeymoon!) a splurge!

However we are still sensible with our spending, and we do everything we can to ensure we're not paying more than we need to when we do have splurges.  My friends roll their eyes (in jest) when I bore them with details of a bargain I have found, or a savings we have made.  They are now asking me to help them with their mortgages, insurance, shopping etc, which I love to do.

We hope to have kids soon, and the finances will definitely tighten up, but we are making sure we are building a buffer so to speak, so that when we are blessed with a bubba, we will be financially in a good place to handle the probably time with me not working, added expenses etc.

I have just had a conversation with a colleague who at around 50-55 years old has hardly a cent to her name, she has debt to her eyeballs and yet even being in such a hole, doesn't seem to want to make an effort to fix it.

She is happy to have a pity party of the world isn't fair, how hard done by she is, yet she also spends money on horses that she can't afford, doing up the garden in her rental, etc, while ignoring the mounting debts, and letters from debt agencys that are arriving weekly.

After yet another whinging session from her, she has just finished telling me "Mel you're lucky you have a husband and a home you own, you don't know how hard it is".

My reply, while half biting my tongue, was "Hang on, you don't know my story, you don't know what effort I have put in to get where I am.  I have worked bloody hard to get 'lucky'."

Yet she still seems to think that anyone who is not 'struggling' has been lucky.  What is with that?

I have had similar conversations with friends and family, and other colleagues.  If you're struggling financially you need to look at why and find out how to fix it!

If you can't afford your mortgage repayments - it's not because the world is against you, in the cases I'm thinking of, it's because you have chosen to buy a house in an area you can't afford, and you didn't budget for interest rate rises, that's not really anyones fault but your own!

Of course there are situations where people lose jobs, get sick, etc, but in most of the cases I personally know it's not for those reasons, it's through being stupid with money!

If your grocery bill is sky high every week, it's probably because you're shopping in one of the 2 stupormarkets, buying brand food, and not willing to put in the effort to shop around, and/or make more things from scratch.  Do you really need to buy baby food in a jar or bag?  Go grab a bag of apples, stew them down and freeze it, it's not rocket science!  Don't stop at the bakery, go home and make something if you need to, or heaven forbid, go without!

If you don't know where you spend your money, then do a bloody budget!  Being an ostrich with your head in the sand is rarely the best way to attack things, keep note for a month or even a week, of everything you spend, then work out where you can cut back. Do you need that coffee at Maccas at the weekly girls get together?  You can still go to Maccas and chat with the girls, but have a water, or take your own coffee, or suggest meeting at a park instead.

I love Albert Einstein's definition of insanity - "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"

Ok off my soapbox (for now!), blame my colleague for my rampage!

Till next time,

Thanks to Rhonda from the Down To Earth blog for her 'Friday On My Mind' idea, it's a gem, I've clicked through comments on numerous blogs on Rhonda's list, and on my own, and found some great blogs which I'm now following, and looking forward to discovering many more!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Toastabags - success

I must admit when I saw the 'Toastabags' at Aldi recently I was a tad sceptical, however my longing for a toasted sanga for lunch at work, and lack of a sandwich maker in the kitchen at work convinced me to give them a try.
The claim is that you can make a toasted sandwich in a normal toaster, something we personally have needed for a while, since Mr Mel's 'melted cheese all over and in toaster' fiasco.

So I headed home from Aldi with 2 x 2 pack, one pack for home, one pack for my work.

Today was trial day, Mr Mel had made me a lovely poached chicken, avocado & cheese sandwich, on pumpkin seed bread, delicious fresh, but the best when toasted.

I had visions of the pocket melting all through the toaster, luckily as per the photos below, the toaster is ancient and mucky, so if it died it was no big loss!  I have been asking for close to 4 years for a new toaster, and have a note stuck in the kitchen - "clean up after yourself, the kitchen fairy has quit!" but to no avail!

Let the test begin:
Empty pocket ready for the test run
Poached chicken, avocado & cheese on pumpkin seed sanga
Uhoh - not gonna fit
Some sacrifice was needed
As snug as a sanga in a pocket!
Ready for deployment into depths of manky work toaster
A tight fit, poking & prodding to load was required - I thought it was for sure not coming out ever!
toast it my pretty manky beast toast it
Some manhandling required to 'pop' it up - but looks promising
More toasted on one side than the other
But that's more due to the dodgy toaster I think!
Extremely happy to report that the Toastabags were a success, first try I'd give it a 8/10, perhaps if I'd used smaller bread it would be a 10/10, but an 8 is excellent, especially for an Aldi product.  And the price of $2.95 for a 2 pack is outstanding, considering the pockets are reusable!

Woohoo. Toasted sangas will now feature heavily in my work lunches, and will be a saving grace during the foaling season when checking mares from midnight till 7am!!!

Till next time,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sheep Shakers - Friday On My Mind - 16

Today my boss and his family got back from a 10 day trip to New Zealand, and these 2 little sheep salt & pepper shakers are my present for keeping the place afloat while they were away.

Terrible quality photo (dodgy phone), in real life they are beyond super cute, the salt and pepper holes are their nostrils, and they fit so snuggly in my palm, they're just gorgeous!  Oh I just realised, the one with the white around his neck should probably be the salt sheep, the darker one the pepper sheep, so cute!
So on my mind are 2 little sheep shakers from the land of the sheep shaggers  

Thanks to Rhonda from the Down To Earth blog for her 'Friday On My Mind' idea, it's a gem, I've clicked through comments on numerous blogs on Rhonda's list, and on my own, and found some great blogs which I'm now following, and looking forward to discovering many more!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Step After The Next Step

So the next, impending, step for Mr Mel & I is our surprise wedding in 2 weeks!!  But the Step after the Next Step is us wanting to start a family.  Back in June I went to the Doc, and had a full checkup, and was glad to get the all clear.  His famous last words, hopefully in a good way, were "see you when you're pregnant".

Since that appointment Mr Mel and I have been taking Menevit & Elevit (respectively), Mr Mel has lost about 10kg, I have lost around 7kg, so health & fitness wise we're on the improve.

We have been talking about and planning our hopeful pregnancy, and given I've been trying to lose weight before our wedding, I wasn't keen on being pregnant on the day!

But now the big day is only a few weeks away, things will be getting serious on the TTC (trying to conceive) front.

I have bought a 'Maybe Baby' kit to help track my cycle, and today have just bought a couple of books (through Ebay) that have been recommended to us by friends and family:

"Up The Duff" - by Kaz Cooke
"Baby Love" - by Robin Barker

and because they came in a 4 book lot set, at great value, I also picked up:

"So You're Going To Be A Dad" - by Peter Downey
"The Mighty Toddler" - by Robin Barker

I hadn't heard of the last 2, but seeings I was buying the 2 I wanted (Up The Duff & Baby Love) for less than the price of buying 1 retail, and with the other 2 thrown in, I thought it was a bargain, plus might be some worthwhile info in the extra 2 also.

bargain books from Ebay
I am keenly aware that given my age (37), that the chances of us falling pregnant are on the slide, and we have both had alot of conversations re what happens if we can't have a baby, so we're not going into this assuming it will be a done deal.  I know that there are alot of women out there who are not able to fall pregnant, including some women in my immediate family, so we are not treating this lightly.  My heart goes out to them, as I know while we would cope, I would be heartbroken if we can't conceive.

But we will jump every hurdle as it approaches, we are going into it with eyes wide open, but with a hell of alot of hope in our hearts. Wish us luck, and send some baby dust our way!!

I am more than open to any suggestions/recommendations re books/websites, so please feel free to let me know!

Till next time,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dust Storm of 2009

While going through some photos at work to use on the website I saw a photo I had taken, on my mobile, back on 23 September 2009, at 6am, while I was on foal-watch.

It was the day of the 'Sydney Dust Storm' however the dust travelled far and wide, it was measured at 500km wide, and 1,000km long at one point, and it was visible from space.

I remember I had just checked the progress of one of the overdue pregnant mares, and saw an odd orange hue in the sky, my immediate thought was bushfire, but I couldn't smell anything, so I jumped on the quad bike and drove round the farm seeing if there was any threat.

The dust got heavier, and it was an 'orange out', at one stage I couldn't see more than a meter or so in front of me, checking the mares in the foaling yards, I had to virtually stand next to them to see them clearly.

Once I had done the rounds and realised there wasn't any danger I jumped online in the office, and saw that the dust was everywhere, some of the footage from Sydney Harbour was just surreal.
The farm at 6am on 'dust storm' day
According to Wikipedia:

The CSIRO estimated that the storm carried some 16 million tonnes of dust from the deserts of Central Australia, and during the peak of the storm, the Australian continent was estimated to be losing 75,000 tonnes of dust per hour off the NSW coast north of Sydney. The dust storm coincided with other extreme weather conditions which affected the cities of Adelaide and Melbourne.
While the cloud was visible from space, on the ground the intense red-orange colour and drop in temperature drew comparisons with nuclear winter, Armageddon, and the planet Mars. The dust storm was described by the Bureau of Meteorology as a "pretty incredible event" that was the worst in the state of New South Wales in nearly 70 years. The phenomenon was reported around the world. The Weather Channel's Richard Whitaker said: "This is unprecedented. We are seeing earth, wind and fire together".
Some of the thousands of tons of dirt and soil lifted in the dust storm were dumped in Sydney Harbour and the Tasman Sea. This increased the nitrogen and phosphate levels in the water significantly. Measurements taken two weeks after the event indicated an explosion of microscopic plant life which can be expected lead to an increase in fish numbers. 

It definitely is an interesting world we live in!

Till next time,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'd love to have the guts to wear it!

Trawling through shop websites trying to find some cheap summery clothes for our honeymoon, I stumbled across this t-shirt, gee I would love to have the guts to wear it!  :)

Till next time,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Burglary - how do they rationalise it?

Having just got news that our neighbour had an attempted burglary overnight (they got into garage, tried to access the house while neighbours were home!), it has got me thinking, how do thieves rationalise their behaviour?

Maybe I am way off base, and there is no rational thought to it, but surely there has to be a moment in every thief's life where they think "why?".

Why do they feel entitled to take what isn't theirs?
Why do they think it is ok to scare the life out of people by breaking into their homes?

I know most theft is for financial reasons, either needing money to survive, or to feed addictions, be it drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. But I really do wonder if they understand how their victims feel, and if they do, do they care?

I have only had one instance of theft affect me directly (touch wood!), I stupidly left my backpack in my car when living in inner Melbourne, and the next morning the back door was open and backpack was missing, luckily it only contained a few easily replaced books, and some notes.

However what was lost is not the point, the point is the feeling of being violated and having someone pilfer through your things and life.

I can only imagine (I hope to the gods we never have it happen to us!) what people must go through if they have their home ransacked, even moreso if they are home when it happened.

Friends have had it happened, and one good friend still, some 6 years later, cannot be at home alone. She was asleep in an upstairs bedroom, when thieves broke in and ransacked her lounge and study, taking her stereo, tv, laptop, ipod.  She wakes to every noise in the house, and if her husband is away she will stay with friends/family instead of being at home.

That one instance of someone invading her home and stealing her things, has changed her, maybe for good. I find that terribly sad.

Mr Mel and I installed a monitored security system last year, we don't live in a bad area, we wanted it as peace of mind, as we are away a fair bit, with work or family commitments.
After last nights burglary next door, we are now going to install a sensor light in the front yard, it might be overkill, but I would rather take the extra precaution and hope like hell it never happens to us. And I hope karma catches up with all burglars/thieves sooner rather than later!!

Till next time,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday On My Mind - 15 - storage sorted!

On my mind this chilly Friday morning, our built-in robe in the 2nd bedroom are finished (almost) yay!!!

Following on from yesterdays post, the builder finished off the built-in robe in our 2nd bedroom yesterday, now all we need to do is paint the timber trim at the top, and have them back to re-align the 2 middle doors.  He said  because they are so large, they will drop once hung, which they have, at the bottom there is about a 6-8mm gap, at the top they are flush, so he'll hopefully be out today/Monday to get the weight/hang spot-on.
built-ins at end of Day 1
built-ins at end of day 2, just need to paint the trim at the top and get the middle rehung
end of day 1
end of day 2
love the door finish, much nicer than the built-ins in our room! hmmm
Very very happy, now I can finally unpack things and give them homes, instead of being stuffed in moving boxes for the past, say 10 or so years!!

Did I say yay?  :)

Till next time,

Thanks to Rhonda from the Down To Earth blog for her 'Friday On My Mind' idea, it's a gem, I've clicked through comments on numerous blogs on Rhonda's list, and on my own, and found some great blogs which I'm now following, and looking forward to discovering many more!


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