Today I’m asking YOU to leave a comment.
Where are you from?
How long have you been reading?
How did you find my blog?
Do you have a blog I can read? Make sure to let me know where to find it. :)
Kitty Litter is A Thing in our house. With two cats and a much larger than the usual litter tray – formerly an under bed storage container which seems to solve fighting over the litter tray issues we have experienced – we go through a decent amount of this stuff. So we would like to buy it as cheaply as possible.
In the past we have tried various different options. One that tends to work quite well for us is to buy in bulk when we get a special spend more to save offer from Petbarn. At least, that is what we thought, until we did the maths. We would have to buy 8 bags to get over $250.
8x 33.19 = 271.92 – 70 = 201.92 /8 = $25.24 per bag. And that also depends on them having 8 bags in stock, which is more of a problem than you would expect. Sometimes the kitty litter would be on special which made it more worthwhile.
This is what we’ve done for a few years now and the best part is having 8 bags on standby in the mancave, you can forget about it until you need to go and get a new bag.
Every so often we like to sit down and work out if we are doing things the most efficient way – and the cheapest way – possible. Having run out of kitty litter, and having received the spend more save more email, we did some maths on our end and looked at the “autoship” options.
Having worked in a warehouse for some time and knowing how much shipping costs are, I don’t think the pet companies have done any maths on this. I suspect it would be better $$$ wise to encourage people to go to their stores and purchase the bags at a reduced rate. But instead, they offer autoship. Which is basically they send the stuff to you every so often.
Sure, it is nice for companies to know that they have orders to fulfill regularly, but on the other hand folks can cancel at any time without a penalty, so there is no incentive to stick with the autoship option.
Sure, there are probably people who appreciate getting the kitty litter shipped to their door meaning they don’t have to lug it home from the store. But it costs money to ship things and a bag of kitty litter is *heavy*. 15kg to be precise.
One has to be at home to receive it, otherwise one has to go and pick it up from the post office, removing the handy factor.
We did the maths and it worked out to be slightly more expensive to do autoship – $26.09 per bag – *but* if we bought it from Petstock we earn points with them which kind of balances it out. And we don’t have to pay out $250 at a time. Shipping is free for the customer – but quite costly for the business. We thought we would give it a go.
When they shipped it, we discovered it gets shipped from MELBOURNE. We have a Petstock about 20kms away from us. Melbourne is over 800kms away from us, plus they likely send it via Sydney which adds on at least another 400kms.
But then let us add on $$ for cardboard and tape.. really this is not a good idea for any business $$ wise. It certainly isn’t good for the environment. The cats love it because they get more boxes. We ordered two bags and each had a box to itself. You couldn’t really put them together in a box, it would be far too heavy at 30kg.
Next time I am in the area I will ask our local Petstock if they are willing to match the autoship price so they get our $$ locally. That is the other aspect – when you buy online the money often does not go to your local store, it goes to head office.
Overall, autoship makes zero sense to me. Transport costs in Australia are enormous. When you think of the fuel, the wear and tear on the vehicles, paying the drivers, etc.. it is Up Money. I would think it would be far better to encourage customers to click and collect in store.
They could still make it a regular thing so the stores would know how much stock to have on hand for these orders. Allow the customer to pay a better price for the goods than the autoship price. That way the folks doing the buying are also doing the lugging, and rather than 1200kms of lugging our items to our home, it is just a short trip home in the car. But if you want to click and collect in store, you pay the highest price of $28.99!
At this point, I am not going to rule out the option of purchasing in bulk direct from China if I can find a supplier and the price is right. We have purchased plenty of stuff from AliExpress over the years. I’m thinking of ordering that kitty litter scoop – the plastic ones break way more often than I like.
Last week we took a train trip up to Sydney. While The Other half has been going to uni on the train, he never gets to make the full trip so this time we went right into Central together.
When I make a daytrip like this, I like to set goals otherwise I can easily get lost in looking at everything – whether it be shops, food, or landmarks. This time we had exactly four goals –
1. Visit Uniqlo for heat tech layers for me. Achievement unlocked. I got two things – this one you see below was especially great to buy on a super cold day.
I’ve been wearing regular and extra warm heat tech turtle necks for over a year now and they are brilliant in highly airconditioned environments where you are not the one in charge of the temperature. They are awesome in winter when you have to be outside, especially as layers under a Ghanda hoodie.
My goodness, they do an incredible trade in this place. Visit at lunch time at your personal peril. So many people, so little space, so many clothes, so much awesomeness. I do have a Uniqlo regret though – I wish I’d bought this fluffy thing above. It was fluffy on the inside as well and the price was pretty awesome.
2. Eat lunch with a friend who works in the city. Achievement unlocked. No photos because we went to a private dining room in a special building where they work. ;)
3. Drop into Sephora to explore their sale. Achievement unlocked.
4. Find new work shirts for The Other Half – when you’ve been wearing a uniform for over 10 years and suddenly you have to wear your own clothes there is a good chance you don’t have a big range of clothes to choose from. Especially so in the case of The Other Half who has lost about 10kg over those 10 years. Achievement denied. EPIC FAIL WHALE.
The Other Half was very specific with what he wanted – must be short sleeve – must be one of four or five colours he is happy to wear – must be 100% cotton (or 98% with 2% something else) – must not have checks, stripes, or a boring pattern – can have very random patterns.
While some of the shirts were very funny – eg the prawn shirt seen below – most of them did not fit his criteria. Or when they did, they were in a wrong material, like this Kenji koi shirt which we found in black but it is rayon.
We went to all the possible places. Topman, Zara Man, H&M, Myer, David Jones, various random menswear places we found in our travels. We did find things to try on in a couple of these stores but the result was never a win. The cut was wrong, or the shape was off, or the fabric turned out to be thinner than The Other Half is ok with.
Admittedly, you likely will find a larger range of short sleeve shirts in the summer but FYI stores, some guys can’t tolerate long sleeves even in winter, some offices run quite warm and short sleeves are needed..
Anyway on the way home I suggested we hop off the train in Wollongong and see if we had more luck there. We checked TKMaxx – not one short sleeve collared shirt to be found. Then we checked Target and finally had a win – a couple of shirts and a pair of pants were purchased.
We had a lovely day out together, it was NICE TIME. :) Now that The Other Half has dropped back to working 2 days a week, it means we have a little more time together to do some things we’ve wanted to do for a while.
I rarely drink but when I do, I like to have a salted caramel martini in front of a roaring fire. ;)
It has been a big couple of weeks here in Snoskredland – with The Other Half leaving his toxic job and moving to a new job on top of a birthday for me and some news about former colleagues at the toxic job, a place where I also worked too..
Remember when I told you I didn’t work there anymore – at the very end of that post I said –
For me there are some unresolved issues that simply will never be resolved. Years ago that would have driven me crazy. I hate unresolved stuff. Now I am pretty good at resolving my side of it and letting it go.
I am pretty good at that UNTIL I discover that the very thing I most feared happening has actually happened. In order to explain that statement to you, I have to give you a little bit of not especially interesting history but I don’t want to go too far into detail.
Last year, mid-Santa, my offsider told me she had been sexually harassed by the 2nd in charge person. Given that she was very young and newly pregnant, she did not want to “rock the boat” by reporting what happened. I felt very strongly that she needed to report it.
Guess why? Because if she didn’t, and it happened to someone else, there would be no record of it happening. But she was resolute – I suspect because the 2nd in charge had something he was holding over her head.
While I could not report it because it did not happen to me, I was able to speak up and raise concerns and I did make it very clear to the business owner what had happened and who had done it. Of course without an official complaint he could not do very much, so he called both her and myself into his office and tried very hard to get her to make an official complaint or even just tell him personally so he could take action without making it official but she still refused.
If I had been the business owner, you can bet I would have made some changes even without an official complaint and the very first one would be dropping that harasser as second in charge. But as they say in the classics, not my monkeys, not my circus.
The harasser remained as second in charge, but I made it VERY clear to the business owner I was reporting directly to him as the owner from now on and while the harasser could be 2nd in charge of the rest of the store he was to have nothing to do with my area at all. I would not take no for an answer on that. He agreed with it. I would have quit on the spot otherwise and it was mid-Santa so he really had no choice but to agree.
I pulled the harasser aside and told him I knew what he had done and that I wanted nothing more to do with him at all, and that I had made my feelings clear to the owner. I refused to speak to him unless it was work related. I actually found it very hard to even look at him. I was furious because he had taken advantage of a young girl who he knew was vulnerable.
But I also had work to do, it was our busiest time of year and I had to focus in on that. As much as I wanted to punch that guy in the face on a daily basis, it would not have done any good. Ohhh, he was so slimy and smarmy and arrogant, knowing he’d got away with what he’d done. Some days it was very hard not to punch him but some how I always managed it.
As time went on, I kept encouraging my offsider to put in an official complaint or even just to put what happened in writing, and then give it to the HR manager and ask them to put it in the safe unopened for a later date in case it was needed. I felt that when it was time for her to go on maternity leave, she might want to take action then. She still refused. My main point was – what if this happens to someone else, how will you feel then?
I felt so strongly about this that I made a call to head office when I left, speaking to someone in a position of power that I met at the conference. I said look, I know there is nothing you can do without an official complaint but I wanted you to at least know this happened in case something else happens down the track. I did find out she actually took some action, arranging for the business owner to attend mandatory training re this particular area.
I suppose my former offsider would be able to tell me the answer to that question I asked now, because of course it did happen to someone else. I found out during the last couple of weeks. I don’t have specific details of what happened, but I do know the harassed person resigned and made an official complaint. The 2nd in charge received a written warning. I don’t know if he will remain as 2nd in charge.
But I am, again, furious. Despite my earlier attempt at resolving things within myself. If my offsider had made an official complaint, that would be two complaints of the same thing and it would be very unlikely he would still have the job let alone have a chance of still being in charge of anything.
I wanted to write about this many times and in fact I did write it out a couple of times and delete it, way back in December when it happened. This was a difficult situation to be placed in, and I hated it. And I was not the person being harassed. It was far worse for her. I’ve been bullied in previous workplaces but this was a whole other level of Not Awesome. It certainly contributed greatly to my decision to move on.
Nobody should have to put up with bullying or any kind of harassment in their workplace. We have laws in place to prevent this and many companies have strict procedures around all of this, but if the people involved will not speak up, the laws can’t do a damn thing.
If the people this happens to will not speak up, that leaves the door wide open for it to happen to the next person. And that WILL happen. If someone behaves this way and gets away with it, they think they can always behave this way and get away with it.
It was a public holiday Monday which living in a Tourist Town means you could go somewhere as long as you pick the right direction but getting back would be Not Fun. So we spent our day cleaning, doing the washing and cooking.
My sausage roll recipe is super simple as long as you have a food processor. Throw in the quantities you like of the following vegetables –
Green capsicum (peppers)
Whizz that up nice, then add 500g beef mince and one egg. Whizz that up some more, then lay the mince out on half a sheet of puff pastry, put egg wash on the opposite edge, and roll.
Once you have made enough to fill an oven tray, egg wash the tops of the sausage roll and sprinkle on a parmesan and herb mix. I tend to use my chip sprinkle which is paprika, garlic powder, parsley, mustard powder, black pepper, cinnamon, a touch of low sodium chicken stock powder, rosemary and any other herbs I feel like throwing in when I am making it.
We made 3x 500g beef mince packs. We ate a few for lunch, then all the other sausage rolls go in the freezer for a quick dinner at a later time. There’s 92 packaged up and frozen from this particular sausage roll venture plus a few to be heated up later for tonights dinner.
That’s what we’re cooking – what else is happening?
Watching – Chernobyl. We’re about to watch episode 3. Yes it is not an easy watch but it is an important watch.
Listening – to the Chernobyl podcast which goes along with the show.
Working – on a checklist for opening and closing the shop I work in – on Saturdays I now open and close and I have my own key. I am deeply enjoying my work and it is wonderful to be appreciated for the work I do, which is a novel concept after my last workplace where my boss really did not care or notice what I did.
Wondering – about the coincidences of life – my other half applied for one job which would work in better with going to Uni full time, he got the job and it turns out it is in the same building as the shop I work in. How bizarre is that?
Adding – a new treadmill to my space. A friend did not need theirs anymore so it came to live with us.
Eating – Thai Coconut Icecream which came as part of dinner we bought last week. The other food was just so-so but this icecream is amazing, I definitely want more of it.
Ordering – more protein as I am about to run out, it just arrived last week.
Wearing – my new brooches which arrived recently, they are gorgeous, especially the Bee. Click on this image for a larger view. :)
Surely someone somewhere is cataloging all the worlds? I found this one near Daiso in Sydney. This is a world I could spend some serious time in when it is summer.
But it is decidedly NOT summer here at the moment. After a long streak of utterly gorgeous blue sky days with mostly warm weather – certainly warm for May! – the temperature has plummeted this week and we got over 100mm of rain in the space of 24 hours.
Since February, twice a week The Other Half has been catching the train to University. While completely not envying the crack of dawn wakeup call he has been doing to achieve this, I have been envying the train trips. Especially as I have to get up quite a bit earlier on these days to enjoy my morning coffee which he makes for me before he leaves.
My schedule has not allowed me to join him for the most part but then came a week when I had the right day off, and I decided to make a day of it and head up to Sydney. I would have just over 5 hours there before I had to get on the train to return back home. Here are a selection of photos from my day out.
My very first stop was Starbucks but this was totally by accident. By the time I extricated myself from Town Hall station I was pointing in the wrong direction and ended up near World Square where I checked Google Maps to work out my way back to QVB. As I stood there I spotted Starbucks across the road.
I had the Cinnamon Dolce latte. I am a sucker for anything cinnamon and this was *very* cinnamon. Delightful! My nails are gold ombre glitter which lights up rainbow coloured in the right lighting.
Sufficiently caffeinated, I headed back towards QVB where I planned a general look around and wander. The first shop I spotted was Haighs and being a former Adelaide girl, I had to stop in for some dark chocolate frogs. I really wanted one of these dark Murray Cod with the beautiful foil wrapping too, but they were very large and a bit up money! The staff member gave me a couple of dark round discs for chocolate tasting as I left and they were most delicious.
My main goals for the day were simple – there were two. Go to Daiso, try on lipstick at Sephora. I was sidetracked by Bath and Body Works, where I bought some stuff and asked them to keep it aside for me so I could grab it on my way back to catch the train. I got a couple of handwash pumps and some antibacterial hand sanitisers..
I’ve been wearing lipstick to my new job and enjoying it. I last bought lipstick around 17 years ago – Revlon Colourstay in Faithful Fawn – and would you believe it still works just fine. I only used it a couple of times a year for the next 10 years or so and always marvelled when it still worked but I had not touched it at all in 7 years, not even for job interviews or special occasions.
Perhaps as a result of lack of regular use the seal on the clear lipgloss section appears to have become less awesome. I can still use it but I need to wash my hands afterwards as the barrel is a little sticky now.
I’d bought one Revlon lipstick “Endless Spice” on our recent Canberra trip – because Faithful Fawn appears to be no longer available. I was lucky because the shade does work for me. I was feeling ready to experiment a little and see what new things are available, in 17 years technology has come a long way and so it seems has makeup.
For the most part the lipstick I buy – Revlon Colourstay and it does stay until you remove it with a special remover! – you can’t really try on in shops even though they have testers out. I’m not a put it on the back of my hand person, before I can tell if a shade will work for me I need to put it where it will go, on the lips. And it is an expensive exercise to buy one then find out I hate it.
My understanding was Sephora is different when it comes to this kind of thing but I had no idea just how much so. When I managed to snag myself a staff member, they showed me where the disposable lip brushes, cotton buds, tissues and makeup remover were and told me I was free to try on as many lipsticks as I liked. I’d heard very good things about the Kat Von D range and all the lipsticks had names my other half would love, but I did not find a shade I felt suited me.
I ended up buying two shades from the Sephora collection. They are a bit more bold than I would usually wear so they are reserved for the days when I am feeling super confident. Unlike the Colourstay ones which have a base colour and then a lip gloss that goes over the top, these are a one application deal and they do stay on extremely well.
I was in there for over an hour trying on shades and then grabbing the other stuff I wanted – the makeup remover was brilliant so I got that, lip liner, a lip scrub, a lip mask, and some hand masks for the winter as the ones I bought last year I have used over and over again many times. I’m definitely putting some cotton buds into my handbag for chemist visits in the future as I do want at least one more colourstay shade.
Next up was a wander down to Daiso where I picked up a few things including a gorgeous carp tote bag.
I wonder what this diffuser would smell like?
A quick stop for lunch, a wander around Zara and H&M – Zara had a gorgeous bright orange coat which I should have bought but I said no. I picked up my bath and body works, grabbed a Starbucks to go, and ventured back to the train station feeling like this was a successful day out in general.
How I loved this song once I knew the story behind it. They did a great Australian Story episode on it a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to catch it. What an amazing idea and those dancers look like they were having a great time. I’d love to have a crack at that. They are actually suspended in the air on poles.
The Other Half is NOT at all a fan of this song. I think partly because it is very catchy and it does tend to get stuck in your head, and partly because it has operatic parts to it which he does not enjoy. He would prefer I do not listen to it in his presence which really means the only place I can play it is at work. I’ve just finished making a new work playlist with nearly 260 songs on it.
Another song which got stuck in my head this week was Brain Damage by Pink Floyd, which appeared in the Westworld season 3 trailer.
While looking for these two videos I stumbled upon this video of Julia Louis Dreyfus talking about fashion from her life.
A couple of weeks ago, unhappy with the local options for brooches, I went online and ordered a bunch of brooches direct from China. They have not arrived here yet, but can you guess what happened as soon as I did that? BROOCHES. BROOCHES EVERYWHERE. Most stores I went into yesterday had 5 or more options when previously they had just one. Obviously I prefer paying less than $3 for a brooch and if these turn out to be fabulous I may order more eventually.
The election went well and I truly enjoyed my day as second in charge. I was relentlessly cheerful. It didn’t matter what got thrown at me, I handled it with a smile on my face. I got to wear the yellow “supervisor” tabard instead of the purple “staff” one and I chose my outfit to match.
There were at least 10 of us in the booth all from different backgrounds and political leanings. There was one moment in the day where I got to make an announcement and everyone clapped and cheered – the news came in that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott had lost his seat.
For me I had always disliked that man because he insisted on imposing his religious beliefs on Australia. I do not think that is appropriate.
The moment that turned my dislike to utter hatred was when he sat at his sister’s wedding with a face like he was sucking a lemon. Tony was anti-same sex marriage and his sister was marrying a woman. He couldn’t even pretend like he was happy for her, not even when the cameras were watching him the whole time – it later aired on Australian Story, I think.
Yet when he lost his seat of 25 years last weekend, she was standing behind him, tears in her eyes, sad for his loss. She deserves a better brother.
There was one not so great leftover – I had to take someone to get dinner as they had not brought it and did not have a car. It wasn’t until we were in the car that I smelled.. them. A delicate bouquet of stale cigarette smoke, BO, long unwashed clothes, and perhaps foot odor. In total they were in my car less than 15 minutes, but when I returned to it at nearly 11pm, the smell hit me like a truck.
The smell did not leave over the following days, and I personally believe it attached itself to me at least once this week and followed me wherever I went. After that happened I took my car seat covers off and washed them even though it did not tell me I could wash them (hopefully I can put them back on) and then I took my car to be washed and hit with the fragrance bomb, and then I added a couple of scented things yesterday. I hope it will be gone today.
Anyway there you have it, a bits and bobs post. I’m hoping to get some time this weekend to write a couple of larger ones! ;)
Exciting happenings in Snoskredland – I’m working this next election as second in charge as a surprise. It seems a lot of people have pulled out at the last minute, so I got the call and said yes.
Work is going well, getting shiznit done fast and enjoying every minute of it. How many jobs can you say that about?
Lots of walking and running happening here lately, too.
When I get some spare time I have a couple of longer posts to write. But this is just a quick one to say I am updating the blogroll to remove blogs that no longer exist or have suddenly begun posting weird stuff. Probably next week if I have time, I’ll make sure to add in my new reads.
Hope you are all well!