So Much Happening

Half of it I can’t talk about here, and the other half I haven’t had the time or energy to talk about here. So let us go back in time to Christmas Day. After just one year of hosting Christmas, The Other Half and I have this down to a fine art and really do not need to do much food preparation at all, just putting out nibblies, cooking a BBQ with steaks and sausages, and Mother provides the dessert of Pavlova.

Only this year I had gone on a Christmas Shopping expedition to The Treat Factory and found out they were making gelato logs. What a fantastic idea. I ordered one in dark chocolate and salted caramel. It was fabulous and we had leftovers which we have greatly enjoyed on all the hot evenings since.

I did mostly forget to take photos, we were having too good a time really. It was lovely to be still and enjoy each others company. However I knew it was back to work the next morning, so it was a little less relaxing than usual.

I worked on Boxing Day, not a long shift. I gave a Christmas present to a fellow co-worker and they told me it was the only present they had to open on Christmas Morning, which also made me a little sad – but extra happy I went to the effort to get something for them. I remember many years of having nothing to open, which is why I go to an extra effort now to make sure I do have things to open even if I bought them for myself.

I haven’t had a chance to write up the No Spend for both November and December – and not sure there is much point now we’re in a new year other than for the sake of completion. December was a spend month but mostly spending on presents for other people. I did have two things I wanted to buy in the Boxing Day Sales – Bras and Kiehl’s Moisturiser in the super large size.

I’ve worn the same 4 bras to work for 6 months now – these were the same 4 bras I’d been wearing for almost a year already – and while they are still semi-wearable, they were past their use-by date. I figured it would be a good idea to pick some up if they were on special. I’d bookmarked them in my browser. I hoped to buy them on super special on Boxing Day, but none of them moved in price at all, at least not online.

That is a really smart thing on the part of Bras N Things, to have an inhouse brand which you fit customers in and sell them but don’t ever discount, not even on the biggest sale day of the year. I thought maybe they might be on special in store or maybe there might be something else I could try on which was on special, so I suggested to The Other Half that he drop me off at the shops and I would go for a wander. I thought he wouldn’t want to go. Surprise, he did join me! Because it was mid-afternoon, the sales rush was over and we even managed to find a decent park.

There was a shopping incident where I thoroughly spoiled myself with new bras. I tried one on and it was so comfortable I gave it to the sales assistant and said “please can you go and find every bra like this in my size, I will take them all” – she found 7 in my size. Perfect! One for each day of the week, and I got two navy blue polkadot ones which I have officially allocated as work bras.

A few days later another family member needed bras so we went together and they had more in my size back out on the shelves – I bought 5 more because they were so comfortable and even cheaper on sale than they were the first time, because they added “spend $100 get $20 off” on top of the great sale prices and I had two $5 vouchers as well – one of which I gave to my family member..

I had not bought any bras at all since mid 2017 after my big weight loss, so I think I did pretty well. I wish I’d done it sooner because I did not realise how uncomfortable the old ones had become, and I got to a point where the minute I got in the house I would take them off – not anymore, now I am enjoying wearing these all day long, the same way I once did with the old bras.

I got my Kiehls for 15% off. Sometimes it is really handy to have signed up for the mailing list, as I was able to go back through the emails since September and realised 15% off is the best deal they’ve done in those three months. I still have 1/3 of the jar left from my Canberra shopping trip.

This new jar is 3x the size so I should get 9 months out of it at least. I’ve maybe missed two mornings since I bought it and on those missed days I can really tell that I missed applying it. I’m so glad I found this moisturiser and have to send another big thanks to Sydney Shop Girl for making me aware of this brand.

I bought a few things from my TVSN wishlist for crazy discounted prices, including this one I mentioned in my April did not buy post for $9.95 instead of $64.95, what a bargain! The material is so gorgeous. I’m glad they had it left in my size, I was not so lucky with some of the other items I wanted.

In other family news, my cousin and his wife have arrived for a long-ish visit. They are replacing a couple of staff on my parents side of the store, who had two staff members resign leading up to Christmas. Not sure if this will be temporary or long term. I’d not met his wife before but it turns out we are like twinsies and get along super well, plus she loves to walk which is great for me.

In blog news, at this stage I am not sure if and when I will return to regular posting. A few things are up in the air at work right now, and I’m waiting for things to settle before making any big decisions. I’ll try and get in one post a week but I’m just not making any promises because I don’t know my future schedule.

family, Home

Something I Bought In August

Above you see some of my rings which once fit me like a dream. In particular my favourite triangle Mystic Topaz. Thanks to protein shakes I am 25kg lighter but that also means many of my favourite rings no longer fit. I have one ring that used to fit on my pinky finger which now fits on my middle finger. Most of the rings I used to wear on my ring finger are too loose to wear.

I can still sometimes wear my Mystic Topaz on my middle finger but only if my hands are puffy from water retention. The green one seen above does not fit on any finger, even at my most puffy. For the most part I have no rings to wear and that is SO NOT ME.

In fact there was one occasion – the Take That concert, where I put a ring on right before leaving. Then once I got into the car, I realised I must have lost it in the process of getting into the car. We looked everywhere for that ring. I thought maybe it had fallen into one of my bags and I would find it when I unpacked.

When I got back home, I found it sitting on my dresser – I had decided it was too loose and took it off, then in the rush of getting out the door with all my stuff, I totally forgot about having that little conversation with myself in my head. If I am out in the world without a ring, I feel a bit strange.

I had intended to buy one at the start of 2019 at the end of the year of buying nothing, but out with my Aunt in Berry on the 13th of August, there was An Incident. An Opal Incident. It began with this ring –

I liked it and wanted to know more, but it did not fit me. In fact none of the rings in the entire cabinet fit me. The lady in the store said she had some not on display and she pulled out a box filled with rings – most of them did not fit me, but *one* did, and it turned out to be a very fiery gorgeous opal, which had many colours in it.

Greens, blues, reds, oranges, yellows.

It depends on the lighting which colours fire up.

The ring does have a flaw in it but for me that makes me love it more.

Sometimes you even get pinks, purples, and aqua. For me, one of the reasons I will treasure this ring was the time spent in the store with my Aunt choosing it. It was a special happy moment after trying on many rings to find one that actually fit me, too.

Our wanders to the shops always include a special lunch – on this day we chose croissants with smoked salmon, a poached egg and avocado and cucumber salsa from the Milkwood Bakery. Special time spent with a special person who we very nearly lost a few years ago. There really are no words for that.

family, jewellery

A Quick One

Adding just one Aunt to the mix can add in a LOT of unexpected events. The other day we both had the day off so we went out for a lovely 5km walk near Vincentia, then we ended up going into the nearest “big” town for crepes, shopping, and general wandering.

We had a chai latte with the crepes – the cafe had a gorgeous open fire – and we have since decided we will try as many chai lattes in the Shoalhaven as we can. We suspect the one we had may well be the best one we’ve both ever had, so it will take some beating. We both have today off, so who knows what kind of mischief we will get up to, or where we will end up. I suspect perhaps Berry, or maybe Milton or Ulladulla. We do have a plan to catch the train to Sydney at one point, more for the journey than the destination.

While we were in the “big” town, we ordered a carrot, orange and walnut cake for my Dad for his birthday, which was yesterday.

We’ve volunteered to hold a BBQ at ours yesterday so that the cake can be experienced by all. I have to tell you, my Mother is very Anti-Cake. If it were up to her there would not be one. I bought candles for a significant Dad birthday 9 years ago now, and she has never once let me buy a cake to put them on. It had been so long I thought I had lost them. I guess, lucky me that I did not buy numbers of any kind.

If I do manage to get these candles on a cake and lit, hopefully a photo will be added to the post here. If there is no photo, Mother won the battle and the candles remain in their carton, perhaps for another 9 years. I mean really, can’t we just set fire to these things for a short moment, so I can enjoy the coloured flames? YES WE CAN.

These are the most gorgeous candles ever, well worth the 9 year wait. Even Mother enjoyed them. The photos do not quite do them justice. Perhaps I will be allowed to cake and candle again sometime this century. :) If not I might print some of these photos and put them into frames, for posterity.

We are in the midst of a major decluttering at the moment – more about that another day – and I have a bunch of Avon which I used to sell some years back that I want to find new homes for. I just don’t wear makeup myself, not even the cool liquid eyeshadows. I had a lot of perfume samples left over some of which people in Australia for are really missing now that Avon has left Australia. Mother has been receiving Avon perfumes for some years now and using and enjoying them, so she left with almost all the full bottles I had left. Even the men at the table found things to take home in among my decluttering pile.

The cake was delicious. Three bottles of wine were consumed, considering Mother and I do not drink and The Other Half only drinks bourbon, the remaining four people were quite happy when they left, if a little wonky getting into the car to be driven home by the always sober Mother. A great night was had by all.

family

The Label Maker

I bought Mother a gift voucher to have her nails done for Mothers Day. She wasn’t sure about it – she thinks she is not a person who has their nails done. I used to think that, before I learned I am actually someone who likes to have their nails done.

With Mother it takes 5-10 years to convince her I am right about anything. Then she tries the thing I suggested, and raves about it constantly forever. I can give endless examples of this. My current favourite is putting a screen door on the house. I suggested it when they first bought the house which is over 10 years ago. They finally put a screen door on last year and now all you hear is how awesome it is.

I gave her the voucher and said think about it, if you don’t want to have them done you can give the voucher back and I will use it. The next time I saw her I asked if she had decided and she wanted to give the voucher back to me. Well now what present should I get you?

She told me about a reed diffuser which was given to her for Christmas that she really liked but she had no idea where to get it. I had been given the same one, so I did some googling and found it at Bed, Bath & Table. We do not have one of these stores nearby.

The Other Half was to go to Shellharbour (120km/75miles or so round trip) that next weekend to get potatoes. I was staying home, because he planned to drop in on his best friend who lives up that way and do man cave things. The conversation went like this –

Me : Could you pick up a present for Mother at Shellharbour.

Him : How about we go together on Sunday instead and you can get it.

Me : That would not fit in with my planned no-spend days.

Him : Well, your no spend days are going to be screwed up anyway because of Tuesday (Gruen filming). So suck it up.

Me : Why don’t YOU put your big man pants on and suck it up? Surely you can purchase an item from a store, it will be no different to buying the potatoes.

Him : Won’t I have to spend my money?

Me : I’ll transfer the amount across to you.

Him : How will I know what to buy?

Me : I have one right here, why don’t I put it on your desk so you can look at it?

Him : You have one right here, unopened? Why are we going to buy another one then?

Me : blank stare, total silence, pause, much laughter.

WHY INDEED. Why had this concept not even occurred to me? Was I so anti regifting that I could not even comprehend this?

I was given the exact same one by the same person, but we are still using the Tahitian Lime reed diffusers we got from Costco, so our gift has been sitting on the shelf waiting for those to run out. So I have an unopened one which I will now re-gift, *and* I have a nail voucher which I already bought, which means my next nail visit was a no-spend day. I am now officially a re-gifter.

If you are unfamiliar with the term regifter, here is a quick one minute rundown of the Seinfeld episode. Featuring a young and much less wrinkled Bryan Cranston.

I love how Elaine says the word, just the level of anger and spite there, it kills me every time. Elaine is my favourite Seinfeld character. Mother was very happy with her reed diffuser, and I saved $39.95.

Bonus gift, now Mother knows where she can buy them in the future. I fully expect she will go on a reed diffuser spree next time she is near that shop. Mother is like me, she likes to stock up on things she loves, especially when they are not easily purchased nearby.

Now if only she could become like me in knowing I am always right and trusting me when I say things. :) Hasn’t she learned by now, after my many stellar years of always being right?

family, Manicures

Moose Elk

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While I am on holidays, chances are I am taking photos and sending them to my parents with just one word underneath. This slightly blurry photo you see above came to me with the word “Moose” underneath it.

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Of course, it is not actually a moose. It is an Elk. This photo was much better.

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family, Snoskred On Holidays

Night Photography

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These were taken by my Dad in Alaska. No, your vision is perfectly fine. These pics are blurry!

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No tripod, just a point and shoot camera. Which is pretty clear from the results. ;)

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I actually kinda like them. Especially this last one where the lights have almost made themselves into birds. When we were looking through the pics, these had us laughing till we cried, especially when I said “I did not know they had light up birds in Alaska! Are they attacking the boat?”.

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family, Snoskred On Holidays