I’m just going to throw this out there, I don’t know if it is possible..
There is a tiny chance that I might be right, and that presently..
EB Games is having a sale? Or do you think I should go in and ask, just to be certain. :)
I’m known to be one of the worlds most organised people – if I think I am going to need something I bring it with me. I tote bag a lot. At one point in her 2018 New Zealand tour, the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle was provided with a gorgeous tote bag.
This sent me on a tote bag tour of my own. I eventually found some brilliant ones at Society 6. My experience has been that they are well made out of a good material and thus far I have been unable to destroy them with toting – as tends to happen to your cheaper and some of your more expensive options. They have three different sizes – the 13×13 is on the small side but perfect for lunching out and strolling, the 16×16 is a more useful size for shopping in general, and the 18×18 is good if you have to take a lot of spare stuff with you eg shoes and an entire other outfit like I did last weekend for the election.
There are many different kinds of designs. I was very tempted to get one for my Mother at Christmas that said “It’s beginning to look a lot like fuck this” because that is exactly how she feels about Christmas. Here are some of my personal favourites.
This is just a very small selection. They have over a thousand totes you can choose from, many of them unique art uploaded by the artists themselves. You can search by colour if you know what colour you would like, or you can type in a word and see what pops up – perhaps peacocks?
I’ve got 3 in my cart right now which are going to be gifts for family the next time they do 30% off with free shipping. ;)
We set off on Friday morning – not too early, we were not in a rush today. As always on a Canberra trip, our first stop was Heatherbrae Pies at Sutton Forest for my favourite Chai Latte. We usually share one of these crispy donuts filled with cream and jam.
I do not usually get my full nails painted – I am more a french tips kinda girl – but on this occasion I went a little wild. My nail lady has some new colours. Photos do not do these justice sadly, and this photo above was taken about 2 weeks in when my eyes start to twitch at the gap of newly grown nail without any paint on it. You don’t notice it as much with tips, that is why I tend to go that way, I can usually get 3-4 weeks out of those.
Our second stop was the Canberra Outlet Centre and TK Maxx, where they had a great range of Halloween items. We do not do Halloween in this country for the most part, though many retailers are trying to make it a thing. This Day Of The Dead skull planter literally screams the name of My Other Half, it was just $12.95 and yet we did not purchase it. We did get some cute coffee mugs with a skull design specifically for work as our work mugs needed replacing.
It is a lucky thing these sparkly Skechers are not my style. How could I do anything or go anywhere? I’d just be staring at my feet all the time. I suppose trying to look at ones feet is marginally better than trying to walk while using a mobile phone – which I strongly do not suggest to anyone!
We were looking at shoes because some months ago The Other Half lost one pair of his Skechers to “an incident” at the very dog-friendly Berry Markets involving the item you least want to step in and which shall remain nameless here for those of you who might be eating at this time.
That left him with two pairs, one he uses for walking and one for running. He did not really have a backup casual pair for general outings, so we have been looking for one pair of shoes for him for a while now.
The Other Half is possibly even more picky than me when it comes to a pair of shoes. I support him in everything but when we visit the 8th shoe store in a row and he likes nothing he sees and/or the things he does like are very Up Money and a price he is not willing to pay I begin to lose hope these new shoes will ever be found..
On this occasion we were very lucky – a shoe store was closing down and they had some lovely Saucony shoes at the insane price of $39. He tried them on and loved them so much we bought the last two pairs in his size.. and then.. there was another incident..
But this time a much more awesome one! I’d looked at similar Adidas shoes back in June 2016 because Sephyroth was going to the Adidas clearance store and he was visiting just a few months later – I took some photos and I asked him something like “if you see these at a good price pls to buy them for me..” They were $240 at that time which is a price I would not be happy to pay for a shoe.
These are a slightly older model than the presently available shoes and some stores have sold out entirely but they are in my favorite colours and I scored them for a tiny $99 instead of $249. What an incredible bargain! I have put them aside to eventually replace my running shoes. For now I will just admire their beauty.
We had spent a couple of hours happily wandering and it was time to head in the direction of our chosen accommodation for the weekend. The entire reason for this trip was because I found an amazing price for The Avenue. I had stayed there once before when visiting Canberra with my parents.v The Other Half was not on that trip.
I was very impressed with The Avenue and the layout of the 2 bedroom apartments, which they can rent as a one bed apartment and a king studio, or as a two bedroom. If it is a two bedroom, the double doors are opened with your key – if separate, then the double doors are locked open and there are two separate entrances – your key only opens your room and someone else has the other bit. What a great idea that is.
There is everything you could need for a short stay in the 1 bed apartment, plus you will find some luxuries like a Nespresso machine. It is just a short walk to Canberra Centre and City Walk and all the goodness right in the heart of Canberra. So much great shopping and eating combined with zero crowds. This is one big reason why we love Canberra. A lot of people are haters of Canberra because of the politicians but do not let them put you off this fantastic place.
A coffee and cake stop at Via Dolce – aren’t the mugs and plates gorgeous? I wouldn’t be surprised if people steal these. We did not thief them, tempting as it might have been. We were good citizens and sat quietly and calmly and shared our delicious cheesecake and drank our coffee in the heated “white box” which was a lovely place to be on this cool day.
I first heard about Kiehls from Sydney Shop Girl and was somewhat intrigued in Sydney when I saw they had a Kiehls area inside the Myer fragrance hall. They were advertising 5 free samples and a skin consultation. We did not have time for this on our Sydney daytrip, but I hoped perhaps they would have the same thing in Canberra where I would have more time.
Then, the week before we set off, I discovered the balm I had been using for my face was no longer available. I was mightily annoyed at this, I can tell you. So my possible drop in to the Kiehls area became a must do. I did a little research online before going there and had identified two possible options which I wanted to try – Ultra Facial Cream and Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream. I was already pretty certain it was the latter I wanted, I like a gel.
I was 100% right – the gel cream is gorgeous. So light and sinks right in and does everything I want. I do not do a lot in the way of skincare – a daily cleanse in the shower and some good moisturizer is enough for me. I got the 50mls which is $40 and one only needs a tiny amount, so this will probably last me a while. I also bought the Musk body lotion which is a very unique fragrance and again I only need a tiny amount. I did get my 5 samples as well, and I will give them a good try.
Best of all, unlike the crowded fragrance hall at Myer Sydney, there were very few people about and I got to speak to someone right away. The Other Half wandered elsewhere while I did this, and right when I had finished he appeared on the escalator coming back to find me.
Next time – the rest of our Friday, and some of our Saturday. ;)
When my Aunt arrived here in August we had talked about some things we would like to do while she was here. My Uncle had once caught the train down the coast after arriving at the airport and he enjoyed his train trip. I have always wanted to take the train just to experience it, and my Aunt was curious to see what it was like after hearing so much about it.
So we planned our train ride for a Sunday when Opal fares are a tiny $2.70 for everyone travelling. It is a great day to take long train rides. But perhaps 6 hours on the train may be too much for most people. It is 3 hours to Sydney and 3 hours back to the South Coast.
I had been researching possible lunches and we ended up meeting my training-to-be-a-pilot nephew at Din Tai Fung which is a lot of carefully made dumplings and wontons. I think we ordered too much, but we did manage to eat it all.
As we sat and ate we looked up to see the Sydney – whatever they are calling it now. Tower Eye? It will always be Centrepoint to me.
After that we had a lot of shops we wanted to see and very limited time – Uniqlo was first on the list because I wanted to look more closely at the puffer vests. I have become a big puffer vest person since finding a suedey one at W.Lane which I could wear to work – I need it there, because it is so dang cold all the time.
My Aunt found the color she wanted in her size and they were having a sale so BONUS.. It was around this time that my nephew chose to take his leave as perhaps puffer vest shopping is not the most exciting thing in the world. :)
I was not quite so lucky, but right next to where we were standing was a shelf of beige suedey vests with hoods. I did not want a hood, so I asked one of the staff to see if they could find the silver one in my size. She had to get a ladder and check the top shelf, then out the back. When she came back she could not find it in my size. I asked if she happened to have the suedey one in other colours or perhaps without a hood – she said no BUT then she showed me the hood comes off. Plus it was half price, so I was sold.
It is plush and not a colour I would usually pick. Then my Aunt tells me she is going to buy it for me as a gift and I said well in that case I can’t possibly wear it, I will have to put it into a glass case and hang it on the wall in order to treasure it forever. :) However I have worn it twice now, both times without ruining it forever by dropping food on it. I was very glad to have it in Canberra as it got super cold while we were there.
Next we went to Sephora – being not a makeup person this is a shop I had never been to in my life before. I was looking for their hand masks which are a glove filled with moisturiser. I found them, and bought two, one each for me and The Other Half to try. He is struggling with the cold weather causing his hands to dry out and crack. This was not perhaps the best choice of shop to visit for my Aunt, who went a little cuckoo picking out various awesome things. They do not have Sephora in Adelaide.
These hand masks turned out to be 100% fabulous and well worth the $$ – I highly recommend these though I believe in store they were $7 each. I found them to be reusable and have used the avocado one three times already. The Other Half finally tried his and he is a believer too, though he thinks having two weeks off from work might have helped his hands repair themselves somewhat.
Next we dropped into H&M for a quick wander about. I was fascinated by the earrings many of which seemed like they would be very heavy to wear, like this pair which are clip on earrings. I rarely see those anymore!
But it turns out these are made of a very light metal and actually are some of the lightest earrings I have ever experienced. Spoiler alert, I ended up getting a pair like this when we visited Canberra for Floriade. I could not resist them as they were flowers.
A quick walk through the Myer fragrance hall which was absolutely packed with people, we could barely move, which surprised me. It was Fathers Day, did everyone just leave their shopping a bit late, or is it normal for this to be so packed on a Sunday?
We grabbed a coffee and then went to the train station way too early, as those of us who have so far to travel and are a bit worried about missing the train home likely tend to do. Just over three hours later we arrived back at Bomaderry Station and then home to my parents for a Sunday Roast which was very delicious.
It was a good experience and useful for me as I have to go to a conference in Manly in October, and there is NO WAY I am driving anywhere near Sydney, so I intend to catch the train. That is overnight so at least it will be 3 hours travelling on the train each day and likely a work colleague will be travelling with me.
Do I want to know more, about this?
Are you kidding me, Coles?
So you are offering me free collectible branded mini things, if I spend money in your store.
Oh, and now you want people to buy stuff to go with your “free” things? SRSLY?
I have some more questions for you, Coles. Just how much money did you waste on this? Is this stuff plastic? Of course it is. Didn’t you just go to all that effort to get rid of single use plastic bags from your stores?
I “recycle” more than enough of the real sized packaging. I certainly do not need any mini sized branded items. I am sure this is lovely and nice and fun for the kids, but you know what I would prefer instead? Australian grown products on the shelves. I do not want Chinese grown champignons. How about you spend some time, effort and money on getting back to giving us decent products to buy.
Or even, I don’t know, fix the floors in our local store which have had yellow and black duct tape on them for some months now so that people don’t trip over broken lino.
Or clean – or replace – the egg shelves, which are truly disgusting. Yes I took a photo but I am not going to inflict it on my poor unsuspecting blog readers, it is *that* bad. Eew. If my egg cartons actually were placed on those shelves there is no way I could buy them – thankfully they are protected by a cardboard box instead, which makes me feel a bit bad that I am thankful for more cardboard, but that is the uncomfortable situation your lack of cleanliness places me in.
You should know, Coles, that I am spending less and less money with you. Why not spend some time and money figuring out why that is the case, instead of wasting time on this junk.
Even worse, it is made in China junk, and designed by a company from the Netherlands. You don’t think you could have found someone here in Australia who could create and manufacture this junk?
Did you really need to line this packaging with plastic, too?
As mentioned in Monday’s post, socks are my kryptonite. I also said “But not buying these socks was one of the harder moments of this challenge for me.” My brain said – You might need socks later, and Aldi do not always have them available. It is just $6, what does it matter. You better get these now!
The way things work right now, I tend to have 7-10 pairs of socks that I wear over and over until they get a hole in them, then I either buy more because they are on Special Buys at Aldi, or dig some out of the Long Forgotten Socks drawer.
Rather than buying more socks, I figured it would be a good time to catalogue the socks I have and try wearing one pair each day.So the first task was to pull out all the socks from the Long Forgotten Sock Drawer, wash them, then pair them up again. I discovered I actually had two Long Forgotten Socks Drawers.
When I pulled the socks out of the dryer, The Other Half laughed at me and said how are you going to pair all these up? I did not initially comprehend the magnitude of the problem. After 40 minutes of sock pairing, I had to take a break, and I still had half the basket to go.
51 pairs of thin socks I can wear around the house.
13 pairs of long socks for wearing with boots.
8 pairs of bed socks.
5 pairs of fluffy long socks for house wear in winter.
17 pairs of black sports socks.
45 pairs of socks I can wear for workouts.
Plus 5 extra ones I had washed and forgot about, not pictured
The pair I was wearing at the time I did this – not pictured =
Dear Brain, I do not need to buy any more socks right now. So please shut up. ;)
If I wore only one pair per day I would be set for 145 days. The truth is, I do not wear only one pair per day. I wear one workout pair, then I have my shower, then I wear another pair of thin socks for the rest of the day. So in reality I am set for about 50 days.
You can expect the occasional Sock Friday where I montage together some of the cuter pairs, during this project.
No socks were purchased in the making of this post, but many, many, MANY socks were paired.
We all knew this moment would arrive eventually. We’ve been holding out hoping that we could just struggle on with the current batch cooking pan and we made it two months, nearly three, but you tell me, would you like to keep eating out of this?
Yes that is supposed to be a non stick cooking surface, but as you can see parts of it have flaked off leaving the surface underneath exposed, and unfortunately that surface underneath is rusting.
We had two cooking pans which I could use for batch cooking, the first one rusted to a point we were uncomfortable with some months back, and we were down to just the one pan.
We tried using baking paper hoping that would solve some of the issues, at the very least keep the rusted area away from the food, but that did not work out for us. Paper + Gravy = soggy mess. I was able to rescue that particular cottage pie with a lot of skill and talent, but clearly this was not an option for future batch cooks.
The hunt was already on for a pan we could use which was dishwasher safe – the reality is, we are not going to manually wash a pan. We are dishwasher users and we know it. So some of the options were out before we even began. I was looking online at some options via commercial cookware shops in Sydney, and due to The Other Half having two weeks of holiday we planned a trip up to buy a new baking pan.
Then fate stepped in. We listed our tandem kayak for sale on a couple of local secondhand sites in November 2017, after buying a second single kayak. I’d had a few enquiries, mostly from people who wanted to pay $500 for a kayak that currently retails for $5,000. Second hand prices on our particular kayak were mostly $2,500 or so, and we wanted to get at least $2,000 for it.
There was no particular rush and we were happy to sit and wait for the right person to enquire. On the last day of February, they did, but they were in Canberra. They wondered if we could bring it over to them, and we decided that we could kill two birds with one stone – sell the kayak and buy some new cookware. So I began looking at commercial cooking places in Canberra, and I found this one with some aluminium pans that might work.
On further googling it turns out these are not dishwasher safe, and The Other Half said to me, can’t we get something stainless steel, like our two fantastic Sunbeam Banquet frypans which get dishwashed regularly without any issues whatsoever?
Honestly, if I still had the box this came in, we could box our Ellise up and sell it as brand new and nobody would ever know. They are costly up front but you get your moneys worth long term. I’ve cooked in that frypan 2-3 times a week for over 18 years now. It performed so brilliantly and dishwashed so well, we bought a second one, though I managed to break the lid on that one sadly. Glass & Snoskred = a very bad idea.
Apparently no, commercial cooking places in Canberra did not seem to have anything stainless steel. I ended up looking at IKEA and I found the KONCIS which claims to be dishwasher safe and half the price of any commercial options. We thought we would give this a try, so we planned to stop at IKEA for lunch after dropping off the kayak.
We took the “back way” over to Canberra. They have finally finished sealing it and Google Maps will now route people this way BUT I have to say it is Not Great, Bob. Do Not Want. Cannot Recommend. I nearly wore a hole in the passenger side floor trying to brake, even though there is no brake on that side of the car, which is clearly a design flaw. :)
Also out near Tarago, we saw this large air force plane doing loops. I’m pretty sure it was a C-17 Globemaster.
We dropped off the kayak, spending nearly two hours with the new owners chatting and taking them through how it works. Then we headed to IKEA for a Swedish Meatball lunch – The Other Half had a chicken parmagiana which was one of the best he has ever had, he rated it a 9 out of 10. They did have this Salted Caramel Tart which tempted me but we had other dessert plans.
I have never once been to an IKEA without buying candles, but this was my challenge to myself today – only buy things we need, not things we want. I have enough candles to last the year if I ration them effectively. But to make sure we were good and tempted, we walked through the entire store. I took some photos of items I did not buy – a post for another day. What did we buy?
2x Koncis $14.99.
1x Vardagen $9.99 as we had an incident with our current muffin tray and we wanted to try out the anodised aluminium.
This Lyckad $9.99 and this Lyckad $6.99 to replace long-ago broken baking dishes, 2x Vildkaprifol @ $4.99ea as these are much better fitting oven gloves than the Iris we own now and those Iris are a bit stained, 3 sets of Plattboj $3.99.
2x Bastis refills. I use these to remove cat hair from various surfaces, then I discovered that you could go straight to the source and lint roller the cats themselves. They absolutely love it!
We got out of there for less than $90 and not one candle purchased. We were going to go to Frugii Dessert Laboratory as we thought it was near to an IGA store and we have been on an IGA tour looking for their carpet cleaner. However it turns out that was a SupaBarn, not an Supa IGA. So our dessert was cancelled. We dropped into Heatherbrae on the way home instead.
The obligatory chai latte fingernails shot.
Dessert was a small crispy donut with cream. I also picked up a cherry and apple pie for desserts this week as The Other Half has gone camping – which makes three dinners and desserts where I can have what I love without having to worry that he does not love it too.
I made a massive Chicken Cacciatore filled with things The Other Half does not eat AKA olives, mushrooms, and anchovies on Monday and there are leftovers for the next two nights and maybe even nights after that. It is so nice to not have to cook for a few days.
So, I will have to make a new graphic for the end of month #yobn post this month. Nay, something bought in March. Rule No 1 of this challenge went as follows – If we both agree that we NEED something, we will buy it. Everything else here was also a need, not a want.
I was down to one ceramic baking dish after some of our old ones cracked and broke last year, the oven mitts were too big for our hands and food stained, and I won’t post the photo of the muffin tin because it looks so bad, after some of the coloured Coles patty pan liners left their colour behind – yes I did not even know that was a thing that could happen, but it has not washed off even after several dishwashings. Only plain white ones from now on, but the coloured ones were handy to tell my baked goods apart from his baked goods.
Supervisor cat will supervise any deliveries. :)
Ordered on Boxing Day AKA 26th of December, this was my last purchase for myself before The Year Of Buying Nothing began. However it did not arrive until the 3rd of January which made it a nice New Year treat for me.
There were three new mesh tops from Boo Radley in white, soft pink and raspberry. This item is still on clearance but at the time of writing there is only one size left. What might happen is folks get it home, try it on, don’t like it or it does not fit, then they send it back with the 30 day moneyback guarantee. Mine are most certainly staying here.
There were 42 items from Yankee Candle. This item can no longer be found on the website. I fear they are not going to restock this brand. I got 18 mini votive candles and 24 melts.
There was one more purchase we bought for the Delicate Nirvana on New Year’s Eve which I will tell you about next Wednesday.
Anything in this shade of green stops me in my tracks, but in this case it took me a little while to work out exactly what I was looking at. Shades of teal green are my favourite as well as a great favourite of my Mother.
I very nearly bought it for her for Christmas, but it turned out to be $77. It is quite large, so I can justify the cost. However I cannot justify buying her random glass items just because they are her favourite colour, or because they are something I might love to own. ;)
On a recent trip to Canberra I thought we would go to the Canberra Outlet Centre and try to find some t-shirts that actually fit me. This was a bit of a mistake on my part because it involved dragging The Other Half around a lot of stores which created frustration on his behalf on my behalf, if that makes any sense. I was annoyed that I was not finding anything and he was annoyed that I was annoyed.
After trying countless womens departments which were all an epic fail – the sleeves are far too short – I decided to try a few menswear places and we ended up in Factorie, a store I had never been in before in my lifetime but it reminded me a lot of Cotton On and I discovered later they are a part of the same company. I found a few t-shirts that looked like the sleeves would be an ok length and more importantly the material was not too thin, plus they were quite long even in the medium size, so I tried them on.
I wasn’t sure whether the length of time we’d already spent looking had worn me down to a nub but I thought these would do for around the house, so I bought two for $25. The next day I wore one of them and fell in love, so I went to the website where I discovered I could get a whole lot of them for $4.95 each. Free shipping was $50 so I splurged and bought 10 t-shirts – one being $9.95 to take me over the $50.
I do not know on what planet some of these can be considered menswear. The curved tail tee is super long on me, ending up somewhere mid-thigh. The colours are mostly pastel shades. They are very soft and comfortable and perfect for around the house. I’ve got enough to last the summer now and a couple of them are good enough to wear out if necessary.
This was the most expensive of my order online buys – the shaded angle t-shirt for $9.95
I will be keeping an eye on their clearance section because I saw these gorgeous tie dyed tees in store and while I do not want to pay $24.95 for them, I will be happy to pay under $10 for them at a later time.