Year Of Buying Nothing Update #4

Nothing was required, so nothing was purchased. YAY. Our record thus far – January, February, April = nothing bought. March = something bought. One out of 4 is not bad, especially when you consider I didn’t go crazy and shop up a storm in the Nay month, I just bought those few things we needed at IKEA then went right back to no-buying.

No Spend Days April

My goal this month was 13 days in a row no spend goal – if not for the TVSN final payment falling on the wrong day I would have achieved 15 days in between spends.

The last entry includes a gift voucher I bought for Mum for Mothers Day, so she can try having her nails done.

No Spend Goals For May

Next month I will try something a bit different – a maximum of one spend day each week. Now that the TVSN payment is completed, I should have absolute control over this. There are 5 weeks in May and I would like to limit my spend days to 4 in total if possible.

I am concerned that I might not have enough warm clothes for winter and may need to make either May or June Nay months instead of Yay months on the no-buy challenge. I did a wardrobe re-organise and washed everything that hasn’t been worn during summer and spring, so we will see how that goes.

Grocery Spending April

Grocery Budget for April = $600

Coles month – $158.35
Aldi month – $425.54
Bulk Chicken $37.85
Total grocery spend – $621.74
Grocery cost of $20.72/day.

We went 21.74 over budget this month thanks to a dishwasher tablet special @37 cents a tablet, we bought 4 bags so hopefully we will not need those again for a while – and bulk chicken on special ($6.99/kg).

Coles tried to tempt us into spending $80 a week for 4 weeks to earn $50 in flybys points. We could not even spend $80 in the first week, even after buying two quite expensive chicken roasts @ $15 each, now on special for $12 of course – which we tried the first fortnight and decided we loved enough to put a couple in the freezer.. they are almost like the Lenards mini roasts we used to buy. The stuffing is delicious, I highly recommend. :)

There was simply not enough of the things we buy on special to add up to $80. We have stocked up on most of our regular buys in past months.

Three of the items I had planned to buy at Coles that week I found at Aldi for a lot less $$. The most notable item being chai spice latte powder. I had planned to buy the Arkadia version at Coles which was on special for $5.20 and found a seemingly identical item at Aldi for $4.49 – they have matcha and turmeric latte powder available there too.

I wanted this to add chai flavour to my lattes and protein shakes. The first ingredient is sugar, and they suggest you use four heaped teaspoons which would be a LOT of sugar. I find one normal teaspoon is usually enough and I replace one of my sugar teaspoons in afternoon coffee with this. What I love most is the star anise flavour in this powder, it is gorgeous and not always present in Chai tea. The powder is great sprinkled on top of milk foam, too.

Grocery Spending Goals For May

We last bought potatoes in bulk on the 15th of March and we are still eating those same potatoes. I’ll make it through this week but we will probably have to buy some on our next shop. I may suggest we head up to Shellharbour and do another bulk buy though there is a big airshow on at Albion Park this weekend which will make getting around a bit troublesome.

We may up the vegetable buying this month as it is time for making winter soups, and I need to get some Vili’s pasties from the bulk shop. We just did a bulk chicken buy of 5kg and that made us 5 x2 packs of Chicken Kiev for the freezer, as well as 4 lots of chicken pieces.

I cooked 68 sausage rolls in one bulk cook, 66 of which went into the freezer. Yes we only ate two! I made “Meat Thing” which is essentially my sausage roll mixture (beef mince, carrot, brussel sprouts, leek, egg, cheese, whizz in the food processor, make into sausage rolls) put into muffin tins without pastry for dinner.

May has 31 days so the grocery budget is $620.

April Thoughts

Happy moments, the Brussels are back at last! I knew they would be appearing soon so I had added them to this months shopping list.

In April we had an incident with the best before date on some thickened cream ending one week into our fortnight, when the thing I had planned to cook with it was in the second week. So now I will write the date of our next shop on each shopping list and we will aim to get milk, cream, and other short life products to expire on/after that date.

2018yobn

Dip Nails

On Wednesday the 28th of March I got my first set of dip nails, also known as SNS nails. It was an interesting experience. This is an acrylic powder which bonds to the nail. It is not acrylic nails as you know them, though. They feel a lot lighter and you don’t do infills, the powder is removed and completely replaced on your next visit, similar to how gel nails are removed.

First of all the manicure overall is less “invasive” – they do not do all the filing, buffing and cuticle paring they normally would. This may be better for the natural nails underneath long term.

After the previous nail polish is removed, a base coat is put on but not your normal base coat, then the nails are dipped into a container full of powder. Surprisingly the powder does not stick to the finger, just to the nails. The finger is tapped gently to remove excess powder. The powder may be coloured and even in some cases sparkly.

Because I chose to have french tips, the white you see here is also powder in a different colour. Only the tips of the nail are dipped in the white powder. Underneath the powder are my own natural nails.

Some thoughts on this manicure –

Thursday 29th – After 24 hours – My nails are a LOT stronger with dip powder on them. Over time having gel nails I have identified times of the day where I have to be more careful – number one being after getting out of the shower. Time in the water does tend to soften both my real nails and the gel polish. That is not the case for dip nails.

Saturday 31st – I am loving this manicure. The one possible downside is if you look very closely you can see dots in the clear area of the nails – so you can actually see the powder. But that is far outweighed by the strength of the nails.

On Sunday the 1st of April planned life changed somewhat with the illness of BeeGee. This actually changed how I live life for the next two weeks. Anytime I touched the chicken, there was a handwashing. I’m a bit more handwashing orientated than your normal person but even I do not usually wash my hands several times an hour unless I am cooking.

Dip nails may work great for people who have their hands in water a lot.

I thought this would be an excellent test of the dip nails and I was right. The best thing about them – during the BeeGee time, I did not even have to think about them, or be concerned that I would break one. I did not baby them at all like I usually might with a normal gel manicure.

They grow out just like the normal gel nails do. This pic is the day before I got them redone, so you can see the gap of regular nail between the dip manicure and the cuticle. This photo does show the dots a little bit better than the previous pic too. You can also see that the white tips have grown out and you can see the normal nail underneath.

When we usually do a french tip manicure, my nail artist will paint the tips artificially a lot lower than they really are, so as the nail grows out you don’t see as much of the normal nail underneath.

I did manage to crack one approximately two weeks into the mani but unlike a regular manicure, this did not mean I had to run off and get it fixed right away. It was only the dip coating that I cracked and not the nail underneath, and the crack did not seem to have any effect on the strength of the nail at all..

After this great experience I decided to get another dip manicure and this time I decided to keep all the length my nails had grown in the past 3 weeks. Removal is done exactly the same way as gel nails – cotton wool soaked in nail polish remover is placed on top of the nail and aluminium foil placed over the top. I found that the powder comes off a lot easier than the gel does, so there is a lot less grinding and scraping.

Two days after having this done I am still on the fence about whether the length is a good decision for me. A week after having this done I am having some trouble doing some things with this length of nail. I’m worried I might not get my full 3-4 weeks out of this manicure due to the length – lesson learned for next time.

I am not especially worried that I will break one – dip nails are pretty incredible strength wise. I’m starting to wonder if it is possible to break them. I think if it could be done I would have managed it by now. I am wondering if one may be more likely to rip ones own nail out of the nail bed rather than break one of these.

I chose to go with a full colour rather than just tips this time. I’m still on the fence about the length of this mani, but we will see how it goes. :)

Manicures, Nail Art

Ikea Non Buys

LOOK the deities are trying to show me the way to IKEA. Sorry deities, I am 100% aware of where IKEA is thanks! ;)

And Now Snoskred Presents – Things I Did Not Buy From IKEA In March. Written towards the end of April, because time completely got away from me recently. Actually I have a stack of posts in part-finished format and I will need to focus in on that in May.

Overall, what I did not buy was a lot less stuff than I thought. We definitely need new black out curtains for our bedroom and my lounge room. These SOLIDASTER are beautiful. The black part feels like a flocked velvet. #tobuy2019 :)

We already have two MATLUST chopping boards so I resisted buying another one or several. These are great for pizza night, they do not curl up with the extra heat.

The MOLGAN is very handy for night time. We have a version of this in our ensuite and I would like to add in a couple more to other parts of the house, maybe the hallway and the other toilet.

I could have bought all the candles but I restrained myself and did not buy a single one. These NJUTNING were a bit up money but they did smell fantastic. The website says – A spicy scent of bergamot and tea with warm milk. When the candle has burnt itself out the cup can be used as a tealight holder. – I have never had any success turning one of these cups into a candle holder. There must be a way to do it, if I ever buy one of these I will google that. :)

You can see what we did buy here – I am happy to report that after several bulk cooks, these KONCIS were exactly what we needed and they dishwash beautifully.

2018yobn, IKEA

Musical Monday – Hey Boy, Hey Girl

I had not heard this song for ages, but then my apple iPhone lost all my music and I had to borrow The Other Half’s spare iPhone which happened to have some older tracks and playlists. One part of this video clip for this song was pretty memorable – the skeletons on the dance floor, and whenever I hear it I see skeletons jumping in my mind.

This song is by the Chemical Brothers, and I do enjoy some of their other music.

music

Friday Funny 2

bestphotoever

First up, best photo ever used in an ad trying to sell something!

Secondly, let me see if I have this straight. This rust bucket will cost me $200, unless I choose to risk my life and try starting this car which has not been started in five years, and for risking my life I have to pay an extra $300? WTF?

If I try it and it does not work, is that still an extra $300? What if I buy it for $200, take it away on a trailer, and try it without you knowing, will you hunt me down for the extra $300?

I “recon” that the seller will be keeping this rust bucket for a while! ;)

Fail Whale, wrong world

An Aussie Visitor

On Easter Monday there was a kitty commotion. Grumpy is our door guard, and sometimes she behaves like there is a cat outside and there *is* and other times she behaves that way and I can see nothing at all. But this time, there was quite a sight to be seen! And she was freaking out. I looked out the window and dropped everything I was doing, ran out the back and told The Other Half to put down the hose and follow me.

I’d read on Facebook that a property nearby had a resident Echidna and it had dropped in to visit.

It climbed up on the windowsill to stare at Grumpy, and you can see Grumpy was Not Amused, or perhaps just not sure what the heck this was. But it did not just want to visit us in the front yard, and promptly went and dug under the fence. Seeing what was likely to happen, we had already locked the chooks up. The minute this thing climbed under the fence, the girls went crazy, side eye-ing, bagerking and clucking up a storm.

It was starting to get dark, so something had to be done. Lucky we have a country farm boy living here, and lucky he is a welder and had some serious gloves handy. You do not want to handle one of these creatures without major protection.

The first thing they do is try to dig themselves in. They are very determined creatures, but so is The Other Half.

This lovely creature was relocated back to the property it lives on. :)

Aussie Culture, country life

Vale BeeGee

The Vale posts are always hard to write but especially so this time. My wonderful BeeGee was euthanased on Monday morning. She had been making so much progress. We had got both the infections under control and in fact her ear infection was completely gone when the vet checked it Monday. But on Sunday she began to go backwards as far as progress. It became clear that the infection had spread to the one place we had no chance of fixing it, her brain.

For the past two weeks BeeGee was the center of our world. Looking after her took the number one place on our to-do list. We became masters of finding a solution to whatever problem was happening at that moment. The Other Half built a Raspberry Pi thing to do the camera stuff we needed, so we could have an eye on her without having to disturb her rest time. I made many bowls of chicken crumble mash, making them the right consistency for easy eating.

BeeGee has taught me so much about myself. I had no idea I was even capable of this level of chicken handling. While the outcome has not been what we wanted, I would not take back one minute of that precious time I got to spend with my BeeGee. Even cleaning up her poops has been a joy. I’m feeling a bit lost without her.

When she was a well chicken out in the flock, she loved all the treats but especially lactose free yoghurt and watermelon. She had gained a high position in the flock and was much loved by the other girls. She was never once mean to another chicken, even the Mean Girl Pekins who would have deserved it. She was a kind girl with loads of personality and a beautiful spirit.

As I always post when this happens – there are 7 other chickens in the yard for whom life continues. They live minute by minute, sucking the most joy out of each and every moment, whether it is a dirt bath, finding a bug, eating a treat from the humans.. all we can do is love them while they’re here, protect them the best we can from predators, know when it is time to let them go, and remember them when they are gone.

We will miss you, BeeGee. We loved our special moments with you. We will remember.

Thank you for being such a great chook. Thank you for fighting so hard to stay with us, you very nearly won your fight, and you won our hearts along the way. Now you are safe, warm, free from pain and hanging out with our loved girls at Rainbow Bridge, where I am sure they serve endless plates of lactose free yoghurt.

Vale Pets

Things I Did Not Buy March

Those candle holders outlined in pink are just perfect for my candle shelf, but #yobn too bad so sad. I am a *bit* sad about this one though, because I think they would reflect the candle light beautifully and also allow me to put a couple of candles up higher. They are at Haven & Space in Berry and the deal with that place is a little bit like Costco – if you don’t buy it when you see it chances are you won’t see it again.

Maybe I will add this to my List Of Things To Look For in 2019 which will be very easy, just look back through all these posts and see what I did not buy. And speaking of things I want to add to my List Of Things To Buy In 2019.. I would like to get a decent ring.

I have several rings which no longer fit me. One of which is mystic topaz that I bought in Hawaii and I am thinking now maybe I will get that put into a new setting of some kind. More than likely silver because I prefer that.

It might be time to take my stuff in and get a price on having this done, because jewellery sitting unworn is a bit of a waste, and it is technically not *buying* something. I’m probably going to visit a local jeweller to do this and will likely buy a ring locally in 2019 but I do like some of the rings available on TVSN, mostly the NY Gems and Dallas Prince stuff.

I have been eyeing this ring for about 6 months now. But I have no idea what ring size I am. Interestingly I asked them to send me a ring sizer back when I ordered my Pilates machine, and it has never arrived. I wonder if this is fate, or perhaps #yobn special powers.

This top is totally my thing, except for the neckline.

This is the kind of thing I went looking for in the latter half of 2017 and did not find, so I ended up with these tops from Factorie.

TVSN had themselves a little Easter Saturday sale, and HOOLEY DOOLEY I would so have bought a couple of things, if not for #yobn magically selling out my sizes. My Boo Radley dress I did not buy in January at $59.95 was now $34.95, but totally sold out in my size.

And this cute little dress which I totally would have bought in black was only available in grey in my size and I did not love the grey one. You can see why – look how all the details pop on the black one and kinda vanish on the grey. I have seen a lot of their garments locally and have always been impressed with the quality even if the item was not my style.

These would have been a great addition to my winter wardrobe and at those prices I would not have minded breaking my #yobn pledge – when we are talking about saving over $100 and it is a designer one loves and enjoys, it becomes a bargain and we have a rule about that in this house, too.

This post became too long to add in the IKEA stuff so that will be a post on its own! ;)

2018yobn

The BeeGee

At what point does one decide their chicken is on the mend? Is it when you place your chicken on a towel on a chair while you run to grab something and when you return you discover your chicken has decided to take off, fly down, and run over to visit with their chicken friends who are on the other side of the shadecloth? They had a lovely chicken chat.

Is it when this chicken decides it will prefer to keep the large plant pot in between itself and yourself? When you have to chase her to pick her back up? Or does one want to keep from thinking this in case of jinxing her? I’m a bit superstitious like that.

In some ways all of this progress stuff is a very excellent sign. Sure, she is not anywhere near ready to rejoin her flock. When she walks she is still a little off balance. But this time last week she was not even able to stand. She does not seem to want to eat on her own but she will eat when we offer her food held at the precise location most convenient for pecking.

More than anything else, I want BeeGee to get back to living her optimal chicken life. Having said that, these moments I am getting to spend with her, where she is sitting on my lap eating chicken crumble mash out of a bowl.. these moments are very special for me.

The hours – quite literally – that she has spent sleeping on me after a feed while I gently trace the patterns in her feathers.. the way her gold feathers reflect the light in the evening, these are all memories I am storing in my memory banks and keeping.

For now, I’m just planning to enjoy these moments. I have a lot of hope that she will get back to her normal chicken life. It may take a bit longer than any of us would like. We’ve done everything possible for her and we will continue to do so. The rest of it is up to her.

I’m not going to bore you with too many updates – non-chicken posts for this next week on the blog are already scheduled. Until she is back with her flock you may get a quick Saturday post.

Chickens