Sunday, 10 November 2013

A milestone reached

High Four for Responsibility!*

I think I may have finally reached the milestone of Official Responsible Adulthood.  I certainly feel responsible anyhow.

How did I get here you ask?

Well, it wasn't turning 18.  Nor moving out of home.  It wasn't buying a car.  It wasn't my first holiday overseas without my family either. Or finishing uni, getting a job and moving a three hours drive away from anyone I knew. 

This week marks the week that I paid off my credit card for the first time since I got one when I was 19.  That's 13 years folks.  13 years of paying off bits and then spending more, repeated ad nauseam.

Hooray!  I can't describe just how chuffed I am with myself that I didn't spend my tax return on a Thermomix or a fancy new blender (my two initial thoughts of how to use it).

This means that as of now, apart from about $500 of HECS debt (uni fees for those nonAU people), I am completely debt free.  Admittedly, MR has lots of debt because he bought our house but it was his decision to not do a joint mortgage. 

The opportunities are endless.  Unfortunately, now I feel like I have lots of spare money because I have an empty credit card so I need to get onto reducing my limit quick smart before I belie my above claim to responsible adult-ness.   I do however have a bit of extra cash each pay that used to go towards paying off my credit card which I'm going to save all of and, oh all right, some of and put it towards a deposit for a new car (and some more debt). 

The other bit, if I'm entirely honest, will most likely be blown wildly on new clothes that I don't need and craft stuff that I don't use.  Just like usual.

Maybe I still have a little way to go...

Do you feel like a responsible adult at least some of the time?  Did you have a defining moment of reaching that milestone? 

* I may have been struggling to find a relevant photo and Meow has such cute fluffy paws...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Made by hand :: baby pants

I'm belated joining up with Christina's new(ish) linky, Made By Hand today.  I've been meaning to join in for a while but Thursdays are busy ones for me and when I get home I'm usually a bit too tired for blogging.  Thursdays are my Fridays.

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit Sally and her brand new little bub.  The night before, I chastised myself for not yet having made a present for little baby A.  So I got online and looked for a simple pattern that I could hopefully make without staying up past midnight or getting overly frustrated with my continued inability to sew things and have them turn out how they should.  I came across Brindle and Twig on etsy and found this nice easy two piece pattern Sarouel baby pants.  Two pieces. Now that's my kind of pattern. Even better, it can be made with knit or woven fabric.  Also, the pattern includes sizes from 0-3 months right up to 2-3 years.  Very handy. 

I got sewing and managed to get them made in a few hours.  Well before midnight even.  The only fiddly bits were the leg hems and that was only because they were small. 

I used a Robert Kaufman fabric from my stash that I think I've had for perhaps 3 or 4 years.  I have a big stash for a not very confident sewer because I always like the idea of sewing things but when it gets to it I have the above mentioned problem of it not turning out right so I buy the fabric and then baulk at the sewing.  So it was very nice to find something suitable already in my house.

I was really happy with how well they turned out.  They looked like I imagined.  Wonders will never cease.  Perhaps I should stick to two piece patterns from now on?

Sally very kindly took some photos of A in his pants and emailed them to me so I could blog them.  Doesn't he look so cute!


Sunday, 3 November 2013

New Zealand ::South Island::

Continuing on from here.

From Wellington we got a flight down to Queenstown.  We decided to do it this way because by now we only had 4 nights left before we flew out!  Time goes so quickly on holidays.  The view coming in to land in Queenstown was just beautiful, even though we were apparently on the wrong side of the plane for the really big mountain views.

We had two nights in Queenstown, the first place we stopped at properly since visiting family.  We stayed at the Pounamu Apartments which I would definitely recommend.  I made sure we booked somewhere with a washing machine so we could clean all our dirty things and there was even complimentary washing detergent next to the washing machine.  Although we had a back apartment because we just booked a studio room, there were one bedroom and two bedroom apartments at the front of the complex which had absolutely amazing views of the lake and mountains behind it.

The ski fields were already closed but we took a drive up to see some snow (which was very icy because of melting) and we just missed a freak Spring snowstorm the day after we left which left people trapped where they were and unable to get through the mountain passes.  While it would have been pretty awesome to see snow falling, we were glad not to have to change our holiday plans.  While up at the snow fields, I was captured by an discarded, unmelted icy pole which must have been there for a few days at least as the place had been closed for almost a week.  You would never see anything like that in Western Australia!  The view up there was pretty amazing as well.

We also went up the mountain/hill on the Gondola and down via flying fox, or as they call it, zip lines.  I'd done a flying fox in Dwellingup (south WA) on a school camp and loved it so I was really the drive behind doing this.  It was the only adrenaline style thing I was really interested in doing.  It was so much fun.  There were 6 zip lines in total, zigzagging down the hill front.  Unfortunately, we completely forgot to go to the store to see the photos of us on the tour that we could buy and we didn't take very many while doing it.  We were about an hour out of Queenstown when I remembered we were supposed to go and look at the photos.  I did get a couple of us turning upside down in our harnesses but because they were taken from behind all you can see is bums.
The gondola ride up and the view from the top

Ziplining and the amazing view between the trees
Queenstown is such a gorgeous place, I could easily have spent a week or two there.  There were rugs draped over the back of the chairs in the outside seating area of the cafes and pubs to keep warm.  So cute.  There were daffodils growing wild on the banks of the river and the side of the road.  It would have been lovely to hire bikes and go for a ride around (part) of the lake but we just ran out of time, as we did everywhere.

Following Queenstown, we drove to Dunedin.  On the way there we stopped at a cheese and winery and bought some picnic supplies.  We found a beautiful little spot by the side of the river with a little waterfall to sit and picnic next to.  We were so lucky with the weather, it continued to be sunny and even though it was cold, sitting in the sun was just glorious.

We were only in Dunedin for one day and spent most of it just wandering around until our flight which was in the evening.  We went to the Otago Museum and (more minibeasts alert) went to the Butterfly area in the Discovery World Tropical Forest.  The new butterflies were released at 10:30am and I was like a little kid rushing through the museum to make it in time (our breakfast took a bit longer to come out than we thought it would).  Because the new butterflies were still a bit dozy and their wings were still drying off, they were quite happy to be placed on the hand of a person and just chill out there until they were ready for flying.  So exciting!  I had one butterfly land on my nose but was too slow to take a photo.  There used to be a butterfly enclosure at the Zoo here in Perth but it closed down many years ago and now there are no butterfly places around.  Whenever I travel I always check for butterfly places. The tropical forest had three levels, ground, mezzanine and sky.  Down the bottom there were some tortoises in a pond which were pretty cute as well.

From Dunedin we flew to Auckland where we stayed the night just outside the airport and flew out the next day.  MR secretly upgraded out tickets to business class on the way back as well and because it was a newer plane we got the Skybed seats.  So amazing!  I read an entire book and watched a movie in comfort with my feet propped on the ottoman or stretched out on my bed.  Definitely the way to fly if you can!

Currently, it is seven weeks before we head over to New Zealand again for Christmas and while we won't get a chance to go to the South Island again as MR's family is in the North Island, I really cannot wait to do some more exploring.  Number 1 on my list is to have a bit of a soak in a nice warm geothermal stream somewhere, one of the things we ran out of time to do this trip. 

Do you have any other suggestions of places to go or things to do in the North Island?  We will be around the Te Puke region and I'd welcome any ideas, particularly good shops to hunt down!


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Trend setting

One of my students wears a cat ears headband which she has been wearing on and off for the entire school year.  It usually gets worn to school once or twice each week (or our two and a half days at Kindy).  It looks pretty much exactly like this set, but nowadays much more tatty.

She wears it inside (I don't mind), outside (over the top of her bucket hat), at rest time on the mat.  I'm sure she wears it quite a bit in other places when she is not at Kindy.

She has never lost it, which I think is quite a good feat for a Kindy child to have managed. 

Back in Term 3 I noticed another girl wear a set of cat ears to school one day in a different colour.  And then a few weeks after that two more did the same.  There are now about five girls in my class who occasionally wear these cat ears headbands to school.

It had never really occurred to me that trend setting can start at that age.  Maybe as a child I saw a girl wearing something I liked and wanted one myself, I don't know - I can't remember my Kindy years.  I remember when I moved towns in Year 3 and at my new school the fashion was for wearing your pleated skirt over your trackies in Winter.  And when we moved again when I was in Year 5, the fashion was for surf brands, which I never had.

How old were you when you first wanted something another child was wearing?  Or were you that child that everyone wanted to be just like?