Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Premature price rises

So I'd been pussyfooting around about replenishing my supply of face moisturiser because I still haven't found the perfect one, but I need something because I'm running out.

So after much Libran indecision I went into Farmers (where there is almost always a sale on - but not today).

Only it's a few dollars more than it was a couple of weeks ago.
And at the pharmacy up the road, it was priced even more expensively.

So what I reckon is this - even though there's a GST (that's VAT or sales tax) increase scheduled for the 1st of October, some retailers are marking up their prices early.

The cheek of it!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The search goes on after all

Around the time my Trilogy moisturiser started to run out, I noticed that sometimes after I used it on my face my skin started to heat up. So I guess it must have developed a sensitivity to one or more of the ingredients. The Xma-Ease was till fine, but it's not a moisturiser so I can't use that on its own. was time to go back on the search for something to use on my (how inconvenient!) dry and irritable complexion.

One problem I had with experimenting was that if I squirt something from the tester bottle at the shop and put it on my hand, wrist or even behind my ear, it might feel perfectly comfortable. But it might be quite irritating on my face. And there's no way I'll put something new on my face unless I'm at home - in case the new product turns out to be a burn-y, sting-y thing from dermatology hell.

Then I had a Eureka! moment and realised all I had to do was to carry a small, clean pot around with me so I can squirt an untried moisturiser into and take it home for testing.

If I'd only thought of that earlier, I'd have save myself 20 bucks on a tube of The Honey Company sensitive skin cream.
It did save me from wasting money on a tub of Olive moisturiser though. And both of these felt perfectly nice on my hands.

The latest hopeful was Lush's Celestial, of which I was given a free sample to try. By all accounts it's fabulous for dry and sensitive skin, and it's been raved about on the Internet. On day one, I was converted. On day two, I thought I detected a slight, worrying tingle that came and went after I put it on my face. On day three, the boy took a look at my glowing cheeks and said I looked like I'd been over-enthusiastic with the exfoliation (which I daren't do).

Apparently Olay is quite safe. Does anyone know whether it's tested on animals?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So much for that

I'm talking about the book by Lionel Shriver. I finished it ages ago - had to, because the library only lets you borrow a book for 4 weeks and won't let you renew.


The premise of the book is this. What do you do if you are finally - after decades of dreaming, planning, earning and saving - ready to take the plunge and retire to a life of relative luxury on a beautiful-but-cheap third world country...only to find out that your spouse has cancer and needs the not-quite-adequate health insurance that comes with your hated job?

I was prepared for the book to be depressing, but it wasn't all that. The guy whose life dream was so rudely crushed, whose savings are now destined to be flushed down the black hole that is the cost of American healthcare, doesn't sink into a pit of despair. He rises to the challenge of looking after his wife, who is bitter and angry at her fate; stays in his thankless job under a useless jerk of a boss; and staunchly deals with it. Then he wins.
When Shriver (through her characters) talks about the American healthcare system, it's like she did all her research from the Mike Moore movie. Actually, if you're quite cynical about the American way of life and the way it seems to be controlled by the rich and the corporate, you'll be nodding and going "hell yeah!" and "bastards!".

But our hero, the little guy who plays by the rules, well you could say he wakes up.
There's even a happy ending.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Big score and little op shop

It's not actually snowing.

It's just that the dressing table mirror is horribly dirty and if I'd realised just how dirty it was, I would have given it a once-over with some Spray 'n' Wipe or something.

So anyway, just when I was considering whether it was worth cutting up 3 pairs of old jeans left to me by the boy, and trying to turn it into some kind of denim jacket that doesn't look like a denim jacket - I found this lovely specimen at an op shop 'round the corner from work.

It's a dark denim and in a non-classic style, which I love. And it only cost $7!

I did have to spend a few hours shortening the sleeves (it took so long because I kept putting the cuffs in the wrong way around). But now I have a lovely jacket for those not-so-warm late-Spring/early-Summer days.

Though it does mean I have to find more non-denim bottoms, because I do not like the double-d look...

Friday, September 17, 2010


The good news is -  the Calvin Klein bootleg jeans that I bought two years ago and hardly wore because they were uncomfortably tight around my generous middle, are now comfortable. I just have to get through the first day right after they've been washed and dried, to allow for normal expansion.

The bad new is - bootlegs don't suit me. (Yeah I know I can just take them in at the sides, but these days even minor sewing projects take weeks to get to).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cheap and cheerful

With our current financial situation, it'd be silly to be a retail snob. While I love the idea of choosing quality over quantity (or just something that lasts over something you'll be cleaning the sink with after 5 washings), what it comes down to is what can we afford.

Which is why I now love the Two Dollar Shop. It's like a miniature department store, which cheap versions of just about anything. Some would say the stuff in there is cheap and nasty, I beg to differ.

For example - when you are looking for paper to wrap up children's birthday presents, doesn't it make more sense to get the pretty stuff that rips easily, than the expensive stuff that's going to be ripped?

And when it comes to knitting, I do love to see and feel the gorgeous yarns at the specialty yarn shops. But hey - I'm not trying to create an heirloom, I just want to feed my addiction and have something wearable at the end of it.  So when I found some el cheapo acrylic at Spotlight that was exactly the right shade of denim blue, I weighed it up against the nearest thing (but the wrong blue and three times the cost), I knew it was okay to go for the cheap one.

That place is also excellent for 5 year old girls who like sparkly stuff.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The late show

Apparently TLM's school is putting on a show, and her class is in it.
The show has a space theme and TLM is...the moon!
I definitely plan to see her first live performance since starting school (not least because the boy had a hand in the props-making).

But there's one thing worrying me. It runs for two consecutive evenings between 7pm and 8pm.

Now that's a great starting time for people like me who can longer stay up late. And it's a great show length for people who are only there to see their own kid anyway. But I think it's a terrible time for a performer whose normal bedtime is 6.45pm...

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Left is left and right is right and never the twain shall match up

Since I re-started my cardigan project, using the latest knitting pattern, I have re-knitted the right front piece twice and the left front piece 2 1/5 times. I never could have predicted that I would have this much problem getting the two front pieces to match.

I mean, when it happened with the first cardigan knitting pattern I thought it was because I was knitting it sideways. But this one is more traditional i.e. one back piece, 2 front pieces and 2 sleeve pieces.  Meditative as knitting is, I lost my cool when I realised that I was in for yet another round of unravelling (thank the gods that the yarn seems to be very forgiving).

If I were to do it all again (and that's not out of the question), I would do both front pieces at the same time. It would require lots more concentration to make sure I increase, decrease, bind off and make buttonholes when they are due, but it would be the best way to ensure they end up the same size and shape (it worked when I tried this for the sleeves).

Maybe I should have stuck to knitting squares and rectangles for a bit longer...