It’s nearly half way through the year & I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a funk. Passed my 6 month probation at work but the pressure is beginning to build & I’m feeling it big time. Feeling a bit lost but am garnering some effort to pen down some practical goals for myself for self care & to ensure I don’t burn out.
One thing I want to achieve by the end of the year is to clear out first my room, followed by my house once my parents move out & Matt moves in. There’s just way too much clutter around & I just feel a bit locked in. I also want to kit out the house properly as I never quite got the chance to do so. I got a new couch & dining table 4 years ago & that’s the extent of my decoration touch in my house. There’s a lot of things that need to change. Part of this change also means decluttering & organising car boot sales to get rid of stuff. I think once that’s done, there will be more room to add my own flair to my house.
Another thing I want to accomplish is to also launch my side business, with a view & eventual goal of turning it into my livelihood. Work pays extremely well & being a government servant definitely has its perks. But it also has its downsides of being stressful & some days the stress is just overwhelming. I am confident in my abilities but mentally I’m tired at times. I need that creative outlet to let me be me again.
It has been a difficult week with being unwell with a cold & coming back to lots of stuff to do at work. I know I will climb out of this but at the moment it is tough going & I feel like I need a break from things. I just have to keep reminding myself that things can only get better from here ?
Another month down, another month closer to becoming a Mrs! So far we’ve got 90% of vendors locked in, with only a few more to go. The few things left to do are:
- Book accommodation for the night before & upgrading to the suite
- Organise wedding cake
- Make bouquets. I’ve decided to go fake flowers as real were going to cost around $400 to $500 versus around $150 for fake
- Confirming makeup artist for myself and bridesmaids if required
- Make/buy wedding favours
- Get remainder of jewelry – wedding rings & other accessories. Already sourced some earrings
- Get the remainder of documents to the celebrant for the Notice of Intended Marriage
- Confirm guest list
- Send out save the dates
- Send out invitations
- Get sized for wedding dress, alter dress
- Get possible cheongsam/qipao for tea ceremony
I’m sure there a few things I’ve left out such as the kitchen tea/bridal shower & hen’s night but those are not as pressing at the moment. I’m wanting to get the big ticket items & important things out of the way as early as I can so that we can start populating our calendars with meetings for the run up to the wedding.
The wedding planning has died down a little lately, which is great. We’re hoping to get most of the planning sorted by July this year, so we’ll have the rest of the year to focus on ourselves. We’re also looking at moving in together pretty soon, so that will be quite an effort in itself too. Count down is on! Just over a year to the wedding & we’re looking to be in relatively good shape. Now to work on our wedding bodies 😉
It has been just under 4 months since we’ve gotten engaged & only about 2 months since we started really planning and thinking about the wedding. It actually has been a pretty painless and fun process to be quite honest. To date, we’ve done the following:
- Picked a date
- Picked a venue for the ceremony and reception
- Put a deposit for the venue
- Picked my bridesmaids & maid of honour
- Met a celebrant and put a deposit for services
- Tried on a dress, liked it & put a deposit for it
- Met a photographer/videographer, liked them & getting ready to decide payment options
- Arranged meetings for a decorator and DJ
- Sourced a potential florist
- Tentatively arranged accommodation for the night before and night of the wedding
- Spoke to a makeup artist to source quotes
- Sourced potential bridesmaids and traditional attire online
- Sources potential custom made rings
I think we’ve done pretty well to have done so many things in such a short amount of time and with relatively little stress. I’m more just so excited about things and wanting it all to happen right now! The best part for all the services I’ve spoken to & organised is that we are getting discounts for every single thing for the wedding! Am hoping that this will continue & we can come under budget for the wedding. So far we are doing pretty good & am watching my spending really closely so that we will make it as close under budget as possible. Winter weddings are most definitely a good way to save some money! I picked out my wedding dress over the weekend, but that is a story for another day! I got the most gorgeous gown for half price & I cannot wait to be a princess on the day!
The wedding date has been locked in & is slowly creeping up on us. One of the biggest things when planning a wedding is the all important budget. We’ve picked an amount that is reasonably small, but big enough for us to have the important things to us. I’ve employed quite a few money saving strategies for the wedding, which is a story for another post. I think, if we hadn’t organised for a winter wedding, the cost would have been easily almost another $2000. Which isn’t a laughing matter at all when you are just starting life out together, every cent and dollar counts!
Given that we haven’t quite reached our target savings as of yet, I’ve been employing quite a severe regime to save. One of the things that I will be trying to do is to have a ‘no spend’ challenge. At this point, I’m aiming to try it for at least a month & for as long as I can go in an effort to make everything stretch that little bit further. One of my bridesmaids inspired this as she is doing a ‘no spend’ year. She has been unemployed & they’ve just bought a house & are renovating it, so things are a little tight on their end. The rules of the challenge are that you are allowed to buy groceries and food items, replace things like deodorant, shower gel, make up, undies and essentials, but you are not allowed to buy new things. For example, if I want to go to a party, I have to reuse the clothes I have in my wardrobe & am not allowed to buy anything new.
I’ve done a bit of a recon of the items in my room and I feel like I’ve got enough cosmetics to last me a lifetime, face creams, body lotions, clothes and stationery to last me till my grandchildren and heaps of accessories that I can reuse to jazz things up. I will be allowed to buy things like petrol, pay bills (duh!), get foodstuff for home. I will not be allowed to buy new clothes, eat out unless I don’t have a choice and random impulse buys when I visit the shop. And cause we are planning the wedding, we will be allowed to spend for wedding related purposes. It will be interesting to see the results after a month of trying this out. Wish me luck! 🙂
It has been just over 3 months since Matt popped the question & I haven’t blogged about it yet. Work & life has just gotten in the way again. Ironically enough, the wedding planning has also taken up most of my time & weekends are usually spent over at Matt’s place, which doesn’t leave very much time at all to pen thoughts down. I do want to immortalise the moment, so that I can read it in the future & recall the great memories and emotions associated with this 🙂
It was a bright, hot sunny Saturday morning on the 9th of January. It wasn’t very much of a special day, all I knew that Matt was going to take us on a drive to somewhere but didn’t say where. I was quite happy to just sit in the car, feeling pretty excited by it all. I must say, it was incredibly hot that day, what a day to pick! Matt drove us up the Kwinana Freeway, I had no idea where we were heading to still but when we got to the CBD & pulled off at the Mounts Bay exit, I instantly knew where we were going. I had an inkling that he was going to pop the question, but I had absolutely no idea where.
We then pulled into Fraser’s Avenue & into King’s Park. King’s Park is a bit of a special place to us, it is literally where we first met & had our first kiss. We parked & walked to our special spot, where we had our first kiss. It was quite a bit of a trek and we were both trying to work out where the spot was, we worked up quite a bit of a sweat doing this! Matt kept keeping me on one side of him, as he had the ring in one pocket & he didn’t want me to realise haha! When we got nearer to our special spot, Matt then had a bit of a stomach ache & had to go searching for a toilet (sorry honey!). I ended up waiting on the side of the road & watched while a wedding was being set up nearby. The vendors even asked if we were there for the wedding. Haha, no but we would’ve gone if we were invited!
Off we went after that to find the particular bench we had our first kiss on. We had to take a picture to commemorate the moment, just over 4 years after we first met. I still have the picture of when we literally first met each other. I really cherish those memories!
We reminisced a bit about all the memories & things we’ve been through together. It was great just being able to enjoy nature & be in the company of your loved one.
Matt then went down on one knee, gave a bit of a speech & popped the question. I of course said yes! Don’t tell anyone, but I did have a bit of a teary moment when he popped the question. The ribbon on the ring box got a bit stuck, but we got it open in the end & I got to wear the ring to be future Mrs-I-Wear-Odd-Sockz!
I’ve seemed to have forgotten about the blog once again, so many things have happened in the first quarter of 2016, it’s crazy to think that the first quarter is almost done! I must say, if the first quarter of the year is any indication of how the year is going to go, I think it will be a pretty smashing one!
My most favourite month of the year! This January I turned 30 on the 30th & had a nice quiet dinner at the Atrium, along with free champagne & cake. Was certainly a low key affair & I got to indulge in seafood that night, so I was a happy girl! January was also extra special as Matt popped the question officially & we got engaged on the 9th! I think that story deserves a post on its own 🙂
January also marked the point that I have been at work for 2 months in my new-ish job. In that time, we’ve had people start and quit the role & learned heaps of things in the role. Needless to say in my role, there were never 2 days alike & I made lots of phone calls & negotiated heaps to get good outcomes for the families and individuals I worked with.
On a personal note, I made the first steps of enquiring about switching my mortgage over to another bank as my current bank was going to hike the rates up as I was currently in a honeymoon phase of discounted rates. A whole 1% difference in interest sure adds up over the years & I’m quite keen to secure the best rates to be able to not pay so much to the banks & be a slave to them.
It was Matt’s birthday in February, so we celebrated with a nice dinner down at Paparazzi in Mandurah. If you haven’t had really good Italian food, I’d suggest they are worth a visit! Portion sizes are huge, but oh so yummy!
February also marked the point where I made the steps to actually swap over my mortgage & waited for the banks to talk to each other to organise the switch. Thankfully the people at my new bank are really good & have been very helpful every step of the way. Currently we’re just waiting on my soon-to-be old bank to give my soon-to-be new bank a settlement date. They’ve told my new bank to ring back on the 11th to book in a date. Cheeky buggers are trying to get the extra $87 (+$10 offset account fee) by letting my loan sit there for an extra month. I’ll be glad to be rid of them soon.
We also decided on a date for our engagement party & have begun organising for it. It’ll be a pretty cool test for planning for the actual wedding, given that we’re DIY-ing most things & going for a pretty cheap options. Am really looking forward to it all! Poor Matt is going to have to face a crazy Kristine for a while! 😛 We’ve also confirmed 2 bridesmaids & 2 groomsmen so we’re on our way!
I’ve also been catching up with friends & family a bit more lately, so we’ve been rather busy this year. Am really looking forward to being more social & catching up with our circle of friends. The first 2 months of the year have been pretty good so far & we’re thoroughly looking forward to the rest of the year!
2015 has been a pretty action packed year for me & it has come that time where I go over my goals for the year & make new ones in general. In terms of last year’s goals, I reckon I didn’t do too shabbily. I met each goal in varying degrees. I got good grades for my Masters so far, I’ve decluttered a little (I’ve still got quite a bit more to go), I got a new job (am in week 5 & still loving it!) & worked on my side project (still not much progress, but ideas have been penned).
I find the yearly goals to be quite a thing to strive for & I generally try to make it achievable & measurable. There’s so many things to do & I’m quite keen to get started! After a bit of thinking & soul searching over the past few weeks, I’ve come up with a few goals for 2016 that I’m hoping will be pretty good.
I’m not getting any younger & in the past 2 years or so, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting pretty nonchalant about what I put into my gob & I have stacked on the kilos. I’m not too bothered about appearances, but I do know that my insides are probably not the best that they could be. My goal for the new year is to learn good eating habits & incorporate incidental and purposeful exercise into my daily routines. I want to live long enough to see my kids & grandkids grow up.
2. Learn to invest
Since my brother has been investing in the stock market, I’ve been pretty keen on learning how as part of another income strategy. Relying on a single income during my casual days at work with a mortgage, was scary & not something I’m keen to repeat again. I’m keen to learn how to invest in the stock market, as well as developing my side project into a business so that I’m kept occupied, as well as have a bit more income on the side. I’m also keen to learn how to best manage my superannuation as I was monitoring it during my 1.5 years as a casual & all the contributions were being eaten up by fees & taxes. In the end, my fund wasn’t even growing, which bugged me. Now with my new job, I’ve opened a new fund & will rollover my super into the new one when I get paperwork through. At least with a higher income rate, I’d be able to accumulate more super to be able to cater for my retirement.
3. See more friends
Now that I’ve got my car, I’m making it a priority to meet up with friends so that I can keep my friendships alive. Not having a car really isolated me & I wasn’t too happy about it all. Am looking forward to catching up with friends but also some me time during the year. Maintaining friendships is something that I’ve let slip in the past, but now with the financial freedom as well as being able to get places, I’m looking forward to it all.
4. Learn another language
Matt has gotten into learning German & is keen for someone to learn with him & I need something to occupy my brain with at times, so I’ve decided to learn German with the Duolingo app. Plus also brush up on my conversational Mandarin skills & possibly Italian or French. Matt says I’ve got a knack for language & I figured, why not try it out. Worst that could happen is I can speak broken European languages 😛
I think 4 main goals is a pretty good start. Helping people plan as my day job, this part is what I do for a living. I’m pretty keen to get the ball rolling & see how I manage throughout the year!
Another side goal or whatever you want to call it, is to be able to go on a holiday this year. I haven’t had a proper holiday in years & am looking forward to paid time off, with 17.5% loading! 😀
It’s now the middle of week 2 in my new job. To say the least, I’m loving it! Also am loving Bella Bubbles, my new car. I got her on the 2nd day of work & am still on my first tank of fuel. A Hybrid is probably the best thing I’ve bought!
Just got a loan desktop for work today & got my iPhone last Friday. So far have only really settled in today as I’m busy getting phone calls sorted & appointments made. Slowly cutting my teeth into it all & finding my feet. There’s lots of processes & refinement in the process, but am slowly making sense of it all. Irony in it all was I got offered another position yesterday with another branch, which happens to be my former colleague/current colleague’s former position. Haha love it!
Not much to report apart from the fact that I’m slowly getting used to my new job & winding down for Christmas. Really looking forward to the paid holidays & the extra 2 days of public holidays throughout the year. And 17.5% leave loading. Yay!
It has been quite a while since my last update & there’s pretty good reasons for it. As some of you might know, I’ve been working full time, doing uni part time & been busy applying for jobs lately. It’s been quite a full on couple of months & I’ve been struggling to get into the rhythm of things. I was taking 2 units at uni, which equated to approximately 24 hours of studying & assignments each week. I never got close to even that, I’d say I average about 3 to 5 hours each week at most.
There was an assignment that was due on Friday at 11.59pm & I’ve learned that I can only do assignments if I sit down & do them all in one shot. It’s how I’ve always learned & no matter how hard I tried to space things out more, it’s never worked for me any other way. So I started doing my assignment & hit a mental wall just before the deadline & cracked it. It was one of those hurdles that I wasn’t going to be able to jump through this time.
Matt had been cajoling me & encouraging me every step of the way but no matter what, I just could not make myself go on past that point. And I’m glad he knows me well enough to know when I’ve had enough. It came to the point where he was going to walk me through my assignment each step, and that was when I just broke down, unable to tell him what I needed to do & just blubbered some gibberish while crying.
We then talked it through & he told me something that I thought was very profound: that I need some down time & I don’t need to be on the go all the time. I think that hit the proverbial nail on its head. I’ve been working FT since May last year without a decent holiday from work, all the while studying as well. I’ve been trying to finish up my Masters ASAP, all without taking time to breathe & just chill. I admit, I run on deadlines & stress but I think my head just gave up after this stint.
I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I’ve decided to withdraw from that unit & continue with one unit a semester. If I can’t live with time to enjoy life, I don’t see the point. The thing that really cemented this decision is when work rejected my application for the vacation program, which essentially means that I’m in no rush to finish studying or do I intend to apply for their graduate program. It’s been a convoluted blessing in disguise as I’m in a pool for a job that I know is hard but also rewarding at the same time, and back in my initial field of OT & disability. I’m also in the process of finding out if I’m in 2 other pools for another job within the same sector. All 3 of which pays incredibly well.
I’m thinking of having a break next semester from uni to really recharge my batteries & to extend my Masters by a year. At this point, I’m only doing it just so I’ve got an extra qualification. I’m not 100% about working within the industry, which I’m ok with. My ultimate dream job has nothing to do with anything I’m studying or have studied, so I’m just happy enough with whatever comes along for now.
I’m quite relieved at the turn of events & the decision I’ve made this weekend. It’s also come at a good time as Matt was there to support me in what I decided & knew me well enough to help my decision along & to have my best interest at heart. On a lighter note, I feel that one unit at uni is now doable & I’ve only got another 7 weeks till I’ve got a long break again & I’m looking forward to the Royal Show next weekend!
It’s now week 3 for uni & to be quite honest, it’s been rather hectic & difficult to cope. My mojo for studying has left & I’m finding it hard to keep playing catch up in everything. Going to stick it out & push myself further though as I just want to be done with uni & then I can focus on my career & other stuff.
Work hasn’t been particularly motivating but I’ve applied for the vacation program at work, am hoping for something to come out of it. Also am aiming to apply for 2 other pools with the agency I’m already in another pool for. Can’t hurt to get all my cards in various different baskets. Hoping this year will end on a high note & I’ll be able to get a few things ticked off.
Am stuck in a rut & not liking it at all. Hoping to pull myself out of it & hit some goals out of the ball park.