Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finally my Crochet Blanket is finished - Blanket Number 2 is ticked off my list!!! YAY

Wow, have I had trouble accessing my blog!  I am thinking of actually scrapping this one due to the never ending dramas I am having with it and starting anew.  I want a new blog not full of complaining like this has turned into lol, but one of crochet and cooking and gardening and you know, fuzzy bunnies and sunshine etc.....  Will see how it goes, or maybe I could just do a facebook page, hmmmmm will have a think!

Anyway back to my blanket.  This blanket was started over a year ago, before we moved to Victoria, before our lives turned upside down.  This blanket has grown on car trips to and from Adelaide to pick up children and take them back.  This blanket has been loved and, yes indeed, it has been hated.  This blanket felt like it was never, ever going to end.  But last week, I picked up my crochet hook and sat determined to finish it off.  I do believe I swore never to make another blanket ever again.  But of course, the internet seems to have thrown me many pictures over the last week of beautiful crocheted blankets and I have thought that maybe, just maybe, there may be another blanket or two, or three in my future lol.

For the moment though, I am going to do a few smaller things, things that won't take me a year (hopefully) to conquer!!!

Well here she is, here is my blanket of torment that has haunted me for so long.  In the end she has ended up being almost a queen bed size as you can see in the pics.  Not quite as large as I would make for a queen bed but almost there.  I took the pics on my son's queen sized bed as his room had the best light on this rather gloomy day.  The pics don't show the true colours but pretty close.

I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I still prefer my original blanket but this one isn't too bad either.  This one used up my stash of wool which was my intention so that is great :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Restless Feelings that won't Go Away

Do you ever feel so restless that you just don't know what to do with yourself?

I am feeling like that at the moment.

We, well I should say I, lol since Hubby is still working at his regular job,,,,,,have started up our business.  We are in week 6 (I think?) and it is moving along.  Not as fast as we perhaps would like but I have it making enough that is covering our costs almost.  It is covering our franchise fees and some of the fuel costs.  So I feel like I am working for nothing but I'm not working a full time equivalent, I am only doing one job a day at most and even then I don't do 5 days a week.  Last week I only worked 3 days, this week it is 4 days.  The customers I have picked up are lovely and most of the houses are pretty good to clean.  I only really have two houses which I don't like doing, simply because they are pretty cluttered, hence making it alot harder to clean.

So the business is growing slowly.  I have been a little fussy with where I will travel to.  I don't seem to be getting much work locally and this is bothering me a little.  With a few of my jobs being up to an hour away, I feel that my day is taken up in travelling,,,,,,which of course doesn't earn me money!  So I am starting to only quote on jobs that are closer to home.  We are going to do a few letter box drops in our local area to try and drum up a bit more local business.  We have so many new houses popping up around us that it seems silly to be driving further afield to do work when I am sure that there are plenty of potential customers within a ten minute drive of me (the best bit of course is that these are all newer houses so they are so much easier to clean!!)

After seeing other people's houses, it has made me more determined than ever that our lives need a good declutter.  Prior to moving here, hubby and I were selling off stuff from around the house, and we had boxes of things that needed to be listed on Ebay.  Well they moved with us and of course as things would turn out, life has taken a few different turns and our enthusiasm for online selling has dwindled and we still have boxes of stuff cluttering up our shed.  We have gone through the boxes and pretty much halved the amount of "stock" we had, donating it all to charity.  Now of course, with the start up of our business, I don't have as much free time as I did, and I am seriously considering just donating the rest as well.  Having said that though, we have sold an incredible amount of stuff over the last couple of months between Ebay and Facebook sites.  I had a wonderful collection of novels (about 250 or so) which have all gone.  I think I ended up donating about 30 books, the rest I sold.  Even though majority of them only sold for $1 it was still a great feeling getting that little extra cash and being able to clear off a full to the brim book case.  We have also sold many of the kids old Playstation 2 games which had been unused since the boys all "upgraded" to the xbox 360.  Also quite a few of the dvds that have gone unwatched for quite a while have left the house.

We still have a long, long way to go with the clutter but I can see that we have made a start.  I'm still unsure as to what to do with those other boxes of stuff, it seems silly to just give it away when I know that we could get a bit of money back but then again, it takes time to list the stuff.

It doesn't help that hubby bought a second hand drum kit for Mr11 for Xmas.  It is stored in boxes in the shed at the moment and supposedly by Christmas we are supposed  to have the shed set up nicely so that the drum kit can be assembled out there,,,,,,,,,,aagghhhhhhhhhh.

Man!!!  Do we have some work ahead of us!!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

So Close Now......

I know I said I would blog more regularly and have a look, it has been almost two whole months since my last blog!!!  Where has this year gone???  It is going by so fast it is just unbelievable.

Really though this last 15 or so months have been such a rollercoaster ride for us that it truly doesn't surprise me.  With the announcement that we would have to move interstate, to having to repaint our old house, get it on the market and sell it and then find a house to buy here, move here, my dear Mum passing away just two weeks after we did move, then the juggling and trying to work out a school holiday routine with all the kids, Christmas, Hubby's never ending overseas trips for work, Hubby's dear Dad passing away in NZ and having to make a trip over there and then us deciding to take on a business, it has just been so overwhelming and truthfully something I never thought we would have to deal with in such a short space of time.

Deaths in the family are never easy on anyone, but I think that is how we decided that we needed to do something to hopefully enable us to work together in our own business.  A franchise wasn't necessarily the way we wanted to go, but as neither of us have ever had our own business it seemed a safer option at the moment.  We still have no idea of really how to run a business but I guess it will be something we learn along the way lol.

Our official start up date is next Monday.  I am more than a little nervous, I tell you!!  Since it is going to be only me running it, I am very aware of the fact that I need to make enough money to actually pay the franchise fees each month.  Even though it is house cleaning, something I have been doing for many, many year, I am really nervous about doing it and expecting to be paid to do it lol.  I have no idea why!  I just think that there is a vast difference to cleaning your own home to cleaning someone else's.  In my own home, near enough is good enough.  I'm not a cleaning nazi and I tend to have many dust bunnies occupying various corners of my home and I am fine with that.  Cleaning someone else's home however, they will for the most part want their dust bunnies evacuated and I will have to be much more fastidious than I am at home.  Can I do this?????

The other thing I am nervous about is that I am not a salesperson.  I have always hated feeling pressured to buy something and I refuse to place pressure or sales tactics on people.  I go by the theory that if someone wants something they will buy it and no amount of pressuring is going to make them buy something from someone they don't like.  So having said that I will be going into this just being me.  I figure people will either like me and want me to clean for them or they won't.  Simple as that.

Another lady in this area recently took on one of the franchises a couple of suburbs over.  She has been running it for about two months with the same desire to build it up to enable her husband to leave his job and work with her.  I have been told that she hasn't needed to advertise herself as yet, she has just been going off of the leads that the company have given her and she is at the point where she needs to take on a part time cleaner to help her out.  I have my fingers crossed that I too will be able to get to that point, just as fast as she has.  The only difference is that she is offering lawn mowing (courtesy of her husband, doing it after he finishes his normal job) and also carpet cleaning which we are not offering at this point.

I will be offering house cleaning, vacate cleans, dog walking, ironing and holiday pet minding services.  For the vacate cleans we will have to either hire a carpet cleaner or get someone in to do it for us.

I guess at the end of they day we just have to think positive about it all working out.  We have the comfort in knowing that hubby's income is fine for us to live on and all I need to do is get the business expenses covered each week.  Its not like he has left his job and we are having to live on the income from the business, now that would be really scary!!!

Geez I can ramble on can't I!!!  Lol sorry.
I was going to share school holiday happenings but I might leave  it there and make a real effort to get back in the next day or two and share some photos etc with you.

Hope everyone is happy and well.
Take care!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lost in Life......for 3 months!!!!! Sheesh where did that time go????

Hi everyone, I can't believe its been 3 months since I last posted!  I have been reading blogs here and there but just haven't really had the "oomph" to actually write on my own.

Life sure as heck hasn't been any easier these last three months, I am still waiting for our life to turn around and put smiles on all our faces for a change.

Settling in here just isn't as easy as I thought it would be, but I think that has mainly to do with all the things we have going on in our lives.  I'm the sort of person that can't really settle until I have all my little duckies in a row so to speak lol.

Hubby has resigned from the job title that we moved here for.  After being told just 3 weeks after that last trip to China that I mentioned on here, he was informed,,,,once again with just over 24 hours notice,,,,that he was off to China yet again for another 8 days.  The toll on our family and our relationship was just getting too high.  None of us were happy and something had to give, so when he returned from that trip he resigned as GM and is now just Director of a smaller part of the company.  He has lost his office and is now in a share office downstairs with two other guys.  I felt terrible that he resigned but at the end of the day, all of the promises that had been made to him regarding bonuses and pay rises hadn't happened and we are acutally worse off financially here, due to the higher cost of paying child support and the costs of having to travel back and forth to Adelaide 8 times a year, so it just wasn't worth the extra stress on all of us.

At the end of March, my Hubby's dear Dad passed away over in New Zealand.  This came as a complete shock and it definitely wasn't a good time.  I had to pull the boys out of school and we had to drive them over to stay with their Dad in Adelaide so Hubby and I could fly out to NZ.  We were in NZ for 6 nights before heading back.  The funeral was lovely but very hard.  Hubby wrote his eulogy with my help but said he didn't want to read it out and I bravely offered.  I have never been a fan of public speaking so I was very nervous but at the same time was determined to do it for him.  I got up the front and put my head down and slowly made my way through it.  I couldn't believe I actually made it through to the end but I did!!  I even managed to pronounce a few of the Maori names without tripping over them lol so I was very relieved.

Since we have been back home, we have also had problems happening with my Hubby's two kids.  I can't share on here what has been going on but lets just say it has been very stressful.  First of all it was his Autistic son and that problem is pretty big, bigger than me I feel, and is going to be a long drawn out affair.  Then we have his daughter that has just decided that it is her turn to cause problems and of course her mother isn't helping at all, so this too is going to be a pretty stressful affair too.  I am trying to keep my cool and keep Hubby calm about it all too but I tell you,,,,,some days grrrrrrr!  The whole thing is just heart breaking and I know that if we had still been in Adelaide, these problems would be minute in comparison :(

Yesterday after talking to my Ex I discovered that I may have a problem of sorts which will arise with my boys too in the very near future.  I am trying to remain calm and I know that at the end of the day I will let my kids make their own minds up, but it is waying heavily on my mind at the moment.

On a hopefully happier note though, Hubby and I have decided that working together is the way to go for us.  And although I am more than a little nervous about everything we are going ahead and are determined to make things work for us.  We are taking on a cleaning franchise.  We were able to get in really cheaply due to one of the other guys who lives on the other side of Melbourne, branching out on his own in a slightly different direction to what the franchise deals with.  We are taking over his franchise and starting it up from scratch on our side of town.  Naturally, we will start with no customers at all but hopefully we can make this work.  Hubby will continue working at his job and I will be starting up the business on my own and attempting to grow it to the point where Hubby can leave his job and come and work with me.

Hubby has also taken on an Ebay Shop selling covers and mounts for phones and ipads and tablets etc.....All these things look the same to me lol but he believes that he can grow that business into something worthwhile.  Once again we were able to buy the stock very cheaply as the other guy had to get out of it in order to do his demolition/rebuild of his home.  So far so good with that, we have only had it up and running a few days and have had a few sales already.  It seriously needs sorting out as they guy only had a basic computer knowledge and kind of has things all over the place but I think we will be able to work it all out and fix it up eventually lol.

I also have decided to start jewellery making (I know,,,,like we really need something else to occupy our lives right??? lol).  I am doing memory wire bracelets, earrings and necklaces,,you know the sort you see at craft fairs with the beading etc.  I find it quite relaxing and I am really surprised how easy it all actually is lol.

I still love my crochet but haven't made any new things for a while.  I am trying to get a blanket finished that I started about a year ago and am so bored with but I am determined to finish it before starting anything else lol.

Anyway, I need to go and pickup my little cherubs from school.  I just wanted to update you on the "Days of Our Lives" happening in our neck of the woods.

I am hoping I can get this little blog of mine going again and be a more regular blogger once more.  I just feel like all I have done for the past year is share dramas and that wasn't what my blog was meant to be about, not at all.  So from here on I hope to be able to share fluffy bunnies, sunny smiles and pretty flowers or the like and breathe some sunshine back into blogland.

Maybe I will share a few photos of some jewellery I have created,,,,and hopefully this darn blanket very soon too lol

Talk again soon, Take care everyone :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Discovering Costco

Well we finally did it,,,,,we succumbed to temptation and went on our first visit to Costco!

After living here for just over 6 months, the place called to us and we just had to hand over our $60 membership and have a look.  I hadn't bothered before because I kind of begrudge handing over $60 or our hard earned dollars just to go shopping,,,,,but well I had to go and see for myself if it was worth it.

The result,,,,,,well yes and no.  The kids loved it because of all the food samples they received along the way.  Hubby and I were impressed with some things, not so with others.  We ended up spending about $130 on things that we didn't necessarily need right now, but which will save us money down the track.

The store wasn't as big as I had imagined it would be.  The electrical equipment prices seemed pretty ordinary, I really don't think they were any/much cheaper than elsewhere.  The clothing, well I didn't really pay alot of attention to it, but from a distance the prices didn't seem that great, as for the shoes.  Furniture, well they don't have much of it and the prices, once again are ordinary.

I did buy myself an awesome set of melamine mixing bowls, set of 4 with lids for $23.  They are fantastic bowls and so big!  I was in desperate need of some more mixing bowls and I wanted sturdy ones, so I was pretty happy with that.

Also bought a 4 pack of those flame gun thingies (you know the things I mean you don't need matches).  They cost about $4.50 - a bargain compared to buying them individually!

Food prices were a little hit and miss.  I didn't thinnk their fruit and veg was that great, price wise, as with their meat and bakery section.

We found the real savings to be in standard food items which was finally where we decided that we would continue to come here maybe once a month or so. 
We got a large tub of Marshmallow Fluff (yummy,,,,I love Fluffernutter sandwiches!!) for just $4.20,,,a jar in Coles is worth more than that for about half the amount.
We got a twin pack of Hersheys Chocolate Syrum (1.4L bottles) for around $7.
A jar of peanut butter for about $4 - I'm talking a very large jar!
A small bucket of Vegemite for $11.
Large packets of Doritos (500 grams) for about $5.80 and the list goes on.

I basically only bought things that I knew were cheap.  I will pay closer attention to my shopping for the next few weeks and maybe jot down prices of things we buy regularly so that I can compare.  We may or may not renew our membership next year depending on how much we save overall.  While the savings on these items are great, it will also depend on how fast we go through them as to whether or not we have saved enough to recoup our $60 membership.

The kids did find it quite fun though and the fact that they do have some different things to try made it fantastic in their eyes.

On the way out we stopped for lunch at their cafe.  This area was a bargain.  We paid $16.50 for the 5 of us for lunch,,,great value!
Three of us had hotdogs and the younger two had a slice of pizza (we are talking american sized slices here! Mr10 couldn't even get through his whole slice and that is unheard of lol).  We all had refillable soft drinks.
The hotdogs were $1.00, pizza $3 a slice and drinks $1.50 for the refillable cups.
Next time we will go in the afternoon because they had the most amazing looking berry sundaes for just $3.50 I think it was lol.