Tag Archives: Purchases

Jetlag!

4 Jun

Ugh, jetlag has really hit me hard this time round. I’ve spent all week getting up at totally random times and feeling totally useless. I haven’t sorted through my photos and videos yet (but I will!)

So in the meantime here is some stuff I bought recently that I love.

Lululemon All Tied Up Tank
c1b6db0eaea3f708c9bab4a0690d6c7dIt sold out on the same day so I’m really glad I impulse bought this while I was in Australia, even though I had to wait almost a month to get back and pick it up! I kind of regret not getting it in the grey as well.

I also bought that sports bra because it looks so cute with the top. =D

Gorman Basic Leather Tote

James hardly ever has opinions on things but he hates this bag – “it’s gaudy”. Unfortunately for him that’s the reason I love it.
gwfg120401f_gold
Gap Panama Hat
cn11024080I wore this hat almost every day Indonesia and it was perfect – kept the sun off my neck/face/shoulders and went with pretty much everything. Plus I crushed it in my bag a couple of times and it sprung back into shape.

Manolo Blahnik Peach Heels
s-l1600I’m slowly easing myself into them in anticipation of the next time I need to wear heels (probably the next Christmas party!) Even my guy friends admit these are super cute and they never notice shoes.

Dell Chromebook
Chromebook 13 NotebookThis was a birthday present to replace my old laptop. The keyboard is a dream, it has an incredibly long battery life, and I’m surprised at how much I can do just using web apps (though I would really like something that could properly edit GoPro videos).

I have also gotten mildly obsessed with frangipani since the hotel we stayed at in Bali on our last day had them all over the place and they smelled heavenly. The best candidate seems to be Ormonde Jayne’s Frangipani but I hesitate to buy a full bottle based solely on reviews.

I’m now sleeping 2-11am so I reckon by Monday I’ll be functional again. I’ll aim to get my blog post up by next week because next Saturday Nixi is coming to visit! Yaaay! =)

Board Games!

30 Jun

Our friends get together every week or so for board games and James felt bad that we had no games to contribute. So we started slowly amassing a collection of board games. I looked up the highest rated games on Board Game Geek and bought the ones that looked interesting (after getting James to check that we weren’t doubling up on any games with our friends).

Battlestar Galactica is our group’s current darling. We keep having to play a rule variation that allows for more than the maximum 6 players because so many people want to play. Also a couple of times in the last week we’ve had people call up and go “hey can we play BSG today?” It happened again last night but I think that might have been because we’re the only ones with air-conditioning.

But anyway, of all the games we own my favourite game is Resistance: Avalon. It’s much harder to figure out who the traitors are (which is my favourite part of BSG) so I think the player interaction is more fun. 

And where do we store all these games, you ask? (I know you didn’t ask). Couch storage to the rescue!

You can also see part of my collection of toilet paper, paper towels and dried mangoes. The board games are gradually taking over but that’ll change once I re-buy my year’s supply of toilet paper from Amazon (it’s actually more like a 9 month supply). Seriously, if you live in an apartment you need to buy the King Delta Storage sofa. You can fit so much stuff inside while still looking all streamlined and minimalist.

I think we won’t buy anymore games for awhile (though friends have been pressuring us to get the BSG expansions lol). We didn’t own any board games in Australia but it’s hard to resist here because they’re so much cheaper. Cat and Scott recently came to the US and stocked up on a bunch of board games and regretted not buying more. When we visit Australia I suspect our suitcases will be full of board games and cookie butter.

Getting Settled (Also How To Get a Great Discount on Roomba 770)

1 Jul

This is the wall between the kitchen and the bedroom. Mouse is quite partial to it.

He walked along the top of the sliding doors, panicked because he couldn’t find his way down, then howled and howled until I dragged the scratching post within jumping distance.

Also here is Kyoto with 2 days’ worth of packages. From memory they are fancy linen sheets, cleaning supplies, a steam mop, kitchen knife, dustpan and brush, modem and router, and a box from Comcast (which has a modem and router they weren’t supposed to send us and that we’ll now have to return on our own time grr).

We have an insane number of things coming in the next few days. Probably in the next few weeks. Buying everything is a fairly involved process, primarily because I feel the need to get the best possible deal on the best-reviewed item. Shopping is kind of my thing. So every purchase involves:

  1. A search on Amazon to find the most highly-reviewed items
  2. Sifting through the reviews to decide which item I’m getting
  3. A web search for the best price for that particular item (James assumed Amazon always had the cheapest price but he is WRONG)
  4. Checking the Bed, Bath and Beyond price because I have 20% off coupons (I started with one, but every time you buy something if you fill out an online survey about your shopping experience you get another 20% off coupon and I’ve been buying one thing at a time)
  5. If another store is cheaper, doing a search for online coupons
  6. Checking that they don’t charge sales tax to WA (a 9.5% difference in the price)
  7. Checking if I can get a cashback via Fatwallet

Sometimes it’s a bit silly – do I really need to find the BEST EVER dustpan and brush? (Yes I do) But other times it really pays off – like when I got $112+ off the price of a Roomba 770 (retail $499.95 plus sales tax – the cheapest I can find it is in the low $480s)A shopping noob like James would just buy it off Amazon and get his 10% staff discount (which has a ceiling and is also negated by the 9.5% tax). Here is what I did:

  • 15% off coupon code for new customers at HSN = $75
  • No sales tax from HSN = $40
  • Unfortunately had to pay shipping = +$15
  • Went through Fatwallet and got 3% cashback = $12ish

And that is how I got a new model Roomba for heaps less than everyone else is selling it for. I have high hopes that the cats will ride around on it like the cats on YouTube. I can imagine Kyoto sailing majestically around the apartment but in reality he’ll probably smack it lots then run away.

Mud Australia

14 May

Sorry about the lack of posts. Getting ready for the US has been kicking our butts – there’s been no time for gym or BJJ; just a whirlwind of socialising (yay!) and bureaucratic stuff (boo!) The latest development is that Australia Post has LOST JAMES’ PASSPORT (and the US visa that was attached inside). They are searching for it and hopefully we’ll get an update tomorrow. But basically we can’t organise anything without our visas. We’re supposed to fly out next Monday and it’s still not done!

But at least my passport and visa have arrived right? NO. Because the consulate addressed it wrong and Australia Post returned it, and we only figured it out today because that’s when the consulate gave us the tracking number for the passport; 4 days after it had already been returned to them. At least we (theoretically) know where mine is – it’s James’ passport that’s the real worry. So yeah, that’s where we’re at right now.

Anyway, I thought I’d post about some gorgeous crockery I bought from Mud Australia at 181 Gertrude st in Fitzroy. I’ve lusted after their stuff for ages, but never got around to buying them because I knew I’d be paralysed by all the colours and shapes on offer. But with our trip to the US I realised that I should get my butt into gear and buy some before we left!

We wandered around Fitzroy for awhile. I found some socks that made me laugh.

Finally Mud opened and we toddled on over.

James and I aren’t the sort of people to have fancy plates that we use for special occasions, but I love the idea of having amazing everyday plates. Mud Australia plates are handmade (so every piece is slightly different) and are gorgeous and simple. I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them online. They are NOT cheap though – I think I paid $60+ for the large noodle bowls and almost $50 for the plates. Oh yeah, in addition to being microwave and dishwasher safe, they are also oven safe. So you can bake eggs in the bowls and stuff, which I thought was pretty cool.

As predicted, as soon as I walked into Mud I was overwhelmed by all the colours. I loved the red and tangerine (both of which cost about 20% more), and I knew I wanted multiple colours for a bit of a mix and match look. I didn’t just want to go white/cream either, cos that’s boring.

I spent something like 2 hours picking colours and shapes/sizes (don’t worry, I did this without James a couple of days earlier and we were just going to pick them up).

Actually, that reminds me, when I was choosing plates, I knew they were expensive so I called James to ask the maximum amount he was comfortable with me spending. I told him they were expensive and he was like “how expensive?” There was a long pause (and I deliberately didn’t say anything in that pause because just the week before James had said that when he negotiates salary he never wants to be the first one to name a figure) and finally James said “a thousand dollars?” And that is how I found out that I could spend at least a thousand on plates.

There were some colours I eliminated immediately (like the pink and green) and then I kept putting different pieces together on the table in the middle, deciding on what I wanted. I preferred the bolder colours to the pastels. There was a lovely blue/grey colour called Slate that I fell in love with. You can see it in the bottom shelf of the photo below.

I ended up buying 6 plates, 4 bowls, some cups and saucers, and some of those little bowls for sauces and dips. The 3 colours I chose were bright yellow, blue/grey and a sort of greyish white colour.

James is worried that I’ll kill him if he breaks one (and he is especially worried because we are missing at least one plate from our current dining set, so there is a precedent for clumsy plate-breaking). They are pretty sturdy though, so hopefully they will stay intact. And anyway, they make me happy every time I see them. =)

Ergonomics!

16 Feb

Talking to Joan a few weeks ago, she told me that laptops are supposed to be really bad for you ergonomically. Basically either the screen is too low or the keyboard is too high, and it’s supposed to be really bad for your posture.

I bought the Coolermaster Ergostand, which came recommended by Howie. He paid $38 for it at MSY and was sad when they reduced the price to $35. Then I found it for $32 at CPL and he was even sadder.

image from Coolermaster

It’s multifunctional – there’s a fan to keep your laptop cool and it enables you to raise your laptop screen to eye level so you’re not hunched over. There are also 4 built-in USB ports, so instead of losing a USB port you actually gain 3! James was very jealous, and said that if he could do it again he would have bought this one instead of the cooler he did buy. His laptop cooler is just a laptop cooler.

Apparently the rule of thumb for using your laptop as a desktop is that you need either a separate screen or a separate keyboard. Cos if the screen is at the correct height then your hands are too high, and if your hands are at the correct height then you’re hunching over to look at the screen. So I bought the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000:

image from Microsoft

I bought the UK version so the left shift key is a bit smaller. That’s irritating me a bit right now because I keep hitting the \ key that has taken the other half of the shift key, but I expect that I’ll eventually get used to it.

You can’t really tell from any of the photos, but the keyboard is actually really weird looking. The plush wrist resting pad is raised up (though you can change that if you prefer your wrists to be lower) and the keys are pointing inwards. Supposedly it’s a better position for your hands. Also all the keys are pointing inwards. I’m not sure what the technical reason for that is, but I am finding that my hands have to move a lot less to type, so maybe this shape is better at mimicking the natural curve of your hands when you rest them on the keyboard.

Also the middlish keys are larger than the others, which makes them easier to hit. You can see that the keyboard is split in half (the thing in the middle is a zoom slider so you can zoom in on your screen – it’s actually a really useful addition). The split keyboard has made me realise that I’ve been touch typing incorrectly. I’ve been hitting the b key with my right pointer finger, but I guess you’re actually supposed to hit it with your left.

Mouse has totally been eyeing my new keyboard and I’ve seen suspicious tufts of fur left on it. I’m especially worried because he has a bit of a history of inconveniently draping himself on stuff.

Grid-It Organiser: A Great Companion to the Red Oxx Airboss

19 Jan

My post on the Red Oxx Airboss is probably one of the most accessed pages on my blog (I think the other popular ones are the Louis Vuitton agenda – that one is a monster, a Nigella Lawson recipe, and the Dyson handheld vacuum). So I thought I would post an update on the Airboss since there are obviously lots of people looking for information about it.

Although he is travelling less frequently now (2-3 days in Sydney every 3 weeks and 2 days in Brisbane every month or two) James still loves his Airboss. He no longer uses the pouch organiser from eBay – instead he upgraded to the extra large Grid-It organiser. It retails for $29.95 USD (but we picked it up slightly cheaper on eBay).

Originally we weren’t sure what size to get, but then I had the bright idea of laying out all of James’ stuff, then measuring how much room that took up to see what size we needed.

The Grid-It fastens everything securely so it doesn’t fall out during transit like they did with the pouch he used to use. It’s easier to get at, and slips neatly into one of the Airboss’ side pockets. It also takes up less horizontal space (which can make the Airboss bulky and not fit under plane seats) and takes up more vertical space (which, in the side pockets, goes largely unused).

So if you have the Airboss and find that all of your cables, chargers, etc are hard to find, the Grid-It is a great way of organising everything. James is a packing machine now.

My Kindle 3 Arrived!

6 Jan

I ordered a refurbished Kindle 3 (now called the Kindle Keyboard) from Big W on December 30 or 31st and have been hanging out for it ever since!

image from Wikipedia

Big W had it for $99 plus $10 cashback from Paypal, and $89 is an awesome price. Also there have been reports that Big W/Woolworths are actually selling new Kindles as refurbished because they’re trying to offload discontinued stock, which is pretty cool. Even if that’s not the case, my Kindle arrived looking perfect, and came with a comforting 1 year warranty. I was considering the Kindle 4, but there were some reports of the screen not being as good. It also retails for $139 in Australia, and I didn’t think it was worth the difference.

The first thing I did was jailbreak it so I could load custom screensavers using the instructions from this website (that was my new experience for this week, by the way). I spent most of yesterday looking for suitable photos, resizing them and converting them to grayscale. I went for an animal theme, and found a lot of the images on forums where people posted their favourite wildlife photos. =)

James: If I had a Kindle it would be robot themed. All the pictures would be of robots.
*sees a picture of a lion on my Kindle*
James: Ooh I like that one

Here is the picture that James liked enough to abandon his robot dreams. You can click on it for the 600×800 version if you want to steal it for your own Kindle.

You have to be careful with the images because if there are too many gradients in the picture then you get ugly splotches on the Kindle version. I also found that images that were very dark and also very busy didn’t look good – I had a gorgeous photo of some deer in a creepy-looking forest that I had to reluctantly delete.

This one is my favourite. It is a little splotchy on the Kindle screen (and because I had to stretch the image to get it big enough) but I love the picture enough to put up with it.

Loading all those images makes me feel like the Kindle is now mine. =) A side benefit is that I won’t have my soul eaten by Emily Dickinson.

Emily: I’m coming for you anyway Kaye
Me: /sleeps with one eye open

I was quite proud of myself for jailbreaking the Kindle. This stuff normally gets delegated to James, but I thought it looked fairly straightforward, so I gave it a shot. The only part I missed was having to create a blank reboot file every time I changed the screensaver, and luckily for me James had picked up on it. But I still count it as me doing the jailbreaking!

I’m loving everything about it so far, and am enamoured with the idea of carrying my whole library around with me. The screen is easier to read than James’ iPad – it looks so much like paper. James was also very approving that the Kindle came with the manual pre-loaded (I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of “it makes a lot of sense”). The only thing I don’t want in ebook format is recipe books – I prefer flipping through cookbooks by hand. Also, since the photos aren’t optimised for the Kindle, they look gross and blotchy.

I’m going to get a case from The Office of Minor Details to match the case for my Vaio Z. I don’t want to bulk up the Kindle by using those covers that stay on it all the time, but I want something to protect it when I’m carrying it around. I’m a little worried that it will be too matchy-matchy, but I do love the case and I don’t want to buy my Kindle inferior clothing.

James suggested that I call it the Kayedle but I don’t think that’s going to catch on.

Week 1: Made vanilla extract
Week 2: BJJ day camp
Week 3: Used Myki and went to Beatrix
Week 4: Tried new skincare
Week 5: Competed at the Pan Pacs
Week 6: Joined Kiva
Week 7: Tried durian and frog fallopian tube
Week 8: Attended a chicken auction
Week 9: Graded for my BJJ blue belt
Week 10: Went to Isthmus of Kra
Week 11: Makeover at Mecca Cosmetica
Week 12: Tried the Melbourne Bike Share
Week 13: Picnic at the Carlton Gardens
Week 14: Johnston Street Fiesta
Week 15: Sydney getaway
Week 16: Helped James do a fresh install on the Vaio Z
Week 17: Tried Evernote (and loved it!)
Week 18: Rock climbing
Week 19: Baking Day with Cat, Scott and Alex
Week 20: Went to the beach (I don’t do this often. It was a Big Moment)
Week 21: Jailbroke my Kindle