Money Matters

2014’s federal budget: what did you expect?

On Tuesday, I came home to this:

While there are a handful of budget ‘winners’, namely defence, infrastructure, medical research, mining (via ABC), as well as ballerinas and school chaplaincy (via SMH), the rest of us have just had our tax breaks knocked out from under us. Continue reading

Dress to Impress (for Less), Money Matters, Second-hand Scavengers

My shop on Etsy

My interview with Grace has inspired me to sell some of my vintage collection on Etsy. Back in the days of pov-uni-studentdom, I used to sell unwanted books and CDs on eBay (I even made a profit when I sold my Death Cab for Cutie and Tamora Pierce to some European buyers) but I thought I’d give Etsy a go since it seems to be the online marketplace for all things vintage and quirky.

The shop I’ve opened up is called ‘mustbethrifty’ (naturally) and over the next few months, I will be slowly uploading some vintage pieces that I love but no longer wear or have room for. So please drop by if you’re a size 10-12 in need of some retro/vintage flavour.

Clever Cooks, Footnote Frivolity***, Thrifty Asian

Leftovers – Mum’s way

Last weekend, my Aussie mother-in-law showed me her photos from her Vietnam trip. Amongst the scenery shots of Hoi An and Ha Long Bay were the photos of food. The food, she said, was lovely and healthy, though the soup that was brought out with each meal was ‘very bland’.

While the tour guides had been very careful to explain the stories behind the sights, they had not bothered to explain the method to Vietnamese dining. Soup is usually brought out in a large communal bowl. Instead of serving it at the start of the meal as an entree, it is poured over rice and served with a salty dish (i.e. stir fry). There is also a dipping bowl filled with fish sauce for the bland bit of tofu that you’ve fished out of your soup.

Explaining this to my mother-in-law made me reminisce over the family meals Mum cooks. Mum doesn’t reinvent leftovers like I do. Instead, she batch cooks her food and then dishes it out over several nights. Continue reading

Footnote Frivolity***, Going Green, Reviews

Sustainable and legal? Sustainable House and Sustainable Food

Michael Mobbs' Sustainable HouseA couple of decades ago, former environmental lawyer Michael Mobbs set about turning his inner Sydney home into a sustainable oasis*: the mains water was disconnected, the solar panels got put in, and a waste facility was buried in the backyard. In 1998, Mobbs wrote Sustainable House, detailing his experience.

Resources on sustainable retrofitting tend be brainstormers or how-tos with a focus on design, construction or behaviour modification. For instance, yourhome.gov.au lists ‘six ways to minimise water use’ and discusses rain tank considerations. Mobbs’ book is more of a how-to on getting around bureaucratic naysayers. When told that inner Sydney rainwater was unsafe to drink, he took his own samples every fortnight, over eighteen months, and had them tested at a laboratory. Continue reading