Showing posts from November, 2010

Christmas Decorating Part 1

A few weeks ago, I saw this post on Effortless Style and was inspired to make a wreath for my back door. At our house, very few people use the front door so I wanted something for decoration. I bought all my supplies from Joann's and using online coupons, I only paid $5 for everything. I followed these directions and voila...the finished product....


You have to hand it to the HIA, they really know how to rally the troops and get houses built. Sorry if you don't know what I'm talking about, but it was mid-March in WA, when the HIA offered the sobering news that a cardboard box (hopefully freezer sized) would be the home to many a Perth family by 2020. 
Western Australia would be 72,500 (glad they got it down to a round number) houses short by 2020 and as it stood, they were already 17,400 short back in March.  
It was clear something had to be done, and the HIA, in a benevolent act of kindness, rallied its WA members and they started putting up houses faster than a bunch of Jehovah Witnesses putting up a Kingdom Hall.
Eight months later, problem solved.
The Perth housing market was already oversupplied by 30 per cent, with prices sluggish.
Unfortunately we also found out, courtesy of REIWA head, David Airey, this was bad news for buyers. Because in the Bizarro world of real estate, when interest rates cool things off, the marke…

Price Reduction on West Grace Street

Come take a look at this great home. Reduced to $252,500, this house is move-in ready. Updated kitchen and bathrooms, gas cooking, gas fireplace, security system, new heating and air conditioning system, new hot water heater, new washer/dryer, updated and modern lighting, fully fenced in backyard with fire pit...the list goes on!

Menu Planner

Michael and I had a great weekend in Blacksburg for the VA Tech vs UVA game. Despite a huge loss for the was a nice getaway without the kids. Thanks to Gammy and Neena and Moe for watching Camille & Clyde.

Monday - Leftovers
Tuesday - Kate's Italian Sausage Pasta
Wednesday - Double Delicious Teriyaki Chicken with Rice & Broccoli
Thursday - Out to Dinner with a Friend
Friday - Birthday & Christmas Party

By a thread

Another 150 jobs gone, the state's finances in the toilet, a Jurassic Western Australian MP calls us leeches while two uninspiringboneheads dribble out a mealy mouthed response - Sid Sidebottom  even offered up that Don Randall was a 'friend'. Thanks for the spirited defence, anyone with a modicum of backbone might have opened up a nuclear bomb on Randall, but maybe Sid really knows we're screwed and can't be bothered with the charade.

Makes you proud to be Tasmanian.

But we've got the most affordable capital city in the country - first home buyers can rejoice!

And feel even prouder to be Tasmanian.

Unless you bothered to check the figures... which reporter, Matt Smith, at The Mercury, didn't. Frankly, I don't know why Matt doesn't shut down his laptop, head north, and go and eat poo with the monkeys in the enclosure at the Launceston Park.

"Oh look the HIA has sent us a press release, must breathlessly regurgitate figures for public consumption.&q…

Gammy's Birthday Dinner

Last night, my sisters and I made dinner for our mom for her birthday. It was fun. Here are some pictures of my table settings.

I cut tags out of grocery bags and then used a stencil to write relevant words and mom's age, birthday, her grandmother name, Gammy. Then I tied them around the napkin and silverware with brown ribbon. I had the placemat and usually think of them for spring and summer but I thought they had a rustic fall look in this case. The leaves are from my yard and the pumpkins are leftover from Halloween.

Don't forget to look in your yard for FREE greenery when decorating & entertaining. Save money on flowers.

The kids table....I found these cute placemats at TJMaxx for $2.99 each. I used our leftover Dollar Tree toy label supplies and let Camille and Clyde make these signs for Gammy. It is sorta like a word scramble!

Here we go

As terrible figures and anecdotal evidence mount on one side, on the other the excuse play book is being furiously scanned for any argument to calm the nerves. As auction figures continue to stink it up during the traditional kick arse spring selling season, we're now told this is actually a bad time for house sales - it's too close to Christmas, or maybe not, because someone sold a boat. Such is the dire state of the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Like I've previously said, the spruikers aren't going to give up that easy, no matter how retarded they look. In fact, there's probably not a copy of Glengarry Glen Ross available in a video store across the country right now. Sales meetings are in full swing as every two-bit ex-shoe-salesman tries to perfect his best Alec Baldwin, if only to keep the lease on the BMW X5 through Christmas and maintain that shiny veneer of success to the relatives, reminding them what arseholes they are for renting.

All this is a backdrop to the smar…

Menu Planner

Sunday - Gammy's Birthday Dinner at our house. Menu is Flank Steak (Marinated in 1 Real Coke and about 1 cup of Soy Sauce), Asparagus, Mashed Potatoes, Deceptively Delicious Cholocate Chip Cupcakes
Monday - Italian Sausage Pasta
Tuesday - Ginger Pork Rolls, French Fries
Wednesday - White Chicken and Corn Chili

White Chicken and Corn Chili2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, minced
1 14 oz can yellow corn, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1. Mash 1/2 cup of cannellini beans with fork.
2. Please all ingredients (except cheese) including mashed beans in slow cooker and stir to combine.
3. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.
4. Top with shredded cheese before serving.


Seeya II

Last night, as I watched my new favourite sitcom, "Selling Houses Australia," it really dawned on me how bad things can potentially get. It seems it's repeat week on the Lifestyle Channel at the moment, so it's a perfect time for a catch up marathon in the zany financial predicaments of Trev Beerslab (kudos to whoever thought of that name) and his long suffering wife, Sharon.

Each episode has Trev completely befuddled on why his house has languished on the market for months without anything but an insulting, but highly realistic, low ball offer. Last night found Trev scratching his arse for a year with only one offer. Sure you're probably thinking, "Ol' Trev didn't need to sell so there was no rush."

Au contraire, Trev had a mega mortgage on the current house, a business loan and another loan on a block he was intending to build on - with a ticking time-bomb contract. He frankly admitted business had been tough and if it wasn't for an earlier …

Elle Decor at Kohls

While reading a recent issue of Elle Decor, I discovered that they now have a line at Kohl's. And the best part is all the stuff is on sale now. Great are my favorites.

Check out the entire line here.

Tiny Prints Christmas Cards

I have already been thinking of this year Christmas Cards. Tiny Prints is running a few specials right now for early birds.

Click here to save $10 off orders $75 or more. Or here to save 15% off of orders of $99+ or 20% off order of $199+.

And if you are a new customer, click here to save $10 off $49+.

They have some cute things and all the cards above are as low as $.54 each!

Menu Planner

Monday - Double Delicious Baked Ziti
Tuesday - Soft Taco's
Wednesday - Frozen Chicken Cordon Bleu's, Cous Cous, Green Beans
Thursday - Turkey Burger's and French Fries

An easy week and nothing too exciting! Happy Monday!

It's all good

If there's a piece of advice worth remembering, "don't declare victory early," is the one not to forget. I say this knowing the housing market is in decline, but the real estate spruiker has a hide thicker than ten inch beef jerky and they don't give up easily, especially not when their highly leveraged hide is on the line.

If you're looking for the most accurate indication of what real estate industry arrogance is about, then look no further. Back on November 4, the Real Estate Industry of Australia issued a press release offering Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey some friendly advice on the banking sector:

The decision to initiate a Senate Inquiry into aspects of the Australian banking sector is positive as the banks need to be examined regarding products offered, fees and charges and the current level of competition between bank and non-bank providers. 

In addition to the Senate Inquiry, REIA notes the Opposition’s Nine Point Plan and agrees the following proposals …

Mortgage Rates Keep Falling

Cute West End Cape Cod For Sale! Rates are low...make an offer!

Published: November 11, 2010

NEW YORK — Rates on fixed mortgages dropped to their lowest levels in decades this week after the Federal Reserve unveiled a massive bond-buying program to help spur economic growth.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for 30-year fixed loans fell to 4.17 percent from 4.24 percent last week. That's the lowest on records dating back to 1971.

The average rate on 15-year fixed loans fell to 3.57 percent from 3.63 percent. That's the lowest since the survey began in 1991.

The Fed detailed plans last week to buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds. The extra demand means Treasurys will produce lower yields for investors. Mortgage rates tend to track those yields.

Read more here.

Bedroom Update

Wow! What a blank slate...

There is still work to be done but this is better. The best part about this update is that is was free! I moved the bird pictures from Clyde's room. The Claude Monet copy and the mother of pearl frames are from my grandmother. The tray came from my mom.

There's the door

The further I stray from my intended mission with this blog, the closer I come to totally embarrassing myself. Lately, as you may have noticed, I've blabbed about areas that some agricultural economics subjects at UQ wouldn't qualify me to talk about.

So before I... meh, what mission statement? I'm more than happy to make a buffoon of myself, if that wasn't already clear. Time to draw some more long bows and continue joining ten tonne objects together with gossamer.

A couple of hours ago, ANZ announced they were lifting their variable mortgage rates. Cue those guys on who announced they were shifting their CBA mortgage last week, to announce they're shifting their ANZ mortgage today.

ANZ offered one important concession to those outraged dual mortgage holders - no exit fees. Is it just me or is someone opening up the holding pen and letting the bovines loose so they can run mortgage free, or be slaughtered somewhere else? In fact, I wonder if someone know…

Still Not Clyde Proof

Camille and I were so excited when we found these cute foam flowers and letter at the Dollar Tree. We decided to make new toy labels for her room and what a steal...the supplies only cost $3! Click here to read what happened to the first labels we made.

I spent at least an hour making all the labels and then just hole punched each flower and attached with ribbon I already owned. They looked really cute! Clyde strikes again...I barely got a picture before he tore them off. Back to the drawing board!