Where’s all this cash come from?

money

I stared at the computer screen for a while confused, scrolled though the bill pay list on the bank app, looked even more confused, checked that mortgage payments were clearing, nope, no answer there either.

So,where has all this extra cash in the account come from?

We must have missed paying a credit card bill, we are so about to be hit with an interest payment and overdue fee, Doh!  But the thing is, I can’t see where it’s happened.  Everything appears to be paid up and on time.

That was last Friday and it puzzled me all weekend. We lost incoming cash in January due to a job amendment in Crazy Cat Boy’s world, we’ve been going out to dinner and the movies regularly over the past few months, something we don’t normally do… apparently leaving the house gets in the way of slumping on the lounge in front of bad TV chugging back a couple of $25 bottles of wine, so going out wasn’t really on our agenda at all.

Now, we aren’t talking about a retire tomorrow sized amount, just more than enough to make me sit up and look for a problem.  The only thing I can think of is we are seeing the cumulative effect of 6 months of very little (and now no) booze, more organised food planning, me spitting the dummy at my car insurance renewal* and finding a better deal and some other $20 here, $10 there changes.

Now I know we were spending at least $100 on wine a week… Crazy Cat Boy god love him had it pegged at “about” $40 pw for some reason!  But this, coupled with these other small changes have put us in the position to put some more cash into our Vanguard EFT this week.  That’s our long term retirement income stream plan.

So not only will I live longer by laying off the booze I’ll also have the money to!  LOL

*I swear, Insurance is the only service that you buy where you are penalised for long term loyalty! What’s with that?  “Oh, you paid us on time for a service you haven’t used for 6 years, here’s a hefty increase in your premium for the next 12 months” Well I’m not taking it anymore!  Now, if I’d been drinking at the time I’d have ranted and raved and NOT done anything about changing service provider.  I’ve saved $30 per month with a quick Google and online quote.  Not bad for 10 minutes work on a sober Tuesday night.

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Friends + Booze = Help?

Spent the weekend in the big smoke with friends we don’t see often.  Drinking has always been a big part of our time together so I’d warned them ahead of time that I was on the wagon via text so the shock wouldn’t be too much.  I knew I’d be “enthusiastically encouraged” to drink as Kate* is a very big drinker, as is her husband William*.  Mind you, I’m not about to crack on day 80 something for people I don’t see that often, so I wasn’t too concerned about any pressure.

Kate greeted us at the door, glass of red in hand and “Here are the teetotallers”.  Hmmm, might be a long couple of days I thought to myself.  Our not drinking was the topic du jour for almost the entire time we were together. Kate seemed keen to know the ins and outs (I kept it at “It’s an internet challenge”, while I love her dearly, she does love to share  juicy information with others and I don’t need my reasons out IRL!).

Around midnight Saturday after a couple of bottles of bubbles, the best part of a bottle of red** and sharing some very unsound taxation advice, Kate came out with “I just can’t face not drinking forever”.  She seemed genuinely sad and worried about her drinking and I’m now worried for her.  I didn’t judge, hell, who I am I to anyway? Three months ago I’d probably been having the same conversation, the only difference is that I’d be two bottles of bubbles in myself!  Instead I shared some of the blogs and the benefits that I was seeing from the time off and encouraged her gently to go for it if she wanted to.

I’ve come away from the experience wondering if I could do more to help.  I’ve sent the links I said I would and offered to do the 100 days with her – no issue for me, I’m going to do them anyway. I’ll wait and see if she decides to go that way and I’ll help in anyway I can.

FYI, I’ve all but decided that I’ll continue through until at least 1st Jan 2019 and really, if I can do that, then it’s only another 4 months to the year… got to be worth it right?

Oh, and 85 days of Belles 100 Day Challenge today… should be working, blogging here instead, somethings haven’t changed! LOL

 

*Not Kate’s or Williams real names.

** Kate had consumed, not me, I was good I promise! 

80 Days!

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Busy with work and not much to share but I’ve hit 80 days of Belle’s 100 Day Challenge today…….

(sorry for the delay in this post, just had to go and shoo a bird out of the back yard – the cats are out at the moment – the photo above should be captioned, “But why can’t we chase the bird?”)

……. Actually, I take that back, I do have something to share.  Work isn’t just busy, it’s Insane, yep, with a capital “I”.  I should feel like I’m drowning but I don’t, I feel calm.  I’m still not getting much done, so perhaps I’m not calm, perhaps I’ve gone into shock!  LOL.  In all reality though, it has to be down to not drinking, I’m also sleeping through the night and in these circumstances that’s just about unheard of for me.  Normally I’d either by laying awake worrying or at my laptop at 3 am trying to wade through it all. Something’s definitely changed.

I’ve also started the ground work for “the chat” with Crazy Cat Boy.  You know, the one where you gently break that this 100 day thing is probably going to become a 365 day thing.  Don’t want to scare him too badly all at once, I’ve got another 20 days to soften the eventual decision delivery.  😉

Have a happy and healthy day all!

 

10 “Amazing” Things That Happen When You Stop Drinking

 

20171101_105123Not much time to play today but wanted to celebrate yesterday’s milestone – 70 days of Belles 100 Day Challenge done and dusted!

Everyone talks about the obvious benefits of not drinking, health, self worth, better relationships, hope, etc, etc… Ok so they are pretty big etc’s LOL!  But, I’ve noticed some other more everyday “amazing things” that I thought I’d share, and before you ask, yes, my life really is that exciting that I’ve noticed these  😉 …

  1. My bins are mostly empty (we are generating at least 1/2 as much recycling, no bottles, but  weirdly only about 1/3 of the hard rubbish we were prior)
  2. I put the bins out and bring them in without whinging about it (or feeling hard done by)
  3. Washing gets put away (often on the same day it dries!)
  4. I know if I’m being lazy but don’t care (because it’s my choice, not my hangover)
  5. I remember to take bags with me to the shops (so I don’t have to stuff 3 days worth of food into my Furla tote at the cash register and suffer the odd looks from the checkout girls)
  6. I’m calmer at Bunnings (normally the place makes me lose the will to live (it’s a hardware store here in Australia if you are wondering))
  7. I’m more assertive with the remote control at home
  8. If the dirty microwave bothers me, I clean it!  (I know, right??)
  9. I’ve been composting more diligently
  10. I’ve been using all of my social media feeds, yes, even SnapChat (I still don’t really understand how it works – all my “stories” consist of one image and a random filter #SocialMediaMarketingGuru  #Not LOL)

 

So, that’s my benign 70 day sober challenge update.  Small things but they can make quite a difference in my everyday slightly mundane life.  Big things have changed as well, however they’ve been well documented by more eloquent bloggers than this Crazy Cat Lady.  I’d love to hear your “small thing”, so feel free to play along below!

Sugar Made Me Do It

lemon cake

I’ve talked about how Crazy Cat Boy is helping me with my 100 Day Challenge but what I’ve not talked about is how I’m helping him achieve some goals of his own.  His goals are DELICIOUS!

We were given Poh Ling Yeow’s 100 Great Bakes cookbook last year for Christmas and he’s picked out a number of fabulous (and rich items) that he’d like to make.  First it was the decedent vanilla slice, which looked nothing like the vanilla slices of my school canteen days!  Mmm, the cream patisserie, for a woman who doesn’t like custardy things was divine.   Then this weekend gone it was the Lemon Curd Meringue Sponge cake… light, fluffy cake, zingy lemon curd all encased in the lightest chewiest meringue you’ve ever encountered.  Tonight will be puff pastry with leftover curd, Chantilly cream and meringue, coz, you know, food waste is such a crime against the environment (and my jeans it’s turning out).   Next weekend it’s the cinnamon scrolls, can’t wait!

Now here’s the kicker it’s been cold out here in wine country and it’s bloody dark in the mornings and I’ve been particularly slack around getting on the bike in these conditions.  This combined with the intense amount of sugar that I’ve been inhaling (I had lemon sponge for breakfast yesterday – don’t judge me, lemon is fruit and cream is just not runny milk!) and not only are my clothes feeling a bit tight but the wonderful head hits pillow out like a light sleep that I’ve been experiencing since not drinking has GONE.

I had forgotten how ordinary I feel when I don’t sleep and can’t believe that I normally operated like this.   I blame the sugar.  The only other option is that we’ve been going to bed a ridiculously early time since I’ve been on the challenge, perhaps I’ve caught up on all the sleep I’ve missed over the years in the past 60 odd days.  Yeah, I know, it’s unlikely.  LOL

As addictions go I think sugar is right up there, just writing this after my second day of no sleep has my mind is wandering through the contents of the pantry to see what in there that is sweet is readily available to sooth my craving.  I might have to address this one at some point.  But until then I’ll continue to support CCB in his endeavours… the sugar and love made me do it!

PS: In case anyone is wondering at nearly 70 days in I feel more “awake” now than I have in years regardless of the sleep issue. I’m thinking this 100 days might need to be extended.

60 Days

Well good Internet peeps today is  officially 60 days of Belles 100 Day Challenge for me!

It’s probably the longest I’ve gone since my (very) early twenties without a drink.  I have to say that I feel pretty good, “lighter” mentally, more focused and way less inclined to commit professional suicide by telling my uptight, upstart colleagues what they can do with their uninformed, scaredy arsed opinions… it’s been a long few weeks with some significant challenges, including me deciding that this marketing gig is for idiots and that I’d be happier as a Sheppard (sheep do as you tell them, why won’t everyone else? Control freak much? Who, moi?  LOL) and that’ll be my new career.

I’ve tackled what should have been private boozy dinners, some very long Friday nights, and most recently a professional dinner in this booze soaked industry.  I copped some good natured ribbing and “what the hell for’s” but no actual grief.  Like my friend from a few weekends ago there was disbelief that anyone would be able to do 1 week let alone 100 days.  Crazy Cat Boy was asked if I was torturing him, but he also didn’t drink at the function – he’s doing the challenge by default and I think he’s privately ok with it now.

Hmm, I had more to say but my pesky boss sent an email and I’ve lost my train of thought, so I’ll leave it here… bring on the next 40 days!

 

 

 

Temptations & Marketing Tricks

alcohol alcoholic bar blur

Photo by Joonas kääriäinen on Pexels.com

Well, yesterday was 50 days, I’m officially half way through Belles 100 Day Challenge.

If you’d asked me yesterday morning on my cold and frosty walk I would have told you that I was contemplating making 100 days 365 days as my next “challenge”.  Then I totted off to the big smoke for an early dinner… it was a long weekend here in wine country so you leave early to avoid the banked up traffic.  This meant that I had time to kill before dinner with a friend before a cultured night at the Australian Ballet.  So I took a casual stroll around Southbank, past all the lovely restaurants with their French champagnes nestled in the window, lights glinting off polished flutes, adverts for elegant high teas, all accompanied with complimentary bubbles – the urge began to grow!    As a marketer I know all the tricks but these images were really pressing my buttons.  Surely I’m smarter than that? Mmm, I’m not so sure as my brain began it’s cycle of justification…

Perhaps 50 days is enough, that’s reason to celebrate right?  Oh damn, I drove in didn’t I?  Hmm, perhaps just one crisp, dry sparkling would be ok with dinner.  No one would ever know.  Well, not true, I’d know and be buggered if I’ll give up 50 days to start again!  Nope, I’ll just have to white knuckle it through to 100 days and celebrate with a good bottle.

Sigh, that’s not healthy thinking is it?  Really? No one is going to tell me different?  Doh!  Fine, I’ll soldier on with my big girl panties on.

I broke the news to my friend who I don’t see often and her response was “Wow, there is no way I could do that, I don’t think I could stop.”  She left it there and didn’t inquire as to why I was doing the challenge or how I felt from it, so I didn’t probe any further either.  If she asks I’ll come clean and say I wasn’t happy where I thought my current drinking patterns were taking me, but until then I’ll keep quiet.

In the end I had a Pepsi with dinner, enjoyed the ballet then drove home in my nice warm car instead of leaving it inconveniently and expensively parked in the CBD and catching the train home in the rain.  Sober has its undeniable advantages!

PS: In case you are wondering why I didn’t question my friend, we are getting reacquainted after a number of years of not spending any time together… school friendship that didn’t survive new lives, jobs and cities.

Cranky, Possibly Crazy…

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The last week or so I’ve been in a mood,  cranky, irrational, snarky, no patience at all with anyone, a true joy to be around… Not!  Mind you, no one has been brave enough to complain but I know it in myself.

I’m mainlining chocolate, drinking Coke like it’s going out of fashion and kicking things that piss me off, like the garage door…. How dare he lock it when I knew I’d probably use it at some point this week???!  It’s like he’s deliberately provoking me!

(Poor Crazy Cat Boy has NO idea that I’m so pissed at the fact he secured our house against chance marauders, mind you if he’d been home he’d have worked it out! LOL)

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I even Googled “how to practice gratitude” and got narky because the articles were too long and it looked like a bit of work.    So I’m sitting here scowling at the screen, coz you know, I’m good like that, wondering if this post is adding value or just me killing time before my next interminable teleconference, where I’m going to get more pissed off because my service provider keeps changing exactly what it is their service actually provides.

So, what’s the thoughts good internet peeps, is it lack of sun, time of year (winter here), really late withdrawal or am I just an ungrateful crazy cow who’s allowing a couple of dodgy weeks to crank up the poor me’s?  Love your opinions, I’d just be careful how you phrase them!  LOL

 

PS: I think it’s day 43 with no booze, I’m starting to lose count.

 

1 Month No Booze!

Well, that’s one whole month down with no booze at all, a sober May for Crazy Cat Lady, who’d thunk it!

Sunday will be 40 days on Belle’s 100 Day challenge and I feel great.  I’m getting stuff done (well, I should be doing a sales prop right now, but I’ll get there), and feeling good about myself.

I hope everyone that is giving no booze a try is going well, and if you are only thinking about it, give it a crack, just try for a week and you’ll feel the difference.

 

 

Cats Are Great Weight Blankets

cats

Over the past few weeks it’s started to get cold out here in wine country (great living choice when you are a bit of a lush right?), that combined with the lurgy I had the other week means that I’ve taken to doubling up a king size blanket and putting that over me at night.

Now I’d heard the theory that a weighted blanket can help you sleep better.  And after a couple of weeks,I’m kind of inclined to believe it’s true when combined with laying off the booze.  I’m sleeping better than I have in ages.  Mind you, I also gave up worry, that’s probably helping a bit as well, and I’ve taken some steps to fix the major issue that was keeping me up (more on that in another post, all I’ll say is not spending your days hungover makes you more proactive!)

Last night I didn’t use the doubled blanket, I used a cat instead.  It was cold and the girl cat decided that my chest needed to be stood on while she dribbled on my chin – restful right?  LOL.   Anyway as I drifted off to sleep with her deep purring vibrating through my body and a light stream of cat drool dripping of my chin I thought that life is pretty good, I’ve got nothing to complain about, and that she was doing a great job keeping me warm.

So, my advice is don’t waste your cash on a commercial weight blanket, get a cat and save the “pay rise” you’ve given yourself by quitting booze, your life will be better for it.

PS: If you are wondering, I’m now on day 28 of Belles 100 Day Challenge