• All About Fern
  • Online Shopping; The Way it Should Be

    Well, it’s over. Frugal February, that is. I failed. Like I actually, really, truly failed. I’m not even going to tell you how much money I spent yesterday (because I feel sick when I think about it, to be honest), but I will tell you that tonight we had Pizza Hut for dinner. Again. It hasn’t even been a week since we ate it last.

    I’m not going to attempt to explain myself. For one thing, I just can’t be bothered. And for another thing I don’t wanna. And anyway, this is my blog so I get to play by my rules. So there.

    Instead, I’m going to change the subject. Ready?

    I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes. I’ve been thinking about how it’d be nice to be one of those people who has a small wardrobe of quality clothing. No Kmart cheapies, no reduced to clear impulse pieces, just a few (okay, several) items that work well together, that make me look good. But what makes me look good?

    I am a fan of online shopping. I like being able to look and look and look at things without feeling awkward. I like making up my own mind instead of being talked into purchases by pushy sales assistants. What I don’t like are the photos. I mean, photos of things are fine, obviously, but the photos of clothing? Not good.

    I am 33 years old and my body has housed four separate human beings. And while those days are behind me, these days my body houses pizza and Coke and potato chips on a regular basis. Thanks to this, er, lifestyle, I now resemble an inverted hourglass: Skinny up the top, skinny down the bottom, and boom boom fatty boom boom in the middle. Am I pregnant? No I am not. My tummy just makes a really good cushion, okay?

    The main problem with a body like mine is that it’s incredibly difficult to clothe. So when I go online to look at what’s available, and I see image after image of skinny minny models, I end up scratching my head. Will her outfit work on me? Will it cling to my matronly middle, or will it hold all my jiggly bits in? Am I just supposed to guess?

    The thing with the internet is that it’s infinite. We’re not going to run out of space. Websites can get bigger and bigger and bigger… The internet is basically an online universe. And yet fashion sites are so limited. Would it be too much to ask that people of all body shapes and sizes are photographed wearing the clothes that businesses want us to buy? I mean, we all know that people with tight, flat, toned bodies look good in clothes. What we really need to know is whether or not people who look like us will look good in the clothes we find appealing.

    What I propose is that online clothing stores start taking photos of a whole range of people wearing their outfits. Then we, the consumers, can search by body type. Like I could select “No boobs, fat tum, square bottom” and some poor woman who looks a lot like me would pop up, looking completely awful in a whole bunch of photos, but really, really amazing in the rest. And then on every good photo I would click the little add to cart button (because obviously I’d just have to buy all the clothes she wears well) and I’d type in my husband’s credit card details (which I know be heart) and then we’d all be winners. Seriously, how is this not a thing?

    – Fern xxx


    The only part of Frugal February I’ve managed to stick to has been my plan to cut back on groceries each week. This haul’s a little different because I included a look inside my pantry, fridge and freezer…

  • All About Fern
  • I am The Best (and also The Worst)

    I was planning to write this blog post yesterday, but everyone who blogs was writing about Valentine’s Day and I gotta tell ya, that’s enough to put me off blogging for life. No offence or anything, I just reckon V. Day is v. lame. But that’s just me. Also me? Kind of good at making excuses for things like not blogging when I feel like I should be blogging. I might put that on my CV.

    So yesterday, the 14th, was the official Halfway Through Frugal February point. I feel like I should have some sort of exciting anecdote to share, like maybe some people would’ve found some sort of penny pinching way to celebrate that milestone? But no, not me. Much like my feelings toward the day of V’s, I felt pretty meh about it all.

    But that’s probably because I’ve already failed.

    The saddest part about failing is the fact that I didn’t even spend money on something good. I could’ve bought clothes, or shoes, or just taken the baby to get the haircut he so desperately needs, but instead I bought fish ‘n’ chips. And coke. So not only have I failed at not spending, but I’ve failed at not eating sugar too. I am the worst.

    On the other hand, I am also the best. Because after the fish ‘n’ chips and coke, and – okay I admit it – after the Pizza Hut and coke I bought the day after I bought the fish ‘n’ chips (this is why I look pregnant, just FYI), I got myself back on track. I didn’t rush off to Kmart to buy all the things I’ve been thinking about for the past 14 days. I didn’t overspend on groceries when I placed my online order. And I didn’t take the remaining cash the husband found in his drawer last week to carry around in my purse just in case.

    There was a bump in the road, but I got myself back on track. And considering only a month ago money was running through my fingers like I sand, I reckon I’m winning. Maybe I should go and buy a Lotto ticket…

    – Fern xxx


    The easiest way to find out what I’ve really been up to is to watch it unfold for yourself. Just don’t watch it if you’re not interested in hearing me talk about chickens, because holy crap I talked a lot about chickens. Bok, bok, bok.

  • All About Fern
  • The Road is Long

    This morning I was feeling all pleased with myself because I’m doing so amazingly well at not spending money. Then I looked at the calendar and realised it’s only the sixth of February. Oh. There’s still a long road ahead of me. A really long road, if the first (not quite) week of the month is anything to go by… Does anyone else feel like it’s been February forever? No? Just me?

    Yesterday I spent money. I know. I know. But my mother had invited the troops and I over for a BBQ lunch, and she was shouting (lunch, I mean, not yelling at me), and then she messaged me to ask could I possibly break my Frugal February plans and pick up some “nice fresh bread for lunch”. What was I going to do? Say no?

    We stopped at the bakery and I exchanged seven dollars and forty cents for two loaves of Nice Fresh Bread.

    I miss that seven dollars. Hell, I even miss the forty cents. That is money I will never get back.

    I kind of did get the money back though, because all my ranting about minimalism and consumerism obviously affected my husband in some way. Today he cleaned out his top drawer. Do you know how long it’s been since he cleaned out his top drawer? Well, to be honest I can’t actually say. But what I can say is that he found a Christmas card we received when I was pregnant with the kid who turns four next month. And that Christmas card contained Three Hundred Dollars.

    He found another fifty dollars floating around in the drawer too. So that means that we are now up $342.60, which is great. But, you know, it could’ve been $350…

    In other news, my tight ‘n’ light grocery shop doesn’t look like it’ll be enough to sustain us for the week. We’re out of Weetbix (okay fine, Homebrand Wheat Biscuits). And bananas. And I estimate we only have one cup of oats left to go. Looks like breakfast will be toast for six for the next few days. Hmm, I guess that Nice Fresh Bread will come in handy after all.

    – Fern xxx


    Thankfully we won’t be running out of lunch foods any time soon. I have been a very good girl this weekend, planning and baking for the week ahead. Somebody give me a medal!
    (Oh, and then strip me of that medal because there is a freaking TYPO in this video. I can’t even handle it. I didn’t see it until it was uploaded. Wah!)

     

     

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • A Fire in my Belly

    Something is happening to me. My month of no spending, my efforts to reconsider my relationship with money, spending, shopping, are stirring things up inside me. There is a fire in my belly. I am ready to change.

    After watching that documentary on minimalist living the other night, I searched through all the other docos Netflix has to offer, and added a bunch of them to my watchlist. “Fast fashion” had been mentioned in Minimalism, and I wanted to learn more about it.

    I stumbled upon The True Cost, and decided that’d be my entertainment for the evening. And oh, it made me feel sick.

    I was wearing a Kmart nightie. My favourite nightie. It’s black and falls to my knees. It’s comfy yet cute, with lace detailing and a faux cross-over at the bust. It makes my boobs look nice, and it makes my boobs easily accessible (for the baby, I mean). It cost me $18, or maybe it was $15? Either way, that nightie ticked all the boxes for me. It was cheap. I love cheap. Cheap is good, right?

    I don’t want to sit here and write out all the things I learned last night, because it’ll be better, more confronting, if you just watch the documentary for yourself. But because I know a lot of you won’t, let me just say this: A real human being, with real thoughts, real feelings, a real life, made the clothes you are wearing right now. They pieced it together, sewed it into life, and – if it was cheap – it’s likely they were barely compensated.

    Clothes are polluting our planet. Your discarded items are releasing toxins into the earth as they waste away (or not) in landfills. The factories in which our “bargains” are created are spewing filth into rivers, oceans, skies. You may have paid just $4 for your T-shirt, but what is the true cost? What the f*ck are we doing?

    I am full of a sort of jittery, gotta-do-something energy today. I feel powerless yet powerful. I have the means to change. The love I felt for Kmart just five days ago is fading. My flame of passion is dying out. I do not need things to be happy. I do not want a wardrobe full of clothing that could have cost a mother her life. Something’s got to give.

    Something has got to give.

    – Fern xxx

     


    It feels trivial now, but I uploaded this video to share the foods I bought to fuel my family for a week, spending $50 less than I usually would. If you’re after a more light-hearted watch, then maybe this’ll appeal…