#1088 Happiness not withdrawn

Let me tell you a tale. A tale of how sometimes, going against the system will serve you well.

There may be many out there who constantly go against the system… whatever works for you.

This story is about testing, questioning, and not taking things at face value… and one day this type of example might just help you.


I received a speeding fine a while back. As it was, I opened the fine on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.

Great. Just great.

The fine was in Hubbie’s name, only because the insurance is… but as I retraced the steps of the offending date and time, I saw with sadness that it was definitely me driving my car.

Damn. Boo.

What was more annoying was it was in a 50 zone. I was apparently doing an estimated 54-57 kms an hour, in a residential street not far from where I lived… and I hadn’t even realised it was a 50 zone.

After going through the paperwork to get it transferred to my name, weeks passed and I was set to begrudgingly pay it.

But then one evening, I drove into that same street. With curiosity, I kept on the lookout, and realised that the 50km/h street sign for the street, appeared once, only at the beginning of my street entrance… and it was slightly turned inwards. Towards the houses.


On that particular day too, there was a truck parked out the front of a house, near that sign, which practically obstructed all vision of it.


I started to think.

Vandalism of some sort had occurred, making the visibility of the sign very difficult. I then remembered how I was surprised it was a 50 street…. a parallel street nearby which is also residential, is in fact a 60 zone.

I had naturally assumed this one would be the same.

I had a chat to Hubbie, and he encouraged me to go for it. Go online and appeal. I was tentative only because the fine was due soon, and I figured they would take my delay as a last-ditch attempt to avoid paying, and not because I had seriously come across some interesting information that might help my case.

But… I appealed.

Today as I got home from work I saw a letter in my name. Knowing I was due for an answer from them anytime now, I ripped open the envelope with hesitation and fury.



“You did it?” Hubbie came over and I started reading out the letter excitedly.

The infringement had been withdrawn. They still concluded that an offence had been made, but in light of the evidence provided, I was let off with a warning.

A warning! Oh what sweet words!

Of course, this means I cannot appeal any similar related infringements within a 2 year period IF I get them… which I won’t. I’m super duper careful now. 😉

But if I hadn’t tried… that would have been a couple of hundred dollars out of my pocket… and a few demerit points also gone.

But I tried. I had nothing to lose.

Neither do you 🙂

#1072 Maznik coin

I’ve never been so grateful to find $2.

But it’s all in how it came about. And the tradition that comes with it.

My MIL makes a dish called Maznik, true to the Macedonian culture. It is a pastry with fetta cheese and it is oily, and that is all you really need to know other than it is DEE-LICIOUS.

Oh, and it pairs well with some home-grown fresh garden tomatoes, simply cut up.

The seasonal tradition is that with the coming of the ‘old’ New Year (that of the Orthodox New Year) she makes this Maznik, and somewhere within its circular shape places a $2 coin wrapped in foil.

The coin is meant to represent good luck for the coming year, and if you are the lucky recipient of it, well then a good 2019 year to you.

Tonight after much ado (it’s been in our fridge for a few days, tsk tsk tsk) we took the huge pan out, set it in the middle of the table during dinner, and cut it into 4 pieces. One for each of us, and the 4th for ‘the house.’

Hubbie and I went mad. We were going through our allocated pieces something shocking, from first peering down the ends of the tubular pastry to then not holding back and ripping it apart, pushing down hard to feel something, anything other than fetta cheese. Baby girl sat there patiently, chatting away about how it is so delicious (thinking surely that is why we were tearing it apart) while we went through all 4 pieces in order.

But we couldn’t find the coin.

“Tell your Mum she forgot to put the coin in.”

My hands were greasy, almost dripping from the oil and cheese. I was trying to keep some kind of order within the pan and keep each piece away from each other as we finely dissected it.

“Tato, your Mum didn’t give us the chocolate coin,” baby girl chimed in. She was convinced it was chocolate, and not gold. Ahh, kid life.

I had gone through 3 of the pieces, perhaps 3 times over already. Mine, baby girl’s and the ‘house’s one. I pressed repeatedly on hers again, looking and feeling and pulling apart. I was starting to feel sorry for the pastry… it had looked so beautiful, and now it was reduced to pulled parts.

It would still end up in our bellies though.

I moved on to my piece again. “There is no money in here.” I pushed down hard on the pointy soft end of the Maznik, filled to the brim with cheese. I looked down the tubular crust end. “Honestly where the hell is this?” I kept simultaneously pushing down and pulling the pastry away, until –

“It’s here.” It was a flat tone, but I pulled out the little piece of foil with satisfaction.

Hubbie said a traditional congrats to me, while baby girl went “Ohhhh.”

“It’s okay honey, you’ll still have a good year…” I grinned.

I had gotten lucky. 🙂

I know it was only $2, but that little gold coin represented so much more, and I hoped it would bring abundance, more than any monetary value it held…

We then proceeded to eat the Maznik we had torn to shreds. Nom nom nom.


#1040 Our balcony!

I am totally going to do a Phil Collins right now… “I’ve been waiting for this moment, for all of my life.”

YES. Well not my whole life, just my seachange one.

Presenting our new…



My eye has been firmly planted on the reinvention of this hunk of wood protruding from our front of house since we moved in. Many things impacted the ability to see it through, like time, money, and putting all our efforts into renovating our kitchen.

In the 2.2 years we’ve spent here, I can probably count on 2 hands the number of times we’ve been out there. A lovely place to sit and enjoy the scenery it is, but safe it was not, with rotting stumps, meaning it was totally out of bounds.

Do you know how hard it is to have a balcony and NOT USE IT?

Well I can say, I do. The way around it?

To completely ignore it. Which I managed to do successfully all of this time.

Today, I stood outside… on the edge, taking in all of its glory.

So so so so soooo happy, and guess what, we have some other colour out the front now other than boring beige/brown… blue!

Expect a lot of gratitude posts coming to you live from the balcony-tops of our house… 😉

(sorry not sorry 😜)

#1029 Getting the Chrissy list sorted

You know where most of the pain of buying Christmas presents comes from?

It’s not from finding the time, or even trying to find the money for it… but rather, it’s knowing WHAT to buy.

That is the real work.

I have about a third of the presents from my list bought already. And that is only 9 days into December.

But better than that, is that I know every single thing that I will be buying for the rest of my list, except for a handful of people.

That is pretty awesome.

The only thing holding me back from going out and buying everything, is of course, time and money…


And for the other few I have left… I still have 16 days to go before Christmas arrives.

16 days to get organised for just a couple more!

Woo hoo, I’m feeling good 🙂


Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash



#990 Wednesday family time

Hubbie hates how I work Wednesdays. Like HATES. He hates it in bold, hates it underlined, hates it italicised, any which way you can highlight it, he does it…

He hates my working Wednesdays.

I joke he will hate them in a different way when I am not working next year and suddenly he will be hating the non-money I bring in, ha ha.

But seriously, I do get it.

He is home, and he can’t even look forward to his middle of the week day off with baby girl and I. Because there is no ‘I.’ ‘I’ am at work.

I’ve had to get away to work earlier for many weeks now, meaning the usual go-to-work late time of 1:30pm has been pulled even further back to 11am.

We couldn’t even go and do stuff in the mornings together. I got up, ate and got ready, and left.

Today however was exciting. For the first time in what feels like yonks, I was able to leave at 1:30pm. And we crammed soooo much in.

It felt like the longest and sweetest morning, in fact my time with my family was a day all in itself, that’s how much we did. What made it better was the dress I happened across (which is fabulous I might add), and also our family coffee date:


You know what Hubbie said about it?

“I feel like I’m on holiday.”

And if that is coming out of his mouth on a Wednesday, well then I know we have made it a pretty good one.

#881 New pjs

Can we all give a ‘hell yeah’ to pjs?!

They are fairly underwhelming when it comes to comparing them to everyday clothes you buy and wear in the general public. For this reason, I think a lot of people don’t like to spend much money on something that quite frankly, no one but those under your very own roof will see.

I am not one of those people.

Up until recently, my destination sleepwear store of choice was Mr Alexander himself, Peter. I have several winter and summer sets in my top drawer, and consider them an investment, because let’s face it, you wear them over and over and over again.

And I don’t care if no one sees them but my family. Because the most important person sees them day in and day out – ME. I need to feel good and feel comfortable, and looking good is part of the feel-good package.

These have always been my views, and they still are.

But recently, something in me has shifted. Because I’ve noticed, just a little wear and tear on some of my trusty pieces… worn out knees… a slowly widening hole in the armpit…

And I questioned myself “should I step out of my PA circle and buy, another brand of sleepwear?”

Shock horror! Bedtime blasphemy!

And, days ago, I did.


Now I am not saying I am boycotting Peter’s team, no siree. But considering a lot of their sets can be close to $100, I chose a pant and top combo from Cotton On Body for a mere $40, and the leg warmers on the bottom of my pants are far superior than those from Peter!


I am grateful for the abundance of sleepwear places we can go to to get our sleepy-time bedwear, and that there is such a great selection to choose from, to accommodate all budgets and bodies.

So, Peter. I still love you. But I think, maybe just for a little bit, we should start seeing other people…

Honestly, it’s not you. It’s all ME. 🙂

#877 Shopping with my girl no.8

It is so true that forcing yourself to get out and about when you’re not up for it, can really do wonders for you.

And having a convincing baby girl on board to coax you along, helps too.

As a parent, it’s really hard to say no when your kids are so damn cute and clever.

So, feeling under the weather, light-headed and all spaced out, we headed over to Southland today, amidst headache, crankiness, and cramps…


It was great though. After our argument within 10 minutes of being there. We got the shouting out of the way (what will happen to me when she is 14, and not 4?!?!) and then proceeded to actually have, the best day.

Spending money is a really great way to feel better. I know I’ve said this before, but it is so true. We made use of our time, eating and cafe-ing our way throughout the centre, and getting a few bits and pieces along the way too.


She got a couple of books that she loves, from discovering them at kinder/the library; I got a book on handling fear, something I desperately need as the necessity to share more of my writings and work grows, and with it the inevitable audience which quite frankly SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME; some Lego, and a dress for her; and for me/us, a Queen album.

But none of that quite compares to the highlight of our shopping day, which cost absolutely nothing, and gave both baby girl and I insurmountable laughs and joy. Because as we were lunching, I somehow decided to open up my messenger app and show her the filters you could place over our selfie portraits.

What a can of worms… and a fun one at that! We went through filter upon filter, checking them out, watching our faces and features change and distort upon the application, and we roared and shrieked with laughter. We had our lunches half-eaten in front of us, and here we were in a room full of people, cacking up like we were the only ones in it.

It was, absolutely the best. And well, that kind of ruins my earlier hypothesis…

Because it was FREE.