Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jelssievision Episode 5, Season Finale!

Unveiled! What to say, what to say... it's a special episode with extra length. A lot of introspection, some puzzlement, and a beautiful backdrop. Thanks for watching, and thanks Bec!

Jelssievision 5 from Bec Jee on Vimeo.

How to test drive.

A few of us at work are selling cars or car shopping, and I said, "What's a test drive anyway? I don't know what I'm supposed to do!" So Martyn wrote us this checklist. I include it with his permission, to benefit all car-buyers of little experience.

1. Is there an Owner's Handbook/Manual? If not, I suggest you proceed no further! If so, to whom was the car originally sold and where? (eg if it was originally sold to someone in Darwin, what is it now doing in Sydney?)
2. Is there a Service Record...if so have the services been done more or less in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended intervals? If not, I suggest you don't proceed...a "lost" service history may mean the seller has something to hide OR they or a previous owner were pretty slap-dash about getting it serviced.
3. Do they have the registration paper?

4. If the above points are OK, walk around and look for the following:
a) Signs of body repair eg panels that don't quite fit, non- matching sections of paint
b) Do all the tyres have plenty of tread?
c) Have someone with you to get in and turn on the headlights, blinkers, windscreen washers and wipers and horn
d) Open the bonnet and check that the Compliance Plate is affixed. Compare the details thereon with the registration paper ie the engine number and  "VIN"

5. Take the car for a drive and check for the following:
a) When you turn the key, does the engine start quickly? If it struggles to fire, the battery may be nearing the end of its useful life, or there could be other problems. Does the tachometer settle into a constant RPM reading (normally around 750) within about 10 seconds or does it fluctuate up and down above and below say, 1,000 rpm?
b) If manual, when you let the clutch out, does it 'take up' smoothly and progressively as you start easing the clutch or does it suddenly 'catch' and you lurch forward?
c) Are there any unusual sounds from the engine, exhaust or gear box when changing gears (manual or auto)? Leave the radio off and drive with the window down so you can hear the car. (Check the radio later)
d) Assume it has A/C, turn this on as you drive to make sure it works OK.
e) On a straight section of road, accelerate hard for a few seconds to check the response. Find somewhere without too much traffic and 'just' take your hands off the wheel - does the car continue to 'track' straight or does it pull to one side or the other?
f) Find a quiet street and check the brakes: accelerate to about 50 km/h then hit the brakes quite firmly. Does the car come to a quick stop? Does the steering wheel want to pull to one side or the other?

If there are one or two things on the above checklist which you are not happy about but otherwise the car seems OK, get an NRMA or other expert to check it out. If three or more problem areas you should probably keep looking!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fried Chicken.

I just want to point out that there is a story on the front of today about KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). I'm proud to say that jelssie eat street was eating that fried chicken back in 2012. Good times.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Last word on Jelssie

Given Jess has already blogged The Last Days, I thought it appropriate to give my voice on the ending of Jelssie the blog.

The title of this post itself feels very...weighty. Final. This is it!

I have really enjoyed my time on Jelssie. It's been a joy to share our ramblings with you, and I especially thank Jess for keeping Jelssie going while I've been so quiet. I'm not sure what happened with me being all quiet on Jelssie. I still had Jelssie things to say, but I started to just say them to Jess and not get around to posting them here.

And what about me and Jess' friendship itself? It will change. We don't know what it will look like. We know how we feel about friendships: we will invest in those who are physically closer, and have the time for us (I can't find the relevant blog post!). What I do know is that I will look back in this season of life with many fond memories, and if I'm bored or looking to procrastinate, I will work my way through this blog.

It's been fun - thanks for reading, for telling us how much you loved it, and thanks for my partner-in-crime, Jess! God has provided so well for you, I look forward to seeing how he will continue to bless you in your next stage of life xoxo

Woe is TV.

It seems kind of sad to me that the best night of TV at the moment is Tuesday night. TUESDAY NIGHT. With New Girl and Big Bang Theory. And the return of Snog Marry Avoid. SMASH season 2 was also on last Tuesday but it started so late it was actually Wednesday morning viewing, so I don't count that. Now, I do enjoy these shows, but the fact that these are the viewing cream of my week BY A LONG WAY is a  sad SAD indictment of the state of programming. I know it's First World Problems, but TV did not used to cause this much angst! Shows used to start promptly on the hour or half hour, in line with the printed TV guide. There used to be something fun on Sunday nights like Doctor Who or The Mentalist or both. If the viewing audience is spending more time watching TV on the internet or DVD boxed sets (I'm enjoying Dark Angel most nights), who can blame them!!!!!

The Last Days.

Life has chapters, and jelssie has marked one of those chapters. Nothing lasts forever. You finish the block of chocolate too soon. Braces come off, eventually. And half of jelssie, me the Jess part, is leaving Sydney at the end of this week. So it seems like the right time to finish blogging here, round things up and appreciate what has been. It's either that or take a new photo for the banner. I love that this blog is an archive of so much fun, it's been a GREAT chapter.

There will hopefully be another jelssievision soon, yesterday we did a 5th and final episode for Season 1 :) so stay tuned for that.

If you miss me (Jess), I plan to keep blogging on my other blog, but that's not much like jelssie, it's mainly craft and my new favourite songs and so on. I have a smartphone now so if I start twittering I'll let yous know. Elsie said she might start a blog if she ever wants to blog again. But officially, jelssie is saying goodbye this week.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


It's like scales falling from my eyes. Finding something like this during a packing/decluttering binge and thinking "What the?".

I must have scavenged it from my parents or grandparents. Still in original 70s packaging. 4 soup bowls with lids. Now, they would make cute little tureens, so somebody might want them, but why have I been carrying them from house to house and dutifully putting them right at the back of some cupboard every time I unpack? It's insanity, when you think about it. Utter lunacy.

I've come to the point where decluttering and frugalism has merged, and I want to think of myself as a minimalist, even though I probably won't look like one from the outside. I'd like to be able to fit all my possessions into one car, but that isn't going to happen. Once you've got stuff and you're used to using it, it's hard to justify getting rid of it just so you can meet a romantic criteria of nomadic minimalism. But I'm seriously tightening up my definition of "useful" and resisting the lure of shopping to improve my life.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


So snacking and feeling hungry aren't really a thing for me anymore, unless my meals are too small. The body can adapt to ANYTHING.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The FlyBuys.

I was very anti flybuys for years. I thought, I hate cards, I don't want my spending tracked. Well, I don't have to have a card because I just stuck the barcode on the back of my paywave card with sticky tape, and I figure when I pay with credit or eftpos my spending is tracked anyway.

Now I have actually started changing my spending because of flybuys. I use those vouchers for points when you spend a certain amount on fresh food. The amount is always carefully calibrated against my normal spending to raise it by a small amount. So one week I eat a lot veggies (spend $14 to get 175 points), the next week I stock up on cheese or meat. I CAN'T HELP MYSELF.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Article of my week:

No, I'm not talking about the hilarious one about the Expedit I facebooked, which you can read too if you like.

This one about Gen Y maybe wanting to leave the inner cities, against all the trends.

I wouldn't say I ever missed the suburbs, but I'm trying to see the bright side now. I'm sadly giving up my carfree lifestyle and figuring out which car to buy. Enjoying my walking-distance-from-the-beach location every swimming-weather day I can, before I go inland. Even breaking my No Takeaway rule because the days of easy access to cheap asian food are slipping through my fingers.

But on the bright side, there will be a vast improvement in my finances—the proportion of my income spent on rent will be reduced and even buying a place will be within reach one day. I'll be able to own and play a real piano as loudly as I like, no shared walls. I'll have a front door that goes outside instead of onto a corridor. I may even have a BACK door! I may have access to dirt I can grow things in, instead of a concreted common driveway area. This is all stuff I can live without, and have lived happily without, but they are upsides.

Should watch Hart of Dixie again.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Declutter: sell vs give

I sold my freezer on gumtree, woohoo! And then found out a friend would have bought it if I'd just put it on facebook. Oh well! I am actually glad I dipped my toe in the world of selling things online because it's a crucial skill in decluttering.

I'm reading the blog Miss Minimalist a lot, and found a good post about selling vs donating. Good guidelines to be efficient at decluttering when you think you should try and recoup the money you've spent on stuff, but it's so much easier to just donate it. Personally I'm very lazy/efficient and prefer to donate, but sometimes it's obvious that I could make some money back if I went through a little bit of bother just listing it online, which was the case with the freezer after years of indecision and using it as a cupboard for extension cords and vacuum cleaner heads.

No loss.

Something I've noticed about getting rid of things is that I don't notice the absence as much as I expect. Which is a pro and a con. A pro because it proves it wasn't at all essential in my life. A con because I had higher expectations of how much I'd love the empty space... you just get used to it though.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tall skirts.

Long skirts. I have two, a dark blue/grey one and a bright red/cream one, and they get worn a fair bit. I've jelssied the wonders of the long skirt before, but I'm freshly enamoured.
  • Excellent in the rain. When they get wet, they aren't directly against your legs like trousers. The fabric dries faster too.
  • Great for summer days when you haven't shaved your legs.
  • Comfortable and unrestrictive.
  • Convenient for sitting on the ground or curling up your legs in the car.
  • Safe in strong winds!
  • Stairs can be a hazard, you can step on your skirt going up stairs, so please be ladylike and gather your skirts up, which is fun.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Smart financial decisions I have made.

I'm a long way from being a finance guru, but my frugalness means I keep an ear out. The Barefoot Investor and Alan Kohler are handy people to pay attention to. They speak plainly. So here are three things I've actually done as per general advice/advertising. Each one involved filling out a form.

Starting a First Home Saver Account. I ummed and ahhed for a year or two when they first started. I disliked the idea of being locked in for 4 years and then if I can never afford property the money is locked up forever. But they loosened the restrictions a bit, and I decided I'd wasted 2 years and could have been halfway through the time already so I might as well stop faffing around. So what if I never buy and it only ends up in my super, the return is still great. If you save $6000 in one financial year, the governments adds $1020. That is a LOT of free money. One year I forgot to put the whole amount in and I am still grumpy about it. So even if you don't think you're in the "first home buyer" category, I say take the plunge before the end of June. No term deposit will give you over 17%.

Opening an ING Everyday account for the 5% cash back on paywaves. 5% doesn't look like much, dribbling in a couple of dollars at a time, but when the 6 months is up, I will count up what my 5% savings adds up to.!/CashbackSavings

Thirdly, I switched my super into a high-risk high-growth investment. Because that's what you are supposed to do when you are under 35, and as you get older it shifts into progressively safer investments. No short-term benefits there but it's the proper thing to do. Although in a few years I think it will be the default anyway.

Culling guilts.

One of the blind spots I have traditionally had when decluttering is gifts. If someone gives me something, I never get rid of it. But this time I am being a little bit more ruthless. If I got given it several or more years ago, that's enough time for me to enjoy it.

If I feel guilty about getting rid of something I never used/wore, one thing I do is give it a "last chance" month. Get it out, use it, wear it. If I can't make myself wear it, I know I can resign myself to getting rid of it. One last shot at lowering the cost-per-use.