Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jelssie loves BB creams.

In fact you might call it an obsession. An obsession we share.

First, an explanation of BB. It's a face product that is basically an all-in-one thing. A single squirt rubbed on your face and you've got moisturiser, sunscreen and makeup on. You can see why I love this concept, SO EFFICIENT!!! It's unlike me to be interested in beauty products. Except Burt's Bees and nail polish. The beauty counters at Myer are a foreign and baffling place to me, other than as a shortcut from Pitt St to George St. And now here I am with a mini-encyclopeadic knowledge of BB creams. And Elsie too.

Different BB creams have different strong points. So you pick one that does the things you need. Options:
  • Covering (light foundation)
  • Tinting
  • Moisturising
  • Sunscreening

They're basically the things. They'll say "9 in 1!" but there isn't much more to it than those things, they just say it with more words. "Mattifying" "brightening" etc etc. I've cut through the faff for you.

Then you decide what's most important, because different BBs have different strengths. My favourite BB cream is from Tarte; it's a very natural-looking coverage (hides pigmentation pretty well), with an SPF30 mineral sunscreen. It's so good I never use my actual makeup anymore. But it's not very moisturous. Looks bad on flakey skin. And it's expensive, I got a friend to buy it in the US for me and it was $35. But I love it. It has a wooden lid! It feels like silk! It's made from diamonds! My LOreal BB has inadequate SPF12, but better moisturiser, a slight tint, thinner coverage, and is cheaper (cos Priceline has really good sales sometimes). The Body Shop BB (I had a sample) is basically a thick tinted moisturiser with vitamin E and healthy stuff in it. I'd like to get many more BB creams, but tiny bottles last forever! So anyway, in Summer I use the high SPF one mostly, but in Winter I save money and use the cheaper BB that focuses on moisturising. That's my jessenomics system.

So that's that. Google around and find one that does the things you want, read some reviews, and give it a go. Or Jelssie is a fountain of knowledge, Elsie will have her own favourites. Or fruitybeauty is a good place to learn more.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Just ask

Jelssie appreciates Leona Edmiston dresses. The other day, we were at a department store trying on a few. There was one I semi-liked and it was already discounted, but I didn't like it enough to purchase it at the discounted price. I asked the sales assistant very nicely if there was any further discount on the dress, even though the discounted price was already marked on the price tag. She checked for me, and there was a further discount! Something as simple as that, yielded a cheaper price. Asking nicely doesn't hurt.

Another time, when I ummed and ahhed over another Leona dress in a department store, the sales assistant offered me a further discount on an already reduced item. Though sometimes, it doesn't matter how discounted a dress is - if you don't love it, don't buy it.

Little jobs.

I did some little jobs in the last few days. I defrosted the freezer. I repaired some linen cushion covers my flatmate got second-hand with some free cushions. I brought paperwork to the office and shredded it. Things that aren't urgent like washing clothes and buying food, they're irregular and often unpredictable. It's quite satisfying after you've defrosted the freezer and you don't have to worry about it for ages again. But at the moment I'm getting a real noticeable sinking feeling whenever I find a new little job. When I saw the holes in the cushion covers my heart sank because sigh, now I have to get out the sewing machine and sew around the edges before we can use them. You either do it straight away, or leave them there and constantly see a job that needs doing. Unless you live with someone else who does them for you. That's rare.

I've just invented a new way, "Mad Jobs Monday!!!". Note the fun name. Monday night is a quiet night, I don't do Jillian, there's nothing on TV, I never go out. So last night I punched through some admin after work and did a few chores. I wrote down something to do next Monday: clean the fan. Now I don't have to feel annoyed when I see the dirty fan, I can put stuff off til next Monday with no guilt at all.

Also, I've just spent 99cents on an app called Recur. You enter stuff after you've done it. Then you can see how long it's been since you did it, or set a reminder for when you think you should do it again. Nothing fancy, you could use iCal. But for periodic chores/events, it's very clean and simple. You can't enter something in the future like "next month I should go to the movies with ***", it's more for the "Phew! I should never let the **** get so dirty again" or "must be time to do another bush walk" moments. I'm open to other suggestions of apps people are using for chore/event management. You can use Mad Jobs Monday for free.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Moisturise and barricade

Dry skin is a bugbear of jelssie. I've got three stubborn dry, flaky patches on my face at the moment and whatever I'm trying is not working. So I went and had a chat with a pharmacist and she reckons it's due to the weather (refer to jelssievision season 1 episode 4 for what I blame most things on). She recommended I moisturise the flaky patches with QV cream and then barricade the skin with paw paw ointment (refer to jelssievision season 1 episode 2 for Jess' explanation of paw paw ointment). I've decided to add the step of gentle exfoliation with  konjac sponge at the beginning, to get rid of the flaky skin.

This is not the first time I've talked about dry facial skin on jelssie, but I am too lazy to link to my other posts, so you'll just have to trust me on this one.

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Bathroom "Go Bag".

Yes. I am proud of this. I have organised my travel toiletries! It's fully set up independently of my normal bathroom supplies. If you're going away a lot, you ought to have a ready-to-go pre-packed bathroom bag. It's a lot quicker, you won't forget anything, and when you get home at night and you're tired, you just want to jump in the shower without realising halfway through that you haven't unpacked your shampoo yet. Also, if you do the little bottles thing it's lighter to carry, and OK for airport security when you go carry-on.

The frugal thing is to put in your almost-finished things***, and your little samples of things, and your second best things. Almost empty toothpaste tube or sunscreen. Hotel shampoos. The crappy nail clippers and tweezers. And then after you've collected as much of that stuff as you have, go out and buy anything you don't have, like little bottles to fill up from your big shampoo or whatever.

I've got one of those roll-up bags you can hang on a hook and see everything. I think it's called a valet. It's got 2 small pockets for things like bobby pins and tooth stuff, and one biggish section for bottles of things. I used to fit just 2 x 200ml shampoo bottles plus bodywash but now with smaller shampoo bottles I fit the whole kit and kaboodle, sunscreen and deodorant and hairbrush etc.

*** How can such little bottles last so long? And especially at the nearly empty stage, when they no longer squirt and you have to stick your finger up the neck or cut them open? And I'm so BORED of them and I've got a newer, better sunscreen/moisturiser/hand cream and I don't want to spend 2 months finishing the old things, but I'm frugal! I feel like letting everyone know whenever I finish a product. It's a triumph worthy of a facebook status at least.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'm looking forward to filling in one of these Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this year. I'm mindful of filling it with good quality, long-lasting gifts, even if it costs more than the cheap stuff. I wonder if any of these children work in factories, making cheap stuff for the West. Imagine the irony of sending back gifts that they spend hours each day manufacturing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Organising paper.

This is how I keep my boring important papers. One expandafile. It lives in a cupboard. I usually just quickly open the cupboard and chuck the papers on top of it then periodically open it up and put things inside properly. I've got everything important in here, from birth certificate to warranties to superannuation stuff. Once a year, at tax time, I get what I need for taxes and I go through all the sections throwing things away.

On the weekend I was looking in here for my cheque book and throwing out old statements and warranties, and I found a cheque for $125, on the bottom of a boring letter that I hadn't read all the way through but luckily I had filed it instead of just throwing it out. Saved by the system!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jelssievision Episode 4!

Bec has made another Jelssievision! She is so good to us. Hug her when you see her.

We met up on the long weekend at Lakota Trading which is a second hand stuff shop with a coffee machine and baked goods. So all of that furniture you can see is for sale!

We proudly present episode four. It's my second favourite I think.
  • How to tell someone they have food on their face.
  • Obsessions: snacking (rant), hats (rant), lipstick (but not all the lipstick).
  • Why we love being obsessed.
  • What is tractor beaming. (HINT: there are no tractors.)
  • What is a "true friend".
  • Teal isn't aqua: it's on ducks.
  • New Year's Eve: good time to use the dryer.
  • Benefits of bladder control.

Jelssievision ep 4 from Bec Jee on Vimeo.

 ** We haven't mentioned Ben Beilharz this time. Maybe if he starts a podcast, we'll have something to say.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Ginger is one of the BEST ingredients to totally zing things up. Whoever invented ginger in fresh juice is my hero. I have now discovered ginger honey. It was expensive in the honey shop but surely you can make it. I've googled and there are several recipes. Basically you put lots of slivers of ginger in honey, either cook for 10 min at a low heat or just don't bother, and then leave it for about 5 days to infuse. Then you have a couple of weeks to eat it. It's nice in tea, on fancy bread and cheese, general gourmet dribbling.

I heard some devastating news on the radio this week though. Honey shortage in Australia. Bees are starving. I forget why, maybe the warm winter means less pollen or something. That's a shame. So stock up now.


To me, the last minute is not the best minute or the ideal minute. It's the last chance minute, the back-up minute, the fall-back minute. If something is due on Friday at 5pm, I print it out the night before and hand it in on Friday at 10am. If there is a printer disaster, I've got a whole day to fall back on. I'm writing a list of Christmas presents for family now, so I can buy things in November. I'm not stressing early, I just like to avoid stress at all.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Why The Bachelor.

 I don't like this show much but I love a shared TV experience, and this has mass appeal.

Why you might want to go on the Bachelor.

You are obsessed with roses. That's normal in this context.

To score some free tourism. That's basically what the show is, it's Sydney Weekender for girls.

To wear clothes that aren't yours and have your hair done by a professional, every time you go to a farm or drink wine. That's a real perk.

To make some BFFs. Most of the women seem really nice.

Why you shouldn't go on the Bachelor.

To find love. How can you find love in an environment where everyone is dressed in clothes that aren't theirs, doing tourism activities they never normally do, and basically being fake TV people? How can you find a genuine person? You might be impressed that you go on a date and there are 200 candles, but he didn't light those candles, a TV crew did. None of the romantic gestures are real, they're all constructed. Let alone the fact that you "make a connection" on your date and then he goes and "makes a connection" with another girl the next week.

You have pride.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Emma has started!

PLUG: start watching Emma Approved now. It's a twice-a-week weblog based on Emma by Jane Austen. It's sugary sweet but charming. The real joy of it is hanging out for the next video, following it in real time. You miss out on the suspense if you watch it all later in one binge. This is the first week so jump aboard with me now! I'm bursting to see Mr Elton and Harriet and Miss Bates. Esp Miss Bates cos they never have old people in these, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries never showed the parents or Lady Catherine except via dress-ups.

Emma's twitter: will link the videos as they are posted (follow the the character twitter accounts if you are so inclined). Or subscribe on Youtube or like on Facebook.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"What about him?"... I dunno, what?

I don't find it helpful when people suggest single men to me. Neither does Elsie. We speak for ourselves, but just in case we also speak for others too, here is our reasoning for why we don't like it when you suggest single men to us.
  • I know who the single men are. I don't need help speculating.
  • Presumably they know who I am. 
  • What am I supposed to do about it? You suggest a man and I'm supposed to say "yeah I've always had an unrequited crush on him, now you mention it... I'm going to go and ask him out!" That's never going to happen. I've got very delicate sensibilities. (They've never been helpful in progressing matters of the heart, but I'm stuck with them.)
  • Alternatively, if I don't like him, I can shoot him down publicly behind his back. That's not gracious. Don't ask me to share his faults.
  • If I don't KNOW him, that's even more annoying because now I'm speculating about someone I haven't met yet. Totally fruitless. Maybe you expect me to sneakily throw myself in his path somehow? Arrange a "meet cute"? It's exhausting.
So in the end, suggesting single men to me isn't as helpful as you think it is. Actual helpfulness = 0.

I don't know whether men get women suggested to them much, I guess they probably do, but at least the ball is in their court. They can say "Happy being single thanks" or "I dunno" or "I don't really know her well enough" or "Yeah, but would she go out with me?" or whatever, but still, if you're a match-making type, I think that's the end you want to work from first. I really don't think ANYTHING useful can be achieved by just randomly asking single women who they would/wouldn't date.

Myths about snacking.

The thing is, I feel lied to by The World. EVERYONE out there is pro-snack. All the TV doctors and personal trainers, including Jillian, tell you why to snack and how to snack. Now I've done some googling and found other points of view, and I've lived without snacks, I feel like I've discovered THE TRUTH. I'm an obsessed conspiracy theorist type crazy person now, evangelizing everyone to the better way: Nacking.

These are the things I used to believe:  

If you feel hungry it means your body is going into starvation mode and you're storing fat for times of famine! Seriously, 3 hours is a famine? Only in the first world.

And then you'll be so crazed with hunger at your next meal you'll overeat uncontrollably! This is just false. You'll just eat whatever you put on your plate. What's more likely is that if you snack you won't remember to eat LESS at your next meal, and eat whatever you put on your plate regardless of your supposedly controlled appetite.

Your blood sugar will drop and you'll lose concentration! Um, unless you are diabetic or borderline,  your blood sugar probably just returns to normal, and if you snack it goes temporarily high again. Normal blood sugar would probably be a better thing. And I haven't felt sleepy. Except yesterday when I had a massive lunch. Which suggests that a FULL stomach decreases alertness.

I'll run out of Nacking rants soon.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pimples and acne in adult life

Pimples and acne in adult life are annoying because you tend to associate it with the teenage years. "I'm an adult already! Why am I still getting pimples!"

I think of mild acne in adult life as God's way of stopping me from going completely vain and putting security in my appearance (e.g. "if I had flawless skin, I would have an exciting life!"). That's what advertisers try to do - make you feel inadequate and then sell you a product to make up for the perceived inadequacy.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Why would anyone buy new? what I kept saying all holiday long, as we bounced from rubbish dump shop to vintage shop.

Relaxing at the Armidale tip shop. Great place to get a bike.

Well, there are definitely a lot of things you want to buy new. I'm sticking with new shoes, even if the vintage ones look cool, because I think standing in someone elses footprint feels creepy. But if you go to op shops and even tips, there are many useful bargains to be found. Country op shops are the BOMB, because the old ladies who run them don't realise how much things are worth these days and also they're a long way from the richest op-shoppers, ie, not the needy but rather the hipsters. The frugal holidaymaker can get quite a cheap haul from country town. This is a list of things I keep an eye out for either locally or as a tourist:

Kitchen stuff.
  • Pans, glassware, and anything else breakable that regularly need replacing. I'm not gonna buy new stuff just so my flatmate can burn the bottom of it or I'll drop it and break the handle off. But never coffee mugs. They multiply at home.
  • Vintage teacups, biscuit tins or anything cute AND useable.
  • Interesting cutlery, like old salad tongs.
Clothes, obviously...
  • Blouses and skirts are my main areas of success.
  • Pure wool jumpers.
  • Clothes with a brand you like. I snap up Colorado.
  • Bags and belts.

  • Usually not anything you want to treasure forever, but an enjoyable "holiday paperback", usually a mystery, I'll read then donate or lose along the way.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

No snacking update.

I'm really enjoying no snacking. Nacking for short. The things everyone says about eating every 3 hours or your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows down seem to be a bit of a lie. Humans have survived fine without snacking for a long long time.

  • The desire to eat between meals has been reduced.
  • Hunger pangs, when they DO come—usually after I've walked to work or something that used up my breakfast energy—are just something I acknowledge and ignore until lunchtime. You don't starve to death in an hour.
  • Money saved by not buying nuts and biscuits.
  • NIGHT CRAVES GONE! I don't have that overpowering desire to gobble sweets after dinner anymore, I just eat a biscuit or two with some tea and that's it. This is unexpected and I don't know how it's related to nacking or if it even is related, but it's great. I'm less likely to eat after 8pm now, which is supposed to be good.
  • Teeth stay clean for longer than a couple of hours.
  • Overall calorie intake is probably lower, although I'm not counting. But the fact that I haven't eaten from the packet of bickies in my drawer for about 3 weeks is pretty good evidence.
If you are a snacker and try to stop, it is a significant physical and mental adjustment. Your body has to change the way it uses energy, and stop relying on constant sugar input. Your mind has to break the mental habits of boredom = food or whatever. It's been a positive experiment. Even on holidays I rarely snacked, because I just enjoy nacking now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Messies and Cleanies.

One of the books in my parents bookshelf is The Messies Manual. It says that people naturally fall on a spectrum, 0 being a total chaotic Messy and 10 being an insufferable Cleanie. Messies and Cleanies. My mum admits to being a Messy. I'm a moderate Cleanie. If you're anywhere in the middle, it doesn't matter whether you're an M or a C, it's a basically a liveable land. If you are a 10C, you won't let people in your house because they'll mess it up. If you're a 0M, people can't get into your house because the mess covers all surfaces and probably blocks the front door. The 0M people get TV shows made about them. There aren't any TV shows for the 10C people, cos they are probably beyond help. But there are plenty of helpful books for the low M people or middle people who want to improve organisationally. Mum found the Messies Manual quite a relief actually, cos being born a Messie doesn't make you a failure, it's just the outworking of your personality*, and she's moved up a couple of notches on the scale over the years.

I've been slowly listening my way through another book, Unstuff Your Life, I got it on special from Audible. I don't really need the room-by-room decluttering guide but I've found the simple rules helpful, like A Place For Everything, or noticing the feeling of guilt and failure when you throw something useless away and remembering it when you are tempted to buy something useless.

Organisation is it's own reward. I'm really proud of that saying! I made it up. It motivates me to see organisation as a self-care thing, rather than a boring thing. I have gradually got more organised. It's taken years since I moved out of home to work out how much to own, and how to store it. I have regular declutter binges and improve a bit each time. I still have messy areas, the kitchen table and dresser are dumping grounds, and the bathroom is only ever passable, but I can sit on chairs, access books, cook conveniently, store all my clothes, find sewing stuff when I need it. It's like "this is the messy stationery drawer" (applied A Place For Everything), rather than "I'll put these sticky tapes in this handy drawer with some bank paperwork from last year and some iTunes cards and a gift bag I can reuse and my passport." All just things floating around randomly. Entropy is not a good system. (I made that up too!)

* I'm looking up different Myers Briggs types and how they relate to messiness. It might be to do with P/J. Ps would be more likely Messies and Js would be more likely Cleanies.