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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Life as I know it is officially over... least for the next 3-4 months it is!

Hurrah! I did it! I submitted my final assessment over 10 hours ago now, and the feeling of euphoria washed over me instantly. Last night, I slept comfortably for the first time in 12 weeks. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration but it really doesn't seem far from the truth. I actually had to pry my eyes open (in fact, they're still not properly open) at 08:00. Usually I'm champing at the bit by then. My body knows that it's rest time, that's for sure.

Yesterday was a different story though.

Urgh, yesterday I was up just after 07:00. It sucked. I had SO much to do though: needed to make a wedding gift, make a first birthday card, vote, go to said first birthday party, go to said celebration of wedding (that happened in June in NYC) and then come back home and finish the dreaded assignment. 
First cab off the rank was a wedding gift. I'd been toying with ideas for months as to what we would gift these newlyweds who have everything and married in NYC. A photo of them from their wedding day in a lovely frame with a map of NYC as the backing, a piece of string art in the shape of NY state, stitching their North American trip (or part thereof), or perhaps three maps of NYC and Australia in heart shapes in a frame, but the thing I wanted to do most was a cool Sharpie project. I hunted (though not too much) for plates suitable to bake in the oven, but the white plates I found did not say they were oven safe, only dishwasher and microwave safe (thanks to the convenience of modern technology). I quickly canned my Sharpie project idea, and continued to walk the store. Talk about thinking on my feet. Walking around, I had millions ideas going through my head, but with a serious shoe-string budget and very little time, I had to shelve most of them. I found a shallow round woven basket that I picked off the shelf, and proceeded to wander aimlessly around the store. Oh boy, filling this thing would be difficult. I weaved in and out of aisles, screwed my face up at things, and then looked up. THERE IT WAS. The base of the gift I would make - a bowl-shaped vase. I put the wicker basket back in the place of the vase (usually I would have put the basket in its proper place, but I had a bad case of the CBFs), and trotted off to the garden department (I was in K-mart, by the way). I searched the shelves for small quantities of potting mix, only to find that they only sold BIG bags of it. I was too lazy (again, serious case of the CBFs) to go and get a trolley, so I balanced the round glass vase on the potting mix precariously and proceeded to the checkouts. Talk about thinking on my feet. I didn't even whip out my phone to look at my Pinterest Boards.
Wandering back to A's work (it was late night shopping on Thursday night) was an effort. I probably shouldn't have been carrying the potting mix, it was slightly heavier than what I'm allowed to carry, but again, CBFs. Further, I digress.

Time travel - first it was back to Thursday, then on to Friday (so I can finish my Saturday story). It's all a little timey-wimey here.

On Friday morning, I continued with my 'research' into prepping this gift. Turns out I'd bought the wrong kind of potting mix, but there was a way around it. I just needed sand and stones. My girl Rach found me cheapy cheap but awesome stones and sand. Uh oh, that meant a trip to Ikea! Woohoo! A and I had planned to do grocery shopping on Friday evening once he finished work, but then I threw in a trip to Ikea. I was only getting stones and sand, we were totally safe. It also gave me the opportunity to have a look at their Christmas range as shared on Thursday by my friend Lauren at Love A Rhino (remember, timey-wimey).
So, we lived life on the edge because we wanted to be safe (contradiction in itself) from the Ikea monster. Sand and stones are located in the last department before the self-serve furniture aisles. Walking in through the registers is not usually my style, but today it was essential. Upon doing so, we walked straight into said Christmas range. Hurrah! Perusing this range was always going to be fun. A is not usually a Christmas fan, not because he doesn't like Christmas, but because growing up his upbringing was different to mine, they don't celebrate Christmas but in fact would celebrate Chanukah. A is about as Jewish as I am Anglican though, so it's all relative. Anywho, we were both looking excitedly at the Christmas goodies, when I found some new decorations for our tree!
Julmys Baubles from Ikea $2.99/12 pk
Our tree is a table top tree. It's a cream filigree design and comes with an inbuilt star. It's perfect for our little one bedroom apartment, and our mixed upbringings. It's not in your face for A, but it still lets me have my Christmas tree. Last year, I had lime green baubles in both a matte and a gloss finish, but they were just a little too big for my liking. Never fear, Ikea is here, and they have solved my Christmas tree decoration issue. 

We bought these teensy tiny baubles in silver and red. We thought the white might clash with the cream a bit much. Not going to lie, I would have preferred the baubles in matte (not a huge gloss fan) but beggars can't be choosers.

I had to fight myself to get so much more stuff, after all, we were here for sand and stones.

Borje Chair in brown-black/Gobo white from Ikea $39
Next cab off the rank was to quickly check the As Is Bargain Corner. The As Is Bargain Corner is a bit hit and miss. It's returned goods or shop-soiled goods or discontinued goods. We've had some great successes at the As Is Bargain Corners before. We picked up our dining chairs here for the bargain price of $35 each in February 2011 (originally $55 each). The pictures on the right show what we purchased. Did we care that there was three of one seat colour and one of the other? Heck no. And for the record, those chair covers are removable, so we can totally change them according to whatever our tastes are at the time! We also have the matching table but purchased that from eBay and it's a red-brown colour, but we'll sand it back and stain it to match the chairs (one day). 
Borje Chair in brown-black/Kungsvik sand from Ikea $45
There's also been some other successful purchases from the As Is Bargain Corner, but none as wonderful as the chairs. Until our most recent trip. Remember how I said that we entered the store to avoid the Ikea monster? Fail. Heck, I even told A to park at the pedestrian entrance (i.e. the entrance that doesn't have the capacity to cater for the Ikea flat bed trolleys) because we weren't getting anything. Wrong.
The Ikea monster got us in the As Is Bargain Corner. Completely off guard. Oy vey.
When A and I first moved out of our shared house in February 2011, we had been looking for a suitable desk for two uni students that wouldn't break the bank and was practical. We did really well. We got the Vika Amon/Vika Adils corner desk, and matching return, and were quite satisfied. It let us have the desk we both needed for study, and still allowed for living space, albeit small. When we moved in six months later because our bedroom was finding a cure for cancer or some other seemingly incurable disease (we had rising damp/mould), the desk allowed for the same space saving option in the living room, and we even had enough room to get a second return to make it a proper corner desk! Awesome. Again, I digress. This Ikea monster that grabbed hold of us REALLY grabbed hold of us. We'd been eyeing off a different corner desk at Ikea ever since that first 2011 move. However, we couldn't justify $250 on one corner section. Especially not when we purchased an entire corner and return combo for a heck of a lot less. That was until we walked into Ikea Springvale's As Is Bargain Corner and saw our Holy Grail of desks on clearance for $99. NINETY NINE DOLLARS PEOPLE. That's a $151 saving! We grappled with the idea of the impulse purchase for a good 20 minutes. You see, As Is means exactly that. The desk was fully constructed, meaning we had to either pay exorbitant fees for delivery ($89 for delivery + $25 because it is fully assembled) OR disassemble the desk to fit in our car. $114 for delivery, I think not. A and the As Is clerk got the desk onto a flat bed trolley while I raced to the sand and stone department. I thought I had grippy shoes on, but running across that polished concrete warehouse floor proved different! I had no idea where I was looking, other than the fact the desired products were in the candle section. Needle in a haystack, anyone? I asked the trusted employee in the yellow shirt for assistance. It appears his English was actually Anglais. C'est la vie. I was so frantic my Anglais was more Engjibberish; my usual stellar communication skills were well and truly out the window. We got to where we needed to be eventually, he apologised for his poor English, I smiled and said not to worry (he was so kind, it really didn't bother me at all), and we were on our way. Dashing back to the registers with about four kilos of sand and stones was fun. Calorie burning, anyone? A was just queuing to pay when I arrived. We paid, and then spent the next hour be continued


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