One of the main things I have to whine about in my life is money - or lack thereof. No matter how much comes in, well actually it's not much, but it always seems to fly back out the door in the blink of an eye. Grocery bills, mortgage, utilities, rates, school fees/supplies, clothing, petrol, insurance and I haven't even had a wine yet. I stressed a lot less about money before having kids. Maybe because there were less outgoings or maybe because as a parent, you want to be confident you will always be able to make ends meet and provide basic needs plus a little more for your children.
The summer school holidays seem to be the hardest time for us financially, as is the case for many other families. Any extra money we have put aside throughout the year is spent on Christmas gifts and then we have the kids home for six weeks - and they wanna do stuff. That "stuff" always seems to cost a packet. I know there are plenty of activities to do that are either free or low cost - go to the beach, the park, play with the new toys Santa brought etc, but it's also nice to be able to splurge on a couple of activities as well. So what does one do when there's nothing in the 'splurge' budget?
A few months back I posted my 'Wine vs Whine List'. It was basically a list of all the wines I love, which I could totally add to now, along with all the things I do not love. At the top of my 'Whine List' was (and still is) cooking. I probably should amend it to dinnertime in general. I use to love dinnertime. I love food - I just don't like cooking it and I really hate feeding my kids. And I don't mean that in a 'call the authorities, this woman wants to see her kids starve' kinda way, I mean it's not an enjoyable experience. They are the fussiest eaters on the face of the planet. Tiny Whiny #1, she's not so bad. She will eat most things, nothing green though, no spaghetti and don't even get me started on her dislike of carrots - she quite happily foregoes dessert just so that she can avoid eating a single slice of carrot. Like, seriously? Just eat the damn carrot! Tiny Whiny #2 is basically the exact opposite. Likes almost zero proper meal foods except spaghetti and could eat carrots all day long. Perfect!
Well, this blog is call Wine After Whine, so I guess it's fitting for me to share my Wine List and my Whine List with you. My 'Wine List' being the wines I absolutely love and my 'Whine List' being the top things that really get my goat!
* Piper Heidsieck
Well this is pretty much my all time favourite champagne. I love it so much I named my first born after it!! Just kidding, she's named after the character from Charmed but that would have made a cool story. Even Marilyn Munroe loved Piper, once declaring 'I go to bed every night with Chanel No.5 behind my ears, and wake up every morning with a glass of Piper Heidsieck'. That sounds like perfection to me, but it's usually out of my budget, so she is reserved for very special occasions only.
* Bird In Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir
Funny story behind how I first came to try the Bird In Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir. I had Qantas Frequent Flyer points that were due to expire and because they were accumulated by shopping at Woolies, not actual travel, I didn't have many but still - I did not want them to go to waste. So it was straight to the wine section, I had enough points for one whole bottle. I pretty much favour anything sparkling over still when it comes to wine, life's better with bubbles I think, so I added the Bird In Hand to my cart, waited for it to arrive and after the first sip - it became one of my faves.
As you may have guessed, this one is for the 'whine' files. I'm sure that everyone out there knows about $1/Litre milk. And if you shop at Woolies, you must be aware that they have raised the price of the $1/Litre milk by 10c? I'm assuming all Woolies shoppers know this because they printed enough posters and plastered them over every inch of spare wall space possible to make sure consumers know how 'awesome' they are for helping the poor dairy farmers out ** insert eye rolls here **. You would have to be doing your shopping with your eyes closed not to have seen them, clearly the Woolworths marketing department is not short of a dollar unlike our farmers.
What I really don't understand is why Woolworths is getting a big pat on the back from people who think they are being so charitable to the farmers? And, why they thought it was ok to force the dairy farmers to sell milk for less than what it costs them to produce in the first place?
The Summer holidays are about to begin and as we do every year my family and I pack our bags on Boxing Day and head off on a mini vacay. It's just a four day break and we venture only an hour from home. There's a couple of reasons we don't travel too far - work, cash flow and car sickness. I suffered from car sickness / motion sickness as a child and still do in certain circumstances and I seem to have passed it onto my children. We've been caught out many times on day trips with the back seat of the car soaked in spew and me trying to locate the nearest Kmart or Best & Less as I'd stupidly forgotten to pack a change of clothes. Tiny Whiny #1 seems to have grown out of it but Tiny Whiny #2 I think is stuck with it for life. I still remember a trip to the Gold Coast about 3 years ago where he & I both lost a hat each in the car (they were the only things I had handy besides my handbag that could catch the spray, thank goodness because it was a hire car) and he filled and air sick bag on the flight. Poor little man. So whenever we travel we try to keep the distance no longer than 1hr from home but if we absolutely have to travel further, we need to allow for regular stops.
We all have people in our lives who we have to buy a gift for at Christmastime but don't necessarily want to. You know, like your boss, the work college you got stuck with for secret Santa, your mother-in-law or a distant relative who just happens to be visiting this Christmas. What do you get for them? Sure, you could buy them a bottle of wine but that might disillusion them into thinking you actually like them - and you if you have to spend time with these people at Xmas you'll definitely be needing to keep that for yourself!
So, I've created a little gift guide of 'Whiney' gifts. Perfect for gifting to Christmas Grinches and people you have to pretend to like!
I pretty much visit Woolworths every day. Yes, you read that correctly every single day. Most sane people would do a mass weekly grocery shop with a few quick visits in between to top up on staples like bread, milk and chocolate but there are a couple of reasons why I don't do that. One being that I only live 3 minutes from our local shopping complex and another being that I am incapable of planning out our meals for the week in advance - I will just never be that organised. So after visiting my local Woolies on a daily basis for the past several years I pretty much know my way around the place and can be in and out like lightning. But do you know what they went and did?
That's a totally serious question I'm asking by the way. 'Limited Edition' like what's the actual deal? So I'm not talking like collectibles like figurines, coins, stamps etc, I mean consumables like Caramilk, KitKat Gold, KFC's Hot & Spicy chicken and oh the Blueberry Cruisers. Why on Earth do companies decide it's a good idea to bring out the goodies and then watch people fight to the death over them and then whisk them away again?
Wining and whining my way through life.