This & That Tuesday #0.

One of the blogs I regularly read is Lauren Conrad‘s. It started gradually, and, quite honestly, my affinity to it surprises me. Not because there’s something wrong with liking Miss Conrad, of course. It’s just that she’s all… flower arrangements, and garden parties, and monogrammed stationery, and afternoon stroll on the beach, and office etiquette, and pastel nail varnish. And I’m a little more of a cheap wine, and walk ’round the cemetery, and txtmsgs, and inappropriate language in front of your supervisor, and barbed wire necklace kind of person.

Nevertheless, I read her (and her team) weekly, and rarely ever skip a post.

This is all to tell you that my This and That Tuesday is rather inspired by two features on the aforementioned blog: Tuesday Ten and Friday Favorites.

So, this week I’m all about:

0. This unseasonal landscape.

ttt-winter

1. This true statement on a mug.

ttt-cats

2. This yoga sequence, oy.

ttt-yogasequence

3. This health hazard.

ttt-healthhazard

4. This medal for the greatest achievement of my days.

ttt-achievement

5. This light on this floor.

ttt-lightfloors

6. This glory of urbanism.

ttt-tokyo

7. … and this one, too.

ttt-urbanism

8. This inspiring hook. (The bed frame would murder my ankles tho.)

ttt-hookbed

9. These wise words.

ttt-wisewords

(Click on images to go to source. Where there is no link, there is no source. If you are aware of it, please let me know so I could credit properly.)

Tips for the Unemployed: Your Finances.

tips for the unemployed

First thing you need to do when you lose your job is assess how much money you have left, how much money you owe, how much you spend monthly, and how long this is all going to last or whether it’s going to last at all.

This might sound a little extreme, but once you know your monthly expenses, you need to ruthlessly cut them.

Your expenses probably fall in two major categories:

Fixed
- things like cable bill, for example. Something that doesn’t change.

Variable
- things like electricity bill. You’re billed based on consumption, not a monthly plan.

Both fixed and variable expenses can also be broken into:

  • mandatory (shelter, food, basic hygiene and clothes)
  • discretionary (Netflix, coffee habit, nail polishes).
What to do with fixed expenses

There are three things you can do with fixed expenses:

  • leave them as is
  • reduce them by negotiating prices or changing plans
  • cut them entirely

When you are unemployed, I recommend foregoing the first option as often as humanly possible. Unless there’s a massive penalty for ending a contract beforehand, cut it. If you feel like you absolutely need the service, reduce the amount. Traffic, number of channels or minutes…

What to do with variable expenses

Variable means you have control over how much goes towards each bill each month. Electricity, for example. You can cut down your electricity bill by switching the lights off when you leave the room, using one area lamp instead of ceiling lights, etc., etc.

I’m a scrooge, so if you want detailed advice on penny pinching, please tell me, and I’ll write eight hundred posts on that.

The Food part of budged deserves a series of its own. Once more, let me know if you’d like to read it, and I’ll write my little heart out. For now though, I’m just going to say this:

A pack of Pringles and a bottle of Cola != food.
Frozen pizza != food.
Ramen ~= food if +tomato +carrot.

(Yes, I have a food mark-up language, how about that.)

If you really want to cut your food bill (and, eventually, your medical bills), you need to shop for ingredients, which you later assemble into food. Hit the produce aisle, the dairy aisle, and the grain aisle. Go veg, or buy cheap cuts of meat and fish. (Hint: Offal is fun. :P)

In general, it’s wise to DIY and MYO as much as possible, but use discretion: Sometimes it’s more expensive, time-wise, to make something entirely from scratch instead of buying pre-made parts. (Even if you’re unemployed, your time still costs something.)

Example: In my lands, store-bought bread is usually cheaper than home-baked. Big bakeries are subsidised by state. Flour costs 10-13 per kg, depending on quality, and for bread baking it’s best not to skimp on quality. A loaf of bread I usually buy goes for 4.5 for 400 g, which is 11.25 per kg. As you can see, it’s cheaper already, and I haven’t even factored the yeast, salt, electricity/ gas, water, and time needed to bake a basic loaf of bread. I never understood why people kept saying to bake your own bread if you want to save money until I visited the US and encountered an $11 bread loaf.

Bread sold at convenience stores in the States is significantly cheaper than that, but it’s also a very scary yellow thing that quite possibly glows in the dark. I never bought it, because it terrified me. Still regret not reading the ingredient list. Pretty sure it involved alien baby blood.

Also, yes: As the above example shows, you need to count every little thing. It may look like too much, to factor in a glass of water, but these hypothetical glasses add up, and when there’s no money coming in, every cent becomes precious.

Fun Money

The Scrooge in me desperately disagrees, but here’s the thing: You need to set out some fun money even if you have very little of it. There’s no need to become miserly if you’re poor. Find the cheapest source that brings you joy, and budget for it. A dollar, two dollars. It sounds pitiful, but it can be quite enough.

If your source of fun is books, look for bargains in used book shops, poke about in the Free Kindle section, sign up as a free reviewer, or visit the library.

If you like beauty products, sign up for exchanges organised on beauty forums or watch out for blog sales. Plus, don’t forget the give-aways!

Ice-cream. Ice-cream is terribly fun.

Any ideas for cheap fun? What’s best to DIY, and what’s best to buy ready made? Tips on negotiating with the cable company? Share in the comments!

IsaDora Compact Foundation Powder in Blond Beige 60.

 

isadora compact powder

I have no idea what to make of this product.

I bought it at absolute random. I was looking for a GOSH shop, and stumbled into IsaDora without meaning to. Then I remembered that I needed a powder and that I had once used an IsaDora foundation that was a good match and was also quite matte, so I thought, what the heck.

And I bought this.

isadora powder blonde beige 60

And it stayed on my shelves for quite a while – as is evident by the amount of scratches on the surface — because I’ve this thing where I can’t use another product unless I’m done, or at least almost done, with the previous one. And since MAC Studio Fix lasted me a while, I had no need to open it.

blonde beige compact powder

isadora blonde beige 60

The salesfolk assured me that it was going to be very light. It is light, although it’s darker than MAC and certainly looks darker in the pan than on the skin. It’s pretty much a several tone visual difference between pan and skin colour (not in the pictures above, as they’re flooded with light).

But this is not the most puzzling thing about it.

isadora powder open

The most puzzling thing about this powder is its texture. See, it’s not powder.

And it’s not liquid.

It’s not paste either.

isadora sponge compartment

It reminds me a little of mousse foundations, but it’s too light for that.

isadora powder

I tried many different ways of application, including one with the default applicator that came with the product, which is, ironically enough, the least suitable one. The best so far is fingers. First I kinda spread it around, though it’s not very spreadable, and then just gently tap on my face until it’s all worked in and smoothed out.

isadora powder applicator

powder applicator

But like I said, it’s practically transparent. It gives me the lightest coverage, which I never seem to be able to make even. It also doesn’t work well with other products, like my setting powder, for example — which, incidentally, is an IsaDora product as well.

isadora compact powder fingers

The good things about this compact foundation powder are its scent (scentless) and the fact that it didn’t break me out. Also, I’m not sure, but I think IsaDora is cruelty-free.

I honestly can’t get over the feeling that I’m just using this product incorrectly, simply because I have only a very vague idea about how it’s supposed to be used. If you’ve used IsaDora Compact Foundation Powder before, please don’t hesitate to tell me how it’s supposed to be used, because I’m totally lost.

I will continue using it in combination with IsaDora’s setting powder, but it’s not the best of ways.

One Woman Army.