serrins_k's Profile

Display Name: serrins_k
Member Since: 2/18/12

Latest Comments...

Charity stores (not just thrift stores) often have some amazing stuff for good prices, and are produced ethically as well. eg Oxfam stores
I buy a lot of t-shirts from - the designs are from original book covers of many well known classics, and for every shirt you buy (only $25) they donate a book to a community in need. Oxfam's site (Australian) is - but i'm sure they have equivalents all over the world. Other charities do similar things.

Shopping Secrets: 7 Ways to Get the
Look for Less

5/11/13 07:37 PM

don't knock the "sad" single friend! maybe they *like* being single. hmpf

Joan and Matt's Joyously Eclectic Home House Tour
3/30/13 02:13 AM

I actually find the opposite happens for me... eg I read a lot of magazines, visit this website frequently, and also the My Marrakesh blog. These places contain many, many beautiful things. But I find that the more I look at them, the less interested I am in "things" in general. Everything starts to blu together and become meaningless. How can everything mean something when it is competing with everything else? It's kind of the equivalent of eating a whole bag of lollies and then feeling sick.

It's great, I get my "stuff" fix without actually having to buy anything. It also means that when I do buy something, it is something very unique and special.

Idealizing the Unobtainable
11/27/12 09:36 PM

I am very fortunate in that I have been to most of the places on my list already. So my destinations are now more specific:
- The Blue Mountains (Australia) and inland eastern Australia
- The Tarkine Wilderness in Tasmania (just booked a trip in October to go there)
- An Icebreaker tour of the Kara Sea in Siberia (costs 10k for 6 days - something to save for in my retirement I think!)
- China, Mongolia, and then the Trans Sib through Russia.
And then everywhere that's left.

Incidentially, since there are so many US-ites here, I also have a trip planned through parts of the US next August - either starting or ending in Texas for my friend's 30th. I am thinking of spending 3 weeks mostly driving around - no idea where yet though! I will be mostly avoiding the big cities except for Las Vegas (for the insanity), New Orleans (for the music) and New York (for the shopping). I may head up into Banff in Canada at some point, and obviously the Grand Canyon. If anyone has any suggestions for out of the way amazing destinations, tours or oddities - things I wouldn't find in a guide book - please post your ideas! I am much more interested in random small towns and weird events than I am in looking at monuments and other tick-the-box items. ;-)

What's Your Dream Destination?
7/6/12 10:53 PM

Also, anyone who is interested in not destroying the planet might find this site useful :)

Hand Washing Versus the Dishwasher Real Simple
6/22/12 09:01 PM

ps Kit - I absolutely guarantee you that if I licked your post-chicken cutting board, I would not get sick. Unless you didn't rinse it properly and I ended up eating detergent.

Hand Washing Versus the Dishwasher Real Simple
6/22/12 08:56 PM

I am far less interested in how "clean" the dishes are than I am in learning which option is environmentally friendlier. How long does a dishwasher have to last to offset the extra resources consumed in manufacturing it, with the extra water and electricity saved when cleaning dishes? That is what I would like to know.

RE the cleaning: I've noticed a LOT of articles on AT involving over-cleaning of things. I find it absolutely disgusting that people are still using disinfectant on things like toilets, benches etc. If you didn't overclean the house in the first place, you would be fine because you would have an immune system that actually functions. Unless you eat off your toilet seat, it does not need to be "sterilised" every five minutes. Your ass will be fine - pretty sure it can deal with a bit of bacteria. It is an ass, after all.

I clean everything with bicarb and vinegar, and by "everything" I mean toilet, shower and sink. Everything else is washed with water to get the dirt off and that's it. And guess what? I have not taken a sick day in ten years. Well, not a legitimate one anyway :p

People with suppressed immune systems are a different story, but I find it hard to believe that there is one in every household. And if there is. maybe it's because their parents were hyperactive with the sterilisation.

Hand Washing Versus the Dishwasher Real Simple
6/22/12 08:54 PM

I am moving into my first home in the next few months once the tenant's lease expires. I have decided to:

- Lounge suite: - the Boss sofa, a Cooper chair and a Benson statement chair with fabric from Warwick Fabrics - total around AUD15K (OUCH but so comfortable, excellent quality, unique custom pieces and I will love it forever)
- A new bed with a custom headboard - after sleeping for 15 years on a bed I bought in college for $120
- Stereo: I bought a component system for around 2K that I am hoping will last me a LONG time. My parents still use the one they bought when they got married 35 years ago!
- A floor rug: I have a year to save for this one as I won't really need it until next winter.
- The house itself: I bought something small so that I don't have to fill it with furniture!

- Television: I am not buying one
- Coffee table: After reading an article here I have decided I don't need one - thanks AT!
- Laptop: This is my 'cinema' and office in one, and I just got something pretty standard as I don't need all the whizzbang features
- Kitchen table and chairs: my mother very kindly bought me a nice set as a gift, but otherwise it was going to be something out of the Quokka - which is like an Aussie version of craigslist
- Art: I print my own travel photos etc. I also buy from etsy and the like.
- Bookcases: The one Ikea item that will never ever date.
- Fridge, washing machine, dryer are all hand-me-downs from friends who have coupled up and had two of each item.
- Crockery: rather than buying a set, I just get mis-matched pieces from antique stores and flea markets. You can get amazing plates for 2 or 3 dollars and while they sometimes look a bit naff on their own, they are great when matched with others - the cheerleader effect! Best bit is that it doesn't ruin the "set" if one is broken.
- Glasses: I have a few nice glasses for wine and the rest are from Ikea

It also helps that over the past decade, I have been creating my own "glory box" - a trunk filled with cutlery, crockery, pots, pans etc. My family writes wishlists each year for christmas and birthdays, so a lot of these are presents from various events. The rest are things I bought on gift cards from my credit card rewards - I put everything on credit, pay it off monthly, and then get 200-300 worth of department store gift cards every year.

Mostly, I buy good quality stuff that isn't in fashion, so can't go "out" of fashion. I also buy one or two pieces instead of getting whole sets, eg with things like saucepans, people often buy the whole cooking set and end up with at least 2 sizes they never use.

Furnishing a Home:
When to Splurge and When to Save

6/11/12 02:20 AM

The thing about looking at homes online is that you often can't see how it connects to the homeowner. What you do see is how many people have the same taste, to the point that it can become sickly. eg the "keep calm and carry on" poster that I loved the first time I saw it, but never bought because I kept seeing it everywhere to the point that all the soul was leeched out of it.

Do I have a point to this ramble? Nope!

Propping: How Much Is Too Much? The New York Times
6/9/12 11:58 PM

Greenheronfarm: I was interested in your question too so I googled it. I found a lot of advice about buying anti-fatigue matting and suggestions of installing carpet...not a good sign :(

Having said that, I live in a house which is tiled, and never had sore feet. I don't see how concrete could be harder than tiles?! Strange.

From Scary to Sublime: A Gorgeous Gut Renovation in Australia
5/11/12 08:47 PM

Haha should have read the rest of the comments - all of the above has already been said!

From Scary to Sublime: A Gorgeous Gut Renovation in Australia
5/10/12 10:01 PM

Interesting that so many people liked the "unique" arch - in Australia and arch like that isn't unique at all, which would be part of the reason they didn't feel the need to preserve it.

As to the question about the "cyclone fencing" over the windows & doors, I daresay it might be related to the ages of the houses you've seen. A lot of houses built in a particular decade (I'm guessing 70s or so) in Oz have those doors, however you never see it in modern homes. If people are hunting for renovation projects, those screens would be very common. Also, they are not just for crime, they are mainly to keep out the flies! We sometimes call them "flywire doors". :)

From Scary to Sublime: A Gorgeous Gut Renovation in Australia
5/10/12 09:59 PM

I liked something I saw the other day... It had the crown from "keep calm and carry on", but underneath it said "don't tell me to settle down". Haha

Word for Word: Quotes for Your Walls
4/12/12 02:54 AM

What on earth is a dryer sheet?! I don't think we have these in Australia, or if we do I don't know anyone who uses them...

Quick Cleaning Tip: Keep Baseboards Cleaner With Fabric Softner
2/18/12 06:31 PM