I went straight from the airport to Pete's to eat some Castle/Volcano Dip, then out to karaoke at the King's Head. I felt pretty rubbish until I remembered there was a V in my bag, and after that it was a pretty fun night.
I do not sing, except for big group numbers (this time it was All The Small Things), but I love listening to the other people and cheering.
The next morning I went for a cruise in Jim's dad's new car (Renault Megane coupe-cabriolet) and had breakfast at Cronulla.
We went to Sealevel but it was less than $40 for the two of us, cheaper than a lot of other cafes and miles nicer.
Then I went to Book Club! Our book was The Bell Jar which annoyingly I could not find, but I am reading it now and loving it. Well done Sylvia.
I wore sequins for day FYI. It was fun to put on something other than one of the 5 outfits I packed for Melbourne.
The food was great! Thanks ladies! The best parts were a) Elise serving tonic to drink and b) Elise asking if anyone wanted gin in it. Of course!!
I did declare another Frugal Feb at the beginning of last month but I wasn't so involved this time around. After all, my main expense - stuffing my face at every opportunity - was already covered by work while I was in Melbourne, and I'm trying to cut down on shopping.
Having said that, here is some stuff I acquired during Frugal Feb:
Windsor Smith black patent wedges, $64 (was $129.95) - DFO
I have wanted a skinny leopard belt like this for ages but the adults' ones are too big for my waist. I was so happy to find this one, especially at that price! From now on I'm doing all my accessories shopping in the kids' department.
This bracelet was a Valentine's Day present from Jimmy so it was free! Thanks James, I love it!
Our Man In Havana is borrowed from Jim and thus also free. Watermelon came from the Salvo's store in Altona, I think it was $2.
Cotton On Body bras, $5 each - DFO.
The Cotton On shop at DFO South Wharf appears to sell things from their stores overseas as well, because unlike the regular Aussie stores, this one had heaps of size 8 bras. So if you're always searching for them like I am, you know where to go!
Target leopard print dress, $8 I think - Salvo's Altona
Howard Showers black dress, $40 (was $189 or something equally crazy) - DFO (Charlie Brown store)
I wore this dress three times while I was in Melbourne, i.e. once a week - cost per wear! The first time was with black peeptoes and silver & diamante jewellery, to dinner with James. The second was with the same shoes and the leopard print belt above, to Rockpool. The third was with gold & black enamel earrings and my leopard shoes, on our awesome last night out.
You can't see it in this picture, but I'm pretty sure I wore my bee ring as well. Buzz buzz.
Alcohol was another of my few expenses - I wasn't that restrained, but I did buy this on special!
Pilgrim navy camisole, $4, and Jacqui E raspberry knit, $6 - Salvo's Altona
Trying to pack light meant I bought most of my toiletries down there, then left them behind when I came home. All of these were on sale, especially the body scrub ($3 I think, from DFO), the OPI You're A Pisa Work polish ($10) and the Hair Academy products from The Reject Shop.
I really liked the smell of the Herbal Essences shampoo. The Taft hairspray is a new favourite, as is the Hair Academy pump action hairspray. The Nivea lotion was like applying sunscreen, but gosh it worked well!
The body scrub smelled like the air fresheners in a shopping centre bathroom. The John Freida hair stuff works pretty well but doesn't prevent static at all, and as the most expensive of the lot I really do not think it is worth a repurchase.
I bought these Kmart earrings for $6 (not on sale, that's just how much Kmart charges for earrings!) to wear with my black dress on our last night out because I was sick of all the jewellery I'd packed. The J necklace is from Gloss, my favourite cosmetics and accessories chain - I think it was about $2 on sale.
So that's the lot! I am pretty happy with my purchases. I think I was pretty restrained considering, and quite practical too as I've worn/used almost everything already. The total cost of all my clothes/accessories/cosmetics shopping plus two bottles of gin, three magazines and a few other sundries was about $330-$350 for the month. It wasn't exactly the Struggle Street scenario of last year's Frugal Feb, but I'd call that pretty thrifty!
I was less thrifty with club entries, taxis and drinks when I went out, but I still reckon I would've spent about $300-$400 at the most. It's a lot more than I'd spend normally but $100 a week for socialising isn't very much really, and for the amount of fun I had it's an absolute steal.
Last year I had lots of thrifty tips. This year my advice is get a job at my work! (Disclaimer: the partying to working ratio will end up being like 1:100 - still beats most jobs!)
My last days in Melbourne were mostly occupied with trying to eat as much as possible before I left.
I enjoyed some awesome factory canteen meals.
I went with my housemate Blake to Rockpool Bar & Grill for the best steak of my life. One million out of ten, would eat again at every meal.
The restaurant was super ambient i.e. dark so I didn't get any decent snaps, but here are the drinks we had afterwards at one of the many many bars at the casino.
Mine was called a Turkish Delight and that's really what it tasted like! V sweet but good.
I did take one night out from my busy restaurant-going schedule to stay home. I made one of my favourite dinners: snacks!
Gosh I love smoked salmon.
Just a little snack in the factory.
We went to The Pancake Parlour in Chadstone with Taruna (hello if you're reading!).
She and I shared this cheese and potato pancake, with optional mushroom sauce and bacon. It was exactly how I wanted it to be, all cheesy and salty and delicious.
On our last night we went out to dinner at Red Spice Road.
There were cocktails galore.
This was a soft shell crab dish that tasted better than it looked, though a little aniseedy for me. The thing behind it is some kind of salad with salmon or trout in it, I don't really remember but I do remember that it was incredibly tasty. I would definitely have it again.
P.S. Here's what I was wearing:
And also my leopard shoes.
Afterwards we went dancing at Spice Market, which was super fun except that it closed pretty early, and then we went to a much less nice place for the rest of the night.
But it was heaps of fun! I had such a nice time partying with all my Melbourne buddies, I am gonna miss them all heaps.
Then I came home, packed a bit, slept for two hours, woke up, packed some more and rushed off to the airport, where I had one last crack at the food allowance: