Some days you step in it, some you don't...

Posted August 16th, 2007 by Penny Wise

What a funny old week it's been! Well, the secret's out, the boys and I were on the Campbell Live show in NZ last night. I am still recovering from the scary extreme close up at the start and my hands are still recovering from the two-day cleaning blitz prior to the arrival of the film crew. I had no idea beforehand what they were going to want to see so I had to clean every nook and cranny of the house. What a great way to declutter though! Filming was an absolute blast, although the lead-up to their arrival was extremely stressful. I got up on Monday morning to find that one of the cats had been shut in overnight and my sparkling clean home now absolutely reeked of cat wee. The problem was, I had no idea where exactly the pong was coming from! So I had no choice but to wash ALL the floors and every crevice all over again and throw all the windows open. Mercifully, by the time my camera toting visitors arrived my Home Brand disinfectant had done the trick! The day was beautiful and sunny - the first in ages - and as the guys arrived they loved our peaceful lakeside setting. Unfortunately Minnie had left a doggie deposit in a hidden corner of my carefully manicured lawn and in their quest to find a scene for the perfect opening shot, one of them stepped straight in it. Not the most auspicious start but I did assure him that it was supposed to be good luck. I really hope our local painter saw the show last night, so he can see how badly our house is in need of a paint after already waiting TWO AND A HALF YEARS for him - you know who you are!

The last couple of days have been a real revelation for me. It has really brought home just how much I've learned through my three years as a Simple Saver. As soon as I knew which day the film crew were coming, I panicked. I was convinced I was going to forget everything I had ever learned and look like a right plonker. I would lie awake at 3am with thousands of hints whizzing around my head, and up writing menu plans at 5am, just in case I had forgotten how on earth I was supposed to feed us all on $21. I needn't have worried though. A weekend trip to the supermarket restored my frazzled brain to a calm blue ocean. As I unloaded my boring trolley's worth of shopping into my even more boring pantry, I could see there and then just how much of a smart shopper I had become. As I surveyed the house after my cleaning frenzy, noting every spray bottle of home made cleaner and every little shaker pot of bicarb sitting proudly, and the menu planner neatly filled in on the wall, I knew I wasn't going to forget a thing. It's become so automatic now, it's ingrained. I AM A SUPER SAVER!

I do wonder though, if any of the people I know will treat me differently now after seeing the show. Most people don't have the foggiest what I do or how I live, let alone the fact that I clean with vinegar and live off the smell of an oily rag. And out of choice too! I have learned with Simple Savings, people either 'get it' or they don't. You either embrace it, or you don't. For those that don't, I just have to button my lip, when what I really want to tell them is how much they're missing out on. How much their kids miss out on by never experiencing home baking. How much family time they miss out on because they have to keep working more hours in order to afford all the convenience food they buy. At least I now have a great comeback line for anyone who turns their nose up at the idea of cleaning with vinegar - if it's good enough for the Queen, it's good enough for me!

Now don't think I'm being funny, but what did you think of my hair? I took a bit of a risk you see and cut and coloured it myself the day before! I ran out of time to go to the hairdresser and my friend (who is a hairdresser) said my hair could do with some highlights as it was looking a bit dull. I was much too stingy to fork out for those, but I did find a colour rinse lurking in the back of the bathroom cupboard. It had been there at least four years but I couldn't find an expiry date so I thought I would give it a go, keeping my fingers crossed the whole time. My hair needed a trim too, so the old ponytail trick came out again and my friend said she couldn't have layered it better herself! She did tell me not to go telling too many people though, otherwise nobody would need hairdressers any more, so don't let on I told you! Even the reporter couldn't believe I had cut my own hair - I wasn't game enough to do the boys' hair though!

The week prior to our five minutes of fame was pretty uneventful. Saturday was Liam's birthday but the poor wee chap was still too sick to enjoy it really. However, he absolutely loved his new room and said it was his best birthday ever, even though he couldn't breathe through his nose or taste his birthday cake properly. My newly painted metallic silver shelf looked fantastic too, the paint was a bit of a nightmare to use but nobody would know to look at it now that it's actually made of wood! I know a lot of people who would pay a FORTUNE for a wall-size poster of Dan Carter too but we got ours for free! After months of shopping around, we finally found the perfect bargain bed too. We had searched on Trade Me for ages trying to find a decent bed but couldn't find anything really suitable so two days before his birthday we had no choice but to go bed shopping. The price had to be right and so did the bed. Conveniently, there were three bed/furniture stores right next to one another, so we entered the first one and were immediately pounced on. We told the man we were just looking and could immediately tell these beds were way beyond budget but he insisted on following us around, telling us how wonderful each bed was. We couldn't even look properly with him waffling on in our ears and Noel soon had enough and marched out of the shop, abandoning me with the salesman from hell. Noel walked straight into the next shop, where another salesman immediately swooped in on him so he made another hasty exit. In their haste to sell us the perfect bed, both stores had instantly lost themselves a sale. The third and final store was one called Redpaths. I had never been in there before as it always looked expensive but I couldn't have been more wrong. Noel and I were allowed to look around as much as we liked, without any interference and we soon found the perfect bed, a solid wood one for less than half the price of those in the other two stores. The mattress didn't break the bank either but the salesgirl still insisted on giving us a discount! The bargains in that place were unbelievable - we could have bought a brand new solid wood queen size bed for $299! Unfortunately we didn't need one and Liam's room was too small for one of those, so we just thanked the staff profusely for their unobtrusive help and made them chuckle with the story of how their two other counterparts had lost out.

So, it's back down to earth now and I must catch up with all the new hints in the Vault! I have already converted my search engine to the more energy saving 'Blackle' and the TV3 reporter saw it and is going to do the same, as well as suggest to his wife that she uses Coke to clean the toilet!

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