Friday, February 27, 2015

What to do with unwanted stuff

Are you moving out soon? Need to get rid of unwanted items? Here's how

After graduating, students often go home and never come back. So many of them may not know what to do with their unwanted goods. Some of them also dump their stuff everywhere on the nature strip not knowing that they are damaging the soil and the environment.

Here are some environmentally friendly ideas to help you.

Give to charity
If your apartment has a charity bin you can leave it in the bin. But if not KMART has a wishing tree that gives presents to people in need. You can wrap it up and donate it there. Or you can donate to charities like the Salvation army and the Brotherhood of St Lawrence.

Sell online or at uni
EBay is an online auction site where you can sell stuff online. Or you can advertise it on the uni noticeboards. But be mindful that people have gone home for the semester break and may not see your ad.

Ebay is free to sign up and advertise your stuff.

Hard waste collection days

Image result for hard waste
Image from
Hard waste is most of your whitegoods and furniture.

The Council usually holds these, but if you need you can arrange this with your local council for free. You just have to contact them.

Just a hint: don't leave leave your unwanted stuff out on the nature strip. It is illegal in many places around Melbourne.

Ozzy Burgers

Ozzy's Burgers is in Richmond and RNIS bought a Groupon for this. The bloggers had the Groupon in their account for a while and had to use it. It was $8.50 for a burger, chips and drinks.

The place is really small and its on Bridge Road. A lot of trams pass it.

It was not busy after 1pm on a weekday. It might be because of all the hate for their burgers on Urbanspoon. Some of that hate is not true. I was served really quickly and they made my burger really fast. I also loved their quirky artwork and as a student I love quirky artwork.

The waitress was a little bit surly. But she did smile though. I think she was a little bit overworked. I hear that there will be another store opening in St Kilda.

The burger was big and looked good. Same as the chips. But unfortunately this is where it ended for the burger. The burger smelt like a traditional McDonalds burger, but the steak chips were great. The burger bun was dry and crumbled. The lentil patty was really nice but the sweet chilli sauce overpowered the burger. Whilst it was nice, it was a luttle too much. An egg would have been nice to go in there. Whilst I didn't mind that there was no lettuce, other people might have wanted lettuce in there.

There was a little bit of beetroot in there.

Rating: 10/20-failed burger, but good chips. I wouldn't go out of my way to go there unless they really improved. All the other burger places in Richmond are much better.
Ozzy Burgers on Urbanspoon

Free health resources to get you going

As part of Bupa's best blog challenge for 2015
There are a lot of free resources to get your health kick started. Take a look at these.

Blogs and online material
I love the $120 a food challenge. Here they do a lot of low cost recipes and suggest a lot of ideas to you. You can also split the costs and share the food with your flatmates

But if you don't have any another site, has thousands of recipes for you to try.

Frugal and Thriving has some great grocery tips as well as making your own stuff which is a lot cheaper than buying.

Your local supermarket will have some free magazines in which you can take home to read. Here they have some good ideas and recipes for you to try at home. They also have an In season guide. They also have a whats in store guide as well. There is a product review guide at the back telling you which products to buy.

My cookbook app is free to download and you can use it on your iPad or phone. Here you can have access to this at the dinner table.
My CookBook (Recipe Manager) - screenshot thumbnail
The app from
Your networks
Your parents might have some good recipes that they are willing to share with you. Just ask them. You could ask them to email you or show you how to cook this dish on Skype. Skype is also a good way of showing your dish too.

The market will sometimes have free cooking demonstrations to showcase a dish or two and you can sample it. Just check your local market's site for the times.

The Tea Salon in Sydney

In Westfield- Pitt St, Sydney.

This is the original Tea Salon in which 23 bloggers blogged about this popular place. And popular it was with many others booking tables for high tea.

This is a small store in the centre of Westfield on level 4.
Champagne. Image courtesy of MariMari 
The store was clean and the desserts on the High tea tray looked good. Also the cakes looked good.

Like its Melbourne counterpart they have the $12.95 scone and tea deal and of course I got this. The tea was green tea and the scone was the rose and white chocolate one which was the special of the month.

The service there was friendly with a smile. It was quick and efficient. First to arrive was the china green tea and that was great. I enjoyed the scone as it was moist and not too sweet. It also like Manu says "melts in the mouth".

We took our time here with the tea and they let us do just that.

Rating: 16/20- love the Sydney store. Wished that Melbourne can live up to the hype. And Sydneysiders if you really love the Tea salon, do visit the one in Melbourne.
The Tea Salon on Urbanspoon

Pendulum bar

Pendulum bar is a bar which is hidden in Qantas terminal just after security. I went on two seperate occasions. They were both early in the morning. It is a big open bar like macchinetta.

The breakfast menu is limited and they don't sell danishes. However they are a wine bar

The coffees here are pretty strong. But Katherine hated her coffee as I saw she half finished. She said her latte was away too milky, Both times the service was alright.

The raisin toast was $7.50 and it was huge slices. It was just ok nothing too exciting.

I ended up coming back and trying the coffee and it was very strong. I had a short black and the lady got mixed up between mine and someone else's table with their toast.

NB the place was very busy with the weary travelers who woke up at 5am to catch their flights.

I wouldn't go out of my way to go here. But if you were in the Qantas/jetstar area with no where else to go then here's where to go.

Pendulum Bar on Urbanspoon

Pho Flinders

Pho Flinders is a cheap Pho place in the city. And RNIS bought a Groupon for this and a drink. The Groupon was for a medium one.

At 8pm the place was rather quiet except for a few Caucasians quietly eating their pho. The guy that served me used to see me in RUSU and recognised me.

The place was clean- but a little too clean so it represented a science lab

Whilst waiting I enjoyed their free tea. The wait for food was super long. When ordering your pho you can choose three toppings and all mine were vegetarian

The pho itself had no flavour and there were no pickled onions. There was coriander in the pho which was weird as the pho in Footscray does not have and there is always pickled onions in Footscray. But the vegetables were flavoursome.

The tofu was good though and cooked well.

The noodles too were really slippery too which is great.

Rating: 10/20- bad broth but good noodles and a very long wait for food. I don't know if I'd return as there are much better pho places in Footscray.
Pho Flinders on Urbanspoon

Sunrice Global rice with Hello fresh chilli,spring onion and beans.

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015
Sunrice is a rice company that has been making rice for the past few years and they love to do their 90 sec rice. This time they have released a new range which was advertised at the station. It was $3.40 for one packet at Woolworths. It does have about 200-400 cal per serve depending on how much you eat.

The rice and the beans worked well together. And so did the chilli even though that was super hot. There was the chilli and lime flavourings throughout the rice which worked really well with it. The rice however was a little too dry. So when I opened the packet the rice spilled everywhere, eventhough it said to part the rice before opening.

The chilli, beans and spring onions were from Hello fresh

YOu have to heat this in the microwave for 90 sec on high.

I also put some spring onions in there and it gave it that extra crunch.

This is great for a meal by itself or with fish.

Good Freakin Food

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

Good Freakin Food is an online ordering service that delivers great gluten free soups and salads. Their menu changes weekly. You can choose a lunchbox or a meal deal. You have to have two meals (one meal deal or two or two lunchboxes or one meal deal and one lunchbox) for them to be able to deliver to you.

You have to sign up for their weekly newsletter which shows the meals for the week.

The meals change every week and same as the treat. You have to place the order by email by Monday 7pm and then you can choose to pay by cash or by bank transfer (i.e Paypal). The meal deals are $20 each and it includes your choice of salad or soup, a raw treat and the weekly smoothie.

The smoothie was not too sweet. In there there was banana, dates and a little bit of watermelon. They are served in these really nice jars that you can keep and recycle for later use

The salad was also great and it is three salads mixed into one. I didn't get to try the soup and I did order it, but it never came. Instead they sent three salads and no soup. And no bread. They sent three dips of the same.

This is great for those that are time poor and love good healthy and nutiritious food without the pricetag. I was full for hours on end.

50 Shades of Grey

RNIS went to see 50 Shades of Grey at Hoyts and enjoyed the film. They also learnt a few things. Here is their recap of the movie. Do watch the trailer below.

50 Shades of Grey is a powerful movie about sex and abusive relationships which is based on a book by E.L James. The movie is rated MA for the sexual scenes and it is best to see this in Hoyts Lux as it is more intimate.

The movie stars Darkota Johnston as the university graduate, Anastasia Steele. Anastasia studied English literature and in the beginning interviews Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) who is the successful millionare. He owns his own entreprise and mansion. He is abusive and cold towards Anastasia right from the very beginning.

At the beginning she shares the house with roommate Kate. They are very close.  But then she moves out and into his mansion with Christian manipulating her. Christian sells Anastasia's old car and givers her a new one much to her dismay. In the end she gets him to give all the money for the car.

He makes Anastasia sign the contract which in the end she does not do and she requests a business meeting with him in his office. He then takes her to meet his parents and then she goes and sees her mum in Georgetown. Christian then surprises her when she wants to spend some time alone with her mum.

He also takes off her clothes and we see her completely naked.

There are a lot of sexual scenes in the movie most of which are naked.  In these scenes Christian is really forcing Anastasia to accept them. She cries throughout. Anastasia is a virgin. Christian refuses to sleep with her saying that he had a rough time with his mum when he was little. Christian's mum died due to drug overdose and prostitution.

Everytime something bad happens he hits Anastasia in the playroom.

In the end she breaks it off with him in his mansion.

What do we learn from the movie?
* A relationship is a two way street
* You can say no to sex if you want. There is no excuse for raping a woman.
* It is not ok to hit a woman

Do see the movie to arose your sexual fantasies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Phillipine Mango Straps

As part of Bupa's best blog for 2015
From Fruit for life.

I bought a pack of these for $2.80 which has five smaller packs inside. It was sweet, but I think they use fresh mangos.

It kept me full for a while. This is good to put in children's lunchbox for the occasional treat and for that vitamin c health boost.

Breaded salad with chicken

As part of Bupa's best blog competition for 2015

This is a great salad to have for lunch which uses leftover chicken

2 pieces of bread
Serving of Chia seeds
Last nights fried chicken

Tear the bread into pieces
Slice the cucumber and celery
Cut the tomato into wedges
We used cos lettuce but you can use lettuce of any type.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I just recceived my MYKI fine: what happens now

Many students have received a MYKI fine for not being able to top up or touch on and they just pay the $217 fine without knowing that they have rights to appeal the fine.

The team at RNIS always assists many students in relation to fines. CISA always does the same thing too and it is a bit of a concern that many students receive the fines and then just pay it. It is a bit of a waste of money to pay the $217 fine without an appeal. After all Melbourne is the most expensive place to study.

Appealing it

Can you remember what happened when the Authorised officer approached you? Were they being harsh on you?

You have about 40 days (one month and a half) to appeal the fine. Do include your address, case number and name at the top of your letter. Do address it to the person named in your fine. The letter is formal. If you need to, do seek help early from Victorian Legal aid or your uni's legal service. This is a free service for all students.

In your appeal letter do talk about the circumstances leading to your fine/infringement. Ie you could state that you were not a local in that area and there were no shops you knew of or that the MYKI machine/reader was broken.

Taking the reasonable steps to ensure that you didn't break the law always helps. In the legislation it says that it is unreasonable for a person to go out of their way to get the MYKI. On trams there is no MYKI machines. If you don't have the internet at home then it is simply unreasonable for you to top up online

Print your MYKI statement- you should have the card registered in your name so you can see all the transactions and then challenge them, especially if it took more money for one trip. If you print and send in your statement it can show the Department of transport how honest you were at the time

Photograph any MYKI machines that did not work

If you were with friends get them to also write a statement

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tokyo Teppanyaki

Toyko Teppanyaki has been around for many years now. But I always seem to walk past it and not bother about it much until now when there was a Groupon deal. The sets range from $55- $100; hence I thought it was a bit pricey for a student.

The deal was bought on Groupon for $29 for one at lunchtime Osaka set. You can change some of the items on the Osaka set if red meat is not your thing like I did to more seafood and vegetarian options.

The place was dead quiet on a Friday lunch except for me and four other people. They were mainly Caucasians.

The place smelt a bit fishy and some of the decor was outdated but the teppanyaki was fun. The food catching although I didn't partake in it looked fun.

To start of with I had pickles which were really sweet and then there was the sushi which was a little bit dry. The vegetables were fresh but the rice was dry. The tempura on the other hand was lovely. It was a tad bit oily but the pumpkin melted in the mouth.

The chef was really entertaining and I loved watching him cook my food especially the egg. I thought that there would be some lovely flames but there were none. I would have loved to have eaten the couple's steak but my tofu steak was just as nice

The miso soup was just stock standard and came out of a packet. I did however like the tofu bits and spring onions but oh well.

The fish wasn't as garlicky as I would have liked it and they almost forgot my prawn. Something new that I did try was the prawn cracker made out of shell. The calamari was cooked to perfection and I loved the spicy sauce. A bit more of the garlic butter on the seafood would be perfect. The fish though was perfect.
The vegetables

The vegetables though were lovely and were a nice way to end the meal. The fired rice had a bit too much soy sauce on it so it felt a little bit heavy to me.

Overall rating: 15/20. I wouldn't buy the full price thing and they forgot my tea which was supposed to be a part of the Groupon deal.

Tokyo Teppanyaki on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 20, 2015

St Kilda Festival

The St Kilda Festival was on today and I can say that it attracted thousands of people and for many years it was really popular. Today was a sunny day and there were thousands of stalls there.

It was free to attend and the music was just great. I loved the music on the main stage. It was rocking. The elderly and the kids might not like this so much and there is a stage just for families where they can participate in the dancing. ISFF had no such thing. Rather they had comedy which for some people was just plain bad.
The stage just for families

The main stage was very popular at 6pm. Before then I donated a gold coin to Sacred Heart mission which were keeping the kids happy with balloon animals and face painting. Oh and there was a barbeque for a gold coin.
A clothes stall

One of the lovely stalls

There was a dancing stage as well where people learnt how to dance Bollywood style. ISFF did not have such a thing. People were having so much fun here.

Oh and there were lots of free Lipton tea samplings, watermelon and kofta balls which kept people going.

Many different food stalls turned up and unlike ISFF there was a huge line at most of them as people were waiting for food. Honestly we did not bother with this but most of the meals were $10 for a small plate. The paella did look good though

Honestly I can say that it was better than the ISSF one which people had to pay to get in and there wasn't much there. No free watermelons etc. The food stalls were all happy that they were making big money today.

The only thing that I disliked seeing was all that rubbish that just strewn everywhere. Horrid.


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