Thursday, April 30, 2009



I was told my raise would start May 1st...

so today I looked at my bank statement and no raise!!

Apparently, I have to work for the 2 weeks in May to get paid for May...

So I won't get my raise until May 15th


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bargain Bikram


We have found a place that let's you try a week of unlimited bikram yoga classes for $20.

Never of us had done it before and boy were we in for a shock when we had our first attempt.

It is not only the hottest place we have ever been it is also smelliest!!!

It absolutely stinks of BO. You're more in danger of fainting from the stench than the heat.

It's pretty effective though - the weight just falls off - well actually it runs don your body.

Neither of us realised that even our toes could sweat that much!

AMY SAYS.......

And to add to that they give you free work out clothes (most people think that's gross - I'm ok with it for some reason ;)

My HIGHS and LOWS of yesterday


Going to Bikram Yoga and getting in shape - HIGH
Gareth being away - Low
Getting a massive editing suite upgrade at work - HIGH
Walking to work for the first time in my life - HIGH
Loving our new neighborhood - HIGH
Anticipating getting the apt - HIGH/LOW
Anticipating how much my next pay check will be - HIGH (Could turn into a low though)
My 4 month anniversary of NOT smoking - HIGH

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

$9 baseball


Last night we had a bit of free time on our business trip so we went of in search of something to do in Baltimore.

We ended up at a baseball game where the local team was playing the Texas Rangers.

We brought the cheapest possible tickets and went in but as no-one was checking the tickets on we ended up sitting in some great seats right near all the action.

It pays to be cheeky sometimes.

In case we got caught it was decided that i would have to speak to the staff members in my most english of voices and claim to be lost!!!! Dave with his New Jersey accent probably wouldn't have got much sympathy from the guards.

Highs and lows


Yesterday was a bit up and down.

We held a pie making competition at work - high
Amy and I worked hard on an apple pie to enter which was a lot of fun - high
When i carried the pie to work the juices leaked out and destroyed my cell and blackberry - low
We didn't win the competition - low
I had to go off on a 5 day trip away from Amy - low
Arrived at the hotel and got an upgrade - high
The suite i'm in is f***king massive, we could fit three of our current apartment into it - high high
Having run the sums we realised it is only going to cost us $200 more to buy an apartment then rent one - high
The apartment has another 4 offers on it so there is a good chance we won't get it - low

Keep you fingers crossed we should find today at lunchtime.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Blast From The Past


I got an email from an old friend the other day. It made us laugh - especially this bit...

"I was going to pop over and see you, but while you're doing your saving scheme i thought you wouldn't be fun."

Thanks Phil. One day we will see you in NYC :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ha ha ha


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Commute


I finally understand why people become violent murderers!!!

Life has beaten them to a pulp and they SNAP!!

Ok - I'm not snapping just yet, but had we stayed in Brooklyn I just might have.

We have moved to the East Village and for the first time in 12 years I don't have to get on a horribly crowded subway, fight for a seat and get elbowed by the 'suits' for about an hour each morning!


I can walk, ride my bike or hop on the M21 bus that's a few feet from our door!!

All for actually less then what we were spending on rent in the armpit of Brooklyn!!

Woo hoo - smiles and giggles in Spring again here we COME, it really is the free simple pleasures in life that keep you going.

Broken Mirror, Broken Back or Broke Back Mirror (Amy says ;)


As we were moving out of the old place we managed to break a mirror in the bedroom. IT was a pretty crappy thing with a plastic frame and a cardboard back. We reckoned it wouldn't cost more than $50 to replace so were happy for it to be taken from our deposit. When we meet up with the lady she said the mirror was actually going to cost $225 to replace. We were flabbergasted (I love that word). She gave us a check for the deposit minus the $225.

We were gutted but not defeated. We rang round a load of mirror and glass places and found out it would only cost $35 to replace the broken mirror. So we hatched a plan...

Yesterday at 7am i got up and headed from the East Village back to Brooklyn.
The trains were messed up so this took about 70 minutes.
I then proceeded to pull all the broken mirror out of the frame - a surprisingly tricky (and dangerous) job.
Got back on subway with empty frame and headed off to the mirror shop.
Handed over the $35 to have it fixed.
Wandered off and got a coffee.
Collected mirror - which was now very heavy - and carried it back to the flat.*
Ran to work.

The whole operation took a little under 4 hours and a lot of sweat! But now will be getting a check for $225 back which was well worth all the effort.

*(It was pretty funny seeing how many people checked themselves out in the giant mirror as i walked by! Vanity is a common affliction)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



I'm not completely sure what the definition is in British but in American it means :

a sexually promiscuous woman; or a prostitute.

I think in British it means:

a person who travels on foot from place to place, esp. a vagabond living on occasional jobs or gifts of money or food.

Anyway, Gareth said I looked like a 'tramp' last night - it hurt - especially cause I don't have the $$ to go out and but new nice clothes.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter Bunny Poo


For those of you who have been reading the blog for a very long time you might remember that last year i organised a rabbit poo treasure hunt around the Lower East Side with three boxes of raisins.

We have decided to make this a tradition!

Last weekend we laid out a trail for Amy's niece Isabel.

At the end of the trail (which ran round the block at Amy's Mum's) Isabel found me sitting on a fence.

I told her that i had just met the Easter Bunny - or EB as he preferred to be called - and that he wanted her to do something special for him. He wanted her to make a balloon animal bunny. If she did then he might return to meet her in person.

Isabel's eyes lit up and we set about making a balloon bunny which was very very hard. The balloons were impossible to inflate so we just tied them together deflated.

I then told Isabel that EB was very shy so if she wanted to meet him she would have to wear a bunny mask so he thought she was a bunny. Check out the picture - it's not bad improvised mask using a pillow case and two elastic bands. It did look a bit KKK though.

With the masks on it was time for the Bunny to appear to talk to her on the terrace, which gave me an excuse to do an impersonation of the easter bunny, which ultimately sounded very much like Jimmy Stewart ;)

Isabel was completely enchanted by the whole experience. She screamed "I love you Easter Bunny," and then asked the bunny if he would like to come to her's for a sleepover - soooo cute!!!

Sadly i don't think she will be so gullible next year. Don't you hate it when kids grow up?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wood shop


I have been doing some Spring cleaning in my studio, trying to make more room for some more work! Anyway I had all of this wood, huge pieces that cost loads to throw away! So I coordinated with the local wood shop and told them if they could come and get it they could have it all for free!

That way not only did I save the cash, and my muscles, but I also felt so much better about recycling the wood!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Frogen like yozurt

Gareth brought be a frozen yogurt after work today with a special spoon that said “You deserve this” I had just had a hard day at work.

It doesn’t cost much to show someone you love them!


$4.50 to be precise!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't try this at home!


When we tell people about ONB a lot of the same 'ohhh we need to do that'. Everyone seems to need a big chunk of money for something or other - decorating their bathroom, paying of their credit cards etc.

If the truth be told i would never ever recommend that someone do something as extreme as ONB. It is so emotionally draining. You feel every little bump on the road of life - without cash your tires are flat.

I would recommend that you try one month on and one month off. The constant grind of 12 months of living as cheaply is exhausting. Moan moan moan - ohhhhh how good it feels to moan.


Don't do it! Be cautious with your cash consistently, but even Gareth and I, who have been told we are both crazy and relentless, are struggling to make it outta this one in one piece!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sleepless nights


We haven't been able to contact the woman whose place we are renting for the next two months - her voicemail is full and she isn't responding to our emails. Argghhhhhhh. We have given her a big stack of cash to secure the place and it has made us feel pretty nervous. All we have is one set of keys, a move in date for a few days time and a bit of paper that we all signed. Keep your fingers crossed folks. Let's hope we haven't been taken for a ride :(

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This flat is sponsored by Rachel and Chris


We have friends who are moving to Australia and had loads of stuff they didn't want to take with them - chairs, tables, bedding, food - and they asked us if we wanted it! Of course we said YES and descended like vultures on their apartment.
We walked of with boxes of cutlery, plates, an AC until and tons of other stuff so that when we finally get a permanent housing solution we should have a pretty well equipped pad.

Thank you Rachel.

Thank you Chris.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



I had coordinated with Gareth’s friends at work to throw him a Surprise Party with a few pranks ;) Gareth, ever since I’ve known him, has been the ‘ultimate’ jokester/prankster – from putting snakes in my bed to filling the sugar bowl with salt – yuk!

Anyway, he’s also gone on and on about how he wished that SOMEONE would play a prank on him and all of the effort that goes into a prank just proves how loved someone really is.

I contacted his friends Matt,Dave and Lisa from work and asked if they would help me pull a prank – I told them I was struggling with the ideas because they were either too mean or too soft. Immediately, Matt and Lisa responded with a bulleted list of what we should do – and a side note saying “I think Gareth can take a lot so we should start with the most f**ked up and work backwards."

That’s what we did but we never really changed the pranks from the initial ones we came up with. I had a special cake made. I hacked into his emails and collected all of his friends email addresses, I bought special party favors, and coordinated the pranks with his entire office!!

Each prank was devastating! Truly – I would hate it if someone did it to me, but every one of his friends said ‘Gareth is going to LOVE this, it’s the stuff of legends!!’ So, we went full steam ahead.

Only one of the pranks ended up happening in the end but it was enough to send Gareth off the deep end.

Prank 1: Gareth to wake up and find a positive pregnancy test in the bathroom (taken by Gareth’s pregnant friend at work Ara!)

Prank 2: Gareth to receive cryptic email from Julia (a co-worker) saying that she heard that Amy was NOT paying off her student loans with the money Gareth has been giving her – rather she’s been hoarding it.

Prank 3: Gareth to be pulled aside by his boss Dan and told that he must take a rather large pay cut!

Gareth would then be escorted to McSorely’s, the oldest pub in NYC to a bunch of drunken smiley faces screaming HAPPY BIRTHDAY and turn what seemed like the worst day in his life into a legend!

I ended up making Gareth a T-Shirt with ALL of the emails between me an his friends here are a few of the best quotes from the T:

“The pain will be short live and just think how loved he’ll feel knowing all of the effort that went into his misery” Lisa

“Too mean too mean? Gareth in a puddle of his own tears with us drinking them thru spiraling colorful straws? It al seems too unreal for him to take it too seriously, I’m a willing accomplice and as Gareth has said in the past “The amount of effort is evidence of how much we love him.” Matthew

We had a brilliant night of crazy cake and Karaoke singing till 2am!
My voice still hasn’t recovered!


I loved it all.
I felt like Michael Douglas in 'The Game'
I can't believe i didn't see the pregnancy stick that Amy left out in the bathroom that morning!!!

Birthday day


To celebrate we are going to the movies where we will be having a LARGE popcorn, LARGE drinks and a packet of twizzlers.

We had booked to go to Gordon Ramsey's NYC restaurant as a surprise but decided to cancel it and use the money to hire a small storage unit to make life a little easier over the next few months. It is not as romantic as a meal for two but it is far more practical.

We have promised one another that we will splurge on a posh meal when we are finally out of the woods of the debt.

Aching all over


We are in the process of moving to our new sublet. To avoid being ripped off by removal guys like we did three months ago we decided to do it all ourselves and boy are we in pain today!!!

We had to carry a ton of boxes filled with bricks - sorry i meant books - a load of clothes and a surprisingly heavy mattress. We hired a U-Haul van (just like the one in the A Team but without the paint job) and Amy drove it round Brooklyn with a rather nervous Gareth sitting next to her with a map.

The van cost us about $48 a day which is very cheap - they charge a flat rate per day then a dollar per mile on top of it. U-Haul rocks!

Friday, April 10, 2009



Yesterday was a very odd day! But i'll let Amy tell you all about it when she sobers up. All will be revealed :)


Wednesday, April 8, 2009



Surfing the internet for free in an Apple store!!!

And very nice it is too :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Free chocolate


You can find free stuff in the most unlikely of places.

Amy and I went to a Memorial Service the other day at Cooper Union. It was to celebrate the life of one of her father's friends who had passed away. At the end of the service they said there was a treat for everyone at the back of the room.

Apparently Lou loved Hershey's Chocolate from when he was just 5 years old so his family had got big baskets filled with hundreds of chocolate bars for the guests to take home with them.

Don't worry - Amy and I didn't fill our pockets and cheeks with chocolate like the greedy little urchins that we are. We took one bar each and thought about Lou as we ate them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Me too"


I was walking down the street after work on friday and a woman leaned out of a cab and shouted: "Me too" at me.

Just another weird New York experience i thought to myself.

It was only when i got to the end of the block that i worked out what on earth she was talking about. I was wearing my 'Help - I'm in debt' t-shirt that Chris brought me as an engagement present last summer.

Ha ha ha.

I'm guessing she wasn't that in debt - she was riding round NYC in a taxi ;)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eddie Fly The Sailor


This weekend I had to do a bit of basic DIY so off to the hardware shop we went for the bits and pieces we needed.

Although a box of screws doesn’t cost much it reminded me of a thing we used to do as kids.

Every time we went down to see my Grandpa and Grandma in South Wales we’d collect up any nuts, bolts or screws we saw lying in the street. We always found a small handful of shiny things that would then be given as a gift from us kids to own of my Grandpa’s best friends – Eddie Fly The Sailor.

Now I don’t know much about Eddie.

I don’t know if his surname was Fly and I have no idea if he was ever a sailor.

All I know is that he loved the nuts and bolts we’d find for him.

This was about 20 odd years ago so I can honestly say Eddie was at the forefront of the eco movement – Reuse and Recycle!

It’s Earth Month folks so keep your eyes open for any interesting things you see lying in the street. You never know when they might come in handy.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Stand back - this is a brainstorm


We ran a little brainstorm session last night to try and come up with solutions to all the things going on in our lives! We severly underestimated how long this was going to take. We spent most of the time listing everything out...

Short term housing solution

Long term housing solution

Getting married

Having a kid

Amy's Art

Our goals for 2009

Our careers

The debt

Saving for a house deposit

Holidays (Gareth's best friend is getting married in NZ next year so we need to save up for the trip)

With the list complete we decided to call it a day :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The world's longest happy hour


Last Friday we went to a bar near Amy's office after work. It took us a while to find one that was still having a happy hour - most places finish their's at 7pm and it was 7:15. The bar we settled in had $4 dollar Coronas until 8pm.

We then proceeded to make one beer each last 2 hours!!!

That must be a record for the world's slowest drinkers.

It didn't feel a long time though - we were swapping silly stories and making one another laugh. Amy does an amazing Finnish accent and i have been working hard on my South African accent. I have no idea what the people on the tables next to us must have been thinking!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gareth has left his job!!!

This is what went out in the recent work newsletter....

"Hello fabulous friends, we hope this edition of the Freshness letter finds you safely past the Ides of March and gearing up for a joyous Spring.

But before we dive in, we wanted to share some important news regarding the team here at ?What IF!. Our beautiful and talented friend Gareth Miles will be leaving ?What IF! to pursue a career as a naked trapeze artist with his fiancé Amy. While we are disappointed that we won't have Gareth around to play with every day, we are excited that he has found an opportunity to combine two of his biggest passions - adrenaline pumping circus acts and nudity. Gareth and Amy are leaving next week to join the West European league of the Cirque d'au Naturel in Paris so please reach out to send him some love and keep your eye out for "The Baron and Baroness of Bare, Gareth and Amy Miles, and the Adventures of their Flying Trapenis" coming to your town soon. "

As you are probably aware this is complete BS! At the end of the newsletter we revealed it was an April Fool's but some of our clients didn't read that far and have been sending in emails wishing me well in my new career! What must people think of me and Amy if they genuinely think that this is true. Ha ha ha!