New Neighbors

April 19th, 2018 No comments

Last week I met one of our new neighbors. A couple moved in, but I’ve yet to meet the woman, let alone even see her. The most we’ve seen is her car, but on one of the only above 60 degree days we had last week, I took Wookie for a walk and the guy next door (C) was in his garage. He came out to introduce himself and even invited me in to see their place which was cool.

I was surprised by how dark it was in there compared to our place. I think the combination of dark wood floors, the absence of high windows, and them keeping the blinds closed contributed to the stark difference. I much prefer all the natural sunlight we get in our unit. Plus the echo in their place was terrible with all the hard floors and no throw rugs. C assured me they are on the list and I’m hoping they get some soon because even though their TV is mounted above the fireplace (which is not a shared wall), sometimes we can still hear it! I mentioned that in passing to him when we met and he said to let him know if it’s ever too loud. I’m not so petty to march over there every time, though, so long as it’s not for hours on end and/or late at night I’m not planning on saying anything. So far it’s only happened twice more since we met. I’m guessing once they get rugs it might dampen the noise some. He’s a loud talker so you’d think they would want to eliminate that echo ASAP.

He also likes to talk in general so I learned a lot about him and his girlfriend – they moved from the city, he works from home in I.T. sales, and she works in Arlington Heights. They have three cats and a small saltwater fish tank in the dining room. Oh, and he has a motorcycle which he likes to ride daily which kinda sucks because I find the noise pretty jarring.

One of these days we might be able to afford a free-standing house somewhere, preferably with lots of land. I’m only a people person when they aren’t making noise or being annoying, so rarely, ha ha. Although on the plus side at least he’s nice and they put their garbage cans away promptly after pickup.

Categories: Neighborhood Tags:

Easter

April 2nd, 2018 No comments

Joe invited the kids over for Easter. We didn’t hear back from his son at all, but his daughter replied Saturday morning that she and her boyfriend would be coming (although at the time we didn’t know that meant just them since she wrote “we’ll be there” and they often drive up with E). Of course, we had just finished our Costco trip an hour before her text so we didn’t have a rotisserie chicken (she doesn’t care for ham). I ended up pulling out a chicken breast from the freezer when we got home, and we stopped at Aldi for potatoes. I also picked up some hyacinth since they were only $4. I forgot how overwhelmingly fragrant they are, so we’ll see how long they last in the house before I grow tired of them.

I didn’t put together Easter baskets for the kids this year which worked out since E didn’t show and K has been working on getting in shape and has eliminated all junk food from her home. I did throw one together for Wookie, and taught her a new game called “find it” which surprisingly she learned quickly. I put treats in the bunny eggs and would have her sniff one, then tell her to stay while I hid it in another room. Then I’d come back to where I left her and say “find it” and she’d run around the house looking for the bunny egg. It was so cute watching her excitedly trying to locate her treats. We played the new game a few times throughout the day since she loved it so much. She loves smelling everything so the game suits her well. I think we’ll play it often.

K and ES arrived just before 4 and we ate shortly thereafter, then just chatted and played with Wookie the rest of the evening. We also had my once a year homemade carrot cake for dessert. As much as I love it, I really hate how long it takes to make so I might cheat next year and buy a boxed cake and just make the frosting from scratch. If it ends up being noticeably worse I’ll go back to the homemade cake the following year. K & ES left around 9 pm which is the time Joe and I typically go upstairs anyway, so it should have been perfect but I had trouble falling asleep. It takes me awhile to wind down after socializing.

Even though I slept until 8 am today I’m still feeling really tired and kinda grumpy. I made the mistake of going to Savers in this mood (I haven’t been there recently). I tried on a few things but nothing spoke to me, and the crowded nature of the store was getting under my skin. I managed to get my cleaning done and now I’m lying in bed listening to podcasts. I call this my post-socializing hangover.

Categories: Life Tags:

Game Night & Easter Decorating

March 19th, 2018 No comments

Friday (3/16) evening we hosted a game night for our friends Joe met through a former job. Everyone came over at 6 pm but we didn’t start playing any games until almost 9 pm and with the alcohol some people couldn’t really concentrate to play adequately. So next time we need to play first, then sit around and chat. Don’t get me wrong, it was still fun, but I was bummed we didn’t get to play as many games as I would have liked.

Saturday (3/17) was St. Patrick’s Day so we made corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot. It came out delicious, as always! Wookie spent most of the day sleeping. I think she was exhausted from not napping at all the entire time our friends were over. Plus we took her to Petsmart and Petco to look for an Easter outfit now that we’ve figured out a way to put clothes on her without her trying to bite us (basically we only put them on when she’s getting ready to go for a walk so they have a positive association with them). They didn’t have anything, though, so we left empty handed.

We did grab some McDonald’s for lunch, though. They had a BOGO offer for the fish sandwiches and we needed our annual Shamrock shake. It was rather disappointing, however. I think I’d rather try a mint shake elsewhere in the future.

Sunday (3/18) we tried Taco Bell for breakfast and it was pretty decent. I tried three of their $1 menu items:

Sausage Flatbread Quesadilla
Hash Brown
Mini Skillet Bowl

I wasn’t terribly impressed with the first two, but really enjoyed the bowl. It was larger than I expected for the price. I would definitely get that again.

We ran some errands including stopping at Visionworks in the mall so I could pick out some glasses. I need new ones since I rarely wear my contacts lately thanks to my eyes always feeling too dry. Plus I’ve gotten to that age where I need reading glasses if I wear my contacts which defeats the purpose of contacts anyway. Ugh! I made an appointment to come back and have an eye exam first and then I will order the glasses. I made note of the two pair I’m interested in, however, and they are both kids frames because I have a very small head and adult glasses are too big and tend to slide down my nose.

Before leaving the mall we stopped inside the arcade and I spotted this huge Disney Tsum Tsum game. How cute!

We also went to Half Price Books since it was 50% off coupon day. Joe got two video games and I got a new board game called Split Decision.

Today (3/19) I had to get some blood drawn for some annual testing and afterwards went to Hobby Lobby to look at Easter decor. Two different Instagram accounts had these cute little carrots in their post and when I asked where they came from they directed me to Hobby Lobby. So I picked up one set but now am wishing I had gotten two since they were only $1.80 for a three-pack (normally $3) since the Easter stuff was 40% off. I’m contemplating driving back over there to get more but I am battling laziness at the moment. I also got a pink ceramic bunny for $3.59 (normally $6). I ended up rushing out of there when I realized I had left my phone in my car. At first I freaked out not knowing where my phone was at all, but one it dawned on me I had left it sitting under the radio (because I had used the navigation to find my way from the lab to the store), I got super anxious thinking someone would peek in the car, see the phone, and break in to steal it. It took forever for me to calm down after that. Yay, anxiety!

I also stopped at Michael’s and got a couple of things, one of which I’ve decided to take back – a bouquet of fake flowers – since it’s “shedding” little plastic pieces all over and annoying me. Plus Wookie will just eat them if they get on the floor so they aren’t worth keeping.

Once I got home I pulled all my Easter decor out and decorated the house. I have a bunch of things I’m going to get rid of that I never use that I put in a box in the garage which will make room for my newer pieces. Here’s how everything turned out:

The bunny on the left is from Hobby Lobby, the clear cake stand is from Target, the doily is from Michaels ($1.50 but got it for $0.75), the bunny is from Hallmark from many years ago, and I’m not sure where the larger bunny on the far right came from since I’ve had it so long.

The Easter sign is from the Target spot ($3) and the bunnies might be from Michaels but again, I’ve had them too long to remember.

The mantel photo above looks weird because I used the panorama function on my phone and it didn’t do the best job. I believe the tin cups are from the Target spot, the brown bunnies I’ve had for awhile, the gray bunnies are from Walmart, and the carrots are new from Hobby Lobby. The actual spacing between the grey and brown bunnies is wider than shown in the photo due to the strange perspective of the panorama.

The white planter is from Savers and the carrots are from the Target spot and were $3.

Categories: Food, Friends, Fun & Games, House & Home Tags:

Fast Food & Target

March 10th, 2018 No comments

Joe took Friday the 2nd off from work to accompany me for an outpatient screening at the hospital and we decided to grab some donuts from Krispy Kreme in our old neighborhood beforehand. We kinda regretted it. First off, they don’t funnel people properly to take their orders, so some will march right up to the register, bypassing everyone who is waiting in line to pick out their donuts. That’s fine, IF they are only purchasing a beverage, but this one guy wanted donuts too and the guy he cut in front of yelled at him. The employees don’t really help matters by allowing this, though. This could be easily solved by installing two hanging signs – one of which says “Order Here” by the donuts and “Beverage Orders Only” over the cash register. It’s not that difficult.

Secondly, other than the original donuts, jelly-filled, and apple fritter, they aren’t that good. All the glazed cake donuts we ordered were not very flavorful, nor filling. In fact, we ended up stopping at McDonald’s to get something filling before heading to the hospital. Oh, and I got irked because a very helpful McDonald’s employee taught me a trick back in January so I could save money on their egg McMuffins since I always order mine without meat. She told me to order an egg and cheese biscuit and then ask for two substitutions. As noted below, that turns what normally costs me $3.50 into $1.59.

So, using the same method, I ordered my sandwich and saw I was charged $2.79. What the hell? The receipt looked identical to the one above other than the price. I know they are franchised but I didn’t realize the prices could vary so wildly. I will have to keep that in mind moving forward since sometimes they have a 2 for $4 or BOGO special which would make it cheaper than ordering it the special way.

Last month Target sent me a 10% off coupon which was good for an entire shopping trip which we ended up using yesterday. Our initial total was $213.59. After all the discounts and coupons it was $156.13 which doesn’t even include the $5 gift card we received for the hair care products I bought. I used two $50 gift cards from before Christmas when there was a special discount on them so our out of pocket was $56.13. I love those types of shopping trips! Plus once we hit the produce market this weekend we probably won’t have to do much grocery shopping until after Easter.

Categories: Food, Shopping Tags:

February Sucks This Year

February 26th, 2018 No comments

I haven’t really felt like blogging lately. Wookie was sick at the beginning of the month (throwing up yellow bile repeatedly) but after a trip to the vet and some medication she’s fine now.

On Valentine’s Day Joe’s mom passed away. She had a stroke a few days prior and just never woke up. We found out that Monday; with the short notice we didn’t know what to do with Wookie so I ended up staying home and Joe flew out to Arizona to see his mom before she passed away. It was very sad and sudden. We knew her time was limited due to the inoperable cancer she had but we weren’t expecting her to have another stroke. She was quite the spitfire, but was always so nice and supportive. Needless to say, she will be missed.

As a result of the above we didn’t end up celebrating Fat Tuesday (I cancelled our Pączki order from the local bakery since they would have been stale by the time Joe got back in town) or Valentine’s Day. We didn’t plan on doing anything special for the latter other than getting some Chinese food anyway so no big deal.

I’ve been dealing with some bad acid reflux ever since I stopped taking the Protonix prescribed by my doctor after my endoscopy revealed some irritation in my esophagus (although no pre-cancerous cells, thank goodness) in late November. I had to stop taking the pills because my kidneys started to swell. I’ve yet to find a natural solution to the reflux, however, which is worse than ever after being on those pills. I think they cause more issues than they solve to be honest. I have been avoiding chocolate (so sad) and iced coffee since they are common triggers. I’ve also tried taking magnesium and ginger and drinking apple cider vinegar (so gross) to help combat the burn. Some days it seems to help, although not entirely. On top of that, sometimes my midsection feels swollen and anything remotely tight-fitting feels very uncomfortable. Plus it triggers my health anxiety and I start worrying about ulcers or ovarian cancer.

So yea, it hasn’t been the greatest month overall. Looking forward to spring.

Categories: Family, Health, Pets Tags: