Weekend Recap

April 20th, 2015 No comments

Friday I used some newly purchased cake-making supplies (an angled spatula and two round cake pans) to bake a chocolate cake from scratch so we could celebrate E’s birthday. It came out pretty decent even though I didn’t particularly like how it looked when I was done frosting it.

Chocolate Cake

It was quite time-consuming to bake the cakes and create the frosting, and to me the cake itself wasn’t so good that I feel the need to make it from scratch again. I’ll probably use a box mix in the future and add some espresso powder and/or chocolate pudding to enhance the flavor. As for the frosting, I’d probably make that from scratch since it was really delicious.

Chocolate Cake

The frosting between layers is the best!

Friday evening we went to E’s school since he was performing in a band event. Since it was warm out, I decided to wear my new dress. I found a light sweater to go over it and some knee-high boots I purchased years ago which I rarely wear (and I should wear more often as they are super comfy, not to mention sexy). Joe couldn’t stop complimenting my look which was very flattering. Not that he doesn’t compliment me often, but I was nervous wearing a dress since it’s such a rare event for me.

Saturday morning Joe put together the new cage I ordered for Doug & Steve. It’s clear his coworker never intended to really take them (which is annoying because he kept insisting he wanted them and then pushing back the date several times) and I felt guilty that they didn’t have a ton of space to run around since I don’t take them out every day.

Doug & Steve's New Cage

I think they are pretty happy in their new space. Oh, and I moved Marshmallow into their old cage so everyone has more space which makes me feel better since they spend so much time caged.

Saturday we took E out to pick out birthday presents. We thought he’d want to pick out a portable keyboard since he had borrowed my old one (from my childhood that I still own and which still works) but he wasn’t interested (good thing we didn’t just buy him one like we had been contemplating). He ended up finding some CDs he wanted, but after checking Amazon we realized he could get more if we ordered them online, so he got a Captain America Funko Pop figure at Gamestop since it was actually cheaper there, and I placed an Amazon order for him later that evening. Since we have Amazon Prime, he’ll be receiving his presents today, tomorrow, and Wednesday due to multiple shipments.

When we were at f.y.e I spotted these fingerless gloves in their clearance section so I got them for work. I plan to keep them in my desk for those days where it feels like my hands are ice.

Hello Kitty Fingerless Gloves

Sunday we ran some errands instead of going to the arboretum like I wanted because rain was expected. Of course, it didn’t start raining until several hours later which sucks, but what can you do? One of our stops was Costco. We thought it would be wise to get there when they first opened. Turns out if you want free samples you should wait until about an hour after opening since it takes them awhile to get set up. We picked up a second Chromecast for upstairs (it’s a pain to move it between tvs since the HDMI ports are difficult to reach) since we got rid of the DVR to save the $10 monthly rental fee.

This morning the TV in the bedroom started making strange crackling sounds so I unplugged it. The broken TV started doing that before it completely stopped working so this is a bad sign. And since both TVs are made by Polaroid, I’m not sure whether they just make really bad TVs or if there’s something wrong with the electrical outlets they were plugged into. Joe is going to replace two outlets in the bedroom tonight and I ordered a new power strip from Amazon to eliminate any possibility they are to blame. I fear we’re going to have to buy a new TV soon. I’m not ready to replace the one downstairs and spend $1000-$2000 so we might just get a 32″ Samsung for the bedroom. If we do, it’ll likely be a smart tv which means the Chromecast purchase will have been a waste. Boo!

Categories: Food, Photos, Shopping Tags:

4-Day Weekend & Game Night

April 13th, 2015 No comments

Another fantastic weekend is over. So sad! Joe took Friday and Monday off work so we got to spend four days together which was nice.

Friday we did some shopping, including a trip to Costco. Joe got ice cream at their cafe.

Cosco Ice Cream

I got some much-needed beauty accessories at Target.

Makeup Accessories

The elf brush on the left was only $3, the set in the middle was $7 and included a case, and the latex blending tool on the right was $5. The Caboodles organizer at the top was $8.99 and there was an offer in iBotta or one of those rebate apps so I got $1 back (which was a pleasant surprise as I check the apps after I buy stuff, not before).

Here’s what it looked like after adding my most-used makeup (which is almost all of it since I don’t own that much).

Organized Makeup

I also grabbed some Maybelline foundation from Walmart that came highly recommended by the girls whose YouTube makeup videos I watch.

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

I’m not so sure I like it, though. I feel like my years-old Covergirl foundation looks better. Confession – I’ve been using it even though it’s super old. Other than a couple of little dried up pieces that fell in, it seems fine. I think it changed color as it’s pinker than most foundations in the store, but I like that because my face looks less washed out. Soooo… I guess buy foundation and let it sit for a few years for the perfect skin tone? Ha!

We also hit Savers since I had a 40% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket. Joe got a t-shirt and I got this cute Clinic makeup bag for $1.80. You could tell it had never been used because the inside is white and had no marks on it. It’s the perfect size to hold a bunch of stuff in my purse. I ended up combining three smaller makeup bags into this larger one.

Makeup Bag

I also bought this dress. I’m not even sure what occasion I’ll wear it but I wanted to get a dress and it was only $7.80 with my coupon.

New Dress

Saturday we had some people over for game night. This is the same group of friends we hang out with around 4th of July every year when one of them has a party. We met at a restaurant first and then came back to our place around 7 pm and played Uno Attack and Cards Against Humanity. One couple had to leave before we started playing games because they weren’t feeling well but our other friends stayed until 2 am. We had a blast, and had way more food than anyone could eat. Our friends all brought stuff and refused to take any home with them so we have a bunch of veggies, fresh fruit, and cookies. Joe had also made his signature italian stuffed jalapenos which came out sooooo good. Here’s a shot of the leftover ones we snacked on today.

Italian Stuffed Jalapenos

Joe also made strawberry martguerita jello shots. OMG, they were amazing! You couldn’t even taste the alcohol. There wasn’t much in them either since I felt no effects from consuming so many. Sorry there’s no picture of them – we gobbled them up way too fast. We will definitely be making those again!

It was a great time and everyone agreed we need to get together more often which is funny because other than the annual party, the only time we get together is if I organize it. I guess I just need to accept the fact that I’m the outing organizer and come up with some ideas. I’m thinking maybe a BBQ at our place in May so I can set up the Bears bags and badminton set.

On Sunday we slept in and just did nothing. We didn’t have much to clean up after the party and the rest of the house is still clean after spending Friday and Saturday prepping it for our company.

Today we decided to go out for an early lunch and run some errands, including buying a bunch of food for the backyard birds.

Bird Food

Bonus – the rats will enjoy the mealworms too.

Easter & The Hunger Games

April 6th, 2015 No comments

Friday I baked a carrot cake from scratch for the first time ever and it came out amazing! I have to freeze the rest before we gorge ourselves on it.

Carrot Cake

We celebrated Easter on Saturday since E was with us. I didn’t go crazy with the menu this year – we had ham butt (the shank was sold out at Meijer) which I heated up in the crockpot (it came out nice and juicy), mashed potatoes, corn, and crescent rolls.

We made a basket for E:

E's Basket

Before dinner we all went to Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee. The kid at the counter had no idea what lactose-free milk was; his reply to my inquiry was “you mean like skim milk?” Uh, no. Turns out they have almond milk, though, so I ordered my iced coffee with decaf, almond milk, sugar, vanilla swirl, and just a little cream. I’m not a fan of almond milk but in this particular case it actually made the drink even tastier than Joe’s regular milk version, plus it did NOT upset my stomach (woo hoo!), but then again I nursed that baby for two days. The ice doesn’t melt if you stick it in the fridge once you’re done sipping on it. They do charge extra for the almond milk, though. So instead of my drink costing $0.99 it was $1.74. And I’m not sure if it had been more if I had ordered a large (I originally ordered a small, then Joe pointed out from 3-6 pm it’s the same price regardless of the size so I upgraded to a large after we had already paid).

We also binge-watched the Hunger Games series since E had brought all three movies over. I never had any interest in watching it but Joe wanted to see it, so I conceded. It was… good? It wasn’t horrible by any means, but it’s not my favorite series. That being said, I do plan to see the next one when it’s released.

Sunday after E went home Joe and I exchanged Easter baskets.

Mine is/was awesome – chocolate and makeup. What else does a girl need? ;)

Nicole's Basket

Sorry about the square photo. I’ve recently become obsessed with Instagram and I guess the only good photo I took of my goodies was with the app. Doh!

I’ve already tried all the makeup products except the eyeshadow primer but I plan to try it soon. It couldn’t have come at a better time, too – I got really annoyed on Friday when I put eyeshadow on before going out to lunch with a friend and when I went to use the restroom saw that it had already disappeared.

The nail polish is from Essie’s new Spring 2015 collection. It’s called Petal Pushers and it’s a cool slate color which I like, but it’s thicker/stickier than some of their other colors so it was a pain to put on. I’d like to grab one of the other new colors too – Flowerista, which is a vibrant plum with red undertones.

The leave-in product didn’t seem to do anything for my hair other than leave it smelling like the product all day and well into the next day. At the very least it could be used to make your hair smell fresh so there’s that (luckily it was free anyway).

I was iffy about opening the EOS lip balm because I’m not a fan of pomegranate but the raspberry scent makes up for it. My favorite, however, is still their Summer Fruit lip balm.

The elf facial brush is nice. I can’t believe Joe was paying attention when I was looking at it recently. He’s the best!

Here’s Joe’s basket:

Joe's Basket

I haven’t given him a basket in the past, which he didn’t seem to mind, but I decided to surprise him. His basket kinda sucks, though, because he’s so hard to buy for, and I didn’t want to go crazy with candy since he’s trying to eat healthier. I made up for that in other ways later, however. ;)

Categories: Food, Holidays, Movies, Photos Tags:

New Neighbors’ Dog

April 5th, 2015 2 comments

So either our new neighbors went out and got a dog, or someone was watching theirs while they settled in because I saw them with a dog this weekend. That same dog is now barking its head off because no one is home. Lucky us.

Just ONCE I’d like to live next to quiet. Apparently the only way we’ll ever get that is by buying a house on a large plot of land away from everyone else. Because being quiet is clearly a challenge for the majority of the population. Or at least 100% of our neighbors. Ugh!

Categories: Neighborhood Tags:


April 2nd, 2015 No comments

I love hyacinth and decided last year I wanted to keep some on the patio. But I waited too late in the season and couldn’t find any. So I jumped at the change last weekend when Home Depot was selling them. We immediately replanted them in a larger pot and were really digging how pretty they smelled.


It didn’t last. Despite keeping them by the window to get sun and also keeping the soil moderately moist, they started to droop. I kept trying to prop them up and basically decapitated one in the process. On top of that, their smell began to change to something more sickly sweet the scent made my stomach turn. Today when I got home I was so disgusted by the smell that I put them outside, cold weather be damned. They’re dying inside anyway, so what’s the difference?

Look how pathetic they are now, less than a week later.


That’s the last time I buy them so early in the season. Or maybe I should stick to cactus, although I’d probably kill those too.

Categories: Photos, Rants & Observations Tags: