Korean Fried Chicken

December 10th, 2018 No comments

This weekend I wasn’t in the mood to look at Christmas lights (as originally planned) so we didn’t do much in the way of “fun” even though we still enjoyed ourselves. Joe was in Denver again during the week so I made crockpot chicken taco soup on Friday (12/07) since I knew he’d want something home cooked.

Saturday (12/08) we did a crap ton of grocery shopping hitting a total of five stores in the morning. I found this awesome mint Oreo hot chocolate at Meijer. Can’t wait to try it!

I also picked up a $2.89 bottle of Moscato from Aldi at a coworker’s suggestion.

Unfortunately, I didn’t care for it, although it’s better than most wines I’ve had. I’m thinking of getting some fruits and turning it into sangria.

That being said, I had a total brain fart and forgot to buy a ham when we were at Meijer so we ran back over there on Sunday (12/09) morning before going to Costco. Then we came home and had breakfast before heading out to Schaumburg to do a little more shopping. I wanted to go to Bed Bath & Beyond for a placemat for Wookie since I saw they carried them online. Had a 20% off coupon so the one I picked out was just over $5.

Isn’t it cute? I was so happy to find something small since her bowls really don’t take up much space.

I purchased a few plastic hinged pill containers from The Container Store to replace the screw-on lid ones I had been using. I keep xanax in one and melatonin in another and they are so squeaky and annoying to open which I do daily for the melatonin so I’m so happy to have the new containers.

I also got two of the larger ones to keep pain relievers in upstairs. It’s the little things, seriously.

We hit a few other stores just to look around (At Home, Michaels, and Home Goods) before deciding to look for somewhere to eat lunch. We just so happened to be in the same strip mall as a new Korean fried chicken place called Bonchon. We tried their chicken strips in half soy garlic and half spicy and both flavors were delicious! They came with some very delicious creamy coleslaw. I’m pretty picky when it comes to coleslaw but theirs was awesome. We also shared an order of their Bulgogi (marinated rib-eye) tacos which were also very yummy. They only give you chopsticks which was a bit challenging at first but we got the hang of it well enough. I was going to ask if they had forks, but no one else was using them so we stuck with the chopsticks. Interestingly enough, the music playing inside the restaurant was all hip hop and rap and while I don’t go out of my way to listen to that genre, I wasn’t hating it.

I wanted to try the pork buns but Joe was hesitant so maybe next time now that he knows the place makes good food.

Today (12/10) I got it in my head that I should do a deep clean of the master bedroom so while all the bedding was being washed I used the shop vac to vacuum the mattress and topper, cleaned the blinds, and also threw the drapes in the wash. I used the shop vac to clean behind furniture too. It’s safe to say the bedroom is cleaner than it’s been in a long time. I am interested to see if it helps us sleep better. Last night I actually slept from 10:30 until almost 8 am. Lately I can’t seem to sleep past 6 am so that was refreshing, although it might mess me up for bed tonight. I hope not!

Oh, on Friday I decided to sign up for the three month trial of Spotify Premium for 99 cents and so far I am liking it better than Pandora. Earlier today I was looking at a list of all the albums released this year and saw that a few of my favorite artists (Orbital, Moby, Owl City, and deadmau5) have new music out so I created a big playlist of music to listen to this week at work. We’re also having steaks for dinner which we almost never do so yea, life is good.

Categories: Food, Shopping Tags:

Decorating for Christmas

December 3rd, 2018 No comments

Friday (11/30) after cleaning I put together a new Christmas scene on top of the CD cabinet with all new decor I picked up from a few places this month.


(Click to enlarge)

I really love how it came out! Total OOP was $26.10 before tax. Breakdown is as follows:

Reindeer – $13 @ Home Goods
Merry Christmas sign – $3 @ Target
Big silver glitter tree – $2.10 @ Walgreens
Small silver glitter trees – $1 each @ Target
Nutcracker – $3 @ Target
Red berries – $1 each @ Dollar Tree
White table runner – $1 @ Dollar Tree

I also bought this cute Santa gnome from Target earlier in the month.

I really don’t care for gnomes normally but every time I was looking around their Bullseye Playground I’d see him and think he was so cute, so I finally gave in and got him since he was only $5.

Oh, and we can’t forget the seasonal pillowcase set I purchased earlier this year. Switched the fall one to winter:

Saturday (12/01) morning we headed over to Bath & Body Works to get a few candles since they were on sale for $8.95. I was pretty shocked to see how crazy crowded it was in there at 8 am. Despite the long line it only took about twenty minutes to buy my two candles (both Marshmallow Fireside because I really don’t like most of their scents). We then headed to Walmart and Target. While at Target we met with a guy who was buying our Xbox 360 drum set for $15 via Offer Up. We bought it for around $12 and paid $7 for the drumsticks (which I included in the sale) so not bad considering we were only out $4 for a few years of use. We never used it anymore because it was hard to master. I’m happy to have the space it frees up in the closet.

I got a chance to play with the Nintendo Switch at Target and was really liking it. I tried Mario Kart but I could see myself liking the Bomberman game (at least the battle mode) but I’m not sure it’s worth spending $300 on the system and who knows what else on games.

After shopping we had a quick breakfast before taking Wookie in for her annual exam and vaccinations. She got the three year rabies shot so while the total bill was higher than last year (just under $300, yikes!), we won’t have to do that test again until 2021. Her exam also included the Bordatella vaccine which is annual, as well as parasite tests so those will have to be repeated next year. The vet did say her teeth didn’t look as bad as I thought so we probably won’t have to take her for a dental until next year which is nice. She was given pre-meds to prevent her from having a reaction to the vaccines which worked like a charm as she didn’t get sick at all.

After her appointment we brought all the Christmas decor out of the garage and decorated the inside of the house while listing to Christmas music.

We are loving the new 7 ft slim tree we got on clearance for $15 next year. We also bought a red tree collar to replace the tree skirt Wookie ate last year. She won’t be able to chew on that!

We took our time setting everything up so it spanned about three hours total. This is probably the earliest we’ve decorated for Christmas in a very long time. It definitely helps having a tree that doesn’t crowd the living room so it probably won’t bother us having the tree up for nearly a month long like it has in the past. Plus we don’t have to shift things around in the dining room like we have in the past.

Sunday (12/02) we did a little shopping but decided to skip a trip to the Apple store like originally intended. We had made a deal earlier in the week that if Joe pulled the trigger on ordering a new laptop for $800, then I would upgrade my phone in lieu of us exchanging gifts, but now I’m not so sure I want to do that. He already ordered the laptop though so he’s been bamboozled haha (although not intentionally).

As I’ve mentioned previously, I want to have a nice phone for our planned Disney trip in early 2020 and while the phone itself would be fine, I worry the battery won’t be great since at that point it would be around 14-15 months old. I could get a phone now and then trade it in for the newer model next year, but that seems rather wasteful so I’m really hesitating. I do want a new phone, particularly for the improved camera, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot regarding our trip. I keep going back and forth on this. I wish the iPhones weren’t so damn expensive these days. I thought my iPhone 6 was pricey at $400 and yet the 256GB iPhone XS, which is the model I’m interested in, is $1150!!! Ugh. As of this writing I am probably going to hold off until next year October. Let’s just hope my phone holds out until then. I haven’t updated to iOS 12 because I’ve heard it slows the phone down, plus I would lose an app I use daily. The problem is some of the apps I use sometimes require me to update them to keep using them and I worry at some point they won’t work with iOS 11. Hopefully that doesn’t happen until next year!

After shopping and getting a few treats from Trader Joes, we stopped at PDQ for lunch and split the Grilled Hawaiian and Pimento Crunch sandwiches, both of which were so good. We especially liked the Pimento cheese. We made a quick stop to drop off some donations for our dog park group before heading home to relax the remainder of the afternoon.

Today (12/03) Joe worked from home so he took a morning break so we could get some breakfast from McDonalds and go to Savers. I’ve been looking for a red sweater to wear on Christmas. Unfortunately it was a bust despite trying on a few promising sweaters. I did, however, grab two Vera Bradley items for a good price.

The purse was $7.50 and the wallet was $4.

Later in the evening we made a quick trip to Dunkin Donuts where I got some delicious Oreo hot chocolate before we went to Cosley Zoo to check out their lights because the Ozinga Merry Mixer was on site. We didn’t stay long though because it was seriously freezing cold out.

Categories: Excursions, Pets, Shopping Tags:

Thanksgiving Weekend

November 26th, 2018 No comments

It all started with a sore throat on Saturday (11/17) evening and it escalated from there. By the time Thanksgiving (11/22) rolled around I woke up feeling pretty bad, and to ensure I didn’t pass my sickness along to my family, Joe made the sides we brought with us to dinner – cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole. I finally gave in and tried a netipot which actually helped a lot, even IF I did have a minor meltdown thinking maybe something was growing in the distilled water jug which had been open for a few months. And the kicker? The following day I discovered an unopened jug in the pantry! Ugh!

Anyway, we had the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on in the background while we perused sale ads. They really do tempt you to buy stuff you don’t need. That being said, we’re considering getting a soundbar for the TV and getting rid of the 7-piece system we have now that we rarely use. Most likely we’ll make that purchase at Costco so we can easily return it if we change our minds. After the parade we watched the National Dog Show before getting ready to head to my parents’ house.

We arrived just before 5 but B didn’t get there until 6:15 well after we had eaten dinner and dessert. R didn’t accompany him, though. My mom decided that this year for Christmas we’ll be doing a Secret Santa exchange so we drew names for that. I got J and Joe got R… and I think R got me but I’m not positive. Either way it should be interesting.

We played a game of Aggravation before taking off just after 9 pm. Despite getting home at a reasonable time I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 1 am and then couldn’t sleep past 5:30 am. The joys of being sick! I did feel much better compared to the day before, at least. I had finished all the day and night medicine on Thursday and decided not to buy any more unless absolutely necessary.

Friday (11/23) I made a candied apple pie cheesecake, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (Betty Crocker which were not nearly as good as my homemade ones), and we also had a pumpkin pie we got from Target. We brought it to my parents but only B took a piece.

Right before putting the turkey in the oven, we ran to Walgreens for some 2-liters of soda and I found a cute silver bottle brush tree and a pack of three pair of fuzzy socks (which are turning out to be awesome) while Joe got some beer at a great deal. My items rang up 30% off thanks to a coupon in the Walgreens app which was nice. I have a whole silver theme I’m planning for the decor this year which includes trees and a really cute reindeer I found at Home Goods recently. I think we’ll be decorating the house for Christmas NEXT weekend, however.

The kids arrived just after 5 pm. E brought his girlfriend but K didn’t bring her boyfriend because he’s sick. We had turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn, mashed potatoes (which E devoured like usual), crescent rolls, and cranberry sauce. I didn’t really care for my cheesecake (and none of the kids wanted to try it), so I won’t be making that again. E did have some of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies even though they were inferior to mine. Hopefully I won’t be too sick on Christmas to make those since they are a big hit. I’ll probably make the chocolate peanut butter pie I made for Joe’s birthday as well. And I need to make macaroni and cheese since E was disappointed it was missing. We played Aggravation and Uno Attack before everyone took off around 9:30 pm.

Saturday (11/24) was a lazy day, for me anyway. Still wasn’t feeling 100%. Joe swapped my car’s floormats, removed the pathway lights for the season, covered the A/C unit outside, and put up the Christmas lights. We ran to Aldi for some bread (gotta make turkey sandwiches with the leftovers) and to Costco in the late afternoon to get gas for my car and pick up allergy meds (an entire year’s worth of generic Zyrtec for $14? Yes please!). We also wanted a rotisserie chicken but they were completely out! I grabbed a set of three silicone baking mats for $13 that I had been eyeing for awhile, though.

I like that there’s markings for baking cookies and the small one fits in the toaster oven since we use that to bake salmon twice a month.

I also got a set of aluminum baking sheets with an oven-safe baking and cooling grid for $20. I think it would be great for making bacon without it sitting in it’s own grease. It would probably be great for baking chicken too after seeing it done that way on FlavCity, my latest obsession.

We looked at their soundbars but can’t seem to pull the trigger. We don’t want to pay too much since we don’t really need one, plus I’d like to stick with Samsung since it would work best with our TV, also a Samsung, but their bar is rather ugly with a hard plastic exterior. On top of that, it has a little display screen in the middle which I think looks stupid. So for now we’re going to wait until we see something we really like.

Saturday night after watching Incredibles 2 (1st viewing for Joe and 2nd viewing for myself, which I enjoyed even more), I decided on a whim to check out the Netflix mini-series, The Haunting of Hill House. Oh… my… god… was it good! So good, in fact, I was cursing the fact that we started it at 9 pm because I didn’t want to turn it off to go to sleep. I managed to grow some semblance of will power and turned it off after episode 3. We picked it up on Sunday afternoon and finished the entire series that day. I wasn’t entirely pleased with how they chose to end it, but overall it was one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time and I highly recommend it even if you’re not into horror (which I am not).

The only other thing we really did on Sunday (11/25) was go shopping in the morning at Walmart. I found a pair of soft fleece Christmas leggings to add to my collection (it has penguins on them and who can pass that up) which brings me to three pair for the holiday season. I also discovered they are selling fur-lined leggings in black but they didn’t have my size so I’m going to have to check again next weekend.

Haven’t done much today (11/26) other than my usual upstairs cleaning. I glanced at the Cyber Monday deals but nothing really moves me. We’re considering getting a cheap Chromebook, but we’re not even sure about that. Joe would like a new laptop so he can start playing Warcraft again but would need to spend at least $800 for a decent machine which he doesn’t want to do. Which is funny, when you think about it, because we can totally afford it. I don’t know what happened, but I feel like the more money we have the less we want to spend it, at least when it comes to stuff we want but don’t need. I’ve been hanging onto my iPhone 6 going on four years now even though I could easily buy the biggest most expensive new phone Apple has to offer. But I just don’t want to, at least not yet. Next year, definitely, because at some point the phone just won’t work well.

I did, however, buy this Bissell Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner on Thanksgiving from Amazon since it was on sale for $60 (list price is typically $90).

Wookie keeps vomiting on the rug which I always spot clean as best as I can but I need something that can really wash it thoroughly. It was delivered yesterday so I’m going to try it out today. Cross your fingers it gets the color of the carpet back to normal!

Categories: Family, Holidays, Shopping Tags:

Free Comforter & Wookie’s Pet-Sitter To Be

November 19th, 2018 No comments

What’s better than a brand new King-sized grey/white comforter for only $40? How about a free one?

I spotted this on Groupon today and decided I was tired of our old comfortable which has always been too small and not the shade of purple I expected when we bought it online NINE years ago (where the f does the time go?)! I used our Discover cash back to get $50 in Groupon bucks so it didn’t cost us a cent out of pocket which makes me feel better in case it doesn’t look as nice as the photo. Crossing my fingers it’s great, though!

This weekend was pretty low key. Joe was in Denver again and came back late Friday night.

Saturday (11/17) we did our annual big shop at Target to take advantage of the deal where you buy $50 of groceries and get a $10 gift card. So we did that … twice! Got a turkey, cranberries, lots of other things including my favorite Vitamin water on sale, and should be fully prepared to host Thanksgiving on Friday for the kids and their significant others. I will be making some of the sides on Thursday to bring to my parents’ since the sweet potato casserole is huge and can feed many people (and I don’t think Joe’s kids will touch it which is why I’ll also be making mashed potatos on Friday). I’m pretty excited because I love Thanksgiving! I’m also excited to make homemade cranberry sauce again this year.

Saturday night we finished off the Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza we had ordered earlier in the week (I had frozen the leftovers since Joe was out of town). We got the munchies that evening though and found ourselves at Baskin Robbins buying two quarts of peanut butter chocolate ice cream for $10. Better than paying $6.50 for a single one or $3.50 for a single scoop of ice cream. Well, better for the wallet, not necessarily my waist line! We ended up stopping at Taco Bell too SMH.

Sunday (11/18) we went to K’s house to hang out a little and also left Wookie with her for two and a half hours to get used to her house since she will be our pet sitter when we go out of town. We ended up going to two different malls – Northbrook Court and Old Orchard. We didn’t spend much time at the first one because it’s all high end stores. Old Orchard was a bit better but honestly I just can’t justify the prices at Lululemon, Aritzia, North Face, and even the Eddie Bauer outlet. Plus they didn’t have what I’m searching for – fleece-lined leggings or jeans, and a long black down alternative jacket in black with a removable hood and inner pockets. Eddie Bauer did have the fleece lined jeans but they were $40 on sale (normally $80) but were so unstylish I might as well just keep wearing my Cuddle Duds under a larger pair of jeans. It’s not ideal but definitely cheaper and more attractive. Stupid Walmart no longer sells the fleece lined leggings but they do sell fleece lined jeans that may just work and they’re only $25 so I might order a pair to try out.

We had lunch at Shake Shack in Old Orchard. While good, it wasn’t all that for the price. The burgers look like In-N-Out but taste like Culver’s. Two single burgers and an order of fries was $15 whereas we could have gotten kids meals from Culvers for $6 each and they come with drinks and a scoop of frozen custard. What a deal!

Anyway, Wookie is definitely comfortable in K’s house when we are there and will even go into different rooms and look around which she was too scared to do when she was younger, but once we left apparently she sat by the door for ten minutes and then spent the rest of her time laying under K’s kitchen table. She was overjoyed when we came back and I felt bad that she seems to shut down when we’re not around. Hopefully she’d eventually chill out if she had to spend more time there. I really don’t want to her to be miserable but I also want/need a vacation! I’ve been toying with the idea of taking one for my birthday since January birthdays suck in the Midwest as it is. I wouldn’t mind going to Arizona but Joe’s dad now lives with Joe’s sister so I think we’d have to get a hotel room. If Disneyland wasn’t a) a 4+ hour flight and b) hella expensive because the hotels on property aren’t plentiful like in Orlando, I would totally book a Disneyland vacation as I’d love to go there, although I’d prefer a fall trip so we can see The Haunted Mansion done up as Nightmare Before Christmas. I just want to go somewhere warm!

Considering how cold it has been I’m shocked our current gas bill was only $45 this past month. We’re not on a budget plan either. I guess gas prices are low??? It has already snowed 2-3 times this month and I’m already over it. I’ve got a pork roast in the slow cooker right now and I hope it comes out good! Seems like the perfect meal for a cold wintery day even if it’s still fall for goodness sakes.

Categories: Pets, Shopping Tags:

Brother J Visits

November 12th, 2018 No comments

Joe was in Denver for work from Tuesday until Saturday night. I took Thursday (11/08) off from work and drove to B’s house to pick up J to come stay with me for a few days. We hung out for a bit at the house before partying ways – B to a doctor’s appointment and us to get lunch at Denny’s. I normally hate that restaurant but the one in question is actually pretty good and the only location at which I’ll eat. In any case, I had the Cali Club which was really good. J got chicken fingers and a bowl of cream of potato soup. I let him have the fries that came with my sandwich since his meal didn’t come with any.

On the way home I misinterpreted the GPS and got off I-88 at what I thought was the exit to 355 but wasn’t. I didn’t want to pay an extra toll so we took the scenic way home. Even though I knew we were heading the correct direction I still felt lost because we ended up on roads I have never driven on. We finally came across familiar territory, however, and made our way back home. Since it was relatively warm (42) we decided to take Wookie to the dog park before it got dark (sunset is now around 4:30 and I hate it so much). She was in rare form – jumping through the agility hoop with minimal prompting, and just running around having a good time. She had the park to herself the entire time and was loving it. She loves playing with her Uncle J so much, it’s cute.

We had tacos for dinner Thursday and watched Incredibles 2. I wasn’t really getting into it until the Jack Jack scenes. I think without him the movie would have been weak.

Friday (11/09) we hooked up J’s Super Nintendo and played some old games including F-Zero which was one of my favorites back in the mid 90’s. We couldn’t play any of the games that required pressing the start button first… that is until I cleaned the dirty controllers and managed to get one start button working again. Interestingly enough, the battle scene wouldn’t render correctly on Bomberman 2 so we couldn’t play that.

That afternoon we went to Target and then to Red Robin in the mall for linner. Our waitress was the woman Joe and I always ask for but never seems to be there – Angela. Love her! Joe teases me that I have a crush on her. He’s not wrong lol. I tried the MadLove Burger – ½-lb. Black Angus patty, a Cheddar-and-Parmesan crisp, Provolone, Swiss, jalapeño relish, candied bacon, avocado, citrus-marinated tomatoes and red onions with shredded romaine on a toasted brioche bun. ($14.49). It was pretty good but not something I’d want too frequently. I also finally got around to buying a bottle of their seasoning salt ($3) like I’ve been wanting for awhile. I used egift certificates from my Discover card to pay which was awesome. Our cash back balance was over $200 so I spent $40 of that for $50. They recently changed it where instead of using $45 to get $50 you use $20 to get $25 which is a better deal so I just got two to cover our bill and have money left over.

After stuffing ourselves silly we went to Bath and Body Works to smell alllll the candles. Lol! I saw a few things I wouldn’t mind getting so I’m going to put together a Christmas list for Joe. J bought four movies from the bargain bin at FYE and we watched two of them that evening – Shoot Em Up and Salt. Both were actually good but for very different reasons. SEP was so ridiculous it was hilarious whereas Salt was more intriguing.

My brother slept in on Saturday (11/10) so we got a late start and didn’t do much except play video games, go to Dollar Tree, and watch YouTube videos. Joe came home from Denver that evening and we all had spaghetti for dinner. For whatever reason Aldi changed the formula of their pasta sauce which we used to love but no longer do, so we tried a Ragu sauce instead. Didn’t really like it so the hunt continues…

Sunday (11/11) we went to Half Price Books and Costco before dropping J back off at B’s house. Joe and I then went to a wake for our good friend’s mother who passed away earlier in the week. Afterwards we went to Target and Menards before heading home.

Today (11/12) we did some early morning shopping at Walmart where we bought a red tree collar to replace the tree skirt that Wookie chewed up when she was a puppy. Since she likes chewing on anything that looks like a blanket getting another tree skirt isn’t a good idea. I think this might end up looking even more polished anyway, plus it was cheaper ($17) than most tree skirts we saw. I’m actually looking forward to putting up the tree this year because we have the 7 ft thin one we bought for only $15 after Christmas last year that shouldn’t take up as much floor space.

We also went to an afternoon showing of Bohemian Rhapsody which was so good. Rami Malek nailed the Freddie Mercury portrayal! I never really considered myself a Queen fan but the more I hear of them the more respect and admiration I have for their creative vision.

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Holidays, Movies Tags: