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Home Improvement Shopping Adventures

July 14th, 2020 Comments off

Saturday 06/27 we did a little shopping out in Geneva. Our first stop was At Home to look for patio furniture. We arrived as soon as they opened and while they didn’t have anything we liked, all was not lost – we found a shower curtain, rings, and placemats.

At Home Purchases

Unfortunately the white shower curtain makes the master bathroom tub look dirty (because it’s off-white), so we ended up getting a grey/cream striped shower curtain from Target instead, and moved the white one to the guest bathroom.

Target Shower Curtain

Tuesday 06/30 we made a quick run out to the Walmart in Elk Grove Village to buy this awesome patio rug that I saw online only to learn their website lies and there were none left in stock.

Walmart Patio Rug

I could order it from Amazon if I was willing to pay $62, but I’m just not. I wish you could order it from Walmart to be shipped but it’s not an option. I keep looking elsewhere for rugs but am not having any luck. Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will drop in price on Amazon. Or we’ll find something even better. I feel like (most) things happen for a reason.

We did come across this adorable welcome mat while at Walmart.

Welcome Mat

I’ve been keeping my eye out for a hefty welcome mat for years and this one is not going to be blowing away, I will tell you that! Only $12.

Friday 07/03 we decided to visit IKEA. Since they didn’t open until 10 am, we stopped at Dollar Tree first. The one we visited (in Villa Park) is the biggest DT we’ve ever been to which make social distancing easy. They were listed as having an expanded craft section but it didn’t really feel that much larger than the DT’s near the house. I did appreciate the wider/shorter aisles to avoid other people, though.

IKEA ended up being a bust. There was a line around the corner from the entrance and they were just letting everyone in at once (unlike Trader Joe’s when we visited – they would stagger people entering the store). We left without even going inside. Our fault for not realizing that just like Joe, many people were off work for the 4th of July holiday. Couple that with their late opening (10 am) and it’s not too surprising how busy they were.

Thursday 07/09 we went to Goodwill to look for a mantel clock and a container to keep the dishwand in by the sink. Struck out on those things, but found this beautiful white vase for $3.

White Vase from Goodwill

We also went to Dollar Tree and I got this woof sign that I used command picture-hanging strips to put above the wall decals that were already there.

Woof Sign

We ended up going back yesterday (07/14) and it was much less crowded. Ironically enough, we didn’t get the main item we were there to get because it was out of stock (despite saying otherwise on the website). I did get this cute planter for my succulent, though, so all was not lost.

In addition, we got a new light for the dining room.

IKEA Light

We have been wanting to replace our foyer light since we moved in (16 years ago) but have put it off because it requires obtaining scaffolding to reach the ridiculously high ceilings. We decided we’re going to do it very soon, however. The problem is we haven’t been able to find a light we liked. The other night it occurred to me that we could find an inexpensive light for the dining room and move the light that’s there now to the foyer.

Current dining room light (to be replaced by the IKEA light discussed above)

Dining Room Chandelier

We just need to buy a longer chain. We rarely use the dining room light anyway because we dislike over-head lighting. Not only does making the switch make sense, it saved us money. We’re also planning on replacing the ceiling fan in the living room so we bought a new one from Lowes yesterday for $95 (they sent me a $5 off coupon).

Hunter Fan (Lowes)

I’ll include photos of the entire before and after once the work is complete.

Valli Produce Is On My Sh*t List

July 4th, 2020 Comments off

I had to email one of our local grocery stores (Valli Produce) this morning to let them know how their employees were acting. I only had 200 characters on the form to do it, though, so it doesn’t seem like they really care about feedback to begin with. Therefore I will be surprised if I hear back from anyone.

Basically, only two registers were open and they were directly next to one another. That alone is stupid when they have 10+ lanes to work with. That plexiglass doesn’t protect a cashier if someone standing in the lane right behind them is too close.

In addition, the cashier at the other register, who was literally a foot away from where Joe was standing while trying to pay, was wearing her mask around her neck while talking to the bagger for her lane who was wearing his under his nose, basically spewing her germs all over Joe.

We purposely went early to avoid the public only to be put at risk by their own employees.

Needless to say we won’t be shopping there anytime soon, if ever again. It’s too bad because I prefer their produce to the grocery store closer to us or Aldi, but I’m not giving my business to a place that have such cavalier employees. Also, last time we shopped there one of the cashiers was so unfriendly toward us. I said hello to him and he literally ignored me. I guess upon further thought it’s no big loss.

Categories: Retail Experiences Tags:

Neighbors

July 4th, 2020 Comments off

I’m happy that both of our immediate neighbors are quiet and considerate. It wasn’t always this way but it’s been really good the last two years. The neighbors around the corner and down the block, though? Not so much. The more I see them, the more I dislike them.

It started when they moved in and let their fire alarm beep for days on end with their windows open before I had to ask them to change the battery because I could hear it across the courtyard and no doubt everyone else could as well. They didn’t care because at the time they weren’t moved in yet. Why leave the windows open the entire night if you’re not even home? That’s insane to me.

Then last week they were walking around the neighborhood while their kids rode their bikes … all over everyone’s grass. The sidewalk is plenty wide enough.

The other day their kids were bouncing a basketball off their neighbor’s garage door. Talk about rude!

This morning we saw Jolly Ranger wrappers all over the grass around their unit, plus their garbage cans are sitting outside when the deadline to put them away was 7 am yesterday.

I’m just happy that for the most part I only have to deal with them when I take Wookie on walks. If they lived next to me we’d have issues. That being said, I am tempted to create a new email address so I can report them to the association anonymously. Can’t let on who I am since they will probably find something else to take issue with at our place. Ugh!

I don’t know why I even bother, though. There are some small trees near the pool that some kids broke the branches on. The landscapers removed the broken branch that was hanging from one of the trees but didn’t cut off the extremely sharp tip that a kid could easily impale themselves on. I reported it a week and a half ago. Do you think when the landscapers came back they fixed it? That would be a big no.

Categories: Neighborhood Tags:

Landscaping & Associations

July 3rd, 2020 Comments off

We ventured out to Home Depot and Menards a few weeks ago in an attempt to spruce up our patio. We bought Salvia for the patio planter at Home Depot in hopes that it will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. I also picked up this cute succulent at Menards for only $2.50.

Succulent

It’s a Echeveria pulidonis. I named him Mr. Cuddles.

Approximately a week later we also bought a bunch of mulch from Menards and river rock from Lowes since the landscapers have not been doing a great job of keeping the area nice. Hopefully we won’t get in trouble for adding the rock to the areas near where the gutters drain and where there was previously just dirt by the air conditioner.

River Rock

It’s bad enough we had to buy our own gutter extensions to keep rain water away from the building.

I bought some sunflowers from Meijer too but in less than a week the squirrels ate them all so I never got a good photo of them. Lesson learned – don’t buy sunflowers and don’t feed the squirrels so they aren’t encouraged to visit.

Luckily the petunias in the hanging baskets we got 2/$10 at Lowes are thriving. Now I understand why my grandmother always planted them – they are hardy and animals seem to leave them alone.

Multicolored Petunias

Purple Petunias

The seeds from Dollar Tree are sprouting too, so we have a pretty nice looking patio.

Flower Seeds

Planter

The small box ones went into pots in the front of our unit but there’s not a bunch of growth on those yet.

Now, if only we could find a decent table and chair set that won’t break the bank. No one seems to have what we’re looking for and it’s frustrating. I’m not spending $500 on our small patio. I found a really cute 5×7 outdoor rug at Walmart for only $35 but it’s sold out everywhere, including the store where they claimed there were two left, so that was disappointing. Not that we can sit outside very often lately with how hot it’s been. Maybe by the time it cools off we’ll have found something suitable.

A few weeks ago before we did anything with the mulch and rock I emailed the association to ask about the landscaping rules because I’m not very fond of the rose bush out back. They said we needed to fill out some request form which includes descriptions of work, the company hired to do said work, etc. I was merely asking about removing a bush, not asking to build a gazebo! Suspiciously enough, 10 days later we got a violation for having a security sign in front of our home. Never mind the fact that it’s been there ten years (no exaggeration). From talking to another neighbor, people seem to be issued violations after requesting things of the association. Real nice, huh? I mentioned this to another neighbor who also had a security sign out front and he took his down even though he wasn’t sent a violation. There’s one a block away, though, so clearly we were targeted or they would have asked everyone with signs to take them down. I removed ours but requested a discussion at the next board meeting because I think an exception should be made for security signs (the rules state no signs at all are permitted).

Categories: House & Home, Neighborhood Tags:

Recent Purchases (aka TikTok Made Me Do It)

June 15th, 2020 Comments off

TikTok is a bad/good influence; I’m learning about all kinds of great products. I’m also spending money, so there’s that. I’ve justified it because I was too sick to do any gift buying/receiving for Christmas or my birthday, but at some point I’ll probably need to slow down. Until then, though, I’m going to post about the neat things I’ve been purchasing.

Car hooks are such a genius idea. I originally purchased this set:

Car Hooks 01

While they fit both cars fine, I was a bit annoyed that the metal was already rusting. Plus, they just didn’t look all that nice. So I ordered these instead, and returned the other ones.

Car Hooks 02

Only $6 for four, so we keep two in each car. We no longer have groceries rolling around the seats.

I love my Simple Modern water bottles. I’ve been using a 22 oz purple bottle since August 2017 and a 10 oz black one since March 2018 and haven’t felt the need to purchase any other bottles since. When I learned that you can buy a boot that fits both sizes perfectly, I was intrigued. It comes in all sorts of colors but I chose black so it would match both bottles I have, and even Joe’s blue one.

Water Bottle Boot

Since the bottles are metal, one risks scratching any surface you put them on, not to mention the noise they make when you set them down on a hard surface. The boot solves both those issues. It’s like having a drink coaster everywhere you go. I no longer have to worry about ruining my wood nightstand or have trouble locating the coaster in the dark when I get a drink of water in the middle of the night.

For years I’ve been using shelf liner to separate our pots and pans. It definitely helps keep the bottoms from scratching, but does nothing to protect the sides. This set of 9 protectors solved that issue.

Pot Protectors

Pot Protectors In Action

I love them, and while they’re not cheaper than Dollar Tree, they’re made of a sturdier material and are more aesthetically pleasing.

Speaking of DT, here’s a recent haul from them at the end of May.

Dollar Tree Haul

I also got this cute pinwheel, although it’s already tearing because, well, it was $1.

Pinwheel

It was the first time we shopped at Dollar Tree in months. I really missed it, but unless you get there when it first opens, it’s just too anxiety-inducing with their narrow aisles, which is why we’ve yet to shop at Aldi.

It’s helpful having a shower head with an attached hose when trying to give the dog a bath, or just cleaning the tub and shower. Our current hose was a bit on the short side, however, so I ordered this one from Amazon and love it.

Shower Head

Not only is it longer which makes cleaning much easier, but the hose is very lightweight and doesn’t twist up like the old one. It also doesn’t build up with water and make freaky sounding noises. At $20 it’s a steal; we ordered a second one for the guest shower.

Noticed a chip in our heavy glass measuring cup recently, so we chucked it in the recycle bin and I ordered a set of three plastic measuring cups from Oxo. Only $17 at Amazon.

Measuring Cup Set

I love how you can see the measurements from above. I just need to break myself of the habit of using them to mix up sauces and marinades, because the plastic does scratch fairly easily, even when using the silicone whisk I recently got from Dollar Tree. I have plenty of other bowls so I need to stop being lazy so my measuring cups will look nice for a long time.

Edited 06/17 to add these items we recently got (not influenced by TikTok):

We’ve been letting Wookie upstairs lately, and she’s even been sleeping in our bed (thanks, people who feel the need to set off fireworks a month leading up to 4th of July), so I decided to get a small garbage can with a lid for the master bedroom. This plastic one was only $15 on Amazon and it’s quieter than the stainless steel one in our guest bathroom downstairs (it clangs and bothers my broken right ear).

Simple Human Garbage Can

Wookie never messes with garbage but you can’t be too cautious when it comes to a dog. I was putting the old one up on the counter just to be safe, so now I don’t need to do that. I really want to buy a larger version of this for the kitchen but they start at $50 so I need to think it over.

We just received and installed this awesome under the cabinet jar opener ($13 on Amazon).

Jar Opener

No more struggling to open jars. Plus you can’t even see it’s there unless you know to look.

Categories: Photos, Shopping Tags: