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Mariano’s

April 15th, 2019 No comments

The highlight of our weekend was a trip to Mariano’s on Saturday. We rarely go there, but decided to check it out since ham was on sale. Their bakery section is amazing, and I couldn’t resist a strawberry rhubarb pie for only $4. It didn’t have as much filling as the Bakers Square pie, but it was tastier and a 3rd of the price. I definitely need to keep Mariano’s in mind for future parties due to all the yummy cakes, cookies, and pastries they have. Their prices are pretty reasonable too. Maybe not as much on the produce, but on a lot of other things. We ended up grabbing a deli sandwich and a cup of cream of chicken soup from their soup bar to take home for lunch. The soup in particular was really good!

Categories: Food, Shopping Tags:

Two Weekends of Movies, Dogs, and Apple Stuff

April 8th, 2019 No comments

Last Saturday (03/30) we saw Us with both my brothers (and R) and afterwards they came back to the house to hang out for a bit. The movie was… ok. I don’t agree with those who have said it was better than Get Out, but I would like to see it a second time to see what I missed the first time around.

Joe has been traveling for work a lot, so he took a Friday and Monday off so we could have a three day weekend together.

Friday (04/05) we saw Shazam which is hands down the best DC movie I’ve seen yet. I really didn’t care for Wonder Woman or Aquaman (so cheesy and just bad), but Shazam was interesting and humorous. I was shocked to find out, as we sat down in the theater, that it was over two hours long, though. I found the beginning a bit slow, but overall the pacing was good. After the movie we had lunch at Anyways and I got the shrimp avocado tacos again which were delicious just like last time. Joe was going to get the meatloaf but our total wouldn’t have been enough to use our $5 off coupon, so he changed it to beef stew. After the waitress walked away I noticed the coupon was only good Sun-Thu so I told him he should change it to the meatloaf but he decided to give the beef stew a try anyway and ended up really liking it. I got to try some and I agree it was delicious. When we were finished eating the waitress asked about the coupon (I had told her I had one earlier before I realized it wasn’t good) and I told her the issue. She honored it anyway which was nice!

Saturday (04/06) we spent some time hanging out with K and her dog at her house. We ordered Thai food for lunch. I was surprised to learn she likes Pad Se Ew just like me since she’s very much about eating plain food. After lunch we took the dogs for a walk since it was so nice outside. Once we got home from K’s house, Joe cleaned his car and I did a little light cleaning since I skipped it Friday. I like feeling accomplished, and keeping on top of household tasks helps. I also backed up my phone in preparation for an Apple Store visit on Sunday to replace the battery now that Apple supposedly allows this even with third party batteries installed. I couldn’t get a representative online to confirm this, however, so a visit to the store was necessary.

Sunday (04/07) we arrived at the Apple store before they officially opened at 11 am, which was my appointment time, so we walked to the Starbucks nearby for Joe to grab a drink. It was raining out which stinks since temperature-wise it was nice out, and the store is part of an outdoor mall, but we had umbrellas so it wasn’t too bad. The Apple genius confirmed they do now replace third party batteries, but they can’t do it unless the battery is at 50% or lower. Well, thanks for telling me that ahead of time! My battery was at 98% since I had charged it that morning. They offered to take it in the back and replace the battery once it ran down, but I was not having that. Instead, I turned the screen to always on, at maximum brightness, turned on the flashlight, and starting playing Tsum Tsum. We left the store and went to a food court area while I drained the battery. It only took about 45 minutes because the battery sucks. So much so, that once it hit 48% the phone just shut off (it has been doing that for about a month now). So back to the store we went to have them replace the battery. That took another half hour so we spent that time wandering the mall. All total it took two hours of our time because they can’t warn you about this stuff beforehand. Infuriating. Luckily we didn’t have other plans that day at least.

On the way home we stopped at a new to us BBQ place called Fire Water BBQ. I was stoked about their prices, but the food itself left much to be desired. They have five different sauces and I only barely liked one. The brisket was dry and bland and the sweet potato fries were too sweet (they sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar). Won’t be going back there.

At home I did a little shifting of some clothes in the closet and Joe went through some of his t-shirts and jeans. Between the two of us, we had a garbage bag full of clothing to donate.

Today we made a point to get up early (6:15 am) to help get us back on schedule for work tomorrow. We did some grocery shopping before going to Savers. Joe wanted to look at hoodies and I wanted some long t-shirts to go with my leggings and a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. We struck out on all fronts, although I did get too long-sleeved shirts I liked.

We also stopped by the park district to purchase an annual pass for the dog park since it’s finally starting to get warm enough for us to go there again. Haven’t been there since November, but this year I decided not to wait until July to buy the pass at half price since we should get a lot of trips in prior to that.

We decided to grab lunch at Chilis which we both enjoyed. They have some really nice $8 and $9 lunches and it didn’t cost us anything out of pocket thanks to our Discover cash back rewards. I’m surprised we don’t go to Chilis more often since we’ve liked everything we’ve ordered the last two times we’ve eaten there. Speaking of Discover cashback, we used those rewards to get an Old Navy gift card on Sunday because Joe founds some light-weight hoodies there he liked. Gotta love that!

After lunch we came home and I took Wookie for a walk while Joe straightened up his side of the garage a bit. There’s more to be done, and my side needs a decluttering again as well. I plan on getting rid of two aquariums and all the hamster-related stuff I have because if I do get small pets in the future it will be rats, not a stupid hamster. Might as well clear the space all the hamster stuff is currently taking up!

I also worked out on the elliptical which makes three days in a row. I really want to lose some weight before the summer because I feel too lumpy in all the wrong places.

Categories: Friends, Movies, Shopping, Tech Tags:

Roasted Veggies & Easter Decor

March 25th, 2019 No comments

I made the mistake of decorating for Easter on Friday (03/22), when Easter is still a full month away. Two days later I was already tired of looking at the stuff, so today I ended up removing some of the decor and spreading some other stuff elsewhere so it’s more minimalist. I feel much better. I’m finding that I prefer a more minimalist look in general, like I had going for St. Patrick’s Day. This is great because I’ll save money owning less decor in general. Incidentally, I finally found something I’ve been looking for since last year – white ceramic bunnies!

They were in the Target dollar spot for $3 each and were sitting in random spots so I’m not sure whether they’re supposed to be more poses. Nothing ever seems to be organized in the dollar spot. I used to think it was laziness on the part of the employees but now I’m convinced it’s a ploy to make people spend more time in that section hunting for treasures, because you do tend to miss the best stuff if you do a quick once over.

Saturday (03/23) we took a big bag of old paperwork to a neighboring village to be shredded. I’m so relieved to have that out of my house. I’m getting ready to donate some of the stuff I have listed on Offer Up that isn’t selling as well, just to get it out of my house. I’m tired of it sitting in the spare room / office.

After the shredding event, we had lunch at BonChon in Schaumburg and it wasn’t as good as the first time. The spicy and soy garlic chicken was just as good as before, but I opted to try the pork buns… and while they weren’t terrible, they aren’t something I’d order again. Joe didn’t care for them either.

Sunday (03/24) I discovered the deliciousness that is roasted carrots. Can you believe I’ve lived 43 years not really loving carrots? I don’t mind them in soups or stews but I’d never eat them on their own. I tossed them in olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper before roasting them at 400 degrees for about a half hour. The best part? I added some honey to melted butter and drizzled it on the finished carrots. OH MY GOD were they good. I enjoyed them more than the main course! I have been roasting green beans for a few weeks now too, so now I need to try roasting other vegetables that I thought I didn’t like. Apparently the cooking method really does make a difference when it comes to taste.

Categories: Food, House & Home Tags:

Roller Skating & St. Patrick’s Day

March 18th, 2019 Comments off

We had quite the social weekend and I’m mentally exhausted now.

Saturday (03/16) B & R came over and I made dinner for them – grilled chicken breasts with roasted green beans. We then went to the roller rink for 80’s Night. We arrived a little after opening and the place was packed! We should have just left, but we soldiered on. Unfortunately we didn’t get to skate very much because not only was it crowded, but there were very young kids on the rink, as young as 4, which made it very difficult to skate. There were people going super slow and super fast and it felt inevitable we’d fall. Someone fell and broke their arm shortly after we got our skates, in fact; an ambulance came and took them out by stretcher. I only skated to a handful of songs the entire evening. B probably skated the most of all of us. R didn’t skate at all, and Joe threw in the towel around 9 pm. It definitely was the most disappointing skating session we’ve had; even the music was pretty disappointing. I think we’ll need to go back the weekend before Halloween like last year since it was pretty dead.

Sunday (03/17) our friends K & E came by for dinner. We made corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot. When we had dinner with them last time E had mentioned how much he loved it and was planning on getting some from the restaurant we were at (the one I didn’t like), so I had to step in and invite them over. No way was I going to let him eat their disappointing food. He really enjoyed dinner so I definitely made the right call. We also sent him home with leftovers. K doesn’t care for corned beef and cabbage so she brought her own tortilla-less chicken fajitas. I offered to make her something else but she’s on a limited diet so it was easier for her to bring her own food. They came over around 2 pm and left just after 7. Wookie was a bit annoying, barking at them here and there, but they didn’t seem to mind. I hope so because I want her to be good with visitors. She peed on B’s sock on Saturday because apparently both my brothers get her overly excited. She doesn’t really excitement pee when we come home anymore, but with certain visitors she does. I really wish she’d grow out of it, but it doesn’t seem likely. R told me she has a friend who has a Mastiff who does the same thing so it could be worse; imagine how much pee a Mastiff would leave all over the floor!

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

Test Results

March 16th, 2019 Comments off

The ultrasound of my abdomen didn’t reveal any abnormalities, although apparently they couldn’t see my pancreas due to the excess gas in my belly. It would have been helpful to know that could be an issue beforehand. Hopefully that doesn’t end up being the one organ that has something wrong with it, especially because stuff like pancreatic cancer is very deadly. Moving on…

My urine was cloudy and had trace amounts of blood, but that is normal for someone with interstitial cystitis.

My blood work was mostly better than last year. My cholesterol went down, and that my ANA changed from homogenous to speckled and the antibody levels went from 1:160 last year to 1:40 this year, which barely registers as elevated. I’d like to discuss these changes with my doctor since they’re a bit perplexing. I’ve seen them remain steady or increase, but never decrease. I thought once you had autoimmune issues they didn’t just go away… right? I’m so confused.

The only thing that was in an abnormal range in a bad way was my Vitamin D. It was only 27 and needs to be 34 or higher, so I need to also talk to my doctor about taking supplements. I’m not sure if the 2000 IU pills I currently have are enough to make a difference.

Guess I’ll need to schedule an appointment on Monday.

Update 03/18/19 – My doctor’s office called to explain my test results and the nurse said my doctor wants me to take 2000 IU daily so I’ll start doing that. I’m not going to bother making an appointment just yet, although I’m still not convinced my issues that come and go are from Fibromyalgia. I mentioned a few symptoms to B’s girlfriend and she said he suffers from the same stuff. Could I have chronic lyme disease as well? I don’t want to have it, but it could explain everything from the panic attacks to losing some of my hearing and developing tinnitus. Based on some preliminary research it sounds like doctors really aren’t interested in diagnosing and treating it, and the test I took last year is known to give many false negatives, so it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have it. I just know know how much money I should spend trying to pursue it outside of the insurance. The thing that bugs me the most is feeling my as if my brain doesn’t work as well as it used to. I have so much trouble coming up with the right words for things, particularly in social settings. Not sure how much of that is anxiety, though. I might have to experiment with taking xanax and seeing whether that improves my ability to speak properly.

Also, speaking of insurance. It’s so weird because I always call ahead of time to get an idea of what something might cost me, and it’s never what I’m told. My doctor visit was supposed to be free, the ultrasound would be $17 (although the facility where I went claimed it would be $125 and suggested payment that day, which I declined), and my bloodwork was going to be $110. Looking at my claims, the doctor visit was $20, the ultrasound was $23.80, and my boodwork was $10.26. Not even close, but that puts me ahead so who am I to complain?

Categories: Health Tags: