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Roller Skating & St. Patrick’s Day

March 18th, 2019 No comments

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:

Christmas Break

December 26th, 2018 Comments off

Friday (12/21) was the first official day of my Christmas vacation, but before I could consider myself truly off work, I had my company’s Christmas luncheon to attend. It was at the local steakhouse they’ve been holding it for years and I sat next to the company owner’s wife whom I really like. The VP of the company, the sales manager, the owner, my boss, and the other girl on our team were also at my table.

They decided to forgo the grab bag this year and instead sold raffle tickets. The winner got half the pot with the other half going toward the charity of their choice. Guess who won? The VP! He got teased a lot because I guess he wins stuff often. He also seemed embarrassed to have won and assured us his winnings would go toward some nice lunches for us in the office. HR told me he didn’t want the money – he just wanted to participate to be a good sport. I think that’s great, but in that case I think it would have been better if he hadn’t put his name on the raffle tickets. It’s just not a good look when a higher up wins something – one of the workers could use that money more (and more than a free lunch or two since I believe it was over $100).

I ended up with an overcooked steak because I forgot to specify how I wanted it cooked and the waitress didn’t prompt me, so that part kinda sucked, but it still tasted good, if a little dry. I decided to try and Peachtini and woo boy, did that go straight to my head! Half a glass and I had to stop, eat a roll, and drink some water. It was super strong and I hadn’t eaten at all that day so I only ended up having a single drink instead of two. By the time I was ready for the second one the party was wrapping up.

I almost forgot – every year they give out chocolate bars to everyone (Wonka bars they’re called, which are really Hershey bars (or in past years, Russell Stover) with an additional wrap over the original wrapping) and in three bars is a golden ticket that gives the winner an extra day off with pay. This year I won one! First time in the past five years. I am sure some people weren’t thrilled since I’m part time and only work three days a week as it is, lol.

Edited to add: My boss gave us $25 gift cards to Amazon, but they were late being delivered so we didn’t get them until we returned to the office after the holiday.

I can’t even remember at this point what we did on Saturday or Sunday so it must have not been terribly exciting.

Monday (12/24) (Christmas Eve) I did some cleaning and prepared some cheesy grits casserole and cranberry sauce to take to my parents’ house. We arrived there just around 6 pm and stayed until 10 pm. Despite that, we never got around to playing any games. We did Secret Santa and apparently by triple wrapping one of J’s gifts I had him convinced the present was from B, despite the fact that it was a bag of peanut snacks from Trader Joe’s that he had snacked on when he was visiting me here in November. He even told me he’d like some for Christmas!

B’s girlfriend pulled my name and she gave me a candle trimmer, lemongrass essential oil, and the game 5 Second Rule – all of which was on my list of ideas. I felt bad all Joe got her was a Dollar Tree gift card but B only wrote gift cards on her list of ideas (she wasn’t present when we pulled names). My dad (really my mom) got Joe a gift card for Binny’s and a bunch of sprinkles to be funny because Joe loves ice cream with sprinkles. Too bad we have so many unused sprinkles already at home! I seriously don’t know what to do with them all since when he eats ice cream at home he doesn’t use sprinkles. He only gets them from Culvers or an ice cream shop.

Tuesday (12/25) (Christmas) we went to an early morning matinee of Holmes & Watson which, unfortunately, was not good. It tried to be funny but really wasn’t. That’s the second time we’ve seen a Will Ferrell movie on Christmas Day – the first being Anchorman 2 in 2013 – that has sucked. I really thought since he and John C Reilly were so good together in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers that this movie would be hilarious as well but it was a huge disappointment.

After the movie we had Wookie open her presents and we exchanged stocking stuffers. I got some candy, salt and vinegar chips, makeup/hair stuff, a clip for my purse, microfiber cleaning cloths for my electronic devices, and these awesome crystal nail files.

I felt bad I only got Joe a few things when he got me a lot of little stuff, although I think he got more for me because I didn’t end up getting my iPhone as originally planned whereas he got the new laptop. I got him a box of Pot of Gold, a package of beef jerky, and a portable battery to charge his phone and tablet when he’s traveling.

We ate leftovers from my parents’ for lunch and made a steak to share for dinner. We just mostly hung around the house being lazy inbetween meals. I got my DS out and charged it and played Dr. Mario and Planet Puzzle League. Ever since I saw that you can download Dr. Mario to play on the new Nintendo Switch I’ve been wanting to play it again. I wish Dr. Mario was available in the app store. Why Nintendo isn’t interested in that market is beyond me; they could make a lot of money!

Earlier today (12/26) we ran to a few stores to see what was available on clearance. I wanted to get a candle holder from Bath & Body Works but they were all sold out and there was a crazy long line so we left. I did get this cute Christmas dress for Wookie at Petco, though. Gotta love 75% off after Christmas discounts!

As long as I refer to it as her jacket, she doesn’t want to tear me from limb to limb when I put it on or take it off.

After our little shopping trip I made a peanut butter cup pie while Joe re-caulked the master bathroom tub. He also re-caulked the kitchen sink which looks nice.

I’ve got work tomorrow, but then I’ll be off again until next Wednesday. We have the kids coming over for Christmas on Friday so we’re looking forward to that.

Categories: Family, Food, Holidays Tags:

Thanksgiving Weekend

November 26th, 2018 Comments off

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:

Brother J Visits

November 12th, 2018 Comments off

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:

Family Get Together & Barkapalooza

October 1st, 2018 Comments off

Friday (09/28) we went to the nearest Big Lots because I heard they had good fall decor. Well, there was some decent stuff but the prices were not as cheap as I was expecting so we didn’t end up getting anything. We also checked out a different Target to see if their Bullseye Playground had anything different than ours but alas, it did not. A Dollar Tree we don’t normally shop at was a bust too. But all was not lost when we tried a new restaurant my optician recommended called Taco Maya. OMG, the food was SO good. I had a mahi mahi taco and another specialty one and Joe got beef enchiladas. I can’t wait to go back and try some other unique flavors. The tacos are a little pricier than your regular Mexican joint but they are stuffed full of food and very delicious so the extra price is totally worth it.

Saturday (09/29) we donated a huge box full of stuff to Savers and sold some books and games to Half Price Books. We only got $5.25 for our efforts because the stuff was pretty old and outdated. I expected that, however, so it was no big deal. It just felt good to get more unused stuff out of the house.

We took Wookie with us to the Harvest Fest at a local park and bought some homemade treats from the Girl Scouts as well as two hot dogs and hot apple cider. Unfortunately they didn’t have any homemade zucchini bread this year so it looks like I’ll be making some in the near future; I’ve been craving it for weeks and was holding onto hope it would be at the fest again this year.

Saturday evening we went to my parents’ to celebrate my mom’s upcoming birthday. My cousin was there too. We had a good time (other than serving as tech support: helped my mom turn off closed captioning on her Netflix, fixed her computer, and updated my dad’s computer). By the time we had eaten and worked on the computers there was only a little time to play Uno before we had to head home so we wouldn’t be up too late.

Sunday (09/30) morning our friend K came by with her dog and we all went to Barkapalooza in Lisle. We weren’t sure if the weather would hold up since they were calling for rain but we only got a little drizzle just as we were leaving so it worked out perfectly. It was definitely one, if not the, biggest dog related fests we’ve ever attended. They even took complimentary photos for everyone which they posted on Shutterfly. Seeing all the happy people with their dogs was so cute! K came back to the house for a bit afterwards and then Joe and I just relaxed the rest of the day.

This morning (10/01) I decluttered the former rat room and started a new box of items to donate. It feels like it’s never-ending but I’d rather do it slowly now than have to rush through it when we eventually decide to move.

Categories: Excursions, Family, Friends, Pets Tags: