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4-Day Weekend

October 18th, 2013 Comments off

I had a great 4-day weekend with my hubby despite having to cancel plans to go on a haunted hayride Saturday night – my brother, who was planning on joining us with his girlfriend, ended up having to work, plus it rained most of the day. Joe ended up using the time to repaint the master bathroom since we didn’t like how the color had turned out. We had chosen a beige that looked good in the store but terrible in the artificial lighting in the bathroom. It came across like a fleshy-pink which I absolutely hated. The funny part is we had a free quart of paint we originally planned to use but Joe said there wasn’t enough paint to cover the walls and didn’t think adding a second quart would still be enough so we ended up buying a gallon of the crappy color. After that we bought a second quart of the original color and it was enough for two coats of paint. So the lesson here is to stick with your original plan. We wasted about $25 and Joe’s time by not doing so.

Despicable Me Minion Scarecrows

Sunday’s weather was sunny and cold, but that didn’t stop us from attending the Scarecrow Festival in St. Charles with Joe’s sister. We got there super early so we could view the scarecrows in peace and were surprised to see a lot less scarecrows compared to two years ago (not sure how it compared to last year’s turn-out since we didn’t go). There were no less than three different Despicable Me inspired scarecrows of the cute little minions, though. I really enjoyed those! If I had money to blow I would have came home with more than a few holiday decorations because there were some really unique crafts available. Instead I purchased a necklace for $10. I knew I had to have it after walking around the area and wanting to go back to the booth to look at it again. The company is called Wirefly Jewelry and the owner makes more colorful pieces; I just wanted something that would go with everything which is why I got the silver/black color combo.

Necklace

Monday was errand day which included a wild goose chase searching for Halloween bat decals to put on the windows. The only thing that came close to what I was looking for was sold out at Target. There were some Martha Stuart wall decals at JoAnn Fabrics but they were overpriced so I didn’t get them. I did come home with some holiday accents (acrylic harvest-themed beads, glass Halloween-themed beads, and some Halloween gel clings) that were 60% off at Michaels Arts & Crafts, however. I have a love hate relationship with that store because it irks me that on October 14th they were already shoving the Halloween decor over to make way for Christmas crap. On the other hand, their impatience is what led to the great deals I got, so I guess I’m a hypocrite. ;)

The best deal of the day, however, was thanks to Joe – we went to Savers to look around and he suggested I look for fleece for the rats’ cage. I had been buying remnants from JoAnn Fabrics and hadn’t even thought to check a second-hand store. Sure enough, they had a pretty nice selection of fleece blankets at a deep discount. With the extra 50% special going on I got three blankets for $5.40 which is less than I paid for one remnant! I wish he had thought of that place sooner!

I’m always sad when Joe has to go back to work because ever since leaving my stressful job I’ve become even more attached to him. Not necessarily because I have more time on my hands, but because I’m more relaxed and able to enjoy our time together even more than before without feeling anxious about work.

Besides, I don’t have as much free-time as I used to – I have been working part-time three days a week at a local family-owned business since August doing Accounts Payable work. I don’t see myself working there for a really long time because I don’t care for A/P that much even though I’m good at it and everyone wants me to stay (it was an A/R position when I applied but then they changed it when they offered me the job due to my advanced skills), the pay is much lower than I used to make (I don’t necessarily expect to make what I did before but I’d like to be a little closer than I am right now), and I need to get a full-time job eventually so we can save for our future. I just haven’t found the right thing yet. I’m still looking every day and have even been toying with the idea of going back to school but I haven’t thought of a career that excites me enough to pursue a degree at this point, however, so it would be a waste of money to do so. That being said, I love the people I work with: it’s 95% guys (including me, there’s only 5 women in the company out of about 40-50 employees) which is so refreshing and drama-free. A new Accounting manager started on Monday and I met him Tuesday. So far he seems really nice and knowledgeable.

I work Tue-Thu so I get a four day weekend every week which I love because it gives me time to keep the house clean, clip coupons, try new recipes, work out, and not have to spend the weekends doing anything but having fun with Joe. Honestly, if I was making more money I’d be perfectly happy with my life right now but I can’t help but stress about saving enough money for our eventual retirement. That, and I’m really itching to go on a vacation! We usually go somewhere new every year or two so I’m feeling the travel itch again. If nothing else I think we can afford to visit Omaha, Nebraska next year for a long weekend. I’d really like to see their zoo and just be able to say I’ve been to Nebraska.

» Scarecrow Festival Photos

Categories: Excursions, Love & Marriage, Photos, Work Tags:

Birthday

January 8th, 2013 Comments off

Holy crap, I’m 37 years old! When did that happen?

IMG_1989

I had a nice birthday yesterday. Low-key, but relaxed. Joe took the day off work and we just hung out. After showering I opened my gifts from Joe which included lip balm, three Ugly dolls, some candy, a Sheldon bobble-head, and pepper spray (which I had wanted so I feel comfortable walking the dog on my own during the day). We agreed not to spend much and besides, how could Joe possibly top last year’s gift (an iPad)? ;)

We went to Panera for breakfast since I had a gift card and we don’t usually eat there in the morning. We wanted to try the steel cut oatmeal but they were all out so we had bagel sandwiches instead which reminded us why we don’t usually eat breakfast there – it’s not that great. We’d much rather go there for lunch or dinner.

After breakfast we went to Meijer to pick up some ingredients for a new recipe I want to try later this week. I just learned about their Mperks “membership” you can sign up for free online and has coupons you can clip. You don’t even have to print them out – you just enter your phone number and account PIN into the keypad at the register and any qualifying coupons are subtracted from your total. I ended up paying $0.50 for some chicken sausage thanks to them being on sale and combining an Mperks coupon with a manufacturer’s one.

We went back home for awhile to relax and then ventured to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. We always split the BBQ chicken salad there but we also had their “small plate” quesadilla appetizer which was really yummy and spicy thanks to the dipping sauce. I had a coupon so our bill was reasonable. We hadn’t eaten there in a long time so it was a nice treat.

We debated going to see a movie but nothing all that appealing is currently playing and even the current Redbox offerings didn’t thrill me. That’s the bummer about having a birthday in Winter – I’d love to go to a park, forest preserve, or zoo but it’s way too cold for that. I did debate going downtown to the Shedd Aquarium since admission was free but didn’t really feel like trekking out there in the cold either.

We ordered Lou Malnati’s pizza for dinner and then I got a nice massage from my hubby later in the evening. It was a good day and I enjoyed having alone time with Joe. We don’t get a lot of that with his sister living with us so it was nice. I miss him today. Being away from work is nice but it’s lonely without my best friend.

Categories: Life, Love & Marriage, Photos Tags:

Valentine’s Day

February 15th, 2012 Comments off

Unlike last year, Joe and I did not exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day. We’re both crazy busy at work now so neither one of us felt like making any effort in the holiday. We left work at a decent time, rented a movie from Redbox (The Killer Elite) and ordered take-out from our favorite Vietnamese place. Just having an evening that didn’t feel rushed was a gift to me. I love my hubby every day; he’s sometimes the only thing that gets me through the hard times.

Categories: Holidays, Love & Marriage Tags:

Gratefulness and Appreciation

January 16th, 2011 Comments off

I’ve been reflecting lately about the act of feeling grateful and appreciative, and I believe it’s a very important thing to strive for if you don’t already do it. I also feel that it’s the reason why after a decade of being together I’m still so happy with Joe. I feel grateful every day for how well we relate and everything we have together.

Often people begin to take the people in their lives, and even their possessions, for granted, and stop appreciating them, but I believe if you choose to purposefully reflect on your blessings on a daily basis you become more satisfied with your life.

I see a lot of people around me who are never happy or satisfied with what they have; they always want more. I know people at work who are constantly getting new phones, for instance, because they have to own the latest technology. I’m still thrilled with my iPhone 3GS and marvel at how useful it is in my daily life. That’s not to say I won’t eventually upgrade it, because the reality is Apple will continue to post iOS updates that will eventually either slow down my phone too much or they’ll stop adding new features to it, so clearly I’m not immune to that feeling of wanting more sometimes, but I find as I get older that it happens less frequently. I find myself more satisfied with what I already have. Perhaps it’s something that comes with age and/or wisdom, like feeling secure with one’s self. For example, even a year ago I would have felt insecure at the roller rink we went to last night because I would have worried what all the younger people were thinking about me, but now I honestly don’t care. It’s quite freeing to feel that way, but I digress…

I don’t mean to come across as preachy or anything, but this is just something that’s been on my mind and I wanted to share it. I love it when I’m sitting on the couch doing something as simple as watching TV with Joe and one of us will make a remark that cracks us up and I just think to myself “wow, this is so great. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have had this for the past ten years”. I hope everyone has a special person in their life who fits so well in it that it’s not work to be with them, because I call bullshit on the saying that relationships take work. I’ve never found a good relationship to be work and I’m not so arrogant to think I’m the only person who feels this way.

Anyway, I don’t really know where I was going with this entry, other than to share my resent thoughts in writing, so I’ll leave you with a funny text exchange between Joe and me from before Christmas on a day I was working from home and Joe was waiting for a package with one of my presents to arrive. To give you a little back-story, I always joke if there’s a kitten in my presents since it’s the one thing I want more than anything, even though I know I can’t get one at this time due to E’s allergies.

My text is in green and his is in grey:

Categories: Life, Love & Marriage, Photos Tags:

Valentine’s Weekend

February 17th, 2010 3 comments

I had a fantastic Valentine’s weekend. Yes, weekend.

It started Friday with me coming home to a clean house, flowers, and Joe baking banana bread which we took to BINGO. It was delicious! I didn’t win anything, but still had a nice time with friends.

On Saturday, Joe surprised me with reservations to P.F. Changs and tickets to see Bobby Lee (of MadTV) at the Improv Chicago in Schaumburg. I was very excited!

Dinner was rather disappointing – the chicken was overdone and the flavor was bland. I’ve had better Chinese food at the Vietnamese restaurant nearby. Shoot, even Panda Express makes better food. The atmosphere was lacking too. It was way too loud to have a conversation. Oh well, at least now we can say we’ve tried some place new even if we don’t understand why anyone would eat there a second time.

And boy was the whole area crowded! We had a hell of a time finding parking at Woodfield and once we got inside, it was a madhouse! People just everywhere, reminding me why I avoid that mall like the plague. The restaurant was hopping too which surprised me since we had early reservations (5 o’clock). People were coming in off the street looking to eat and were told there was an hour and a half wait. Not one person agreed to wait, and who can blame them? With the exception of the previous Sunday when we went out for brunch and ran into the after-church crowd, we never wait to eat.

After dinner we had a little time to kill, so we went into the Sephora and I ended up buying $77 worth of perfume. They didn’t give me any free samples though. I thought they always did that? Did I get stiffed? Do I need to send a complaint letter? Because you know I will.

We purposely took our time getting to the Improv since we hadn’t bought dinner tickets and knew we’d be sitting toward the back anyway. Luckily our waitress was a lot friendlier than last time, although this one lady trying to guide people to their seats was bitchy. We didn’t want to get crammed in with the rest of the herd, so we opted to sit in the back by the bar where it’s elevated. It gave us a great line of sight to the stage.

Both of Bobby’s opening acts were ok. I liked the second guy, Nick Thune, a lot. That is until he had the gall to use MY favorite band, The Cure, as a punchline! I could barely believe it. It was along the lines of how it’s better to go to a concert than a sporting event since there’s always a loser in sports. He said “everyone’s a winner when you go to a concert, unless it’s a Cure concert” and then proceeded to talk shit about Cure fans. Douchebag! Joe was laughing at the look on my face.

Bobby Lee is just crazy! Crazy funny, that is. I won’t ruin it by going into specifics in case anyone plans to see him, but that guy sure loves to take his clothes off. Why is it always a thong and socks? Reminds me of “24 with Bobby Lee” from MadTV. We were both a little concerned about Bobby’s stand-up act since we’ve only seen him on TV, but he was great. I only wish his set was longer than a half hour. :(

At 2 am Sunday morning I had what I guess was a panic attack? Acid reflux attack? Stroke? Seriously, I don’t know what it was, but I woke up gasping, my heart was racing, and I couldn’t stop burping. I felt so unreal, as if I was going to die. This has happened a few times before, but years ago when I was still on acid reflux medication. After I got off it and started taking probiotics, I never had that problem again. So I’m not sure what caused it, but it might have been a combination of factors – the caffeine in the latte I shared with Joe that morning, the onions in the tuna fish sandwich I had for lunch, the Chinese food, the caffeine from the regular Pepsi I ordered at the show (I’ve mostly stopped drinking pop altogether), and the rich chocolate cake I also ate at the show (2-item minimum). My left arm has felt weird ever since, though. Kinda tingly/numb, which of course freaks me out because I’m always reading that heart issues for women in particular don’t necessarily present themselves with the classic pain and crushing chest feeling. Joe thinks I just pulled a muscle or have a pinched nerve, and my work friend thinks it’s anxiety related, which is definitely possible. Google hasn’t helped me much since it could be those things or a heart thing. But since I’m pretty young, I’ve been trying to treat it like it’s not a heart thing and just give that arm a rest. Perfect excuse not to exercise after work, which of course is hurting no one but myself but whatever. I hate that Joe has dropped 20 lbs and I’ve got my doctor telling me I should get back in shape. I’m not terribly overweight, but I did gain 20 lbs since last year which for my height is concerning.

Anyway, thanks to that whole fiasco, I slept in on Sunday instead of heading out for brunch and then to an ice sculpture festival as planned. Instead we lazed around in our PJs all day and watched lots of DIY and Home & Garden. And despite being told otherwise, Joe got me a Valentine’s Day gift which he left on my jewelry box so I’d see it after I got out of the shower – chocolates, and a bracelet I had been eyeing at Target for while. I swear, he is way too good to me! I’m very lucky indeed.

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend as much as I did! It was fantastic except for my stroke/anxiety thing. ;)