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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.

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:

Completed Projects (05/25-06/07)

June 10th, 2020 Comments off

Reorganized the freezer and pantry. I am especially pleased with the freezer because I’ve wanted to make it easier to find and remove things forever but the narrow shelves made that next to impossible. Thanks to TikTok, though, I found the perfectly sized containers at none other than The Container Store.

Organized Freezer

Now I’m just working on finding the best labeling process for the bins. As you can see in the photo, I’m testing a few options.

Label Option 1 Label Option 2

For the bins with several items, I can’t see using a general label as much, as I want to know exactly what’s inside. For the bins that are all chicken or beef, though, I can use the new Dollar Tree sticky labels I found. I think I will use my label maker, however, so they look nicer since I don’t have the best penmanship.

Sorted through and categorized all our paper manuals so everything is easy to find.

Reorganized closet in the former rat room, now Joe’s office.

A month or so ago I used the Discover cash back to buy Groupon bucks and ordered a couple of cabinet shelves as well as a sink organizer. I hate the latter. It is so annoying!

Groupon Sink Organizer

I ended up boxing it up and plan to give it to my step-daughter if she wants it. I am now using this set up instead and prefer it because either way water collects at the bottom of any container I use and it’s easier to pour out of the pot vs. the organizer that has a piece that slides out if you don’t hold it the correct way.

Sink Organization

Plus I prefer the look of the planter better anyway. I would love for Savers to re-open so I could find another planter since I like using this one for fake flowers in the house.

I was cleaning the cold air return in the dining room one day when I realized that while, yes, it was dirty, the paint was also yellowed, so no matter how clean it was it still wouldn’t look like it. I bought a can of white spray paint and quickly remedied that issue. Now it looks brand new. Of course there’s no before photo because I always forget to take one!

The garage in general is more organized that ever, although we still have a lot of stuff. We did free up a couple of “under the bed” organizers that never actually fit under our bed, so were in the garage. I used two of them to store my fake flowers and one to hold party supplies. Because they are so lightweight I can store them at the top of the shelf by the door and not kill myself trying to get them down.

I went through my Cure memorabilia and put all the LPs in the special vinyl box I ordered from The Container Store.

Vinyl Storage

I went through the magazines and clippings and put them in clear plastic pockets in a binder, and moved the t-shirts and cassette tapes elsewhere, thus freeing up a storage tote I can use in the garage for other things. I also came across Cure posters, as well as other posters, in the garage.

Robert Smith Poster The Cure Poster

Yin Yang PosterGlow Poster

I took them out of the tubes they were in and combined them all in one very wide tube that I also put my Cure calendars in.


Cure Calendar (1993)

Cure Calendar (1995)

Cure Calendar (2009)

Because of all the organizing, we are now up to six large boxes in the garage waiting for Savers to open so we can donate them.

Pending Donations

If they don’t open soon we will either donate them to Goodwill or post them on a free site.

Categories: House & Home, Media, Music, Photos Tags:

Dog Days & Old Stuffed Toys

September 12th, 2018 Comments off

Friday (09/07) we went to Costco to look at some fake candles they had for 50% off in their ad. In person they were way too yellow for my taste so that was a big fail. I’ll probably just end up using the candles I picked up on clearance from Target since let’s face it, my mom is going to think they smell like my house no matter what I do. I made chicken taco soup in the crockpot which ended up feeding us all weekend.

Saturday (09/08) was dog day at the arboretum. Our friend, KD, couldn’t join us but we still had a good time because the weather was nice and cool but not cold. We spent two hours just walking around and seeing all the other dogs. We also bought Wookie some homemade treats. It was such a perfect day!

On the way home we stopped at Willowbrook Wildlife Center so I could give them some dog food donations and picked up food four ourselves from PDQ. Their zucchini fries are so delicious! If they were closer to home I know we’d be eating there more than once a year. After lunch we ran back out to pick up two pairs of Joe’s shorts from the cleaners. The owner, Mi, does tailoring and try as I might I wasn’t able to sew the buttons back on his shorts without it coming right off again so we paid Mi $4 to do it. I know they won’t ever come off now because she reinforced the clasp on a pair of dress pants I used to wear to my old job all the time and it’s still like new. We also grabbed some stuff from Aldi.

Sunday (09/09) morning we did some shopping at Walmart but not before a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts. I tried their new apple crisp donut and I gotta say – meh. I’m looking forward to visiting Sonny Acres in the next month or so and grabbing some fresh baked apple cider donuts instead.

We found ourselves at Target later that afternoon and I picked up a cute black glitter tree for Halloween. It’s in storage until the end of the month though since all my fall decor is out at the moment.

Monday (09/10) Joe flew to Denver for work. I did my regular cleaning and worked on rearranging the hall closet a bit to accommodate some of my home decor that I don’t want to store in bins in the garage. It’s amazing to me that I’m still finding stuff to donate/sell during this process but it feels so good to get rid of stuff. I wish I could just stop myself from acquiring new home decor (my weakness).

I also went through six years worth of Kraft Food & Family magazines, posted the ones I want to try to Pinterest, and put them in the recycling bin.

I rearranged some magnets on the refrigerator and accidentally broke the one from Milwaukee Zoo. :(

It was rather hard to part with them but they had been taking up space in a free-standing cabinet in the kitchen. We’re not using that space to store some of Wookie’s most frequently used items and we removed her crate from the kitchen. She prefers sleeping in her bed under my desk so we don’t lock her in the kitchen anymore.

Speaking of decluttering, I recently took photos of my old stuffed toys I found in the garage. Without further ado, below is my Popple, Pound Puppies, and Fluppy Dog.

Categories: Pets, Photos, Shopping Tags:

Rain, Infinity, and Flowers

May 14th, 2018 Comments off

Rain ruined plans to visit the arboretum this weekend.

Saturday (5/12)Avengers Infinity War @ Classic Cinemas with new reclining seats you have to choose at purchase. Not a fan that you can’t choose seats that leave a single one between groups. At least feet can touch floor when seat isn’t reclined.

Movie was a disappointment. I liked Thanos more than the heroes, plus I was bummed there wasn’t an Ant-Man appearance.

Beef Shack for lunch thanks to Groupon.

Sunday (5/13) – Joe gave me a Mother’s Day card from Wookie. So cute and thoughtful! He even used a stencil he found online to draw the paw prints.

Mall to purchase glasses from Visionworks. $473 for two pair (and one of those was technically free). They will be ready for pickup in a few days.

Five for $23 deal on Wallflowers at Bath and Body Works. Got all new floral scents with the exception of the Pistachio Ice Cream.

Afternoon visit to Lilacia Park. Very crowded thanks to holiday and live band. More tulips than lilacs which bloomed and started to disappear (probably due to our weather going from warm to cold and raining and then back again).

Long walk at Camera Park with Wookie. Can’t stand that park, though. Would rather travel further to a nicer one.

Categories: Excursions, Health, Movies, Photos, Shopping Tags: