Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Fast Food & Target

March 10th, 2018 No comments

Joe took Friday the 2nd off from work to accompany me for an outpatient screening at the hospital and we decided to grab some donuts from Krispy Kreme in our old neighborhood beforehand. We kinda regretted it. First off, they don’t funnel people properly to take their orders, so some will march right up to the register, bypassing everyone who is waiting in line to pick out their donuts. That’s fine, IF they are only purchasing a beverage, but this one guy wanted donuts too and the guy he cut in front of yelled at him. The employees don’t really help matters by allowing this, though. This could be easily solved by installing two hanging signs – one of which says “Order Here” by the donuts and “Beverage Orders Only” over the cash register. It’s not that difficult.

Secondly, other than the original donuts, jelly-filled, and apple fritter, they aren’t that good. All the glazed cake donuts we ordered were not very flavorful, nor filling. In fact, we ended up stopping at McDonald’s to get something filling before heading to the hospital. Oh, and I got irked because a very helpful McDonald’s employee taught me a trick back in January so I could save money on their egg McMuffins since I always order mine without meat. She told me to order an egg and cheese biscuit and then ask for two substitutions. As noted below, that turns what normally costs me $3.50 into $1.59.

So, using the same method, I ordered my sandwich and saw I was charged $2.79. What the hell? The receipt looked identical to the one above other than the price. I know they are franchised but I didn’t realize the prices could vary so wildly. I will have to keep that in mind moving forward since sometimes they have a 2 for $4 or BOGO special which would make it cheaper than ordering it the special way.

Last month Target sent me a 10% off coupon which was good for an entire shopping trip which we ended up using yesterday. Our initial total was $213.59. After all the discounts and coupons it was $156.13 which doesn’t even include the $5 gift card we received for the hair care products I bought. I used two $50 gift cards from before Christmas when there was a special discount on them so our out of pocket was $56.13. I love those types of shopping trips! Plus once we hit the produce market this weekend we probably won’t have to do much grocery shopping until after Easter.

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Shopping & Valentine’s Day Decor

January 15th, 2018 Comments off

We did a lot of shopping this weekend and finally got around to returning some items we had been putting off.

Between Target, Walmart, and Dollar Tree I really beefed up my Valentine’s Day decor collection which was truly lacking. Now it looks like cupid threw up all over the house! The best part is I don’t think we spent over $30.

There’s also some tea towels on the stove and a heart banner hanging over the patio door that I didn’t get good photos of while they’re up, so below is a pic of them after being purchased. The towels are from Walmart and the rest is from Target.

Sunday (1/14) we decided to visit IKEA since they sent me a $15 off coupon for my birthday. We opted to check out a different location than our usual since we needed to return an item to a store nearby. Never again! While I preferred the layout of the display areas, the restaurant was a disorganized mess where you couldn’t figure out from which direction you were supposed to line up to get the food. They have arrows all throughout the store but opted not to bother in that area for some reason. In addition, the walkway by the drinks, utensils, and napkins is quite narrow and makes it difficult for people to get what they need without getting in each other’s way. It didn’t help that staff members were restocking at the same time too. Why they didn’t do it before the restaurant opened is beyond me.

We found some good stuff, though, including a very narrow table (that stylistically matches our coffee table) which we set up against the wall by our floor lamp to act as a charging station. We have so many devices but no good central place to charge them until now. The best part was the table was only $15 so with my coupon it was free. We also got two metal planters which I plan to incorporate into my spring decor, a picture ledge Joe is going to install over my desk, and a tea kettle. I tried it out this afternoon and am loving it. We had a tea kettle years ago but it made a mess when you tried pouring water out of it so we got rid of it.

We found the cutest pet food canister at Home Goods and some new ceramic bowls.

Wookie was not liking them at first and barked/growled in protest but she finally relented and ate from her food bowl just a bit ago. She’s so weird about that but I want her to be more flexible since her beloved bowl could easily break one day.

Our best find of the day, however, was the unlit 7.5 foot slim Christmas tree we came across when returning a clock to At Home. It was exactly what we had been looking for and was 75% off so it was $15. Can’t beat that! I was so excited about that find and the fact that next year we’ll be able to enjoy putting up the tree without being annoyed by how much space it takes up.

Side note: before IKEA we stopped at Jamba Juice so I could pick up my free birthday drink and I decided instead of my usual (Five Fruit Frenzy) I’d try something different. I got the Orange Berry Antioxidant juice which I really enjoyed. It’s just fresh squeezed orange juice blended with strawberries and blueberries.

This morning we headed to Chick-fil-A for breakfast since they were giving away egg white grillers until 10 am. I also had a small fruit cup but I won’t be doing that again since it was primarily cut-up apples and sour ones at that. I was hoping for some pineapple or watermelon.

Next we went to Savers but I didn’t find any sweaters I liked. I did get a cute bag for travel purposes, though. I like how it’s see-through on the inside compartments so I can see what’s in there quickly without having to open it all the way. I also got a smaller pouch to store some cables in my car. I’m currently using a much larger pouch which would make grabbing them a little more cumbersome. I’m addicted to pouches!

I forgot to mention that when we went to Walmart on Saturday I picked up three pairs of leggings. I was really excited about them until getting home and noticing they are capri style. I hadn’t tried them on in-store because I already know what size fits best.

I’m not sure whether I should keep them or take them back. On one hand since they are thin so they could work in the warmer weather and the plain black pair (not pictured) would look cute under a dress, but I was really hoping for the regular length since they are thin enough to be comfortable under jeans but thick enough to add some warmth right now since it’s so cold outside and in the office. I particularly don’t understand why the St. Patrick’s Day ones are capri style since it’s still pretty darn cold in March. They aren’t very expensive but I’d hate to keep them and never end up wearing them. I haven’t washed them yet while I mull over a decision.

Categories: Holidays, Shopping Tags:

Birthday Weekend

January 6th, 2018 Comments off

Friday night we were invited to watch the Blackhawks game at a friends business that has a huge projector. Pizza was ordered and much fun was had. I was surprised with a birthday cake too!

Even though my friend who had purchased it thought the frosting was too hard and didn’t taste good, I enjoyed it. Buttercream tends to be more firm than the whipped cream on the other cake they had purchased for another person who also has a birthday coming up. Joe and I were the only ones to eat my cake because I think my friend’s complaints turned everyone off to mine. I took it home so more cake for me I guess.

After the game was over and a people left, we ended up exploring the rest of the building and trying out some massage chairs. Our friend set mine to the vigorous setting which was more painful than relaxing so I didn’t enjoy it.

The highlight of the evening, at least for me, was discovering their game room which included a ping pong table. A woman, who I met that evening, and I played quite a few games whilst everyone else rotated through playing pool, Mrs Pacman, and the electronic drum machine. We didn’t end up getting home until after 2 am and I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 4 am.

Needless to say, our Saturday consisted of nothing more than sleeping in, watching tv, and eating. I wanted to check out the Laser Gaga show at Triton college but developed quite the headache mid afternoon and opted to skip it. I hate how that always seems to happen after a late night of socializing. I only had one alcoholic drink at the beginning of the evening so I doubt that was the cause. My jaw hurt the next day too, probably from all the laughing.

Sunday was my birthday. Before my shower I opened my presents from Joe – some chocolate candy, lip balm, a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and a flameless candle lantern with magnetic scenes you can switch out based on the seasons.

We went to an early matinee of Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle, which we both enjoyed. Afterwards we did a little shopping and I found a cute pair of polar bear slippers for only $3.88 and a welcome mat for only $1.99, both at Sears. We had lunch at Red Robin followed by me getting a new pair of gloves from Kohls (only $18.45 after 50% discount and $5 birthday coupon). We also went to Party City but their Valentine decor was weak. I picked up a free scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Baskin Robbins and we stopped at Dollar Tree where I found some cute Valentine and St. Patrick’s Day decor. I also grabbed some storage bins because they had new ones in a deep purple which is my favorite color.

Monday I headed to Savers where I found a purple sweater, a plate/bowl for Wookie, a cute planter I plan to use for fake flowers, and a sunflower plate. My total was under $7 for everything which is why I love that place. Unlike the guy who was whining to his girlfriend saying he can’t stand the place. It does get crowded on Mondays since everything is 50% off, but it’s not unbearable.

I stopped at Five Below to look at potential birthday gifts for my brothers but left empty-handed and then at TJ Maxx to look around. I really wanted to find some “winter” decor but all they had was Christmas clearance. I did get a new sponge holder for the sink, though.

My last stop was Chick-fil-A for free lunch since they put a treat in my app (not birthday related). I have grown to love their grilled nuggets with their special sauce. They really are good, but pricey ($4+ for an 8 piece).

Categories: Food, Friends, Shopping Tags:

Christmas Shopping & Lights

December 12th, 2017 Comments off

Tis the season to spend money like it’s water!

Monday (12/04) I went on a little Christmas decor shopping spree and only managed to spend $100 which also included stocking stuffers for the family.

I put the North Pole sign in our cutout next to a snowman and our ornament tree. The Merry and Bright sign is above the laundry room door and the snowflake is hanging above the garbage can in the kitchen. Santa went above the front door and the Peace Love Cheer box is on the fireplace mantel. I ended up returning the No Humbugging sign to Michael’s because I didn’t like the way the teal looked on the red background.

Last week we ended up getting a bunch of gift cards to take advantage of the bonus deals this year:

  • $300 worth of Target gift cards since they were 10% off.
  • $102 at Culvers to get for $25 gift cards and a calendar of coupons since the cards each came with a coupon for a free basket (which is worth $8+). The cashier gave us an extra coupon since it took her awhile to ring us up.
  • $100 at Lou Malnatis to score a free $25 gift certificate which is basically a free large deep dish pizza.
  • $20 to reload our Dunkin Donuts balance for a $5 bonus gift card and another $10 via Masterpass to get a bonus $10.

We put up the tree about a week ago and attempted to decorate it Friday but half of our multi-colored lights weren’t working so that’s how we found ourselves at Walmart at 10 pm shopping for Christmas decor. Ours is open 24 hours but apparently they close everything but the self-checkouts after 10 pm so there was a bit of a line by the time we were finished shopping around midnight. I grabbed some cute battery operated mini lights for the mantel too only to learn the next day that one set was not the color listed on the package and the other one didn’t work at all!

Saturday (12/09) morning we headed to a different Walmart to return the unused multi-colored lights since we bought too many boxes and plan to go with white lights moving forward, and also to exchange the mini lights for working ones. I snagged a pair of Christmas leggings too. We went to At Home to look at decor and bought a new sign I plan to put over either the front door or laundry room once the Christmas stuff comes down. We also purchased a new clock but plan on returning it since the inner section is too dark at night and makes it hard to read. The hunt for a new wall clock continues!

On the way home we stopped at Dollar Tree which has been my obsession lately. I got cute Christmas tea towels there recently and have become addicted to watching YouTube videos of Dollar Tree hauls. Some stores have some really decent stuff! I got Christmas magnets there I put up on my file cabinets at work.

Saturday evening B & R came over and we went to look at Christmas lights together. We had dinner at Just Kabobs first and then went to Aurora’s Festival of Lights which is a drive-through the zoo with tons of lights set up. From there we hit two homes that had decorated nicely in the past. The first one was a bust and had nothing going on but the second one had music coordinated with lights which was fun to watch. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts to grab some hot chocolate and ended up having to go to a second location since the first one only had the regular stuff and not any of the special flavors advertised (Joe wanted Almond Joy and I wanted Mint).

With hot chocolate in hand we visited Lilacia Park and walked through their little winter wonderland. It was only 28 degrees but I did wear a lot of layers so other than my legs I was pretty warm. It was a lot of fun but we had to laugh at the fact that as we were heading home B remembered there was a house that would be really cool to see but it was way out west closer to where we were earlier in the evening. Oh well, something to check out next time we’re in the mood/neighborhood.

Sunday (12/10) we checked another Dollar Tree for some stuff I was on the hunt for because they do have some decent stuff. For instance, I got these tea towels at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago.

We also stopped at Menards where we ended up buying the cutest stockings!

I’ve been wanting nice stockings for awhile but haven’t seen anything I’ve liked. These are so cute and were only $5.60 each! The only complaint I have is it’s hard to stuff them without stretching them out. I guess you’re better off getting a stocking that has a felt inside with a stocking-like outside so you get the best of both worlds.

We also wrapped most of the gifts we got for the kids and my brothers and only have each other’s presents left to wrap. And by we I mean Joe since I only wrap his gifts because I’m not very good at it. We also sent out our Christmas cards so I feel like we’re ahead of schedule this year.

The house is pretty much done as far as decorations go other than the tree. I managed to throw some garland up the other day but it still doesn’t have any ornaments.

Monday (12/11) I went out for the last of the stocking stuffers and also returned some items to Walmart. My friend came over for lunch and we watched a movie together which was nice, other than Wookie annoying the shit out of her. She’s so wary of strangers but once she knows someone she wants to get right up in their face. Our dog is silly.

Categories: Family, Shopping Tags:

Thanksgiving Staycation

November 27th, 2017 Comments off

I took the week of Thanksgiving off from work, and since I normally only work three days, I only had to use 2 vacation days to do so.

I was all set to stop at the library Thursday (11/16) after work (I drive right past it daily) but before I reached it my car gave a warning that my back right tire pressure was much lower than the rest of the tires so I headed straight home instead.

Joe was out walking Wookie and I stopped to tell him what happened. That’s when we found a screw in the tire. We immediately took the car to Discount Tire to see what they could do. They suggested since the car was so new (less than 300 miles on it) that we call the dealership and see what they would do for us. The answer to that – absolutely nothing. Typical. I didn’t even write about how my salesperson harassed the hell out of me recently for not giving them perfect scores on the survey Subaru sent me even though they did nothing to deserve them. I’m done with that dealership and will take the car elsewhere when it needs service.

Anyway, once we informed our Discount Tire rep how unhelpful the dealership was being he suggested we walk over to Portillo’s and have dinner while they took a look at the tire since there was a pretty long wait (hour and a half it turned out). Luckily, despite the screw being at an angle it missed the sidewall and they were able to patch it. They didn’t even charge us. Now that is good customer service! This isn’t the first time they’ve repaired a tire for free – I don’t know how they make money. I was just relieved I wouldn’t have to fork over $100 and come back the next day to buy an identical tire (since they didn’t have mine in stock).

We finally made it to the library on Friday (11/17) after Joe got home. I got a handful of books and we both got CDs. Then we headed to Ace Hardware so Joe could pick up a shop-vac they had on sale since his died over the summer. It was his dad’s so it was pretty old. From there we stopped at the cleaners so I could have them fix the seam on my dress pants which came apart. The woman who does the tailoring happened to be available and fixed them right there in less than five minutes. She’s the best and we always come to her when we need clothing repaired. We picked up a pizza from Lou Malnati’s next door and brought it home for dinner.

The weather was cold and rainy on Saturday (11/18) so we didn’t do much after our two hour shopping trip at Target. This time of year they always have a deal where you get a $10 gift card when you spend $50 on groceries so we had to take advantage of that. We picked up a few Christmas presents for Joe’s kids as well.

Sunday (11/19) we headed over to IKEA (to return a bath mat) and Bed Bath and Beyond (to return the outfit Wookie didn’t like). It was pretty crappy outside so all I wanted to do was go home and veg afterward. Joe made chicken and dumplings in the crockpot for dinner which came out delicious.

Monday (11/20) was just my regular upstairs cleaning day, but Tuesday (11/21) I had an endoscopy to check my esophagus since I have frequent acid reflux. My doctor was running behind schedule so we waited about an hour longer than normal. The procedure itself is only 10-15 minutes but man they must have used a particularly strong sedative because I don’t remember the doctor coming to speak to us in recovery AT ALL and I kept telling Joe the same stuff repeatedly throughout the day. I also took a nap when we got home and went to bed early that night.

Any procedures I’ve had done in the past 15 years or so have always been at the same hospital but my doctor is in a different network so we went to a surgery center instead. Luckily it was very modern and all the staff were quite nice and caring. The only snafu I ran into was when they gave me a bell to ring when I was prepped but still waiting to be taking into the procedure room and no one could hear me. When the nurse came back to get me I explained I had been ringing it because I needed to urinate and she was very apologetic. I hate how when I’m cold and nervous I have to pee like crazy even though I hadn’t drank anything since 6 am (and at this point it was around 11:30 am). Also, unlike the hospital they don’t let family members hang out with you until right before the procedure so I was freezing, lying in this bed all alone attached to an IV, and really had to pee. So that sucked. My discharge paperwork says I have a small hiatal hernia (which I already knew from the last time I had this procedure) and esophagitis (which is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus). They took a biopsy so I’ll know more in a week or so.

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Categories: Car, Health, Holidays, Shopping Tags: ,