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May Wrap-Up

May 31st, 2021 Comments off

Happy Memorial Day? I dunno, does that sound weird considering what it represents?

Abandoned Golf Course

In any case, we started our day with a bike ride at an abandoned golf course and I once again was reminded that I’m not in that great of shape even though I walk on my treadmill multiple times a week (more days than not lately). I always think biking is going to be fun until I hit that first incline and then I’m guessing whose bright idea that was. Needless to say, we made it around one lap (approximately 15 minutes) and came back home. Definitely need to stick to flatter terrain like the park we sometimes take Wookie to for walks.

Memorial Day Lunch

I wish it was just a little warmer out today. It’s overcast (but not rainy) and in the 60’s which would be fine if we had some sunshine. But it wasn’t meant to be. We made some hot dogs for lunch and watched Sofi Tukker on their last scheduled live DJ set. They won’t be able to commit to a schedule now that they’re vaccinated and doing shows in real life. I’m sad that I won’t be able to count on seeing them weekly, or in person since they play either clubs (too loud indoors for my ears) or festivals (very expensive and unappealing). Oh well. I am looking forward to their new album which I suspect is being released very soon. Plus I’ve discovered a lot of other DJs on Twitch to listen to, some of which seem to have similar tastes to SF.

Oh, speaking of DJs, Moby did a live set right after Sofi Tukker the other night and I was so excited, but then let down. It was rather boring. Plus I’ve read some not so nice things about Moby so while I like some of his music he isn’t as appealing as he used to be.

In other music news, I don’t think I wrote about the Cure t-shirt I bought (online) back in March!

New Cure T-Shirt

A fan made it to commemorate the weekly Cure watch parties we’ve gathered to watch on Twitch. It’s my official 2020 concert t-shirt and not only is the design awesome (anything Wish-inspired always is), but it’s very soft and fits nicely, unlike pretty much all of my Cure shirts. Most of them were made with thick stiff cotton shirts that do not fit well (either too small or too large). I’m wearing the shirt today, in fact, since the colors seem fitting. I painted my nails red, white, blue (with a glitter overlay) too. I’m so fashionable!

Excursions & Food Stuff

Earlier this month we went to Lilacia Park in Lombard to check out the lilacs and tulips. I’m not going to bother posting any photos from that little trip because we missed peak bloom thanks to the rainy weather the week before so nothing was looking it’s best. It was nice walking around outside, however. Plus afterwards we stopped at the new The Original Rainbow Cone location for a treat.

Rainbow Cone

(This is what was left of my cone by the time I realized I should get a picture)

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about five flavors (orange sherbet, pistachio, palmer house, strawberry, and chocolate) of ice cream in one cone but I was pleasantly surprised – it was delicious! One thing I would change, though, is the size of the cone I got. I tried the baby one but for just $1.12 more you get a lot more ice cream in the small size. I’d definitely skip the baby size and go straight to the small. Or even better, I’d be tempted to buy a quart (currently priced at $12.49) and get some cones from the grocery store.

After earning TWO free drink coupons from Dunkin, I decided to try their new peach lemonade refresher yesterday and I won’t be getting that again.

DD Peach Lemonade

It smelled weird, like a tomato plant. I later realized that was the green tea which I forgot was in it. I’m bummed; I wanted to find a more affordable replacement for Starbucks’ shaken tea lemonade but unfortunately that was not it. So far other than the regular iced coffee, I do not like Dunkin’s drinks. Probably for the best since there is 320 calories in the large lemonade (32 oz). Interestingly enough, Starbuck’s trenta (large) is only 170 calories. I might have to treat myself to one at least once this summer. I have yet to try the peach.

Since Culver’s was across the street from Dunkin I snagged an order of their pretzel bites (a now permanent addition to their menu) and then we headed to the food truck near Walmart to snag a couple of corn dogs. We brought everything home and ate out on the patio. Those pretzel bites are sooo good! I’m glad they are $4.19 because otherwise I’d be ordering them far more often than I should.

I’m back up to 138 lbs btw. Shocking with all the eating I’ve been doing, right? I think I tend to top off at 140 lbs, or at least I hope so! I’ve actually been cutting back a bit. For instance, after all that food at lunch I had a very light dinner several hours later.

Retail Therapy & Shopping

We recently went to At Home to look for new folding patio chairs but didn’t have any luck. We also stopped at Bath & Body Works since I have a $5 gift card to spend but I didn’t see anything I wanted. Then a few days ago we went to Target for a few groceries and I had zero desire to even look at their Bullseye Playground section. I think this pandemic has soured me on shopping for the fun of it. It’s completely lost it’s appeal. I’ve moved into get what you need and get out territory.

That being said, we did go to Savers last Monday so I could look for a plain black t-shirt. I didn’t find one, but I did find two tank tops that cost under $4 total. Luckily they fit perfectly since the dressing rooms are still closed and they don’t offer refunds, only exchanges. The next day at Walmart I found a pair of capri leggings that would go perfectly with a grey tank top I had gotten at Savers a year or two ago. I love when that happens! I also snagged a vibrant pair of bike shorts that will be perfect for when I walk on the treadmill.

New Clothes

As I was photographing my new finds I realized the bike shorts have a pocket in them that is actually large enough for my iPhone. Not that I need it, but I’m sure it would come in handy for a lot of people. Oh, and when I was trying on my Savers tank tops at home Joe pointed out the black one still had the original Old Navy tag on it. Sweet! I got a brand new tank for $2.25.

So I guess you could say while I’m not about shopping much, I am not going to pass up getting a few new clothing pieces occasionally.

Misc Stuff

The other day my computer started installing updates and then stopped because I had ran out of space. You see, my computer has a solid state drive with a small capacity (250 GB). I have all my actual files on a regular hard drive, but unfortunately Apple is a bitch about installing iTunes anywhere but the main drive. While the actual MP3s are on that secondary drive, when iTunes backs up my phone it puts the backup on the main drive. My phone has a 256 GB capacity, and while it’s not full, it’s just a little under half full. You see where this is going, right? If I could just easily direct the backup elsewhere I would be ok, but it doesn’t seem to be that easy. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it requires messing with settings I’m not comfortable with. Plus these days my brain just doesn’t seem to be at the level it was pre-2019 sickness. Seriously, I have trouble with words sometimes and in general I feel like my processor is slow. Oh well. So Joe installed a new SSD today with twice the amount of space. All is right again with the world.

IZZE & Comforter Update

April 11th, 2021 Comments off

I never heard back from IZZE after providing feedback about their customer service response. I recently checked their website and according to them only two stores in the entire tristate area carry the cherry lime flavor now – one in the city and one up north closer to where my friend lives.

Yesterday we stopped at Party City and I decided to check Mariano’s just in case. I truly wasn’t expecting them to have any in stock, but there was an entire row of them (about eight 4-packs) so I grabbed four. And they were still on sale for $4 instead of $5! $1 per bottle is a bit high, but I only plan on drinking one a week so it’ll last me a long time.

IZZE

I popped one in the fridge and ended up drinking it with my lunch and I have to say – it tastes better in the cans. Oh well, it’s not like I have a choice. I’m not buying a multipack of different flavors just to get 4 of the flavor I actually want.

Also I guess their website doesn’t really accurately track what they have in stock and where because it was listing my local store as being in stock when it wasn’t and now it’s not listed when it is in stock. That makes a whole lot of sense!

Shortly after returning the comforter we bought from Home Depot, Target had a white comforter on sale for even less. It’s thinner, but it’s actually white, so it worked out nicely since we don’t sleep under the comforter anyway.

Categories: Shopping Tags:

Cherry Lime & Dunkin Hashbrowns

March 1st, 2021 Comments off

Since Joe and I are both currently unemployed, we take advantage of being able to shop early mornings during the week when many people are busy working. We don’t leave the house at all on the weekends anymore, in fact. Why go out in the hustle and bustle? We never liked that anyway, but even less so during a pandemic. The only downside is, we don’t shop as often as we used to, so by the time we get around to doing so, things are picked over, particularly holiday related items.

We went to Dollar Tree this morning for the first time in two months and many of the Easter stuff is already gone even though it’s still a month away. I really wanted fake carrots so I could string together my own banner for the fireplace mantel. I grabbed some Easter treats for the kids and did find this kneeling pad, though, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Kneeling Pad

I’ve been wanting one since last summer so I can trim our flowers in comfort but they were sold out by the time I started looking.

An employee was in the middle of stocking all the spring stuff so they had a bunch of colors besides the purple – brown, grey, and green come to mind. He had his nose hanging out of his mask, though, so I didn’t look at anything else in that section. Why do I see this more from employees than customers? A lot of employees at Mendards are guilty of this too. I ended up reporting the employee on the Dollar Tree website. Hopefully he isn’t fired, just required to follow safety guidelines.

Speaking of feedback – I just submitted some through IZZE’s website. Ever since my friend introduced me to the cherry lime, I’ve been hooked.

Cherry Lime IZZE

Unfortunately, it can only be acquired by buying a multi-flavor pack of cans. Problem is I’m not too thrilled with any of the other flavors. Mariano’s sells a 4-pack of bottles but every time I look for them they’re sold out. Interestingly enough, a 24 case of cans is listed on their feedback form, but not their product page.

So here’s what I wrote:

Does a 24 pack of just Cherry Lime IZZE really exist? I see it listed in your feedback form, but not your product page. It’s by far my favorite flavor, but I cannot find it by itself anywhere. Mariano’s is always out of stock of the 4-pack of bottles and it makes me very sad. Please tell me there’s a way to get a case of just that flavor and you’ll make my day. :) I need my Cherry Lime fix!

I’m crossing my fingers they’ll tell me it’s a new offering and I can order it off Amazon or something. Finding food and drinks I enjoy is one of the small joys left in this crazy world. Just ask my waistline haha.

Speaking of, I am addicted to Dunkin’ Donuts’ hash browns. The seasoning on them is delicious, and the past two weeks I’ve gotten an order with a free iced coffee thanks to their Monday promotion (fee medium drink with any purchase). I think it might be rosemary in the hash browns that make them stand out. Once, a few months back, I ordered a serving (which is 6 hash browns) and the woman gave me the entire batch from the oven. There had to be at least 40 in there. I was in my glory and feasted on delicious hash browns for days.

DD Hashbrowns

Unfortunately, there’s no consistency across the Dunkin locations. Some make a better tasting drink, some are consistently more expensive, some are quick, and some are clueless. I had one tell me that the standard iced coffee includes both cream and sugar on top of the flavor swirl they knew I was already getting. It was disgustingly sweet, so I think they were mistaken. In fact, I learned that the flavor swirls are already sweetened and creamy, so no milk/cream is needed either.

And since this has turned into a food review entry, I wanted to showcase these blueberry scones my friend KD loves.

Blueberry Scones

I’ve never tried them before, but I was at Mariano’s this morning in search of the cherry lime IZZE when I came across them in the bakery. Wow, are they good! Much softer than I was expecting, and full of strong blueberry flavor. I ate three and then had to stop myself. Rest in peace, thin body.


Update: Here’s the response back from IZZE.

Dear Nicole,

I’m so sorry you haven’t been able to find your favorite IZZE Sparkling Cherry Lime in your local area. The good news is that we are still making it.

With more people staying at home, we’ve seen an increased demand for many of our products. We are diligently working with our suppliers to ensure our production and inventory keeps pace with the heightened demand. And, our employees are doing all they can to keep store shelves stocked.

We’ll let the right teams know you’re looking for it, and in the meantime, you can always check our product locator to see if you can find it near you or on one of our online options. Here’s a link to get started: IZZE

We appreciate your choosing our product and I hope this information is helpful.

Didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know, and didn’t answer my question about a 24 pack of cans. Getting really tired of the non-answer answers these companies provide.

Update #2: I received an email asking me to rate how customer service helped, so I filled out the survey as such. Stay tuned for update #3!

Categories: Food, Retail Experiences, Shopping Tags:

The Most Relaxing Scent

January 23rd, 2021 Comments off

Several years ago when I was getting beauty boxes like Ipsy and Birchbox, I once got a hand lotion sample that smelled so wonderful I would constantly smell my hands after applying it. I wanted it to never run out, and contemplated buying a full size until I read reviews saying it didn’t smell like the sample. I eventually forgot about the scent, until yesterday.

For a little background, last month I bought some wallflowers from Bath & Body Works, including two in the vanilla bean noel scent. Unfortunately you can barely smell it once plugged in, so I decided to exchange the second one for another marshmallow fireside instead. Except our closest store didn’t MF, so I decided to check a different location near my ear specialist after my appointment this past Monday. They also didn’t have MF, so I browsed the other wallflowers looking for something I might like and came across one I never heard of before called white tea and sage. It seemed appealing from what I could tell in store, so I decided to give it a shot.

B&BW White Tea & Sage

I ended up plugging it in yesterday and it reminds me exactly of that long forgotten hand lotion that I was obsessed with. Now I want a candle and soap and everything possible in this scent! It’s just so soothing to me. Almost like a fresh garden except not floral at all. Something you’d encounter at a spa probably.

B&BW owes me a gift card so maybe I will be getting more of this scent soon, assuming it doesn’t sell out before then. Apparently it isn’t easy to come by from what I’ve read.

Oh, and why do they owe me, you ask? Well, they never sent me a birthday reward so I contacted them and they sent me a $10 gift card instead. I used most of that card on Monday, but there was a $2.23 balance left. The cashier asked whether I’d like that in cash and I told her to leave it on the card. She agreed, and then when I checked the balance the other day it said zero! I checked my receipt and it indicated I took the balance in cash which I absolutely did not. I contacted B&BW and they are sending me a $5 gift card to make up for it. What the heck is going on with that company?!? Maybe I should stop giving them my business, but I love their soaps and wallflowers so much!

I’m all stocked up on hand soaps, in fact – 17 bottles – because the fall/winter scents were 75% off. I picked up a few at our local store and 8 more at the other one since they had an even better selection, including my favorite scent from last fall: marshmallow latte. I won’t need any holiday soaps for at least a few years now. I grabbed two summery scents to try as well since they too were only $1.88 each.

Here’s my two hauls from this month:

B&BW Soaps - 1st Haul

B&BW Soaps - 2nd Haul

That candle holder was another reason I checked another store. I had a reward that was due to expire next month and my local store didn’t have any decent candle holders.

Categories: Retail Experiences, Shopping Tags:

Bath & Body Works Shenanigans

July 16th, 2020 Comments off

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Bath & Body Works, as in I love some of their products, but I hate their prices and their practices leave something to be desired.

It’s gotten to the point where I am not interested in their lotions, body wash, or hand soaps, but I do still like the wallflowers and candles. I’m picky about scents, however. For the most part I like vanilla, marshmallow fireside, and a newer one my cousin turned me onto two years ago, heirloom apple. I was too sick last year to care about any of that stuff but now that I’m feeling better, and I’m down to my last wallflower, I went looking for heirloom apple only to be unable to find it. So I contacted B&BW via Facebook Messenger:

B&BW Message

I took to the internet to find out whether anyone could point me toward a dupe scent, whether that be from Bath & Body Works or another company. In the meantime, I got this Yankee Candle macintosh votive at Meijer to try out.

Macintosh

It’s ok, but not what I was looking for.

Someone online told me to look for B&BW’s honeycrisp apple scent, but when I checked online it was only available in a one wick candle for $10. No thanks. I don’t mind the occasional candle but I prefer how a wallflower tends to fill the house with scent.

We went out yesterday and I decided to stop in a Bath & Body Works store. I asked about the heirloom apple, or any apple scents, and they only had one and it didn’t smell at all what I was looking for so I quickly left.

I just so happened to be on their website today when I searched for apple again and this time a honeycrisp apple wallflower showed up in the search results.

Honey Crisp Apple BBW

I looked at the fragrance description and then googled to find out how heirloom apple used to be described. They were identical. Hoorah!

But then it got weirder when I noticed a scent called farmstand apple.

Farmstand Apple BBW

That too has the same description. Interesting…

So basically they retired heirloom apple and replaced it with two different scents that are actually the same as heirloom apple but never bothered to tell any of their employees so they could help someone looking for heirloom apple. Got it.

They annoy the hell out of me as it is by making certain scents only available during particular times of the year. I know it’s a ploy to drive interest and get people in their doors more than once a year, but it’s seriously annoying.

Right now the two scents I want (marshmallow fireside and honeycrisp apple) are only available online and I’m not buying $75+ of product or paying $6 in shipping. They will appear in stores at some point and then I will wait for another sale. Wallflowers are currently 5/$24 but it turns out they can get as low as $3 each so a better sale is due to come around soon.