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Cheese Days & New Halloween Decor

September 17th, 2018 No comments

Friday (09/14) as I was getting my stuff packed for our Saturday day trip, I picked up my sunglasses and they snapped. Great. It’s very hard for me to find decent fitting sunglasses with my small head. Off to the mall we went to check out the sunglasses at New York & Company since that’s where my current pair had come from. Luckily I found a pair that was similar, although not quite as comfortable, but they were good enough, and on sale for only $7, so I grabbed them. Crisis averted!

Saturday (09/15) R (my brother’s g/f) came over to keep an eye on Wookie while we drove up to Monroe, Wisconsin with our friends K&E to attend Green County Cheese Days. It was so hot/humid that I didn’t eat nearly as much food as anticipated, though. In fact, I only ate half my beef sandwich when we stopped for dinner at Beef Shack before heading home. The main attraction, deep fried cheese curds, had such a long line that we didn’t end up getting any, although we did have fried cheese with maple bourbon syrup (yum), a grilled cheese sandwich made with brick cheese with some type of green mustard and rye bread, and a Kona ice slushie (I got peach flavor which was ok but had a bit too much syrup in it). My friend and I met Wedgie the Cheese and got a photo with him which was funny.

Before leaving we picked up some fudge and I got a Hip Klip to try out for those times when I don’t want to lug a purse around. So far I’m not entirely loving it but it might work in the winter when I’m wearing my thick leggings at work and don’t have pockets for my phone. I hope so since it was $35 and I really hate wasting money!

Notes for next time we attend this fest (which should be the year 2020 since they do it every other year):
Get there a little earlier
Get in line for the deep-fried cheese curds right away since the line only gets longer as the day goes on
After that, go on a dairy farm tour before it gets too hot and no one feels like going
Don’t expect to have any cell signal (unless using Verizon)

Sunday (09/16) after getting gas at Costco we split an Acai bowl that Costco recently starting carrying in their cafe.The acai (pronounced ah-sah-ee) berry is considered a superfood. Since it hails from Brazil, it’s typically only available in the U.S. in puree form and can be on the pricey side. So $5 for the bowl, which contains acai puree, strawberries, blueberries, and granola, isn’t bad. It was really tasty too and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I could see myself getting one about twice a month for breakfast.

Afterwards we did a little shopping and I couldn’t resist grabbing more Halloween decor from Target. I was so excited they finally put out the Halloween stuff in the seasonal section. They’ve had some Halloween stuff available for awhile in their Bullseye Playground but I wanted to see what else they had this year and the black pumpkins did not disappoint.

The bat lights up purple, and the sign, which was only $1, is reversible.

As much as I love my fall decor, which I ended up putting up Labor Day weekend, I can’t wait to put up my Halloween stuff. I plan on waiting until October 1st if I can. Although most of my fall stuff will end up going back up after Halloween for Thanksgiving since it’s very pumpkin-heavy which works for that holiday too. If it wasn’t for the colder weather and earlier sunsets, I’d love fall even more than I already do.

Categories: Excursions, Friends, Shopping Tags:

Dog Days & Old Stuffed Toys

September 12th, 2018 No comments

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:

Septemberfest & Labor Day Weekend

September 5th, 2018 No comments

Friday (8/31) Joe and I decided to have dinner at The Village Inn Tavern since we haven’t eaten there in years. I don’t know why, but that place just doesn’t thrill me that much even though the food isn’t bad. I had a Reuben with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and Joe had the all you can eat fish. Our bill with tip was $36 which seems high for that type of food. In contrast, we went to Chuy’s out in Schaumburg on Sunday for lunch and paid closer to $30 and enjoyed our meal much more, plus we had a ton of leftovers. The free chips, salsa, and jalapeno dip alone can really fill you up, plus we got free queso for checking into Facebook (which I had planned to do anyway). I got their #1 combo and Joe got the #2 but I think next time maybe I’ll just get the chicken flautas since that was my favorite part of my plate. I also liked the enchiladas, but could have done without the ground beef taco, rice, or beans.

After dinner on Friday we headed to Target where I found some nice unscented candles on clearance. I ended up buying five for only $13.14 (regular price was $29.25 and the cashier forgot to scan one of the candles for some reason). I originally intended to gift them to my mom but I’m thinking about keeping them for myself. I wrapped them multiple times in plastic bags and put them in an upstairs closet to keep out any scents just in case, though.

I also got a candlescape set on clearance. In addition, we found a box of six solar pathway lights (called Malibu lights back in the day) on clearance for $10.50 and decided to get those for the front walkway. Joe put them up and they look so nice! I’ve always wanted some but didn’t want to shell out a lot of money so we were both pretty excited about our find.

Saturday (9/1) we took my car to the dealership for them to do recall work. Apparently the car can stall at low speeds when the A/C is on full blast. I never run it that high, especially now that my windows are tinted, but got that out of the way anyway. The recall was announced the week before I took my car in to get the headunit updated since my bluetooth was randomly disconnecting, so I wish they had done the work then, but they claim they didn’t know about it at the time. While they worked on the car Joe and I first had breakfast at Taco Bell and then went to check out a dog boarding place nearby. Unfortunately I don’t think it would be a good fit for Wookie since it’s similar to the place near the house that makes her anxious. We also hit up Dollar Tree to look around and by then the car was done.

Sunday (9/2) we headed to Schaumburg for Septemberfest since they always have the best craft booths. We found really close parking too which was nice. What wasn’t nice was how muddy the grounds were because it had been raining all weekend. I’m so glad I didn’t wear my new grey sneakers or flip flops like I had been contemplating because our shoes were caked in mud and I had to clean them in the sink when we got home. We ran into my friend, C, which I totally expected since I know she loves that fest. It took us about an hour to go through all the craft booths and by then it was already getting really warm so we decided to take off. Chuy’s wasn’t open yet so we decided to kill some time by checking out a pet store, Dollar Tree, and Target in the area. I got a new toy for Wookie at the pet store but she doesn’t seem to like it very much. I found a cute Beware sign at Dollar Tree and since I couldn’t decide between the orange and white one I got both. At Target we found another box of the solar pathway lights and they were even cheaper – $7.50. Score! We decided to put them around our back patio.

Labor Day (9/3) we dropped Wookie off for a half day of doggie daycare and did some shopping, then I came home and documented all my Halloween decor so I know what I do and don’t need this year. Hint: I don’t NEED anything but I might see something I really want. Also, I wouldn’t be sad if I found a nicer door hanger than the one I’ve been using for years. I also decorated for fall because I couldn’t wait.

During this process we cleaned up the garage a bit more and I came across a storage tub of my old stuffed toys from my childhood that I had completely forgot I even had. In it were my Pound Puppies, Pound Kitty, Fluppy Puppy, Garfield, and my Popple amongst others. I can’t believe how clean they still are after 30+ years! I definitely need to get some pictures of them and decide whether I’m willing to part with any of them. I think not for the Popple but the others are up for debate. I do want to get rid of my Care Bear collection since that one was acquired as an adult (why???) but they’ve just been sitting in a bin for years with tags still on. What a waste of space.

We made cheddar brats for dinner on Monday and then ended up eating our Chuy’s leftovers for dinner on Tuesday.

Categories: Excursions, Food, Shopping Tags:

Doggie Daycare & Shopping

August 28th, 2018 No comments

Friday (8/24) I took Wookie to a local doggie daycare/boarding facility called Camp Ruff It for an evaluation and a half day of daycare. It was only $5 with the coupon I had instead of $20. She was, as expected, very shy and reserved according to her report card. They did mention she crawled into one of the workers laps to give her kisses. I’m sure she was looking for reassurance since she still isn’t convinced other dogs aren’t ready to attack her at a moment’s notice. She loves to play and chase certain little dogs at the dog park, but she gets scared when they try to do the same. I feel so bad that we didn’t properly socialize her when she was a puppy. I’m sure a lot of this could have been avoided. In any case, I’ll be bringing her back to daycare on Labor Day for another half day so she can hopefully become used to the facility and the workers so we have somewhere to leave her when we go out of town. Our friend can dogsit but she also watches other dogs so often she’s not available. She also isn’t a neat freak like I am so I’m worried Wookie would get into something on her floor and eat it since I noticed some stuffing from toys lying around on the floor the last time we visited her. Plus she’s forty minutes away from us and works during the week so Wookie wouldn’t be under supervision 24 hours a day like at this facility. That being said, I don’t want her to be stressed out the entire time we’re gone so I’m hoping this place works out. I had hoped my brother could watch her when we went out of town but since we haven’t had any opportunity to have her and his dog spend time together I’m not sure that would work out. It’s a shame since we wanted to go out to Indiana in a few weeks and their home would be on the way out there.

Since it was so hot this weekend we took advantage of Joe’s free movie ticket (for his birthday) to go see The Meg on Saturday (8/25) and had the entire theater to ourselves. The movie wasn’t bad and seeing Jason Statham shirtless is always a treat. ;)

After the movie we went to a store called At Home to look at fall decor. I didn’t see anything worth getting and was more than a little annoyed that they were playing Christmas songs over the loudspeaker. Seriously? It’s August! I’ve complained about this before, and I’m going to do it again – I hate that everyone gets a hard on for Christmas months in advance of the holiday. It’s ridiculous how much time and energy is spent on a single holiday. It makes me dislike it more every year. I’d be so much happier if we could start talking Christmas after Thanksgiving and stop talking about it once January rolls around.

After shopping we got some food from Just Kabobs and I ended up taking a nap on the couch when we got home. I woke up with a huge headache and got really nauseated for some reason. I pushed through it to take Wookie to the dog park since we knew it would be too hot to go again for at least a few days and ended up feeling better after that.

Joe had to work Sunday (8/26) so I did my usual Monday cleaning then and once he got home around noon we went to Downers Grove to check out a new restaurant called City BBQ. Joe had a beef brisket sandwich and fries and I had plain beef brisket with mac & cheese and cornbread. The beef was good but I wasn’t really in love with any of the sauces and I could have done without the sides. Joe’s sandwich was pretty awesome, though, so I think we’d go back just for that. On our way out we ordered a peach cobbler to go and the woman told us it was on the house which was so nice. Normally it’s $5 which for the size and how delicious it was is totally worth it. I’ve been working on it here and there since it’s over 1000 calories; I definitely didn’t want to eat it all in one sitting.

Monday (8/27) morning I went to Savers and scored a nice long flowy purple tank top which will go great with my black capri leggings, a pink/purple/grey flannel (I so missed having a soft comfy oversized flannel), and a nice polyester blanket to add to the couch. The total was $8.24 for all three things; you can’t beat that. Some seasonal pillow cases I had ordered on Amazon (which shipped form China) came in too.

I do like them, although the shiny/slippery material kinda throws me a bit, and they are super white which I wasn’t expecting. I plan to switch them out each season just for a nice decorative touch.

Categories: Food, Pets, Shopping Tags:

Shoes & A Visit From E

June 25th, 2018 1 comment

Saturday (6/23) we decided to walk around Geneva since it was their annual Swedish Days festival. It was a beautiful day outside and it was fun looking at all the stuff for sale. We picked up these cute little garden animals for $1.39 and put them by our tree in the front.

We also got Wookie a new toy for only $1.50.

As we were walking out of a shop we ran into my good friend, C, with her husband and two of her daughter’s friends. It’s funny how we tend to run into her at fairs, festivals, or just out shopping, more than anyone else we know.

Before leaving we tried a new place called Atlas Chicken Shack and shared an order of fries and a chicken sandwich smothered with ranch dressing. We really liked the dill in the ranch dressing; it gave it a unique flavor.

On our way home we stopped at Old Time Pottery and found a plant stand for outside the front door like Joe had been wanting. It’s already come in handy for setting things down when opening the door (since we STILL can’t use our driveway … more on that in a bit) so I’m not sure I’d even want to put a plant there. Plus, we’re not so good at keeping plants alive. We planted some wildflowers in the planters this year and they just started flowering, but that’s only because they don’t require any care and the rain has been keeping them hydrated.

Joe also spotted that they had a metal baking pan with a plastic lid which I have been searching for to replace ours since the non-stick coating on the inside was coming off. It was on sale too so it was only $7.

Sunday (6/24) we ran to Kohls so I could return a pair of grey Addidas running shoes I had purchased a few weeks back. I’m bummed because I really liked the style but once I started walking around in them (in the house, to keep them clean until I was sure I’d be keeping them), I found they were uncomfortable. I replaced them with a grey pair of New Balance shoes that cost slightly less ($56 after 20% off coupon) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed they will fit better. I wanted a sneaker that wasn’t white yet light in color to go with certain outfits that don’t quite look right with my black shoes.

We also stopped by Costco and I ended up getting a black pair of Reeboks since they were only $20. I’m not positive I’m going to like them but I figured they were worth trying for the price (and their generous return policy).

Joe’s son decided to pay us a visit Sunday afternoon which was nice. He’s been so busy with school and two jobs that we rarely see him. We went out to lunch and then to the mall since he likes the FYE there. He ended up getting 6 Funko POP! vinyl characters (he collects certain ones) and a CD. I’m so glad he’s making his own money now, LOL! But seriously, he was very sweet offering to buy us the Stefon POP character that we got all excited spotting.

I took a picture of it for my Instagram but I don’t want to actually own it. If anything, I want to have less useless possessions, not more.

Back at the house we played The Logo Game and watched some YouTube videos before E took off around 8 pm.

Today I went to Savers to look for clothes because I’ve recently donated all the stuff I don’t wear and replaced it with stuff I love, like leggings and cozy shirts. I scored three items, one of which I think I might be able to wear with leggings to work since it’s long enough to cover my butt. I wish it was easier to find tunics because I don’t feel comfortable wearing shorter shirts with tight-fitting pants.

Despite being told on Saturday by someone who works for the company who is replacing our driveways and patios that they would be filling the driveway aprons with concrete today, they didn’t do it. All they filled was the remaining patios and rip up some driveways on the remaining building. We are both extremely aggravated by this since the last time they did ANY work on our building was a week and a half ago. They have been trying to do too many drives/patios at once and were nowhere to be found for a few days last week. There’s just no reason this should’t be done by now. I called to complain last Thursday but they don’t care.

Meanwhile all these people are unable to use their driveways/garages for WEEKS and it’s getting old. And because they ripped up even more while the two buildings they were in process of working on are still not done there are even less available parking spots on the street. It’s supposed to storm tomorrow so chances are nothing will be done then either. So best case scenario at this point is they will fill the aprons on Wednesday and since you have to wait four full days before driving on them we won’t be able to use our driveway until Monday which is past the last day they claimed this would all be done (June 29th). That last building won’t have to wait as long since once they are done with our two building they only have one left to work on, although at this rate I feel like they purposely drag things out that should have taken a week or less. I’m just beyond annoyed at this point.