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Car Shopping

May 8th, 2017 No comments

Car shopping has to rank up there in aggravation with mattress shopping, although at least test-driving cars can be fun.

Saturday afternoon we headed to the Subaru dealership so I could test drive the Impreza. I was really liking the looks of the Crosstreks too so I decided to test drive one of those first. I didn’t care for the Impreza’s handling so I asked to drive the Crosstrek a second time and was sure at that point that I liked it better.

Originally I thought something was up with both vehicles because when we were at a red light I felt some strange shaking. Turns out it was the sales guy shaking his leg up and down! I proceeded to give him shit about it after that.

The main problem – they don’t offer the color combo I want. Of course they don’t because I’m picky and apparently what I like doesn’t align with the general public. It was bad enough when I learned only the Impreza has the larger touch screen and ability to link your Google maps via Apple Car Play, but when I learned I wouldn’t be able to get the color I wanted I was really bummed. Why oh why do manufacturers do this? I want the Quartz Blue Pearl with black cloth.

Nope, can’t get it. They only offer an ivory interior (cloth on the Premium or leather on the Limited) unless I want the basic model with a manual transmission. What the heck does the transmission have to do with the color combination? Getting an automatic is considered an upgrade anyway so why can’t I get the automatic with black cloth? I was ready to concede to the sport cloth, which isn’t my fave thanks to the orange stitching, if needed, but that’s not even an option in the Crosstrek, only the Impreza. But you can get the black interior with the ugly turquoise exterior. Ew. Why would people prefer that shade of blue over the one I like? Is my taste really that different? I don’t get it.

Needless to say we left without purchasing anything because I have to do some serious thinking. I really hate the idea of settling again. I did it with my Jetta (I wanted silver, not navy blue) and while it worked out, I’m kinda tired of not getting what I want especially when I’m going to have this next vehicle for at least ten years if not more (my Jetta is 17 years old). The Dark Silver Metallic isn’t terrible by any means, but the blue really pops with the moldings whereas the dark gray does not. Plus the blue is different enough that it would stand out in a parking lot and be easier to find.

To be honest, the whole experience turned me off to the idea of getting a new car at all. My Jetta’s air conditioning isn’t working though, so it’s going to make my (thankfully only 10 minutes) summer commute pretty uncomfortable. This is a huge decision, however, and I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I was even happier I didn’t settle when the following morning we were doing some research and learned the 2018 Crosstreks, which are being released this summer, will have the upgraded touch screens and Apple Car Play. We had asked the salesman about that and he feigned ignorance about what the 2018 models would have or when they were coming out. Considering all the info is on the Subaru website, however, I think he knew. That really pisses me off. He’d rather get a sale immediately than be honest and ensure we get what we want.

The only cool thing about the experience is that the city of Naperville built a test track for all the surrounding dealerships (at a steep monthly cost to them, we were told) which was very fun to drive. I enjoyed testing the car on that because otherwise you can’t get up to a decent speed on the streets in the area. I wish every dealership had access to something like that.

I think we’re going to look at Ford again just so I cover all my bases. I really felt like Subaru was going to be it but now I’m not sure. Even with the upgraded technology in the 2018 models I doubt I’ll be able to get the color combo I had my heart set on and that sucks.

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Petsmart & Wood By Sink

May 1st, 2017 No comments

I really can’t stand it when people insist on trying to get my dog to come to them even after I’ve explained that she is people shy. This dude at the Petsmart earlier today would not let it go. I made sure to stand with her in the vestibule when we left since he was dilly-dallying going to his car and I didn’t want him to bug us in the parking lot too. He seemed a little shady to be honest.

The reason we even went to Petsmart to begin with is because Wookie won’t stop chewing on inappropriate things so I wanted to buy some bitter apple spray. So far she has eaten part of the carpet where it meets the dining room floor, has chewed the corners of the throw rugs in the dining room, and yesterday was chewing on the dining room chairs. Today she destroyed the molding by the sink which she has never even bothered before. We just replaced the wood paneling there yesterday (and one piece of the molding) because the woodgrain sticker on the particle board had become loose years beforehand when our old dishwasher leaked and caused that sticker to bubble. Wookie started pawing at it until it was torn and looked like hell. Had we known a new piece was only $4 at Menards we probably would have replaced it years ago. The color we chose matches our cabinets better so that’s pretty cool.

I’m kicking myself for buying the bitter apple at Petsmart, though, because I remembered Amazon’s pricing incorrectly (I looked it up before leaving the house) and seriously overpaid for it. $16.49 for a 16 oz bottle and I’m not even sure if it works. I am seriously tempted to return it and order a refill bottle from Amazon for half the price. I can buy a little spray bottle for $1 in Walmart’s travel section and save myself some money. Petsmart had toys on sale too – buy 2 get 1 free – so of course I had to get a few things.

Wookie loves the beaver from her puppy training class and they finally had it in stock, and she loves anything with tassles. The fox toy ended up being the free one.

I really need to get Wookie groomed soon but it seems to be turning into a real pita getting in touch with anyone. Maybe it’s because I’m phone-adverse and have been sending FB messages these businesses aren’t interested in even looking at, let alone return. I contacted a mobile groomer on Friday evening to get a price quote and never heard back. Then before leaving for Petsmart I called this one natural pet food store about their grooming and the next available Friday isn’t until May 12th, so I messaged Wookie’s original groomer and she hasn’t gotten back to me yet either.

After contacting the groomers I decided to brush Wookie to ensure she doesn’t have any mats on the small chance I would be able to get her a grooming appointment today. That doesn’t look promising, but she did have a few mats around her legs that I was able to remove. Between that and her Petsmart adventure she was so pooped that she passed out on the couch shortly after we got home.

I too would like to go back to bed. This entire weekend has been a bust. The original plan was to go car shopping on Saturday and to Lilacia Park on Sunday, neither of which happened thanks to the cold rainy weather. I feel depressed for the first time since November and it sucks.

Oh, and we learned that Wookie does in fact still have baby teeth when we were poking around in her mouth the other day and Joe noted a tooth was loose. So I shouldn’t have been giving her the dental chews yet like I have been. I need to just brush her teeth daily until her adult teeth are all in. She left the tooth in my hand when playing with her this morning by the way. That’s the first one she hasn’t swallowed.

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Weekend Recap

February 20th, 2017 Comments off

Friday 2/17

While Wookie was at the groomer I stopped by Dollar Tree to find a container to keep her toys in. They had had their Easter stuff out which included containers of all shapes and sizes in my favorite color – purple! Needless to say I picked up more than a few, but here’s the one I got for her toys:

Wookies Toys

Then I went to Bath & Body Works to use my coupon for a free small lotion. I’m glad they had Warm Vanilla Sugar in stock because I’m not a fan of most of the scents.

Later that evening we stopped by Panda Express for dinner since we had coupons for free Fire Cracker Chicken breast and a drink.

Saturday 2/18

My Jetta had what should be its last oil change at the dealership because I plan on getting a new car soon. I know I keep saying that but now that Joe is working again it’s time.

The dealer moved to a new location on the same street just further away and it’s really nice. What’s not nice is the price of an oil change – $70!!! We paid a little less than that thanks to a coupon but seriously? Joe will be changing the oil himself on my next car. It just wasn’t very cost-saving on the Jetta because the oil filter price is ridiculous.

That’s just one of the reasons Volkswagen wasn’t in the running when I was thinking about which car I might want. The other reason is they are way behind in technology. I’m more than likely going to be getting a Subaru which has a huge LCD screen and syncs with my phone. Plus it comes standard with a backup camera and I can add on heated seats which is a must have for me. Once it gets warmer out I’ll be doing a second test drive of the Impreza as well as the Crosstrek. I might even check out the Ford Focus five door once more although for the price, safety, and resale value, I’m definitely leaning toward Subaru.

As noted in my other entry we spent the afternoon at Petsmart with Wookie and then came home and opened up all the windows because it was uncharacteristically warm outside. It’s been in the 60’s now for a few days which is just wild in February. Wookie was acting a bit odd later in the evening and I don’t know if it’s because she smelled something outside like a coyote, but she was shivering (it wasn’t cold inside) and walking around with her tail between her legs. It could be that she’s teething too, so we’ve just been keeping a close watch over her.

We were supposed to go to my parents’ for Brother B’s birthday party, but Brother J is sick so that was cancelled.

Sunday 2/19

Savers was having a pre-Presidents Day sale so everything was 50% off. Of course despite taking 7 tops into the dressing room none of them fit well but Joe found three t-shirts he didn’t need. LOL We did get a game called Logo Board Game for only $4. Technically it should have been $2 but for some reason it didn’t ring up as 50% off. I emailed Savers this morning to ask why.

Logo Board Game

Still not a bad price for a game that sells for nearly $30 on Amazon and was in great condition. We plan on taking it to my parents’ house the next time we visit.

After lunch we decided to take Wookie on a walk at Northside Park in Wheaton. She really sucks on a leash right now so that is the next major thing I need to tackle. She just pulls and weaves back and forth and you practically trip over her. But we wanted to give her the exposure to all the people and dogs that we knew would be there due to the nice weather. It was very crowded and we spent about an hour there.

Wookie at the Park

That afternoon Joe also installed a child lock on cabinet under sink so now I don’t need to move the garbage can in front of it when I let Wookie run around the kitchen. I can rest easy knowing she can’t get into any cleaning products. I’m going to have him put the lock on the cabinet where we store the saran wrap and baggies too.

Monday 2/20

Right now I have stuffed cabbage cooking in the crockpot. I really hate the prep because even with Joe coring the cabbage last night it was still a bitch to tear off the leaves without ripping them which makes rolling up the meat mixture inside a bit difficult. I might make this cabbage casserole I found online next time instead. It’s basically the same thing without worrying about the size of the cabbage pieces.

Speaking of a the crockpot, I had a total fail a couple of weeks ago. I tried making the stoup in it vs on the stove and I will never do that again because the taste was completely different and not good at all. Lesson learned.

This day has flown by because I slept in until 7 am, had to deal with the cabbage, which included a trip to Walmart to buy lemon juice since ours was expired (but I was smart – I froze the new stuff using the ice cube tray my brother got me for my birthday), clean the house, and run to my doctor’s office to pick up my blood work order they had forgotten to give me before.

Categories: Food, Pets, Shopping Tags:

February 13th, 2017 Comments off

After my doctor visit Friday (2/10), I did a little shopping. One of my stops included Party City where I snagged this cute bunny cutout for 99 cents and this St. Patrick’s Day sign for $1.99. Both are for the front door.

Easter Bunny

St Patricks Day sign

I wanted to get a nicer Easter sign but they all had glitter on them which looks nice at first but makes a mess in the storage bins, not to mention eventually wears off.

I made a few other stops to grab some stuff for Joe for Valentine’s Day as well.

Friday night we watched Neighbors 2 which I thought was better than the first one.

Saturday morning we went to the arboretum for their Chocolate Expo and spent about $30 on goodies.

Flat Bottom Pretzels Chocolates

Marmie's Chocolates

1st photo: jalapeƱo chocolate covered Slim Jims, a mint Oreo, cherry bombs, pretzels, chocolate covered Bullseyes.

2nd photo: dark chocolate toffee and an oversized turtle.

We tried everything so far except the pretzels and the turtle. The toffee is always good, the bullseyes were just ok, the mint Oreo was awesome, as were the Slim Jims. I think Joe really liked the cherry bombs too but I didn’t just because I’m not a fan of twizzlers.

We stopped at Chipotle for lunch and then went home to pick up Wookie to take her to Petsmart for their special Puppy Love event. She met some dogs and people and seemed to react better than last time. She also got some free treats!

Petsmart Swag

In addition, I bought her an Easter toy. I love that the free Greenie’s she got are worth $10! We won’t be giving those to her until she’s 6 months old, however.

We signed her up for their 6-week puppy training course which starts next Saturday. I think she’s going pretty great with her training overall, but she could definitely use more socialization and it will be interesting to learn what we are and aren’t doing right with her too.

Sunday we did some grocery shopping super early in the morning. I couldn’t sleep so we found ourselves at Meijer just after 7 am.

We went to an 11 am showing of The LEGO Batman Movie which was, as expected, awesome! I can’t get enough of how cute and clever the LEGO movies are, and even though I’m not into the series, after seeing the preview I’m really looking forward to The LEGO NINJAGO Movie as well.

We made a stop at home to feed Wookie and then went to Beef Shack for lunch and then to Fermilab for their open house. However, once we got there and learned it was just science experiments set up for kids in this one building we’ve already visited before, we left. I thought we would be able to see the offices/labs in Wilson Hall so that was disappointing. I think it was a bit misleading to call it a open house vs a special event.

We wrapped up the weekend by watching The Grammys. I don’t know what the deal was with Beyonce but I couldn’t stand her so-called performance. She acts as if she’s the only woman who has ever been pregnant. It just reeked of self importance and it made me look away. I’ve never been a huge fan but she’s really rubbing me the wrong way lately. In contrast, I did like Lady Gaga performing with Metallica even if James’ mic wasn’t working. My favorite performance, however, was the tribute to the Bee Gees. Growing up my parents had a record player and a limited number of albums, one of them being Saturday Night Fever. We listened to it a lot so along with Creedence Clearwater Rival and the Carpenters, so the Bee Gees hold a special place in my heart even though I don’t really listen to their music very often.

Categories: Excursions, Movies, Music, Pets, Photos, Shopping Tags:

Weekend Recap

January 21st, 2017 Comments off

Friday 1/20

Made Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes for dinner. Came out pretty good. Need to use more steak sauce next time than recipe dictates for more intense flavor.

Went to play Bingo with friend E at the church. Didn’t win squat, as usual, but had fun nonetheless being silly.

Saturday 1/21

Purchased a cute Nightmare Before Christmas purse from Hot Topic. Was BOGO so Joe got a Nightmare Before Christmas t-shirt.

Nightmare Before Christmas Bag

Had $10 of Kohl’s cash burning a hole in my pocket but couldn’t find anything I wanted the weekend before. Was about to give up when we came across dog beds on sale 50% off. So this CuddleDuds bed was under $13 when all was said and done.

CuddleDuds Dog Bed

Checked out the new Mariano’s. Super busy! Used coupon for a free reusable grocery tote. Bought some cheese and crackers after sampling it with pesto. New delicious combo we never thought of trying before.

Went to Petco to use $30 off 30 lb bag of dog food but they only make the puppy variety in a 15 lb bag. Employee said “let’s try the coupon anyway and see what happens” and it worked! So what was normally $40 was $10 plus tax and I used my $15 egift card so it was nothing out of pocket.

It was almost 60 degrees outside so we took Wookie for her first park visit. We used the new seat cover and seatbelt hardness I had purchased at Amazon and although she wasn’t quite sure how to sit at first, she was much calmer than when we put her in the crate. We chose Armstrong Park because it tends to be less crowded. We came across people on the path and she was more afraid of them than the dogs they were walking. As soon as they’d get close she’d stop hauling ass (we need to work on leash etiquette) and hide behind me. What a drama queen! One guy had his teacup Yorkie in the basket on his bike. He stopped to chat with us a bit. It’s funny how much friendlier people are when you have a dog. Got lots of “he’s so cute” comments when people walked by too. She definitely is a cutie! This is her after her walk with the wind blowing through her fur.

Wookie

We made sure to wipe down her paws when we got home so she wouldn’t pick up any diseases.

Joe took care of some stuff around the house:

  • Installed our new wireless doorbell I got off Amazon. We haven’t had a functioning doorbell in years and normally I wouldn’t care but it helps with package deliveries, especially on those rare occasions where they require a signature.
  • Replaced a pipe under the kitchen sink.
  • Took apart the dryer to see if he could determine why it doesn’t heat up consistently. We were hoping just taking it apart would get it working reliably but it isn’t so he’s going to order one of the parts it could be from Appliance Part Pros. They have a 365 day money back guarantee so if it’s not the correct part we can send it back and try another.

We planned on going to the Oswego Light Festival but felt too lazy to drive all that way so stayed in and watched Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates instead. I used my free birthday code from Redbox.

Sunday 1/22

We went to Drury Lane for a Home and Garden Show and ended up scheduling three estimates this week for replacing our patio door. I really hope they are affordable, otherwise Joe is going to do it himself.

After the show we walked around Oak Brook mall. It wasn’t bad considering it was under 50 degrees. We missed an entire section of stores, however, so I didn’t get to check out this Aritzia boutique I keep hearing some YouTubers fawning over. Maybe next time. We got all excited when we spotted a DMK Burger Bar there but it’s actually still under construction. I did find a black pair of sneakers for $22 at Sears – Fila Windstar 2 is the brand/model. I’ve been needing to replace my black Nikes for awhile (they are literally five years old because I really take care of my stuff) but didn’t want to spend $70+. They are running shoes but for me they are walking around and shopping shoes.

41xOHdBa26L._SX395_

We were pretty hungry but couldn’t think of any place good for lunch so I decided to make some tuna salad at home instead.

We also used the newer playpen (which Joe separated into two sections earlier in the week) to keep Wookie contained to the living room and put her crate, bed, water and food bowls, plus the pee pad, on the tile by the fireplace, and let her hang out with us all evening. She was really good (no accidents) and even played by herself and napped (although not as long as she usually does because she was probably worried about missing so much since she’s not used to be out that long). I hope we can do this more now that she’s older (she turned 4 months old on Saturday) because we were actually able to watch TV without her having a fit for once. Some nights we’d haul ass upstairs just to get a break from her since even though she can hear us up there if we turn off the lights downstairs she stays quiet.

Monday 1/23

Cleaned the upstairs, did laundry, went to Aldis for groceries, and kept an eye on Wookie. She has thrown up bile three times over the past few days. Initially we thought maybe it was the chew bone we gave her so we took it away. Now we’re not sure what it is but since it’s only once in a given day and she acts normally otherwise, we’re not sure whether we should be too concerned just yet. She wouldn’t eat lunch today and slept a lot, but her poop is normal. She kept refusing food unless I gave her just the hard food. Suddenly she doesn’t care for the wet food which she once loved. I’m a bit worried since the hard food might be upsetting her stomach but I guess we’ll see since that’s all she would eat all day.

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