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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:

Goodbye 2017

December 31st, 2017 Comments off

I was going to write my regular annual recap post but I just don’t feel like it. 2017 was a pretty good year other than my weird heath issues, and even though we didn’t go on any vacations we did some fun little things throughout the year. I guess the highlight was getting my new car.

Anyway, since it’s been cold we haven’t done much other than shop. Managed to run out of fabric softener even though I’m usually on top of that stuff so we took a trip to Target this morning to get that as well as some other household staples.

At my urging Joe vacuumed the massive amount of dust that was in the cutout area of our master bedroom too. I can’t tell you the last time it was cleaned up there. I have dust mite allergies so maybe getting rid of all that will help me sleep better.

The Christmas decorations are all down and stashed away until next year. I actually enjoyed the holidays a lot this year but I’m still happy to have the house back to normal.

Tonight’s NYE menu
Carmelized Ham & Swiss Buns
Bang Bang Chicken
Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Hopefully I can make it until midnight. See you next year!

Categories: Holidays Tags:

Christmas

December 26th, 2017 Comments off

Friday was my company’s holiday luncheon which is always fun. I ordered two White Russians since Sangria wasn’t an option. I didn’t participate in the grab bag, which turned out to be a wise decision since the only present I would have wanted was a Darth Vader onesie, but I did win a gift wrapping set they raffled off.

I originally won a bottle of wine but was told I could take the gift wrap instead which was perfectly fine by me. The area around the restaurant, which is outside our local mall, was packed with traffic so I vowed we’d avoid stores until after Christmas.

Saturday we hung out and then took Wookie with us after dark to look at Christmas lights around the neighborhood. She ended up throwing up in the car so we won’t be doing that again! We were also up late cooking a turkey which she really did not like because she doesn’t like going in the kitchen when the oven is on but she wanted to go to bed and that’s where her crate is kept.

Sunday we celebrated Christmas with my family. I think my parents and Brother J went a little overboard this year, but I do like that I got presents instead of gift cards! Brother B got me some candles even though he hadn’t intended on exchanging (probably since I revealed a month or so ago that I had already gotten him something) and his girlfriend gave us homemade cookies which were/are delicious!

Pictured: Cookie tin, Lipstick & the Leash (book), Wii Sports Mix, How To Be Perfectly Unhappy (book by The Oatmeal), Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy (CD), 20 by Orbital (CD), Oxxo vegetable chopper, various candles. Not pictured: a set of packing cubes.

Joe received a hat that says “Cool” so he can be “Joe Cool” LOL, a beer mug, a $25 Binny’s gift card, a $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card, and a $25 McDonald’s gift card plus some money. See what I mean? They spent far too much and I feel bad. I got my brothers each a cute magnet from a craft show (Megaman for one and Jason Vorhees for the other) and for Brother J I also got two wrestling DVDs (although the brat went and ordered one of them himself after sending me his wishlist so I have to return it), a poo emoji keychain, a book, and some True Lemon since he was joking I should buy him some.

We gave my parents each a Target gift card, my mom a CD, and my dad a magazine subscription. We also gave Brother B’s girlfriend a Dollar Tree gift card and a rubber ball inside a stocking with paw prints on it for their dog.

My only complaint about the evening was that we were supposed to be there at 5 but didn’t arrive until almost 5:30 due to traffic. It had snowed earlier that day and we got caught behind snow plows in EVERY SINGLE LANE for a good portion of our drive. Brother B called me right around 5 so I explained our predicament. I don’t know whether he didn’t relate the info to my parents or what, but once we arrived we found everyone had already eaten. Seriously, they couldn’t wait for us? Especially because we brought the ham, turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and mac and cheese. I was pretty irked but didn’t let it ruin the evening.

Christmas Day was low-key with just the two of us and Wookie, which was perfect. We opened our remaining presents (we each had opened two the evening before) and also gave Wookie her gifts.

It was so cute how her tail never stopped wagging. I love that dog so much!

Much to my surprise, Joe got me an iPad Pro! Apparently it was $150 off at Target a few weeks ago which was a stellar deal coupled with the 5% off we get with our Target card. I wasn’t really liking my Samsung mini tablet (I prefer Apple’s ecosystem) and at this point I’ve given up hope of Apple releasing a new 7″ tablet. I plan to give Joe my Samsung tablet, and if by chance Apple does decide to release a new mini tablet I will happily buy one and give Joe my iPad Pro 10.5″ since his iPad Air has gotten extremely slow over the years. (I still occasionally use my iPad 2 but not for much since it’s nearly six years old and quite slow now).

Pictured: Gel pens, Tsum Tsum coloring book, Junior Mints, iPad Pro 10.5″, pumpkin seed BarkTHINs, Further by Chemical Brothers (CD), french vanilla and mint Swiss Miss cocoa, a PopSocket, and Human Giant starring Aziz Ansari (DVD).

Joe’s “big” gift from me was a fitness tracker. Not a Fitbit, however, since he didn’t want something that expensive in case he didn’t make use out of it. The one I got him is pretty cool because it doubles as a bare-bones smartwatch that sends him alerts when he gets messages. For the price ($35) it’s pretty impressive. Other things I got him: a Norelco multi-groomer, a beard grooming kit, beard shampoo, candy, a cocktail muddler and spoon barware set, and a Jack Skellington nutcracker.

After setting up my iPad we had a late breakfast which included a new recipe I came across that I thought Joe would like – Three Cheese Grits Casserole. To my surprise I really liked it too so that will be part of our Christmas tradition moving forward.

We also dismantled the Christmas tree because it was driving us crazy. It’s just too big and messes with the flow of our home.

This morning we ran over to Target and Walmart to check out the after-Christmas discounts. We didn’t need any gift wrap but were on the hunt for Christmas cards; unfortunately there weren’t many styles to choose from so we didn’t get any which is ok since we have enough for next year anyway. We did buy some candy and a timer and remote-controlled outlets to make turning on the Christmas lights much easier from now on. I’ve already starting using them and they work great!

We’re also on the hunt for a slim Christmas tree for under $35. Walmart had one for only $25 but it was pre-lit which I’m not sure we want to deal with since it doesn’t seem like you can remove the lights and replace them with your own down the line.

We also bought this awesome sign.

We really liked it the first time we spotted it two weeks ago but didn’t want to pay $18. Today it was only $8.92! I like how you can hang it or just put it on the floor or a table since it has a built in stand.

Today was also our Christmas with the kids. Since E had to work this afternoon we met them at a pizza place at 11 am for lunch (and they were on time, woo!) and then went back to K & ES’ place to open presents.

Now we’re just relaxing since it’s back to work tomorrow. Boo! At least I only have to work two days this week!

Categories: Family, Holidays 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.

Read more…

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

Mish Mash Of Stuff

November 6th, 2017 Comments off

Monday
We took my Crosstrek to the dealer and they fixed the loose wire that was causing the window and door lock buttons on the passenger side not to work. We then had dinner at a new Tex-Mex restaurant called Chevy’s. It wasn’t the best food I’ve ever had but I could see us going there occasionally. I particularly liked their chicken flautas.

Halloween
We only got a single trick-or-treater this year – our next door neighbor. Meanwhile, my brother got over 100 kids at his new house. His girlfriend said we should come to their place next year and I’ll definitely be taking her up on that offer. I didn’t feel like deconstructing the treat bags I put together so I brought them into work on Wednesday and left them in the break room for the taking.

Weekend Stuff
This weekend was a pretty gloomy one so we mostly just shopped, although we did get together with one of our friends to play BINGO Friday night at the VFW. It’s not as crowded as BINGO at the church, it’s warmer inside, and it doesn’t seem to drag on as long. Of course we didn’t win squat! Plus I feel like they call out the numbers so quickly that I can’t keep up. I doubt we’ll be going again anytime soon.

Sunday I tried a new crockpot chili recipe because while my usual one is ok, it wasn’t one that I really looked forward to eating. The new one is pretty good and with a few tweaks will probably be our new go-to.

New Obsessions
I may have mentioned how I decided to buy plain throw pillows and covers to upgrade the look of our couch. They don’t quite match but look a lot better than the 13 year old pillows that came with the couch. Now I’m on the hunt for a better wall clock but everything I like so far is over $100!

I’m currently obsessed with Walmart’s plush leggings. I wore a Halloween-themed pair on Halloween (and every night thereafter since they are so comfy) and picked up a Christmas patterned pair this weekend.

Family Stuff
Joe’s niece had her second daughter, A, by c-section on Wednesday.

Joe’s mom’s cancer is worse than originally thought so his niece is arranging hospice care for her. It sucks she had to go through the surgery and it doesn’t seem to have helped.

Categories: Car, Family, Food, Holidays, Shopping Tags: