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Valentine’s Day & Puppy Playdate

February 19th, 2019 Comments off

We decided not to do anything for Valentine’s Day this year because, eh, who cares? We don’t need anymore trinkets or candy. So imagine my surprise when on his way home from the airport on Thursday Joe came in with tulips and an Oreo ice cream cake. I just knew my cousin had something to do with the cake because I was talking about it with her just a few hours before on messenger. We’ve been enjoying that cake almost every night since. I have to say, though, that it seems like they add a bunch of cool whip to it to help it freeze harder. Maybe the regular Oreo ice cream is the way to go in the future. But I’m happy I finally got my first ice cream cake. I’ve been wanting one for a long time.

Friday (02/15) evening we went to Home Depot in search of a piece of particle board that would better match the cabinets. We got one from Menards but it wasn’t the right shade. Well, turns out neither Home Depot, nor Lowes, whom we had visited a week prior, carries such things. So it’s back to Menards in hopes they’ve stocked in a better matching color.

We also brought our paperwork from when we purchased carpeting from them 15 years ago in hopes we could order a small square to patch the holes Wookie chewed in the carpet. No such luck since they no longer have that particular item in their inventory. I could just kick myself for us throwing out the whole big roll of extra carpet we had sitting in the garage. Who knew we’d get a dog and need it someday? Ugh! My next step is contacting the manufacturer to find out if they can tell us whatever equivalent they have in the same color. Trying to pick out the correct color by memory is not working. Note to future self – keep at least a small sample of the extra carpeting next time to make such things easier. If all else fails I guess we’ll have to keep the plastic in that spot or go with hardwood flooring at some point, neither of which I’m happy about. I actually like carpet in the living room, but with how often Wookie throws up on it, it’s only a matter of time that it will need to be replaced. I clean it thoroughly every time but still.

Saturday (02/16) we took Wookie to K’s house for a puppy playdate and she peed on her throw carpet. WTF dog? At least she didn’t puke in the car since we took mine! She’s very confident roaming her house now, at least when we’re there. We left for about twenty minutes to get some food and she sat in front of the door waiting for us to return. We plan to leave her with K for the weekend in the spring to take a road trip and I hope she adjusts ok so we can build up to leaving her there for a week when we go to Disney. I don’t know how parents leave their kids with strangers all the time. I guess it gets easier? I know K would never do anything to hurt her but I still get nervous thinking of leaving her with someone else for an extended period.

Sunday (02/17) we were pretty lazy because it was snowing and Joe had to leave for the airport in the late afternoon anyway for a work trip to Seattle. His flight was getting delayed later and later so he changed to an earlier flight which was also delayed, but at least he made it to his destination! His original flight ended up being cancelled entirely.

I had actually won tickets to see The Price Is Right live @ the Chicago Theater for that night and ended up having the tickets transferred into my friend’s name so she could go instead. When I originally entered the contest in October I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to attend. Figures. At least it wasn’t something more exciting. I mean, I would have gone for free but I’m not broken hearted about missing it.

Monday (02/18) Wookie had a grooming appointment and later that afternoon I went to Dollar Tree in search of a few specific storage bins that weren’t in stock. Between that and how crowded it was thanks to it being President’s Day, it was a disappointing trip.

Categories: Friends, Holidays, House & Home, Pets Tags:

Weekend Wrap-up

December 17th, 2018 Comments off

Saturday (12/15) we decided to head to Naperville to check out the Christkindlmarket. I’ve heard about it over the years but have never gone.

Unfortunately, it was super crowded so we didn’t stick around too long. We did buy some overpriced ($8) cinnamon sugar cashews. So far the best roasted nuts I’ve had was in the Miller Park in Milwaukee.

When we initially came out of the parking garage, we saw Empire (a burger bar) in the distance and it looked so cool we decided not to get any more food at the market and instead went there for lunch. We got to sit upstairs with the interesting view, but didn’t find the food itself as impressive as we would have preferred considering the price. We ordered their Empire Tots, Burger Cigars, and split the Empire Burger. First off, we were expecting a bunch of tater tots but got four very big potato patties covered in cheese, bacon, and a ranch drizzle with a fried egg and green onions on top. While that sounds good, I wasn’t a fan of the flavor combination.

Same goes for the burger. Something about the cream cheese mixing with the maple bourbon syrup produced a plastic-like flavor, like I was eating a beach ball, so Joe ate most of it. The Burger Cigars were by far the best part, save for the fact they were cold inside.

So while we really enjoyed the atmosphere, the food was lackluster enough that we don’t plan on returning.

After lunch we headed home and ended up watching Equalizer 2 that evening which we both enjoyed.

Sunday (12/16) we went to a morning matinee of Ralph Breaks The Internet which I thought was good. Was it better than the original? So hard to say. I liked that Disney was able to poke fun of themselves with all the Disney Princesses. I’m looking forward to seeing it again when it comes to DVD.

Once we got back we decided to take Wookie to the dog park since it was relatively warm compared to how it’s been lately. Unfortunately it was super muddy on the path leading to the park so I had to carry her into the park. She got a little dirty in the park but not too bad.

Once we got home Joe washed my car which was really nice.

Categories: Excursions, Food, Movies, Pets Tags:

Decorating for Christmas

December 3rd, 2018 Comments off

Friday (11/30) after cleaning I put together a new Christmas scene on top of the CD cabinet with all new decor I picked up from a few places this month.


(Click to enlarge)

I really love how it came out! Total OOP was $26.10 before tax. Breakdown is as follows:

Reindeer – $13 @ Home Goods
Merry Christmas sign – $3 @ Target
Big silver glitter tree – $2.10 @ Walgreens
Small silver glitter trees – $1 each @ Target
Nutcracker – $3 @ Target
Red berries – $1 each @ Dollar Tree
White table runner – $1 @ Dollar Tree

I also bought this cute Santa gnome from Target earlier in the month.

I really don’t care for gnomes normally but every time I was looking around their Bullseye Playground I’d see him and think he was so cute, so I finally gave in and got him since he was only $5.

Oh, and we can’t forget the seasonal pillowcase set I purchased earlier this year. Switched the fall one to winter:

Saturday (12/01) morning we headed over to Bath & Body Works to get a few candles since they were on sale for $8.95. I was pretty shocked to see how crazy crowded it was in there at 8 am. Despite the long line it only took about twenty minutes to buy my two candles (both Marshmallow Fireside because I really don’t like most of their scents). We then headed to Walmart and Target. While at Target we met with a guy who was buying our Xbox 360 drum set for $15 via Offer Up. We bought it for around $12 and paid $7 for the drumsticks (which I included in the sale) so not bad considering we were only out $4 for a few years of use. We never used it anymore because it was hard to master. I’m happy to have the space it frees up in the closet.

I got a chance to play with the Nintendo Switch at Target and was really liking it. I tried Mario Kart but I could see myself liking the Bomberman game (at least the battle mode) but I’m not sure it’s worth spending $300 on the system and who knows what else on games.

After shopping we had a quick breakfast before taking Wookie in for her annual exam and vaccinations. She got the three year rabies shot so while the total bill was higher than last year (just under $300, yikes!), we won’t have to do that test again until 2021. Her exam also included the Bordatella vaccine which is annual, as well as parasite tests so those will have to be repeated next year. The vet did say her teeth didn’t look as bad as I thought so we probably won’t have to take her for a dental until next year which is nice. She was given pre-meds to prevent her from having a reaction to the vaccines which worked like a charm as she didn’t get sick at all.

After her appointment we brought all the Christmas decor out of the garage and decorated the inside of the house while listing to Christmas music.

We are loving the new 7 ft slim tree we got on clearance for $15 next year. We also bought a red tree collar to replace the tree skirt Wookie ate last year. She won’t be able to chew on that!

We took our time setting everything up so it spanned about three hours total. This is probably the earliest we’ve decorated for Christmas in a very long time. It definitely helps having a tree that doesn’t crowd the living room so it probably won’t bother us having the tree up for nearly a month long like it has in the past. Plus we don’t have to shift things around in the dining room like we have in the past.

Sunday (12/02) we did a little shopping but decided to skip a trip to the Apple store like originally intended. We had made a deal earlier in the week that if Joe pulled the trigger on ordering a new laptop for $800, then I would upgrade my phone in lieu of us exchanging gifts, but now I’m not so sure I want to do that. He already ordered the laptop though so he’s been bamboozled haha (although not intentionally).

As I’ve mentioned previously, I want to have a nice phone for our planned Disney trip in early 2020 and while the phone itself would be fine, I worry the battery won’t be great since at that point it would be around 14-15 months old. I could get a phone now and then trade it in for the newer model next year, but that seems rather wasteful so I’m really hesitating. I do want a new phone, particularly for the improved camera, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot regarding our trip. I keep going back and forth on this. I wish the iPhones weren’t so damn expensive these days. I thought my iPhone 6 was pricey at $400 and yet the 256GB iPhone XS, which is the model I’m interested in, is $1150!!! Ugh. As of this writing I am probably going to hold off until next year October. Let’s just hope my phone holds out until then. I haven’t updated to iOS 12 because I’ve heard it slows the phone down, plus I would lose an app I use daily. The problem is some of the apps I use sometimes require me to update them to keep using them and I worry at some point they won’t work with iOS 11. Hopefully that doesn’t happen until next year!

After shopping and getting a few treats from Trader Joes, we stopped at PDQ for lunch and split the Grilled Hawaiian and Pimento Crunch sandwiches, both of which were so good. We especially liked the Pimento cheese. We made a quick stop to drop off some donations for our dog park group before heading home to relax the remainder of the afternoon.

Today (12/03) Joe worked from home so he took a morning break so we could get some breakfast from McDonalds and go to Savers. I’ve been looking for a red sweater to wear on Christmas. Unfortunately it was a bust despite trying on a few promising sweaters. I did, however, grab two Vera Bradley items for a good price.

The purse was $7.50 and the wallet was $4.

Later in the evening we made a quick trip to Dunkin Donuts where I got some delicious Oreo hot chocolate before we went to Cosley Zoo to check out their lights because the Ozinga Merry Mixer was on site. We didn’t stay long though because it was seriously freezing cold out.

Categories: Excursions, Pets, Shopping Tags:

Free Comforter & Wookie’s Pet-Sitter To Be

November 19th, 2018 Comments off

What’s better than a brand new King-sized grey/white comforter for only $40? How about a free one?

I spotted this on Groupon today and decided I was tired of our old comfortable which has always been too small and not the shade of purple I expected when we bought it online NINE years ago (where the f does the time go?)! I used our Discover cash back to get $50 in Groupon bucks so it didn’t cost us a cent out of pocket which makes me feel better in case it doesn’t look as nice as the photo. Crossing my fingers it’s great, though!

This weekend was pretty low key. Joe was in Denver again and came back late Friday night.

Saturday (11/17) we did our annual big shop at Target to take advantage of the deal where you buy $50 of groceries and get a $10 gift card. So we did that … twice! Got a turkey, cranberries, lots of other things including my favorite Vitamin water on sale, and should be fully prepared to host Thanksgiving on Friday for the kids and their significant others. I will be making some of the sides on Thursday to bring to my parents’ since the sweet potato casserole is huge and can feed many people (and I don’t think Joe’s kids will touch it which is why I’ll also be making mashed potatos on Friday). I’m pretty excited because I love Thanksgiving! I’m also excited to make homemade cranberry sauce again this year.

Saturday night we finished off the Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza we had ordered earlier in the week (I had frozen the leftovers since Joe was out of town). We got the munchies that evening though and found ourselves at Baskin Robbins buying two quarts of peanut butter chocolate ice cream for $10. Better than paying $6.50 for a single one or $3.50 for a single scoop of ice cream. Well, better for the wallet, not necessarily my waist line! We ended up stopping at Taco Bell too SMH.

Sunday (11/18) we went to K’s house to hang out a little and also left Wookie with her for two and a half hours to get used to her house since she will be our pet sitter when we go out of town. We ended up going to two different malls – Northbrook Court and Old Orchard. We didn’t spend much time at the first one because it’s all high end stores. Old Orchard was a bit better but honestly I just can’t justify the prices at Lululemon, Aritzia, North Face, and even the Eddie Bauer outlet. Plus they didn’t have what I’m searching for – fleece-lined leggings or jeans, and a long black down alternative jacket in black with a removable hood and inner pockets. Eddie Bauer did have the fleece lined jeans but they were $40 on sale (normally $80) but were so unstylish I might as well just keep wearing my Cuddle Duds under a larger pair of jeans. It’s not ideal but definitely cheaper and more attractive. Stupid Walmart no longer sells the fleece lined leggings but they do sell fleece lined jeans that may just work and they’re only $25 so I might order a pair to try out.

We had lunch at Shake Shack in Old Orchard. While good, it wasn’t all that for the price. The burgers look like In-N-Out but taste like Culver’s. Two single burgers and an order of fries was $15 whereas we could have gotten kids meals from Culvers for $6 each and they come with drinks and a scoop of frozen custard. What a deal!

Anyway, Wookie is definitely comfortable in K’s house when we are there and will even go into different rooms and look around which she was too scared to do when she was younger, but once we left apparently she sat by the door for ten minutes and then spent the rest of her time laying under K’s kitchen table. She was overjoyed when we came back and I felt bad that she seems to shut down when we’re not around. Hopefully she’d eventually chill out if she had to spend more time there. I really don’t want to her to be miserable but I also want/need a vacation! I’ve been toying with the idea of taking one for my birthday since January birthdays suck in the Midwest as it is. I wouldn’t mind going to Arizona but Joe’s dad now lives with Joe’s sister so I think we’d have to get a hotel room. If Disneyland wasn’t a) a 4+ hour flight and b) hella expensive because the hotels on property aren’t plentiful like in Orlando, I would totally book a Disneyland vacation as I’d love to go there, although I’d prefer a fall trip so we can see The Haunted Mansion done up as Nightmare Before Christmas. I just want to go somewhere warm!

Considering how cold it has been I’m shocked our current gas bill was only $45 this past month. We’re not on a budget plan either. I guess gas prices are low??? It has already snowed 2-3 times this month and I’m already over it. I’ve got a pork roast in the slow cooker right now and I hope it comes out good! Seems like the perfect meal for a cold wintery day even if it’s still fall for goodness sakes.

Categories: Pets, Shopping Tags:

Halloween Houses & Craft Shows

October 29th, 2018 Comments off

Saturday (10/20) we went to Willowbrook High School for their annual craft fair but left empty-handed unlike last year. I did see a few things I liked, including a little fleece jacket for Wookie that fastened with velcro (which she prefers over wearing something that goes over her head) but the only version in her size was cut a little crooked so I opted not to get it. I took the woman’s card and I might purchase a custom made jacket at some point since her prices were reasonable and she’s local.

Joe had to go to court twice that week (10/22 and 10/25) to get his old child support accounts officially terminated so they stop charging us $36 annually to maintain accounts that aren’t even being used. I really hate the state of Illinois and the hoops they make you jump through. He sat in the courtroom all morning and part of the afternoon that Monday just to get a stamped piece of paper that took less than five minutes to receive. Luckily on his return trip he only had to wait around an hour.

In between that was our wedding anniversary (10/23) so we visited the arboretum and had a nice dinner at Jameson’s Steakhouse.

This past Friday (10/26) we drove around Carol Stream to look at the houses decorated for Halloween.

On Saturday (10/27) after Joe donated some blood we stopped at Sonny Acres for apple cider donuts and a walking taco for yours truly. I swear their prices keep going up. A half dozen of donuts was $9 and my walking taco was $4. That will probably be our last visit since it’s not that much fun anymore as it always seems cold and there’s nothing to do if you don’t have kids. Doesn’t really matter anyway since the property is up for sale and likely won’t be around come this time next year anyway. That night we stopped at Just Kabobs for dinner and then went on the Gallery of Ghoulish Homes Tour in St. Charles. It wasn’t judging night (which was the previous weekend when the weather was super windy) and we started a bit early (before 6 pm) than usual so it wasn’t the same. We didn’t get out of the car and I didn’t bother taking any photos. Traditions are nice but sometimes they start to get stale, you know? Perhaps that’s a hint we should move…

Yesterday (10/28) we went to Oak Brook mall because I had an appointment with the Apple store to have my iPhone 6 battery replaced since they are only offering the discounted $29 replacements until the end of the year. They wouldn’t do it, however, since I had already had the battery replaced by Batteries+ last year. Something about liability and for the protection of their staff which I guess I understand but still sucks. I debated just upgrading my phone now but other than the improved camera, I’m not all that thrilled with the changes that have been made to the latest iPhones and I sure as hell don’t like the price points. I can’t stand Android, though, so eventually I will have to upgrade, but I’m hoping my current battery will hold out another year and I’ll get whatever the latest and greatest Apple has to offer in 2019. I want to have a good camera in my phone for when we return to Disney World in spring 2020.

Today I went to Savers and then met my friend for lunch at Pot Belly. I struck out at Savers even though I did find a sweater I liked. It was The Loft too, for only $6, but was made with wool and rabbit fur which was itchy and made me sneeze so I passed.

Categories: Excursions, Love & Marriage, Pets, Tech Tags: