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Mariano’s

April 15th, 2019 Comments off

The highlight of our weekend was a trip to Mariano’s on Saturday. We rarely go there, but decided to check it out since ham was on sale. Their bakery section is amazing, and I couldn’t resist a strawberry rhubarb pie for only $4. It didn’t have as much filling as the Bakers Square pie, but it was tastier and a 3rd of the price. I definitely need to keep Mariano’s in mind for future parties due to all the yummy cakes, cookies, and pastries they have. Their prices are pretty reasonable too. Maybe not as much on the produce, but on a lot of other things. We ended up grabbing a deli sandwich and a cup of cream of chicken soup from their soup bar to take home for lunch. The soup in particular was really good!

Categories: Food, Shopping Tags:

Roasted Veggies & Easter Decor

March 25th, 2019 Comments off

I made the mistake of decorating for Easter on Friday (03/22), when Easter is still a full month away. Two days later I was already tired of looking at the stuff, so today I ended up removing some of the decor and spreading some other stuff elsewhere so it’s more minimalist. I feel much better. I’m finding that I prefer a more minimalist look in general, like I had going for St. Patrick’s Day. This is great because I’ll save money owning less decor in general. Incidentally, I finally found something I’ve been looking for since last year – white ceramic bunnies!

They were in the Target dollar spot for $3 each and were sitting in random spots so I’m not sure whether they’re supposed to be more poses. Nothing ever seems to be organized in the dollar spot. I used to think it was laziness on the part of the employees but now I’m convinced it’s a ploy to make people spend more time in that section hunting for treasures, because you do tend to miss the best stuff if you do a quick once over.

Saturday (03/23) we took a big bag of old paperwork to a neighboring village to be shredded. I’m so relieved to have that out of my house. I’m getting ready to donate some of the stuff I have listed on Offer Up that isn’t selling as well, just to get it out of my house. I’m tired of it sitting in the spare room / office.

After the shredding event, we had lunch at BonChon in Schaumburg and it wasn’t as good as the first time. The spicy and soy garlic chicken was just as good as before, but I opted to try the pork buns… and while they weren’t terrible, they aren’t something I’d order again. Joe didn’t care for them either.

Sunday (03/24) I discovered the deliciousness that is roasted carrots. Can you believe I’ve lived 43 years not really loving carrots? I don’t mind them in soups or stews but I’d never eat them on their own. I tossed them in olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper before roasting them at 400 degrees for about a half hour. The best part? I added some honey to melted butter and drizzled it on the finished carrots. OH MY GOD were they good. I enjoyed them more than the main course! I have been roasting green beans for a few weeks now too, so now I need to try roasting other vegetables that I thought I didn’t like. Apparently the cooking method really does make a difference when it comes to taste.

Categories: Food, House & Home Tags:

Saturday Brunch

February 12th, 2019 Comments off

Saturday (02/09) we headed to the Oak Lawn area to have brunch with the kids and ES. We went back to the same restaurant where we ate in August with Joe’s dad, aunt, and cousin. I ordered the same thing too, although it wasn’t quite as epic as last time. That being said, it was good to catch up with the kids since we mostly only see them on holidays.

We all gave E grief about his lack of communication skills (between him not answering texts, and not letting his sister know he was actually at home and not busy like she thought, they were about twenty minutes late arriving since they drove together). I think for our own sake we’re going to stop showing up early (or even on time) when it comes to them because there’s almost always a reason they’re late and it’s aggravating waiting around. We’re two very punctual people and don’t understand how they manage to make it to school and work on time. In any case, we have tried not take it personally and chalk it up to poor time management skills. The lack of response to texts is more frustrating, though, because it’s just plain rude. It’s especially so when we’re forking over (see what I did there?) $75 for a single meal, you know? Of course, E always takes the teasing in stride (everyone was getting on his case, but in a good-natured way) and he even gave us two copies of Aggravation he found at thrift stores. We now have 5 copies of the deluxe edition and 1 copy of the original and only two of them we’ve purchased ourselves. He spent $25 on one of them which we think is too much, but neither of us can think of a way to tell him to stop buying them without sounding ungrateful.

After brunch we ordered a pizza at the place where my brother, B, got me the Hawaiian for my birthday earlier this month. We did half pineapple and canadian bacon and half sausage and took it home for later. Came to find out later that it was national pizza day so that worked out nicely!

We didn’t do much on Sunday other than shopping and a trip to the library.

Categories: Food, Kids Tags:

Glass

January 28th, 2019 Comments off

Last Saturday (01/19) was my birthday party at my parents’ house, if you can even call it that. For some unknown reason my mom didn’t have any desserts or sing happy birthday to me even though she does for my brothers and even Joe. I only got presents from my brother, J (B did buy me a very delicious Hawaiian pizza), although J claims some of the presents were also from my mom. I didn’t get any cards, either. I am not sure why I’m dismissed so much by my family, but I’m rather sick of it. Everyone cares about B and J’s feelings but mine aren’t even considered. I had even purchased my mom a gift for MY birthday, although once I told her about it a week or so beforehand, she insisted I return it without even giving it a chance. She’s been having trouble with her Netflix so I bought her an Amazon Fire Cube which is the only device that allows you to hard-wire your internet. I explained the situation to Woot and luckily they allowed me to return it with a prepaid label which is not the normal return process for items you just don’t want anymore. I’m done trying to help her with her technical issues. It seems she’s more interested in complaining than actually finding solutions. She’s all pissy about not being able to choose her own items so she takes it out on me when B bought her a DVD player and TV a few years back and she didn’t insist he return those. But that’s how it goes in my family – other people do things she doesn’t like but she takes it out on me.

ANYWAY….

Sunday (01/20) we went to a movie and dinner with our friends, K & E. We saw Glass, which all of us but K enjoyed. She actually turned to us once it ended and said, “is it me, or did that movie SUCK?” Um, just you. She really doesn’t use a lot of tact with things as you can see. I still love her, but sometimes it’s a bit hard to take especially when she’s ripping on something you like. I actually thought the movie was one of the best ones I’ve seen in awhile. We went to dinner at a local place called Anyways which we’ve never been to before. I had the avocado shrimp tacos which were delicious. After dinner, despite it being something like 10 degrees out, we got frozen yogurt. I’m not sure if it was the flavors I chose (pineapple and strawberry) or what but I didn’t particularly care for it.

Monday (01/21) We enjoyed a free breakfast at Chick-fil-a. Well, not entirely free. We got their egg white grill sandwiches for free but also tried their yogurt parfait and Joe got a coffee. Their greek yogurt is actually really good but it’s kinda pricey at $3.45. After breakfast we did a bit of shopping before heading home. Joe put up a new sign over the front door I had gotten at Kirkland’s late last year. He also cleaned his new office chair which I had gotten for free from work.

We didn’t do much this weekend other than run errands since it’s so cold outside.

Categories: Food, Friends, Movies Tags:

Christmas Break

December 26th, 2018 Comments off

Friday (12/21) was the first official day of my Christmas vacation, but before I could consider myself truly off work, I had my company’s Christmas luncheon to attend. It was at the local steakhouse they’ve been holding it for years and I sat next to the company owner’s wife whom I really like. The VP of the company, the sales manager, the owner, my boss, and the other girl on our team were also at my table.

They decided to forgo the grab bag this year and instead sold raffle tickets. The winner got half the pot with the other half going toward the charity of their choice. Guess who won? The VP! He got teased a lot because I guess he wins stuff often. He also seemed embarrassed to have won and assured us his winnings would go toward some nice lunches for us in the office. HR told me he didn’t want the money – he just wanted to participate to be a good sport. I think that’s great, but in that case I think it would have been better if he hadn’t put his name on the raffle tickets. It’s just not a good look when a higher up wins something – one of the workers could use that money more (and more than a free lunch or two since I believe it was over $100).

I ended up with an overcooked steak because I forgot to specify how I wanted it cooked and the waitress didn’t prompt me, so that part kinda sucked, but it still tasted good, if a little dry. I decided to try and Peachtini and woo boy, did that go straight to my head! Half a glass and I had to stop, eat a roll, and drink some water. It was super strong and I hadn’t eaten at all that day so I only ended up having a single drink instead of two. By the time I was ready for the second one the party was wrapping up.

I almost forgot – every year they give out chocolate bars to everyone (Wonka bars they’re called, which are really Hershey bars (or in past years, Russell Stover) with an additional wrap over the original wrapping) and in three bars is a golden ticket that gives the winner an extra day off with pay. This year I won one! First time in the past five years. I am sure some people weren’t thrilled since I’m part time and only work three days a week as it is, lol.

Edited to add: My boss gave us $25 gift cards to Amazon, but they were late being delivered so we didn’t get them until we returned to the office after the holiday.

I can’t even remember at this point what we did on Saturday or Sunday so it must have not been terribly exciting.

Monday (12/24) (Christmas Eve) I did some cleaning and prepared some cheesy grits casserole and cranberry sauce to take to my parents’ house. We arrived there just around 6 pm and stayed until 10 pm. Despite that, we never got around to playing any games. We did Secret Santa and apparently by triple wrapping one of J’s gifts I had him convinced the present was from B, despite the fact that it was a bag of peanut snacks from Trader Joe’s that he had snacked on when he was visiting me here in November. He even told me he’d like some for Christmas!

B’s girlfriend pulled my name and she gave me a candle trimmer, lemongrass essential oil, and the game 5 Second Rule – all of which was on my list of ideas. I felt bad all Joe got her was a Dollar Tree gift card but B only wrote gift cards on her list of ideas (she wasn’t present when we pulled names). My dad (really my mom) got Joe a gift card for Binny’s and a bunch of sprinkles to be funny because Joe loves ice cream with sprinkles. Too bad we have so many unused sprinkles already at home! I seriously don’t know what to do with them all since when he eats ice cream at home he doesn’t use sprinkles. He only gets them from Culvers or an ice cream shop.

Tuesday (12/25) (Christmas) we went to an early morning matinee of Holmes & Watson which, unfortunately, was not good. It tried to be funny but really wasn’t. That’s the second time we’ve seen a Will Ferrell movie on Christmas Day – the first being Anchorman 2 in 2013 – that has sucked. I really thought since he and John C Reilly were so good together in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers that this movie would be hilarious as well but it was a huge disappointment.

After the movie we had Wookie open her presents and we exchanged stocking stuffers. I got some candy, salt and vinegar chips, makeup/hair stuff, a clip for my purse, microfiber cleaning cloths for my electronic devices, and these awesome crystal nail files.

I felt bad I only got Joe a few things when he got me a lot of little stuff, although I think he got more for me because I didn’t end up getting my iPhone as originally planned whereas he got the new laptop. I got him a box of Pot of Gold, a package of beef jerky, and a portable battery to charge his phone and tablet when he’s traveling.

We ate leftovers from my parents’ for lunch and made a steak to share for dinner. We just mostly hung around the house being lazy inbetween meals. I got my DS out and charged it and played Dr. Mario and Planet Puzzle League. Ever since I saw that you can download Dr. Mario to play on the new Nintendo Switch I’ve been wanting to play it again. I wish Dr. Mario was available in the app store. Why Nintendo isn’t interested in that market is beyond me; they could make a lot of money!

Earlier today (12/26) we ran to a few stores to see what was available on clearance. I wanted to get a candle holder from Bath & Body Works but they were all sold out and there was a crazy long line so we left. I did get this cute Christmas dress for Wookie at Petco, though. Gotta love 75% off after Christmas discounts!

As long as I refer to it as her jacket, she doesn’t want to tear me from limb to limb when I put it on or take it off.

After our little shopping trip I made a peanut butter cup pie while Joe re-caulked the master bathroom tub. He also re-caulked the kitchen sink which looks nice.

I’ve got work tomorrow, but then I’ll be off again until next Wednesday. We have the kids coming over for Christmas on Friday so we’re looking forward to that.

Categories: Family, Food, Holidays Tags: