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Ugh, I’m 46

January 11th, 2022 Comments off

Why does 46 feel so much older than 45?

In any case, we didn’t do much for my birthday because it was so cold outside! I believe it was around 12 degrees on my actual birthday (Friday, 01/07). Joe was at work but surprised me by coming home early with flowers and dark chocolate covered graham crackers from Starbucks.

I’ve been hinting for years I’d like some either in my Christmas stocking or my birthday and he remembered! The kicker is they don’t taste like they used to. Figures! I will eat them, because they are still ok, but I won’t be asking for them again.

We placed a curbside order for Red Robin that night so I could get my free birthday burger. Did you know you can request extra fries for free? Well, I did, and we ended up with waaaay too many fries. I have a whole container of them still in the fridge! They reheat pretty nicely in the air fryer, so I heat up a few here and there but I don’t think I will be doing that again. Not very healthy!

I opened my gifts which were the Sofi Tukker t-shirt I’ve been wanting and some Brooklyn Nine-Nine stickers Joe thought I would like (which I do).

I’m going to make some of the stickers into magnets for the fridge.

As for the t-shirt, I am pretty disappointed in the quality for the price. It’s 100% cotton so it’s not exactly soft. Reminds me of the old school concert tees from the 90’s. Nowadays the best shirts are a poly-cotton blend and are much more comfortable. Considering I recently got such a shirt with a custom print on it for $27 (which includes shipping), the $40 plus shipping SF charges is ridiculous. I wonder if there’s a way to contact them and suggest they change t-shirt providers. If a small YouTuber can do it, I’m sure they can.

Speaking of, here’s the $27 t-shirt in question:

It’s so comfy! I had to get it after becoming addicted to Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes last year. The YouTuber I watch created the shirt for her merch shop and I’m very happy with it.

I did layer a long-sleeved white shirt under the Sofi Tukker one so I could wear it, and that helped. The only other issue is how wide the sleeves are so they look a little silly with the long sleeves underneath. *sigh*

Saturday (01/08) we did a late lunch with a pickup from a local place called Anyway’s and shared their meatloaf and pot roast along with an order of their amazing Italian Beef eggrolls. We had plenty leftover for a second lunch the following day.

Saturday night we played Sorry! Sliders and Yahtzee with A Night At The Roxbury and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back playing in the background. I forgot how fun Sorry can be, even with just two players.

Sunday (01/09) we went out briefly to get groceries from Aldi and then stopped at Dunkin so I could try their new Brown Sugar Oat Iced Latte since I had a free birthday drink in my account.

It’s actually pretty good, but I’m perplexed why they added whipped cream on top. Not only is that not what the drink looks like in the app, but it doesn’t make sense to add a dairy product on a non-dairy drink (it’s made with oatmilk). I swear, no one at Dunkin knows how to make drinks properly anymore. The drink would have been nearly $7 without my coupon so at least there’s that. I scooped off the whipped cream when I got home but damn, they really aren’t doing anything to change my mind about boycotting them. $7 is a lot to pay for a drink that isn’t made correctly.

Categories: Food, Fun & Games Tags:

November & December Food Stuff

December 26th, 2021 Comments off

Coffee & Tea

After one too many shitty iced coffees at Dunkin, we are officially broken up. Once fall hit they started being really cheap with their flavored swirls by not adding the standard amount (I watched them being prepared and the baristas would not push the pump down fully) while simultaneously charging extra for additional swirls (even though you wouldn’t need them if they gave you the correct amount to begin with)!

I gave Starbucks a go, but their coffee was lackluster as well. Is it so hard to get a decent peppermint mocha iced coffee? Apparently so!

Fed up, I bought some ingredients to make my own drinks at home.

I could do without Starbuck’s peppermint mocha coffee because it’s just meh. The peppermint tea is better, and it’s actually good with the creamer added, which I typically do not do with teas. The peppermint mocha creamer is ok too, but honestly, it turns out a regular vanilla creamer just tastes better overall. I found one at Jewel that is lactose free:

What I love so much about it is that I don’t need to add any sugar to my drink because the creamer makes it sweet enough.

Candy

Did you know that Skittles recently announced that they are going back to their standard flavor for the green Skittle? It’s about time! Green apple just never made sense with the other flavors, but lime certainly did. I spent a lot of time trying to find a store that was carrying the new/old flavor and finally found them at Menards of all places!

Skittles

I don’t know what they were thinking, or why it took them seven years to wise up, but I’m happy that now there’s only one flavor of Skittles I hate – grape.

I was excited to find this peppermint bark at Costco, but seeing as how I’m the only one who eats it, there’s just way too much and I won’t be getting it again.

Kirkland peppermint bark

Cakes & Cookies

I love Pepperidge Farm milano’s but damn, their peppermint slices are not it. Maybe I just don’t like peppermint as much as I thought I do, hmmm.

Their amaretto hot cocoa flavor rocks, however.

Pepperidge Farm Milanos

I was lucky enough to snag the very last bag at Target.

We also snagged a cookie tray from Costco for a pending Christmas celebration that never happened and I am not loving the flavors, which are powdered brownie walnut, lemon shortbread, iced ginger molasses, coconut almond chocolate, and holiday candy cookie.

Costco holiday cookies

We will not be getting those again.

I decided to try the infamous Little Debbie Christmas cakes and oh boy, they are good! Even better if you freeze them.

Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes

Other

The single greatest food item we found, however, is this cranberry jalapeno dip we came across at Costco.

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

The flavor combo didn’t sound good, but it only took one bite for us to realize how wrong we were. Wow, it is so good we easily ate through the entire tub in less than a month. Sadly, it’s not being stocked anymore, so it must be a seasonal item. I checked the manufacturer’s website and they have a lot of dip flavors but this one in particular is only available at Costco, so I guess I will be dreaming about it until next November.

Categories: Food, Holidays Tags:

Advent Calendars: Just Say No

December 22nd, 2021 Comments off

I cannot believe how disappointed I was back in November that I couldn’t go to Aldi on their advent calendar release day (because Joe had my car due to his accident). I really wanted the cheese, coffee, and chocolate calendars.

When Joe got home from work we took a trip to Aldi but the only calendar left was the cheese one.

Aldi cheese advent calendar

I asked an employee and he said they were a one and done thing and no more advent calendars would be available.

He was incorrect, however, because a week later I was getting groceries and they had a bunch of chocolate calendars so I snagged the $10 one since the flavors on the back sounded more appealing than the more expensive version.

Aldi chocolate calendar

Unfortunately, both calendars ended up being disappointing and I lost interest in them about 10 days in. Turns out I really resent HAVING to eat cheese or a random chocolate every day.

I removed all the cheeses and put them in a container in the fridge where they sit today. I occasionally eat one with lunch. As for the chocolate one – we split a few pieces today and will do so with the rest over the next week to get through them.

I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be pursuing any advent calendars next year which will save money and calories. Turns out it’s much more fun watching other people open them on YouTube.

Categories: Food, Holidays Tags:

October Happenings (including Halloween)

November 2nd, 2021 Comments off

Sunday (10/10) we headed to St. Charles for their annual Scarecrow Festival. When we arrived at Lincoln Park there were no scarecrows to be found! We drove around the area but there wasn’t nearly as much as in year’s past, no doubt due to the pandemic so we drove to the other side of the river to Pottawatomie Park where they put up tents for the craft fair.

We parked in the lot by their community center and pool. There was plenty of parking since the festival hadn’t officially started yet. We didn’t end up staying long because there wasn’t much to see. Even the amount of craft booths was less than in previous years.

They did, however, surprise us with a new pavilion and area you can play cornhole near the miniature golf spot.

It looks really nice! I’ll have to keep it in mind for next summer when we’re looking for something to do.

Thursday (10/21) the kids came over for dinner. K had been talking about missing my spaghetti and meatballs so I made it for the first time in probably years at this point. E works two jobs so Thursday is his only day off. I put together a Halloween basket for them using these fake books I found at Dollar Tree.

I was happy they liked them so much! They only stayed a couple of hours since E was so tired. We sent them home with leftovers, cookies, fruit and veggies, along with the rest of my IZZE bottled cherry lime. They were getting close to expiration and I haven’t been drinking them much. I really prefer how it tastes in cans and now they are offering a 24-pack of them at Amazon I plan to order soon.

Saturday (10/23) We visited Sonny Acres and boy was it busy! The parking lot was packed when we arrived just before 11 am. They open at 10 but their kitchen doesn’t open until 11 am and I assumed that’s where they would be serving the hot apple cider I wanted to try. Turns out they have a special booth for it, and they were just bringing it out when we got there.

There’s second booth down by the kids’ rides where they have it too, so I will try to remember that for next year since it was way less busy than the main booth.

They have some of the best apple cider donuts around, but man do they keep raising the prices! A single donut will cost you $2.50 and they do get cheaper the more you buy but they are still very costly! The hot apple cider was just ok and it was annoying how the bees followed me around trying to get at it.

We enjoyed people-watching for awhile but there’s not too much to do if you don’t have young kids to take on rides.

The rides themselves are more plentiful than back when we’d take the kids there, and they even added a trampoline-like attraction that the kids would have loved. I read that the haunted hayride is $20 per person now which is kinda crazy. It used to be $10. I have mixed feelings about this. The new owners have definitely put more money into the place which is nice because the previous owners were ready to close the place down, but it’s so crowded and expensive it’s probably not as enjoyable to visit like it used to be.

Halloween (Sunday 10/31) was pretty interesting this year because we actually got trick-or-treaters, twelve in fact, which is the most we’ve had for well over a decade now. I’m glad I made up treat bags at Joe’s request even though I was certain no one would come. I’m happy to have been wrong, although with Wookie Crankypants in the mix, it was a bit frustrating as she does not like visitors to HER home.

Categories: Excursions, Family, Food, Holidays, Kids Tags:

Hello Fresh

October 8th, 2021 Comments off

Saturday (9/25) we received our first Hello Fresh box (was supposed to be Sunday but it came early). We decided to give it a try since T-Mobile Tuesday had a deal to get two weeks (3 meals) for $17 each.

1st week recipes from Hello Fresh

We were rather disappointed with two meals from our second week, but I knew of that risk when I purposely chose dishes that had flavor combinations we don’t typically eat.

The regular price for 3 meals is $65 so we cancelled after those two weeks. You only get enough food for a single meal for two people so it’s not very cost-effective, although I could see the appeal if you’re a busy professional who wants a home cooked meal without the hassle of grocery shopping. All the dishes do take about twice as long to prepare than the recipe cards state, though, so they aren’t necessarily a quick meal, and you’re left with a lot of dishes. They’re healthier than take-out, however.

Categories: Food Tags: