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Septemberfest & Labor Day Weekend

September 5th, 2018 No comments

Friday (8/31) Joe and I decided to have dinner at The Village Inn Tavern since we haven’t eaten there in years. I don’t know why, but that place just doesn’t thrill me that much even though the food isn’t bad. I had a Reuben with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and Joe had the all you can eat fish. Our bill with tip was $36 which seems high for that type of food. In contrast, we went to Chuy’s out in Schaumburg on Sunday for lunch and paid closer to $30 and enjoyed our meal much more, plus we had a ton of leftovers. The free chips, salsa, and jalapeno dip alone can really fill you up, plus we got free queso for checking into Facebook (which I had planned to do anyway). I got their #1 combo and Joe got the #2 but I think next time maybe I’ll just get the chicken flautas since that was my favorite part of my plate. I also liked the enchiladas, but could have done without the ground beef taco, rice, or beans.

After dinner on Friday we headed to Target where I found some nice unscented candles on clearance. I ended up buying five for only $13.14 (regular price was $29.25 and the cashier forgot to scan one of the candles for some reason). I originally intended to gift them to my mom but I’m thinking about keeping them for myself. I wrapped them multiple times in plastic bags and put them in an upstairs closet to keep out any scents just in case, though.

I also got a candlescape set on clearance. In addition, we found a box of six solar pathway lights (called Malibu lights back in the day) on clearance for $10.50 and decided to get those for the front walkway. Joe put them up and they look so nice! I’ve always wanted some but didn’t want to shell out a lot of money so we were both pretty excited about our find.

Saturday (9/1) we took my car to the dealership for them to do recall work. Apparently the car can stall at low speeds when the A/C is on full blast. I never run it that high, especially now that my windows are tinted, but got that out of the way anyway. The recall was announced the week before I took my car in to get the headunit updated since my bluetooth was randomly disconnecting, so I wish they had done the work then, but they claim they didn’t know about it at the time. While they worked on the car Joe and I first had breakfast at Taco Bell and then went to check out a dog boarding place nearby. Unfortunately I don’t think it would be a good fit for Wookie since it’s similar to the place near the house that makes her anxious. We also hit up Dollar Tree to look around and by then the car was done.

Sunday (9/2) we headed to Schaumburg for Septemberfest since they always have the best craft booths. We found really close parking too which was nice. What wasn’t nice was how muddy the grounds were because it had been raining all weekend. I’m so glad I didn’t wear my new grey sneakers or flip flops like I had been contemplating because our shoes were caked in mud and I had to clean them in the sink when we got home. We ran into my friend, C, which I totally expected since I know she loves that fest. It took us about an hour to go through all the craft booths and by then it was already getting really warm so we decided to take off. Chuy’s wasn’t open yet so we decided to kill some time by checking out a pet store, Dollar Tree, and Target in the area. I got a new toy for Wookie at the pet store but she doesn’t seem to like it very much. I found a cute Beware sign at Dollar Tree and since I couldn’t decide between the orange and white one I got both. At Target we found another box of the solar pathway lights and they were even cheaper – $7.50. Score! We decided to put them around our back patio.

Labor Day (9/3) we dropped Wookie off for a half day of doggie daycare and did some shopping, then I came home and documented all my Halloween decor so I know what I do and don’t need this year. Hint: I don’t NEED anything but I might see something I really want. Also, I wouldn’t be sad if I found a nicer door hanger than the one I’ve been using for years. I also decorated for fall because I couldn’t wait.

During this process we cleaned up the garage a bit more and I came across a storage tub of my old stuffed toys from my childhood that I had completely forgot I even had. In it were my Pound Puppies, Pound Kitty, Fluppy Puppy, Garfield, and my Popple amongst others. I can’t believe how clean they still are after 30+ years! I definitely need to get some pictures of them and decide whether I’m willing to part with any of them. I think not for the Popple but the others are up for debate. I do want to get rid of my Care Bear collection since that one was acquired as an adult (why???) but they’ve just been sitting in a bin for years with tags still on. What a waste of space.

We made cheddar brats for dinner on Monday and then ended up eating our Chuy’s leftovers for dinner on Tuesday.

Categories: Excursions, Food, Shopping Tags:

Doggie Daycare & Shopping

August 28th, 2018 No comments

Friday (8/24) I took Wookie to a local doggie daycare/boarding facility called Camp Ruff It for an evaluation and a half day of daycare. It was only $5 with the coupon I had instead of $20. She was, as expected, very shy and reserved according to her report card. They did mention she crawled into one of the workers laps to give her kisses. I’m sure she was looking for reassurance since she still isn’t convinced other dogs aren’t ready to attack her at a moment’s notice. She loves to play and chase certain little dogs at the dog park, but she gets scared when they try to do the same. I feel so bad that we didn’t properly socialize her when she was a puppy. I’m sure a lot of this could have been avoided. In any case, I’ll be bringing her back to daycare on Labor Day for another half day so she can hopefully become used to the facility and the workers so we have somewhere to leave her when we go out of town. Our friend can dogsit but she also watches other dogs so often she’s not available. She also isn’t a neat freak like I am so I’m worried Wookie would get into something on her floor and eat it since I noticed some stuffing from toys lying around on the floor the last time we visited her. Plus she’s forty minutes away from us and works during the week so Wookie wouldn’t be under supervision 24 hours a day like at this facility. That being said, I don’t want her to be stressed out the entire time we’re gone so I’m hoping this place works out. I had hoped my brother could watch her when we went out of town but since we haven’t had any opportunity to have her and his dog spend time together I’m not sure that would work out. It’s a shame since we wanted to go out to Indiana in a few weeks and their home would be on the way out there.

Since it was so hot this weekend we took advantage of Joe’s free movie ticket (for his birthday) to go see The Meg on Saturday (8/25) and had the entire theater to ourselves. The movie wasn’t bad and seeing Jason Statham shirtless is always a treat. ;)

After the movie we went to a store called At Home to look at fall decor. I didn’t see anything worth getting and was more than a little annoyed that they were playing Christmas songs over the loudspeaker. Seriously? It’s August! I’ve complained about this before, and I’m going to do it again – I hate that everyone gets a hard on for Christmas months in advance of the holiday. It’s ridiculous how much time and energy is spent on a single holiday. It makes me dislike it more every year. I’d be so much happier if we could start talking Christmas after Thanksgiving and stop talking about it once January rolls around.

After shopping we got some food from Just Kabobs and I ended up taking a nap on the couch when we got home. I woke up with a huge headache and got really nauseated for some reason. I pushed through it to take Wookie to the dog park since we knew it would be too hot to go again for at least a few days and ended up feeling better after that.

Joe had to work Sunday (8/26) so I did my usual Monday cleaning then and once he got home around noon we went to Downers Grove to check out a new restaurant called City BBQ. Joe had a beef brisket sandwich and fries and I had plain beef brisket with mac & cheese and cornbread. The beef was good but I wasn’t really in love with any of the sauces and I could have done without the sides. Joe’s sandwich was pretty awesome, though, so I think we’d go back just for that. On our way out we ordered a peach cobbler to go and the woman told us it was on the house which was so nice. Normally it’s $5 which for the size and how delicious it was is totally worth it. I’ve been working on it here and there since it’s over 1000 calories; I definitely didn’t want to eat it all in one sitting.

Monday (8/27) morning I went to Savers and scored a nice long flowy purple tank top which will go great with my black capri leggings, a pink/purple/grey flannel (I so missed having a soft comfy oversized flannel), and a nice polyester blanket to add to the couch. The total was $8.24 for all three things; you can’t beat that. Some seasonal pillow cases I had ordered on Amazon (which shipped form China) came in too.

I do like them, although the shiny/slippery material kinda throws me a bit, and they are super white which I wasn’t expecting. I plan to switch them out each season just for a nice decorative touch.

Categories: Food, Pets, Shopping Tags:

Three Weekend Catchup

August 4th, 2018 No comments

Friday (7/27) we saw Shinedown and Godsmack live. I was wise to the venue’s shenanigans so I hid two extra water bottle caps in my bag so when they confiscated the ones on our bottles we were able to reseal them and put them back in our bags so they’d stay colder. We had a quick dinner at home before leaving but stopped at Target by the venue to grab a few snacks which we enjoyed during the show. We had seats but didn’t care for their placement so headed up to the lawn area like last time. The bands were much louder this time around so it was a good call. Shinedown put on a good show even though the actual sound seemed a bit distorted. Godsmack was much better, though! I really enjoyed their energy and wasn’t even mad that (I think) they played Whatever twice since I love that song. I’ve been trying like hell to find either a review or a recording of the full show to validate this, but haven’t had any luck. We did take off during the last song so we could get out of the parking lot with ease. There were definitely twice as many people in attendance than when we saw Poison but luckily even though the far away bathroom had a line it moved swiftly. They have about 40 stalls in there with workers directing you to open ones by calling out the number painted on the outside of the door which is very helpful to keep things moving. Standing on the lawn made my feet sore, though, but the show was too good to sit through.

Saturday (7/28) we relaxed since Sunday (7/29) was Pierogi Fest day! We picked up my brother around 10:30 and made it to the fest right around official opening. We headed straight to Dan’s Pierogis like we always do and spent about 25 minutes in line. We shared some sweet cheese plus Joe got a meat one and I got cherry. He let me have a bite of the meat and I liked it so I’ll be getting some of those too next year and skipping the cherry. I didn’t get as many piergois as I normally can eat because I was saving room for a taco pierogi from the Mendoza truck, only to find out they no longer make them because the owner sold the truck but not the machine that makes the pierogis. That was a pretty huge disappointment. Joe got a polish dog, J got a corndog, and we shared some mini donuts that could have been better (first time even getting mini donuts that were not that good). We ended up at the White Castle just outside the festival grounds to get a couple of sliders before dropping J off and heading home. So I guess this year was a bit of a flop, although the weather wasn’t terribly hot like most years and despite the crowd being bigger (we usually go on a Friday) we were able to find parking nearby and a place to sit as long as we shared a table with others. So all in all not bad, but because of the timing we had to skip the Milwaukee Brew Fest this year. It would have been too hectic plus there wasn’t anyone to watch Wookie. That’s probably the only one thing I don’t like about having a dog – not being able to just do stuff without worrying about who is going to keep an eye on her. We let her roam the downstairs when we’re not home and she pretty much just sleeps the entire time but I would feel awful leaving her home alone any longer than 8 hours at a time.

This weekend was spent with Joe’s dad who is visiting from Arizona. Joe picked him up on Thursday (8/2) after work while I was at home tidying up the house and preparing a surprise dessert – chocolate peanut butter pie – which ended up being a hit with both of them. I also made beef stroganoff for dinner.

Friday (8/3) was their birthdays so we went out for breakfast, drove around the arboretum for a bit (his dad cannot walk long distances), and stopped for gelato on the way home. We originally planned to have Red Robin for dinner but his dad slept so late (he takes daily naps) we decided to order deep dish from Lou Malnatis instead.

Saturday (8/4) we went to IKEA for breakfast and spent a little time in the pool (his dad just sat in the shade). After Joe’s dad’s nap we went to Red Robin for dinner.

Sunday (8/5) we had a light breakfast at home because we had lunch at The Pit Ribhouse in Hickory Hills at 1 pm. The kids both brought their significant others which was fun. They were late to arrive (no surprise there); E and his girlfriend (who we met for the first time) had to leave early as it was so they didn’t get to visit too long.

After lunch we dropped Joe’s dad off at Joe’s aunt’s house. We visited for a bit and fixed her computer’s wifi connection so Joe’s dad could get on Facebook. We also left with two pieces of homemade pineapple upside-down cake which we didn’t get to enjoy right away since Joe wasn’t able to eat on Monday due to a colonoscopy on Tuesday. He ended up doing the same prep I did since it was cheaper than the prescription. The doctor said the prep was good and he didn’t have any polyps. We’re both free from this nonsense for five years which is good since it’s going to cost us about $1200 out of pocket, thank you crappy insurance. It used to be only $250 through Blue Cross Blue Shield but they haven’t been an option with Joe’s recent employers. We have Aetna which I don’t like as much.

Friday (8/10) I did a deep clean downstairs since I hadn’t cleaned in almost two weeks! I also reorganized the laundry room and guest bathroom cabinets. Once Joe got home we headed out to Dollar Tree and Costco. We decided to get a couple of hot dogs before shopping and just as we were finishing up I spotted friends of ours in the checkout line. That’s the second time in about two months that we’ve run into them at Costco. We chatted for a bit and then did our shopping. We also took Wookie to the dog park that evening. I got the pass last month since it’s half price after July 1st.

Saturday (8/11) we had breakfast with Joe’s dad, aunt, and cousin and then visited with his dad and aunt at her house for a bit since his dad was flying home that afternoon.

We decided to visit Lake Katherine and The Little Red Schoolhouse before heading home. I brought my camera and got some nice shots. We didn’t stay long at either location very long since it was around noon and already very warm and humid outside.

That evening we took Wookie to the dog park again where she almost played with this cute white Bischon named Luna. She (Luna) was egging Wookie on but I think she’s still not sure how to dog. That’s totally our fault for not socializing her enough as a puppy. I hope after more trips to the park she’ll figure it out because I think she’d enjoy herself if she realized the other dog isn’t trying to hurt her. I plan on taking her to a local daycare next week after our neighbor sang its praises. It would be good to have a place close by we can take her in a pinch. Their rates are not much different from what my friend charges and Wookie could play with other dogs (assuming she wants to do so).

Sunday (8/12) we ran more errands and I got a bunch of different colored leggings from Walmart as well as two shirts that go well with them (and are long enough to cover my crotch which is perfect for wearing leggings outside the house).

I’m also still dealing with the whole glasses/frames fiasco. I really wish my eyes didn’t get so dry and itchy with contacts so I wouldn’t even need to worry as much about finding a comfortable pair of frames.

Categories: Excursions, Family, Food, Fun & Games Tags:

Glasses & Haircuts

June 18th, 2018 Comments off

Another four day weekend is almost over. I dread going into the office more and more these days, not because I hate my job but because I just hate sitting at a desk all day under bright florescent lights listening to other people make annoying noises. It’s only going to get worse in less than a month when they finish an office remodel which includes replacing all our cubicles with new ones with much lower walls on them. Kill me now.

Friday (6/15) for dinner we tried a new Chinese place that opened recently very close to home and between their price, portion size, and taste, they are a winner. I just finished the last of my Pad See Ew (they do Thai dishes as well) for lunch today, in fact.

Saturday (6/16) morning we headed to the Wheaton Eye Clinic so I could look at their frames since the ones at Visionworks sucked so bad I took them back for a refund. They matched with me a woman named Michelle since she specializes in helping people find suitable glasses. I explained what I was looking for and learned that the reason I’m having such difficulty is the latest trend is over-sized frames. Well, normal frames are over-sized on my face face as it is so that sucks.

That being said, she listened to what I was looking for and went around their showroom and pulled several frames for me to try on. Most of them were duds but we did find a pair I liked that she, another woman, and Joe all agreed suited my face better than the pair I’ve been wearing. They are larger around my eyes which she explained will help make the prescription more consistent through the viewing area, but are small enough that my eyes are more centered in the lens. The bridge is 1mm shorter and the temple is 5mm shorter than my current pair which should help stop them from slipping down my nose.

My only reservation is while they are labeled as purple/rose by the manufacturer, it’s more like maroon and I really wanted black. I trusted Michelle when she said they come in brown, blue, and this purple color, but when I was googling the style online last night I learned they also come in black/orchid which is totally up my alley. Now, it may be that they don’t carry that color combo in their store, and even though I like that color it might not look good on me, but I’d like to at least try them! I called over there this morning but no one is picking up the phone so I left a message and have yet to hear back. I already ordered my glasses but I’m thinking since it’s just the frame that I could be potentially changing, it shouldn’t be a big deal to them. Oh, and the total price was less than $30 more than I paid at Visionworks but at least these people actually work with you instead of leaving you to pick your own frames without verifying how they look or fit on you. I don’t think I’ll ever shop the retail vision places again because every last one of them (Lens Crafters, Four Eyes, America’s Best) were the same way.

After the eye place we went to the Subaru dealership to pick up some touch-up paint for my car since I messed up the mirror months ago when I got too close to our storage racks in the garage. At some point we’ll have to try using that. I know it won’t look perfect but better than it does now. I’m just glad it’s on the passenger side so I’m not constantly reminded of the damage I inflicted on my poor car before it was even six months old. This is why I can’t have nice things. ;)

Speaking of nice things – I found a pair of grey Addidas running shoes at Kohl’s a few weeks ago that I really liked. They were rather pricey at $60 but would go with a lot of my summer outfits. Well, I tested them out today by wearing them for a few hours and I’m disappointed to say I need to take them back. They were causing pain in my left foot and then it started vibrating, perhaps from a nerve being pinched or something, I don’t know. Back to the drawing board I guess. I hate shoe shopping! I just want something affordable, comfortable, and pretty basic. I thought they were going to be it but no.

Sunday (6/17) we finally saw Solo: A Star Wars Story which I thought was just ok. It wasn’t great, but not terrible either. There were a few boring parts but the ending was interesting at least. Afterwards we had lunch at Red Robin since I had earned a free burger. We spent the remainder of the day watching TV because it’s been crazy hot all weekend.

Today (6/18) I went to Great Clips for a haircut and am already wishing I had gotten a little bit more cut off. I asked for three inches and the woman made it sound like anything more would put my hair at my shoulders which turned out not to be the case so it could be shorter. Oh well, this is what I get for not wanting to drop $50+ at a real salon. I went to the same location where they fixed my hair after the woman I usually like screwed up my hair at a different location. The woman who did my cut today was the same one who fixed it last time so at least the ends are even. I had her round the back and do face framing with some feathering in the front/sides and for the most part I like it. At least it doesn’t look super choppy like the time I went to The Hair Cuttery and the stylist was just not getting it when I explained what I wanted. It took her three attempts before it came out right and I almost cried. Ugh!

I also stopped at Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee I plan to nurse all this week but they overcharged me! I put together my order in the app and then picked it up during happy hour. It should have cost $1.50 but they charged me full price which I didn’t notice until I left. Usually the app shows the full price because they don’t know whether you’re actually going to pick it up during the discount period so I wasn’t too worried until I checked the app and see they charged me more than they should have. I tried calling the store and no one picks up. So I tried calling Dunkin Donuts corporate and the wait time was over thirty minutes so I ended up emailing them instead. I hope they get back to me and make things right. I usually don’t go to that particular location so I’m not sure if the mistake was caused by that store or if something went wrong in the app.

Update: Got a call back from Michelle at the eye place and she ordered the black/orchid pair of frames so I can try those too. I hope I like them just because that’s my favorite color combo but she said no big deal if I end up sticking with the original color. At least one thing is going right today.

Categories: Food, Health, Shopping, Work Tags:

Memorial Day Weekend

May 29th, 2018 Comments off

Saturday (5/26) we hosted a game night with our friends B, C, and T. B&C are married and big Disney fans like we are so there was no shortage of conversation topics. Interestingly enough, Joe was having a convo with C and the same time I was speaking to B and we were essentially talking about the same stuff! I learned they watch the same podcast as I do of this couple who live in Florida and have season passes to all the Disney and Universal Parks. Too funny. The last time this group got together was in May 2013 so it’s been a long time! We had way too much food (veggie tray, chips, tortilla chips, frito dessert, and brownies) so half didn’t get touched. B&C brought a nice party tray with salami, cheese, and crackers plus an angel food cake. Will need to make a point not to go overboard when only inviting 3 people over next time! The evening was fun, though, even if we only played one game – Taboo – because we were talking too much. Everyone left a bit before midnight and the night flew by.

Sunday (5/27) – Joe washed our cars while I washed two welcome mats, then we organized some of the garage, and I organized the spare bedroom and moved perishables in there from the garage. We were dying from the heat after that and later in the evening we visited the pool which had just opened for the season the day before. Not to self – just before 6 pm is the perfect time for a swim because it’s not very crowded. We actually had the pool to ourselves at one point and this male ducking kept flying overhead. I made a joke how he was scoping out the pool and no sooner had we gotten out did he and his wife come flying into the area, landing in the pool. The lifeguard tried chasing them off but they refused to leave until some kids got in the pool.

Monday (5/28) – We got up early to beat the impending heat (it had been in the 90s for days) to scope out the location for a wedding I’ll be photographing on Saturday for a friend. I’m really not thrilled about doing it because people photography is not my jam but it’s low-key and I’ll make some extra money so at least there’s that.

Afterward we went to Savers where Joe got some shorts and I got a green tank top, a white tank top with green and purple pattern on it, and a Blackhawks t-shirt. We also went to Kohls and I ended up getting a pair of grey addidas running shoes, grey shorts, and two Marvel t-shirts – Deadpool and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

For lunch we ended up grilling a rack of pre-seasoned ribs we picked up from Costco on Sunday. They came out amazing and were only $10! So that might become a new Memorial Day tradition instead of burgers and hot dogs. I’m not a huge rib fan but these were so good I wouldn’t mind having them a few times a year, in fact.

Categories: Food, Friends, Fun & Games, Shopping Tags: