shopping

Rambling…

Crookshanks Photo Shoot I’m tired. I need a full day where I don’t have to do anything but read and sleep. I really should not allow myself to indulge in such a day until all my chores are done, but meh. I also should not be blogging at 1am but there you go.

Christmas is 46 freaking days away. Time is FLYING. I have all of these “to do” items that i put in my iProcrastinate in early/middle October. When it’s the middle of October, November due dates seem far away. Well, now all that stuff is coming due now and I’m kinda like WHOA. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? In fact, two of my items are past due. FAIL.

I started Christmas shopping in earnest Monday. I was out with my friend Angelo, and we hit Bloomingdales, Filene’s Basement, and many other assorted stores along Michigan Avenue. I was able to knock out a good chunk of my shopping for Adam. Go me! I also let Angelo treat me to a white chocolate raspberry mocha from Starbucks. I very rarely indulge in Starbucks, and I get this particular coffee drink once or twice a year. It was yummy.

Adam and I went out to the ‘burbs yesterday. I found the most awesome store at the Westfield Fox Valley mall. It’s called Funk-E-Breeze and it’s the store that Hot Topic and Spencer Gifts WISH they could be. I wanted just about everything in there, but I settled on buying lots of incense. Because mmm, incense.

We hit Anderson’s Bookshop, the best bookstore in the whole wide world. Seriously, you should be jealous of that bookstore because it is *just that awesome*. This bookstore gets folks like Tyra Banks, Weird Al, and Jodi Piccoult. And they *hand sell* books. They listen to what you like and suggest books that are similar. Awesome. Anyway, Adam’s an author, and he went to Anderson’s to sign stock. How cool is that? But you know what’s even cooler?

You can win copies of Adam’s books!

extraordinary
EXTRAORDINARY is an epic tale of love, magic,
mystery, musical theatre, and unicorn poop.
UNICORN POOP people!
You know you want to read it.
Honestly, it’s my favorite one by him thus far.
Check out the entry post here.

sparks final
Adam also writes under the pen name S.J. Adams.
(I think Adam thinks S.J. is real. Seriously. I get concerned.)
SPARKS is a John Hughes-esque novel about a
Full House-obsessed girl
who attempts to get over a crush
by embarking on a “holy quest” with
a couple of misfits who have invented a religion.
Check out the entry post for this book here!

Yay! And that’s all for now. Til next time!

Linking up with:
Photobucket
Whoo!

17 Comments

Busy Bee (Pictures)

So, I’ve been pretty busy the past few days. In addition to two really big deadlines (that I made because I AM AWESOME), there were two very limited edition dolls I had to procure. And there was social stuff, some cleaning involved. I’m ready to be done for a while! Just a little while, though. Gotta make that $$!

I never thought that working from home would make me more busy than working full time AND working from home. But it’s OK. I love it this way. My commute is awesome, and sometimes, my “cube mate” is this:

Little Lena
Little Helena

Plus, I get to do the work I love.

Last Wednesday, Adam and I headed out to The Morton Arboretum to look at the trees. I was shocked to see that a lot of them had not peaked yet, but there was still plenty of brilliant color.

Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
[more]

Sunday, we headed out to Naperville to see the Dark Days of Autumn author tour, but mainly because Claudia Gray was there, who we hadn’t seen since July, when she packed up and moved to New Orleans. *sad*

It was SO FUN to see her and hang out again! (Ignore my hair in these pix. It was a TERRIBLE hair day.)

Claudia Gray & Kierstin White Me & My Friend :)

What was really funny is that I was talking with some really young girls in the store as the event was winding down. They were 12. To be honest, preteens tend to scare me, and I’m not sure why. But these girls were super sweet. I’ll talk to teens all day every day but preteens? Not so much. It’s weird. Anyway, Claudia came over to hug me again and to make arrangements for hanging out after the event was over. The girls freaked out. “OH MY GOD. YOU KNOW HER? YOU’RE FRIENDS WITH A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FAMOUS AUTHOR!” Claudia goes “I’d take off a couple of those ‘reallys’.” Ha.

I bought her new book FATEFUL (werewolves on the Titanic! HELLO!) and because Kiersten White was so adorable and funny, I bought her book PARANORMALCY because well, it sounded awesome. I’m reading that one now. I really need to stop reading that one and read the remaining four library books I have before Monday. But I’ll do that once I take care of my remaining deadlines tomorrow (why do I get the feeling something more is going to come up, though?). I’ll go on a BOOK READING BINGE. OR I’ll just try to renew the books I have to buy me some more time. In fact, I should do that now…..

Monday morning, I got up SUPER EARLY because I wanted one or more Disney Designer Princess dolls. There are ten dolls total. The first three dolls sold with no fanfare. They were being released once per week in the stores and online. Only a few people knew or cared about them, apparently. Some of them were in the stores for weeks before selling out. I hadn’t found out about them several weeks ago, when I ventured into The Disney Store and saw the display and went HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THESE DOLLS ARE AMAZING I MUST HAVE ONE. Then suddenly, it went to a fever pitch! The dolls were selling out within hours and showing up on eBay just a few hours later at nearly 7x their retail price. And unfortunately, the ones I wanted? Tiana and Jasmine? They hadn’t been released yet, so although I had a chance to get them, I knew I’d have to fight for them. The dolls are very limited edition, and the eBay dealers are being jerkwads about it by snatching up all they can and then jacking up the prices. Suck. So, Disney decided to put the remaining five on sale AT THE SAME TIME. Which meant, if I had any chance in hell of getting one, it was going to be about early morning rising and standing in line.

I got to the Disney Store at Block 37 at 7am. There were already more than 20 people ahead of me. Turned out the most of any doll they had was 20. They passed out cards at 9am. Guess who lost out? BUT. My darling, darling awesome husband was standing in the cold at the Michigan Ave. store. For an hour and a half, he froze, and when they go to him, well Tiana was sold out but there were still Jasmine dolls left. He got the card, and I squealed and ran out of the mall and caught the first bus to North Michigan Ave. I joined him in line, got the card, and told him to go somewhere and warm up. By now it was about 9:20. Forty minutes til the store opened. I didn’t get my doll til nearly 11am because they were letting people in one by one or two by two or something like that, to pick up the dolls and pay for them. Fortunately, I was standing near some really nice people, and talking to them (although they were so obviously frozen) helped. It was cold!

But I got my Jasmine.

Princess Jasmine

She’s still in her case–it’s so pretty, plus I need to clean the hell out of this apartment first before I even think of displaying her. (The cleaning is supposed to take place this weekend.)

This morning, I had to get up to try for Tiana. Because honestly, I couldn’t NOT try. She’s my favorite princess! The site came up at 11 CST, and I got in, managed to get TWO Tianas in my cart somehow. Took ages to get one of them out (they were only allowing one type of princess per person–I didn’t want to screw ANYTHING up). But then I couldn’t go any further. Checkout button was like NOPE. THANK YOU! The site was a mess. It kept crashing and freezing and doing all sorts of bad things. But AGAIN, my awesome husband came through. He was on his computer and HE MANAGED TO GET THE ORDER TO GO THROUGH. I got a confirmation email and everything. Tiana didn’t sell out on the Web site until at least an hour after Adam placed my order, so I’m hoping and praying I don’t get an “order cancelled” notice. I am eager for Tiana to arrive. I feel extremely lucky in so many ways and I will love these dolls forever.

I bought Adam brunch for standing in line, but it seems I owe him again!

I’ve been neglecting my yoga. :( I won’t be going tomorrow either. Stuff to do, stuff to do. But Thursday I should be able to go back. YAY.

And that’s all for now. Til next time….

6 Comments

Two Good Days (Pictures)

Golden Last week, I had two really good days. It all started Friday morning. I had to get up super, duper early, which normally would not be a good thing for me. I am not a morning person at all! I’m a night owl all the way and often wonder if I’d do better if I lived on the other side of the world. But knowing me, I’d still end up a night owl somehow.

But anyway, this time it was OK to be getting up at 7am because I was going to get pampered! Late last year, I purchased a Groupon voucher for The Spa on Oak for a one-hour chocolate massage and one-half hour cinnamon sugar scrub. I was ready to redeem it (I’m always afraid I’m going to forget to redeem those vouchers and they’ll expire!), so I made the appointment and grabbed the first available slot. Hence the early morning wake up time. Anyway, when I was checking in, the lady behind the counter asked if I wanted to upgrade, for free, my sugar scrub to a facial! Of course I said “yes.” I’d never had a facial before and I’d been breaking out like a fifteen year old.

So, I got to spend the morning getting pampered. The massage was a combination of Swedish and deep tissue. I am no stranger to getting massages–I try to get one every couple of months if I can–but it had been a while and it was really nice. Then the facial. That was nice as well, even with the extractions, which really felt like I was being pinched. By the time it got too uncomfortable, it was over. My chin hasn’t felt this smooth since before I can remember.

After my morning of pampering, I headed down Oak Street, which is a chi-chi street in the city. Lots of high-end boutiques. I wandered into Juicy Couture and made my way upstairs, where all the running suits and sale items were. I ended up getting a cute tee-shirt. Then I made my way to the beach. I hadn’t been to the beach since the day I hung out with Mylin, and it was so beautiful out, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I sat right in the sand and read, enjoying the warm sun and soft breezes.

Just Chillin'

Oak Street Beach Oak Street Beach

After that, I did a little shopping on Michigan Avenue. That wasn’t as much fun because for some reason, there are a LOT of tourists downtown still, even though tourist season is over, and THEY WALK SLOW. They like to walk five abreast and just saunter down the street. It’s hard to get around them! But I managed it, and I found some really cute socks in TopShop, and some great deals on tops at Gap. I’m talking shirts and tanks for just a few dollars, and long sleeve tee-shirts for 9.99. I love long sleeve tee-shirts. They’re great for winter and fall weather, and nice to wear under sweaters or hoodies. I even got colors that aren’t grey or black, if you can believe that! Wait, I may have gotten one grey shirt or tank. I guess there is no denying what I like, but really should wear brighter colors this winter. Maybe that’ll help keep me from being so depressed come February. I am in the market for sweaters, but finding a normal sweater is always a challenge for me. They’re all shaped weird. The ones I DID love, from TopShop, were out of my budget. So, I didn’t come home with any new sweaters. I guess that’ll wait ’til the next check comes in.

After my excursions, I was finally tired and made my way home. Spent the rest of the evening relaxing and reading and playing on the computer. I started to feel nauseated and a migraine was settling in, so I took it easy.

Saturday, I went to the library and checked out six books, then I had brunch with a former co-worker, now friend. We ate at this place called Angel’s. Just happened to find it by looking on Yelp. Four and a half star review? Yes, please.

This is what I had:

Brunch at Angel's

You know you’re jealous. I’m jealous right now and I got to enjoy it already! I had bacon, pancakes with strawberries, and scrambled eggs. Orange juice for my drink. It was really good and the price was pretty good, too. Our waiter was interesting. My friend and I hung out so long that he brought me a free margarita! OK, any place that doesn’t mind if I sit and chat for three hours AND gives me a free drink to boot? WIN!!!

So, those were my two really good days. I caught a cold Saturday night and my migraine started up again–BIG TIME–so the days weren’t perfect. But I can’t complain. I just can’t believe it’s already going to be Friday again. Seems like this week went by in a flash. And it may have, seeing as I spent three days of it lying in bed trying to get over a migraine and a cold (which is gone now YAY).

Is it just me, or does every cold get worse? I really don’t remember them laying me up for three days when I was little, or not even a year ago. Being sick is the pits, and today is the first day I feel 100% again. So YAY for that. I should probably get back to yoga practice tomorrow, huh?

That’s all for now. ‘Til next time! :)

12 Comments

Today is 90% Fired (Multimedia)

Today started off OK. I always fight waking up in the morning; that’s just how I am. But I got up and got dressed and my hair looked all right. I showered Aidan with a billion-ton of kisses, and then I left. It was cold, but whatever. I don’t even expect the weather to approach anything near warmth until June.

Then I got to work. I saw all the work we had to do and immediately went into high-stress mode (and stayed there all day). There was SO MUCH WORK. I was in the office until after 8pm, and I’d been in there that late Friday as well. Knowing that I have to go in this coming Saturday for probably a full day makes me an unhappy camper. Thank the Lord I get time-and-a-half. My check will look nice next week, at least. My body aches with the stress and brain-meltingness of it all, though. I was so busy that I didn’t even think to go to the bathroom until after 3pm. Today was overwhelmingly crazy. Still coming down, actually.

The amount of the day that wasn’t fired was having Aidan an extra night. See, I got his flight departure time WRONG, and got to the airport five minutes before his plane was to take off instead of an hour and five minutes before. Thank goodness Southwest is a reasonable airline. They booked him on a flight tonight and only charged me $15 for the difference in the cost. So, that was a happy accident. He and Adam came for lunch before heading to the airport. I got a bunch of extra kisses and hugs in, and he smelled like brownie batter for some reason.

I miss my little booba. *sigh* It’s too quiet here without him.

Another part of the day that didn’t fail was that I was able to get a shirt from Old Navy that I’d had my eye on ever since I saw someone at work wearing one. It’s so cute, you guys. And the Old Navy I went to had very few left. Check it out:

YAY.

And here is something that can cheer anyone up:

I am so ready for summer. I am ready to wear all the cute new tops I’ve bought. I’m ready for warm weather and sunshine. I’m ready to stop wearing a billion layers, gloves, hats, scarves. I am ready for light breezes and blue skies. I’m ready to pull out the light clothes and put the heavy stuff away. It’s a shame that it stays cold here for so long. *sigh*

Anyway, that’s all for now. Time for Twilight with RiffTracks. LOLarity will ensure. And I’m pretty sure tomorrow will be much better.

Good night.

Comments Off on Today is 90% Fired (Multimedia)

I Might Be Certifiable (OMG)

See that title? ^^ You might agree if you read this entry. I’m just sayin’.

I am 100% back to being a night owl. I stay up until 4 or 5am, I roll out of bed at about 11:30am, and then I fall asleep on the couch about 3pm, and again at about 8pm. Then I’m up all night. Party! Woo!

The good thing about it is that I don’t have anywhere to go during the day mostly, and if I DO have something to do, I am functional enough to get it taken care of. For example, Tuesday, I got up and cleaned like I was crazy! I took down and put away all the Christmas stuff, cleaned the kitchen, living room, my side of the bedroom, the litter boxes, and Aidan’s room, and finished it off with that nice, hot bath. I even used my Cinders bath bomb–and that was a limited edition one. I hardly EVER use my LE bath bombs because well, they’re LE. I can’t get them again.

The good thing is that after you do a super cleaning like that, you get a grace period where there’s nothing to do until things get messed up again. There are always dishes to do, though, and GOD knows that trash can is the bane of my existence. Good Lord that thing stinks to high heaven every other freaking day and it’s driving me up a wall. Has to drive Adam crazy too, having to take the trash out all the time. I try not to put things in it that will seriously perish in a matter of hours (like old meat or leftovers) but something must have escaped my notice (i.e. Adam put it in there) and it turned this evening, because I have a SUPER sensitive sniffer and bad smells just get stuck and nothing I do can make them go away or mask them. They just seem to linger and linger while my Nag Champa burns away in vain. *sigh*

Saturday aka today is … wait for it… GROCERY SHOPPING DAY. To prepare, I did something I have not done in a long time. I CLIPPED COUPONS. Because see, lately, I’ve been getting these recipes off of Pillsbury.com, and a lot of them use the Crescent rolls. Adam says the rolls are expensive, so I decided to go online and see if they had coupons. AND THEY DO! So I’m going to stock up on them and do a happy dance because there are so many neat things I can make with them. For New Year’s Eve, I made these ham and cheddar crescents, and cheese ‘n pepperoni crescents. I made the cheese ‘n pepperoni ones again a few nights ago. They’re easy and tasty and leftovers can go in the fridge and be reheated in 30 seconds in the microwave. I want to make a bunch and have them ready to go as snacks. I mean, they are the PERFECT snack or appetizer, and for night owl me, who doesn’t want to eat a huge meal at 3:30am, one of those things is just right.

Anyway, I clipped lots of other coupons too, not just Pillsbury ones. Funny thing is that I don’t eat a whole lot these days. Only when I am working in an office do I eat a lot more than I should, and I do eat normally when I am out and about. Here at home, it’s easier to get caught up in whatever I’m doing (usually reading or puttering around on the computer) and not eat until my stomach threatens to kick my butt from here to New York if I don’t fill it with something other than water or lemonade. I get THIRSTY, but not so much hungry. I’m not a good “family” shopper. I lived alone for a while, then Chris did most of the shopping, then I lived alone again, then Adam did/does most of the shopping. He knows how to go and buy things like meat and other items to successfully put together meals, and he does it without too much thought. Me? I have to pore over sales papers and make lists and more lists and clip coupons and study recipes and do it all over again. And I STILL tend to go for the more easy and quick stuff, hence my new obsession with those rolls and everything that can be done with them.

I also ordered a 6-unit case of Apples and Cinnamon Cream of Wheat. See, for years, one could go to a grocery store and buy entire boxes of all sorts of flavors of Cream of Wheat. There was Apples and Cinnamon, Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Strawberries and Cream, and Maple Brown Sugar. And of course, the different varieties of Original. My mother said that when I was little I loved Maple Brown Sugar, but as I got older, I started to love Apples and Cinnamon the best. And I ate it for years and years and years and years and years. My favorite breakfast was Cream of Wheat and bacon. Apples and Cinnamon, but I also like the way my grandmother, Madia, made the Original for me. Then, my favorite flavor started disappearing off the shelves. Well, not really disappearing. It started hiding in the Variety Pack boxes, as did the Strawberries and Cream. So, I switched to Brown Sugar Cinnamon and added applesauce to it. Got the same flavor with no lumpy apples, and then THAT one disappeared into the Variety Pack as well. By this time, I was learning a couple of things:

1. Anything I liked, I mean really liked, was suddenly going to likely be off the shelves in a matter of months if not weeks.
2. If something disappears into a variety pack, be prepared kiss it good-bye before long.

This has happened with SO MANY of my favorite foods. A LONG LONG time ago, Doritos once made Sour Cream and Onion Flavor. My cousins and I ate that stuff like we were crazy. Then suddenly, they were no more. Other flavors came and went, but nothing was like those our Cream and Onion Doritos. But we got over it, my cousins and I. And we moved on. To Nacho Cheese. And we’ve been happy with Nacho Cheese ever since. Actually, I am speaking for myself here. They probably are not as particular as I am about Dorito flavor. Anway, the nacho cheese had BETTER NEVER go away or there will be one pissed off little Ronica here in Chicago.

Rice Krispies made Double Chocolately Chunk Treats for years. Then they disappeared into a variety pack. Now you can’t even find them in those, or if you can, it’s very few and far between. I’ve found a few little stores around Chicago in office buildings that will sell an individual one, and I usually make the mistake of buying the whole display and then the jerks raise their prices because they know they have a fanatic on their hands, but as far as getting a multi-pack box from Target or something like that? Nope. I even wrote and asked them about it. And finding the individual bars is like finding a needle in a haystack. Then, out of nowhere came these Rice Krispies Stix. They were like the treats you could break them apart like a Kit-Kat bar. I liked those even better than the treats, but those were gone within WEEKS of being debuted. Those didn’t even make it into a variety pack. They were just … GONE.

When I was in 6th grade, Quaker made Granola Dipps. I loved them. Naturally, they disappeared. Then they came back for a while, then disappeared into the black hole that is Walmart. I spotted them at Strack and Vantil last year, and then they disappeared. Adam found them at Dominick’s, I found them at Jewel, and I think they might be at a Target here and there these days. Every time they go on sale, Adam and I buy about 15 boxes to stock up. They are hard to find and probably going to go away again. They are also very expensive when they are not on sale. That’s the other reason we stock up. Not only do I tend to like foods that disappear, I tend to like foods that are expensive.

In high school, Carnation made these really yummy breakfast bars. You could get them next to the Instant Breakfast drinks. They were so good. I loved them. I’d started eating them during my senior year of high school, and the song Freak Me by Silk was popular. I had the single and the single had a certain mix on it. To this day, if I hear that mix of that song, I crave those stupid breakfast bars. Carnation changed the formula on them and make them gross, then discontinued them. A few years ago, Skippy made these yummy peanut butter bars covered in chocolate. One was peanut butter and marshmallow. Yum. It was a crazy flavor that was soon addictive. Yeah, that was gone within three months.

These things are not discontinued but you can’t get them in Chicago: Cherry pies at McDonald’s (they are SO superior to the apple ones) and BBQ Fritos. What the green hell? No BBQ Fritos? Oh sure, they have Chili Cheese ones (blech) and those honey BBQ Twists (not the same) but no plain old BBQ Fritos? *shaking my head* Messed up. And Twinings JUST discontinued the Tastes of Summer tea, which I LOVE. I have only ONE pack left. I’d been blowing through them, not realizing how precious and limited my supply was. Are my tastes THAT obscure that everything I fall for must disappear?

ANYWAY, back on topic. Now, if I go to to the grocery store, the only Cream of Wheat I can get all in one flavor is Maple Brown Sugar, my original favorite flavored. And Original, of course, when it doesn’t cost $89794888947. EXCEPT–Amazon.com has cases of Apples and Cinnamon Cream of Wheat for $25! Guess who ordered herself one right after the Christmas? (It had been on my wish list but no one picked that gift to send me from it. Not that I am complaining. It’s probably one of those things that makes people go “She can’t seriously want Cream of Wheat for a present” like they say “There is no way she really wants a thesaurus for Christmas”–oh but I would LOVE a thesaurus for Christmas, or the Chicago Manual of Style….)

******NEWS FLASH*******

I JUST FREAKING FOUND A CASE OF THE DOUBLE CHOCOLATELY CHUNK RICE KRISPIE TREATS ON AMAZON.COM. HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP I HAVE HIT THE MOTHERLODE. $8 FOR SHIPPING BUT IT JUST MIGHT BE WORTH IT.

***Dies Dead***

Speaking of shipping, Adam and I tried out Amazon Prime for our holiday shopping and freaking loved it. LOVED IT. My trial membership expired on the 7th. See, it offers free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase. Two-day shipping, you guys. And no scrounging around the site trying to find something eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping to push that total to $25 when you are at $23.47 (and you KNOW that happens more often than not.) You can order something for $9 and still get it in two days, and still get it free. And getting the package with the PREMIUM sticker on it was pretty cool, I do say so myself. We were certainly spoiled. But to keep it will cost $79.99. When Amazon Prime was a free trial, that free shipping was a great deal. It doesn’t seem so great after you pay $80 up front for it. But Adam said we probably spend that much trying to make the Super Saver Shipping eligibility by buying stuff we don’t need to get to $25 (because come on, I know that I’ve never managed to spend under $30 when I was going for SSS anyway–how about you? It’s not really possible. The total is usually just under $25 or a bunch of dollars OVER $25, right?). Maybe I’m just trying to talk myself into signing up for the stupid thing. I dunno, I will have to seriously think about it. I’m glad I tried it, though. It really helped make Christmas easier for us.

Still a little bit bummed that the holiday season is over. But there is a lot to look forward to in 2010 and I know that I’ll back into the swing of things mentally before long. Especially when I find this site with loads of beautiful clothes that I can ill afford to be buying these days. Some day, my friends. Some day I will have that pin stripe skirt and and those alderlass trousers. And there is this pair of shoes… oh God, these shoes! *calming breath* Oh yes, my friends. Some day.

In the meantime, I will try to sleep. And during the day, I will take a break from reading the Series of Unfortunate Events (I am currently in the middle of Book The Fifth) and venture out to the grocery store and possibly Target (we need printer paper and Iams cat food). If I am lucky and feeling up to it and if I can convince Adam, maybe a trip to Barnes & Noble as well. I have a $25 gift card that’s burning a hole in my wallet. :)

Going to try to sleep now. G’night… er, morning. :O

P.S. Just so you know, if Pillsbury stops making their Crescent Rolls, I will take it personally.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments Off on I Might Be Certifiable (OMG)