Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge

This post is just a catchup from the week, I happen to be watching Hacksaw Ridge at the moment. I posted about Easter and my shopping haul on Monday, check that out, here. I'm attempting to not spend money as I might be going on a fun shopping trip in early May, plus garage sale season is starting up.
I haven't done much this week beyond my shopping trip on Monday and grocery shopping on Wednesday. I had a great mail week, though.
Monday:
 Journaling card swap. I love the clipboard, the lined and flower ones. She also wrote my note on a tiny library card.
 Journaling cards swap from facebook. I love the brightness and color on these, my favorite s being the bicycle ones.
Button swap. My favorite one is the purple lion one on the bottom.
Singing in the Rain tag swap. I love the quote.
Tuesday:
Favorite animal pocket letter swap. I love the stickers she included.
Wednesday:
Paper clip swap. I sent my partner an owl and a "D" paper clip, her last name starts with a "D". I love how she personalized mine with a "W" and an owl. My favorite it actually the coffee cup, I love coffee stuff (except the actual drink), I think they are wicked cute.
Thursday:
Mermaid pocket letter. I love how she use die cuts for the mermaids as well as adding real sand on the bottom.
Friday:
Dollar Tree Surprise swap. We were instructed to pick out $5 of stuff from the Dollar Tree and send it to our partner. I love the fish stickers. I also love how she added the paper clips so she didn't have to worry too much about weight. I already have the flower and owl stickers.
Saturday:
Spring pocket letter swap. It's so nice and colorful. Love it.

I hope next week will be as eventful. Also, hoping I can keep up not spending money.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter and stuff

I spent a lot of money since Saturday. I went to mail a few things, which was a bad idea. There was a pretty long line, part of the people were picking up packages and the other part didn't have their stuff packaged. I feel that happens to me every time I go to the post office, even though there's a sign saying you have to have your stuff packaged and labeled and ready to mail, a lot of people don't. They had two new people at the windows with a third who happened to be doing a huge box of envelopes. The guy I got, was really new, I kept hearing him tell people he didn't know and then he had to go confer with someone else. I think he may have overcharged me on something, but since I don't know the weight, I don't really know. He also told me it was a bad day to come to the post office because people were mailing tax stuff, which I didn't even think about, but most everyone in line had boxes, I'm pretty sure they weren't tax stuff.
After that I headed downtown to see if there was anything fun to buy. The director at the library has been into collecting fun teapots because we have an event every once in awhile called Author Tea, and she wants to have neat teapots to put out. I found this one at one of our consignment stores:
 It was originally $11 something and was marked down to $8 something.
I also found this really cool wallhanging that someone made out of vintage cards:
 I found this sorta ugly teapot at another consignment store:
 It reminds me of something you'd take camping, it was $4.
I picked them both up for the library.
I also made a reservation for Easter brunch while I was down there. Sadly, I don't think it was worth the $30. There wasn't anything really exciting on the brunch table, I had ratatouille and chicken and sweet potatoes and French toast.
I also had a couple deserts but one tasted very weirdly carmely, the other was red velvet cake but it was dry. Oh well, at least I tried something.
Here's my Easter basket:
 And here's what was in it:
The Tsum Tsum's pencil pouch set was $3, the pink pencil pouch was about $3, everything else was either $1 from Target or the Dollar Tree.
I was really excited to find some tape especially the new skinny tape everyone's been talking about. I looked closely at the patterns and picked the three I liked. I was also really excited to find the reading angel, sadly she doesn't really fit in with my decor. I'm not a big fan of religious stuff but I like anything that has to do with books.
The food:
 I can't believe I didn't buy any chocolate. The TimTams are from Target, I don't know how much they were, I had a cartwheel for them. Everything else was $1.
Today, I thought I'd go after Easter shopping, plus I had to buy some stuff for a swap.
First up was Hobby Lobby:
 All Easter was 50% off, so everything was on sale. the felt bunnies and flowers were $1.50 each. The cupcake picks were $1, the bunnies were $0.75. The cashier didn't know the candy was on sale, so I had to go back and do a return and then get charged the sale price for them. I don't know why she couldn't do a return and sale in the same transaction, it would have been way easier.
I really wanted to nerdy chicks, they had chenille chicks with glasses on, but not when I went.
Next up was JoAnn's, but we're back to not finding anything good there, so I didn't buy anything.
Next was Dollar Tree, I actually had to go here to get some stuff for a swap:
 markers, pom pom keychains, pencil pouch, notebooks, pens, foam tape, stamps, sticky notes, glue runner, and stickers.
The markers are for me, I'm sending another set out for a swap. The pom pom keychains are for future swaps as is the pencil pouch, one of the notebooks. The poop notebook was for this swap as was the stamp set. I always try to pick up the neat pens. The dry-erase markers are for work. I wanted to make sure I didn't run out of the foam tape, you know how the DT is. I picked up the glue runner to try out. This sticker set is my favorite of the new ones and I was surprised they had it.
The food:
 All the Easter candy was 50% off. I was glad to see the oozers and the berries come back.
Next up was Target:
 I was disappointed in Target. Their signs said 30% off or more, markdown at register. The few things I picked up and scanned on the price checker were regular price, so I wonder if they were just too lazy to change it in the system and were having the checkers do it. It frustrated me, so I didn't buy any Easter stuff. Also they were about to re-stock the dollar spot, so I didn't get anything there either. I needed these felt pens, mine all the exciting colors don't work anymore and they were less than the price on the shelf. The green thing is actually a little coin purse in the shape of a cactus, I couldn't pass it up, it was $5, it was in the kid's clothing section, I think it was a display of things to put in your kid's Easter basket, the brand is Cat & Jack.
Last stop was Walmart:
LOVE the Minion Easter basket. He was $2.50, the bag of chocolate was $5, the eggs were $1.50, the activity books, keychains and Reece's carrot were $0.50, the tape was $1.50
So, outside of Hobby Lobby I spent about $20 at each store. I was going to go up to the new Super Walmart on the north side of town and TJ Maxx tomorrow, but I think I've spent enough money, especially since I'm supposed to be on a spending freeze (so much for that). I think the fact that I didn't do after Valentine's Day shopping helped and that I needed to shop for this swap. I have a plan to use or eat most everything I bought. I have a few spring swaps coming up, some stuff I bought because it wasn't just Eastery. I've already shared about half of that large bag of candy at work, I also shared some of the other chocolate in a swap as well as a few things from the Dollar Tree.
I do really well at not spending money when I don't go anywhere. I wonder how long this one will last.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Suicide Squad

This week was uneventful, too.
Saturday, my mom and I went to the ISU fashion show. We went to The Cafe for supper, I decided to try something new and got the catfish po'boy. Not the greatest decision, there was something sorta spicy in the sauce, so I took the sandwich apart, still didn't like the breading on the catfish, so I unbreaded it and ate it as an open-faced sandwich.
The fashion show is just less and less interesting to me each year. My mom and I started going when she started her job at ISU when I was in high school. I feel like there's not as much interesting stuff anymore. I remember one year, they did a skirt made out of CD's. Now, it's just main stream clothes.
Sunday, my friend and I went to the International Food Fair. It was more fun with a friend, though I didn't eat as much as the last time I went. I remember spending about $30 in food last time, this time I had a hard time spending $20. I also feel there was more sit down food and more stuff that sounded spicy. They post the menu a few days before the fair, so I google everything on it.
I didn't eat much this year. I bought a potato/spicy dumpling like thing. That was good. I also got a pork dumpling from the Chinese booth. I got some kind of bread pudding made with puff pastry and almonds and pistachios and honey. It was soo good and soo sweet, that filled me up. Last time I bought a bunch of the drinks. I did get a few drinks this time. I tried bubble tea, I think I would have liked it more if it came with the extra big straw so I could have the bubbles with the tea. I had something that tasted like tea and fruit juice and I had a lassi which is a milk based drink.
I'm trying not to spend money, so I don't do much. I just read, do my online stuff and work. Last saturday when my mom asked what was going on with my life I told her just that and she didn't believe me.
I did buy a Peachy Cheap grab bag, because that's the whole reason I signed up for Peachy Cheap. I got it in the mail yesterday:
  I'm actually pretty happy with this purchase. I was afraid I'd get some dies. I think I'll use mostly everything.
Here's some close-ups:
  These are by October Afternoon, called Daily Flash Flash Blurbs "Eggnog" 16 die-cut shapes. They retail for $2.09
 This is a sheet of stickers by Jenni Bowlin studio, they are called numbers quilted stickers. They retail for $0.97
 
 Jenni Bowlin studio general store stickers, retail: $1.75
 
There's no packaging with these, so I don't really know who made them. They are cling stickers with all sorts of sentiments. Probably a happy birthday set. I don't use a lot of stamps, but I like these and the other set below, I just have to get an acrylic block to use them.
October Afternoon, Witch Hazel postcards, retail: $4.58
Prima Fancies, Aloha petals. I can't find this in a google search, but we all know Prima is not cheap.
Dear Lizzy rub-on pens, retail $9.99
Another stamp set, it's hard to see in the picture, but this has butterflies and flowers and a few sentiments: hope your day is as sweet as you are, especially for you, and heartfelt thanks. I just realized there's a mason jar stamp on it. Again, no packaging, so probably about $10.
My Mind's Eye Hello Gorgeous 6x6 designer paper pad, retail: $6.99
Studio Calico vellum labels, retail $6.66
a couple rolls of washi, no packaging. The left one is white with a blue pattern of triangles, I think there's about 1/2 inch thickness of washi. The right one is lime green stripes, probably the same amount.
imaginisce 75 die-cut cardstock shapes, retail $4.79. These were a little rough shape, the glue around the package holding them in is old and wasn't really holding them in anymore.
freckled fawn 6 paper clips, retail $3.99
Fancy Pants good fellows tags, retail $2.99
I don't really know much about this, most of the words are in Asian characters, all I can read is the Memo-it at the top, the God bless you at the top of the sheet and the hello jane at the bottom of the sheet, I'm having a hard time finding it online, it's probably around $3
These also don't have any real packaging. They are wood shapes of butterflies, big and small.

I paid $14.99 for the grab bag, plus $5.99 shipping. It was mailed on 4/12 and got to me 4/14 in a priority mailer bubble envelope. I am very happy with this purchase. I've seen a few peachy cheap deals I've been interested in, but like I said, I'm trying to do a spending freeze (i should apparently do a swap freeze too, because a lot of my money has been spend on postage for swaps), so I haven't jumped on them. I will do another grab bag, though.
I also ordered some checks that got here today, I noticed the other day, I had 3 checks left. I know I have a couple books of checks somewhere, but I don't know where, so I just ordered more, probably too many because I only use my checks for rent, medical insurance and a few random things. I mostly use my debit card or direct withdrawal from my bank account.
I don't think I even made that much this week. I did paperclips last week, I don't take pictures of those, I don't know why. I finished a loaded bag for a friend that I mailed off today along with a singing in the rain tag. I got to the post office and it was a long line, when I got up to the window the guy said I picked a bad day because it was tax day, I didn't even think about that, though I'm pretty sure most of the people were not mailing taxes. From what I saw, there were a bunch of packages, some international and a lot of people picking up packages. I feel a lot of people do their taxes online now, which I know the government is pushing.
Last night, the library had a drag show, that was pretty cool.
I watched Suicide Squad when I got home last night, it was good. I'm trying to finish a book called Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders. It's very interesting, it's just thick: 451 pages and lots of little articles on each page. I'm hoping to finish it this weekend.
Tomorrow is Easter, the library's closed, I have a whole basket of stuff to open/look at and I made a reservation for myself at a local restaurant mostly so I wouldn't have to sit in the car for 4 hours with my mother. It's a little sad, but I want to eat something exciting, and not be in the car with my family.
I doubt next week brings much more excitement. I'm hoping garage sales will pick up soon, I want to go shopping, but not store shopping. I am hoping to go after Easter shopping on Monday, though, i'm craving chocolate.

Friday, April 07, 2017

this week

So. I woke up Sunday with a sore throat, that generally means I'm getting sick. I decided to go to Target and Dollar Tree to shop for my Easter basket and start a spending freeze on Monday. I'll show you what I got on Easter. I bought a bug Easter basket on clearance years ago at Hobby Lobby. I'd been wanting it since I saw it at the beginning of the season. Here's a picture from last year:
How cute is he?
I don't know how much I paid for it, but I think it was about $15 or so to begin with. I had a few items in my Easter basket and then I'd get hungry and it would disappear. I covered my basket with plastic bags because if I can't see what's in there, I won't get distracted with it.
I don't recall much of what I did this week, I've been really tired and sniffly and sneezy and maybe a few other dwarves. I've been trying to go to bed early and just not do much, it's been really exciting.
Wednesday, I must have felt a bit better (it could have been the pop I drank after work) because I stayed up until about 1AM creating. I was trying to get some pocket letters done to mail out today. I've started having Fridays be my mailing days. I like just going to the post office once a week instead of multiple times a week. My job is a block away from the post office and I live about three blocks away, so it's not like it's out of my way or anything.
I did buy the peachy cheap deal today because it was a grab bag and that's the whole reason I signed up for the peachy cheap deals, I'll be interested to see what I get. I'm a little worried about getting dies, but I figure I'll find someone to swap with.
I got a $20 gift card for spellbinders through a YouTube video. I didn't realize I was getting a gift code/card to spellbinders when I signed up, I know I could have deleted my comment, but I didn't think about it. So, I won one of them, I've never found it so hard to find something to buy. I don't have a die cutting machine and I don't use stamps very much. I got my order today:
 Everything is out of their clearance section. The total was $19.45, I'm not going back to spend the rest of the $0.55, or the points they keep saying I earned.
 These are Media Mixage Birds One Metal Blanks, basically just four metal bird shapes, they were $2.99
 I didn't read the description on this but thought it was a 12x12. It's actually a 6x6 with thin double sided paper, it's called Media Mixage Ephemera Papers Two Paper. I picked up two at $2.49 each. The designs are nice and I'm sure I'll find a use for them.
 This is a three pack of trims, I also didn't really read the description, I thought I was just getting the second trim. It's called A Gilded Life Antique Gold Trim Embellishments, it was $3.99. I like the first and second trim, the third one is a little weird.
The last item I got:
Celebrations Enameled Elements Embellishments, they were $2.49. They're basically enamel shapes. I'm not sure how I'll use them, I don't use enamel dots.
Like I said it was rather hard to find $20 worth, and I thought they'd have more stuff than just dies, oh well. I know for next time.
I went to my first garage sale of the season today, mostly because it was close and they had Stampin Up stamps in their ad. I didn't buy anything. The stamps weren't marked and I hate asking prices, plus like I said I don't use a lot of stamps anymore.
Tomorrow me and mom are going to the ISU fashion show, I'm afraid I'll fall asleep as I'm still wickedly tired. Sunday, me and a friend are going to the International Food Festival on campus, I'm excited about that. I love trying new foods and these are pretty cheap, I mean you're only getting a little sample, but it's fun, and I love that I'm going with a friend this time. Last time I went, a few years ago, it was fun, but I think it would be more fun with a friend. We kinda have to hurry as my friend does have to work that afternoon, but we're hoping to get right in.
I finished one book this week: Washington's Monument and the Fascinating History of the Obelisk by John Steele Gordon. I thought it was just a history on the Washington monument, it was good, I just wasn't really that interested in the history of the obelisk itself.
I have way too many books checked out, I have 38 what I deem deep reading books, meaning they are over 200 pages. I accidentally renewed a hunk of them on Monday so I have a bunch due at the same time. I'm not doing very good at reading my books or watching my movies, I'm blaming it on being sick.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Weekly update.

I guess I'll go back to that weekly post thing. I am still trying to do the Wednesday Hodgepodge when the questions seem interesting to me and I'll probably keep doing haul posts (maybe).
I haven't done much in the last week. I was rather busy crafting at the beginning of the week, but mostly it was just go to work and read. I'm trying to get through some of my books because I have way too many checked out. I actually managed to get quite a bit done on Sunday and Monday. I read right after I got up, took care of my morning computer stuff and then crafted for awhile, watched a movie and finished the day with reading. That worked until Monday, when I had to work at 3 and got off at 8. I didn't get a movie in but I did read a book.
I finished Food City: Four Centuries of Food Making in New York City by Joy Santlofer last Sunday, that was pretty cool. Like the title says it was four centuries of food making in New York, it was separated into different sections of food, I don't remember them all, but there was drink, and sugar, and grain and meat. I love learning, and it was really fun to learn about food.
I finished The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom on Monday. It's a book about a family that worked with the underground network in the Netherlands to hide and move Jews during the German occupation during World War II. After finishing that, the next few books in my piles to read were sort of about Nazis and World War II and even though it wasn't a really thick book, it's a very depressing subject even though they saved bunches of Jews. I just need something happy and a little down time after reading about that subject. I like reading about it, I just need a time out afterwards.
The next book I finished was The Book of Heroes by Crispin Boyer. Basically it's about a whole bunch of heroes. The one I'm working on now is called The Book of Heroines, same concept. I like this one better because it seems we always hear about the guys but not so much about the women.
I haven't done a whole lot of crafting this week, I finished a whole bunch of stuff and mailed it off on Wednesday as well as created a mini pocket letter and mailed it off on Thursday and some ATCs for a swap, once I get the return swaps those posts will go up on my art blog, The Frog Princess. I like to start the posts once I get my end done and leave them in draft form until I get my partner's end. I've decided it helps me keep better track of them.
It's been kinda niceish here. We've been having 40 and 50 degree days, but it's also been a bit overcast. When it's cold here, it's really nice and warm in my apartment, when it warms up and into the summer it's cold. I live in the basement, so it stays pretty cool, but in the summer the AC kicks on and tries to keep the upper two floors at 60 something, it's probably already that in my apartment and I find it kinda cold. I close the vents in the summer and I have been turning on a space heater in my bedroom in the evenings. Otherwise, I just cuddle up in my blankets and read or watch a movie or do stuff online.
I had a bad day yesterday, so I went shopping today. Everything fun that I picked up, I put in my Easter basket, so you'll have to wait on that. I did pick up some essentials of envelopes, packing tape, garbage bags and a shower pouf. I want to start a spending freeze, sorta. I still want to wander downtown, but after spending the money today, nothing was that expensive, but it adds up fast, my downtown is not cheap. It's mostly independent chains and while they are fun to shop at because they are different, they aren't cheap. I also filled up my Easter basket and more, so I don't need (do I ever need) anything more. Next Saturday, I do have a fashion show to go to, I was hoping to go to some of the second hand clothing stores and see if I couldn't find anything cute for that. Next Sunday, is the International Food Fair that I'm hoping to attend with a friend, we'll see how the world wants to treat me this coming week, I woke up with a sore throat this morning, it's pretty much gone, but usually that means I'll be getting a cold soon.
One of the channels I watch on YouTube, poetspice, is doing a use up your scraps/spending freeze or chill collab. You do have to make videos to actually participate, but I thought it'd be fun to try to do it anyway. I don't need more stuff (probably for a few years) except glue etc and I do want to use up my stuff. I've been wanting to do a spending freeze, only on craft stuff, for awhile, I just find it a bit hard to do. (because I like to shop, or I have a bad day and it makes me feel good). Of course that might hinder me doing garage sales. I don't know. We'll see. My garage sale money doesn't exactly come out of my checking account, I take $20 out each week when I go grocery shopping, and I save anything under a $10 bill, mostly so I don't have to take money out later to go garage saleing. I'm only up to about $50, and it's late in the saving season, mostly because I started watching YouTube last year and started spending more at retail stores and less at garage sales, because I wanted what everyone else was getting. I am missing vintage buttons and lace and other stuff, and you get the most unique things at garage sales for the best prices.
I feel I'm just rambling now. I spent about $60 today between Target, Dollar Tree and Burger King. I specifically went today so I wouldn't be tempted by Hobby Lobby.
What are you all up to?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Last week

On our way home from Chicago, we stopped off at a Hobby Lobby, but unlike some other stores I feel all Hobby Lobby's have the same stuff, so I didn't want to spend too much time there. That just made me want to go to my Hobby Lobby on Monday. I try not to buy anything at full price, but sometimes I do. Here's what I picked up:
 Tags, rubber ducky stickers, frog, journaling cards, journaling kit, vintage stickers, flower stickers, word stickers, pinwheel, speech bubble chipboard die cuts, brads, felt flowers.
I saw someone haul a tag pad from Tuesday Morning, these are more muted and vintage looking, they were $1.40. I got the rubber ducky stickers because someone recently sent me the rubber ducky washi from the Dollar Tree and I thought they'd go together, they were $0.59. I just loved the frog, he was $1.79 (actually a part of the reason I went to Hobby Lobby is because I saw their spring stuff was 40% off and I saw an ant figurine that I wanted, sadly it was $11.99 regular price, and even with the discount it was a bit much, so I picked up the frog as a consolation). The journaling cards are My Minds Eye On Trend and My Mind's Eye Hello Gorgeous, they were both $2.99 each. The journaling kit is Simple Stories So Fancy for $5.99, which is a little pricey for me, but I liked the images. The vintage stickers are actually envelope seals, they were $1.00. The flower stickers were regular priced at $1.49, I saw them at Micheal's, and had gotten some in a swap. The word/flower stickers were also regular priced at $1.49, I just like the sayings. The pinwheel is blue gingham with cherries on it, it was $0.59, I thought it would be fun to put in a loaded bag. The speech bubble chipboard die cuts were $1.50, I thought they'd be fun. The brads were $2.00, they are nice and springy colored. The felt flowers were $0.30, they are from the Valentine section, I figured I could easily take off the hearts and replace them with something else. I spent about $30.
On my way to work, I mailed a package for a swap.
Tuesday, I didn't do anything productive. I was supposed to make some stuff for swaps, but I ended up just watching YouTube all day. I also should have read some of my 30 books I have checked out.
Wednesday, I worked, and went grocery shopping and then worked on some of those art projects.
Thursday, I got some die cuts in the mail:
 bunnies, words, cups,
 lots of scalloped circles
 flowers, bunnies.
I also finished those art projects, here's what my bed looks like when I'm creating:
I don't have near enough room to spread out. I do appreciate that I'm no longer creating on the floor and have a desk, but I still have way too much stuff. I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree and Target, but when I can't find things that I'm looking for, I really don't need to be buying more stuff. The only thing I 'need' is some more chocolate. Lots of people include tea in their pocket letters, I don't drink tea, so I try to include chocolate.
Friday, I mailed those art projects: 2 Easter pocket letters, some planner clips, some ATCs, some 3x5 index cards, a spring themed pocket letter. I also had to work that afternoon. I want to create/put together one swap that I've signed up for each day, so they are ready to send out and I'm not so backed up. I did make a pocket letter yesterday and am planning to make another one today.
Saturday, I didn't do much either. I did get some movies watched, and created a pocket letter. I seriously scaled back on the channels I subscribe to on YouTube before we left for Chicago because I spend way too much time watching it, of course then I watch my channels and don't know what to do afterwards.
I finished one of my books today and felt very accomplished, especially since it's almost 400 pages long and I read about 200 pages today, I finished yesterday by reading until I fell asleep.
I also want to finish a book a day, but if I'm trying to do all my morning stuff, create, read a book, work and finish the day with a movie, I'm not sure I can fit it all in.
I also want to do that blogging every day in April thing, but I'm not sure I can think of something for every letter of the alphabet to blog about.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trip to Chicago

This past week was spring break here in Ames, my family and I went to Chicago to visit my brother and explore a bit of the city. This post is kinda long. We left Tuesday morning about 7AM, a bit too early for me. Saw this interesting giant golden ball in Clinton, IA:
 I don't know what it is.
We stopped in Aurora, IL at an outlet mall. We went to a Lindt chocolate store:
I also picked up four Lindt chocolate bars that I do not have a picture of, it was a dark chocolate for my roommate, a dark with pomegranate for my friend's birthday at the end of the month, a dark chocolate with lychee (I didn't know which my friend would like) and a milk chocolate with pretzels.
Next up was a stop at Wilson's leather:
I had brought my debit card and a bit of cash for the trip. I tried my debit card at Wilson's and it didn't work, that freaked me out, especially since I had a dream about it not working. Thankfully, I had enough cash to cover it. I called my bank and they said they had seen a lot of fraud with Wilson's leather so there was a block on their store. I've been wanting another leather jacket for awhile, they were having a 70% off + another 40% off the entire store. I got this for a bit over $40.
Next up was Dress Barn
 This is a wrap dress that I really liked. I loved how it looked on me (how about those socks?), but it wasn't a real wrap dress, if it was I could have cinched it a bit more because when I bent over I showed off a lot.
I also tried on this dress:
 I really just liked the arms and that drapey look. It also had some really neat trim on the arms. Now, I'm on the lookout for a shirt with sleeves like that.
 That night we stayed over at Aurora and ate at a Cracker Barrel.
 This is the first time I've been to one. It was really good, I got pecan catfish with marmalade sauce. My doctor says I need to eat more fish, though I believe the dumplings I had as a side may have erased the good effects of the catfish.
I loved this wall of soda:
 I picked up this cute mermaid there:
I didn't sleep very well Tuesday night on account of my dad snoring and my mother waking me up at 6:40 to take a shower.
Wednesday morning, we headed into Chicago. This church seemed to be in the middle of the road:
 After we got to my brother's condo (here are some views from his windows):


We headed down the street to a pub for lunch, I got a grilled chicken wrap. Afterwards, we went to the Shedd Aquarium:
 I took a ton of pictures, these are just a couple:
I bought a book, Lost Chicago for about $20, a glass octopus for $10 and a reusable bag for $0.35
 That night we had deep dish Chicago style pizza. I'm not a fan of this pizza, I had ordered a cheeseburger off the menu, but they never delivered it. My brother had some pasta in the fridge so I had that.
 Thursday morning, we didn't really have a plan, my brother got up late. I wanted to go to the Michael's that I found while wandering around Google Earth in preparation for the trip:
 My mom didn't understand why I wanted to go when we have one about 40 minutes away. I don't think she quite gets that the bigger cities have more stuff in their stores. The first set of stickers are shaker mason jars, they were $2.49, the two sticker books were $1 each, the coloring stickers were on clearance for $0.99. I love shaker stickers, I don't really see them at Hobby Lobby. I also love these cheap sticker books (like I totally need more stickers). The coloring stickers are for a swap. The note cards were in the $1.50 bin as were the words and the paper clips, those are also for a swap. The ephemera was 50% off, so I got it for $2.50. Again, shaker stickers. The sticky note pads were on clearance for $1.79 each, I thought it would be fun to put them in pocket letters. The pom pom keychain was the most expensive thing for $4.99, I loved how it looked with it's glasses, I'm not quite sure where I'll put it. The washi was $2, I talked myself out of the $10 tubes and got this instead. The ribbon was $1, also for a swap. The wooden tags were $0.59 and $0.79. I spent about $33 there.
 We headed back to my brother's condo and headed downtown and ate lunch at Eataly:
 I got Moscato pear and ricotta ravioli with walnuts (I'm not really sure), it was soo good.
After wards, we walked to the Rookery and another building to look at architecture. We headed back to my brother's condo on the bus and had Thai food delivered for supper.
Friday, we also didn't have a plan. The weather was rainy, so we stayed in for the morning and then went to La Creperie for lunch. I had a ratatouille crepe, I've wanted to try ratatouille since I saw the animated movie, it was great. We had a nutella and strawberry crepe for dessert.
 Mother and I wandered around and visited a few stores after lunch. We found this interesting sculpture:
 And this cool castle looking building:

We found a shop called Foursided that was pretty interesting. It was a lot of paper and gift things. I picked up a $10 grab bag, a $5 grab bag, a llama eraser for $0.50, a tiny pin for $1.25, and some pencils.
 A close-up of the pencils:
 They say: the princess, the brain, the athlete, the criminal and the basketcase. I'm not a huge fan of The Breakfast Club, but I thought they were cool. They were $1.75 each. The unicorn eraser and pencil are for a friend, it was $3.
Here's the $5 grab bag
 I like the cards, the stickers and the bunny/cat thing.
The $10 grab bag:
 Again, I like the cards, the cat/bunny thing and the keychain. A few of the things I'll take to work. If you want me to buy something at your store, make a grab bag, I would have loved to buy all of them. Unfortunately, I bet they'd all be about the same, and I probably wouldn't have bought most of it.
The next store was called Inkling, it was almost the same store. Here's what I picked up:
 Some stickers for $2.50, a card for $4.50, a coin pouch for $4.50 and a sheet of unicorn paper (not shown) for $4.50. I spent about $18 there. Mom and I were looking for a bakery, we struck out, but I did find a grocery store, I picked up some croissants and cookies for about $9.
We passed through this interesting looking bridge crossing the Mississippi River back into Iowa.

 Mom wanted to stop at Hobby Lobby and I wanted to stop at Dollar Tree in Clinton, IA just to stretch our legs a bit, we were about halfway home at this point.
Here's what I picked up at Hobby Lobby:
 This Hobby Lobby made me feel exactly like I was back in Ames. I picked up the word stickers for 90% off, $0.30, the gel pens were on clearance for $2.08. I also don't need more gel pens.
Here's Dollar Tree:
 I thought these were unicorn stickers, I will still probably send them to my friend. Critter stickers, the first sheet I got for the owls, the second for the mice and hedgehogs, the third for the underwater. The bubble stickers are unicorns. I haven't seen these layered stickers yet. And I've been searching for the bows, so I got two sheets.
I've been needing some markers. A few things I learned are: I love hot showers, I love water pressure and nowhere is quite dark enough to sleep. I can't do much about the first two, but I picked up this eye mask for the next time I go on a trip. The thing under it is a pencil pouch, the blue bag was in the cosmetics aisle, I thought I could use them both for swaps. I just liked the coin purse. The cross I picked up for a swap. The pick-up pairs, I've seen Crafty Girl haul and I love those whack a balloons for Valentine's Day.
Three hours later we were home. I've been trying to catch up on email, blog reading, Youtube watching and other online stuff since I got home. I also didn't get very many good nights' sleep because of the light factor and I kept waking up early because of the light. I'm hoping to sleep in tomorrow and watch YouTube.