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.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

what's been going on

Loving: Castle by Halsey. It was at the end of The Huntsman: Winter's War. I looked it up on YouTube and I have been listening to it continuously since Sunday night.
The other day I was mentioning that I was bothered by spending a $100 gift card in a little over a week. I just watched a youtube video where the person spent over $120 just in the Target $spot alone. I was a little overwhelmed. But, each to their own I guess.
I also just bought some girl scout cookies, I think I'm kinda over girl scout cookies. I bought a box of thin mints, the new s'mores and a bag of gluten free. I know there are two different kinds of the new s'mores, the ones here are graham crackers in marshmallowy frosting and then coated in chocolate. I didn't like them, took them to work yesterday and they were gone before I left 5 hours later. I also wasn't impressed with the thin mints. I haven't tried the gluten free yet, my boss has a very sensitive stomach, so I kinda wanted her to open the bag first and then try them. I don't know if that will happen. I'm really good at buying things with other people in mind and then keeping them for myself, but I'm also good at buying things for myself and then giving them to friends, so I guess it all evens out.
March is National Craft month, so I've been trying to be crafty every day. I know it hasn't happened, and it's not going to happen next week while I'm in Chicago, but if I did, I could actually finish all my swaps early and not have to worry about them close to when they are due.
I've decided I'm taking only my phone to Chicago. I know I'll have a lot of blogs to read and a lot of Youtube to catch up on when I get back, but I feel I spend too much time on that stuff as it is, I don't need to be doing it on vacation. I decided I will be checking my email (which I probably won't have much interesting in) and facebook. Sometimes I get a lot of notifications from my groups, it would be a little overwhelming to come back to. Also, I unsubbed from a lot of my youtube channels because I spend too much time watching it. I've decided part of it, is because people talk a lot in their videos. That's not to say people don't 'talk' a lot in their blogs, but I read pretty fast, and you can skim blogs, you can't really skim videos. I'm also trying to not watch haul videos because it just makes me want to go out and spend money and I do not need more stuff. I want to just watch what people are creating/getting in the mail.
I was looking through my blog posts the other day, I used to post just about every day when I first started, now I'm lucky if I post once a week. I either have less to complain about or nothing exciting really happens to me. It's probably a bit of both. I don't do a lot other than art and go to work.

Hodgepodge Vol 300

It's Hodgepodge time again, head on over to Joyce's blog to see what other people have answered.

1. What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist? Is that a good thing? I don't think I'm a perfectionist in anything. I think that's a good thing, I'm not sure I'd want to keep doing something over and over until it's perfect, seems like a lot of wasted time. 

2. What's something you find perfectly ridiculous? What some people deem important to argue over. I've been dealing with some people at work that feel some things they must argue over. I won't go into detail, but sometimes a fine that's under a dollar just shouldn't be worth it.

3. What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, 'practice makes perfect? Honestly, I don't usually use the perfect word. I work on things to make them better, but if they're not perfect, I don't really care.

4. What's your idea of a perfect breakfast? I like sweet stuff, one of my local restaurants makes the best pancakes, they are the size of a dinner plate and the syrup they have just goes great with them. Plus, you have to have good company, I went there a few years ago for breakfast on my birthday with friends, it was pretty close to perfect.

5. What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10? Tell us why. At the end of 2009, beginning of 2010, my family went to Hawaii. That was the best vacation I've had in years. The temperature was great. I got to fly out business first class and first class on the way back. We had a few days on the big island and then took a week cruise around the other islands and spent a few days at the end at a resort. I'll probably never be able to afford that kind of vacation.
Just a few pictures from our vacation:
 One of the big trees they have.
 Another cool tree.
 Bird of paradise flowers
 One of my favorite pictures of me, quite a bit slimmer than I am right now
 a view from a mountain overlook
 Rainbow falls
 just a cool picture
 We went to a seahorse farm and got to 'hold' the seahorses
 Our cruise ship
We also went to a luau

6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close? I have no idea.

7. How would you spend $300 today? I'd probably go buy a new TV stand, a light spring jacket, some better shoes and some shelving units. I'd probably put some of it in the bank, too.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. I'm going to Chicago next week. I'm ready for a vacation, like I said above, there are been some trying patrons at my job lately. I'm getting tired of people not taking responsibilities for their actions and then wanting to get rewarded for it. I don't see why I should waive fines for people that get them, it's like they're getting rewarded for getting the fines, shouldn't we be rewarding the people that don't get fines? I'm just ready to not be at work for awhile.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Collective Haul

I feel like I'm always catching up on here. So, let's start with a facebook swap. One of my Facebook groups is called Random RAK (Random Act Of Kindness). We send our partners a minimum of $15 worth of things each month. My package took a little side trip on its way to me. It got to Des Moines (it's about an hour away) and then decided to travel to PA and then came back to Des Moines and back to me.
I finally got it on the 28th and I love everything that's in it:
Heart shapes, stickers, stuffed animal, buttons, flowers, gel pens, and some more stickers.
We had decided to put together Valentine's packages for each other. I love everything, I'm a little bummed that she gave me the hot air balloon stickers since I just bought them the day before. Oh, well they're still cute.
This week, the weather's been weird again. It was in the 50's on Monday, Wednesday I walked outside and it was snowing. It's been blowing and cold-ish the rest of the week. Today, we're supposed to hit the 60's, so I went shopping. I went down to Walmart and Target to see what they had for Easter stuff.
First up, Walmart:
 stickers, toothbrushes, gift bag, Easter scatter, stuffed animal, plastic necklaces, chapstick, chocolate.
Of course, they didn't have the cool stuff I've seen on people's haul videos, but I did find some cute stickers, a set of plastic necklaces and the table scatter. I thought it would be neat to cut up the necklaces and use them as a banner for the Happy Easter on the top of a pocket letter. The toothbrushes I picked up for my trip over the middle of March. I didn't need that many, but the whole pack was $1, that's better than I'm gonna find at the Dollar Tree, so why not. The gift bag is for my friend's birthday on the 28th, and it was $0.98 cents, so cheaper than the Dollar Tree again. I just loved the dinosaur, I didn't find anything else I wanted for me in the Easter section, so I picked him up, because I totally need another stuffed animal, I could just enjoy it until the end of the month and pass it on to my friend. For some reason when I go out, I always seem to go about lunchtime, I was in the checkout lane and the chocolate just looked good. I decided to give the Godiva to my friend, the Hershey's is for me.
Next up, Target:
Chocolate, mushroom, gel pens, tags, rub ons, stickers.
I'm wanting chocolate lately. I didn't get down to the after Valentine's sales, so I guess I just want some. I picked up the mushroom because it will match my gnome I got last year for my desk at work. I can't pass up gel pens, the metallic ones I got about a year ago are running a bit low. I picked up these tags mostly because of the cute little clear pockets they are in. These rub ons are the only ones I really liked. I really wanted the two wide washis, but there was no washi in my Target dollar spot, typical. I picked up the foam stickers because they were springy, I thought I could use them for a long while. The chocolate was $3.50, the gel pens were $3, and the foam stickers were $5, everything else was $1.
Next I went over to the Dollar Tree to see if they had any interesting Easter stuff since Monday, of course they didn't. I wandered over to JoAnn's hoping they would change out their Valentine cheap section to Easter, but they still had Valentine stuff out at 70%, so I didn't buy anything there. As I was walking towards home, I saw a girl scout table, and I've wanted some, so I picked some up:
 A box of Thin Mints, the new S'mores, and a bag of gluten free.
I love Thin Mints, I saw the S'mores on their website, I'm not sure I'll really want a whole box. I picked the bag of gluten free because I work with people who are gluten free, though now I'm really tempted to open them and eat them. My boss's stomach is very sensitive, so if I take them to work, I can't open them until she's tried them.
I tried to spend money at our Asian food store, but I couldn't find anything I wanted to buy. So, I went to HyVee to find something interesting for lunch.
Chocolate, chai, chicken wrap
Once again with the chocolate, I remembered I was low on my morning chai, so picked up some more of that and some lunch.
I also stopped at the grocery store on the way home.
Karlene will get a kick out of this, I was almost home and thinking to myself that I wasn't going to go shopping for at least a month (except for my trip to Chicago), that I didn't need anything and realized I forgot to pick up mouthwash. I planned to pick some up at the Dollar Tree, because mouthwash is expensive. UGH! Story of my life sometimes