life as we know it

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grocery Shopping

Some of you may know I'm on a really restricted diet for some health reasons right now, so it's safe to say our pantry and refrigerator have seen better days :) Poor Nick today apparently had nothing to eat for breakfast and wasn't happy with the cheese sandwich he microwaved for lunch (although he called it a grilled cheese because it made him feel better, but it was certainly not grilled). Needless to say, he texted me after work to let me know he was heading to Walmart to pick up a few things for work and would do a little grocery shopping while he was there.

An hour later when I arrived home from work, he still wasn't back. I knew that was a bad sign considering I've always known my husband to hate grocery shopping. I saw him pull up in the driveway and went outside to see if he needed some help carrying the groceries in. He told me now, saying he didn't want me to ruin a few surprises. Yikes, surprises from the grocery store.

He was right, though; I was surprised. His shopping also reinforced to me why my husband shouldn't go grocery shopping unsupervised :) Although the bill was significantly less than I expected, it's pretty clear he was hungry when he went to the store (and forgot he was no longer, nor has he been for five years, a bachelor!). I do believe our pantry and fridge are smiling right now, since they are stocked with items like these, although I unfortunately am unable to partake in the fun:

Don't worry, he also got bananas, oats and yogurt, too! Looks like I'm eating oats for another two weeks :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Although I'm Irish, I've never been really into celebrating St. Patrick's Day. I am always the one who forgets to wear green and who ends up getting pinched, which I just think is really annoying (sorry if you're one of those people that finds delight in pinching those of us who did not don something green as we dressed in the morning). 

Here's the luck of this Irish girl - I had to work today. But what's new; I work pretty much every day. That was my excuse for not wearing's definitely our dress code's fault for being khaki pants and blue shirts. I did, however, put on a green tank under the t-shirt I changed into once I got home. I also celebrated by having a green beer. That may have been my first green beer ever, and it was pretty nice because the weather has been so absolutely gorgeous it's nice to sit back and relax and enjoy.


How do all of you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Any inspiration for me? As I asked someone at work today if she was Irish, she responded with, "everyone is Irish today!" Doesn't that seem to be the truth?

P.S. Can someone please explain to me how they turn the river in Chicago green? That is absolutely amazing to me!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ah, the weekend comes to a close

This weekend has been a change of pace. We thought a dear friend from Ethiopia was going to be here in the US this weekend, so I didn't schedule myself to work. Unfortunately, things didn't come together the way it was hoped and he won't be here for a little while. Nick and I decided to celebrate some of his birthday this weekend. We've still been busy, though, but it's a little less structured and therefore feels a little less stressful.

The semi-annual Forever Trendy Kids Sale is going on this weekend. In August, Nick and I had a booth so we were there all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This time around, we have spent periods of time volunteering and helping out. It has been exciting to see how successful the sale has been. The founder, Lori, and her husband are really great people. They are about serving their customers and serving their volunteers. Unlike any other kids consignment sales in the area, they provide meals to their volunteers. Even something as simple as water is so important to them. Lori also chooses an organization to donate part of her proceeds to. This sale is Kids for Kyla. You know how much we appreciate them, right? So it was pretty fun working the checkout yesterday hearing people over and over again willing to donate $1. From my involvement with Give1Save1, I know how much $1 can make a difference.

Toys at the Forever Trendy Kids Spring/Summer Sale
Lots of baby equipment and clothes!
Pack 'n Plays - literally the first things gone
Nick has utilized his birthday coupon to Noodles 'n Company. We've slept in some, took a nap! and just enjoyed hanging out. These weekends, though too few and far between at the moment, are precious and give us a chance to re-energize and renew. The 70 degree sunny weather in Colorado hasn't been too bad, either :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Birthday Fun

Nick has a birthday coming up soon (March 13). I really love celebrating birthdays. This love may have begun with my very best girlfriends in high school. For each of our birthdays, we would plan something really fun and surprise each other, blindfold and all. They even decorated the inside of my locker once (with perishable meat items that I left in there WAY too long as a reminder of how much my friends loved me). Needless to say, this love of celebrating birthdays continues for me, although they are a bit less exciting than they used to be.


I'm going to let you in on a little secret of how Nick and I celebrate birthdays in our house: for FREE. See, a few years ago, I learned that many places, including restaurants and shops, want you to know your birthday is special to them, too! (Yes, I realize this is likely more of a sale ploy than anything, but not the way we play). Nick and I have signed up (really read: Kelly has signed Nick and herself up) for a lot of birthday clubs. Starting a few days ago, these perks starting rolling in through e-mail.

So far, Nick has racked up a free meal at IHOP, free Noodles 'n Company, free ice cream AND...this is the best one...a $30 gift certificate for Benihana. Yes, seriously, no strings attached (except that it's only honored Mon-Thurs). On our budget, there's not a lot of room for error. Free works, though, and allows me to still feel like we're doing something special. Go sign up for Chef's Table on the Benihana website and send me a text while you're sitting enjoying your free birthday dinner :)

Here's the best part...our anniversary tradition is now celebrating at Benihana because my birthday and our anniversary are less then two weeks apart. A win for me, less for Nick who has to think about two big celebrations so close together :)