My latest adventures in coupon-clipping resulted in me saving $34 on a $55 purchase. Sweeeet! #
In all the years I’ve lived in the Dallas area, yesterday was my first trip to Southlake. I met my friend, Red, there for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. We’ve both been in a funk and needed to get out of the house, but weren’t up for a full-swing social event with the whole gang. So, it being daylight, I was brave enough to venture down the road less travelled.
The restaurant is located in the Southlake Town Square, which is a nice little area of shops all laid out like a little town of its own, back when streets were lined with shops instead of the giant malls and shopping centers we’re used to today. Not exactly square though, don’t let the name deceive you. It’s similar to what they have recently built in Garland at the Firewheel Town Center. It’s a nice concept, but with the year-round Texas heat, it’s really only truly enjoyable on a cool day or evening. But it’s great for running into a particular store without having to deal with the crowds or parking at the malls.
After lunch, we walked around for a little while, not really to shop, since neither of us can afford that these days. I had seen the neat red brick Town Hall building when I drove in, and really wanted to get some photos of it, so we ended up walking there. It was super bright, mid-afternoon sun…not the ideal time for photos, but I was there and I had my camera, so I had to at least give it a shot.
Definitely not a good time for photos with all that harsh light, but worth a return visit sometime in the evening light….when it isn’t so freaking hot outside, too!
It was good to get out of the house and out of hermit mode for a few hours. Red and I are going to have to force each other to do that until this latest funk passes for both of us.
Now that I’ve had a week to re-adjust to normal life, I thought I’d blog about my trip to Cozumel. Red and I had such a fantastic time….definitely one of the best vacations ever!
We got to our hotel Monday around 11am and had lots of time to kill before we could check in (at 4pm). So we changed into our swimsuits and hit the little hotel beach and checked out two of the infinity pools. The first one was deserted, so we moved to the other one, where Louis, aka Okie Dokie, the bartender at the swimup pool kept our glasses full. Red has been tanning since February, so she was soaking up all the sun she could get. Me, on the other hand, took many opportunities to go sit in the water at the pool bar in the shade and make friends with the bartender.
A little before 4pm, we headed up to the lobby to see if our room was ready. After waiting another 45 minutes, they gave us our room keys and sent us off on a wild goose chase to find our room. We finally found it, no thanks to the directions they gave us, and waited for the bellboy to arrive with our luggage.
The rooms were really nice with marble floors counters, a nice glass shower, and a glass balcony that overlooked the main pool and the ocean where the cruise ships pulled in most days. After showers and a quick nap, we headed down to the buffet for dinner. We’d decided we’d just hang out at the hotel that first day.
Tuesday we got up, had breakfast, and then got a cab to downtown to do some shopping and see the city a little. We were hoping to rent a car to drive around to the other side of the island one day, and we had been comparing prices. Ended up getting a great deal on renting a new-ish (2004) Jeep for Wednesday. We’d been told as much as $110 but ended up getting ours for $60, including insurance and them dropping the jeep off and picking it back up at our hotel.
But back to Tuesday…we wandered around downtown for awhile, wasted our time trying to barter with people who were asking insane prices for their sterling jewelry, sampled some tequila at a tequila shop. I had been hoping to find more coffee tequila to bring home with me and this shop had it….but because it was in a special handmade bottle, it was more than I wanted to pay. So figured I’d keep looking and find some elsewhere. Never did find anymore so now I’m wishing I had just gone ahead and bought it. Oh well.
After walking around in the sun for awhile, Red and I were both ready to find a shady spot and a drink. One of the places we passed handed us coupons for 4 margaritas and an order or nachos for $15, so we headed there. It was an upstairs, open air bar that looked out over the ocean. So we sat there, enjoyed the breeze, the view, the drinks, and the nachos for awhile.
It wasn’t long before one of the bartenders asked us where we were from. We told him Texas and he said, “Dallas, right?” We were both surprised that he guessed that and asked him why. He said we looked like party girls. Oh boy. With that, he brought us over what he called “Bumper Shots.” Not knowing what they were, but being up for it, he went to Red first. Stood in front of her, blew a whistle, slammed the shot glass on the table 3 times, and then proceeded to pour it into her mouth and then grabbing her head and immediately shaking it around in circles before jerking it forward and backwards towards his crotch. I’m cracking up and taking pictures, of course. Then he annuonces it is my turn. Oops.
Another waiter came over not long after with another round of these. He was much more, um, suggestive with his routine, standing straddled over our laps while pouring. By then, we were having too much fun to care!
After our margaritas and 3 shots each, we decided to go walk around some more. Red found souvenirs for her hubby and son, we tried a few more jewelery stores, everyone still way too high on their prices (apparently this is a ploy they use when the cruise ships are in for the day). Then we grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel. We got back just before 3pm, in time to make reservations at one of the hotel’s speciality restaurants for dinner. Went back to our room, showered and napped a little then headed down to dinner around 6pm. We were planning to go out downtown that night.
After dinner, we got a cab and went to Senor Frogs. Boy was that a disappointment. The place was EMPTY. There were maybe 5 other people there. We had a few drinks, some shots, and then ended up heading back to the hotel because their drinks were too expensive. By the time we got back to the hotel, Red was ready to go to the room for the night but I talked her into one more drink at the sports bar (all-inclusive, so free drinks). The next day, Wednesday, our Jeep was supposed to be at the hotel by 9:30am. So after that, we headed to the room. I think we were in bed by no later than 11pm the entire time we were there!
I really need to get serious about packing. I’ve got most of my clothes that I think I’ll be bringing with me piled up and ready to load in the suitcase, but I haven’t really put much thought into making sure I have matching outfits and shoes. I’ve just thrown all of the super lightweight, cotton, comfortable stuff I own into a pile.
I finally found some comfy shorts I can live with. The best part is, they were between $5 and $10 at Walmart! If they last through my trip, they will have been worth the money.
I’m also thrilled that the swimsuit I ordered back at the beginning of March and have been on a waitlist for finally arrived TODAY. And it fits and its cute. So now I have 3 suits to take with me, two of them I can mix and match. Yeah, I went the route of the skirted suit, but these aren’t grandma-looking and are not swimdresses. Two of them have a cute straight leg mini-skirt and flattering tops that show just the right amount. The third one has a cute blousson type top (but not overly so) with a regular swimsuit bottom that I can swap out with one of the skirts if I’m feeling thigh-shy. When I stop and think about it, I am such a dork…I haven’t worn a swimsuit in ten years and now, I’ll be on vacation for 5 days (4 really since we come home early on the 5th day). Do I really need three swimsuits for that?? 😛
Tomorrow I need to get up and head to Target to return a few things, then I’m going to DSW to use my reward check to find some cute sandals. I have plenty of sandals, but am specifically looking for a slightly dressy but casual and comfy shoe to take with me as a night time shoe for when we go out. Then it’s the gym and tanning again. I actually have the tiniest bit of color now, but considering how white I was to begin with, that isn’t saying much!
I think I’ve gotten over the fat me vs slim Red and am now in the state of mind of IT’S MY VACATION and I’m not going to let my insecurities get in the way! Nothing else I can do about it at this point, so might as well just HAVE FUN! And I plan on doing plenty of that.
I’m anxious to see if the hotel is as nice as it looks in the pictures online.
The dress at my new job is slightly more business than casual, so I’ve been dusting off some selections in my closet and doing a bit of shopping. The biggest problem I’m having is the length of my pants. For those that know me IRL, you know I have a fondness for the big chunky heels. I just don’t own flats…or even low-heeled shoes, with the exception of tennis shoes and some sandals. I just like my big heels, what can I say?
The problem is, most of my dress slacks are too short when paired with my “regular” shoes. I have a hard time finding pants that fit well that come in Long, so I end up with regular length that look more like high-waters once I’ve got shoes on.
Rather than throw them all out and start a fresh search for longs (I do have some, just not all), I thought perhaps I should go buy some flat-heeled shoes and then those pants would probably look ok. So before heading back to Duckie’s on Saturday, I stopped by DSW in search of a black pair and a brown pair, figuring those would be the most coordinating choices. I am just drawn to the bigger heels, I can’t help it. But I didn’t let myself stray into that area of the store and limited my browsing to the lower-heeled and flats section, where I really don’t like most of what I find.
Long story short, I leave the store with what? FOUR pairs of shoes, none of which are flats. However, they do all have less than a 2- inch heel. That’s progress right??
My pants are still too short though.
This is why I avoid going into Target, Walgreens, CVS, hell…basically any store. Tonight I needed to pick up some manilla envelopes to mail the BotB tshirts (a month later…I know! I know!). I also needed cigarettes. So I figured I’d run into Walgreens, where I could get both of the things I needed in one quick stop.
Thirty minutes later, I exited the store with the following:
- 3 notebooks and 2 sets of dividers for two of my work projects (stuff I could get from the supply room on Monday!)
- a cool brown leather photo album (for pictures that I’m too lazy to scrapbook…even though I have empty photo albums around here somewhere.)
- padded envelopes (to mail some books to my fellow bookcrossers)
- plain envelopes for mailing the shirts
- a carton of cigarettes
- a variety pack of brightly colored notebook paper
Why couldn’t I wait until Monday to organize my projects? And why do I need brightly colored notebook paper? I have no idea. It’s wide-ruled. I don’t even like wide-ruled paper.
I made the right choice in not going to the lake this weekend. Granted, it would’ve been more fun, but as a result of my staying home, I manged to get a ton of work done yesterday. I still have more to do today, but I feel a huge weight off of my shoulders already. Of course, that weight will be replaced with all the other tasks coming in relation to testing, recreating training, and the upgrade itself. But…it’s nice to breathe a little easier, if only for a day.
I’m trying to get control of my finances. I’m an online shopaholic. There’s just something about those lovely packages arriving on my doorstep. Nevermind the fact that I already have enough philosophy, smashbox, and bare escentuals stuff to open my own store…I have a hard time passing up a deal. And wouldn’t you know it, philosophy had the TSV on QVC yesterday. I lead such an exciting life. Yes, after working more than a full day, I spent my Saturday night with the infamous shopping channel on in the background while I read. I displayed some restraint, but not enough.
Anyway, I need to cut my expenses wherever possible if I want to get out from under my debt. A car note would not even be close to an issue if it weren’t for that…and I will be needing to upgrade my transportation soon. So I’ve just changed my wireless phone plan (I never came close to using up all my “anytime” minutes), found a plan that include the earlier time for night and weekends (that I was currently paying extra for), eliminated the PCS to PCS (because I talk to less than a handful of people who have Sprint), and got rid of that stupid insurance they talked me into with my new phone last year. Should result in about a $25 savings per month over my previous plan.
Now I need to get to work on my cable tv & internet pricing. I’m considering ditching the HBO for awhile. I rarely have time for it anyway and, besides, that’s what Netflix is for! And that, I will NOT live without.
I went to bed Friday night early…for me. Around 1am. In my actual bed for a change. And then proceeded to sleep until, and I’m embarrassed to say this, 3pm. That was so not part of my Saturday plan. So instead of getting dressed and getting out and running the errands I needed to, I did some minor cleaning around the house, watched some hockey, and goofed around online.
Now, it is almost 4am and I’m wide awake. Brilliant. And tomorrow, well, today, I absolutely have to get up and get stuff done. Because the company that I work for decided, for some unknown and unimaginable reason, that we should have our Holiday Dinner today. At 4:30pm. Who the hell eats DINNER at 4:30???? Right in the middle of the damn day. I’m so irritated about that. I don’t want to go as it is, but for them to schedule it at such a dumbfuckingtime, when I have a million (ok, a dozen atleast) other things I need to be doing. I’d skip it, but apparently that wouldn’t look good.
I read this article today and was so tempted to email it to every boss and boss’s boss I could think of. Particular this little nugget:
“Just 19 percent of respondents found company bashes enjoyable and 81 percent found them a chore. “One question I’m always asked is whether people have to go at all. People don’t feel comfortable and they’d just as soon stay home,” said Pamela Bedour, founder of The Protocol School of Ontario.”
It wouldn’t be so bad if I actually knew some of these people. Because my job is outsourced, the only people I know that actually work for the same company as me are the ones that work at the same site as me. Everyone else is a total stranger. And that’s who I’ll be dining with tomorrow for dinner….late lunch…linner?
Anyway, I figure I need to be up and moving by 9am so that I have plenty of time to finish cleaning, go pick up my boss’s farewell gift for Tuesday, return something at Target, do a little Christmas shopping, get back home, shower, dress, and head to V’s house. She’s going to be my date. I’m tired of flying solo to these things and I don’t know any single and cute (and straight) men that could accompany me. Everyone else gets to invite a guest (aka spouse), so why should I be denied that option simply because I am significant-other-challenged?
So, you know that the super-conveniently located Tom Thumb near my house is CLOSING. I am still bummed about it. I loved that store. Tom was my first friend in my new neighborhood. We’ve been together for just over a year and he was always there when I needed him.
To add insult to injury, I just learned today that Kroger is moving into that location. I got a letter from Kroger today assuring me that he can make me forget I ever knew Tom. Kroger went on to say how he looks forward to being part of my life. Excuse me! I barely know you, you presumptive, conceited wannabe-rebound-store! Don’t pretend to want me or care about what I want. You’re just using me for my money.
There’s another big new Tom Thumb a few blocks north, but let’s be realistic. Kroger is going to be right there. And I’m weak. Perhaps I can try to form a relationship with northern Tom. But I won’t rule out the possibility of the occasional booty call with Kroger.
Meanwhile, my Stars are down 2-1 against the Ducks. The 3rd period is about to start. Come on, guys! Beat those phucking ducks!!! They’ve had a pretty decent road trip so would love to see them finish it off with a killer comeback in the 3rd. Then they are back at home this Friday playing the BJs (no, not that kind). I’ll be at that game…YAY!
I signed up online today for the WeightWatchers eTools. So all I needed to do was go grocery shopping. I took some of the sample meals and created a shopping list and headed to my super conveniently located Tom Thumb. Seriously, it’s like 2 minutes from my house. Imagine my surprise when I saw giant STORE CLOSING signs plastered all over the front. Damn. Damn. Damn.
Luckily they still had stuff available. Lots of canned and dry goods, some frozen foods, cleaning stuff, etc. And most everything was 20% off. So I went ahead and started shopping for what I could. Absolutely no produce in the store. No milk. No bread. So after loading my cart up with a ridiculous amount of groceries (I normally shop once a month, but bargain hunting, coupon cutting fool that I am had to load up) I came home, unloaded everything and reviewed my shopping list.
I still need to go to another store and get all the produce and milk and stuff. And I’m going to MY store to buy Mazzy’s dog food (20% off plus my $3 off coupon!). But I think I’ve got plenty (dripping with sarcasm) to come up with a nice dinner and breakfast tomorrow. I’ll venture out to find another store tomorrow. I am just seriously bummed that my store is closing.
I hate it. So much so that I make it a point to buy all my groceries for a month at a time. Or longer if I can manage it. But I was out of everything except toilet paper, so I had to go tonight. After wandering through the store for a good 40 minutes, I head to the checkout line. And gee, guess what? There was ONE lane open and 4 people in front of me. So I stood there. And stood there. And stood there.
Finally I start unloading my basket onto that conveyer belt thing. The guy, bless his heart, is slower than molasses and picking up one thing at a time, scanning it, and tossing it down to the other end. I’m already annoyed at having to wait 15 minutes to check out and now this guy is throwing my groceries around. I get everything unloaded and move over to start filling out my check and get all my coupons ready to give him.
Meanwhile, this neverending mound of groceries has piled up at the end of the counter. No one is there to bag them. This happens more often than not lately and also annoys me greatly. So I put my stuff down and move to the end of the counter and start bagging the groceries that are now being thrown towards me. Another 10 minutes or so and he finally has my total ready, so I stop bagging and return to writing the check. While I’m doing this, he decides to start bagging things. I finish writing the check and try to hand it to him and he just keeps putting stuff in bags. And doing it all wrong. So I leave my check on the counter and go finish bagging.
I finally get to leave the store. Hallelujah. But then I get about 10 steps outside the store, right to the area where cars drive through, and my case of Diet Dr Pepper goes flying off the bottom of the cart (where he had put it along with way too much other stuff, and half hanging off the cart). So now, I’m pushing a huge cart overflowing with groceries, holding my purse and a case spewing coke out of the bottom, and trying to get out of harm’s way.
I make it to the car, put all the groceries in the trunk, and then open the case to survey the damage. Maybe it’s just one can. Yeah, no such luck. Of the 12, only 4 of them weren’t erupting. And I am being chastised by the woman getting out of the car next to me to please watch my language as she has her children with her. Biting. My. Tongue.
I leave the coke mess in the cart and leave the cart next to my car and get in the car and go home. If I’d have gone back in the store to complain at that point, I likely would’ve been arrested.
I think I’ve earned the drink I’m about to make myself.
P.S. Oh my gosh. Peanut Butter Cookie Crisp cereal, where have you been all my life?
I absolutely love their photo finish primer. I don’t wear foundation. Ever. I hate the way it looks and feels on my skin. But this stuff is like a clear foundation without the weight and the caked-on-look. And their lip glosses are great, too.
I had decided to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure Friday afternoon. I have a gift certificate for a day spa stuck on my fridge that has been collecting dust for the past year. Apparently you have to make an appointment way in advance. They can’t fit me in on Friday. Rats. So much for that idea. I guess I could go ahead and schedule something for like 2006.
Can somebody explain to me how I got on PHE, Inc’s mailing list?! I swear I get a catalog from them every other week. If you don’t know who that is, I’m not going to shame myself by explaining. I guess I must have ordered something(s) from them once upon a time. *blush*
It just cracks me up that I got a Better Homes and Gardens magazine and that in the mail today.