Sorry to admit this, but the Columbus Day holiday has always seemed the oddest and least celebrated holiday of all the official holidays throughout the year. We all learned a little bit about Christopher Columbus and several other notable world explorers while in school. And there is some controversy about whether Columbus really discovered America or did he land on a Caribbean Island or even Mexico or Central America instead?
But for me and anyone else who works in retail, Columbus Day means one more holiday to have an excuse for a sale and it is the last holiday before the big Christmas rush. I think the Columbus Day holiday has lost some of its shine in modern years and people are no so much interested in any sales during October unless it means they can get an early start on their Christmas shopping.
Do you know of any sales going on this weekend that will be worth going to the mall to save money on something you really need? I can’t think of anything, and I’m not willing to start my Christmas shopping yet, either!
Now that it is officially fall, the weather has definitely turned chilly. So, it’s that time of year for me to totally revamp my closet. It’s a chore I dread, because I love summer and I don’t want to admit that I cannot wear all my cute shorts and summer dresses anymore. But then again, getting out all my cold weather clothes is exciting. It is like reconnecting with old friends! Hello, Sweater! I haven’t seen you for, what? At LEAST 6 months!
Another upside to revamping my closet this weekend is that I will need to go shopping and buy a few new things to update my wardrobe. Cleaning out the closet makes room for new stuff! I want to get a couple pairs of new jeans, a rain jacket and this year I am looking for a pair of new boots. Shopping will be my reward for getting this chore done over the weekend.
The new H&M retail store is having their grand opening today. The first 300 shoppers to come in the door were given a gift card with a mystery amount on the gift card. Some of the gift cards were for as little as $25 off an item. But there were several gift cards that were worth $200 and even $300 for about a dozen lucky shoppers!
I could not get there this morning to take advantage of the grand opening gift cards. I hope to check out the store next week, though, when I go to the mall to find a Father’s day gift. The H&M stores have a reputation of great fashion buys for men and women at bargain prices. So maybe I can get a few new shirts and even a couple of dresses if they are as great as I’ve been told!
Everyone has a “go to” snack. Its the food – even if junk food – that you grab when you are just a bit hungry and don’t feel like cooking a whole meal. You want something to munch on while watching TV or working on the computer, or you’ve already had dinner and you just want something crunchy or salty or sweet to put a smile on your face before going to bed.
My favorite snack is a scoop of hummus with some dried pita chips with sea salt. The hummus has some mild spices and a scattering of pine nuts. I buy the big plastic container of hummus for only about $5 at Sam’s Club and a huge bag of dried pita chips with sea salt for only about $4, also at Sam’s. If I buy the same things at the local grocery store I end up paying the same money but getting containers with only about half of the servings. So it makes more sense to go to Sam’s and stock up.
If I don’t want hummus, I usually crave something sweet, like a cookie or a slice of pie. Lately I have been craving cakes, but I think I will try cake pops instead of a full size cake. I like the smaller serving size of a cake pop and I don’t need as much self control on portion size if I just grab a cake pop and don’t allow myself a second.
My girlfriend Natasha is a yoga instructor and very enthusiastic about her yoga classes. She keeps inviting me to come, but I have never really been a fan. I don’t like to exercise and this does not look like something I would enjoy doing.
However, these yoga pants are really hot and I would be fine with buying them to wear around the house. I even see girls at the Food Lion wearing yoga pants while they shop. I guess if you are well toned and not fat, you can get away with wearing pants like this out in public.
I’m not fat, but I think yoga pants don’t look good on a lot of people and unfortunately some people don’t seen to realize that fact. When I see a fat girl walking around in leggings or yoga pants, it makes me want to go up to her and slap some sense into her. Seriously!
This week I decided to get out of my rut and give in to my wild side at the grocery store. I took my regular list to Kroger yesterday but made a point of going down all the aisles – every single one, and to buy some new things to try in the kitchen.
I started with the deli and bought some hummus and pita bread. I have never had store bought hummus but have eaten it at restaurants. So at least I know what good hummus is supposed to taste like and I’ll see if this brand is any good.
I looked at the meat counter and the prices for beef are crazy high. Instead of buying a strip steak like I usually do, I decided to try some lamp chops. They were on sale for about half price, and I decided that if I didn’t like them then the dogs would get a nice treat and I would not be out much money, thanks to the sale price. Turns out that on the grill they tasted just as good as the strip steaks I’ve been buying.
In the dairy aisle, I bought a quart container of buttermilk. I have no idea what to do with it, but I know that every once in a while I come across a recipe that calls for buttermilk and I never have any on hand so I skip over that recipe and find something else. Well, now I have it on hand and I will be looking for any recipes that call for using buttermilk as one of the ingredients. It will be fun trying something new.
Look at my new apron! It was made by friends of mine in Virginia who do tie dye designs and sell them at a little store in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Laz and Jessica are a wonderful young hippie couple who do amazing tie dye work. I had them make this apron for me since we have the holidays coming up. I always spend the entire day on thanksgiving in the kitchen and then I bake cookies all throughout December, so this new apron will be getting a real workout starting next week!
Are you picky about certain brands of food? Like, I prefer Wonder Bread if I am going to make a sandwich. I’m sure the other brands of bread make a good sandwich, but I swear I can tell the difference between the pillow soft Wonder Bread and the other breads if you put a blindfold on me and had me do a taste test. I know I could pick out the sandwich made with Wonder Bread.
Well, I am picky about my peanut butter, too. I like a brand of peanut butter that is very hard to find at the local grocery stores. In fact, the only place I’ve been able to find it on the grocery shelves is at the Publix grocery stores. So when I go to Publix, I stock up on the Reese’s peanut butter jars. Even though they cost about $4 a jar now, I will buy three or four jars at once time, so I don’t have to go all the way back to Publix just for peanut butter in a couple of weeks.
Well, guess what I found on the shelves of my favorite Food Lion store today? That’s right! The Food Lion is stocking the Reese’s brand of peanut butter now! I did a happy dance all the way down the aisle after I found it there! Thank you, Food Lion!
Have you ever been in a situation where you have to deal with rude people? I seem to have to deal with rude people almost every time I go out of my house lately. They are rude shoppers at the grocery store, like those who abuse the quick check out lane. You are only have to supposed to have a certain number of items in your cart but there always seem to be one person in the crowd who thinks their “just 5 or 6” extra items should still give them a free pass in the quick checkout lane.
I don’t know about you but I am going to start calling out these people. I am going to loudly suggest they learn to count and learn to find the right check out lanes in the future. I might even make a fake cell phone call and loudly describe the situation. Maybe make up a story about how I would have been right home to take care of the sick baby or to pick up someone who is going to be late now because of some inconsiderate person abusing the quick check out lane.
This is a big day for me. I am starting the seeds for my vegetable garden. There are new seed packets at all the stores here and I bought a packet of Big Boy tomatoes and a packet of early peas. In a couple of weeks I will be able to set out the peas and start even more vegetables from seed.
This year I want to have several rows of fresh green beans and also summer squash and zucchini. I’m not sure anything else will grow easily in this soil, but I’ll try a few more things if I see something intriguing at the store.