Thursday, June 9, 2011

Keep on Keepin' On

I don't know about you, but I am tired of complaining. I know, I know. I'll probably get a few comments telling me I'm not complaining but grieving and it's normal. But you have to admit I've been quite the downer lately. I have plenty of rhyme and reason, but alas, it's no fun clicking on my blog when I suck the life out of you all daily.

I was hell-bent on finding something to be happy about today. My last few posts have been serious downers and this entire week has been one big slam after another. But, I do still have things to be happy about.

For one, Chicagoland Jimmy John locations offered $1 subs today. I had a vegetarian sub with avocado for $1.08 with two wonderful girlfriends of mine. They both have big girl jobs, but we all managed to make it work. Love a good deal. And apparently so did the other 30 people lined up in front of us to get their cheapie sub.

The no sugar challenge is up, friends. June 1 marked the reintroduction of all things indulgent. If I'm being honest, I'll have to admit to eating strawberry shortcake the night before on May 31. I was in charge of bringing dessert and failed about 5 hours before the challenge ended. I know, I know. Weak. On that note, the strawberry shortcake that I normally love (torn pieces of angel food cake, Breyer's vanillas ice cream, fat free whipped topping, sliced strawberries all mixed in a bowl) was just okay. I didn't feel like giving up my right arm to have any and was underwhelmed. I'm now more conscious of what I eat everyday and that's a good thing. Though, I did have one of these yesterday and will probably need an intervention if anymore appear in my house. Thankfully they only come 3 to a box.

You see that layer of chocolate between the coating and ice cream? It's all melty and pretty much heaven-sent. This whole Magnum ice cream phenomenon is something interesting. Nevermind that the name itself reminds me of another consumer good that is nowhere near dessert related. We can all blame that on the Dutch for not doing their research. As far as I know, it's new to America. It's a European brand that is all over Europe. It's something we grew quite used to eating while over there. I blogged about European ice cream here and showed a picture of what a typical "gallon" of ice cream looked like when purchased at the ordinary market in Europe. We may have a larger selection of products to choose from in America, but they know ice cream. Every container looks decadent and like the display in an Italian gelateria. I wish I'd opened the plastic to show the depth of how amazing this was, but here's what I photographed:
See those swirls and how the chocolate and chocolate pieces are disbursed throughout? They've really thought this through. Gold star to Unilever for that. Also a Unilever product, Magnum ice cream bars. Sweet Jesus, we may be upgrading yet. You can tell I like ice cream a little a lot. My favorite ice cream shop? Baskin Robbins. I know, not very snobbish... but their chocolate peanut butter ice cream is legit. Chocolate ice cream with thick peanut butter swirls throughout-- enough to require 2 glasses of water. Sign up to receive their emails (you know, in the junk email you have for stuff like this) and you get a free scoop during the weeks surrounding your birthday. My friend Alli just posted about freebie birthday items... love it.

Next random, happy thing. Our living room is pretty much done. Is anything you work on ever really done though? Now I want a basket to put blankets in and found the perfect one at HomeGoods today. Back up. I found one at World Market (p.s. When did they stop calling themselves Cost Plus?!) for $35 that I want but may have to order online. Then we walked into HomeGoods and found one for $50. I know it's only $15 more, but $50 is a lot of money for a basket I'm just going to put blankets in. I was hoping for a big deal. The saleslady in HomeGoods was a bit snobby when I asked her if they had a rewards program or email signup-and-save option to save a few extra bucks on that basket. She acted like I was shopping at Neiman Marcus or something. Listen, it's HomeGoods, aka TJMaxx's home-sister. I shop there because I like discounted goods and probably don't want to pay full price. So when I ask you if there is a way to save even more, just answer the question. Psh.

Here's the basket I was considering from World Market. It's also the "Addison" basket. That made me smile because that is the name of BLM friend, Keleen's daughter. It doesn't hurt that I also have a $10 off $30 for it. But... I would have to order online... thus bringing the cost back up to $35.
Oh, dilemmas that don't really matter.

Last night was fun in the deals department. I brought the husband along for the ride because although he scoffs at me being cheap scouting for deals, he really does enjoy the savings. Plus, it feels pretty awesome to score Classico sauces for about $.80 each! We ended up getting some awesome stuff on clearance because the grocery store was remodeling and discontinuing some of the items. I didn't even have to clip any coupons and still bought about 22 things for $20. We had a $20 credit from buying $100 in gift cards and I paid $.46 for everything. That means I bought 3 bottles of salad dressing, 7 of my favorite Smart Taste pasta, Mrs. Meyer's cleaner, about 6 premium pasta sauces, two packages of Emerald nuts, a box of premium cereal, and two flavored seltzer soda bottles (which I <3) for less than two quarters. Yes friends. It's a good time.

Now I'm just avoiding the three loads of laundry that I'm supposed to be doing. Because if I don't, we have no sheets to sleep on tonight. Should've just given it the ol' college number and left them on a bit longer. Like until I had the interest, desire, or energy to wash them. Now it's too late.
I'm about to pull the trigger on purchasing an Etsy print for Andrew like my friend Brooke had made for her Eliza. We need something in our "family" room that reminds us of our boy. My intention is to have a different quote in the heart formation and have it printed in blue-- to match Andrew's heart urn and his gender. Until then, his candle is in the family room so a part of him can always be with us as a family, together.
My friend was over today and asked if we chose that candle because it smelled like a baby. Not exactly. It does smell a bit like a baby scent, but it's not intended to be. It's the lavender vanilla aromatherapy candle from Bath and Body Works. I received this candle for my birthday (in October) from my in-laws. {btw, reading back on posts I wrote while pregnant is sort of haunting. I love to read and devour each word written during those wonderful months of gestation, but I also feel somber about some of the words I chose to use and how nonchalant I wrote them.}Once I received that candle, I immediately put the candle in Andrew's room. I thought it smelled soothing and a bit like newborn baby products. Every time I walked in, a huge whiff of "Andrew" came to me. Since he died, I haven't been able to spend much time in that room. For one, I have no reason being in there. Baby things abound and I have no baby to use such things with. It's not a comforting or depressing place, just a place I don't really need much access to. Things are just as they were on December 5th. My hospital bag still packed with baby clothes and blankets. I knew that candle was comforting to me, however, so I brought it downstairs. I love walking by and smelling that sweet scent. It takes me back to the fall when I was still gloriously pregnant and our baby was thriving. It reminds me of him and I love that. I've since bought four more large candles and only light them for about one hour a month. I don't ever want to run out of "his" scent.

Still happy, not sad. That scent makes me incredibly happy, as does that boy of mine. Today was a "good" day compared to the last week I've had. I'll take it. One day at a time is just how it seems to be going. Just riding that wave of grief. Up. Down. Sideways. Backward (sigh). Forward. Diagonal. Trying to embrace the "good" days for what they're worth. 

Keep on keepin' on.


Nic G. said... [Reply to comment]

We have something you can be happy about... Call Alison :)

Keleen said... [Reply to comment] that "keep on keepin on" song is stuck in my head...better that than the clap one I suppose ;)Sorry about that...couldn't help myself.

I just have to say that the B&R Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream is by far my favorite!

Also, it took my breath away for a second (in a good way) when you said "Keleen's daughter" wow...I don't get to hear that very often and oh it makes my heart melt. Thank you for that :)

Glad today isn't quite as yucky as the previous days!

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my gosh, that ice cream looks so good!!!!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]


love everything in this post, and especially the chocolate ice cream. Especially. YUM.

Fear not, my favourite ice cream is Dairy Queen<now that's klassy ;)

katie illingworth said... [Reply to comment]

Brandy, don't worry about "keeping us all down." You're keeping it real, and that's refreshing all on its own. Baskin-Robbins is also my favorite. I heart daiquiri ice + bubble gum. I know, weird, but I've always loved it.

I had 4 oreos today and did not feel bad. :) I worked out twice this week. For me, quite a feat lately.

I have been reading "One Thousand Gifts" the last couple of days. It alternately is good for me and also a little irritating, but I like what the author has to say. Essentially that you need to chronicle the gifts in your life. Of course, I yell in my head "But I don't want to! Not fair!" but it is a really good book so far. SO real.

Thinking of you. XOXO

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

like i called it in my blog...venting, not complaining!
magnum huh?? doesn't always remind me of ice cream! :)
love the heart print...what a great way to honor your lil man!
i need a sugar fast...and a big kick in the bumm for motivation!
keep on keeping on friend!

Olaina.PhotosAndArt said... [Reply to comment]

As I was reading your list I thought, "I have a feeling she didn't need any more of that cleaner stuff." Was I right? (This is based on a previous post of yours with photos of cleaners abounding.) :) Glad you had a good day.

Olaina.PhotosAndArt said... [Reply to comment]

also, I lived in Great Britain for 5 mo. and LOVE Magnum ice cream. I'm so thrilled that it's here now. :)))

Krista and David Hart said... [Reply to comment]

I fell in "love" with Magnum bars during a semester abroad in college... I was so excited to see them in the grocery stores here. I admit... ice cream is a major weakness of mine!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Sending you a huge hug. Wish I'd been there for the JJ deal on sandwiches. I also love your super-saving deal-dilemmas. I'm the same way (except possibly slightly less patient). I'm sorry that things have been so rough and I hope that it continues to get a little bit easier as you keep on keeping on.