4. Pamper Day 3: Chillin Like a Villain

I hate voting season. HATE. IT. I am tired of negative ads. I’m tired of getting excited about a giant stack of mail, only to find that all of it is political. I’m tired of thinking the knock at my front door belongs to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, only to find an old man outside, wanting to know if I’ve sent in my absentee ballot. And I’m tired of getting a second knock on my door within the hour. I know voting is important; I worked for the Obama campaign as a campus liaison in 2008. I do vote, and I like knowing that I get a say in something, no matter how small my say is. But do I really need to get blasted with anti-Bruce Braley crap every five minutes? Unless it’s anti-Bruce Braley crap plus puppies and ice cream, I think no. And that’s all I have to say about that.

So, it’s Pamper Time again. If you’re keeping track, I’m actually about two months late on this. I was due for a good pampering at the beginning of September, and I had it all planned out. Massage, manicure, pedicure, take-out from Tantra, and a glass of wine. Bam. Best day ever. But, as you may remember, Ria was here at the beginning of September and I spent A LOT of money while she was here, and Charlee took a trip to the ER vet, so I postponed Pamper Day. My next few weekends were booked, so I settled on the second weekend of October. October 6, my fridge door fell off, and I had to pay to get it fixed. So, the third weekend of October. I got sick…then my whole family was here. Long story short, it fell to this weekend. By this point, I was stressed out about my Pamper Day and it was becoming more trouble than it was worth. So, I decided this: I could do whatever I wanted on my Pamper Day. I wasn’t going to plan it out and I wasn’t going to pick a specific day; I was just going to let it happen. I had a three day weekend, so I figured one of the days would have to work. Surely, nothing crazy could happen on all three days…and thankfully, I was right.

Friday, October 31 ended up being Pamper Day. I woke up at 10 and laid around for about 30 minutes. Stella and Charlee both joined me for snuggles. When I got up, I threw on a sweatshirt and drove to Coffee Hound. Normally, I would walk, since it’s right down the street, but it was 35 when I got out of bed, so no thank you! I got myself a caramel frappe and drank it while watching multiple episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.”

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Caramel frappe goodness

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Even the girls wanted to chill out!

After a few hours, I took a shower and ran to the store for groceries. On my way home, I stopped at Capriotti’s and got a chicken cheesesteak. Since I’ve been doing so much cooking for my blog, I decided it was important to relieve myself of cooking duties on Pamper Day. I came home, ate my fabulous lunch, and had some kitty snuggles.

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I prepped dinner in the crockpot (aka threw everything in and stirred) and then went to the movies by myself, for the first time ever! It was GREAT! I got to sit where I wanted, take up as much space as I wanted, and no one judged me when I ate all my candy in the first 30 minutes.

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When “The Maze Runner” was over, I briefly contemplated sneaking into another theater to watch the end of “Gone Girl,” but decided I didn’t want to be creeped out on Pamper Day, so I went home. Dinner was Sweet BBQ Sloppy Joe Casserole, which I HIGHLY recommend, and more HIMYM. Afterwards, I took a bubble bath and read Cosmo, while Stella kept watch from the side of the tub. I rounded out the night with Monster Cookie Dough Dip, straight from the bowl, and caught up on “Resurrection.” It was a fantastic day!

I’m finding that my Pamper Days tend to end up on the couch, but I’m guessing that just means I need to make more time to do that on regular days. I’m trying to make it my mission to give myself more “me time” and to not plan it out…wish me luck!

As I head into November, I’m really pleased with my list progress in 2014. I’m excited to see what the next two months bring, and as always, thank you for being a part of this journey! I couldn’t do it without you!

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22. Go to a new restaurant every 3 months: Theo’s Java Club

I think I have a case of writer’s block today. I’ve started and deleted this post three times already. Don’t worry; you didn’t miss anything. (Christmas is 10 weeks away, I saw “Gone Girl” last night.) That doesn’t bode well, considering I planned to write 2 more posts today. And the “today” I’m talking about? That was two weeks ago. I started my post and, after countless failed attempts, I forgot about it until now. So yeah, I’d say it was a pretty serious case.

So…how are you? I feel like it’s been awhile! I keep saying that I’m going to get better about this blogging thing, but then life gets in the way. Sigh. Anywho, things here are going well! Work is busy, but good busy. My cooking blog is really taking off! If you haven’t already, you should check it out! Other than that, I’m just spending my time trying to keep my house clean (the never ending battle), catching up on my reading, and sleeping when I can. It’s a boring life, but someone’s gotta do it! (And honestly, I’m very much ok with boring at the moment.)

I decided to do something a little differently with my restaurant this time around. I felt I really needed to push myself, so I chose one of the things I am most picky about: coffee. I’m not necessarily picky about where I get my coffee (which was Kwik Star, for my high school years), but I am picky about what I get. Some coffee just doesn’t sit with me, some tastes like crap, and some just costs way more than I would ever be willing to pay. I usually play it safe and stick to Starbucks pumpkin chais and Coffee Hound caramel frappes. But, a few weeks ago, I was feeling adventurous, so a new place it was. Since Bryan has come on nearly all my new restaurant excursions, I invited him along and asked him to pick where we went. He gave me three choices, which we eventually narrowed down to a place called “Cup A Jo” in Moline. Now…here’s the thing about Bryan and I. We get coffee and meals together a lot. A lot, a lot. I probably eat more meals with Bryan than I do at my dining room table. But, we never actually check to see if a place is open before we get there. So, when we rolled up to “Cup A Jo,” we were sadly disappointed.

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Ignore the “Open” sign…it was a lie.

So, we drove a few blocks over to our second choice, a little place called “Dead Poet’s”…closed.

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So, we drove to Rock Island for our third option. (Without checking our phones first, to see if they were open. Clearly, we never learn.) The third place was called “Theo’s Java Club” and thankfully, they were open. They are located a few blocks from my favorite martini bar.

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This place might be my new favorite place. It’s small and very quiet. There were a few people there when we arrived, but everyone was minding their own business. It doesn’t have the bustle of a Starbucks, which was nice for a Saturday afternoon. Their menu was written on a chalkboard on the wall. (They also serve breakfast and lunch, so I’ll definitely have to go back!) As I scanned the menu, nothing jumped out at me as something I wouldn’t order. I thought we were going to have to find a fourth place to go on technicality, but then Bryan pointed out the special for the day. Strawberry Pretzel Latte. Now, for those of you who don’t know me well, I hate strawberries. If I become president one day, they’ll be outlawed with celery and whole tomatoes. So, a strawberry pretzel latte was not just something I wouldn’t normally order…it was something I would never order. So, I ordered it, iced with 2% milk. I immediately regretted my $5 decision. Bryan ordered what I did, so we waited for our drinks, then found a booth.

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The decor by our table and my handsome date!

The moment of truth had arrived. I braced myself, took a sip of my latte…and fell in love. Have you ever had that Strawberry Pretzel Salad? It’s got a pretzel crust, a layer of cream cheese, and then strawberries in Jello. The latte tasted EXACTLY like that! It was so good that I wanted to get a second one, and that NEVER happens!!! Not even at Starbucks.

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Overall, I’d say my Theo’s experience was excellent. I liked the vibe, the staff was very friendly and helpful, and my coffee was THE BOMB! It kills me to spend $5 on coffee, but I guess that’s becoming the norm. I’ll definitely go back to Theo’s and I highly recommend it to anyone in the QC!

Well, I’m off to clean my house and rake some leaves…but stay tuned! I’ll have a new post up tomorrow…yes, TOMORROW!

Until then,

xoxo