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Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

A Whole New Way To Shop

For those of you who hate shopping for clothes, check out this post for a time saving tip!

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Thanks, Computer Man!

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I bought new speakers for my computer. For the summer months when we lived w/ PC’s parents, I didn’t have speakers hooked up to my computer since it was a temporary set-up. I seldom missed them, except when I wanted to preview a new CD to see if I wanted to purchase it or not.

In the last weeks, I have been quite surprised to discover that many of the websites I frequent have music or talking ads. Sometimes they take me by surprise since I have the volume turned up from listening to music last. Suddenly I am blasted w/ a, “Thank you for visiting my site!” At near full volume.

But the QUALITY, oh the quality! You’d never know that the music pumping from our house comes from 2 little speakers no bigger than Bibles (what else would I use to compare them to?). I must give full credit to the man at Future Shop (not the employee who totally ignored me, but the OTHER man at Future Shop) who told me I’d be happy w/ nothing less. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I am totally chuffed w/ THESE little fellas!

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Mondays are laundry day & grocery day in our household. I really enjoy getting the laundry done at the beginning of the week so I don’t have to worry about it for a whole other week. I also really enjoy (having planned some meals for the week) heading off to the grocery store w/ the kidlets.

When it was just Asher & I, we’d spend a lazy Monday morning walking up & down the aisles of our SuperStore. There’s no one else there usually, partially due to the fact that we are there during the morning, & partially due to the fact that we are there at 8:30 or 9 on said morning.

Adding Chancery to the mix has complicated things a bit. When she wakes up in the morning she has about 1-2 hours of time before she has a meltdown & needs to sleep again. So I know there will be no more relaxing trips to the grocery store for awhile, instead they need to be quick in & out jobbies. However, this is proving to be difficult for a few reasons:

  1. We just moved & I need to restock many of the items that I would have on hand (spices, meats, frozen things, canned goods), but I want to do it as I need them so I don’t have a bunch of stuff that sits on my shelves taking up valuable space. (When we moved from Ontario I filled 3 laundry baskets w/ items I had had over a year & never used to donate to the food bank).
  2. I tried shopping at a different grocery store than the one I went to in Ontario, but I wasn’t as happy w/ the products they had.
  3. I have returned to the chain that I frequented in Ontario, so I know the brands I like, but the store is laid out quite a bit different, so I find myself retracing my steps ALL THE TIME to try & get all the items on my list.
  4. Chancery starts to cry about 10 minutes into the shopping trip. At that point I can’t really head back home to try coming back another time, so I must forge ahead w/ a crying baby & a 2 year old who “wants to help” by pushing her plug in rather forcefully or removing it just as I quiet her down.

My favourite part? When the people who are shopping look at you & then at the red-faced screaming baby & then the whinging 2 year old & shake their heads acusingly. I want to tell them:

  • Yes, I do like it when my children cry, at least I know their lungs are healthy!
  • Yes, I did pinch them to make them cry
  • They are always this happy
  • What do you mean she looks angry?

People just don’t seem to understand that even though my children might be fed up w/ being in the grocery store, unless we want to have all our meals come from a drive-thru, THIS IS HOW WE GROCERY SHOP!! At least for the present time, I hope it starts getting better soon. I enjoy the screaming in the aisles about as much as the next guy, but I can’t just go to a different aisle, folks, I’m forced to endure it for the entirety of my shopping experience, aren’t you jealous?

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The day started as a typical Saturday. Asher woke up saying he wanted to go to McDonald’s for Pancakes (he knows the routine). So, once were all ready, off we went. It was raining a bit when we left, but we were hoping that the showers would be over by afternoon b/c today was also our church picnic day.

After breakfast we decided to head to Sarnia b/c Chad has not been to the animal petting farm yet (& it’s free), so off we went. I rained some more on our way, but we figured that Asher would be in the stroller, so as long as it wasn’t actually raining when we got to there it would be ok.

Well, we kinda got sidetracked. First we went to Starbucks. Then we were right next to Goodwill, so I though we should just pop in & see if I could find some maternity shorts. I didn’t find anything there, but I was still in the mood to look & since Value Village was just down the street, we figured we could have a look there too. Once again, no luck, but we were right next to Staples & we’ve been contemplating getting a GPS, so we thought we’d have a look.

We finally got on our way again & saw the CAA, so we stopped there to get maps for our trip from Ontario to Alberta since we don’t have a Canadian atlas & maps are free. Then we went on our merry little way. But Janene had mentioned that she had found some maternity shorts at a consignment shop in Sarnia, so we had to go there…. On our way, Chad saw a sign that the pet shop had puppies, so we HAD to bring Asher in to see those (he was more interested in the fish).

I had no luck at the consignment shop either, but I did get a few longer maternity shirts since mine are starting to show a band of belly which I am not too crazy about. It was getting on 12 o’clock at this point, so we decided to stop for lunch.

After a delicious Subway sub (& cookies) we hightailed it for home since Asher tends to fall asleep in the car immediately after lunch & will not transfer to bed for the remainder of hios nap. So we drove home & kept bugging Asher to keep him awake until we got there so he could have a good nap.

Chad headed off to the chuch picnic shortly thereafter since council was planning a softball game against the youth. Asher & I joined him after naptime. The rain held off until just after the game was over & then it started thundering & pouring & FREEZING! Luckily I had decided against shorts for Asher & I, but Chad was wearing shorts & had no coat, so he was pretty cold.

We stayed just long enough for dinner & then came back home. I think most people were doing the same thing b/c it was pretty miserable & cold & most people were not really prepared for that kind of weather. We came home & gave Asher his bath & Chad & I both commented how nice it would be if we could have a bath as well, but there’s just not enough room! (This is a picture of Asher a year ago in his tub. We only have a shower, so we had to improvise.)

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This morning Asher woke up at 3:30, 4:00, & at 4:30 he decided he’d had enough sleep. We couldn’t blame it on the room not being dark b/c it was pitch black. It was really nice, we slept really well, until Asher decided he was done!

So, we got up early, I had Chad make us some coffee from the coffee maker so thoughtfully provided in our room & then we went to Denny’s again for breakfast. Asher was quite excited to have pancakes for breakfast, but even more excited that they came with cherries on top. I think we’ll have to start ordering him things with fruit on them. Last night he was more excited about the grapes that came with his dinner than the Mac & Cheese. Although this morning when I asked him what he was going to have for breakfast, instead of his usual answer of, “Pancakes!” I got “Mac & Cheese!” I had to explain that he couldn’t have Mac & Cheese for breakfast & he was ok with that too.

We started on our way home & stopped off at a western store as I was looking for a new pair of Roper Performance shoes since I really liked mine, but couldn’t find a place that sold them. I struck out once again, except that the sales lady remembered she had been sent a sample from Roper, but didn’t want to order them, so she had the one pair. They were a size 8 & I am a &.%, but she gave me a really good deal on them, so I got them anyway. I was looking for a brown suede pair like the ones I have, but these are tooled brown leather & I really like them, they are a little less frumpy than the other pair.

After our little foray off the freeway, we got started again, only to stop at the next exit b/c Chad saw some stores that looked interesting. We spend time, but no money, then off again. We made it to London, ON, I decided since it was lunchtime to stop off at the mall. We began to window shop a bit & CHAD FOUND A COAT! I was very excited for him & he is quite happy with his purchase. I suppose it can still go on the record that he got it on our holiday, even though it is w/in an hour of home.

Once we got home Asher was very excited to get to play w/ all his toys again while we unpacked the car. However, he was quite upset 15 minutes later when I told him it was time for a nap b/c he wanted to play instead. He said, “want to play w/ firetruck.'” To which I told him it was time for bed. “Want to play w/ police car.” Time for bed. “Want to play w/ school bus.” I so it went while I changed his pants. He had such a good nap though that I had to wake him up 2 hours later so he’d go to sleep again at the end of the day.

Chad’s off on a men’s retreat tomorrow morning, so we’ll see how Asher & I cope w/o him for a few days. Our fridge seems to be on the blink as well. Everything in our freezer was melted when we got home & the fridge seems to be a bit warmer than it should be, so I’ll have to figure something out.

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Today we decided to walk through Walthamstow Market to see if Chad could find a suitable coat. Of course our first stop was Costa Coffee to fuel up for the morning of shopping, but we had to walk right by a park, so after we had purchased our drinks we let Asher go play on the playground for awhile. Apparently the most exciting part of the playground was trying to escape it, so that little play break didn’t last very long.


We walked up & down the stalls only to discover that 95% of them were not men’s clothing items, which was what we were primarily looking for. However I did find a nice “England” sweater for £3. I’m very excited about that purchase, but won’t be able to wear it properly for about 3 more months. It’s a good investment. We also found a cute baby book for the new little one & that was only £3 as well. So it was a pretty good day for me. Not so much for Chad as he still didn’t find a coat like he wanted, but I think he’s somewhat enjoying having something to look for, so it’s not so bad.

After the market we came back home & tried to get Asher to sleep, but he’d fallen asleep at the market for awhile, so it wasn’t meant to be. Chad took Asher out for a walk later & I had a bit of a kip. Then we went to Chingford to the King’s Head Pub. We used to go there occasionally & quite enjoyed both the atmosphere & the food. We brought Theres along as well. She’s living @ G&M’s house & we had met her before we left England before.

However, once we got to the pub we were told that children under 14 are not allowed inside the pub. We were invited to eat outside, but when I asked about a highchair the man said, “no, we’re not really a child friendly pub. I mean, we’re friendly, just not to children….. I mean, ummmmm.” At this point we knew it wasn’t meant to be. Asher isn’t really the sort to sit on a picnic table bench for an hour while we try to have a nice dinner.


Theres suggested “The Royal Forest” pub in Chingford at the Inn, so we decided to go there for dinner instead. The service was a bit slow, but the menu had really good variety, even the kids’ menu had over 15 choices. We had a very enjoyable dinner & I had Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert that was delicious.


Tomorrow it’s back into London for Church etc, so off to bed I go!

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Today we went into London to do some shopping. Chad had some Christmas money that has been burning a hole in his pocket. He wasn’t really sure of what he wanted (other than a haircut), so in & out of shops we went. We had the stroller, so it wasn’t too much of an issue w/ Asher.

We started out by going to Starbucks b/c that’s the way one is supposed to begin shopping on Oxford street, obviously. There is literally a Starbucks every block, it can’t be a coincidence. Up & down the street we went. We decided to appease Asher for lunch & eat at McDonald’s. He’d been such a good shopper & he didn’t even complain when we passed the first McDonald’s, he just watched it slowly go by.
After lunch we stopped at a green space for Asher to run around for awhile. It was a bit wet, but we thought it more important for Asher to get a chance to expend some energy than to keep his shoes clean, so off Chad & Asher went chasing pigeons. Shortly thereafter I heard a wail that was distinctly familiar. Apparently Asher had been running to investigate a statue & found the only puddle in the park, slipped, fell & cracked his head on the cement base of said statue. Amazingly he was more concerned about being wet & dirty than the fact that he had a giant goose-egg forming right b/w his eyes. We cleaned him up as best we could & moved on. I figured it was about time for a nap & kids tend to sleep better after they bonk their heads!
On to more shops. Chad still had not bought anything & it was going on 2pm. We had circled all the way back to where we had started & the rain began to fall. We decided that since Asher was now either sleeping peacefully or passed out in the stroller, we’d go into Starbucks & read for awhile until the showers passed. At about 3pm we decided to head for Piccadilly Circus & Leicester Square since there are a few more shops along there.
Chad suddenly remembered there was a jacket that he really liked in one of the shops we had gone to earlier that morning, so we went to try & find it. We had no luck, BUT he did finally make his first purchase…. a pair of sunglasses! We decided since we were so close to Chinatown at this point we really should have dinner at Wong Kei‘s since it was where we went almost every week with our friends Jeffy & Meigan. It was all we remembered it to be & Chad really enjoyed the garlic hot sauce.

After a scrumptious dinner it was time for the traditional dessert…. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! I was sad to discover they were not serving “One Sweet Whirled” as it is my absolute favourite, but I made do with a scoop of “Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz!” & a scoop of “Baked Alaska.” They were the perfect compliment to each other. And off we went to try to find Chad’s jacket once more.
After nearly an hour we managed to find the correct shop, but in the course of the day they had sold the last of the jackets he liked. Needless to say, he was disappointed, but hopefully he’ll find something else to take his mind off the “jacket-that-wasn’t-meant-to-be-Chad’s.”
Now we’re back at G&M’s & I’m doing yet another load of laundry. I thought I’d make it until we got back to Canada, but I didn’t really want to haul a bag of wet muddy clothes back with me. Sounds like the washing’s done, so I’d better get everything all laid out on the radiators! Yay!

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