Thursday, November 19, 2020

New Furniture!

We got our new furniture around the end of last month! I mentioned in a previous post we were getting a new sofa and chairs. Well, we also decided to splurge get a new bed. But man, what a fiasco getting new furniture and getting rid of the old furniture turned out to be. I'm not the most logistically minded person, so the anxiety of organizing all of that was real. But, thankfully, it's done and we're enjoying it, even if it was seriously work.

I ordered our new sofa on September 4th and it was delivered October 26th, about 7 weeks wait. But, it's custom and so beautifully built that I was more than willing to wait. I'm not patient, I've never been good at waiting for what I want, so this is a feat for me. It turns out I'm okay waiting for those things worth waiting for. This sofa has been on my radar for 10 years, I've always wanted it but never been able to bring myself to pay so much for a sofa, especially with dogs. Now that it's here, I could not be happier.

I ordered new recliners from Ashley around about the same time. When I ordered, they told me the wait was about 6 weeks. Okay, our new couch wasn't coming right away, so there was wiggle room. But, I needed them within that window because I needed to get all of this stuff hauled away at the same time. The day my chairs were set to be delivered, they left me a very rude message about delays. When I reached out to them, they told me the wait was another month at least and they couldn't guarantee when I would actually get the chairs. Okay, no. This was not going to work for me, I told them that, and they told me to deal with it. I cancelled that order.

After that, I ordered from another company and had a similar experience. In the end, I got so fed up, I ordered Ashley Brand chairs from Big Lots. They were here within two days. This was a good thing and a bad thing. They're nice chairs, very comfy and they look great, but they're not exactly what I had planned to order. They also cost me about half what the other chairs had been going to cost, which is actually a good thing. We've never been that easy on furniture, so the likelihood that these chairs will start to look awful in the next five or so years is high. We only paid $500 for both chairs. That makes them very affordably replaceable.

While we waited for all of that living room furniture, Matt decided he also wanted to get a new bed. But this time he wanted to get a really good bed. We bought Purple Harmony pillows a few months ago and we absolutely love them, so when we were trying to choose a bed we decided on the Queen size Purple Hybrid Premier with 4" gel grid. This bed was pricy, we got the Purple bed foundation, and they gave us free sheets.

We got Queen, rather than King, because all our bedding is Queen and because we don't feel like we need that much space. We're comfortable in a Queen. Let me tell you, this bed is absolutely amazing. When we first got it, I wasn't completely sure because it's much more springy than our previous bed had been. It's also a little softer. But, this bed is heavenly. We're both getting better nights sleep and let me just say, the stretch sheets they make for that bed are so soft and perfect. We're very pleased with this thing. 

But, it comes rolled up in a log and that bed is crazy heavy. It took both of us to lift it into the house and even then we only barely got it done. It was 200+ lbs of dead weight. When it came, I was working, but Matt was so excided that he moved the old bed into the garage by himself, put the new bed frame together, and with my help we got the new mattress out of the packaging and on to the frame... barely. It is one seriously heavy bed

When all the new furniture was set to be delivered, we took all the old furniture into the garage along with some other things we had around, like two broken oscillating fans, a set of plastic dog stairs Ani was always scared to use, stuff like that. Our plan had been to take it all to the curb for bulk pick up. But, just getting it into the garage was a fiasco. We actually had to take some of the legs off the old sofa to get it out of here. So, we ended up paying a local company to haul it all away. That guy was so nice and did such an amazing job getting all that stuff out of the garage within 30 minutes of giving me the quote. I was floored by how fast his crew worked and how polite he was.

Okay!! Let me show you our new sofa. The color is Key Largo Ruby, the style is mid-century modern. I got the "I love you/I Know" pillows from Amazon a couple of years ago when my in-laws were coming to visit. Don't mind the mess on the entertainment center, I had to move a book shelf out of the way so they could bring the sofa in, so all the stuff from that shelf is stacked up there. On the other side of the sofa is my diamond painting work station. 😊

At the end of the day, we have a house full of new furniture and we couldn't be happier about our decision to give our house a little makeover!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

46 & Madam Vice President

Thank fuck...😅

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Pumpkin Spice Vegan

Matt and I have been vegan for just about 10 months now!! How crazy is that? When I say it like that, it doesn't sound like much, but man it feels like I have learned so much about food and myself in that short 10 months, it's been wild. The most surprising part, I think, is how completely good we are being vegan. We generally don't miss the foods we gave up to go vegan and it's been kind of shocking to me that we actually feel that way. And Matt has absolutely been a rockstar this last 10 months, very unapologetic even though working in a cheese processing plant means he's entrenched by the enemy... *eh hem* I mean, um, even though he's surrounded by temptation.

I won't lie, though, and say there haven't been moments I've been less enthusiastic. They're so rare, but I would be a liar if I said I wasn't super salty about not being able to be basic this year and have my Pumpkin Spice Latte like everyone else. Even more so since Starbucks has introduced a dairy-free pumpkin spice syrup in Europe, so they can have their vegan PSLs and I can't. Boo-fucking-whoo!! I told Matt I was breaking out the full Victorian widow's weeds, complete with lace veil and gloves, to mourn the loss of my pumpkins spice lattes days. He wasn't really amused. 

So, instead of breaking out the black garb, I've found a way to make up for the fact that most pumpkin spice products aren't vegan by finding some that are and kinda sorta buying all of them. I'm a little obsessed with fall, which has only gotten worse since we've moved somewhere with all the lovely seasons. Fall in Northern Utah is a sight to behold, for sure. Sooooo, I'm in the mood for pumpkin food! And, that rhymes. Great... yeah, I've found myself some vegan pumpkin spice goodness and so far I haven't been disappointed.

And, since winter is coming soon, we also found vegan nogs. Seems a little early for that, but we're getting a head start by trying all of those, too. I wonder if they make a vegan pumpkin spice nog?! That would be amazing!! Um, what was I saying... Oh yeah, we bought three different ones: Silk Nog, Almond Breeze Nog, and So Delicious Coconut Nog. We're having a nog-off and, despite Matt's rooting for the Coconut Nog, the Almond Nog is the clear standout. It's leagues ahead of it's competitors. It's smooth and thick, and tastes exactly like egg nog.

I suppose the moral of this particular story is that we can still eat anything damn thing we want!! The few moments I spent feeling deprived when I couldn't have my PSL have now been filled up by so much good vegan food that it completely passed without much more thought. I got silk pumpkin spice creamer and pumpkin spice ground coffee and made my own pumpkin spice goodness. It's just so amazing to me how easy it is to choose an alternative to the standard American diet these days. You want something that's not vegan? Find it somewhere or make it vegan, easy as that. Want pumpkin spice foods, go get some!! Want egg nog, there're three vegan varieties and those are just the ones we were able to find at Smiths (Kroger) one Saturday afternoon in October. 

Most of all, we're so proud of the choice we've made for ourselves. Matt's health has dramatically improved and I would imagine mine has too, because I feel better, but I haven't gone to the doctor in like 7 years so I have no proof. Best of all, nothing is truly off limits, you just have to figure out how to make it happen which, it turns out, is easier than it sounds. ♥

Thursday, October 1, 2020

GenCon 2020... Online!

This year, amid the chaos, Matt and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. I guess, technically, we celebrated it in February with a nice daytrip to Salt Lake before all hell broke loose. But, it had been our plan to take an actual anniversary trip to Indianapolis at the end of July/beginning of August for GenCon. While this isn't exactly the usual anniversary trip destination, it would have been perfect for us. Clearly, though, that didn't happen. Much to our disappointment, so many things went wrong. 

First, due to the coronavirus, the in-person convention was cancelled. Despite our disappointment, we were actually completely fine with this. Putting 70,000 people in the same place at the same time, amid a pandemic, would have just been irresponsible. Instead, they decided to do the convention virtually. Which, let me say right now, was still so much fun! 

But, even if it hadn't been cancelled, we wouldn't have been able to go to Indy. Two and a half weeks before we would have left for this trip, Chewbi got extremely sick. No way, no matter how much money we would have been out, would we have even for one second considered leaving him at that point. The hotel we were going to book would have been about $5,000 for 4 nights and completely non-refundable, so I was glad I'd not ended up booking it before learning the convention was getting a whole change of venue.

Matt and I both still took the week of the convention off work so we could attend all the virtual sessions. Chewbi was stable and improving at this point, so while we were worried about him we still tried to settle in in to enjoy the convention. But, instead of being in a packed convention center, we got to enjoy it from the comfort of our living room. We got to order overpriced Doordash and eat our own vegan junk food, rather than paying for overpriced food trucks. I know we would have had a hell of a lot of fun if we went in-person (and still might if we go another year), but it's really no overstatement to say we had a great time at home. We're both pretty introverted, so that's valuable to us.

We both packed our schedules with a ton of seminars, I joined the discord server so I could see announcements and mingle with other virtual convention-goers. I actually didn't mingle, I just sort of watched them mingle, but that was fine too. The seminar sessions were held on Twitch, through Zoom, and occasionally on YouTube or Facebook live.

My schedule was packed for the full four days, but  would occasionally change here and there as I'd try a different session than originally planned. I learned about Game Mastering from a guy who has been doing so for almost 40 years and about worldbuilding from a Brigadier General--which is not only useful for gamers, but also as a writer. I went to two sessions about the history of TSR, the company that started Dungeons & Dragons, and how they wound up being owned by Wizards of the Coast. Both super interesting. I took a session about dice statistic that was so far over my head, I really had no idea what they were talking about. I won a beta invite to a fantastic world building platform and had so much fun!

Sometimes Matt and I would attend the same session, sometimes we wouldn't, but overall we both really enjoyed our week. We came away from the event with more knowledge, a whole host of new ideas, and some great swag... just like we would have if we'd gone in person! 

My favorite souvenir has to be the plushie. Genevieve is GenCon's dragon mascot and she is adorable!! Her wings are even wired so they're shapeable and she has the two d20s on the side to represent GenCon 2020. 

Of course, of all the great things you can do at GenCon, the one I was most looking forward to had to be shopping for dice. I'm a huge dice collector, running somewhere around 500 sets, so finding something to add to my collection was a big priority for me. When the in-person convention was cancelled, this was the thing I was most disappointed about. Not being about to have the experience of shopping the exhibitor's hall. Turns out, they had that covered, too. I got my dice! 

After the convention was over, we talked about hoping they do a sort of hybrid convention going forward. Maybe they'll do the in person convention, but have a virtual element for the seminars. That would be amazing. So many people were able to attend this year that cannot otherwise afford a trip to Indy. Something that would have cost us $6,000-$7,000, cost us only what we paid for our own snacks and swag. I think we may have come out around a few hundred dollars. And, best of all, we enjoyed ourselves sharing in our mutual hobby in a way that was meaningful. Even though we didn't make it to Indy, Happy 20th Anniversary to us! ♥

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

We're Getting New Furniture!

After 10 years of web-stalking, the Joybird Hughes Sofa is about to be mine. When we moved to Utah, we bought new living room furniture from Ashley; A red sofa and two grey recliners. Our living room has a bit of a Star Wars theme, so the pieces were perfect, and I absolutely loved the red sofa. But over the last 5 years, that furniture has been wrecked. All pieces are a faux leather material that has just pealed away, leaving the furniture uncomfortable and looking awful.

With everything going on right now, we decided it was a good time to replace the pieces with new furniture. I knew immediately that now was the time to get that Hughes Sofa, but the chairs from Joybird are too expensive and Matt wanted an comfy recliner. So, we're replacing the recliners with new, upholstered recliners from Ashley. We're hoping the chairs will hold up better if they're not faux leather. They won't really match the mid-century modern sofa, but that's okay. 

Trying to figure out what to do with the old furniture, though, has been kind of a pain in the ass. We can take it to the curb and have the city haul it away, but it's expensive and has to be scheduled during certain times of the year. We can hire someone to come take it away, but that's also expensive and I'm uncomfortable with strangers being in my house more than is necessary. I have an anxiety thing about people coming into my house, even people I know, so it's been a challenge trying to decide what to do. I think I'm going to suck it up and hire some guys to come take it away. 

The contractor I got the quote from wanted to come and take it away this week. I had to tell him we still need this mess to sit on until our new furniture arrives somewhere between the second week and end of October. The ship date for our new sofa keeps changing, moving up and then back. It's made custom in a color called "Key Largo Ruby," so fluctuations are not unexpected. The chairs are coming from Ashley around the beginning of October. I simply cannot wait for it all to get here, especially since I've been wanting that sofa for so many years. Come to mama, Hughes Sofa!