Pop-Up Sale Preparation Is Under Way

On Thursday we got started with preparation for our summer pop-up sale. I thought we would be able to stage everything in a day but the sorting took longer than expected and another day will be needed. We decided to sort the jewelry by type (necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches etc.) to make it all easier to shop. The completed sale photos will not be posted as early as I had hoped but everything will be organized and ready to go by sale opening next Thursday. As mentioned before, this sale will not be fancy but will be a great opportunity to shop all of the estate costume jewelry at once.

I cannot remember the last time I have been out shopping but Mother needed help with a few errands so I took her to Schaumburg after physical therapy Wednesday. She wanted to buy some books on Arizona and return some hangers to Container Store. We did find a couple of books at Barnes & Noble but not the coffee table books she was hoping for. We also ran into HomeGoods because I had some rewards dollars to use. I was excited to find these Tommy Bahama baskets! They are huge, very sturdy and do not have handles which is perfect for me. I just wished they had one more of the "smaller" size to make four. I used to have a lot of round baskets but over time I have not received them back from the estate sales and I only have a couple left. They are Tommy Bahama as well but not nearly as sturdy and they have raised handles which makes them impossible to stack if they are the same size. These new baskets will not leave my house because I do not want to lose them!

We decided to go to Randhurst and see if the HomeGoods there had any of the baskets. No luck and I ran into TJ Maxx to see if there were any there. They did not have them either but I ran into the motherload of popcorn! I know I have mentioned this before but this popcorn is so good! It is made with coconut oil which is a healthy oil. I am not a popcorn fanatic but this popcorn is great. We first discovered it at the TJ Maxx in Scottsdale last year and it has been hard to find ever since. We even ordered seven bags from Amazon for Mother a few months ago. There were four large bags and three small bags near the checkout in Randhurst. This should last Mother for a while!

I posted the above lot on Sunday evening, the theme being dreamy shades of turquoise. The Zuni needlepoint cuff bracelet, watch project, chip inlay pieces, goat pin, ring at the top center and 8-stone bracelet are all spoken for. The remaining pieces are available. Earrings are normally very popular but they are all still waiting for their new homes. I understand that we are in the dog days of summer right now and many folks are busy with last-minute vacations and preparation for back to school. I am enjoying the break in the hot weather right now and look forward to fall and the holiday shopping season!

Kuochun and I went to B's Sweet Bites again because all of a sudden he is interested in eating pastries for breakfast. He had been eating plain croissants for a while but discovered he likes danishes with either fruit or cheese filling. We dined in at B's Sweet Bites as well, other than lunch a lot of their breakfast meals are very sweet so I went for my go-to breakfast burrito with sausage and cheddar. I am definitely getting brunched out. My Seattle Sutton meals were piling up so I took a week break from the program.

I started following a new person on Facebook recently, FlavCity. Bobby focuses a lot on paleo and keto food products but what I really like is that he analyzes food labels at popular stores like Costco, Target, Walmart and Trader Joe's and if the product has little to no toxic ingredients, he labels it "Bobby Approved." I definitely have been overwhelmed by Trader Joe's in the past. Everything appears to be so wholesome but I know that there are bad ingredients lurking in many of those products. I do not want to be fanatical about it but avoiding toxic ingredients is important to me in order to protect my brain for the future.

I have watched a few of Bobby's videos about fast food. I was surprised to learn that I was doing nearly everything right by ordering my go-to Chicken Bacon Ranch on flatbread at Subway. To me the flatbread is far superior tasting to the regular bread and it is also happens to be by far the healthiest. Whole meat is preferred, like the chicken and all of the cheese is OK to eat. All of the veggies at Subway are good to add to your sandwich except for the banana peppers and pickles which have nasty additives. I do not eat those anyway and just keep it simple with lettuce and red onion. The ranch dressing has a bit of soybean oil which is not preferred but Bobby says this is to be expected with fast food. The bacon has some nitrites so it would be better to leave it off.

I have learned so much already by watching these videos and look forward to using the BobbyApproved app to scan foods before purchasing items at Costco and Trader Joe's. The nice thing about Seattle Sutton is they do not have what they call "no-no" ingredients in their meals, this is more for planning for winter when I will need to take time off from Seattle Sutton. I want to take the time to plan healthy but great-tasting meals for all three of us.

Kuochun never ate breakfast before and it is definitely a good habit to eat breakfast now. All I need to do is find a healthy breakfast alternative for him. I watched a FlavCity video where Bobby demonstrated what he eats in a day. He made a quinoa bowl with raisins for breakfast. I do not think Kuochun will be able to make such a drastic change in one shot but maybe we can try to bridge the gap with homemade oatmeal.

Kuochun and I are planning a trip during our break from estate sales this December. This will be our first big vacation since we went to Las Vegas after we lost Ruby in 2017. We are going to drive from Scottsdale to Las Vegas which is about 5 hours. We will stay there for a week and then spend three days in northern Arizona. Melinda, Mother and I took a trip to Prescott two years ago. It is not a bad drive from Melinda's, about an hour and a half. We did not have enough time there but managed to shop around in a few stores. They have very cool antique malls, Native American jewelry shops and even a mid-century modern furniture and decor shop. We did not arrive until about 2:00, shopped until the stores closed at 5:00, grabbed a bite to eat and then headed back.

After some searching, I booked the above house in Prescott. I am really excited about it, it's a tiny house at 711 square feet, a stone's throw from downtown and is decorated so cute. It looks like they have only been accepting bookings since July. We will be able to go to Cottonwood and Sedona as well, although they are about an hour away. Prescott is basically along the Las Vegas route. The big difference is there will likely be snow. The weather up in the mountains is completely different than the valley. I am looking for a house to rent in the suburbs of Las Vegas for the first leg of the trip but so far I am finding the selections to be just OK. It is very important to choose the right neighborhood because they are many bad sections of town. I have been so busy with other work I had to put the searching on hold but plan to resume next week.

At the same time, I was also investigating a place for all of us to stay in Tucson for the Gem Show the last week of January. I think I found an option which will meet our needs - a one-level house with 3 bedrooms, 3 beds and 2 baths, a fenced-in yard and a central location. There is even a ping-pong table in the backyard and Kuochun loves to play. I am going to book a pet-friendly stay just in case we need to bring Vivi and Margot. I would like to have them with us but then we lose flexibility because we all will not be able to go to the gem shows or the day trip to Tubac together. I was looking at a different house which was very modern and looked amazing but on my second look at it the price jumped up by $100 per night! It really is more than we need at 4 bedrooms and although it would have been fun, the price is more than I want to spend, especially with taking the other trip.

Mother will not be able to join us on the December trip because Rachel and John are planning to come to Scottsdale these same two weeks. We are going to leave Vivi and Margot with them to give us a lot more flexibility. They will be at the house the entire time except for a short trip to the Grand Canyon. The hope is that we will be able to book the same awesome pet sitter we did for Vivi when Kuochun and I went to Tucson. They are arriving the day we leave, we will be back December 30 and they are staying until January 3. Rachel and John will be able to stay in the first floor suite and Mother can stay upstairs.

It is time to sign off for now, hope to see those of you in the Chicago area at the pop-up sale next week!