Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Puppy Playdate at Petco

Puppy Dog in Thinking Chair
Tesla's Clues
First off, this is not a sponsored post, but I'd gladly accept money from Petco given that they seem to be popping up on my credit card statements with alarming regularity since I became (yeah, I'm saying it) mama to a "furry baby." I have more than $200 worth of Petco doggy crates in my house as I type. (Don't ask.)

By the way, we are changing his name to Tesla K. The K represents the first thousand dollars of doggy expenses. What a milestone!

Tesla had an anaphylactic reaction to his first round of vaccines in late July, as in he almost died, but that's a post for another day. Let's just say about half, 4/8 of our expenses have gone to the vet, who I hear is now planning a lovely winter vacation with his family, 3/8 has gone to Petco and the remaining 1/8 has been spread around to other pet sources like Costco and the doggy food dude at the farmer's market.

Our local Petco has a free, drop-in puppy socialization group on Wednesdays. Let me tell you, it's no accident this takes place on hump day, because that's a recurring theme of this little gathering. They simply block off an aisle to let the puppies run and play...and hump each other while the owners watch on the sidelines...and pulling their dogs apart now and again.

Last week there was a dog named River (name changed to protect the innocent) at puppy playdate. He was some kind of spaniel with saucer-like eyes and long, floppy ears. He looked like a girl. It's hard to say that about a dog, but he really did. Apparently the male dogs got that message because the they dogs gave poor River the old Humpty Dumpty whenever he tried to make his way into the small crowd. Even the tiny, adorable boxer with the shiny coat got in on the action and he's only 12 weeks old.

Poor River.

At any rate, it's crazy puppy mayhem.

Tesla is in obedience class now, so he gets to socialize there, and he's met a few other dogs on personal playdates. Everyone tells us it's SO important to socialize our dog with other dogs, so I'm glad we have the puppy playdate option and I think we'll be regulars especially once the weather turns. As it is, we pop in now and again and are getting to know some of the regulars and by regulars of course, I mean the cashiers because we're spending a lot of money attending this free group. It's marketing genius.

But it's also like a ringside seat to the Puppy Bowl.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11/01

Twelve years ago I was going about my typical media-free breakfast with my boys (then 1 and 3) when my husband called blabbering some ridiculous story about airplanes an the World Trade Center. I turned on the radio (we didn't have TV service) and couldn't find any news at that moment. Was he kidding me? Finally I caught NPR where I heard, for the first time I can remember, fear and confusion in the voices of their reporters. I stuck in a tape into the boom box to record it (I know, old skool!). I didn't see video footage until that night. 

It was one of those rare Chicago days where the weather was just perfect. We had a morning playdate with a cousin and an afternoon playdate with friends we met at the local pool that summer. The sky was eerily empty and silent especially that we are often in the flight path for planes from O'Hare airport.

Life has never been the same.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Nothing Bundt Cakes now open in Skokie! Grand opening details.

Nothing Bundt cakes bakery in Skokie, Evanston
I first noticed the inviting storefront of Nothing Bundt Cakes on one what is becoming a weekly visit to the Petco across from Old Orchard Mall at Skokie Blvd. and Golf. We always seem to be needing a little something for our new pup and we've started taking advantage of the free weekly puppy playdate there. I was thrilled when I received a press release for the shop and was invited to sample a few of their wares. Yum!

Just a few days later I became a paying customer.

As the name implies, Nothing Bundt Cakes Skokie offers bundt cakes* that come in several sizes from teeny bundtinis, sold by the dozen, to the bundtlets which, like large cupcakes provide a generous single serving or can be shared, and their full-on bundt cakes. They typically have ten flavors on hand-standards like chocolate chocolate chip (yum!), lemon, white chocolate raspberry, and carrot to name a few. They also offer a monthly seasonal favorite.

Their bundt cakes are moist without being too dense and their signature cream cheese frosting is heavenly. You should know there's always a bundtini available for sampling in their bright, airy store.

Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery Skokie Evanston Free Samples

They've got a few things planned in honor of their grand opening:

Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10 AM
The first 50 paying customers will receive a card for a free monthly bundtlet for the next 12 months.
From 10-11 there will also be "abundant cake sampling," a balloon artist and a raffle.

Thursday, September 12 from 5-8 PM
Ribbon cutting with the Skokie and Evanston Chambers of Commerce

Friday, September 13
Benefit Day for Les Turner ALS Foundation. 20% of proceeds will go to this great organization. We have a friend with ALS, "the Stephen Hawking of Hollywood," and I'm sure if you know anyone with ALS, you know how much needs to be done to support those affected by it.

*They also sell candles, a few party accessories and hostess gifts.