I spent a few hours of one of my recent days off driving around town, bored out of my mind, and looking for some junk to spend my money on. I went to the usual places like Walmart, Target, etc., but then I remembered a hot tip I had gotten just a few days earlier regarding some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pillows at Dollar General.
I’m sure everyone knows what a Dollar General is. They are similar to stores such as Family Dollar and Big Lots. They sell a lot of off-the-wall and cheap merchandise. Some of it it is priced pretty low, but some things can be fairly pricey. In my experience, these stores are usually not located in the best parts of town and the stores themselves seem way too small for the amount of product they have crammed in there. The aisles are REALLY close together and stuff is usually packed to the ceiling on risers.
Dollar General is like a time-warp in the same way that K-Mart is. No matter where a Dollar General seems to spring up, whether it’s a brand new building or whether they took over a pre-existing one, these stores always seem stuck in the 1980s. From the store layout to the products themselves. There’s so many interesting products you didn’t know existed but you can basically buy everything that you truly need from a Dollar General, with the exception of produce and meat.
Obviously, something this awesome could not go without purchase. If it was based on the current Nickelodeon series, I would’ve given it a pass. Luckily there’s a lot of classic ’80s cartoon TMNT merch to be found and I’m wearing a t-shirt right now to prove it. By the way, I know people say the Nick show is good, but sorry, I know it wouldn’t capture the same vibe and spirit of the original cartoon for me, personally.
Although I’m sure they aren’t good for you at all, I’m a big fan of Lunchables. Yes, I’m in my early 30s and still eat Lunchables. In my defense, I only do it during my breaks at work when I’m short on time. But I still enjoy them and mostly recently I’ve really been eating a lot of the pizza edition.
In what may sound like heaven to some (such as myself) or a nightmare to others, when you work in the world of retail, you get see and access most holiday items way before the customer does and long before the holiday arrives. I’m fine with this and I’m always on the lookout for two things: Halloween candy and Christmas merchandise.
Mid-July is typically about the time my store starts getting in Halloween candy but Halloween came even earlier this year — a few items arrived in late June. Nothing too impressive. So far it’s been the standard stuff from Russell Stover and Reese’s, but candy caught my eye. It’s a candy I don’t even like but I couldn’t resist the gimmick:
3 Musketeers Muskefears fun-size bars! First off, I LOVE the name they’ve give them for Halloween — “Muskefears”. That’s awesome.
Secondly, while they didn’t really mess with wrappers too much, at least they added the Muskefears name to them.
Finally, they colored the nougat “Spooky Red”. I guess “Blood Red” would be too gruesome for the kiddies. The color quality of the photo above doesn’t really do them justice. They aren’t that pinkish looking but they are no way as dark red as the bag would have you believe.
If you like 3 Musketeers and you like Halloween, this is a big win for you. After buying the bag and eating one and then coming down off my Halloween rush, I remembered that 3 Musketeers are one of my least favorite candy bars. Why would you stop at a 3 Musketeers or Milky Way when a Snickers is obviously superior to both?
I was supposed to go to Disney World right after Christmas with my family (my parents’ gift to us), but I’ve been having anxiety issues lately and at the last minute I canceled because I didn’t want to take the 14 hour drive (7 hours each way) in the car.
But, I ended up having a nice quiet week to myself. I had already requested off at work so I kept those days and enjoyed doing NOTHING for an entire week. No work, no school, no P90-whatever workouts. I ate what I wanted, watched whatever I wanted and bought whatever I wanted! I basically told myself it was okay to blow some money to A) make me feel better for chickening out and B) because I had money I had been saving for Disney anyway.
Other than junk food and meals, here’s a few things I picked up last week:
Well, one of the first things I did was check Yankee Candle’s website for post-holiday clearance sales. No, the pic above is not what I bought, but it is my entire candle collection. I’m sure it pales in comparison to many others, and if so, I want what they have, too.
I ended up buying five large jar candles at half off: Apple Cider, Bavarian Pretzel, Fireside, Pinecone & Tassel and Yuletide Spice.
I was only familiar with Apple Cider. It’s one of my favorite candles. Unfortunately, it was not packaged very well and arrived broken. I emailed the company and they quickly responded and have shipped a new one out to me free of charge. After dealing that, I hated to throw a perfectly good candle away. Upon closer inspection, the big broken chunk of glass still fit perfectly with the rest of the jar. I used some quick bond glue and it seems to be working.
Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish is a brand that’s mostly known for their line of snack crackers but they’ve been releasing cookies and graham cracker versions for quite awhile now as well. While browsing the aisles at Target, I saw things like vanilla cupcake and strawberry cheesecake but what a really grabbed my eye was Goldfish hot cocoa grahams over in the holiday aisle. I think Goldfish has had chocolate grahams for awhile and probably the hot cocoa version as well but this was the first time I’ve ever noticed it.
While parts of me may wish the hot cocoa grahams were awful just so I could say they are hot caca, they’re actually really good! Maybe a bit rich for me to eat on any consistent basis but they are an excellent choice to devour once a year during Christmas and wintertime. Imagine chocolate Teddy Grahams combined with the little dehydrated mini-marshmallows that you find in hot cocoa packets and that’s Goldfish Hot Cocoa Grahams.
On a secondary note, I decided to try Goldfish French Toast Grahams that I found in the regular grocery aisle. I wasn’t expecting much from them as I typically do not care for artificial maple/pancake syrup flavoring, but it seemed like a such a novelty I had to try them. They’re okay, but yeah, I still don’t care for the smell or taste of fake syrup.
I’ve been familiar with Muddy Bears with a few years but yesterday was the first time I’ve ever noticed Muddy Reindeer. They’re made by the same company: CandyASAP. The same people that make other junk food candy like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites, Fudge Brownie Bites and Care Bears Gummi Bears. CandyASAP is owned by Taste of Nature, Inc. and that brand has a huge line of organic nut-filled snack bars.
Not sure why they added “Santa’s Village” to the name. I guess to make up for the very un-seasonal box art. I swear they swiped an image of the Rankin Bass version of Rudolph and recolored him in red, green and yellow.
Side note, I created my own version of “Muddy Bears” long before I ever heard of the CandayASAP’s chocolate-covered gummy bear version. My take on it was gummy bears + vanilla ice cream + crushed Oreos (though I suppose you could cheat and go with cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream). I still prefer my version.
As you can see, despite supposedly being in the shape of reindeer, you can’t really tell. I’m thinking they look more like bunnies. Or maybe even chocolate-covered crickets!
If you’ve ever had Muddy Bears, you’ll like Muddy Reindeer. And if you’ve never had chocolate-covered gummy candy, well, WHY NOT? Muddy Reindeer get two thumbs up from me. Now I’m waiting on Haribo to release a chocolate-covered version of their Gold Bears (the BEST gummy bears in the world).
Despite the fact that I’m doing P90, I can’t pass up some of these holiday sweets and treats. Case in point: gingerbread-flavored Twix! The packaging has a nice seasonal touch. Instead of the usual gold bag, it’s gold and brown with gingerbread men and aSanta hat right over the pause button. The individual wrappers are more of the same.