Special deliveries!

When we woke up this morning, we found Northside got a dusting of snow…

But there wasn’t much snow on the hill at the end of our street…

Time for Lego City Advent Calendar day 15…

Genifer ordered Chipotle delivery for lunch….

Chipotle was delicious. I hadn’t had Chipotle in forever.

Both Arsenal and Leicester played at the same time this afternoon. I kept an eye on both of the matches while I was working…

And both of my teams lost. Arsenal is really in a death spiral right now.

We got a couple of special deliveries today. The first package was from my parents…

And there was a wonderful box of Christmas cookies in their package…

There were so many delicious cookies in that box. We cant wait to try them all. And now we also have presents under our tree…

Thanks, mom & dad! Our second package was from TastesOfChicago.com

And inside were two Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas…

And two huuuuge chocolate chip cookies…

Thanks, JJVE! We can’t wait to try our pizzas and those cookies look terrific!

Later, we took the dogs around the block. It was kind of misty outside this evening…

We couldn’t even see the hill across the way on the other side of the highway…

The hill was just barely visible…

Good evening from Northside…

Today is my Timehop was this photo…

It’s interesting that when I saw this photo my mind went to a completely different place when I saw animal mask than when I saw this originally. And there was this one too…

That would have been the best white elephant gift ever. To this day, I still kick myself for not buying it.

Hi Oscar. He’s so fuzzy!

We had a great Wednesday. Thank you again for the wonderful Christmas gifts.
๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŒ„๐ŸŒฏ๐Ÿ“บโšฝ๏ธ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿฆ•โค๏ธ

Two out of three isn’t bad.

Good morning from Northside…

This morning we ran over to Target to do some shopping…

How cute are these bears? I love a bin of adorable bears…

And there was this adorable yeti stocking

Greetings from Antarctica…

I designed the eCommerce basic images for all the holiday Swiss Miss hot cocoa gift sets

Speaking of Swiss Miss, how long has there been Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa with Lucky Charms Marshmallows? It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this sorcery…

And speaking of cocoa, I love hot chocolate. It’s become my go-to drink whenever we go out to get coffee.

When we got home, it was time for day thirteen of my Lego City Advent Calendar…

We had snacks for lunch today…

We watched Arsenal lose 1-0 to Burnley…

It was the first time since December 1959 that the Gunners have lost four consecutive matches at home. They are really not doing well this season. At the same time as the Arsenal match, Michigan was playing their Big Ten opener against Penn State and our Cowboys were playing in Cincinnati against the Bengals…

Both Michigan and Dallas won their games. I guess, two out of three isn’t so bad.

Good evening from Northside…

Later, I had one of my favorite snacks, Ritz crackers and peanut butter…

We finished season one of Black Spot. It’s a very odd show. Very good, very interesting, but very odd. We’ll start on season two tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŒ„๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿ“บโšฝ๏ธ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿˆโค๏ธ

Nice! You have a reward.

Good morning from Northside…

This afternoon we ordered pizza from Taft’s Brewpourium. And we had accumulated some rewards…

Omigosh! Look at our Taft’s Brewpourium pizza feast…

I’m pretty sure Taft’s is my favorite pizza is all of Cincinnati. It’s so good.

Oscar was telling us it’s time to go on our evening walk…

And when we were walking the dogs, we noticed this…

That’s pretty darn creepy.

Good evening from Northside…

We hung this guy out on our back porch…

This afternoon I had to knock out a few things for work while I listened to Arsenal lose 1-0 to Leicester, and then we watched the Bengals come up short against the Browns.

This evening, we watched the Dodgers win the World Series. It’s a bummer. It would have been so neat for Tampa Bay teams to win the Stanley Cup and the World Series. This season will always have asterisk next to it for me. The Dodgers were the best team that money could buy over the course of a pandemic-shortened 60-game season. Personally, I liked it much better when the Dodgers would spend all that money year after year and and then come up short. That was great. ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŒ„๐Ÿ•๐Ÿพโšฝ๏ธ๐Ÿˆโšพ๏ธโค๏ธ

2020 FA Cup Final.

Today was the final of the FA Cup. My favorite club in the world, Arsenal were making their record 21st appearance in the FA Cup final. Arsenal are also holders of the record for FA Cup final wins at thirteen. They were playing London rivals, Chelsea in today’s final. At the end of last season, Chelsea demolished Arsenal 4-1 in the 2019 Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan. Hopefully, the match would go much better for the Gunners today…

Leading up to this year’s FA Cup Final, Arsenal America took a look back at all thirteen Arsenal teams that lifted the Cup and in the process became FA Cup legends! They started with the very first Gunner squad to lift the FA Cup in 1930

And moved through all thirteen squads ending with the 2017 side

There were some neat graphics and photos on social media leading up to the match…

The match was all knotted at the half…

A brace by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lead Arsenal past Chelsea…

With the FA Cup win, Arsenal booked their spot in next season’s Europa League. It will be the Gunners twenty-fourth consecutive season of European football. Mikel Arteta’s side finished eighth in the Premier League table. Their win knocks Wolves out of Europe next season and forces sixth-place finishers, Spuds into the Europa League qualifying round to play an extra three matches before the tournament properly commences. And that makes lifting the FA Cup trophy just a little bit sweeter…

 

I hope Aubameyang stays with Arsenal for a long time to come…

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I’m so happy Mikel Artera is leading Arsenal now…

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Best handshake ever…

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Fourteen. Come on you Gunners! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ”ดโšฝ๏ธโค๏ธ

And I saw this graphic about Nicolas Pepe…

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After a slow start, I think he’s going to be a really good one. #COYG

A pretty good Saturday.

Good morning from Northside on this Saturday…

This morning we ran over to Lowe’s again to get more paint. After her success with painting our little half-bathroom, Genifer wanted to try painting our living room this weekend. While we were at Lowe’s, we also looked at some Pergo flooring for our third-floor bedroom. We really liked the color variations on this sample…

Pulling up the carpet on our third-floor and replacing it with wood might be our next, next project. After Lowe’s, we ran over to Kroger to get some groceries. They just had bee and sunflower balloons again today…

Have you ever tried Jack fruit? It looks like you’d get a lot of it for just $1.99…

I wonder if it’s any good? You know what IS good? These Ruffles chips…

Ohmigosh. They’re my new favorite! And this is the second time now that I’ve found them at Kroger! I was worried I would never find them again.

After we were done at Kroger, we stopped at Mad Llama for coffee…

When got home, Genifer started taping off the living room with painters tape…

And then she started priming,,,

And she did another really outstanding job with the primer…

And tomorrow she wants to paint the living room. She has a navy called Salty Dog that we think will look really nice in our living room. My job was to keep the dogs away from the paint while she was priming and tomorrow while she will be painting. And while she was priming, I got to watch the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and my Arsenal on ESPN+.

I don’t know why they relegated this match to ESPN+. They had a UFC behind-the-scenes show on ESPN and old X-Games highlights on ESPN2. It didn’t make much sense to me. But Arsenal defeated FA Cup holders Manchester City 2-0 to move onto the final at Wembley. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored both goals for the Gunners, finishing off an unbelievable 18-pass team move and then a swift counter-attack goal to finish off Manchester City. Come on you, Gunners!

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Arsenal keeper Emi Martinez came up huge again for the Gunners especially with this save on City’s Riyad Mahrez. Watching the Mikel Arteta Bench Cam was also pretty entertaining. Arsenal’s head coach gets pretty animated on the sidelines. It’s been a week for The Arsenal. The Gunners beat newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool 2-1 on Wednesday and now FA Cup holders City 2-0 just three days later. Pretty darn unbelievable!

Arsenal will face Chelsea in the FA Cup final on August 1st…

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Chelsea beat Manchester United 3-1 in the other semi-final.

When the match was over and Genifer was done priming, we went out in the backyard with the dogs…

And while we were in the backyard, we fired up the grill…

First, we grilled some salmon burgers and chicken kabobs…

And then we grilled a couple of burgers and some jalapeno cheddar dogs…

The burgers were really good…

And the dogs were outstanding…

We’ve been buying this sweet Hawaiian bread at the grocery. Not King’s Hawaiian, but the Kroger equivalent. And I’ve been putting my hot dogs on that instead of buying hot dog buns too. It seemed like there were always hot dog buns leftover. The dogs taste awesome on the Hawaiian bread and now we don’t have a lot of extra hot dog buns going to waste. I think that’s what they call, a win-win.

This is Bear, the newest member of our family…

I like him. He’s fitting right into our family like he was meant to be here.

Good evening from Northside…

When we got home, we had some of this strawberry cake we got at the grocery…

It was really good. I’ve been on a strawberry kick lately. I can’t wait to see how our living room looks in its new Salty Dog blue…

When we got upstairs, we watched Louisville City lose 1-0 to St. Louis. And we watched more of the MLS is Back tournament. It was a pretty good Saturday. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ—“๏ธโค๏ธ

And here’s what actually happened.

I had this really epic soccer Sunday planned. And as you know, very rarely does anything ever go as planned. This is what actually happened with my epic soccer Sunday. I watched all the matches. But the results weren’t as I would have liked them.

Last night, the start of the FC Cincinnati versus Columbus Crew match didn’t start until well after 11pm because the match before theirs had a weather delay. I stayed up to watch the entire match. I don’t know why. It was bad. Really bad. It was the first match in charge for FC Cincinnati’s new manager, Jaap Stam. And it looked every bit of it.

News flash… FC Cincinnati is still terrible and lost 4-0.ย 

This morning we watched the second half of Wolves clinical 3-0 thumping of Everton. With the win, Wolves became the first English side to win competitive games in two different Julys in the same season. I was all set for the start of Toronto versus DC United. But the match was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns. I mentioned we might watch yesterday’s Doosan Bears-Lotte Giants KBO game but we actually watched it yesterday. My Bears lost 5-4. Jose Fernandez hit a two-run homer with two out in the ninth to pull the Bears within one. But then the next batter flew out to center and that was the ballgame. I was also going to touch-up my quarantine haircut but I did that yesterday too. I got new clippers when we were running around yesterday. And I wanted to give them a try. They worked really well.

So with that, we had to endure Aston Villa versus Crystal Palace in its entirety. I don’t know how Crystal Palace don’t get relegated every season. Every time I see them play, they play the most uninspired, uninterested, and just plain boring soccer. Even when we saw them play FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium, they were pretty boring. Palace beat FC|C 2-0. But today, Palace lost 2-0 to Villa. Again.

The North London derby started well for Arsenal with Lacazette’s absolute screamer. The Gunners took a 1-0 but then the defense. Sigh. Arsenal. After the match, I changed from one of my Arsenal polos to my Leicester t-shirt. I switched the channel to ESPN to watch a bit of Parma-Bologna so I didn’t have to watch the Jose Mourinho post-match interview on NBCSN. I’ve never liked him. I can’t envision a scenario that would cause that to change.

Leicester looked to be rolling right along after Jamie Vardy scored his league-leading 26th goal. But then the wheels came off the Leicester wagon after the referee awarded Bournemouth a penalty. Leicester was reduced to ten men after a red card and Bournemouth would go on to score three more times to win 4-1. What. The. Heck?

Lousiville City started their USL season hosting Pittsburgh Rverhounds as they opened their new soccer-specific stadium. Speedy Williams scored the first goal for City in their new home. But then they gave up three unanswered goals to lose 3-1.

Are you seeing a trend here? All of my teams took a 1-0 lead and then lost.

Minnesota was trailing 1-0 as the clock approached the 90th minute. And then United scored two goals in stoppage time to win 2-1. The first was a penalty kick at 90+2 and then the winner at 90+7. And with that, Epic Soccer Sunday was salvaged!

It would have been a real bummer if all my teams lost. Thankfully, Minnesota United saved the day. ๐Ÿ˜€โšฝ๏ธโค๏ธ

It’s finally happening!

I can’t remember the last time we had an epic sports day. One of those days where there are so many good games on TV, you don’t how you’re going to watch them all. It’s been soooo long since we’ve had a really epic sports day. It’s been so long since we had sports. But today is truly an epic sports day! I’m calling it, EPIC SOCCER SUNDAY! This is what I’ll be watching during today’s massive football feast with the teams I’ll be cheering for highlighted in blue…

I’m not entirely sold on watching Toronto-DC United. I guess it depends on if I managed to stay awake until the end of last night’s FC Cincinnati versus Columbus match. ย The 10:30pm starts during the MLS is Back tournament are just a little late for me. I might also watch my Doosan Bears versus Lotte Giants KBO game that was on ESPN very early yesterday morning. We’ll see how it goes. I might also touch up my quarantine haircut first thing this morning.

Of the four matches I’m really interested in watching today, Arsenal seems to finally be finding their form after the restart. The Gunners are undefeated in their last five with four wins and a draw against Leicester. Spuds are doing their best Totteringham over their last five with two wins, draws at both Everton and Bournemouth, and a whopping 3-1 loss away to Sheffield United. Leceister City are currently sitting fourth in the league and hope to regain their pre-COVID-19 form against Bournemouth, who have lost four of their last five. My Foxes have just one win in their last five with two losses and two draws. But with Chelsea also losing to Sheffield United yesterday, a win could put Leicester back in third.

Leading up to Sundayโ€™s USL Championship restart, two-time USL Champion Louisville City will be christening their brand new, $65 million state-of-the-art, Lynn Family Stadium at approximately 30% of the new facilityโ€™s regular 15,304-person capacity.

And finally, there’s my Minnesota United. Before the season was suspended, the Loons won both of their matches, 3-1 away to Portland and 5-2 away to San Jose. So I’m super excited to have them start playing again. I stocked up on MNUFC gear in the off-season, and I’ve been waiting all year to finally have the opportunity to wear it.

There are other matches on Sunday too. There are two early Premier League matches on Sunday. Wolves face Everton at 7am. Wolves have been in great form since the restart and hadn’t given up a goal until they play Arsenal last weekend. The second match is Aston Villa versus Crystal Palace. And it just sounds like it’s going to be a boring, lifeless draw. But watch it end up being the most exciting match of the day. AC Milan plays Napoli in Italian Serie A at 3:45pm on ESPN+. The Rossoneri stunned Juventus 4-2 midweek. And there’s also the late MLS tournament match between Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids at 10:30pm on ESPN. I don’t know that we’ll make it all the way through the late MLS match. But I’m pretty sure it’ll be on our TV as we’re heading to bed.

It’s going to be an Epic Soccer Sunday. And I couldn’t be more excited. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ“บโšฝ๏ธ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’ฏโค๏ธ

Congratulations, Liverpool.

I’m not a big Liverpool fan but I thought this video from Bleacher Report celebrating Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years was pretty poignant…

I’m not crying. You’re crying. Well done, Bleacher Report. Congratulations, Liverpool. Your long wait for a league title is finally over. ๐Ÿ™‚โšฝ๏ธ๐Ÿ†โค๏ธ

The first day of Summer.

Today was the first day of Summer! And it’s Saturday. Good morning from Northside…

For breakfast, I tried one of these Kodiak Cake Blueberry & Maple Flapjack Cups…

It was pretty darn good for just a little microwave pancake cup. Later, we walked down to Blue Jay to get some lunch…

Genifer ordered a huge Greek salad with a side of french fries and I ordered two cheese coneys with a side of french fries as well…

Look at the size of this pepperoncini that came with Genifer’s salad…

It was almost as big as my cheese coney. I ate it. It was really spicy. I probably wouldn’t do that again. It made my eyes water. Other than that mistake, lunch at Blue Jay was great as always.

When we were walking home, we couldn’t help but notice that the front of the Jackson Hewitt tax office was all smashed in…

Apparently last night, someone ran the red light at the corner of Chase and Hamilton and lost control of their vehicle and smashed into the front of this office, which is right on the street corner. People running red lights has become a real problem in Cincinnati. At least one or two cars go through every traffic light after the light turns red.

On our way home, we also stopped to get more milkshakes from Tickle Pickle

Their Flan Halen strawberry milkshake is my favorite.

And then we were pretty lazy again. At least, Premier League soccer is back on TV…

I woke up super early and caught the end of the Doosan Bears Korean baseball game, The Bears won 8-2. Leicester City drew 1-1 against Watford. And my Arsenal lost 2-1 to Brighton Hove & Albion. It’s really nice to have some sports back in my life. It makes things almost feel sort of normal again. Even though life is still not normal at all.

But it was a very pretty first day of Summer…

And a very good evening from Northside…

We’re having a pretty low-key start of Summer weekend. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ—“๏ธโค๏ธ

The wait is almost over!

English Premier League soccer is back in just one week! And I’m so excited!

Check out NBC Sports season preview for my favorite club, Arsenal!ย ๐Ÿ˜€โšฝ๏ธโค๏ธ

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