Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sam's Club is at it again

For those of you that have been following me since the holidays, you know that I spent quite a bit of time searching for and entering at various blogs for Sam's Club gift cards. As a SAHM, gift cards are a great way for me to buy gifts for hubby that don't require me spending the money he has earned. :o) Well, Sam's Club is at it again, and so am I. Some of my favorite mom bloggers are giving away gift cards again, and while I'm not one of them, I'm here to pass the information on to you (and earn myself some extra entries in the process. Good Luck!

Be sure to check out MommyGoggles giveaway. She's very crafty and is even building a loft for her kids playroom.

Outnumbered 3-1 is also hosting a Sam's giveaway on her site, along with several other great reviews and giveaways.

What's That Smell is also having a giveaway. It looks like hers is a "live" one . . . I love those! Be sure to keep track of her as well. She even gave away a Sony Reader over the holidays.

3 Kids and Us is also having a giveaway. I've just recently discovered her, but I love that she has fun recipes on her site. Sam's club was also giving away free bags here, but unfortunately those are already gone. Keep an eye out for other free samples from them though.

Audrey at Momgenerations also has some GCs to give away. Follow her for great fashion advice as well.

The Poshpreneur is also giving some GCs away. If you want to enter hers, hurry. It ends Monday!

I've even discovered My Wooden Spoon through these giveaways! Her site is loaded with recipes, and as a trying-to-cook-more mom I can use all the help I can get.

I will update if I find more, but good luck to you for now (and cross some fingers for me too please!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Northline Express & Microcenter are on my list . . .

For those of you that know me fairly well, you know that I have an issue with bad customer service. As a person working in retail, food service, etc. it is your job to be nice to and assist your customers. Please don't roll your eyes when I ask if you have a particular product that I had been unable to locate on my own. Please don't sigh when I interrupt your phone call with your boyfriend to ask you about your pricematch policy. Please, at least once during our interaction, smile or say "thank you". I can guarantee that I will have smiled and said "thank you" to you before our interaction is done. Also, if you don't like that job, then find another one. I say this as a person that worked in retail for much of my life. Even after earning my Master's Degree I worked in retail while I looked for a job in my field as well as to supplement my income after I found one. I know that it can be a difficult and frustrating line of work. When customers are angry, they take it out on you, but you still must be nice. Often you can't fix whatever it is that they are upset about, either because the computers won't allow it, or because you don't have the authority to do it. You will be called names and threatened by people that don't know anything about you. I get that. I understand that some of the general public is unappreciative. Please don't begin our interaction assuming that I am as well. Unfortunately I have found in recent years that bad customer service is becoming an epidemic. I have begun to expect people to be rude and unfriendly. In fact, when I come across CSRs that are civil, I'm happy. When I am fortunate enough to encounter CSRs that are pleasant, I am OVERJOYED. It makes my entire day, maybe even week! Amazingly, in the past week or two I have been almost giddy thanks to two stores, Northline Express and Microcenter.

I'll begin with Microcenter. A couple of weeks ago, Microcenter had a Wii Remote posted for $20. I immediately ordered two to complete our collection. It turns out that the posting was a price mistake. Most companies will send out a mass email stating that an item was a price mistake, that they are not going to be honoring it, and that your order has been canceled. I often search for deals and am not surprised nor angry when this happens. However, I must say that I was thrilled when I received a follow-up email stating that the item was a price mistake, that they were working with the manufacturer to see how many they could get in stock, and that they would be filling the orders (one per customer) until the supplies ran out. I have received my one remote and will be stopping by my Microcenter next time I go to the "big city" to purchase another one at full price. I will support companies that have integrity and do what they can to show customers that they are valued.

Northline Express is a store based in Roscommon, MI that sells "Quality Home Leisure Products" (from their website). I'm not exactly sure what that is, but I have purchased heaters, and cast iron pans from them, and am looking into some of their mosquito products for the spring/summer months. In fact, just this past week I was looking to purchase my second heater from them as a gift for my husband, Doc. He spends much of his time working in his barn and often complains about the cold. I knew that they carried the product I wanted because I had purchased from them before. However, I was able to find the product for a lower price elsewhere. I contacted them via email and received a quick response back that they would be willing to match the price, but I needed to call them to order it. To be honest, I was a little nervous. I don't like calling places because I'd prefer not to hear the sighs, frustration, and condescension in their voices. I much prefer to be able to ignore that via email or online chat. When I called I was shocked at how kind and friendly the CSR was. She took my information,thanked me for my order, and said that she hoped I had a wonderful day . . . with sincerity! I found myself smiling all day after our interaction. In fact, I have been smiling since then, as the product arrived well before the expected delivery date. I've bragged about the company to at least 30 people in person since that day and am now posting it here for anyone to see. I hope that if you need any "Quality Home Leisure Products" Northline Express is the first place you look. I can guarantee they will be the first on mine!

*Note: I have not received any compensation, products, discounts, etc for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Sometimes when you find a product/company that is this great you just want to shout it from the rooftops.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

Yes, I do realize that it is the end of January and I am just now getting around to posting about my New Year's resolution. In my defense though, I don't typically make resolutions. In the past I had not been able to keep them, so I just figured I should cut out the middle man and skip them altogether. Sounds logical, right? The difference this year is that it isn't my typical resolution. In the past I've resolved to never eat dessert (which lasted all of 3 minutes), to exercise every day (does typing count?), to not be grouchy to my husband (Hey Doc, stop laughing, at least I thought about it), and other similar ideas. Looking back, I think that maybe I set myself up for failure by my unrealistic expectations. This year my goal was different. My resolution was/is to be more positive. Simple. I don't have to be positive all the time, just more often. For example, on NYE Doc and I went to a local event. I'm not going to tell you which one, but I will say that it made this list The next day I talked to most of my family and friends, and all asked how the night went. Old Melissa would have started by complaining about how cold it was, then picked out all of the pitfalls of the night to expound upon (and trust me, there were plenty). This year, I talked about the amazing fireworks, bragged about what a fun experience it was, and laughed about the humorous glitches. Even today, when I think about NYE I smile and am grateful that I had the opportunity to go. It is amazing how much a simple change in perspective can actually change your life!

Why I've been MIA...

I like to blog. It is a fun way for me to vent frustrations, ask questions, and just feel like I have a voice. However, I am not a good "blogger". I don't do a good job of proofreading my posts. (Sorry for the multitude of typos and grammatical errors.) I don't solicit products to review, nor have I had any giveaways. (Expect one soon though ;o) ) Also, my blog is not my priority. When things come up, as they always seem to, I don't lose out on sleep to update regularly. While I sometimes love to write about whatever happens to be going on in my life, sometimes I would just prefer to live my secret. So, if any of you have been wondering where I've been, I've been here, at home, living life and enjoying every minute of it!