shopping!

I have worked in customer service for many years.

I understand that when customer service is good, people will be back to buy from you and also recommend you to friends. When customer service is bad, people will talk about you but it won’t be positive. Either way it makes an impact.

With the invention of online shopping customer service gets a little hairy. Instead of talking directly to someone, you get an email response or maybe you can chat with a representative. But it’s usually only when you have a problem that you utilize these options.

In December (when everyone else was doing their Christmas shopping too) I ordered a product from a company. This company happens to be a local company and only offers one major product. They offer one method of shipping which is through USPS and it doesn’t specify how long it will take to get to your shipping destination. After two weeks of not receiving said product I emailed the company. I still haven’t received a response. When it finally made it to my house, the box had a hole in it and wasn’t properly packaged (the product was moving around in the box). I repacked the product in the box and shipped it to the recipient via USPS and they got it the next day. How’s that for excellent shipping 🙂

Just today I wanted to purchase something online for a certain someone for Valentine’s Day. After using multiple browsers and multiple computers, I still wasn’t able to get what I wanted to order. I chatted online with a representative twice and both times they said I would receive an email from their support team shortly. It’s been a few hours and no email.

There are great companies out there that offer great customer service and those are the companies I continue to go to and continue to recommend to friends and family. It’s too bad I have had such terrible luck with good customer service.

UPDATE: It’s 10pm and still no email from the company I tried to order from this morning. And I just found out they’re local too. What a shame.

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green things

Adam (mr.anti-hippy dippy trippy crunchy granola) has become a hippy.

for months he’s been raving about kale chips. apparently someone on the radio show he listens to raves about them and he just had to have them. chico’s saturday market always had a typical haven’t-showered-in-a-week-as-to-conserve-water crunchy granola type selling kale chips. i don’t know if you’ve ever seen kale chips but they resemble something sort of earthy…something very similar to a divot on a golf course.

I followed this recipe.

go ahead and give it a good read. then we’ll talk.

Baked Garlic & Parmesan Kale Chips

Ingredients
1 bunch of kale; about 6oz
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tablespoons shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

First, you want to make sure that you’ve washed and dried the kale. Washing it is important so that you’re not eating dirt, and drying it is important because wet kale won’t become kale chips in the oven, it’ll become, well, steamed kale. You can use a salad spinner to dry the kale, or you can use paper towels, or you can let it air dry. Whatever you do, just make sure it’s as dry as possible before getting started.

Next! Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Then, chop the kale into nice bite size pieces, keeping in mind that it’ll shrink when it bakes because of the water content. When you’re chopping, feel free to remove some of the tougher and stem-ier pieces; the leaves are really the best part for chip-making.

In a large bowl, toss the chopped kale leaves with the olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder, and then spread in an even single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you might need two baking sheets, depending on size). Bake for about 20 minutes, until crisp but not browned, and then remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it cool slightly on a wire rack. After a few minutes, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the kale chips and serve immediately. These can be served at room temperature too, but I like them better straight out of the oven.

PS – If you somehow manage not to eat all of these at once (ha, good luck), I should tell you that they don’t save very well in a Ziplock bag. Kale chips + Ziplock bag = soggy. And no one wants that.

PPS – The best thing about these kale chips is that you can really flavor them however you want. Do you like red pepper flakes? Use red pepper flakes. In the mood for something sweet? Try 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Endless possibilities here, people!!

so that’s the recipe..

after following the recipe exactly, I pulled brown, charred kale chips from the oven a little past 5 minutes into baking.

don’t follow this recipe.

let’s make a new one just in case you are willing to do anything for your boyfriend/girlfriend and they are asking for kale chips even though they’ve never seen how gross they look.

Kale Chips by Me

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale

olive oil

sea salt

garlic powder

parm cheese

Directions

*Preheat oven to 300F. Scratch that let’s play it safe and say 275F.

1. Clean and dry kale

2. Rip kale into bite sized pieces and put into a bowl

3. Drizzle olive oil over the kale. Just a quick swoop in a circle will do.

4. Grind (or sprinkle) sea salt onto your bowl of kale bits and toss it around.

5. Arrange kale on a parchment lined baking sheet.

6. Sprinkle desired amount of garlic and parm on kale.

7. Put baking sheet in the oven.

8. Check every 5 minutes. They should be crisp but not brown.

It’s about time

After weeks of searching and researching we got a new dishwasher!!

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That Adam installed.

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The first night he tried working on it it was dark and we obviously had turned the power off in the kitchen and even after all the wiring and everything the dishwasher didn’t turn on.

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Then he tried again to install it during the day with all new hoses and wires and it still wouldn’t work. Turns out the outlet was to blame so we had to make a call on how to get power to it. So we decided to plug it into our wall outlet.

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Now that its all installed it is amazing! Our dishes have never been so clean. They actually sparkle. I swear. Our last dishwasher would make our dishes come out messier than they went in. It was so frustrating.

The Bosch dishwasher we decided to go with was at the top of our price range but it definitely blew the others we had looked at out of the water. It’s stainless steel on the inside of the door which means no weird rusting or stains like our last one. The amount of dishes we can put in there is ridiculous.

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It’s pretty good looking for a kitchen appliance.

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And quiet. So quiet that I’m not sure it’s working half the time. The only way I know it’s washing is when it’s flashing its lights at me.

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New years day

Oh new years day…

Found this awesome chair in the lobby.

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That was the coolest part of the day. By the way I felt fabulous but everyone had wicked hangovers and felt like they were dying/having a seizure. Adam and I got to ride back to Sacramento in a complete silent car. Yup. That’s right folks our friend didn’t play music on the way to Reno or on the way back. Awkward silence for 2 hours!

And if that wasn’t bad enough we drove around Reno for a half hour looking for somewhere to eat that was playing the Niners game. We settled on Denny’s in boomtown. It had an hour wait just to be seated. Adam didn’t want food and I wasn’t going to wait an hour to sit down. Did this stop our friends from eating? Of course not! So Adam and I sat around for almost two hours waiting for them. If you know me you know how I get when I’m starving and people are being ridiculous.

About an hour into our drive we made a pit stop. And it was the most awesome pit stop ever because they had food!!!

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Thanks for the ridiculousness, Reno.

Ringing in the new year

Saturday started with a cute outfit.

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And a fun breakfast.

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Of course, being the early risers that we are, Adam and I got up about two hours before our friends and even our roomie. So we got all ready then demanded we start the day with buffet champagne brunch! After downing a handful of glasses of champagne we hit the casino floor! And I found a fun game to sit at for about 20 minutes before I got bored.

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That’s right, it was batman. The seats had speakers and the screens were sweet and it had a huge screen up above oh my goodness it was awesome.

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Even Adam had a fun time playing slots. Then I discovered a new game! Video blackjack!!! (I think it’s my favorite)

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Then it was time to get ready for NYE celebration!! So naturally I had to change my outfit.

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Then all 7 of us went to a super fancy dinner and it was ridiculously amazing.

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After we were all good and full and had to be rolled out of the restaurant we left to find a place to hunker down for the countdown. And we found a cute little dueling pianos bar in our hotel.

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Some nights start with celebratory shots of 5 hour energy. Duh.

Normal people put on silly hats and they fit.

I put on a silly hat and it looks like this.

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Me and my tiny baby head wish you a happy new year!

Next up: our ridiculous new years day.

Hello there, 2012

Howdy! Hope your Christmas/Hanukkah/kwanza/new years eve celebrations were spectacular!

I spent the last week of 2011 with the death flu so I’m hoping that means it was such a 2011 thing and won’t haunt me again in 2012.

Adam and I took a little adventure over to the biggest little city of Reno for NYE. Us and 5 of our closest friends. That comes out to a total of three couples and a single guy. Let the hilarity ensue!

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We got to Reno Friday evening. And boy was it cold! We also got lost trying to find the parking structure. I guess everyone else had the same idea for the holiday because Silver Legacy was packed.

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So we went up to our rooms and we checked them out.

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Yes that was in our friends room. We also dropped our BevMo loot in their room.

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Then I pulled my first of many outfit changes and we headed out for dinner.

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When you ask for a cup of coffee in Reno they give you the whole pot! (then your friends proceed to make fun of you for finishing it)

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After dinner everyone hitcasino lack jack tables! Except me. So I had dessert! Trio of creme brûlée please!

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Stay tuned for day two…