makes us want to keep an emergency stash of cow brew in the kitchen towel drawer (!)
makes us want to keep an emergency stash of cow brew in the kitchen towel drawer (!)
About 2 years ago, my mom picked up two pairs of OKA b. flip flop sandals for me. One was black with turquoise studs and the other was black with a black beaded chrysanthemum on it. They were from a little boutique type store in my hometown, and I wore them as much as possible. Every so often I would see their amazing features written up in a magazine. These are not standard issue flip flops. (from ShoesthatLoveYou.com)
- They are exceptionally comfortable. They even have massage beads that sit under your arch. They were designed with your foot's own reflexology in mind.
- They are easy to clean - you just run them through your dishwasher.
- They are made in the USA - in Buford, GA to be exact.
- They are anti-microbial and odor-resistant.
- They are completely recyclable.
- And best of all, they have a 2 year guarantee.
So earlier this season, some of the beads started falling off one of the chrysanthemum flips. I would randomly find them on the floor. Not good news for a house with a curious dog and a little one who puts everything in his mouth. I thought they were headed for the recycle bin. Then on one of the last nights of our beach vacation, one of the straps popped completely off. I was so sad. I checked on the guarantee. It was for 2 years, but I couldn't remember when I had received them. Not only that, but I didn't even really know where these were purchased or what the name of the style was. Thinking that there was nothing to lose, I sent a note to the customer service e-mail posted on their website. I received an immediate response letting me know that they had identified my sandals based on my description and they were sure they were about two years old. The customer service rep. told me to return the broken sandal with a completed form and they would send me a replacement for FREE! They were no longer making the sandal I had so I would have to pick out a new style for my replacement. SCORE! I had that package shipped out as soon as I could find the mailman. Then I threw the mate in the recycle bin, which felt a little strange and rewarding all at the same time. Then yesterday, Tara arrived at her new home. Love her!
I have been on both sides of the customer service fence and I was overjoyed that this was such a great experience. Not only are the shoes fantastic, but the customer service is too. And that is not something that you see every day!
DISCLAIMER: OKA b. is fabulous, but they did not give me anything in exchange for this post. . . just the spectacular customer service for which they are known.
- MUSING: I spent 7 years of my education involved in choral music. Despite that lengthy tenure, I am still a terrible vocalist, but I did suffer an odd side effect nonetheless. I am filled to the brim with musical prose, and sometimes things just float to the surface. Today it was "Dies Irae, Dies Illa" in perfect rhythm to a long forgotten Requiem. The rough translation for this verse is "Day of wrath! O day of mourning!". Not exactly whistling a happy tune, huh.
- TIME WARP: This post is a list of 101 Free Printables. There are some pretty cute things there. I especially love #15 - Star Wars Tags and Stickers (they say "Student by Day, Jedi by Night"!) and #72 - You Get What You Get Print & More (The "& More" includes another printable that reminds us that "the purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship". It's a great reminder for to-do list people (me).
- CONFESSION: I sent my husband to the grocery store at 8:30 PM . . . for Diet Coke. It was a crisis.
- UPDATE: Do you know how it feels to drop 10 pounds and 15 degrees in a few short hours? Unfortunately, me neither, but Molly the Labrador does. Apparently, it makes you feel like a puppy again. And when you feel like a new dog, you have no choice but to test out your teeth. This weekend's fatalities: a toy ball and a clothespin (metal portion not included).
- REBUFF: So the Kroger gas pumps rejected me this evening. They liked my credit card just fine, but they seemed to have a serious opposition to my zip code. Not wanting to think that Kroger gas is only available for the affluent neighborhoods, I put in a few other zip codes for good measure. The pump did not like those either. I tried a second pump. Same story. Eventually, I had to go old school . . . I had to talk to a human. And she wanted to know how much I was going to spend! It's like The Price is Right - "the contestant who bids the closest to the actual cost of their showcase, without going over, wins the prize". How did we survive those dark days of human interaction? Insanity.
- True Grit - LOSER; This movie received numerous Academy Award nominations and oddly enough became a pivotal launching point for a number of sermons for an associate pastor who has recently moved West. So we thought we would give it a try. Nope. Still don't like Westerns. And this particular Western moves at the speed of a wagon train with a narcoleptic mule. Do you know what else I don't like in a movie? . . . Griminess. Bleeech. It just makes my skin crawl. I can neither confirm nor deny that the movie Waterworld is worthy of watching, because I cannot make through the whole show. If it's a WATER world, why is everyone so dirty?! True to its name True Grit was a B- on the dirt scale. However, it was an A+ on the nap-able scale so it's still a LOSER at my house.
- The Box - Minor LOSER; This movie arrived via Netflix and kept getting pushed aside and buried under the mail. Finally it was unearthed and we watched it. Let me say first that this did not come from my queue so I was pretty in the dark as to where it was headed. And that's where it landed - in the dark. This was originally a short story that was made into a Twilight Zone episode that was made into a feature film. At the last turn in its creative journey they added about an hour and a half of sci-fi fantasy, which in my opinion was pretty unnecessary. I would have liked the 30-45 minutes of twisted terror that the Twilight Zone episode offered.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II - WINNER; Now this one we liked. It was a great last hurrah for our British friends. Of course, since the books have been bestsellers since I was in college and the movies played non-stop prior to the opening credits of this movie, it was a little hard to avoid a pretty complete knowledge of where things would all land. And no, I did not complete my book reading before going to the movie. It was a definite violation of my own personal book to movie rules, but the childcare was available and those are opportunities that must be seized. CARPE Dinner and a Movie.
- Italy of America - Arizona (don't go looking for canals or cannelloni)
- Toothpick State - Arkansas (how much dental digging can one state do?)
- Lead State - Colorado (must have gone over like a lead balloon)
- Land of Steady Habits - Connecticut (which habits? Handwashing or smoking?)
- Goober State - Georgia (Wikipedia claims that this refers to peanuts, the state's official crop, but it's hard to confirm)
- Baja Wisconsin - Illinois (this just makes Illinois sound like Wisconsin's purse)
- Tall Corn State - Iowa (now those sound like fightin' words)
- America in Miniature - Maryland (just like Legoland)
- Mitten State - Michigan (NOT going there and I will be avoiding its colder cousin Blizzard State South Dakota)
- Puke State - Missouri (I'm sure MO has it's problems, but I didn't think it was THIS bad)
- The Last Best Place - Montana (this must be part of the "we're all winners" strategy; I won the last best place every year in the 50 yard dash)
- Iodine Products State - South Carolina (this was on the license plates at some point!)
- Rip Van Winkle State - North Carolina (sounds like a good place for a nap)
- Forever West - Wyoming (an obvious choice for anyone who has driven there)
- Land of Infinite Variety - South Dakota (an entire state for the indecisive)
In 10 years of marriage, there have been lots of food failures. I'm not completely helpless in the kitchen, but it appears that the more simple the process the more likely I am to produce something less than optimal. How else can I explain why I cannot make Jello without at least a little grit and often a layer of ice courtesy of an overachieving refrigerator? The latest contender in the race for the Food Failure Cup is what is shown above. The intention was a pan of cornbread. The result is neither corn nor bread. It's actually a gold colored cracker. And most insulting . . . this is a mix. As in "add milk and egg, stir and bake". All of which I did. FAIL. So if anyone needs me, I will be in kitchen whipping up some souffle - because that would probably work!
In case anyone is wondering, the eyeball in the picture belongs to one of Jackson's building sets. It's there to keep an eye on things. If by chance we are secretly part of Toy Story, I'm sure it is reporting back to the other toys.
- First, there's little boy underwear waistbands. This is a product that has been manufactured for centuries. Therefore, I see no reason that the elastic in the waistband should be so worthless. A few washes in and they are unraveling, leaving long trails of thread that wrap around other innocent pieces of clothing. The little boy underwear seems to be the pro wrestler of the spin cycle - putting other clothes in a half Nelson until they are mangled beyond recognition. Perhaps we should consider that the underroos are the real villains behind the many socks that have been lost their way in the gentle breezes of the dryer.
- My next beef is with the expedition I am forced to embark on just to find out if I can even let my clothes tumble leisurely in the dryer. For as long as I can remember, there was no question as to where to find all the answers to your clothing care questions. Tags were in collars and waistbands. Period. Now it's like having a first date with my shirt in order to find out if they like to feel the wind at their back or just hang out. Will I find this information in the collar? What about the side seam? And once I do find it, will it be on a heat transfer label, because those seem to have a definite expiration date - "this communication will self-destruct in 5 washes . . . 5 . . . 4 . . . 3"? The other day I had to wash something and its care instructions had no words, just laundry related pictures. It felt a little humiliating to look to Google for a translation in laundry-ese.
So there are my laundry woes for now. However, the fact remains that no matter how much complication gets added to what should be a pretty simple task, my family likes to wear clean clothes. So I'll keep rescuing the socks and interviewing the shirts. But I do think that Mt. Laundry needs a catchy name. Send me your suggestions . . . I'll read them right after I figure out what a triangle with a dot in the center means.
When I was a preschooler, my family lived overseas. We lived on a hill and as a result there was no television reception. Not only that, but there were no DVRs, no streaming HD, and no television monitors strapped to the back of the car seat in front of me. The phone had a rotary dial and a cord. No, it was not Little House on the Prairie, but it was a time that was a lot less "plugged in". So without data being constantly pumped into our consciousness, we only had one way to explore the world. BOOKS! I got new books almost every week. Library books and bookstore books. Picture books and story books. My mother read me books every night before bed. She is a much better story reader that I am - she would read more than 1 book a night and I'm pretty sure she never took a literary license to shorten the story for the sake of bedtime as I have done more than once. One of my favorite books was Hiram's Red Shirt. I have no idea what made it so fascinating to a 4 year old, but it was great. Now I can admire the "make it work" spirit that Hiram shows as he continually transforms his beloved red shirt into useful creations rather than part with it. Where is Hiram when I need my window coverings completed?!
Do you remember any of your favorite books from childhood . . . or last week if they are still the same?
This summer we've really been able to enjoy all kinds of water activities with both boys. It's pretty different from last summer when we spent many hours indoors completing the two favorite activities of newborns - sleeping and eating. Over the 4th of July weekend we got to go to a pool that had an awesome attached splash pad. Logan once again confirmed that he has no fear where water is concerned. He left no puddle unsplashed and no sprayer undiscovered. And when your legs are a little less than a foot long, that's a lot of acreage to cover. Thus, this is what our drive home looked like for Logan.
2. Swamp People is embarrassingly addicting. I'm not sure how this made it to the streaming Netflix list, but I would sure hate to have watched every episode of American Logger and miss this Cajun showdown.
3. This dollar store craft project is about to take a turn for the bone yard until I can find motivation. Pebble mosaic . . . that just sounds like something I will be doing in the sanitarium.
4. Here's one author's perspective on the Harry Potter impact on children's reading. Oddly, there is no mention of redemption for British authors. I guess that's just me.
5. My love for Mexican food is legendary. I'll try anything from Taco Bueno to Taco Diner. Last weekend it was time to give Fuzzy's Taco Shop a shot. Fuzzy's appeared in the metroplex a few months ago and seems to be more Latin American than Tex-Mex. That small difference always provides a conundrum for my refined Tex-Mex palate. I got the shredded garlic beef nachos and they were good but not life-changing. I would say a B+ overall. We will have to go back for a second visit - because any restaurant that has their own "butt burning hot sauce" has our interest piqued.