Nov 12, 2015

World Class Customer Service

Of course I’m biased about Disney, because I love it.  But when you hear people talk about the pride Disney has for their customer service – it aint no joke.  We’ve always had pleasant experiences for the most part at Disney parks and Disney Store.  Only once did we experience an unfriendly cast member.  We were getting on Mission Space and I was carrying my EMPTY resort mug.  The lady at the beginning of the line stopped me to tell me drinks aren’t allowed – I explained it was empty.  She huffed and mumbled something about me ruining the ride for everyone else.

When we finished the ride, I made sure to tell the next cast member I saw how rude this woman was.  It’s one thing to hear/see/experience rude vacationers, but I would never expect that from Disney employees.  

Just before we left for our trip in September, I placed an order on for some Christmas presents for Persephone.  At the time, they were offering a promotion for the Cinderella Castle Play set (see below) on sale for $49.95 (regularly $89.95) if you spent $50.00 or more.  I’ve read some reviews on the castle about it not holding together very long and that the figurines looked funny, but I decided for ½ price I couldn’t pass it up.

UPS delivered the castle while we were still at WDW.  Once we got home, I began to stow away the goods and noticed the box containing the castle had several holes and a rather large slash.  So big in fact, I could stick half of my hand inside it.  I never completely opened the UPS box because I automatically assumed the castle was damaged.  I emailed DisneyStore, they said they could issue a replacement and would pick up the damaged one.  After several weeks of miscommunication, I finally got a return label and UPS picked it up.  A week passed and I still hadn’t seen the replacement castle, I sent another email to DisneyStore and was asked to call - this can't be good.  

Sadly, during my call I was informed the castle was out of stock and they weren’t sure if/when it would be replenished.  I was upset to say the least, but had a little hope because I KNEW I saw several of the same castle within the Disney parks when we were just there.  I made a post on a Disney group I’m in on Facebook asking if anyone was willing to check for me and have it shipped to my home, I would be willing to pay for the trouble.  A few people replied letting me know the castle was G O N E.  Discontinued gone.  When I started searching for the item online (Amazon and Ebay) the price for the damn thing was triple the Disney price.  Obviously something was going on – why else would the item be so expensive?
::insert bulging eye balls::

Desperate and sad, I went searching.  Found that Disneyland has a castle inspired by their Sleeping Beauty castle and Amazon had it for $104.  It's essentially the same, only the castle is different - duh.  But each light up and I think make noise and came with 10 figurines.

I went ahead and ordered it.  But just to be 100% sure, I decided to reach out directly to Disney Parks Merchandise via email.  I received a reply on Monday telling me the exact sku# for the item I wanted WAS available.  There might be hope at the end after all.  Wednesday when I had time, I made the call to Disney Merchandise explained what I was looking for and that I was told it was available through email.  She was sweet, but gave me the dreaded news that the item was no longer in stock.  In fact, they had been completely out for over 2 weeks.  She even said she’s only sold 2 of those Cinderella Castle play sets this entire year.  But earlier this month, Disney released a brand new castle design and everyone jumped on the old model.  They’re ALL GONE.  ALL.GONE.  WAHHH!  At that moment I realized two things…no wonder it was probably on sale in September for $49.95 with a $50.00 purchase and no wonder the prices had skyrocketed on other online outlets.  She felt bad, and gave me an email address to file a complaint if I wanted to.

Once again, I typed up the dilemma that was nearing its 2mo mark.  I didn’t really expect a personal response.  Maybe just something like “We’re sorry, thank you for your feedback.”

But do you want to know what happened?  This morning I received a phone call from someone with Disney Merchandise who apologized profusely about the entire mishap.  She did explain that because of the new castle, Cinderella has been given the boot.  But she understood the error was on their end (or at least whoever wrote me the email on Monday) and she said:

“So we would like to send you the new castle free of charge.”

::insert bulging happy eye balls::

Are you kidding me?

A castle of $99 value….FREE for us?  Hip Hip Hooray!

So although I won’t be getting the Cinderella Castle Play set.  I already ordered (and received) the Sleeping Beauty castle play set and the new castle is on its way.

I guess it just goes to show, if you never try…you’ll never know if a resolution can be met.  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU Disney for making this as right as you possibly could.  A lot of people feel Walt's vision has been forgotten, but clearly not the case this time.  I know our daughter is only 3 and has no idea and could care less if she got a castle or box of sticks for Christmas.  But the excitement on her face makes this worthwhile!

Thank you pal!


Nov 9, 2015

Sleeping habits

Before we moved into the new house earlier this year, Persephone was still in her crib.  But she had gotten to the point of screaming and crying and jumping in the crib when we laid her down for bed.  As most first children, she got her way.  We started trading off nights and one of us would lay in the floor holding her hand until she fell asleep.  It might have taken 30min to be sure she was out, but then we still had a couple of hours to ourselves before WE went to bed.

Our first night in the new house, we went ahead and set up a full size bed in her room.  Since it was two big changes, I fell asleep in the bed with her and eventually woke up and got in my own bed.  Eight months in, and we're still trading off, only now one of us lays in her bed until she dozes off and then retreat.  But I usually fall asleep and Hardy has to come wake me up.  I can't help that I love sleep.

On the weekends, if we're home, I will usually lay down and nap with her too.  My mom says this is a bad habit and I shouldn't be taking naps anyway.  Of course I long for the alone time with my husband again, which is becoming a thing of the past because of this routine we've created.  The selfish side of me also enjoys cuddling with her because she's so sweet.  I can remember when I was in elementary school I used to have the radio on all night and a nightlight.  In middle school I dropped the radio and had a fan clipped to my nightstand and that was my "white noise."  We already use a Dyson in Persephone's room for noise, because that thing surely doesn't push air for crap!

Last night we attempted to have her go to bed by herself - didn't work.  She even talked about it on the phone with Mimi & Pops during our nightly FaceTime..but when it came down to it - no go.  We did bath, watched some of The Santa Clause 2 and then headed to bed.  We read a bedtime story (a new thing) and when I was done, she begged to read it again...I realized she was stalling.  I asked which babies she wanted in the bed with her and she started whining.  I offered to turn on her new Ariel nightlight which plays Under the Sea, but she continued with the whining.

Whining eventually led to begging and crocodile tears + hugging me around the neck telling me "I'm too wittle to sleep by myself".  The tears continued and I caved.  I know I'm not helping her by caving and I'm not helping me...but gosh darn she knows how to cut deep.  So Daddy told us goodnight and as it was "my turn" she asked me to cuddle her and we went to sleep.  I've learned in these 3yrs that every family is different.  You do what works for you.  I was comforted to see on Facebook when I posted about it that many people with children around the same age (or older) still experience issues in their childs sleep habits.  You can get all of the advice in the world, but still you have to do what is best for you and your family.  I am open to all ideas, the worst I can do is say no!  SO please post your advice...

Nov 6, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Last year, at work we did a group costume.  I was Snow White and 7 of my co-workers were the "7 Dwarfs".  It was hilarious and a lot of fun!  This year we tried to think of something to top 2014, but just couldn't.  We discussed being decades or m&m's and decades had the majority.

I was trying to be 90's goth, but I think I ended up looking more 80's oh well!

I used some hoop earrings I used to wear for my "piercings"

I also didn't have any black lipstick and refused to pay $5 for a tube, so I just used my eyeliner pencil... I kind of liked the snake bite piercing

Here I am with my decade buddy - Ashley..we're totes angry at the world

I thought it would be "cool" to pretend I smoked...then I got talked into actually sticking that nasty thing in my mouth.  It was pretty funny, but seriously that tasted nasty.

I was having such a hard time, at least Ashley stayed in character

And one with my BFFLADYFI Tabitha - she was my favorite

On Halloween, I sent her to school with a little kitty kat makeup, her Minnie Halloween shirt and some kitty leggings.  I wish I could do make-up better...even on myself.

On Halloween, we hosted our friends Shannon & Teddy (and Shannon's parents) as well as their little girl, Olivia again this year.  She and Persephone had a great time playing before and after trick or treat together.  We pulled them around in a wagon (super convenient haha).  Hardy's Mom and Dad stopped by to see Persephone and give her a goody bag!  She loved showing off her costume for them.  Shannon's parents brought over a yummy pot of chili and we ate dinner.  We got the girls in their costumes, the men set up outside to pass out candy and Shannon, her mother and I took the girls trick-or-treating.

Olivia was so helpful, she insisted on pulling Persephone most of the time!  Eventually Persephone got lazy and stopped getting in/out of the wagon.  Olivia started asking people at the door to give her extra candy for the tired baby hahaha.

This was our first Halloween in our new neighborhood and there were a TON of kids.  In fact, the men ran out of candy before hitting the 2hr mark.  We had to turn the lights off and go inside but some kids still knocked and rang the doorbell.

Persephone had what I call candy ADD, she wanted to try everything because she didn't like anything she tried.  She went from Nerds to Twizzlers to a DumDum and Skittles.  I look forward to Halloween at The Jones' again next year :)

Introducing Persephone *aka* Princess Rapunzel & Olivia the Pirate

These two gals, such hams

This is a cinnamon broom, but it can serve as a witches broom at Halloween

I love this photo...


The best Halloween accessory - E V E R

I'm so proud she wasn't afraid of T-Rex :)
But she did notice he wore tennis shoes....

Nov 4, 2015


Recently my friend Tabitha sent me an invite to join, so I did.  But if she asked me to jump off a bridge, I probably wouldn't be as quick to do so :)  I was able to choose a $10.00 gift card "reward" for signing up which would be sent to me after my first purchase.

Basically you do all the same online shopping you would any other day, but you go through the links on the Ebates site to do so.  They track your "shopping trips" so that if/when you do make a purchase, they're able to credit you cash back.  Certain stores off better incentives and sometimes double cash back.

For example, Amazon might offer 3% cash back, but it's only on certain departments.  Whereas Carter's could offer 2.5% cash back on all orders, period and may offer 6% cash back.  They're connected with a TON, and I mean a TON of online stores.  If you're a frequent online shopper, I would also suggest getting the Ebates "toolbar button" so that any time you visit a website, it will let you know if it's an Ebates affiliate and you can tell it to activate your cash back!  Another nice tool is that it'll notify you if there are coupons available at checkout and it'll attempt to apply them for you.  No more pulling up another window to search for coupon/discount codes!

I've only been a member for a month and already have $30.00 in cash back!  I'm getting paid to shop people. Ebates will send you a check and/or credit it to your PayPal account if you'd rather go that route.  Get to Christmas shopping now!  Make money while spending money,'s that simple.  Of course you get credits if you get referrals, but the referrals have to make a purchase before you receive anything.

What are you waiting for?  Sign up for Ebates now!