Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moving on Up

For the past month or so we’ve been working on getting our house ready to sell. No, there are no new additions coming along just yet. Although, if we don’t get started working on that soon I think John is going to take off. Poor guy was ready to be a dad yesterday and I’m a big mean hold out.
 
We are looking for more space both inside and out. Our ideal lot is a minimum of a quarter acre, preferably a half or more. We’d like to still be in the city, yet be able to have chickens (and goats if I get my way) and not wake up the neighbors (or John). The ideal house has the master, 2 bedrooms, a guest room and on office. The office doesn’t have to be a room, but John REALLY wants a man cave. Or at least a room where I can dump all my crap and not overtake his space.
 
Last month we met with our realtor and she came and evaluated the house. Evaluated is the nice way of putting because it was more like judging (but in the nicest Southern woman way possible). Let me start with the fact that I CLEANED that house. I was on my hands and knees dragging a bucket of soapy water through the house scrubbing it from top to bottom. The first thing she mentions, “you need to clean your baseboards.” I HAD! Yeah, so those just got painted white.
 
I should also mention that John is the cleaner of our house. I just didn’t grow up cleaning and am honestly not that good at it. I’ll do it, but as John says, I miss things that other people just would not.
 
I had also purged and cleaned out a lot of the clutter in our bedroom (which is really the place where John sleeps and I cover with all my stuff). John was even impressed by how good of a job I did. The realtor though? She was not. Pretty much the whole house was Faith needs to get rid of her crap and John’s space (the office) looks great.
 
And really, she wasn’t mean or awful about anything. She really did have great points and now that we’ve done pretty much all the things she said, the house really does look good. It’s just really hard to make it your house, that you’re leaving because you need more space, to look like no one will ever be able to fill this space. All while living there, but making it look like no one actually lives there. At this point I’m pretty much ready to do whatever she asks to have our house sold in the quickest amount of time as possible. I seriously do not know how people have their houses on the market for extended periods of time. I’d go insane. John also knows that I will quickly break if required to live like this for awhile. I just can’t. I don’t have it in me to wash every utensil after use, put every single clothing item away and to not leave my belongings throughout the house (yes I realize I sound like your child. John thinks I do too).
 
Tonight the realtor is coming to do the final staging. We still have a few things to do like get the boxes out of the kitchen and into storage, paint the trim around the front door and garage (waiting for the caulk to dry), mow the backyard, and then John needs to deep clean around the tub and toilets because my attempt at that was also not good enough.
 
Hopefully she doesn’t give us another big to do list. My goal is that this weekend we have pictures taken and then we get it on the market next week. The ultimate goal is to have it sold by the time I leave for BlogHer in August, but that may be wishful thinking.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What I'm Taking to BlogHer 12

Just a list of things I'll be taking with me to the conference:

My iPad


I bought the keyboard to go with it. It'll make blogging from the conference a bit easier.


I also got this keyboard case. I like that I can keep my iPad and the keyboard seperate and that I can use the keyboard case with my iPad case. I've already started using it and I couldn't be more happier with it.


Business Cards. These came in the mail this week from Zazzle and I couldn't be happier with them.

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Comfy shoes are mentioned time and time again. I won't make the mistake that I did in Europe and not head out without a bit of height to break up the flats. I plan on sporting my TOMS during the day and at night getting a small comfortable wedge out. I got these on clearance at DSW as one of the pairs I'll take with me.


I think the nude will go well with just about anything.

These just came in the mail yesterday and I love them! Breaking them in at work today and they're sooooo comfortable!



Another plus about these shoes? I forgot to put the free shipping code when I placed my order. I mentioned it in a tweet and DSW contacted me and took the shipping off! Awesome!

Things I still need: A great conference bag

Like this:


Or this:


Or this:



or this:


Source: eshakti.com via Faith on Pinterest



I don't really plan on doing much shopping for clothes for the conference. I pretty much have what I want to take with me in my closet. The BlogHer12 twitter feed did introduced me to eShakti and I fell in love! They have such cute and affordable things and the best part is that you can also customize them.


Source: eshakti.com via Faith on Pinterest

Source: eshakti.com via Faith on Pinterest

Source: eshakti.com via Faith on Pinterest


Source: eshakti.com via Faith on Pinterest


Isn't their stuff adorable?





Other things I need:

Erin and I are going to make tutus to wear to Sparklecorn



I have gold glitter heels that I wore to Vegas so I think I'll make mine gold with either pink or teal. I just need to find a top and will match my coordinating color to that.

I also want some new pajama bottoms. I currently have one pair of lounge pants that fit. I hate that it's so hard to find pants that are long enough. I can never find cute pants in long this time of year. Sometimes around Christmas I can, but this past year I didn't buy any.

So I'm thinking of sewing a pair. I should actually lead with, I have never sewn anything in my entire life and the first thing I want to sew are pants. Eek! I've watched about 10 different videos on it and it looks fairly simple. We'll see how it goes!

What are you taking with you? Anything else you recommend?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Garden Update

This year I decided to actually track how much I harvested from the garden. It's been doing great so far, but as the heat kicks in I think everything will start to slow down.

Here's what I've gotten so far:

Green beans (which are finished) - 2 1/2 pounds

Zucchini (which have been replanted after being wiped out by vine borers) - 6 ounces

Squash (also replanted after vine borers killed it) - 13 ounces

Bell Peppers - 2 pounds

Jalapenos - 3 ounces

Tomatoes - 23 pounds 3 ounces

As you can tell the tomatoes are going crazy and those are just the ones I've planted, not the ones from the chickens. I plan on making some sauce to freeze and then can some salsa. I'm definitely happy with the amount I've gotten so far. I wish the jalapenos were doing a little better and that the squash and zucchini weren't taken out so quickly by vine borers. The only thing that didn't take this year was lettuce. I just couldn't get it to grow.

How are your gardens faring this year?

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Year YOU Choose the Games

The Hinchman Olympics are less than a month away. As this is the 5th Anniversary and the actual Summer Olympics are happening again, this is going to be a BIG year.

I plan to bring back some crowd favorites - Chubby Bunnies, How's it Hanging and the Beer Relay. We'll also play jello shot bingo once again.

This year, you can help choose the games for our Annual Competition. Take a minute to rank your favorite game or suggest some new ones.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Even Positive Comments Can Make a Difference


This time last year I started having problems with my car. I’d be on a long road trip in the middle of no where and suddenly my car would no longer accelerate. I could be flooring it and it wouldn’t go anywhere. The three times it happened I was always able to turn it off for a bit, restart it, and everything would be fine.

Last July when my grandfather died I took it to the Ancira Nissan dealership to get looked at. The last thing I needed was for it to crap out on me during a drive to Indiana (I ended up riding with my parents anyways). They couldn’t find anything wrong with the car. They drove it all over and the problem never happened. They were really nice about it and just asked that the next time it happens I bring it in. I totally get that there are 80 billion sensors on cars nowadays and if the problem isn’t happening they can’t do anything about it.

When I picked up my car, I checked in on Foursquare at the dealership and typed, “Of course they couldn’t find anything wrong with my car.” My check in was then posted to my Twitter feed. A day later during the road trip with my parents I get an email from April Ancira (a VP of Ancira Auto Group) asking about my car and what they can do to help. See, she had done a search and seen my Tweet and Check In. She found my blog address on my Twitter profile and found my email address via my blog. At first I wasn’t sure that it was her, so I looked her up on Twitter and asked if she had emailed me. Turns out it was her!

We emailed a few times. I explained that I was not in any way upset with the service I received and completely understood that they weren’t able to solve my car problem. John and I have bought 3 cars from Ancira Nissan and are big fans. She then had the Service Manager contact me. He and I have emailed a few times as well and he was watching the Nissan message boards to see if a problem similar to mine has come up.

That was about a year ago. Despite many long road trips in the past year, I haven’t had the problem happen again. In a way I thought it was a fluke.

This past weekend I drove to Houston for my little brother’s engagement party. About 2 hours into the drive I started having problems. There was a sudden downshift and I couldn’t accelerate. I tried reaching the dealership and they were closed for the day.  Not really knowing what to do, but not wanting to miss an opportunity to get the car looked at I emailed April and asked if she knew of an affiliated dealership in Houston. I wasn’t wanting to hit up the “competition” but also didn’t want to have problems on my way home the next day. I continued to drive and somehow, the problem fixed itself. I eventually had to stop for gas and didn’t have any issues on the remainder of the trip. April did email me back, didn’t know anyone in Houston, but was willing to Google a Nissan dealership for me close to where I was staying. Talk about customer service!

I let her know that I was heading back the next day and that it had somehow fixed itself. I was kind of hoping I’d have problems on the way back so I could get it figured out and well, you get what you wish for!

The acceleration problems happened almost right off the bat. If you’ve EVER driven from San Antonio to Houston no one goes the speed limit. I remember on the way out I was going about 85 and people were passing me. Seriously!? So when your car suddenly turns off cruise control and basically slams on the breaks for you, dropping you from 75 to 60, you’re going to have a problem. The time that happened I was luckily in the right lane and could immediately pull over. Plus did I mention I was in middle of nowhere Texas? Yeah. Here’s the map. 

Untitled

There’s NOTHING out here. San Antonio to Houston is more boring than the 35 split you take in Hillsboro on the way to Dallas.

This time turning off the car wasn’t fixing it. I drove like this for another 30 minutes to an hour when I eventually stopped for gas. After gassing up the car was fine, but making a loud whining noise. It’s always whined a bit, but this was bad. I even tried to record it so I could take it with me to the dealership the next day. (Yeah, that didn’t work)

This morning John was off and I asked him if he could please get up early and take me to drop my car off. Just as we were walking out I get a call from the dealership (Thank you April!) I talked to Brian about the problems I’m having and say that I was just about to head over there.  He says, “Great. I’ve even got a loaner car ready for you.” Loaner car!? John was happy to go back to bed!

I dropped my car off this morning and was told they were going to keep it until they figured out the problem. Awesome.

Well I’ve already gotten the call that it needs a brand new transmission. Thank god it’s under warranty because I have no idea how we could ever afford to fix it. Plus I get to stay in the loaner car until the transmission comes in. It’s on backorder so it looks like the 15th of June, but could be earlier or later.

We’ve all seen events play out where people try to use social media to get something free, or a legitimate concern goes unnoticed despite attempts to reach out. I in no way expected to hear anything from Ancira. I have no idea the role that April may or may not have it any of it. I’m just amazed by the customer service we’ve received even before I ever tweeted anything about it. I was never upset about anything. It just shows that even positive comments also make a difference.
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