Lululemon Made Me Feel Like a Million Bucks

Last week in a fit of frustration with a pair of floppy leggings, I published an article titled “Lululemon Makes Me Feel Fat.” What happened next completely changed my opinion of the Lululemon brand and was a shining example of what has become a rarity these days- stellar customer service.

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One very happy customer at Lululemon Jacksonville

Within hours of publishing the article, there was a message on my phone from the manager of our local Lululemon store, saying she read the article and wanted to speak with me because that is the LAST way they want anyone to feel. While I was trying to work through a bit of anxiety and muster up the courage to call back, my phone rang again and I did the one thing I hardly ever do- I answered it.

The store manager Vee immediately put me at ease and invited me to come back to the store to get properly fitted with a new pair of leggings. She said when I had visited in November, there were a lot of seasonal workers, and she’d like to set me up with Liza, who had been with them for a long time and was basically a leggings expert.

I will be the first to admit I am the worst at asking for help, so this is really where I went wrong on my first visit. I briefly conferred with the salesperson and then chose the leggings I thought had the cutest pattern. When buying anything high-end, even leggings, you need to be ready to ask for help so you make the right choice.

To say I am impressed with Lululemon is an understatement. Mind. Blown. If I still had my boutique, I’d be taking notes from them on how to handle customer service and a customer complaint. Not only have they won me over as a customer, but I’ve only told 9 billion people how amazing they are since yesterday.

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When I arrived, they had a dressing room waiting with a bunch of different styles set up in my size, and Liza took the time to go over what activity each one was designed for, how it was supposed to fit, special features and types of fabric. Not only that, but I was greeted with a personalized sign on the fitting room, flowers, balloons and a handwritten card.

Like I said, Mind. Blown.

They were completely right about my size – I was a six in most styles. Some of the styles with a thicker material I was actually a four! So not only was I NOT feeling fat on this visit, but I was feeling pretty darn good about my gym progress.

With each try-on, I did sit-ups, jumped around the dressing room, touched my toes and basically bent every which way trying to see if they were going to roll or flop or do something weird. This is also something I should have done this first time! Put on those leggings and then see how they perform doing the thing you are going to use them for.

I narrowed down my choices based on performance and finally went with the Fast and Free Crop II. I was swayed by the side pockets and the super lightweight feel of the fabric. And the fact that no matter which way I bent and twisted, they stayed in place!

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Winner! Winner! Grilled chicken breast and salad dinner!

I finally get the whole Lululemon thing. I wore these to the gym and felt great. I totally understand what they mean by “naked sensation” now. That actually took some getting used too! lol. But I’m a total believer. My only problem now is that I want more!

I don’t usually write negative articles, but I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome after publishing my previous experience. And after posting about it on Facebook, I found this level of customer service is not an isolated incident. My friend Lindsey responded saying she wasn’t surprised with their actions, seeing how they made her first Mother’s Day special with a gift and flowers while her boyfriend Christian was thousands of miles away running across America to raise money for Help for Children, a charity focused on preventing and treating child abuse. Lululemon is one of the sponsors for his RUN2HEAL event, where he will run 3,000 miles from coast-to-coast with a goal of raising 1 million dollars for the charity. If you are interested in donating, learning more, or even joining Christian for part of his run, check out RUN2HEAL and click “Help me fight.”

So this concludes the saga of the leggings, a tale with a very happy ending! I’d be interested to hear about other companies stepping up like this. Leave me a comment and give a shout-out to a company who has done you right and is a good example of excellent customer service.

 

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day! Yes, even you, Darth Vader.

I randomly found this image online one Father’s Day and thought it was funny. I had no idea it came from a book called Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown, until a friend surprised me with the book she found at a garage sale. There’s also one with Leia called Vader’s Little Princess, which I recently sent to a friend as a baby shower gift.

The funny thing about the book is that it is just individual cartoons. It’s not an actual story. So it’s not exactly a kid’s book. However, my son has no idea it’s not a bedtime story so now it’s my job to make it one! He absolutely loves the book, but it’s a terrible read, so you have to make up a story to go along with the pictures. He can’t read so he has no idea.

So the story goes something like this: Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, Luke woke up early and drank blue milk, then he got in a fight with his sister for playing with his toys, then he wanted to play with Han Solo and his dad said no, then he asked to get a Jar Jar Binks doll so Vader said no, let’s draw pictures of the Sith…and so on.

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See? Not the greatest story. Sometimes I skip big chunks of the book because I just don’t have a good story to go with it. And his dad Vader kind of seems like a jerk because he won’t let him play with Han, Greedo or get a Jar Jar doll. But then he plays with him, takes him for ice cream and fixes a booboo so he’s not all bad. I try to weave a nice story around it, all the while wondering, when he actually watches Star Wars the first time is he going to be like, “This isn’t how it happens!! Why is Darth Vader doing that??”

I guess I’ll just deal with that when the time comes! Until then, I’ll be making Vader out to be Father of the Year, lol.

So Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Hope you get a nice shiny new Death Star.

 

 

Hello Summer, I’ve Missed You! 5 Ways I Prepared for the Return of Summer

Summer vacation always seemed like a magical time. You said your goodbyes at school and unless you lived in pretty much the same neighborhood, you lost touch all summer until you showed up on the first day of school taller, tanner and usually with a new hair cut. There was no Facebook to check and see that Becky used Sun-In until she bleached her hair yellow-orange or that Brad grew two feet in three months. It was always a surprise on the first day of school to see how everyone had changed.

Now that my son is in pre-school and I’m a stay-at-home-mom, summer time really means something again. Mostly the loss of any and all my free time, but also a new defined moment in time that I had forgotten about over the years. So to prepare for my newly rekindled love affair with summer vacation, here are 5 Ways I Prepared for the Return of Summer:

#1 -Bring on the Blond – The first thing I did was give my hair a summer jumpstart by heading to Cortello Salon for a full head of highlights. A little more blond gets me in the summer mood. They also set me up with their own brand of hair oil, Reform Beauty 4U, that offers UV protection, plus makes hair look all smooth and silky. The goal here is to end the summer without the dreaded bleached-out straw hair.

#2 – A little portable shade – I got a pop-up tent off Amazon because I always need a break from the sun when I’m at the beach. I just can’t handle it like I used to when I was younger and could fry myself all day and not even break a sweat. It’s great for the kids too! It pops up really easily, but folding it back down into a little disk to fit in its bag is a pain in the butt. I had to watch a YouTube video to figure it out and even then it was a struggle. I’ve seen a lot of people just folding them down flat and carrying them back to the car in defeat.

#3 – A new bikini – I went to Target and actually got myself TWO new bikinis because they were so reasonably priced. So here is my first bikini photo in three years. None of my pre-baby bikinis seemed to offer enough coverage to withstand a day at the beach that involves sandcastle building, wave jumping and toddler-wrangling. I was happy to find one that didn’t ride up my butt and they came as separates so I could get the top one size bigger and not worry about anything popping out when bending over to pick up the kiddo. This suit is by Mossimo and the print is called Primrose Chevron.

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#4 – A new sun hat – I needed something to shade my face so I was in search of a big floppy hat. I got a straw hat by Billabong that was immediately commandeered by my son. I feel like I have a whole collection of big floppy sun hats in my future.

#5 – Sunscreen in bulk – I got a couple of sunscreen multi-packs so I could have sunscreen stashed everywhere! It’s in the car, garage, front and back porch, beach bag, bathrooms… so there’s no excuse not to grab it on the way out. Now that the summer bugs are starting to show up, I’ll be doing this soon with bug spray too.

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So now that I’m ready head-to-toe (I got a bright blue pedicure too) it’s time to hit the beach! And hide in my tent with my hat and sunscreen, lol.

What are your summer essentials?

10 Unique Gift Ideas for Dads

Father’s Day is coming up June 17, so it’s time to get those presents planned! When kids are little all the pressure is on mom to come up with something good. Dads can be a little harder to shop for sometimes, so here’s my list of 10 Unique Gift Ideas for Dads that I have personally tried and recommend. Some of these also work great for anniversary gifts as well.

There is one Amazon link in the list, but for full discourse this is a totally non- sponsored post. I’m not trying to sell anything, no hidden agenda, just help with ideas 😁

#1 – Personalized Super Dad Book from ISeeMe.com

My husband loved this one! He got his present early because the box arrived and Keelan is obsessed with opening packages. He’s convinced they all must have toys for him inside. (He’s right about 1/3 of the time, lol) But really, such a cool book! K couldn’t wait to show it to him as soon as he got home. He took it to work with him and everybody loved it. The book’s story is about how dad is a superhero in daily life, whether it’s killing spiders or mowing the lawn. You can send in a photo or just choose hair color, hair style, facial hair and skin tone. They include dad’s name, plus up to four other people. It’s funny, cute and totally unique!

#2 – Map of All the Places You’ve Been

This is a great gift for the family that likes to travel. I got Sean this Push Pin Travel Map off Etsy last year. It’s 24″ x 36″ and comes really nicely framed and ready to hang on the wall. It’s made so you can put push-pins in all the places you’ve been and you can personalize a little plague in the bottom left corner. Our’s is hanging in the stairwell and I couldn’t get a good photo, so here’s the lovely one from their website:

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#3 – The Photo Mug

Is it original? No, not really, but I do totally love mine. I got Sean one of these for his 2nd Father’s Day. You can’t have too many coffee mugs right? I had our’s made at Snapfish.com because there’s always some good coupon to use where you save a ton. So remember to look for a promo code!

#4 – The Art Mug

A step up from the Photo Mug as far as originality goes. And I’ll confess I didn’t actually get one for Sean, but I got one for me and then he complained he didn’t get one so that’s proof that dads DO want one – your child’s artwork on a mug. Just snap a pic and upload it on Shutterfly to one of their blank mug designs. They also always offer good coupon codes too!

#5 – A Mani-Pedi Appointment 

If your man had never experienced a mani-pedi, I highly recommend it. If not hands and feet, at least go for the feet. Guys never take care of their feet! I know this is something the ladies usually get, but it’s for your benefit too. Who hasn’t been scratched by a husband’s ragged nails or worse, a ragged toenail?! Tell them they can just get a buff and shine and nobody will know they spent an hour getting their nails done.

#6 – Set Up 2 or 3 Date Nights 

This is something that is great for anniversaries too! I’m a firm believer in date night. We’ve been together 18 years so making a little effort is important. Sometimes it gets a little stressful just trying to set it up, figure out where to go, arrange a babysitter, etc. So take the pressure off and plan 2 -3 nights where you have reservations squared away and the babysitter scheduled. This is a great chance to plan those things you’ve been wanting to do or places you’ve been wanting to dine at. It’s a win for everybody!

#7 – The Dad Stereotype Theme Basket

Our first Father’s Day came shortly after K was born, and I was NOT up to doing anything creative or unique. So I grabbed a bunch of stuff at the grocery stuff that was super typical dad stuff and called it a gift basket. I got him Old Spice Bearglove body wash, because I thought it sounded hilarious, along with shaving cream, socks and beer. I would have added a tie, but they don’t sell those at Publix.

#8 – An Engraved Spyderco Cricket

A pocketknife isn’t totally unique, but this Spyderco Cricket is! It’s a really cool little 2.75″ knife that clips on your pocket. It also has a nice smooth and flat silver handle surface that is perfect for engraving. I’d have loved to post a picture of the one I had done for Sean, but upon requesting it, he confessed he hasn’t seen it since our move. He wore it quite often so this is sad news and I hope it shows up again soon. So until then, here’s a pic off Amazon that doesn’t really do it justice. It folds down really small and on the other side of the flat surface is a little clip to attach it inside a pocket. This little knife has come in handy many times!31aCtxEiW1L.jpg

#9 – A Cool Watch

Not just any watch, but a cool watch. I’ve always thought pocket watches were unique, so I got Sean this really neat steampunk looking one from Nixon. I took things a bit further and did some sexy steampunk pics for him with the new watch, (It was actually for an anniversary gift), but that’s optional 😉

As a side note, while looking to see if this watch was still available, I saw that Nixon has come out with a new Star Wars line of watches! Those would be pretty awesome for a Star Wars loving dad.

# 10 – What You Really Wanted

Last year I had a crummy Mother’s Day, so guess what I did on Father’s Day? I gave Sean the present I really wanted. The thing I had been hinting about. It was a neat picnic backpack that fit a bottle of wine, glasses, all your dinnerware and a blanket. I thought it would be perfect for the beach (and it was). So if your Mother’s Day didn’t turn out the way you expected and you didn’t get everything you want, maybe dad would like those things too! Maybe dad has no choice! Ha!

91rPCmv3NvL._SL1500_.jpgI hope this gave you a few ideas you might not have thought of yet! If anything, it at least reminded me that I should probably get something together soon. Hope you all have a Happy Father’s Day!

Holding Myself Accountable – Book Progress

A good way to hold yourself accountable while trying to accomplish something is to be public about it, so I started the year by announcing I was writing a book about my IVF experience. We are six months into the year and I’ve actually made some progress!

I finally wrote my intro and got some focus. I had been bouncing all over the place with the direction- did I want to just include the funny stories or the boring medical details? I thought about how when I was going through it, I was obsessed with reading ALL the details. I wanted to know everything about other peoples’ experiences. That’s how I discovered the world of infertility blogs and started my own. There just weren’t any good books about it!

I was worried including the other stuff would make it boring for readers, but then I realized, this isn’t a book I’m expecting all my friends to go out and purchase. I have a focus and an audience and I should be true to that rather than try to water it down for a more mass appeal.

So the first book (that’s right, first!) will focus on the infertility struggle and IVF, plus the pregnancy because going through as a high-risk patient is WAY different than a regular pregnancy. Then that will set me up for book #2 which will be funny stories about raising my son and motherhood.   #goals!

Still, every time someone asks about how the book is coming along, I think of Family Guy when Stewie pesters Brian about his book with, “How you uh, how you comin’ on that novel you’re working on? Huh? Got a big stack of papers there? Got a nice little story?…”

HowsThatNovelI also finally made a decision to self-publish. To be honest, it wasn’t so I could stay true to my vision or keep all the profits. It was because the process of finishing this and submitting it a million places, and then waiting and hoping just seemed too nerve wracking. Through the infertility struggles, I experienced enough waiting and hoping to last a lifetime. I just want to write it and get it out there.

If anyone has a self-publishing company to recommend, or tips and advice, I’d be happy to hear it! I keep trying to research options but there are so many I feel like my brain is going to explode with option overload. That’s one more box I’d like to check off though, so I know exactly how much this is going to cost and what steps I need to take to get it ready to publish. Right now I’m still working on step 1: finishing the book!