Friday, October 2, 2015

Update on my break up with Target...

Recently I wrote about my potential break up with Target. I wrote a really heartfelt letter to the CEO clearly explaining what happened and why I was upset. I purposely did not e-mail customer service through the website. I went to the trouble of snail-mailing a real, old fashioned letter in the hopes that the CEO or someone in the corporate office would read it.

It may seem silly but I've been a loyal and regular Target shopper for at least 20 years.  I seriously shop there at least 50 times a year.  That is at least 1000 visits in the past two decades.

I was hoping that someone in the corporate office would, at the very least, drop me a line and say "Sorry Japolina. Don't break up with us. We love you!"

Unfortunately, I only got a email  from someone with only a first name  and it was very form-letter-like in content. 

I've written back in a last ditch hope that Target will give me some love back, but it is not looking very good. Maybe the break up will stick. Think of all of the extra money I'll have in January if I don't walk in there between Black Friday and Christmas! 

I"ll keep you updated. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cauliflower Risotto, mini tastykakes and me as peppermint patty...

I'm seriously trying to blog at least once a week and given my extreme state of craziness these days, here are three random things....

First of all, my friend told me about this Cauliflower Risotto from Whole Foods. It is the holy grail of diet foods. It is just cauliflower cut up in the texture of rice so you steam it and get the feeling of eating carbs while eating just cauliflower! It is nobel peace prize worthy.  I just steamed in the microwave, seasoned it and ate it with grilled chicken. Heaven! It is in the section of whole foods where the cut up fruits and veggies are.  It was about $3.00 for a package.  

Not as healthy, but certainly diet worthy, are these tastykake minis that influenster voxbox sent me. Three are under 200 calories and pretty darn good.

I also made myself into a Peanut's character.  I think I sort of look like a cross-dressing charlie brown or something. This avatar certainly looks like she's been pounding the Tastykakes right?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I may be breaking up with Target.

I love Target.  I love that they get new stuff that I really don't need but want, on a daily basis. I love that they are open at 8:00 a.m. , when everything else is closed. I love that I can buy toilet paper, bananas, shampoo, a dress and an iPad all in the same place. I love that I never leave Target without running into a least one of my Mommy-friends.  I love that with my Target debit card I get 5% off on everything but they money comes right out of the bank account and does not put me in debt like other store branded cards.

 However, the love affair may be over.  Target and I are on the rocks.   My Target experience has been less than stellar lately.  It all started when my Target became a mini-super market a couple of years ago.  It is in nice neighborhood and the store was already quite busy so when they added food, the checkout lines became crowded.  I tried to avoid visiting my love in the afternoons when the store is now insane and still managed to keep the affair going by visiting in the mornings. 

I then noticed that they just started understaffing the checkout lanes during the mornings, so even though the store is not crowded, I still had to wait a long time to checkout. After 20-plus years in this relationship, it was not a deal breaker yet.

This morning I went to see my love to buy cat food and paper towels and ended up with a cart full of stuff that I did not need but had to have including  these two things... 

Sonia Karsuk Spice Market Pallette at Target
(by the way, I rarely buy makeup in drugstores or target so this really was an impulse buy!)
Palazzo Pants

What started out as a joyous date, almost made me ditch old Tar-Jay for good.  They put in those self check out lanes.  They seem good in theory but in actuality, are always more work than just having a human check you out.  The problem is, that they put in four of these self checkout machines and decided to have even less human check out lanes.  I wanted to go home to play with my new makeup and prance around in my new pants and the two lanes that were open were filled with people with full carts. 

I decided to try out the new check out lanes and when I went to pay, the machine froze. The self-checkout checker person came over and could not unfreeze. Then the manager on duty came over and she could not unfreeze. They had to then move all of my crap that I did not need over to a human checkout line and re-ring me up. If I did not need the cat food, I would have just abandoned the whole endeavor.  

While normally I could forgive my sweet Target for the problem, when the manager barely apologized and her excuse for the issue was that they were "new machines", I got angry. If they are new machines, why aren't the people that work there trained on them before they let them loose on housewives like good old Japolina? I am good at many things but checkout clerk is not one of my skills. If they are new machines and no one knows how to work them, why were there only two checkout lanes open on a busy Saturday morning? 

I have written to Target's corporate office and hopefully they will say something besides "sorry they are new machines" to me or the love affair may be over. If I want crappy service I can go down the street to Wal-mart where the prices are lower and I never succumb to impulse buying like I do with Target. If they write back, I'll let you know. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Five Fun things....

I barely ever blog about eBay but I'm trying to post at least once a week so that does not think that I've fallen off the face of the earth. My clients must have read my Konmari (art of tidying up) post because they have been giving me carloads of amazing stuff this month.  I don't know when I am going to get all of it photographed, measured and listed because I am crazy-busy with my other jobs (lawyer, crazy college application mom, regular crazy mom of teenagers, etc).

Here are a few interesting things that I have found time to list. I wish that I could keep them all! 

This is a must for any espresso lover that needs a teapot!

The client who gave this to me actually wore it around LA in the 80's!

I'll try to blog about something more interesting next week, but in the meantime, have any of you been cleaning out closets lately? If so, what is the funniest thing that you have found?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Six things that I packed but did not really need during my trip...

A few weeks ago I blogged about the six things that I was really glad that I had packed  in my huge amount of luggage that I hauled around four states, three planes and six hotels during my two week trip. Given that summer is officially over and you are probably not traveling for a while, here are my travel tips.  Oh well, you can file these in the back of your brain and pull them out the next time you are packing. 

In this post, I want to tell you about six things that I really did not need. Do me a favor and don't tell my husband because he was lugging the heaviest of my luggage all over the country.

1. A camera other than my iPhone.  I decided that my DSLR camera and lenses too up too much room so I brought a good compact point and shoot camera.  My iPhone 6 takes such good photos and is so handy that I did not need any other camera. Here is a photo that I took with my iPhone.  Not bad, eh? 

2.   Shampoo and Conditioner for 14 days. I don't wash my hair every single day at home, why did I think that I needed hair products for every single day.  I did not. Had I run out of them, I could have just purchased more.  Waste of space.

3. Maps.  We were doing lots of driving in unfamiliar territory, I printed out mapquests for every leg of the trip.  Both of our phones have GPS's.  We did not look at the maps or directions at all.  
Waste of paper.

4.   Lots of handbags.  For some reason I packed a lot of purses. I have my trusty (and should be retired) messenger bag that has logged in thousands of miles but I also took a Longchamp foldable tote, a small crossbody bag and two clutch handbags.   This was just stupid and took up a lot of precious space.  One day and one evening bag would have been fine.
I have had this Prada nylon bag for about 8 years.  It was pricey but if I did an analysis of per wear cost of usage it would be in the pennies. It is the absolute best travel handbag ever and I use it for every day use more than any other bag in my closet.  It is not the cutest and mine is looking it's age but it is a true workhorse. I am hoping that Santa Claus (or Hannukkah Harry) brings me a new one this year! 

5.  Too many shoes.  While in my real life, I would never utter the three words "too many shoes" but packing two pairs of sneakers, four pairs of sandals and one pair of heels was just a bit too much. I needed the heels for the business trip part of the trip but I could have done without some of the other ones, especially the ones that were not made for walking.   Not to sound like an old lady but when you travel, comfortable feet are really happy feet.

6. My  laptop computer.  I was on vacation so I don't know why I lugged my laptop. It is small but still took up room. An iPad does just about everything that a laptop does so I would not have missed it at all. 

Ok, so what are your tips about what NOT to bring on vacation. I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


      I always feel like September is the start of the new year because  I've been planning my life around a school calendar for most of my life. January actually feels like mid-year to me so  "HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

     Instead of making New Year's resolutions, I am in the throes of nagging assisting my son with college applications. It is so much more complicated than when I applied for college. I think there might be a lot of blogging material there. Should I start a separate blog? Will that topic bore you? Will this topic age me 20 years by the time we know what the college plan is actually going to be? Please weigh in.

   In the meantime, let's go back to a happier time when Thomas the Tank Engine was the only thing we thought about around here.  My boys were addicted to Thomas Videos (yes, we had VHS back in the old days).  Thomas is good clean fun and the stories really have did have calming effect on my boys. This   was a real game-changer around 5:00 p.m. on weekdays ( "the bewitching hour").

   Lucky you, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is releasing a new Thomas & Friends Blu-ray/DVD on September 8th. It's called “THOMAS & FRIENDS: SODOR'S LEGEND OF THE LOST TREASURE”  and they have asked me to host a giveaway of a copy!

    If you have a little one who would enjoy this Blu-Ray/DVD, just leave a comment below. I am going to do a random drawing from all comments received before midnight E.S.T. on Wednesday September 2nd so comment quickly. I'll announce the winner Thursday morning.

Shiver me timbers! Surprises await Thomas and his friends as they dig up their most daring adventure yet. Unearthing an old pirate ship, Thomas is on the hunt for Sodor’s lost treasure. When Thomas rocks the boat with some new friends, trouble soon rushes in. Will Thomas track down the treasure in time or will Sailor John set sail with it?  Join Thomas & Friends™ in this explosive movie adventure!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Six things that I was really happy that I packed for my long vacation.

I recently went away on a trip. It was a voyage, not a relaxing vacation.  14 days, three flights, six different hotels.  The itinerary included visiting my kids at sleep away camp in North Carolina, horning in on my husband's business trip in Northern California & Southern Oregon, and vacationing in three other spots 

I needed to pack clothing for the heat wave, for hiking and biking, for the cool San Francisco weather and for looking presentable as the wife of a business executive while meeting tons of his colleagues in a convention-like setting.   How did I pack lightly for such a range of different types of climates and events? I DID NOT.  My suitcase weighed a ton. I have no advice as to how to cut down other than pack lots of black clothing.

However there are six things that I am really glad that I had packed as they really came in handy:

1. A travel hair dryer. I have long hair. Those little dryers that they provide in hotels just don't do it for me. I don't want frizzy hair in vacation photos so I purchased this little baby since my last one died on a cruise ship.  It is tiny but powerful. I got it at Bed Bath and Beyond for $29.99 (less one of those 20% off coupons), so it was a bargain. I was really happy that I had it.
Yes, I wear this silly eyemask, even on airplanes!

2. Earplugs and an eye mask.   Even if you are lucky to be sharing a hotel room with someone who does not snore, hotels can be noisy. Even if you are used to the noise in your own home, the new noises might prevent you from getting some shut eye. I always pack these cute pink earplugs that are made for women with dainty little ear holes like me. At least one part of me is dainty.

3. Lysol Wipes.  I'm not a germaphobe but there is nothing worse than getting sick while away from home. I always carry wipes when I travel. I wipe down the airplane seat, arm rests and tray tables before I settle in. I also wipe down any handle, knob, remote control and telephone in any hotel room before I do anything else.  It can't hurt.

4. A magnifying mirror with suction cups.  If you are of a certain age like me, your eyes are not as great at they were. While some hotels have magnifying mirrors, it is not a universal thing so  I throw a small one in my make up bag so that I don't end up walking around with eyeliner all over my face

5. Chargers, chargers, chargers. Every time we were in the room, my husband and I both needed to charge our phones, tablets and laptops.   I was happy that every device had an individual charger so we could charge everything at once. Remember, even if you are not talking or texting, these days you are probably using your phone as a GPS, Travel guide and camera when you travel. It all just eats those batteries up. 

6. Bonine/Dramamine & a small pharmacy. We were on some very scary mountain roads and a ferry.  I sometimes get motion sickness so popping a Bonine (which does not make me drowsy) was a brilliant idea for everyone, especially the rental car company.  I also traveled with small packets of benadryl, advil, bandaids, etc. My little emergency kit was small but mighty.  It is true that almost every place you go has a store where you can buy anything you might need, but in the middle of the night (or in the middle of a forrest), it was nice to be prepared.

My next post will contain six things that I did not really need during my trip...

Do you have any suggestions to add to my list of things to bring on a long trip?