Monday, November 30, 2009

Cool Jewelry

Our sister is doing a hand-stamped jewelry give-a-way! She hand makes all sorts of cool jewelry (as seen on her blog) and she is giving away some for Christmas (it will be all personalized). Check it out!

Here is the give-away link

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday

Black Friday :) Not "the-day-after-thanksgiving-sale" but BLACK FRIDAY! Woke up around 9 am and giggled at all the people that had been at work since 10 pm the night before (Banana was open for 23 hours...). Brenan and I cruised into Park City expecting it to be mayhem. When we pulled into Redstone (the shopping center) the parking lot was empty!! We got a front row parking spot at Best Buy and walked in to very clean, organized, uncrowded store. It was fabulous! I walked around for a few minutes, picking up games and movies, and waited in line to check out for about 4 minutes. 4 minutes!!

We went over to work about 30 minutes early to try and find parking. After some yelling and horn-honking we decided to skip the parking lot and park down the street. We perused some stores and ended up splurging a little at Bath & Body Works. To make our apartment feel more like a home, we got some yummy smelling candles (frosted cranberry and fig leaves) and some evergreen spray for our fake tree to smell like a real tree. LOVE it.

Work was chaos. Hundreds of customers and only 15-ish employees at all times. Yikes. Some people were pulling double shifts just to help us get the store organized. I imagine they were there until midnight but we left after ten. We could have stayed longer, but we wanted to come home and play our new video games that we had just purchased.

Here are our treasures from the week:
Blu-ray: Star Trek, Transporter 2, Valkyrie, Quantum of Solace, X-Men Origins:Wolverine, Taken
DVD: 17 again, Seinfeld seasons 4-6
PS3: DJ Hero,Wolverine, Batman Arkam Asylum, NBA live '10, Transformers
Wii: Wii resort, Super Mario Brothers, Wii Fit

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Primary is such a fun calling. Brenan and I teach the CTR 6 class (5&6 year olds). This is what our lesson went like today...

Rachel: Who memorized the first article of faith?
K: I went to a party last week, and it was a pirate party and there were really hard games and this gun game that shot kind of like soft bullets and I got like 1000 tickets.
Rachel: Anyone else?
S: We believe, that's all I know.
Rachel: Good start bud. Anyone else?
J: We believe in God The Eternal Father, and in Jerusalem.
Rachel: Jerusalem? Good start, you're really close. Maybe next week.
Brenan: What is fasting?
J: I finally learned how to jump on  pogo stick. It's really easy now.
Brenan: What does a pogo stick have to do with fasting?
S: Don't eat a pogo stick!
K: I'm really excited for Christmas.
Rachel: Me, too. Ok, what can we fast for?
S: Next time I fast, I'm fasting for a lot of Christmas presents.
K: It's almost Thanksgiving, then Christmas will be here!
S: I wake up before my parents and find all of my presents and unwrap them, then I wrap them up again so they can't tell. Then I know all of my presents.

J: ..."and we pray that we'll get lots of Christmas presents and drive home safely. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Loyal beyond reason

Here is the post that I have been meaning to get to. I hope I can give it justice from all of the jumble in my brain. My point is to emphasize the importance of customer service from both and employee and client perspective. At my new job at the St. Regis, we had a training about being 'loyal beyond reason.'  

To give a little background/exercise, our presentor asked us, "What brand are you loyal to beyond reason?" I liked this example most so I will use it. Someone said "Starbucks." You know that everytime you go to Starbucks, you will get an amazing drink. If you get a yucky drink, you will most likely still return to Starbucks at another time to get another drink and you will give them another try. Now, how much would it cost you to make a cup of coffee? A teaspoon of beans costs (wholesale) about twenty-cents. So, add your twenty-cent coffee to the price of a cup and any extra add-ins, and you're paying about $1 for your product. Does Starbucks charge $1 for coffee? No. So, what are you paying for? Are you really paying for the coffee, or are you paying for the experience of going to Starbucks? Why don't you take your $5 and get your coffee at the local coffee shop that is closer to your house? You then come to realize that it isn't just about the cup of coffee, that it has to do with more than that-- the ambiance, the service, the experience! Now, what do we love so much about Starbucks?  

People have 5 human needs: We want to feel like we belong, we want to feel special, we want to feel in control, we want to be understood, and we want to reach our potential.  

Is Starbucks not meeting most of these needs? WE BELONG: they call us by name to hand deliver our coffee. FEEL SPECIAL: they make that cup of coffee how ever we want it, and it's made just for us! CONTROL: We tell them how we want it, and we expect it quickly and it is delivered as expected in quality and speed. UNDERSTOOD: If I want my drink a certain way, I make sure that they know it, no matter how complicated it is; after all it is MY drink- they'd better get it right. You can see how much more complex and complicated a cup of coffee has become. Though we may not recognize these steps consciously every time we go, we do think about these things. We trust Starbucks. You are loyal to them beyond reason. When I leave Starbucks, do I remember my cup of coffee and how much it costs, or do I remember the experience/interactions that I had there?  

This concept works at any company that you love. That company that you are loyal to beyond reason should work as hard as they can to meet some of your human needs. On the flip side, as an employee, how are your needs being met? How is your company working with you to understand you, make you feel like you belong and that you're special, etc...? What are you doing to meet your customer's 5 needs? Is the customer going to remember what they ate or bought for dinner? Probably not. But will they remember if you did something to exceed their expectations? Absolutely. Even more importantly, will they remember if something negative happened to them? Yes. They are more likely to remember and share a negative experience than a positive one.  

A customer at a hotel had an issue, and in a hurried attempt to "solve the problem" the manager hand wrote a note and gave him a bottle of wine. The customer was still upset because he wasn't being "understood," just "dealt" with. He was a recovering alcoholic and in the quick attempt to go from "problem" to "solution" his needs were not being met.  

I really like this whole concept of human needs and loyalty, because it does work both ways- employee & customer. Happy employees = happy customers, and vice-versa. After having this training, I could immediately tell a difference in my demeanor as I went to my second job 2 hours later. I could tell I was more friendly and helpful than I usually was after working an 8-hour shift followed by a 4-hour shift. The other cool thing is to look at the brands that you are loyal to (Nike, Adidas, Gap, Costco, Starbucks, Burton, etc…) and to see how you are paying for the name, the experience, and the human needs and that you’re not just buying a cup of coffee.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Here's what's coming...

I have this really great post to post; however, I know that it will take me at least 2 hours to fully give it the justice that it needs, so in the mean time, be prepared. It is full of thought and depth, and it really makes you think and reflect.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Calling card

Calling cards... I always thought it was funny when my mom used this term. No, I'm not talking about a prepaid calling card so you can call anywhere in the U.S. for just 2 cents a minute. I'm talking about what someone leaves behind to let you know they were there. The Joker, for example, left a joker card behind so people would know who's handy work to admire (admire or clue-in Batman?). Regardless, you see this happen with a lot of villains now days in movies. My point is, that I'm housesitting for my parents right now and watching their black lab, Dozer. Dozer is big. Dozer left a "calling card" this morning. Both dogs seemed fine last night, and both dogs seemed fine this morning when Brenan took them out. However, Brenan can't see at 6:30 in the morning since he doesn't put his contacts in. He can smell things though. 2 and 2 were not adding up, so he put in his contacts, and came back upstairs with some disparaging news. Dozer left us a calling card... How do we know it was Dozer? Well, compare a pug to a lab and you'll understand why. So apparently poor Dozey was sick last night. All three types of sick. Nothing stayed in. Nothing. Now, I'm not trying to gross anyone out, but rather simply trying to set up the debacle of cleaning such a mess without paper towels, napkins, or gloves (because there were NONE of these in the house). Problem number three- My parents are in Arizona at my sister's wedding which, at this point, started in 30 minutes. So we frantically are calling them trying to find something...ANYTHING to clean the mess with. Our solution? A dust pan, a tupperware lid, garbage can, toilet, toilet paper, 409, and Lysol. It was no easy task. We were gagging and luckily, we hadn't eaten breakfast yet, or there would have been bigger problems. So, remember, next time you're watching a dog, make sure its owners didn't leave Halloween candy at dog level and you will have a happy dog.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This is our second Halloween together, but this was the first time that we celebrated together. I spent last Halloween working until Midnight at the slave factory (Melaleuca's call center). After work we popped on over to my parents for a "halloween party." We were the only adults that were dressed up...

Walter, our pirate

Close up of the costume

Brenan & I; the wrestler and the zombie bride

Carson (our cousin) was octo...something. The villain from Spiderman...
Notice all of the adults in the background are NOT dressed up.

Family photo :)

Yes, Walter did get a hold of Halloween candy and yes, he did sneeze chocolate all over my wedding dress. My REAL wedding dress...not a costume.

On a side note, I got a gift bag from my aunt for my birthday which included some Ralph Lauren lotion (yum), some Bath & Body Works hand soap, and some Estee Lauder lipstick. Yes, lipstick. I am finally (and reluctantly) overcoming my... hesitancy ?/ fear of wearing lipstick.