Sunday, November 8, 2009

Travel Update

I should be in Ecuador right now, but I'm still in Houston, blogging from my hotel. Due to weather issues, they did not allow any more passengers on the plane after "x" number had already checked in. I have a feeling that we barely missed the cut-off. It all sounds ridiculous to me, but whatcha gonna do? Sooo, please pray that tomorrow goes better for us! I know everything happens for a reason, but I'm bummed that this means one less day of fun in Ecuador. :(

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Headed to Ecuador

Tomorrow I'm leaving for my first business trip out of the country! I'm super excited and nervous at the same time. The company that I work part-time for in Houston is sending me to Ecuador for five days to meet with prospective and current clients. Luckily, there is also another employee going with me who is fluent in Spanish to serve as my translator. Thank goodness, because this German girl knows very little espaƱol! I learned a few words working at the outlet mall at Ann Taylor for four years, but I don't think pantalones, zapatos and por favor would get me very far in Ecuador. (Although I would probably come home with some great Ecuador fashion items!)

Ecuador (pink on the map) is in the northwest part of South America and borders the Pacific Ocean, Columbia and Peru. The Galapagos Islands are also a part of Ecuador, and I would loooove to visit, but it takes a good day and a half to get there by boat, and I won't have that kind of time. I doubt I'll have much access to the Internet while I'm there, so I'll have some catching up to do in the blogging world when I get back.

Kent and my three year anniversary is on Wednesday, and I don't get home until Thursday. I'm very sad to miss it, but we'll celebrate on the weekend. I'm going to miss my hubby and pets tons! I'm a little nervous to leave them, too. It's not that I don't think Kent is capable, because he is and he definitely pulls his weight around the house, but there are certain tasks that I do everyday, that he just isn't used to doing. So, here are some of the actual post-it notes that I will probably leave around the house to remind hubby (and to make me feel better). It's not Tuesday, so I hope I don't get in trouble with SupahMommy for this!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It Never Hurts to Ask ...

“It never hurts to ask” has been one of my mantras for a long time. My theory is, "What's the worst that could happen?" And most of the time, the answer is simply that they will say no. Boy did it pay off to ask last night. Literally.

Hubby and I went to Kohl's to check out their selection of luggage. We have been "making do" with some falling apart, semi-working luggage for a while now. I really wanted new luggage before an upcoming trip on Sunday (details to follow in tomorrow's post), and hubby agreed that it was time. There was a BOGO sale going on, but even with that special, I was still a little taken aback by the prices. But we agreed that it was better to spend a little more for higher quality luggage that can take a beating, rather than replace it with average stuff every couple of years. So we pick out one medium and one small-sized suitcase and roll off to checkout.

As we are checking out, I notice some scratches on the backside of one of the handles. I mention this out loud to hubby, and the sales lady hears me as well. But by this point, he had already signed the receipt, so I don't expect her to offer a discount. She says that I can go pick out another one, and I tell her that it was the last one. She then says that we can take them to customer service in the back of the store, and they might be able to give us a discount, but who knows.

So we roll off to the back of the store. On the stroll back, hubby whispers to me, "You ask for a discount, I don't want to." Sticking to my mantra, I agree and we patiently wait in line. Correction ... I'm patiently waiting, but hubby on the other hand is playing with the non-damaged suitcase by spinning it around and around as fast as he can. He was very impressed with the four dual wheels that rotate 360 degrees (they are pretty nifty). He spins it a little too fast and it goes crashing to the ground, loud enough that the two people ahead of us in line turn around to see what the commotion is. I then whisper/hiss to him, "You are NOT helping our case here, they're going to think that we damaged it ourselves! OK, it's our turn."

Teeny Bopper Customer Service Girl: "Can I help you?"

Me: "Hi, we just purchased these suitcases and I noticed that this one is slightly damaged, and it's the last one. Is there anyway we can get a discount?"

Teeny Bopper Customer Service Girl: "Sure. But THEY could have done this for you up front." (shakes her head in disapproval)

Me: "Oh. They must just be lazy. You sure are working hard back here." (crossing my fingers that I'm scoring points with her)

She then starts the return and re-ring process, and it's taking a while, so I tell hubby that I'll be a few feet away looking at shoes. After all, I've just saved us some money, shouldn't I get to spend the savings on some new, cute fall shoes?
I'm still close enough that I can hear them conversing ...

Teeny Bopper Customer Service Girl: "So how much of a discount do you want? 10, 20%?

Hubby: "10% is fine." (My sweet hubby, not wanting to be greedy. I don't blame him, the scratch was barely visible, and you know it would have gotten scratched after it was thrown into the plane the first time anyway.)

Charming Customer Service Girl: "I'll give you 25% off."

Hubby: (Silence) "Uh. OK. Thanks!"

SAAAAWEEEET! Hubby then finds me in the shoe department and relays the conversation to me, adding, "I think she liked me!" I responded with "Awesome!" or something similar, and I guess he was hoping for some jealousy from me and was slightly bummed that I wasn't. I told him that teeny bopper customer service girls are welcome to flirt with him, as long as it means money in our pockets! Especially 25%, holy cow! I told him I'll be cashing in my shoe coupon at a later date. I expected 10% off, and we got 25% off, so I'm pretty sure that means an upgrade to Nine West!

Here's our nifty new Dockers luggage:

We then headed to Papa Murphy's Pizza to take a pizza pie home for a quick dinner. We recently discovered Papa Murphy's. If you haven't been to one before, it's the Subway of pizza joints. You basically build-your-own pizza and then take it home and bake it. It's delicious, and tastes fresher than delivery (and it's cheaper). We order The Cowboy which is a concoction of premium pepperoni, Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, black olives and an herb & cheese blend. So good! It's usually $12.99 for a large, so we went to pay and they tell us the total is $8.50. Are we on a roll, or what?!? We didn't have to ask for that discount, but what a great way to end an already lucky night! Here's a stock photo to get your mouth watering:

So remember ... it never hurts to ask!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween @ Wurstfest

We did it! We escaped the trick-or-treaters this year, dressed up and went out! Can you guess what we are supposed to be? Anyone?

We are "An Office Affair" ... boss and secretary. Scandalous, I know. But hubby was happy with the minimal amount of dressing up required and the fact that our costumes were almost free! Plus, we got lots of laughs and comments all night.

Kent's costumed turned out really great, but besides my shirt being buttoned wrong, it's hard to tell what else my costume entailed in these pics. I had a pencil, paperclips and rubberbands stuck in my hair, and some post-it notes on my rear end.

Courtney, my college roommate from Baylor, came down to spend the weekend with us! It was soooo good to see her ... it had been a whole three years ... we last saw her at our wedding! She was super excited about Wurstfest, and it was fun to be able to take her, especially since we had a few German classes together at Baylor.

Mmm, pork chops on a stick are soooo yummy!

This guy played a beer bong like an instrument ... priceless.

Courtney also has a blog, and it's hilarious. She just moved back to Texas from Oregon, so go visit her at The Baptist Nun and give her some comment love. Court, you really need to have a post where you explain your Halloween costume, because it still confuses me! ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Uses for Old Things

Those of you who know me well know that I love to organize. So this article from Real Simple magazine is right up my alley! Some of these ideas are just plain silly, but some are really clever and I plan on using them. Do you have any new uses for old things that you are already implementing? Do share!

(I already use these six-pack holders to transport the dirty champagne glasses from the limos to our house to wash them. A condiment tote is also a great idea!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

I won, I won!

I won the postcard giveaway from Jessica @ This, That and My Blog!! So excited! I'm working on the design, so I'll let you know what I come up with and how they turn out. Thanks for providing your readers with these awesome giveaways, Jessica!