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Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts

November 13, 2020

Service vs Food

Last week, I posted in my IG story that I would sadly not return to a business that gave me poor customer service.  I was surprised at how many people asked me where it was (I purposely posted what I thought would be a non-identifiable photo).  

To me - service matters more than food.  I don't care how excellent the food is, but if the service is poor, I would much rather give my business to a restaurant that serves "okay" food, but has excellent service.  As I heard one chef say - "No one ever intends to cook a bad meal."

And I believe that's true for the most part - if you go to a restaurant, the cooks and chefs will want to give you their best.  Servers and other customer service staff should do the same.  

I can usually tolerate customer service issues - long wait times, mixed up orders, etc., but when an employee says rude things out of nowhere, especially after messing up to begin with, my business is lost.

Mistakes happen - I know, and I'm okay with that.  When restaurant staff are apologetic or management takes the initiative, I'll return.  I remember at one restaurant, a manager gave us a free dessert because of a long wait time, and it wasn't an issue in my mind - I knew it was busy, I ate my meal, and appreciated the gesture.

But when there is no accountability - that's a deal breaker.

Once, when Nat and I and a couple other people were dining in LA, our server kept making errors.  Finally, after forgetting yet another dish, the server said "You should've told me earlier."

We were taken aback, and Nat ended up talking to the manager (while the server came to find out what was wrong).  

A couple years ago, at one of the best restaurants in the world, my dining experience was marred by a rude response by our server.

I give those who work in the industry a lot of credit, because I know there are people out there who are not nice.  

But if you make a mistake, own it and apologize.

What matters more to you - service or food?  


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March 13, 2020

I Was Supposed to Be in South Korea Today

I was supposed to be in South Korea today.

But the universe had other plans. 

I booked our family Spring Break trip last year since I found a great deal.  Thankfully, we didn't have to make the decision to cancel, as the airline made the decision for us by suspending the route (and allowed us to postpone our trip or get a refund).

Although I'm bummed that I had to cancel my trip, I'm trying to look at the positives - that I won't be stuck anywhere, trying to get back home; that my trip wasn't to somewhere else that didn't allow for refunds or changes; that I can catch up on a long list of to-dos that I keep putting off (okay, that last "positive" may not really happen, but it's worth a shot).

My friends tease me that I'm a "germaphobe" - I always carry hand-sanitizer with me, and it's very unlikely I will drink or take a bite out of food if someone else sipped or ate from that drink or dish first.

I wipe down hotel rooms, airplane trays (and screens and seat belt buckles and arm rests), and if I remember - my steering wheel after I valet park.

But I admit - all of the media coverage has gotten me a bit more paranoid.

It's such a crazy time, with events and flights being cancelled or attractions and schools shutting down. 

Yet, I know a lot of people who are still traveling for fun.  They are taking advantage of the low fares, and just living it up, with (hopefully) no regrets.

People, like myself, are still eating out, shopping, and supporting local businesses.

I'm trying to still live a "normal" life, although more cautiously (and with more hand-washing).

Have you cancelled plans due to COVID-19 concerns?  Have you changed the way you socialize or go about daily life?






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December 30, 2016

A Small Act of Kindness at Trader Joe's Leaves a Big Impression

One of our favorite places to pick up omiyage for friends and family whenever we travel is Trader Joe's

The snacks are just so addicting.  I have many faves - Joe-Joe's, Milk Chocolate Covered Mini Pretzels, Pound Plus Chocolates, Butter Waffle Cookies...I could go on and on!

The staff is always super friendly too, eager to assist in locating products or answering questions about specific items.

On a recent visit to Trader Joe's in San Mateo, we loaded our cart with a bunch of sweets.

We were ready to check out, and the cashier began taking items out of the cart to scan.  My oldest son, who has an autism spectrum disorder, and therefore has difficulties with understanding and adhering to social "norms" (e.g. he'll hug the hostess at a restaurant), asked the employee "Can I help?"

As I was about to pull my son away to tell him to wait on the side, the employee, without a second's hesitation, said "Sure!" and moved over so my son could start scanning items.
Thank you to the Trader Joe's employee for making my son's day!
I was in shock.

My son scanned item after item, while the employee supervised and made sure everything scanned correctly.

At the end of the entire transaction, my son was beaming, and thanked the employee.

I'm almost certain that the employee had no idea about my son's special needs, so the fact that he did not hesitate to grant the request of a random child blew me away.  Maybe kids asking to help at check-out is not that much of an uncommon occurrence at Trader Joe's, but whatever the case may be, his small act of kindness left a big impression on me, especially since he easily could've said "No," which could have resulted in my son ending up in tears (he is very sensitive, and doesn't always understand that although he's trying to be helpful, in some situations it's not allowed, or not safe).

I did not get the employee's name (I just know he's a Dallas Cowboys fan, as another employee asked my husband, who was wearing a Dallas Cowboys shirt, who he thought would be QB in an upcoming game, and the employee at check-out took out a credit card with the Cowboys logo, acknowledging that he was a fan as well), but I do want to let the blogosphere know that his kindness did not go unnoticed.

He made my son's day.

And he made me a Trader Joe's fan for life.

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July 13, 2015

40 Cities by 40…More or Less.







As I am nearing my 39th birthday, Gem had the best idea of creating a 40-things-to-do by 40 list.  But what to do?  I did some research online to garner some inspiration (apparently this is a thing!) and although I have an existing bucket list, marathons and death defying acts just don’t make the cut.  Realistically, there's not much on my list that I could get done besides cutting my hair short before next year (and even that's a stretch).

I started thinking of all the different places I’ve visited because traveling has recently become a big interest and something I love to do.  It's true I haven't traveled the world, but I've compiled a list of about 35 cities (more or less) that I have visited.  This leaves me with the goal of exploring five new cities before I turn 40. 
Where would you go?  Wish me luck and I will keep you up to date!
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April 20, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!


Now that I am a mother, Mother’s Day has become my second favorite commercial holiday, right behind Valentine’s Day.  But every year I struggle with Mother’s Day gifts for my mom and moms-in-laws so this year I decided to brainstorm with friends.  I also queried them on their Mother’s Day wish lists.  Here are the results from my very unscientific survey. 

Gifts to our mothers typically fall into one of two categories: gifts that pamper and gifts that are sentimental.  The gifts that pamper Mom include gifts of massages, pedicures, lunches, dinners and pretty things like flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and handbags.  Sentimental gifts cover photo books of the grandkids and handmade cards and gifts.  An honorable mention goes to the gift of patient tech support provided with no complaining.    

If your significant other is a mother, pay close attention.  Almost all moms wanted one thing:  TIME.  It was, however, split on how they wanted that time spent.  Half of moms wanted quality time with their families via a picnic, brunch or staycation.  The other half wanted time alone, be it at the spa, shopping or surfing.  Also highly wished for were handmade items by the children and material items like gift cards, jewelry, and tech items, specifically an iPhone 6 or an Apple watch. 

I personally have hoped for breakfast in bed for the past three years.  Once I realized it was not going to happen, I have been booking my family at a staycation over Mother’s Day weekend to ensure that I will get my breakfast in bed (dammit).  Of course, my family gets breakfast in bed too, but I wouldn’t be an awesome mother if I let them starve. ;)

Have a great gift idea?  Comment below!  Hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day!    

Special thanks to my friends/awesome moms for their input. 
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April 9, 2015

My First Time at Bikram Yoga


I learned the standing bow pose; one of 26 poses in Bikram.  Please excuse the mommy mess.

 
In a previous post, I had talked about trying new things this year.  I had always stayed away from Bikram Yoga because I do not do hot.  I like to think of myself as something delicate, but turns out this flower can handle the 90 minute hot yoga session in a 104 degree room.  Bikram Yoga is run by Bikram-certified teachers who use a standardized dialogue to run the class that consists of a series of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises.  

I admit the only reason I decided to commit to driving from Mililani to the Hawaii Kai bikram studio on a Sunday morning was not the benefit of a great workout, but the promise of brunch at Moena Café.  There’s no shame in that.  Whatever your motivation is, use it to get you there.  I had an awesome experience.

As a newbie, my friends had told me to come with my mat and enough towels to keep it covered.  Bring lots of drinking water and be prepared to sweat.  Sit near the door for once in a while cool air and make sure to secure a space so you can see yourself in the mirror.  This was helpful in getting my poses right.

Getting used to the heat was difficult, but I decided it was more of a mental thing that I had to overcome.  The instructor was great and she gave helpful feedback to the class.  I like that yoga continues to be challenging even with lots of practice because you can always take the pose a little further.  


Namaste.  

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September 5, 2014

What I Love Right Now: Ear Cuffs


I have officially fallen in love with the latest jewelry trend celebrities are wearing all over the red carpet:  Ear cuffs.  Ear cuffs are cool, fun, and edgier than your normal pair of studs.  They are normally worn on one ear and not sold in pairs.

Ear cuffs have actually been on trend for a while, but they have evolved and are still quite popular.  For my birthday, I bought the floating diamond zig zag ear cuff from EF Collection.  I love that it’s delicate, classy, and different.    
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August 18, 2014

Life Lesson #38: Treat Yourself on Your Birthday


This week I am turning 38.  First off, I am not happy about that extra candle on my cake, but I realize that at 38, with 2 kids and 10 years of marriage, I’ll be lucky to get a birthday cake.  I can’t even remember the last time I was able to blow out a candle and make a birthday wish.  Don’t get me wrong, I realize I sound about 10 and I am super grateful for the celebrations my family and friends have planned for me.  But as far as the special day itself, I wasn’t about to let it go uncelebrated.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and started with taking the day off from work.

 

My birthday celebration will begin after I drop the kids off at school and head over to the Moana Lani Spa, a Heavenly Spa by Westin and the only ocean front spa in Waikiki located in the Moana Surfrider.  I will be treated to their 80 minute signature lomi facial which will help in reducing my fine lines and wrinkles caused not only by aging but due to the lack of sleep for the past 6-7 years (note my oldest turned 7 in April). 80 minutes of relaxation? Sounds perfect and just what this Mommy needs.

 

After that indulgent experience, I will be heading over to the Kristin Wood Lash Studio, Hawaii’s premier eyelash studio, to be pampered with eyelash extensions because one must get gorgeous on their birthday (life lesson #37).  And these are not just any eyelash extensions, Kristen’s advanced new Ready-to-Wear product line Facet Lashes are designed for today’s modern woman.  The semi-permanent Facet Lashes dramatically enhance the length and thickness of the natural lash, while maintaining an overall natural look.  

 

Stay tuned for the results of my birthday experience.  I can’t wait to share them with you and hope to inspire you to treat yourself on your special day because you most definitely deserve it.    

 

http://moanalanispa.com/

http://www.kristinwood.com/    

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December 24, 2010

City Lights-Waipahu (Waikele)

We saw an article in the Star Advertiser about several decorated homes in the Waipahu/Waikele area, so we decided to head down there so the boys could see the lights.

First we stopped at a home on Anapau Place which had lots of decorations and lights synchronized to Christmas music.

DS2 loved it--he kept dancing and he especially loved the train decoration.



Then we walked over to the next street, Hopoe Place, and I was so impressed because it looked like every single house on this street was decorated.





Everyone was so nice--several of the homeowners came out to talk to us. One of the homeowners has this really neat train set display in his windows and he encouraged us to take the boys closer to get a good look.

Another homeowner came out and showed us how to press Santa's belly on one of his displays to hear him speak.

The boys loved seeing all the lights and I know they were in awe of all of the decorations. I'm sure we'll visit again next year!
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December 22, 2010

City Lights - Mililani

I have yet to take the boys to the Honolulu City Lights, but we've been taking them around different neighborhoods to see all of the lights and decorations.

One area that we visit almost yearly is Maiaohe Place in Mililani and a couple of the other cul-de-sacs near Maiaohe Place.

One of my former co-workers just happens to be one of the homeowners who started the decorating tradition, and it's grown ever since.

I apologize, but I took VERY FEW photos this year, primarily because a cat was following us as we walked down three cul-de-sacs, and I'm allergic to cats, so I was a bit paranoid while we viewed the lights.

So, this was the only decent photo I got (right before the cat rubbed up against my leg!). I don't even remember if this photo was taken on Maiaohe Place or one of the other cul-de-sacs.

We love being able to view the decorations and lights when there is no huge crowd, and we love getting out to exercise and get some fresh air.

I found a list of some other neighborhoods with homes that decorate a lot for the holidays so we hope to visit them soon too.

Are there homes in your neighborhood that go "all out" for the holidays or do you know of any other neighborhood/homes that are worth a visit?

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