Friday, October 31, 2014


Where have I been?  Well, pretty much redesigning my whole life. I've become a Professional Virtual Assistant and have been working really hard to get my business up and running. So, if you or anyone else you know needs some Administrative Support, let me know!

Starting (well, actually growing it into a full-time gig) a business has taken the majority of my time. I have heard it said that Entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week for themselves to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.  I think 80 hours a week might be an underestimate, but when you do what you love and are passionate about, it doesn't seem to be as hard to be motivated to do it.

We are mere minutes away from the start of NaNoWriMo 2014, as well. 

But, I wanted to have a place to post reviews and the like, so here I am!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Delivery Failure

A couple of weeks ago, POSSLQ and I wandered into Kroger for some grocery items, as we often do.  Near the front door, there was a little booth with several tickets on it and a nice lady proffering a pen so you could put your name and number on the ticket.  The "catch" was that you had to listen to her pitch for the Dallas Morning News.

So, we listened and we actually signed up for the special deal she was offering and she said that we should start getting the paper by Wednesday (this was 2 Mondays ago).  Well, Wednesday came and went and no paper...and then Thursday, Friday and Saturday... Sunday we went to Kroger again to do our grocery shopping and there was another woman at the little booth and we mentioned signing up and still having not received the paper and she told us to contact circulation and inquire "WTF??" (her words).

So, we zipped off an email to circulation.  The following is what we received in reply:

Thank you for your request for new service. We apologize for the inconvenience, but unfortunately there is no service in your area due to safety concerns. That payment should be put back into your account. If you require further assistance, please call customer care at 214 745-8383 or 800 925-1500.

Thank you, The Dallas Morning News

So now I have some issues to address:

We have lived at the same address for four years. In that time we've had no "safety concerns".  Unless you count my concern for the parental tendency to let small (under age 6) children run around outside until well after midnight with no apparent adult supervision.  

All other types of delivery services, UPS, FedEX, Pizza Hut, several fine Chinese takeout establishments have absolutely no issue delivering to my apartment. Even after dark (in the case of food delivery) and some of these folks (food delivery) carry CASH.  I did, once upon a time, live in an area of Minneapolis, MN that was so sketchy that you couldn't get a pizza delivered there because too many drivers had been robbed/beaten up. 

More importantly, though, is this:  they had charged the credit card for the subscription OVER A WEEK AGO and had not contacted us AT ALL to tell us that we were not EVER going to receive the paper. I'll bet if we had not contacted them, they would have kept taking payments, as well (and I will be watching LIKE A HAWK for them to try to do so).

They had our address, a phone number and an email (all required to subscribe) so there is absolutely ZERO excuse for them not having made an attempt to contact us.

You would think, with newspapers complaining about subscriptions falling off as more and more people turn to the internet for their news, that they would at least TRY to make some effort at customer service.

Dallas Morning News, I am deeply disappointed by your lack of customer service.  You lost what would have been a good, long-term customer.  And I'm not going to be quiet about it.  While I am guessing that one lost subscriber doesn't matter to you, your poor customer service will drive others away and it would be so easy to remedy... if you had just reached out to us first, I wouldn't be so upset. It's disappointing that common courtesy is no longer common.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back out of the Rabbit Hole...

Apparently I fell down a rabbit hole and lost track of time.

Which is a way better story than the truth, so I'm just going to stick with that!

Working on my fall cleaning and trying to get myself back on track.  What a long, strange trip it's been.  And yes, I know that most people do SPRING cleaning. I just can't go a whole year between major cleanings.

I do have some reviews I want to put up and a couple of other ideas... so, hopefully I'll be around more often!

Do any of YOU do Fall Cleaning?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quick Note

So, you'd think that not having a job would give me all sorts of time to come and blog... and then you look at the blog and see the last entry was February.  And now it's APRIL.   Yeah... about that...

I spend more hours than I care to think about looking for work.  And then more hours beyond that taking care of all of the rest of the things that happen just as a result of living life.  That certainly doesn't excuse my absence here, but it's a little explanation.

Also, I try not to blog if I don't have something interesting to say... I figure y'all don't want to hear about my job hunting and since that's sortve what has gobbled up my brain lately, well, there you have the lack of posting here.

Hopefully, though, I will be a little more active now that Spring is here.  I have things to occupy my brain like planting tomatoes and things of that nature.

I am learning to oil paint and working on drawing and trying to become more fluent in Spanish.  So, there have been things going on that have not directly related to the job search and maybe I should be writing about those things.

At any rate, I've missed you and I'll try to check in more often!

Monday, February 25, 2013

L'Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream Review

I do not normally wear much makeup.  However, since I have been job hunting lately, it's been more necessary.  I was excited to have the chance, thanks to SheSpeaks, to get to try L'Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream.  

I have some issues with foundation makeup sometimes, I'm pretty pale so finding something that matches my skin tone and doesn't make me look orange is sometimes a challenge.  I wasn't sure what to expect from the BB Cream, but decided to try some one day when I was getting ready for an interview. I honestly didn't have very high hopes, but I was impressed. Not only did the color (Fair) not look too dark on my skin, but I didn't run into a problem with it clumping or flaking as so often happens with foundation makeup on my skin. The BB Cream gave me the sheer coverage needed to create a natural bare skin finish, while delivering built-in skincare benefits. It primes and smoothes, perfects to hide flaws, hydrates all-day, and corrects and evens skin.  I brushed a bit of mineral makeup over it and headed out to my interview.  A quick check in the car mirror pre-interview showed that my face still looked great.

I'm still waiting to hear about the job, but I can tell you that the BB Cream did help me to feel confident that I was putting my best face forward (pun intended) and I've used it for a couple of other interview situations, as well.  It evens my skin color and texture better than mineral makeup alone and I've had no issues with breaking out when using it nor is it difficult to wash off at the end of the day.

L'Oréal Paris Magic BB Cream retails for $10.95 for 1 fl oz. It is available in four shades. I was a little worried when it came out of the tube looking white, but it blended really well with my skin and was very lightweight and very easy to apply/blend.  It doesn't take much of the product to get good, even coverage.

I would recommend 
L'Oréal Paris Magic BB Cream! Thanks to SheSpeaks for the opportunity to try this wonderful product!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product from SheSpeaks/L'Oréal to facilitate this review. All opinions about the product are my own.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Ok, I'll admit it... 2012 did not turn out to be the best year in terms of keeping up with the ol' blog here.  I'm not going to make excuses, it's in the past now and I'm looking (and moving) forward.

I have a couple of plans to make this year better in terms of getting posts here more regularly. So even though I am not a resolution maker, I do want to try to hold myself accountable for getting things here more often.  I also have a couple of ideas brewing, so we'll see how things end up working out.

I am also hoping to do some more giveaways this year... so there's that to look forward to, as well.

This is going to be short, I just wanted to check in and start the year off right! Hope y'all had a safe New Year's Eve and I hope that, so far, 2013 has been good to you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CrossWorlds Cafe Welcomes Author Rodney Lacroix!

If you've spent much time wandering around the blogosphere, you've likely run across my guest today at the CrossWorlds Cafe before...You may know him as the Midget Man of Steel, author of the Mental Poo blog or as @moooooog35 on twitter (and in finer blog comments everywhere!) When I heard that The Bloggess had given his book 'Things Go Wrong for Me' a fabulous review, I jumped at the chance to interview the man. 

 Welcome to the CrossWorld's Cafe, Rodney. It's nice to have some company! Let the questioning begin! 

Alura: When you write blog entries now, are you finding yourself thinking about how it would translate to book form? Put another way, has writing the book changed the way you blog? 

Rodney: No. About the only thing that has changed the way I blog is work, which tends to get in the way. Luckily, they don't really expect that much from me around here (please note this was written at 2 in the afternoon at my desk on a Wednesday) so it's not that big of a stretch. What I HAVE changed is how much I want to do more WRITING for the blog and be less dependent on the visuals. The visuals are what sets me apart, to be sure, but I think the most fun I had with the book was in writing the introductions to each chapter. Just off-the-cuff writing and it's what I'm best at. 

Alura: It's always fun when you blog about the things your kids say and do. Do your kids read your blog? If not, do you think they'd be freaked out about knowing that people get to read stories about them? 

Rodney: Oh, no. No they don't read it. The language and pictures on there are in no way appropriate for 12 and 9 year olds. They DO, however, know that I write about them and have seen some of the posts. They have also helped me make a lot of the videos that you'll find on my YouTube Channel ( and we have a TON of fun doing them. My kids are totally funnier than me and it's my job to make sure they don't know that. Captain of the ship, and all.

Alura:  Now that you've gotten the first book written and published, can we look forward to more?

Rodney: This book was categorized into parenting/dating type things. It actually takes you into 2010 where I start dating again after my divorce. Some of the stories involving my girlfriend (SORRY LADIES!) are even more current than that, but don't particularly need the date context. "Axe for Men" stories are timeless.

That said, yes. You can plan on some sequels. There will be pets involved. I've said too much.

Alura: So, will your post-divorce apartment experiences end up a book of their own?

Rodney:  OMG there are SO MANY of those that, yes, I can see the post-divorce chronicles being their own pseudo-book. Such Hell. The only thing I miss about my apartment is that I paid less than half of what I pay in a mortgage now. However, I don't have to listen to people screaming at 3 am in languages I've never heard of so it's kind of a wash.

Alura:  Are there any topics that you would not discuss in your blog? 

Rodney:  There ARE a couple of personal family things that are - currently - off limits to the public. Some of these questions may get raised as you're reading the book and thinking, "Hmmm...I wonder what the back story on THAT is."

I'm also starting to be more cognizant that my kids are now older and - well - they have Internet access. I try to do my best to embarrass the shit out of them when we're all out, but having stuff WRITTEN that OTHER kids can bust them on? Not cool. That's why most - if not all - of the stories involving my kids are from when they are at a pretty early age or are just funny in general. Other than that, I think I need to start getting their permission to write shit. Ugh.

Alura:  So, I have to ask at least one tough question (and hope it isn't too much of a book spoiler!)  If you had to choose one of the following events to live through again, would you rather relive the Post Ex-Lax Bike Ride or your Vasectomy?

Rodney:  Vasectomy. Totally.

At least with the vasectomy, I know I'll never get someone pregnant. With the Ex-Lax story, there's no guarantee that it will be the very last time I shit my pants.

Alura:  Where can my readers get your book? 

Rodney: They can click on the links below - lots of options! - Barnes & Noble (paper only, no Nook version available) - Amazon - Kindle

Alura: Rodney also has a Zazzle Shop, so you can get yourself some cool gear!  And if you like to snack when you read, you should check out his cookies available through Bitter Baking Company!

Thanks for stopping by the CrossWorld's Cafe, Rodney... Please come back!  I'll bet there will be interesting stories to tell if you do a book tour!