Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An Open Letter to Cuisinart

Dear Cuisinart,

I wish your customer service sucked a little less so that I would not have to write off any future purchases of your products.

Allow me to explain. A couple of months ago, I purchased a baking sheet with silicone grips. Not long ago, I was baking with said baking sheet, when my kitchen was suddenly filled with smoke and toxic fumes. I quickly turned off the oven, checked for fire, then wafted the smoke with a towel for a couple of minutes to get the smoke detector to turn off. Following this, I pulled the tray out only to discover that the food wasn't cooked, but the silicone grips were melted and bubbling.

"Wait a minute, I don't think that's supposed to happen," I thought. I followed up with a letter similar to this one, accompanied by these photos to your customer service email. A little over a week later (yesterday), I received a voicemail from customer service, instructing me to call a generic number and that the person assisting me would not be able to read my email, so to have the product number and serial number available. Well that's genius. Apparently the number under the item name on the website is neither of the numbers you asked for, but I digress.
I called the number and spoke to an employee and then a supervisor who both told me I would have to pay for shipping to New Jersey, where your "specialists" would evaluate the damaged item to see if it was in fact defective, because clearly, my photos were insufficient. The process would take around a month and a half
I think this calls for a "REALLY Cuisinart?" You want me to ship my busted baking sheet that almost burned down my house back to you, at my expense, no reimbursement, so that you can destroy the evidence? Oh no. You must think I'm stupid. Not to mention, the cost of shipping from California to New Jersey is what it will cost me to buy a new cookie sheet that doesn't bear your name or threaten to burn down my house. But I decided to give you another chance, wrote another letter, and am currently waiting for you to step up to the plate and do the right thing and just send me a new one that isn't defective.

In my frustration, I randomly found the website Cuisinart Sucks. Dangit! Someone beat me to it! Well I gladly shared my recent experience on there as well. I completely agree with the website's founders. It would do you guys a lot of good to do some reputation management. Like admitting when your products suck, and replacing defective items in good faith.
After getting off the phone with your customer service, I immediately called up my other half and requested that he cancel our pending order of a Cuisinart coffee maker that's been on back order. Forget the pannini/grill/griddle, knives, cookware, and cooking tools that I already have. I'll keep those... But rest assured, as long as this issue goes unresolved, I will not invest a penny, scratch that... I will not spend a penny, (investments, by nature, should have the potential of increasing in value,) on your products.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Isn't it a little early for redecorating?

Pardon my absence over the past week plus. I've been busy between quarter end, the L.A. Fair, movies, cornhole, and other distractions which have appealed to me way more than blogging. But alas, I return to you, blog, because I know, down the road I will look back and want to know how things progressed in our peach palace.

Over the past couple weeks, Mark and I have made some adjustments to our guest room. I decided that the bed centered on the wall made the already tiny room feel much too cramped, so we added a nice leather headboard and slid the bed up against the wall with the window. We hung up a painting I did back when I first moved to California adjacent to the bed. In moving the bed over, we had to get rid of one nightstand. The remaining one still has to be refinished -I'm thinking white.
On the left, you can see the corner of my former-desk-turned-sewing-table. Just to the left of the table is our new guest room T.V. setup. Mark mounted the television on the wall over the weekend and it is awesome! It swings out, tilts down, and does everything short of a back-hand-spring. OK, I'm exaggerating, but it's fantastic. We got the ladder shelf online at Target to double as a decoration element and a cable box holder (it's on the bottom shelf). We needed something that wouldn't stick out too far, and these tiered shelves are the perfect fit. We still have to get a cover for the cables and dress up the shelves a bit, but the room has come together quite nicely if you ask me.
Lastly, we finally got a piece of art!!! I am so happy with this painting. It really works with the golds and browns in our living room. We still need more flare, but it's a great start.

I will be taking another short hiatus. Mark and I are heading to Austin in a couple of days for Austin City Limits Music Festival. I can't wait! In all of the years that I lived in Austin, the festival never appealed to me, as it was always in early September and waaaay too hot and sticky to spend three days out there. But not this year! They moved it back a month, and we'll still have some heat and rain to deal with, but in exchange, we get Pearl Jam! Interestingly enough, Mark and I call Yellow Ledbetter "our" song. What's stranger, is it's a super depressing song that neither of us knows the words to, but it's so fun to mumble along in gibberish.
Have a great rest of the week/weekend!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm Blue'n'daboodeeaboodai

Ok, I never really knew the words to that song, but it's the only catchy title I could come up with on this lovely Sunday mornin'. I spent the day painting our guest bathroom (again). This time there was no messing around. I painted two coats of Killz (as in the fumes from this stuff killz me) oil based primer. I followed that by two coats of Behr Endure, a lovely purplish blue.
The finished product was much more successful than the first time around. The cabinets will be next. They need to be stripped and repainted as the paint is coming off in sheets. We will also be picking up some white moulding to wrap the mirror with. Woah! Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

This is some of the artwork we picked out for the bath. First is a photo of bluebonnets that Tali gave me when I left my sweet home of Texas for California, and reminded me that the bluebonnets would be waiting for me should I decide to return.
The second is entitled "Shiiiiiiitshark." I bought this gocco print on Etsy from Argyle Whale and thought it was super appropriate. Most people know that Mark and my "couples name" is "Shark." The irony is that I am terrified of sharks...
Today we will be chillin', hitting up Homegoods for some art/accessories, bbqing with our friends, and then I have my last pre-playoffs softball game this evening. Weekends are the best!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Whine Country

***Note*** I started writing this post a week ago, but for various reasons put off posting it.

Mark and I spent Labor Day weekend with my folks up in wine country. We arrived in San Francisco early Saturday morning and met up with my parents, who had arrived a little while earlier. Mark and Dad got our rental car and we were on our way to....
...yes, Sonoma! The schlepp took forrrrreeeever! As you probably heard on the news, the Bay Bridge had been shut down due to the discovery of a crack, so far more people were taking the Golden Gate Bridge. Combine that with a holiday weekend, and well, you've got the perfect storm for horrrrrrible traffic. We didn't get to our resort in Windsor until the late afternoon.

We made a pit-stop at G.I.Joe's (that's Hebrish for Trader Joe's). My folks don't have Trader Joe's in Austin, so my dad was stumbling for the name and came up with that. It stuck. We chilled for the rest of the evening.

We started early on Sunday, but not before Mark made everyone a fabulous breakfast. My dad had mapped us a rough route that would lead us to both Sonoma and Napa.

We stopped at Ledson Vineyards first. This vineyard was absolutely beautiful and the wine was delicious! *It was the only wine I drank on the whole trip as I was on antibiotics and shouldn't have been drinking at all. Hence: whine.* We continued the route stopping at various wineries and galleries on the way. Below is the house on the Ledson Vineyard property.

Monday, we decided to pack up and leave early. Since the drive to wine country took so long, we decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get back to the city. We drove on Sir Francis Drake towards to most Western pt. in the U.S. We made it almost the whole way, and then dad decided it's just the shore and we should turn around. Awesome.

We checked out the lookout point over the Golden Gate Bridge which was amazing. A great trip overall!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pants Party!

Yesterday Mark and I went to both the Salvation Army and Goodwill hunting (ha!) for a good chair specimen for my makeover project. I liked one chair we saw that had cane backing and cushioned seat but Mark was not a fan. I guess this may take time.

What I did find though, was a pair of Banana Republic wool pants from last winter, in my size (or so I thought). I'm pretty consistent with my size at BR, so I didn't think to try them on, and at $6.49 for pants that I tried on when they were almost $100, I was willing to take that chance. Apparently petite was not petite enough for the pants' original owner. They had been shortened and are just a wee bit too high-water for my taste.

Solution? I bought a sewing machine! Okay, okay. That's not why I bought it. I asked my parents for one for my birthday and finally picked it out yesterday. I read through half of the manual last night and look forward to finishing it up and getting started soon.So how am I going to fix pants that are too short with a sewing machine? I'm going to make them shorter! Fall is almost here, so I figure a good pair of wool cropped pants will be a nice addition to my fall collection. And if I screw up? It's a $6.49 mistake and I'm sure there will be plenty to come.

I haven't worked with a sewing machine since my failed attempt at a shirt back in my Gaines Ranch days. It resulted in a stylish camera pouch (don't ask). I figure reading the manual will help. -That and practice. I've already got grand ideas of things I'll make for the Wildbaby, accent pillows for our house, and designer fashion pieces *start small Shiri!*. Stay tuned for progress!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Open letter to Target

Dear Target,

Would you please consider making a knockoff version of Jonathan Adler's new customizable rugs? Heck, they don't even have to be customizable, you can just use the colors that I chose for my rug.


Ok, shiriously though, as much as I'd love to order this baby for under our coffee table or our bedroom, $1050 for a 5'x7' just isn't in our decorating budget right now. But if money was no object, Jonathan Adler would likely have all of my business (and money for that matter). I love this concept. Your own color choice for a fabulous hand loomed rug! There are a handful of patterns to choose from. The new customizable line also boasts pillows and totes for a much cheaper option.

It's fun to at least play with the designs and dream. If anyone knows where I can find a similar geometric patterned rug like the one above for less, please share!

In other news, as promised, Mark and I finally painted around the french door and hung our curtains. I still need to hem the bottoms though. All that's left to do is put some moulding around the door and paint it (it will stay white).

Now I'm off to catch up on True Blood. Good night!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I heart art

Mark and I started hanging up pictures today and it's clear we're going to have to expand our collection in a serious way. Our art-to-wall ratio is at an all time low.

This one is a photo that Mark took on our second date (a five day trip to Arizona for Thanksgiving). We went on a great hike in Sedona with the Singers, where Mark saw this beautiful tree and captured it with the red rocks in the background. I blew it up and framed it for him for Hanukkah a couple of years ago.
This is a photo of our bicycles somewhere around Manhattan Beach. Mark took this too and adjusted it to sepia tones. Whenever I look at this photo, I miss living by the beach. Granted I wasn't quite a stone's throw from the water, it was still a nice brisk bike ride away. Mark and I invested in a bike rack a few months ago, so we've since been able to get our cruisers back to the coast like the good ol' days (and by "good ol' days," I mean last year).
I know, these posts are getting borrrrring, but have faith, I will have more to share soon. Mark and I are going to meet my folks up in Sonoma for some wine tasting this holiday weekend. Plus, we have plans to paint around our french door and hang curtains over it before we leave. Lastly, next week, I hope to finally repaint our guest bathroom and hang some art that I've been dying to share!