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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another reason why I heart All Clad 

When Dick and I got engaged, we joked that the only reason why we wanted to get married was so that we could register for All Clad cookware. We were kidding, of course, but we did receive many wonderful All Clad pieces as gifts, and we use them all regularly.

It's been almost five years since we got our non-stick 12" frying pan. We use it at least once or twice a week, sometimes more.

Over time, it began to lose some of it's non-stick qualities. It never went away completely, but a non-stick pan isn't non-stick if it sticks, even just a little.

I remembered reading a long time ago that All Clad cookware comes with a lifetime warranty against any product defects. I didn't know if this included the non-stick surfaces or not, because I figured that was something that just wouldn't last forever.

I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway, so I called All Clad a few weeks ago, and described my pan. They told me to send them the pan, along with a note with a description of the problem, and that they would review it. I asked if a non-non-stick pan was something that would be considered for replacement, and she said it certainly would.

I figured we didn't have anything to lose, so I wrote a nice letter describing my pans non-non-stickiness, along with how long we've had it, and how we use it. As instructed, I boxed it up, and sent it with a confirmation of delivery to All Clad's return center in New Jersey.

I tracked my package, which took less than a week to get to them. That was about two weeks ago.

Yesterday, the nice UPS man delivered a brand-spanking-new 12" non-stick frying pan!


I wonder how many people have had the non-stick surface wear down over time, but don't know or don't bother to send their pans in for review.

I was already a huge fan, but now I'm loving All Clad even more!

Thanks, All Clad!
(and see, you even got a nice blog write up!)

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

A New Washer and Dryer! 

very exciting!!

Pretty new Washer & Dryer

At last! We bought a new washer and dryer yesterday, and it was delivered (amazingly enough) this morning!

The old washer and dryer were probably well over 25 years. They were here when I bought my condo from Andrew in 1998, and they were here when he bought the condo in 1988. They were still both working fine, so I figured I'd wait until one of broke before we bought a new one.

I mentioned this to my Mom a few weeks ago, and she reminded me how much more energy and water efficient the new models are.


I mentioned the same thing to Andrew, and he cautioned me, warning that I may not want to wait until one of them breaks. What if one of them broke, and it went terribly wrong? Worst case scenario: Our washer and dryer are on the top floor. What if the washer broke, and caused a leak (or flood). Bad news.

So, suddenly, I was on a quest for a new washer and dryer.

I asked my friends on Facebook for recommendations, and got a lot of good advice.

We ended up getting the Samsung 4.5 cu. ft. front load steam washer and dryer. I think we got the Mother of All Washing Machines. ;) It's HUGE (my old washer had a 3.2 cu. ft. capacity, I think) and the controls and functionality are all so cool. Washer and Dryer technology sure has come a long way over the past 25+ years!

We decided on getting white machines, versus the stainless steel. I generally prefer stainless steel for appliances, but decided on white for these because a) stainless steel is harder than traditional paint, and is hard to clean and accumulates lots of finger prints, and b) it was about $100 more expensive per machine. We had also looked at and considered the LG models, which had some fabulous colors that I really loved (candy red, colbalt blue) but since we went with the Samsung, it was only white or stainless steel.

We got a really great deal at Sears. Dick and I really enjoy buying large appliances from Sears - their sales people are always so knowledgeable and friendly, and their prices are hard to beat. I did some online research last week and saw that they were having a 10-20% off sale on all major appliances through this weekend, so I really wanted to make sure that we went this weekend to check it out. We went yesterday morning. As it turns out, they were having a One-day only sale yesterday which gave us an additional 10% off! Score!

Another nice surprise was that they were in stock, and were available for delivery as early as today! Nice! They were delivered this morning at 10:00am, which gave me an entire day to wash everything I could think of to test 'em out!

The delivery guys were pretty amazing. First they took the old washer and dryer out, then brought the new ones in and set them up. All within 30-40 minutes! They had these very clever straps that wrapped over their shoulders, and underneath the machines, which they just lifted and carried down the stairs and out the door. Very impressive.

Out with the old, and in with the new!

What amazes me most (so far) about the new washer and dryer are how very quiet they are. With the old machines, I could hear them from my office (same floor, but on the other side of the house) and even worse: the entire room/house would shake/vibrate whenever the washer was going through the spin cycle. With the new washer and dryer, I don't hear a thing, and I can be in the same room and not feel the spin cycle. Amazing!

So, clearly, I'm a fan so far, and super happy with my new washer an dryer. We'll see how it all continues to go...

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gift Exchange Name Generator 

At last! I've been looking for something like this for the last couple of years.

I believe that both my family as well as Dick's family plan on drawing names for our Christmas gift exchange this year.

In the past, we drawn names out of a hat, but that doesn't always work because sometimes someone draws the name of an immediate family member that they were already planning to buy a gift for.

Today, I did a search on Bing, and came up with this:

Free Name Drawing Utility

It's fantastic, and very easy:

Step 1: type in all of the names of the people involved

Step 2: Add Constraints (you can lay out rules or constraints for individuals who shouldn't buy for each other)

Step 3: the list is generated!

Handy Dandy!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Or... "Why it never hurts to ask..."

I love it when this happens...

Just over two weeks ago, Dick and I bit the bullet and bought a Wii. I had toyed with the idea of getting one well over a year ago - back in the days when they were sold out, and impossible to find. Once they were back on the shelves, we considered getting one again, but we kept putting it off, and putting it off, but of course, it was inevitable. I finally played one when I was in Chicago visiting Tammy and her Mom, and I was hooked!

We bought our Wii at Costco on Sunday, September 13th from our local Costco. The price of the unit was $244.99 - $5.00 off regular price. We also bought Costco's Wii accessory pack, which includes an additional controller, an additional nunchuck, and a wheel. We then drove across the street to Best Buy, and bought a few more accessories and a couple of games. While we were at Best Buy, we noticed that they offered Wii combo packs, which included most of the things we ended up buying, also at a reduced price. Okay, good to know.

We brought our Wii home, set it up, and have been having a blast with it. Super Fun!

We loved it so much, that we went to Best Buy the following weekend, and bought one of those handy Wii combo packs for my Sister and her boyfriend as their housewarming gift.

All was well in the Wii World.

...until I noticed a headline two days later that stated that Nintendo was going to drop the price of the Wii by $50.00.


I'd waited all this time, and when I finally buy not just one unit, but two units, the price drops?!

Whatever.... We'd already opened and played them, so I figured it was a lost cause. Not a huge biggie, but still a bummer.

Until today...

This afternoon, I was back at Costco (it's obviously a regular pilgrimage for me) and there I saw the Wii units with their new price of $194.99. *sigh*

When I went to check out, I asked my cashier about their policy of price drops. I figured it was a long shot, but I might as well ask.

Well, he didn't blink and said all I needed to do was to bring my receipt to the return counter and have them issue me a refund for the price difference.


So, I came home, picked up my receipts, and headed back out.

Sure enough - no problem at all. I was credited $54.75 back onto my Costco Am Ex.


So then, I went across the street to Best Buy. I went to the Customer Service Counter, receipt in hand, and again, I was credited $54.75 to my credit card.

Yep - that's $109.50 that I wouldn't have gotten back if I hadn't asked.

I've gotta say that I'm pretty impressed with both stores right now. I realize that they don't have to go out of their way to do price adjustments for you, but I sure do appreciate that they did it at all.

Happy Day. I love saving money. :)

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Universal Wish List Button 

Because really, don't we all need one?

It's that time of the year! The holidays have arrived, and I am woefully behind in all things holiday related. I usually have all of my Christmas shopping done by now, but this year.... well, let's just say that I finally got started by shopping online last night!

I always appreciate when friends and family share their wish lists for gift ideas. I find it helpful, as I know that I can get them something that I know they would like.

I've been a fan of amazon.com's wish list for several years. I try to keep my wish list updated, and hope that it's helpful for others. (Not that I expect anything!)

The only problem with the amazon.com wish list is that you are limited to what is available to buy through amazon.com. (Not that their selection isn't entirely enormous, so you can generally find anything that you want there.)

Recently, amazon.com introduced something new and exciting!

The Universal Wish List Button!

That's right, with this handy tool, now you can put any item from any website onto your amazon.com wish list! All that you wish for in one handy place! (well, almost anything, anyhow) You can even add items from ebay.com! (no, really, I'm not addicted to the internet.)

Pretty cool, isn't it?

Now you, too, can add that adorable sterling silver "I Love You" heart charm from Tiffany's to your very own wish list!


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Monday, February 25, 2008

Why it's always important to follow up 

...because no one else is watching out for you!

Way back in mid-December, I returned some items that we'd ordered from the Restoration Catalog. The items were needed for our bathroom remodel, but the shipment of these items were delayed, and we didn't get them in time to use them in the bathroom. (they were the sink trap/supply kit.) We ended up buying something else, so I returned them to a Restoration Hardware store, rather than paying extra to have them shipped back to the company.

I returned 6 towels, (2 of each size, and the color didn't go quite well enough with our bathroom) one H2O Supply kit, and one P Trap Kit.

The guy at the store told me that he would send these items back to the warehouse, but warned me that it may be a few weeks before the refund/credit showed up on our credit cards statement. Because of this, I made a mental note to check our credit card statement periodically so make sure these credit were posted.

One credit (for the towels) showed up on 12/28. Not bad.

Another credit (for the P Trap Kit) posted on 1/2.

I never saw the final credit (for the H20 Supply kit) post at all.

I kept all of my receipts, and jotted down the dates that each credit was made.

Last night, as we were paying bills, I checked the credit card statement one more time. Nothing.

I figured enough time had passed, and it was time to give Restoration Hardware's customer service line a call again.

I just called them.
They agreed that the refund had never been sent, and that they still owed me $225 (plus tax) for the last item.


That's a lot of dough.

They are processing my request now, and say it should show up on my credit card statement within 4-5 business days.

Just another example on why it's so important to keep up with things, and follow up.
I could've easily forgotten about that return, and assumed that it was done right. That would've been a lot of money down the drain (pun somewhat intended).

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't mess with webTrina. 

Today I was on a quest.

We have pretty much everything bought for our Bathroom Remodel. Just a couple of little odds and ends left.

One thing we've been looking for is a nice, small soap basket which can also double as a towel bar for my little scrubby towel.

We've been looking for a while, but everything we've found so far have been too large.

This afternoon, I decided to go to a designer bath store here in the city. Our architects had sent us there a few months ago to look for sinks. They have a huge selection - probably one of the best in town...... and I think they know it. I was immediately turned off by the horty-torty attitudes that I experienced with their sales people last time. Basically, the drill is that you can look around the show room, take note of pieces you're interested in, write down the number by the display, make an appointment with one of the sales people, and then they will tell you the price. You aren't allowed to take photos anywhere in the store. I found the whole process rather annoying, and their arrogant sales people even more so.

As it turns out we didn't end up buying our sink from them. We're very limited for space in our bathroom, and were very specific in what we were looking for. It turns out that in their vast inventory, they simply didn't have what we were looking for. Ironically, we ended up finding exactly what we were looking for at Restoration Hardware. Admittedly, that wasn't cheap either, but it was less expensive than the sinks we saw at the store. Plus, we were able to place our order online, and didn't have to deal with any snobby sales associates.

Anyhow, I figured this crazy place would probably have a little soap basket that I was looking for. My previous neighbor who used to live in the downstairs condo had renovated the downstairs bathroom 15 years ago. He left me a file with all of his documentation, and I saw that he had bought most of his accessories from this store-which-shall-not-be-named. He had a long wire basket put in the shower/tub downstairs that we really like. We figured the same company must have made one in a smaller size as well.

So, I went this afternoon. I decided to wipe away all of my preconceived notions of this place, and try it out again. Good news: I did indeed find exactly what I was looking for! I took note of it, went to the receptionist, put in my name, then waited a few minutes for the next available sales person. She was nice enough - nicer than the last woman who helped us there, but there was still some of that "we're better than you" attitude. I actually apologized to her, because I knew this would be such a small purchase. Her response: "Well, yes, we do usually deal with much larger orders than this. After I showed her the product I was interested in, she walked me back to her desk, and she rummaged through some catalogs, found what she needed, (without showing me) took a photocopy of the page, and presented it to me. The photocopy was quite good, because it showed all of the dimensions, then she wrote down the price: $99.00. Yep, $99.00 for a small, 7" long chrome basket.

Okay, whatever. We're putting enough dough into this bathroom remodel. What's another $100? There were actually two styles that I was interested in. I wanted to get Dick's opinion first. I asked the sales associate what their return policy was (I thought perhaps I could buy one today, take it home, see what he thought, and if he didn't like it, I'd just return it.). Their return policy: 50% stocking fee. Ummmm... exsqueeze me?

Needless to say, I didn't buy it. I was planning to come home with my little photocopied paper of measurements, show them to Dick, the two of us could decide tonight, then I could call the dreadful company tomorrow to place my order.

I thanked her again for her time, and acknowledged again that I knew this was a very small order for her. Her reply, "Well, yes, but that's not your fault."

I called Dick when I got home, and he asked if we could just buy it online. This place doesn't have a web site, so I said "no"and that I'd have to call it in tomorrow. What he meant was could we find it online through another company. What a novel thought! I looked at my photocopied sheet of paper, and realized that the oh-so-clever sales associate had copied the catalog just so so that the brand of the product wasn't actually shown.

After calling my Mom, and telling her about my shopping experience, she also suggested that I just look online to find the same one. That's when I realized that the not-so-clever sales associate had included the product reference numbers on my photocopy.

goto: Google.

enter: Wire Basket Small (with the reference number)
Up comes: lots and lots of sites offering the same product for discount prices! (imagine that)

Bonus: no annoyingly snobby sales associates!

So, what did I find?
How about this place, which has it at 40% off, no sales tax, and free shipping?

They have the corner style, too!

I'll show both styles to Dick tonight. We'll decide which one to get, then place the order online.

I imagine that will be very satisfying.

Don't mess with webTrina.
She'll blog about you, and tell the world how mean and snobby you are.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Coke and a Smile 

Mexican Coke at Costco

I drug Dick to Costco with me the other day, and we made a cool discovery:

Alongside all of the other Cinco de Mayo goodies were cases of "Coca Cola of Mexico made with Pure Cane Sugar".

We thought this was especially cool - who doesn't love a Coke in a bottle? I always thought it tasted better than in a can. Now I know why: they make it with real sugar, versus the corn syrup that is used here in the States.

We came home, and immediately popped the top off of a couple of bottles. Ahhhh.

'aint nothin like the real thing, baby.

It was like remembering how great a Coke was when you were a kid.
(Okay, now I sound old!)

Yesterday, Dick found this article on the web. It explains that Costco has conformed to CA and U.S. rules, such as CRV and "nutrition" labeling, so everything appears to be nice and legal.

This other article had this to say:

Some say that Coke is Coke, so whichever sweetener used doesn't matter. Others strongly disagree - they feel that the Coke hecho'ed en Mexico tastes like what Americans drank in the long long ago, back before 1985's New Coke/Coca Cola II Project Kansas debacle, back when sugar was the sweetener used by all U.S. bottlers.

Our local Taqueria sells Coke in a bottle. At least I know that when our Costco stash runs out, I can always run there for a bottle.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

webTrina: finding bargains in Kentucky! 

Tammy and I have had such a great day (already!).

Gap Clearance Center, Hebron, KY

As I've mentioned from previous years, one of our favorite activities during our girl's weekend in WGI is when we make the drive over the border of Kentucky to do some serious shopping at the Gap Clearance Center!

We were not disappointed! Some great clothes, and wonderful bargains were found!

To summarize: I bought 5 pairs of pants (2 of which are for my Mom and my Sister), 1 pair of spandex leggings (been wanted to get some of these for a while) 5 tops, and one pair of sandels.

"How Much?" you say?

You'll never believe it...

To top it off, as we were nearing the check-out counter, a nice woman approached us, offering a 20% off coupon!

"So how much was it?"

But wait... there's more!

They also threw in a free Gap CD - which I'm listening to right now, and it's really great!

So, lets summarize again...

5 pairs of pants
5 tops
1 pair of leggings
1 pair of sandles
1 music CD
6% Kentucky Sales Tax

(minus 20%)

Grand Total: $73.68.

Oh, yeah!

webTrina strikes again!

For the record, Tammy found 2 pairs of pants, 4 tops, a jacket and a bag. She paid under $50.

This is why we love coming here!

After our early afternoon shopping spree, we drove back to Dayton to our favorite little High Tea Restaurant, which we just found last year.

The food was amazing: great tea, tea sandwiches, scones, and pastries.
All for $12/person.

I'm telling you, there are some great buys here!

Afternoon High Tea in Dayton!

We're taking a quick break in our fabulous hotel room, resting up for the big night ahead.

WGI Finals is tonight!

....followed by a late night at headquarters!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

webTrina: At Your Service 

Thank you for calling webTrina. How may I help you?

My friend Blane just called me.
He was in South San Francisco, looking for the Costco on South Airport Blvd. He had printed the map and directions before he left his house, but he still couldn't find it.

So, what did he do?

He called webTrina!

Our friendly customer service agents at webTrina were able to help him out! We stayed on the line with him, giving him street-by-street directions, until he reached his final destination. Once he was in the Costco parking lot, he wondered aloud where the tire service center was. We instructed him to continue to the left side of the building.

Thank you for calling webTrina. We look forward to working with you again in the near future.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

WebTrina Strikes Again! 

The bacon vault has been running low, so I've been checking out the grocery adds waiting for Oscar Mayer bacon to come on sale.

The ads came on Tuesday, and lo, there it was: Oscar Mayer Bacon 2 for 1 sale at Safeway.

Dick worked from home today, and I managed to talk him into taking a break to go to the store with me so he could experience a 2 for 1 sale for himself.

We went in with 2 things in mind: Bacon and Christmas cards. (i just needed two)

First we noticed that Cinnamon Rolls were on sale for 4 @ $1.50 each. We bought 4 and saved $7.40.
We also picked up a coupon for an extra $.75 off when you buy 3.

Then we passed by the yogurt. On sale half off. I bought 5, and saved $3.00.

Dick's favorite coffee, Starbuck's Verona was on sale for $2.00 off. Alas, it wasn't 50% off, but on sale, nonetheless.

Christmas cards: we find two, along with a coupon for a free 12 pack of Coke with the purchase of 3 cards. I found another funny, generic card that I know I'll use soon, and picked up our free box of Coke.

Finally, we made our way to the Bacon section. Dick was simply amazed at the 2 for 1 savings. We picked out 8 packages of bacon for the bacon vault and saved $25.96.

We made our way to the checkout, and found we had saved a whopping $41.60, which is the equivalent of 49%.

Impressive, isn't it?
Dick was in awe and amazement as we walked back to the car.

Dick and I had went out to dinner that same night . We went to our local seafood joint, which was serving fresh, Dungeness Crab. Dick had a salad, I had a cup of clam chowder, we split a whole crab, and each had wine. Our dinner came to just under $45. Dick mentioned that it cost as much money as what we had saved at Safeway earlier that same day. So, we owe our thanks to Safeway for treating us to a delicious dinner!

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Saturday, August 26, 2006


Back in the days of the dot-com boom heyday, Dick was a huge fan of WebVan. He would rave about the fact that he could order all
his groceries online, and schedule a delivery time that accommodated his schedule.

Sadly, we all remember the demise of webvan.com.

Lucky for Dick, I moved into his house shortly afterwards.

That's when we established: WebTrina.

"You don't need WebVan! You have WebTrina!"

Because I work from home, I have the luxury of setting my own schedule. I often run errands during the day, before Dick comes home. He hardly missed WebVan at all, because now he had the luxury of having WebTrina.

And so it has been for many years now. WebTrina has a longstanding reputation of quality service and products. Dick hasn't had a disappointing experience with WebTrina yet. (Except, perhaps, the time that he insisted that I return the bacon, because he deemed it "too lean".)

Dick has told his friends about WebTrina. They are all envious, and wish that they, too, could sign up for WebTrina. Actually, some of his friends have been able to take advantage of a limited amount of WebTrina Services:

Need something from Costco? Call WebTrina!

Have a question about the best prices in town? WebTrina, at your service!

Need transportation or hotel arrangements? WebTrina is here for you!

Need a new Xbox Game delivered to your Door? WebTrina will find it for you!

Best of all, we finally registered our own domain name: WebTrina.com.

WebTrina:At Your Service


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