Friday, August 28, 2009

We need your HELP!!!

Hello there Family, Friends, random strangers who stumbled on our blog thanks to links on other people's sidebars, or Google searches! As many of you know, we launched our own vinyl shop online a little less than 2 months ago, and since then, we have had a steady trickling of customers come. Cameron, who watches the Google Analytics religiously, is not too impressed with the amount of foot traffic to our site, so we began discussing some ideas for ways to improve on our site, and attract more customers. This is, after all, one of the ways we had hoped to pay off all of my medical bills from the past year. One of the things we want to improve on is the look of our site. As you may have noticed, the pictures of our items leave much to be desired, because as a rule of thumb, we do not Photoshop our items onto generic stock photo backgrounds, as we feel this is like lying to our customers. After all, the dimensions never look right, so there's no way for the customer to be able to tell how big the item really is in comparison to a sofa. We think that real photos of our items on display in people's homes would add elegance, style, and reality to our store; not to mention give people ideas on how the items could be used that they may never have thought of before. Why am I telling you all this? Because this is where your help comes in. So far, our attempts to lure our customers into sending us "customer appreciation" photos have failed, so now we are reducing ourselves to bribing you, our beloved friends and family. What can you do? For the next week, take a gander at our site, find something you like, and then email us at our business email address. Let us know what item you want, what color you want it in, and we will send it to you FREE OF CHARGE. That's right...FREE!!! The ONLY stipulation to this, is that you have to promise to send us a photo of the item (applied in your home) within a week of receiving it in the mail, along with a short review of your experience. I don't want you to gush over our customer service if you don't actually have to use our customer service, so I want you to review us based on shipping time, if that impressed you, or ease of application...anything, just so long as it is something you feel you would praise a total stranger for as well. Better yet, if you have a blog, and you want to post a "look what I just got" review of our product on your blog, we will send you a $15 gift card to give away on your blog.
If you don't like anything on our site, but have an idea for a custom item, let us know, we can design something to add to our shop using your idea, and send it to you free, with the same rules as above.
The other catch, is that this is really only open to family and friends. I can't afford to supply vinyl products to any random person who stumbles on our blog, claiming to be a friend of a friend of a friend, or the vet to my sister's neighbor's cat. If I can't remember you, sorry to tell you, you are not included in this offer.
If anyone wants to help out with more than one item, the first one will be free, and any one past that point we will charge you just the cost of the labor or shipping. After all, we don't want to go out of business just trying to promote our business, right? On that same note, the free item can only be for the smallest size of that item that we offer. If you really want a larger size of that item, we ask that you just be willing to pay the difference.

SO, get to it everyone! You have until next Saturday (September 5th 2009) to contact us with your requests. And remember, I'm not "Sami- who you have known since way back when" I am "Sami-Design team member for PerfectlySPACED vinyl decor and design" so my emails back to you will be all (or at least mostly) business.

*To easily access our site, just press the big green button with a "PS" on it on the right hand side of your screen, and enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School, and such.

Today was the day! Don't get me wrong, I do love spending time with my kids, so it's kinda sad to have half of my children gone all day, but the utter joy of having two less kids to fight with each other all day, makes me giddy! Last year, when Andi started Kindergarten, we went as a family to drop her off, causing quite the spectacle. This year, we opted for a more laid back approach. We took the mandatory "first day of school" pictures, but then Cameron left with them at the same time he will every day, and dropped them off himself. He did walk them both in, to make sure they knew where they were going, and he plans to get off work early enough that he can pick them up and reacquaint Andi with the way home, but other than that, we treated it just like any other school day. My hope is that starting the routines from the very first day, will make it easier to follow them all year long. Soni had a bit of a hard time with it this morning since she doesn't seem to remember Andi going to school, but she was better before they even pulled out of the even that was manageable. I'm sure this will all be a different story when we drop Soni off at Kindergarten in 4 years, but let's not get ahead of ourselves!

Here's how the kids looked this morning:

Dylan looking like quite the chick magnet for his first day of Kindergarten.

I don't think any shotgun will be big enough...

Can we go yet?

On another note: Andi had to have a clipboard for school this year. After having a LOT of trouble finding a clipboard that Andi approved, I decided I could make one cuter than I could buy one. With a plain brown clipboard, and a few other odds and ends, I was able to turn a plain brown clipboard into this:

The front

The Back
(You can't really see it, but it says "Andreia" the name she has decided she wants to go by this year...)
I hope her teacher doesn't regret giving me permission to spruce it up...

Happy Birthday to you... live in a zoo, you look like a monkey...

As many of you know our "buddy" turned 5 on August 19th. With the hustle and bustle of back to school madness, we have failed terribly by not posting pictures. I guess it's not too bad, since it's only the 24th, but still...
Cameron came home early from work, so we could begin the festivities by going out to lunch at Dylan's favorite place...Pizza Hut. I can't remember what else we did, but here are pictures of his party:

Here is Dylan with all his birthday presents. He made out like a BANDIT!

Dylan loves puzzles! Have nooo idea where he got that from...(so hard to type sarcasm)

Obviously, I couldn't resist getting in on the fun too!

We also decided Dylan was old enough for Legos...

Soni, however, is not.

He got a LOT of new school clothes too! THANKS GRANDMA SLOAN!!!

Cameron loved showing Dylan how to actually build something with his Legos. This little beauty is a helicopter, that Dylan can now build all by himself.

We rounded out the day with some good ol' San Francisco 49ers cake. I know, based on where we live, we should be tarred and feathered...


Monday, August 17, 2009

Cheer season again

It's time for football/cheerleading season again! This year Andi is cheering for the Raiders. Dylan didn't want to play football this year. At least that's what he told us until two weeks ago, when it was way too late to sign up. Oh well, there's always next year. Their uniforms are pretty cute. The first game was Saturday in 100 degree heat, but she had fun, so it was worth it.

I seriously need to buy a shotgun. And then learn how to use it.

They have a few more cheerleaders than they did last year. Last year there were three, now there are 18. Quite the difference.

Oh yeah, we have other kids too. Here they are. From the picture it may look like it was windy that day, but we actually started combing the kid's hair like that. Flock of Seagulls is going to make a comeback sometime, right?

When did that happen?

Today was a very productive day. The last few weeks have been spent slowly gathering school supplies and necessities that our two elementary schoolers will need for the upcoming year. Today, we officially finished. With a handful of school supplies, and the only clothing item still needed for either, we gathered and paid for the items, and then headed out for the very last "Back to School" chore... getting Andi a haircut. Andi is almost 7 years old, and has NEVER had a haircut, unless you count the time she twirled it too much she had a horrific knot that required scissors. I have always loved her long hair, and was definitely hesitant to cut any length off of it at all. But, the fact that it was SO uneven due to the aforementioned twirling, it became a necessity. So, we made the trek to "Sharkey's cuts for kids" and committed to what we had been dreading. Andi didn't get to sit in the fancy Barbie Jeep to get her hair cut, but she did a fantastic job of holding still, and doing what the stylist said. To say the least, Andi was timid, and even looked mad when it was all over, but after some encouraging words from the stylist, and her parents, I think she's grown to love it. Because her hair was so uneven, the length cut off ranged from 1-8 inches, but it's all even now, and it aged her big time! I just can't get over how grown up she looks! Her hair is still long enough to put in a ponytail, and to do french braided pigtails (a requirement I gave the stylist at the beginning) plus, this length should be much easier to manage.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Road Trip

Last week we took our first road trip in years. We went to the Lubbock area to visit our old friends Matt and Becky. Sam and Becky were roommates in college, and we've ended up following them around wherever they move just because they are so cool! This was Soni's first long trip in the car, and our first one since Thanksgiving three years ago. Wow.

The kids did pretty ok in the car. Soni had her moments of being ticked off, but she did pretty well considering how young she is. About halfway there, Peyton started tapping me on the shoulder to ask me if we were there yet. He did it every 5 - 10 minutes. At least he was polite and tapped my shoulder instead of just shouting.

When we moved to Texas, we noticed that in order to be considered a town, a place needs to have a Sonic. Apparently that is just East of DFW, because when you go West, Dairy Queen is the notable restaurant of choice. There were Dairy Queens in towns called Merkel, Clyde, and Baird. Every town had a gas station and a Dairy Queen. I thought it was odd, but I guess I'm just used to it being Sonic. You didn'tt need to know any of that. Sorry.

Here are our kids and the Williams kids. They had lots of fun together. Peyton has been saying that he's going to marry Sarah (the one in yellow). Hailey (in green) is two days older than Dylan. They're all pretty close together in age, so they all had someone to play with.

Saturday morning they formed and band and recorded their first single, "I love you Mommy!"

Becky took us to the Science Spectrum, which was way cool. Dylan keeps saying that he wants to go back. They had a bunch of different "experiement" stations set up. This one had a bunch of water going through it. I'm sure there was some point to learn from it. I learned that if some streange little girl purposely points a squirty thing at my baby and gets her wet, I get mad at said child. Maybe that's what you were supposed to learn.

They had a station set up for bubbles. Dylan was pretty good at making big bubbles like this.

We also went to a park and let the kids play for a couple of hours. Andi, Hailey, and Sarah rode on the tire swing for 15 minutes. They had a lot of fun doing that. Andi said "This is the best vacation ever!" Cool, we don't need to go to Disney World or anything, we just need to find a tire swing. That's quite the difference in price.

We had lots of fun visiting the Williams. We'll have to visit them more often than once every two or three years.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sleeping in

I am the first to tell you that the following story is my own fault. During my 3 month long recovery/hiatus from real life to devote to healing, I became quite accustomed to sleeping in. My children also got used to this as a way of life, so mommy could rest. This is not such a bad idea when you have at least one more adult in the house to keep the shenanigans to a minimum, but it is a VERY BAD idea when you are the only "responsible adult" in the house. Normally, Cameron wakes up between 6:30 and 7 and gets ready for work, and feeds the kids breakfast and then leaves around 7:30. The kids will watch cartoons for about an hour, and I am up and ready for the day no later than 8:30. I guess I was a little more tired this morning. At 9:30, I got up, got ready, and exited my bedroom to find weird spots on the hallway carpet. I didn't think much of it because it looked like someone had just gotten into the vacuum cleaner canister, and spread some dirt on the carpet. That is, until I made it to the kitchen...

Turns out, Soni, who has recently taken a liking to taking off wet diapers herself, had taken off her diaper, and proceeded to go #2 all over the kitchen. I will spare you all the gory details, but the spots in the hallway were NOT what I had originally thought, and required immediate attention from the Bissel.

Lessons learned from this experience:

1-Bedtimes are not just for children.

2-Diapers only work if they are on the child's body.

3-Modesty is a concept lost on 21 month old kids.

4-The inventor of personal home carpet cleaners MUST have been a mother, or at least had a toddler in their home.

And finally:

5-Cameron does not pay me enough.

If a girl's night out wasn't already planned for tonight, I would be planning one thanks to the events of the morning.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

School Clothes

We took Andi and Dylan shopping for school clothes yesterday. (Can't believe it's only three weeks until school starts, and that we'll have two kids in school.) Heather forwarded an Old Navy coupon to us that saved us 30%!!! There's nothing I like more than saving money. Well, I like my wife and kids more. I also like food more than money, since I will part ways with money for food. Then I guess you need to count the 49ers, and the High School Musical franchise. Anyway, I like saving money a lot, so the coupon was wicked awesome.

We got the kids some pants and a couple of shirts. Dylan got the coolest shirt ever!
Yeah, buddy! You may ask why I didn't just take a picture of him in the shirt instead of making this one. Well smarty pants, our camera is not working at all, so this is going to have to be just as good.

It's a little harder to shop for clothes with Andi. She's kind of picky. Apparently every piece of clothing she owns has to have pink on it somewhere. If she had her choice, this is how she would dress every day of the week.
Sam had to talk her out of the Pepto Bismol look and convince her to buy some non-pink clothes. She still got some pink stuff, just not so much that it's sickening.

So after the trip to Old Navy, we hit Target and finished up. Now we just need to buy our list of school supplies and we'll be ready for school. Woo hoo! Does Costco sell 120 packs of glues sticks? It seems like that's how many we'll need.