I Dream In Digital

Monday, November 30, 2009

Buyer Beware

I'm going to start out by apologizing. This is a rant. If you don't want to read it, that's fine, I understand. But I just had a VERY bad experience with Target.com and I desperately need to vent.

I placed an order on Black Friday for my birthday/Christmas present. Okay... I ordered a Wii & a balance board. I thought it would be fun to play & the fitness options looked very interesting. I placed the order around 2pm after I was unable to snag a deal at any of the instore Black Friday sales.

A few hours later, I loggged into their website to double check something on my order and no order showed in my account. I called Target.com Guest Services & got an associate in their India call center. Yes, in case you didn't know... this Minneapolis based company has a call center in India! I was told by the gentleman that there was an issue with my credit card and my account was "on hold". He took some information from me including the phone number for the issuing bank of my credit card and told me I would get a call back from an Account Specialist in 24 hours. I called the bank to make sure that my minor purchase didn't violate any purchase limits on my card. The only limit was more than 10x the purchase price so no problems there. They stated that no approval had been attempted on my account. So I waited for my callback from Target....

I did not receive a call in 24 hours so I called back. Once again, I got an associate in India. He told me that the information I was given was incorrect, that I would not get a call back for 24 to 48 hours. He took my information again and said he would forward it to the Account Specialists. I had a sinking feeling I was starting to the the "run around" so I called back again. I spoke to a female this time & thought for sure that she was not in India. But as the conversation developed, I realized once again, I was talking to someone in India. She listened to what had happened and explained that I was given incorrect information. I felt briefly relieved...until she told me that the incorrect information was that I would receive an email, not a phone call in response to my order status. I called my bank again after completing the call, still no authorization attempts. So I waited for my email from Target....

A few minutes after 48 hours from the time I placed my order, I received an email from Target.com in my inbox. I eagerly opened the email anticipating the answer as to what the problem was with my credit card. This was their response....

Greetings from Target.com.

Unfortunately your recent order(s), including (#XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX) could not be processed. If you would still like to receive that item, we ask that you place a new order. Please accept our sincere apologies for any resulting inconvenience.

Thanks for shopping with us and we hope you'll visit again soon.


Account Specialist

I was momentarily speechless. For anyone who knows me, that is a rare occasion! I checked Target.com and the Wii bundle I had placed my order for was now a higher price and they were out of stock and could not guarantee delivery by Christmas. I was furious. And a few moments later, I was on the phone to Target.com Guest Services again. I feel sorry for the poor woman who got the call. I didn't get angry, I just had a lot to say. She told me that I or someone else with access to my account had cancelled the order and that they showed my credit card had been deactivated. (The bank later explained that this was not true, they never even tried to get an authorization on my account.) The Target associate spoke with her supervisor and they would honor the price for a new order but still could not guarantee delivery by Christmas.

While I was on hold waiting for her to talk to her supervisor, I looked at Best Buy's website. I was in luck, they had the Wii & balance boards in stock. This week, you even got a $20 Best Buy gift card with a purchase of a Wii. I checked my local store & both items were in stock for instore pickup. Once the Target.com associate came back on the line, I explained that I would just file a complaint about the service at Target.com & make my purchase elsewhere. Minutes later I was out the door & in 15 minutes I was leaving Best Buy with my Wii & balance board in hand.

I called again to Target Guest Services this morning and spoke to someone else in India. They could not do anything but file a complaint or transfer me to Target.com Guest Services. So I filed a complaint. I fully expect that no one will ever contact me about it or even see it. I think it was just a waste of my time.

I don't know what is worse...that I found out that Target has outsourced it's Customer Service to India, or that Target.com failed in such a big way. I've worked in Customer Service most of my life & I understand that language has a lot to do with the expression of needs & wants, especially over the phone. I had script after script repeated to me because they didn't understand what I needed and had no way of resolving the problem, or transferring my call to someone who could. Target.com gets a big F- from me this Christmas season. I don't really think I'd buy from them online ever again. If I hadn't checked on my order, I'm sure I would have been rudely surprised after a week when the package never arrived & my chances of getting my Wii were slim to none!

Sorry Target.com but I won't miss you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And Some People Think It's Sew Easy!

I took a quilting class today. It was a 2.5 hour beginner class that quickly turned into 3.5 with just 4 students and an instructor. I am now in awe of women who can quilt. I made 1- 12" block and I'm so exhausted that I think I might just take a nap! I made my block with 3 shades of purple fabric. It turned out cute but no where near perfect. Our instructor quickly pointed out that we need to practice, practice, practice in order to get the skills down.

Quilting is all about precision. The pieces need to be cut accurately, sewn precisely, and pressed properly in order for the smaller squares to make the larger block. Lots of measuring & cutting are necessary. I don't know if impatient me can really put forth the effort to make a whole quilt.

The good news is that I learned a lot of great tricks that will save me some time and effort with my sewing. Rotary cutting will take some practice to get used to but the class was well worth the money just to learn how to rotary cut. I also found a great use for painter's tape...use it to mark your seam allowance on your machine so you can use the edge of the tape as a guide when sewing.

Overall, I'm glad I took the class. I may not ever make a quilt but the skills I learned will hopefully make me a better sewer in the long run!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Machine Envy

I've been doing a lot more sewing lately than I have in the past. I made the mistake of stopping at the sewing machine shop inside JoAnns the other day when I was buying some fabric. I was looking for a special presser foot for my ancient Singer. The machine is about 15 years old and still in pretty good condition but it doesn't do anything other than straight stitch and zig zag plus it's very noisy. It's a work horse and it's been good to me but I'm a little more advanced than it is and I am thinking it's about time to trade up.

So now, I have machine envy. There are all these beautiful, shiny, computerized machines that just call out to me as I pass by...

"You don't have a serger but I have an overlock function...it's so useful when making kids clothes."

"I have 40 decorative stitches."

"You can design your own embroidery patterns with my special software".

So far, I haven't given in. But I feel I'm starting to break! I found what I thought was a fantastic deal for a steal of a price last week. Turns out it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It wasn't even made by the manufacturer name that was stamped on the case. No online support either, a HUGE deal breaker for me.

I found a machine I think I will like at a price I can afford. The hard part now is finding a local dealer who sells it so I can actually try it out before I buy it. It's a pretty advanced machine but low end for a computerized one. I'd rather buy it from a sewing shop and spend a few extra $$ for a sewing lesson or 2 they usually throw in with a purchase. I'd rather not buy from a big box chain who could care less that I'm buying it in the first place.

I'm taking a beginning quilting class tomorrow. I'll have a better idea of my need for a new machine if I decide to get serious about quilting. Me, get serious about anything? (You can't hear me but I'm laughing like crazy now!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Milestone Women's Victory Weekend

I had an amazing weekend. Okay, it was really just 24 hours but it was well worth every second. I met lots of smart, beautiful women, and made many new friends. I slept very little, had too much caffeine, and ate lots of great food. I laughed, I cried, and I learned a lot about myself. Thank you to everyone who made this weekend possible, especially my wonderful husband who took a vacation day so I could go and had lots of daddy-daughter time with Emma.

Milestone women are the best!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome To My Neglected Blog

It's me again...I didn't forget about the blog...I've just horribly neglected it. I joined Facebook and I've been able to use that platform as I originally intended for this blog. If you're not already there...join me of Facebook. But if you do, be warned...it's highly addictive.

I'm not closing up shop here...just temporarily stalled.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Being Crafty

I broke my New Year's resolution to scrapbook a page a week. This was actually my gift to myself this past week. I decided I could never keep it up if I felt like I was forcing myself to do it when I didn't feel inspired to make a page. It has stretched my skill & creativity but life is all about finding balance...right?

So this past week I embarked on a different creative journey of sorts. I decided to try making jewelry again. It's been years since I made anything with beads and I've only used thread before. So, being inspired by some videos on the internet, (yeah for You Tube!) I decided to make a necklace with monofilament (fishing line) and a pair of earrings to match. It went together fairly quickly but as I was working on the 3rd strand of the necklace, I decided I didn't like the technique I was using to place the beads on the line. So, being the perfectionist that I am, I took the beads off and restrung all 3 strands. It was more time consuming than I expected but I'm very happy with the result.


I am planning on going to a jewelry making class this week to learn more about stringing using wire & making wire loops. It should be fun. I have a lot of questions. Pray for the instructor...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tales of a Two Year Old Drama Queen

I used to think it was bad when my husband got sick...until my daughter got sick. Right now due to a massive change in the weather and a record high pollen count, our entire house is stuffy & miserable. I think Emma has it the worst out of the 3 of us. The poor girl is having to blow her nose every few minutes, and her eyes are constantly watering. It's sad to see. As a result of the funk she's currently contending with, she has barely slept for 2 days.

Little things like eating, have become major melodramas. Crying, screaming, pouting, throwing things...just because her drink isn't in the cup she wants or some similar misfortune. It's draining, I'm not sleeping well, plus I'm sick too.

Thankfully we did get some decongestant today and she's on the first dose. Maybe we can both get some sleep now!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Free Spirit -vs- Conformity

Sometimes a get a giggle out of my own thoughts. Actually I laugh at myself a lot lately. I made the same New Year's resolution that I didn't keep last year. My goal is to scrapbook at least one digital or paper layout a week. I've been very good about things so far but since the introduction of a horrible menace to my time called "Facebook", I've found a lot less time for Photoshop.

I'm a free spirit and I like to make my own layouts. I start with a blank canvas then add my bits of inspiration as they come. I'm very much a perfectionist. Even the most simple of my layouts sit on the back burner and get a few changes here and there until I'm finally happy with the finished product. This really takes days for me. I don't even post a layout until I've been able to "sleep on it" at least one night. This is also the reason I rarely ever use permanent adhesive when I paper scrapbook. I know it's horrible and I would be much more productive without such an OCD for my work but to me it's art, an expression of who I am, & what I treasure in life. Pastor Jeff really said something in the message yesterday that keeps resonating in my head...and yes, we go to church on Saturday night, anyone who knows me well, knows I'm not a morning person. Okay, back to what he said, "God doesn't expect perfection, He expects progress." Why is that so hard for me to grasp? I want both perfection & progress.

So here's the dilemma... I am torn about using pre-made digital templates. They're pretty easy to use. It's mostly drag & drop...easy peasy. I've used them a few times but I'm torn. Where is the line? To me it feels a little like plagiarism. I've been plagiarized before and it was devastating to me. It felt a lot like having someone you work with use your idea and then claim it as their own. YES, I credit the artist who created the template (as anyone digiscrapping should!) but I still feel a little like I'm passing off someone else's art as my own. I still add my own personal touches and rarely leave a template "as is". It's faster and easier but I guess it just doesn't feel genuine to me.

Thanks for reading my rant. I'll step down off of my soapbox now. I'm even going to be brave enough to post a layout I did using a template...

Little Mommy

credits: template by Brenda Miller, papers & elements - "Tannah" by Sweet Digi Scraps, font - segoe script

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Hello, my name is Krista, and I'm addicted to Facebook.

It all started out so innocently. Our church was working on a "viral buzz" project, so I joined Facebook to help get the word out. Little did I know what danger lurked behind this URL! I've reconnected with friends I haven't seen or talked to in years. With each friend I found, there were even more that found me. I even have a ton of family on facebook...my parents included. Now I just need to learn the concept of "balance" and every thing will be fine!

Monday, March 9, 2009


I know that most of you are far away from Keller, TX but I just couldn't resist sharing. Our church will be "relaunching" in a few short weeks when we move to our new building. As a part of the relaunch, we're inviting friends, neighbors, and sometimes complete strangers, to take "One Look" at Milestone. One Look Challenge is full of stories of how people's lives were changed by taking "one look". Check it out!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New in Town

Okay...I have to preface this post by telling you that I have lived in Minnesota. We intended to go to see "He's Just Not That Into You" on our anniversary. But after our wonderful meal at Copeland's of New Orleans, we were stuffed to the gills and couldn't wait another 2 hours for the movie to start. We checked the showtime board and saw that "New In Town" was starting in a few minutes. It stars Renee Zellweger & Harry Connick Jr so we figured it couldn't be that bad.

I don't think I have laughed so hard in a long time. This movie is a must for everyone who has every lived in, or near Minnesota. I still giggle every time I think about that movie! It was an excellent pick for us and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Layout

Sorry I've been quiet for a few days. I finished the taxes on Monday. Unfortunately it took me most of the day to get everything organized but less than an hour to actually prepare the return! At least I had most of what I needed before I started. I only had to "hunt" for a few things. I mailed our state return yesterday. I hate it when they make part year residents file on paper!!!!! Electronic filing is soooo much faster and easier.

I've also been doing some scrapbooking (digital of course!) I used the same kit that adorns my blog. It's called "Bloom & Grow" by Zoe Pearn. There is a link to her store at the bottom of my blog, just click on the flower. I created the Funny Girl title using the "Painted Wood" action by Atomic Cupcake & the font "Cafe Rojo". The journaling font I used was "Highland Perk".


Monday, February 23, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again!

Today is the day of the year that I dread every time it rolls around. Like clockwork, I spend a month or two procrastinating. And then, when I really can't wait any longer, I finally sit down with my bulging file folder and stare at my computer screen for hours on end. By the end of the day...if I manage to finish, I usually have a monstrous headache and a little less hair on my head and a few more gray hairs to add to my every growing collection.

This year it will be a little easier. My wonderful, adoring husband took a vacation day from work to spend "Daddy - Daughter" day with our 2 year old. I'm really not sure what they're planning to do but it will make my day a lot less stressful to have my attention a little more focused on the task at hand.

I really need to start...so with that I bid you goodbye...
I'm off to do my taxes!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

10 Years

Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary! It's really hard to believe that it's already been that long. We are letting our 2 year old have a "sleep over" at her cousin's house so we can have a nice night out. We're planning on going to dinner and then we'll be off to see a movie. I'm elated to wake up on my own in the morning instead of having a 2 year old wake me up at 6 am saying "Mommy, I'm hungry and firsty" (the "th" sound is still a tough one!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Experiment I Wish Would Have Failed!

When I heard a few months ago that it was possible to make chocolate cake in a coffee mug in the microwave, I have to admit, I was intrigued. I'm a sucker for chocolate cake...well...really anything made with chocolate. Last night I found the recipe in anticipation of trying it and was sadly disappointed when I realized that one of the ingredients is cocoa powder and I don't have any in the house.

Me? Give up? Just because I don't have the main ingredient? If you think I gave up, you have woefully misunderstood my love of chocolate! Not to be thwarted in my quest for chocolatey goodness, I scoured the internet for another recipe for "cake in a mug" to satisfy my craving. There were various concoctions with cocoa powder or cocoa mix and one that involved mixing cake mix and pudding mix together. All seemed to produce large cakes that baked up and out of the mug when all I really wanted was a snack size cake.

So I improvised.

I had seen a posting on a weight loss board about how to make a brownie in a mug with just brownie mix and water. If it could work with brownie mix, why not cake mix? I've had a lonely box of chocolate cake mix in the pantry for a while now. I haven't had the guts to make it because I know myself too well and it would disappear faster than the speed of light and my bathroom scale would bemoan my choice in the morning. (Yes, I love chocolate cake that much!)

It didn't take much trial and error...one try and the result was quite tasty.

4 Tbsp Chocolate cake mix (mine was the kind with pudding in the mix)
1 1/2 Tbsp water
1/2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional but a nice touch)

Microwave on high 1 1/2 min

This made 1 serving that baked about halfway up in my average sized coffee cup. Just one word of caution though, the mug and the contents were very hot. I had to use a hot pad to remove the mug from the microwave and I really should have waited a few minutes longer for the cake to cool before eating it. I think next time I might also try using some non stick spray in the mug before adding the ingredients. Yes, I will be making this again!

It was the perfect snack to satisfy my craving & not as detrimental and time consuming as making and eating a whole cake! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training

I don't think any parent can ever "really" be prepared for potty training. I know I wasn't. I had no idea how hard this would be. Accidents, refusal to use the potty, hearing "I need to go potty" every 5 minutes only to hear "there's no more potty inside me" almost every time. We've gone from 1 Pull-up days to 5 Pull-up days and it keeps going back and forth. We are now officially NO MORE DIAPERS. Just Pull-ups day & night. I know we're a little less than 2 months in but I just pray it gets a bit easier each day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Welcome to my new blog. It took a few days to figure out how to work around some bugs on Blogger but I'm finally up and running.

We haven't used our CaringBridge site in so long and we had lots of requests from Minnesota (and elsewhere) for updates so I thought a new blog would make it easier on everyone! Chasing after a 2 year old is never easy, especially during potty training. So...the less work I have to do, the greater your chances are that I'll actually update this thing!