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Archive for May, 2009

A Famous John

Cute Tot

Attention World!

Go and see my sweet John-John. He’s famous over at Cute Tots. I was so excited to discover his picture in my reader this morning. It’s going to be a fabulous day! I can tell already!

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FrugalFriday

Suggestions for Contacting Companies:

In Writing. It’s always best to do it in writing. You are able to think about exactly what you want to say and how to word it. In my case, it comes out much more professional on paper than verbally.

Manners. The first part of being minding your manners when writing  is spelling and grammar. Run spell-check! Nothing says “I didn’t put a lot of effort into this” or “You’re not worth the time”  like poor spelling. The other obvious aspect of manners is language. Make sure that you address your letter politely.

Positive. Try to be upbeat and positive. If possible, start your letter in a positive manner. Is there something about the company/individual that you really like? Start with that. Once you have dealt with your grievance, then try to end on a positive note as well.

Be Non-Confrontational. Once you have said something nice, gently bring forth your grievance in a non-confrontational way. Unless you are just writing them to blow off steam and don’t actually want to work out a mutually agreeable solution, avoid saying things like “you’ve lost my business”. The only reason that a company would want to work with you to rectify any problems is to keep your current business and to maintain a good image in word-of-mouth advertising. Instead, try to phrase it in a way that encourages the company to work with you, such as “I’m unhappy with ___ . I am contacting you to give you the opportunity to rectify the situation.”

Make Suggestions. If you have some suggestions or ideas, politely include these in your letter as well. Many companies, anxious to please, will consider anything that you take the time to suggest, though do not be offended if you do not get the exact solution you proposed. (examples: The car seat cover is torn so perhaps you can send me a replacement? If the exact pattern is not available, a light brown would match as well.)

End in Expectation: Write as if you are sure that they too will be anxious to work with you. Closing with something such as “Thank you in advance for your willingness to work with me in this matter” will encourage agreement on their part.

Do you have a letter writing tip? Or a sure-fire way to get results? Please, Please Share!!

Related Posts: Success Stories: Free Repairs, Replacements and More

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I have discovered a secret!

Most companies are interested in ensuring customer satisfaction even after the sale is complete! If you have products that are broken, or need parts, try contacting them! Often they will repair or replace for little or no cost! It is a Finer Thing when companies still stand behind their products!

I purchased a wonderful bible organizer and cover in pink a couple years ago. I love this set. On Sundays it houses my wallet, tissues, notebook, bible and anything else I need it too. And it’s pink! I love pink! Anyway, the other day one of the handles broke on it. I was crest-fallen. I emailed Zondervan and they responded shortly after. They confirmed the type of case it was and mailed me out a new one no charge. I had it within a week! I was over the moon about it. Zondervan is a company that really stands behind it’s products! My likelihood of purchasing their products in the future just increased  because my opinion of their company just dramatically rose!

book case

I have a Graco car seat and it had a tear in it under the edge at the top. I actually think that many of them tear due to the design and the sharp edge at the top. Anyway, I contacted Graco and explained the situation and they replaced it for me.

Chloe received TJ Bear for her 1st birthday from her grandparents. He’s a bear that “reads” to you and Chloe loves him. He stopped working just before her second birthday. I contacted Hasbro but unfortunately they don’t make him anymore however they were kind enough to send me out a free item of equivalent value. (And my dad was able to fix TJ bear anyway. No, I am not going to tell you what was wrong with it because then you would all wonder why I wasn’t smart enough to try changing the batteries. LOL)

bear

I have several other letter writing success stories and my sister also has many success stories that she could share about the great customer service that some companies provide. Before you give up on something, contact the company!

Related Posts: Get Results with your Letter!

 

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house

Photo by McMorr

I’ve mentioned already this week that the theme at the Ladies’ Retreat was “Celebrate Change”.

Change can be bad, scary, fun, good, easy, hard or any combination of these or others. There are a million things in life that cause changes. I myself am not always big on change. There is such comfort in sameness that sometimes I resent change.

I’ve given quite a bit of thought lately and there are a lot of changes that I need or want to make. Some personal and some right here at Beautiful Calling. I wanted to share with you a few things that are coming up:

Physical Changes: Beautiful Calling is in for a beautiful new look! April Showers will be working on Beautiful Calling in the next month or so.

Preparation: Thus far in my short blogging life, I have written posts off the cuff, day by day. In learning more about how to schedule and plan, it is my intention to prepare posts ahead of time, with more thought, preparation, prayer and planning. With the Lord guiding more of my words, I pray that most posts will be less rambling…though there are times when rambling works…and rambling is definitely a Jenn-trait!

Purpose: My posting will be taking a slight change of direction. The main purpose of my blog hasn’t changed; that is to bring glory to God. But in content, I aim to share more of what I know. That isn’t too much (LOL) but I’ve learned a few things. Stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing of my personal life will be hard at times but the Lord has been laying some things on my heart to share.

  • Next Friday will be the first post in Death Before Birth: A Miscarriage Series. It will be covering Miscarriage Basics, my personal story about Losing Isaiah, The Grief Process, Survival, and Helping Others. I encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences in this delicate series in hopes that it may help someone out there struggling like I was.
  • Set for a Sizzling Summer Series. What is this? It’s another new series that I know you are going to love; filled with super tips for packing your beach bag, sun safety, summer fun ideas, summer product reviews and of course, GIVEAWAYS! I know you will appreciate the practicality of this series, along with some great product reviews to help make your summer a super one! Watch for it starting next week!
  • Tune-Up Tuesdays will be appearing on Thursdays very shortly. As we learn and grow, we evaluate and adjust accordingly. I started Tune-Up Tuesdays right at the beginning of my blogging adventure. Since then, I have discovered Gratituesday (thanks Brianna!). Counting our blessings is a sure-fire way to keep the right focus, ensure right priorities and keep us thankful and humble. It is something that I want to participate in. So I am moving Tune-Up Tuesday to Thursdays so that I can.
  • Tune Up Tuesday will also have a new logo which incorporates a heart to better exemplify it’s purpose. It isn’t about tuning-up tasks (though you can) but rather about tuning up our hearts. Focusing on one small attitude, action or area of thought each week. The Ladies’ retreat this weekend provided a great reminder of all the changes that I still need to make and it is so easy to get overwhelmed. TUT is my own little way of focusing on one small area at a time with one small step at a time in order to make a permanent change with the goal of being confirmed to His image. I hope that when TUT returns, you will join in!

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chore chart print screen

Chloe is two and this is her chore chart. This picture below is Chloe’s first attempt at setting the table. Pretty good if you ask me!

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Chore Chart Tips:

  • Receive Chart via email by contacting me
  • Print it after changing the name (unless your daughter’s name is Chloe) and editing the chores to suit your family
  • Laminate it (some office stores charge a small fee for this) or you can use a page protector sheet from the dollar store
  • Put it on the fridge, high enough up that it requires help from mommy or daddy to fill it in
  • Use small magnets (Ebay, Dollar Store), dry erase markers or a combination of both
  • Head over to Simple Mom and Org Junkie for ideas on how to incorporate your little ones into daily activities and figuring out what they are capable of.

I made Chloe’s chart in MS Excel (it can also be opened with Open Office (a free program) so if you would like me to email you a chart for your own use, please contact me at beautifulcalling (at) gmail (dot) com.

Do you have a site you like for information on toddlers, chores and keeping house? Please leave the link in the comments. It would be much appreciated!

Wednesday WFM

Thank you to a number of sources for their clipart 

Related Topics: Learning Poster

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cross Photo by Jasmic

This past weekend I attended Faithway’s 20th Ladies’ Retreat. Each year, I am thankful that they put it on and that I am able to attend. This year, the theme was “Celebrate Change” and it has a variety of applications. The most important application being the change that comes with Salvation; a change of heart, a change of family, a change of master, a change of eternal destination. Of course, there is also continual change of sanctification as we submit and surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to conform us to His image.

In thankfulness of my salvation, I thought I would share with you my testimony in a nutshell:

I am thankful that I grew up in a Christian home with parents who truly love the Lord. It was through them, and my Sunday School teacher, that I came to Christ at a very young age.

Romans 10:9 says “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

At 3 years of age, I understood that I was a sinner in need of a Savior and, thanks to John 3:16, that famous Sunday School verse, I understood God’s amazing love for me! I am thankful that salvation is for all who call on Him (Romans 10:13) and that the Lord has made salvation so simple that even a child can come.

During my teenage years I drifted away from the Lord and went my own way. The Lord has given us all a free will and permits us to use it. I am thankful that he is merciful, longsuffering and, though he allowed me to go my own way for a season, he continued to keep His hand of protection on me. In His timing, he used circumstances and people to draw me back to him.

I am closer now to Him than I have ever been. I have come to learn that it is only through a right relationship with Him; when we love and serve Him; that we can experience a true inner peace, joy and happiness regardless of outward circumstances.

If you’re thankful for your Salvation, say ‘Amen’! And if you aren’t sure that are saved, or don’t know what Salvation is, please take a moment now to read God’s Simple Plan of Salvation.

gratituesdayspring4

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may20 047 John is reading up on how to use his new shoes. I thought this was too cute!

This month, I have the privilege of reviewing couple of Jack and Lily products. Jack and Lily is a Canadian company that provides adorable, quality footwear for little ones. We will be reviewing a super cute pair of the ‘My Shoes’ Chocolate Brown Sandals for John and a pair of the originals for Chloe. When they arrived last week, Chloe was so excited about them. Adorable and comfy looking, she put them on immediately. John tried to eat his. Thankfully they appear to be a good quality, the leather is soft and the soles are a flexible rubber so I think that they can withstand a little nibble or two.           

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After a suitable testing period, I’ll post a review. There is nothing more disappointing that purchasing something, only to find it lacking in some way or not meeting your expectations. Regardless of the type or size of your purchase, reading some real-life product reviews, by people in no way affiliated with the company, is a great way to make sure that you are making a wise purchase.

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I should also mention that Jack and Lily have generously decided to sponsor a GIVEAWAY! That’s right! One of you lucky readers will have the opportunity to choose your style and size. I bet that you all have some adorable babies who would look darling in their styles. I’m also sure that you will have a tough time picking just one! They have, possibly, the best selection I’ve seen so far! Especially the girls 🙂 I think there are few things in life cuter than baby feet (clean ones that is!) When the official review is posted, there will be the standard 5 chances to enter. How exciting so keep watching!

For all of you anxious to get started, go ahead and leave a comment in this post for a bonus entry! What should your comment say? How about telling me who you are hoping to win a pair for?

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