Quick Doggy Treats

It’s just to cold to get out of the house tonight. My doggies are out of cookies. Yes, we have treats but no cookies. JenJen was just staring at me. She knows I couldn’t continue avoiding her attempt to get my attention.  Finally she speaks!

I find myself searching the kitchen and her blanket looking for a piece or few crumbs she tucked away. No luck. Tried playing with her. No, she wants a treat.

Soon I find myself in the kitchen scouring the refrigerator. Nothing good for her in there.  She’s disappointed.

Turning to my computer I begin my search for home-made dog treats. Found a couple of recipes that seem to be simple. Yes! I have the ingredients. Digging out the cookie cutters I bought for my grand daughter’s last birthday party I find a bone shape. This is perfect.

Less than an hour later she is enjoying her new cookies.

These are peanut butter. They smell great. Really they have no flavor, similar to what cardboard would taste like I imagine. JenJen is happy and I can continue to enjoy my evening.


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Basic Tools for a Mystery Shopper

Most mystery shopping companies offer the ability to self assign shops. Every shopper has to have an email account. Free web based accounts are fine.

 Companies require a shopper to have a Paypal account also. I believe it’s best to have an account that is used just for shopping. Combining your personal and shopping email account is not a good idea. Important assignments or correspondence from schedulers could be missed or make it to your spam folder. I suggest checking your shopping email daily so as not to miss out on any assignments.

Access to a smart phone is not mandatory, but makes completing shops easier.

All shops have different scenarios and having a printer with a scanner is highly recommended. Without these two items it would be difficult to download, print and complete the report. I have used my digital camera to make a quick copy of a receipt for certain occasions. Nowadays you can purchase both items for less than a hundred dollars. Not having this convenience in your home office will make your job much more difficult.

Another asset would be a good watch that has a visible second hand. Timing is critical!

Once an assignment is assigned to your in box you will mark your calendar. Most shops have a window of time to complete and submit your report. Pay very close attention!

Reliable transportation is crucial because most assignments require that you actually visit the location.

Some companies offer phone based and online shopping assignments. Most of these shops require you use a land line phone and your watch or a timer.

Cash and credit cards are essential if you decide to begin shopping. Most companies require that you use your own cash, and sometimes your own credit card to make a purchase. You are reimbursed the following month.

Keeping up with receipts is a very important task. All assignments will require it.

Making sure you are organized with a home office and these few basic tools, you will be ready to start shopping.

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Does Low Cost Advertising Work?

Spending much time on the internet has lead me to believe this is my best, and least expensive way to gain massive exposure for my venture as a party consultant.

Advertising on the internet can be confusing and quite overwhelming for me at times. 

So where do I start?

I have put a plan together to gain exposure this year. I understand results will not happen immediately, or even over a few days, but slowly over weeks and months at a time. 

I’ve started my campaign by joining a blogging challenge that last for thirty days. This early in the challenge, I am amazed at all the ideas I have came across and hope I actually put some into action.

I’m dealing with information overload! 

So many bloggers are sharing different ideas and experiences. 

I’m having a great time.


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Purpose of Mystery Shopping?

The purpose of mystery shopping is very simple.  Companies  want to know if  employees are following policies and offering excellent customer service.   There is a lot of competition between most businesses. 

We as consumers have a choice where we spend our money.  It’s proven we tend to shop at places that treat us well. 

 Mystery shoppers give unbiased opinions evaluating more than what the average customer notices. 

I behave like a normal customer, so that none of the associates or employees guess my intention. While keeping my identity secret, I search for information.

Before I leave home I’m provided a checklist full of information that I’m to notice during the shop.  Once there, I have to interact with the staff.  I’ll notice the attitude of the employees and look for neatness and weather or not the inside and outside of the building is clean.  My duties start as soon as I enter the establishment until I walk out the door.

Favorite assignments have included gas stations, fast food, fine dining, auto, storage facility, entertainment places and everything in between.

Once I complete a shop I gather all my notes, receipts and photos. The nest step is little difficult. This requires me to remember my experience, complete a questionnaire and write a report.

Mystery shopping does not pay a great deal.  I would have to do many many shops a week to make a living.  Personally I don’t have the time.  My family favorite shops include fine dining and entertainment. 

Brent and I get to enjoy fun evenings followed by great meals.

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Mystery Shopping

Sometimes I work as a secret shopper.   For me this is an enjoyable way to add variety to my schedule. Yes, this part-time habit offers great hours and many perks!    

I began over six years ago.  Before companies went completely online.  Wow!  This industry has changed. 

While I lived in South Texas I decided to check on the availability of shops in the area.  Of course, shops were limited due to the lack of targeted businesses.  I found a few companies that offered a variety of shops and I got started.

Returning back to this large metroplex I have searched online  for newer companies with assignments near me.  Looking forward to dining at a few of my favorite restaurants.

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Decorated Travel Baby Wipes Case

During a late dinner,  Sharie and I decided we should make a  baby wipes case to add in our basket for Jessica’s shower tomorrow.  We ran to Hobby Lobby grabbed a few items and started working immediately after dinner.  

The trim we bought didn’t seem to match as well after we got home so I offered to run to Walmart and pick up something different.  I couldn’t have been gone longer than thirty minuets.

Returned to her house and arrived to a locked door.  Knocked and no answer.   Sent her a text.  No answer.  I decided to enter thru the garage.  All three, two kiddos and my daughter were sleeping on the sofa!  I woke her up, offered to take the materials home and continue working for a while.  We agreed to meet early Saturday and she would finish by adding the baby’s name.

Glad I brought this home!  Took more time than I planned.  Had fun and can’t wait for her to finish it.

This was so simple …  We emptied a plastic huggies container, cut material to cover the top and bottom,  glued some batting over the opening on top.  Using ribbon, I trimmed both top and bottom.  My hot glue gun is still in storage.  We used craft glue for material but a hot glue gun would be great. 

These can be decorated for either gender with lots of cute themes. Ours is simple tonight. 

Can’t want to make more! 

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Celebrity crushes before teen years?

"Her first crush"
Her First Crush!

During a quick trip to Target last night my six year old grand daughter grabbed a magazine and asked if she could have it.  “Why?”  I asked.  She smiled and explained, “There were pictures of Justin Bieber inside!”   “Who is he?”  I questioned.   She preceded to show me  pictures and explain who he was.  I asked if she planned to read the words not just look at the pictures.  She happily agreed as she continued to flip pages.  

Before leaving  the book section my daughter caught a glimpse of a wall calendar plastered with his face.  She quietly expressed how much my grand daughter would enjoy this for her upcoming birthday.  I laughed. She pointed out there were only three and added that it was on sale.

While standing in the checkout line I decided to excuse myself and run for a quick potty break.  Yes, I returned to a different line and did a great job hiding this calendar all the way home.

By now, I’m sure she has forgotten.  Can’t wait to see her face in a couple weeks!

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Driod? Apple? Windows?

I want to buy a new cell phone.  Today I went to the local ATT store. This experience was similar to purchasing a new car! Upon entering the store I was greeted by a nicely dressed man holding a phone and offering to take my name and cell number. He then asked why I was there. I expressed an interest in purchasing a new phone. He suggested I browse the store and play with the some of the live demo phones due to the fact my wait time would be about thirty minuets.

There are four walls covered with phones and accessories!  I notice customer service agents quickly moving about as I watch the monitor waiting for my name to be next.  I found myself encountering a difficult time trying to send my friend a simple text with one of the new phones.

About fifteen minuets later I’m approached by a lady that seems frazzled. She introduces herself and ask about the features I want.  Of course I want it all!  Her first suggestion was the Apple Iphone for $99.  Wow, sounds great!  I asked if this is the iphone4.  No, the iphone3 at a discounted price.  She replies. We discussed the different features of the two. I prefer the iphone4.  About this time I’m quickly introduced to another associate.  He is an expert and will help me decide which phone to purchase.  OK?

Quickly our conversation is geared toward the HTC Surround.  I love it!  I question which phone he uses.  He hands me his iphone4 and reaches into his other pocket to retrieve his HTC Surround.

We laugh as I tell him I need to be working for ATT.   No purchase today.   The iphone4 is out of stock.

Next stop, the Sprint store.

Experience about the same.  Once greeted I gave my name and began checking out the phones during my wait.  The girl that assisted me offers quite a bit of information and suggested the Transform.  Nice phone and it’s on sale.  But, I don’t care for the slide out keyboard.  She explained it is very similar to the iphone including the front camera and if my friends get a certain app we can video chat.

Which provider would I prefer?  Sprint sounds good at $69 for all services included, which ATT has separate charges for web, texting package, data package and actual talk time.

I’m still not sure which phone I want.  Which provider would I prefer?  What are the pros and cons of each phone and operating system?  My search continues…

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Reality and Fun

I initially started this blog to share my experiences.  I plan to add other topics such as food, vacations, birthday parties, random thoughts, photos, my business and more.

I will post about day to day life … happiness, success, laughter, time spent with my grandchildren. 

My agenda includes sharing the good and bad as I tackle the  social media world, beginning with this blog.

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The Challenge Itself

While spending more time online I have found a few blogs I enjoy visiting on a regular basis.  Recently I came across a post encourging readers to join and share thier blog over the next 30 days.  The idea is to actually post daily.  Figure it’s a new year maybe it’s time for me to jump in and get started.

My blog will be dedicated to my journey as I begin this year with new experiences.

This is actually my first attempt at being held accountable for  daily entries on a blog.   I am looking forward to the challenge!

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