Saturday, 31 May 2014

Why I won't go back to MAC

I don't usually like to use this blog to have random rants but something happened that annoyed and frustrated me so much that I am indeed, going to have a random rant!

About a month ago I was out shopping with Caleb and went to the MAC concession in House of Fraser to have a look at some of the make up. I have been using various MAC products for around 10 years now and while I'm not a die-hard fan, I do really like some of their things. I had heard a lot of good things about their eye pigments so I went to have a look at them.

Now, to set the scene, we went on a weekday. Caleb was really well behaved and not making any fuss or any noise. A couple of the MAC girls were with customers but about three of them weren't with anyone. I didn't ask for any help at first as I was just looking at that time and from my experience of going to other make up counters, they're always pretty quick to approach you, so I thought I would just browse and wait until someone approached me.

Nothing. On a couple of occasions, one or two of the girls would see me and look like they were about to come over and then - I kid you not - they looked down at Caleb in the pram and walked away again! I was pretty annoyed and at first I thought that I had just imagined it. A few minutes later, exactly the same thing happened again. Another customer approached the counter and stood close to me. Within a couple of minutes, one of the MAC girls came over, all happy and smiley and asked if she needed any help. Um, am I invisible?! Then one of the girls looked like she was about to approach me. She did and she even spoke to me! She said "excuse me", while she reached past me to get an eye shadow. Then she walked over to a mirror and started putting it on herself. It got to the stage where it was really so shocking and so obvious that they were ignoring me that it was almost laughable and I refused to leave as I wanted to see how long it would take for someone to finally approach me.

Ten minutes later a girl came over to me. She looked down at Caleb then back to me and asked if I needed any help. The conversation more or less went like this:
MAC girl: "Can I help you?"
Me: "yes, I have heard a lot of good things about the eye pigments and was wondering what they're like and how they're different to normal eyeshadows".
MAC girl: "yeah, they're really good, you just put them on your eyes and they last well".

And that was the end of the conversation  - she turned and walked off because another customer had approached, even though there were a couple of other MAC girls who could have helped that customer. I couldn't believe how rude and unprofessional she was! I have been to other make up counters before, including MAC (not that one) and when I have asked about a product, they have offered to try it on me, found out which shades I was interested in, etc. But this girl literally did nothing. Is it just me or do you think that something is wrong with that? I have worked in retail for around 4 years part time while I was at university and never have I treated any customer that way. It was interesting to note that the women they were all helping perhaps fitted their "image" of what someone wearing their make up might look like - basically models who didn't have a child in tow! It was obvious that they didn't think that a mother should be looking at MAC make up let alone wearing it and that maybe they should go elsewhere.

The story doesn't end there. When I got home, I emailed the MAC head office to let them know about my experience. I had to do it through their website as it was one of those where there is no actual email address and you have to fill in the form and send it to them that way, so I don't have a copy of it in my sent items or the date that I sent it. I really wish I had made a note of that because as I said, it's been about a month and I haven't had any response from them.

Am I just overreacting for being annoyed about this? In my view, I think it's appalling customer service and blatant prejudice. I'd like to say that I'll make a stand and never buy anything from them again but I really like one particular item of theirs and so maybe I'll get it again when I run out but I definitely won't be going back to that same make up counter.

Are you still there? If you've made it to the end, well done. Rant over!

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Monday, 26 May 2014

How things change

Before I became a Mum, life was so different. It's not that I was overly bothered with what people thought of me, but by the same token, I would never go out of my way to look ridiculous just for the sake of it (I may have done it unintentionally but that's a different matter entirely ;)). I never really wanted to look silly I suppose.

Then Caleb came along. It struck me a little while ago how much I have changed. A few months ago we were in Seth's parent's church ward one Sunday. I don't think we had been there in a while, certainly not since Caleb was born. He was at the age where he was crawling around everywhere and getting into everything. So even though I was in my Sunday best, I remember scrambling around on the floor after him to try and keep an eye on him. A good friend of Seth's said to me, "I always thought that you were so proper and dignified, and then I see you crawling around on the floor!" I actually took that as a compliment, although I don't know if he was implying that I am no longer dignified. I hope I haven't lost it completely ;).

Caleb and I were out shopping a couple of days ago and he was beginning to get a bit grumpy. I started to talk to him in a stupid voice and he found it hilarious, so I kept doing it over and over again until he could barely draw breath for laughing so much. Some people walking past looked at me as if to say, "she is INSANE!" whilst others walked past and smiled at me in a way that said, "we've all been there!". I think it was at that point that I really realised how much being a Mum has changed me. Well, maybe not changed me, I think I am still the same person, but maybe developed me? Evolved? Whatever, but I hope you get the idea of what I'm actually trying to say. I don't mind being the person who is crawling around on the floor at church and I really don't care what people think of me when I act in a less than adult way to get some laughs from Caleb, or when I'm sitting on the floor in the centre of a crowded shopping mall because Caleb has decided that right there is the perfect place for him to sit for a few minutes. I'm just happy to be a Mum and happy to try and be the Mum that Caleb wants and needs me to be, and if that means pulling funny faces, pretending to be a monster and speaking in silly voices, then so be it!

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Sunday, 18 May 2014

First experiences

A couple of Saturdays ago, our friends Laura and Simon came over to spend the day with us. The person who would usually look in on their dog while they were out was unable to do so due to illness, so Tessa came with them! I am not much of a pet person to be honest and most dogs scare me but Tessa is such a sweet dog and so well behaved! Caleb barely touched any of his toys that day as he was too busy playing with Tessa! He was following her around the whole time and they were chasing each other, it was so cute.

That afternoon we went out bowling. I haven't been in years and anyone who has ever been bowling with me will remember how rubbish I was / still am! I can't seem to bowl a bowling ball properly, I kind of do this wrist flick thing, which is a bit random, but I do better bowling that way than trying to bowl normally.

This was Caleb's first ever time in a bowling alley so I was curious to see how he would respond to it. I think he was a little overwhelmed by the loud music and the sound of the pins being knocked down but he soon seemed to adjust to it. He was sitting nicely in his pram, taking it all in until he decided that he wanted a piece of the action. It started off with him just wanting to hold a bowling ball, which he was more than happy with. Then he had a couple of turns at bowling. He took a couple of Seth's turns, not mine. I needed all the points I could get! Although with that said, I think Caleb possible got more points than me on at least one of his turns.

He was so pleased with himself, being able to join in with the big kids. And we are, literally, big kids. We had raspberry slush puppies and everything. If anyone else has tried them recently, have you noticed that they have changed the flavour to how it was when we were younger? Such a travesty!

We had a great day with Simon and Laura and it was so fun to experience another first with our little man.
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Tuesday, 13 May 2014


The weekend before Easter, all of the fun started for us, as we met up with the family at the temple. Caleb had a lovely time playing with the gingers (our affectionate term for Sam and Cait. It needs no explanation!), he loves his cousins. He has recently learnt how to say their names, which they were thrilled about.

We put Caleb on the parcel shelf in the car just as we were leaving. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it, ha ha!

Originally we weren't planning on doing very much on the Friday and Saturday of Easter weekend and were going to stay at home but we ended up going to Norwich to be with all of the family. I'm so glad that we did as it was such a lovely weekend.

I was telling Seth how massive the boot of Laura's hire car was, so we all got in to demonstrate.
On the Friday when we arrived at Mum's house, my nephew Jamie and his wife, Lauren were there. It was so nice to see them as I haven't seen them since their wedding day nearly a year ago! Later on that day, my sister Deb came over and stayed for a while. She bought Caleb a Mr Tumble easter egg, which he was absolutely thrilled with (the box more than the egg, of course! Typical 1 year old!). Caleb doesn't get to see Deb very much and so he made the most of the time they had together, as did Deb! She fed him his bottle before he went to bed and she very reluctantly surrendered him to us so that we could put him to bed!

On the Saturday afternoon, we met Lin, Steve and the gingers down at our church building to play around in the hall. Laura was playing football and basketball with Sam and Cait and Caleb was doing his best to try and join in. He was even standing underneath the basketball hoop, basketball in hand, looking up at the hoop as if he were about to make a shot, it was so adorable! Sadly I don't have a photo of that but it was the cutest thing!

We also had wheelbarrow races and all sat on Laura so that she could be our horse. She loves it really!

We all headed outside later on to play with Seth's amazing 3-man catapult. It shoots water balloons up to 100m. I had a turn and the first one I tried to catapult landed about a metre away from my feet! I'm glad to say that I had more success with my second attempt! Sam, Cait and Caleb were up at the other end of the grassy area, trying to catch the balloons, it was so much fun playing with them all.

My brother in law, Steve and Seth hanging out

On Sunday, we headed down to Cambridge for my great-nephew, Isaac's blessing. He has grown so much since I last saw him, it's funny how babies do that ;). He's such a cute boy, it was lovely to see him again. There were so many family members there so I didn't get to hold him much and the only times I did hold him, he cried so I swiftly gave him back to his Mum or Dad!

My niece Jess is on her mission in Salt Lake so Lin made a cardboard cutout of her so that she could still be there in the pictures!

Proud Grandma

All in all, we had a great weekend, I love being with all of the family.
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Friday, 2 May 2014

Fun at the farm

On the last Bank Holiday Monday, the weather was good (shock, horror! Good weather on a Bank Holiday Monday, I hear you say!) so we decided to make the most of it and take Caleb to Godstone Farm. We had heard quite a lot about it from other people who had been there and so we were eager to go.

Caleb loved it! He has seen animals in books and on television but this was his first time at a farm. He was so fascinated by all of the animals and being able to touch some of them. He said their names and made the relevant sounds for almost all of the animals, it was so sweet, Seth and I loved seeing how happy it made Caleb being there and how much he loved the animals.

Caleb loved being able to actually touch and stroke some of the animals.

This was Caleb trying to climb into the pig pen as he wanted to be closer to them. Apparently they were too far away!

See? He doesn't try such antics when it's Mummy holding onto him ;)


Seth took loads of photos of Caleb and me here. After telling me that he had taken loads, he then said, "if they're not nice, the opportunity was there". Cheeky!

There was an amazing park and adventure playground at the farm so once we had finished looking at the animals, we went to play. 

Daddy and Caleb cuddles!

About a week ago when Caleb and I went shopping, he saw a Mr Tumble backpack. He loves "Something Special" on cbeebies and loves Mr Tumble even more. He was so excited when he saw the backpack and kept saying, "Mr Tumble, Mr Tumble!" over and over again. Being the bad mother that I am I didn't get it, but then the next day I regretted it. So, before we went to the farm, we went back to the shop to see if the backpack was still there. Thank goodness it was! Caleb was just as excited when he saw it again and he was wearing it as we went to pay for it. Because he looked so adorable with it, I had to post a few pictures for all to see!

Isn't he just the cutest little boy ever? Of course, bias doesn't come into it at all, you realise! ;)

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