Don’t Be A Jerk Customer

Working in restaurants for over 7 years, I’ve seen every type of customer and I have definitely seen my fair share of jerk customers. I understand every job has its ups and downs and I know that I choose to do this job. That being said, the fact that I am your server does not mean I am your servant. Servers are humans with feelings too. It’s very easy to not be an asshole, just use common sense and simple human decency.

Here are some things to keep in mind while at a restaurant to make sure you are not coming off like a jerk.

1. Don’t ignore me. This is common respect.
This happens at least once a night and is probably my biggest pet peeve. When I walk up to your table and say “Hi, how are you tonight?” It is not retoracle and if you don’t like conversation, that’s fine, at least give me a “Fine.” or “Hi.” Don’t just stare at your menu or your phone while I’m standing there waiting for an answer. I will assume you are not ready for me and I will walk away.

2.When the server comes to greet your table, quickly finish your current conversation or put it on hold.
How would you feel if you went to Starbucks and the employees wouldn’t stop talking when you walked up? When I come to greet your table, I likely have 10 other things I have to do when I walk away. I don’t have time to stand at your table for 5 minutes while you finish telling your best friend about how you can’t stick to your diet. If it really can’t wait, tell me you need a few more minutes but don’t expect me to stand at your table to wait.

3. PLEASE do not cut me off during my greeting speil.
When I walk up and say “Hi my name is” and I’m cut off with “water. lemon.” You are not saving time because I will simply say “ok” and finsih what I was saying. The only thing you accomplish is having me curse you under my breath foe the rest of the service. Don’t be rude.

4. Don’t snap your fingers or whislte. 
I am not your pet, I will not come to snapped fingers. It will actually make me ignore you and get to you when I’m ready. I told you my name during my greeting so you can easily use that. Even a small wave when I’m looking in your direction is fine. Snapping and whistling is just plain rude.

5. Let everyone at the table order their own water.
Unless they are your children, there is no need to order water “for the table.” All this does is slow down my ability to get the drinks that people actually want to the table and takes me longer to clear the table when you leave. It drives me crazy when 1 person out of 7 orders “water all around.” I know I’m going to end up clearing 6 FULL glasses of water when you’re gone.

6. Please don’t let you children take 10 minutes decide what they want.
I have a son of my own and I am all for children making their own decisions and telling me their order but please help them pick it out before I come to take the order. It happens too many times when I’ve taken the table’s order and when I get to the child, the parent leans over and asks “Do you want the pasta, steak or chicken?” and the child just keeps coloring. Talk to them about it before I get there ot tell me you need a few minutes.

Doing these simple things will help to ensure that you have a pleasent experience and the server has a better night overall.

Amazing Crock-Pot Broccoli and Beef Recipe

I recently realized that I have been making the same 4 meals in my household every week for about a year now. It’s always a combo of tacos, pasta, frozen pizza and frozen fish fillets. Sometimes when I felt up to it I would make some pork chops with mac and cheese.

2 weeks ago I decided enough was enough! I started searching through pinterest for easy meals to offer a variety in my household. The first one I tried was an amazing Broccoli and Beef recipe that cooked while I at work.

It was super simple, even for me. It only required flank steak, broccoli, corn starch and some seasoning. You can find the recipe here! It’s perfect even for the most novice chef!

A Letter To Upper Management

To whom it may concern,

As your employee I would like to ask that you stop treating us like children that don’t know what we’re doing. Most of us have been serving for 5, 10, or 20+ years. How can you expect us to feel empowered to make decisions when you keep micromanaging?

We know how to manage our tables, we know when to walk the pool deck, we know when to add auto gratuity to the checks and we also know when to ask for help. I only work once a week but every day that I come in, there’s a new rule for something we’re not allowed to do.

Please take a step back and see how well we can work without having every little thing managed for us. All it does is make us feel like we’re children who have to ask to go to the bathroom.

Thank you,
Your slightly fed up employee

Baby Group & Forum Acronyms

While I was pregnant, and since I gave birth, I have read countless forums, posts, comments and blogs about anything and everything I would experience as a mother. During all of this reading I found so many acronyms that people would use but I had no idea what they stood for. Although I had pretty good guess, it would greatly change the context of what I was reading if I was wrong. After some searching and some questioning, I found what they all mean.
Here’s a list of the most common ones you will come across:

LO – Little One
FTM – First Time Mom 
SO – Significant Other
DH – Dear/Darling Husband
DD – Dear/Darling Daughter
DS – Dear/Darling Son
EBF – Exclusively Breast Fed/Feeding
EFF – Exclusively Formula Fed/Feeding
BM – Breast Milk/Bowel Movement
PP – Post Partum
TTC – Trying To Conceive
NBR – Not Baby Related
BLW – Baby Led Weening
MIL – Mother In Law
IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
TIA – Thanks In Advance

For a full comprehensive list of just about every acronym related to babies, visit the babycenter.

Hope this helps out all of you FTM’s and your LO’s 🙂

Baby Products We Didn’t Know We Needed

There are so many baby products out there and it’s hard to know which you’ll use and which you won’t. Sometimes it’s up to your baby what he/she likes. Pacifiers are a good example, our 2 month old spits them out immediately but we have so many on hand.

This is our list of products that people bought for us that we never thought we would use plus some products that we bought but didn’t know we would use SO much.

Cloth Diapers

My grandma bought us 2 packs of Gerber cloth diapers(Amazon), they are just thin, white, rectangle sheets of fabric. When I saw the words “cloth diapers” I looked at her like she was crazy. My husband and I decided long ago that we were going with disposable diapers. Well, once the baby came we used them for EVERYTHING from burp clothes to light blankets. We go through about 7-8 a day.

The Baby Wrap

I saw someone wearing their baby in one of these while I was pregnant and I knew instantly that I wanted one. What I didn’t know was how much I needed one. During the first 2 months of my son’s life, he would only sleep on me or my husband and wake up as soon as we put him down which makes it hard to do anything around the house. When there was stuff that needed done, I would put him in this wrap and he would stay asleep for hours while I got everything done. Plus, when my son is cranky and fussy from being over tired, I put him in this wrap and he falls asleep instantly. It’s truly amazing. I bought the Cuddle Bug Wrap on Amazon.

Boon Lawn Drying Rack

2016-05-15 (1)This one my husband fell in love with at the store but I wasn’t sure how much we would actually use it. From the first day we started using bottles, I realized we couldn’t live without it. It makes life so much easier. As soon as the bottles and parts are done boiling, pop them on the rack and they are ready when you are. We bought ours from Babies R Us but they are also available on Amazon and Target.

Pack and Play

pTRU1-21884719enh-z6We live in a 2 story home so this one was a must for us. It is essentially our nursery downstairs. It has his bassinet and changing table plus room IN the play yard to store stuff until he starts using it. Ours came with a little triple basket that hangs off the side and perfectly fits diapers, wipes and burp clothes. We bought the Graco Snuggle Suite from Babies R Us.

Car Seat Strap Covers

IMG_20160530_103640When we first brought our son home from the hospital we noticed his head would flop to the side or lean forward when the car started moving. We immediately went and bought these strap covers from Babies R Us and we couldn’t be happier. It keeps his head in an upright position the whole time. The only downside is he can’t bring his hands to his mouth so he ends up chewing on the covers but since they are machine washable, it’s no biggy.

7 Tips for being a great server

I have been serving for just over 7 years now and I love it. I would like to think in pretty good at it too. I never get complaints about my service and I tend to get good tips. If you are a server or intend to be one, here are some tips that I find helpful to being a good server.

1. Be friendly but not overly so. Make sure it’s genuine, not forced, the tables can tell. Find something to comment on when you greet the table. I.e. a piece of jewelry or clothing. If there’s a child, show interest in the toy they have.

2. Try to anticipate the tables needs and bring it before they ask. From extra napkins for messy meals, to condiments, or drink refills. Think about what you or your family would need if you were eating that meal.

3. Learn to read your tables. Some like to talk a lot, some don’t want to be bothered. You can usually tell if you go to the table and they either respond with one word  before going about their business or look interested waiting for you to talk. Sometimes they will strike up conversations with you.

4. Multitask. Learn to write one order while asking for the next one, it will fill the silence and get the order faster. It helps if you have shorthand for everything on the menu. Treat your station like one big table. Get drink refills for all at once, check on all of them when you check on one.

5. Prebus whenever possible. Clear plates, trash, empty glasses. Anything you can take away is less you’ll have to clear when they leave which means faster table turns. 

6. Always, always ask before you remove anything. Even if there is nothing left on the plate/in the glass. You never know if they plan to use it for their spouses leftovers or whatnot. You don’t want to ruin your tip over something easily avoided. It’s especially important if there is even a little bit on the plate, they might be saving it for whatever reason.

7. Have the check ready when they ask. When they are almost done with their entrees print the check. That way if they refuse dessert you can drop the check right away. Just don’t forget to reprint the check if they do get dessert.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to make a great impression on every table which will hopefully lead to more money in your pocket.

How to do St. Augustine FL in 1 day for under $100

My first time to St. Augustine, FL was for my 20th birthday in 2010. My (now)husband, Dennis and I decided to try to see all of what St. Augustine had to offer for under $100. The first thing we saw when we arrived was the Authentic Old Drug Store which was neat. They sold all sorts of herbal remedies used back in “the day.”

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Next, we went to buy our trolley tickets. With prior research I found out the green and orange trolley is the best for what you get for the cost. The price was $23 a person but I had a buy one get one coupon from Tropicana Rewards. They usually have coupons in the town information booklets also. From there, we hopped on the trolley and took the tour of the town, the driver of the trolley did a great job explaining everything and navigating through the small streets. After the tour of the town we went to a Philly Cheese Steak place to grab some food, for the 2 of us to eat it was only $15. After eating, we were just in time for the beach shuttle to the lighthouse (included in the price of the trolley).

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We got to the lighthouse and decided to climb the 219 stairs to the top. It sounds like a lot but it really wasn’t that bad. When you go, ask for the audio tour recording. There are checkpoints throughout the lighthouse where you can stop and listen to the device which shares some history about the lighthouse. The view from the top was amazing, definitely worth the climb.

With the trolley sticker, the lighthouse will give you $1 off admission which brings it to $16 for 2 people. After the shuttle back to the main part of town we walked to the San Sebastian Winery where we took the tour and learned how they make wine. The tour ends with a wine tasting which would have been great except I was only 20. Then we grabbed the trolley back to St George street which is where all the shops and restaurants are.

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We walked around St George Street checking into the different shops and places to eat. We stopped for a piece of key lime pie ($4) and I got an airbrush tattoo ($4). Then Dennis took me down a side road to show me the love tree. This is a tree that grew inside of another tree and rumor has it that if you kiss your true love under this tree your love will last for 100 years, so far so good.

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The last thing we did was a ghost walk. Again I printed a coupon before I left home for a buy one get one ticket. We did the Ghost Tours of St. Augustine, unfortunately I didn’t catch anything on my camera but it was still a ton of fun. The guide was dressed like a pirate and he was very knowledgeable of the town. There are so many ghost stories around and no matter what question we asked him he had an answer. We both did it for $12.

Total spent – $74 not including 2 bottles of wine from the winery.

8 Tips for a Wedding On A Budget

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My husband and I got married on Monday November 12, 2012. Why on a Monday? It was cheaper and it didn’t really matter what day of the week we had it on. Since we were paying for the wedding and honeymoon ourselves, we did everything we could to cut back on costs. In total we spent $5000 on our wedding, not including the rings, dress or honeymoon. If you or someone you know is planning a wedding and you need to stay within a budget, I have some advice.

The biggest thing to remember: this is your day, it’s going to be beautiful and unique no matter what so just go with what feels right to you and your partner.

8 Tips For A Wedding On A Budget

 

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1. Find a local beautiful place that works with your personalities.

My husband and I love Key West so when we found this gorgeous outdoor venue complete with a tikki bar and beach side fire pit, we knew we hit the jackpot. Since it was a small local venue, it was much cheaper than some grand hall or a golf course.

2.  Have the wedding on a weekday if possible.

I found that most venues and vendors offered cheaper rates on the weekdays. 

3.  Cut back on your guest list.

I know this one is difficult but trust me, it can be and needs to be done. When we first got engaged, I told EVERYONE they were invited and soon had a guest list of over 150. Once we started looking at venues and food, we realized we had to cut back. I narrowed it down to just family and close friends. We ended up with under 50. The venue was cheaper as well as the total cost of food and drinks.

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4.  Make the decor yourselves and enlist help.

Every chance I got, I was with my friends and family creating the centerpieces or stuffing the stockings (Christmas theme) It was much cheaper than buying predone decorations. We also decorated the arch we stood under during the ceremony with dollar tree ribbon and glittered letters.

5.  Forgo the photographer.

Nowadays everyone has amazing cameras on their phones, just ask everyone to take as many photos as they can and send them all to you after the wedding. Pinterest has tons of ideas for cute picture requests you can leave on the tables. This way the guests can be involved and help capture candid photos. We also ask a couple people with video recorders to bring them and we set them up in the isle to capture the whole ceremony.

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6.  Find friends or family that have special skills or equipment.

I am lucky that my dad worked for an amusement park and had professional sound equipment. He brought it all to the reception, hooked it up and we plugged our phone in to play our wedding playlist we made. I also have a friend who is a cake decorator. She made our little cake to cut and we got a big sheet cake from publix for the guests.

7.  BYOB

We hired a bartending service that would just come serve the alcohol that we brought. Find out what they supply then you bring the rest. We took a survey from our guests to find out what the majority would be drinking and stocked up on that. We also created our own specialty cocktail that we had the bartender serve.

8.  Utilize your time in a way that suits you.

The package we got included 4 hours of space usage. Since neither of us are very religious, we had a very quick, maybe 15 minute ceremony then spent the rest of the time dancing and celebrating with friends.

Snapshot Of My Life

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Who am I? I have struggled with this question for many years and I still don’t really know. I know what I am. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and, most recently, a mother. I know what I like. I like to make those around me happy. I like to go bowling and visit new places. I like to watch tv and scroll through FaceBook. I realize all of this somehow adds up to answer the question of who I am, I just haven’t figured out how it adds up yet.

I am a 25 year old new mother to a beautiful baby boy. I am a wife to my wonderful, loving husband. I am a sister to three crazy and amazing brothers. I am a daughter to my father, mother, step mother and many “adopted” parents who all love and care for me in their own ways.

My life started on July 20 1990 in Chicago. In 1992 we welcomed my brother CJ. In 1995 my brother Cordell came along. We were all born into the carnival business. My parents met at a carnival where my dad was working. My mom decided to join him on the road. My family in Chicago still own a traveling carnival. In 1995 we all moved to Florida so my dad could work at Old Town in Kissimmee. In 1998 my mom left my dad and my step mom, Jeri, moved in.

I got my first “job” when I was 13 helping out at the arcade in Old Town during the summer. My second job was at pizza hut near my mom’s house. After that, I’ve always had 2 jobs. Once I turned 16 I started working for my dad at Old Town during the Friday and Saturday night cruises. I worked on and off at the arcade. I graduated high school in 2008 and moved in with my now husband. I then got a job at Blockbuster on nights I wasn’t at Old Town. I hated Blockbuster so I quit and got a job at Dunkin Donuts. While I was at Dunkin Donuts, I left the arcade and got my first job serving at Lone Star Steakhouse. That’s when My life changed. You can read about why I love serving so much and what I think it takes to be a good server here.

I have always known that I like making people happy whether it was giving massages, cooking dinner, or keeping the house clean. I love to make people smile. That’s why serving was perfect for me. It combined my 3 favorite things: making people happy, eating amazing food, and making money. I was lucky to have the manager of Lone Star hire me straight as a server because she thought I would be great at it.

She was right, I was a natural born server. I could handle multiple tables, help out my teammates and go above and beyond to make sure my guests had the best experiences possible. I soon learned to bartend and started doing both. I then left Dunkin Donuts to serve at Buffalo Wild Wings. I ended up leaving BWW because they closed at 2 so I wasn’t getting home until 3 or 4. I then got a job bartending at Hilton Grand Vacations by Sea World. I left Lone Star and went full time for Hilton, until I applied for and got hired at my dream place: Walt Disney World. I am currently part time at Hilton and Disney.

In 2wp-1465108879118.jpg011 I got to visit Key West for the first time, that’s where my husband proposed. You can read all about my trip and watch the proposal video here. We got married in November 2012. We had a beautiful “Christmas in Key West” themed wedding. You can see pictures and read about how we did a gorgeous wedding on a budget here.

 

My husband and I bought our house in March of 2014 and we welcomed our first baby boy, Sammy Nole, into the world in April of 2016.

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As for who I am, I think I am exactly who I’m supposed to be right now. I just have to keep doing the best I can in life and see where it takes me. I will continue this blog to see how my life changes and develops over the years.