Friday, October 23, 2009

Phone call from Kraft/ Oscar Mayer regarding my new Lunchables inquiry

I only have a second to post this but wanted everyone to know that I just got off the phone with a representative from Kraft/ Oscar Mayer and she was fantastic and has totally changed my attitude towards the company.  I think they actually do care what consumers think and listen to our opinions--wow! Who knew that there were still companies like that around?!?  I will add more later...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lay a way? NO way

I was participating in a discussion on another site and just need to vent my feelings about some things.

First, I do not understand the concept of lay-a-way at all. Why not just save up your money and THEN go buy the item rather than paying for it in installments when you don't even get to take home the item. I'm paying for my car in installments but I got the car at the front end rather than at the end. You are paying for an item you don't have...doesn't make sense to me.

Second, yes the economy stinks.  Yes, you may have to go without some big ticket items, but Christmas does not have to be a meager sad pity party.  My dad's favorite quote of all time is:
Prior planning prevents poor performance
Write that down.  You need to remember it.  We may be spending less at our housethis Christmas but we are getting/giving way more this year. I stocked up on toys during Toys R Us christmas in July sale and Target's clearance sale in August. Also if you watch they will post toy coupons frequently such as My Little Pony and Nerf. If you pair these coupons with the specials at Toys R Us or KMart (both almost always have a $5 off $25 coupon that you can stack) you can get lots of toys very cheap. You also can use register rewards at Walgreens for both toys and photo lab. For teachers gifts I always go to Bath and Body works. When they release coupons that say (for ex) "1 free lotion with any purchase" they really mean ANY purchase. You can buy a nail file on sale for $.50 and get the $5 lotion free. These coupons are usually released every other week so if you watch for it throughout the year then you have a large stockpile by Christmas time for gifts. I also love MyPoints, SurveyHead, and other survey sites. They are quick and easy to do and pay out in checks, paypal or gift cards. At MyPoints it takes no time to reach enough points to get a $10 Kohls gift card.  Pair that with Kohls weekly deals and you can get a really nice present for someone for next to nothing.
So it's actually very easy to have a cheap Christmas and by cheap I mean on your bank balance and not sacrificing quality or quantity.

New Lunchables Flawed UPDATED response from Kraft

I finally got a response from Kraft regarding my problem with the new lunchables
I wrote them originally on 10/13, got the first auto response on 10/15, I wrote them back on 10/18 asking for an update after not hearing anything from them, then wrote them again on 10/21 saying that it had been a week and I still had not heard a word, and finally today here's the reply I recieved:
Thank you for taking the time to visit us at and for letting me know about your experience.

Thank you for getting back to me

I'm sorry to hear you were not happy with the taste of the Kool Aid in the Oscar Mayer Lunchables. I am sending you reimbursement coupons in the mail for this product, which you should receive within 7-10 business days.

The problem you described sounds like the product was not properly stored during distribution. We take care at our manufacturing facilities to ensure that our products are stored at the correct temperature and time frame until we are able to distribute them. Once our products are in distribution, the storage is out of our control. If the product was exposed to excessive temperatures it could cause the problem you described.

You may use the 8 oz Kool-Aid singles packet in the 6.5 oz water bottle in the Lunchables Complete meal. Once mixed together you'll still enjoy great flavor. We are however working to replace the 8 oz KA Single with a smaller packet.

Again, I apologize for this experience. Thank you for your loyalty and we hope that your next experience is a good one.

Kim M-----
Associate Director, Consumer Relations
Does Kraft think consumers are stupid?  Excessive temperatures did not cause the problem I described.  Having too much Kool Aid or too little water (whichever way you want to look at it) caused the problem.  Sounds like they do realize that they have a problem if they are replacing the packet.  Seems to me that would have been something easier to fix on the front end.

How do you do it?

I started my blog a couple weeks ago thinking that since the kids had been back in school a little while and everyone had sort of gotten back into a routine that I would have time to write/keep a blog. HA! of course the past week has been insane with everything from our youngest's birthday to issues at our oldest's school to one of our dogs getting sick and nearly dying! (the dog survived--though not without a few hundred in vet bill of course!) Oh did I mention my 2yr old car died last Saturday too?!? Murphy seems to have moved in with us recently.

So my question is HOW DO YOU DO IT?  I read these other people's blogs and they write 4 or 5 posts a day every day and some have 4 or 5 kids!  When do they find time to write this much?  Sure, I could write that much if I stayed up until 2am each night but I like sleep and sleep likes me...and I like sleep more than I like blogging to be frank.  I really am being serious though that I truly would love to know how other "mommy bloggers" do it. 

I do hope to get more content up soon. My mom was a sort of a parenting "guru" who spoke at parenting confrences back in the 80's across the south and still occassionally writes articles for various Christian publications so my hope is to get a few of her articles up soon to share.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blogger's Guilt?

I didn't post at all yesterday and you know what? I felt guilty about it!  What in the world is that about?!?  I know all about Christian guilt and mother's guilt but now I've got to add blogger's guilt to the list too?  How strange it is that starting a forum like this that makes you feel compelled to be loyal and dedicated to write even if no one is reading!   This is why I didn't have a chance to write yesterday.  'Nuff said...

New Lunchables Flawed

I bought my 8yr old several of the new OSCAR MAYER LUNCHABLES SUB SANDWICHES. Surely by now you've seen these new Lunchables on the shelves at grocery stores or Wal-mart. Specifically I bought 5 of these to cover her lunches for this week: 3 Ham plus American and 2 Turkey plus Cheddar. This was the first time we had tried this new Lunchable product. When she came home from school Monday she said she did not like her lunch at all. I asked what was wrong and she said the sub sandwich was good (she took the ham version yesterday) but the water was horrible. I asked her to explain and she said the water plus Kool Aid Single was "bitter" and "made my mouth turn like it was sour."

I could not figure out what could be wrong because we regularly buy Kool Aid singles and have a box of the tropical punch in our pantry right now. She drinks Kool Aid singles often and knows how to properly pour the contents into the bottle of water and to be sure to shake it up well. She absolutely did not want me to send her another lunchables to school the next day. I certainly did not want them to go to waste considering I had bought 5 at one time so I opened one of the Turkey plus Cheddar versions for my own lunch Tuesday. I took one sip of the water plus Kool Aid mixture and nearly spit it out!

Then I realized what the very obvious problem is: the Kool Aid Singles packet very clearly states "Add to 8 fl oz glass or bottle of water" but yet in the Lunchable the bottle of water included is only 6.5oz! Of course it's bitter--there's too much Kool Aid mix for the amount of water provided.

And please don't tell me that the company expects children to know not to pour the entire contents of the Kool Aid packet into the bottle of water to compensate for the lack of enough water to properly dissolve the Kool Aid. I also find it hard to believe that no one taste tested this before production since this would have been a very easy fix just to use a slightly larger bottle of water to add the needed extra 1.5 fl oz.

I want to be very clear that this is in no way to defame Lunchables, Oscar Mayer, or Kraft at all.  To the contrary I just want other moms to be aware of this problem so that their children aren't stuck having to drink something that tastes nasty with their lunch.  I have bought Lunchables for years and will probably continue to do so because they are so convenient in a pinch but I am very disappointed that such an obvious problem was overlooked.  ESPECIALLY in this day an age when there are so many opportunities to make use of the different testing communities to test products vigorously before they hit the market. 

I wrote Kraft foods (parent company of Oscar Mayer) to alert them about the design flaw.  I received the automatic response first and then I recieved a response from a person  who's title is "Associate Director, Consumer Relations" saying "I appreciate your patience; I need some additional time to research your inquiry. I'll contact you again as soon as possible."  I'm waiting....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Is it too early to put up my Christmas trees yet?  My reasoning is that if Lowes, Hobby Lobby, Macys, and every other retail store in America can have their trees out already then I can start my decorating too.  Now don't think for a minute that my decorating is a work of art or anything fancy.  In fact my mom regularly refers to it as based on the artistic period known as "early yard sale" but I have a lot of it--lots and lots of it.  Last year I think I started the 2nd week of November and still didn't get everything out that I wanted to (of course we had just moved and I couldn't find half my stuff either.)  Now that we've been in our house for a year I know where I want things to go so I'm eager to get started and see if it all turns out like I have it planned in my mind.  Did I mention that last year I put out 6 trees?  Yes, really and I've already seen a great purple tree on sale at Big Lots for $20 that I think needs a home in my oldest daughter's room so this year it may be lucky number 7.  I'm looking for Christmas card display solutions so if you come by any clever (and UN-CLUTTERED!) ones please send it my way.  I found this idea online and it's really cute but counter/table/shelf space is at a premium in my house so not sure how well that would work.

Monday, October 12, 2009

EBMR--check it out

Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports has a ton of great giveaways going on right now (actually she pretty much always has great giveaways going on so I highly suggest you follow her blog--unless that decreases my chance in winning these prizes so in that case you should totally ignore her site.)  Here is a sampling of my current favorites from her site:

Surely you know a child who needs Patches the bear to help them better express their feelings.  Unfortunately I know too many

Firm belief in our house that you can never have too many Bibles

I want to bake, I really do, but it's just safer for all of us if I stay out of the kitchen.  Plus it keeps the ovens and stove top clean!  My mom on the other hand is Martha-freakin-Stewart (only more genuine and grandmotherly!) and she and my girls would love this cupcake set


When I graduated high school I was part of a select group called "Alpha Omega."  We were the group of students who started at our school in PreK and went all the way through graduation together.  This meant the 12 or so of us (I only had 44 in my graduating class) had been together for 14 years straight.  We knew everything about each other: who's grandmother was sick, who had wet their pants in 1st grade, who was who's first kiss, and so on.  I don't presume to make this blog quite that detailed as I'm not one to gush about myself or my family but I do find this an interesting avenue to express myself.  Whether anyone reads it or not is a whole other issue but at least what I have to say will be out there floating around cyberland in case someone happens upon it.