Back to School Can Be Expensive

Every year, through work, I put together two backpacks of school supplies for kids in need. I always pick one boy and one girl, grade varies.

This year, I went with lower grades, which made things a little less expensive, but still… School can be expensive. I ranted to my husband for close to 10 minutes about the prices of the backpacks. The cheapest ones were $35. I’m not complaining about spending the money – please understand that. But, I can definitely see how these costs can add up and if you are struggling to make ends meet, $35 for a backpack is ridiculous. Because you still have all the other things to buy.

My total cost was about $127 – not too bad. When I pick high schoolers, it’s more because you need calculators and compasses and all that stuff. Out of $127, $70 went toward the backpacks – that’s over 50%. Luckily, kids can use backpacks for more than one year… Yeesh. My son will start Kindergarten in 2018, so I guess I should get myself prepared. 🙂

Here are my 2 finished backpacks:

Woohoo!

FedEx Hates Lululemon… Or Me.

Let’s start at the beginning. In June, I ordered a pair of “dance studio” pants online from Lululemon. I have 3 pairs of these capris and wanted a pair of long pants because they fit well and look nice… They also come in 36″ inseam, which is great for me. I’m 6′ tall.

On June 13, the pants shipped from Tacoma, Washington, and arrived at the South San Francisco FedEx facility on June 14. No scans or tracking after that. Just vanished. I was not able to go directly to FedEx to file an exception report. I had to go through Lululemon because of their contract with FedEx. Nothing came out of that, so about one month later, Lululemon refunded my money. For the record — still no pants from that order.

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That was June. July is a brand new month and a brand new opportunity – right? Sort of. I saw a couple of other items I was interested in, so decided to order those, plus re-order that pair of the pants that never arrived. That was on July 15. The twists and turns on this order are far more interesting (and aggravating) than the previous one.

Here’s how it went down:

  1. FedEx tracking showed that my shipment was scheduled to be delivered on July 19. Great! And, wrong!
  2. On July 19, at 11:50am, I received notification that my shipment was now scheduled for July 20. No biggie.
  3. On July 20, at 7:36am, I received a notification that my shipment had been delivered. I was home. Went outside.

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  1. Checked the online status. Delivered? Yesterday (aka, July 19)? At 3:33pm? I don’t think so.
  2. Same day (20th), I called FedEx and had them file a delivery dispute on my behalf. Investigation to commence.
  3. On the 21st, FedEx called to say that the package was still sitting at the local facility. That’s a bummer, but at least they have it.
  4. Checked online status. It shows out for delivery. Woohoo. I’ll get to try out  my new gear this weekend… Hold on, Christina. Don’t get cocky.
  5. Later on the 21st, I got a notification that they tried to deliver, but couldn’t because business was closed or customer not available. Huh? Delivery address is my home and there is no signature required.

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  1. Late Friday night, I filed 2 complaints with FedEx. Why 2? Because I filed the first one before seeing the updated “we couldn’t deliver” status, which made me super annoyed.
  2. Monday (July 24) rolls around and I call FedEx again. Oh, it will be delivered today.

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I decided to call Lululemon to see if they could get any information. They definitely got further than me – and the customer service rep was great! They had FedEx call the local facility directly… Supposedly, due to an “investigation” that I was unaware of (you know, because it had already been investigated), FedEx is supposed to call me the next day.

I also checked their Facebook page and saw lots of complaints. Responded to one person’s post with a brief description of what happened to me. FedEx responded and I had them also investigate this mess. I was quite surprised to get a response from them via Facebook, but surely it helped put pressure on to get this resolved.

  1. July 25 (aka, the next day) – no one called. Online status shows pending and at the local facility. Nothing came.
  2. July 26! I called FedEx again because the online status has nothing but “pending” and no one has called me. Customer service rep says it is on a truck for delivery. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s aunt. It finally arrived. I got an email confirming delivery – been there. So, I asked my dad to go by my house to see if there was a package. Indeed, there was…

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Congratulations FedEx. You actually delivered a package that you said you delivered a week ago!

Stay tuned. Next post will be about my new gear! Woohoo!

Packed Weekend

While I’m trying to get back into the blog groove, I thought I would share some pictures from my weekend until my next “long” post.

On Saturday, I did my regular weight class at the gym then we took off for a fun day on the bikes. My husband, 4-year-old, and I biked to Coyote Point in San Mateo, CA. Our plan was to go to CuriOdyssey, which is a science and wildlife center aimed at children’s learning, have lunch, and then go hit a playground before biking back.

Turns out that CuriOdyssey was having a “rescue animal” day where they had an organization showing off some of their rescued animals. That was cool. I got super excited about the snakes.

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Rescue Snakes!

We then had lunch at the Poplar Creek Golf Course restaurant… Honestly, I didn’t even know it was there until this past weekend. Great view. And, so far, we were on track.

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Poplar Creek Golf Course View

After lunch, we headed out toward the playground and saw some HUGE kites. Well, it was just our luck that there was a kite festival going on. We got to check out all things kite related in addition to playing at the playground. That was fun.

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Giant Kites at the Coyote Point Kite Festival

On Sunday, we got to explore the beach not too far from our house. It was a really nice walk. Lovely view!

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A view even a toddler can appreciate

Until next time. Stay healthy!