Amazon, what are you doing to me?

imagesI’ll start off by saying I’m a loyal Amazon shopper and I have been for years, even back in the early 2000s when it was really limited to basically just books. As a college student, I signed up for Prime using the student discount and continued to renew it without pause. However, recently my renewal hit a snag.

Like most Amazon shoppers, up until recently I had a variety of payment methods linked to my account, many of which were expired and only on there because I hadn’t thought it necessary to take them off. Imagine my surprise when I find out one of those old, very much expired cards was used in January to renew my Prime account.

The card used was not only expired, but had been paid off for years. Since a big part of credit scores now are how long you’ve had credit, I kept it open since it was my oldest card. I never imagined Amazon would use it, not only because it was very much expired, but also because it wasn’t the payment method on file for my Prime renewal.

By the time I found out what had happened, I had already missed two payments on the card, earning me $60 in late fees. I immediately called the card company and was able to get one reversed, but then had to call Amazon and explain the issue. They were very apologetic for the mix-up and credited back the $99, covering my 2015 Prime renewal fee because of their mistake.

Once Amazon credited back their side of it, I was then able to call the card company and get the other fee, plus the interest charges credited back, sending me back to a zero balance where I belonged. I thought everything was straightened out until I was notified the next day that my credit score had dropped–37 points–because of the two missed payments. Really, that’s the part that ticks me off the most. I never miss a payment and I can’t stand the idea that now I look like a delinquent person.

So back to the card company I went. They’re supposed to be sending a letter to the credit reporting agency explaining the issue. They routinely report to the agency following each billing cycle so I’m still waiting for that part of the mix-up to get fixed. Really, the whole thing has been a nightmare and one I want to help others avoid so if you have an Amazon account follow these steps:

  • Login to your Amazon account
  • In the upper bar, click on the box that says “Hello, ____ YOUR ACCOUNT”
  • Click “Manage Payment Options”
  • Delete any cards you don’t plan to use, even if they are expired

This should help you avoid any random card charging issues like the one I just experienced because believe me, you don’t want to have to deal with this mess. And yes, I’m still a loyal Amazon customer, but had they not been so apologetic I may have changed my stance.

Reviews You Can Use: Dessange Oleo Miracle Replenishing Three Step System

20150326_211720Recently, I had the opportunity to test out the new Dessange Oleo Miracle Replenishing Three Step System. It consists of a shampoo, a conditioner and a leave-in replenishing oil treatment, all designed to replenish dry, damaged hair. It’s easy to use, starting first with the shampoo and conditioner and then applying the treatment and the bottles are made to look very high-end, with a mix of golds and coppers, fairly unusual hair product colors which I’m sure will make them pop on the shelves. Also, the scent isn’t horrible–kind of a spicy, cologne style versus the usual clean florals of many shampoos.

20150326_215435

Fresh from the shower post-conditioner and yet frizzy and dry.

Now, with that said, the product just fell flat for me. I used it for a week, although if I had purchased it, I probably would have quit much sooner. The whole system is all about its “three precious oils–argan, camellia and pracaxi.” What it doesn’t highlight, of course, is that the second ingredient in the shampoo is a sulfate, plus its full of a variety of alcohol and other chemicals. The oils aren’t listed until much lower in the ingredient list, signifying that there’s probably not much of them actually in the bottle. Because of the ingredients, I wasn’t really surprised when it massively dried my hair out. The “replenishing” conditioner didn’t do much to help the situation. Then, adding the oil, which you’re encouraged to use 2-3 dime size drops, I used two, somehow creates this oily, grease slick, yet frizzy and dry hair. It’s fairly odd and I’m definitely not a fan. I have very long, thick hair and moisture is important to me. This just didn’t work. I’m not sure why something that is supposed to be replenishing would use ingredients that are obviously not replenishing. Then, to get the shiny hair it says it’ll give you, it’s like they just said let’s oil things up, because oil creates shine, right?  Yeah, I’m fairly certainly that’s not the kind of shine we’re looking for. The whole thing just made me want to rewash my hair.

20150326_220033

Post oil application which creates an oily, greasy, unclean feeling.

Something I also found odd was that the largest portion of the text on the bottle, minus the ingredients list, is all about the creator. There’s only a few lines actually describing the product itself. That’s nice that the owner was a word-renowned hairstylist in France back in the 1950s, but tell me how fabulous your product is. I can Google him.

Bottom line, I’m not a fan and this product wasn’t for me. There are some who may absolutely love it, but it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea.

I received these products free from Influenster for testing purposes. I was not compensated for my review.

Baking with Buddy: Slow cooker chicken philly sandwiches

20141119_192242A few months ago when I was in the midst of packing, I got to that point where cooking was tough. The spices were packed up, most of the cookware was packed up and the boxes were quickly taking over every available space in the apartment. Enter the crockpot–the “my apartment is packed up because I’m moving” meal savior. Wanting to keep up with my quest to try new recipes, I stumbled across this gem on Pinterest from Foodfamilyfinds.com:

Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning
  • sliced Mozzarella cheese
  • hoagie rolls
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Spray a 3 – 4 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and turn to LOW heat.
  2. Add butter, onions and green peppers.
  3. Toss chicken with steak seasoning, salt and pepper, then add to slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook for 5 hours.
  5. Serve on hoagies with a slice of cheese melted on top.

Okay, so being gluten free I changed this recipe up a bit, so here’s my ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 onion (I usually choose between yellow and white, depending on which is on sale)
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I buy these from Wegmans and they’re fairly large so two were more than enough)
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Steak Seasoning (I checked two stores looking for the Dale’s Steak Seasoning, which I should note is a liquid. I couldn’t find it in either, so I went with a dry steak seasoning which worked just as well. If you can find Dale’s, more power to you, but don’t be afraid to substitute it with a different seasoning.)
  • sliced provolone cheese (I’m a firm believer that cheesesteaks should have provolone, not mozzarella.)

To get this thing rolling along, I first sprayed my slow cooker with Coconut Oil non-stick spray and turned it on low.

20141119_164455I then added my butter to the slow cooker and allowed it to heat while I sliced my onion and green peppers, tossing them in once sliced.

Next it was time for my chicken to go on top of the onion and peppers, followed by the steak seasoning and a sprinkle or two of salt and pepper to add additional flavor.

20141119_164752I let the whole thing cook, covered, on high for five hours and once finished, I shredded the chicken using two forks, spooned out portions and covered each with a slice of provolone. Since the chicken was warm, the cheese easily melted. Now, you could use a hoagie and make more of a sandwich, but being gluten free, I went breadless and it worked just as well.

20141119_201240The chicken had a great flavor and easily shredded, plus the cheese added a nice sweetness to the spice of the seasoning and peppers.

Plus, once all was finished, I had minimal mess which was nice because I needed to pack up that crockpot to be moved a few days later with all of the other stuff.

I do not own this recipe. This post represents my experience and take on a recipe found at FoodFamilyFinds.com.