A little over a month ago, I received a comment to this blog asking me as a bartender and a blogger that if I was sent a custom bottle opener would I review it. I gave a resounding yes before I even looked at the company’s website that I’d be working with on this.
Through emails and browsing their site, I got to know CustomOnIt as a great company to use for customized products. You name the product and they can probably put your own personal logo or message on it. Koozies, bottle openers, bracelets, mugs, mouse pads, glasses, clipboards, lanyards, bags, etc. The list goes on and on and on!
Now, if you’re like me, you see a broad range of products and you think, “How can they be any good with this many products to work with at a time? Sure they are spread too thin and something will suffer…” But what I found working with CustomOnIt is that it’s just the opposite. These guys know their stuff and they produce great products.
When the offer came I had no idea what I wanted to have on my new bottle opener. After a little brainstorming the answer became clear… my blog name! DUH! I emailed back and forth with my contact, Paul, until we nailed down the perfect design. They were patient with me and easy to work with as I made changes until I got just what I wanted.
The bottle opener arrived quickly, well packed in a padded envelope to protect it. Once I got my hands on it, I was very impressed.
The logo is on both sides of the opener. The bottle opener I’ve used exclusively for two years only has a logo on one side… In fact all the openers at the bar are one-sided. I know that’s not a big deal in general, but at the same time… it impressed me and it was something I had to make sure and mention. No matter which side you may lay the bottle opener down on, the logo is showing.
The only thing that concerned me was that this bottle opener isn’t “padded.” I’ve found a thick, soft plastic coating to be essential when bartending all night. If you’re just popping a few tops with friends, its not an issue, but after you’ve opened 100 beer bottles, an opener without padding can cut your hand and leave it raw.
But guess what. It is NOT an issue. The edges are rounded smooth, and the powder coating on the entire bottle opener softens it just enough that you don’t need that extra plastic bulk to protect your hands. It’s made to where that plastic cover unnecessary, and I LOVE that fact. It’s thinner, lighter and sleeker than any other bottle opener I own. (Sidebar: those plastic covers are important to protect your hand, but over time they split and fall off… and you’re still left with a sharp-edged opener that you end up duck taping to keep using.)
After a full night of use, the bottle opener held up its end of the job with ease. I chipped the powder coat right on the lip where the opener does its job, but I fully expected that to happen. It’s got a job to do, and for me if I see a bottle opener a bit chipped, it means the person using it likes it and it does a good job. It gives it a charm that only something you’ve used to do your job can have. And trust me, I’m going to be using this opener a lot in the years to come!
Now, pricing, I find the company to be very reasonable. For example, a bottle opener like the one I got, I’d fully expect to pay retail cost of $15 – $25 each. (I paid at least that for my other bottle opener.) But, as you’d expect, the company sells in bulk. Even if you only order 50 of these, they come out to $4.38 each. That’s it! Seriously a good deal. I wish I’d know about these guys when I got married, I’d have made these my guest’s gifts to take home after the reception!
Trust me, I will be using CustomOnIt in the future, and I will be recommending them to all my friends who might need a personalized item. Great people to work with, and their product is tip notch. Let’s drink to that…
Disclaimer: I received one bottle opener for review from CustomOnIt. I was not paid to give a positive review.
When you are on social media as much as I am, you quickly start finding things that just get on your last nerve. Here are my top five pet peeves. Warning… this post is heavily filled with sarcasm and snark. Have a nice weekend! :)
1. I read posts that use what I call “internet shorthand” like I’m reading a Wheel of Fortune puzzle. “If u want 2 c me 2day, come 2 the bar n by me a drink.” Uhm. Why? I know Twitter only allows 140 characters so you have to get creative sometimes. But other times you’re just being an annoying little twit(terer) that is not worth my time. For what its worth, this applies to text messages as well. I’ve been known to flat out ignore texts written like this and not respond at all. If I am going to type out full words (I mean, “to” is just a pain to type out) then I feel you can do the same with me. Leave the shorthand for the tweens. As a bonus to this annoyance, I now totally relate to my editing professor from college these days. Dr. Starr? I get it now.
2. Pay attention to location. I hate, hate, hate getting flooded with event invitation to things out of the state. I have a lot of friends who have either moved to out of state or they simply travel a lot. I get at least once a week an invite to an event in a state I’ve never even visited… and I am not going to go now, much less to attend your grandma’s 80th birthday at the Shady Tree Retirement Center and Spa. Never mind I don’t know your grandma on top of that. Please, please, please do not send out invites to your entire friends list with complete abandon. Have the courtesy to think about who you are inviting. You might be thinking, “Oh its one event invitation, they won’t mind.” Yeah, but 10 other people had that same thought and now I sit here long ago ceasing to be amused and I’ve landed smack dab in Annoyedville. (*Note that the ONLY exception to this rule is my friends and family in Texas. I am down there enough that its worth throwing me invites, because I just might be there to be able to go.)
3. Don’t send me a friend invitation if you can’t have the courtesy of having your real name on your profile page. If there is one thing I lament Facebook changing, its their old strict real-name-only policy. I get friend invitations from people using blatantly fake names, without a photo, and without ANYTHING publicly visible in their About me page. I end up in an internal debate of wanting to just click ignore, but instead occasionally I end up accepting the friend request just so MAYBE I can access more information as to who the person is… only to (most of the time) end up deleting them because I have no clue who they are. (*An exception: I have plenty of people friended that I don’t actually know in person, but we have so many people in common we are bound to cross paths eventually. I might as well go ahead and figure out who they are before then.) An extension of this, I will never understand why some people can’t have at least ONE photo of themselves on their profile pages. Just one! I don’t care if you think you look like the love child of Quasimodo and the Wicked Witch of the West (which… you totally don’t look like that) I want to see YOU!
4. Like or share. Favorite or retweet. Oh stop it. I really don’t want to play these games. I expect it from teens and tweens and am totally okay with it there. But you’re 35 freakin’ years old. Stop needing that kind of validation and child’s play. Okay? Just. Stop. That includes you SportsCenter. “Like if team A will win, retweet if team B will win.” Just stop it. It’s right up there with the kid having a meltdown in the cereal aisle because Mom bought Shredded Wheat instead of Coco Puffs. No one REALLY cares.
5. I am a Christian, and I love God. I believe everyone with any sort of illness or disease or whatever should be respected and loved and prayed for. I think our military rocks, and I am thankful for them. I have an amazing Mom, Dad, brother, in-laws, niece, nephew, aunts, uncles, etc. I do not need to post this picture in my profile for one hour to make those facts true. Please stop trying to guilt me into it because, “I know who will do it and who won’t and if you don’t you’re a jerk face meanie.”
Last night, we had our inaugural Road Widows meet-up in Nashville. There was only three of us this time (which I can understand given being the first one) but it was still simply amazing.
I left dinner feeling like I’d just hung out with women I’ve known for 20 years… when in reality I had only just met one of them and the other only once prior (outside of Twitter, that is.)
It was amazing to sit and talk with women living the same lifestyle you are. Women who GET missing your husband, but who also totally understand that speck of truth in the joke, “Isn’t it time for you to go back on the road yet?”
And yet… because all our husbands work for different artists, we also all have different experiences. I left with a deeper knowledge of things others go through. I hope that maybe (maybe) I gave a little insight on things we’ve been through as well.
In the same breath, both of the other women have children… something my husband and I don’t have yet. I listened with interest as they talked about things they’ve been through as, essentially, single mothers while their husbands are on the road.
I loved finding so many things in common and found myself wanting to high-five over the table when we’d hit on something so random and something anyone else would consider “silly” that we all agreed upon. I loved that no topic whatsoever was off-limits. The candid nature we could talk just filled my soul with something I didn’t even know I needed.
I can’t wait until the next meet-up. Perhaps more will come and maybe they too will leave with a new confidence and comfort… whether they know they needed it or not.
Consider this my version of an “Out of Office” notice for this weekend…
1. There’s a huge football game this Saturday. You might have heard about it. Texas A&M vs Alabama. Or as ESPN called it, Validation vs. Vengeance. Yeah that. I could pretty much just type this reason five times and let it ride. Because. Yeah. C’mon.
2. Battle of the Bell. My high school’s biggest rivalry game is tonight on top of the Aggie game tomorrow. My high school, Yoe High School, has won 40 in 58 games against the Rockdale Tigers. We won in 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1971-75, 1978, 1979, 1981-87, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996 – 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 (A great list of the wins for each school was done in 2011 by the Rockdale Reporter.)
3. My husband is in Colorado this weekend where there is a ton of flooding. I don’t care if he’s not in the middle of the flooding, I’m still going to be worried and distracted.
4. My brother turns 40 on Sunday. This is a big deal. 40, y’all. That means I am only seven years away from that myself. What?
5. Football. Did I mention football?
I would be remiss to not post some thoughts on September 11th. I’ve posted the last several years regarding this day…
I missed 2009 due to my 10-year class reunion landing around the same time.
Here it is 2013, and here is how I plan to spend the day:
I’m going to fly. I’m going to board a plane and fly. When I booked my flight back to Nashville for this trip, I hesitated a moment when I realized my return flight would land on 9/11. Did I really want to fly on this day?
Yes. Yes I did. I would fly on 9/11, and I will take time on that flight to sit and remember. I’ll remember those souls lost that morning in 2001. I will honor their memory, and take a moment to grieve the loss of our innocence that day. I will remember where I was that day. I will muse over how much has changed in the years since… both in our country as well as in my personal life. I will look down on the Earth from my window seat, and I will marvel at being alive. I will marvel at being such a small piece of the larger picture.
I will pray. I will pray for those left behind by those lost that September day. I will pray for safety of all those traveling. I will pray for strength to face my fears but to also accept what life brings to me… the good and the bad. I will pray for wisdom and understanding. I will pray for faith to trust in God. I will pray for our country, our soldiers, our government leaders, and all the world’s leaders. I will pray and have a nice conversation with God while I fly on 9/11.
I will hug my parents extra tight as we say good-bye at the terminal. I will do the same with my husband when we greet each other at another terminal. I will say, “I love you” with an extra conviction to those I love — family and friends. I will strive to love more today, praying for the patience I sometimes lack with others. Today is not the day to get frustrated. Today is the day to strive to understand.
I will never forget 9/11/2001. But I think the best way I can honor that day is by simply living… living the best way I can.