Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Green & Gray

Jeans: Joe's Jeans | Tshirt: Abound via Nordstrom Rack | Flannel: H&M | Shoes: Vince via Nordstrom Rack | Bag: Kate Spade | Sunglasses: Old | Necklaces: Kate Spade and Argento Vivo via Nordstrom | Rings: Assorted

Monday, September 29, 2014

Comfy Plaid

Shirt: Gap | Pants: Gap | Bag: Kate Spade | Baseball cap: Target | Boots: Forever 21| Sunglasses: Old | Necklaces: Kate Spade via Nordstrom and Argento Vivo via Nordstrom in gold | Rings: Assorted, including David Yurman and Tiffany

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tips & Tricks: How to Be Polite to a Customer Service Agent

Calls to customer service lines. We've all made them, and throughout our lives, we will continue to make them. These calls are sometimes pleasant and helpful. Often times, they aren't.

I have worked as a customer service phone representative and let me tell you, it is no walk in the park. The customers calling are typically irate, deeply saddened or stressed, or some combination of the three. These calls can be stressful, blood-pressure raising and sometimes downright offensive.

Here are some tips on how to be polite to the person on the other end of the phone (yes, person- remember that customer service reps are people, too!) This polite and kind attitude might just get you what you want and/or need by the end of the phone call, and they will hang up thinking what a nice human being you are. Win-win for everyone!

Step #1: State your identity and purpose. 
Example, when calling your bank customer service hotline: "Hi my name is Christine, I am a [bank name] debit card holder, and I am calling with questions about activity on my debit account."

This informs the representative who you are, why you are calling, and immediately flags for them if you've even called the right department. State your identity and purpose with enough concise detail that the rep will instantly know if their department is the appropriate one to help you. If you are a debit card holder and you accidentally called the credit card customer service line, chances are that representative cannot help you. Why not figure that out upfront before you launch into a long-winded story?

Step #2: Immediately ask what other information they need to continue the call. 
"What information do you need from me to continue?"
Example: the rep might ask for your debit card number or other identifying information.

Providing the necessary information upfront not only speeds up the phone call, it informs the representative that you know what you're doing and you value your time.

Step #3: Say please and thank you.
Back to the basics here, people. Say please when you make a request and say thank you when the request is being completed. Simple as that. If you call in a horrible, angry mood with a bad attitude, guess what - that doesn't make the person want to help you more. If you are polite and kind, it will probably surprise them enough to want to go the extra mile for you.

Step #4: Remember that Customer Service Representatives are NOT your therapist.
Maybe in the heated moment you think they should be, but it's not their job. They do not need to hear about your personal problems UNLESS they pertain SPECIFICALLY to the reason you are calling. If you are calling your bank to report identity theft, the customer service rep on the line does not also need to hear about how your dog's death or the jerk who rear ended you last week. This might sound harsh, but it's true. It's not their job to listen to you lay down a load of woes and problems. Occasionally you might get the nice representative who has a human response to your troubles and empathizes with you, but remember that often times these reps have to follow a script. Why launch into something emotional and personal when they can't do anything about it, and probably can't talk to you about it like a friend or loved one could?

Step #5: Remember that Customer Service Representatives are NOT your punching bag. 
You do not have the right to swear at them, threaten them, or verbally abuse them in any way. This behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable.

I hope these five tips help you have more pleasant and helpful customer service calls in the future!

And remember, no matter how angry and disappointed you might be with the call, it is never appropriate to just hang up on the

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Fall Edge

I am in love with these Joe's Jeans floral camo jeggings... Probably a little hard to pull off but how fun would they be paired with this mostly black ensemble? The crop top is a fun addition to this edgy look. Each piece is versatile and would go with most anything, but all together they make for a hip look with just enough sass. Throw on a chunky sweater for the cooler fall weather and you're good to go.Wednesday Wishlist: Fall Edge

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Dress: Lush (snagged in a boutique in downtown Tucson) | Heels: Zara | Jacket: Blanc Noir at Nordstrom Rack | Clutch: DVF | Bracelet: is actually a necklace. I couldn't read the small teeny tiny tag's writing on the chain but it's from Nordstrom. 

SH and I took these photos on the drive to our anniversary dinner on Sunday night just before the sun went down. I wore my hair in a low braided bun (via Pinterest, tutorial here) and added a side twist and small side braid to keep some flyaways out of my face. I love this dress - peplum, a sweetheart neckline, a length I'm comfortable with - all difficult to find in one dress! I also had fun dressing the LBD down with a moto jacket.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday! Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Striped Tee & Jeans

 T-shirt: Michael Kors | Jeans: Joe's Jeans | Boots: Forever 21 | Bag: Longchamp | Watch: Marc Jacobs | Ring: David Yurman

A big thanks to Andrew and Kelsey for taking these photos!

Giveaway update: Congrats to ashstr for winning the tile coaster giveaway! Contact me to get them :)
 Thank you to everyone who participated! Have a great Monday!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Get Ready With Me

Good morning everyone! For today's post I'm going to talk a little bit about which products I use to get ready in the morning. Hope you find it useful!

#1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15. I cannot say enough good things about this moisturizer. I apply it every morning on my face and neck. I use the oil-free moisturizer to help prevent breakouts, and I like that it has SPF 15 in it because I don't have to apply a separate daily sunscreen (unless I'm going to the beach.) I have combination skin, which means it is both oily and dry. Before I knew how to take care of my skin, I would get breakouts in some places and dry/red patches in others. Combination skin can be difficult because you need to moisturize your skin without causing build up. Finding the right moisturizer really helped me. I recommend trying a few different brands until you find one that works for you. If you're having trouble finding the right moisturizer, I definitely recommend trying this one!

#2. Nars Oil-Free Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer
This primer is amazing. I swear by it. It smooths everything out and helps my makeup look fresh and even all day long. Something about it makes my foundation apply so smoothly. I notice a big difference when I apply my foundation directly onto my moisturizer as opposed to using the primer first. (Using the primer first looks 10x better!) You only need about a dime sized amount to make a huge difference.

#3. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact in Beige
This is my all time favorite foundation. I have tried many different foundations from liquid to powder to countless different brands. None of them worked the way this one does. It's creamy yet light. It offers full coverage without looking cake-y. It evens out my skin tone (I tend to be red in some places) and it feels like I'm not wearing anything. I never leave the house without it! I can also wear it all year round- it doesn't matter if it's summer or winter, it still looks fabulous. (This foundation definitely works best for me in combination with the products above: Neutrogena Moisturizer applied first, Nars Primer second, and foundation last.)
 #4. Mac Brush #187
I only apply my Bobbi Brown Foundation with this brush. It is the best brush out there, in my opinion. It allows the makeup to be applied smoothly and evenly all over the face and jawline. My foundation looks much better applied with a brush than with a sponge.
#5. Bobbi Brown Blush in Nectar
I had a Bobbi Brown salesperson at Nordstrom help me pick out the right blush for my skin tone. It's not too pink but makes my cheeks look flushed in the right places. If you're not sure what color works for your skin try asking a salesperson or a knowledgeable friend.

#6. MAC Eyeshadow (I think it's in Cork but I'm not 100% positive- the sticker fell off)
#7. MAC Brush #266
I use this MAC eyeshadow to fill in my eyebrows. This is a trick I learned from a MAC makeup artist at Nordstrom. Lightly filling in my eyebrows makes a significant difference in how put together my look is. It might sound small, but good eye brow grooming and/or eyebrow makeup tricks can change your face. Having lightly colored in eyebrows helps mine look fuller, bringing out my natural features in a complimentary way. Experiment with this technique- it may take time to master. I take a little bit of the eyeshadow, tap my brush to get excess powder off, and start in the middle where I need the most coloring in. Be careful not to apply too much- it will look like you painted on your eyebrows if you do. Light strokes and blending is key if you're going for a natural look.
#8. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink
#9. Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Black Brown 
#10. Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Mascara in Glam Black
I love this eyeshadow stick because I am pretty lazy in the morning when it comes to getting ready... I like to be ready in under 15 minutes. All this takes is a couple swipes across the eyelid, a pat to blend and I'm good to go. I apply eyeliner very infrequently, but I recently discovered this Revlon liquid liner and it is changing my makeup world. I didn't know what a big difference eyeliner could make. I like it because I can paint it along my lash line and it dries quickly. I have been using Maybelline mascara for many years now - I don't see a reason to pay any more for mascara when I'm perfectly happy with this one.
#11 Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Rose Sugar
#12 Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Smitten
I have been wearing Rose Sugar for years, it's my go to lip gloss no matter what time of year or where I am going. Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain I discovered more recently, and I love it! I can't wait to buy more! They are like giant crayons for adults... So much fun to put on, it literally feels like you are coloring on your face. Recently I've been loving putting chapstick on, then the balm stain, and lastly the lipgloss on top.

All in all it takes me about 15-20 minutes to do my makeup in the morning depending on how meticulous I'm being. I know this was a long post... but I hope you found it useful! I'd love to know, what are your every day go-to beauty products? What is your makeup routine?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Handmade Tile Coaster Giveaway!!

Hi everyone! Happy Hump Day! Today I am pleased to announce the first ever giveaway on Mapleandmint.com!

I am giving away four fun handmade tile coasters. While I love travel and fashion, another aspect of life that I love is home decor and making a space both beautiful and functional. How cute is this fancy paper I picked up at the craft store?! It's sparkly, textured and fun. These coasters are sure to brighten up any space, be it the living room, bedroom or office. They could spruce up a plain black coffee table like the one in my apartment, or double as bookshelf decor if placed on a small stand. This DIY project is fairly easy but took me a few hours to make! Please read below for entry rules.

*(The bottom left hand coaster was hard to photograph because it is white textured paper with sparkles in it- think snowglobe snow.)

To Enter:
*Follow Maple and Mint on Instagram @Mapleandmint and tag two friends in a comment
*Follow Maple and Mint on Twitter @Mapleandmint 

For Extra Entries:
*Follow Maple and Mint on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/mapleandmint/
*Send me an email letting me know which coaster is your favorite
*Leave a comment indicating which coaster is your favorite

Thank you for reading and good luck!!!

*This giveaway will close on Sunday at 9pm Pacific Coast Time and the winner will be announced on Monday at 5am. This giveaway is open to {update: US residents only and non US residents} and one winner will be selected at random* Thank you for reading!

Wednesday Wishlist: Plaid and Pearls

I really love everything on today's Wednesday Wishlist!! I think this outfit would look so cool on. I wish I could just will all of these items into my closet. These wishlists are primarily made to inspire and encourage me to search for less expensive alternatives. Today's wishlist ranges in price from $20 (manageable) to $2,105 (for my dreams.) I hope to find a less expensive plaid skirt similar to the Marissa Webb one below... It looks like a plaid shirt tied around the waist, (don't you think?) which I love. It feels so 90s, and I love the 90s!

Wednesday Wishlist: Plaid and Pearls

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mint Green Tee

Tee: Gap | Maxi Skirt: Splendid | Sandals: Mystique | Bag: Michael Kors | Necklace: J. Crew | Bracelets: Assorted | Sunglasses: Old

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