Boy Or Girl?

chrisloach  —  April 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

girl, baby, daughter

My mind is currently a wave of many emotions. I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday. Then I realized it was Wednesday and we have a doctors appointment to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. Then I realized the appointment was an earlier time than I thought it was at.

I guess I should get used to many emotions…because in September…I will become a father to a daughter. Yes…you read that correct…

Chris Loach will be a father of a daughter!

On the way home from the doctor as I sat and drove quietly, Erika talked about all the cute clothes she will be able to buy for our baby. I thought about things like joining dads against daughters dating and how I need to win the lottery to pay for all the clothes Erika was talking about buying.

In the doctors room, the nurse had started saying something about 3 little white lines on the screen which meant our baby is a girl. I immediately felt an overwhelming feeling of joy inside me…followed quickly by the beginning of a panic attack as my heart started beating rapidly and the overwhelming joy turned to intense fear. The glowing smile on the face of my wife helped slow my heartbeat back down to normal. She was and still is beyond ecstatic to have a little girl…as am I…I just show it differently.

I’ve come to learn that God tends to use his humor a lot in my life. He uses His humor to stretch, grow, and strengthen my relationship with Him, myself, and others. Growing up and getting married. Moving to Fresno to plant a church. And now, having a daughter. I would have never believed you if you had told me five years ago that in 2014 I’d be married to the woman of my dreams while planting a church in Fresno and having a baby girl. I would have laughed in your face.

I am sure God is laughing pretty good right now as well. I can’t wait to be her dad! And I’ve got some humor up my sleeves as well! But I am still buying Tums in bulk for when she becomes a teenager.

turning 30, dmv, taking pictures

I recently wrote about turning 30…this Friday, it happens.

I got my new license in the mail and I am obviously great at taking pictures. My face is a little more round and my hairline is slowly fading away. I had my last license picture for 15 years before being forced to take a new one…this one could last until I am 45. Thinking about turning 45 sounds terrifying right now. I am just starting to think I will be ok with 30. We will see how I feel on Friday.

2014 holds a lot of BIG things for me. Below are a few in order.

1. I turn 30. Enough said.

2. I celebrate 2 years of marriage with my best friend. I am still surprised she puts up with me.

3. I become a father. We find out this week if it’s a boy or a girl. I am just thankful there is only one baby and not twins or triplets.

4. Two Cities Church officially launches. It’s been a dream for several years to start a new church with a bunch of our good friends. In October, we officially launch weekly services.

Looking back on the first 30 years of my life, I realize that I’ve done and seen a lot. I’ve been fortunate to be loved by many and blessed beyond belief.

Looking forward to the next 30 years, I can’t wait to see some numbers increase. 10, 20, and 30 years of marriage. 2nd child born and maybe more??? Multiple churches planted and growing. Many pictures taken. And lots of surprises and blessings along the way.

Turning 30

chrisloach  —  March 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

30, drivers license, old

I turn 30 next month.

I was recently reminded of this when I received my driver license renewal notice in the mail from the DMV. Above is my current license picture that I’ve had since I was 15 and I got my permit. I look a little different now…a few more pounds and a little less hair.

The last two times I was able to renew my license by mail. This time the renewal notice said I had to go to the DMV to take a new picture and pass a vision test. This is a probably a good thing. People often look at my ID and laugh or think it’s fake. I am almost twice the age I was in the picture. My license also says I weigh 160 pounds. Ha! That’s unfortunately far from the truth.

Last week I made the dreadful trip to the DMV to get my picture taken. The lady taking my picture said, “oh my goodness you’re just a baby in this photo!” Thanks for making me feel old lady! “You know you can come in and get your photo updated anytime…you don’t have to renew by mail” she said. Yes I know, thanks.

You don’t have to renew by mail?!?!? Renewing by mail is like hitting the DMV Jackpot! Anytime you can avoid going to the DMV is winning in my mind! I had an appointment which is good since there was standing room only while I was there. I was in and out in 15 minutes and should have my new license any day now! Here’s to keeping my new picture till I am 45!

Dear Thirties, I might be getting older, but please be nice to me. Chris

PS Starbucks and Amazon gift cards as well as Lagunitas IPA are all gladly accepted to help me cope with turning 30.

I always love getting a good deal and saving money!

A couple of months ago, I realized I was getting a bad deal on my Internet service. I was paying $8 a month to lease a modem from my Internet provider. When I signed up I was told the modem lease was $8/month. I was never given an option to purchase a modem. (They make more money leasing you one)

I got tired of seeing my bill with a $8/monthly fee to lease the modem…so I started doing a little Google research. After a little digging around, I found which modems worked with my Internet provider and where I could buy them. (Your Internet provider won’t just list them on their front page for you to find)

For $66.99 I picked up the Motorola SB6121 on Amazon. (The newer Motorola SB6141 is also available, but I found spending the extra money wouldn’t help make my Internet any faster or anything…so I went cheaper)

In under 9 months the modem will pay for itself. It also comes with a 1-year warranty…so if it goes bad in the first year, it’s covered. I expect the modem to last 2-3 years before having to replace it. As shown below, I hope to save around $100-$200 over the next couple of years.

Savings after 1 year – $29
Savings after 2 years – $125
Savings after 3 years – $221

It might only seem like a little bit of money to you, but it all adds up!

Do you currently lease or own your Internet modem and why? Or do you even know if you lease it or not?

modem, saving money

best before combos feedback

I recently posted on how I enjoy secret shopping various businesses. I also enjoy providing feedback to businesses whether or not the service was good or bad.

On Saturday, Erika and I headed out to the coast for the night. Coke and Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Combos are a must for me on any road trip. On our way, we stopped at a gas station to get some Combos, a Coke, and a couple other snacks.

We jumped back in the car and headed down the highway. A couple of miles down the road I opened my combos and tossed one in my mouth. I knew something was off…it tasted stale. I looked at the package that read “Best Before 01/2014.” This was the 8th of March. Months had passed since my Combos had seen their better days. Thankfully our chips, candy bar, and Coke were all still good.

Erika asked, “are we going back?”

“Not today, but I am stopping there on our way home tomorrow” I replied. (I am sure she was pumped)

Now maybe the gas station made an honest mistake with having expired products on their shelf. Or maybe they just don’t care because whoever stops on a gas station along Hwy 5 in the middle of no where is not going to come back for their $1.39 refund. But I did! #cheapskate

On our way home, I stopped at the gas station to get my refund on my expired Combos. I told the cashier I had bought them yesterday, tasted that they were stale, and saw the expiration date was 2 months ago.

He was clearly irritated that I came back. He asked if I wanted to grab a different bag. I told him no since the entire box on the shelf was expired and that I just wanted my money back. The cashier was again, clearly irritated and unapologetic for having sold an expired product. Nor did he care about the other 20 bags of expired Combos on the shelf.

I got my $1.39 back, used the bathroom, and went on my way…BUT…I don’t only complain!

I give good feedback too!

On our way home from the coast, we stopped and ate lunch at a brewery/restaurant. When we received the check, there was a comment card about the service received that you could fill out and mail in. I am sure most people only fill out the card if they receive horrible service…if anyone fills it out at all.

We received great service! So I grabbed the comment card to fill out. Not only do businesses need good constructive criticism/feedback, but they also need positive/encouraging feedback when they are doing good!

I loved receiving good feedback from customers about my employees when I worked at UPS. There was a survey website on the bottom of your receipt that you could go to and answer some questions and rate your service. I always shared the information with my staff and praised them for doing a good job.

When I receive great service, I take the time to write a review on Yelp, email the manager, or send in a comment card. When I receive bad service, I do the same.

Do you give good or bad feedback on service you receive? When you receive bad service, do you just not return? 

Secret Shopper

chrisloach  —  March 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

secret shopper shop shoppingI am a secret shopper.

I love getting things for free! I’ve talked before about a few iPhone Apps I’ve used to make money by being a secret shopper. The last two nights my wife and I have eaten out for free. Not only was our food, drinks, tax and tip paid for…but I was also paid to review the service we received! Yes, I was paid to go out to eat!

Tuesday night was pizza and salad that ended up being horrible. We waited over 30 minutes from the time we ordered our food until it was served. Maybe this is why the owners are having the place secret shopped to begin with. Our pizza was good and our service was good, but the salad was horrible. And the wait was beyond horrible for a half empty restaurant. I don’t see us returning to restaurant number 1.

Wednesday night was much better than Tuesday. Not only was it a nicer restaurant, everything was better. Amazing service and amazing food. Paid to eat steak, chicken, and shrimp! I can’t wait to go back to restaurant number 2!

I started off secret shopping small things. Checking stock of items at grocery stores, etc. iSecretShop and EasyShift were the first two apps I started making money with. They don’t happen to offer a lot of assignments around my house anymore. Getting paid to secret shop and review restaurants and hotels is a lot more fun anyway!

Have something that needs to be reviewed? Restaurant, hotel, app, electronic device, etc? Contact me for a detailed review/secret shop.

pregnant, disneyland, parents, announcement

Baby Loach Is Due Sep 13, 2014!

Erika and I are excited to finally announce…we are going to be parents! She is 12 weeks pregnant today. With this announcement, I am now free to tweet about my late night journeys to the store for preggie pops, popcorn, or any other random items that Erika needs. We won’t know if it’s a boy or girl for a few more weeks, but the weeks are already flying by. We took this picture last weekend at Disneyland…her idea, not mine. She has lots of good ideas and is going to be an amazing mother. We can’t wait for September to come!

Spring Training is underway!

I love the smell of fresh cut grass and baseball. In 2010, I made a trip out to Arizona for Spring Training and had a great time. I can’t believe that was 4 years ago! Hopefully someday soon I’ll be able to return and enjoy some more games in the sun.

With Spring Training games underway, the start of the 2014 season is just a month away. Below are my 2014 Predictions. If I am right…you owe me a dollar for reading this.

AL East            AL Central           AL West

Tampa Bay        Cleveland                Oakland
Baltimore*          Detroit                    Texas
Boston*             Kansas City            LA Angels
Toronto              Minnesota               Seattle
NY Yankees      Chi White Sox         Houston

NL East            NL Central          NL West

Washington        Cincinnati               LA Dodgers
Atlanta*              St Louis*               Colorado
NY Mets             Pittsburgh             San Diego
Philadelphia        Milwaukee             Arizona
Miami                 Chi Cubs               San Francisco

Wild Card

Baltimore beats Boston
Atlanta beats St Louis

Division Series

Oakland beats Baltimore
Tampa Bay beats Cleveland
LA Dodgers beat Atlanta
Washington beats Cincinnati

Championship Series

Oakland beats Tampa Bay
LA Dodgers beat Washington

World Series

Oakland beats LA Dodgers in 7

Green A's Hat Spring Training vs Blue Dodgers Hat Spring Training


Who are your picks for 2014?

Free Travel Credit


Travel Pony Free Credit

You may know that I love to travel. You may also know that I never pay full price for hotels. Never.

I generally stick to Priceline.com and Kayak.com when booking, but have used many other sites in the past as well. I recently came across a new travel site called TravelPony.com I think you should give them a try based on the silly name alone.

If you create a free account, TravelPony will give you $35 in FREE credit to use on hotels. It took me less than a minute to sign up and they haven’t been sending me annoying emails everyday either…which is a major plus!

Here’s what their website says about them:

TravelPony.com is a brand new hotel booking website with everyday prices that are often 10-70% below the big travel sites. At TravelPony.com when customers login with their Facebook ID (Using a Facebook login is suggested but NOT required), they unlock preferred pricing and some of the best deals around on hotels. TravelPony has launched over 20 markets(A LOT more now) with over 2,000 top hotel partners, making it one of the best sites to get a deal and book a hotel room.

TravelPony.com offers low rates every day and actually offers better rates the farther out our customers book their stay. Prices on TravelPony aren’t last-minute rates, they’re everyday low rates.

Their website isn’t fancy, but it’s very easy to use. You can’t find hotels in every city yet…but many cities worldwide are being added daily. With 10-70% below other sites AND a $35 dollar credit, TravelPony.com is worth a try!

When booking travel do you stay loyal to a brand or website, or go with where ever you can find the best deal?