Friday, June 28, 2013

Woolite Oxy Deep Stain & Odor Remover

Do you see any Fig Newtons or dog vomit on that beige and white wool rug?  Me either.  What I do see is one bad mother of a wool rug cleaner.

Yesterday I had company over, it was a playdate so three toddlers and a six year old used red fabric paint to make t-shirts and went swimming.  I fully expected that something would be stained or stinky by the end of the day.  I had no idea the culprit would be my old ninny muggins of a dog.

Guilty as charged
  I can only assume that play dates are dog nirvana with all of the unattended sippy cups and snack bowls laying around but she also had to endure lots of petting from sticky hands and wacking in the face with dog toys so I decided to let one of the kiddos give her a dog treat.  She rewarded me with puking on the rug.  We have wood floors throughout the downstairs but Chloe is simply not comfortable with puking/peeing/pooping on anything other than luxurious wool.

Of course she did it while people were still here and while my guests were completely cool and understanding there is only so much time you can devote to carpet cleaning when there is coloring to do and fun to be had.  So I cleaned up the mess, rinsed several time with cool water and a mild detergent (this isn't my first rug rodeo, I have my stomach bug mommy badge after all), and smothered it with baking soda.

This morning when I vacuumed up the baking soda there was a large orange circle on the rug.  I panicked a little.  It was dry, it was orange, and it felt like a forever stain, the kind that happened when you were a kid and your mom tried to clean it up and sweat broke out on her brow as she scrubbed and shot you looks like "if  you weren't my child you would be out of here buddy" and she still reminds you of it on holidays... or maybe that was just my mom.

Anyway, I went into the cleaning supplies closet and found the Woolite Oxy Deep Stain & Odor Remover that I assume my husband bought because he is the kind of shopper who sees stuff and goes "cool" and buys it for no reason (I have a large jar of cactus in my pantry).  Since the bottle said Woolite I assumed it would be gentle and on the back it mentions carpets so I decided to go for it.

See it says "carpet"

Sprayed the area, set the timer for 5 minutes, and when time was up I blotted (then got tired of blotting and rubbed while praying).  It looked pretty good but I figured the directions said if needed I could do it again and I felt needy.  So needy in fact that I sprayed the three spots of dried, weeks old, Fig Newton next to the child's chair.  After the second round the carpet looked awesome; dog puke and dried fruit-and-cake free.  Then it was snacktime and I totally forgot to rinse it, CRAP!  I was convinced the rug would have melted or all of the little wool fibers were going to fall out and I was going to have a bald spot in my rug and need to find a potted plant that looked like it belonged in the center of a rug directly infront of the tv.  Turns out it wasn't an issue, rug looks fine, no bleaching and all the little wool fibers are still hanging in there.

Final Verdict:  Worked great for me and I am really glad we had it on hand.  Seems to be ideal for forgetful people cursed with dogs and kids who have no respect for wool.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Deli Fried Chicken from The Kroger Co. Family of Stores

I love my Kroger store and I have many times been surprised by the quality of their store brand products.  One of the best parts about shopping there is the wonderful smells coming from the deli and bakery area.  Seriously, you walk through the sliding doors and immediately smell chicken, fresh baked bread, and cake.  Kind of a perfect dinner.  While I have tried every variety of their rotisserie chicken (savory, garlic, lemon pepper, etc) and a couple of types of hot wing, the fried chicken has proven to be elusive.  For starters there is rarely any fried chicken in the warmers near the front of the store.  As I mentioned before, you smell all of this goodness as you are walking in and as an impulse buyer my first impulse is to find the nearest chicken and put it in my cart.  When BzzAgent selected me to try the Deli Fried Chicken from The Kroger Co. Family of Stores FOR FREE I finally had the motivation I needed to put in the effort for the fried chicken.

It turns out I may have chosen a bad day for it.  It was Sunday, 6pm, and Father's Day.  When I arrived in the deli I noticed immediately that there were no sides.  That's right, the deli didn't have pasta salad, baked beans, or even potato salad; NO POTATO SALAD.  I almost gave up right then but there wasn't any other food in my house and the child was expecting to eat at 6:30 so cooking was out of the question.  I ended up having to wait a few minutes to be served, even though there wasn't a line because the gentleman (the polite part of me says to call him that, but really he was a dude, probably 17, wearing a Metallica t-shirt under his apron) was trying to make more chickens.  He was nice enough, got my chicken for me, and then I went to the front to check out.

I had left the chicken as last on my shopping list but I still needed to check out and the lines were pretty long.  I don't live far from the store, maybe 3 minutes, 5 tops, but still by the time I got to my car, loaded it up, got home, unloaded the car, put away the cold items, and got plates out for dinner the chicken was luke warm.  We all remarked on how juicy and flavorful the actual chicken was but in my husband's words "KFC original recipe has nothing to worry about."  The next day I reheated the leftover piece and shared it with the toddler for lunch.  Once again I was impressed with how moist and flavorful the actual chicken was, even if the fried skin was just okay.

I think that when it comes to fried chicken the grocery store aspect of it really hinders the overall quality.  When I get a rotisseries chicken it seems to keep better through checking out and driving home whereas the fried deliciousness of the deli chicken just couldn't hang with the extra time spent in the plastic container.  The skin got soggy and seemed to lose some flavor and the lukewarm temp wasn't very appetizing.  The truth is that I am not likely going to go to the trouble of driving to the grocery store and getting out of my car to A) just get fried chicken or B) without buying other items, like milk, especially knowing that I can get fried chicken from a drive through in my yoga pants.  Maybe what Kroger really needs is to put the deli next to the pharmacy so they can share a drive-thru (okay no, gross, that is actually a terrible idea)!

Final verdict: Not better than fast food but definitely cheaper and probably worth it if you are in a time crunch and already at the store (although I would probably chose to pick up a rotisserie chicken).

On a final note, this post would not have been possible without BzzAgent or The Kroger Co. Family of Stores which provide tons of meal solutions for the summer. From baked and rotisserie chicken to trays of hot and juicy tenders and wings, your deli department can cover everything from a backyard bash to tonight’s dinner. And with the added convenience of finding refreshing Coca-Cola products right by the Deli counter in some stores, dinner just got way easier.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Old Navy Activewear

I love Crowdtap.  In a world filled with websites promising free samples in exchange for your opinions this is one of the few that means it while being easy to use (and pretty to look at!).  A few weeks ago I was chosen by Crowdtap to participate in a sample and share at Old Navy.  I was pretty ecstatic, as in happy dance ecstatic, as in shout it from the rooftops and call my mom ecstatic.  This sample and share meant that not only would I get to try some Old Navy activewear FOR FREE but so would a friend, all thanks to Crowdtap and Old Navy.

Choosing a friend to share with wasn't too difficult, my sister has been working really hard to get healthy this year and I knew some new activewear would be a perfect reward for her hard work.   So one beautiful Sunday afternoon we left the toddlers with my husband (good luck!) and made the journey to Old Navy (you know, a less than 5 minute drive away).

My sister can rock red pants, no?

I won't lie, at first I was kind of disappointed by how small the activewear section was...

but it turns out they were able to stuff a lot of variety into a very small space.  

Looking for anything active

Perusing the racks

A difficult decision

When it came time to try things on we had several options.

Ready to hit the dressing rooms
My options

Our dressing room attendant was very nice, especially considering how giggly we were.  We went back and forth between the rooms quite a bit critiquing each others outfits.  It was hard to narrow it down.

Since I knew I would primarily be using my outfits for yoga I decided to test them out with a few common moves:

I am sure dressing room yoga will be the next big thing.  You just wait and see.

I feel no need to say nice things about something just because I got it for free.  This entire blog is about being truthful, even if I am sharing the eloquent truth of "this sucks."

That said, I cannot express in words how much I love Old Navy activewear... but I will give it try.  It is form fitting yet stretchy, soft yet durable, basic yet stylish.  I felt completely comfortable walking around the dressing rooms where everyone could see me even though I was wearing clothing that hugged all of my curves.  I feel like I could actually wear this to the gym (as well as my usual exercise venue - the living room) without being self conscious.  I felt sexy and stylish and comfortable and hugged.  Yes, hugged.  It was nice.  In the end I actually bought an extra pair of pants and shirt in addition to the items I got for free, I didn't even look at the price tags, just took it to the counter and said ring me up!  

My sister was also a big fan of the clothes but here I have one critique, the range of sizes.  It may have just been this location but we were only able to find a few items bigger than a size Large.  In my opinion this is the perfect activewear for someone who is starting their journey of health or weight loss and as such I think they need to offer a large range of sizes in store.  This is very personal for me, several years ago I lost 60 pounds and it was very hard at first to find comfortable workout clothes (I was a jogger then) in stores.  I had to spend a lot of time ordering online, receiving the clothes, trying them on, and returning them.  You really have to try activewear on to see if it is the right fit for your body and chosen activity, being able to go to a store and try something on makes a HUGE difference, especially when you may be struggling to find motivation.  

When we got home we did a fashion show for the kids and husband, we even showed off our tough moves.  This elicited a big round of toddler applause :)

This may sound crazy but I actually think we looked better in our activewear than we did in our regular clothes!

Final verdict:  You want this, seriously, go buy some Old Navy activewear.  You can thank me later.

Speaking of, thank you Old Navy and Crowdtap for this fantastic sample and share of activewear!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bed Head by Tigi Part I

A few days ago this happened:

The good people over at Bzz Agent saw fit to send me free samples of Bed Head to try...did I mention they were free?  Pretty exciting.  (Side note: the bzz agent boxes are cute, it felt like I was getting a present)

If you are like me then you think of Bed Head by Tigi as something from the 90s that made you look as greasy as one does in the early morning hours before showering.  To be honest I was expecting my free samples to consist of hair glue or texturizing paste or generally something not all that useful to a long-haired, reasonably clean person like myself.   What I actually got was Straighten Out Straightening Cream, Recharge Shampoo and Conditioner, and Elasticate Shampoo and Conditioner.  Basically they gave me products that claim to straighten, shine, and strengthen my hair, so I guess they've been reading my mind because that is pretty spot on with what I want for my crazy tresses (you like that?  tresses?  it's fancy).

Today's review focuses on the Straighten Out Straightening Cream.  According to the bottle Straighten out is a  "98% HUMIDITY DEFYING STRAIGHTENING CREAM.  Superstar thermosetting polymers power this high performance hot iron cream. For 48 hour serious, serious straight, even in 98% humidity."

Sounds good to me.

Saturday morning, May the 4th, we went to a "May the 4th Be With You" Star Wars celebration at a local library.  I knew there would be members of the 501st Legion there so I wanted to look my best for pictures.  Yes, I wanted to look my best for dudes dressed as Storm Troopers, that is pretty much my ideal day.  I was in a hurry but managed to wash the hair, slap on some of the Bed Head cream, and run a semi hot flat iron over it before rushing out the door.  Oh and I also snapped a pic:

Thumbs up y'all!  Now where did I put my glasses...
In the car I noticed that my hair was very straight and very soft but not at all greasy or heavy.  At the library I chased around several toddlers, adults, and storm troopers and had a total blast both infoors and outside in the Texas heat and sun.  (BTW, the 501st were awesome.)

How do you like my awesome Yoda ears?  Totally forgot they were on my head.
I had no opportunity to brush my hair let alone look in a mirror until much later in the day and was pleased to see my hair looked like this 15 hours later:

totally took this pic at midnight
Pretty impressive stuff.  I don't exactly have curly hair but it has a tendency to get wavy and bushy over time and as you can see that didn't happen.  

Final verdict:  I like it well enough that when I run out of the sample I will actually spend my own hard earned dollars to get some more.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vaseline® Spray & Go Moisturizer

I received my Vaseline® Spray & Go Moisturizer complimentary from Influenster a few weeks ago and I was pretty excited to try it.  I am a total science geek and for some reason this felt sciency, like the lotion of the future.  I pulled it out after a shower and found that there is a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to getting the spray angle right.  After creating a couple of slippery spots on the bathroom tile I figured it out and was impressed by how quickly it absorbed into my slightly damp skin and left my skin feeling soft.

**Here is a helpful video from Vaseline on how to use the spray

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

But there was one problem...the smell.  It's kind of flowery?  lotiony?  icky?  I don't like it.  That isn't uncommon with creams and lotions of course, a woman's post bath routine can often leave the place smelling like a spa.  What was uncommon was how strong the smell stayed and how long it lingered.  As in all day.  So if you like the smell it would definitely save you some money on perfume, otherwise you may want to skip this one.

Final verdict:  P. U.

Question, has anyone tried any of the other "flavors"?  I am curious how those smell.

P.S. By writing this review I am entering the Brand Challenge for a chance to win a prize. But we all know I was going to write it anyway.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Colgate Optic White System: The Results

The time has come to reveal my before and after pics from my highly scientific Colgate Optic White review.

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, I present to you, the "after":


Here are the two collages together for easier comparison:

Did you hear that?  Listen closely....that is the sound of me not being impressed.

My teeth pretty much looked the same at the end of the week as they did at the beginning and I have to say, the mouthwash was a beating.  I was soooo happy to not be using it anymore because it made my mouth was incredibly sensitive all day long.  Nachos and tacos were like torture and around here nachos and tacos are what we call dinner.  I did like the toothbrush but I am addicted to my electric toothbrush and have ultimately decided to make the Colgate one a travel brush.  My husband on the other hand actually went out and got one of his own.  The results of this experiment were not enough to make me switch my brand so when I bought toothpaste this week it was my usual Crest.  Sorry Colgate, better luck next time?

Final verdict: There are groups who would protest the use of Colgate Optic White mouthwash on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but the toothbrush is great.