Whirlpool Tubs What They Don’t Tell You

January 30, 2012 by  
Filed under General

When we had our house built a few years ago, it was such an exciting process.  There is nothing like building a home together and getting to choose what you do and don’t like and what features you would like to have.  At the time, the builder had free upgrades available, like a whirlpool tub in the bathroom over a bigger shower.

I am a bath taking girl, I love to soak in there when I don’t feel good, when I am cold during the Winter, or just to light some candles and relax.  At the time the whirlpool tub sounded divine and it still is.  It’s like having a hot tub in your bathroom.  When we first moved in, I used it often and almost daily.  Then I sort of got tired of it and just would soak in the tub.

Then one day, I was sitting in the tub and these flakes of stuff were floating in my water.  EWWWWWW!   I am probably one of the cleanest people on the planet, if I see dirt I’m in full cleaning mode, especially the bathroom.  I don’t like smells of any kind either.  At first, I just thought maybe it was just dirt from the drain or something.  Then it started happening frequently. So I bought some stuff that is supposed to clean out the whole jet system.  I ran it through there and it went away.  But I didn’t use the jets anymore.

So I did some reading and found out that this stuff is inside the jets of the tub are breeding bacteria and all sorts of harmful junk.  It consists of dead skin, oils, mold, and unimaginable bacteria strains.  Gross eh?  No one ever mentioned that I needed to clean out the jets weekly with some special cleaner, so even though I was cleaning out the tub after each use with cleaners, I never thought about the jets. Granted, I am sure that there are instructions somewhere, but I never got any with the house and didn’t know a thing about whirlpool tubs.

Then recently, when the boys were in the tub, this crud started floating in the water again.  So I instantly grabbed the jet cleaner and went to work.  Granted, the jets haven’t been touched in about 5 years because I just forgot about them.  This little adventure of cleaning out the jets went on for the entire weekend, of filling up the tub, running cleaner through the system, draining the tub, refilling with cold water to rinse out the jets, and even running a half a gallon of bleach through it several times.  You would think, that would do the trick, but about a bazillion gallons of water later (I hate to see my bill) , the gunk is still there!  So how do you effectively clean these jets. because the “special cleaner” they recommended doesn’t even work!   I have resorted to showers now until I can get them completely clean, or if I can.

The stuff you see is enough to make you gag, and I am really disappointed in the fact, that you cannot easily clean these tubs, not to mention the gallons of water wasted to do so.  If I ever get them clean again  I might actually get to use the tub, like I planned last weekend but never got to that point.  Until then, think twice about using those fancy jacuzzi tubs in hotels, god only knows what could be lurking in those…just EWWW!  I will never own a whirlpool/jacuzzi tub again.  They are too much hassle for just a few relaxing bubbles and who wants to soak in a bath that makes you feel gross before you even get clean?

Shout Color Catcher Winners!

January 30, 2012 by  
Filed under General

Congrats to Carol and Amie, for winning the Shout Color Catcher giveaway.  Winners have been emailed.  Thank you for all who entered.

 

Your Winner

(confirmed)

Author: amie d
Comment: permalink
 

Your Winner

(confirmed)

Author: Carol Foster
My biggest problem is ground in mud and dirt from my kids sports uniforms carolkfoster at comcast dot net 

Shout Color Catcher *Review and Giveaway*

January 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Contests, Mom Central, Product Reviews

Laundry reproduces like bunnies in our house.  There isn’t even a full day where I can officially say I am all done or caught up on doing laundry.  I get a less than satisfied look on my face when I turn a corner and the hamper has a few articles of clothing in it after I just emptied it.  Then there is the tiny load dilemma, where I have some light colors and dark colors,  and I don’t really have enough to kick off a load unless I combine them.  We all know that colors bleed, hence why there is sorting of laundry.

Since I am a Shout Brand ambassador, I have been given a chance to try some of their wonderful products like their Shout Free Stain Remover that I reviewed a few weeks ago, and this time Shout Color Catcher with Oxi Booster.  What if you could combine some of those darks with the lights without risking your clothes coming out pink or grey or a new shade of baby blue?  Shout Color Catcher eliminates having having to separate darks and lights and eliminates the need to wait until you have enough darks or lights to complete a load.  Just toss a sheet into your laundry and it absorbs loose dyes to prevent them from bleeding on to other clothes.

About Shout Color Catcher With Oxi

Product Information

  • Sheets lock up loose dyes found in the wash water to prevent dyes from running or bleeding onto other clothes.
  • Sheets change color as they absorb any loose dyes.
  • Saves time by reducing the need for sorting.
  • Saves money by reducing the need for
    half-size loads.
  • Oxi Booster powder contains active stain removers to brighten whites and tackle tough stains like grass, dirt, blood and coffee.
  • Safe for all colorfast washables.
  • Works in all water temperatures.

I will admit when using the sheets I was still a little hesitant to use them.  After twenty plus years of sorting religiously like my mom always taught me, it was like I was committing a felony by tossing darks and lights together.  I wasn’t as liberal with my color combining because I wanted to test things out before I knew if it really worked.  So, I took some of my husband’s dark work socks and threw them in with some of my light colored pajamas.  After the cycle was complete, I looked at the color catcher sheet and it was a light shade of gray from the black socks, and I noticed nothing on the light colored clothes.  So I would say it does it’s job.  I eventually got a little braver and threw in a red placemat with some light towels and the sheet came out pink but nothing was visible on the towels.  I was pleased with the results.  Will this end my sorting days?   Probably not, because I think it has been drilled into my laundry psyche, but for days when I have less than a load and want to get clothes washed and put away, this is a great alternative, just toss in a Shout Color Catcher with Oxi and I don’t have to give it a second thought!

Want to try out Shout Color Catcher with Oxi for yourself?  You can win it, right here on DoubleBugs!  I am giving it away to two lucky winners! And, if you can’t wait to win it and you want to try it out,  the Shout Facebook Page is offering downloadable coupons  Shout Free and Color Catcher with Oxi !

Here’s What You Gotta Do to Win!

Leave me a comment and tell me your worst laundry nightmare, I know we have all had one.

Additional Entries

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Tweet about this giveaway and provide the link

Contest starts Jan 23, 2012 and Ends Jan 29, 2012

Winners have 24 hrs to respond or the prize is forfeited

Open to US residents only

Good Luck!!!!!

 

 

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Shout and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

 

 

Homemade Cheez Its!

January 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Food & Recipes, General

I was out and about surfing the web when I ran across a recipe for cheese crackers, that I knew I had to try. I almost always pick up a box of Cheez Its in the store. They have been around since I was a child and I still love them even today. So when I ran into a way to make my own baked crackers, I jumped at the chance to try and make a new family favorite. At first I had high hopes that these would taste just like the real thing, but to be realistic, that will never happen. I don’t have enough preservatives and ingredients I can’t pronounce in my baking arsenal. If I could find something that we like out of this, I prefer the natural, low preservative version.

The recipe is extremely simple to put together, and the end result is a cracker that is light and crispy. You could even turn these into twisted cheese straws, add some spices, and mix and match cheeses. For simplicity sake and for something that appeals to two 5 yr old little boys, I went with plain old sharp cheddar that I grated from a leftover brick of cheese that was just calling my name.

Recipe

Homemade Cheez-Its

(Adapted From: ReadyMade Magazine)

Ingredients:

  1. 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated plus a little parmasean reggiano
  2. Optional Seasonings (I used a little cayenne pepper)
  3. 3 Tbs of unsalted butter, room temperature
  4. 1 Tbs vegetable shortening (you can omit the vegetable shortening and use 4TBS of butter)
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup unbleached flour
  7. 2 Tablespoons ice water
  8. Coarse salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Combine cheese, butter, shortening, optional preferred seasonings and salt in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. The mixture will be crumbly.
  2. Slowly add the flour then the ice water.  Add a few extra drops of water to help it come together (this is just like making a pie crust) but be careful not to add too much.
  3. Pat the dough into 2 discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for  30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375?F.
  5. Using parchment paper or a silicone mat roll each disc to 1/8 inch or less and cut into 1 inch squares (a pastry wheel or pizza wheel is easiest). A toothpick works great to punch a hole into the center of each square.
  6. If you have difficulty separating and transferring the crackers onto the baking sheet return the parchment paper/mat to the refrigerator for 10 minutes (while you roll out the 2nd dough disc).
  7. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until puffed and browning around the edges. If you pull them out too soon and the crackers don’t have the desired crispiness you want then simply return them to the oven for 2-3 more minutes.
  8. Move crackers to a cooling rack. Makes about 7 dozen crackers if you can keep them around that long!

The recipe is extremely easy.  I found the pastry cutter at Williams and Sonoma for around $10 but there are cheaper ones on Amazon.  You don’t have to be that fancy however, but I like the pretty edges on the cracker.  I will be trying some twisted cheese sticks with this recipe for the Holidays, I think they would be pretty and make a great snack even with a warm artichoke and spinach dip.  Yummy!

 

No Speak English at the Grocery Store

January 16, 2012 by  
Filed under General

I have a tiny little rant.  I was at the store looking for something and another product caught my eye.  I was attempting to read the front of the packaging so I could find out the information I needed and the specifics.

I stood there for several minutes flipping the box around at all angles to find the instructions in plain English.  I am running across things in our stores where the first language I see is something other than my own.  Last time I checked, I wasn’t visiting in a foreign country, but it sure felt like it.  After looking hard, and looking long, I found the description I needed in English in a tinier print than all the rest on a product made here.

I don’t know about you, but this completely irks me.  Last time I checked, I was in the good ole U S of A and the language spoken here is English, LAST TIME I CHECKED.  I understand we are a melting pot of individuals and cultures but seriously? When in Rome, do and speak as the Romans do.  When I visit other countries, I don’t see any special provisions for myself on product shelving.

When did this become so bass ackwards?   Keep the foreign language classes as electives in the classroom, and let me grocery shop without feeling like I have to enroll in French or Spanish just to do so.  Maybe, I have a strong opinion, but this should not be happening.

Rant Over Amen! Or Should I say…. Despotricar Sobre Amén?

Parenting Is

January 10, 2012 by  
Filed under General

Growing up, I spent a lot a time around kids, and always took on the mothering role.  I was the one in the neighborhood who offered to watch your kids for free, just so I could tote them around everywhere.

As I got a little older, and eventually got married, having a family was one of the things that I knew was important to me.  When you don’t have kids you make observations about other people’s children, you think about how you might handle the situations that arrive.  And many of us, tout how we would never do that if it was our child.

Becoming a parent though, is a reality check.  You cross over to that other side, where you seemingly lose all of those past “if that was my kid” I would…. And suddenly you step into reality mode, where everything is new, and a huge learning process.  You start getting all sorts of advice on how other people did this or that with their kids and how it all should go, right down to the kid’s first tooth.  Pediatricians have advice, neighbors have advice, and you can find yourself getting lost in all these ideals of how it should go, making developmental comparisons, and worrying about some of the silliest things.

I quickly changed how I felt about a screaming kid in the grocery store, or a kid that decides to act up in the middle of dinner, because after becoming a parent you can relate.  Kids can just start misbehaving out of the blue and I sympathized rather than judged.

Soon, as a mother, I began to realize that this isn’t how parenting should be, well at least for my own children.  I realized something very important that parenting should be intuitive based on you relationship with your child.  There should be no rules, no guidelines, no standards.  I have found my struggles with potty training, sleeping etc to be less when I just do what feels right for my kids and for myself.  When I talk to family, they asks questions like “shouldn’t they being doing this?”  My reply is simply, I dunno, but it is ok, because they will eventually.

This is not to say that my parenting is lax, my children are asked to listen, to be respectful and I attempt to challenge their little brains as best as I can.  I tell them to brush their teeth, and I expect them to pick up toys (this doesnt always happen), and there are time outs.

When it came to potty training though, I became stressed out trying to potty train twins, to make them go potty like I wanted them to and feeling the inevitable pressure that by the time they were 3 if they were still wetting their pants, that I was a miserable failure and doing something wrong with my kids.  When will I move them to their own bed?  Are they doing this or that?  My mind became preoccupied with all of this stuff, and now realize, very useless stuff.

I realized that these were my kids and whatever our routine, whenever they potty trained, was ok with me.  And after I stopped obsessing about it, it happened on its own.  Both boys potty trained right around the age of four, they are five now and still wear pull ups to bed and yes they have accidents, am I worried, absolutely not.  Does it make me a lazy parent, I don’t believe it does.  My children are happy healthy and that is what matters.

We are all in such a rush for them to grow up and do things on some developmental chart that we lose track of that connection with our child.  I am also not saying to ignore something if you feel there is a problem with your child, but for little things about where they sleep, or if they are potty trained by some set time frame, you should just let your child tell you.  Less stress equals happier parents and children.

Shout Free Winners

January 3, 2012 by  
Filed under General

Congrats to the winners of the shout free giveaway!  All winners have been contacted!

Couch Shopping and The Sales People

January 2, 2012 by  
Filed under General

My husband and I are shopping for a new couch.  It seems easy right? Well, you would be surprised how easy it is not.  First you have to actually find a color and style that looks good to you, then you have to sit your butt down on it and see if you could sit there comfortably for an hour or more.  Then there are the feature that you want and the layout.

I think in the past two days we have visited six furniture stores and have picked out maybe only three viable options for a couch.  Having kids, and pets we have to consider the type of material we wanted.  I want the micro fiber as that is what we have had for 16 years and it cleans up nicely, but we are considering leather.  With leather, we are afraid we will be too hot and stick to it in the Summer, but there are some really nice ones out there, most of them too dark in color however.  And, if the cat decides to puke on something, leather would be easy to clean up, because we all know cats have the habit of throwing up on anything that is fabric vs the tile floor where you can easily get to it.  To be fair, the kids manage to throw up on the carpet once in awhile too LOL.

Today, we went on another couch search and when we walked in, the sales people began to circle like vultures.  It’s like the whole store begins to crawl with them whenever you walk in.  This lady met us at the door, and I think my husband and I and the boys were barely three feet in the door.  She begins to tell us about the first couch we look at, and I kindly tell her “if I need you I will let you know if we have any questions, thank you.”

My husband took one of the boys to the bathroom while me and my other son looked around.  The sales lady proceeded to follow me around, whenever I sat she would give me a spiel about the couch.  The store is massive, like a warehouse, and as we made it in further, I could see her following in my peripheral vision.  Eventually, she began to point out the reclining section, and it was then, that I lost my cool.  I turned around facing her and I said “I would appreciate it, if you would let me shop, now kindly let me and my family do so!”  She finally acted a bit put out and left.  I realize they work on commission, but give me your card and I know where to find you if I have a question or want to make a purchase.  I do not handle what me and my husband call “vultures” very well.

I hope the couch shopping ends soon, because it feels like I am buying a house.  Maybe we are being too picky, but for us, this is a big purchase.  Say a little prayer for me that I don’t go psycho on a sales person  LOL