Awesome Stain Removal! Tide Stain Release In-Wash Booster (Product Review)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Between my three boys, a baby, and a husband who works nonstop on home improvement projects, it seems like my life is nothing but one BIG stain.

I have (literally) tried every stain removing product on the market. Some of them worked okay, while others seemed to have no effect at all.

So I was very excited when offered the opportunity to try Tide Stain Release In-Wash Booster duo gel pacs.

I have to be perfect honest: I really didn't expect much out of this product. While Tide is an excellent brand - a leader in laundry products - I just haven't ever found any stain remover to be produce the results I wanted.

Imagine my surprise when I washed a load of white t-shirts and socks and, when removed from the dryer, I found them to be almost as white as they were coming out of the package.

I thought it was a one time shot.

Again, I was pleasantly surprised.

This time it was a load of baby onesies and bibs - from a baby who is now eating pureed solids (which translates to plenty of stains).

There were NO traces baby food or other little people expulsions!

Tide Stain Release is very easy to use. You just drop in one duo gel pac along with your laundry detergent. The gel pac dissolves right in the wash while it does it's wonderful cleaning bit and adds the refreshing scent of original Tide.

Get a $1.50 coupon at

Buy It! Available in July at Amazon for only $29.29 (4 packs of 18 count pouches). That's only $7.32 each plus it qualifies for FREE SUPER SAVER SHIPPING! (See details)


Michael Jackson. Babbling Teens. Spasming Out.

Oh, where to start this week. So many random thoughts.

The first thing that comes to mind is that I'm get SICK AND TIRED of hearing about Michael Jackson!

I want my regular television programing back. I want talk radio back. I want country stations to stop playing twangy versions of MJ songs (you didn't consider them country before - why now?!).

Even Nancy Grace, who I've always given credit to for extensive coverage on stories others only gave a fleeting thought, had to jump on the MJ train.

For the love of all things good and pure!! Let him rest in peace!

Fortunately, ranting and raving about Michael Jackson has helped keep me from spasming over all the construction mess on going around here as we replace the deck with a patio.

I don't handle change well. At all.

And speaking of spasming...I'm going to go nuts listening to my random-thought'ing 17 year old who is standing in front of me right - even though he can see I am BUSY - babbling nonsense.

I'm sure by the time he's done with his diarrhea of the mouth, another child will come along to share their insane thoughts.

And why is that when you're the busiest is when they want to discuss some of the silliest stuff? Then again, when you're not busy and have plenty of time for them, they don't want you anywhere near them?

Well, if I want any peace and quiet, I guess I need to wrap this up.

Who's the queen manipulator now? ;)




From Deck to Patio: The Preparation

After 15 years, it has become necessary to replace the deck.

Sadly enough, it's been put off so long that the thing has become a hazard. I feared a neighbor would drop by, only to have the deck collapse at the very moment they stepped up to the door.

With a week off, Brian decided it was time to tackle this project.

We have decided to replace the wooden deck with a concrete patio (less maintenance, longer lasting - read: EASIER).

And since converting our garage to a fourth bedroom a couple years ago, I have always hated loathed the driveway coming right up to the bay window.

It just screams THIS USED TO BE A GARAGE!

To get that monkey off my back, we're going opting for a larger-than-our-deck patio that will come underneath that bay window.too.

So the first order of business was to remove a section of the driveway.

And of course, Daddy's little sidekick had to get in on the action of demolishing the deck.

Brian and his little sidekick, along with the help of our next door neighbor, accomplished a lot in one day! By Monday evening at 7:30 p.m., it looked like this:


Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Book Review: The Bike Path Killer by Maki Becker and Michael Beebe (Almetio Sanchez)

Monday, June 29, 2009

As early as 1977, he prowled the paths and streets of Buffalo, New York and its surrounding communities.

He was first known as The Bike Path Rapist.

He preyed on women. Looking to take control, then brutally rape them. Until control and rape were no longer enough.

Then he killed them.

And became known as The Bike Path Killer.

But he made mistakes. Big mistakes.

He left his DNA behind.

And while his reign lasted almost 3 decades, science was refining the art of identifying a criminal through their unique genetic markings.

The Bike Path Killer was unveiled: Almetio Sanchez.

Sanchez was well known and liked in his circle. He was a church going, golf player who was devoted to his two sons and was deeply in love with his wife Kathy.

It was all a persona to cover the evil within.

The Bike Path Killer is written by two journalist who worked for the The Buffalo News at the time of Sanchez's arrest.

Unfortunately, as is frequently found among this genre, newspaper reports can't turn true crime writers as their books often turn into compiled newspaper reports of the crimes.

And just as a newspaper uses fillers to keep a hot story selling the papers, those same fillers were tossed into this book: many of the first pages details the life story of numerous detectives and investigators involved in this case (irregardless of how minute their contribution).

As a result, I found myself skimming numerous pages.

The Bike Path Killer is an interesting case. Unfortunately, I found too much fluff in between the story.



There Was A Little Girl Who Had A Little Curl

This week, I Faces has two categories: Wedding Bells (judged) and Just For Fun (not judged). Obviously I've opted to participate in the second category.

The photo you see here was taken just yesterday while swimming. Dad was spending time with Princess and decided to mess with her hair (and there is plenty to mess with!). The results: all of it piled up on the top, curling over - completely no rhyme or reason (IMO).

Silly Daddy! :)



Weekly Highlights: June 21 - 27, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

This has been an insanely sad week.

While documentaries had pretty well prepared us for the death of Farrah Fawcett, I think most found just how saddened they were by the passing of Charlie's Angel.

As the morning shows rehashed the events surrounding her death and the days leading up to, then came the shocking news of Michael Jackson dying from sudden cardiac arrest.

Farrah was quickly forgotten (sadly enough) as the world mourned a man that most had despised for the last several years.

Wow! Too much, too fast - I'm glad we're starting a new week.

Although, I'm sure this week will continue on with the MJ coverage as the autopsy is expected to be completed by mid-week and, from television reports, it appears that MJ's family will continue to haul away his possessions.

Wonder how that will work out with creditors of MJ's when the estate has to be settled. Any bets on how long it's tied up in the Courts? I'm guessing a minimum of 5 years.

Now that that is out of the way -

I'll be starting off my week with a family reunion. For some reason, they opt to have it at the hottest time of the year, in the smallest building they can find, on a lot that seems to never get mowed.

It's going to be so much fun! *rolling my eyes*

Preparing for the reunion cut even more into my blogging time, but here's what I managed to accomplish this last week:



The First In Many Gymboree. I'm Officially A Gymbo Mom!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

All those years that I was selling made to match Gymboree ribbon groups and making bows, I was in love with the Gymboree lines.

As a mother of three boys, I watched each year's new lines release with envy.

Yes, I know Gymboree makes a boys' line; but, to me, it just isn't the same.

Then along came my little girl.

One of the first things I thought of when the ultrasound technician said "It's a sissy!" was the cute Gymboree outfits, the hair bows, the adorable socks, the cute shoes, the classy hats, the precious swimsuits....okay, you get the hint.

I couldn't wait to be a Gymbo Mom!

Then she was born. And let's face it, with the shower gifts and other pieces you receive along the way, there just isn't much need to buy more clothes that the baby will quickly outgrow.

But we're finally outgrowing things. And now it's my turn to shop.

Of course, my regular readers know that I am an el primo cheapskate - refusing to pay retail price for any of the clothing or (some) other things used by my two youngest ones (ages 4 and 5 months).

So I headed over to eBay. To make a long story short, I was able to pick up two adorable barely-worn (if at all) outfits for a total of $11.48.

One of them included a 2 piece short and halter top set from the 2008 Tropical Garden line.

And now I'm officially a Gymbo Mom! I'm sure this outfit and the other adorable set from the 2008 line Palm Springs will be just the first of many.

Are you a Gymboree fan?

Before leaving, be sure to visit my Made to Match Gymboree(M2MG) Color Guide !



Michael Jackson: Don't Matter If You're Black or White

I swore I wouldn't do this. Swore it up and down.

But I'm doing it anyway. Here goes....

You're living under a rock if you hadn't heard about the recent death of Michael Jackson. At only 50 years old, on June 25, 2009, Jackson reportedly died from a sudden heart attack; although, at present, reports say that the cardiac arrest may be the result of a drug overdose and Jackson's doctors are being investigated.

I'm not going to bombard you with Thriller videos, a time line of Jackson's life, or anything sappy like that.

No, I think I'll discuss something that is so politically incorrect today: the black MJ and the white MJ.

I was a fan of the black Michael Jackson; a man who has long since ceased to exist.

As a teenager, I mimicked the moves from the Thriller video as I sang along at the top of my lungs.

For what it's worth, I'm still inclined to tune into Thriller, Billy Jean, or Beat It.

An awesome Pop Star that, unfortunately, my children will never really know. ("Michael Jackson was black?" asked my 13-year-old.)

After Jackson's burn accident while filming the 1984 Pepsi commercial and he (supposedly) was diagnosed with Vitaligo, an autoimmune disorder that causes white patches to appear on the skin, became lighter and lighter.

I find it a little ironic that by the time his chart topping song Black or White was released in 2001, Jackson had transformed from a black man into what can best be described as a white man (although the extensive plastic surgery to the facial features requires using the term "man" loosely.)

The white Michael Jackson was the one accused of perverse acts with children (although never convicted, so his guilt is up for debate), a known pill junkie, engaged in acts of child endangerment (dangling a newborn baby over a balcony), and frequently referred to as a "freakshow."

While I hope that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is now at peace, I can't help but to wonder: maybe it does matter if you're black or white.

Life seemed to be much better for him (and sane) as a black man.



Stop The Thumb Sucking Now With Mavala Stop (Product Review)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Since my now 4-year-old son was three months old, he's sucked his thumb.

It's rare that we can find a photo of him without his thumb being in the vicinity of his mouth; not always in but definitely nearby at the ready!

My husband and I have tried everything to get him to stop this horrible habit: promises of rewards, pepper, Tabasco name it, we tried it.

Taking into consideration that my now 13-year-old sucked his two middle fingers until he was three (stopping on his own), we even tried waiting it out.

However, after doing plenty of research, I learned it is an absolute must that children stop sucking their thumb by time their permanent front teeth are coming in; which is typically around the age of 5.

Not to mention that I really didn't want to send a kid off to kindergarten still sucking his thumb.

After all of our other efforts appeared to be fruitless, I decided to give some "reminder fluid" a try.

Searching all of the information out there on "reminder fluids" and reading personal reviews on each product, I opted for the Mavala Stop for Nail Biting and Thumb Sucking.

Wow! Is this stuff amazing! Hindsight makes me wish I'd saved all the trial and error and started at this point.

Just minutes after applying the first coat, I saw a streak of little person running to the refrigerator to grab some water. It tasted that horrible!

Since the first time I applied the stuff to his thumb, he's never sucked it again. Just to ensure the breaking of this orally unhealthy habit, I applied it a few more times but it really wasn't necessary.

Mavala Stop is easy to use: paint on thumb as you would nail polish, dries clear within seconds. Although the smell and taste is horrendous, it is non-toxic and safe for consumption.

You can purchase this miracle product at Amazon from a variety of sellers for as low as $8.50 USD.



Stop The Stupid Commercials, Please!

Seems like every time the television is on these days, I'm bombarded with stupid commercials.

I seriously get the impression that advertising agencies think we're all a bunch of lame-brained zombies who don't know our heads from our behinds.

The one that seems to annoy the most these days is the Swiffer commercials.

If my mop sends me a bouquet of flowers, I'm not going to roll my eyes and shut the door.

I'm going to FREAK OUT!! Especially if I see an (obviously) "living" mop lurking in the bushes watching the delivery.

Come on! Give me a human stalker any day!

So, my question to you this week is:
What commercial do you really hate?

Aloha Friday is brought to you by Kailani at An Island Life.
To find out more, visit her blog at


Book Review: Mail Order Murder by Patricia Springer (Jack Reeves)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Emelita Reeves was a beautiful, eighteen-year-old Filipino living in Cebu City, Manila and desperate to help her family overcome their poverty stricken state.

When her father placed an ad about his daughter in a mail order bride magazine, he didn't realize that his dreams of a better life for Emelita and the family's chance at financial assistance would lead to a brutal murder.

Jack Reeves was immediately smitten with the almond-eyed, black hair Emelita; and soon she would become his bride.

His fourth bride; and the third to die in questionable circumstances.

When Emelita went missing on October 11, 2004, her friends were the first to report her disappearance; especially after being instructed by Emelita that, should they ever be unable to reach her by cell phone or pager, they should immediately call the police - because Jack had killed her.

Emelita had longed to return to the Phillipines. She suspected that her husband Jack was responsible for the deaths of second and third wives - hence the instructions to her friends. But providing for her family - via a financially stable American - was Emelita's duty; so she stayed.

Following the report of Emelita's disappearance, the investigation that ensued would unearth Jack's obsession with perversion, a need for control, and a drive to kill to protect what was his - more than once!

Jack Reeves may have outsmarted the police more than once, but then his path crossed with Detectives Tom LeNoir and Buddy Evans of the Arlington, Texas, Police Department.

His life would never be the same.

Mail Order Murder is another awesome true crime book written by Patricia Springer. Well written and researched, this tale of murder and manipulation will keep fans of the true crime genre engrossed until the very end.



The Baby Speaks Out On Favorites, Life, and The Recession

When I saw the choice of prompts this week for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, I immediately latched on to the first one: interview a child.

And what better child to interview than the 5 month old taking up way too much space in my house.

Now, you've got understand....English, at this point, is not her first language; not even a close second. So I'll be translating each of her answers for you.

Let's get started:

  1. Let's start with something simple. What do you like to be called?

    Ha! I could care less just as long as whoever's saying it is talking to me. But I get called a lot of things; like Little Bit, Whistle Britches, Precious, Baby Girl, and Puddin'.

    I'm still not sure which one is my official name.

  2. What's your favorite television show?

    Anybody: Up Close & Personal (you won't find that on network television!)

  3. What's your favorite activity?

    Screaming. Loudly. Until someone picks up me. (snickers)

  4. What's your favorite color?

    According to Mom: Pink. According to Dad: Orange. I personally can't tell you what either looks like.

  5. What do you want to be when you grow up?


  6. What's it like living with 3 older brothers?

    Although they beat it out of each other, they treat me like a princess!

  7. Lastly - a question on everyone's mind - how is the current recession affecting you?

    I've got milk. I've got diapers. I'm not naked. - I'd say it's not.



Human Volleyball (A Thousand Word Thursday)

This is a prime example of why my brother (left) and my husband (right) should not be allowed to play together.

Cheaper Than Therapy



My Little Escape Artist (Wordless Wednesday)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Find more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and the WW HQ!



Planters Big Triple Nut Bar: Healthy and Tasty (Product Review)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Planters is the leading distributor of peanuts and wide assortment of other nut products.

So it comes as no surprise that Planters would be the ones to create a healthy snack bar that actually tastes good.

Larger (30%) than your typical snack bar, each 46 gram chewy, nut-filled bar offers a whopping 7 grams of protein! And only 23 grams of fat!

Each Planters Big Triple Nut Bar offers a snack chocked full of honey roasted peanuts, almonds, and cashews.

Being that, prior to trying these tasty treats, I had not found a snack bar that offered nutrition and good taste, I was a little hesitant to even give these a try.

I'm glad I did!

As a former gestational diabetic at risk for Type 2 diabetes, I'm try to maintain the healthy eating habits I learned during pregnancy. Planters Big Triple Nut Bars is one more thing I can add to my list of allowable snacks.

Whether you're trying to maintain a healthy diet or just looking for a tasty snack, I recommend giving Planters Big Triple Nut Bars a try!



Big Announcements. Depression. Random Thoughts.

I couldn't stop myself.

It's like an accident at the side of the highway. You know it's not going to be sickening, but you can't keep from looking.

I watched Jon and Kate Plus 8 last night. The lure of a "big announcement" kept me from tuning into a Two And A Half Men just so that I could be witness to the destruction divorce of another American couple to infidelity.

And I'm still royal PO'd at how people keep blaming Kate for the couple's troubles. Why is Jon getting a free ride? HE BROKE HIS MARRIAGE VOWS BY BEING A CHEATER!

Okay, she's mean and hateful at times; but there isn't, to the best of my recollection, anything in wedding vows that says, "I vow to be nice all the time even if we have 8 children who are full of energy and running in different directions."

I have four and find myself being witchy a lot. Thank goodness there's not television cameras following me around all the time!

Add to it that Jon is like one large overgrown kid, and it's a recipe for permanent PMS. Ever had one of those? I have! And while most of the time it's fun; when you're trying to get things done, not so much.

Oh well - why do I care? Not sure why I'm so obsessed with this outcome.

I'm going to guess that I've become focused shows like that because I'm on a news hiatus.

The news was just too depressing to watch. For a person who suffers chronic depression, all you hear is "the sky is falling," "the end is coming," "death, doom, and disaster."

God bless the Bi-polars...they must be on some rapid cycles right now. While the ADD'ers can't stay focused long enough to give it a second thought. (I envy them, to tell you the truth.)

Ok, now I've depressed myself just thinking about the depressing stuff.





Order In The Closet, Please

Bigger Brother is a rebel when it comes to keeping his room neat and organized.

And he has this really, really annoying habit of tossing things into the bottom of his closet.

So this week's MUST-DO was cleaning and organizing his closet.

But he overhead me talking about and, instead of risking eye-rolling and a chastising from Mom, he rushed to beat me to it (thinking I would believe it had been clean the whole time - insert one of my eye rolls here.)

His speedy, last-ditch efforts resulted in this:

Not exactly what I was looking for. So I took the project over from there. My efforts produced this:

Stepping back to check out my hard work, I realized something: Princess A has more shoes at 5 months old than her 13 year old brother.

And he's perfectly okay with that. *sigh* Boys are so much less expensive to raise.

You've gotta love 'em for that alone!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme



What Goes Up... (I Heart Faces)

Monday, June 22, 2009

What goes up, must come down...and it did with a SPLASH!

This week's theme at I ♥ Faces is "Let's Hear It For The Boys!"

I chose to submit this one because only boys play like this in the pool. ☺



Weekly Highlights for the Week of June 14 - 20, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer just keeps getting better and better....and hotter and hotter!

This week was a little quieter at my house. Biggest Brother got a new job, which took up more of his time; and Bigger Brother was away visiting Dad for a week in East Tennessee.

So that just left me, Big Brother and Princess A together for most of the weekdays. And, believe me, we made the most of it!

I think the heat made me cranky because I ranted more this week, as you can see in this week's addition of highlights:



Happy Father's Day! Father's Day Quotes

Happy Father's Day to all the great Daddies out there! Especially my husband and to my own Dad - I love you guys more than you'll ever know!


"A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again." - Enid Bagnold

"I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich." - Colonel Potter, M*A*S*H

"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong." - Charles Wadworth

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." - Sigmund Freud

"Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected." - Red Buttons

"A father carries pictures where his money used to be." - Unknown

"It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't." - Barbara Kingsolver

Join the Fun of Quotable Sunday!



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