Friday, October 12, 2007

Just One More Year...

My poor laundry hamper has been looking pretty sad these days. We bought this hamper the year that we got married and each year it looks a little worse than the year before.

Somehow the top of the hamper got a tear in it and I noticed weird pieces of fuzzy stuff lurking all over my daughter's room. It appears that someone in our house had now made it a mission to pick out the foam interior and shred it all over their room. I can't say who this person was, but I am pretty sure that I can narrow it down to two little people. It was becoming necessary to replace this item or fix it.

I did happen to have some vinyl fabric leftover from recovering my dining chairs so I thought I could use some of this excess fabric and recover the top of the hamper.

Within a half hour, I had the whole thing apart and had recovered the top with the pretty chocolate fabric.

The hamper is still very stretched out and I doubt I have more than a year before it will be completely worthless, but I bought myself a year to look for a new one while I am at the thrift store. This was completely worth the time and effort and I can't wait to keep my eyes peeled at our stores to find a good deal on a new one.

Operation Foam Destruction has been disabled!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

WSBT-TV: Saving Money On Laundry

Today on WSBT we discussed ways you can save money on doing your laundry. I will be posting an article on this topic a little later this week!

Sound Off: What are some ways that you save on laundry costs? Do you have any recipes that you use in your house?

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Product Review: OxiClean Products

The OxiClean company sent to me a big box of their products to try. They included their detergent as well as several different types of stain removers. Most notably, in the box, was their new pocket-sized stain remover, OxiClean Spray-A-Way Instant Stain Remover. This product is intended for moms on the go. The stain remover would be perfect to stick in your purse or diaper bag for all of those emergency stains that seem to come up when your family is out and about.

OxiClean also offers great products targeted towards moms who have to endure numerous baby stains. They offer Baby Stain Soaker and their Baby Stain Remover. A couple of my other favorite products are their Carpet Spot and Stain Remover and the Outdoor Professional Stain Remover.

I love all of the OxiClean products and have had great success using them on new and old stains alike. The price is a bit more than some of the other stain removers on the market, but I don't have to use as much of the product to accomplish the tasks for cleaning items. I was most impressed with their Baby Stain Remover that they offer. I love to keep a bottle of this handy near our hampers so that I can spray items before they are thrown into the hamper for wash day. I also love to keep the small pocket-sized removers with my bibs and other feeding items for my daughter, so when a stain arises, I can get right to it and not waste any time letting the stain set in.

The only drawback I have found with the baby stain remover and laundry stain remover products is the trigger that is on these bottles. I love a spray that uses more of a spritzer action, rather than the soaker action that is on these bottles. It would be nice if you had the choice between a straight spray and a spritz.

These stain removers are great, but they are much more powerful than many of the traditional stain removers on the market. Make sure you read the directions carefully, to preserve the beauty of your clothing and the color in your items.

Many thanks to the OxiClean Family for sharing their products with me and giving us the opportunity to share our experience with our readers!

Sound Off: While we are on the subject of stain removers, what is your favorite stain removing product? Do you have your own secret formula for removing stains?

Related Readings:

How to Construct an Airing Rack

Should You Buy Brand Name Detergent?

The World's Greatest Stain Remover

Demystifying the Great Laundry Detergent Dilemma

Washing Your Child's Lovie

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Washing Your Child's Lovies

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

(The Velveteen Rabbit)

Do you see anything strange hanging on our line? Emily's rabbit makes an appearance there quite regularly, and it always cracks me up to see him pinned and waving in the breeze by his ears. There is just something so comical about that.

Since Emily was three weeks old, she has been in love with bunnies. Before she was born, my grandmother and I were antique shopping and ran across a cute little gift shop. Inside the gift shop was a bunny that I pointed out to her and said how perfect it would be for a little one to carry around since it was smaller than a blanket. She ended up buying one for Emily and she absolutely loved it. A girlfriend also happened to send a very similar bunny to us as a baby gift for Emily. She always had one of these little guys tucked under her arm since she was really small and now we can't go anywhere without them. Her rabbits remind me of my favorite story growing up, "The Velveteen Rabbit." I was never attached to anything in this way, but I always wished I loved something like that.

Emily's bunny collection has grown and now we have four bunnies in tote with us on any given day. She likes to chew on their ears and drag them around on dirty floors. With all the love they receive, they need frequent baths.

Here are some tips for cleaning your child's stuffed animals:

- For smaller toys, like beanie babies, you can actually throw them in your dishwasher. My girlfriend's daughter loves to tote these around and she just puts them in the dishwasher on the top rack. The chemicals that help whiten the dishes, will also help whiten the stuffed animal. Allow the stuffed animal to air dry. Other smaller toys, that your child puts in their mouth, can also be thrown in the dishwasher for a quick and easy way to keep them clean.

- For larger stuffed toys or ones that have been loved a bit too much and could fall apart in the washer, you can stick the stuffed animal in a paper bag with a little baking soda. Shut the top of the bag and shake the bag until the animal is coated in the baking soda. Let the animal sit in the bag for about a half hour and then take him out and give him a quick swipe with a towel, to get any lingering baking soda residue off. He should smell nice and fresh.

- In most cases, you can throw the stuffed animal in a pillowcase and run the delicate cycle in your washer. Before you throw the animal in, make sure that all of the stuffing is sealed in and all body parts are attached. Perform any emergency surgeries before the washing, and then run the cycle. Avoid the dryer, if at all possible, and allow the animal to air dry. In our situation, we have a back-up that we can use, but if you don't the waiting-to-dry process can seem like days. If you have a clothesline, you can hang the animal out there and let the sun dry the animal. Trust me, it is a lot quicker and time is of the essence when it comes to your child's most loved items!

- If you have animals that are collecting dust (this is most likely not the case when it comes to the lovies), you can use your vacuum hose and suck the dust off of the animal.

Sound Off: Does your child have an animal that they carry around with them? How do you care for your animals and how do you distract your child while they are being cared for?

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