OxiClean Dishwashing Booster – A Better Kind of Clean

 

I’m an at-home mom, so a lot of my day is spent not only caring for my toddler but cooking, cleaning, and washing…all the regular household chores. While I rather enjoy making a mess, I really don’t like cleaning up after myself so I try and have tools at my disposal to help make the job a little easier. One of those items is what I consider an invaluable appliance – my dishwasher. After my original dishwasher broke several years ago, my then-boyfriend-now-husband got me the most practical and wonderful gift ever – a Bosch dishwasher. I loved it then and I still love it today, however, it seems it hasn’t been performing up to par lately.

When I put dishes, utensils and cookware in the dishwasher I want them all to come out sparkling clean. Recently it seems like our Bosch is leaving spots on all our dishes which drives me nuts. This is even after using rinse agents and resorting to white vinegar in the rinse…but nothing seems to help. It seems I’m not alone: according to a recent survey almost 1 in 3 respondents (32%) say their biggest kitchen challenge is achieving sparkly dishes; 30% say spots on dishes are their biggest kitchen complaint. As it turns out, the real issue is that many dishwasher detergents have been reformulated and therefore don’t perform as well as they used to, meaning cloudy dishes.

Recently I had an opportunity to try new OxiClean Dishwashing Booster so I jumped at the chance. I use OxiClean for all sorts of things around the house and like their products, and I was hopeful this new one would deliver results.

I took a picture of one of my drinking glasses straight out of the dishwasher. While my photography skills are lacking (and my glasses a little banged up), you don’t need a magnifying glass to see it is cloudy and spotty (but if you do, just click & load the large picture file for an up-close view). Very frustrating.

My husband is the one who loads the dishwasher at our house, so I had him use the OxiClean Dishwashing Booster according to the directions. When the cycle was finished, we were surprised with the results! It managed to accomplish what my Bosch with rinse agent couldn’t – clear and residue-free dishes. My husband was really impressed by its performance and said it made a loyal customer out of him. Ladies, when your husband is impressed with a dishwashing product you know it’s good! From here on out we’ll be using OxiClean Dishwashing Booster whenever we run a load of dishes.

If you would like more information on OxiClean Dishwashing Booster, visit OxiClean.com or Like their OxiClean Facebook page. Once again, Oxi delivers!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of OxiClean and received a product sample and serving tray to facilitate my review, and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate

Summer In A Glass

Lipton Pure Leaf Iced TEaThe weather is heating up and that calls for something cold to drink!  I drink a lot of water, but it’s nice to have something with a bit of flavor to break up the monotony.  Until recently I would have reached for a diet soda, but I’ve been trying to cut back on the artificial sweeteners.  I love lemonade but not all the calories.  What’s left?  A nice tall glass of iced tea?  Yes, please!  I usually brew my own, but there are days when I just don’t have the time.  Naturally I was thrilled at the opportunity to give Lipton Pure Leaf Iced Tea a try.

Lipton Pure Leaf Iced Tea comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties and several flavors.  All varieties feature all-natural ingredients and contain no preservatives.  The sweetened varieties contain no high fructose corn syrup, a big plus in my book.

You’ve heard of an Arnold Palmer, right?  Half tea, half lemonade?  Aside from those, it never occurred to me to drink tea any other way than straight up.  Now I’m looking at tea in a whole new way.  I tried this recipe for Fruit-Tea Smoothies, it was the perfect afternoon treat – so refreshing!

Fruit Tea SmoothiesFruit-Tea Smoothies

16 ounces of Pure Leaf™ Iced Tea with Lemon or Pure Leaf™
Unsweetened Iced Tea, chilled
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup Breyers® Fat Free Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Tbsp. sugar

In blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately in tall glasses and garnish, if desired, with fresh strawberries.

Next on my list to try – this fresh take on the Cosmo:

Green Tea Cosmo

3 ounces of Pure Leaf™ Green Tea with Honey
1 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice cocktail

In shaker filled with ice, and all ingredients. Shake well, then strain into chilled Martini glass. Garnish, if desired, with lime peel.

Tip: For a special twist, substitute 1 ounce vodka for 1 ounce orange juice.

Lipton has thought of all kinds of creative ways to drink your tea and even a few ways to use it in savory recipes.  You’ll find lots more ideas on their Facebook page.   You can find Lipton Pure Leaf Iced Tea in 18.5 oz single serve bottles and 59oz multi-serve bottles.

Are you a sweet tea drinker or do you prefer the unsweetened variety?  Have you ever used tea in a cocktail or other concoction?  I’d love to hear your recipes!

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Lipton Pure Leaf. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

 

Dreaming Big

Last month the nation had lotto fever when the Mega Millions jackpot was at a record $656 million. On March 30th we found out this unbelievable jackpot was going to be split between three tickets. Even after taxes and a penalty for a cash payout it would mean a ton of cash for each winner. It got me thinking – if it were me, what would I do with the money? There’s always the good you want to do in the world – like donate to a special organization, charity or cause. Then there are practical things like paying off the house and other debt, starting a college fund. Those kinds of things go without saying. I’m talking about some of the indulgences that are guilty pleasures. Hmmmm.

One of the things I’d like to do for myself is hire someone to organize my life. Having a two year old means a house full of scattered toys, books and other debris strewn from room to room. I’m so jealous of the custom closets and other unique storage ideas I see on Pinterest and in magazines. I’d love to turn someone loose on my house and have them clean it top to bottom, de-clutter, and then buy a billion cute and stylish boxes, containers and bins. A place for everything and everything in it’s place. It sure would be a step up from those Sterilite containers I’ve been using as closet organizers since I was a teenager. Basically, I want my house to look like one of those HGTV makeovers. Oh heck, if I’m that rich, maybe I’d just buy a new house and start from scratch.

Another guilty pleasure I’d indulge in would be a private airplane (or at least the ability to charter one whenever I wanted). I love, love, love to travel and to be able to fly to any destination whenever I wanted would truly be a dream come true. Wouldn’t it be great fun to say to a bunch of your friends, “Hey, let’s have lunch in another state….or country!” Breakfast in Brittany, lunch in Lima, dinner in Dublin. Ah, bliss. Another great perk – no more taking my laptop out of its case for security at LAX.

Have you ever dreamed about winning the lottery? Who hasn’t! What are some of the things you would indulge in? We’re not talking the practical side, here. We’re talking the fun stuff! A luxury RV? A vacation home in France? Let us know what your lotto dreams are by leaving a comment.

Big Family Fun at Adventure City

 Adventure City Anaheim California Toddler Amusement Park

When family visits us it usually means a trip to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm – and we love those amusement parks. However, when my sister decided to visit a couple weeks ago we decided to try something new – Adventure City in Anaheim. I have lived in L.A. my whole life and had never visited this unique California theme park for young children. It has been around for decades (it was formerly known as Hobby City) and now that Jack is two it seemed the perfect place to go.

Just down the road from Knott’s Berry Farm, Adventure City was really easy to find and parking was plentiful – and free! Where do you get free parking anymore?
Adventure City Anaheim California Toddler Amusement Park
The entrance fee was only $14.95 per person but we used the coupons Sarah found online at the Anaheim Visitor and Convention Bureau’s website to get an additional $2.00 off.  Upon entering the park all of us adults thought it was adorable. Everything was decorated well, sparkling clean and just plain cute. The staff we encountered throughout the park were all friendly, helpful and seemed genuinely happy to be there which was refreshing.

Adventure City Anaheim California Toddler Amusement ParkMy sister and I took Jack on the Fire Rescue ride, where you get to pick a rescue vehicle and ride around a small track with lights blazing. I think my sister had as much fun as Jack! We also went on the airplane ride and visited the petting zoo before heading over to my son’s favorite thing of all – the choo choo train. We ended up going on it twice, riding all around the park (and through their birthday party room) and Adventure City Anaheim California Toddler Amusement Parkwatching employees wave to us along the way. Other venues in Southern California that have trains can charge $2.50 – $3.00 per ride which can add up quickly!  At Adventure City your kids can ride over and over and over again until they get their fill all for $14.95. I think the train and carousel alone are worth the admission cost. There are several rides such as the Freeway Coaster or Drop Zone that would satisfy older children who enjoy something racier.  Adventure City has 11 rides in all plus other attractions like a rock climbing wall, shows and an arcade to keep kids of all ages entertained.

Adventure City Anaheim California Toddler Amusement ParkWe did have lunch at the park and our meal was fine. It’s typical amusement park food with burgers, hot dogs and chips as standard fare, but they do offer a chicken wrap which was fairly tasty. If you prefer to bring your own food there are several tables both inside and outside the park available for your use.

Overall our experience was great and I know we will be going back again and again in the future, and probably bringing more people with us. While we all still love Disneyland and Knott’s, Adventure City is tailored to the little ones which makes it special. If you’ve been to Adventure City leave us a comment and let us know what your experience was like!

Yogurt – The Perfect Food?

Mountain High Yoghurt Smoothies

Is there ever a bad time for yogurt?  It can be a part of breakfast, lunch or dinner.  You can eat it for a snack, it even makes a tasty dessert.  Yogurt is just so darn versatile!  While we’ve always loved eating it straight from the container, working with Mountain High Yoghurt over the past few months has given us an opportunity to experiment with new recipes and find new ways to love yogurt.  Here are a few of our favorite recipe ideas:

  • Smoothies – The possibilities are endless.  I’ve found so many great smoothie recipes at at the Mountain High site (including recipes for the smoothies pictured above) and on Pinterest.  Yogurt and fresh fruit make the perfect smoothie base.  You can even sneak in some spinach – getting my kids to eat the green stuff has never been so easy!
  • Parfaits – Layer yogurt, granola and berries for a scrumptious start to the day.
  • Muffins – We loved these Strawberry Banana Yogurt Muffins, can’t wait to try these Lemon Zest Muffins.
  • Pancakes – We enjoy it not only in our pancakes, but as a topping too.
  • Dips – Lightening up spinach dip with sour cream makes for a tasty snack that won’t leave you feeling guilty.
  • Marinades – Mix up a savory marinade for the meat of your choice.  Yogurt is a staple in Indian recipes.

With so many ways to use yogurt, I can’t see how we’ll ever get bored.  I keep meaning to try out one of the facial masks I saw on the Mountain High website, but we’re always running out before I get around to it.   I could really go for a facial right now, so relaxing!

How do you incorporate yogurt into your diet?  Have any great recipes we should try?  We’d love to hear them!

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mountain High Yoghurt. I received a gift card to purchase yogurt, a product kit, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.