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Sunday, 30 March 2014

How to soften towels

How to soften towels

You know that feeling when you get out of the shower and your grab your brand new, big, fluffy, bath sheet and wrap it around your body? It's like a soft, warm hug! If you are anything like me you want them to stay that way forever, but they don't. No, it's not as easy as washing them with your favourite detergent and adding a great fabric softener then tossing them in the drying on the "fluff cycle".

In fact those things actually contribute to roughing up your towels. All those great smelling laundry products build up in the fibres over time. So what do you do? Find a new, better product? Sure, and you might even get them a tad softer. Or you could go buy new towels every few months? Um, no. I can't afford that!

After scouring the web for ideas I was surprised to see that the answer might be very simple. I saw people recommending the following things:

  • Soaking in hot water with fabric softener for an hour before each wash (who has time for that?!)
  • 15 Easy Steps to soft towels! (I'm not buying that. If there are FIFTEEN steps it ISN'T easy)
  • Sodium tripolyphosphate. (What now? If I can't say it and I'd have to go to a chemistry supply store it's WAY too much effort for me.
  • Adding a cup of salt to the wash cycle. (I salt my fries, not my laundry.)
I guess you are starting to see a trend here. I'm looking for a sure fire way to do it with as little effort as possible. After trying all sorts of combinations here's what I can say worked really well for me.

  1. Go shopping! Buy a pack of tennis balls from your local dollar store. Three seems like a good number. Then hit your grocery store and get a big box of baking soda and a big bottle of white vinegar. You can get the Big box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda at a big box store for next to nothing. Same with the vinegar.
  2. Start your machine on your favourite cycle using warm or hot water.
  3. Add your detergent, 1 cup of the baking soda and 1 cup of the vinegar.
  4. Toss in your towels, but not too many. They need room to swirl around and get clean.
  5. Avoid the temptation to use liquid fabric softeners. They build up, making towels crunchy and therefore less absorbent.
  6. When your load is finished, transfer to your dryer along with the tennis balls and a fabric sheet (if you MUST have that extra scent added)
  7. Dry them on your heat setting but remove them just before they are fully dry. You don't want to cook them.
You should find they are dramatically improved! It certainly works for me! 

I'd love to hear your tips! Have any tried and true methods, please share them in the comments.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Roo Reviews: Andreas Clips and More

What Roo said:

I loved everything! I especially loved the hair bow because it was like a zebra and that's my favourite animal.

The suspenders were kinda loose, mommy tightened them but she didn't tighten them enough for me probably because she didn't want them to hurt me.

The tie was really cool, It felt soft and silky and looked great on me even though I am not a boy! Girls can wear boy stuff too!

The hairband was pretty, it even had a jewel and I love jewels. When I wear it I think it sparkles so other people can see it! If I wiggle my head a little bit people will see the sparkle and ask me where I got it.
I've been wearing it since forever and my ears aren't hurting. Sometimes my hairbands make me hurt this one doesn't. I think I want to buy more of this stuff for my friends and we can have a fashion party.

What Mom said: 

Everyone knows that having a girl means all things pretty.
Pretty clothes and shoes, Pretty hair-dos etc

But when you see someone with great accessories, you think "wow, she looks really put together!"
That should be no different for little girls! Why should us ladies have all the fun?

We buy cute shiny baubles and too tiny purses for holding their lip gloss but what about hair accessories or even a pair of suspenders? Everyone who's been paying attention knows that my daughter and co-blogger, Roo, is pretty non traditional, though very very into fashion. So when she saw a pair of suspenders in her package from Andrea's Clips & More she actually squealed! They looked fab with the outfit she had chosen to wear. The other items received we loved as much, a beautiful hairband that Roo hasn't stopped wearing and hair clips. We also got an adorable hat with a bear on it. Sadly that one did not fit my big headed girl so on our day trip tomorrow we'll be bringing that along for my niece! She'll love it!

One thing I noticed was that the bows seemed to be really durable, extra reinforced, there's virtually no way the bow will come away from the clip. The clips were super easy to use meaning they'd be great even for the younger wiggly toddlers who don't want to sit long enough to get their hair done.

Great product, good prices and after checking out her website I was really impressed to see that she offer a lot more that just the things we're testing out. For the new mom, she has a bunch of amazing items to save you from losing some of your important gear. Toy clips, sippy cup clips and even a special leash for Sophie the Giraffe!

Andrea has offered all of my readers a discount!
Save 10% off your order by using this code
when you visit

Best of all Andreas Clips & More have provided us with a couple goodies to giveaway! If you have kids in your life and want to win here's how:

Don't forget to leave your name and email address. You can't win if you're anonymous.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Thought Provoking Thursday: Age

I decided to start a new feature here on the blog. With all the fad features going around I wanted something that would cause my readers to think a little bit. 

Here's my equation: Health + Experience - Joy = Second Age

Consider this; I am 36 and out of shape (like so many), have had depression, cancer, a heart implant and blood transfusions. That's a lot. So when I contemplate my physical age, I might say my body has endured strain beyond my 36 years. 

Flip the coin and I'll tell you about my mental age. I have had many difficulties in my life starting at a young age, though through it all I've always prided myself in keeping my spirits up, laughing and learning through it all. Speaking of laughing, did I mention I have been a mother for over 16 years which, lets face it, ages me drastically. My life experiences are much like my health experiences, well beyond my years. 

Those two things should have me at an age so much older that I could comfortably hang out with my Grandma and her friends and no one would suspect otherwise. "Hey pretty lady", the seniors would say, "how do you stay so young looking?" Ok, perhaps they'd know but I could still fit in.

I have a 5 year old and I never knew that would keep me young! I go to the park with her and yes, I do go down the slide and swing on the swing from time to time. We have mommy daughter date nights. We work together in the kitchen creating delicious goodies all while giggling! I look forward to her Kindergarten antics more than almost anything in life. My husband and son love outings so we find ourselves at rock concerts, or amusement parks. We have family game nights, movie nights, sports nights etc. These things keep me more active and full of joy. Therefore taking away from some of the things that age me.

So what do I figure my age would be?
I know, I know, that's my TRUE age.

I'm just as surprised as you, but it's where I am physically. When all the writing is on the wall, truth be told, for the first time in my life I am comfortable with myself and I am happy where I am.

How about you? Ignore all the birthdays and tell me, what age do you FEEL?
Feel free to share my picture and get others talking about their age!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Aussie Reviews - Nexus 7 Tablet

Guess what? It's almost time to go back to school! Forget about the pencils and paper. What your teen really needs is a way to stay connect and keep organized without all the heavy books and paper. How about a laptop? no. too expensive and still really heavy. What about a tablet? But I'm not talking about an iPad or even an ipad mini, I'm talking about the Asus Nexus 7! I was fortunate enough to receive a Nexus 7 a little while ago, so I have had a chance to truly test this tablet out.        

Let's talk about what comes in the box. You get the Nexus 7 tablet, Quick Start Guide and the warranty, and the box it comes in is really nice. After pulling out the tablet my first thought was, how is the screen? Does the 7” screen look crystal clear, are the colours  vibrant and true to real life? well it answered my questions right away. The startup screen look so crisp and the colours looked amazing, beyond what my expectations were. Next up the technical specs. Like I said it had a stunning 7” display powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Android 4.2 (jelly bean) OS with 4.3 update. 1GB of ram and 16 or 32GB of internal storage with available 3G data plan upgrade.

Photo credit:

For the people who are unsure what the tech specs mean, it just means it loads and plays videos, apps and music with no issue and as a bonus for Android users all you need to do is add your Gmail account and all your things will load onto the Nexus. Laptops and tablets and generally quite expensive ranging from a $400 to anywhere over $1000 but the Nexus 7 has an amazing price starting at $199.99 for the 16GB and the highest priced model at only $229.99 for the 32GB version. I got the 32GB one and I sugest spending the extra $30 bucks on the better version, more memory is better. Although I have given this tablet a solid review,  it does have two downsides. The camera and the speaker.  

For one its only front facing and its only 1.2MP so the quality is really bad. I mean I'm usually the first person to say people who take pictures with a tablet look odd but sometimes it’s kind of nice to have. The sound from the built in speaker sounds good but its on the back side of the tablet often right where i like to put my hand. if you want the best sound headphones are recommended. It is very obvious to me this tablet is intended for mostly entertainment but hey maybe you don't think your teen deserves a tablet. Go get one for yourself and make them jealous because I know I  would be....  I rate this 7/10

PS: for those of you who read my last post I watched VGHS and I really enjoyed it. if you haven't watched it its available via netflix and free on youtube.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

30 Minute A Day Chore Chart

I regularly have people asking me what house cleaning system I use because even though I have a day job, I also spend a lot of time blogging, and still have a great amount of family time, yet  my home is still tidy. 

Where DO I find the time?!

Believe me, if it was in my budget I would have hired help! A housekeeper once a week is my dream luxury! Sadly I do not have the kind of lifestyle or budget that warrants it. Even though I have twice pleaded my case to the Mr. I keep getting shot down. 

So, until I find my situation changes I had to find a way to spend as little time cleaning as possible. Because frankly none of us WANT to clean, but we also don't want the neighbours thinking the closest dump is at your house.

I tried so many different things. Nothing really helped/worked, but lets face it I'd rather be doing ANYTHING other than cleaning. Don't believe me? Here's a list of things I'd rather do when I should be cleaning:

Watch my nails grow 
(*snort* as if they really do)

Iron socks and underwear
(no really, people DO that!)

Observe the drying of painted walls 
(which would leave me high afterwards...)

Watch the bubbles in my soda until it is flat 
(Count them as they pop for extra points)

De-seed a massive watermelon with a toothpick 
(then flick them at my napping hubby!)

Cut my grass with scissors 
(what else do you do if your lawn mower is on the fritz?)

Read War and Peace to my five year old 
(she's dramatic, she can act it out!)

Are you beginning to understand just how much I will do to avoid scrubbing toilets and cleaning my fridge?

So after many attempts to get a working routine that I would ACTUALLY follow, I found this little gem. It was created by Amy over at My 3 Monsters

It truly works, it keeps me sane and my house tidy (relatively)  and it leaves me with a lot of time. Basically it helps me achieve a really nice work, blog, family, housework balance and that, my friends, is worth a fortune! Though if you click through to her site you can get it for FREE and a template to create your own, if this one doesn't quite work.

You can thank me later!

Do you have a system that keeps your home clean? Or do you scoff at the idea of a housework routine?

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