Aug 14, 2015

Mud Obliteration: the Ultimate Detergent Test

This post is a continuation from The Dirty Girl Mud Run post. When we left off, my two friends Brianna and Cassandre had just finished the Mud Run.

As a favor to them and a thank you for doing the DGMR for me I offered to wash their clothes. A full bag of muddy, soiled clothing met me at my doorstep this past Tuesday and as soon as I opened it I quickly thought to myself what the hell did I agree too????

I opened up my fresh box of Kenmore High Efficiency Laundry Detergent and got to work. I learned about this new detergent, formulated to work with top and front loading machines at the Kenmore press launch a few weeks ago. It smells just like you would expect detergent to smell and comes with a scooper. You used one scoop full and that should do it.

I'm a sucker for a tricked out laundry room so I spent a bunch of time talking to the guy in this area. As you see in the picture they have a new line of washer and dryers as well with all kinds of cool settings like Steam Refresh which you can just drop your clothes in to quickly take the wrinkles out while you do something else. Its similar to a home dry cleaning system. It also removes odors all in a 20 min cycle.  Think about how much money you could save on dry cleaning! The 5.3 cu ft washing machine has amazing capacity as well, holding up to 26 towels in one load. I don't have 26 towels at one time but I do have tons of football, soccer and just stuff with six people in the house.

Nevertheless, I'm going to be honest I'm a liquid detergent girl but I tried the powder and I did have to wash it twice but that's because the clothes were literally drenched in mud as was my machine. The clothes came out sparking clean.

Tip: After super muddy washes like this I like to let my washing machine go a cycle to just cleanse itself with no clothes in it. It will prevent any remaining residue from getting into your next load.

CHECK OUT THE AMAZING RESULTS BELOW:

I wanted to cry!
Box as big as your face-lasts 4evah!!


Tutu before
 
Tutu after

This towel was so dirty that I told Cassandre I couldn't save it. I actually wiped the floor with it after because it thought it was done. I happen to just throw it in the washing machine anyway and I can not even believe how it came out. Look at it for your yourself. Incredible and done with the Kenmore High Efficiency Detergent.

How I did the Dirty Girl Mud Run and Stayed Clean

I know that sounds crazy but it did happen--sort of. It went a little something like this.
  1. Girl who places it safe-you know the one who doesn't ride roller coasters or eat overly exotic foods gets an email from her friends at Kenmore.
  2. Email asks her if she'd like to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run and bring a friend
  3. Safe girl is pumped, asks her husband what he thinks, finds a friend and replies 'YES'.
  4. Something happens when you hit 40- you kind of want to say F-it, I can do this!
That's the short version of this got started. Fast forward and I was prepped and ready to go for the NYC Dirty Girl Mud Run on August 8th. I had read all the FAQs, decided to pick my packet up early from Sports Authority, gone on the DGMR Facebook page, charged my battery on my Activeon  DX Action camcorder and I was all set. I even picked out my outfit of throw-away clothes.

 Sidebar, this wearable camcorder is the truth. As you can see I road-tested it while I was in Turks & Caicos so I wouldn't blow it for the run. Its great for getting right to the action of whatever adventure you are on. You can buy it at Sears for $299. Click here to see features and purchase. I'm also wearing the headstrap (yes, not the most flattering) that allows you to be hands-free and just experience all the fun. I was ready!

Then the worst happened, I got a text message from my best friend, my sister telling me her father passed away. My heart was broken for her and I knew I had to be there for my family. What was I going to do?! I had made a commitment and needed a solution that would allow me to cover the Dirty Mudrun and be in North Carolina for my friend.

My friend who was going to run with me (Cassandre of LosingIntheCity.com) and my staff writer, Brianna Arps of Mouthing Off Blog agreed to help me out and be my eyes and ears in the 'mud' for the Dirty Girl MudRun. I can't thank them enough for all their help. They had lots of fun and got really dirty.


My dirty ballerina


Before
After


Two very dirty girls







 So of course we had to make a video about it, wanna see it? Here it go:

video



Stay tuned to my next post where I offered to wash their clothes (WTH was I thinking??). You'll see how I got all these stains out and and returned them to them fresh smelling clothes while using the new High Efficiency Powder Detergent from Kenmore. Trust me, this was no easy task!

Aug 11, 2015

Turks & Caicos: Having Fun as a Family & You can too

Turks & Caicos is a great place for a family vacation.  We went recently and had the time of our lives. It starts with where you decide to stay. Depending on the age of your kids you may want to look for a hotel that has a kid's club or childcare services so you can break away for some me time. A friend of mine had told me she and her family always stay at Beaches--that they have a great kids camp and child drop program. I just remember it being super crowded and my husband and I had decided we already just wanted to CHILL.

The other thing that is key is budget. I found our hotel on and flights on Expedia.com. We stayed at The Somerset on Grace Bay which is yes a resort but the location is made up of a series of villas and suite-like residences.

 When I booked the 3 bedroom unit for our family of five I had no idea what I was in for. We walked in our unit and our mouths literally just dropped as we ran from room to room. I definitely recommend this hotel for your stay if you are with a group with an extended stay. If you stay for at least 5 days I recommend you going to the IGA grocery store and save a few dollars by cooking your own breakfast and or lunch. Our villa had a full kitchen, stove and dishwasher included.

The beach in T&C is spectacular and by far my most favorite beach in the entire Caribbean. Before I launch you into our trip in pictures here a few places to add to your must-see and do list:

  • The Conch Shack or Bugaloos both are on the beach and at The Conch Shack (we went here) you can watch them take the conch right out the shell or buy the shells on the spot. Our friends we met on the catamaran went to Bugaloos and said it was the best food during their entire trip. 
  • Carve out 1/2 day to book the Island Vibes Tour - this catamaran will take you out to the middle of the ocean where you can snorkel, you also make a stop at Iguana Island, have your fair share of rum punches and can enjoy the great stories from your ship captain and then slide from the top of the boat right into the ocean. My kids had a ball!
  • Island Fish Fry - happens every Thursday from 5:30-9pm at Bight Children's Park
  • Mango Reef Restaurant - you can dine on the beach here (reservation required). I recommend the Watermelon Carpaccio (sooooo good)
  • Provo Ponies - we didn't go here but I have heard its great. You can go for a horseback ride on the water
I so wish I was back there...

If you ever have any questions about your upcoming trip to the island, feel free to email me at chicbusymom@gmail.com. Happy summering...
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Aug 10, 2015

Kids hair and the tools to help YOU!

My kids have all different types of hair. I don't have to do the oldest ones hair anymore but I do have the purchase the tools. Recently, my son got a fade (low on the sides with hair on top) and his barber introduced him to this tool that helps him make small twists sections with the twist of the wrist.  I also saw it on my friend's Instagram. You apply whatever product you want to the hair first (we use Design Essentials Gel) and then just use the sponge brush in a circular motion to make the twists. It comes out so nice and the twists are even all around. More importantly it literally takes 5 minutes. This is what it looks like - you can get one from a beauty supply stores for under $5



The other tool you need in your life is this detangling brush. I picked this brush up from our beauty closet at work and then promised myself I wouldn't add it to the pile of products that I collect but don't use.

One night when I was washing my daughter's hair I decided to whip it out in hopes that it would make what is normally a very stressful process somewhat easier. This brush is truly a life saver. She didn't whine or cry and it detangled  her hair so quickly. I was in shock.
Run don't walk and get yourself one. I also used it on my son's mohawk as well and yep, no whining or tears.  Either way, it works like a charm and its called The Original detangling hairbrush by Tangle Teezer and I took a picture of this one at Ricky'.



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Jul 21, 2015

Check out Berenstain Bears LIVE and win a FREE family fun pack


That fury family we all came to know and love, The Berenstain Bears, are back in New York City performing their musical “Family Matters” live! Adapted from the children’s book series by Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Berenstain Bears LIVE! is NYC’s #1 musical for Mamas, Papas, and Young Cubs that will give boys and girls of all ages the chance to fall in love with these characters, just as their parents did when they were growing up.  

The Berenstain Bears LIVE! features an original score by Michael Borton and a book by Borton and Michael Slade. The Berenstain Bears LIVE! is produced by Matt Murphy Productions. Did we mention that each performance features a FREE Berenstain Bears post-show dance party, face painting and photos with the Berenstain Bears?! Chic Busy Mom approved, no doubt.


WHEN & WHERE: 
  • The Berenstain Bears Live! show runs until September 23, 2015 with the Bears performing every Saturday and Sunday at 11am
  • Located at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center (MMAC) Theater
  • Running time: 55 min.
  • 248 W 60th Street, New York, NY 10023
 For more information on the show, click here.

It get's so much better – Enter to win a family four-pack to see the show with your entire brood. Here's how:

1. Follow @ChicBusyMom on Instagram, re-posting the image below with #BerenstainBearsCBM and tagging three friends!

Winner will be drawn on August 4, 2015 12 P.M. (EST) and notified via direct message. Good luck!







By Brianna Arps

Contributing Writer

Jun 10, 2015

Get Your Grill Master Game Up ****Giveaway*****

BBQ season is probably one of my favorite times of the year. We pull the grill out of the garage, dust her off and pretty much make dinner on that baby at least 3 times during the week. Our favorites are shrimp & fish, corn and of course burgers and chicken. Our grill isn't that big and its actually electric, in fact we are in the market this season for a new one. For a family our size we need a grill with a little more muscle. My dream grill would be one I could make multiple dishes on. #SummerGoals


When I heard that Kenmore grills were on sale at Sears I got super excited. Kenmore is one of those brands you can just count on to be around for the long haul. 



The Kenmore® Elite 550 Series 3 Burner Dual Fuel Gas Grill (at right) for example I think is the one for us. With a control panel that comes in five sleek colors to choose from, its also currently on sale for $679 through July 4th (can you say score?!!). That is a great deal for a grill with this level of features.

We like to entertain and the cornerstone to most of gatherings is the food. This beauty is perfect for us because it has a large grilling area that includes three high-performance stainless steel burners and built-in side shelves to keep food at an arm’s length to make preparation a breeze.  You know for my homemade BBQ sauce or for prepping my pizzas both of which I like to use together. It has many great features but a few that stick out to me are:

 ·         Tank gauge allows you to monitor propane gas levels and to know exactly when to replace the propane tank


·         Self-closing cabinet doors add a touch of elegance to your barbecue


·         Rust and chip resistant powder-coated doors keep your grill looking stylish season after season. Click HERE and see for yourself. 




Now that one is for us but you could choose from many grill options on the Kenmore website with all kinds of bells & whistles to suit your needs like rotisserie attachments, steamers, smokers, a refrigerator or even exterior LED control panels for night grilling!



TIPS & FAVES:
1. How to get your grill ready for the season. If you are working with a gas grill like most people here are some great tips for getting your grill ready for the summer. Click HERE 

2. Family friendly favorites:
 The kids love pizza but I really prefer to eat the ones I make vs. store bought. My BBQ chicken pizza never disappoints so that will definitely be on the menu this season. Its very simply made with  pizza dough, grilled chicken strips, Gouda, drizzled sauce and cilantro (as a garnish). Layer it all up, place on heavy duty foil and cook till crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with cilantro.

Grilled Shrimp (see above photo) with Mango Salsa - the key to this dish is the mango salsa which again is not fussy. Chop mango and one avocado into cube/diced pieces, finely chopped red onion and squeeze a good amount of lime and a dash of salt. Serve that on top of your shrimp with a side of Mexi-corn...YUM!!!

I have been detoxing lately so I'm super excited about introducing these salmon burgers (courtesy of Hood Chef and our BKLYN Combine BBQ) to the family as a healthy option. You have to add your favorite herbs and spices but they are so good. 


video

For more great grilling recipes click HERE

3. And lastly, if you are like me and need to seriously get your grill game up then you can thank me later for these great seasonal deals available through July 4th at Kenmore.com/grills 




*************************GIVEAWAY*******************

As promised,  I'm also giving away three sets of A Taste of the Outdoors cookbook to three lucky readers. 





To Enter:

1. On Instagram 'like' the promotional post and 'Favorite' the Twitter post via the @Chicbusymom account.

2. Retweet or repost this promotion via your Twitter (and tag and tag @Chicbusymom @Kenmore) and Instagram  tag  @Chicbusymom @kenmoreapplicances and use #ArtofGrilling
2. Comment to this post
3. Like the Kenmore Facebook page


Winners will be selected by Sunday, June 28, 2015. 

#spon #ad




May 31, 2015

21 Day Detox: The Skinny

If you follow me on social media you know I'm doing a 21 Day Raw Food Cleanse or Detox. My main goal for doing the detox was to lose weight. Period, point blank.

I have been exercising for a few weeks and not losing weight. I needed a shock to my system- something to wake up my metabolism. I started working with a wellness coach on a referral from my friend Cassandre. Her company (my coach) is called The Orange Moon.

The raw detox designed by The Orange Moon is no joke- I'm not even going to lie to you. It's not something you can up and just do. It requires preparation in terms of meals and your mind. I originally thought I could just jump in but Michelle Mitchum the owner talked me off that ledge real quick. She worked closely with me to review my latest blood work, assess what I was trying to get out of it and make sure my current health could manage it and alert me to things I didn't even know were happening. After about two weeks we started.

Then there was the shopping from the very specific list she gave me and all must be organic! off to the store I went. I have to say, my saving grace is the fair amount of fruit I'm allowed to have.

Eating raw is a big change for someone who loves hot food. Anyway, fast foward to today, I'm 6 days in and down 5.5 lbs!! Yay.

If that isn't motivation along with the rude folks who keep asking me if I'm pregnant than I don't know what is. I'll check back in later and let you know how its going. xoxo

Stay tuned.