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Mums The Word

October 27th, 2022 Comments off

I love mums in the fall! Every year it’s a challenge, however, to find the best ones without spending a fortune because I like to get a few different colors. It’s also a delicate balance between picking the correct time to buy and finding quality plants that will produce big blooms. Well, this year we achieved the trifecta and not at the place you’d expect. I got three 8″ mums from Meijer on September 25th for only $6 each.

I dropped the pots they came in into another larger pot with soil in it and I think this has kept them draining well (and I only water them occasionally).

Here’s what they looked like on October 6th.

Since then they’ve gotten fuller and are still looking good because I also brought them inside twice when there was a frost advisory.

Compare that to the big $18 mums our neighbor bought, never maintained, and now look like rotted death, which you’ll have to take my word for since I didn’t get a picture of them.

Categories: Neighborhood, Product Reviews Tags:

Taco Bell Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito

April 10th, 2022 Comments off

We had to make a Taco Bell run yesterday because rumor has it the limited time Nacho Fries are leaving this week. They added more items to their value menu, so I decided to try the new Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito.

I’m not a fan of their chipotle sauce, however, so I asked they omit it, which they did. It was pretty filling for a $2 item! I just wish they would take their time putting these things together. The first three-fourths of the burrito was excellent, but the last quarter sucked because there wasn’t any avocado sauce and there was a big pile of wet, soggy, unripe tomato cubes. Blech!

Next time I’m going to order a side of the avocado ranch, open up the burrito, redistribute the ingredients, and add extra sauce. That’s assuming it’s still on the menu in a few months when the craving strikes again. Without the nacho fries I’m not that tempted to eat there.

Categories: Food, Product Reviews Tags:

New Shark Cordless Vacuum

April 7th, 2022 Comments off

I’ve been wanting a cordless vacuum that could covert into a handheld vacuum for awhile now. I’m tired of using the attachment hose on our upright and having it fall and hit me. Usually it hits me in the head, but a couple of weeks ago it fell on my foot and bruised it, so that was it; I decided it was time to find something new. Our old Dustbuster’s battery hadn’t worked in years, and while we have two stickvacs that convert to handhelds, they are both corded and a pain to deal with.

I really didn’t want to spend $400 on a Dyson, however. We also don’t have a spot in the house to mount it to the wall. I did a little research and people seem really happy with the Shark cordless vacuums, so I started looking at those. Some models can be just as expensive as a Dyson, but I found one in the $250 range I liked. Plus it can stand freely by detaching the handheld part and hanging it on a hook on the larger section.

We’ve racked up a pretty large cashback balance with our Discover card. We usually cash it in for restaurant cards or Bath & Body Works, but haven’t used it much lately so it had gotten into the $300 range. Even better, they give you a discount on the card. I started looking at which retailers carried the vacuum I wanted that also had gift cards available through Discover. I settled on Kohls and wouldn’t you know it, not only was the vacuum on sale for $229, but there was a one-day only 35% off coupon on Sunday, bringing the total, with tax, to $183.27. I snagged a $180 Kohl’s gift card for $162 in cashback and paid the balance of $3.27 for the vacuum, which I received two days later.

After it was fully charged (which takes 2-3 hours), I used it to vacuum the area rug in the workout room, the laminate floor in all the rooms upstairs (it gets into tight corners in handheld mode), and to suck up dead ants in the dining room (they are the bane of my existence every spring).

This morning I used it to clean up the laundry room, foyer, and guest bathroom downstairs. It is so much easier to use than the regular vacuum with hose attachment. Quicker too. Best yet, it cleans the throw rugs without trying to eat them. I love it! I’ll probably only use the big vacuum for the wall-to-wall carpeting and the Shark for everything else.

The suction is really good, and for particularly stubborn spots there’s a boost option which gives it even more powerful suction. It’s really upped my cleaning game. I keep a pretty clean house as it is, but my laziness keeps me from keeping up with the crumbs and whatnot. With the Shark I don’t mind cleaning that stuff up on the daily.

There’s 3 bars that light up on it to keep track of the battery power left and it’s still on the second one after two days of cleaning which is good. I didn’t track the actual total time I’ve used it, but it’s supposed to last up to 40 minutes on a single charge. I told my friend that my only worry is that the battery will go bad quickly and stop holding a charge (like it did in my Dustbuster) but I hope that’s not the case for a $200 vacuum because a replacement battery is $75. Only time will tell, I guess.

Right now I’m keeping it in the office closet with the attachments in a small plastic trashcan. It doesn’t weigh much so it’s easy to move it between floors, unlike the Bissell vacuum. If it wasn’t for the wall-to-wall carpeting, it would be the only vacuum we need.

Categories: Product Reviews, Shopping Tags:

OhSnap Grip

February 17th, 2022 Comments off

In May 2020 I backed the OhSnap Phone Grip on Kickstarter and received it in October of the same year. I loved it! It’s comfortable to wrap around my finger, it can be used as a stand, and it’s magnetized so the phone can stick to metal items.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, in April 2021, cracks started forming in the corners of the plastic piece in the middle. I went to their site and saw they have a lifetime guarantee, so I filled out the form to request a replacement.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from them stating they couldn’t afford to replace it for free and offered me a 20% off coupon instead. That really pissed me off, and I wrote back to them that if they aren’t going to honor a lifetime guarantee then they should at least take that verbiage off their site. They wrote back with another sob story and completely missed my point. I had to explain to them once more I’m more angry that they won’t remove the guarantee from their site than I am about them unwilling to replace their inferior product.

Anyway, I happened to look at their site recently and there’s still a guarantee on there, but only for their new and improved version which they now are asking $30 for (I paid $15 for mine).

About a month ago the corner cracked off mine and makes it a bit harder to use. The problem is I’ve yet to find a better alternative, but I really don’t like the idea of giving my money to a company that doesn’t appreciate their customers. If not for people like me they wouldn’t have had the funds to create their product in the first place, and I’m salty about how I was treated in response.

Categories: Product Reviews, Retail Experiences Tags:

Bath & Body Works Shenanigans

July 16th, 2020 Comments off

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Bath & Body Works, as in I love some of their products, but I hate their prices and their practices leave something to be desired.

It’s gotten to the point where I am not interested in their lotions, body wash, or hand soaps, but I do still like the wallflowers and candles. I’m picky about scents, however. For the most part I like vanilla, marshmallow fireside, and a newer one my cousin turned me onto two years ago, heirloom apple. I was too sick last year to care about any of that stuff but now that I’m feeling better, and I’m down to my last wallflower, I went looking for heirloom apple only to be unable to find it. So I contacted B&BW via Facebook Messenger:

B&BW Message

I took to the internet to find out whether anyone could point me toward a dupe scent, whether that be from Bath & Body Works or another company. In the meantime, I got this Yankee Candle macintosh votive at Meijer to try out.

Macintosh

It’s ok, but not what I was looking for.

Someone online told me to look for B&BW’s honeycrisp apple scent, but when I checked online it was only available in a one wick candle for $10. No thanks. I don’t mind the occasional candle but I prefer how a wallflower tends to fill the house with scent.

We went out yesterday and I decided to stop in a Bath & Body Works store. I asked about the heirloom apple, or any apple scents, and they only had one and it didn’t smell at all what I was looking for so I quickly left.

I just so happened to be on their website today when I searched for apple again and this time a honeycrisp apple wallflower showed up in the search results.

Honey Crisp Apple BBW

I looked at the fragrance description and then googled to find out how heirloom apple used to be described. They were identical. Hoorah!

But then it got weirder when I noticed a scent called farmstand apple.

Farmstand Apple BBW

That too has the same description. Interesting…

So basically they retired heirloom apple and replaced it with two different scents that are actually the same as heirloom apple but never bothered to tell any of their employees so they could help someone looking for heirloom apple. Got it.

They annoy the hell out of me as it is by making certain scents only available during particular times of the year. I know it’s a ploy to drive interest and get people in their doors more than once a year, but it’s seriously annoying.

Right now the two scents I want (marshmallow fireside and honeycrisp apple) are only available online and I’m not buying $75+ of product or paying $6 in shipping. They will appear in stores at some point and then I will wait for another sale. Wallflowers are currently 5/$24 but it turns out they can get as low as $3 each so a better sale is due to come around soon.