Archives for May 2012

Gardening Season Never Got So Easy

Gardening Season Never Got So Easy

Lilacs: Signs of Spring

The lilacs are out in full bloom and the air smells sweet with their scent.  It’s gardening, season in Chicago.  And this Windy City Momma has a secret: when I garden, I like to get REALLY, really dirty; no knee pads and gardening gloves for me!  When I get in my garden, I dig for worms, spread the manure with my hands, feet, arms and legs and basically get covered in dirt from head to toe.  Call it a stress reliever for a weary mom or a sick way to embrace my inner child; I really don’t care. Carefree gardening is just plain fun!


My Fledgling Garden

It just so happens that the generous P&G folks at Tide asked me if I was interested in trying out the new Tide Pods (detergent, stain remover & brightener in one) to confirm that Tide could, in fact, get out any tough stain and dirt.

What a great challenge!  Look, I have NEVER been a devout believer that any particular laundry detergent would be able to get my clothes clean after a full day digging in manure, dirt and clay.  I have accepted the fact that some clothes are meant to be discarded after I (literally) roll in the mud for a day. But my husband has sentimental feelings about using Tide.  His mother always uses this particular brand and he loves the scent(s).  I guess it just provokes wonderful childhood memories and when he smells his shirts in the morning, he is instantly happy.  Far be it for me to take this little slice of heaven from him, right?

As for its effectiveness, well, I wasn’t too convinced that one little pod could clean, get rid of stains and brighten my clothes.  I decided too accept the free samples but I would use it to clean my dirtiest and scummiest clothes: the bright fushia sweatpants I wear every year when I plant the garden.  Trust me, when I was done for the day, the pants smelled far worse than they looked in these post-gardening pictures:


Dirt, Rain & Manure = A Cleaning Challenge


Just gross


That's Never Coming Out!


Here it comes to save the day! Tide is on the way!


Wish me luck!


So, you’ve seen the pictures and I have expressed my doubts.   Will a Tide pod be able to get rid of (a) the dirt etc. stains (b) make the pants look like they were new and (c) eliminate the awful manure smell they emitted?

And the answer is:


Need I say more?  I am convinced!  If Tide Pods can get rid of the stains and smell great then I am a believer and a convert.  The Keats can officially be declared a “TIDE Family!”

**Note: Since my daughter found out about my little Tide experiment, I’ve noticed that she has ceased being as careful with her clothes as she was last week. Perhaps the drastic difference between the dirty and clean sweat pants was a bit too effective for her?

 This is a Sponsored post written behalf of Tide Pods. All opinions are 100% mine. Click here if you are interested in getting a Tide Pods sample.  I would love to read about your experiences with the product!  


All Hail The Mighty E-Book

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

At 9:15 p.m., along with “Mommy, I just threw up in your bed” one of the last things a mother wants to hear from her child is “Mommy, I forgot to do my homework and it’s due tomorrow!” Despite reminding her to finish the assigned reading this week, my daughter “forgot” to do it because, to be quite honest, she hates the reading assignment: Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

Most parents have been in a similar situation. Children frequently and conveniently “forget” to do their homework particularly when it is a subject that they despise, like Ramona. I can remember finishing an assignment or two at the breakfast table before school started while my mother berated me for procrastinating. So, despite the fact that she should have already been sleeping, I told my 8 year-old daughter that she had a choice: either stay up tonight and finish the assigned chapter or I would get her up early the next day. Either way, that kid was going to show up for class with the dreaded reading done.

And that’s when she hit me with the “kicker”: “But Mom, I can’t find the book!” Of course she couldn’t; she HATED the book and the assignment. Losing the book was all part of the plan, right?

While she got ready for bed, I looked frantically all over the house and in my car for her missing book. Guess what? I couldn’t find it because, my daughter sheepishly later acknowledged, that she may have left it at school. Another 15 minutes wasted.

Now I faced a real dilemma: in the Chronicles of Mommyhood (as I like to call it) this was an opportunity to teach my 8 year-old a lesson about responsibility. Despite the fact that she didn’t want to do the assignment, it was still due. We all have things that we dread doing in life. LESSON, LESSON, LESSON….bah blah, bah blah, bah blah.

If this was the early 80’s, for instance, my mother would have yelled at me for being so irresponsible and admonished that I deserved whatever punishment the teacher felt was appropriate for my misdemeanor. With that train of thought, if I was my mother, I would feed my daughter to the lions (aka her teacher.) But if this was the 80’s there would also be no such thing as a Kindle, iPad or other e-reading device.

I have a Kindle and with a flick of my magic wand (the internet, a computer and I could make this problem go away for my young child. As I stood at the foot of K’s bed, I thought about the swimming analogy: do I do nothing which means letting her sink and hope that she figures out how to swim (i.e. learns a lesson) or do I hold her up because I know that there is a tool available to me now that wasn’t available when I was a child?

What would you have done if you were in my place?

I suggested to K that I download the book on my e-reader and no one would be the wiser. But I also took advantage of the moment to remark that she was “Darn lucky that your mother is SO smart and willing to help you out of a jam!”

My reasons for helping K were not totally altruistic. It’s important that I reveal that there was another reason for my willingness to commit a “Mommy Crime” and possibly rob my daughter of her future integrity; I needed to observe a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday at our synagogue and I knew that if I helped K that she would be obligated to come with me. I gave her the choice: “I’ll download the book and help you out but then you have to come with me on Saturday. Or if I don’t download the book and you deal with your teacher, you’ll get to chill at Grandma’s Saturday morning.”

Guess what? She asked me to download the book. She read three pages tonight and promptly fell asleep. So much for helping her out. Note: She still has to go to the Bat Mitzvah. Before I downloaded the book, I made her “pinky swear.”

A promise is a promise after all, right? And I have integrity after all.