Monthly Archives: July 2009

Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner/Tilex Mildew Root Review

I had originally planned on reviewing Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner, but it turns out it would have been more negative than positive so I’ve decided against it.

What I will say is that it was easy to install, easy to operate, and had a pleasant scent. It totally did not work as expected, so I took advantage of the money back guarantee and got a refund. Personally, I would not recommend this product. Because of the guarantee, you don’t really have anything to lose by trying it…it may have just been something with our shower or something, but we won’t be using it again.
What I will recommend is Tilex Mildew Root.
The mildew that magically appeared after using the SBASC for 3 weeks (which we never had a problem with before) was totally eliminated after one use of Tilex Mildew Root.
(Our shower NEVER looks like this, but I wanted to give a fair and honest review. I am mortified that it looks that way after using the SBASC daily for 3 weeks, but I feel I need to show how well the Tilex worked…just know it will never look that way again. Ewww.)

Tilex Mildew Root is said to have powerful foaming action, attack mildew at its roots, remove ugly mildew stains without scrubbing, disinfect as it kills 99.9% of common household mold and mildew. My experience using this product is that it does spray out in a foam and has strong fumes and odor, so I would recommend opening a window when using it, or using it right before leaving the house for awhile. It contains bleach, so be sure to follow the directions on the bottle to prevent any accidents. It seems to have completely eliminated the mildew and removed the stains easily (I was very pleased with the ease of use…I sprayed the shower, left it for about 10 minutes, then rinsed it). I would have to agree with the products claims because it has been over a week since I used the Tilex Mildew Root, and there is no sign of mildew.

To-do Tuesday

Last week was the best ‘To-do Tuesday’ EVER! Since I was so close to marking everything off my list (even though it was a totally cake list), I feel the urge to add more cake items to my list. hehe I think my main problem is that I fill my list with things I don’t really want to do, but need to, and I should be adding fun things to my list too. So here we go…
1. Make a real effort to totally follow the Flylady principles again.
2. Play Play-Doh with Grayson.
3. Sort coupons & send expireds to troops.
4. Make menu & grocery list for 2 weeks.
5. Work w/ Greg to re-do budget so we can actually follow it and it work.
6. Purge closet & dresser of clothes I don’t wear.
7. Plan for back-to-school shopping.
8. Nerd it up and play WoW w/ Greg.
9. Bake
10. Finish reviews I started writing & start writing reviews floating around in my head.
11. Make hair appointment.
12. Finish my book & start the last one in the series!
I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

2009 Family Vacation ~ St. Louis Zoo

Day 2 of our family vacation was spent mostly at the St. Louis Zoo. Admission to the zoo itself is free, but there are charges to do any additional activities. Parking on site is $11, but there was none available, so after driving the entire circuit half a dozen times we ended up parking at the St. Louis Art Museum and walking to the zoo. (The zoo was quite crowded, but the Art Museum is closed on Mondays, so there was plenty of parking there.) Since admission was free and we knew the kids would want to ride the train & the carousel, we decided to purchase Safari Passes. These are $10/each for ages 1+, but saved us quite a bit overall. They are good for admission to the Children’s Zoo, Zooline Railroad, Sea Lion Show (seasonal), Conservation Carousel, and Motion Simulator. We did everything except the show, and it would have cost us $96 rather than $60 if we had paid for each individually.

First thing we did was ride the Zooline Railroad completely around the park. There weren’t really that many animals visible, and we had to stay on for the entire trip because of not being able to bring our stroller on board. We did get a good view of the tigers, and the kids enjoyed going through a few tunnels and waiving at all the other zoo visitors. Grayson really enjoyed the train and insisted we were riding Thomas. (The engine pulling the actual train we were on was blue.)
Our next stop was the Children’s Zoo. I was shocked that Grayson willingly touched the guinea pig and enjoyed it. (He’s not much of an animal person…wonder where he gets it.) He also crawled into the cubby with Kara to see the snake up close. He was so brave! There were really cute animals in the Children’s Zoo…pictured below is Kara’s proclaimed ‘favorite animal at the zoo’…the Meerkat. I love the expression he has…kinda like ‘What are you guys looking at me like that for?’ Adorable.
After convincing Greg to participate in a cute photo op, we began our tour of the actual animals.
The weather was actually pretty nice. It wasn’t scorching hot, and there was a nice occasional breeze. When asked, the kids each came up with what animal they wanted to see most at the zoo. Grayson’s choice was the elephant. I don’t think he realized how large an elephant actually is.
Trinity’s choice was the penguins. I must admit they were absolutely adorable. The fishy smell of ‘Penguin & Puffin Coast‘ was almost too much for me to handle (it didn’t seem to bother anyone else), but the cool air stopped the kids complaining for a few minutes…they were then freezing, of course.
Kylie’s animal of choice was the lion, and Kara’s was the monkey. We didn’t get to actually see the monkey, but we did get to see a gorilla and to a kid that is close enough…thank heavens.

The Conservation Carousel was a HUGE hit! Grayson even enjoyed it after I forced him (kicking and screaming) to sit on the animal he chose. Once the ride began he was all smiles…he was very excited to ride ‘Diego’s Jaguar’ (didn’t have the heart to tell him it was really Cheetah…not that he would have believed me anyway.) The girls rode again, and would have continued to ride the remainder of the afternoon if we had let them.

Once we peeled the children away from the carousel, we made our way to the Motion Simulator.
It was titled ‘Dino Island II: Escape From Dino Island’, and was recommended for children 5+. We thought Grayson would be fine because he likes dinosaurs. Well, he wouldn’t even sit in the seat, so Greg had to hold him. He then refused to put on his 3D glasses and spent the entire ride with his head buried in Greg’s chest. Because he wouldn’t sit in his own seat, they had to turn off the motion part of Greg’s seat. For the rest of us, we were thrashed about like rag dolls. It was actually a bit too much, I thought. Coupled with the ridiculously loud shrieking (from fun, not fear) coming from Kylie & Kara, I didn’t know what the heck was going on in the movie…nor did anyone else in the simulator, I’m sure.
One of the last animals we saw on our way out was the tiger. Have you ever heard a tiger ‘meow’? It was the coolest thing. The kids kept asking what that noise was, and didn’t really believe me when I told them it was ‘meowing’. Kylie said he sounded sad.
On our way out, we were stopped by woman asking if I could take a picture of her and her husband. She did the same for us. It’s nice to have a picture containing our entire family…even if Grayson was conked out.

2009 Family Vacation ~ St. Louis Arch

On our first official Alexander Family Vacation, we decided to go to St. Louis, MO. (We’ve taken trips before, but it’s always been to visit family…not to just spend time together and have fun.) On our drive, we decided to do what every other family does and play the license plate game. We ended up getting 35/50 states, and 2 from Canada. I also gave them notebooks to use as vacation journals and they enjoyed writing about and drawing pictures of things they saw along the way. Once we made it to St. Louis, it took us a bit to check into our hotel. We drove around for about 15 minutes looking for parking before deciding to just suck it up and pay the 19.95/day to park in the hotel parking garage. Our room at the Hyatt was fantastic and looked just like the pictures on the website. The view of the city was beautiful as well.

They recently completed a $63 million renovation, and the hotel is beautiful. (I found a special deal HERE where we paid $63/night for a total of $219 rather than $527. You have to call and request this deal…couldn’t find it available online anywhere.) After getting checked in and situated we decided to walk to the St. Louis Arch and start the fun.
We walked around the museum for about an hour while waiting for our tour group and enjoyed learning about Lewis and Clark, their journey, and the Arch. (To get into the Arch and walk around the museum was free, but the ‘Journey to the Top’ was $29 for our entire family. Purchasing tickets online in advance is more expensive, so I would just wait until you get there.)
Kylie for some reason couldn’t keep from getting in front of the stroller wheels and got ran over repeatedly. One such time tripped her and sent her rolling down a ramp. It was quite hilarious (she was not injured). While standing in line, Grayson announced he had to pee. Greg, not wanting to get out of line and take him, insisted he could just go in his pull-up. I warned him that Grayson had been overflowing his pull-ups lately, but did he listen? Nope. Greg was holding Grayson when he couldn’t hold it any longer. He peed, and it created a large wet spot on the front of Greg’s shirt. Luckily it didn’t soak Grayson’s clothes. Problem was that we were too close to the actual ride to the top of the Arch to run back to the hotel to change, so Greg & Grayson had to enjoy the ride with wet clothes. (The line actually took so long that they were basically dry before we rode in the tiny compartment.)

Trinity was a little nervous during the ride, but didn’t freak out or anything.

The view of the sunset from the top of the Arch was magnificent.
It was quite crowded, so we didn’t stay long at the top.
Once we made it back down, the kids were pretty much wiped out, so we headed back to the hotel. The kids enjoyed their favorite hotel past time
(watching the traffic seven stories below) until bedtime, and were then out within minutes of their heads hitting the luxurious pillows. Good thing too, because the next day was our trip to the zoo.

Library Summer Program Grand Finale!

This summer the kids have enjoyed participating in our local library’s summer program. The program was split into 3 ‘legs’ with rewards after completing each part.

A coupon packet was the first reward for reading for 4 hours. It included various coupons such as free cookies, french fries, ice cream, pass to the local swimming pool, etc. After 3 more hours, they were able to choose a book/DVD to be donated in their honor with their name on a ‘bookplate’ in the front cover. After 3 additional hours, they earned an invitation to attend the Grand Finale Book Bonanza which includes the bonus of choosing some free books to keep. They also entered a coloring contest and a sculpture contest. I was very impressed with all their entries. Grayson did an excellent job on his coloring sheet…way better than I expected a 2 year old to do.
Their sculpture (a joint effort by all 4 kids) was fantastic, and they walked away with 1st place in the group division.
*Side Note* When we went to pick up the sculpture to take home, one of the children’s librarians asked if the sculpture looked the same as when we had brought it in. She had dropped it when taking it down from the display shelf and it completely fell apart. The poor woman had to glue it back together from memory…I must add she did a wonderful job.
*Additional Side Note* After dropping T off at her dad’s house, Greg placed the award winning sculpture precariously balanced on the cup holder in the truck. He then proceeded to back out of the parking lot sending the sculpture flying and in turn, breaking into several pieces. The kids are bummed out, but he promised to fix it so they can display it proudly in their room.
There were 2 identical sessions held today, with the kids being split into 4 groups to choose books one at a time. There were almost 70 kids in the 1st session (which we attended) and each child received 4 books each.
Once they chose their books, names were drawn for the remaining books and a few extra prizes. Kylie & Kara were drawn for an extra book, Trinity was drawn for an extra prize. Here is their total haul today…
Trinity – tote bag, 4 books, and a Nerf ball (not pictured).
Kylie – Barbie and 5 books.
Kara – Ariel and 5 books.
Grayson – Play-D’oh Farm Set and 4 books.

‘Flat Billy’ goes to St. Louis…

As you may know, we took a family vacation to St. Louis last week. Our family of 6 loaded up our Expedition and made the 5 hour drive with high hopes of a fun filled 4 days/3 nights. We were not disappointed. (I will be blogging in more detail about our vacation in later posts…this post is dedicated to Billy Mays.)

Everyone knows about ‘Flat Stanley’, well, I created a ‘Flat Billy’ to take with us on our vacation. Meet ‘Flat Billy’…
Hi! Billy Mays here!
He enjoyed visits to the St. Louis Arch,
the carousel at the St. Louis Zoo,
‘Flat Billy’ seemed to have a wonderful time on vacation with us, and we enjoyed having him as an extra family member on our family vacation to St. Louis. The kids took turns holding him up for photo-ops, and were vigilant about us not forgetting him in the truck. Overall, I think he had a wonderful 4-day vacation with the Alexander family to St. Louis, and I hope he might choose to vacation with us in the future. Can’t promise another stay at the Hyatt, but I can promise fun filled adventure. =)
On a ‘not so side note’, our family will greatly miss one of the greatest Pitchmen in the world, Billy Mays. Oxi-Clean commercials just aren’t the same. We find ourselves in need of nearly every product he has ever pitched. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him go from ‘just a guy advertising a product’ to ‘pitchman extraordinaire’, who along with Anthony Sullivan has helped so many inventors realize their dreams. We’ve seen every episode of Pitchmen, and being able to see aspects of his family life and interaction with his best friend Sully has been truly enjoyable. It has been a pleasure to see his passion, integrity, and heart for his career and family over the last season. We were shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden passing…Billy Mays will be missed by the Alexander Family.

Thrifty Thursday

I was totally NOT thrifty this week since we were on our family vacation in St. Louis. I did however have a chance to use (2) $50 off $100 Old Navy coupons.

Here is the stuff I bought…
4 – V-Neck Layering Camis – Purple, Red, Pink, & Navy
1 – Linen Blend Camp Shirt – Red
1 – V-Neck Pocket Tee – Yellow
1 – Graphic Jersey Polo
1 – V-Neck Tee – Green
1 – Old Navy Graphic Tee – Orange (For Greg)
1 – Black & White Striped Dress
1 – Green Tea Body Wash
1 – Hand Lotion – not pictured
1 – V-Neck Layering Camis – Grey
2 – Graphic Polos (for Grayson)
1 – Graphic Jersey Polo
1 – V-Neck Tee – Purple
2 – Denim Bermuda Shorts (Dark – Kara, Light – Kylie)
1 – Belted Denim Capris (for Trinity)
1 – Smock Top – Pink (For Kylie)
1 – Printed Pique Polo – Brown (for Trinity)
1 – Sleeve-less Pocketed Tunic – Purple (for Kara)
1 – Crochet Sleeve Top – Brown (for Kylie/Trinity)
Including tax we paid right around $115 for all of this. I plan on purging out some stuff that I never wear but hate to get rid of because I plan on being that size again. My new plan is to wear what fits, then when I lose some pudgy-ness, buy more clothes. =)
I also must brag once more that we got a FANTASTIC deal on our hotel. We stayed at the Hyatt Riverfront for $219 total for 3 nights, which normally would run $527 for 3 nights. Unfortunately we did have to pay parking which was $20/night. We also used coupons at the Magic House saving us $17. We had a wonderful family vacation which I plan on blogging about over the next week with lots of pictures! =)
Check out the ‘Thrifty Thursday’ HQ @ Doré’s Diaries and feel free to link up using the MckLinky below! =)

To-Do Tuesday



This week is simple since I’m on VACATION! Woot!
1. Have fun w/ family.
2. Enjoy family time.
3. Not stress about ANYTHING! (can’t legitimately cross this one off because I did stress a bit about $…oops!)
4. Play road trip games w/ kids.
5. Eat yummy snacks & not worry about calories.
6. Buy kids some back-to-school clothes using 2 $50 ON coupons!
7. Return home safely to a decently clean house.
8. Unpack & catch up on laundry.
9. Relax!
10. S-L-O-W-L-Y get back into the groove of un-vacation-ness.

I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

Adventures w/ the Fam ~ Part 2

For July 4th festivities, we went to Bull Shoals. We originally planned on meeting some friends and enjoying the fireworks from the Golf Course, but it didn’t work out as planned. Before leaving the house, we pattied up ranch burgers and filled the coolers with random food including ingredients for S’mores…YUM! We had to run into Wal-mart for a couple last minute items, and had the bright idea of grabbing a little grill just in case there weren’t any open. This turned into a 15 minute (at least) ordeal, where we had to grab utensils, a screwdriver, and charcoal. Luckily we got a great spot with a large picnic table and grill right next to the playground. I’m pretty sure if we had to assemble the small grill it would have been after dark before we even got started on the burgers.

The kids tossed around a football, played with ‘sand castle toys’ in the gravel, and enjoyed the playground.
The fireworks were quite nice, and Grayson actually got used to the explosions and enjoyed them.
Traffic wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be…I’m used to watching the fireworks show at Celebrate Freedom in Texas and fighting 200,000 other people trying to get home.
Of course we had a ‘photo shoot’ the day that Mom, Nicki, Johnny & Madi left…this consisted of cute pictures of Grayson hugging and kissing Madi (an often times unwilling recipient of his affections),
funny pictures like us asking them ‘Where’s your Be-Bo? (bellybutton),
nice pictures of Mimi with all her grand babies,
and then the ever popular ‘Can we do a silly one?’ Where everyone makes funny faces and/or acts like a weirdo.
And you wonder where I get it…