Reach Out to Your Appliances and Take Care of Them:Part 2

Problems can  arise from the use of too much detergent in your washing machine. Clothes can become stiff and the life of your machine can be shortened. Excess soap can also cause mildew and mold to build up.

Too much soap is also a problem for dishwashers. Check the label  and remember that there is no need to fill up the soap container in the dishwasher.

To get the most of your dishwasher there is a recommended way to load in the dirty dishes. You might not agree with these recommendations, but if Consumer Reports says so, its good enough for me.

•    Large items should be placed where they will not block water and detergent from reaching all the dishes. Try the back and the sides of the machine for better results.

•    Try and figure out which side of your dishes are dirtier, and point that side towards the center, the source of the water spray.

•    The silverware should be placed in the slots designed for them, mixing the spoons, forks and knives so that they don’t nest and stick together, making them more difficult to clean.

You can love your dryer more, also, according to the experts. First of all, go easy on those cute little dryer towels which are used to reduce static and create softer results. Only use one at a time. Adding several can cause then to gum up the dryer, since they liquefy when hot. You can get a real ‘tar and feather’ effect which can damage your dryer.

Removing the lint from the filter after each run is crucial, but you should also be getting the lint out of the machine that makes its way under the lint filter. You can pick up a tool in a hardware store for just such a function. A truly radical suggestion which will definitely increase the life of your dryer is to not use it. The sun is perfectly capable of drying your clothes, and needs just about no maintenance at all. Your dryer will thank you for the vacation.

Mariah Carey Introducing a New Line

If you love Mariah Carey, you’ll soon have even more opportunity to do so.  She has announced plans to release an exclusive lifestyle line with the Home Shopping Network which will include shoes, jewelry and fragrances.  You’ll be able to find it all starting November 29th, 2010.

Prices will range from $40 to $170 and many of the pieces will feature Mariah Carey’s famous butterfly theme.

Getting the Most of Your Appliances: Part 1

Some questions just seem too deep and profound to even ask. Or perhaps you just think the answers are obvious? Well, I am going to take a step up to the next level and ask anyway, “How much soap do I really need to use in my washing machine and dishwasher?” and the inescapable conundrum, “Does my clothes dryer need more attention than just cleaning out the lint filter after each run?”

I hope I haven’t ruined your day with such mind boggling miasmas of mystery, but I really need to know. Not one to be satisfied with the information and instructions found on the product’s labels, (after all, the manufacturer has a vested interest in consumers using more of their product than might be necessary), I decided to find out the answers for myself.

As it turns out, my suspicions are correct. According to appliance repair people and other appliance experts, the greatest single mistake committed by naïve consumers is the use of too much soap. Not only are washing machines and dishwashers made to use much less water than in the past, the soaps themselves are far more concentrated than in days of yore. According to Vernon Schmidt, an appliance repairman for almost 35 years, “Most people use 10 to 15 times the amount of soap they need, and they’re pouring money down the drain.”

Schmidt, author of the book “Appliance Handbook for Women: Simple Enough Even a Man Can Understand,” believes that, depending on the hardness/softness of your water, about an eighth to half of the manufacturer’s recommendation on the label should be quite sufficient.


Television Taking Its Toll on Youth

To most parents of teenagers today, this news probably doesn’t come as much of a shock.  A recent study has shown that the sedentary lifestyle most children have adopted today has become quite a public health problem across the world.  With more and more children watching television, playing computer games, and sitting around the house, they are enjoying outdoor activities less and less.

The study, with lead author and researcher at the University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR), Juan P. Rey-Lopez, looked at the prevalence of sedentary behavior in 3,278 adolescents in 10 European cities.

They found, as Juan P. Rey-Lopez explained that, “A sedentary lifestyle has become one of the major public health problems in developed countries. During the week, one-third of teenagers said the watched more than two hours of television per day. At weekends, this figure exceeds 60%.”

Semester Break Ideas

So you have gotten through a whole first semester at college.  Everyone is in the party mood and you want to do something special too.  It’s a great time so make the most of it. Don’t just spend your whole break partying; take the time to tour some sites.  Being around Oregon is probably entirely different from your home town and anyone who lives in the area just raves about it.  So take the time to peruse the area.  Indeed, the state of Oregon boasts over 360 miles of public coastline that comprises a whole slew of different terrain ranging from green forests to rugged cliffs and boundless sandy beaches.  If you are in the north, check out Astoria, but if it’s the south you want to head to, make your way to Brookings.  There are attractions here that are unimagined and unparalleled like towns with a difference that will serve you amazing seafood, lighthouses with a historic turn, amazing views, dramatic scenery and recreational options covering all tastes.  So make the most of your time here; whatever you enjoy doing you will find it in Oregon.

Tableware Looks Good Enough to Eat

Noticing that yuppies (an 80s term meaning “young upwardly mobile professionals) were purchasing “plain white tableware” rather than the patterned porcelain plates which were available, designer-MBA student husband and wife team Caroline Pople and David Harding created the company “Ink Dish.” Ink Dish is a design firm which sees its mission as “injecting excitement into dinnerware.”

After a bit of research the ambitious couple found that the “patterns in the market didn’t reflect their aesthetic and interests.” So Pople dived right in and began a collaborative effort with some contemporary artists. “The artists know their artwork, and I know the industry,” Ms. Pople said. “I know you need more white space on dinner plates but can go a little crazier on salad plates.”

The latest collections of aesthetically pleasing plates for the under 40 crowd are called Kites and Poem, which were created with the artistic help of designers David Palmer and Dana Oldfather. Check them out and add some spice to your dishes before you add it to your food. After all, as it says on, “You are what you eat off.”