My 2 Cents

Archive for the ‘Raves’ Category

I remember my grandfather saying this often as I grew up. He would buy something from the store, use it a few times, and then it would break. Sometimes he just needed someone to blame for his own mistake, but lots of times he was right. The tool, or item really was a piece of crap.

Recently, I found myself saying the same thing as I yanked my inherited 1967 Electrolux vacuum out of the closet the other day. And, NO, that’s not a typo. It is every bit of 44 years old. But it is by far, the most AMAZING vacuum I have ever owned!

My Dad is a “rug man.” My family owns a flooring company that’s been in business for over 50 years.* I remember them going through vacuums like crazy when I was a kid. It seemed like everytime I went to work with my Dad, there was a new one. I remember Dad always saying, that when it comes to vacuums, just get a cheap one because they all work pretty much the same.

Then my stepdad came along and swore by this Electrolux. He used to sell20110901-083806.jpg them, and knows all about them. The one that he and my Mom had got too heavy for her to cart around. They bought a new one that was made of plastic and not metal, but still made by the same company (which is no longer called Electrolux**). So he asked me if I wanted the old one. He showed me how it worked, and all the parts and attachments. Honestly, at first, I thought he had this kind of crazy obsession with vacuums. After all, his theory on a vacuum was completely opposite of what I had been taught my whole life. But I figured I would give it a try.


I have pets, 4 of them, and they are very furry. We also let them on the furniture. In the past ten years I have probably had between 5 and 7 vacuums. We currently have a Bissel vacuum, that is totally designed for pet hair. It’s a piece of crap! But I thought it was great until I tried the 44 year old Electrolux. I used to have to use the pet attachment from the Bissel and go over the couch 4 or 5 times to get all of the hair off, and then there was still some left. Now, I just stick the little brush on my Electrolux, and it sucks everything up right away. If the hair is really bad, I might have to go over an area twice. Another thing I have noticed is that when I vacuum the carpet, there is SOOOO much more that comes up!

For me it’s hard to go against my Dad’s philosophy, but I have realized that we use vacuums for two totally different purposes. When he puts a rug in, the carpets are clean and brand new. He just needs to get up the big bits of carpet that are easy to suck up, and vacuuming is just the finishing touch.  Who doesn’t love a freshly vacuumed carpet, especially when it’s brand new?!  As for me, I need to get up dog hair, crumbs, dirt, and everything else that life tracks in my house. Now I swear by the Electrolux. I’m sure you probably think I have some sort of crazy obsession with vacuums now too. But come try mine, you’ll be sold for life. Sorry Dad :(, but I think I’m sticking with the Electrolux.

* To all of my Southeaster PA readers: Dad’s business installs flooring of all types, for less than most chains. My grandmother still runs the showroom, and Dad, my uncle, and my brother install and do estimates. It truly is family owned, and operated. They may not be able to be there the next day, but they do an awesome job!

Check them out: L.H. Stewart Carpet & Sales. The phone number is 610-449-1914. Address is 61 W. Eagle Rd. Havertown, PA 19083.


**Electrolux has a new name. If you are interested in buying a new vacuum they are manufactured by a company called Aerus. They are expensive, but you may never have to buy a new vacuum again. I can’t wait to see how much longer mine lasts!


 Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa (and Garden Salad)

(also a Whole Foods Recipe)

This is my second recipe from the Whole Foods iPhone app, which I LOVE!  As you know if you’ve been following me, the Other Half and I recently  went back to vegetarianism.  We have gone without meat before, but for  some reason we have never tried quinoa in a recipe.


I found this recipe and it looked good, so I gave it a try for dinner tonight.  It was  REALLY good.  At first, I was skeptical about the amount of  cinnamon in it, but it  really turned out well.  The flavors of the veggies  went well together, and the  peppers were so soft, they almost melted in my mouth.  The cashews were good  because they gave it a little crunch, but I will probably add another 1/4 cup next  time.

Also, since it’s just my husband and I eating, I made the whole amount of stuffing, but only stuffed and roasted two peppers.  I froze the rest

of the stuffing so that we can enjoy it another time.

For the salad, I just chopped up some romaine lettuce, added craisins, croutons, cucumbers, parmesan cheese, and a vinegarette dressing.

This is definitely going on the favorites list!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

 Serves 6


1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan 1 red onion, chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped carrots
7 bell peppers (1 cored, seeded and chopped; tops removed and reserved from remaining 6 then cored and seeded)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 pound baby spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions  Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews


20110801-065431.jpgHeat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and spinach (in batches, if needed). Let spinach wilt then stir in cinnamon, cumin and cooked quinoa and toss gently to combine. Add salt, pepper and cashews and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool until just warm.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan with oil then set aside.

Divide quinoa mixture evenly among remaining 6 bell peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top then arrange them upright in prepared pan. Cover snugly with foil and bake, checking halfway through, until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout, about 1 hour. Transfer to plates and serve.


Per serving (1 pepper/about 10oz/283g-wt.): 250 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 36g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 9g protein

I have currently been shampoo free since July 10th, and I am loving it!  My locks feel softer and smoother than ever, and I am happy to say that my whole house is poo-free now.  The other-half cut his hair shortly after I went poo-free, and he hasn’t used anything except baking soda for the past week and a half.  Our little butterfly only gets a rinse anyway when she is in the bath.  No more poo for us!

My hair is fully adjusted now, and is not getting greasy every other day.  I am still using the baking soda cleanser, and the vinegar rinse as I posted in my last update.  They seem to be the easiest to make and the most effective at cleaning and conditioning my hair.

I am currently washing every two to three days.  At first I thought that this was a bit more often than I should be washing, but after further research, I found that the frequency can change seasonally depending upon the weather.  This makes sense!  Just as our skin changes with the seasons (i.e. mine normally gets much drier in the winter than in the summer) so does our hair.  Because of the heat and humidity, and the fact that when I step outside for more than 30 seconds and stand still I am sweating, I must wash my hair more often in the summer.  I am anxious to see how this changes as the seasons change.

I have to admit, the initial adjustment period was pretty gross.  My hair was very “slick” to say the least, and I was sporting a pony tail almost everyday for the first week or so.  I really feel like it was worth it though.  Going poo-free is not only good for our hair, the environment and the bank account, it truly makes life easier.  Only having to wash my hair every few days cuts down on the time getting ready in the mornings!

I do have to say though, that my hair is the definition of straight!  I don’t know if this has made my journey to being poo-free easier, but I would suspect so.  Even with hair as straight as mine, I still used to use a conditioner because of tangles in the shower.  I was skeptical of going without poo because I was afraid my hair would tangle really badly without that conditioner.  I have to say though that I haven’t had many tangles at all.  In fact, it seems even less tangled than before!

If you are interested in going poo-free, check out my previous post for sites and cleansing recipes!




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  • currans2cents: The original blog that sparked all of your angst was written purely as an OPINION piece. As you stated, we are entitled to have them. I truly am int
  • Mychal B.: It doesn't "seem" like you are only picking on JoePa, you ARE only picking on JoePa. Mike McQueary has received no disciplinary actions against him fo
  • Mychal B.: Um, I never claimed to understand anything about the war. I wasn't aware that the war had anything to do with this case. I also never said that becaus