06 October 2008

Chocolate Landing on The Floor - Not In Your Mouth 99

When I am working with chocolate - be it chocolate sauce, tempered chocolate, ganache or chocolate buttercream I have a tendency to slob the stuff around. Somehow I end up with it all 0ver the sleeves of my chef jacket or apron. When you are in a time crunch to get a product prepped, there is a delicate balance between artfully creating and efficiently creating, and sometimes things get sloppy, better yourself and not the product.

As a mom I realize that the possibility of chocolate getting totally consumed is a dream in theory. When children get a a hold of anything remotely edible, watching them consume and having the high expectations that they will be good and not make a mess - well let's just say they cannot help themselves and right it off as a disaster in the making.When I was chosen by Mom Central to review WD40 Spot Shot Carpet Cleaner, I thought this would be something pretty useful to have in my household.

Product Specs:
  • 22oz spray bottle
Can Remove:
  • Old Stains
  • Dirt/Grime
  • Cola/Colored Soda
  • Tracked in Mud, Dirt and Oil
Safe and Permanent Removal of
  • All kinds of new and old stains
  • Dual-odor eliminators absorb and neutralize odors
  • Anti-Resoiling agents protect carpet
  • Approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute for product performance

Safe for Pets, Kids and the Environment*
  • Non-Toxic
  • No Phosphates
  • No Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Recyclable Packaging
  • Certified Biodegradable by Scientific Certification Systems
Official Websitehttp://www.spotshot.com/

Cleaner Characteristics: I am always worried with cleaners about fumes and their ingredients because I am very sensitive to everything and can have pretty major allergic reactions, plus I don't want my children exposed to toxic chemicals. When I read the back of the Spot Shot bottle I was amazed to see that there were no warnings about accidental ingestion or inhaling the fumes. The label states that Spot Shot is non-toxic in both instances. The spray is not over powering and similar to Febreze in scent.

How To Use Spot Shot: The directions on the bottle say to use on both new stains that are still damp and older stains that are dry. It says repeat as necessary.

While using on a fresh stain:
  • Blot the stain with a dry cloth to wick up any moisture
  • Spray the stain with Spot Shot Spray
  • Wet a clean rag or sponge and start blotting the area to remove the stain.
  • Rinse out the rag or sponge as needed and repeat the above steps.
  • Allow carpet to air dry
While using on an old stain:
  • Spray the stain with Spot Shot Spray, allow to soak in.
  • Wet a clean rag or sponge and start rubbing the area to remove the stain.
  • Rinse out the rag or sponge as needed and repeat the above steps.
  • Allow carpet to air dry
The Performance:

My daughter had a spill with some chocolate sauce on the carpet.I used a rag to blot the remainder of the chocolate that hadn't quite soaked in. I followed the above noted steps for use with a fresh stain.

 The spray bubbled once it was applied. It worked better to blot at the stain as apposed to rubbing. The total cleaning process was repeated 3 times. I am able to say that Spot Shot did a pretty good job at removing the chocolate sauce, which tends to be a very hard stain to completely remove. Spot Shot is not an instant fix - it won't take all the work away for you, you will have to use a little elbow grease, but the time it takes to remove a stain is minimal. Compared to other spot cleaning products I have tried on previous carpets, I would say this does an excellent job. I wish I had had it when my daughter was a toddler, it might have saved my husband and I, hours of frustration. Overall I would say Spot Shot does what is advertised, with minimal effort and with a solution that is safe for kids and pets. It is biodegradable and has recyclable packaging. Eco-friendly solutions are always a plus.

The view expressed here are mine & mone alone. I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of WD40. In addition, I received an bottle of Spot Shot in exchange for my honest feedback.Please read more about Renaissance Culinaire's Disclosure Policy

Stumbleupon Lashes Out Against Bloggers 19

What is Stumbleupon? It is a social networking site, which allows people (i.e stumblers) to submit pages, or video or photos on the web that people can review and post whether they like or dislike the content, members can also build up a network of friends or fans that can subscribe to a stumbler's reviewed content.

Stumbleupon.com is one of the more powerful tools used for SEO, and can launch your sites into popularity by giving other stumblers the chance to view your link by referral of another stumbler - if that particular stumbler has allot of subscribers , or is highly regarded on the site - this can mean basically the equivalent to Internet gold for your site in the form of traffic. Search engines seem to love pages that are added to this service. And having your pages reviewed gives your site a better web presence.

By far stumbleupon.com has been one of the more popular sites for bloggers' to social network and get their content known, and helps to increase page views in turn adding to revenue from advertisements placed on blogs. By adding badges, stumble links and merely stumbling the very articles that fill up Stumbleupon's site, this has basically inundated Stumbleupon.com with traffic, which in turn gets them sponsors and huge advertising revenues.

Then WHY you ask is Stumbleupon.com targeting bloggers? These very same people who hurled the SU site into popularity ? How do you ask is Stumbleupon.com lashing out at bloggers?

Apparently it started with Entrecard.com. What is Entrecard? Entrecard is a blogging service that allows a widget to be placed on your blog, where people can give you Entrecard "credit" in exchange for advertising on your site., and vis a versa. Entrecard members signed into Entrecard get credit for visiting other members sites and "dropping" their ad card, by pushing on the widgetbutton that says "drop" - which lands the user's blog ad in the "recent droppers" section of the user's dashboard at Entrecard.com, or by clicking & visit the blog who's ad currently is displayed by the widget and also by adding comments to other Entrecard members' blogs.

Apparently, it started with some nefarious dealings involving bloggers posting to a forum about exchanging Entrecard credits for a stumble of their recent blog posts. Stumbleupon.com reacted by banning ALL posts referencing Entrecard from being stumbled on SU. If you do try to submit a post to stumbleupon.com , you will get redirected to this page of Banned Sites. The below pictue is a screenshot of what it says.

O.k, you may be wondering why am I posting about this? At 8:35 a.m this morning I received an email from Stumbleupon.com:

from StumbleUpon
to renaissanceculinaire (at ) gmail.com
date Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 8:37 AM
subject Your StumbleUpon account has been frozen
mailed-by stumbleupon.com

Your StumbleUpon account privileges have been restricted and the account is under review.

Accounts are placed under review for breaching our Terms of Service, which may be found here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/terms.html

The most common cause for account suspension is a contravention of the clauses which forbid the use of personal accounts for the promotion of a business, product or service, and also with regard to the sending of 'spam' messages to other members.

If you wish to appeal this suspension, having first reviewed the TOS, then you may contact us here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/feedback.php but be aware that we will only have imposed the suspension if we believe it to be warranted.

I immediately responded that I had done nothing to violate the TOS . I was NOT a business owner using SU for promoting a business; Nor was I spamming members with messages, I rarely used the message system.

I couldn't believe it. I had used, promoted and encouraged others to use Stumbleupon.com. Now my account was frozen? I went to twhirl, my twitter client that I use to post tweets to twitter, starting with "I am really tired of Legit, talented bloggers getting bullied by sites like Digg.com & Stumbleupon", because there was a slew of banned bloggers from both sites recently.
Here are my typed series of tweets:

My contacts were like What? And sent replies such as "I wasn't aware there was a problem with SU", or "DDOS attack?", Some, not regular users weren't sure where I was going with the tweet.

Then I got a Direct Mail from another contact, who asked "what? Your Su account was frozen this morning?", I answered back and got his reply which said:

"everyone in the comments of my post was banned from SU this morning"

What?! That is right - because I merely posted a comment on a random blog (which was NOT a banned site on SU), I was banned from Stumbleupon.com. I hadn't even stumbled ANYTHING related to Entrecard.com, nor had I participated in receiving EC credits for stumbling any sites. Stumbleupon.com had found that random post and banned every blogger that commented on the post, from the Stumbleupon.com site.

Yes, because I am an Entrecard user, I was targeted this morning by Stumbleupon. Yesterday I noticed a tweet from one of my contacts on Twitter that mirrored the spirit of The Problogger Love-in, a social networking experiment and experience that connected bloggers using various social networking sites to each other.

I thought it was a great idea, retweeted it to my own twitter stream, and then added the first comment for that particular post. I had referenced that I had 2 blogs on Entrecard, and noted that this blog, Renaissance Culinaire, was one of them and proceeded to link to my stumbleupon profile, within the comments. I had NO idea that SU had banned Entrecard.com.

ImpNerd owner Gary Hess, the original blog where the post I had commented on, is here. All the previous comments of the recently banned members have been removed. You can view what SU's support said in response to Gary's questioning here.

Stumbleupon has gone too far. Bloggers are the life blood of SU. I was unfairly targeted, for commenting on a post related to Entrecard. I, like many other bloggers are being unfairly punished for a sketchy forum post that included a few participants. Most people do NOT even know about the ban. How long will SU be combing the Internet for linked SU profiles that are randomly, somehow by coincidence, tied to a post that references Entrecard?

Type-A Parent New York City Bootcamp (Focus: Brand-Blogger Relations)
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