i’ve seen a vision…a bosch vision…and I want one!

How often do you read something like this, “I went to laundry training and I LOVED IT!”? I’m pretty sure you don’t read it all that often.

But truly, I did, love it that is!  I actually am totally and completely in love with the new Bosch Vision Washer & Dryer and have been racking my brain for creative ways to sell our current machines. (And they aren’t bad, they are front loaders and are only two years old….)

but they are not these…

They are not the Bosch Vision Washer & Dryer

And they DO NOT have the very special stain fighting cycle.

They are just not the same.

I think I’ll go play my violin now.

OK, Back to the beginning.  A few weeks ago I was invited to join Bosch at their training facility in Arizona to see their new Bosch Vision Washer & Dryer and to learn some laundry tips and tricks.  We had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful (loads of photos here –>) Montelucia Resort

and were even introduced to a Container Store specialist who shared a few of her laundry organizing tricks with us.

It’s taken a bit for me to write this post as there was just so much goodness!! How could I possible explain all that I saw and learned in a simple post??

But here it is, from the beginning to the end, the two day trip to Arizona with Bosch was amazing, educational and truly an eye opening experience into the company.  This should give you an idea of where the company comes from.

It’s not often that you read a quote like that from a founder.  But after my short visit with the employees and representatives of this company, and the graciousness that was shown to us all, I truly believe that customer satisfaction is their number one goal.  Which is just one more reason why I would buy their products for my home, and have used their products before in client’s homes (in my past interior design life).

From the beginning…

We headed off to a beautiful breakfast (with only Piper in tow, pure Heaven!  Not that I don’t love the others, just sayin’ it was nice…)

But our laundry duties soon called (even so far from home).

We arrived at the state of the art and design nominated Bosch training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. Beautiful!!  (Also used for the company’s sister brands, Thermador and Gaggenau).

We were introduced to Chris, who would be our Bosch laundry training specialist (we of course joked that his wife had a great perk with his job, as she sends him to work with bags of their laundry to practice getting the stains out!!)

Then we were off to do our work.  We were given white T-shirts and asked to go to town with the stain making process.  Eggs, orange juice, steak/blood, wine, chocolate syrup, applesauce…you name it, we were using it.

And for the love of all things good in this world, you must know that I’m including this video as comic relief for you!  I had no idea Angry Julie Monday was being SERIOUS about FILMING A VIDEO!  I assure you, I would NEVER have allowed my geekiness, nor my triple chins to be documented like that!!!  But here we are and here they are for all the world to see (or at least the readers of this blog!).  So brace yourselves and just focus on the fact that we are REALLY MESSING UP those white shirts!

(and I FULLY plan on those chins being gone, like TOMORROW!!)

OK, so now we have dirtied destroyed a few shirts.

All the shirts are thrown into the washer and Chris begins to give us our laundry training.  Which I was so impressed by, as it applied to everyone and not just their particular machines (which are still the most superior and I still really want them!).  But I felt frustrated for other moms as the kind of training we were receiving would be so beneficial to every mom trying to use her machines at home.  How many times have you actually read the manual (hello? confusing and who has time?) or received training from your sales rep (um, I don’t think the machines even turn on in the stores).  So again, how are we ever supposed to know how to use all the features our machines have??

Bosch is doing 2 things to try and help customers with this.  First they hold training conferences throughout the year at this very same facility with those that should be teaching you, so they are fully equipped to teach you.  But Bosch is also working to create You Tube training videos to help you as well.  I loved this!  (Side note – is Chris not the cutest, nicest guy!?  He does all the training videos too. He was so helpful.) I wish I had him on speed dial when I’m doing my laundry….“Hey Chris, there’s this grass stain….”

But since we can’t call him with each stain, here’s what he had to say:

***Don’t over detergent*** We tend to think more detergent will help, but we are actually making it worse.  For those with front loading machines, your machine is using less water, therefore needs less soap.  As in NO NEED to ever use more than the “number 1” level, EVER.  Some front loaders will continue to detect that detergent is in the clothes and will run extra rinse cycles.  The Bosch Vision will go an extra 5 cycles to rinse the soap out.  But then it feels defeated when it realizes you poured the whole bottle in.  There are a few reasons this is a problem, but the biggest is that your clothes wont end up clean (and you have also created a film in the washer that that will continue to build and before you know it you have a feeding ground for bacteria and then mold.) So again, DO NOT OVER DETERGENT.  A little goes a long way.  La Jolla Mom did a great post on mold and ways to combat it and keep your front loader free of it.

But back to the important part, less is more.

Next, stains release at different temperatures.  Remember this, cold water for protein stains (like blood) and hot water for stains with oil.  The major advantage that the Bosch Vision has is a specialized stain cycle, and an internal heater.  Who wants to separate their clothes and wash them by types of stains?  Not me.  The Bosch Vision Stain Cycle starts with a water temperature of 70 degrees and continues to rise (with an internal heater) to a temperature of 170 degrees (most household water heaters only go to 120).  By doing this, it kills each level of stain with each rising degree. BRILLIANT.  I checked my machine at home.  Nothing like this.  Closest thing I have is the Sanitary Cycle….bummer.

Chris said that the main tools to fight stains are: Water temperature, detergent level, hot water, how long a cycle runs, and the water level.  And when faced with the battle of a stain you should:

  1. Pre-treat stains ASAP
  2. Get it into the wash ASAP as water is needed to activate the pretreatment or detergent and pull the stain.
  3. Make sure you are using the right water temperature for the stain.  He had a fun way to remember what temperature to use – blood, beer, paint = a college party stain and needs cold water. Pigments, veggie, wine = an adult party stain and needs warm water. Oils and grease = the hottest water.

But back to the Bosch Vision Washers & Dryers – here are a few more reasons why am am totally in love and sold on these machines (and need to sell my current ones!!)

  1. Bosch was chosen as the 2009 Energy Star Partner of the Year.  And the Bosch Vision Washers are the most efficient full size machines in the US.  You use much less water with a front loading machine, and less water means less energy…and with the EcoAction Option on the Bosch Vision Washers you can lower you energy consumption by 20%!  Being that the washers are an Energy Star Appliance, they are also eligible for rebates.  This can help you locate rebates that may be avaible to you.  And the more rebates you find, the machines might actually, just almost be, FREE!  Well not quite – but if you find a manufacture’s rebate, a utility rebate, and a store rebate, you are well on your way!  If these had been on the market 2 years ago, and I had found rebates, I would not be sitting here trying to figure out how to sell my current washer and dryer.  I would be staring at the Bosch Vision (because my laundry room is in my office, or is my office in my laundry room??).
  2. The Bosch Vision has an AquaStop Leak Protection system – Basically a hose within a hose that wont allow for leaks in your house.  Again, BRILLIANT.
  3. Did you know that washing wool doesn’t shrink it??  I didn’t.  Both wool and delicates can be washed on the Hand Wash cycle.  And in the Bosch Vision that means the agitator in one direction allows clothes to virtually slide off.  AND it’s actually the aggressive AGITATION that shrinks wool!  WHO KNEW!?!?  Talk about saving on dry-cleaning bills!  Hand Wash Cycle and then you can dry it on the Delicates option. DONE.
  4. These machines are SILENT. I kid you not, known of us in the room could hear anything. I WISH for this.
  5. The dryer has a Steam Refresh option that one of the representatives actually used on his shirt.  In 16 minutes you can steam “freshen up” and ” de-wrinkle” any article of clothing. Now if only you could travel with that option!
  6. But the best thing?? You will laugh, but after hearing all the awards and specialized features of the Bosch Vision that had us all drooling already, they had to hit us all with the BIG DADDY.  EVERY mom in the room stood up to take pictures, it was THAT exciting…..wait for it….

It has its own folding shelf.

Can you stand it!!!

(Yeah, mine doesn’t have that.  Not only does it not have it, but when I checked the site to see if it was an option, I found my 2 year old brand new machines had been discontinued.  JOY.)

Seriously, there were so many cool options on both the washer and dryer.  I’m still just sick knowing about the Visions existence and that it’s not residing in my home…

I am happy to answer any questions you might have. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll get it for you!  Truly, I loved the machines!

Now if you want a little more comic relief from this exceptionally long post, here is what we did after laundry….we “made” our lunch!

Linda from Peachhead shows us how it’s done!

Jen from Tiny Oranges creates a master piece.

Julie from Angry Julie Monday getting a lesson
(the chef was VERY serious about making the dough…think soup Natzi)

Success for Julie!

Sugar in the Raw making some veggies and fish tacos in the Eco Kitchen.

I just had to include this – isn’t this how we look & feel every time we cook!?!?!?

But this is pure GENIUS.  Now you see them….

Now you don’t!  OHHHH talk about envy!!! 5 Refrigerator/Freezers!

The whole group.  Thank you Bosch Appliances for sharing your tips and for a truly amazing experience!

Back Row left: Elizabeth I Traded my BMW for a Minivan, Sugar Sugar in the Raw, Jennifer The Dirty Shirt, Katie La Jolla Mom, Me, Jen Tiny Oranges

Front Row left: Sarah Organized Mom, Jocelyn Hip Mama’s Place, Jamie Savvy Housewife, Linda Peachhead, Julie Angry Julie Monday, Caryn Rockin Mama

(Disclosure: My laundry learning exercise was hosted completely by Bosch.  But my Vision envy and opinions are all my own.  I love them and will shout their praises to all who will hear me.)

back to basics ~ the container store

Somehow I don’t think this is what The Container Store had in mind when they said we needed to hang our laundry….but hey, my ovens are next to the very small laundry room and it works!

In keeping with the theme Back to Basics, I’m going to focus on Laundry and Laundry Rooms this week.

I’m a huge fan of organization.  I love The Container Store.  Don’t believe me?  Read this and this.  Trust me there is more, but that should help you out a bit.  A few weeks ago I mentioned attending the amazing laundry event, Hamper to Hanger, hosted by Bosch.  I’m STILL digesting all that we learned…I so wish everyone could get a training session like we did!  I can’t wait to share the event with you this week.

Another fabulous part of the event was having an organization specialist join us from The Container Store.  Don’t think THAT wasn’t like meeting a celebrity for this organization nerd!!  Of course I’ve got my own favorite things from the store (as mentioned in the first “this” above), but here’s a few more she gave us…

Sort your laundry in a hamper. Try using separate baskets or a divided hamper.  This saves you time later when you’re short on it and need to do laundry.  These are the baskets we use.  I have 3 that I keep stacked until I’m ready to use them.Hang your clothes quickly after pulling them from the dryer. Helps to reduce wrinkles and the need for ironing.  The Container Store also suggested different colored hangers for each member of your family so you can quickly return clothes to the correct closets.
Try using Elfa drawers for hampers.
The drawers can save space and can be labeled for whites, darks, colors.  You can also use them after doing laundry with colored labels that coordinate with the colored hangers for each family member’s clean clothes.

These are a few extra things that she shared with us that you might find helpful…

Gal Pals. These are brilliant and are almost always a stocking stuffer at Christmas in our family.  Use them dry to remove the annoying white deodorant marks that frequent our clothes all too often.  (I don’t know why that occurs??  Maybe because Moms have to get dressed in under 2 minutes each morning, maybe, just maybe…). I’ve been a fan for YEARS, yes, YEARS.  The only deodorant that I’ve found it struggles with is Secret Clinical Strength (which is unfortunately, but fortunately what I wear and swear by now…..).

Prolong the life of your delicates by using lingerie and bra bags. I personally love the zippered lingerie bags and use them frequently.

Dry your clothes on drying racks. This pop up rack is a great option for over your tub when you need it, or can be folded out of the way when not in use. (Of course you can always go my route and use the handles of your oven…)

What are your favorite laundry tricks?

still organizing…

Yep, organizing is still going on in our house.

And I know I’ve written about this great feature The Container Store has,
but I just have to tell you about it again.

Has anyone ever used their “Click and Pickup” feature online???  HEAVEN ON EARTH!!  I swear, more places should have a feature like this.  I don’t necessarily need things delivered to my door, though there are definitely times that that is helpful, (which is why I love Amazon and their super saver shipping). But for the most part, I don’t mind getting out of the house to run errands.  The trouble starts when I have to take the Littles OUT OF THE CAR.  Addie is ok sometimes, but you never know how long she will tolerate a shopping cart before she is either grabbing things off shelves to make herself some lunch or decorate an aisle – or picking out clothes from the racks at Target to get her ownself dressed….and when mom says no more….then it’s “out mama, out mama, out mama…” until I pick her up and carry her on my prego belly while maunevering a shopping cart with sweet Hayden just smiling and eating my clutch….yeah, no thanks…

So back to the point.  Click and Pick up.

If I could order my groceries online and then go through the drive through at the store to have them loaded in my car – I WOULD SO LOVE THAT ! Can you even imagine the errands you could get accomplished???? To place an order online at Home Depot, Target, the Garden Supply, Costco, Babies R Us – you name it – such an easier way to shop!  And it’s not like the stores are getting less business from me not shopping their aisles.  I assure you, I’m NOT lingering and picking up lots of extras – I’m trying to keep 2 Littles from tearing apart your store – therefore shopping as fast as humanly possible!

So on New Years Eve, after we had put the kids to bed and had a nice dinner I started thinking about the 30% off Elfa Sale going on at The Container Store. Which is something everyone needs to take advantage of if you are organizing anything.  Very easy system to use, and customize, and truly, anyone can install it.

When we moved into our house last year, I did our master closet and half of Addie’s closet for her clothes.  I knew that the other half of her closet would be shared with Hayden one day (because silly me thought we might be turning Hay’s room into a guest room this year while we “thought” about when we “might try” again for #3).  I went ahead and installed the back brackets for Hayden’s side, but just installed some older shelves I already had over the brackets to hold supplies, etc for the time being.  My way of trying to be supportive and not spend every dime we had since we were at the end of our remodel.

But now it’s time to move Hayden into the room.  So I wanted to take advantage of the Elfa sale to finish up her closet.  It took me about 15 minutes to measure what I needed.

I popped online, placed an order for the extra pieces, and scheduled a pick up for 9:30 Friday morning (they open at 9A, but I like to give time to correct mistakes if any). Super easy to check to see if it’s available in your area.

The only thing I struggled with was adding in the custom lengths that I needed 2 rods and the shelf to be cut down to, but a quick call the next AM to their 800#, they notified the store and they had it all taken care of.

When I told hubby what I had done he looked confused, “They are open on New Year’s Day”.  OOPS!  I thought I had booked it for the day after New Years, but oh well.

So here is where the really good stuff comes in.  I load both kids in the car at 9:17A on Friday AM so hubby could have a few minutes of “Daddy Man Cave Time”.  I called The Container Store from the car to see if the order was ready:

Container Store – “Yes it is Mrs. Coady, how close are you?”

Me – “I’m getting off at Bear Street now”

Container Store – “What car are you driving”

Me – “Gray Expedition”

Container Store – “We’ll meet you in the back parking lot”

I pulled up at 9:28A and the order was waiting outside, a very nice guy loaded it into my car, said “Happy New Year” and I was back on the road at 9:31A, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! I had to think of more errands to run so hubby could have a little more quite time…(we went to see Grams and Gramps).

Moral of the story – The Container Store people ROCK!  And Click and Pick up is THE WAY TO GO to keep our sanity and keep your projects moving.

Hubby installed the peices that afternoon and I cleaned out Addie’s side and made room for Hayden.

(This is Addie’s side of the closet as I have not moved Hayden yet.
The top shelf stretches both sides.
The section between the drawers of each girls side allows for “long hanging things”,
relative to their size obviously!)

I used:
4′ long, 16″ deep ventilated shelves, white – cut to 45″ (4 total)
4′ closet rods, cut to 45″ (4 total)
16″ ventilated shelf brackets, white (6 total)
Closet rod hangers (10 total)
7 runner drawers with mesh drawers (4 total)

You will also need an easy hang top track and easy hang standards,
I installed mine a year ago.

Now if only putting the 2 girls together and sleeping peacefully could be as easy….

I am not affiliated with The Container Store.  They dont have a clue who I am.  Just letting you know about a feature that I find beneficial in running our family.