~ The Mint

the mint raleigh

Well, I just got back from dinner with “the girls” for restaurant week.  We selected ‘The Mint’.  I can’t say a bad thing about it.  Delightful food, great presentation, and lovely atmosphere.  A little pricier as restaurants go compared to some of the other places downtown, but not ridiculous.  The service was great, not rushed, and not slow (though we were talking a lot -haha) and free valet parking.  This would be a great location for a rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, venue for a party . . . definitely worth checking out.  http://www.themintrestaurant.com/

spot-shot + bissell-fiber-cleasing+bissell-power-steamer-power-brush = clean carpets!

Tonight I spent the evening steam cleaning the carpets.  Not my favourite event for an evening, but none the less, it had to be done.

As this whole process was going along, I was reminded about how much I love my carpet cleaner.

I spot shot-ed any spots and left it for a few minutes.  I especially love the aerosol version because my hand cramps up after using those squirt bottles if I’m doing more than one spot.  It’s also less drippy/messy, only about $3 a can, and works fabulously.  I have 3 cans in my closet this very minute 🙂

I use the Bissell Fiber Cleansing Solution in the Power Steamer Power Brush carpet cleaner and steam clean away.  I’ve had this carpet cleaner for a year or so and it’s still going strong.  It’s a model that doesnt auto heat the water, but you put the hottest tap water in the basin possible.  Works great.


I also cleaned the bathroom which isn’t that exciting either, but just a “shout out” to Comet cleaner.  Its my favourite for the kitchen sink and bathroom sinks (as needed).  It’s pretty powerful stuff, so I wear latex gloves when cleaning, but its great for when your sinks need more than just a spray with the 409 🙂 and at around 50 cents a container, I think I have one under every bathroom sink and one under the kitchen sink 🙂

~ Another Reason Why I Love Pixel’s House

There are several types of homes you can get for a hamster. The one I chose (see post below) was a little pricey but well worth it! I’ll explain . . .

Last night I got a clear (so I could see him better) Run-About Ball (about $4).

Robo’s need a lot of attention if you want to hold them eventually, and even then it’s rare to be able to easily. I’m afraid of picking him up because I don’t want to hold him to tight, but then if I don’t hold him tight enough he will find a way out of my hands and onto the floor – and they are fast runners!

So! Why I love this house I got him. There are several options for houses (read about housing at the links below). This one is so cool because when Pixel went to run around in his wheel, I could actually take the wheel off and put the entry way into the clear ball’s entry way. There is also a divider between the house and the wheel to close access to/from the wheel. So moving him from his house to the ball and back again is fairly seamless as long as you tilt and are careful!

Looking at some of the other house options, the wheel was inside (less floor space) and it is hard to get them if they are in the “underground” section. If you go with the aquarium type, you may risk stressing out your hamster trying to either get him in the ball (scooping method) or trying to pick him up.

I figure if he wants to exercise in his wheel, he may as well exercise in the ball 🙂
I also don’t leave him in there for long periods of time since there is no food or water and he can get to like he can in his house . . . plus I’d rather not have to clean out poop. If you do though, I was told to use vinegar and water, not soap and water.

I also got something neat last night . . . while I got the premium fluff for him to burrow under, super odor absorbent and such, I also got (hoping it works) gerbil/hamster litter. It was $3 for a big bag, and instead of getting the plastic potty they can chew on, I got another (but tan) food dish. I think he

If you are interested in getting any kind of pet, it’s good to do your research, which I did. Some hamsters like to be held more than others, make sure you have one that is the right size for you and your home, make sure you have all the things they need before you get your hamster, etc.

I went to wikipedia and followed the links at the end of the article which helped. :


M-Rock Arches Bag Review Update

An update on the M-Rock Arches bag which I got for vacations and trips. I was able to put all of my gear in the Arches bag with plenty of extra space.

The top compartment held extra accys, such as my 680 Polaroid, my Garmin, filters, etc. In the main compartment I was able to fit the following:

Canon 30D with Battery Grip BG-E2N
Canon 50mm 1.4
Canon 85mm 1.8
Canon 28-135mm 3.5-5.6
Canon 18-55mm 3.5-5.6
Canon 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS (recently replaced, more details later)
Cannon STE2
Canon 430EX flash
Flash Diffuser
Canon BP511A 1390mAh Lithium Ion Battery Pack
AA Batteries (put in the side compartment)
Various extra filters, cords etc.

I ended up returning the bag, because when it was on my back, it was not hanging straight, it would lay at an angle and therefore all the weight in the bag was not even and hurt my back. When I used the secondary strap, the bags’ main strap felt like it would fall off my shoulder. When I tightened the main strap, it would be too high to rotate. Everything else about the bag was awesome, and I think would be great if you don’t have heavier equipment, and then you may want to look into the smaller M-Rock Olympic

Instead, I am getting the Lowepro Fastpack 200, just realeased at PMAI January 31st. Pretty much the same dimensions, maybe a little bigger as the Arches bag, but its a backpack with two straps and a belt strap which is also a great feature to take the weight off which I use with my Tamrac backpack. It will still have the side/sling access, and with my own adjustments to the inside of the bag which will allow access to all my equipment (same adjustments I made to the Arhces bag) . . . I’m very excited.

Feel free to leave questions or comments if you have/had the Arches or other bag you use and like/dislike 🙂 I’ll post about the Fastpack I end up getting sometime next week once it’s in.

Check out the original post here: https://sueleigh.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/new-bag-m-rock-arches/

Multi-Functional Tenba Shootout Laptop Bag

Speaking of bags . . .

I always choose bags that are multi-functional. I wanted a laptop bag for my 17″. I got a Tenba Shootout a few weeks ago which can hold my laptop as well as my camera, lenses, and equipment and has tons of pockets! It’s even tall enough to carry a 70-200mm.

The one thing about shoulder bags though is that they will definitely strain your shoulder, so I may eventually get a laptop backpack bag by either Tenba or Lowepro, but since I mostly got this as a laptop bag, I won’t be carrying my gear with me all the time in this bag . . . but it’s nice to know I can!

New Bag! M-Rock Arches

I got a new bag! M-Rock Arches which will be perfect for vacations and actually has more usable space than my Tamrac Adventure 75 Backpack. I tried the Lowepro Sling Shot 300AW, but it was too bulky for me, so I went with the similar M-Rock Arches bag which has more pockets and more usable space for me. It isn’t bulky and since it’s a sling bag I’ll have easy access to my camera and still have the similar support of a backpack 🙂