Rug, Reunited. COIT Rug Cleaning Review

IMG_4711Good as new!

In 2004 I purchased a beautiful, enormous, and very expensive (to me) area rug for the living room in our house in Northridge. Our couches were red, the walls were a very light peach color, almost white, and the floor was parquet, installed by hand by my husband, in the days before we had children to get in the way of such projects. The space was very big and in my opinion demanded the perfect area rug. I fell in love with this design at Crate and Barrel, but naturally it was way out of my league, cost-wise, so I stalked this rug for months, visiting it whenever I happened by a store, touching it, feeling it, telling it that someday we’d be together. I saved money every month and checked its price online often. Eventually it went on sale, and in the fall it finally came to live in our house, perfectly tying the elements of the room together.

area rug in old housemy beloved area rug in our previous house

Even though our decor changed when we moved to Agoura Hills, the rug was still perfect because of its multicolored design. But for the last three years, as we gradually painted the dark oak paneling white in our living room (click here to see the before and after photos), the rug was rolled up and stored in the garage. It suffered from neglect, the dust of a thousand things, dryer lint floating in the air, and two unfortunate toilet explosions that drained through the garage to the street.

I had given up on it, sadly, and was getting ready to list it on Freecycle for a new loving owner to come save it. But when I sat with the rug to start writing a description for the free site, I fell in love with it again. I decided to get it cleaned – something I really don’t often do. It was the perfect opportunity to try out COIT Services, a name that I have known forever because how can you miss it living in Los Angeles? But I had never hired them for a cleaning service.

COIT picks up area rugs for cleaning at their facility in Monrovia. The workers who picked up the rug came early on a Saturday morning, right when they said they would come. I was surprised – I was still in my jammies! I asked them to discard the nasty rug underlay that didn’t really help keep the rug in place anymore and just collected more dirt. They promised to have the rug back soon, and later that day a rep called to tell me the date it would arrive.

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On the appointed day a different worker, let’s called him Randy because that is his name, arrived. I had prepared for the rug’s delivery by moving all the furniture out of the way with my husband that morning. The kids were home when Randy came so they were excited to watch the big rollout. We could tell Randy’s done this a million times because he basically flicked this enormous rug out with one hand, it seemed, and smoothed it out expertly. He said that every time he does this, kids and dogs enjoy frolicking over the newly cleaned rug. Mine were no exception.

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Randy helped me put all the furniture back in place. The rug looks great – almost like new, no stains, no dust, just colorful and lovely, like it used to be. It’s tying the decor of the room together once again, new colors and all. Now I feel like I need to upgrade my furniture – or at least get it cleaned – to match.

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COIT’s price for area rug cleaning depends on the type of rug, but ranges from $2.50 – $4.50 per square foot, plus a $25 service fee that covers gas and proper disposal of wastewater. They are currently running a 40% off special!

I received a complimentary rug cleaning to facilitate this feature.

Sunuva Swim and Beachwear For Kids

Since it’s summer all year round in these parts, I have to keep my kids protected from the sun. Instead of just a swimsuit, my kids wear rash guards, or “swim shirts” as they call them, too.

We recently tried out a new-to-us line by Sunuva, a British company started by two mothers who want to protect their kids from the sun’s harmful rays while also allowing them to get the good stuff: sunshine, vitamin D, happiness, etc. Here are my boys modeling their super cute rash guards and swim trunks on their way to a pool party:

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Sunuva’s rash vests are made from Italian fabric providing 50+ UPF for your kids. UPF is a measure of the UV Protection Factor given to the skin by a fabric. A UPF rating of 50+ gives excellent UV protection, blocking out 97.5% – 98% of the sun’s rays. The high quality fabric used also meets the stringent and highly respected Australian and New Zealand sun protection guidelines (AS/NZS 4399:1966).

The kids gave these pieces their seals of approval by not ripping them off of their bodies as soon as they were out of my sight. The shirts and trunks are made of sturdy fabric that doesn’t itch, and the styles are fun, too! You can buy Sunuva clothing at the Four Seasons Hotel on the Maldives…but it might be more convenient to simply order them online!

We received the pictured clothing as samples from Sunuva to facilitate this review.

A Tale of Three Mango Drinks

Mango must be the It Flavor of the season, because I was recently pitched or gifted three mango flavored drinks that were very different. Here they are in order of my preference.

Sauza Sparkling Margarita

sauza sparkling margarita

This drink is actually available in Original Lime, Wild Berry and Mango Peach, but since I had already started on the mango train, I went with that choice for easier comparison. Served chilled, Sauza Sparkling Margarita is a complete drink in a bottle. Its slight carbonation reminds me of the most awesome margarita I’ve ever hand – at a little cantina on the streets of Loreto in Baja, Mexico. Except with the addition of the mango/peach flavor. It’s a perfect drink, really, especially if you don’t have the time or the patience to mix up a margie from scratch, and you want that extra flavor.

Caveat: it’s strong. It goes down like a wine cooler – easy – but it packs the punch of tequila because, uh, it has tequila in it. Also, because it’s carbonated, it’s like Champagne – it doesn’t keep for long. You have to consume it 2-3 days after you open it. This is the perfect beverage for serving to guests at a gathering, but not for casual sipping while making dinner all by yourself. Unless you like it like that.

Suggested retail price of $12.99 per 750 mL bottle and $7.99 per 375 mL bottle.  

OWG’s Tango-Tini Mix

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I invited a few girlfriends over to taste this beverage with me after I made it and realized that it was a huge batch and would also not keep very well. The Dot-box Mixer is a package of powdered drink mix that you combine with vodka or wine. I used a crisp Chardonnay when mixing with the Tango-Tini flavor (which is mango, orange, and peach). The unusual, and sort of fun, thing about making this is that you do it in a big zip top bag. A bottle of wine, the packet of drink flavor – pour them in, shake up the bag, and freeze for 3 hours. What comes out is a frozen drink. You need to whisk it or put it in the blender for a smoother consistency, but it was cold and refreshing! My friends and I agreed that it would be the perfect drink for serving outside on the patio on a hot night with a bunch of girlfriends before heading out on the town. Served with the OWG Cracker Smack, which is another product you mix in a big plastic bag – crackers with spicy flavoring – it was a fun little tasting. One friend noted that these are the kind of products you might see at Cost Plus or even Bed Bath and Beyond in the gift section.

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Tango Tini mix – $10 at OWG, and Cracker Smack – $5 at OWG.

Sencha Naturals Green Tea + C

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I got a packet of this drink mix at a social media event. I think. Honestly, every time I attend an event I get a bunch of cool stuff that if I don’t catalog it the moment I get home, it’s hard for me to remember where I got it. But I’m pretty sure that I got this one at the Social Media Club of Los Angeles seminar about Social Media For Social Good (I work with a charity that uses social media to spread the word about our efforts to collect donations of diapers for needy families).

Anyway, since I had mango on the mind, I noticed this mango-flavored drink and thought “what the heck?” At first I thought it was actual tea, but it turns out that it’s a fizzy vitamin drink like Emergen-C or Airborne. It’s not as awful-tasting as those two products, but when you’re sick or anticipating sitting in a germ-filled airplane for several hours, you’re more likely to quaff something you think will be beneficial to you even if it’s not the best flavor in the world.

I wouldn’t drink this again by choice as a refreshing tasty beverage, but if I needed a vitamin infusion, I would give this a shot.

Sencha Green Tea + C available starting in June.