Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dirty Dogs Self Service Dog Wash Review

On a cold March Saturday, we decided that Grits needed a bath.  It was way to cold to wash him outdoors and we hate cleaning up the mess when we give him a bath in the house.  Wiping up wet dog hair out of the tub and vacuuming up tons of dog hair after we dry him off is not our idea of a good time.  We had passed by Dirty Dogs Self Service Dog Wash in Greensboro several times and Pete had been dying to try it out.  Now seemed like a good time.

For $20, we could take Grits to a self-service dog wash and have someone else clean up the mess.  We have to pay for our city water (which isn't cheap), so I'm sure we would have spent at least $10 in water usage at our house alone, still had to pay for the cleaning items, and would have had to clean up the mess ourselves.

The place was very cute when they walked in.  They have a very clean and welcoming entrance.  They have dog beds, leashes, and the biggest assortment of adorable dog treats that I have seen in Greensboro so far.  The staff welcomed us as soon as we came in the door.  They took us through each step of the process, told us what order to use the products, and were willing to help us if needed.  Prepared with that knowledge and the protective aprons they gave us to wear, we were ready to go.

First, the staff helped us put ear cleaning foam in Grits's ears. We've cleaned his ears out before, but never with foam, so the staff help was appreciated since we don't want to do anything to damage his ears.

Pete's favorite part was that he didn't have to lean over our bathtub to wash Grits.  It ends up killing his back with the constant leaning over at home.  The tubs were very spacious and can accommodate large dogs.  They even have risers to put in the tubs for the smaller dogs so that you don't have to lean over and hurt your back to wash them.

"HELP ME!!!"

You can use as much of the products as you need to clean your dog. After shampoo and conditioner, it was time to finish cleaning out his ears with the specialty ear cleaning wipes.  The foam helps loosen up any "yuck" that may be in your dog's ears.

Next up was time to clean his teeth.  This time the staff came in and helped us clean his teeth because he had recently had his teeth cleaned and dental surgery, so we didn't want to injure him.  The toothbrush was pre-loaded with toothpaste in the plastic wrap, so once it was wet, it activated the toothpaste.

After towel drying Grits, it was time for the drying station.  Once again, they have all of the products you need in each station, already cleaned and ready for use.  While we were drying him, dog hair was flying everywhere.  This is where the $20 is really worth it.  If we had done this at home, we would have been the ones cleaning up black dog hair off of every surface.  The staff made sure to constantly vacuum around the stations while people were drying their dogs.  They said that this keeps down the dog hair that could fly everywhere.  Completely worth the $20 just for that alone.

The picture above was mid-drying.  When Grits was all dry, he looked so fluffy.  He normally doesn't look fluffy because he's a lean greyhound.  So this was pretty neat to see him looking kind of plump.  Unfortunately, I didn't take an after picture.  Next time I will.

We also got to spray him down with one of the scents that they have.  I really LOVED this scent and it didn't make him smell too frou-frou.  It was a nice "masculine" scent for a dog.  I might need to buy some of this just to keep at home for a "freshener" between baths for him.

And Grits's favorite part about the trip?  Once he was nice and clean and glad that the process was over, it was time for a treat.  They have a variety of treats for sale.  I really wanted a doggie cannoli for him, but we ended up being a little more economical and buying him a bag of homemade all natural peanut butter dog treats they were selling.  But I really couldn't get over how cute the treats were.

Overall, we loved this place.  We felt so welcome there by the staff and appreciated their help when needed.  You can tell that they really do care for dogs and enjoy seeing them.  The only suggestion Pete had was for a longer "bathtub" leash for Grits since he is so tall.  Grits was having to bend his neck down a little during the bath which looked a little uncomfortable.  I'm sure if we asked for one, the staff may have been able to provide us with a leash extension.  We'll have to check with them next time when we go in.  We will definitely go back here for all of his baths from now on.  It's so easy and not having to clean up the mess was the biggest benefit for us.  I've already heard that several friends are planning on taking their dogs there as well, so I can't wait to hear how their visits went as well.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Delicious Bakery Review: Pete's Birthday Cake

From our wedding cakes to birthday cakes, we always had Ganache Bakery in Greensboro make our cakes.  Our favorite was their "Black Cow" cake: layers of chocolate cake with cream cheese icing covered in ganache.  When we found out they closed, we were devastated.  So, we resorted to Harris Teeter decorated sheet cakes for a while.  Here's a not-so-healthy fact about me: I love what I call the "lard icing."  Don't give me that whippy stuff.  I love that thick, make-your-teeth-fall-out buttercream icing.  But you can only do so much with a Harris Teeter or Food Lion sheet cake.  My husband is the greatest and he deserves a spectacular cake.

I saw one of their cakes on Facebook (to be exact, it was THE cutest sleepover birthday cake, ever!!!).  If they could do something that elaborate, surely they could add a little something special for Pete's birthday cake.

I went into the store on Wednesday to check out their cakes.  I am not a fan of dry cakes at all and if the cake part tastes nasty, no amount of icing in the world can make it taste good.  The piece of cake I tried at Delicious was moist and tasted great with the vanilla buttercream icing that was on it.  I was sold.  To counter my not-so-healthy fact about me, here's a healthy fact about Pete: he loves sushi.  Not just loves, but LOOOVVEEESSSSSS sushi.  I asked them if they could put maybe three little pieces of fondant sushi on the cake.  I wasn't expecting anything too big or elaborate.  Just a little extra something.

Fast-forward to this afternoon.  When I went to pick up the cake, my jaw almost hit the floor.  I was not expecting what the cake looked like.  Chopsticks?!?!?! Wasabi?!?!?! Is that ginger?!?!?!  Little rice sprinkles?!?!?!  The cake took my breath away.

Delicious Bakery went above and beyond what I had envisioned the cake to look like.  The chopsticks and the wasabi are what threw me over the top.  Their attention to detail is amazing.  Several people thought that the chopsticks were real.

Ok, so it looked cute. That doesn't mean anything if it doesn't taste good.  In order to try to replicate our "Black Cow" cake from Ganache, I ordered the cake with chocolate layers, cream cheese icing, and covered in Ganache.  It tasted wonderful.  The cake was very moist and I didn't see any leftovers on anyone's plates.

I wish that I had taken a picture of Pete when he saw it.  He had such a big grin on his face.  Heck, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when I picked it up this afternoon.

Everyone raved about the cake, and I will definitely order from Delicious Bakery in the future.  I'm already thinking up random excuses to throw a party and random cake ideas. Finished kitchen remodel party, anyone????