Reformulated Costco Wipes STINK

The stash of Kirkland diapering products under my changing table. My changing table has looked like this for nearly a decade.

The stash of Kirkland diapering products under my changing table. For the first time in 9 years, I’m going to have to choose a different baby wipe.

I just opened a new box of Kirkland Baby Wipes from Costco, and I’m so sad to say that I HATE them. Really, really, will never buy them again, hate them. They absolutely STINK – both literally and figuratively.

I have been using Kirkland wipes for the better part of the 9 years that I’ve been a parent, and I have always LOVE, LOVE, LOVED them. They were one of my favorite baby products. I used them exclusively, as no other wipes could begin to compare to the quality of the Kirkland wipes. I bought them for shower gifts, and raved about them to anyone who would listen. I used them for diaper changes, to wipe up messes, to clean baby after meals. I kept a pack in my van, some in my purse, and more packs stashed all around the house.

Why did I love them so much? They were larger, more durable, and softer than any other wipe I have ever tried. They were gentle on baby’s skin. They were truly UNSCENTED. Unlike other wipes that claimed to be unscented, these wipes truly had no smell. On top of that, the packaging was super convenient. It could fit it inside of plastic refillable boxes or I could throw it in the diaper bag as it was. And, more often than not, the wipes would come out of the package one at a time. Oh, and major bonus, they are cheap! When Costco started including bonus travel packs in the box, I was on cloud 9. My already favorite, perfect baby product had just gotten even better!

Now, all of that has changed. Literally, all of that has changed, except for the price.

The wipes I opened today are smaller, thinner, and smell TERRIBLE. The label still boasts “unscented” but the smell is disgusting. And it lingers. When I kiss my sweet baby’s face, now she smells like nasty chemical stinkiness.

Less significantly, the packaging also changed. The “bag” appears to be much cheaper quality than what was previously used, the “clasp” that opens the container has changed, and the opening to get to the wipes has been changed from a sticker to a pinch-and-pull system. None of these packaging changes are deal breakers, but it is apparent that the quality of these wipes has been lessened across the board. I am baffled that a product that has been consistently superior to all other brands for so long underwent such a thorough and negative overhaul.

I am so upset. It may sound dumb to be upset over baby wipes, but I really am. Parenting is messy, and sticky, and sometimes smelly. Kirkland’s wipes have consistently delivered the answer to these problems over my nearly decade of parenting. Now, they just add to the problems. They have become such terrible quality that they no longer clean as effectively as they once did, and – can I just say it one more time – they smell awful!

I did some googling, and some Costco exec was quoted as saying the new smell is “not unpleasant.” I can’t help but wonder if he has smelled these wipes. And, I hate to be the master of the obvious, but why oh why do UNSCENTED wipes have a smell of any kind – be it pleasant or otherwise??

Worst of all, now I have to go through the trial and error process of trying to find some new wipe to use because I definitely will not be buying these awful wipes again. The cost has always been low, but, now, the product is just cheap. I hate these new Kirkland wipes!

Please, please, Costco, please insist that Kirkland return to making quality wipes instead of disguising these “dollar store” wipes under a trusted name. One quick look at your product page will show you that I’m not the only customer who feels this way.

SuperCook to the Rescue!

Our very first Bountiful Basket. 2/25/12 Look how little my sweet boys are!

Our very first Bountiful Basket. 2/25/12 (Random side note: phone pictures sure have improved dramatically in the last 2 years!)

One of the things I love about our produce coop is that it pushes me out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. Because of the way it is set up, I don’t get a say in what produce I take home each week. I make my weekly contribution and the organizers get as much produce as they can at the best price possible to divide up among the contributors. This means the selection of produce is always different and always a surprise. I used to get things in my basket and have to google them because I had no idea what they were. That still happens on occasion, but, because we’ve been participating for two years, (Happy Bountiful Baskets anniversary to me!!) I’m much more produce-literate than when I first started. Thanks to Bountiful Baskets, my family’s culinary repertoire has immensely expanded in the last two years.

However, my weekly basket still manages to push me out of my comfort zone. Now, it’s not so much because I don’t know how to prepare any given ingredient. It’s because I open my fridge or pantry and see some odd collection of items that I have no idea how to use together before they spoil. I don’t know why, but this seems to be a new problem for me. Part of the issue may be that, thanks to our revised dietary standards, pasta is no longer an option. You can incorporate almost anything into a rice or pasta dish. Having that option taken away has forced me to cook differently and see ingredients differently. Another part may be that I’m pregnant and that always limits what sounds good to me. But whatever the reason for my lack of vision, today I found a little “cheat” and with this little “cheat” my struggles in this area should vanish!

logoHave you ever used SuperCook.com?? It’s so awesome! I stumbled across it on accident while I was looking for a recipe site that I vaguely remembered using in the past. The site in question had a feature where I could search recipes by ingredient. Considering my current dilemma, I figured that was exactly what I needed. But, while I was trying to find that site, I found supercook.com instead.

Basically, SuperCook is just a search engine. You select the ingredients you have on hand, and it searches the web (not just one measly little site!) for recipes that match your ingredient list. How brilliant is that?! What’s even better is, if you create a free account, the site remembers the ingredients you’ve entered. That means I can enter all my spices and other regular pantry staples one time and I won’t need to do it again. I can just change out the fresh ingredients based on what I currently have. As you add ingredients, the recipe lists updates, sorting results by how many of the ingredients you already have on hand. You even can emphasize particular ingredients to ensure you get results that include those items. Finally, once you start finding interesting options, you can save the recipes you find or create a shopping list. I’m not sure that I will use the shopping list feature, but it’s still neat to have.

OH!! I forgot to tell you about my favorite, favorite feature! You can add in your dietary restrictions and any offending recipes are automatically filtered out! Now I don’t have to search through endless pasta recipes to find something more conducive to how we eat in our home!  Can you feel my excitement?? I’m seriously so, so happy about this little discovery. Anything that makes meal planning easier is a win in my book!

Lastly, I’d just like to reassure you that I was not compensated in any way for this glowing endorsement of supercook.com. I just like to share the good things I stumble upon in case you think they’re good things too. Go check it out for yourself. Happy cooking!

Big Fish

Since I talk about this place constantly, I decided it would only be fair to share it with the world via the internet. I absolutely ADORE Big Fish on Main Street in Grapevine, TX!! It is seriously one of my favorite places to go. And let me tell you, I am super, incredibly, very picky when we go out to eat. I have really high standards due to working in the restaurant industry for 6 years, but we’re also working on a limited budget these days. If I choose to spend our hard-earned money on you, you better live up to my standards. Or at least make an effort to live up to some standards. Nothing disgusts me more than spending money on a service/product only to be let down. In my humble opinion, if one offers a product or service of any kind, one should take pride in it and ensure its presented correctly. Everything about Big Fish is done right. The atmosphere, the staff, the menu, the food. It’s all exactly as it should be. They don’t try to be anything they’re not, and they’re darn good at being what they are.

They’re just a little “hole in the wall” type venue perfectly situated on Main Street in Historic Grapevine. We all know rule number one, location, location, location. If it weren’t for their incredible location, one could easily walk/drive right by and never even know. But that’s just the beginning of their charm. From Po Boys to Crab Cakes to Steamed Crawfish or Snow Crab, the menu is exactly what I hope to be handed when I sit down at the banquet table in Heaven. (Just kidding, Lord….sort of…) In addition to the regular menu, they have a huge Chalk Board covered in additional fresh fish selections, appetizers and desserts.  Not only do they offer exactly what I would want in a seafood restaurant menu, the prices are extremely reasonable. You definitely get up from the table knowing you got everything you paid for and maybe even a little more.

Now that I’ve abandoned my formed life for the incredibly rewarding, yet often self-sacrificing title of “mommy,” there is nothing that I appreciate more than a venue that can pull off “family friendly” without making you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a McDonald’s playground. Big Fish scores again. From my observations the crowd is often very diverse, yet the kids never seem to be out of place. From the bar to the cozy booths to the live music (Wednesdays and Saturdays) its more than enough to satisfy my former self without being forced to abandon the kiddos to a babysitter that will more than double the cost of the entire evening out.

The service, while not flawless, is more than acceptable. They even keep the table fairly clean. (Note to anyone who may ever wait on me: if you don’t pre-bus my table, you will be putting a massively huge dent in my entire dinning experience.)  The wait staff dresses casually, has good knowledge of the menu and are very friendly. The kitchen, while I obviously didn’t tour it, more than meets expectations. The food is delicious and well-presented in a timely manner. The dinning room and restrooms are always spotless even during peak hours. It’s not uncommon to have to wait for a table, even up to an hour, if you come during peak hours, but it is well worth the wait. Not to mention, you have all of Main Street to entertain you while you wait.

I repeatedly recommend Big Fish to friends and family, and no one has ever returned with a negative review. It’s one of my favorite places to take out-of-town visitors, as we can do the “tourist thing” around Grapevine and finish it off with a spectacular meal. I’ve yet to have one guest who wasn’t completely enamored with the whole day finding Big Fish to be the perfect finale. Like I said at the onset, I ADORE Big Fish. It is most definitely one of my favorite places to dine, with or without the kids.