Mrs Baine

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    Welcome to my new blog, I decided that I would change to Posts dated before March 27, 2008 are imported from my old blogger site. I was looking for a blog that is easily navigated around, and simple to update, I love the layout I can have here, with 2 side bars and tabs at the top for different subjects. I currently have an about me tab and a photography tab, Ill be looking to add recipes, and craft ideas shortly, so check back in to see what’s new regularly!
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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

The Madison, Washington DC. Hotel Review.

Posted by MWPA on May 13, 2009


This past weekend Will and I took a weekend break to Washington DC. We wanted to do three things while we were in the city, visit the Spy Museum, the Smithsonian Zoo and relax.

We didn’t want to spend a lot on our hotel, but we still wanted a little bit of luxury so we looked on for hotels in the middle of Washington DC. is a website that allows hotels that have rooms sitting empty and not making money to be sold at extremely low prices, to help the hotel keep their bookings up. The website does not advertise the hotels names, just the price, star rating and facilities at the hotel. To find a hotel all you have to do is type in the name of the city and select the dates you would like to visit, and a list of hotels will appear. gives the star rating and the facilities inside the hotel, also the area where the hotel is located, so if you do a  bit of searching on the Internet you an get a rough idea of which hotel you are looking at. we used to help us locate which hotel we would be staying in before making our booking.

We chose a hotel in DuPont Circle, it was a four and a half star hotel and it was said to be The Madison. So we took the plunge and booked the room, once the booking was complete confirms your hotel name and where it is located, ours was as we had hoped-The Madison.

HotelOur journey to the hotel was mainly hassle free, we had a little bit of a problem with the Tom Tom once we actually got to into Washington DC city center, it was getting muddled with the distances between streets so we missed a couple of turnings, which was irritating. The hotel was easy to spot, it was right on the corner of 15th street, we pulled into the parking garage and were greeted by the valet parking men, who told us to get out and they would park the car. There was no option for us to park the car, which I am assuming is because the parking lot was small and and cars were double parked . The car was taken down under the hotel, and we were shown into the hotel to the reception desk, with our bags carried for us. I have no problem with valet parking, it makes things easier we just called down to the front desk when we wanted our car and it would be waiting for us by the time we made our way down to the elevator. The cost of using the hotels parking was a little excessive at $40 a day but I think in the end for the ease of having your car right near you it was worth it.

After getting to the reception desk we had a very nice lady help us, she asked us how our day was going, and Will told her it was stressful with the last part of the drive, and she replied she was sorry to hear that and that she would upgrade us to a luxury room for free, she made a point of saying it would be on the 12th floor away from the elevator so it would be nice and quiet…which it was! The upgraded room even had a massage chair in it. The hotel normally charges $339 for this room per night. By booking through Hotwire we were able to stay in the room for $109 a night. The receptionist was able to recommend a couple of places to eat and she gave us a couple of maps of Washington DC maps so we could find our way around the city.

Hotel-002The Madison is an older hotel, and could do with a little bit of fine tuning, I am glad we did not pay the full Madison advertised price for our room, as we would have been disappointed. The carpets were old and worn in places, there were marks on the wall and the light switches were discolored, which I was quite surprised about considering this is a 4.5 star hotel. The bathroom was also a little bit disappointing, it was extremely small, which I put down to it being an older hotel. The bathroom had poor ventilation and became heavily steamed up. It did have a shower and and a tub, the shower was powerful although positioned in a slightly awkward off center way. One of the nice things about the bathroom was the heated towel rack, which gave us snugly warm big towels once we were done with the shower.

We had a 32 inch LCD tv with a good selection of channels, although no DVD player. The bed was positioned opposite the tv and it was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever lay down upon, the bedding was soft and the bed was big and comfortable The hotel also provided robes which were soft and snugly too. Having digital thermostat was great, we were able to keep the air conditioning nice and cold.

There was a nice selection of complimentary coffee with a coffee maker, but that was the only ‘free’ thing in our room, even the bottle of water they had placed next to the coffee was $6.50! we found a small CVS pharmacy around the corner from the hotel and bought our drinks from there and kept them next to the air vent so they would stay cool. we had a mini bar in our room, which had a nice selection of drinks and snacks, but we chose not to spend our money on those.  There was a gym and business center on the second floor along with a spar, the gym was nicely equipped and had a sauna and steam room. the business center looked good, the first 30 minutes of Internet usage was free, after the 30 minutes was up you had to pay extra.

The hotel was in a great location, were were a 15minute walk from the white house, a five minute walk from the metro and small shopping and dining area. I would recommend this hotel to others so long as you were not paying the full Madison price for your rooms. Every person who worked at The Madison that we encountered was very friendly and helpful.


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How to waste time:

Posted by MWPA on March 9, 2009

Today I found a new website called Wonder How To I think this website could keep me amused for hours. This is a video archive of how to videos, learn how to build 3D Origami, grill baby back ribs, or back up purchases on I tunes, everything and anything that you might need to know in the form of video. This is a nicer place than you tube for finding interesting information.

I also discovered a site called Pandora which is a web site that plays advertisement free radio through the internet, all you have to do is type in your favorite song or artist and similar music is streamed directly to your computer. I really quite liked this, much better than the Yahoo radio that I had been listening too.

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Before and After….

Posted by MWPA on September 30, 2008

I went to the local park today to get some fresh air and exercise on my day off…I of course took my camera! One of my favorite pictures that I took turned out to be a single blade of grass, here is the original picture and the edited version.

The edited version has slight color adjustments, sharpening and noise reduction, which are all common adjustments when shooting in RAW format. I used my sigma 70-300 APO Macro DG lens on My Canon 30d with a tripod, it was quite breezy so alot of my pictures had some motion blur, which is why I particularly liked th e sharpness of this picture. Dont forget you can click the picture to view it at full size.


And After:

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Why I love Lysol 3in1

Posted by MWPA on October 18, 2007

Since coming to America I have discovered a number of new cleaning products that were not available to me in England. One brand is particularly superior to anything I have ever used and that is Lysol Disinfectant All Purpose Cleaner 3 in1 Ready To Use Spray.

I am a messy cook, I love to cook and most of the time my meals are great, my downfall in the kitchen is the mess I make, flour everywhere, juice spillages all over the place Lysol Disinfectant All Purpose Cleaner 3 in1 Ready To Use Spray, was great for its simplicity and its toughness.

There is no complicated routine with this spray, its simple spray on, Rinse off, and your left with germ free, grease free, clean smelling room, The back of the bottle suggests that you let the spray rest for ten minutes to remove stubborn stains, but I rarely find this necessary. The packaging claims that in just 30 seconds the spray will kill up to 99.9% of all germs

I don’t just restrict Lysol Disinfectant All Purpose Cleaner 3 in1 Ready To Use Spray to use in the kitchen, I use it every where, it works great in the bathroom especially around the toilet for killing all those nasty germs.

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