Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses Now Carries Serta iSeries

We’ve learned a lot since introducing mattresses to our stores over Memorial Day 2010. We’ve built a full line of traditional innerspring mattresses, pillowtop mattresses and the coveted memory foam models. We recently checked out Serta’s hybrid iSeries, and when we saw the beds had all the best qualities of all our mattress selections, we pounced on on the chance to share them with our customers.

The iSeries combines Serta’s Cool Action Gel Memory foam with its most advanced Duet™ Coil Individually Wrapped Coil-in-Coil Support System. The result is the best of both worlds: The cool cradling of Serta’s patented memory foam technology and unbeatable coil-in-coil support.

Did you get a new iSeries mattress? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

3 Things You Can Make in The Microwave Besides Popcorn

For some, the microwave is the kitchen. There’s nothing more satisfying than a quick “zap” to turn cold pizza into its original glory from the night before, or the smell of popcorn warming up the kitchen during opening credits. But sometimes we need to mix things up a little. Here are some creative (and quick) recipe ideas for your microwave, from our Microwave Meals Pinterest board.

Quesadillas. These Mexican appetizers are quick, crazy versatile and cost very little to make. They can be eaten alone, served as simple party appetizers or stuffed with gourmet ingredients and paired with your favorite homemade salsas and other sides.
Quick step: Fill with cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheeses with a dash of your favorite hot sauce and/or salsa. Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds.
Step up: Replace the above recipe with Colorado goat cheese, spinach and sliced portobello mushrooms. To make it a hearty meal, add some grilled chicken breast. Microwave on a dish covered with plastic wrap for 45 seconds to a minute.

Edamame. These fresh soybeans are a popular snack in Asian-Pacific cultures. They’re not only a filling appetizer, but they’re also packed with carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber and important vitamins. 
Quick step: Steam frozen edamame in the microwave in a zippered plastic bag with a tablespoon of water for two minutes or until not frozen. Serve with sea salt and soy sauce.
Step up: Steam edamame and serve with a dip.

Chocolate chip cookies (well, just one). Sometimes all you need is one chocolate chip cookie. And not the kind that come in a package that try to feign that luscious, moist texture you can only get from a fresh batch. Hey, guess what? You can get that fresh taste in a solo version!
Quick step: Melt one tablespoon of butter in a microwave safe mug. Add one tablespoon of white sugar, one tablespoon of brown sugar, a few drops of vanilla, a pinch of kosher salt and finally, as many chocolate chips as you want. Microwave for 45 seconds to a minute and enjoy.
Step up: Is there such thing as a step up to a fresh chocolate chip cookie? Let us know by commenting below.

Easy Homemade High-Efficiency Laundry Detergent with Baking Soda

Conventional laundry detergent seems more convenient in theory–all you need to do is buy a bottle or box and throw it in. But conventional laundry detergents can take up a huge chunk in a family budget. The homemade stuff is cheaper and simple to mix.

Most ingredients can be found in your cupboards and local grocery store. After scouring the interwebs for the best detergent, we decided on this quick and easy recipe from blogger One Good Thing by Jillee. We’ve tweaked the recipe a little so you can customize your favorite scents.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 c. Hot water (Boil the water first, then let it sit while you assemble everything else)
  • 3 Tbsp. Borax
  • 3 Tbsp. Washing soda (TIP: You can buy it, or you can learn to make your own here.)
  • 2 Tbsp. of your favorite dish soap, fresh-smelling shampoo or ½ c. grated bar soap
  • A small plastic funnel
  • A gallon-sized bottle or jug
  • Throw all ingredients in the gallon jug, then pour in the hot water.
  • Swirl the jug until all ingredients are dissolved. There will be bubbles—that’s okay!
  • Once all ingredients are dissolved, pour in cold water almost to the top of the jug.
Presto! This batch will make enough detergent for about 12-16 large loads. The materials are so cheap, each load of laundry will run you less than a nickel a pop.
Have you tried making your own laundry detergent? What’s worked for you?

Is Today’s Refinance Market: Ordinary or Extraordinary? You Decide.

*Article provided by Chelsey L. Brown, a mortgage loan officer at W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC in Greenwood Village.


When you read in the newspapers that rates are at historic lows, this is not an exaggeration. Interest rates on home loans truly are at the lowest they have been in decades. The reason for this is that due to the recent “Great Recession.” The federal government has had to lower the Federal Funds Rate to between 0 percent and 0.25 percent. The Federal Funds Rate is the interest rate at which savings banks, commercial banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions trade balances with each other.

The Federal Funds Rate impacts all other rates, including mortgage loans. So, at times of slow or no economic growth, the Federal Reserve will lower the Federal Funds Rate in hopes of making credit cheaper to all people and in turn boosting the economy. This is why home mortgage rates have remained so low. The moment the economy starts to truly grow, the Federal Reserve will start to increase the Federal Funds Rate, and home financing loan rates will follow suit.

Right now, mortgage rates are incredibly attractive after a downward slide over the course of 2011 that ended with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in the 3.9 percent interest rate range. So far, in 2012, rates have topped the 4 percent mark, according to surveys from the Mortgage Bankers Association, but these are still historic lows.

In addition to the lower interest rates, there are many new programs out there that are helping homeowners take advantage of these lower rates. One popular program is known as HARP II. The HARP loan is a Federal program specifically designed to reach out and give a helping hand to responsible homeowners that have suffered a reversal of fortune thanks to collapse of the real estate bubble. The Federal government originally rolled out the HARP program in 2009 to help homeowners who were underwater or near underwater. However, the program was recently broadened to reach even more borrowers who need a helping hand. According to HUD, about 400,000 homeowners have taken advantage of the program since it launched in April 2012.

Certainly, qualifying for loans is harder these days. More rigorous documentation is required and other lending terms aren’t as loose as they were during the 2005-2006 real estate boom, but you don’t need to worry if you are in solid financial shape. I’d be happy to sit down with you and look at what loans make the most sense for your financial position, and to work out different scenarios using today’s low rates, as well as rates after possible increases in the near future.

Originally posted in WJB Insight at www.mywjb.com/chelsey-brown

Ask the Expert – Dishwasher Build Up Removal


Dear Expert,
Lately my dishes have had mineral / soap scum buildup when I remove them from the dishwasher. I can’t serve guests with “dirty” dishes! Do I need a new dishwasher?

Sincerely,

Yucky Dishes

Dear Yucky Dishes,

Your dishwasher isn’t the problem–the problem is your detergent. Recent regulations have forced detergent companies to remove phosphates from their formulas because environmentalists argue phosphates alter algae levels. Phosphates soften water and help remove all particles in the wash cycle, resulting in spotless dishes. While I can’t lift the government’s ban on phosphates, I can recommend you try using Lemi Shine once a month in your dishwasher. Lemi Shine fights hard water deposits and will remove that disgusting soap scum buildup on your dishes. Now start planning that dinner party!

Yours,

The Expert at Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses

Product Review: “GFE29HSDSS” is French for “Large and in Charge”

By Ali McNally

This French door refrigerator is what GE calls the GFE29HSDSS, also known to non-appliance dorks as a “Pretty Big Refrigerator.” Actually, it’s a French-door, meaning all of your fresh food stays at eye-level and all of your ice cream and pizza treats stay in the freezer drawer on the bottom.

GE recently rolled out an advanced water filtration system for its newer, fancier lines of refrigerators, including this model. These filters remove several pharmaceutical-related substances found in many rural and municipal water supplies. While no one’s sure of the long-term effects of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, it doesn’t hurt to filter out that stuff anyway. Who knows what could happen.

Get in there! Click for a larger view.

Gremlin scares aside, let’s get back to how gigantic this refrigerator is. This GE French door model has about 29 cu. ft. of space, which is almost a studio apartment in some cities. Let’s not forget about how the side-panel lighting makes your food look more attractive, like it belongs on your mom’s Pinterest board.

And don’t be fooled by the rocks that we’ve got in the water and ice dispenser (get it?) , because this refrigerator has another ice maker in the freezer drawer. That’s twice the ice for pranking entertaining.

Finally, this refrigerator also comes equipped with its own cockpit temperature control unit right in the giant drinking water dispenser, which could fit your entire head! …Or a whole water pitcher, depending on what kind of person you are.

MSRP: $2,699
Appliance Factory Outlet: $1,929
You save: $770

Find a location or contact our Internet sales division.

Pros:

  • Tons of space, adjustable shelving and twice the ice-making capacity.
  • French-doors and lighting give fresh food more visibility.
  • Stainless steel finish at a great price.
Cons:
  • Could be too large for a smaller household.
  • Do you really need two ice makers?
Did you buy this refrigerator? Leave a review and let us know what you think!

Fort Collins, Colo. Springs Locations Donate to Fire Relief

Our stores are scattered throughout Colorado, some of which were affected by this summer’s wildfires in the Front Range. Two of our stores whose communities were most affected by the wildfires donated a portion of their profits to select organizations making a huge impact on the rebuilding process.

Fort Collins store manager Robert Reussow (right) and his daughter present their donation check to the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department.

Robert Reussow, manager of our Fort Collins location, chose the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department for his store’s $2,217.55 donation. The High Park Fire destroyed an estimated $24 million in damage during much of June and July this summer. The damage included 259 homes in the Fort Collins area, and thousands of acres of local state parks. Not only were the Rist Canyon firefighters first on the scene to the High Park Fire, but they continued to fight for their community, even after losing one of their fire stations.

Click here to make your own donation to the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department.

Not long after the High Park Fire hit Fort Collins, another devastating fire hit our neighbors in Colorado Springs. About 32,000 residents and businesses (including our store) were ordered to evacuate after the Waldo Canyon Fire made its way into neighborhoods. The Waldo Canyon Fire burned an estimated $352.6 million and was declared the most expensive fire in Colorado history.

Kevin Haney from our Colorado Springs store presenting his donation check to Tom Gonzales, CEO of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Kevin Haney, manager of our Colorado Springs store, recently dropped off his store’s donation to the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross. is a trusted name in natural disaster relief, and its Pikes Peak Chapter provided shelters and other assistance to those who lost homes and evacuees.

Click here to make your own donation to the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross.

We applaud the efforts of the Rist Canyon firefighters and the Red Cross in helping rebuild their communities. We’re also proud of Robert, Kevin and their sales teams for their contributions.

Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses Doubles Christmas in July Food Donations

A shot of Metro CareRing's urban garden and office on 18th Ave. & Downing St. in downtown Denver.

The spirit of giving isn’t just for the winter months.

Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses donated more than double its total from last year’s Christmas in July Food Drive. Food donations were collected on behalf of Metro CareRing, a hunger relief nonprofit in downtown Denver.

Two 50-gallon barrels were given to each of our 12 locations in Colorado to help collect nonperishable food items throughout the month of July. Most of our stores were able to collect at least one barrel full of food, and several stores went above and beyond their original collection goals. Hundreds of our customers pitched in (and they got a nice little discount if they did), and so did many of our 300 employees.

Steve and Anthony, sales associates from our East Evans Ave. location, show off the loot they've collected for the Christmas in July Food Drive before shipping it off to Metro CareRing.

The Christmas in July Food Drive was started by one of those employees—John Higgins, our marketing production manager, whose wife is a social worker in Denver and works closely with the organization.

“All too often I’ve heard her stories about school age children being forced to go without because school lunch programs are suspended when school is not in session,” Higgins said. “With the aid of my coworkers and our generous customers, I feel like we are reaching the people who truly require the most help.”

In addition to providing nutritious food and other items for stabilizing individuals and families in need, Metro CareRing also promotes self-sufficiency by providing utilities assistance and transportation, and identification documentation. Utilizing over 160 ongoing volunteers and a small paid staff, Metro CareRing provides 152,473 services each year. For more information, give Metro CareRing a “Like” on Facebook.

Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses is proud to contribute to a community that has helped the company grow so quickly in the last 26 years. As a provider of affordable kitchen and laundry appliances, we value easier access to food for Colorado families.

Donations of food and toiletries are accepted by Metro CareRing Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the door marked “Deliveries” behind the building at 18th Ave. and Downing St. For more information on donating pantry items, please call Pantry Staff at 303-350-3663. If you or someone you know needs food assistance or related services, contact Metro CareRing at 303-860-7200.

How to Attempt Stainless Steel Scratch Removal

Stainless steel—it’s modern, durable, and attractive until scratch disaster strikes. Here are some tips to remove stainless steel scratches. While these tips may help lighten scratches, stainless steel scratches can be extremely difficult to remove and often times are irreversible.

Because stainless steel comes in a variety of finishes, it’s always best to first check with your manufacturer for recommendations before undertaking a cosmetic stainless steel repair.

For fine scratches, use vegetable oil. Simply pour vegetable oil on a paper towel and rub it onto the surface. Remove the excess oil with a cloth.

For deep scratches, use a professional scratch removal kit such as Scratch-B-Gone, recommends Frank Benton, a longtime appliance service technician from BrandSource Service in Denver. This product will provide you with a step-by-step process for scratch removal and can help in some circumstances.

Unfortunately, stainless steel scratches are very difficult and sometimes are impossible to remove. While Scratch-B-Gone or another removal product may help some, these products don’t provide a guaranteed solution. We hope these tips have prevented your kitchen from resembling an elementary school’s art room with art projects blocking unsightly stainless steel scratches.

*Always buff with the direction of the metal. If you buff against the grain, you will create additional scratches!

*Beware of using sandpaper or steel wool to buff the scratch. These materials can dull the appearance of the stainless steel finish.

5 Easy Kitchen Upgrades to Increase Your Home’s Value

Layering of Lighting courtesy of loghomes.com

Most real estate agents agree the kitchen remodel is among the safer investments when thinking of changing your home to increase its resale value. You don’t have to be an experienced contractor to remodel your kitchen. There are many simple, do-it-yourself remodels that can result in a significant overall return on your investment.

Stainless steel timeless. Image courtesy OurDreamInterior.com
  • Paint: Changing the paint in your kitchen is a simple upgrade with potential for a significant return. Keep paint colors neutral to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
  • Backsplash: Backsplashes add color and sophistication to a kitchen.  While the thought of applying tile yourself might sound intimidating, it’s actually a fairly simple task.  Click here to learn how to add a tile backsplash in your kitchen.
  • Refinish Cabinets: Outdated cabinets have a significantly negative impact on the overall appearance of your kitchen. Add a faux cherry wood finish to your cabinets and upgrade to modern cabinet handles for a simple, aesthetic improvement.
  • Stainless Steel: Stainless steel appliances are highly desired among home buyers.  As your appliances age, replace them with stainless steel upgrades in preparation for when it’s time to sell.
  • Kitchen Island: If your kitchen does not have a built-in island, consider purchasing a rolling island. Islands are a big ticket with home buyers looking for extra counter space with flexible options.

There’s Still Time to Get Your Water Rebate!

Did you purchase a new ENERGY STAR qualified washer or dishwasher this year? Depending on where you live, you could still qualify for a rebate from your municipality–even if it’s already been in your home for a few months.

Some municipalities offer up to $100 or more towards the purchase of a new energy-efficient washing machine or dishwasher.

Here are a few tips to help you find out if you qualify for a water rebate, and what you can do to ensure you receive your money:

  • The sooner, the better. Sometimes there aren’t enough water rebates for everyone. The sooner you send in your application, the better chance you have at getting money back.
  • Keep that receipt handy! If you’ve lost your receipt and you bought your unit at an Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses store, ask one of our managers print another one for you.
  • Double check your appliance’s make and model number with your municipality’s list of qualifying units.
  • If you live in an apartment or condo, you can still qualify for a rebate. Check with your management company for your water account number.

Below is a sampling of the cities in Colorado with rebate programs:

Qualifying appliances featuring this logo are often covered by municipal water rebates. Call your local water utility for details.

  • Boulder - Water rebates for qualifying models bought any time in 2012, on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • Colorado Springs - Qualifying models purchased between Jan. 1 thru Nov. 30, application must be postmarked by Dec. 31.
  • Denver – Water rebates are available within 90 days of a qualifying purchase.
  • Fort Collins - Any ENERGY STAR qualified high-efficiency clothes washer or ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher purchased in 2012 with a receipt qualifies for a rebate. Fort Collins also offers zero-percent interest loans on certain energy-efficient home improvements.
  • Greeley - Rebate application must be submitted within 90 days of purchase, and applies only to 2012 purchases.
  • Longmont - From 90 days of purchase.
Have you already submitted your application for a water rebate in Colorado? How long did your rebate take? Were there any complications? Share your experience below!

Voluntary Recall on GE Dishwasher Models

GE Appliances recently announced a voluntary recall on several dishwasher models due to an electrical failure that could pose as a fire hazard.

A few tips on what to do with your dishwasher during this recall:

Model and serial number tag should look like this. (Photo credit: GE Appliances)

  • Locate your model and serial number, which can be found on a label inside the dishwasher on the left tub wall.
  • Contact your manufacturer. While retail organizations like Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses are happy to answer questions about finding the best value on an appliance for your home, the best information on a recall would come from the manufacturer.

If you own one of these models, visit www.geappliances.com/recall or through the recall hotline at 866-918-8760. You could be eligible for free repair, a $75 GE rebate for the purchase of a new GE front-control plastic tub dishwasher or a $100 GE rebate for the purchase of a new GE front-control stainless tub dishwasher or GE Profile top control dishwasher.

Meet Our Olympian: Mehdi Addadi

For competitors and viewers alike, the summer games unites the world in the spirit of competition. For Mehdi Addadi, the games provided a chance to travel the world, achieve results through discipline and to use his training to embark on a fulfilling career.

Mehdi Addadi (center, in white) warming up before his 100m backstroke event in Sydney, Australia in 2000.

Mehdi (pronounced “MEH-heh-dee”), a staff accountant from the corporate office of Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses in Denver, represented his home country Algeria for the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia. Competitive swimming brought him to theU.S., where he made his mark through multiple athletic accomplishments, a degree through a swimming scholarship and a fulfilling career in financial services.

“I like to apply the discipline and hard work I’ve learned [through competitive swimming] to my career,” he said.

Mehdi’s journey to Sydney began at age 9, while swimming recreationally with his brother in the local pool in his native city Algiers, Algeria. A coach spotted the two and asked them to join the local swim team.

College swimming days, when Mehdi broke several school records and qualified to go to the games in Sydney in 2000.

Success at the local level had Mehdi thinking globally at a very young age. At the age of 19 in 1997, he received a scholarship to the Bolles School, a private academy in Jacksonville, Fla. known for its athletics. His family stayed behind in Algeria, but supported his move to the U.S so he could reach his goals.

“Coming to the U.S.at the age of 19 was hard for my mother, but at the same time [my parents] were very supportive and they knew I had it in my heart.”

At the Bolles School, Mehdi trained under Gregg Troy, the man responsible for producing dozens of international athletes including Ryan Lochte, the 27-year-old swimmer pitted this year against reigning champ Michael Phelps. While Mehdi reached his goal of becoming a faster swimmer, he didn’t break any records at Bolles.

Still, others noticed his potential. Recruiters from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County offered him a swimming scholarship and his career took off. In 1999, Mehdi qualified and won the 100m backstroke event in the All-Africa Games, a multi-sporting event for athletes from all over the African continent. It was there he qualified to go toSydneythe following year as one of just two swimmers to represent his home country.

Mehdi in the news shortly after his return from Sydney, Australia. "It was a great and amazing feeling to represent Algeria," he said.

“It was a great and amazing feeling to represent Algeria,” he said. “The most memorable part was to have athletes from all over the world in one place, competing with the best, to be there watching it and being part of that environment.”

Mehdi still holds the record at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for the 50-yard freestyle sprint, and has been inducted in the school’s Hall of Fame.

While he no longer swims, he remains a competitive athlete, having completed several triathlons including a Half Iron Man event. Most recently, he’s focused on running and ran the 2012 Bolder Boulder the 10k event in 42 minutes with little training. He has a goal next year of running the event in less than six minutes per mile.

 

Ask Mehdi

Which event are you most excited about in London?
I’m looking forward to seeing the competition and medals between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. Ryan’s been swimming as long as Michael Phelps, and Michael has been steadily improving since his first participation in the 2004 Games.  It is hard enough to maintain that level of performance, but to continually find ways to improve is very impressive!”

What’s your favorite thing to eat while training? 
I like Gatorade after a workout. Seafood is my favorite food, especially salmon.

What do you love most about Colorado?
The people are very pleasant and I like the outdoor activities.

Who do you admire most?
My parents. They have always been there along the way. They were very supportive from day one.

Waldo Canyon Fire Fundraiser

We were relieved to hear the Waldo Canyon Fire was finally 100 percent contained this week. Although our Colorado Springs store was in an evacuation area, we’re happy to report our employees and their families are safe.

The Waldo Canyon Fire was the most destructive in Colorado history. Some fast facts about the damage caused by the fire:

A photo taken by one of our employees from our Colorado Springs store on June 24. Our store evacuated shortly after this was taken.

  • The fire blazed from June 23 until declared fully contained on July 10.
  • 18,247 acres, containing 347 homes, were destroyed.
  • Most of those homes were valued at more than $110 million, according to an El Paso County assessor.

Our community is very important to us. Our Colorado Springs store will donate 5 percent of its profits from the week of July 15–July 21 to the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross. You can also make your own contribution here.

Top 10 Most Wanted Food Pantry Items

We’re in the middle of our annual Christmas in July Food Drive, which runs from now until July 28. Your donations benefit Denver hunger relief organization Metro CareRing, one of the largest food pantries in Denver.

The Christmas in July food collection box in our corporate office is already overflowing, thanks to our fantastic employees!

Here are the top 10 items requested by Metro CareRing’s patrons:
1. Hearty Soup (Meat or Vegetarian)
2. Canned Tuna
3. Canned Cooked Beans (pinto, black, refried)
4. Peanut Butter
5. Canned Mixed Vegetables
6. Canned Fruit
7. Canned Tomatoes
8. Whole grain pasta and mac & cheese
9. Pasta Sauce
10. Diapers

When you’re cleaning out your pantry this weekend, consider recycling your unwanted nonperishable food items by dropping them off at any of our 12 stores. If you decide to purchase something that day, give one of our sales team members a heads-up and you’ll get an extra $10 off your purchase on the spot.

Look for these food cans around your local Appliance Factory Outlet store.

It’s summer time, so many of your donations will go to kids who don’t receive a subsidized lunch from school (about half of Metro CareRing’s patrons are under 18). Most of these kids come from working families who earn an income but need a leg-up for self-sufficiency.

In addition to providing a food pantry to its community in downtown Denver, Metro CareRing also provides utility assistance, ID documentation and bus tokens to individuals for employment purposes, medical and social service appointments.

As a local business that strives to make quality home appliances more affordable, easy access to food in Colorado is a cause we at Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses care about deeply. If you or someone you know needs food assistance or other services, contact Metro CareRing at 303-860-7200 or visit them here.