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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.
coverThe topic of how to maintain cleanliness in a house with many children is SO important to me!!  I plan to have a lot of kids, and I plan to read a lot of helpful material before I get there!  I read the title of this book (Cleaning House, A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement) and instantaneously HAD to get my hands on it.  This book turned out to be every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would be, and I have nothing but the most positive things to say about it.
The book is written by the extremely accomplished Kay Wills Wyma, a mother of five children, who put together an experiment of sorts, where each month their family would focus on one topic of improvement.  They started with a month of clutter control–keeping beds made and bedrooms clean, then progressed to cooking meals, bathrooms, laundry, home repairs, and even hospitality and manners.  Here is the full 12-month list:
I immediately formed a bond with the author (and her cute kids!) as someone who became very real and very relatable.  I trusted her insight and believed her every word, convinced that following in her footsteps will reap the same results!  The 272 pages flew.
It was so completely empowering!  With every new chapter and every new project, I was inwardly saying, “Yes yes yes!  I want to do this too!”  While I don’t have children quite old enough to assign chores and send on errands, I can start now by instilling important cleanliness values and expectations, and I feel geared up and ready for it.
 I’ve been telling all my family and friends all about this book, and when its my turn to choose the book for my book club, I’m definitely choosing this one!  The ideas, insight, humor, real-mom experience, and spelled out blueprint of a plan to follow have made this my best reference for the next upcoming years of parenting.  I will be holding on to this tight!
I have only the highest praise for this book, so imagine my delight in discovering Kay’s BLOG!  (http://www.themoatblog.com/).  Even yesterday’s post was a gem!

Utensil Wipes {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Last January, my husband was selected to attend the Marine Security Guard training that will take place this December, and the completion of that course means that he’ll be stationed at an Embassy somewhere in the world in March 2014.  The best part of this billet?  We all get to go with him!

I’ve been beside myself with excitement since we found out about it, and this year-long wait has been so excruciatingly long.  The best way that I’ve found to pass the time on those nights when my mind keeps racing and I can’t sleep because of the excitement of going to another country?  By perusing the U.S. Department of State website showing all of the embassy locations, of course!

I’m not too concerned that we’ll be sent to a location that will be unsafe for our family or that won’t provide for our basic needs, but I have to admit that I’ve worried about the amenities and conveniences that we’ll be leaving behind, especially if we go to a third-world country.  I was excited to find these Utensil Wipes available now and the upcoming Pacifier Wipes that will be out next year!

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  • What are Utensil Wipes / Pacifier Wipes?  All natural wipes that should be used to clean surfaces that comes in contact with your mouth.
  • How are they different than other Wipes?  Many wipes on the market use alcohol, which have an unpleasant taste or stringent chemicals, and are not intended to come in contact with your mouth.
  • Are they safe?  Yes.  Obviously you should not intentionally ingest the liquid, the wipes, or the bags. But Pacifier and Utensil wipes are non-toxic, and when used properly help keep food contact items clean. The liquid is safe for human consumption after it dries on the surface. If you should ingest the liquid, drink milk and contact the hospital immediately.  The active ingredient in Utensil Wipes is 4% food grade lemongrass oil.

I’m sure that these will come in handy next year when we’re in any foreign country with three little boys ages 5 and under (!), but I can also think of a number of ways that these Utensil Wipes would be handy right now — outside or while camping, eating at fast-food restaurants, cleaning a favorite bowl/spoon/plate that hasn’t gone through the dishwasher yet, etc.

Head on over to the Utensil Wipes website, where you can learn more about their products, ask questions, and order these to try yourself!

**This review was sponsored by Utensil Wipes, but all opinions are strictly my own.

MicroDry Kitchen Mat {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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The Kitchen. It’s simultaneously the best and worst place in the house. Best because that’s where all the food is stored, prepared and eaten. Worst because after the food is prepared and eaten it all has to be cleaned up. Doing dishes is probably my least favorite “wifely duty,” and we have a dishwasher, so I know I really can’t complain. Also, my husband and I struck up a deal when we got married that whoever cooked the meal didn’t have to clean up, so I really really can’t complain because I do most of the cooking and therefore the least of the dishes. That said, I still hate doing dishes when I have to. Standing in front of the sink scrubbing pots and pans can feel like hours of monotonous, horrible work, especially if I don’t have anything comfy to stand on. I purchased a squishy kitchen mat from Costco a few years ago, and it helped, but nothing has been as comfy as the Textra Kitchen Mat from MicroDry.
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MicroDry makes products for the home, bath, kitchen, pets and even the beach! Their patented material is a high-density, machine-washable type of memory foam that quickly absorbs moisture, super helpful for things like hair-drying towels and bath mats. And all of their floor mats feature a slip-resistant floor-covering base so that oh-so-comfy mat doesn’t slide out from underneath you and land you on your bottom. You can view and purchase most of their collection on their website or shop their collection at any Bed Bath and Beyond near you.
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I received the New Textra Kitchen Mat in Coffee. I don’t drink coffee, but I think the color was a pretty good match to what coffee looks like. The fabric is soft and smooth to the touch, and according to the website, “the new ‘Textra’ micro-pebbled fabric can now withstand piling, significantly reducing the amount of dirt and small particles trapped on the mat.” I do feel that it still traps a lot of dirt, but a little shake outside or a quick vacuum every few days keeps it looking fresh enough. When I stand on it, it is very squishy, and when I move my feet to another spot, I can still see/feel the indent that my foot left in the previous spot, so I know the memory foam is working. In addition to being soft and comfy to stand on while doing dishes, it is stain-resistant, which is pretty much a must in a household with young kids. The  mat measures 22″ W x 32″ L and fits any standard kitchen sink area. See, look how good it looks in my kitchen!
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The Microdry Textra Kitchen Mat is available at  Bed Bath and Beyond for $29.99, but really, do you ever pay full price at that store? They almost always have a 20% off coupon floating around, so go get yourself one for around $25 and you could be smiling while doing the dishes tonight!
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Enter to win a Microdry Textra Kitchen Mat in any color Here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of July 1st and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Microdry, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Unique Natural Products {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I don’t know that I would consider myself to be the most “green” person who is out to save the planet.  I use disposable diapers because they’re easier, I recycle only because our garbage can is too small to hold an entire week’s worth of garbage, and I’m pretty quick to grab a paper plate to cut down on the number of dinner dishes.

But, I also love to get a great deal.  About a year ago, I came across some natural cleaning products in my couponing and thought that I’d give them a try since they would be less expensive than the products I was used to buying.  I know that people had mentioned something about “harsh chemicals” in cleaning products and how they were bothered by the smells, but I hadn’t really ever noticed it — probably because I hadn’t ever tried an alternative.

After using these natural cleaning products for a couple of months, I was hooked.  They really did work better than those that I had used before, and I loved the natural scents like chamomile and lemongrass.  When I run out of my favorite all-purpose cleaner, I actually pay full price to get a new one.  That is really saying something for me.

 

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When I was given the opportunity to review Unique Natural Products, I thought about the cleaning supplies I’ve used in the past and immediately jumped on it.  I was excited to try the cleaners from Unique Natural Products since they have some that are designed for more specific uses.

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We received the box in the mail, and (I kid you not) not even minutes after pulling out all of the bottles and setting them in our laundry closet did our little boy drop his cup of juice on the Berber carpet.  My husband went to get our little spot carpet cleaner while I figured it was a good time to pull out Unique Natural Product Carpet Shampoo and Stain Remover.

I don’t know if you’ve had experience with Berber carpet before, but it can be tricky to get anything out of the tightly sewn fibers.  We used the Carpet Shampoo and Stain Remover directly on the juice that was seeping into the carpet, then used the small carpet cleaner to pull everything out.  It was perfect!  We tried it on a couple of other stubborn stains near the entryway since we already had everything out, and we ended up with the same results — completely clean!

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We also were excited to try the Super Digest-It Safe Drain Opener this past week — our drains have been slowly draining lately, but we’re renting the house and were nervous to use anything that might cause problems.  We felt like a natural product would be a safe bet and decided to try it on one of the sinks.  We followed the directions on the back of the bottle to let the solution sit in the basin for about half an hour, then to drain it and not use the sink for at least six hours afterward.  The next morning, the sink drained much more quickly and we were pleased to try it on the other sinks and in the bathtub and shower.

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This one, though, was the clincher for me — the Unique Complete Stain and Odor Remover was by and far my favorite of the three products.  We’ve had our pack and play for almost five years now and have noticed a few stains on it the past few times that we’ve pulled it out to use.  I’ve sprayed it down and would always use sheets to cover the mat, but I knew that it needed a GOOD cleaning.

After perusing Pinterest for some ideas on cleaning the pack and play, I determined that we would use a cup of the Unique Complete Stain and Odor Remover in a bathtub-full of hot water and would then soak the pieces in it overnight.  I saw some pretty bad pictures online and was sure that ours wouldn’t be as bad as theirs…  Well, surprise!  It was.  The water was disgustingly dirty and the pack and play seemed clean!  We sat it out in the sun for a couple of hours to dry, then were pleased to find that it was as good as new, without stains or odors.

If you’re looking for a great natural cleaner, head on over to Unique Natural Products and take a look at their wide variety of products that can be used for specific types of cleaning.

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

**This post was sponsored by Unique Natural Products, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Grandway {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Mother’s Day is only 3 weeks away!  If you already have your mother’s gift taken care of, give yourself a high five and a round of applause for staying ahead of the game.  For the rest of us, its crunch time!  Tradition at my house says mom gets bakeware for Mother’s Day.  This year, I’ve been begging and begging for a real set of pots and pans because we’re still using odds and ends and abandoned pieces we’ve collected from old roommates.  No really, its pathetic what I’ve been using for saucepan lids these days.  So it was settled–“Charlie” gets a toolbox for Father’s Day, and I’m getting a dreamy set of cookware.  Mother’s day cannot come fast enough.  Now I’m thinking, since I have this fabulous set of pans coming my way, what would be the perfect addition to my ensemble?  Ooo, how about a darling apron!  And some cute hot pads!  While I’m at it, some flirty rubber gloves!  Courtesy of Grandway, check, check, and check!

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First, let me show you the darling cooking aprons from Grandway:

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My turn!  Do you love my hot apron?!  I’m wearing The Lindy apron – a solid red with leopard details, adorable buttons, adjustable button and loops in the back neck, and extra long ties so that I can tie a bow in the front.  This pocket in the front is huge, but SO useful.  I tried on this apron yesterday morning and have hardly taken it off–especially for our Sunday post-church-scramble to get the house put back together and dinner on the table.  Its just so cute and comfortable!

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I love every single stinkin adorable apron from Grandway!  Putting one of these on is like getting into a darling little dress when its time to bake!

Next, I’d love to showcase Grandway’s Gloveables!

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Since I started really getting down and dirty with the cleaning around here (little boys are SO messy!), I’ve taken rubber gloves more seriously.  I love being able to protect my hands from scalding hot dish water while also protecting my nailpolish from chipping away.  Plus I feel like a rockstar when I’m cleaning the toilet, and who can honestly say that? IMG_3581 copy

These are fantastic!  They easily cover enough of my arm that I don’t have to worry about rolling up my sleeves.  The rubber is thick and the glossy bow makes these almost too sexy for the kitchen.  I can definitely tell that these gloves were designed for women, since my hands fits perfectly (like a glove, haha), but the finger space is still roomy and comfortable.

Now to complete my ensemble, I need a cute oven mitt set to match my apron and gloves!  The buttoned cuff on the mitt is just too much.  I can’t get over the cuteness.

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I’m sure one of these sets would look lovely in your kitchen too!  Don’t these make you feel like baking?!

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Next up, do you ever find yourself hunting down bags to drop off your dry cleaning?  I’ll admit to once dropping mine off in a trash bag over a hanger.  Classy, Camille.  These dry cleaning bags are one of those unnecessary necessities, and oh so pretty!  Whoever is doing your dry cleaning is bound to think you’re a movie star when you drop off your stuff in one of these.

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Ok, to be honest, when I next opened this darling blue box, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was or how to use it, but after trying it out, I totally see the usefulness of it.  These are magnetic key finders.  They consist of some intense little magnets.  Now, I am a culprit of carrying around a “pit”, a giant bag where nothing is organized and I stand at the door searching and searching for my keys among a hundred other things.  With the charm visible outside of your bag, and a magnet on the inside, as you drop your keys in, they cling to the inner magnet and are always there when you need them.  Since the charm is magnetic, you won’t be damaging your nice bag, and you can move it from purse to purse.

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And as if this giveaway couldn’t get any better, let’s add a designer luggage tag to the loot!  These feel so Hollywood to me.  Super glamorous and distinguishable.  There is an insert card for your personal information, a metal plate on the bag, glitzy rhinestone studded (!) strap, and all in such a lovely gift box!  This would be a great gift for your girlfriends who love traveling.

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Ladies, show this post to your man and tell him in a not-so-subtle way that this is exactly what you want for Mother’s Day.  Or hurry and order a set for your mom while you’re waiting to see if you’re the winner because…

TWO lucky ducks are going to win everything you see here!  Yes indeed, your own apron, oven mitt set, pair of Gloveables, dry cleaning bag, magnetic key finder, and designer luggage tag!  Wow!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of May 2nd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Grandway, but all opinions are strictly my own

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My happiness is directly proportional to the cleanliness of my kitchen.  Cleaning the house is not always my favorite pastime, but I am always SO glad that I did it when I’m done!  And oh how a clean kitchen improves my mood!
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All of these rumors of warmer weather has put me in a “Spring Cleaning” frenzy, and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products are my new weapons of choice!  Mrs. Meyers cleaning products were inspired by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, an Iowa mother of nine.  I love that!  She wanted to create products that didn’t smell like ammonia and harsh chemicals, but rather fragrant and garden-like.  These cleaners are extremely affordable (most items run for $3.99?) and come in big quantities and look like they’ll last for many future spring cleanings.
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I was able to try out the counter top spray and dish soap in Geranium, and oh what a fantastic lingering scent!  OH the geranium is glorious.  My kitchen smells like a giant bouquet of flowers, and I notice it every time I walk into the room.  Even after a quick spritz on the counter tops, 20 min later on the 2nd floor, I could still smell those fragrant flowers!  I also got to try the all-purpose cleaner in Radish!  Radish?  I know, a little odd, but I really like it!  Its zippy and fresh and instead of a floral, its a nice almost-earthy and crispy vegetable garden scent, and I love it in the bathroom!
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These cleaning products are totally effective and have been able to tackle everything I’ve used them on.  The packaging might be my favorite part.  It is such a crisp, almost vintage look, and the clean solid colors and print typing look great on my counter.  Aka I wouldn’t mind leaving the soap dispenser or the bottle of dish soap on the counter all the time.
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Ok, you’re going to shriek when you see my shower, and then suddenly it will all make sense why I can find the time to do product reviews: the bathroom gets neglected.  I hacked away at it for a few minutes with some diluted RADISH all purpose cleaner and a sponge, and clearly, instant improvement.
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Mrs. Meyers has a product for practically any and every surface or household task.  Counter spray, dish soap, dishwasher packs, surface wipes, toilet bowl cleaner, soap bars, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, room fresheners, etc.  So really, you could get one of everything, and each in a different scent, and after a cleaning day, you’re entire house would smell like a giant bouquet!!

And one lucky winner is going to get to try out the new RADISH scent!

That’s right, a liquid dish soap cleaner! However, the winner is asked to pay shipping on this giveaway item, since Mrs. Meyers sent me your prize item as well.  But that means this is open to international entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open to WORLDWIDE entries, but the winner is asked to pay shipping (I will email you a paypal invoice after I ship to you from Boston)
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of March 24th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, but all opinions are strictly my own

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