New Products From Ecovacs Robotics {Giveaway}

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Thanks to Ecovacs for sponsoring this post.

I had the privilege of going to the International Home & Housewares Show on Monday and checking out the line of cleaning products from Ecovacs Robotics. Let me just say, if you don’t have a robot helping you clean then you need to get one because they are a lifesaver for busy parents! {And make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post for a chance to win one!}

Ecovacs debuted three new floor cleaning products at the Housewares show: the Deebot Ozmo 930, Deebot Ozmo 610, and Deebot 900. They also had their WINBOT on display which cleans windows which I thought was pretty awesome!

Here’s a video of some of the new products in action:

I wanted to share more about their new DEEBOT OZMO 930 that is coming out in April because it has so many great features and I believe it will be the most impressive robotic cleaner on the market when it comes out!

First, lets talk about the biggest feature…. the fact that the DEEBOT OZMO 930 both vacuums and mops the floor for you! No need to buy two separate products!

Also, the OZMO 930 is the first robotic vacuum that can change cleaning modes based on its current function. This is great for those who have multiple floor types in your home because, with the revolutionary Adaptive Floor Sensing, this DEEBOT can alter its cleaning pattern on the fly based on whether it is in vacuuming or mopping mode. When it’s on carpet the vacuum will increase suction power automatically for a deeper cleaning.

And let’s talk about the mopping feature! The DEEBOT OZMO 930 has the latest mopping technology. OZMO is a complete system with an electronically-controlled water pump, sensors that monitor water flow, and controls to stop the flow to ensure a consistent cleaning result. It also learns to avoid carpeted areas when mopping so you don’t have sopping wet carpets and rugs!

Another feature that makes this vacuum unique is it’s laser-based navigation that scans and maps cleaning areas so the DEEBOT learns and constantly adapts to your home, enabling efficient cleaning. Precision technology allows you to draw virtual boundaries or pinpoint specific areas to clean or avoid. This is a great feature for parents because you can tell it to avoid the kid’s bedroom (that most likely has tiny shopkins or legos strewn about!) and tell it to spot clean around the kitchen table area after dinner time.

Ecovacs also has an app that lets you effortlessly schedule cleaning times and set cleaning modes, monitor the cleaning status, and enjoy all the convenience of automated housework. My favorite part about the app is that it has a map of your home’s floorplan and lets you see what areas have been cleaned and which ones still need to be vacuumed or mopped.

And guess what? There are even MORE great features to learn about. You can visit the Ecovacs site to see all the other features that make this robotic cleaner a must-have item for busy parents. Before you head over there though, make sure to enter to win one of the not-yet released DEEBOT OZMO 930 Robotic Floor Cleaners! Good luck!!!

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Tips To Make Cleaning With Kids Easier

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Thanks to On-Cor for sponsoring this post and offering quality, multi-serve entrées that everyone loves.

Whether your family has set chores daily or has a cleaning day once a week, it’s important to get the whole family involved in keeping the house tidy. Sometimes I feel like getting kids to help with the housework may seem more like a chore than the actual cleaning task does. Because of this, I wanted to share some of our favorite ways to make cleaning with kids easier, including ending the day of cleaning with a special family night featuring one of our favorite On-Cor entrées.

Make it fun

Doing anything with kids is immediately easier when you find a way to make it fun. We love to turn on some music that everyone likes and dance arround as we clean (especially Lucas who always seems to be dancing whether there is music on or not!) The kids also like when we make cleaning into a game. Since my boys can make anything into a competition – as many siblings do- a lot of times just making cleaning up a race gets them excited. Whether they are racing to see who can pick up an area first or who can be the first to put away 10 toys- competitions and games make cleaning time a lot more fun!

Let them help make a cleaning list

One of my secret (or not-so secret now….) goals as a mom is to help my sons grow up to be men who help with the housework. Whether it’s helping with dinner (like heating up convenient, quality dinner solutions from On-Cor that are perfect for busy nights) or cleaning, I want them to be able to identify things that need to be done and do them which is why I love the idea of having kids help create a cleaning list. On a weekend morning when everyone is pitching in to clean, or right before having company, kids can walk around and make a list of what things they see that need to be done. I’m proud to say that Jacob is really great at identifying what things need to be picked up and cleaned and doesn’t need me to constantly tell him what to do next. Plus, I feel like having a list is a good way for kids to visually see what things still need to be done and cross the tasks off as they get completed (and who doesn’t love the satisfaction of crossing something off a to-do list!?)

Provide kid-friendly cleaning tools

If kids are going to help with the chores they need tools they can easily use. Wet wipes are aweome for every day cleaning. They also make child-sized cleaning tools that are fun for young children to use (like these ones pictured…aren’t they adorable?!) Rags with non-toxic cleaning products can be used by older children for more heavy duty cleaning.

Give children specific tasks to do

Sometimes kids can complete a larger task (like cleaning their room) on their own but often times, children need larger, overwhelming tasks broken down into smaller steps. I have one of each type of child and it’s something I try to keep in mind on cleaning day. For example, I can tell Jacob to clean his room and he completes the task while Lucas needs to be told what to do next (ie. pick up the superheroes, put your laundry in the hamper, etc.) A checklist with the steps to larger tasks broken down can be helpful and your child’s age and maturity can determine whether this is done with text or photos and how many steps that tasks need to be broken down into.

Have them work towards a reward

Nothing is more motivating than knowing there’s a reward at the end for a job well done. After a long afternoon of cleaning, reward kids with a special family night. We love to have dinner and then let the kids pick out a movie to watch or game to play. Spending time with family is the best thing and it’s even more fun when we can enjoy it in a room that’s spotless!

Since I don’t want to have to clean up the kitchen (again) after I’ve been cleaning all day, I like to make meals that are quick and easy and don’t make a lot of dirty dishes. We can have at least one night of no pots and pans in the sink, right?! That’s why I love On-Cor meals- they are just a freezer away for an always easy, always satisfying and always ready solution because life’s demanding enough. Dinner shouldn’t be! On-Cor does the prep work, so you can take care of other to-do’s and spend more time with your family!

From hearty entrées to microwave favorites, convenience has never tasted so delicious. No frills, no fancy. Just really, really good food. The boys love the Penne Pasta & Meatballs with Tomato Sauce entrée and I love that it makes pasta night easy. Plus, it now has 25 percent more meat so there’s more meatballs for everyone to fight over lol.

For your next family meal, head to the freezer aisle of Jewel-Osco or check out the store locator at www.on-cor.com to pick up one of On-Cor’s entrées. What tips do you have for making chore time with kids easier? Let me know in the comments below and make sure to enter to win a fun On-Cor prize pack!

Giveaway prize package includes: (1) Coupon Valid for One Free On-Cor Entrée (1) Organizational Glass Containers, (1) Scrub Brush, (1) Kids Cleaning Set, (1) Set of 4 Kitchen Towels, (1) Sink Caddy (ARV: $150)

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of On-Cor. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Realistic Cleaning Tips For Busy Parents

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Thanks to Unelko Corporation for sponsoring this post.

Out of all the things that I have to do as a mom, cleaning definitely tops the list of my least favorite tasks (with listening to my kids whine as a close second lol). Nevertheless, cleaning is something that must be done so today I’m sharing some of my top cleaning tips for busy parents. The best part? These are all realistic! I’m not giving you a list of 20 things you need to clean in a day or expecting you to make cleaning your house a full-time job. After all, we all have errands to run, kids to love on, and a few dozen shows we’d love to binge watch. Whether you are in the season of motherhood known as the toddler years, your kids are finally back in school after the flu ravaged your home, or you just can’t seem to keep your house tidy even on the best of days, read on for cleaning tips that will work for you!

The room-by-room cleaning method

We are going to start with one task that will work on even the messiest of homes- pick a room that is the easiest to clean up (or parents of littles may want to start with a room the kids don’t frequent often) and tackle that room at naptime, after the kids go to sleep, or (if you have older kids) on the weekend when they can help. (BTW- the entry of your home can totally count as a “room” here!) Personally, I have found this is the best way to clean because you can actually see the progress which creates momentum, unlike cleaning a little bit here and there throughout your home and then an hour later it looks exactly the same. This motivates me to not only keep it clean but makes it easier to tidy up.

When doing this room-by-room cleaning method I start by moving stuff that belongs elsewhere. I don’t put it away but instead just drop and run back to the room I was working on (because we all know that story about the mouse who wanted a cookie and ended up doing a million other things….) Those who have a large home may want to just gather up anything that doesn’t belong into a laundry basket so you aren’t running around and wasting time. I put away and tidy things up and then sweep or vacuum and clean surfaces. I don’t organize drawers. I don’t pull everything out of the closet and start an organizing project. I pick up and tidy what can be seen and save the projects for another time. After all, I just want my house to be presentable should someone stop by. Once I’ve gone through the above and done this for all rooms, I mop the floors. This may take a few days but then you can start my next steps with a semi-clean home.

Create a cleaning plan that works for your schedule

I found a daily/weekly/monthly schedule works best for me and suggest that you create a cleaning plan that works for your schedule. I have a short daily list that consists of two 15 minute pickup times (one in the morning after my kids have gone to school but before I start my work day and one in the evening) and some basic bare-minimum cleaning. I have a weekly list that are things I don’t need to do daily but at least want to do once during the week, along with larger deep cleaning tasks and organizing projects I have on a monthly list. Some days I’ll get one or two weekly or monthly tasks done, other days I just get the daily basic tasks completed and then there are the days when I’m trying to meet work deadlines or am too busy to even enjoy my coffee and nothing gets done. It happens to us all and honestly, if your kids are fed and happy, just call the day a win and realize that tomorrow is a new day to try again!

Use Invisible Shield® cleaning products because they work well and minimize future cleaning time

If you are spending time cleaning you want to use products that work well and make cleaning easy. I love the line of Invisible Shield® products that shield and protects glass and other surfaces because not only do they work, but they minimize cleaning time in the future by protecting against re-soiling and stains without all the harsh chemicals. When you go back to clean the second time, you’ll notice far less soiling, dust and spotting and how effortless it is to go over the surface. The Invisible Shield® Marble & Granite Cleaner and Protector even leaves a lustrous shine that will last longer than any other Marble or Granite cleaner! Their products also prevent corrosion around water areas such as faucets, sinks, shower doors, wall tile, and tubs, extending the life of hard surfaces & fixtures. Anything that protects our home investement and lets us spend less time cleaning the shower and more time cuddling on the couch with the kids is a must-have if you ask me!

While all the products are amazing, my favorites in the line are the Invisible Shield® Water Spot & Stain Remover and the Invisible Shield® Protective Glass & Surface Coating that let me tackle one of the most difficult and time consuming areas to clean- the bathroom- with ease. They specifically help with the shower, removing stains and protecting the build up from coming back. Just look at the difference below and it only took minutes to clean! Plus, the protective glass & surface coating saves valuable time because it reduces the need to squeegee and keeps glass cleaner longer.

I love the brighter appearance that cleaning with these products give all my surfaces because shiny glass, counters, and more make my house look cleaner, even when there are toys strewn about the floor as my kids play!

Keep a list of quick tasks you can do when you have a few minutes

When you are a busy parent you need to utilize every second of the day to the best of your ability. So often I’d find myself checking my phone or just standing around as I waited on hold or for the water to boil or any of the other times I’d find myself with a few minutes. I suggest making a list of quick tasks you can do in 3-5 minutes of time so when you find yourself with a few extra minutes you can complete something on the list. Things like cleaning a mirror, wiping down the baseboards in a room, or throwing a load of laundry in the washer can all be done in minutes. Five minutes may not seem like a lot of time to get something done but if you had just 10 minutes a day to do a quick task or two, you’d have about 60 hours of “extra” cleaning time each year!

Ask for help

As much as we think we can do it all, we can’t. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner or kids for help with cleaning. I know it often seems like there is so much to do around the house and we get frustrated when they can pass up that stuff on the step waiting to go upstairs or the overflowing trash can, but sometimes our family members just need us to be clear about what we need from them. They aren’t mind readers after all! Start by giving them specific tasks or asking them to do something on a daily or weekly basis to take some of the cleaning responsibilities off your to-do list.

You can purchase the Invisible Shield products on Amazon and they even have bundles like the Household Spray Cleaner Combo (which includes the Invisible Shield Glass & Surface Cleaner & Stainless Shine and Marble and Granite) and the Glass Essentials Combo (which includes the Invisible Shield Glass & Surface cleaner, Water Spot & Stain Remover, and Protective Glass & Surface Coating).

Do you have any cleaning tips to share? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below but before you go, enter the giveaway to win some of these amazing products yourself!

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A Cute Way To Declutter Your Kitchen Counters

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CleanMyWay #TeamSponge #CollectiveBias

We are still in spring cleaning mode here so I’ve been organizing and cleaning everything. My focus this past weekend was on our kitchen. Since it’s the most used room in our home it’s the hardest to keep clean. Every time I think all the dishes are done I discover another one in the sink!

While spending all that time in my kitchen I dreamed of one day being able to update it. I’d change up the color palette to reflect my style, update the appliances and add more counter and cabinet space. I’ve been entering contests (like this Scotch-Brite™ Scrubstakes one where someone will win a $20,000 kitchen makeover for sharing if they are team sponge or team dish cloth-I’m team sponge btw!), in hopes that I can update my kitchen sooner rather than later. There are so many things I’d want to change but in the meantime I have to make do with the kitchen space I have.

Yesterday one of the things I worked on was cleaning and organizing my countertops. A lot of things tend to get left on the counters, from cups to mail to items bought at the store that never found their way in to the pantry. Since we have such a small home, our counters get crowded very quickly. To declutter the sink area and make it look nicer I used a metal cake stand to hold things that needed to stay out. Now, instead of things just sitting on the counter, they had a home and were part of the decor.

The first things I did was put dish soap in a pretty container instead of setting it out in the bottle it came in. I used a mason jar with a pump on the top and added some decorative ribbon to it.

Along with the dish soap I put out some sponges in a sponge holder that would keep them upright and allow them to dry. Sponges have always been my kitchen cleaning tool of choice. I used them as a child when I did my chores and I still prefer them now as an adult because they make cleaning up messes so much easier. I really love the ones that have scrubbing sides so that I don’t need to use as much effort to wash the dishes or scrub the stove top.

Since we go through a lot of sponges I like to buy the multi-packs so we don’t run out. We bought our Scotch-Brite sponges at Food 4 Less in the cleaning aisle. Make sure to grab the coupon below from coupons.com before you head to the store! You can save $1 on any two packs.

There are a variety of sponges and I recently learned that each has different uses and is designed for specific surfaces. I used to use the same sponge for everything not realizing that I was ruining my non-stick pans and porcelain sink with materials that weren’t meant for those surfaces.

Now we mainly use two different types of sponges- Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges and Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges.

Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges (the green ones) are great for the kitchen, garage and outdoors. They can be used on pots, pans, oven racks, grill racks, tools, tires and sinks. They also clean tough, baked-on messes 50% faster than other competitive sponges.


Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges (the blue ones) can be used on Non-Stick cookware, counter tops, cook tops, tubs, shower tile, windows, and dishes. They can safely clean non-stick cookware without scratching surfaces.

I’d love to hear how you keep your kitchen clean and organized. Share your tips in the comments below.

Find more kitchen tips and inspiration here.

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DIY Decorative Jewelry Tray

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StreakFreeShine #CollectiveBias

Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons. From budding flowers to pretty lace dresses to sparkling pastel colored jewels, beauty is all around us. As the weather starts to warm up and the sun starts shining a bit more, I love being able to admire the new growth of flowers and watch the birds sitting outside my window.

That very first sunny spring day though, when I open up my curtains, I am reminded of the one chore that gets a little neglected during the colder months- cleaning my windows. It’s amazing how dirty they get over the few months we are stuck inside while the sky is gray and the trees are barren. I grab my Windex® Original Glass Cleaner from under my kitchen sink and, as soon as I spray it on my windows, I start to see the dirt fading away. A couple swipes of a paper towel later and my windows are shiny clean and I can see the beautiful spring day through them.

I also like to bring the beauty of spring indoors and I do that by decorating my home with seasonal decor and fresh flowers. To bring a touch of spring into my bedroom I made a decorative jewelry tray to hold some of my favorite pieces. It was easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of materials so I wanted to share the tutorial so you could make your own.

Materials needed:

  • Round tray
  • Glass or mirror a little smaller than your tray
  • Glue or adhesive
  • Beaded necklaces made for craft projects

 Directions:

Put glue/adhesive in the middle of the tray, spreading it out the width of your mirror.

Place the glass or mirror piece in the middle of the tray and gently press it down to adhere it to the tray.

To see how long your string of beads will need to be you can put it along the bottom edge of your tray. You’ll want it long enough to go all around the bottom of your tray but not overlap. I had to tie two beaded necklaces together and then take some beads off the one end because, as you can see in the picture, it was too long.

Use your adhesive/glue to glue your beads onto the tray along the inner bottom edge of the tray. If you still have space between your beads and your mirror/glass, you can glue on a second string of beads.

This tray will get a lot of fingerprint smudges on it but it’s easy to clean with Windex® Original Glass Cleaner.

Windex® Original Glass Cleaner is my favorite product to use on glass because I know that it will always leave my glass surfaces with a streak-free shine. Thanks to its formulation with Ammonia-D®, it starts working on fingerprints, dirt, and other messes even before you wipe. Whether you need to clean the smudges on your bathroom mirror, your windows, or the glass of your jewelry tray, you can trust America’s #1 glass cleaner to get the job done!

I found Windex® Original Glass Cleaner and Windex® Vinegar Multi-Surface Cleaner in the cleaning aisle of my local Food4Less store.

Now you can see the beauty of spring outside (thanks to your clean windows) and inside, sitting on your jewelry tray.

What is your favorite thing about the spring season? Get more spring cleaning ideas here.

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How To Get Your Bathroom Ready For Holiday Guests

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetUnderTheRim #CollectiveBias 

The holidays are coming and, for many, that means entertaining friends and family. We started a new tradition last year of having family over on Christmas Eve so, being the Type A person that I am, I’ve already started planning for it. I generally have always decorated my home for Christmas before the holiday chaos begins anyways, but I’ve also started planning the menu we will have and deep cleaning our home. I also like to get ready for any overnight guests I may have, like my younger siblings who need a place to stay when they come to town.

One room on the list to tackle is the guest bathroom. Since we live in a small home, we only have two bathrooms and our “guest” bathroom is also the bathroom that everyone in our home uses. Living with three males I’m sure you can imagine the mess I have to deal with in there. Generally Sinisa cleans the bathroom but when we are going to have guests over I like to clean it so I know everything is completely clean.

When getting the bathroom ready for guests I have a three step process. The first thing I have to do is clear the clutter. Even though the bathroom has plenty of storage, there always seem to be things left on the counter that don’t belong there.

Once the bathroom is picked up it’s time for some deep cleaning. I take down the shower curtain and put that, along with the bath rugs, in the washer. I then clean the sink and counter and shine the faucet. I scrub the tub, wipe down the walls and mirror and then move on to my least favorite part of cleaning the bathroom- the toilet.

After I clean the outside of the toilet I have to tackle the inside of it. Thankfully I’ve discovered the perfect tool for the job. The new Scotch-Brite® Disposable Toilet Scrubber is uniquely designed to reach messes under the rim that competing products miss. It also has a built-in bleach alternative cleaner with pumice that scrubs away rust & hard water stains. When I’m done cleaning the toilet I simply press the button on the handle to dispose of the scrubber and then set the handle into the holder until the next time I need it.

Once my toilet bowl is sparkly clean, I sweep and mop the floor, take out the trash, wipe down the trash can, hang the shower curtain up, put the rugs back on the floor, fill the soap dispenser and stock the toilet paper. I also make sure I have clean towels ready for our guests.

It’s then time for the fun part- decorating! Our guest bathroom has red walls so the room is already festive to begin with. I chose to add some cream, green and gold accents to the room.

I wanted to do something special for overnight guests and set out some toiletries for them in case they’d forgotten anything they needed. I had a glass hurricane to use for this project but you can use a large jar or any glass canister you have. The only other thing you’ll need to make the container is letter stickers. I used some gold ones since they would coordinate with my holiday decor but also look nice in the bathroom throughout the year.

I used the letter stickers to spell out “be our guest” on the glass. (To make sure the letters were being put on the glass in a straight line, I used a piece of paper edge to make myself a line to follow.) I then filled the glass hurricane with travel sized toiletries I had collected while traveling including shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap. I travel often so I have tons of hotel toiletries but you could also buy travel sized toiletries at Target to fill your container.

Speaking of Target, that’s where I bought the Scotch-Brite Disposable Toilet Scrubber and Scotch-Brite® Disposable Toilet Scrubber Refills (along with a number of holiday decorations and some cute holiday pjs!). I found them in the cleaning aisle with the toilet brushes, in between the trash cans and the sponges. Right now there are some great deals on these products at Target. Look for a “Try Me Now!” Instant Redeemable Coupon on each product to save $2. There is also a Cartwheel offer to save 15% off these new products (11/6-11/12).

Now I’m ready for the holidays and for my guests! Want to see how other bloggers are getting ready for the holidays? Check out their posts here. How do you prepare your home for holiday visitors?

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How We Split The Household Responsibilities In Our Home {Swiffer Giveaway}

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(Disclosure: This conversation is sponsored by Swiffer but all thoughts are my own.)

I love watching “reality” shows about families. One thing I find really interesting is how they split their household responsibilities. Some families have the children do most of the chores (which is how I grew up), some have only mom or dad responsible for them, and some split the responsibilities.

I believe that every family has to do what works best for them but in our home we split the responsibilities. As a working mom there is no way that I’d be able to handle all of the household chores myself. My least favorite chores are cleaning the bathroom and doing the dishes so Sinisa handles that. Other things Sinisa handles are the trash, the yard work, and most of the cooking. Sinisa hates putting away the laundry so that is something I try to do {though the boys’ clothes get put away more regularly than our clothes do}. I do most of the picking up around the house, general cleaning and organizational tasks.

When it comes to our children we split responsibilities there, too. I watch the boys while he is working and he watches them on his days off. He is the bath giver and meal maker. I pick out their clothes, make sure they have what they need when they need it, and drive them around to their sports and activities.

As our boys grow older I definitely plan on having them do more chores but for now (at ages 4 and 5) their chores consist of helping pick up their toys and living areas.

I love the above video of Lee and Morty, the stars of Swiffer’s new commercials. They are such an adorable couple and I love how Lee uses the products to show Morty how easy it is to clean and he jokes it’s like he’s dancing. Sinisa likes how easy it is to use the Swiffer Wet Jet, too!

Want to win some products that will make cleaning easier for you and your family? Enter to win a Swiffer prize pack below!

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader will win a #SwifferEffects kit ($20 value)

HOW TO ENTER:

 {Do any or all of the following. Leave a separate comment for each you do.}

1) Tell me which chore is your least favorite to do

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow Swiffer on Twitter

4) Follow me on Twitter

5) Comment on another post

Giveaway ends August 21, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be a US resident 18 and older to enter.

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Spring Cleaning Challenge {With Big Prizes!}

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Need some motivation to get Spring cleaning done? I know I do and I have found the perfect challenge with awesome prizes to motivate me to get our home back in order after being cooped up inside for months.

The areas that need the most attention in my house are the master bedroom {aka the catch all room}, the master bath {overflowing with beauty supplies, lotions, and a plethora of other toiletries}, and our kitchen cabinets/drawers. If I have extra time I also hope to tackle the boys closet, the laundry room, and the black hole under our couches where all the little toys disappear. At the end I hope to get rid of a bunch of items by selling things online and donating them to Goodwill.

Want to join me in the Spring Cleaning Challenge? Head on over to ‘I Dream Of Clean’ and find out how you can participate and have a chance at winning 2 washer and dryer sets from GE Appliances, a Shark steam mop, and a closet organizer from the Stow Company!

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but I am writing it in hopes of having a better chance of winning one of the great prizes mentioned above- like the Shark Steam Mop which I desperately need around here!)

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Friday Fails- My Den

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Through Twitter I came upon Myra and her wonderful blog called My Blessed Life. She has started a weekly meme called “Friday Fails” and I love that moms are linking up their “fails” or imperfections. It’s so refreshing to see moms who are willing to admit that they aren’t perfect and it makes me feel great knowing that I am not the only person who struggles to balance everything. This week Myra gave us a glimpse of her house after a week of being sick. That post gave me the courage to share my disaster zone a.k.a. my den.

What a mess! The room was clean around Christmas but after that it was just a downward spiral. I unpacked boxes and brought contents from the garage into the room and stacked things where I could. I also have the bags piled from when the boys went to stay at their grandma’s that haven’t been unpacked. My goal is to clean and organize this room by the end of this week so hopefully next Friday I can have a different “fail” for the week :)

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I am not a homemaker…

I am not a homemaker. I have been fine with this, even joking about it, until recently. After reading other “stay-at-home mom” blogs in the past weeks I’ve begun to feel guilty and I’ve realized that I really could be doing more than I do. Before a couple weeks ago I rarely cleaned and I almost never cooked. One of my goals for 2009 that I shared with my mom’s group was to “cook once a week”. It’s not that we eat out all the time (though we probably do that more often than we should), it’s that I eat a tv dinner or something else easy to make or Sinisa cooks when he comes home from work. I really am going to try to make an effort to cook more this year. This is my next step in becoming more “domesticated” (is that even a word?)

Right now though, my focus is on keeping my house “company ready”. Before I could never just invite people over when I felt like it because I always had to “prepare” my home for visitors. For the first time this past weekend I was on the phone with someone and said “why don’t you come on over?”. Let me tell you how great it felt to be able to say that. Granted it was only family (my sister in law) but before I had never felt comfortable enough to say that and the thought of someone coming over unannounced gave me anxiety. Even though my house has stayed clean, I am not following my “daily” and “weekly” lists that I made for myself so that is one area I would like to improve on.

I’m off to get some things accomplished now. My to-do list for tonight includes:

-Putting laundry away that’s in the dryer

-Update “goals”

-Going through my email inbox and deleting some old emails (my inbox has over 3500 emails in it!) My goal is to delete 500 tonight…

-Write up a monthly budget (or at least start it)

-Post some pictures of Jacob on facebook

Of course I also am going to watch tv, including the Bachelor. Should be interesting tonight because it’s the “women tell all” episode…

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February 17, 2009

I was thinking a lot today about how I always get my house clean and then, not even a week later, am looking at a messy home again. I tend to “clean” only once a week or every other week when Jacob goes to his grandma’s. The reason I do this is because I like to interact with Jacob as much as possible while he is home and then at night when he is sleeping I just want to relax because I’m exhausted. This clearly isn’t working for me so I’ve decided to try something new. I’m going to make a “daily” list, “weekly” list, and “monthly” list of things that need to get done around the house for myself to follow. I will also start each week with a to-do list and then each morning pick 3-5 things off that list to complete each day. I will try this for a month and see if this works better than the method I am currently using. First, I need to make the lists. This is what I have so far for the “daily”, “weekly”, and “monthly” lists…

Daily- Sweep/swiffer kitchen floor, one load of dishes (start to finish), pick up kitchen nightly, one load of laundry (wash/dry/AND put away), Bible reading/devotions, clean up toy room

Weekly- Dust, vac., menu plan/grocery store, clean bathrooms, clean up Jacob’s room, update blog/goal list, check voicemail, pay bills, change bed linens, clean up desk area, upload pictures on computer

Monthly- Budget, one project from goal list

Those are the things I can think of right now. I know there are more things that need to get done on a regular basis but I feel pretty good knowing that I started the lists. As soon as I get some color ink for the printer (it needs color ink even to print only black and white) I will make a check list in wordpad and then print it out so I can physically cross each item off the list. I do better having things written down because there is more of a chance I will complete them.

As for the daily goals I will give myself each morning I gave myself a few tonight. I am going to do my homework for small group tomorrow morning, post pictures on facebook, and research who can qualify as head of household so that I can file my taxes. I am also going to watch some tv, including American Idol :)

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September 3, 2008

It’s been almost a week since I’ve updated. With fall tv season starting, becoming more involved in my social groups, and cleaning and organizing my house I’ve been really busy. I cleaned out Jacob’s closet and have a huge gathering of items by my door that I either need to sell or give away. I also rearranged things around my house to better use the space. I think once my house gets organized I will be able to spend more time on things that I’d like to do like blogging, scrapbooking, and reading. And working out, too. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the gym.

Today was a great day. Sinisa had a day off so I got a chance to spend some time with him and also work on things that I normally wouldn’t be able to do while watching Jacob. He also had some time to build a bookshelf for all my parenting books so I could keep them all in one place. I’m looking forward to just relaxing for a couple of hours with him before going to bed at a decently early hour (yes, 11/11:30 is early for me).

Tomorrow is my first MOPS meeting. I’m excited to see what it’s all about. In the afternoon I have a dentist appointment. I’m hoping I can just get a normal cleaning which is $50 and don’t need a deep cleaning which is over $600. My insurance doesn’t pay for either of them so I’d rather pay as little as possible out of pocket. I hate going to the dentist…

Today’s Challenge: When was the last time you saw the dentist? If it’s been a while, schedule yourself an appointment.

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August 26, 2008

I decided today that I have entirely too much junk. I am a “pack-rat” and always keep things because I might need them some day. Jacob’s closet has been being used as a storage closet for various toys and items that I want to keep but don’t know what to do with. I finally took most of the items out today and created a big pile by my desk of items to give away or sell. Jacob will finally have a closet for all his clothes and I won’t have to have stacks of bins in his room which is nice because it kind of looked tacky. Plus I figured that I should pull the large toys out because he will be playing with them soon enough and I want to clean them before he does. Poor Sinisa, when he comes home he is going to have to navigate his way around our apartment. I seriously have considered getting a storage space or renting a garage to have a place for all my stuff. Next Friday I am babysitting two children here at my apartment so I have until then to clean everything up and organize it. Giving myself a deadline will hopefully ensure that it gets done but may just mean I find a hiding spot for it.

Today’s challenge: Join your local Freecycle if you haven’t already.

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