Category Archives: Cleaning & Cleaners

These P&G Household Needs Products Have Been In My Life for Decades

This post was sponsored by P&G as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

If you ask what brands I remember having in my home as a child, they would be Charmin, Bounty, Tide, Bounce, and Cascade and my mom’s own ‘brand’ of kids clothing.  I grew up wearing clothes my mom made for me – she didn’t actually have her own line of clothing in stores. 🙂  She was, and still is, a very budget conscious woman but she never compromised on home care products like paper towels and toilet paper and now that I’m a mother, some 30+ years later, I wouldn’t dream of it either.


My sister and I played outside on our backyard swing set, the ‘old-fashioned’ metal kind – remember those? – and upon trying to enter the house, my mom presented us with a Bounty paper towel and require that we wipe off wet grass stuck to our legs, ankles and sneakers first.

As a child who grew up in Florida, one of my favorite pastimes was being a roly poly nurse.  That’s a real career as a 10-year-old, didn’t you know?   I wasn’t aware then that roly polies lived in other states as well and it was my assumption that they only existed in my backyard thus it was my responsibility to make sure they didn’t go extinct.  My job was to assess the health of roly polies on our back porch and for those that had something attached to them like a piece of hair or spider web, which would hinder their movement, I gently moved the multi legged bug to the roly poly hospital which was made of a few long lines of Charmin toilet paper for triage and paper towel lined shoe boxes for their after-stay.  I’m sure my mom loved my alternative use for toilet paper.   I gently set the cute little bugs, of which there were dozens at any given time, on the toilet paper then very carefully removed whatever was stuck to the bug so it could move about freely again.


Jump ahead 30+ years from my days as a roly poly nurse and you’ll find my home filled with P&G Household Needs products just like my childhood home was all those years ago.  I stock up on Charmin Ultra Soft, Bounty Advanced, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, Tide Pods, Swiffer Dusters, Febreze Air Effects, Cascade Complete Action Pacs, and more, at Costco once a month.


Bounty Advanced Paper Towels

My daughter’s birthday party was a couple weekends ago and I couldn’t have pulled it off nearly as neatly without my favorite Bounty Advanced paper towels.  Let’s just say the ice cream cake situation became a little messy and the dining room table and kids faces were in desperate need of a wipe down after enjoying the cake.  Bounty Advanced was by my side to rescue me from the mess that is stickiness.

Bounty Advanced paper towels are always a part of our craft time setup routine.  When I was a kid, we covered the table with newspaper before starting a craft.  My kids have grown up using paper towels because I realized they not only provide great coverage but quick access to a wiping cloth as well.

Bounty Advanced Paper Towel Craft

When Madelyn recently painted a piece of art for my dad, she relied on Bounty Advanced paper towels to keep the table and her arms and hands clean of paint.  She also used the paper towels to dab extra paint from the canvas and lightly smudge the paint for a textured effect as you see in the painting above.


During playdates, Madelyn and her friends like to get crafty.   Not the mess-free kind of craft like needlepoint or crocheting – duh!   They go all out and line the craft table with paint, bowls of water, glue, and glitter.  Then, just as any carefree child does, they paint pictures, shake glitter on the freshly painted works of art, after applying a glob or two of glue.   So, the recipe you ask?

  •        Bounty Advanced paper towels
  •        Tape

I line the craft table with paper towels, making sure to have enough to go over the edge of the table, then tape the paper towels down in a few spots along the edge.  That’s it.  What a difference this makes during clean up time.  The kids think it’s fun to bundle up the paper towels at the end of craft time and toss them in the garbage.   It’s the little details in P&G’s Bounty Advanced paper towels that make them different from other brands.   Bounty Advanced paper towels are stronger than any other brand of paper towels I’ve tried, ever.

When it comes to toilet paper I can’t imagine using any other toilet paper than Charmin Ultra Soft, the widest toilet paper available from Charmin.   My husband and son especially appreciate the how wide the paper is and I appreciate that the extra fluff which means we use 4 times less toilet paper on average.  The super-soft texture and fluff of the paper is just what’s needed when dealing with ‘that’ area.  My daughter comments about the yucky toilet paper in restaurants and other public restrooms.  What’s the solution to that?  Bring toilet paper in a zipper bag!  They are so used to Charmin’s ultra-soft feel; there’s no going back!

Cascade Complete Action Pacs are a staple in my house.  I can skip the pre-rinsing step before putting dishes in the dishwasher.  My kids *really* appreciate this as they don’t understand why a dish or pot would ever have to be rinsed before putting it in the dishwasher, so they don’t!   Now my kitchen smells clean and fresh every time the dishwasher is run and I know the dishes are going to come out clean and shiny every time!

Cascade Complete

I am at my Dad’s house in my home state of Florida where my P&G product attachments and loyalty began so many years ago.   As I write this post I am enjoying a delicious macaron served to me on none other than a Bounty Advanced paper towel.

We don’t realize how often we use everyday household products for reasons other than what they’re intended for.  Not things like Cascade which should only be used as directed, but paper towels and Swiffer Dusters are game for creativity in my house!  I left the Swiffer Dusters out last night and found Madelyn ‘dusting’ her LEGO city, AKA pretending the duster was attacking the city, this morning.  Below is a GIF I made from three of the photos I snapped while she was playing with the Swiffer.  She insists she was actually dusting her LEGOs at first.  Whatever it takes, right?

Swiffer Dusters


P&G has been a part of my life for at least 35 years, the years I can remember, and will continue to help my family, our dishes, and our clothes, stay clean for years to come.   Being able to stock up on my favorite P&G products in bulk at Costco is fabulous.  My mother and I go to Costco together sometimes and we walk out looking like P&G ambassadors preparing to film a P&G commercial.

When I’m home I probably use a P&G product every couple of hours and chances are, you do to! Besides the obvious, there are creative ways to use some P&G products including making cute flowers out of Bounty Advanced paper towels with food coloring and pipe cleaner.  Gently dampen a paper towel with colored water, lay the paper towel flat, pick the paper towel up by the center of it letting the four corners droop down toward the table, then twist a pipe cleaner around the portion that you picked up, making it the center of your flower.   Let dry.

I’ll end with this photo; one I took last week during a visit with my dad and stepmom in Florida.   The feet in the photo are mine, my daughter’s and my dad’s.  The blanket we’re laying on is one my sister and I used during our childhood in Florida.  This goes to show how we rely on and find comfort in the things we grew up around even if we didn’t appreciate them nearly as much as children, including toilet paper and paper towels.  🙂


Find these and other P&G Household products at Costco!

Ultimate HEX Set

HEX Performance Products Coming To A Target Near You May 16th!

This post brought to you by HEX Performance

Summer break is quickly approaching and with that fabulous time of year comes more outdoor play than usual and sports camps.  You know what comes with sports camps..STINK!  If your kids sports gear and clothes are anything like my son’s lacrosse gear and clothes after a game, you want to send your kid walking home rather giving him a cushy, air conditioned ride in your car.

What’s even worse is that despite tossing the clothes and washable sports gear in the washing machine as soon as you step foot in the house, the sweaty, dirty, smell lingers on them – no matter how many times they are cleaned!

Actually – that’s not true when you use HEX Performance detergent and washing products.

HEX scientists have created a new formula, HEX Performance, designed specifically for performance gear and apparel that truly cleans and removes unwanted odors and bacteria from performance gear and apparel.

HEX Performance - Sports Gear Detergent

Performance gear and apparel are often made out complex, high tech performance fabrics making the careful cleaning and care of the gear and clothes very important.   HEX Performance has engineered a system designed specifically to clean, protect, and maintain high performance apparel.  HEX Performance has also created the first and only system designed specifically for performance gear.

The power of HEX Tech not only cleans and eliminates odors typically associated with bacteria and mildew, but restores wickability, provides antistatic properties, and protects gear and apparel with a unique, bonded barrier providing odor-fighting technology. This makes HEX the only system that provides long lasting protection.

The Ultimate HEX Set comes complete with everything you need to fully deep clean and protect any and all gear and apparel.

  • HEX Ultra+ Dual Action Gear Wash
    The only system designed specifically to clean and protect today’s high performance gear.
  • HEX Power+ Laundry Detergent
    A radical breakthrough in cleaning with advanced detergent technology for all your performance apparel.
  • HEX On Demand+ Spray & Go
    On the go cleaning at your fingertips for anything you can’t throw in a washing machine.

What’s really great is that while HEX was developed to deep clean body oils, sweat, and dirt, HEX also contains key enzymes to tackle all of your laundry needs even that funky towel smell that develops over time and pet collars!

HEX Performance products are available in all Target stores in Colorado and Georgia!

If you’re in Colorado or Georgia, stop by Target Saturday May 16th from 11am to 4pm to check out the HEX display, get $1 off any HEX Performance product to try HEX, and get a FREE sample!

HEX Performance


We hope you enjoy an odor-free summer!  🙂



iRobot Roomba 880 review

iRobot Roomba 880 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Review

If anyone needs help with household cleaning, it’s a busy parent!  I know because we have two kids, a puppy and a guinea pig and there are lots of families with more than two kids and more than two pets which I can’t imagine!   You can imagine the mess any member of my family or pet can make in just 30 seconds!  Do I need a strong suction vacuum? You bet I do. Even better, a vacuum robot to clean is what I need.  There’s actually a robot that is a strong suction vacuum!  That is about the most exciting thing EVER for a busy parent like me.

I started using the iRobot Roomba 880 vacuum cleaning robot about a month ago when I was sent a unit to review and life hasn’t been the same since.  I’m not exaggerating.  For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know I only review and feature products and services that I actually use and would recommend.  I don’t waste my time writing about and taking photographs and videos of products just to make a few dollars.  That’s now how I work.  That said, I’m writing this post to tell you about the Roomba 880 today, because I LOVE it and I think every family should have one.

There are a lot of ways the iRobot Roomba 880 has made my life easier but the #1 reason is time.  I haven’t taken either of our upright vacuums out of the closet, except to use the stair tool, since having the Roomba 880 vacuum cleaning robot.  It’s that good.  And like you saw above, we have a puppy.   Every day I’m amazed at how much pet hair and food crumbs ‘Scooper’ sucks into its dust bin.

Roomba 880 vacuum cleaning robot pet hair

iRobot AeroForce 880 Cleaning System

The amazing iRobot Roomba 880 boasts of an Aeroforce Performance Cleaning System that delivers a great balance of spectacular vacuum suction and extraction of debris. It’s the best robotic vacuum for homes with pets and anyone who suffers from allergies. Why? Simply because it traps all that nasty dirt and allergens into a bin that has a HEPA-filter and is sealed.

Here’s how the Aeroforce Cleaning System works:

  • It uses Aeroforce Extractors that are tangle-free. These dual extractors really grab dirt, crumbs, pet hair and debris from floors of hardwood and carpet as it breaks down the dirt and debris. This is done without any tangles of the pet hair.
  • It has an Airflow Accelerator that concentrates the airflow by creating a sealed channel to draw in more debris.
  • It’s a high efficiency vacuum because it has an improvement of five times more air power than previous generators of Roomba.

Cleaning Effortlessly

A family with two children and two pets surely creates lots of dirt every day.  The dirt just got easier to clean it up with our new iRobot Roomba 880. Here are some reasons why:

  • It vacuums from room to room  – The Virtual Wall Lighthouse keeps the Roomba in one room until the entire room has been vacuumed and then it sends the Roomba to vacuum another room. Off-limit areas can also be blocked by the Virtual Wall Barriers.
  • It has a Home Base – The Roomba goes back to its Home Base in order to dock and recharge. This automatic docking is done when the battery power gets low or the dust bin is full.
  • It cleans on schedule – The iRobot Roomba 880 can be programmed to clean up to seven times a week. For instance, you can set it to clean at 8:45 a.m. after the children have left for school every day.

iRobot Roomba 880 review

iRobot XLife Battery
Twice as many cleaning cycles can be powered by the new iRobot xLife Battery than the previous Roomba models’ batteries. Therefore, the time is now doubled before replacement of the battery is necessary.

Compatible With Select Accessories Of Previous Roomba Models
Previous Roomba models’ remote controls, Virtual Wall Barriers and the Virtual Lighthouses are compatible with the iRobot Roomba 880.

Technology of iAdapt

The iRobot Roomba 880 iAdapt’s advanced, software and sensor system beats the competition’s cleaning hands down due to its responsive navigation technology.

This iAdapt technology does all of the following:

  • Sensors – Both acoustic and optical sensors provide concentrated cleaning by seeking out dirt and debris.
  • Vacuums like a person – Its continuous back and forth cleaning senses excessive dirt and applies more power to those areas.
  • Cleans wall edges – Its technology leads Roomba along wall edges.
  • Anti-Tangle technology – Anti-tangle technology prevents its getting stuck on fringes or tangled on cords.
  • Cliff-detection sensors – The Roomba has cliff-detection sensors to direct it away from stairs and, therefore, prevent it from falling down the stairs.
  • Soft padded cushions — Furniture and walls are protected from damage by its padded bumper cushions.
  • Light touch bumper technology – This technology detects soft barriers and allows it to clean under couch skirts, bed skirts and curtains.

Watch as a I briefly demonstrate the Roomba 880 and show the three things that make it spectacular, in the video below


Some of my favorite features of the Roomba 880

  • The Roomba is portable and easily taken up and down stairs.
  • The dust bin is easy to empty.
  • It runs relatively quietly.
  • It is easy for kids to operate.
  • It is rated highly on

Cost and accessories available for the Roomba 880

The iRobot Roomba 880 costs $699.99 and includes: 1 xLife Battery, 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses with batteries, 1 Remote Control with a battery, 1 extra HEPA filter, 1 Home Base, a 1 year limited warranty from manufacturer and a 6 year battery warranty.

Additional accessories as listed above can be purchased as accessories as well as replacement parts such as pack side brushes, and a tangle-free extractor set. Other accessories available for purchase are a Virtual Halo, Wireless Command Center, and a Compact Virtual Wall.

Would you spend $700 on a robotic vacuum cleaner?  There’s no doubt that the Roomba 880 has made my life easier.  Speaking as a busy mom and someone who has a hard time lifting heavy things and pushing and pulling a heavy vacuum.. and has a puppy who sheds, I think the Roomba 880 is well worth the cost!


Get Confidently Clean Floors With BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop Available at Best Buy

BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop at Best Buy
I spend hours vacuuming every week.  Between the kids tracking dirt in the house when they come inside from playing and dropping and stepping on snacks, it’s like a never ending cycle of vacuuming around here.  Luckily I have a 14 year old who knows how to vacuum but I still hate how much time out of the day is spent vacuuming.  Oh, and to top it off, now that we have a puppy, I spend more time cleaning floors than ever!
We have hardwood floors in our kitchen, foyer, and dining room.   These rooms happen to be where we hang out most and “we” includes the dog.   Given that, I was so thrilled to get to check out the BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop (available at Best Buy).   Not only did I save time by vacuuming and steaming our hard floors at the same time, but I felt good about not having to use harsh chemicals on the floors where the new puppy sleeps and plays.

The Powerful Cyclonic Action vacuum cleans away fine and large debris from tiny crumbs to some pet hair.  I wouldn’t advise on using it as your only vacuum if you have a pet though.  Not because it doesn’t suck the pet hair up well but because it is not meant to be a pet hair vacuum.  Something else I love about this vacuum is that I can steam the floor or I can steam and vacuum at the same time!  Talk about a time saver!  This is not a wimpy steamer either.  The BISSELL Symphony puts out great steam.




BISSELL Symphony Steam Mop and Vacuum

As you might know if you are a regular reader, I have issues with my neck and back.  Bending is not the most comfortable thing for me to do these days and using the BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop has done wonders for my neck and back since I don’t have to bend down to use the dustpan anymore.  I use this vacuum in the bathrooms also.  I LOVE knowing that the floors are getting sanitized with steam, using just water to eliminate 99.9% of germs and bacteria! I wear socks even in my own bathroom because I can’t stand the idea of what germs are in there but I feel better about not wearing socks for a couple of days after using the BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop.

The BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop takes about 30 seconds to heat up.   Once the indicator light is on you can begin steaming. I noticed that on my first use of the Bissell Symphony, there was a slight delay.  The water just needed to flow through the heater.  I learned that the delay typically only happens with the first use or when a new filter has been placed in it.

Power through tough spots with two Microban mop pads to choose from—one soft, one for scrubbing. Microfiber mop pads are infused with Microban antimicrobial protection to help fight odor-causing bacteria.  To sanitize your floor, including sealed wood floors, by killing germs such as E. coli and salmonella, hold the mop in place for 15-20 seconds.

BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop

Can it vacuum and steam at the same time?

Yes! It’s all thanks to an innovative design that utilizes a powerful cyclonic action vacuum to pick up small to large, dry debris off the floor before it comes into contact with our specially designed steam foot. Steam then cuts through grease and grime to clean sticky, stuck-on messes. It wasn’t easy, but that’s why it’s the only product on the market that can vacuum and steam at the same time.

BISSELL Symphony All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop at Best Buy

What’s in the box:

  • 1 Bissell Symphony™ All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop
  • 4 Microfiber mop pads (2 soft, 2 scrubby)
  • 1 Water Filter
  • 1 Water Cup

Where to buy and coupon!

You can purchase a Bissell Symphony™ All in One Vacuum and Steam Mop at Best Buy and be sure to take advantage of the Free Mop Pads with Purchase of Bissell Symphony offer!  When you buy a Bissell Symphony through May 3, 2014, you will receive a FREE pack of mop pads using online code BISSELLSYMPHONY.
This offer is valid online only.  

5 Pre-Holiday Cleaning Tips + A Review of Swiffer SteamBoost Steam Mop

This holiday cleaning tips post is brought to you by Swiffer® as part of a Type-A Parent Community Sponsored Post.

Are you anxiously cleaning your home to get ready for your holiday visitors?  I am.  It’s ridiculous really.   It never fails..each year, around the 2nd week of December, I get a cleaning bug and even though I know that within three days, the house will be a mess again, I go at it anyway.   That’s why I came up with a set of 5 pre-holiday cleaning tips that even I follow.

My Top 5 Tips On Cleaning For The Holidays:

  • Be realistic, give your self and your kids small cleaning projects throughout the course of a week before the holidays.  Don’t expect to cram all of your cleaning into one weekend. 
  • Turn on cheerful music that everyone will enjoy listening to while they’re cleaning.
  • Don’t try to vacuum, steam, sweep, or mop around small furniture, move it out of the way.  
  • Wear comfortable clothes while you’re cleaning.
  • Drink lots of water and even stop for a snack while you’re cleaning.  Eating and drinking will help keep your energy up and spirits high. Goodness knows you’re probably not thrilled about cleaning!

I received a Swiffer SteamBoost to review and while I am not required to write about things I receive to review, I write about things I love and this is one of them.   The Swiffer SteamBoost is lightweight, easy to use, and holds enough water to clean for a quite a while.   Also, it is very quiet and I LOVE the lavender scent of the pads.   After I used the SteamBoost as my house, I took it to my mom’s house to use on her tile floors.   The SteamBoost is easy to set up.  My 7-year-old set it up except for putting the pad on.   I wanted to put the pad on since there are chemicals in them.  The pad snaps into the little grooves and removes easily with a tug.  Once you put the pad on, simply plug the SteamBoost in and wait 30 seconds, then you’re ready to clean!

The electric Swiffer SteamBoost emits steam as an agent to activate the cleaning solution in the refill pads.  The SteamBoost is meant to be used on hard floor surfaces only.   Cleaning around furniture, corners, and toilets is easy because the handle swivels.

Swiffer SteamBoost steam mop

Swiffer Steamboost

Why Use a Steam Mop?

Steam moms are great for getting grimy dirt and sticky stuff off floors.   Our middle floor is almost all hardwood and it’s the first thing the kid walk on after school and when they’ve been in the front yard.  A steam mop makes getting that tracked in dirt on the floor, a breeze to lift.   Steam mops are also great for cleaning up sticky messes.

Swiffer Bissell SteamBoost Dimensions and Specs

  • Height: Approx 45 inches
  • Width: 10.25 inches
  • Depth: Approx 6 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Power cord: 20 feet

I would like to see an on/off button on future models and perhaps a small pad to set the SteamBoost on while it’s warming up, included in the starter kit.


This sponsored post was brought to you by Swiffer®. For a limited time, get a $15 prepaid card when you purchase a SteamBoost Steam Mop Starter Kit between 11/24/13 and 12/31/13. Swiffer BISSELL® SteamBoost™ combines a dirt-dissolving cleaning solution with the power of steam for a deep clean that gets messes mops can leave behind. Also be sure to like Swiffer on Facebook and follow @swiffer on Twitter.