Category Archives: Home & Garden

Charmin Strong toilet paper

We Put Charmin® Essentials Strong To The Test And…

This post was sponsored by Charmin as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central

We are a family of four which is nothing compared to a family of five or more when it comes to spending.   From what I understand, once you have more than two kids, they entertain each other – which is great, but obviously it costs quite a bit more.  Saving money is something on almost everyone’s mind and a few years ago I went on a ‘let’s buy generic’ kick for a few months to try to save money.  By the end of a few months, you’d have thought we were a family of eight based on what I was spending on the quantity of generic items vs. name brand.  Generic brands are often not as high quality and don’t hold up as well as name brands resulting in the usage of a higher quantity of the product meaning you have to buy it more often.   We found that generic brand toilet paper was either not strong enough or not soft enough.  Raise your hand if you like rough, tissue-paper like toilet paper.  Not one of you raised your hand but I’ll bet you’d raise your hand to getting a free roll of Charmin Essentials Strong!  See below for details.

Charmin Strong toilet paper

I chose Charmin Essentials Strong as our first package to try.  It quickly got comfortable in our bathroom, as you can see, doing what the boys do; enjoy a good read on the loo.   But look how strong it is!  It can hold a magazine with no hands!

Charmin Essentials Strong review

I was thrilled to learn Charmin® Essentials Strong provides a big Charmin roll at Scott® 1000-like price*.  That makes my wallet happy. To think toilet paper can make someone happy is sort of strange but thing about how unhappy you are when you visit a public restroom and have to use tissue-paper like toilet paper.  That’s why I bring a ziplock bag of Charmin Essentials toilet paper with me on road trips.  Really.

The boys in my house often felt the need to use a pound and a half of toilet paper every time they.. well, you know.. and now because they’re using Charmin Essentials Strong they aren’t getting nagged by me about using too much toilet paper.  It doesn’t take many sheets of this toilet paper to do the job.   Less ripping during wiping!  Just look at how strong Charmin Essentials Strong is!  It easily held my iPad mini and my husband’s iPhone and this wasn’t a quick photo capture.  My husband spent a while getting just the right angle.  He’s awesome like that.

Charmin Essentials Strong holds iPad

Our pipes appreciate that Charmin Essentials is clog-safe so if the boys still decide they must use tons of toilet paper, I can rest easy knowing that Charmin Essentials Strong will break down once in the toilet and pipes.

The bottom line is – did you get that? – Charmin Essentials Strong is awesome not only because it’s super strong and soft, but also because it is giving consumers more of what we want in toilet paper at a comparable price to the product we may currently use.

Take the #CharminEssentials TP Swap Challenge!

Charmin invites you to upgrade your Angel Soft® for Charmin Essentials Soft and Scott® 1000 for Charmin Essentials Strong.  To participate, simply Tweet your TP swap out request to @Charmin using the hashtag #CharminEssentials and #Promotion, and Charmin will send you a free roll!  See terms and conditions here.



Scott® 1000 is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.

*based on MSRP

Allergies Anyone? Purify Your Air With Fellowes AP-300PH Air Purifier (Review + Video)

My husband, myself, and my two kids all have allergy issues and three of us have asthma.

My husband and I have accepted the fact that we need to take allergy medicine on a daily basis but the kids, 12 and 6, are a bit more hesitant to accept that fact. They are often worse off than we are, so it’s hard to watch their eyes turn bright red, hear them sniffling, coughing, wheezing, and feeling lethargic because their allergies are getting the best of them. Despite their hesitancy, they are in a regular routine of taking allergy medicine at bedtime but if they miss a day or two, BAM!, the symptoms come right back with a fierceness that only an allergy can.

Our two lovely guinea pigs have caused an allergy attack or two.. or three. You get it. We have put off having a family pet for years because we didn’t want to exasperate any of our allergy issues. With the kids being 12 and 6 years old, and begging for a pet almost every day for the better part of four years, I compromised and let them get guinea pigs. I am well aware that some people have allergic reactions to guinea pigs just as they would with cats or dogs. But I also learned that the chances are smaller. Ironically enough, it’s actually the hay that they eat that causes allergy attacks more than holding them.

Fellowes AP-300PH Air Purifier
Fellowes AP-300PH Air Purifier

Because of the natural air pollutant factors and the pets in our home, it is very important for us to have a good air purifier. The two main rooms we congregate in are about 20×12 feet making them over 250 square feet each. There are not many affordable air purifiers that cover than kind of square footage.

That’s why I was thrilled when I received a AP-300PH Air Purifier from Fellowes to try out.

In the process of reviewing the air purifier, I learned that an air purifier is the best way to reduce the risk of illness and allergies by fighting invisible indoor air pollutants. Studies show that indoor air pollutants are responsible for half of all illnesses. Filtering and purifying the air in your home and office environment can provide a healthy solution to invisible problems.

Back to the air purifier..

Besides covering an area of 300 square feet, this air purifier includes an air purity sensor that monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep the air cleaner! How fabulous is that?

Carbon filter removes odors and captures large airborne particulates

The AP-300PH Air Purifier goes through 4 steps to purify our air:

Step 1 The carbon filter removes odors and captures large airborne particulates.

Step 2 The Sanitized Stage >; Effectively reduces the development of bacteria, fungi and dust mites on carbon filter.

Step 3The True HEPA Filter captures 99.97% of particles and impurities as small as 0.3 microns, including mold spores, pollen, dust mites, allergens, bacteria, cigarette smoke, pet dander and odors.

Step 4 In the final stage of purification, Fellowes®PlasmaTRUE Technology safely removes airborne pollutants at the molecular level instantly neutralizing viruses and germs in the air.

Here are some of the features of the AP-300PH Air Purifier:

  • The air purifier includes an air purity sensor that monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep your air cleaner
  • Purifies large sized rooms up to 300 square feet
  • Ultra quiet operation
  • Filter change indicators signal when the True HEPA and Carbon filters need replacing
  • True HEPA and Carbon filters included with air purifier
  • User-friendly display panel on air purifier effectively communicates machine performance
  • 5 year limited warranty

Video about Fellowe’s AP-300PH Air Purifier:

Do you know what items can actually cause air pollutants in your home or office?

Upholstered Furniture – Dust particles on upholstered furniture can contain textile fibers, decomposing insect parts, pet dander and the flakes of human skin-all of which is released into the air anytime anyone sits down.

Air Vents – Central air handling systems can become breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and other sources of germs such as viruses and bacteria, which can then distribute these contaminants throughout a home or office.

Click here to find out what other items in your home could be causing air pollutants.

The Fellowes AP-300PH Air Purifier helps keep your home air fresh! Using air purifiers to keep your household environment cleaner is your first step to better indoor air. Air purifiers with a True HEPA Filter will safely remove 99.97% of airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns from your air.

Like Fellowes facebook page and click on over to their website to learn more.
The AP-300PH is available at for an estimated retail price of over $200 but is selling this air purifier for just over $100 now (as of August 27th, 2012), here!
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Fellowes and received a product sample to facilitate my review.

The Mighty Max Garden Cart is Great for Gardening *and* Beach Gear!

Mighty Max Garden Cart
The cart pictured above is the Mighty Max MM 800B

Before you read any further, you must know that this is one of those rare products that I will recommend to everyone.  Whether young, old, city dwellers, or country fold, the Mighty Max Cart can be used by any type of person or family and is a favorite of mine!  This is definitely a Must Have!

The Mighty Max Cart is the ideal solution for toting around beach gear, gardening supplies, toys and much more. This cart can easily be transformed for everyone in the family to use. After a simple 15 minute assembly that can easily be completed by one person, the Mighty Max Cart is ready for use.  My 6-year-old daughter handed me the tools and parts while I assembled the Mighty Max cart in a total of 15 minutes.  The Might Max MM 800B comes with an expandable flatbed, utility tub and a pair of cargo walls. By snapping the individual pieces on or off, the cart can be turned into a completely different product. Mom, dad, seniors and even kids will have no problem pulling around this light-weight cart through even the toughest terrain.  My daughter loves to pull the cart around.  She said “I finally help carry the heavy plants”!

Moms working in the garden can easily pull around their plants, tools, supplies and loose materials.
Because the cart is so easy to pull, kids can help mom with her gardening work. Instead of loading your sand, gravel and dirt into an old wheelbarrow that can be difficult to maneuver around, the Mighty Max Cart makes loading and dumping in the correct spots simple. A six inch deep tub can hold up to 1/3 cubic yards of loose material at once.  We put the risk of tipping to the test. This sturdy cart will not tip over or spill as you are pulling the cart.  Because the cart and tub are made from an all-weather material, it can be used or left outside in all elements without causing rust or paint damage.
This is a miracle garden cart product from those that do a lot of yard work. Never worry again about leaving the cart outside in the pouring rain.
Beach-goers can make use out of the Mighty Max Cart, too!
Easily tote around all of your sand and ocean gear in this cart. It can even expand to two levels so that you can place items such as a cooler and umbrella for shade underneath while your towels and beach toys will sit in the tub up top. Pulling a cart back and forth across the sand from your shore house, condo or hotel can be a hassle. Because the Mighty Max Cart is so light-weight and easy to pull, it will glide right above the sand, making it one of the best carts on the market.No need to load up a stroller full of toys and sporting goods. The Mighty Max Cart is the perfect option to bring to children’s sports games and to the playground. Soccer balls, basketballs, remote control cars and so much more can all be stored and pulled along in the Mighty Max Cart.

Mighty Max Garden Cart reviewConnect with Might Max:

Alicia Hagan, Editor


Disclosure: I was not paid to write this review.  I received a Mighty Max MM 800B to facilitate the review.

Our First #TruGreen Curb Appeal Lawn Treatment

Read Part 1 > Three Lawn Care Tips To Grow Your Home’s Curb Appeal

TrueGreen lawn care

Two TruGreen specialists visited our home to analyze our yard about a week ago.  After careful consideration of our yard’s sun/shade situation, moisture levels, and size, the specialists educated me about why moss grows where it does, why tree roots need space, and why some weeds are more difficult to tackle than others.   I asked the two men more than a dozen questions in hopes of picking their brains as well as gauging wether I thought they were just out to sell a service or to really help repair our yard.  I felt confident that they were genuinely interested in helping ‘cure’ our yard.

A few days after the initial visit from the two TruGreen specialists, our lawn received its first treatment.  The treatment included weed control, lime, and fertilizer.  The TruGreen lawn care specialist spent a good amount of time on our yard and when he completed the treatments he provided us with detailed, written information about what he did and how to take care of our lawn after the treatment.

TruGreen Lawn Care ServiceIf you live in a neighborhood in which one or more home owners are not as concerned about their home’s curb appeal as you are, it’ can be frustrating.  Maybe I’m speaking from experience.. maybe I’m not.  That makes it all the more important and motivating to increase your own home’s curb appeal.  While some home owners may not have it in their budget to buy bushes and flowers to fulfill create the yard of their dreams, TruGreen offers tips to help home owners curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Read Part 1 > Three Lawn Care Tips To Grow Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Connect with TruGreen

Alicia Hagan, Editor


Disclosure: I partnered with TruGreen to help promote their seasonal awareness campaign. As part of this promotion, I received compensation and services.  TruGreen did not require that I write about their services.  TruGreen believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. TruGreen policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Three Lawn Care Tips To Grow Your Home’s Curb Appeal

One of the reasons we bought our home is because of its large yard.

My husband and I had visions of a beautiful, lush yard, perfectly spaced and aligned bushes lining the front and back of the house, and gorgeous colorful flowers in flower gardens that I would lovingly plan, dig, and maintain. Eight years later, we still have the large yard, and we have plenty of bushes and flowers but they are not nearly as lush, colorful, and aesthetically pleasing as we had visioned they would be.

I’m not worried though because our yard is on the mend with the help of TruGreen. We mow the lawn, pick weeds, and water our bushes and flowers. However, doing these things does not keep weeds and moss from growing. A service such as TruGreen is the ticket to losing the weeds and moss.

Here are 3 lawn care tips that will help grow your home’s curb appeal

Tip 1: Watering your lawn

TruGreen lawn care
Make sure your watering method efficiently covers the landscape

Improper watering of your lawn and landscapes can be a drain on your home’s curb appeal. In spring, check the working condition of sprinkler heads and related water lines to ensure they’re functioning properly. Also, make sure your automated or manual watering method efficiently covers the landscape. You can place a one-inch deep, empty food can in the middle of your lawn to measure depth of water collected each watering cycle.

Don’t over or under water your lawn. Give your lawn and landscape a slow, steady watering about once a week, and adjust your watering schedule depending on your area’s rainfall, grass and soil type. Be aware of local water restrictions.

Tip 2: Complement your lawn with color

Consider Hydrangea for a burst of color

Create an instant pop of color and help your home’s curb appeal bloom this spring. Consider your home’s exterior when selecting flowering plant combinations for plant beds, window boxes or front porch planters. With a white house, any color combination will work well. With a yellow house, red or pink blooms tend to complement best.

Dead plants can quickly wilt your home’s walk-up allure. When preparing to plant, ensure proper drainage, nutrients and moisture for healthy root systems and blooms.


Tip 3: Grass Vs. Weeds

TruGreen grass vs weeds

Grass is starting to compete with weeds for space and nutrients this spring. However, a lawn care approach that works in one region of the country doesn’t necessarily work the same in another area.


TrueGreen lawn care

According to Ben Hamza, Ph.D., TruGreen expert and director of technical operations, TruGreen will design a custom plan to provide your yard exactly what it needs to give your lawn the right start.

“TruGreen offers customized lawn care designed specifically to meet your lawn’s needs throughout the year based on climate, grass type, soil condition and usage. And we back it up with our Healthy Lawn Guarantee,” Hamza said.

The TruGreen Healthy Lawn Plan includes protection against lawn pests, the use of a time- release formula to gradually feed important nutrients to the lawn, and ongoing customized lawn care.

Read next > Our First TruGreen Curb Appeal Lawn Treatment

Connect with TruGreen

Alicia Hagan, Editor


Disclosure: I partnered with TruGreen to help promote their seasonal awareness campaign. As part of this promotion, I received compensation and services. TruGreen did not require that I write about their services. TruGreen believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. TruGreen policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.