Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's getting steamy in here....with the HAAN Agile Mop!

Raise your hand if you like to make cleaning easy.... okay, great. I do too! Well, I have an amazing product for you to hear about today. I imagine that you have heard about cleaning with steam... it really is a great tool to use around the house. No worries about poisons or toxins- just water (a must for any home with children or pets). Well, I have to say, HAAN does steam and the HAAN Agile Steam Mop with Swivel Head is the perfect steam mop to have around the home!

The HAAN Agile steam mom has great agility. The super easy to maneuver mop head gets into those tight spaces easily. It's nice to not have to move all the chairs in the kitchen, and to slip right under the edges of the counters. With 15 steam jets you don't have to worry about whether or not there is enough steam flowing through the mop to get to the floor! Another fun feature of the HAAN Agile is it's ability to stand on it's own. I like that I don't have to find a place to prop it up! 

Filling the water tank is really easy... you just use tap water! I love that I don't have to buy water for this. The container says it's about 13 ounces. It's honestly rather small, but we've never ran out of water while using the mop on a day-to-day basis. Just make sure the water tank is full each time you use it and you can mop for about 25 minutes.

The HAAN Agile doesn't only clean... it sanitizes as well! HAAN Agile's steam exceeds 212 degrees in about 20 seconds- so you don't have to wait a long time to get to cleaning either. The HAAN Agile kills 99.9% of household germs, bacteria and dust mites without chemicals. With the included carpet guide you can also keep your carpets, mattresses and cushions fresh as well. 

I do want to warn you about something that happened to us. As you just read, the steam in the HAAN Agile exceeds 212 degrees- steam HAS to be hot. Well, let's just say "be sure to use the included floor mat".  My husband, who does a lot of the mopping, decided to turn on the mop and then quick take out the garbage. He didn't think to rest the mop on the floor pad while doing this quick job. When he returned, probably about two minutes later, the steam had melted the top layer of our linoleum that the mop had been resting on. Not the mop's fault...but it is good to remember to check the manufacturer's recommendation for your flooring and always follow the instructions of the mop!

Other than that small mishap, we really couldn't find anything negative about the HAAN Agile. While the water tank was small, it was definitely large enough for the job... and if you do need a refill the warm up time is a measly 20 seconds so it isn't a big deal anyhow.  The cord is plenty long, we were able to mop our entire kitchen without getting a tight cord. The Agile's cleaning ability was amazing. No scrubbing needed for any areas that we cleaned. A couple swipes over the "stuck on spot" and then it was gone. We even cleaned up some very stubborn stuck on cat litter from underneath the litter pan without any "elbow grease"!

The steam that comes from the HAAN Agile really isn't a lot. I worried about it fogging up windows and making things feel wet... but that didn't happen. I could only see a small amount of steam while the mop was on the floor (if I lifted the machine up there was more steam, though). I was also surprised at how little moisture was left on the floor after run the mop over it- the water evaporated very fast! 

The cost of the HAAN Agile SI40 steam mop is just over $100 currently. When you think about the normal cost of a mop, cleaning solutions and pads or scrubbies or other mop head replacements- the HAAN really is cost effective bringing to the table reuseable pads, no cleaning solutions and sanitization without chemicals! Add in the time saved because of how quickly you will clean and you have even more savings!

As far as floor steam cleaners go, HAAN definitely has a great product that combines ease of use with effectiveness for the perfect tool for anyone who needs to mop a floor or freshen a carpet.


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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Candy Corn!

I love a good ear of sweet corn. I really start craving corn in the spring, and I love that I can enjoy it all year around thanks to modern grocery stores. We usually cook sweet corn the traditional way... boiled. However, I've had corn grilled and roasted on a fire as well! There are a lot of ways to eat sweet corn, so when I was asked to share a recipe with my readers I wanted to try something different. 

First I had to go to the store and get the corn...

Then we had to shuck the corn....

Well, then we had to cook the corn. We boiled it for a few minutes to make the corn tender and yummy.

Now comes the interesting part... what did we do with the sweet corn?! 

Well, the title of this post may be a clue.... we made sweet corn lollipops

Here is the recipe:

Corn Lollipops

Chef Michelle Bernstein, Michy’s, Miami


    Corn Lollipops
  • 4 ears sweet fresh corn each cut in thirds
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 18 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 18 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 18 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 12 lollypop sticks
With tip of a knife poke a hole in one end of each piece of corn. In boiling salted water, cook corn for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, red pepper, cinnamon and ginger. Pour melted butter into a pie plate. Drain corn well. Roll each piece in butter; insert a stick into one end; sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.

YIELD: 12 “pops”

I have to say, I loved how simple this recipe was! 




Now, we did change the recipe a little, I only added a dash of the red pepper- I figured the kids would have a problem with the spicy-ness of the pepper- and we added a bit more cinnamon. The "candy corn" as my kids called it wasn't bad! It was definitely a different spin on traditional corn on the cob! I love that corn is a good source of fiber for the whole family and that antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are found in sweet corn!

Corn is a quick side dish for any meal... I like quick!

Check out Sunshine Sweet Corn for more information, recipes, and other great things about sweet corn!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Sunshine Sweet Corn. I was reimbursed to purchase Sweet Corn and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Self Employment?

I suppose I am technically self-employed when I do my blog work. Of course, I have two other jobs where I am employed by employers, but for this aspect of my life I am my own boss. I like being my own boss... self-employment definitely has it's perks! I love that my blogging job doesn't have to follow the every day 9 to 5 routine.

I like being able to work at my own pace, and make my own hours. With my crazy busy life I couldn't imagine fitting a third job into my schedule if I had to live with the demands of another boss. I also love that I can work from home. Now, that isn't always the case with self-employment, but the beauty of self-employment is that you can do what works best for you. Your business idea can fit your lifestyle!

However, if you choose to be self-employed and it's the only employment you have things can get a little tricky. Especially on the health care front. It can be difficult to find self employed health insurance. Health insurance is an important aspect of any job, so finding insurance that will work with you when you're self-employed is important.

You also have to take into consideration that you will be the one who is doing all of the financial accounting. I have found that I have many business tax questions when tax time comes around. Taxes just aren't my strong point, so I usually use a professional tax service for taxes and small business accounting.

No matter how you choose to work, employed by someone else or self-employed, you should always choose to do something you enjoy. Money can be a great motivator, but I have learned that even if the money is great if you hate the job it's hard to be successful. 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

April showers bring May flowers

Spring is my FAVORITE time of year. I love the returning warmth and I love watching everything come back to life. I love the rain, the thunderstorms, and of course, the flowers that come after!

One great thing is you don't have to be restricted to waiting until May (or June, or July...or whenever) to have gorgeous flowers in your home. With Interflora Flowers you can get flowers all year around and enjoy that wonderful natural beauty in your home.

Maybe you aren't as fond of buying a bouquet of flowers, perhaps you are more of a potted plant person... but maybe you, or the person you are gifting has a not-so-green thumb? Well, there are a lot of house plant options out there too! One of my favorite "easy" houseplants is Aloe. I've successfully been growing one for over two years now! I love that I can forget to water it for a few days and it is okay with that. 

Of course, there are plenty of plants that are amazing, not just easy. Orchids are always a huge hit.

For those who just love flowers, gorgeous arrangements are sure to please the eye. I personally am fond of really bright arrangements, especially on those dreary days. Here are a couple that I really like...

No matter what occasion you are celebrating, or if you are just happy to see some pretty flowers, there are options out there to keep you surrounded by beauty, even if it isn't May.

Do you prefer bouquets, potted flowers, or plants?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wipe it up with @Huggies wipes!

We have been huge fans of Huggies wipes for quite some time... we used to use another brand of wipes, but since we tried Huggies' we can't go back!

We tried a few different kinds of Huggies wipes this last month. We tried Huggies One & Done Wipes, Huggies Simply Clean Wipes, and Huggies Natural Care Wipes.

L to R: One & Done unscented, Simply Clean, and One & Done Refreshing
We used all of our Natural Care Wipes before I was able to get a photo of them. Out of the three types we tried I have to say our family prefers the One & Done Refreshing wipes. I LOVE the smell of the cucumber and green tea scent - it really helps to have that scent when you're cleaning up those smelly messes.

The Simply Clean wipes and the Natural Care wipes are thinner than the One & Done wipes, but they were still thicker than other brands we've used. They also have the same teddy bear print and smell about the same.

With the One & Done wipes you can feel the thickness right away. No more doubling up on wipes for those big wipe will protect your hand while cleaning up!  We use our One & Done wipes all the time. The One & Done wipes are by far our favorite wipes on the market right now. 

Huggies wipes aren't only for diaper changes (although they definitely are perfect for them), we use them for so many other things!  Aside from diaper duty, we use wipes for cleaning up kids, cleaning up our counters, tables, high chair, walls or whatever other surface needs a quick clean up.

Also, I can tell you that Huggies wipes have saved my clothing from many a stain. Just from my personal experience, but I have found a Huggies wipe dabbed on a spot often works better than any detergent spot remover I have tried. They also work wonders on crayon marks (on some surfaces) and pen on skin!

We will definitely keep Huggies wipes around long after our children are out of diapers... they are an essential part of our cleaning supplies as well as our baby toiletries!

Have you tried any Huggies wipes? What alternative use for baby wipes have you found? 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating”

Monday, May 14, 2012

Peppa Pig!

If you watch Nick Jr. you may have seen Peppa Pig...if you haven't you should check this adorable animated series out! 

Peppa Pig is an adorable young pig. She has a little brother named George, and together they have some fun adventures. Their family has the most adorable British accent. Peppa Pig deals with common everyday things that most children deal with too. Things like riding a bike, having a parent at work, losing a favorite stuffed animal, or going camping. Of course, no pig could go without jumping in some mud puddles from time to time!

I found all of the "episodes" fun and imaginative, and they lasted just long enough (5ish minutes each) for preschoolers' attention spans. 

The fun laughs and snorts make the little ones giggle and it's pretty fun to see them try to snort like the pigs as well. Overall, I think it is a positive influence on my children and I don't mind them watching the program at all. The positive messages and topics that can lead to good discussions will leave you happy to have watched.

What shows do you enjoy with your children? Will you try watching Peppa Pig?

I received a copy of the Peppa Pig DVD and promotional items to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Psi Bands- Nausea Relief?

Psi Bands are a acupressure wrist bands used for the relief of nausea. Being that I am pregnant, I am all too familiar with nausea. Even in my thirds trimester I still encounter my fair share of nausea due to some medications that I am required to take. 

I was excited to try the Psi Bands since I do encounter nausea often. 

I received a set of cute printed Psi Bands, I like that there are different designs available:
Psi Bands remind me a lot of watch bands, but without the watch face. You place the bands on your wrists (both of them), and over a pressure point that can help calm your nausea.

I personally did not have much luck with the Psi Bands. I still was nauseous, and I didn't feel that the Psi Bands worked very well for me. Again, I am on medication that makes me very nauseous, so perhaps that was why.

I was very careful about how I placed the Psi Bands, I made sure I followed the directions that are on the website and that come with the Psi Bands.

As you can see, I placed the Psi Bands in the correct spot according the the diagram in the instructions. 

The Psi Bands do leave a small mark on your wrist. In Order for these to work you need to have pressure applied to the spont, so when you take the Psi Bands off you notice that there are marks. It doesn't hurt to wear the Psi Bands, but you do notice the pressure. 

Overall, I would say Psi Bands are a product that you would have to try yourself... they may work wonders, or you may not notice any difference- but it's definitely worth a try if you suffer from nausea!

I received a pair of Psi Bands for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway

Welcome to the Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway!
Bright Starts and Mom to Bed by 8, the Iowa-Mom have teamed up to offer an amazing Bright Starts Sunnyside Safari Collection giveaway to one lucky reader!

This awesome giveaway includes the Sunnyside Safari™ Chair Top High Chair, Playard, Plug in Sway & Swing, Portable Swing, and Saucer making this truly the Ultimate Baby Shower Gift.

Special thank you to the wonderful bloggers who made this possible including our co-hosts: To Sew with Love, The Lucky Ladybug and Mom Blog Society.

Check out the wonderful details of this package and use the easy Rafflecopter form to enter below!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

When a five year old steals...

Well, it's happened. One of our boys have stolen something. Our 5 year old decided that it was okay to take a piece of candy from the store tonight. 

We found out rather quickly, within about 5 minutes of him being home. I quickly told my husband to take him back to the store and make him apologize and pay for the candy. I wanted to be sure the punishment quickly followed the crime.

My husband agreed and took our son back to the grocery store.

They came back about 10 minutes later. Our son was obviously upset. Good, I thought... I hope it sinks in! Then my husband started telling me what had happened at the store.

The lady who our son apologized to was nice enough... but explained that even though he's only 5 she could still call the cops. He was scared, probably embarrassed as well. 

Well, there were several customers in the store. My husband told me that the lady directly behind him (probably about mid 20-30's) was "disgusted" that he would publicly embarrass our son by having him return to the store to apologize and pay. 

I was pretty shocked to hear this! 

Well, there were a few older people there as well, and they were glad that my husband brought our son to the store. One elderly man actually asked my husband if he needed to borrow his belt. That's a little extreme, but it is amazing how differently generations parent their children. 

Now, back to the shocking part... "disgusted" because we made our child do the right thing? It makes me wish that I had been there so I could ask her what she thought was an appropriate punishment. It also makes me wonder if we as parents in this generation are going "too soft" on our kids. Is a little humiliation not okay when disciplining your child? 

I remember when I was a young girl, I was 5 I believe, I stole a rubber snake from the grocery store. My mother made me take it back and apologize. I was scared to death, and I felt really bad...but I also never stole again. I learned my lesson... and I definitely did not want to feel like that again!

Do you think making your child be embarrassed in this situation is inappropriate? What punishment would you have chose if it was your 5 year old child?

This Mama Loves Her Bargains also had a tough time with a child's behavior... check out her post too!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Crest and Oral-B Update! #CrestSponsored

So,  about a month ago I told you all that my husband was starting a new Crest and Oral-B routine

The Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health Clinical Plaque Control products are meant to help control plaque and keep your teeth feeling like you've just been to the dentist. We were asked to use the products twice a day, every day.

My husband has been using the products twice a day and he absolutely raves about them. He says he feels like his teeth have actually gotten stronger over the last month. He also said he feels like his teeth have become less sensitive.

Now, my husband was a mostly once a day brusher... so twice a day was definitely an improvement. The extra brushing probably helped with the sensitivity and strength alone. The Oral-B toothbrush was pretty impressive to him. The toothbrush was made to really form to your mouth and get all of the nooks and crannies! My husband was able to make the routine part of his daily plan by brushing after breakfast and before bed. He tried before breakfast, but decided that was silly. 

My husband was happy with the taste of the toothpaste and mouthwash. He also said his teeth felt a lot smoother, especially in the morning, than they did with other toothpastes and mouthwashes. His words were "less fuzzy"- which I am assuming the "fuzz" he speaks of is what plaque is made of (bacteria that accumulates in your mouth and sticks to your teeth).

I also tried the toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. I wasn't very fond of the toothpaste flavor- but I am really picky when it comes to my toothpaste. However, I absolutely LOVE the mouthwash!  It wasn't nearly as strong as other mouthwashes, it was actually very pleasant! I really felt like it was working while I used it, too.

Both my husband and I would highly recommend the use of Crest and Oral-B Clinical Plaque Control products... we will likely continue to use them in our house from now on!

I wrote this review while participating in a test drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Crest and Oral-B and received product samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central Consulting sent me a promotional gift to thank me for taking the time to participate.

It's a ___, and Intelligender was RIGHT!

Yes, we like to find out the sex of our child before birth. I like to be prepared, and the one time we had a surprise baby I didn't find the "surprise" all that magical. Just me. 

Well, there's a fairly new product out there... you may have heard about it, but maybe not. A gender prediction test that uses urine to give you a clue as to what you're baking inside! 

Now, before I get into all that... I want to explain that YES I know the difference between gender and sex. I prefer to say gender, and usually gender and sex match up pretty well (there are always exceptions, however). 

Okay, now that that's cleared up... I want to share with you this fun product that can help you "find out" what your little one will be as early as 10 weeks!  This product is Intelligender

Yep, you can use this gender test as early as 10 weeks! I LOVE knowing what we're having... it's a lot of fun to guess too! So, getting a result 10 weeks earlier is even more fun. 

The test was simple. I collected my urine, put it in the test... swirled and waited. Make sure to read the directions on your test (each time if you take more than one)! The directions will clearly tell you what to do and how long to wait before reading results. 

Okay, I am sure you're waiting to find out.... Baby #7 will be a.............

BOY! :)

On the left you can see how my urine matches the dark green result. What you can't see is that that is clearly labeled boy... the orange result is a girl result.

I love that the test was so simple... and while they definitely let you know you shouldn't be painting your nursery or buying baby's wardrobe based on what the results are, it was right for us (well, assuming that the ultrasound is correct as well).

There have been two independent tests done on the accuracy of Intelligender, both have concluded that  Intelligender has an above 85% accuracy rate!

The only negative thing I found is the smell of the test is rather unpleasant. Of course, urine itself isn't pleasant smelling, but there are definitely some chemicals in the test, and while Intelligender has tried to make it pretty sealed up, there is a smell. That being said, I wouldn't not use Intelligender... it only lasts the amount of time it takes for the reading to show up- then you can dispose of it.

Have you ever tried Intelligender? If you did, was it accurate for you?

You can find Intelligender on Facebook, and Twitter too!
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