Thursday, September 30, 2010

CSN stores - Review or Giveaway?

Fall is definitely upon us.  School is back in session.  There is a nip in the air.  The leaves are starting to turn.  It just feels like Autumn has arrived.

Inside, you can tell that cold weather is coming when wood is stacked by the fireplace and coasters for hot beverages are sitting on my end tables.   Nothing is better on a cool fall night then reading a book while cuddled on the couch with Doc as a fire burns in the fireplace with a steaming cup of tea at my side.  Do you know what would make that image even more cozy? 

How about a Daniadown Sherpini Dew Throw?  Doesn't it look cozy and warm?  I'm ready to cuddle up with it right now!

Or maybe a pair of comfy boots or slippers?  Personally, my feet are always cold.  If I can make them warm, then the rest of me feels a bit warmer too.

With so many options at CSNstores, you can find just about anything you might need to make your fall cozy or your summer cool.

Now, I have a big decision to make and you all are going to help me decide.  CSNstores has offered me the opportunity to either review a product OR host a giveaway for one of my lucky readers.  While I love to share, browsing the CSNstores site has caused me to add a few items to my wish list as well.  If I host a giveaway, I want to make sure that it will be well attended.  So, here's the deal.  If I can get 20 people to post here that they'd like a giveaway within the next week (by 11:59pm ET on 10/7/10), then we'll have a giveaway.  If 20 people don't post, then I'll do a review.  So, browse the CSNstores site, and if you want a chance to win, then let me know.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

(Not even) Wordless Wednesday - Don't they grow up too fast already?

Auntie Em recently visited with the girls and gave them little goodie bags of stuff to take home.  One item in the bag was a set of  Disney stick on nails.  They are similar to these.  (My image isn't very clear, so I thought I'd give you a link too.)  While they are probably harmless, I just feel like the kids grow up too fast already.  I don't think they need nails and heels at such a young age.  What is your opinion?

*Note - I don't like nails and heels for the girls, so I don't buy them for them.  However, when others do, I do let them wear them.   I don't want them to seem "forbidden" and therefore more exciting.  I am more of a "everything in moderation" kind of gal.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Ego Boost

It is a good thing I'm not the jealous type. :o)

Recently, a new girl started working for the company my husband works for.  We'll call her Ginger.  While Doc has never seen Ginger, based on her correspondence to him I would guess that she is quite young - probably in her early 20s.   He often receives emails from her and loves to share them with me.  She is always bubbly, friendly, and often complimentary.  In fact, he recently received an email from her that said, "You are a very special and awesome guy.  I really mean it!"  To be fair, I can't remember the exact wording, but that is pretty much the gist of it. 

When he gets emails like this, he reads them to me with a big smile on his face.  "See, at least someone appreciates me" is a response I've heard more than once.  You know what?  He's right.  I don't always appreciate him as much as I should.  However, even when I do, I suspect he doesn't hear it.  I'm really no different.  He tells me I'm beautiful, but I feel plain.  He tells me I'm skinny, but I feel fat.  He tells me that I'm a good mom, but I feel guilty for something (yelling at the kids, not being better at playing pretend, or any of a plethora of other faults).   He tells me I'm smart, but I wonder how I used to function in a real job when I can't even figure out what it is I need to get from the store to make dinner. 

Why is it easier to hear and accept the compliments of strangers?  Why is it that we hear the criticisms clearly and shrug off the praises of those that we love (and love us)? Why do I think that Doc has an ulterior motive when he compliments me?  Why do I assume he "has to say that" when he tells me I'm beautiful?  What has happened to my confidence?  How do I make sure that my girls don't lose theirs as they grow up?  Right now they know that they are funny, smart, beautiful, kind, thoughtful, hard working, etc.  We tell them when they demonstrate those characteristics.  They hear us and they believe us.  What causes that to change?

In all sincerity, I don't begrudge Doc his compliments.  He is a "special and awesome guy".  If it takes hearing it from someone else to sink in just a bit and give him an ego boost, then so be it.   Here's my message to Ginger (and all others like her):

Thank you.  Thank you for your positive attitude and pleasant personality.  It is rare to encounter someone with such a sunny disposition.   Please continue to give well deserved compliments, whether for someone you know well or barely know at all.  We all need to hear that we're doing something right on occasion.  If you can make work more bearable or a day a little brighter for one person, then you have done something amazing.   Here's hoping that all those people that you have made smile will pay it forward to create a world that is brighter, happier, and better for us and all our children. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Car Seat Safety - National Seat Check Saturday

This Saturday, September 25, is National Seat Check Saturday. It is a great opportunity for you to take your car to a car seat inspection station to make sure that your safety seats are installed correctly. You can go here to find a location near you.

Why should you find a seat check near you?
Each year, thousands of children are tragically injured and killed in automobile accidents. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 and older.

The reason? Most parents and caregivers don't realize that their children aren't properly restrained in their car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that nearly 3 out of 4 car seats are not used correctly.

We're aiming to change that with National Seat Check Saturday on September 25. As part of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 19-25), communities nationwide will have certified technicians available to provide hands-on child safety seat inspections and advice - for free!
Another great resource to find information on car seats including recalls and instructional videos is  Please take a moment to check out your seats and keep your kids safe.

*Disclaimer - Information was provided by Global Influence.  By posting this information I am eligible to win a gift card.  However, I personally think that this is important enough that I would have posted it regardless.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Blogging (talking without forcing anyone to listen)

Yesterday I was out shopping with Pumpkin after we dropped Peanut off at school.   We walked into JCPenney just to browse since I had a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more.  As we were looking at jeans for Doc, I heard an older man say hello to another older woman in the store.  Here's how their conversation went -

Man - Hello.
Woman - Hello.  How are you today?
Man - I woke up this morning.
Woman - Well, that is a good way to start the day.
Man - Yes, I suppose it is.  Can I ask you a question?
Woman - You may.
Man - If a woman is shopping by herself and a man approaches her to ask her a question, is she still alone?

Okay, by this point I was more than a little creeped out.  I don't know if it was the tone of his voice or the fact that he kept walking toward the woman who was obviously just trying to be polite.  Either way, I had taken Pumpkin by the hand and was walking quickly between the clothes racks to a location where I could no longer see or hear the conversation taking place.   As I made my way across the store, I passed a JCPenney employee.  She greeted me as she passed by with a cart of clothes that presumably needed to go out on the racks.  She also greeted another older woman.  Here's how their conversation went -

JCP - How are you this morning?
Woman - Good.  At least I'm better than yesterday.  Yesterday I had a migraine.  All day.  I just couldn't get rid of it.  I'm not feeling great today, but definitely better than that.
JCP - Oh.  I'm glad you're feeling better today.
Woman - I am.  Still not great though.  I'm tired.  Migraines always make me tired.

Honestly, when people that you don't know ask you how you are, they generally don't really want to know.  They are just making small talk.  They are issuing a basic greeting.  We must all try to remember that.  In all fairness, I am a talker.  I blame it entirely on my father.  I sometimes catch myself explaining myself to people that probably could not care less.  I'm sure the waitress doesn't care why I'm ordering one entree over another.  Nor is she concerned that the reason I'm in such a hurry for the bill is that I have to be at a concert in 1/2 hour, for my daughter, who is in the first grade,  and happens to like the color purple, which is fortunate since that is the color of her costume . . .

See, if left to my own devices I would most definitely become one of those people that talks incessantly to anyone that will listen.  Fortunately, I have blogging.  Blogging is a way for me to talk, ramble and rant without forcing anyone to be polite and listen.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Wild Woodsy Home

As I sat talking on the phone the other day, I looked out my window and saw a deer eating our fallen acorns. I called Pumpkin over to see, but Peanut wasn't home so I grabbed the camera to take a picture. After taking it, I noticed a groundhog in my picture as well. Being a city girl, all these animals in my yard are not necessarily welcome.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Random Rant - CAPTCHAs!

CAPTCHAs . . . seriously?

Okay, I get the purpose of a captcha.   You want to make sure I'm a real person and not a spam bot or program that is somehow designed to enter contests, comments and information without a real person suffering through the process.   Honestly, I couldn't create a program to enter my information if my life depended on it.  I'm just not that technology savvy.  If you are going to make me enter a captcha though, could you at least make it legible?  How about a real word?  Is it asking too much to not include symbols that I've never even seen used in the English language before?  I used to hate those math problems and the questions that would ask something like, "What color is grass?" just because I thought they were stupid and a bit of a waste of time.  Right now, I think I'd take some good old fashion long-division over an illegible CAPTCHA. 

*Rant over . . . Now back to your regularly scheduled posts!  :o)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Facebook Friday

I know that my Fridays are usually "funny", but I haven't been able to catch a picture of what I wanted to post yet.  Hopefully soon though!  (Have I piqued your curiosity yet?  It probably won't be nearly as funny as I think it is, but the girls and I have had a good laugh about it for the past several days.)

Anyway, since I don't have anything funny for you, and I did just start a Facebook page, I've decided to make this Friday my Facebook Friday.  My goal is to get 100 Facebook Fans.  Not being at all above bribery, I'm going to host a giveaway.   When I get to 100 Facebook Fans I will give a gift to one lucky reader.  I have a $20 CVS gift card, a $30 Starbucks gift card, a $25 Stride Rite gift card (in store only), a $20 online gift card to Barnes and Noble, a $10 Fandango gift card,  and a coupon for a FREE box of Huggies Diapers  (Not to exceed $24).  Interested?  Here's how you can win one gift of your choice:
  • Go to my facebook page and "like" me.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me that you became a fan.  Tell me which prize you want if you win.  Be sure to leave your initials in your post as well as your email address so that I can contact you if you are selected as a winner.
  • Want a second entry?  Follow me on Google Friend Connect and leave a comment with your user name.  This can only be done if you are also a facebook fan.
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. . . Now for the rules:
  • Only open to US residents
  • Winner will be chosen using
  • Giveaway ends when I reach 100 "likes" on Facebook
  • Include your email address in your comment if it is not available on your profile page. 
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
  • Prizes will be sent directly from me.  I am not responsible for prizes that are lost or damaged during shipment.  If you win a prize and do not receive it, please let me know.
Good luck!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gain's New Dishwasing Liquid - A Pre-Review and Giveaway

I hate doing the dishes.  Seriously - it is one of my least favorite chores.  In the summer, it is too hot to be standing over a sink of steaming water.  In the winter, I get very dry cracked hands, and doing dishes certainly doesn't do me any favors.  I'm all for equality, so I don't like dishes during the spring and fall just to be fair.   Besides, the weather is so gorgeous in the spring and fall that I'd rather be outside.  For some reason sinks are made just a smidge too low for me, so doing dishes also hurts my back (though not nearly as much as it did when I was pregnant).  In fact, I'm going to share a little secret with you.  There are some days when I don't cook just so I won't have to do the dishes. Shhhh! 

So, when MyBlogSpark contacted me to do a review of Gain's new dishwashing liquid with the statement:
Now, everything you love about Gain is available for your dishes. With three refreshing scents, you can kiss the days of boring, unpleasant dishwashing goodbye! You´ll soon find yourself saying, "Honey, I´ll do the dishes tonight."
I was skeptical, but thought, "Why not!"  I'll give almost anything a try once - especially if it might make me enjoy dishes more (or even better, make my husband want to do them instead!).

I have received my package with the Gain dishwashing liquid (fresh scent) three shirts (size large) and three $5 Walmart gift cards.  I was originally planning on giving it all away, but have decided to use one $5 gift card for myself to try a different scent of Gain (after which I will provide you with my review of this new product since I think I'm more of a lavender girl).  Also, one of my good friends (and fellow dish washing despiser) will receive another of the gift cards.  However, I am saving one $5 gift card and one shirt, for you, my sometimes loyal readers.

Here's what you have to do to win (mandatory):
  1. Go to Gain's website and tell me which scent you'd most like to try.  Also tell me which color shirt you'd most like to have if you win.  Be sure to leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile.
For additional entries you can also do the following.  Be sure to leave a comment for each additional entry.
  1. Follow Gain on twitter (leave your twitter name)
  2. Follow me on twitter (leave your twitter name)
  3. Like Gain on facebook (leave your initials)
  4. Like me on facebook (leave your initials)
  5. Follow me on Google Friend Connect (leave your username)
  6. Tweet about this giveaway.  You may do this once daily.  Be sure to include @rmgm @Gain #myblogspark and a link to this post (leave a link to your tweet)
  • Only open to US residents
  • Winner will be chosen using
  • Giveaway ends 11:59pm ET on September 30, 2010
  • Include your email address in your comment if it is not available on your profile page.  If an email address in not in the comment or on your profile page another winner will be chosen.   I will not contact you through Twitter or Facebook.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
  • Prizes will be sent directly from me.  I am not responsible for prizes that are lost or damaged during shipment.  If you win a prize and do not receive it, please let me know.
*Disclaimer:  This product review was based on using complimentary Gain product provided by P&G through MyBlogSpark.  Bloggers also received Walmart gift cards and T-shirts to share with their friends at their discretion.  P&G does not prepresent or warrant the accuracy of any statements or product claims made here, nor does it endorse any opinions expressed within this blog site.

Wordless Wednesday - Wind Whipped Tomatoes

You may recall my lovely green tomatoes and gorgeous yellow flowers from my July Thankful Thursday post. While it seems like only yesterday, it has been two months. My tomato plant provided us with some delicious tomatoes, but I'm sad to say I think it is almost done. Fall has quickly come upon us and these tomatoes tell the tale with their sparsity of leaves, limp limbs and glimpses of brown.  So long summer.

*Note:  Yes I do know that it is Thursday, but my tech deficient brain couldn't figure out how to get these pictures off my camera (I forgot to insert a SD card).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunkist S'alternative Recipe Contest

Those of you that know me, know that I am a contest junkie.  I love to enter contests and sweepstakes.  I love it even more when I win . . . though to be honest I haven't had a win in a while.  It might have something to do with the fact that I just don't have time to enter often anymore.  Anyway, I am always seeing contests that have great prizes, but require you to submit a recipe.  Unfortunately, if you know me, you also know that I am a horrible cook.  As a result, there is not much sense in trying to enter a recipe contest.   I know that I have family and friends that are amazing at creating or tweaking a recipe to make it even better.  Some of my readers that have never cooked for me probably are as well.  This post is for you.

Sunkist has a new product.  "S’alternative is a flavorful salt alternative using fresh-squeezed Sunkist® lemons."  Yum!  Just looking at the site makes me want to try it.   But then again, I do love lemons!

So, those of you that have a knack for creating fabulous foods should head over to the Sunkist S'alternative website and enter your recipe for a chance to win up to $1,000 in grocery gift cards.  The contest ends on September 30th.  Good luck!

*Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post at the request of Sunkist, making me eligible to get $10 in free Sunkist Lemons.  I did not receive any other compensation for this post.   All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Quoted information came from the S'alternative website as did the image below.

Do you ever feel like a fraud?

Last night I was doing homework with Peanut, when I suddenly thought, "I'm not qualified to do this.  How did I become a parent?  How do I know if I'm doing any of this right?"

Keep in mind that Peanut is 6.  Her homework consists of reading a story to me, practicing her sight words, vocabulary words and spelling words.  This stuff isn't rocket science . . . and I wasn't really thinking about this specific homework, but rather life in general.  Am I too hard on the girls?  Am I too easy on them?  When I correct her for saying "the" instead of "a" while reading, am I helping her or making her self-conscious of all the little things instead of focusing on the big picture?  (She obviously knows the difference and never confuses the words when viewed on flashcards, just in stories where either word will work just fine.)  Am I doing anything right?  If so, what?  What am I doing wrong?  How do I know?  How do I fix my mistakes?  How can I be a better mom?

Right now, since I'm not working outside the home, being a mom is all that I do.  It is disheartening to think that I might be failing at the only job I have - the most important job I'll ever have.  Does anyone else ever feel the same?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Where or where has my time gone?

  • "What are you going to do with all your free time now that the kids are back in school?"
  • "I'll bet you'll get bored within the first two weeks of school."
  • "Are you going to start looking for a job now that the kids are both in school?"
Those are the types of questions I've heard over the summer. In fact, I think I've heard them so often that I actually believed that I would have an immaculate house and mountains of free time that I wouldn't know what to do with.

The fact is, Peanut is in first grade. She goes to school every day from 8ish to 3ish. Pumpkin is in preschool. She goes to school every day from 12:30 to 3ish. So, here is what my day looks like:
  1. Wake up and make sure the monkeys are up.
  2. Check the weather.
  3. Help them get dressed, brush hair, etc.
  4. Get breakfast.
  5. Pack lunches, snacks, extra clothes, etc.
  6. Drive Peanut to school.
  7. Return home.
  8. Start household chores.
  9. Exercise.
  10. Get cleaned up.
  11. Play with Pumpkin.
  12. Feed Pumpkin lunch.
  13. Take Pumpkin to school.
  14. Finish what I started in the morning, check email, run errands.
  15. Pick the kids up.
  16. Do homework.
  17. Make dinner.
  18. Clean up from dinner.
  19. Get the kids ready for bed.
  20. Finish my work and go to bed.
Hmmmm . . . something is missing.   Ahhh, I see now.  It is my free time.  I never knew I was so horrible at time management, but I must be doing something wrong.   I know, maybe I'm just a year early.  Next year, when they're both in school full days, then I'll have free time, right?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Basic Math Skills are a Necessity

Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT perfect. You will find errors in spelling, grammar, and more on this blog on a daily basis. If after reading this you feel inclined to search and find those errors and point them out to me, feel free to do so. However this is not an attack on any individual person. This is simply observation and my own opinion.

Yesterday, after taking Pumpkin to ballet, I decided to grab some fast-food dinner on the way home. I didn't feel like cooking and wasn't sure if I had enough thawed ingredients in the house to make a complete meal anyway. (As an aside - Now I know why my mom used to make so many casseroles!) After placing my order they gave me my total and I proceeded to the window to pay. Never one to carry cash, I handed them my credit card. Shortly thereafter, I heard, "Oh sh*t" and saw a group of three people huddled around the cash register. They bantered back and forth for a while, and I heard of slew of numbers being rattled around. When I finally got my card and order, the young girl told me that she accidentally pressed the wrong button and had originally only charged me $1.10 for the order. The three workers were standing around trying to figure what the difference was between my total and $1.10 so that they could send a second transaction for the remaining balance. Assuming they had figured it out, I didn't look at my receipts until I got home. Apparently subtraction was not a strength of any of the workers, because they ended up charging me $0.96 less than what I owed.

Now what do I do? Should I take a dollar with me next week when I go to ballet so that I can pay my balance or are they going to look at me like I'm crazy? Do I just let it go and try to live with the guilt of knowing that I didn't pay the $0.96 that I owe. (Yeah, I have BAD mommy guilt issues . . . but that is for another post.) If only they had basic math skills or a nearby calculator, it would have saved me some unnecessary stress.

I'm off to get the girls' cash register out of the closet. It is time we get cracking on on their basic money math skills. :o)

Funny Friday - Ameriquest Commercials

A friend of mine posted the link to these on facebook and I was very amused. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Dog Pleas Continue

Auntie Em brought her dog over this weekend and the girls just loved him!  I think he probably got more hugs during the brief time he was at our house than he has gotten his entire life.  If the requests for a dog were bad before, I can't imagine what it will be like now. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Coupon Giveaway at Frugal Science Gal

Frugal Science Gal is giving away 10 coupons to Old Navy worth $50 off a purchase of $100 or more.  In our family, the kids are all stocked up for the school year, but I could really use some new duds!  I've entered.  If you need some new clothes too, be sure to check out her blog.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Funny Friday - Dad's Life

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook and it was just too cute to not share with you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How Green is your Clean Home?

Living by the lake, we are in an ideal spot for vacations and weekend trips.  As a result, our house is always full.  We love having visitors and guests and cherish the opportunity to provide our family and friends with a break away from every day life to experience the "island life" we are blessed to live every day.  However, when people visit, we often go out on the boat, swim in the lake, and just spend oodles of time outside.  As all moms know, when kids play outside, they bring the dirt back inside with them.   This means I spend more time than I'd like cleaning both before company arrives as well as after they leave.  Recently, with all the talk about green cleaning, I've begun to reevaluate my cleaning routine.  Is it as green as it should be?  I'm constantly questioning how to make sure my house is clean without using chemicals that could be harmful to my children.  What is the best way to be both Clean and Green?  If you have tips and ideas, then I would LOVE to hear them.  Here are the ten tips I've come up with through my recent research.
  1. Vinegar - While my grandmother would most certainly be able to tell you all the great uses for vinegar, I was completely unaware of how much it can do to clean my house.  Vinegar and water can be used to clean floors, counters, and toilets.  In addition, it can be used to absorb odors from paint fumes.  In fact, I had a small spot of carpet that had gotten wet and smelled really musty.  When I called my mom asking for advice she told me to use some vinegar to get the smell out.  Not liking the smell of vinegar, I initially ignored her thinking that I didn't want my carpet smelling like vinegar either.  Eventually I tried it and it worked.  No more musty smell and no vinegar smell either!
  2. Baking Soda - Baking soda is another amazing natural cleaner.  For years, whenever I've had a rust stain in my sink.  I've put a baking soda paste on, let it sit for a couple of minutes and scrubbed it out with a little elbow grease.  Don't ask me why it works, but it does.  It also works great on those stubborn food stains in your refrigerator.  When combined with vinegar, not only does it make a great volcano, but it also does a great job of cleaning your garbage disposal and making it smell fresh and clean.
  3. Lemon Juice -  I was seriously shocked to see what Lemon Juice can do to keep your house clean.  A little lemon juice and water and clean glass and mirrors.  Straight lemon juice can remove stains from vinyl floors. Olive Oil and Lemon Juice can even be used to polish your wood furniture.  I've always loved the smell, but now I have even more reason to buy lemon juice.
  4. Anti-Bacterial Products - For quite a while now, products have used the fact that they are anti-bacterial as a major selling point.  While I definitely don't want bad bacteria in my house making my kids sick, more and more studies are now showing that anti-bacterial products are not good for your home or the environment.  I've traded in all my anti-bacterial soaps for more natural products like Method and Seventh Generation.
  5. Fresh Air - Opening my windows and getting fresh air circulating through my house really seems to make a difference in making my house feel fresh and clean.  While I don't know that it is actually any cleaner, it helps me resist the urge to grab air fresheners and chemical laden cleaners.
  6. Remove Your Shoes - The less dirt and chemicals you bring in, the less you have to clean out.  If you think about all the places your shoes go throughout the day, you would probably think twice about ever wearing them in your house again.  I probably walk through pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, feces, and more every day.  Even if you can't see it, some of those products are on your shoes and will get in your carpet.  By taking your shoes off at the door, you are at least preventing some of those toxins from getting in your house, on your carpet, and perhaps in your kids' mouths.  (I know my kids can't resist popping an M&M in their mouth even if it has fallen on the floor.)
  7. House Plants - I don't have a green thumb.  I never have and probably never will.  However, I keep trying.  Partly because I like the looks of a plant and partly because I think it is a great way to naturally clean the air in my home.  Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.  New fresh oxygen in my house can't be a bad thing, right?
  8. Healthy Food Choices - We will be exposed to bacteria and viruses.  However, if we have a strong immune system I think we are more likely to fight off any illnesses we might encounter a bit more easily.  One of the best ways to maintain our immune system is to watch what we eat.  If we eat a balanced diet and keep our body in good condition, I think we are less likely to get sick.  When the kids are sick is when I'm really tempted to pull out the bleach and scour the house.  If we can avoid major illnesses, I can keep my house greener and cleaner.
  9. Exercise -  Like healthy food choices, I also believe that regular exercise keeps our bodies in better condition to fight off bacteria and viruses.  A healthy body should definitely lead to a healthier home.
  10. De-clutter - One of the easiest ways to keep your house cleaner is to get rid of clutter.  The more "stuff" you have sitting around, the more difficult it is to clean around it.  I think that getting rid of unnecessary items will make your house feel more clean without having to do as much work.  It is a way to clean without using any harmful chemicals at all.  You can even donate your items to a local or national charity to help those less fortunate as well.  
Now that I've shared my tips, I'd love to hear yours.  Don't be surprised if it takes me a while to respond though.  I am preparing for a visit with my sister and her family for Labor Day weekend, so I have cleaning to do.  :o)

Note:  While I have never personally used Mrs. Meyer's products, Twittermoms has provided me with information about them that I am passing on to you.  It seems like an interesting product.  If I happen to see it in stores I might just pick it up.  If I do, I'll be sure to share my thoughts and opinions on it.
"Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day makes household products for people looking for a better way to clean. Our natural, plant-derived essential oils are powerful against daily dirt and grime, but leave your home smelling like a garden, not harsh chemicals.

Our refreshing scents include cool and crisp Basil, soothing Lavender, invigorating Lemon Verbena and uplifting Geranium. We also make a line of Baby Blossom personal care products specifically formulated and dermatologist-tested for little ones.

All of our cleaning supplies are earth friendly -- biodegradable, phosphate-free, and not tested on animals. Cleaning is something we all have to do. So why not make it just a little more enjoyable?"

Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Mrs. Meyer’s blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Others may have different experiences.  Various tips have been passed on from familly, friends and cleaning websites over time. 

Wordless Wednesday - Sharing Secrets

I love this picture of my girls sitting on the side of the pool chatting. Hopefully it is just a glimpse of their future together being friends and sharing secrets.