Work Smarter, Not Harder

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: In an effort to help me Work Smarter, Not Harder Soft Scrub has provided me with the cleaning supplies mentioned so that I can spend less time cleaning, more time blogging-good deal, right?!

Lately it’s seemed that life has been so super busy it’s to the point where a few things need to come off my plate or I need to figure out how to do things more efficiently! Since I don’t really want to drop anything from my plate at this point Work Smarter, Not Harder has been my motto lately!

For me this means that I’ve been attempting to streamline everything I do from paring down my huge influx of emails (do I *really* need to get Facebook and Twitter notifications in triplicate? I think not) to running errands all at the same time (Thursday mornings means CVS, Walmart, and Brookshires shopping!  In fact the manager at CVS this morning told me, “Good morning, I see you’re in for your weekly couponing!” Haha!)

NEW Soft Scrub® 4-in-1 Toilet Care

Continue reading Work Smarter, Not Harder

Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

eczema, eczema free, tips for dealing with eczema
Look at those cute, eczema free legs!!

 

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: I was sent some super great smelly fun Purex to help get my juices flowing (and laundry clean) for this post. All eczema babies, smelly good loving hubbies, and stunning pictures of, gasps, a laundry room are—as always, my own!
As you all know by now Amber has eczema. Though it’s caused by many different factors and each varies for each person who suffers from it, a big cause of it can stem from the chemicals, dyes, and fragrances in laundry detergent and fabric softener.
Once I figured out that our detergent was what was causing Amber’s flare ups to really increase I stopped using it right away—but then I was left with a dilemma—was there anything other than the way too expensive baby detergent I could use?
Thankfully there was! And many companies like Purex are listening to us and creating affordable Free and Clear detergents. Soon I switched all our laundry into “free and clear” mode and switched from liquid softener to vinegar and dryer sheets.
There was just one problem—while the free & clear did a great job and left Amber’s skin breakout free there was no scent to our clothes anymore. Now, depending on your personal preference this might actually be good news all around, but hubby and I both love good smells—we both love and wear perfume and cologne, light candles daily, and use good smelling sprays and diffusers in the bathroom. So after awhile hubby started reminiscing about the days when our towels smelled good to—instead of smelling “like nothing”
 Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent, laundry detergent, laundry soap
Apparently the Purex masterminds eavesdrop on us because shortly after this discussion took place I heard about Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent. It looks, smells, and washes just like the traditional kind of detergent—but with no artificial dyes and being hypoallergenic I can use it on all of our laundry, and it hasn’t broken Amber out!!
Tip: when trying to figure out what your child’s eczema triggers are, or when trying a new product with any type of smell be sure to use it on something like one blanket or a load of towels first. This way if there is a reaction it will be a mild one and you can know to stop using it before a real flare up happens.
Finally, I can have sweet smelling towels and a rash free girl all together—and it doesn’t get much sweeter (smelling) than that!!
Remember The Purex® brand is teaming up with Honey Bunches of Oats and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts to launch a monumental prize giveaway: The 2013 Tropical Trio Sweepstakes!
One lucky winner will be sent on a tropical paradise vacation to Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach! Enter to win a chance to spend your days relaxing underneath the warm, Hawaiian sun and your nights exploring Waikiki’s never-ending nightlife.

Even better — One Lucky Reader of mine will get to try New Purex Natural Elements Tropical Splash Detergent for themselves!

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Nicole Elliott

Why I love Scrubbing the Bathroom

All this talk about organizing bathrooms  lately has made me nostalgic.

Growing up we had this *fabulous* white, claw foot tub. Our bathroom was teeny tiny but the one amazing thing about it was that tub! I grew up with it and really took it for granted until I moved out and realized that not everyone grew up with one!

For our chores we each had to pick one to do each week-(yes we were lucky, but hey with four of us it made it easy to divide them up!) I hated vacuuming, didn’t mind dusting, but the chore I always asked for was cleaning the bathroom. For some reason scrubbing things until they are shiny/bright has always made me smile!

Soft Scrub Total All Purpose Bath & Kitchen Cleaner

 Growing up the only cleaner I ever used in the bathroom was the Classic Lemon Soft Scrub in a bottle. So when I was recently sent Soft Scrub Total All Purpose Bath & Kitchen Cleaner to review it was like greeting an old childhood friend! Sure the “haircut” (i.e. new cap that reduces spills) might be different-but so many things are still the same. Even lemon cleanser smell, the feel, and the white pools all made me warp back to being 14, jamming out to music while I pushed bubbles around and day dreamed about my short, muscly wrestler crushes (I know, I know-how funny is that considering I married a 6’7″ beanpole)

Some things never change–Soft Scrub still does an awesome job making the bathroom shiny and bright. You know a company has a good thing going when I can clean with the same cleaner 13 years later and get the same wonderful results!

And yes, cleaning the bathroom is still one of my favorite chores!

Two Lucky Winners can wax nostalgic (or just give the bathroom or kitchen a good scrub) for themselves!

Is there a certain cleaning product or smell that makes you nostalgic? Leave me a comment and let me know what it is and the memory behind it!

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Nicole Elliott

Easy Cleaning For You

Wet & Forget Shower Spray

This week in my Organizing in Small Spaces blog post I’ll be doing my first post on Organizing Your Bathroom. I thought before I wrote about that, however, I’d do a post on how to make cleaning your bathroom easy so that you’ll actually have time to organize it!

As you know I’m normally all about using all natural cleaners–and I am, but I’ve found for me personally when it comes to the bathroom-especially the tub-I need to use “the real thing”!

Since we’re living with my in-laws right now me and my lovely second mom have a lovely system worked out–I cook, she cleans! When it comes to our bathroom, however, I clean that (because I would feel a little weird with someone else cleaning up the bathroom we use!)

Since I’m so busy between all my jobs, being home full time with the kids, and extracurricular activities I try my best to work smarter–not harder!

Wet & Forget Shower Spray

So here are my top 3 tips for easy cleaning for you!

Use your kids Bathtime or your Shower to your advantage!  You’re already in there–why not take advantage of that? I clean the entire bathroom during Tyler’s bath once a week-normally I can get everything cleaned up and wiped off before his bubbles disapear!

Keep your supplies in the bathroom. If you have room store your bathroom cleaning supplies in one of your cupboards/linen closet. If they’re right there handy you’re much more likely to use them!

Buy products that do the work for you! I use toilet cleaners that you drop in the bowl and it cleans every time you flush. Another awesome “does the work for you” product I just recently found out about is the Wet & Forget Shower Spray. Since I  do my bathroom cleaning while the tub is being occupied I was having a hard time figuring out when a good time to go in and scrub the tub & shower would be. With the Wet & Forget Shower Spray I just spritz it on really quick after my shower and then rinse it off again the next time I hop in the shower or before I put the kiddos in for a bath.

Shower
The Before Picture–nice and clean from scrubbing!

Wet & Forget Shower Spray

The only part I had any problem with was figuring out how to get it to latch in initially–(one of those “you have to be smarter than the bottle battles I often lose–haha!) The trick is you have to push it DOWN till it latches in, not try to screw it in. 😉

Check out my short video to see it in action!

Of course a product is only as good as it’s final results–so here you are!

Shower
The “after” picture!

Ta Da! I know–you might be saying “that looks just like the first picture” well…it does! But that’s really the good thing, it means that for 2 weeks all I’ve had to do is spritz the shower down-taking all of 2 minutes, and leave it. I *love* that! So much easier than the weekly scrub down I was having to do that required me to change my clothes so the bleach wouldn’t ruin them and then scrub away awkwardly trying to not rub up against the spots I just did (with my short little arms that was quite the feat!

If you’d like to try out Wet and Forget Shower Spray for yourself you can use their store locator or shop their online store! Don’t forget to get social while you’re at it–they’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!

Leave a comment letting me know what your best “easy cleaning” tip is!

Nicole Elliott

Dirty Laundry

If there is one thing that all moms have in common–it’s laundry.

Piles and piles of dirty laundry.

That task that is never ending and time consuming.

I always find it funny that everyone seems to do & sort their laundry a different way-this became really apparent to me when I was staying with my families last year. My mom in law does hers different than my sister in law who does it differently from my mom who does it differently from me, haha.

I know a lot of people swear by the one load a day method but my family (even though there are four of us…) doesn’t make enough laundry to merit that. (Lucky me, right? Haha) So I normally just do all my laundry Monday and Tuesday each week and that seems to work well for us.

Amber has always loved helping with laundry and I’ve always encouraged it. Now that she’s four she can help load and unload, and now she is even starting to fold things like pants and towels. They’re not her chores and I still try to keep it fun-but it does help.

Don’t underestimate what your kids can do to help you around the house-it can be fun for them, helpful for you, and increases their sense of self esteem and worth in the family.

Personally I’ve never minded doing laundry too much, but climbing “Mt. Washmore” can be tedious and if you have a kiddo with eczema like mine it become a bit more complicated. I’ve learned to use free and clear detergents and if they’re all natural then that’s even better! Over the past month I’ve been trying out the laundry detergent Ecover Zero. I was pleased with it–the concentrated liquid did go a long way and got our clothes nice and clean. It did seem to have a bit of a scent to it for being unscented-so I wasn’t super crazy about that, but overall it did the job and I would recommend it!

Do you have any tips that help make your laundry experience easier or any products you swear by? Please share in the comments-I’m always looking for new ideas on how to make all that dirty laundry a little more fun!

Yesteryear Soap Company *Review & Giveaway*

I love soap! Bar soap, soft soap, big soap, little soap, red soap, white soap….

Well you get the idea. But it’s a true story. I even have a cool bamboo tray thingy in my guest bathroom where I display my pretty soaps and seashells while they’re waiting their turn to be used.

I also love handmade things and as such was thrilled to open up a package from Yester Year Soap Company. Their presentation of their soap was so adorable I had to take a picture before I opened it up. What a great gift this set would make for a bridal shower, wedding, or friend who needs some pampering!

In addition  to being pretty the soap is actually good at doing what soap should do–mainly lathering up nicely and smelling delicious! I’ve been enjoying the Cherry Almond bar and always smell my hands after I finish washing them (Is that weird??? It probably is…oh well..I love smelly good things–any other secret hand smellers out there???)

You can find more fabulous soapy goodness on the Yester Year Soap Blog so be sure to check them out! Be sure to check out this awesome post: The YesterYear Soap Company has a ‘Heart’
–someone you know just might get some free soap if you do!

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You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.

Yesteryear Soap Company *Review & Giveaway*

I love soap! Bar soap, soft soap, big soap, little soap, red soap, white soap….

Well you get the idea. But it’s a true story. I even have a cool bamboo tray thingy in my guest bathroom where I display my pretty soaps and seashells while they’re waiting their turn to be used.

I also love handmade things and as such was thrilled to open up a package from Yester Year Soap Company. Their presentation of their soap was so adorable I had to take a picture before I opened it up. What a great gift this set would make for a bridal shower, wedding, or friend who needs some pampering!

In addition  to being pretty the soap is actually good at doing what soap should do–mainly lathering up nicely and smelling delicious! I’ve been enjoying the Cherry Almond bar and always smell my hands after I finish washing them (Is that weird??? It probably is…oh well..I love smelly good things–any other secret hand smellers out there???)

You can find more fabulous soapy goodness on the Yester Year Soap Blog so be sure to check them out! Be sure to check out this awesome post: The YesterYear Soap Company has a ‘Heart’
–someone you know just might get some free soap if you do!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.