Saturday, March 31, 2012

Budget Fashionista is giving away free shoes!

The lovely Steph at Budget Fashionista is giving away a gift card to either ShoeDazzle or Just Fabulous! Check it out here:

Not a member of any of the shoe clubs? Sign up below:I no longer will endorse Sole Society after the misdealing with their "Look of Love" contest; in fact, I would encourage you NOT to sign up with them. Of the three shoe clubs, Sole Society has some of the classiest-looking shoes, but their customer service is the pits. ShoeDazzle has a lot of crazy-high skyscraper heels that are totally impractical for real life, but their customer service is second to none. JustFab has a lot of "meh" shoes, a great selection of handbags, and good customer service. Maybe I'll write up a more extensive review of the shoe clubs at another time. Would anyone be interested in reading that?

Natural House Cleaning Products WINNER

Congratulations to Marija, the winner of the Natural House cleaning products giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered -- it was great to see such a good turnout for this giveaway.

As an interesting aside, it looks like the most abhorred cleaning task is cleaning the bathroom: 19 commenters indicated this was their least favorite. Toilet-scrubbing was also unpopular. Personally, the only cleaning task I detest is unclogging the shower drain. Every time I see the giant Furby my husband pulls out of the drain, I want to hurl.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Natural House Cleaning Products REVIEW and GIVEAWAY

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Natural House to review three of their new natural household cleaning products: Trashy, Sinky, and Flushy.

Natural House was founded by the Powers family in an effort to develop products that are ecofriendly, phosphate/APE-free, non-toxic, and biodegradable: something that plays nice with kids! While I don't have any children, I certainly do appreciate using products that aren't laden with harsh chemicals. Natural House products use "carefully selected non-pathogenic and non-toxic probiotic bacteria combined with natural, plant-based, biodegradable synergistic ingredients".

According to Natural House, their products are superior to those currently on the market for the following reasons:
  • Their products use an eco-friendly cleaning method of probiotics that create a beneficial, odor eating ecosystem to naturally drive out and digest odors at their source.
  • Natural House's plant-based ingredients are eco-friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable to naturally fight the toughest problems you face in your house.
  • Sinky and Flushy even break down and digest fats, oil, grease, and solid waste to ensure your disposal, pipes, drain lines or septic tank run smoothly.
  • Their cleaners contain good probiotics which continue to scour, clean, consume odors, grime, grease, and germs, and they continue to do so until your next weekly treatment!
  • They earned the coveted Retailers' Choice Award at the 2011 National Hardware Show!
Check out this cute video of how Natural House's products work:


As soon as I received my box of Natural House cleaning products in the mail, I knew I wanted to test out Flushy.

We have very hard water with a high iron content, so our toilet tends to get some rusty discoloration in the bowl. Since we live in an apartment, there's no telling what has made its way through the pipes over time -- with every flush, the toilet makes a gross gurgling sound. I had used Seventh Generation's toilet bowl cleaner, to little success. It left me having to scrub the bowl several times a week to keep it clean, and I really didn't want to have to do that. The Works was super effective, but it contains 20% hydrochloric acid, and every time I use it I'm afraid I'll miss some droplets and end up burning my butt. Natural House's Flushy was awesome: I dropped one citrus-scented tablet into the bowl and waited about 15 seconds for the foaming action to start, and was rewarded with a bubbling blue bowl of fizzy probiotic cleanser. I scrubbed the bowl with the toilet brush, flushed, and voila: the toilet was cleaner than I've ever seen! Plus, the gross gurgling sound went away.

Next, I tried Sinky. Again, since we live in an apartment, our garbage disposal is not in the greatest condition and doesn't seem to do its job very well. I can run the thing for 5 minutes and still find bits and pieces of produce just inside the drain. We don't tend to put anything big in the disposal (though my husband did recently stuff 4 entire celery stalks in it because they were withered and buggy, and he enjoyed watching the celery spin around before it went down the drain). It just doesn't work very well. My first experience with Sinky was disappointing, since I couldn't tell if it had started foaming before I turned on the disposal. I tried again a week later with a slightly different tactic -- instead of dropping the tablet into the drain, I set it on the flaps that partially obscure the drain and drizzled hot water over it. The tablet began foaming, so I turned the water up and the disposal on, and Sinky did its thing. The sink doesn't stink any more!

Finally, I tried Trashy. Since there are only two of us, it takes us a while to fill up the kitchen trash. Instead of putting organic items directly into the trash, where they will rot and stink, we put them in empty waxed milk cartons. So, our trash rarely has too much of an odor. I tried spraying Trashy in one of the milk cartons, but it couldn't handle the smell of chicken wings. However, Trashy does have a really nice wintergreen scent, so I could see how it would work well as masking and destroying other odors.


Want to try these products out for yourself? You can buy them directly from the Natural House website or via Amazon. Or, you can try your luck here! One winner will receive a 30-day supply of Natural House natural household cleaning products! Sorry, U.S. residents only. The giveaway items will be shipped directly to the winner from Natural House.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Mandatory entry: tell me what your least favorite cleaning task is!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Is that all I'm good for?

When I was at the orthodontist's office getting my teeth tortured the other day, the woman who was changing my ligatures asked if my husband and I had any kids. The week before that, my husband and I were in a locally-owned music store that he had frequented for years, when the owner's daughter asked if we "had any bambinos yet". At a party, a friend's sister-in-law, who I had just met that evening, asked if we had any babies. One time, at the hair salon where my husband and I both get our hairs cut, the stylist remarked, "Wow, you both have such thick hair. I can't wait to see what your kids will have!" Hell, even Target thinks I'm preggo, with all the "Stock up on baby clothes. You're gonna need 'em!" emails I've been getting from them.

We've been married for a year and a half, yet everyone assumes that I should have been squeezing out babies left and right all this time. Why? Should it my only goal in life to bear children? Is that all I'm good for?

Ironically enough, my husband and I regularly talk about how much we DON'T want to have kids. Neither of us sees any point in bringing more children into the world. Yes, it may be our biological prerogative to spawn (if there's one thing I learned while getting a biology degree, it's that the meaning of life is to reproduce), but the only way that's going to happen is by accident. As difficult as it may be for people to accept, not all women want to bear children.

Now, that doesn't mean I won't congratulate my friends when they are expecting. It doesn't mean I won't share in your jubilation, nor does it mean I won't come to your baby shower and help you cut the cake. It simply means that I have no interest in getting knocked up. So, please stop asking.