To keep or to purge, that is the question

To Keep or To Purge - 5 Questions to Ask

I’m over at The Art of Simple today sharing the 5 questions I’ve been using to purge 30 boxes worth of stuff from our house. From the post:

I will fondly remember the summer of 2014 as a season of purging. Just off three moves in three years and finally settled into a more permanent home, I’m finally ready to sell, donate, and gift many of the possessions I’ve carefully stored.

I was so determined to simplify that I literally went through every item that came through the door. Each one was evaluated with a few mental questions to decide whether or not it would stay.

Come on over and visit to read the rest!


Less Waste In, Less Waste Out

Less Waste In, Less Waste Out: How to Reduce Junk Mail and Packaging

I’m over at Simple Mom today talking about my mission to reduce our household waste by 50%. On the chopping block: junk mail and packaging.

From the post:

I’ve since come to find that having a full recycling bin actually meant our family was sending almost 2500 gallons of waste out of our home each year.

Not to mention the time we were wasting, managing 2500 gallons of paper, plastic, and cardboard.

Head over to Simple Mom to read the rest!


Homemade Carpet Cleaner

homemade carpet cleaner

I’ve had this embarrassing stain hiding under my couch for three months. When it happened, I quickly cleaned it with some water and a towel. I clearly did not use the right tools and it’s slowly become this deeper and darker stain. Over the weekend, I finally got a few things out of the kitchen and made it go permanently away. Here’s how:

Homemade Carpet Cleaner



  1. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Vacuum up the baking soda.
  3. Mix dishwashing liquid and white vinegar into the warm water.
  4. Dab the solution over the stain with a cloth until the stain is gone.
  5. Use the second dry cloth to blot the carpet dry.

Stains, Stains, Go Away – Come Again Another Day

Or not. I’d be happy if stains just stayed away permanently.

Months ago I almost never had problems with stains.  My girlfriend asked me, ” how is that even possible with two kids”?  I figured it was some “eating with good manners” skill I’ve taught them, making me a stellar parent. Unfortunately, I’m not the amazing parent I imagined. For more than one reason.

So the answer is….my daughter, who is now 4, is old enough to eat (mostly) without spills. And at the time, my son was 6 months old and just starting solid foods so there were few spills.  We were a stain free household and proud of it.  But like they say, “pride comes before a fall” and now that my son is eating finger foods, he’s a mess!  And so are his clothes.

I had some Dreft Stain Remover on hand so I used it and it worked fine but I wanted something a little more eco-friendly.  Toys R Us had a sample of BabyGanics Stain, Stain, Go Away and after dousing shirt after shirt with it – I’m a believer. When it took a coffee stain out of a white shirt that had been sitting in my laundry bin for over a month – I was SOLD. I bought a big bottle and it’s gloriously stored right on my washing machine for daily use.

So ladies, what do you use to get stains out?


Bon Ami Cleaning Products

bon ami powder cleanser

Until recently, I had no idea that Bon Ami carried multiple cleaning products.  I’ve used their Polishing Cleanser for years and like I said here, it’s a great safe alternative to Comet or Ajax.   It’s extremely affordable – just over $1 per can.

I’ve been using their other cleaning products for about a month and they are just as good as my favorite Polishing Cleanser (now called Powder Cleanser). In fact, I was actually disappointed when my first bottle of the All-Purpose Cleaner ran out.  It cleans well, has no soapy residue, doesn’t leave any film on my black granite counters and has no smell ( a big plus to me ).

Their Liquid Cleanser is similar to their powdered Polishing Cleanser but easier to use on surfaces like shower walls and tubs.  I’ve been using it in my porcelain kitchen sink because I’m out of the Powder Cleanser and it works just as well.  Tough on cleaning but super gentle.  Gentle enough to use on stainless steel and porcelain without scratching. The consistency is similar to Soft Scrub – so if you’re a Soft Scrub kind of girl – make the switch to Bon Ami Liquid Cleanser – it’s non-toxic and works just as well!

Bon Ami uses safe, simple ingredients that you can pronounce like baking soda, limestone and feldspar – all ingredients in their original formula made in 1886.  They don’t smell fake because they use essential oils for fragrance.

The company has totally updated all their packaging but it’s still got a great classic and clean look (I’m a sucker for cute packaging).  All the cleaning products are also bottled in recycled and recyclable packaging.  Unlike many other green cleaners, Bon Ami is also priced comparably to conventional brands – from just over $1 to $3.99.   You can buy online or find a local retailer.