Funovation Panel is looking for Members!

I’ve been a member of the Funovation Panel for a few years now, and we’ve tested several toys for them, and won a couple gift cards!

  • The Funovation Panel is a community of families that provide their feedback about new toys, videos, images, and much more. We’re looking for new members to help us understand what families want from toys today.
  • Members are invited to participate in projects such as in-home toy tests, early screening of TV shows, trend identification, and providing input on toys and ideas in the early stages of development. Help shape what will appear in stores and on screens across the world to better suit your family!
  • Also, to show our appreciation, for every Funovation survey you complete, you will be entered into a drawing for one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. That starts with this one, so click below!

Easy Home Maintenance: Cleaning Your Box Fans!

Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 7.35.48 PM.pngRecently, we noticed that our box fans weren’t providing much cool air. Before dropping over $150 to replace them all, I decided to see if cleaning them would improve their airflow capabilities. After all, they were still functioning mechanically, they weren’t putting out the air flow they used to.

With temperatures in excess of 80 degrees almost all year round here, box fans are a needed appliance in our home. We can’t go without them, as running the AC is cost-prohibitive.

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Oh dear.

These fans are all about a year old, and while I have vacuumed the front and back of them previously (I do it once a week), they had never been taken apart and cleaned.

Gather all the tools needed before you start. For this job you will need:

  • A sheet to cover your work area.
  • A screwdriver (our fans all have Philips head screws)
  • A dish to hold the screws while the fan is disassembled
  • All-purpose cleaner. I used Comet Lilac Bliss- it’s what we had in the house, and it worked really well.
  • A stiff-bristled brush. I used the brush I use to scrub the soap scum/hard water deposits out of the bathtubs (like this)
  • Rags or really scratchy paper towels. You need something that will trap the dirt.
  • Vacuum Cleaner with a brush attachment.
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Before: This stuff was tough to scrub off!
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Once again, my Dyson Vacuum saves the day!
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After: So fresh and so clean!

Here are my tips for deep cleaning your fans-

    1. UNPLUG THEM! It seems like a no-brainer, but I’m going to remind you to not clean appliances that are still plugged in.
    2. Remove the front and back plastic pieces of the fan. Ours were held together with 6 screws.
    3. To remove the dirt/fuzz/cat/hair/whatever grossness that was on the fan front and back, I placed them in the bathtub and sprayed them down with all-purpose cleaner. I allowed them to sit for about 20 minutes while I cleaned the fan blade and fan case.
    4. Using all-purpose cleaner and a rag, carefully spray and wipe the fan blades, both front and back sides.
    5. Using the vacuum hand tool with the brush attachment, clean the interior of the fan case, as well as the backside of the fan motor. I was amazed at the amount of fuzz, dirt, and hair was around the intakes for the fans.
    6. Once the fan blades and fan case are clean, return to the bathroom and scrub the fan front and back. Rinse and dry completely.
    7. Reattach the front and back to the fan case, plug in and test out. All 6 fans worked 100% better after being cleaned. This is now a chore that has been added to the end of season home cleaning list.
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Re-assembled and working like new!

Cleaning all of the fans took about 2 hours, and that included time to make snacks for two very starving kids, let the cat in and out a few times and help with math homework. Without distractions, I could have gotten done in about an hour.

In the future, I may invest in some of these Box Fan Filters, which until today I had no idea existed.

Taking care of appliances, like these box fans is just another way that we are able to extend the useful life of often-used items in our homes, and that saves us money in the long run.

Talk Back: What types of small things do you do to extend the life of your small appliances?

Top 10 Herbs and Spices needed for a Well-Stocked Kitchen!

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I get a lot of people who ask about my spice rack- what do I keep in my kitchen, since we cook at home so much. I made a list of what I use, then I polled my Facebook friends. Below is a reflection of what we use most at home, plus what most of my foodie friends use too all combined into a handy dandy top ten list!

I prefer spices and herbs from Penzey’s– They have the best quality and a wide variety. They tend to be a little more expensive, but they are very high-quality herbs and spices, and you will use much less than their cheaper counterparts. If you have a Penzey’s store near you, it’s worth checking out. Join their mailing list- they frequently have coupons for freebies and really good deals (and free shipping sometimes too if you don’t live close to a store). Penzey’s also sells their spices on Amazon!

  1. Mural of Flavor
  2. Cinnamon
  3. Cumin
  4. Chili Powder
  5. Italian Seasoning
  6. Oregano
  7. Ginger
  8. Bay Leaves
  9. Paprika
  10. Turkish Seasoning

These are of course in addition to Table Salt, Kosher Salt, a pepper mill for freshly cracked pepper, roasted garlic, granulated garlic, toasted onions, onion powder, and air-dried shallots. For me, these are pantry staples and every kitchen should have them, as they are used in so many recipes, in addition to the 10 above.

 

Talk Back: What are some of your favorite seasonings?

Earn Amazon Gift Cards with Up Voice!

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 8.06.04 AM.pngDo you spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, and Amazon? If you do, consider joining UpVoice! UpVoice is BrandTotal’s user panel. We use the data that we collect from the UpVoice panel to build special insights for brands on their advertising activities and the ad campaigns of their competitors.

How does it work?

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 8.06.11 AM.pngAs you visit Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, or any other of the participating sites on your desktop computer, they anonymously collect the ads that you see and give you daily tokens that can later be redeemed for Amazon Gift Cards. Once you visit one of the participating sites, it may take a few minutes for your token balance to be updated.

They are a market research firm and therefore the data we collect is only used for providing brand marketers with advertising campaign insights.

If you’re qualified to become an UpVoice panelist, you will get a link to install the UpVoice Chrome extension. The UpVoice Chrome extension can only work on a Chrome browser (or other Chromium-based browsers) on your computer (and not your mobile device).

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 5.03.11 PM.pngI’ve been a member for a little over a month, and I cashed out for my first $10 Amazon Gift Card today!

To get started, click here.

8/9/19- Friday Freebies and Deals!

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It’s Friday- Time for Freebies and Deals! This week is pretty small, but everyone is a good one!

 

Deals:

Lodge Cast Iron Scrub Brush ONLY $4.56 on Amazon

Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection $39.99 (Reg. $100)

FREE Harrys Razor, Shaving Cream and Cover (just $3 to ship)

Eyeshadow Brush Set ONLY $5.50 (Reg. $13)SoBe LifeWater ONLY$ 0.90 Each on Amazon

Melissa & Doug Fill & Roll Grocery Basket ONLY $10.99 (Reg. $25)

 

Freebies:

Free Books, Journals, Stickers & More (I’ve done this one before- I scored a journal)

2 Free Chicken Tacos & Shake at Del Taco

Sprint Customers – Free $2 Amazon Gift Card

Free Pack of Baseball Cards on August 10th

National Bowling Day – 2 Free Game of Bowling on Aug. 10th

Free Sample Box Tuesday from PINCHme is Coming SOON

Free Fruitlove Spoonable Smoothie at Albertsons

Free Quest Protein Bar for Kroger & Affiliates

Fly for Free if Your Last Name is Green or Greene

Free Subscription to Fast Company

PayPal Users – $5 Off at Subway (I’m trying this today!)

Free Sejoyia Coco-Thins at Walmart & Kroger

Free 24-Count Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk at Target

Fetch Rewards: Earn 10,000 Points!

unnamed.pngI am so stoked about this offer! 10,000 points is a $10 gift card (there are 20+ brands to choose from. I usually get Amazon)

Complete 3 referrals. Get 10,000 points.

 

Get 4,000 bonus points* when you share Fetch Rewards with three people from June 13 to June 23! You know three people, right?

Here’s how it works:

  • For each completed referral, you get 2,000 points when your friend scans a valid receipt. They get 2,000 points, too!
  • Complete three referrals, get a 4,000-point bonus. 
  • Congrats, you earned a total of 10,000 points!

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To get started, click here, or download the app from the app store or wherever you get apps. Use my code ND2TB when you sign up and you’ll score points after you scan in your first receipt with Fetch Rewards. Then you can refer friends and earn up to 10,000 points!

Just by doing my usual shopping this year, I’ve earned $30 in Amazon GC trough Fetch Rewards!

 

My disclosure statement is here. I’m here to help ya’ll save money, not make a million dollars!

My Favorite Things- Spring/Summer Edition

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It’s Springtime! Time for renewal, getting outdoors, and fun adventures. Here are a few of the things that have been making life easier for me as of late…

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 3.54.00 PM.pngThis cute 5×8 Notebook from Shutterfly.  Mine says, “Plots, Schemes, & Misc. Shenanigans”.  It fits into my purse and It’s big enough to where I can actually write and sketch. It’s got lined paper, which is great since I usually draw patterns for upcoming projects.

And what good is a notebook without a pen? This Click Six Gel Pen from Ooly is my favorite pen, and have been for a while. I scored one at Influential Summit in Carlsbad back in February.

Most of ya’ll know that I’m a frugal dame, and that means using tech until it reaches the end of it’s useful life. For me, that means I’m rocking an Apple iPhone 5S. Yeah, yeah, stop laughing. Anyway, one of the things that happens when smartphones get old is that battery life goes poof. To make up for that, I keep a zipper pouch in my purse with a plug (like this), charging cables (including one that is 6 foot long), and a couple external batteries/chargers.  It sounds like a lot, but it’s not.

And the Pouch? It’s one of these cute ZipIt pouches. the best part is that it’s 100% zipper and it unzips into one, long zipper.

Ok, getting out of my purse, and getting back to the house, a few things that I’m digging to help me stay organized at home include:

Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 4.20.30 PM.pngThis rad Meal Planner! It comes in a 5×7 pad, I just peel one off, fill it out, and stick it on the fridge (using one of the many free fridge magnets from Shutterfly- seriously, they have free codes all the time!).

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

And it’s now a lot easier to get the kids to do their chores with this cool chore/reward chart.

I got it from Wal-mart.com, but Amazon sells it too (and it was cheaper). You choose which chores are appropriate for your kids. I don’t use the little round magnets with stars, I just mark them off with a whiteboard marker.

And personal health-wise, I’ve been digging a few new products:

Diva Cup– Scored it at MommyCon last fall. It is easy to use and clean. I will warn you ladies, it’s not for those of you who are squeamish. But, most moms have seen some shit (literally and figuratively), so it’s no problem.

Hot Sticks– I’ve had these things for YEARS, but only recently have I truly appreciated how awesome they are. I have a lot of very fine hair, so a curling iron doesn’t work- my hair doesn’t stay curly, but hot sticks stay in your hair for 45 minutes to an hour. That amount of time with the heat really locks the curl into my hair. and even without mousse or hairspray, my hair will stay curly for a whole day. I have two sets. I’m wearing them as I type.

Talk Back: So I wanna hear from you… What are some of your favorite things?