4 Tips to Make Bathroom Cleaning Easier

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Scrubbing Bubbles®. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

We all have that chore that we just hate to do. Some can’t stand washing dishes, others despise folding laundry. My least favorite chore? Cleaning the bathroom!

My house is full of boys, and they can make quite the mess. It’s not even just what you’re thinking- I sometimes find bath toys in the toilet, bandages stuck to cabinets, and of course bath crayon drawings all over the walls. I’m not one to get too uptight about a mess generally- but the bathroom is just so germy. I don’t want my kids playing with something that was in a dirty toilet, or drawing on walls that are already decorated with hard water stains. I just don’t want to be the one to clean it!

Since I hate the job so much, and since I hardly ever have time to clean it, I’ve come up with some hacks to try to keep my time cleaning the bathroom as short as possible.

Scrubbing Bubbles under sink

1. Keep your supplies handy. If you have to go downstairs to the “cleaning closet” or even into the hallway to grab your cleaning supplies, you’re probably not going to clean as often as you could. I keep a basket of cleaning supplies in each bathroom so that whenever I notice something needs a touch-up, I can take care of it quickly.

2. Break the job up into pieces. I never have time to clean the full bathroom all at once, so I do it in bits and pieces. It also allows me to multi-task! I will often clean the mirror while waiting for my flat iron to heat up, or wipe spilled powder or toothpaste off the counter with my makeup remover cloths.

3. Keep counters clear. While it’s hard to remove everything from your counter, it’s good practice to keep counters mostly clear for a few reasons. The most practical reason is that it’s easier to wipe your counters down when you don’t have to rearrange fifteen bottles of perfume. The more important reason is that if you flush your toilet with the lid up {like sixty percent of people do}, each time you flush you’re covering your bathroom with a fine layer of bacteria. Eew.

4. Work smarter, not harder. Make sure you’re using products that work for you- literally. Scrubbing Bubbles® Multi Surface Bathroom Cleaner expands into hard-to-reach places to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria- and it can even wipe out the hard water stains embedded in the caulking of your tub! {Ask me how I know.} I love Scrubbing Bubbles® for all my bathroom cleaning needs because all I have to do is spray it, walk away for a few minutes to let it work, and then come back and tackle it. That’s it!

Scrubbing Bubbles

I’ve used various Scrubbing Bubbles® products for years- we have some seriously hard water here and it’s the only brand that’s been able to cut through the stains that leaves behind. I also love that it is so effective against viruses and bacteria- which is especially helpful this time of year when someone or other’s always sniffling. And according to the Scrubbing Bubbles® The Dirty Work Index, which revealed some hilarious and unconventional bathroom behaviors found that 23% of people don’t wash their hands when they’re done in the bathroom, I need to make sure ours are as clean as possible!

How do you keep your bathrooms clean?

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Getting Back to Balance and Taking a Moment for Me {& Paleo Almond Apricot Breakfast Bar Recipe}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToBalance #CollectiveBias

Last month was crazy around here. I’m sure you can relate- the holidays throw everyone into chaos. Justin’s job is the busiest in December, so he often worked 12-16 hour days back to back. Of course that was the hardest on him, but it wasn’t easy for me, either. In addition to caring for the kids all day, it also meant I was responsible for all the holiday stuff, from baking to gifting to decorating to wrapping. Then I had to make sure Shane did his homework and got to school, and had to help Zac through the cutting of his first two teeth. Plus, I had my own work to do- and it’s my busy season, too. To say I was stressed would be an understatement! Once Christmas came and the madness was over, I promised myself that I would get back to balance and find a way to take care of myself while juggling all the crazy.

Most of us, especially moms, don’t take enough time for ourselves. We are always running around trying to get stuff done for everyone else, and leave our needs for last. One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to put some more focus on me! That said, I do still have two small children to take care of, so it’s not like I can run off to the spa every weekend or enjoy long, leisurely walks on the beach. Instead, there is one simple but efficient trick that I have been using that helps me keep my life balanced. Want to know my secret?

Coffee-mate natural bliss Hazelnut #shop #backtobalanceI take a moment in the morning for myself. I set the kids up with some toys, make a hot cup of coffee, pull out my calendar, and go over my plan for the day. If I start the day chaotic, I feel like I’m running to put out fires all day long. I’m lucky in that Shane doesn’t go to school until the afternoon, so our mornings are pretty relaxed. However, if your mornings are currently too crazy to do this, try waking up five minutes earlier whenever possible and go over the upcoming day. I know sleep is precious, but five minutes is less than one more “snooze” session, and it can help shape your whole day!

In order to carve out those few precious minutes, I’ve switched to eating homemade, paleo breakfast bars {recipe below} that I can make ahead so I can cut down on time in the kitchen in the mornings. I pair them with my secret weapon: a mug of my favorite coffee, with a splash {or three} of NESTLÉ® Coffee-mate® natural bliss® Hazelnut or NESTLÉ® Coffee-mate® natural bliss® Sweet Cream from Walmart. Each one has just the right amount of sweetness to help me start my day off with something just for me- and that coffee keeps me going once the chaos begins!

If you’re sick of stressful mornings or just want a healthy take on breakfast, be sure to try these bars:

Paleo Almond Apricot Date Bars ingredients #shop #backtobalancePaleo Almond Apricot Breakfast Bars #backtobalance #shop9

4.0 from 1 reviews
Paleo Almond Apricot Breakfast Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (unsalted) almonds
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: Shredded coconut to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine almonds, dates, and apricots. Process until they are completely chopped up and then continue until they just barely begin to form a “dough” ball. {I promise you’ll know when this happens.}
  2. Add in the salt and vanilla extract- and coconut if you’re using it. Continue to process until it’s mostly one big clump. You may have some lingering bits, you can use your hands to press them into the mix.
  3. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap or foil and lay the mix down onto it. Using either your hands or a rolling pin {I use my hands because the mix is sticky}, flatten the mix and shape it into a rectangle.
  4. Place it into the fridge to set until cold- at least 20 minutes should do the trick. Remove from fridge, cut into bars and enjoy!

Even if you don’t have time to set aside every morning, don’t forget to take small moments to yourself when you can. Whether it’s a minute to rest your feet or an hour to catch up on a favorite show, you’re worth it!

Where to find Coffee-mate natural bliss creamer #shop #backtobalance

{Oh, and seriously try that creamer. It makes for an awesome cup of coffee. It has the perfect amount of sweetness and natural flavors- such a great way to start the day!} For more great recipes and ways to help you get back to balance, check out walmart.com/nestle!

How do you find balance amongst the chaos?

 

DIY Beauty: Cocoa Body Butter Recipe

By now, you may have noticed that I have a love of DIY beauty products. While I love traditional beauty products as well, something about getting in the kitchen and making new concoctions is just so fun! Plus, making homemade beauty products from natural ingredients means you know exactly what you’re putting onto your skin.

This rich and decadent Cocoa Body Butter makes for an amazing homemade beauty product. The blend of oils, shea butter, and Vitamin E combine to create a moisturizing and skin softening treatment! You can get your chocolate fix with the aromatherapy benefits of the delicious scent.

cocoabodybutter (1)

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup Shea Butter
-1/4 cup Coconut Oil
-2 tbsp Almond Oil
-2 tsp Vitamin E or 2 Vitamin E Capsules
-1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
-1 tsp Vanilla Extract
-Jars

Directions:

1. Place shea butter, almond oil, and coconut oil  in a heat safe bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between each- until they are fully melted.

2. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, then place in refrigerator until partially set {10-15 minutes}. If you let it stay in too long and it hardens, just set it out for a bit in a warm spot until it begins to soften again.

3. Place the ingredients in the bowl of a hand or stand mixer, and mix well until whipped up.

4. Add vanilla, cocoa powder, and Vitamin E- mix well.

cocoa body butter horizontal

The Vitamin E works as a preservative in the body butter, so even out of the fridge the cocoa body butter is good for about 2-3 months. If you choose, you can keep yours in the fridge- it gives it a firmer consistency and makes for a really refreshing treat in the summer!

If you like DIY beauty, be sure to check out my body scrubs, too! Don’t miss my Cinnamon Face ScrubPumpkin Body ScrubChocolate Body Scrub {featured on Mashable!} and my Sugar Cookie Scrub- which has been pinned on Pinterest over 11,000 times!

 Have you ever made beauty products at home?

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Please note: This post is not sponsored, but I have included affiliate links for the suggested products. If you choose to click on these links, my site will receive a few cents from your purchase {so I can buy supplies to make more!} but it will not cost you anything extra. Win-win!

Create Your Perfect Pizza with Pizza Hut’s New Flavor of Now Menu!

While I love cooking and have a lot of fun in the kitchen, there are nights that I just don’t feel like make something. Whether I’m exhausted from a long day or we have too much to do and not enough time to make something from scratch, we find ourselves ordering pizza from Pizza Hut when we’re too busy to cook but still want something delicious!

Pizza Hut- The Flavor of Now

When Pizza Hut told me about their new Flavor of New menu, it sounded so delicious that we ordered that day. We’ve always enjoyed their classic pizza flavors but the all new flavors just sounded so good. Not only have they added several options, but you can customize them to come up with your perfect pizza! In addition to their classic offerings, you can now choose from the following options for your next Pizza Hut pizza:

5 new toppings: premium salami, sliced banana peppers, classic meatballs, fresh spinach, Peruvian cherry peppers

6 bold sauces: classic marinara, premium crushed tomato, creamy garlic parmesan, buffalo, honey Sriracha, barbeque

8 crust flavors: Hut favorite, toasted parmesan, salted pretzel, honey   Sriracha, fiery red pepper, toasted cheddar, toasted asiago, garlic buttery blend

4 drizzles: balsamic, honey Sriracha, buffalo, barbeque

Since learning about Pizza Hut’s new Flavor of Now menu, we’ve ordered three times {and one of those times was with Justin’s parents, so they got to try it, too}. The first time we got a chicken pizza with barbeque drizzle on toasted parmesan crust and an order of honey Sriracha breadsticks and they were so good. The pizza was great, too, and since we’re really big on barbeque sauce we ordered it as a drizzle on our pizza the next time, too- even though that time we’d gotten ham, sliced banana peppers, and pineapples on the garlic buttery blend crust. Finally, last week, we tried another chicken pizza, this time with onions, premium crushed tomato sauce, garlic buttery blend crust, and- you guessed it- barbeque sauce drizzle.

Pizza Hut Flavor of Now Pizza

It’s so easy to customize your pizza and add all new flavors you haven’t tried before. I have a whole list of combinations I want to try next: classic meatballs with classic marinara, fresh spinach with chicken and balsamic drizzle, and that salted pretzel crust with really anything on top of it. Yum!

If you ever find yourself too hungry and tired at the end of a busy weeknight to cook, do yourself and your taste buds a favor and try the Flavor of Now! {Bonus: you can easily order online.}

Give Pizza Hut’s all-new menu a try with 5 premium new ingredients, 6 bold new sauces and 10 amazing new crust flavors. Build your own creation now at PizzaHut.com.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pizza Hut. The opinions and text are all mine.

7 Unusual Gifts for Valentine’s Day

This post is brought to you by a guest contributor.

Valentine’s day is not to everyone’s tastes. The usual unimaginative platitudes of flowers, chocolates and cards can be bought out of duty rather than desire with the day being ticked off as either ‘done’ or ‘must do better’ by people’s better halves. That’s why it is worth making an effort this Valentine’s Day and being a little creative with your gifts by avoiding the clichés and card shop suggestions. Here are a few bits of inspiration which may give you some ideas on how to be a bit leftfield this year.

St. Valentines Day background with pink flowers, blue bow and he

Weekend Away

This is a great idea for a gift as the memories you will get from a weekend away will last much longer than a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. It is also the perfect chance to get romantic and give yourselves a much-needed early-year break.

Personalised Gifts

There is now a wealth of websites that sell all sorts of things which can be personalised with images and text. Mouse mats, tablet cases, clothing and sports equipment can all be printed or embroidered with yours and your partner’s likenesses or names to make the gift feel special. And if you think you have left it a bit late, Zippi offer personalised mugs with next day delivery option.

Diarised Dates

Here’s a gift which you can make which doesn’t (necessarily) have to break the bank but will show a lot of thought. It is also a ‘gift that keeps on giving’. Set out some dates over the next few months – go for a meal, a walk in a local park, a night at the pictures – write them in a diary and hand over the diary as a gift.

A Hamper

Prove you have noticed what their preferred products are by gathering them all in to one hamper put together with love. These can be anything from beauty products to items of clothing.

Theatre Tickets

Another ‘experience’ gift which will give you memories rather than the transient pleasure of chocolate or flowers, a night out at the theatre is romantic and perhaps unusual enough to earn brownie points.

Art Work

It’s not easy to find affordable unique artwork but occasionally it is possible to find local artists who will do commissions for a reasonable price. Alternatively, have a look on Etsy for some great handmade gifts from artists around the country. The great thing about this website is you can search by your partner’s interest e.g. ‘Star Wars’ and then find lots of quirky, unusual goodies.

A Tattoo

This certainly won’t be the ideal present for everybody but if your partner who is someone who has always talked about getting a tattoo but never took the plunge, a gift voucher for a tattoo parlour is the perfect incentive and Valentine’s Day, the perfect opportunity.

What would you love to get for Valentine’s Day?

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