A Step in Solving the Pet Hair Problem

Tuesday Revews-Day

Disclaimer: This post contains product supplied for review.

Bringing a dog home has been one of the most fun and frustrating adventures in recent memory. He’s awfully cute, and he’s pretty snuggly at times, too (the other night I went to sleep with his head on the crook of my arm, how sweet is that?!), but he destroys things and barks for reasons real and imaginary (more so the latter). He also sheds. A lot.

Now, this is where having a single-color pup would be vastly superior: if you have a black dog, wear black clothes and upholster your furniture in dark tones. Blonde or white, likewise. Grey? You have plenty of options to choose from. But Duncan is a tri-color and he sheds his black and white with impunity, and I just can’t see myself living in houndstooth check 24/7/365.

Fanatics might resort to daily sweeping and a lint brush in every room. We are far from fanatics. We accept the presence of dog fur in our lives as out lot. It’s life, we deal.

But there are times when we just need it gone, whether it’s expected company or a random Tuesday when I’ve had enough, and it was one of those random days when I received an email introducing the Bump It Off, billed as sometime to solve a plethora of household woes, including pet hair! That alone was enough for me to send my address for a sample.


Here’s how we’ve fared with the Bump It Off over the last couple of months for the top three uses:

  • Pet hair: the silicone picks up the hair and rinse off fairly easily. While there could be, I suppose, a concern about pet hair clogging drains, for occasional touch-ups of clothes or upholstery, it probably wouldn’t be a problem. You can also use the soft bristle side to groom you pooch. Duncan seemed to like the feel of it but, like most things, he was more interested in chewing on it.
  • Dishes: The Bump It Off features one side of blunt nubs and one side of soft bristles, both of which work nicely for getting food off dishes without damaging any finishes. Because the bristles and bumps are soft, though, you may need to exert a bit of elbow grease, but it’s still better than scratching or chipping enamel or other non-stick surfaces.
  • Laundry: Those bristles come in handy for working spot treatments into stains or brushing away surface debris.

The design of the Bump It Off is pretty clever, with the four fingers holes on one end and an open space opposite that allows the user to hold it whichever way they find it most comfortable and useful depending on the application at hand.

While it won’t completely eradicate sponges and scrubbies from our home, I can definitely see keeping one on hand in the kitchen, laundry, and living rooms plus one in the car for wardrobe touch-ups for nights out or meetings. They are top-rack dishwasher safe and come in bright colors, in singles or two or four in a pack.

And I apologize, especially for those non-fans, if you also now have “Shake it Off” stuck in your head–it certainly makes for a memorable product name!

I Don’t Know What I’m Procrastinating

In The Studio

But I’m procrastinating it real good.

The other day I decided that I wanted to re-position my desk (again) and the work table that backs up to it. While I’ve tried to maintain a largish, open area in my previous office layouts, I realized that I really don’t need the open floor space as much as I need the elbow room that placing my desk & table more or less in the middle of the room.

Last time I redid my office I went ahead when I felt like it, despite the fact that the desk and table were covered with stuff and the floor a bit cluttered, too. It was a mess of epic proportions, mid-move, and not a sight I really want to witness again. Add in the presence of Duncan the devil dog and mobile paper shredder, and it’s really not a good idea to just dive in!

I have a couple sections of my office already blocked off from puppy paws, and my natural inclination to move leftover materials to the nearest flat surface so I can work on something new led to a very cluttered area beyond the barricades, so these were the prime areas that needed rehabbing before I could reasonably start the rearranging.

So Sunday, on my way home from the planner meetup, I stopped at Target and picked up 3 plastic totes–I knew the chances of my sorting and stacking the chaos was far greater than actually finding homes for the various materials in a timely fashion. Self-enabling? Perhaps. Or I just need more storage. (Bite your tongue if the words “or less stuff” crossed your lips or your mind.)

Normally I’ll get the supplies but wait to actually start. Not so, this time, I started tossing things into the first two bins that night, and last night filled the third bin. I have bit more to sort, but the floor is getting clearer so I’m getting closer to the end goal. The only reason I can think of to be so motivated is that I’m putting off finishing something else, though nothing’s really coming to mind.

I didn’t take any pictures, but I do think there’s a video clip of the before state that’ll be in the next vlog upload. Not sure if I’ll have the after within the next week or so, but anything’s possible!

Gettin’ All Up in My Grill

Everyday Adventures

This post is sponsored by Mean Green Degreaser.

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer–I can only hope the thermometer gets the memo. And even though we here in the Deep South have the luxury of using our grills pretty much year-round, it feels a little more natural to use it more in the summer. And a well-used grill tends to show it.

When Todd and I moved in together back in 2009, my family gifted us with a lovely gas grill for our housewarming party (that we immediately put to use). That grill is still hanging with us, though we had to get new grill grates a couple years back because the set that came with it had been cooked and scraped through in places. Now, I’d like to see the replacement plates last at least as long as the originals, so a little maintenance is in order.

We try to remember to give them a once-over with the wire brush before each use, but it’s more like every 2-3 uses if we’re being real. Now that prime grilling season is over, though, it’s a good time for a deep clean.

The Before: Not Too Pretty

The Before: Not Too Pretty

Oh, wait, let’s get a little closer so you can see the true extent of what we’re working with.


Yeah… kind of a mess, right?

First I hit it with the wire brush to knock any larger particles loose and then shook the plates out before hitting them with the hose.Then a liberal application of Mean Green Super Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, let it soak in for a minute before giving it a scrub. Rinse and repeat because, well, it’d been a while.


Once they had a chance to air dry, back into place they went–not quite good as new but definitely a vast improvement. Even Todd was impressed!

The After: you could totally eat of this grill (which is sort of the point, right?)

The After: you could totally eat of this grill (which is sort of the point, right?)

This clean-up was simple and painless and didn’t ruin my nails, not something I usually associate with grubby tasks like cleaning the grill or anything else. It all comes down to the right tools, you know?

So before you put away your summer gear, make sure it’s ready and waiting for the next season by cleaning it up before you store it.

And with that, let the autumn fun begin!


Make Your Own Anti-Bacterial Kitchen Wipes

Everyday Adventures

Last month, when I first shared with you about how much I was enjoying my new post as a Brand Ambassador for Mean Green, I mentioned how much better the Mean Green Anti-Bacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner was. Namely, that it didn’t leave a sticky residue on my kitchen counters the way a certain brand of kitchen wipes did.

But I really missed the convenience of those pop–up wipes and not having to locate both the cleaner and a roll of paper towels when a mess needs managing. (I don’t know about your house, but our paper towels like to go on walkabout on a fairly regular basis.) So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Kitchen Wipes

Making your own pop-up wipes isn’t new or even novel, but it usually involves making your own cleaning solution on top of finding the right container. With the Mean Green Anti-Bacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner on hand I didn’t have to worry about it. And since I had a half-used roll of paper towels and an empty, tall, gallon-sized container on hand I had absolutely everything needed to make these kitchen wipes!

Super Simple, just 4 "ingredients"

Super Simple, just 4 “ingredients”

Gather together:

1 Canister or Plastic Container
1 Roll of Paper Towels short enough or narrow enough to fit inside the chosen container
2 Cups Mean Green Anti-Bacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner
1 Cup Water

Step 1

Step 1

Wedge the paper towels into the chosen container. If it’s a snug fit, I found that twisting the roll, as if threading a screw, helped get everything in place.

Step 2

Step 2

Combine 2 cups of Mean Green Anti-Bacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner with 1 cup of water. It’s not essential to dilute the cleaner since it can be used full-strength with no problems, but I wanted to stretch it a little without decreasing the cleaning power. A 2:1 ratio seemed like a good idea.

Step 3

Step 3

Slowly pour the water and cleaner mixture over the roll of paper towels, saturating the entire roll.

Step 4

Step 4

Put the lid on and let sit for 4-6 hours so the cleaning mixture has time to sink through the roll of paper towels.


And if I was worried about using too much cleaning solution, the fact that there was only 1/4″ or so of liquid at the bottom of the container after sitting for several hours eased my concerns!

Step 5

Step 5

Remove the cardboard tube form the center of the paper towel roll. By this time it’ll be super-soaked and incredibly pliable.

Step 6

Step 6

Find the first (or closest to it) towel on the roll and pull up. I prefer the rolls with the half-sheets in general, and they come in extra handy for this sort of DIY as well.

Now, the one thing I opted not to do was to drill, cut, or otherwise make a hole in the center of the lid. That’s just asking for the wipes to dry out and I have no intention of making more work for myself. It’s really not that tough to take the lid off and put it back on, especially if it means my wipes stay ready-to-use!

These wipes came in handy almost immediately, thanks to Duncan’s antics, and I even got to use some in the kitchen, as well!

This post has been sponsored by Mean Green Degreaser. As a Brand Ambassador I receive product and other compensation for my participation and posts, but all opinions and experiences are my own.


When’s the Last Time You Checked Your Pantry?


Or, for that matter, the condiments and containers in your fridge.

If you’re anything like me, you check the crisper drawers and larger items for freshness the night before the garbage run. The pantry and the refrigerator door shelves (where the condiments live) tend to get checked less, but I thought we were doing a pretty good job of keeping up with everything.

Until, of course, I went to pack up the pantry and fridge goods to move from one house to another this past weekend. Between both of those, the sodas that had expired on the bar, and the older items from the chest-freezer that were passed their prime, we filled 2 kitchen bags to take out to the trash along with the numerous bags of still-usable items.

The sodas were easy to forget about–we hadn’t been doing as much entertaining and since I’m not making cocktails every week anymore that might use them as mixers, they lost their fizz without a peep. We have a free-standing pantry that is fairly compact, so there’s not a ‘far back’ for items to get pushed to, but we obviously need to do a better job of using our stores–I found several partial bags of rice and quinoa (thankfully not out of date) that will be getting used up this week!

The fridge-level condiments were the worst, though. A bottle of this or that, purchased for one recipe or another then forgotten, we had quite the collection! After throwing away quite a bit of it we still moved over several bottles to the new fridge: my mission is now to use them up (good thing chicken and tilapia are so versatile!) and to make a more concerted effort to replicate those sauces and condiments in small batches per recipe rather than buy a bottle of something we’re not likely to use. Sticking with staple ingredients will probably be the best bet for avoiding the problem in the future.

We also designated a “contraband” cabinet in the new kitchen: a place for the things that are too High-FODMAP to regularly use in dinner preparations but that Todd might want to have if I’m out for a night. It also includes flours or other items we might use when cooking for someone else. It’s not like I ban High-FODMAP foods from coming into our home–it’s hardly necessary and a little extreme considering Todd doesn’t need to adhere to the same restrictions as I do. But by placing staple ingredients that aren’t going to mesh well with my digestive system in a separate place makes it less likely we’ll use something by accident.

The kitchen is the last thing to be packed up and moved over, but as a stop-gap I tried to grab the basics in case it takes us a few nights to finish up:

  • a large frying pan
  • a large stock-pot
  • a medium-sized sauce pan
  • knives and cutting boards
  • cookie sheets
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • salt, pepper, and a few other spices
  • and the vase of spoons, spatulas, and so forth that sits next to the stove.

I think the should be enough, but I have a feeling I’m going to be grabbing for all sorts of things over the next few weeks that haven’t been brought over or unpacked yet!

More about the actual move later this week, but I’m certainly glad we don’t have to depend on take-out for the next few days!