Washing my dog without water just didn't get her clean + a giveaway!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

This past weekend, we had a little glilmpse of spring.

The sun was shining and while it was still a bit crisp, that didn't stop us from getting outside to enjoy the weather.

Our dog Sophie is a part of our family and she loves when she gets to be included in trips to the park, long walks with the family and visits to the beach.

Sophie has never met a puddle she doesn't like. 

It could be sewer run off, a collection of water from the last rainfall, or a pond at the park, she must swim and frolic in any body of water that she finds.

Sophie's love of puddles, usually means that when we get home from an outing, she's coated in mud, and she is wet and stinky.

It's a good thing she likes water, because she gets a lot of baths!

However, today, I thought I would give her a bath, and try to get her clean without water.



While Sophie enjoyed the rub down, I don't think she got any cleaner.

And she was still pretty stinky!

Which made me think of the Cottonelle flushable wipes

and the Clean Care toilet paper that I received last month.

There seem to be a long list of things that just can't get clean without water.

Remember the Car Wash video?

If I can't get my car clean or my dog clean without water, can I really get clean in the bathroom with dry toilet paper?

Cottonelle has unveiled several hilarious hidden camera videos asking this very question.

Nothing leaves you feeling cleaner and fresher than using Cottonelle clean care toilet paper and flushable wipes, now with a more cloth like feel.

Now through June 30, you can visit Cottonelle.com to watch the whole collection of hidden camera videos and submit your entry to win one of four grand prize $10,000 bathroom makeovers!

The sweepstakes rules can be found here.

Do you need a bathroom overhaul?

Or just want to spruce it up a bit?

Leave a comment on my blog telling me what you would do with the $10.000 bathroom makeover or why you would want to win it!  One lucky winner on my blog will receive a Cottonelle care package containing the Cottonelle Fresh care flushable wipes and Cottonelle Clean care toilet paper.

After you leave a blog comment, you must like Cottonelle on Facebook and follow Cottonelle on Twitter.

Contest ends on April 30, 2013.  

Good luck!

Visit Sponsor's Site


Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

He is risen indeed!

What's in my cart at the Dollar Store

Since I wrote my What Not to Buy at the Dollar Store post a year ago, 
I've become something of an expert on what to buy when you shop there.
Friends stop me almost every week asking me if the Dollar Store carries an item that they are looking for.
I think the only way I could be more informed about the stock at the Dollar Store is if I were a paid employee!

That said, I thought it would be fun to start a series called
What's in my Cart at the Dollar Store

We are just a week away from Easter, and when there is a holiday, I am usually picking up a few things at the Dollar Store.

This week, I grabbed a few things to stick in the kids Easter baskets.
To see my list on other baby/toy items to buy {or not to buy} see here.
I love these cheap science kits.
I've actually seen them in stores for $7.99 each!
The sticky tumbler and super balloon balls just looked fun.
The basket stuffers were eggs that actually cracked and hatched either a chicken or a duck.
After a recent trip to a feed supply store, my kids have been begging for real life poultry. 
This is as close as they will come!

I picked up some of my son's favorite candy for his basket.
He loves anything sour.

This is the first time I have seen food coloring at the Dollar Store.
You can't screw up food coloring {can you??}
so I thought I would give it a shot.
We will use it when we color Easter eggs.
My son also loves to have colored water when he takes a bath.
I add a few drops of food coloring to the tub and he loves it!

I'm working on a project and needed some reinforcement tabs.

My oldest son's friend has just achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
We will be celebrating his accomplishment this weekend.
I picked up a Congratulations card for him.

I am gathering snack supplies for a long car trip we will be taking.
I picked up pretzel sticks, {my husband's favorite} white cheddar popcorn and the kids favorite fruit gushers {which I am sure have no fruit in them}.
The last time I was in Mexico I stocked up on real Vanilla {it's a steal there!}
but alas, I am out.  So I got some vanilla extract too.

So, those were the things in my cart at the Dollar Store this week.
What was in your cart?


DIY mercury glass vase filled with Lilies + gift card giveaway to buy your own!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of iBulb for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love fresh flowers!
I try to have a bunch of fresh flowers somewhere in my house.
Last week, it was the daffodils from my front yard.
This week, I have the most beautiful bouquet of Lilies in a DI Y mercury glass vase that I made.
There is something about having fresh flowers in your home that just brightens the space!
I want to show you how easy it is to turn a boring old vase that I bought for a quarter at a garage sale, into a beautiful work of art worthy of displaying the most beautiful flowers!
I started with a boring vase that you can pick up anywhere for super cheap.
You will also need Krylon looking glass spray paint (I searched for months and finally found it at Michael's), and a spray bottle mixed with vinegar and water (half and half).
I always wear plastic gloves when I spray paint so that I don't paint my fingers.
Looking glass spray is made to be sprayed INSIDE the vase or jar that you are painting.
You will want to spray lots of thin layers of your looking glass spray and let it dry for a minute after every coat.
As I let it dry, I turn the vase upside down and swirl the paint around the vase.
This is after 3 coats of looking glass spray.
It goes on slowly, but if you are patient, you can end up with a very neat effect.
Once you have your desired coverage (usually 10 coats), I let the vase dry for about five minutes.
After five minutes, you want to spray your vinegar/water solution on the painted area.
This will help you get those spots and lines that give mercury glass character.
Wipe the inside of the sprayed area with a paper towel.
Notice you won't get too much paint off, just enough to give it a cool effect.
Let the vase dry overnight.
In the morning, head to your local grocery store (these flowers came from my Safeway), florist or my favorite, your local farmers market, and pick up the most beautiful bouquet you can find.
I love my bouquets to include lilies because they are so fragrant.
Every time I walk past this bouqet it instantly brightens my day and makes me feel like spring is just around the corner!
The lovely people at iBulb are offering one of my lucky readers a $25 Visa gift card to purchase a bouquet of flowers and brighten their home.  If you would like to enter to win, just leave a comment about what type of craft project you like to make with the lilies if you won.  
You can check out this pinterest site for more ideas and inspiration.
A winner will be chosen one week from today.
Good luck!
Visit Sponsor's Site

I'm off and running again and have some Merrell shoes for training

If you have been reading along with my blog for long enough, you would know that I run, but don't call myself a runner.  I've never embraced the title of runner even though I have trained for and completed numerous 5k's and three half marathons. 

I even went as far as to write a post about how I was hanging up my running shoes...for a little while.
When I turned 30, I celebrated my birthday by participating in my first official 5k race.
Each year, I like to celebrate turning one year older by participating in some type of athletic event during my birthday month of September.
I didn't do that last year, and I sort of missed it.

This year, I am turning 35.
Sort of a milestone birthday.
I'm hitting my mid 30's and decided to sign up and train for half marathon number four.

The good people at Merrell heard about how I was celebrating my birthday, and offered me a new pair of running shoes to help get me inspired to train for this big event.

I had no idea that Merrell had so many athletic shoes to choose from!
It was a hard decision with so many fantastic designs that don't just look good, but that perform well also.

I ultimately settled on the Road Glove Dash 2 in grey and pink.
Aren't they cute?!
I'm sure at this point we have all heard or seen the shoes that are part of the barefoot collection.
The shoes that look like toes are less my style, but these look like normal running shoes, but with the benefits of barefoot running.

Merrell Road Glove Dash 2 Grey/Pink
What are some of the benefits of barefoot running you might ask?
The Merrell Barefoot collection (found here) allows the feet to discover a more natural stride and gait, and encourages a lower impact midfoot landing.  They are designed to engage the feet efficiently, avoid injury, improve alignment and strengthen the body's core.  These super light shoes (6 oz) stimulate the senses and increase quickness and agility. 

Are you sold?  Because I was!
That sounds like everything I want in a running shoe.

I've had a few opportunities to take them out to the track for a test drive.

They are so light, comfortable and easy to run in.

Merrell has more than just running shoes.
They also have tons of mens, womens and children's shoes for anything you need.
And Merrell stays true to comfort without compromising style, even in their everyday shoes, boots and sandals. 
You can shop Merrell here.
Let's start training!

Twine wrapped dollar store carrots

Twine wrapped dollar store carrots

It's no secret that I like twine.
I used it in October to make twine wrapped pumpkins.
If I see twine at a garage sale I usually pick it up.
You can always find something to do with it!
So when I saw syrofoam cones at the Dollar Store the other day I picked them 
up and immediately thought carrots wrapped in twine.  

And here they are!
For about $1 a piece, you can make your own twine wrapped carrots too!

Here are the supplies that I used:
styrofoam cone
faux leaves from a plant I had in my craft closet
wire cutters, for the plant leaves
hot glue gun and glue

 I started by poking a hole in the top of the styrofoam base and pushed my plant end in.
Some of the plants are harder to push in, so you may need a wooden skewer to help you make a hole first, and then push the stem in after.

I then started at the tip putting hot glue at the base and began wrapping my twine around, 
making it as pointy as possible.

I continued wrapping around my styrofoam base up the sides.

Once you get to the top, just keep wrapping the twine in as best as you can to fill the space.

That's it!
I love Dollar Store crafts!

Now my table has a centerpiece for Easter!
How do you decorate for Easter?

Fashion trends I am not loving

I really don't like shopping at Wal-mart, but I found myself in the aisles last week.
After pushing through the produce I found myself in the junior apparel section and was appalled.
I know I wasn't in Nordstrom, but I felt like I had entered into the aisles of Goodwill or Value Village or something.
No Boundaries Juniors Floral-Print Cuffed Shorts
Floral Print Cuffed Shorts?
No Boundaries Juniors Enzyme Bleach Bermuda Shorts
They call these enzyme bleached bermuda shorts, 
but those look like acid washed if you ask me.
G21 Juniors Destroyed Skinny Jeans
Destroyed skinny jeans?
Looks to me like a pair of jeans from the 80's that should have stayed there.
G21 Juniors Printed Rolled Ankle Skinny Jeans
and this floral print again?
It reminds me of this blazer from the 80's.
Are they going to bring shoulder pads back too?
Wal-Mart isn't the only one.
Target has embraced the floral print trend too.

I am not the only one who hopes that the trends of the 80's stay in the 80's now am I?
Am I just getting old?
Do you love the floral print and neons that are making their way back into the stores?

Lessons Learned From My Time Working as a Goodwill Employee

When I was barely 16, I started my first job as an employee of the Westfield, Indiana Goodwill.
The job not only provided me valuable work experience during my 18 months of employment, but it satisfied my love of digging through old boxes for treasures, and sorting through piles of used clothes for gems {I got my first Giorgio Armani shirt there}. Last week, after going to the Goodwill Outlet with my friend Mandi, I started retelling some of my favorite Goodwill stories on our way home and we laughed until my side hurt!

Junkin' in Seattle

Last week, my friend Mandi and I decided to hit the Goodwill Outlet in Seattle for the first time.
I have heard of the Goodwill Outlet but sort of boycotted it because to me, it sounds like a bit of an oxymoron.

The Goodwill outlet is the final stop for all of the items donated at the local Goodwill stores before heading to the dump.  Most of the items are sold by the pound and are deeply discounted from the normal {expensive} Goodwill prices.  You can see my post here about how I think Goodwill is too expensive.

You enter into a warehouse building like this and find hoards of people.

Rows of blue bins are rolled in filled to the brim with clothing, toys, and household items.
People quickly gather around the newest rolling carts and dig.
There is a little bit of organization to the madness.
Everyone waits behind a blue line until all of the new carts are in place.
Then once they wheel in the final cart, everyone starts digging.
I may have gotten yelled at more than once for not being aware of how this system works.
Now you know.

Bring a pair of gloves or better yet, your haz mat suit.
You will leave feeling like bugs are crawling all over you.

The Goodwill outlet has it's own security...and it needs it.
A fight nearly broke out within the first five minutes of us being there because someone was upset that someone else threw the clothes they were sorting too aggressively across the blue bins.
Yep, that really happened.
And we were told by other Goodwill outlet customers who are frequent shoppers that that happens a lot.
It's like prison.
Keep your head down and mind your own business.

I wasn't on a search for clothes on this trip but I was curious to see why all the people flock to the clothing bins.  I really didn't come away with any answers.  I'm sure there are finds to be had, but every single pair of pants that I found had holes in the crotch.
I'm not joking.  

I did also spend some time searching for shoes.
There were a few pairs that had potential, but only if you had one foot.
Pairs were hard to come by.
Finding a pair of shoes was like searching for a needle in a hay stack.
So, I gave up.

If you are a one legged individual who doesn't care if you have a crotch in your pants, then the Goodwill outlet is your place to shop!

This is my basket filled with my goodies.
The clothes that I did find were found on the top of the piles.
Rejects that people no longer wanted in their own carts.
I picked up a coat for my son and a zip up jacket for my dad.

I also found some fantastic fabric samples, a large rug, a duvet cover, and an old suitcase.
I'm sure there were other fun finds in there.
Grand total for all of this...$19.

I found that the prices for items seemed to be set by each cashier.
Especially those items not sold by the pound.
Mandi got this basket of goodies for about the same price as all of my stuff.
Pretty sure she got a better deal.

I would definitely head back to the Goodwill Outlet for another shopping experience.
I learned a thing or two and feel like a real expert.
I probably wouldn't go by myself though.
And I would never go without gloves.

The next stop Mandi and I made was just down the road at a shop called Second Use.
Second Use is a salvage store that is slightly cheaper than Earthwise, but not cheap like a garage sale.
There were some finds to be had {especially in the free pile}.
Mandi picked up this half door {soon to be table} and two window frames for $5 each.

There were a lot of things that were eye candy.
This green scale is fantabulous isn't it?

You know how I love old windows.
My new window passion is leaded glass.
Hard to find, but amazing when you do.

If you need a door, Second Use is the place.
There were rows and rows of old doors.
Barn doors, front doors, screen doors, you name it.
I'm a sucker for old machines.

Isn't this buffet beautiful?
It looks like it was an old built in in a turn of the century house.
Image the parties it has seen!

Industrial is awesome.

This was probably my favorite piece of the whole day.
It is so much better in person.
Wouldn't it be an awesome upper cabinet if you were re doing a kitchen?

Mandi was loving this as a store front check out area.
Did you know my favorite store, Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium is moving to downtown Sumner?
It's a big deal.

Aren't these handles super rad?

Need a knob or a hinge?

Perhaps an old school house pendant?

Not sure what you would do with an old radiator.
So many people have been hiding them for years.
It's time to embrace them as a decorative element.
Love the design on this one.

We had so much fun junkin' in Seattle.  
Do you have a favorite place to score old junk or an experience with the Goodwill Outlet?
I would love to hear from you!
I'm sure there are stories to be told!

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