Worst part of cleaning the house? #MrCleanMorePower

I used to think that cleaning toilets was the worst part of cleaning the house.  This is a sponsored post about cleaning the house for SheSpeaks/Mr. Clean.

Then I had kids.

Toilets were still kind of the worst, but we also had diapers, and lots more general mess.

But we also have a dog.

And now we have 2 kittens.

Since we got the kittens, I have realized that the worst part of cleaning the house is keeping the area around the litter box clean.

Because, litter.  As in cat litter.  Where they do their business and cover said business with litter using their paws.  Then they leave the litter box and go about their day.

Except they don’t leave ALL the litter in the box.

Which, in a word? YUCK.

I’m diligent about cleaning the litter box and we have a mat around it to try to catch the loose litter.

It doesn’t catch it all. And sometimes there’s little footprints near the box. Again, I say YUCK.

I need muscles to help me clean these floors.  MUSCLES.

mr clean liquid muscle

Like Mr. Clean and HIS muscles. Specifically, Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle. I already love his Magic Eraser muscles for many reasons, and now I have a new reason to love them.

I am in love with this cleaner.  And I like to make my own cleaners.  But sometimes, when I’m dealing with kitty pawprints of cat litter on my floors that my family walks on, I want something tough, and something strong. I want those muscles doing the icky work FOR me. (Remember, I’m lazy!)

mr clean liquid muscle at work

Mr. Clean and his muscles made short work of the mess on the floor.  (Plus, isn’t that the coolest bucket ever? I love it).

So what’s your least favorite part of cleaning?  Do you have pets to clean up after, too?

 

 

 

 

10(ish) things you probably don’t know about me #DunkinMugUp

These 10 things you probably don’t know about is part of a sponsored conversation via Dunkin Donuts.  Opinions are my own.

Ready? Here’s more about me than you ever wanted to know!

1. I have 2 tattoos. Mickey Mouse holding flowers and a pink starfish.

2. I went to summer camp on an island in the middle of Lake Winnipesaukee for 10 years growing up.

3. I have a weird aversion to purple food. There’s no reason at all for it.

4. I’m the youngest of 8 kids, all totaled. 4 brothers, 3 sisters. We’re a blended family but it’s my family and has been so since I was 3 and I know nothing else.

5. My sister Debi died when I was a sophomore in high school.

6. Pour Some Sugar on Me should be played at full volume every time. It does lose some of it’s effect of awesome when done in a minivan, but I make do.

7. If I’ve been someplace, chances are, I’ve used the bathroom. I think I have the world’s smallest bladder. I used to have accidents all.the.time. I also would wait until the last possible second and then run like crazy to make it to the bathroom in time. My 4 year old is the same way. (sorry, mom and dad!)

8. I haven’t ever had coffee on purpose without sweetener. If I’m at Dunkin Donuts, it’s got to be light and sweet with skim milk.

9. I worked at a Cumberland Farms for a really long time. It was actually a lot of fun.  The holiday “bonuses” of a half gallon of their brand eggnog and ice cream were a little lacking, but I had a great boss and learned a lot.

10. I had a love for overalls (even capri overalls) that went on far, far too long.

11. I can’t snap. The first trick my husband taught our Tobey when we got him was to bark when he snapped. Guess who can’t get Tobey to bark? 😉

12. I also can’t wink. I mean, I try, but my eyes don’t move separately from one another. There’s no discretion if I’m winking. Unless you are looking at the back of my head.

13. I used to tell people my name was Bridget. All the time. My mom would stand behind me shaking her head, and I’d be all “I’m Bridget!”

hipster dunkinmugup

14. My eyeglasses are about as hip as I get. Given that I’m currently sick (again) I will spare you a photo of me in my specs. Although as I write this, I am realizing that my ‘hip’ glasses have little holes so you can attach eyeglass chains.

Perhaps my hipness is gone? I’m still going to pretend. Cool glasses and fun coffee makes me hip. It does.

15. I’m really no good at sticking to lists of 10.

 

#dunkinmugup

 

Dunkin’ Donuts loves the hipster vibe. Take a picture of you and your mug in your old school kicks and vintage tees and upload here for a chance to win sweet prizes in the Mug Up Contest.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts . The opinions and text are all mine.

Spring Fashion for kids from Carter’s

One of the brands I have loved the most since even before I had my own kids was Carter’s.  Great quality, fabrics and prints that don’t fade or shrink, and soft on baby and kids’ skin.  Plus, it’s so stinkin’ cute.  I lost count years ago of how many things I’d purchased from Carter’s.  Carter’s, in fact, was the one brick and mortar store my mom would venture into the last years of her life.  All other shopping was grocery store or online. Period. She loved the options and quality available at Carter’s like I do. I participated in this spring fashion for kids program on behalf of Carter’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

We were challenged to create some spring fashion for kids from the Carter’s site.  Now, I will tell you, this isn’t easy for me. There’s too many options.  Lots of times when you think Carter’s, you think of baby and toddler stuff, and you aren’t wrong. But more and more, Carter’s is offering styles for sizes 3-7 and even up to size 12.  I prefer my kids to look like kids- not mini adults.  They have plenty of time to dress up like teens and adults when the time comes.  Until then, they can be fashionable and trendy to their heart’s content…in brands that mom’s happy with.  Here are not one, not 2 but 3 outfits I pulled together from Carter’s and am smitten with.  I’m pretty fortunate my girls LIKE to dress alike or coordinating so I can mix and match to my heart’s content.  There’s lots of room for them to each express their own individual style, though.  The first 2 outfits are all about spring break because I’m oh so ready for it.  The last could be for spring break if you go someplace tropical (we aren’t) so we’ll save it for summer.

This first outfit I like to call “Birdies” and it’s so spring-like with the colors, and birds, and shoes that don’t cover the whole foot.

Anyone else sick of winter? I am!

carters spring style birdies

1 Two Pack Sparkle and Flower Headbands 2 Braid and Bead Necklace 3 Chambray Mary Janes 4 Two Birdies Applique Tee 5 French Terry Skinny Fit Pant

Next up is the Whale of a Spring outfit.

Skorts are a big thing in our house- my girls want to wear skirts and dresses but they want to hang upside down and do cartwheels 532432431 a day. This outfit is fun, casual, and spunky enough to make her smile. carters spring style skirt outfit1  Polka Dot Jackie-O Sunglasses   2 Bubble Bead Necklace and Bracelet Set   3 Metallic T-Strap Sandals  4  Whale Tee  5  Jersey Mix Print Skort

Finally, I created the Flamingo Swim Ensemble, because it’s just the cutest suit and needed to be showcased.

That, and the first 6 weeks of summer we are outside, at the pool, from 9am (swim team) until about 1:30 pm (Synchro ends) and in between- swim lessons and tennis lessons for all 3 kids.  They want to be comfortable and look the way they choose, and I want to know that the suits, towels, coverups, etc. that I get them will last all summer and hold up to hours of playtime, especially in the water.  I don’t often get my kids suits that aren’t rashguards, so finding this super adorable nautical theme had me squealing. (And ordering…)

carters swim girl outfit

1. Bright Flower Sun Hat 2 Goggles (Can’t find them on site anymore) 3. Mermaid Hooded Towel 4.2 piece Rash Guard Set 5. Terry Swim Cover-Up 6. Bright T-Strap Sandals
Follow Brett Martin’s board Carter’s Spring Style on Pinterest.


 

Create your own spring style board for your kids! Ready to shop?  Check out Carter’s store locator to find a store near you.

(You’ll want to, because creating a spring style board of your own can get you entered to win below)

 

 

What’s your love story? #BlankandBow #CleverGirls AD

Thank you Disney’s Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story for sponsoring this post. Don’t miss the adventures of Blank and Bow in the in the short film now available for free on Google Play.

disney vinylmation blank and bow meeting

 

I watched Disney’s “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story” over the weekend.  It’s a love story like Disney’s not done before- it’s 38 minutes of stop motion animation and tells the story of Blank discovers his one true love, Bow, and the story of their separation and ultimately, their reunion.  Along the way there are obstacles to be overcome and friendships to be made.

Love stories are always fascinating to me. I don’t care if it’s short, long, silly, funny, I love them all.  Hearing the way two people connected in such a deep way is just something that warms my soul.  It’s never the same story twice, you know? Many tales of friendship are the same way.  We have all got those connections in our lives that never stop meaning the world to us- no matter how great the distance or how long it’s been since we’ve been together.

Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story – Trailer on Disney Video
What stood out to me most about Blank and Bow was their lack of color or apparent features- although honestly, it took a split second to understand what they were feeling and hoping for.  And really, it isn’t their lack of features, but how their appearance let you focus on what was happening so much more and not focusing on the characters so much.

Bow is taken from Blank to be brought to a color factory to be designed, and while Bow fights his way and follows her long distances, they also discover together that, along with other blank figures, they can band together and let others see that creating their own look is absolutely ok. They make some very colorful friends (literally) along the way and it’s really sweet to watch friendships unfold without a word spoken aloud.

disney vinylmation friends

ABOUT DISNEY’S “BLANK: A VINYLMATION LOVE STORY”

  • Disney Interactive and Google teamed up to launch “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story,” an original animated short film. The film will be available exclusively on Google Play, Google’s online store offering digital movies, books, music, apps, games and more.
  • Based on the popular Disney Parks Vinylmation collectible franchise, “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story” is a 38 minute stop-motion animated film that tells the story of Blank, an unpainted Vinylmation, on an epic adventure through an original new world to find his lost soulmate.
  • Guests can download “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story” for free exclusively on Google Play and can view the film online from their computer, or on their Android phone or tablet, or iPhone and iPad through the Google Play Movies & TV app. (Get the app for Android or iOS.)
  • To celebrate the premiere, Google is also inviting fans to share frames from the film with friends and family as digital greeting cards at blankmovie.withgoogle.com. After sharing a frame, guests can unlock a second special film, “Cranes in Love,” created especially for Google users.

As for my love story, well, it starts at a house party a few towns from where we live now.  I went to surprise a very dear friend from summer camp I hadn’t seen in a long time, her boyfriend’s band was playing at the party.  My J was there, as he’d been roommates with Ann’s boyfriend back in school… but I thought he was meant to meet up with my friend Maryanna, and all I could tell her all night was to go for it, and how cute he was.  A few months later, a group of us went to celebrate my birthday, and Maryanna and I had mutual friends with J…so they dragged him along promising him there would be 4 single ladies celebrating…

Well, it took about 4 seconds for me to have a goofy grin on my face.  Maybe less for him (he’d never admit to that). We were dancing and talking and having the most wonderful time… and honestly, it took him several days to call, but we’ve really been inseparable ever since. That second chance meeting was enough for both of us and we knew, this was it.   Like blank, I’d have and would still followed my J around the world to be with him again.

As for my friendship with Ann, we grew up in different states. We spent summers together at Camp Nokomis in New Hampshire.  4-8 weeks together depending on the year. The friendships I have from my years at camp never cease to amaze me. We don’t see one another often, several years often go by between visits, but the moment we are together, that’s it.  Time’s gone.

What’s your love story? Friendship story? Have you watched Blank and Bow?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

Fashionable Eyewear with Affordable Vision Care Insurance #VSPStyle AD #Giveaway

Do you know what’s fun?  Going to the eye doctor and choosing frames that fit you, your style, AND your budget.  So many times I’ve felt so frustrated because I need new glasses, but what I like and what suits my face is NOT what I can afford.  That’s just no fun.  Eyeglasses are quite often one of the things people notice first- and can be a really fun way to express your style, taste and individuality.  Eyewear is the only fashion item that you *can* get insurance for. Complete your outfit and “insure” your look with affordable vision care insurance from VSP Direct. With VSP Direct, you can fabulous and trendy glasses that fit your look and style at affordable prices. This is a sponsored post about affordable vision care written by me on behalf of VSP Direct.

vsp logoNot familiar with VSP Direct? It’s a premium individual vision insurance at a seriously affordable cost, offered by VSP Vision Care, and it gives you access to a large selection of frames from classic styles to trendy (including dozens of top brand names like bebe), so you can find one that fits your personality and your sense of style.
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I fell in love with these specs for my peepers from bebe. Aren’t they just fun, funky and fabulous all around? I could totally get them with the VSP Direct plan.  Score, right?  I’m always glad to see that companies are offering affordable insurance options- affordable vision care isn’t a myth, it is accessible for under $200 a year. VSP has a huge network of doctors (30,000+), so chances are, you’ll be able to find a provider in your area. You’ll get an eye exam at a low co-payment and lens enhancements or glasses allowances with your plan.  Don’t need a vision plan?  Perhaps you have a loved one who could use it.  It would make a nice gift for someone without vision care insurance.

bebe funky black glassess

Glasses are the think I’m most likely to go funky with.  I’m pretty conservative in my clothes.  But you know what? As I was poking around looking at the fun frames available from bebe I fell in love with this outfit and had to share! What do you think?

bebe style leopard outfit vsp glasses

So totally not my normal look but I adore it.  The glasses and watch were the first things to catch my eye, and then I found the dress.  It’s totally not me but I love it (and would really like to fit it for my niece’s bridal shower later in the year…)

insure your look sweepstakes

Be sure to enter the Insure Your Look Sweepstakes– you could win a year of VSP Insurance AND a $500 bebe gift card!

What would YOU do with a $500 bebe gift card? Do you have vision insurance?

 

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of VSP Direct.

Camping lanterns and campfire tongs

This camping lanterns and Campfire Tongs review post is brought to you by our friends at Snow Peak and Campfire Tongs.

What Every Camper NeedsWhen we go camping we have loads of fun hiking, biking, swimming and just being outdoors.  Some of the best camping memories are made when the sun goes down and the campfire gets started.  Campfire skills are something to brag about and a nice pair of Campfire Tongs will be something to show off at any campground.

Campfire Tongs camping gear

 

The original Campfire Tongs retail for $24.95 and are

  • Constructed from lightweight, high-quality aluminum

• Finished with Attractive Real-Wood Handles

• Complete Satisfaction Guarantee

• Made in the USA

The Campfire Tongs allow you to pick up and move a log, not just poke it around or try to move it with a stick.  These are safe, efficient and affordable.   These make a great gift for anyone with a firepit, RV or camper.  They can even be handy for a wood burning stove.  So buy a pair or 2!

Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Lantern for camping
While sitting around the fire, someone always needs to get up to get a snack or go to the bathroom.  A good flashlight or lantern is a must when camping.  Check out the Mini Hozuki Camping Lantern from Snow Peak. It is super cute, easy to use and the LED light gives off a candle-like light to your tent or campsite.

It has a flexible silicone loop and magnetic ball that allow you to hang it from any surface. When it arrived we all played with it. The loop can even be attached to my dog’s collar to provide light for a nighttime walk. I love the video and this lantern will go with us on all our camping trips. The Hozuki Mini retails for $39.95.


Tell us about your favorite camping trip! What are your must-haves for camping?

 

Never floss again with the Waterpik Aquarius #NewAgeInWaterFlossing

Well, I suppose we should never say never, right?
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I hate flossing. Honestly, I wasn’t ever good about it (never, ha!) until I met my husband.  You see, he’s got the short end of the proverbial stick when it comes to genetics and his teeth and jaws, and spent many, many hours in a dentist chair at 18 having all kinds of things done in his mouth.  He’s always been pretty conscious about caring for his teeth, but I guess after that, he was all kinds of serious.  He still is, 20+ years later. I can’t blame him, AND his habits rubbed off on me early on in our relationship so that’s a good thing too.

waterpik logo

He’s mentioned wanting to own a Waterpik forever.  The new Waterpik Aquarius Professional Water Flosser arrived last week for review and he’s been like a kid with a new toy at Christmas.  (Don’t tell him I told you *wink*) The dentist recommends it, he’s wanted one, but it seemed like one of those things we just didn’t want to spend that money on at that time and never did. Now that we have one? I’m kicking myself for not getting one a decade ago. It’s that awesome. Plus, it’s only $79.99.  Worth every penny.

waterpik aquarius flosser

The Aquarius comes with all of these cool flosser tips that do  different things.  You can massage or floss, which are the 2 options on the unit itself.  But then, you can change out the tips to really customize your oral routine – 7 tips means 7 options.  Plus, there’s 10 settings on the unit. You can get those areas that are hard to reach.  The Aquarius is great for people with crowns, bridges, implants, braces, or periodontal pockets. And since it’s using water to do the cleaning, it’s safe for use- no chemicals. It’s able to get really deep down and get ALL of the bits and particles of stuff from around your teeth or dental work, which is only going to lead to a happier, healthier mouth, don’t you think?

water flosser

The reservoir for the water holds enough to run the unit 90 full seconds, long enough to get your whole mouth clean.  We all seem to have plaque buildup behind our bottom front teeth in this family no matter what routines we do so I’m very much looking forward to improving THAT aspect of my dental health in the near future.

Waterpik stands behind their product.  They guarantee healthier gums in 14 days or your money back.  So what’s there to lose? Nothing. And to gain? A lot.

Get FREE SHIPPING on your Waterpik Aquarius purchase through 3/31/2014 with code FREESHIPWP660

So, what do you  think?  Have you tried a Waterpik? Are you going to get an Aquarius?

 

Affordable diapers that don’t leak DO exist #WellBeginnings #AD

This is a sponsored post about affordable diapers written by me on behalf of Well Beginnings.

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Having reliable diapers that don’t leak is kind of a MUST for parents.  Often times, that means spending top dollar with the hopes of a coupon to bring the cost down a little. With everything else in the world costing so much, that’s kind of a bummer.

Parents, what do we want?
Affordable diapers!

When do we want them?
NOW!

The bottom line is, diapers can’t leak. Period. Parents need to be able to rely on their diapers.  No ifs, ands or buts.  (See what I did there?  Bum-mer? Bottom line? But(t)s?)

affordable diapers

I still remember when my oldest nephew was born (sorry Joey) almost 29 years ago, and how my sister searched for diapers she could both afford AND that wouldn’t leak.  I also have a vague recollection that they were about 25 times thicker and bulkier than today’s diapers, but I digress.  Anyway, diapers have changed a LOT in 28+ years (thankfully) in terms of their bulk, performance, and also the brands that are making quality diapers themselves. Also, I’m pretty sure I can clearly remember one time when Joey rolled over in a new size diaper and his diaper seemed to stay where it was.  Stretch wasn’t really part of the diaper language back then.  Poor babies.

That’s where we are today, and why I’m writing this post.  Well Beginnings diapers.  Oh, yes.  I mean, aside from the super cute elephants (and who doesn’t love baby elephants? HMM??), Well Beginnings diapers offer what parents want most- diapers that don’t leak and stand up to wetness, at an affordable price.

well beginnings diaper open

Well Beginnings diapers are found at Walgreens.  (Is there no end to the wonder of Walgreens?). They were developed FOR active babies and toddlers.  Which means they were developed for those squirmy, wiggly, dancy little ones who make us laugh and smile so very much, and test the limits of all diapers put on their little bums. Like any disposable diaper needs to have these days, the waist and side panels are soft- and stretchy, so they really will move WITH your little one.

affordable diapers that don't leak

My favorite part of the Well Beginnings diapers (aside from performance, but I feel like that kind of goes without saying- if it keeps my kids leak free day and night, we have a winner) is that the inner liner is hypoallergenic, with natural botanicals, vitamin E and aloe.  Soothing and gentle on baby’s delicate skin.   All of this together means that Well Beginnings is a brand that offers affordable diapers that don’t leak.

well beginnings logo

So what’s your #1 requirement for a diaper?  Is it cost, is it performance?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Well Beginnings.

Super Hero Mashers from Hasbro #MyMashUp

I think we have approximately 5002 action figures in this house.  We’ve been adding to our collection since my son was 2 and talked about “bad guys” more than anything else (which, incidentally, were good guys, but he had limited verbal skills at the time…) So we kind of have a feeling like we maybe have “all” the action figures we need, you know?  Many of his friends’ moms say the same thing. But I heard about the new Super Hero Mashers from Hasbro, and I thought to myself, that’s something a little different. So when the chance popped up to review them, through our partnership with Mom It Forward network, we were excited to check these out.

Marvel Logo

MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS Action Figures Assortment

(Ages: 4 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: January 2014)

super hero mashers spider man

Mash up your hero, and then crack up your friends! Hasbro’s MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS feature your favorite MARVEL Super Heroes and Villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate (or ultimately silly!) hero. Would a hero with SPIDER-MAN’s body and HAWKEYE’S head shoot arrows or webs? With MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS, the possibilities are colossal for you to make YOUR mash-up! Thirteen figures will be available in this assortment in 2014, featuring favorite Marvel characters like CAPTAIN AMERICA, SPIDER-MAN and GREEN GOBLIN. Each figure is sold separately and comes with an accessory.

 

MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS BATTLE UPGRADE Action Figures Assortment

(Ages: 4 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: January 2014)

super hero mashers iron patriot

Mash up your hero, and then crack up your friends! Hasbro’s MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS feature your favorite MARVEL Super Heroes and Villains with completely interchangeable parts and accessories, so kids can create their ultimate (or ultimately silly!) hero. Each MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS BATTLE UPGRADE figure comes with multiple Battle Gear pieces, including a launching missile, for even more crazy combinations! With MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS, the possibilities are colossal for you to make YOUR mash-up! Seven figures will be available in this assortment in 2014, featuring favorite Marvel characters like HULK, THOR and VENOM. Additional Mash up arms included with Wave 2 figures. Each figure sold separately.

 mashng super hero mashers from hasbro

The ‘trunks’ of the bodies of these action figures are a nice solid construction.  They are a solid weight (not heavy, unless used as trajectory, which, well, it could be), so you know it’ll stand up to the play tests kids will put them through. Standard colors for each Masher go with their superhero costume colors. The feet seem a tiny bit small so the figures don’t seem to stand up on their own- at least not for long- but really, when my kids play with toys, they are rarely standing them upright and walking away so it’s a non-issue for us.

super hero mashers mashed #mymasher

Then the fun parts come into play.  Each of the Super Hero Mashers comes with some parts and pieces that are removable- and repositionable- so that you can change things up with different Mashers.  Hands, feet, gloves, webs, weapons, different Mashers come with different accessories but anything that comes OFF a Masher can be easily put onto another Masher.

So you can, say, combine your favorite parts of Spiderman with Thor, and maybe add a little bit of Iron Patriot in.  Create your own figures, or play with them as they come.  Lots of fun and creative options for kids!

My son really liked these.  A lot.  I was really surprised when he asked me for a paper and colored pencils so he could start drawing his creations that he made.  He actually has an assignment to bring in a toy or something from home in a dark bag for Friday, and has to write 7 things to describe it for his class to guess…without saying what it is.  He’s very excited to bring one of his Super Hero Mashers in and hopes to stump them since it’s NOT just Spidey or Iron Patriot!!  We will see.  But any toy that has him wanting to further his play with art AND language arts is going to get a second look by this mama.

hasbro my mashup #mymashup figures

Which Super Hero Mashers figure do YOU like best?

5 ways for kids to help clean the house #SwifferatTarget #CleverGirls #sp


My little one, like most kids, is great at making messes. It’s kind of a gift of little kids. Fortunately for us, we have a little one who also wants to help us keep the house clean. She’s always the first to ask “Can I help?” and really, she’s a great helper. She just needs the right tools and guidance. We’ve actually had all 3 of our kids doing chores since they were 18 months or so. My little one has been helping her daddy to keep the floors all clean with the new Swiffer Sweep & Trap while I’ve been in bed with strep throat all week and it got me to thinking I wanted to share some of our family ways for kids to help clean the house with you. Instead of cringing at life’s little messes and messmakers, why don’t we find ways to embrace the messes and teach the messmakers?!

ways kids can help clean the house

1. Clearing and setting the table

This one is easy- even an 18 month old can carry, say, spoons to the table. We used plastic IKEA dishes for the kids for a long time so our kids were able to do bowls and plates for themselves and one another from a young age. That also meant they could clear those from the table. I will say we ALWAYS have insisted and still do that the kids are on their feet before they try to carry any dishes or anything from the table. Lessons learned the hard way, friends.

2. Wiping the table, chairs, cabinets.

We use almost all natural cleaners in our house, so it’s all pretty safe, but even a damp cloth is enough for your little one to be part of the team. Baby wipes can also work.

3. Loading and unloading dishwasher.

Most families I know keep kids’ dishes and utensils where they can reach them. If not the kids’ stuff then maybe storage containers. Those are the things even the littlest ones can help with. Our kids have helped to put their dishes into the kid drawer for as long as I can remember. We just make sure any sharp things are out of the dishwasher before they are having their turn. Now, as the kids are older, they are able to stack dishes that they aren’t able to reach the cabinet for on the counter, sort utensils, etc.

4. Sorting laundry and putting it away.

Yep. Totally serious. Kids know what socks are vs. pants from a really young age. Why not make a game of it and teach them to help with laundry? My kids are pretty skilled with laundry sorting and putting away (this is also one chore that they can get paid for, because I HATE sorting folded laundry and worse? putting it all away. They know if they sort and put away a basket, they get $1.00).

5. Floor cleaning and care

00_AD_coop_full_fsci_2v1_vFeb13

No, most kids can’t handle a whole vacuum when they are little. That’s ok. Full sized brooms also are hard to maneuver. But a small broom and dustpan? Yes. A Swiffer Sweep & Trap is a really cool new product from Swiffer that uses the same dry cloths as the Swiffer Sweeper, but also has rotating blades and dirt bin to pick up loose pieces like, you know, the cat food my 4 year old spills every single day when she feeds the animals. The Sweep & Trap has a nice compact size, is lightweight, and you can skip the middle piece of the handle to make this a kid-sized “vacuum” as my littlest calls it. Actually, she’s decided it’s HER vacuum… who am I to argue?

swiffer sweep trap mess

Uses rotating blades to pick up large particles and flicks them into a dirt bin while the attached Swiffer Sweeper dry cloth traps dirt, dust and hair that brooms can leave behind. This innovative combination cleans up big and small messes in a single swipe, so you can embrace life’s little messes. And to embrace life’s little mess makers helping to clean up those messes.

Swiffer Sweep Trap during

Only intended for dry pick-up on hard floor surfaces. As you can see, we did not use it on the mat under the pets’ dishes, and we really really need to get our hardwood floors redone. That’s another project for another day.
swiffer sweep trap after

I LOVE this new Swiffer product. It’s not perfect, but it’s quick and easy to use, 100% chemical free which means the kids are safe to use it, and it lets the kids play an active role in cleaning the house. Something they SHOULD be learning!

Get $2 off of a Swiffer Sweep & Trap starter kit at Target.com and entering coupon code TGTBBAGU (thru 2/28/14)

What ways do your kids help clean the house?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.