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First Alert Onelink Environment Monitor

My family’s safety is paramount. When the kids are babies we made sure their car seats we’re properly installed. Medications are kept out of their reach. Helmets are fitted to their heads. They learned about stranger danger. Smoke detectors are checked every 6 months and the First Alert CO detector is installed and ready to alert us if dangerous levels creep into the home.

First Alert addresses threats of low-level CO with a first-of-its-kind innovation with an Apple® HomeKit-enabled Onelink Environment Monitor that provides instant updates on changing home conditions.Carbon Monoxide is often referred to as the silent killer. It’s a colorless and odorless gas, making it undetectable by sight, sound, smell or taste.  The effects of exposure can cause headaches, nausea, disorientation and even death. This is why monitoring for the presence of CO provides protection for those that mean the most to you.
The new Onelink by First Alert® Environment Monitor features advanced sensing technologies to monitor for both high and low levels of CO,both of which can be hazardous to human health. This first-of-its-kind innovation uses Apple’s revolutionary HomeKit technology to quickly notify users of any environmental changes or dangers via their connected iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch).

The powerful monitor detects and notifies the app user whenever CO readings register at or above nine parts per million over time (compared with 30–70 parts per million for a standard CO alarm). This low-level sensing ability is particularly important in homes with newborns, pregnant women or senior citizens, who can be especially susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide. When emergency levels of CO are detected, you are notified via the app’s push notification, the light flashes bright red and the device emits a loud, 85 decibel alarm, alerting that the area should be evacuated.
First Alert Apple® HomeKit-enabled Onelink Environment Monitor
The Onelink by First Alert Environment Monitor also features built-in temperature sensors. A multicolored LED ring on the monitor informs users at a glance regarding the status of their home’s temperature. The ring changes colors as temperatures shift. A white light glows if the room is at the programmed temperature, blue indicates the room is too cool and amber signifies it is too warm.
First Alert Apple® HomeKit-enabled Onelink Environment Monitor
As busy families we embrace new convenient technology that helps with keeping everyone safe, happy and healthy. First Alert Onelink Environment Monitor is the first in a series of of connected home devices providing simple solutions to life’s everyday issues.
For more information about the complete system, products available and how to purchase visit

Tackling the Tough Jobs with Magic Erasers #Giveaway

Mr Clean tackles a Million jobs #MrCleanMillion #DDDivas Being the man of the house means many of the “dirty deeds” are left for me. This means working on anything from changing high lightbulbs to cleaning bugs from the garage to hosing down garbage cans. I depend on my own handyman skills and know how but also know when to get help.

Just this weekend I tackled some of the dirtiest or toughest jobs around the house. I brought along some of the best products out there, assortment of  Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.  In every room of the house (and beyond) a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can be used to clean the grimiest of messes. We have them stashed in each bathroom and in a basket under the kitchen sink. I’d have them in my garage if I has easy access to water there too.

Mr Clean Magic Eraser tackles a Million jobs #MrCleanMillion #DDDivas So while Melinda is out with her family today I’m here working on my “Honey Do” list armed with cleaners, rags and a supply of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. This weekend’s tasks included

  • Cleaning the wheels on Melinda’s car
  • Sanitizing Shaun’s lacrosse and football equipment
  • Clearing the film from the headlights so the lights would shine better
  • Tackling the soap scum build up on our shower doors
  • Wiping leftover food from the microwave
  • Getting rid of baked on food on ceramic cooktop
  • Sprucing up garden storage box
  • Cleaning out the dog’s crates
  • Wiping dog nose prints from kitchen door
  • Spraying down lawn furniture
  • Cleaning the weird film off the backs of dishes

Sounds like a big list doesn’t it. Most of them were simple tasks that required just a few minutes. Some were a bit more labor intensive. The cleaning of the dishes was one those more involved chores. I left it for the teen. For some reason (I’m guessing because both sides of the dishes are wiped before going into the dishwasher) or dishes developed a brown film on the underside of them. This happened on our plastic cups too. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Kitchen Scrubber took all the grime off with a little elbow grease.

The rest of the chores got done too. Melinda came home that day to an exhausted husband but a super clean home.  Mr. Clean Magic Erasers aren’t just for crayon smudges and kitchen counters. We use them in our entire home, inside and out. Best part is they are reasonably prices and available EVERYWHERE. Attack your dirtiest mess with a magic eraser and see the results for yourself.

Melinda’s headed into the kitchen to see how clean she can get her cookie sheets and glassware from baked on cooking spray.

Find out for yourself how Mr Clean is can help you clean a million messes around the house with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser giveaway. Enter to win by telling us one of the first jobs you’d like to tackle or something you’ve already cleaned with the help of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

To receive these extra opportunities for entries, you must fulfill the first REQUIRED entry above. Please note the changes to the entries and frequency, entries that don’t follow rules may be disregarded/ignored/deleted

Your entries must follow the rules or they won’t be eligible for prizes. This contest ends 11:59 pm, Tuesday, August 19, 2014. The winners will be emailed and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. This contest is open to Contiguous US residents, age 18 or over. For complete rules please read our blog contest rules page.

Sabreena’s Graduation and Party

You may remember several weeks back, Sabreena graduated High School. It was a big deal. She’s not only our first to graduate but the first grandchild and niece. Her graduation was attended by my parents and my sister and of course our family.

The Graduate on her Big Day

The Graduate on her Big Day #family #graduation

We started with dinner and then went to the actual ceremony that was held at the University of Delaware Bob Carpenter Center. All the local high schools have their graduation there. It’s indoors and holds lots of people. We were extra early to ensure we had good seats.

The graduation party wasn’t until a month later. We planned for weeks. Made sure there was plenty of food and drinks and space for the people. Of course she asked for pulled pork on the smoker. Think we made enough?

Happy Graduation Sabreena #family #memories

What was supposed to be at our neighborhood pool ended up being at our house. I’m so glad we made the switch. It was great to be in our own space. See the little dare devil in the air? That’s my 4yo niece Ella.

Happy Graduation Sabreena #family #memories

Happy Graduation Sabreena #family #memories

Friends and family came and we had a great time. My best friend brought her inflatable water slide. That was definitely the icing on the cake. I even made a mini photo opp for everyone including props and a cool background.Happy Graduation Sabreena #family #memories Happy Graduation Sabreena #family #memories

Everyone had a great time. I am so grateful for the friends and family that came to support and celebrate Sabreena during her special moment. She’ll be leaving in just under a month for college. While she isn’t going far she won’t be home everyday with us. It’s gonna be a huge adjustment but we’re so proud of her.

Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

I’m always on the hunt for inexpensive decor items for my home. It’s only recently that I realized what a huge difference art and sculptures and glassware can do to make a difference on a boring shelf.  For a long time I decorated with photos. While I still have tons of photos in my house I’ve starting incorporating more trends like this Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle.
Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

I spotted him in a thrift store for $3. I hated the color of him but loved the size the shape. He was small enough to fit anywhere and had a good look. Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

I took him home and scrubbed him clean and set him on a shelf for a couple days till I decided what I wanted to do. I went with simple. I gave him 3-4 coats of bright white glossy spray paint.

It took most of the day to get all the coats on with a good amount of drying time in-between then another 2 days of him sitting on a shelf to completely cure and then he went on a small shelf along with some picture frames and a simple candle holder with candle.

Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle


Sometimes he takes up residence on a shelf in the kitchen. He’s adorable with his new coat of paint. Painted Ceramic Owl #upcycle

If I had decided on moving him to our bedroom he would’ve gotten a coat of Tiffany Blue to match our end tables.

This is an easy and expensive way to add a little something you didn’t know that you needed. See more of my crafty projects and upcycle ventures.

Yale Key Free Deadbolt

I woke up one Saturday morning and found that Rob had installed a new Touchscreen Deadbolt on our front door.  I was surprised by one fact, it had gone in so easily and quickly that no one else was even awake in the home.

Yale Key Free Deadbolt #easy #safety

Yale sent us the Key Free Deadbolt to analyse.  This is something that Rob’s been wanting for a long time. Shaun is 11 years old but I DO NOT think he’s responsible enough to have a key to the house. I’m home when they get home from school so there is no need to worry about how they get in the house.

There have been occasions where I’m running around getting errands done and I notice the time. I’ve had to call a neighbor or my mother to meet them. Not the most convenient thing to do.  The Key Free Deadbolt gives me peace of mind that they can get in the house safely in case I’m not there. Best feature so far; it locks on its own.  Waving your hand over the panel will engage the bolt but kids aren’t thinking about that as they are running out the door for the bus or friends waiting on the sidewalk.  Within just a few seconds of the door closing the deadbolt will turn on its own; locking the door securely.

The Yale Key Free Deadbolt comes with an illuminated touchscreen and the ability to give out 25 user codes.  This gives us the option of  having a “guest code” for emergencies where I have to ask a neighbor or Sabreena’s friend to come over and let the dogs out or close the windows in a rainstorm.

All of these things have happened.

The Yale Keyless Entry products also come with the ability to sync up to some home security systems. This gives parents more peace when they can get text alerts that their children have let themselves in the home after school.  Shaun and Shae take turns entering their code to open the door, even when the garage door is open.Yale Key Free Deadbolt #easy #safety

Rob said the installation was by far the easiest Honey Do task he’s encountered in a LONG time.  The instructions were voice-guided directly from the deadbolt. A couple of screws, some tightening and it was done. We did replace our doorknob too. It had a key and I didn’t want anyone to accidently lock the doorknob when we were trying to go keyless.  Unfortunately our local home store didn’t carry Yale products so I didn’t get Yale doorknob but I think we got a good match.

If you have kids growing up and going in and out think about taking safety a step further with a Yale Key Free Deadbolt. No keychains required.

Creating a Memo Board with Cork Tiles #craft

I was compensated for this post but all opinions and experiences are my own.

For the last 3 years I’ve made good strides in making changes in our home to add my touch. We’ve purchased new furniture, hung extraordinary artwork, created statement pieces and painted walls. Each project is important to me and serves a purpose even if the purpose is strictly to beautify.
WorkSpace Memo Board using Cork Tiles
Joann’s Fabric and Craft Stores asked me to create my interpretation of a craft found in their Spring Cape Discovery catalog. Armed with the catalog and a head full of ideas I made my way to my local store to shop.My first trip produced things that ended up getting returned because my measurements were wrong and because my vision changed.

I used this ribbon memo board as my inspiration. The one found in the catalog had a beach theme with shells, starfish and a fishing net. At purchased my own accessories but ended up going with a more modern look in the end.Cork Board Inspiration Supplies

  • Black Grosgrain Ribbon
  • 12 X 12 Cork Tiles
  • Textured Scrapbook Paper
  • Adhesives

The project was simple but the planning took the most work. i wanted to make sure my ribbons were not only useful but pretty. Each tile is draped with ribbon in different but complementary directions and decorated with quilled paper roses. Each flower was cut and twisted by hand. All I needed was 1 sheet of paper.
Creating Memo Board using Cork Tiles

The tiles are now taking up residence next to my small desk in the living room. It’s pretty enough that it doesn’t take away from the rest of the decor but it’s also very useful. My next step is to decorate some thumbtacks with black buttons, a nicer tough than plain silver.

Work Space Memo Board using Cork Tiles

Thanks to Joanns for giving me the inspiration to add this touch to my work space. Don’t forget to check out their extensive project ideas when in need of your own inspiration and sign up as a preferred customer to receive notice of great sales and money-saving coupons.

Comfort in the Kitchen with GelPro Ergo Series

Washing Dishes, chopping veggies or stirring a hot pot are not top in my list of favorite things to do. In fact these very specific things are literally a pain in my back, my lower back especially. We have ceramic tiles in our kitchen and they aren’t very comfortable to stand on for very long times. There is no give in them as there are with some hardwood and cork floors.

Mats made for the kitchen are helpful, they offer some cushion. But Gelpro mats offer a whole new kind of cushiony comfort. The even better Ergo Comfort Rug™ is a brand new product starts with an incredibly soft designer accent rug that sits on top of a therapeutic comfort mat with a built-in non-slip rug pad. The ¾” high-density comfort mat will not bottom out like memory foam mats and prevents pain and fatigue caused by standing.

GelPro Mat for Kitchen

The Ergo Comfort Rug™ is easy to care for, just vacuum, spot clean or machine wash as needed. These rugs add warmth and comfort to any kitchen, bath or laundry room.

As you can see the dogs love it too. It’s just big enough for them to take up the space next to me if I’m on it. Shae and Shaun call it the foot cush.
Dog sleeping on kitchen mat

Each night it get beaten, swept and vacuumed and it still looks great. My parents have had Gelpro mats in their kitchen forever and now I know why. I’d love another one for my prep space at the island but for now I just scoot it over if I know I’m going to be there for a while. Rob actually doesn’t like it. Since he’s so tall it makes it uncomfortable for his to wash dishes for an extended time as he has to lean to reach into the sink. #TallManProblem I say.

These rugs are 22” x 34” and retail at $69.95 online or at stores like Bed Bath and Beyond other Kitchen and home retailers and the best thing is they are proudly Made in the USA!

Shop At Home for the Holidays with Rendi

I consider myself a little crafty and love to conceptualize a fun DIY project. My problem with pulling these jobs off is my lack of artistic capability. I like to leave some things to the experts especially when it comes to words and printing.

rendi style frameI was recently introduced to Rendi, an online and at home shopping experience that specializes in home decor and styling. Rendi isn’t new to the home decor business but is finally making its way into the booming business of home parties. These parties allow friends and family to get together and shop from the comforts of their own home while learning about products, how they are produced, the customization available and more.

Rendi started out at a smalltown home decor business that supported their community by employing local women. These women were able to work a schedule that fit their family life, contribute financially to the household and be proud of the work that they were doing. The business is still run this same way. All products are Made in the USA, made from reclaimed wood and made with safe materials.
No matter your personal home decor style or complete lack of style Rendi is going to have something that will appeal to you.

The Gallery Collection is modern with simple lines and neutral colors, allowing easy incorporation into any theme. Using multiple pieces from the same collection lets you design a coordinated vignette without second guessing yourself.

wedding frames, rendi home decor

I chose a the Modern Palette Beam for my best friend. She’s been trying to change the decor in her home. She wants to step out of the box and use more color and texture and I thought a this would be a great accent to her arched doorways and existing cultural pieces. I was able to have printed a phrase that goes perfectly well with her family.  I received the wooden beam within 3 days of ordering and loved the way it looked.  I was able to put together a completely personalized piece of decor that I feel is a perfect fit for Stacy and her home.

wooden beam, home decor, rendi

FAMILY…where LIFE begins and LOVE never ends

Shop from the comfort of your own home with Rendi and know your are getting not only outstanding quality but supporting a brand that supports you.

Supporting American jobs. Protecting the environment. Crafting products of unique design. Telling your story. Creating opportunities for women to make a better living and a better life. For Rendi, it’s the heart of the matter.

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Gallery Direct Wrapped Canvas

Here I go again. I’m going to gush about Gallery Direct and the great quality they put out with their gallery wrapped canvases. This article makes 7 individual pieced of art in our home. Unfortunately I’ve yet to try a different material even though I know I would love the Birchwood and Mirror options. I did this gallery wrapped canvas analysis to go along with my most favorite print so far (besides my own uploads); Merrymaking IV by M. Drake. I decided that I needed to add more of the Merrymaking series to make a bigger impact in our living room. We’ve been given these high ceilings and I wanted to cover all of them. This is what we did.
gallery direct canvas m drake ferris wheel circus tent roller coaster merrymaking
I love it. The circus tent, Merrymaking I is awesome and might be nudging the Ferris Wheel out of 1st place.
Something you should know; installation of Gallery Direct art is simple. Everything thing comes ready to hang, just find your perfect spot, add a picture hanger and hang, you’re done in minutes.

gallery direct art ready to hang

There is still so much I want to try out with Gallery Direct. The Birchwood specifically would be perfect in our bedroom since it gives images a warm, organic, feel. Your chosen image is printed directly onto a solid piece of birchwood, the natural wood grain shows through giving it texture.
This one would be so pretty in Sabreena’s room, a bold contrast against her bright yellow walls.



This one I’ve been looking at for our master bathroom, it needs a remodel. The image is so sexy and mysterious I think I have to find a place for it.


It’s quite obvious that no matter what your personal style or home decor is, Gallery Direct is going to have a huge selection for your to choose from. Connect with them on Facebook to learn of specials, discounts and giveaways.
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Gallery Direct Photo to Canvas Upload

We got the chance to continue our Blogger Ambassador-ship with Gallery Direct for 2012. One of the first things we got to do for the New Year was re-visit their custom photo upload, photo to canvas feature. In case you don’t remember from last Father’s Day I ordered this awesome canvas of Rob and the kids. It’s one of my favorite pictures of them; it’s from our Carnival Cruise Family Vacation of 2010.

This time around I wanted to do something a bit more special and sentimental. Since I’m usually the one behind the camera there aren’t many pictures of Rob and I that actually look good. We lucked out this past Thanksgiving and Sabreena was able to snag this gem; never mind it was 1 out of 32. I knew it had to be displayed. I had it printed as a 5X7 photo and it sits in a frame on the bookshelf but I knew it needed something grander. Now it’s printed on canvas and sits at the top of the steps on the 3rd floor.
gallery direct, photo upload, canvas photo
This time I had it done in black and white, I like the effect it brings to this mostly candid shot. Gallery Direct hasn’t let me down yet. Our house has never looked so put together. I didn’t realize how much warmer and lived in a home could feel with art and larger scale photo up in the wall.

Don’t forget that your prints aren’t limited to traditional art or photos. Gallery Direct has a HUGE selection of stock images in their Photo Vault to choose from. If you have a specific theme or want to commemorate a special place make sure to search for the image that best shows it off. Remember though there is no better way to display your best memories than with a personal, custom Photo Upload.

stock photo, photo vault, gallery direct

just a couple options to choose from in the photo vault

Gallery Direct guarantees their work 100% against defect and personal satisfaction. Hang your picture, see how it fits into your style and decor and if you aren’t happy simply return it.

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