Gift Ideas, Home, Star Wars

Personalized Gifts of Canvas and Wall Murals from Photowall

I have partnered with Photowall to bring you this review feature

Personalized Gifts of Canvas and Wall Murals from Photowall

It is no secret that personalized gifts are the most popular to give to those close to us. But, did you know that as long as you know someone’s interest you can create a stunning wall hanging or mural? Take a child you know already has plenty of toys and you want to get them something else, if they have a favorite movie or game just upload an image to Photowall and create them a canvas or wall mural. It is so easy and a hit even with 9 year olds like my son.

We have a Star Wars game room (see it here) so I uploaded the opening credit scroll to his favorite Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi and had it put on canvas. He loved it and now wants the scrolls to all of the Star Wars movies for the room.

It arrived in a box with assembly required. There was wood pieces and a bag of brackets. Those always seem so intimidating but the way that this frame assembles it is so easy and fool-proof! I had it together in under 15 minutes and was upstairs finding a spot of the wall.

Canvas wrap

assembling canvas board

There is a hanging bracket you easily install and use to get the right hang. The canvas is very good quality and we love it in the game room.

canvas from photowall (1)

Jedi canvas

There it hangs with the other Star Wars decor. It was such a great idea for Anthony to canvas the scrolls. I think it is a fun touch.

Photowall Star Wars

Promo Code

Want to create a canvas or wall mural? I have a savings code! Go ahead and browse Photowall’s unique designs or upload your own image and create a personalized product. At checkout you can enter the promo code: parentinghealthycampaign2018 and save 20% on your order. The code expires on February 19, 2018 so hurry! Shipping is free too!

Gift Ideas, Home

Christmas Photo Cards for that Extra Special Holiday Cheer

If you want to give something special, rather than the same generic card that everybody has purchased from the grocery store down the road, then why not consider making Christmas photo cards? This is a great way to do something special and that really stands out. It shows others that you have put a lot of thought into your greeting this year, and that will be appreciated.

Christmas Photo Cards for that Extra Special Holiday Cheer

Why You Should Consider Making Christmas Photo Cards

The gift of love is the most wonderful gift of all. It isn’t about the presents under the tree, it is about knowing that people are in your heart and thoughts. By sending them a personalized Christmas photo card, you show to them that you care and that you wish them nothing but joy and happiness. In the past, only very crafty people would be able to do something like that, and it would take them a long time as well as cost them a lot of money. But thanks to modern technology, anybody can now do it. There really aren’t any reasons not to create these cards.

How to Make Personalized Photo Cards at Christmas

Thanks to modern technology, it is now possible to use your digital camera, or your camera on your smartphone for that matter, to create beautiful cards. There are numerous online services available that make this possible, and all you have to do is upload an image of your choice to their system, and they will turn it into a fantastic card for you. You can also edit and change all the different details, or, if you’re not very creative, simply use one of their templates.

It really couldn’t be easier to turn a precious photograph into a thoughtful, memorable gift over the holiday season. The only real difficulty you may have, is choosing the image that you believe best represents your family and the wishes you have for your loved ones. Consider, for instance, the family around the Christmas tree or recreating a famous Christmas scene, for instance. The sky really is the limit, and it is all about what you like and love and feel is appropriate to send as a message to others.

Once you have chosen the photograph you want to use, you simply upload it to the software provided by the various printing companies. Generally speaking, this uses simple drag and drop functionality on the printer’s own website, so it really couldn’t be easier. You can then choose a border, card style, and other layouts that you like and add your season’s greetings to those you want to send it to. The cards will then be printed and sent to you, usually within a matter of days. All that is left for you to do, therefore, is to print the address details and send the cards off

Home, Pets

Are You Cleaning Your Carpets Properly?

I have partnered with Arm & Hammer PetFresh for feature

Are You Cleaning Your Carpets Properly?

This year I am hosting my very first Holiday for my husband’s family. We bought a home in August and I now have the space to entertain unlike I have ever had. My SIL hosted Thanksgiving and so I agreed to do Christmas Eve. I work at the local middle school so I am on holiday break and have all week to get my home ready.

Along with buying a new home a few months back we also got a new puppy. Maya is our Whoodle and is hypoallergenic. No shedding and it is so nice because I never sweep dog hair or have it on the couches (unless my oldest Bonus son brings his black lab over). Having a hypoallergenic dog does not mean there is no dog messes on the carpets and chairs. She drags in mud and dirt from outside constantly.

Pet Fresh odor

I have been learning some tips on making sure we enjoy our new puppy but don’t have a home that smells or looks like dog is tracking debris through all that is new and clean in our home.

Are You Cleaning Your Carpets Properly In a House of Pets?

  • Keep fur trimmed Keeping the paw, belly and chin hair trimmed on long-haired dogs and cats will minimize the mud and debris they drag in
  • Keep large mats by the doors Keeping a doormat both inside and outside sliders and doors your pet uses will help get rid of paw debris before they enter further into your home
  • Change Vacuum Bags Don’t wait until the bag is full or overloaded to change. I would change bags every 1-2 months for best performance
  • Change Filters every 3-6 months. Don’t forget to mark a calendar when your change is due or you begin to get the odors as ell as decreased function of your vacuum
  • Bags matter! The bags you choose matter because many will actually assist in the function of your vacuum and provide odor elimination

The bags I have in my vacuum are the Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Odor Eliminating Vacuum Bags. They not only help to keep my vacuum running at optimal performance but offer 2 times extra odor fighting power for real freshness. Many bags just cover up the odors. They even come with scent packets to use so you can enjoy the aroma in your home as you vacuum those pet smells away.

AH pet fresh

Your home smells fresher and  because the Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Dry Carpet Cleaner eliminates pet odors and breaks down stains. 

Where do you find this line? You can head to Walmart and shop Walmart .com as well as other retailers. They are easy to find for all vacuum models.

dog odors

Make sure your guests enjoy the aromas of your dinner cooking or the pine of your holiday tree and wreaths, not your pet!



7 Budget-Friendly Tips for Green Renovations

You might love the character and charm of your old home, and you feel cozy and content on cold winter nights. But does your house love the environment as much as you do? Old homes are rarely eco-friendly, and are full of features that allow air to escape, making your heating less efficient. If you are planning a remodeling project or renovations for your home this year, you should focus on saving energy, using recycled or recyclable materials, and saving energy. Read our tips below.

Use Reclaimed Materials

While a brand new kitchen looks great in a newly built home, if you have a cottage style house, you might want to use materials that fit in your overall decor. Instead of buying chipboard furniture, you can get real oak that can be upcycled to last longer, and create a unique look in your home. If you are any good at DIY, you can get some oak doors instead of the modern look designs, and use reclaimed wooden floor polished to your taste. You can save money and create a unique design at the same time.

Take Care of the Insulation

The first place you need to look for energy saving and environmentally friendly renovations opportunities is your windows, doors, and floors. If there is no insulation on your loft and under your flooring, it is time to get this sorted. Likewise, you might want to invest in new windows and doors if you constantly feel the cold air coming through the gaps. Look for cracks around the doors and windows, and fix them to insulate your home better. You will save money on your heating bills, and feel warmer without wasting energy.

Use Natural Light to Your Advantage

If you need to use the lights all day as your rooms are dark, you might need to think about a clever solution. A ceiling window can let the light in and make various parts of your house lighter. Use one in your dark corridors, and allow the natural light to illuminate your house. Replace bricks with glass blocks, especially over the doors, or cut out lighting windows to let natural light in every corner. Increase the size of your windows if you can, and if this doesn’t decrease your home’s energy efficiency. If you have a basement, find a way to let natural light in, such as installing glass blocks in your floor, or cutting out narrow windows. This way, you will not have to use that much electricity all year round.

Reduce Plastic and Non-recyclable Material Use

We often decide on a new item based on how they look, and not their lifespan and eco-friendliness. Next time you upgrade your kitchen, look for a kitchen sink retailer that has natural materials, such as granite and natural stone. Out with the moulded plastic and the  ceramic, and in with something that will last for decades and doesn’t release harmful chemicals in the environment. Try to avoid faux leather seats and surfaces, and use either natural stone or real wood in your kitchen. They will look better and last longer as well.

Use Natural Floors

While linoleum is a cheap and aesthetic solution for basements and utility rooms, it doesn’t last as long as real wood and stone. Try to find an environmentally friendly solution to make your floors hard wearing and beautiful. Likewise, most carpets are not as green as you would think. Synthetic carpets are non-recyclable, and the carbon footprint of carpet manufacturing is huge. At the same time, most carpets are treated with different chemicals to make them stain resistant, which is great news for homemakers, but bad news for the environment. No matter what you do, a carpet will need to be replaced in a few years, and you will put extra pressure on the environment. Make sure that you find a flooring solution that has a low impact manufacturing process, and lasts long.

Check New Appliances’ Energy Rating

7 Budget-Friendly Tips for Green Renovations
Morguefile license by Yassil

Once you have remodeled your kitchen, it might be time to choose your new appliances. Check the energy rating of each washing machine, oven, and dishwasher you purchase. You can save hundreds of dollars per year on running them everyday, and make your home greener. When you choose a refrigerator, check whether or not they have an ENERGYSTAR sticker on. This way, you can reduce your home’s carbon footprint, while saving money on energy bills. Look at each item you buy, including anything that has a heating element, such as dryers, washing machines, microwaves, ovens, toasters, and coffee makers. Small changes in your house make a huge difference for the environment.

Change Your Light Fittings

Morguefile license by pedrojperez

You will next have a look at all the electricity around your house and see if your lights are working efficiently. If you have an old fashioned ceramic light that takes a large bulb and doesn’t give out enough light, it might be time to switch your lights to Halogen or LED. They will perform much better, give out a brighter, more natural light, and help you save money at the same time. Don’t just think about your ceiling lights, but also your reading lamps in your study, as well as your bedside table lamps. An overhaul of all your electrical equipment can improve your home’s energy efficiency, and make your life more enjoyable. LED and Halogen lights also last longer than traditional ones, so you don’t have to change your bulbs as often as before.


Whenever you are thinking about renovation, make sure you improve your home’s energy efficiency at the same time. Changing your old refrigerator and oven is an important task, but you should also focus on which materials you are using. Look for flooring solutions that are environmentally friendly, and use naturally occurring stone and wood around your house. Always consider the carbon footprint of manufacturing your household item or furniture before buying, and try to reclaim items that can make your home look and perform better.

Gift Ideas, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, Home

35 Handy Uses For Your Handheld Steamer

I have partnered with Nugeni for feature. Opinions and story are my own

With all the talk about the effects of harsh chemicals can you blame those of us who need alternative cleaning methods? I don’t want to use all of those in my home and I have spent a lot of time mixing essential oils to create my own cleaners when I have those extra messy jobs. Now all I need is my handheld steamer.

When I was sent the nugeni STEAMPAC+ Handheld Steam Cleaner I actually had to research how to use a steamer and what I can use a steamer on. I was a bit ‘steamer’ illiterate and I was amazed at what this lightweight, handheld cleaner can do and without any chemicals!

What can I clean with my Handheld Steamer?

  1. Sanitize Mattress
  2. Clean Draperies
  3. Clean Ceiling Fans
  4. Freshen Clothing
  5. Clean Windows
  6. Clean Tile & Grout
  7. Clean Around Toilets
  8. Shower Doors and Water Spots
  9. Bathtub Scum
  10. Vanity/Mirrors
  11. Toothbrush Holders
  12. Window Screens
  13. Pet Cages
  14. Litter Box
  15. Clogged Drains (Washer/Dryer)
  16. Dirty Desks
  17. Laminate Floors
  18. Disinfect Doorknobs
  19. Sliding Doors
  20. Mirrors & Frames
  21. Mini Blinds
  22. Sealed Hard Flooring
  23. Patio Doors
  24. Pet Stains/Odors
  25. Window Coverings
  26. Coffee Table Stains
  27. Sanitize Toys
  28. Ovens/Cooktops
  29. Stainless Steel
  30. Sinks and Faucets
  31. Backsplash
  32. Baked-On Messes
  33. Car Interior
  34. Window/Slider Door Tracks
  35. RV’s/Boats Interior

Tell me, which of the above surprise you most? Before we moved into our new home this summer I traded mattresses for my son with a neighbor. She had a full and needed a twin for her daughter and I had a twin and wanted to upgrade for my older son. I knew they were clean, didn’t smoke and it was in thee garage for a bit. It still has a musty odor anyway to me.

What a perfect test for the Nugeni Handheld Steamer than to see how well it eliminated that mattress musk. The best part is that I don’t need to use any chemicals or harsh products. I steamed using only the steamer.

contents nugeni handheld

I then went on to attack those hard water spots on my shower. I have been using 2 chemical products to keep these sports and bay. One to eliminate build up and one to clean as no matter how well you spray to protect the build up it happens anyway.

steam clean showers

nugeni steamer handheld

What a great gift! Think of how handy this would be to a family you are shopping for this season or all year long! PS-this steamer also is great to keep in RV’s while traveling away from home! nugeni also has lightweight vacuums too! Visit nugeni to learn more including where you can purchase.

Gift Ideas, Holiday Gift Guide 2017, Home

Canvas On Demand Has Awesome Gifts for Everyone on your List

I have partnered with Canvas on Demand and US Family Guide for feature

Canvas On Demand

Throughout the years I have gifted many personalized photo and creation gifts to the kids, our parents and friends. When I need an idea besides boring gift cards, fruit baskets or socks and shirts I appreciate the ability to create a more personalized gift.

This Christmas I have 2 Canvas On Demand Gifts to wrap. My son loves the video game Overwatch. It is all he talks about. The licensing is so new it is hard to find Overwatch products so I was able to find the logo image online and upload it right into the portal and order it on canvas. He has no idea such an Overwatch product exists and it’s because I made it in a matter of minutes.

Canvas Gifts

They offer more than just canvas prints. From incredible photo-to-canvas art for parents, Coloring Canvas for kids, and customizable photo gifts, including ornaments & more, Canvas On Demand can help with your holiday haul. I also ordered a fun color canvas for a family member who loves to read. I actually think it looks cool uncolored, but they may choose to color.

coloring canvas
For a limited time, Canvas On Demand is offering my readers a whopping 60% off your entire order with code USFAM. Select from canvas prints and more! Valid until 12/12/17.