my favorite spring cleaning tip {featuring Bona}

spring cleaning tips

No matter what the temperature outside currently is, the fact is indisputable, Spring is right around the corner! And that, of course, means warmer weather, blooming flowers, longer days and, of course, spring cleaning. I decided that this year, instead of tackling a couple dozen smaller (and less impactful) cleaning projects, I would focus on one effective spring cleaning task to make the whole house shine.


I’m a big believer that “if your floors are clean, the whole house is clean.” Nothing makes my home feel cleaner than clean and shiny floors. So with that in mind, I purchased a few Bona hardwood products, and got to work. For this task, I used my Bona mop, Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, a Microfiber Applicator Pad, and Hardwood Floor Polish.

bona mop

Can you see the difference? My hardwood floors positively sparkled after one application of the Floor Polish. The difference was truly astounding, and the process was EASY.

First, we swept the floors and used the Hardwood Floor Cleaner and the Bona mop to clean the floors. We then affixed the Microfiber Applicator Pad to the mop, squirted the Floor Polish on the floor, and used the mop to apply the polish to the floor. Wait an hour for it to dry, and you’re done!


And while there are LOTS of hardwood cleaners on the market, Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaners are non-toxic, GREENGUARD certified, and leave no residue. This is super important to me as a mom with little ones that play, read, and literally roll around on the floors. They are third-party certified to be safe and effective and that means a lot to me.

After this long Winter we’ve had, anybody up for a trip to the beach?  Enter Bona’s Keep It Clean Personality Quiz to play for a chance to win a Bona® Hardwood Floor Mop Express INSTANTLY! Registering will enter you for the chance to win a year of cleaning services for your home and the Grand Prize: a trip for 4 to Hawaii!

Also, you’ll want to sign up for the BonaFide Fanatics mailing lists to get a $3 coupon instantly!



5 tips to a more inviting home

inviting home

There are so many adjectives I can use to describe my ideal home. At the top of that list, though, the word I want conjured up both in my mind, and the mind’s of my guests, is “inviting.” An inviting home beckons you in and makes you want to stay a while. Creating an inviting, welcoming home isn’t hard and shouldn’t be expensive, and on that note, I’m sharing some of my best tips with you all today! So let’s get started…

febreze air freshener

1. Inviting homes make captivating scents a priority.
Scent is powerful. Filling your home with crave-worthy, sophisticated scents is the easiest way to infuse it with the warmth and coziness that is the trademark of a truly inviting home. As style expert Nate Berkus notes, “Scent is key to elevating your décor. It builds an association to you and your home. Your home is a reflection of your personality, and what matters to you. With the new Unstopables collection you can add individual scents or mix and match candles, room sprays, in-wash scent boosters, scented oil warmers and fabric refreshers to create a home fragrance that’s truly you.”

Nowadays, home and personal fragrances are intersecting and discerning consumers are gravitating toward a “signature scent” that reflects their individuality via their various environments. This not only involves fine fragrance and luxury home scents, but products such as P&G’s Unstopables that can be enjoyed by all at a more accessible price.

oil warmer
Featuring double-wick technology that automatically alternates between two complementary scents that captivate and transform your environment, Unstopables Scented Oil Warmers are one of my new favorite things. It’s impossible to explain exactly how good my living room smells right now!

inviting home

With two little kids, our upholstered furniture often needs a bit of refreshing. Unstopables Fabric Refresher is my go-to solution for immediate and scent-satisfying results.

inviting home

inviting home

2. Delicious-smelling candles add warmth, atmosphere, and an irresistibly inviting glow.
I’ve been called the “Queen of Candles,” and with good reason-I adore the scent and warmth candles add to a home. Lighting candles is such a great way to inexpensively and quickly make your home more inviting.


3. Sometimes, the smallest touches make the biggest impact when creating an inviting home.
Plants (I adore succulents for their low-maintenance style), fresh flowers, home-baked goodies, lots of books…these are all small touches that create huge impact in the quest for an inviting home.

make home inviting

When it comes to house guests, there are some additional ways to cultivate a welcoming space. Putting out handmade soaps for guests to use is one of my favorites, as is supplying your guests with big, fluffy, just-from-the dryer towels. Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster is another little trick of mine, add it to your wash, and it infuses linens, towels and clothes with sophisticated scents (for up to 12 weeks).


foyer decor

foyer decor

4.  Gussy up your front door and entryway-they’re the first thing people see when they enter your home and set the tone for the rest of the space.
First impressions are important, and nothing gives your guests a great first impression of your home than a welcoming front porch and entryway. A clearly-marked house number, a front door wreath, flowers in the planters, a place for guests to set down any bags, somewhere for guests to sit to remove their shoes-these little touches go a long way in setting the inviting, welcoming tone for your home.


brushstrokes pillow


5. Add some texture and contrasting elements to your space.
Adding lots of different textures to your home, whether it’s a natural, nubby rug, textured pillows or throws, warm wood elements, or a fun fur pouf, makes your space feel inviting and welcoming. In addition, adding contrasting elements-a sleek, glossy end table matched with a textured rug, for instance, adds instant charm and interest.

So tell me, what are YOUR best tips for creating an inviting home?

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


getting your home holiday ready with BLACK+DECKER

Thank you to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring this discussion and inspiring me to finish this project!


Let’s talk today about something that all of our homes, no matter the size, style or location, have in common–the unfinished project. You know what I’m referring to-the room with missing trim, the windows that need to be painted, the dresser sitting in the garage half-finished. Whether you have just a few of these projects to tackle (lucky you!) or many (that would be me), I’m partnering with BLACK+DECKER to help you finish those long-put-off projects. And there are prizes! Big ones, and LOTS of them. So, today, I’m sharing my own unfinished-turned-finished home project, and I invite you all to do finish YOURS, and then upload them for a chance to win!

living room

For my Big Finish, I wanted to, once and for all, tackle the back wall in our living room. Below is a picture of how it looked about a year ago. I’d been slowly adding, editing, and changing things around (as I tend to do), so it really hasn’t looked like this since, well, since this picture was taken. I finally (finally!) decided to finish it once and for all.

living room redo burlap+blue 2

Among the updates, I changed out the artwork on the window wall with a mirror from Target, added a gorgeous gray lamp (also from Target), and switched out the shelf for the Kallax bookshelf from Ikea. Little touches, like changing the colored frame mats to white, and adding some artwork), add the finishing details!

living room redo

target lamp


living room decor

Now it’s your turn! BLACK+DECKER has launched a movement to get all the unfinished home projects moving again. Join them for the opportunity to win $10,000 cash and products. Plus, they might put you and your finished project on a billboard right in the middle of Times Square. So while your family may never notice that you finished hanging the crown molding, millions of others will!

For this campaign, there are weekly prizes, valued at approximately $439.91 per prize, and one Grand Prize of $10,000. To enter, click here and upload a photo of yourself and your completed project! After entering, come back here and leave the project link in the comments–I’d love to see Your Big Finish!

Please note, the contest ends December 28th, 2014.