Fun outdoor lighting from OxyLED


The #1 thing I miss living in a condo is having a yard. Our “yard” is a rickety old wooden 6′ x 12″ balcony.

If we had a yard there are so many things I would love to have. I bookmark a lot of sites on my computer with outdoor “essentials” that I’d love to have one day.

Even though we don’t have a yard, I do my best to create a nice, relaxing, enjoyable outdoor space on our balcony. When the weather gets warmer we set out chairs, side tables, flowers and other decorative pieces like statues and throw pills on our bench.

I even go so far as to decorate our railing. We’re not allowed to have flower boxes on the railing (as per our condo board), but we can have other things as long as they won’t fly off and hit someone.

Normally I attach pinwheels to our railing. I love pinwheels. I’m mesmerized by them when they twirl in the wind.

I’ve always wanted to wrap lights around our balcony, but I never got around to it because I think we’ll need a lot of lights to create the effect that I have in mind.

Not long ago I was sent to review some really cool products that not only light up, but also add some color to our outdoor space too.

A company by the name of OxyLED sent me to review two different products.

The first product I received to review are the OxyFlor GL-01 Solar Powered Outdoor Hummingbird, Butterfly & Dragonfly Solar Garden Stake Light, Chameleon Multi-color Changing LED Light,3 pack, or to put it more simply, solar powered lawn stakes in different shapes (Hummingbird, Dragonfly and Butterfly) that change color.

These lovely garden stakes are so easy to use – almost like “plug & play.” Simply stick them in the ground, lift up the solar power “pad” (for lack of a better description), and let the sun charge it. To enjoy the light show simply turn the switch to the “on” position and watch the magical light show.

These are not the best photos but you can see how the figures change color.

As you can see they change colors. There are a few more colors they change into. I was able to catch three different colors when I took these pictures.

I cannot use these as lawn stakes since we don’t have a yard. To remedy this we attached them to the railing. We have one on each side and one in the middle.

These are a decent size too. It might not seem that way in the photo but each creature fits in the palm of my hand.

In addition to these fun and colorful lawn stakes, I also received to review the coolest light up lawn stakes I’ve ever seen – OxyLED SL-06 Crackle Glass Flickering Candle LED Solar Garden Lights. These come in a set of two lights.

These garden lights look like little candles in crackled glass holders. When it gets dark and you turn them on they flicker like real candles.

I LOVE THESE! I have to order more.

I made a brief video to show you how they look.


I love how they flicker.

Our only concern is that our condo board are going to think they are REAL candles and freak out. LOL! We are not allowed to have flames on our balconies due to them being wood and already having three buildings burn down do to unattended fires.

Just like we did with the other stakes, we attached these to the railing. So we have one of the other stakes on each side and the other on in the middle and the candle ones in between. It looks awesome!

The Crackling Glass Flickering Candle Stakes would look amazing lining a walkway, driveway or surrounding an outdoor seating area. Sigh… if only we had a house with a yard.

Out of the five stakes I received to review they all worked perfectly except one (the Butterfly) had a wonky on/off switch. It works, but I have to wiggle it around a bit to get it to turn on. Aside from that little glitch, they all work great. I especially love that they are solar powered so they can charge all day and we can enjoy them at night when we sit out on our balcony to enjoy the cool evening.

Both of these items can be purchased on Amazon.com for $17.99 (Butterfly, Hummingbird & Dragonfly set) and $14.99 (set of two candles).

These would make for a great housewarming gift too.

For more information about these and other OxyLED products you can visit their main website at OxyLED.com. The brand can also be found on Facebook and Twitter (links are found on the bottom right of their website).


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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A nifty gadget that every household should own


Are you a pet owner? If you are, chances are there have been times where your puppy, kitten or other critters (rabbit, ferret…) have had an accident in your home. It happens. It’s no big deal.

Most times you are able to spot where the accident happened. I’ve stepped in a lot of accidents when our dog was a puppy. Our oldest cat also has issues and has had accidents on the mat just outside of the litter box (as if he couldn’t make it in the box in time).

When our pet has an accident we do the right thing and clean it up right away so that it doesn’t cause damage or odor (not to mention it’s not sanitary). But what about the accidents you DON’T see?

You can apply this same train of thought to other accidents around your home, from your son or husband “missing” the toilet seat, to spills and other messes around your home. If you don’t see them and you are not aware of them, how would you know you need to clean it up?

I was sent to review a really cool gadget that can help you find areas in your home that you need to clean up. Just because your home looks and smells clean and fresh doesn’t mean that it’s not harboring some deep, dark secrets.

The product I was sent to review is by a company called OxyLED. It’s called the OxyWild 12 Ultraviolet LED UV Light, Pet Urine Stain Detector Blacklight Flashlight. It even came with the AAA batteries you need to operate it.

The OxyLED OxyWild UV Light looks like a regular flashlight, except it has LED lights instead of traditional single lights you have in most flashlights.

This is NOT a flashlight. It will not help you to see in the dark should your power go out. Instead, this handy little gadget can show you places around your home that are not as clean as you THINK they are.

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! Using the OxyWild UV Light around my home was a real eye opener. I pride myself on keeping my home as clean as possible. My husband and I are also quick to clean up pet accidents, cat puke (hairballs or un-chewed foods), and other messes. I even dust my walls and ceilings at least once a month.

WOW! WOW! WOW! I was in TOTAL SHOCK when I took the UV light around my home. I discovered plenty of places that are not really clean. They may look clean to the naked eye, but not to the UV light.

I was mortified to see how many places around our home our cats puked or had accidents that we never saw. Not only that, I discovered marks on places I THOUGHT were clean.

Smudge found on the garbage can lid – even though I thought I had cleaned it.

The blacklight picked up a spill on the side of the garbage can that I didn’t see with the naked eye.

Take for example the light switches in our home. Two to three times a week I wipe them down and spray Lysol on them because I know things like light switches can have a lot of germs and bacteria on them from people’s hands. What I saw with the UV Light is that the light switches were really clean – but – places on the wall around the light switches had strange marks on them (unseen by the naked eye). When I wiped those areas down with the disinfecting wipes the marks disappeared. I’m not sure what they were, but it’s pretty gross to see all those marks on the wall that you cannot see with the naked eye.

Even around the toilet I found areas that were not perfectly cleaned – and I pride myself on having a clean and tidy home.

Since receiving the OxyLED OxyWild 12 Ultraviolet LED UV Light, Pet Urine Stain Detector Blacklight Flashlight I have gone around our condo and cleaned up areas I discovered were not completely clean. The only thing we have left to do is break out our carpet cleaner and give our carpet a good once over to pick up spots I couldn’t get with regular carpet cleaner.

Whether you have pets, kids or just want a fully clean home you should invest in the OxyLED OxyWild Blacklight Flashlight. It’s available on Amazon for only $9.99 (and it INCLUDES the batteries).

OxyLED also has available a variety of other products. I also have two of their OxyLED N01 LED Night Lights. I keep on in the bathroom and one in the kitchen.

These night lights have a sensor built into them to detect when it gets dark. They automatically turn on when they sense it’s getting dark. I like that feature about them so I don’t have to worry about plugging them in at night before going to bed. I just leave them plugged in all day.

These night lights are very sensitive. The one in our kitchen will turn on if it’s dark and dreary outside. There is no window in our kitchen, so it barely receives sunlight from the dining room. If the clouds get dark outside the kitchen night light will turn on. I have no problem with that at all. It tells me that it’s doing it’s job and doing it well.

These night lights are very powerful too. They provide you with enough light to do what you need to do without having to turn on the regular light.

The light is sensitive enough to turn on when it’s dark and dreary outside and not just at night time.

My husband and I sleep in the living room on a sofa bed. Our living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway are open to each other (there are no doors – just one big wall). When our kids go into the kitchen in the middle of the night to get something to drink and turn on the regular light it wakes us up because its so bright. Since using the OxyLED Night Lights the kids can go into the kitchen and get something to drink without turning on the regular light. I can even use just that night light to go into the kitchen to grab Advil or something if I wake up with a headache.

The OxyLED N01 LED Night Lights are also available at Amazon for $14.99 for two lights.

For more information about these and other OxyLED products you can visit their main website at OxyLED.com. The brand can also be found on Facebook and Twitter (links are found on the bottom right of their website).


*I received free products to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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How to Maintain Your Home Appliances


Home appliances become better-made yet more affordable; it seems, year after year. But this doesn’t mean we should all just keep buying new ones for our homes. That’s not only costly, but also impractical, since these appliances aren’t all made from the same mold, so the difference in shapes and sizes might not really fit into your current home layout. Regular maintenance is the key in prolonging the home appliances that you currently have, and even improve their performance. Additionally, ensuring that all your home appliances are in good working condition can help protect your family from infections possibly caused by dirty and poorly-maintained home appliances.

Here’s how you can maintain them:


This is probably that one appliance in your house that runs 24/7 – except for the times when you need to do the occasional defrosting. And it’s necessary, considering all the food items that you place in it. To maintain your refrigerator, use your vacuum to clean the back where the coils and wires are located to remove the dust that might otherwise start building up and affecting your refrigerator’s efficiency. Do remember to unplug the power before doing so.


Cleaning your dishwasher is a necessary chore that you’ll need to get used to, especially as your dishes will come into contact with it every time they need cleaning. Start by cleaning the food filter regularly, and keeping the seals moist at all times. Use a rinse aid and high heat to help reduce spotting and deposits of white calcium from hard water.


Whether you’re using a microwave oven, a toaster oven, or a convection oven, it will still need to be cleaned and maintained. With ovens, though, the best practice would still be to clean as you go, otherwise, the heat will meld any spills or leftovers to the oven surface making them almost impossible to remove. A cool tip is to mix white vinegar and dish-washing soap, and then spray the mixture to all the surfaces in your oven, wait a few minutes, and then wipe it down clean with a paper towel.

Air Conditioner

Remember to replace the filter for your air conditioner regularly – typically at least once every 3 months – and remove any dust from the visible vents. This will ensure that your unit can continue to work to efficiently and cool the room without needing to work too hard.

5. Washing Machine

Cleaning your washing machine is necessary to keep your clothes smelling fresh after a tumble in it. The inner surface of the washing machine can have a build up of calcium, which can clog its inlets and outlets. Decalcify it by the following steps: run an empty water cycle at the hottest level available, and then add baking soda or white vinegar before finishing the cycle. You can also use a lime decalcifier instead of the white vinegar or baking soda. Change your filters regularly, as well.

It doesn’t really take all that much to keep your home appliances running well. The older ones in particular were built to last, so taking a few simple steps to maintaining them should make them last as long as possible. Newer models might be less expensive, but if your current ones run well and are well-maintained, you’d have far better use for your money than to keep replacing your home appliances.

These great tips have been provided by AJMadison.com, your appliance authority. Check out their special financing offer and FREE nationwide shipping on orders over $499.


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Spring Cleaning Tasks You Might Not Have Thought of


Spring cleaning is a concept as old as time. As the weather turns milder, the idea of ‘out with old and in with the new’, rebirth and reorganization comes to many. In days past, Spring cleaning meant scrubbing the soot from perpetual winter fires out of everything around the house but these days, the job isn’t quite as tough. There are, however, some tasks that most people tend to forget. Including these less visible items will go a long way to keeping a home tidy and clean, throughout the year.

All around the house:

Check the doors — The front and edges of cupboards in the kitchens and bathrooms and every door in the house needs a going over. In steamy spaces, like kitchens, grease and grime can build up on hard surfaces but you might not notice it until you touch it and realize that it’s sticky! And the tops of doorways draw a lot of dust thanks to airflow in the gaps, so a wipe down of each one will go a long way to dealing with detritus in your breathable air. Another similar spot that tend to be forgotten are the blades on ceiling fans. Thanks to the natural effect of heat rising, they tend to get coated with all the dust and debris from your rooms. Other light fixtures and chandeliers have this problem too: light bulbs attract dust. So give them all a good wipe down.

Don’t ignore area rugs — While broadloom might get a steam clean or at least a thorough vacuuming, area rugs tend to get forgotten, or at most get taken out for a beating in the back yard. If you have machine washable rugs—like those from Lorena Canals—you can get them fresh and clean in no time. Otherwise, a professional service might be in order to get spotless rugs.

Phone germs — Telephones and remote controls are two big carriers of germs that we rarely think of! Give these a good wipe down and get into the habit of doing it regularly, if you don’t already. Another one is garbage bins: of course, they harbor a lot of stinky things but hosing them down once in awhile to get all the gunk out is a great way to minimize germs and odors.

In the laundry room:

Check for dryer lint — Sure, you check the lint trap every time you use your dryer, but did you know that lint can get into other parts of the dryer and, if enough accumulates, can become a fire risk? Give a thorough clean of the exhaust hose and vent that leads out of the house. You’ll know there’s a problem if it’s taking longer and longer to dry your clothes, but best not to wait until that starts happening!

Wash the washer — It never occurs to some of us to wash the washer. You would think after all those endless loads of laundry, that it would be self-cleaning, right? Wrong. Soap scum and skin flakes build up and accumulate over time. A natural way to clean a top loading machine is to fill it with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar. Let that stand for about twenty minutes, scrub the insides, drain and refill it with hot water again, this time adding two cups of baking soda. Scrub again and then drain. Run it once without any clothes inside to make sure it sparkling clean and free of any residue. If you remember your fourth grade science projects, you’ll know better than to put the vinegar and the baking soda in at the same time.

In the kitchen:

Fridge efficiency — It’s important to clean the coils and fan area of your refrigerator once in awhile, to get maximum efficiency. Be sure to unplug it first and pull it away from the wall. The coils are either at the bottom in the front, behind a cover grill, or at the back. The condenser fan will likely be at the back. In both cases, you can vacuum out all the dust and debris that has accumulated in these quickly and easily. If your fridge has a drip pan, clean that too before you push the whole thing back into place.

Underneath appliances — For appliances that aren’t built in, move them out and give the floor and bases a good scrubbing. While it might not be something you see everyday, dropped food and other bits can accumulate under there, which can attract vermin and bugs.

In the bedroom:

Banish mattress dust bunnies — It occurs to most people to flip and rotate the mattress but it’s also a good idea to vacuum them. You can deodorize a mattress with a good sprinkling of baking soda, leaving it to do its job for an hour or so and then vacuum it up. You’ll get rid of all the dead skin cells and other allergens that could interfere with a good night’s sleep and a fresh smell in the bargain! Tip: If you like essential oils, add some to the baking soda for a light, clean scent, before you vacuum.

Wash the pillows — On a regular basis, you change the pillow cases, but does that catch everything in terms of dust and skin residue? No. If you can (check the labels first!) wash your pillows. You might have to take them to a laundromat with high capacity washers and dryers to get it done but it’s well worth the effort.

Adding these things to your semi-annual cleaning routines will help to keep your house in good order, year over year.

About the author:

Lorena Canals is a home design expert and the founder of the Spanish home design brand of the same name. Her popular all-natural, machine-washable eco-chic rugs recently launched in the U.S.A. with a brand new Home Collection. Her mission is to offer families style, comfort, and convenience in every room of their home. For more information, visit http://Lorenacanals.us.

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This Mother’s Day give the gift of “Precious Moments”


Can you believe that Mother’s Day is right around the corner? It seems like just yesterday the kids I work with were making Valentine’s Day cards. Time flies too quickly. Before you know it we’ll “blink” and it will be the Fourth of July!

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your mother, grandmother or other special woman in your life? Sure, flowers and a box of chocolates are always nice and appreciated, but flowers die and chocolate disappears (especially in my home). All that that special lady in your life will have left is dried petals or an empty box.

What about gifting your special lady something “precious” that she can enjoy not only year round, but also for many years to come. I’m talking about Precious Moments.

I’m sure many people are familiar with the adorable Precious Moment figurines and other collectibles. In fact, many readers probably own a few. I have about a dozen of them myself. The first one I received was on my wedding day. I have added more to my collection over the past 20 years.

Years ago when our nieces were little, my husband purchased them the Precious Moments Birthday Train. Each year he’d buy a new piece to add to their train. It turned out to be a tradition. They knew their favorite Uncle would gift them a new piece each birthday.

Precious Moments has figurines and other lovely collectibles that represent those special moment in our lives from the birth of a baby, birthdays, graduation, marriage, anniversary and even “just because.”

Did you know that Precious Moments has a collectors club? The Precious Moments Collectors Club offers club members FREE shipping, triple rewards point on purchases, FREE figurine and doll personalization, “Members Only” figurines and so much more!

Each year the Collector’s Club gives it’s members a figurine as part of their yearly theme. This year the theme is “Growing the Friendships that Shape Our Lives.” The figurine that comes FREE with membership is called “Life is Always Greener with You by My Side.” The figurine features a sweet little girl seated next to a hedge with an adorable little bunny sitting inside of it. Mine is pictured above.

There are other pieces in the collection too. I like the one with the frog shaped hedge.

As a Precious Moments Club member you’ll also receive a quarterly Precious Moments magazine simply called Moments. It’s really cute. I love looking at the pictures.

In addition to all goodies I’ve already mentioned, with your paid membership to the Precious Moments Collectors Club you also receive a really sweet Members Only bangle bracelet and a nice Precious Moments Plaque.

I really like the bracelet, but it’s too small for my wrist. I gave it to my daughter.

The bracelet/bangle has the word “Club” engraved on a dangling heart and “We love because he loved us first” (John 4:17) engraved around it.

So to break it down for you again, the Precious Moments Collectors Club gives members;

FREE Symbol of Membership Figurine – Life Is Always Greener With You By My Side –$59.99
FREE Shipping On All Items Purchased at Preciousmoments.com for one full year! – an estimated retail value of $22.96
FREE 4 Quarterly MOMENTS magazines – $24.99
FREE Figurine & Doll Personalization for one full year! – an estimated retail value of $31.96
FREE Members Bangle Bracelet and Precious Moments Plaque – $23.00
TRIPLE Reward Points On ALL Purchases
EXCLUSIVE ability to purchase Members Only Figurines for one full year!

The total retail value of the club is $162.90, but it costs only $59.99 to join (one year membership).

That means you save AT LEAST $102.91 (you save more if you consider free shipping and free personalization).

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, gifting a membership to the Precious Moments Collectors Club would make a wonderful gift. It would be a great gift for someone who is already a fan and collector of Precious Moments, as well as for someone new to the Precious Moments world.

Flowers die and candy gets gobbled up but the gift of Precious Moments can last a lifetime, and the figurines and other collectibles can be passed down from generation to generation too (I happen to have one that belonged to my late mother in law).

For more information about Precious Moments, the Collector’s Club, or to browse the currently available Precious Moments figurines and collectibles, visit PreciousMoments.com. You can also check them out on social media. Their links are found at the bottom of their website.


*I received a free membership in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Get ready for spring with flirty florals and holiday decor


Spring! It’s FINALLY here, although you wouldn’t know it because right now it’s cold and dreary outside. That’s OK. I know that sunny skies and warmer temperatures are going to be here soon.

I’ve been ready for spring for weeks now. I have been slowly replacing items in my wardrobe with warmer weather items. I’ve packed away my boots, sweatpants and heavy coat. I more clothes around in my closet so current seasonal clothing is in the front (easier to access) and out of season clothing and accessories are in the back of the closet.

I have also been adding some spring-like decor around our home so that we can get into the warmer weather mindset. No more snowmen. Instead I have out my Easter bunnies and artificial (but very realistic looking) floral arrangements.

I LOVE! LOVE! LOVE shopping for seasonal decor at T.J. Maxx. It’s my “go-to” destination for decorations, accessories and more.

I haven’t had a chance to swing by my local T.J. Maxx yet, but last year I pick up some adorable Easter decorations for our home.

Are they not the cutest bunnies? I love them!

I’m excited to see what other goodies T.J. Maxx has for Spring/Easter this year. I was hoping to stop by this weekend but I’ve been “under the weather” for a while now and I haven’t been able to get out much except to go into work.

What I love about T.J. Maxx is that every time I visit they always have new items available. There is always something new to discover.

A word to the wise – if you see something you love don’t wait to buy it. It might not be available the next time you go.

T.J. Maxx doesn’t just have Easter decorations. They also have lovely decor for the spring as well as every day (non-seasonal) items, accessories and decor.

If you are looking to jazz up your spring wardrobe too, look no further than T.J. Maxx. T.J. Maxx is literally your “one stop shop” for home accessories, clothing, shoes, handbags and so much more.

I have been trying to lose weight. I have lost about 40+ pounds the past few months. I am about 34 pounds away from what I was when I got married. Yeah me!

My “goal” is to at least fit into something that doesn’t contain a lot of “X’s” in it (meaning no XXL, XXXL and so forth). I’ll even settle for just one “X” (XL), but ideally no X’s.

I have been hesitant to buy a new wardrobe because I am still trying to lose weight. Once I get to a comfortable place (I have a target weight in mind) I’ll donate my bigger clothes and shop for a new wardrobe. For the time being I am just buying a new article of clothing here and there when I need it.

When I do finally need to replace my wardrobe I am heading over to T.J. Maxx. There I can find fashionable, trendy clothing at great prices.

They even carry designer labels.

My daughter loves to come with me to T.J. Maxx so she can oogle over the designer bags. She’s a “bag-o-holic.” She can’t have enough bags. LOL!

To find a TJ Maxx location near you visit TJMaxx.com. You can also check out T.J. Maxx on social media.

Do you shop at TJ Maxx? Do you like to switch up your home’s decor to reflect the seasons? Are you looking to jazz up your spring wardrobe?


“I received a gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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