Category Archives: Reviews

Cleaning the Car Without Chemicals: E-cloth Review

So many of you know how much, I love my E-cloths for use inside my house, and if you read this blog, you may have seen my review for them a while back. This post was updated in August of 2017 for links and deleting giveaway content.

I agreed to review….{drumroll please}…. the Interior Car Kit for ecloth. Win. Win! And by the way…these little cloths aren’t only for your car- you can use these to clean your bikes after a long outside ride, or your boat if you are a boater (duh) and probably any outside toys that have chrome to polish and grime to clean!

Full Disclosure: I received a free Interior Car Kit from E-cloth in exchange for writing a review on the blog. However, and as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you order from one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. See my full disclosure page.

e-cloth auto

If you follow my blog, you know that I have been running a Clear the Clutter Challenge this month. While a lot of my clutter-clean up is focused on the inside of my house, you all know the garage is the palace (I did NOT mean to write ‘place’) of clutter for the outside…and the cars with all the shuttling to and from soccer practices, basketball, or road-trips can get pretty knarly themselves!

Before I get ahead of myself though, I have a few tips on tidying your cars before we even look at the dirt and start cleaning them and testing out the new cloths!

DeCluttering the Car:

#1– Get some bins to keep in the car. These can be bags or boxes or anything that will keep items from rolling around your trunk or under-foot as you drive (danger!)

#2 – Make an emergency kit- Both first aid and also think about what you need if you break-down. Make sure you have wiper fluid in the upcoming winter months, and a blanket if you have no heat for a while, as you wait for roadside assistance.  Keep kitty-litter in the trunk as it helps the tires get traction on slippery roads.

#3 – Get some winter floor mats.  These are made of rubber, so the salt and dirt on your boots won’t wreck the carpet in your car.

#4 – Have a permanent garbage bin IN the car. Instead of stuffing tissues in the side-pockets, maybe put them in a receptacle.

#5 – Put the toys in one of those bins (see #1).  Instead of books and markers flying all over your car floor, keep them all in a car-only toy place, that will be a busy-box of sorts for the kids to have.

organize the car


That’s it. Now on to the cleaning.

#1 – Take everything out.

#2 – Clean it. Test out the e-cloth. I used the Interior, e-Auto Car Cleaning Kit.  It comes with:

  • one 20″x16″ Glass & Chrome Cloth, one 12.5”x12.5” Car Cleaning Cloth, a Water Atomizer, and a laundry and storage bag.car kit
  • Glass & Chrome Cloth (grey) cleans inside windows, outside windows, all metals
  • Car Cleaning Cloth (orange) cleans dashboards, armrests, spills, inside doors, fabric upholstery, leather upholstery, outside windowscar kit

#3 – And finally: Only put back the items you must have, into a bin or some type of container: Toys, Snacks, Emergency Kit (may or may not include a trunk potty- mom’s you know you need this!)  You are done.


 The e-Auto Kit: What do I think?

Just spray the water and wipe. Can’t be easier. I am not sure you can’t do this with any little cloth and some water, but the beauty and difference of the e-cloth versus any old cloth in your house, is the e-cloth itself. No lint, and for whatever reason, it picks up the dirt unlike any rag I have.  You can check out their website for more info. on why they work so well.

I used the chrome & glass (grey) cloth for all the windows and the mirrors…and the glass parts of the dash. No streaks and no lint. It is way easier than window spray and paper towels- plus better for the environment.  Now, I am not saying that child labor laws don’t exist for a reason…but- using the e-cloths is a great and SAFE way to have your kids help you clean the inside of the car with just water and a cloth. You don’t have to worry that the twins kids will spray  each other in the eyes with chemicals or wash the windows with the leather-care cleaner. Not that this has happened, but it is definitely not happening with e-cloth! One of the many reasons why I really like this product. See what I did:

e cloth

before is pretty gross…I am not too thrilled about sharing that.

And this:

ecloth

I had to keep going…I love my new clean car!

Once I was done cleaning, I put both cloths in the bag and threw them in the washer. I wash them just like regular cloths, but you have to remember not to use fabric softeners – which I don’t use anyway. Even if you forget and use the softeners, just run them again in a hot-water only wash and then they are fine again. Actually, these are guaranteed for 300 washes just like the rest of the e-cloth line. Easy.

Now that I have a dedicated set of e-cloths for the cars, I can store them right in the little bag and keep these in the garage on a hook, so I can find them right where I want to use them…always thinking, my friends!

Anyhoo…Now it’s your turn to try the e-Auto Car Kit! Check them out here!

e-cloth auto

Check out more on e-cCloth:

W: www.ecloth.com
F: www.facebook.com/eclothUSA
T: @ecloth


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you order from one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. See my full disclosure page.

“Food52 Mighty Salads”: A Book Review

Have you been eating salads like crazy with the bounty of veggies from your garden? Then you might be the perfect candidate for the cookbook by Food52 Team called, Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad to Dinner. If you don’t know what Food52 is, I will tell you. It’s a food community site turned website and shop, which shares recipes from their editors and also runs contests for recipe contributions from their readers along with selling products and cookbooks that they put out.  I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book from Blogging for Books, and now I want to share with you my take on this not-just-summer cookbook.

What I like:

Being a salad lover, and also very sick of my same old recipes for salads, I am totally inspired by the recipes in the book. Don’t these sound yummy?:

Caesar-Style Kale Salad with Roasted Onions
Shaved Asparagus with Burrata, Radish & Cucumber
Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Endive & Apple
Fresh Corn Cakes with Crab-Tomato Salad

The contents are depicted by types of salad to make it easy to find a lot of variety:

Leafy Salads
Less-Leafy Salads
Grain & Bean Salads
Pasta & Bread Salads
Fish & Seafood Salads
Meat Salads

There are a lot of dressings recipes which I just loved. Sometimes I just want a new dressing for my salads, and I made this salad {Spicy Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles} specifically because the dressing of Lime-Sriracha sounded so good- and it was good. Not amazing, but very good. I made it with zoodles though and I liked all the textures and color to the dish quite a lot.Spicy Chicken Salad with Lime-Sriracha Dressing

I am a big fan of pictures if the whole book is about one type of meal {salads}. There are lots of pictures of the meals here {all the photos are done by James Ransom}, to give you an idea and some inspiration for what looks great to eat. This leads to:

What Bugs Me:

The pictures are dark. The intention and style of the book is farmhouse-rustic, so they styled the pictures in a way that feels dark and artsy instead of bright and inviting. To my eye, the food looks flat in a way that makes me not want to make it. However…I showed my sister the book and she found lots of recipes that she would make and she loved the darker style of the pictures, so I think this is a preference that I have, over what everyone would feel.

On another layout preference, I thought that overall the font is smallish and the sidebar that lists the ingredients doesn’t separate the salad from the salad dressing as much as I wanted- I was squinting. I don’t wear glasses, but I am sort of old…so that could certainly be it, but for even older, and blinder folks, just keep your glasses nearby!

As far as a peeve about the recipes…they many and varied.  I don’t stock my pantry with more than half of the ingredients, but as I said, my sister was all about the recipes as being up her alley. I found it inspirational but not practical for my everyday cooking. I had a hard time picking a recipe to make with ingredients that I had on hand. I chose the Spicy Chicken Salad because I had 90% of the ingredients on hand. Most of the other recipes, I would have to go out and shop specifically for.

Who Should Get It:

If you are a huge Food52 fan…and I know there are many! Also, if you love salad and need some new  ideas for making your regular old salads into something more of a meal, than there is a lot of great stuff here- Not just for vegetarians, the seafood chapter is super interesting and if you are a meat eater, there is a plentiful chapter for you too.

The Deets:

Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner- and Make-Ahead Lunches, Too
Editors of Food52, Photos by James Ransom
160 pages with photos.
Ten Speed Press, April 2017
Amazon Hardcover: $14


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you order from one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. See my full disclosure page.

Review for Mighty Salads Food52

Make a Photo Book with Blurb

blurb photo-book
*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. See full disclosure.

It is about time that I unloaded my photos from my computer and put them into books I think!

I have about three years worth of pictures just sitting in files, and to be totally honest… My kids are like:

“Mommy- why is this book say 2015? Isn’t it 2017?”

blurb photo-book

I want to say:

“Yes. Yes it is my little love-buckets. It says on the photo-book, “2015” and since I had you, I have had no time to myself, let alone, to put pictures of you into cutesy little books. I only could do that for your sisters who were born first (Back when they couldn’t walk and just napped and napped) sigh.”

But I don’t say that. I just sigh again, and start trying to get these pics in order with Blurb!

How I Organized Before I Even Started

      1. I am trying to get all these pics in order first on my computer, so I put all my photos into files first, by year.
      2. After I have year folders made, I create month folders within each year. That way I have a little bit of a sense of what was happening in those folders (birthdays, vacations, or whatever).
      3. I decided what  book I wanted to make: On the website, select the area for making Photo Books- they have some other products. Then they prompt you for choosing the size. Do that. Then choose the cover- you can change this later, but know I did the hardcover with dust jacket, but the photo-wrap is nice too, since dust jackets can get torn or removed.
      4. Next you install BookWright, their software with templates and fonts and all kinds of design fun, to put the book in the order and way that makes it unique to you. I don’t get too fancy, as I have more pictures than space, so I sort of jam them all in there. I loved the various layouts that they offer here. Now I didn’t intend to put ALL the photos in there, but I sort of just decided to put a page (or two) per month. Birthday months and Christmas time had more pictures, so we needed more pages for those months. You upload what photos you want and will fit to your format.
      5. Once your pages are done, you are done and you can proof it and order your book!

I have used lots of other photo book makers before, and I like them a lot in general- I am constantly switching around the companies to get the best deal and the highest quality. Blurb is not very well known I don’t think, and until I started with them, I probably would still be making my same old option without all the customization. But I am not very up to date on photo-apps I guess, I just realized last week that the Blurb app is built into my husband’s phone and I didn’t even know it until I started working with them.

Here’s what I like:

      • The book quality is awesome
      • The options for upgrading are plentiful: hardcover, hardcover with jacket, nice paper or really nice paper. The Blurb concept rewards you for ordering in quantity too, so say you are getting married or having a baby and want to share a book with all your loved ones…that is an awesome idea by the way, and I wish I had done that(!), you can order a bunch, send them out and save some cash. Sweet!
      • They are constantly sending me coupons for great discounts (sometimes up to 50% off!)
      • There are really nice fonts, sizes, and ideas for making your most unique book ever. Mine was boring, but EASY with their online templates but you are more creative than me no doubt and will love the BookWright or InDesign features! My next book is going to rock it! LOL!

Blurb is actually a company for making books of all kinds, not just photo books. If you are a great photographer and say you want to showcase a whole book of pictures (maybe of your favorite island vacation), you can then create a travel photobook with lots of text options- not just a generic text box, and you have your new book ready to go- It might make a great present for a new baby visit or engagement party too! You can even sell your book on Amazon when you’re done. Just saying. Not that I did, but you could. You so could! Make your own book with Blurb!

Have you used Blurb before? What do you use for photo-books if you don’t use them? Are you as bad as I am at getting books made of your pictures?!


*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. See full disclosure.