My New Fancy-Schmancy Toilet and #SqueakyCleanBath sponsored by The Home Depot

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

My New #SqueakyCleanBath Toilet from The Home Depot - a sponsored post at

When we were looking for houses, the number of bathrooms wasn’t a concern. I always clicked “2 or more” on the real estate website search. I’d never lived in a house with more than two potties, so I didn’t see it as something I needed. When this house had an additional half-bath, it was a bonus.

If we were to search for another house now, though, my requirements might be different. I have learned to LOVE having 2.5 bathrooms. Love.

I love being able to point visitors to The Guest Bathroom instead of The Kids’ Bathroom that Guests Can Use. For someone who stresses over cleaning (especially BATHROOM cleaning!), it’s so nice to have that designated space.

And since it’s a half-bath, a five-minute wipe-down can have it ready pretty quickly.

But . . . sometimes I count on those five-minute wipe-downs for a few too many weeks before I realize I need to do a deep clean in there. (Especially when the five-minute wipe-downs are done by my kids.)

So, when I was invited to join The Home Depot’s Squeaky Clean Bath program, I was glad to have the motivation (and supplies) to deep clean that half-bath so it can be ready for whomever needs it!

But I didn’t clean the toilet. I just got rid of it.


I got a new toilet!! My teenage-self would have been embarrassed at the joy I feel over this. Seriously. That old, wobbly, wiggly-seated, hard-to-flush toilet is gone. Out. The plumber who installed my new one took it away. I never even saw it again after I let him into the house.

Each member of the family has properly welcomed the Optum VorMax into our home. We all like her him it. It’s taller than normal, which is good for our guests who aren’t as young as they used to be.

It also is “high-tech” with features that are supposed to keep it cleaner.

Hmmmm. A toilet that stays cleaner? I was skeptical at first, too. We’ll have to see how that plays out in the long run, but here’s what makes it different. First of all, it flushes differently. The entire bowl gets flushed with a single gush of water (coming from one hole) that forcefully goes through the entire bowl. See?

Photo of Vormax Flushing System - a sponsored post at

AND, the rim is different. It doesn’t have the icky, hard-to-get-to part. It’s all one continuous piece.

Have you ever thought your toilet was clean and then bent over and caught a glimpse under the rim? It’s scary. This doesn’t have the under-the-rim part. For research purposes, I watched one of my other toilets flush. Water comes from under the rim all around the bowl. There’s a gap there where the water comes out, and it’s the gap that gets nasty. On this toilet, the flushing-water ONLY comes from that one hole. This means the “rim” doesn’t serve the same purpose. Since it’s all one continuous piece, it can be completely scrubbed and there isn’t a part that you can’t get to to clean thoroughly.

Can you see the difference in the flush above?

A prettier toilet!

And this potty is just so pretty!!!

I was so excited about my new toilet that I while I shopped at Home Depot for Scrubbing Bubbles products for this project, I also bought paint!

Let me explain. About four years ago (at least), I got a crazy idea to paint the bathroom a horrible color. Actually, my idea was to paint it a pretty color, but it turned out horrible. I realized half-way through the job that I hated the color and that one quart of paint wasn’t anywhere near enough for coverage.


A shiny, new toilet is a great reason to finally deal with my paint-color mistake. After Christmas (sorry, Christmas-time guests), I’ll use the entire gallon I bought to re-paint the bathroom in a much more subtle color. I’ll share pics when I’m done.

It is harder to hide my bad paint job now with my new toilet! at

I was motivated by the idea of the new toilet. But the reality of the new toilet (and the fact that its shape reveals my lame attempts at painting behind the old toilet) is really motivating me now.

Using Scrubbing Bubbles to Get a Squeaky Clean Bath Sponsored by The Home Depot at

I got the sink and faucet squeaky clean with the Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner (lemon-scented), and used Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaner to make the most of that VorMax flushing system.

Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Gel - A sponsored post at

The gel sticks, and when the flush-water hits it, the toilet gets “cleaned” with every flush.

I really love anything that does the work for me, so I don’t have to grunt and sweat and groan as much to get the bathroom deep-cleaned and keep it less germy.

I think it’s important to note that I was surprised at the cost of the Optum VorMax. It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be when I heard about its fancy-schmancy features. If you need a new toilet, it’s definitely worth looking into that one. The plumber said he’s been installing a LOT of them.


Other Scrubbing Bubble products in the picture above:

Disinfectant Scrubbing Bubbles® Aerosol 22oz

Scrubbing Bubbles 32oz Foaming Bathroom Cleaner

Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer

Connect with The Home Depot in all these places:

The Home Depot (website), The Home Depot on Twitter, The Home Depot on Pinterest, The Home Depot on Facebook, and The Home Depot Blog


The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Squeaky Clean Bath program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.






Solutions for Party Messes

This post is sponsored by and Clorox® Clean-up® Cleaner + Bleach.
Tips for Dealing with Overwhelming Party Messes from (Sponsored Post)

I laughed when one of you emailed recently and mentioned hosting two events in the same day (one at noon and one in the evening) in order to get the most benefit out of having worked so hard to clean the house.

That is so me! When I know I have something scheduled that will motivate me to deep clean, I start volunteering to host all sorts of other stuff. I might as well have six parties if I’m going to clean for one!

It’s always so much easier to clean up from one party when I know I have another one coming! But parties are out-of-the-everyday so they produce out-of-the-ordinary messes. I despise those difficult messes that feel like they’re just . . . too . . . much. Since I get easily overwhelmed, I tend to assume the carpet/tablecloth/side-table is forever ruined. (Yes. I’m overly dramatic, too.)

Evite (you know the ones who make party invitations ever-so-easy?), has teamed up with Clorox® Clean-up® Cleaner + Bleach and shared solutions to their top five party messes over on their website.

Here’s my personal favorite:

Candle wax drip on a tablecloth: Don’t fear for Grandma’s linens. Once the wax hardens, scrape off very gently with a butter knife. Put a few layers of paper towels or plain paper grocery bags without ink on them on top of the drip on the tablecloth. Using low heat, iron until the wax is melted and transferred to the paper. Move the iron to a clean spot on the paper towel and repeat until the wax no longer transfers, then wash the tablecloth.

I don’t get tablecloths out often, but they do come out for parties. I’ve personally dealt with wax drips before and know that all the normal ways of cleaning fabric go out the window when it comes to wax.

They also give solutions for other overwhelming party messes such as:

  • dealing with red wine spilled on a sofa
  • removing stains from kitchen countertops
  • cleaning mud from carpet
  • treating water rings on a wood table

One of the tips involves . . . mayonnaise!! (For real!)

What unique party messes stress you out the most?



Disclosure: This post was sponsored, but the thoughts and opinions and neurotic-multiple-party-planning-issues are all mine!




Tackling Puppy Stains (and a Giveaway!!)

Meet Scruffy.

Scruffy the Puppy at

She’s fit into our family perfectly since we adopted her from a local shelter in April. Really. She loves us, we love her, and my 8yo finally has the roommate she’s always wanted.

But Scruffy is the reason why I immediately agreed to try out Spot Shot carpet stain remover.

Scruffy’s done well with house-training, but since she sleeps in my daughter’s room, there have been a few accidents in there. Unfortunately, my daughter (Scruffy’s very best friend in the whole wide world), tends to “deal with” the accidents herself and I don’t know about them until I see the stain.

Stains stress me out. Like, they seem un-deal-with-able in my Slob Brain.

That’s the reason my kids weren’t allowed to eat in the living room until recently. Even on Movie Nights, we would spread out a sheet and they only drank water. Nothing with color or flavor or sugar. They’re now 8, 11 and 12 and I’ve just started letting them use TV trays.

Food or drinks in the bedrooms? No way no how.

My main stain defense has been avoidance.

But with puppies, pee happens.

It was time to get over my Fear of Stains. Specifically, two that were right inside my daughter’s door. They were making me crazy.

Spot Shot sent me several varieties, but I chose to use the bottle that was specifically for pet stains. It’s also non-toxic.

Treating Puppy Stains

To help conquer my oh-my-word-what-do-I-do panic, I read the directions on the can.

(Novel idea, right?)

I was surprised at the force of the spray. It did a good job of penetrating my oh-so-soft-but-oh-so-pink 80s carpet. The directions said to let it sit for five minutes, so I set the alarm on my phone. After the timer went off, I placed clean cloth diapers (which I now use for cleaning rags) over the treated spot and then pressed down with my foot to blot and draw up the stain.

Puppy pee left my carpet and transferred to the cloth. Totally gross, but totally cool.

With each full-body-weight foot press, I used a new, clean place on the cloth so I could see how much was still coming up from the stain. Following the instructions, I repeated this process until the stain was gone. For this stain, I ended up applying the Spot Shot Pet three times and using four diapers (with four or five “blots” each).

My stains had been there a while. I’m pretty sure a newer stain would require significantly less work.

Treating Old Stain with Spot Shot Pet at

Once the rags no longer brought up any wee-wee, I decided the stain was gone. Then, I had to figure out what the directions meant when they said, “After full stain removal, gently blot area with clean, cool water in all directions. Repeat and blot area dry.”

Here’s where I get re-stressed out. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?? Blot with clean, cool water?? In all directions?

I feel like I must have missed that day in Home Ec! Oh, wait. I didn’t take Home Ec.

But I stopped my inner-crazy-talk and decided this was what that meant:

After the Stain Removal

It worked, so I hope I’m right.

I wet a clean rag and didn’t wring it out.

I pressed the soppy-wet rag onto the area where I’d used the Spot Shot and rubbed it in all directions, squeezing the water into the carpet. I decided this was to get the water all through the carpet fibers to “rinse” out the cleaner. I then pressed on the area with a clean white towel (with a picture of Shakespeare on it) to dry the carpet. I repeated three times.

I love that the stains are gone. (I removed two. One is shown in these pictures, and the second one was removed in the video below.)

My only complaint? The areas where I cleaned the stains look better than the rest of the carpet. Now I see how badly my carpet needs to be cleaned! (Or replaced. I’ve only been thinking we’d replace it “soon” for about seven years . . . )

Click here if you can’t see the video.

If stains stress you too, check out this list of stains Spot Shot will conquer.

Now it’s your turn to enter to win your own Spot Shot AND a $50 Walmart giftcard!!!!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post about which kinds of stains stress you out the MOST!

For an optional additional entry, you can like Spot Shot’s Stain Fighting Community Facebook page where you’ll find tips, coupons and more giveaways! Leave a second comment saying you liked their page.


Giveaway Rules: Open to U.S. residents only. (Sorry!) Prize is provided and shipped by Spot Shot. Winner will be chosen at random using the And the Winner Is WordPress plugin. If the winner does not respond to the notification email within 48 hours, he/she will forfeit the prize and another winner will be chosen. (So be sure to use an email address you check regularly!) If you are reading via email, click on the title of the post to leave a comment directly on the website.  See all giveaway policies here.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, video, and giveaway, but all opinions, experiences, puppies and stain-o-phobia issues are mine.





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