Friday, September 13, 2013

Everyone Should Have Their Own Robot

Green iRobot Logo via iRobot

I Heart iRobot.  For realsies.  This is a post I intended to write a long time ago.  I am a HUGE fan of iRobot.  I own both the Roomba and Scooba models and can not say enough good things about them.  Anyone who comes to my house gets introduced to them at some point.  Often, I refer to them as my kids.  Their names are Claire and Sam.  As in, Claire Redfield & Sam Fisher.  If they ever (who am I kidding?!) When they have a baby robot, she will be named Lara Croft.  Don't hate.  I have a photo album dedicated to my robots on facebook.  Seriously.

Had I known they would one day become celebrities, I would have taken better pictures when they were first born.  I regret to say I never took pictures of Claire (the Scooba aka the mop), when she first came to live with us.  But, when her boyfriend Sam moved in, it was so on.  I understood the power of the robot by then.

A Little History.
Meet Claire.  She was born in January, 2010.  I found her online.  At the time, it was the only way she could be had.  I ordered her directly from iRobot.  I paid $599 with free shipping.  OUCH.  But, I would do it again.  In an instant.  Even if it meant blowing the dust off of my American Express.

Claire aka iRobot Scooba 380, cleaning our floors.

Claire is an extremely hard worker.  She even cleans our guest house.

Claire, age 2

It wasn't long before I decided Claire needed a boyfriend.
Meet Sam.  Born April 27th, 2012.

Sam Fisher aka iRobot Roomba 560
I purchased Sam from Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I utilized a 20% off coupon and a free upgrade kit with purchase.  I paid just under $400.

Don't doubt the cleaning power of the Roomba. This is after 3 cleaning cycles of all rooms. Our floors are super clean, too. We never, ever wear shoes indoors.

Gross, eh?

 Sam even cleans under the table and between the chairs.

I love this little guy.  Our cat, not so much.

The Nitty, Gritty Details.
Both units are low maintenance and easy to use.  Because it uses water, the Scooba requires a bit more maintenance (aka cleaning) to keep it working efficiently.  It is all really easy, though.  The Roomba picks up the grossest stuff you don't even know is in your house.  It cleans under the beds and in closets.  You can even schedule your Roomba to turn on automatically every day of the week!  Need I say more?

Some people may think they are too loud.  In my opinion, the noise level is the equivalent of a blow dryer on the low setting.  It does not bother me at all.  Better than having to bust out the Shark Steam Mop or Dyson (my other mop and vacuum power couple of choice).

The Roomba with an upgraded bin kit works great.  We have a Husky dog and a Siamese kitty and there is not a speck hair on my tile after these robots have done their daily chores.  If you are wondering how the animals like the robots - they have never bothered the dog and with our cat, it was touch and go at first, but now he doesn't even move when the robots come near him.  Like as in, he stays asleep.

In October of 2012, I had to replace Claire's battery pack.  This cost me $69.70, including shipping.  Again, I ordered directly from iRobot.  I have not had a problem since.

Do you have access to a Bed, Bath & Beyond?  If so, utilize their 20% off coupon and call it a day.  They have the best return policy, hands-down.  Especially, if let's say, the robot eats a few Nerf bullets and never sounds the same again.  BOOM!  Return and get a new one.  You will be right around the $300-400 mark with the upgrade and the one with scheduling.   No need to get all cray-cray and buy the that's just LAZY!

So, what are you waiting for?  Step up your robot game, today.  Your floors and your white socks will thank you.  This has been a public service announcement to dirty floors everywhere.

Disclaimer:  If you think I am alone in my Robot fandom, think again!  People everywhere name their robots and even let their kids ride on them! (Not recommended by iRobot).  Yes, I really refer to them by their names.  You can ask anyone who knows me.  Also, at some point, I would love to own my very own iRobot pool cleaning and gutter cleaning robots, too.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Liebster Award (is what exactly)?

photo via Photo Science Channel
Today I received a notification that I had been nominated for something called a "Liebster Award".  Say whaatt?  No really, what is a Liebster award?  I had no idea.  So, I asked my two most trusted friends, who always give me great answers, Google and wiki.

Upon further research regarding the origins of the Liebster Award, I only became more confused.  It is like the game of Blog Telephone.  Some people say in its original form, it was a chain letter, while others say the original rules were much different than those being used today.

Basically, a Liebster Award is:
A Blog Award

"A blog award is an award for the best blog in a given category. Some blog awards are based on a public vote and others are based on a fixed set of criteria applied by a panel of judges.

Like film or television awarding committees, blog awards are started by a certain body, usually composed of blog enthusiasts. Since blogging is an Internet activity, most of the process is done online.

Nominees are usually accepted from anyone in the Internet as long as the one who nominates adhere to given policies and procedures. The nominated websites, varying from independent servers to provider hosted are scanned by a selected team of judges.
The filtered nominees are then announced online or by other means such as newspaper or radio stations. Other bloggers or Internet users are given the opportunity to vote for several categories such as Best Single Post, Best Blog Site, Best Design, and others. The winners are announced in a ceremonial night usually held in large venues and online.
There are also blog awards initiated by small groups of bloggers in certain locations. The nomination and selection process is usually the same with major awarding bodies but the awarding is usually less extravagant." 

Uhm, OK...thanks?  I guess this is pretty cool.  Right?  Regardless, this "Liebster Award" comes with some stipulations.  As in some things I need to do to pay it forward, so to speak.  So, here we go...

To make things easy, I am basing my response on the directions found on the blog of the person who nominated me:  Always Blabbing

The Rules:
  1. You must link back to the person that nominated you.  Check.
  2. You must answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
  3. You must pick 11 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers.
  4. You must come up with 11 questions for you nominees to answer.
  5. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.
The questions I was given (in purple font, mind you):

1. Eyeliner gel or pencil?  Pencil.
2. Favorite nail polish.  Essie.
3. Dream vacation destination?  Anywhere I can snorkel.
4. Sandals or boots?  Havaianas all day.
5. Favorite Season?  I live in California, need I say more?
6. Favorite Holiday?  Summer Vacation.  Be quiet, it is a holiday for me.
7. Colored mascara yay or nay?  Definitely not.
8. Do you have animals?  Unfortunately.  I say that because while I love our fur balls, I have become allergic.  The dog resides outdoors, so she is ok.  The cat, however, is about to kick rocks.
9. One make up product you can't live without: Only one?  Lip balm with SPF.
10.  Favorite Movie?  I see what you are trying to do:  If I were to answer this, you would be able to hack every single account in my name.  My second favorite movie, The Count of Monte Cristo.
11. Favorite Food?  Healthy: Grilled Veggies.  Not so healthy:  My MIL's Tacos.  They.  Are.  The.  Bomb.

My 11 Nominees:

Seriously?  This is going to be the most difficult one.  I am THE ONLY PERSON with a blog who I know who has less than 200 followers.  Hmmm.  Okay, here goes.  Never mind it's not going to work.  Instead, I am listing my top 11 blogs I read the mostWhat?  This is blog telephone, remember?  Everyone else has altered the rules, so I am going to, too.  I will even go one step further and give a description as to WHY I heart these blogs so much.
  1. Pretties & Posies I LOVE her white furniture.  Seriously, I am addicted to all things white.  Also, her pictures are gorgeous.  Go check them out.
  2. Dreamy Whites This is the blog that inspired to me to take the plunge and purchase my white sofa.  A year later, I can not complain.  Much.
  3. Thrifty Decor Chick I do not thing there is anything this "chick" can't do  She is like AMAZING.  Also, her house is gorgeous.
  4. The Design Junkie I first met Chrissa back in our MySpace days (don't judge us) and instantly fell in love with her writing style.  Fast forward many years later, and we are still friends (like in the Internet sense of the word, but whatevas).  I absolutely adore her style, her heart and she makes like awesome things.  Just go read her blog already.  PS.  She also has a white couch.  So there.
  5. The House of Smiths This family has got to be fake.  (I kid.)  I mean, their house is perfect, their kids look perfect and their blog is filled with all things fabulous.
  6. Cozy. Cottage. Cute.  The name says enough.  Super cute site.
  7. One Good Thing by Jillee  I want her to be related to me.  She makes her own LAUNDRY SOAP!  Seriously though, I used her recipe on how to clean my expensive pillows and make them bright white again.  It worked and she is awesome.
  8. IHeart Organizing  This is the site any busy mom needs to subscribe to.  She has awesome ideas and I love her blog theme.  It is so pretty.
  9. Trippin with Stanley  I stumbled upon this blog while researching RV design ideas.  (You can read that post here.)  These people made their home on wheels so cute and even gave him a name.  They blog all about their adventures.  Fun!
  10. Romantiska Hem  Since we are on the topic of RV's, this is the most chic one I have ever seen.  So beautiful, you won't even mind that the entire site is in German (?).
  11. Vena The Great  Last, but definitely not least ~ this woman is amazing in all things hair, design, photos and even soap making.  Plus, she is super pretty on the inside and out!

My 11 Questions for the blogs I nominated:
  1. How do we know each other?
  2. Kindle: yay or nay?
  3. If finances did not play a factor, where would you live?
  4. List one goal you want to accomplish in the near future.
  5. What do you want to be doing in five years?
  6. Ten?
  7. Who inspires you most?
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  9. If you could do any one thing, right now, what would it be?
  10. How many subscribers and/or followers does your blog currently have?
  11. Since this award was originally intended to help bloggers increase their following - in your opinion, what is the single best piece of advice you would give to a person just starting out?
Now I have to notify all of these people....Good Lord
The end.  Carry on minions.  :)