Bissell Lift off Deep Cleaning System

May 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning, Reviews & Giveaways

Happy to Review Bissell Lift Off Deep Cleaning System!


I used the Bissell Carpet Cleaner  to clean two different areas in my home. My front hallway had several spots and my poor stairs had been attacked by dripping Nyquil when my husband carried it up the stairs a couple weeks ago.

Video Review

bissell deep cleaner

I didn’t do any pre-treating of the stains because I wanted to see what the abilities of this cleaner were.   I’ll walk you through the process. I am going to talk to you in my terms – I might not hit all the awesome features etc – but I’m also not pulling this info from anywhere but from what I’ve experienced.


Front Hall Way Before & After

dirty carpet
bissell carpet after
Steps Before:

Steps After:


Not too difficult. It came all put together in the box, except the handle.  I attempted to put the screws in when I didn’t have the handle lined up right. The screws go in at an angle, so it is a little tricky. I had to have my husband pull it back apart and get it lined up right because I wasn’t able to do it. But once he did that (only 4 screws) it was good to go.

bissell deep cleaner

Features of the Bissell Lift Off Deep Cleaning System

  • The water heats once in the clean water reservoir.  You have to turn the cleaner on for about a minute, so it has time to heat up the water.  I left it on for a couple minutes, but I couldn’t really tell how warm the water was. The water tank did not get warm, and I never did put my hand down to feel the temperature of the water coming out. I did like that I didn’t have to worry about the unit getting hot though.
  • There are side brushes that I like so that you can get close to the edges.
    It works easily and is self explanatory.
  • The foot pedal in the back seems solid, along with the one on the side to lift off the smaller unit.
  • It is easy to fill the clean water tank and put add the Bissell carpet cleaner solution.
  • A small bottle of the Bissell carpet cleaner came with the unit
  • The lift off unit comes off easily and doesn’t drip water all over.
  • To snap the “lift off” unit back into place you need to use just a bit of force once on. I was hesitant to snap down the right side. The left side goes right on, but I was scared to push down very hard because I wasn’t sure it was lined up and I didn’t want to break something. But once I did, it went right in on the right side too.
  • Easy push button and it is easy to move the unit when in the full upright unit. It isn’t hard to push.
  • Even though I vacuumed my carpet before I started, evidently there was dog hair left behind. The carpet cleaner did not pick up the dog hair, it just wet it and left it in clumps.  I had to keep bending over and picking it up. That part was annoying and kind of gross.  I wish it would have sucked it up. If you have a dog that sheds, I would suggest double or triple vacuuming first.
  • Using the smaller hand held lift off unit was easy.  There is a long cord, which makes it nice when you are doing the stairs.

Clean up

Love, Love, Love how easy it was to clean out the dirty reservoir! My older small carpet cleaner that I’ve used for small stains was hard to clean out and I never felt like it got cleaned out all the way, because of the design.  But the Bissell is really easy and I felt like it was totally clean once I rinsed it out. Yay! It also did not leak dirty water when I took it off the unit! (another big plus! The other unit had to take off right in the bathroom because I knew it would drip yucko stuff before I could dump it)

Overall Opinion

Very good! Would I recommend it? Yes! My big points (other than it did a good job) would be that the lift off unit makes it really convenient. You don’t have to have a full size carpet cleaner AND a second smaller unit – it’s an All-in-one Cleaner.

It is very easy to use.  But one of my biggest “pluses” to this deep cleaner is how easy it is to fill the clean reservoir and even better is how easy and neat it is to empty the dirty one!

My negatives would be that it does not pick up the left over dog hair that my vacuum didn’t pick up, so I had to pick it up on my own (wet dog hair is really gross).   I also would like some place to hook the cord up on the handle when I’m using the vacuum. I felt like it was in the way a bit. I think because the cord is actually attached to the smaller unit, down low on the side.   But neither of those reasons would be reasons that I would not recommend this to others. Those are minor compared to the benefits this cleaning system has.

As an update, my sister went out and purchased this cleaner herself after reading my post. She has four Newfoundland dogs and needed something to help with her clean ups! Wow!

I’m very happy with it and appreciate that they (Bissell) sent me this Carpet Cleaner to review.  I was compensated with keeping the Bissell Lift Off Deep Cleaning System, I was not paid for this post.  But even though I received the cleaner, the opinion, pictures and video are my own.




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Taking a Blogging Break This Week

May 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, Health & Safety

I’m taking a Blogging Break because Family Comes 1st


My Dad is going to have open heart surgery tomorrow, so this week will be just a bit hectic for me. Blogging will not be on my list of “To Do” this week, and maybe not even next.  Trying to keep up with my job while at the hospital is all I’m going to attempt and that will be hard enough.

Dad is 82 years old and has never had heart problems, that we knew of.  But shortness of breath recently made him talk to his Doctor. What we thought was going to be a consult with a cardiologist last Friday ended up being a series of test done immediately. The cardiac cath showed calcification in his heart and 3 blockages. One was 99.9% blocked, another 85% and another 40%.   They were unable to do stints because of the calcification.

You always hear of heart disease being the silent killer. We are very lucky that Dad didn’t have a full blown heart attack. We aren’t looking forward to the open heart and (at least) double bypass, and the recovery – but we are so very thankful that we got this chance.  So many people never have the chance because they ignore  the very sudle symptoms. One of them we didn’t realize was increased belching. Dad thought he was just having stomach problems because for the last several week he had much more belching than usual. This is a sign of a blockage.

Here are a couple good places to start if you have any concern for yourself or a loved one.

Heart Issues for Woman can be different 

Heart Disease Guide from Web MD



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Roar and Explore

Roar and Explore in Columbus, Ohio

I first posted this Roar and Explore  on my Explore Ohio with Sandy blog last July. But my family really enjoyed one of our own Columbus, Ohio adventures – Roar and Explore!   I did look and it appears that you can purchase the Roar and Explore package again this year.

columbus zoo

My family had an awesome vacation in Ohio and just outside of Ohio this year.  We started off with the canopy tour, headed down to KY to tour Mammoth Caves and then came back for a three day Columbus Adventure Package called Roar and Explore that you can find here


Here is a Video Recap of Our Three Day Adventure

Day One The Zoo

We planned our three days according to the weather forecast.  The first day was the nicest one. Clear skies and cool.  It was in the low 70’s, so perfect for the zoo, but a little cold for the water park. The animals were out…. perfect. We walked in and realized it had been awhile since we had visited the zoo. The entire entrance had been redone. It was really nice!

Columbus zoo
We went to an animal show that was just about to begin and it was really cute. Started off without any people, just different strange animals running across the stage and performing different tricks (like knowing which doors to go in that would open and let another animal out.
It was really fun day for all of us.. we were all exhausted by the end of it and ready to head back to the nice comfy hotel to rest (or go to the pool as the triplets did)

Day two – COSI

It was a bit stormy and rainy so we went to COSI (Center of Science and Industry). They had a special dinosaur exhibit that we were able to go into. This was an extra cost to get into this exhibit. It was nice and the kids had fun. To be honest I don’t know if I would have been excited if I would have paid much more to be able to see it. It wasn’t the kids favorite part of COSI.

They loved the 3-D movie (extra cost) but I think their favorite part and I know my favorite part was the outside exhibit of the construction equipment. They actually got to work some of them (with assistance of course). That was cool.

Day three – Zoombezi Bay

Ended up being a wash for Zoombezi Bay. It was storming and we weren’t able to go. The good thing is that the tickets are good until Sept when it closes for the year.

Drury Inn & Suites

drury inn and suites

We had a blast at the Drury Inn & Suites hotel. We had two nights there and I can’t count how many times the kids went to the pool. The room was really nice, there was a work out facility that had glass walls right next to the indoor/outdoor pool. Dave used it and was very pleased. We had a very nice warm continental breakfast (no charge for any guest) and the staff was lovely. I’d have no problems recommending it to anyone. The only thought I had was that I wish it were closer to the Zoo and Zoombezi Bay. The one we stayed at was in Grove City.


Our package was provided by for our family of five.  All the pictures and videos (except the Zoombezi Bay picture) were mine and my opinion was not swayed by the complimentary package.  Thank you Experience Columbus, we had a wonderful time. No pictures or videos are to be used without my permission.


This post was first posted July 23, 2011 on Explore Ohio with 


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Just Do It!

How Many Times Do You Hear Just Do It?

just do it

I tell myself to Just Do It! all the time.  Do you wonder why we don’t always do the things we should?  It’s almost like we make ourselves our own enemy.

My struggle right now is with weight.  I like to eat, I love sugar.  Do I know it is bad for me? Yup!  Do I feel like crap at my heaviest weight? Yup! Do I WANT to be thinner?  Yup!

So it should be simple, right? Just stop eating the crap, exercise and JUST DO IT!

I actually am beginning tomorrow with a trainer once a week. I need someone to make me accountable, someone to push me, someone who I have to answer to.  I know I shouldn’t. I know everything I need to do, I know what I need to eat and not eat – but it is something about someone else believing in you and working with you and counting on you… to motivate you.

I think the same thing happens in almost any area of our lives that we struggle in, but want to improve.  That might be keeping the house clean, cooking or organizing for you.  Of course there are way too many to list.. but you understand.

Steps To Just Doing It

1) Goals & Visions

Write them out.  What do you want to accomplish?  Give yourself specific goals to reach. Make them attainable goals. Be sure to put a date on the paper when you write it, so you can monitor time.

2) Make a Plan

When are you going to start? What time or cost is involved? What steps do you need to take to accomplish your goal?

3) Write it on your calendar

Writing it down is very helpful in making us accountable. If that time is set aside to accomplish your goal, then that is usually one big obstacle out of the way.

4) Find the resources you may need to help you.

It might be a personal trainer, a Professional Organizer, a chef  or, it might be finding a tutorial on Youtube, an article, book or magazine to help. It may just be your friend or neighbor that can help you.

But why does it seem that anything we need help with cost money? Have you noticed that it cost more to eat healthier? Why is that? I don’t know, but when I’m watching what I eat, I always spend more on the healthy vs the unhealthy items in the store.  Hiring a personal trainer cost money too. If you have organizing problems, hiring a Professional Organizer isn’t free either. I think we have to think of it as an investment in ourselves, our well being, our families well being.

5) Just Do It!

I know… I had to say it didn’t I?  But it does come down to that. We can’t just plan and want to do something – we have to actually do the grunt work to receive the benefit.  I know I’ll feel better once I start working out and eating right, so I’m going to just do it.

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Help Chris Mann Win The Voice

May 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Celebrities

Vote for Chris Mann on The Voice

Watch & VOTE for @IamChrisMann tonight! #MannFans

It is SO cool that Chris Mann made it to the final four of The Voice! I know he is good enough to win, but the other three people who are singing are also really good.  He will need all our votes tonight!

Hey look what Chris sent me!

Chris Mann thanks Sandy & Organize w Sandy community for Voting on THE VOICE from Chris Mann Music on Vimeo.


Yes and I know I just totally hashtagged out my title – but I want as much twitter exposure as I can get for him!

chris mann

I love this video – Chris had it on his newsletter this morning and I grabbed it for my post. (Hope you don’t mind Chris! lol)


Watch The  Finale of The Voice TONIGHT,  Monday May 7 at 8pm est (7pm cst)

You can vote several ways after the show tonight starting at 9:55pm est.  Don’t Vote Early or else it won’t count!

Here are instructions from Chris’s newsletter today on voting

1.  Buy Chris’ NEW song performed on tonight’s show on iTunes
You can “gift this song” to 10 friends for 10 votes!  Click on the arrow next to the price and click “gift album.”

Only purchaces of TONIGHT’s song count as votes!!!

2.  Use your Facebook account(s) & vote TEN times on The Voice’s FB page

“Like” The Voice’s facebook page and vote!

3.  CALL by Phone TEN times from your landline & TEN times from any cell phone


4. Vote through the website

You can vote multiple times here as well!!!

5. If you have Sprint you can vote via text messaging

The number to text will appear on-screen after Chris’ performance
Your text vote will NOT count unless made via a Sprint cell phone
Using all methods you can VOTE 50 TIMES!!!  (or more with more phones in your house)

Watch the twitter stream.  You will see #MannFans #Vote4ChrisMann #ChrisMann #TheOperaGuy #TheVoice #TeamXtina and @IamChrisMann is Chris’s Twitter handle. Follow Chris on Facebook at Chris Mann Music

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Organizing and DIY Monday Link Party – Week 18

Springtime Can be Busy Time! Organizing and DIY will help

organize and DIY

How is the spring finding you? Busy? Anyone graduating soon? Weddings to plan? Vacations to go on? It seems like so much starts happening this time of year. If things are organized, it certainly helps. DIY projects can help save you money!

We have one graduating this year and have vacation coming up in just a few weeks. It is amazing how time is flying by!

Thanks for linking up to my blog last week! I have three bloggers that I am featuring because I loved what they linked up.

Julie from Redhead Can Decorate did an entire kitchen make over. It looks awesome. I’m going to go back and look around her blog some more, her premis is that she can decorate for affordably.

organizing and DIY

I like some of the ideas that Dagmar from Dagmar’s Momsense found for organizing. She found pictures from around the web of things she would like in her perfect house.  This shelf has magazine holders as the base for storage. Cool idea!

organizing and diy

Closets! Who doesn’t like organized closets? Margo from Joyful Homemaking redid her closet for $150.

organizing and diy

Link up to my Linky Party! I’d love to see the ideas you create yourself or find from other inspiration online!

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (url code under button tab )
3) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
4) No sales pitches or web sites.
5) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.
6) By linking up to my post, I might use your pic (with link and credit to you) next week in my post!


Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click here 
This party will be open until May 13, 2012 at 11:59pm est.

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Ice Cream Sandwich

May 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Food

Recipe for an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake!


ice cream sandwich cake

I will tell you that the Ice Cream Sandwich cake itself is not a pretty sight. It isn’t a fancy looking elegant cake. It is more like… oh wow.. what a mess THAT is!

Carrie posted this on my link party a few weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to try it since then. Here is her post.

My best tips…  Be prepared BEFORE you start the process.  I was not.  I decided to make this on a whim. My son ran to the store for me, and came back with 2 boxes of semi frozen ice cream sandwiches to start. The whipped cream was semi frozen also.

Ingredients for the Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

  • 24 ice cream sandwiches (I wanted vanilla, but I know others like peanut butter or chocolate ice cream in them)
  • Whipped Cream – a large tub
  • 12 – 19 oz bag Candy – I used Reece Cups and crumbled them up. You could use Oreos, Butterfinger, Toffee… etc.
  • Caramel syrup. – you could also use chocolate.

Prepare First

  • Make sure your whipped cream is thawed (if it was frozen)
  • Unwrap and break up your candy
  • Make sure your ice cream sandwiches are unwrapped and well frozen before beginning.
  • Trying to unwrap soft ice cream sandwiches, a bunch of Reece cups while you are trying to build this and things are melting…. isn’t a good recipe for success.  Just sayin’.


  • Layer 6 ice cream sandwiches across your cookie sheet. (You can also use a large flat platter. It gets kind of heavy, so make sure whatever you use can go in a freezer and is supportive.)
  • Top it with a layer of whipped cream, sprinkle a layer of candy pieces on it and top it with some caramel.  then repeat those layers. (I can’t give you exact amounts, just wing it – what looks right to you)
  • I went up four layers. The top layer I did not include the caramel sauce, although I could have. I already had such a melting mess that I had to get into the freezer quick… lol

ice cream sandwich cake

If my whipped cream had been completely thawed it would have been easier to spread.

ice cream sandwich cake

See, I told you it isn’t pretty…  Looks like a real mess!  But I didn’t care, I was too excited to try it.

Now take this concoction and put it into a freezer for a couple hours.

ice cream sandwich cake

Ours stayed in the freezer over night.

I took it out this morning, expecting it to look a little different I guess…. but it looked just the same… .but frozen solid.

ice cream sandwich cake

Since we started it too late for the kids to have any last night … since it had to still freeze,  I did what any  step mother would do – I said they could have a little piece this morning! Yes, they ate their breakfast first.

ice cream sandwich cake

I cut this piece into thirds for them.

ice cream sandwich cake

It passed the kid test with flying colors! They loved it. What i think will be fun is that it was SO novel that I let them have a dessert in the morning (I won’t even let them have pop tarts for breakfast on a school morning) they will have really fun memories of this cake.




By the way I tried it also… and loved it. I’m not a huge fan of the DQ ice cream cakes, but I LOVED this! The sandwich part of the ice cream sandwich is such a perfect layer.

This one is going to be in our “keep” file … for sure!

ice cream sandwich cake

I did see another version where they did it in a cake pan – lined with foil. It would have been just a double decker I’m thinking… rather than my 4 layers. I didn’t do it this way because I thought it would be hard to get out of the pan. It wasn’t until I went back (after I made mine) and looked at the recipe again to see that they had  lined the pan with foil first. Duh!  But the kids loved the tall 4 layer ice cream cake.

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Decluttering – How To Decide What To get Rid Of?

Decluttering and trying to decide what to get rid of is a very hard thing to do.

decluttering garage

That is why it is very helpful to use an outside person, a friend  or a Professional Organizer to help you. We don’t have the attachments to the objects that you do. It is easier for us to help you make the decision based on need and not on emotions.   Often someone other than family/friend is able to say things that you might need to hear, but won’t accept from someone close, it can make the decluttering process easier.

Questions to Ask Yourself:


*Does it take more time and effort to manage than it is worth?
*Does it make others unhappy to see it? Am I putting things before people and relationships?
*Do you need it? Is it redundant (i.e., do I really need 3 measuring spoon sets)?
*Do I love it? Does it make me happy or unhappy to see it?
*If you were moving, would you pay to have it packed and moved?
*Would you buy it again?
*Is it broken, and if so, are you ever going to fix it?
*Are you ever really going to finish this project (book, quilt, etc.)?
*Can you borrow or purchase another one, if needed, without spending a fortune or having trouble finding it?
*When’s the last time you used it (assuming you knew it was there)?
*If you knew that someone else would really benefit from having this (i.e. if you found a great place to donate it), would that make it easier for you to let it go?
*Is this adding value to your home or business?
*Is this item getting in the way of your ability to find what you need, when you need it?
*Will this help me make or save money?
*How much space does it require (the more it takes, the more critical you should be in your decision to keep it)
*If you keep it, will you remember you have it? If you remember you have it, will you be able to find it?
*Convince yourself that you need to keep it.


*Am I legally required to keep it (i.e. vital & tax records), and if so, for how long? (a topic for another whole newsletter)
*Will I actually use it/refer to it/need it?
*Is the information still current?
*Can it easily be duplicated or created if needed again (i.e. found on the web)?
*What’s the worst that can happen if you toss it?
*Is it a duplicate?

*Is the item in good condition?…does it have stains or tears or is it too worn)?
*Is the item still in style (And no…..1980’s shoulder pads are not going to come back into style in the same exact way)?
*Do you love the item, or even like it? Does it make you feel great to wear it?
*When was the last time I used this item….Would I use it again now that I remember that I have it?
*How many do I currently own of this type of item (maybe 20 pairs of black pants are too many)?
*Does it fit? If not, is it within a reasonable number of size ranges of my current size range to keep it?

*Do you have anything else that reminds you of this (event, person, time)?
*If we took a picture of it, would that make it easier for you to let it go?
*Am I keeping it because someone gave it to me and I’ll feel guilty if I get rid of it?
*Does the sentimental value exceed the practical value (if so, by all means, keep it!)

Using these guidelines can make it much easier to help you decide if you are going to part with something.

This post was originally posted in 2008. The list was one that was compiled by Professional Organizers.

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