From the category archives:

living on less

New Dyson Cool Air Multiplier Desk Fan Review

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 28, 2014 · 48 comments

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Dyson products... Whether it's our upright floor vacuum, handheld vacuum, cordless hard floor vacuum or our air multiplier, we use their products pretty much daily.

So I was super excited when they contacted me to ask if I was interested in testing out their newly released Dyson Cool fan. I reviewed the original Dyson Air Multiplier Fan about four years ago, and it's still running strong to this day. I honestly didn't think there was much that Dyson could improve on the original model, but boy did they prove me wrong!

The new Dyson Cool arrives in a surprisingly compact little box. You simply snap the base and the fan head pieces together and it's ready for use.

Just to recap what I loved about the original that's still true in this new generation:

No blades -- I learned the hard way when I was younger that kids and traditional fans do not mix, so we've never used them around our kids. The Air Multiplier technology that Dyson employs in their fans is ultra-safe for families with young children.

Easy to clean -- In addition to being safer, the bladeless system makes the Dyson fans quick and easy to clean. Just a quick swipe with a microfiber cloth is all you need to remove any dust.

Touch-tilt feature -- This simple feature makes directing the air flow simple and easy, unlike trying to direct a box fan.

So what's new and impressive about the Dyson Cool?

Remote control -- The dimmer switch feature on the original fan has been replaced with a remote control that easily allows you to quickly select from 10 precise air flow settings. I love that Dyson went the extra mile in making it magnetic, so it can easily be stored right on the fan itself (because remote controls have legs around here).

Sleep timer -- The sleep timer allows you to program the fan to turn off after pre-set intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 9 hours. This is such a smart addition, especially for busy, scatterbrained moms like me!

Quieter -- My old Dyson fan was pretty quiet compared to a box fan, but Dyson has improved the noise level on the new Dyson Cool fans to be 75% quieter than the original. I know some of you like your white noise, but for me, this is nothing short of amazing because I sleep best in dead silence, probably because my house is never quiet during the day.

So would I recommend the Dyson Cool? Absolutely! Although, with prices starting at $299, I get that it may be a bit of a stretch for some of your budgets, it's definitely worth the investment. As I mentioned, our original is still in fantastic working order, so they're definitely a quality product that you can count on using for many years to come.

If you're interested in staying up to date on new Dyson technology, follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dyson. The opinions and text are all mine.

{ 48 comments }

Over The Top Reese’s Peanut Butter Brownie Cups

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 14, 2014 · 0 comments

Okay, yeah, so these Peanut Butter Brownie Cups might be a little over the top... But let me tell you, they are SO worth it!

Sweet and salty, creamy and decadent, I'll be serving these peanut butter brownie cups with a big, cold glass of milk while indulging in a little March Madness marathon. They're a slam dunk!

{ 0 comments }

Oobleck Recipe | Science Experiment for Kids

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 7, 2014 · 1 comment

I seriously had SO much fun making this oobleck recipe with my kids! The most surprising thing, though? How interested my older kids were in getting involved in the fun -- my almost 12-year-old was just as excited as my 6-year-old.

Oh, and the other really great thing? It's a super budget-friendly science experiment for kids. The basics you need to make oobleck are cornstarch and water, which should clock in right around $1 -- but I also share an inexpensive way to add color in my post on how to make oobleck. Have fun with it!

{ 1 comment }

Clean Floors in One Step With the Bissell Symphony

by Tara Kuczykowski on February 21, 2014 · 0 comments

One of the first features I fell in love with when our realtor showed us what was to be our new home was the beautiful hardwood floors throughout the first level. Glossy and shiny, they gave the rooms such a warm and inviting atmosphere, even though they were devoid of furniture at the time.

What I didn't stop to think about was how difficult it would be to keep them in that gorgeous clean and shiny state, especially in the middle of winter with five kids and two dogs dragging slush, salt and mud in on a daily basis. The long, snowy winter we just endured left them in pretty sad shape, so we were thrilled to try out the new Bissell Symphony, an all-in-one vacuum and steam mop that's safe for all hard surfaces, including wood.

We've owned a number of hard floor vacuums and steam mops over the years, but this is the first unit that combines both functions in one. I love that with the simple press of a button you can vacuum, steam, or vacuum and steam at the same time.

Even the layers of salt and dirt from a long stretch of winter weather were no match for the steam setting on the Symphony, especially with the included scrubbing Microban mop pad. And I didn't need to use any harsh chemicals -- the steam removes the dirt and grime without the need for any additional cleaning products. Our hardwood floors still require a light coating of polish after cleaning, but the Bissell Symphony has seriously cut the cleaning time in half.

The only improvement I'd like to see in the future would be to add dual suction channels on both the front and back of the pad so that steaming and vacuuming it truly an all-in-one function. Currently, the vacuum channel is only on the front, so you can't really use a back and forth motion with the dual setting. It's definitely not a deal breaker for me, but it would be a nice addition!

Pick up the Bissell Symphony All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop in stores or online for $198.96 -- a great price for this combination product!

Walmart Moms Disclosure

{ 0 comments }

Olympic Torch Cupcakes | Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

by Tara Kuczykowski on February 9, 2014 · 0 comments

Ice cream cone cupcakes have been one of my favorite treats since the first time my mom made them for me on my 7th birthday. So I couldn't possibly think of a better way to celebrate the Winter Olympic Games than these cute Olympic torch cupcakes that start with simple ice cream cone cupcakes!

This was the perfect way to get my kids excited about watching with me -- and they're super easy to make. Hope you'll give them a try, too!

{ 0 comments }