Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Y'all! I am so excited! My buddy Oscar, at A Canine Opines, nominated yours truly for a Stylish Blogger!


I've seen this pop up on several blogs I follow and always figured I didn't have the traffic or followers to participate. When I saw it pop up in his latest post, I actually clicked the link to make sure it was me and not someone else! I am honestly humbled (or as Kelly would say, "chawed"). I certainly don't think of myself as "stylish" in anyway, but I'll gladly accept! Thank you, Oscar!

This award comes with some responsibilities and they are:

  • Thank the blogger who gave the award. (Check!)
  • Share 7 things about yourself/your pets. (This is like 2 Truths and a Lie...which I am terrible at coming up with TWO things about me! I can do it though.)
  • Pass the award onto 15 other bloggers. (I don't know if I know 15 bloggers that haven't already received this, but we'll see what I can do!)

7 Things About Me:

1. We (Husband and I) adopted a Jack Russel mix last summer. He has brought even more laughter and joy to our relationship. You can read his blog here: A Tale of a Tail

2. I have a fear of heights and slight fear of water (Clearly, Mister comes by his fear honestly). Consequently, I HATE bridges. Lord help us if there's a back-up on the International Bridge.

3. I have spent at least a couple of days each summer at my family's cabin in Canada. Except one. I don't like to talk about why.

4. I read too much into things and often end up with my feelings hurt for probably no reason.

5. I am a "cradle Disciple" meaning I have belonged to a Disciples of Christ church my whole life. It's about as non-denominational as a denomination can be. I love it.

6. I'm actually pretty introverted. Depending on the context in which you know me, this may be surprising. However, I much prefer observing to participating. Although that may just be because I'm socially awkward (thanks Transy).

7. One of my top three times of day is after I "powder my nose" after waking up. Mister waits at the bathroom door and is so adorable in his sitting. Then he play bows and if I squat down, he rolls onto his back for a belly rub. Like clock-work. Love this dog!

Alright, so now it's time to nominate. Most of the things on my Reader are news feeds (if you count celebrity gossip as news). So I'm just going to list some of my (and a few of Mister's favorite blogs.

Faith120604 (also read her at His Little Pink Sheep)

Babies & Beasts

You Paid More Than Me

It's a Dog's Life

The Clueless Homeowners

Mint Julips and Magnolias

Life in the Fun Lane

Hawthorn and Holly

Life's Garden (this one's a shameless plug. It's my mom's!)

Moonfly Studio

Love Always, Bear

Tiffy's World

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Product Review

This may be a first on The Couch. I don't normally do reviews on products. I'm pretty laid back, plus things are just that: things. In the event of emergency, they could be replaced. However, once in a while a product warrants thumbs up or down. Be it because of cost, quality (hopefully both), or life-changing-ness. This is one of those times.
If you follow Mister's blog (if you don't, you should. He's got a great month to observe), you may have read that we recently bought a "Carpet Monster," aka a vacuum (10 points to who figured that out first). Both Husband and I have lived our adult lives on hand-me-down vacuums. Some things as hand-me-downs are great. Some serve a purpose. Some would probably be better off in a dump. Vacuums probably belong in the latter category. Until now though, neither of us cared if the vacuum sucked, literally or figuratively. With the becoming not-so-recent addition of a certain shed machine, though, suddenly we care.
Mister's fur blends in nicely with our carpet, which is why we haven't really been in a hurry to replace our increasingly not sucking (literally) vacuum. We kind of forgot it was there. However, after snuggling or playing in the floor, we were oh so reminded that his fur hasn't disappeared. How that dog isn't bald yet, I'll never know. Although I shed every bit as much as he does.
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, the vacuum, reviewing it, gotcha. So our vacuum figuratively sucks. We had both heard the praises of the Dyson brand, but couldn't quite stomach $500 for a vacuum. The more I read though, the more I was becoming sold. Tales of people who were amazed at how much Dyson literally sucked. Finally, after Husband realized just how hard it was to clean the brush thing on our old vacuum and once it was clean, still didn't pick up anything, I convinced him to take the plunge. Only problem? The $500 for a vacuum.
Enter tax return. Or Husband's year-end bonus. Either one covered the cost (yay us!). We were planning on finding a 20% off Bed Bath and Beyond coupon and use credit card rewards to get a gift card to help off-set the cost. Then we saw last Sunday's paper and a 20% off Dyson sale. We have plenty of other things we could get at BBB and needed to hit the mall anyway, so off to Sears. I'm pretty sure we're the only people in the history of Lexington to intentionally go into Sears. Anyway, we ended up with the Dyson DC25 Animal.
In all of my review reading, this one seemed to best suit our needs. The difference between the "Animal"and the standard "all floors" is the inclusion of a mini-turbine to use on upholstery. I believe the turbine is available to purchase separately though, if you want to save a few bucks off the top. I also liked the idea of the ball instead of the regular vacuum build. Our vacuum also has a lifetime HEPA filter, making it great of allergy sufferers (which we think Mister may have).
I got my new baby home and put it together. Assembly was pretty easy, although the directions weren't all that clear. Pictures are great and all, but I like words too. All told, it took about 15 minutes, including my initial "what does this do?" time. Then came the test. I have now vacuumed my entire house.
The ball maneuverability is great. I wouldn't say it "turns with the flip of a wrist" as it's a little heavier that than. I still found myself doing the back and forth motion of regular vacuums, but it was handy being able to just go around the dining table instead of working my way out. Keep in mind it's still a vacuum and is pretty big so there are a few crevices it just won't reach.
This thing SUCKS. Literally. Our house is about 1800 sq. ft. and I had to empty the canister 3 times. Well, technically it would have been 2, but there was a big clump of hair stuck near the top I didn't see. Cleaning the canister was super easy. Pop it out, push a button, and the bottom drops out, taking the dust, dirt, and gunk with it. I will say that I've read you'll never need to come into contact with dust, but unless you have super short, not clumping hair, that's not entirely true. I had to grab and pull just a smidge. Also, if you have severe allergies, be warned that when you empty the canister, there's an inevitable dust cloud.
Dyson also advertised a "quick-draw telescope reach" for corners and around the ceiling. I've found that's not entirely true either. It take more effort than just pull our the hose, but it IS pretty nifty.
All I have to do is rinse out the filter every few months (maybe I'll get on a schedule of rinsing the vacuum filter and replacing the air filter) and let dry throughly. Pretty neat if you ask me. Also, Dysons come with a 5 year warranty, so if anything breaks, they'll replace it. How much have you spent on vacuums (that don't do a great job) in 5 years? Quite possibly the same as a Dyson.
My only issue (and it might just be me) is the mini-turbine head. It's great to have, as it picks up crumbs and what-not from the couch cushions. However, I have yet to find a place to keep it on the vacuum. All the other attachments had a place to pop them on so they're handy. The mini-turbine? Not so much. Has anyone figured out where it goes when not in use?
Overall, for a $500 vacuum, it better work. And it does a GREAT job. It is definitely easier to maneuver with the ball. The hose and cord have a great reach, plus the telescoping thing. I give it two thumbs up. Now if only someone could come up with a roller brush that won't get hair wound all around it.

DISCLAIMER: Dyson has no idea who I am. I used my own money to purchase said vacuum. I have in no way been compensated for my time or opinions. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Now I've Done It!

It's amazing what having 4 legs and a cute face will make an "upright" do. Not only does Mister have Twitter (which is the easiest way for you to get updates on him), but now he's blogging, too! Head over to to see what he has to say. Maybe he'll be more talkative on his blog than his mom is on hers!