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This post contains affiliate links.
Pets are a part of many families, including ours. While we love them as a part of the family, they’re not without their messes and odors. I sometimes worry about the stains that our cats leave on the carpets and even though we keep them clean and can’t smell them, I get paranoid about possible smells that the litter boxes may leave behind in the carpets. This makes deep cleaning our carpets before company arrives for the holidays a big part of our holiday decorating routine.
While the tree is always the main focal point of holiday decorating, the mantle is a close second. The kids’ stockings hang with some faux greens, lights, and a few decorative accents. Our mantle is just as important as our tree because in the winter months we gather around the fireplace to watch movies, play games, and read. Our cats also love to curl up by the fire. There is almost nothing more homey to me than this.
Instead of an elf, we have Santa keeping watch over us from his perch on the mantle to see if we’re being naughty or nice.
Last month I made these holiday deco balls and I love them. This fun craft has turned into one of my favorite holiday decorations. They fit in perfectly on our built-ins with some pretty candles for added holiday cheer by our mantle.
Now for the nitty gritty of getting ready for the holidays: the pets. This is Pete, one of our cats. Our other cat, Orion, was being camera shy because he knows that I will be talking about him. While cats don’t typically leave smells in the carpet since they are generally clean animals, Orion has the occasional bout of gastro distress. If he eats too late in the day then he will get a bit of an upset stomach. Of course, this happens on the carpet far more often than on the tile.
While spot treating helps, we are still left with a few stains on the carpet and to get our home ready for the holidays, we want our carpets to be nice and clean. This is where the BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner comes in. The dual rotating power brush and antibacterial formula ensure that in about an hour our carpets are clean, dry, and ready for holiday company.
To clean our carpets, we picked up a bottle of 2X Pet Stain & Odor Remover and Pet Oxy Boost Carpet Cleaning Formula. Note: Pet Oxy Boost is not meant to be used as a stand-alone cleaner; it is to be used as a boost to the base formula. If you have a pet who has had an accident on the carpet, there is a Professional Pet Urine Eliminator Formula with Scotchguard available to clean tough urine odors once and for all.
Cleaning the carpets is just as fast and easy as vacuuming. Fill the clean chamber with hot water, cleaning solution, and oxy boost (if using), set the machine to either deep clean or express clean, then pull the trigger to get the solution into the carpet and pass the machine over the carpet. The dirty chamber on the bottom will fill with the dirty water that is then emptied out and the carpet cleaner is ready for the next use. There are also upholstery and stair attachments to get your whole house sparkly clean.
Now that our carpets are nice and clean, we’re ready to finish getting ready for Christmas. This means that it’s now time for my holiday baking. Of course, we make the obligatory Christmas cookies, but this year I also made some Christmas blondies. These are a favorite of my husband and kids. The recipe is below if you would like to add them to your holiday celebration. They’re so easy and so good!
- 2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup butter melted
- 2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup mini M&M candies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Grease a 9x9-inch baking pan (I use Pam baking spray)
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a mixing bowl add brown sugar to the melted butter and mix well. Cool slightly.
- Mix the beaten egg and vanilla into the brown sugar mixture.
- Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing just until combined.
- Add cholate chips and 1/3 cup M&Ms to the batter and combine.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining M&Ms on top.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.
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