Friday, August 20, 2010

The lucky one.

Last night, the mascot and I went for a late dinner with my mom on Corydon. After we said our goodbyes to Mumji, we walked hand-in-hand back to our car.

While we were cutting through the 7-11 parking lot, a guy in a truck leaned out his window and yelled "LUCKY!!" This, of course, made us both burst out in a fit of giggles. After we regained our composure, the mascot said, "Wow. That guy thinks I'm lucky to be holding hands with you!"

As flattering (ha!) as being hollered at is, I couldn't help but think that I am the lucky one. As far as kids go, I think I really lucked out by ending up with that one. He's smart, funny, sensitive and cool (but not too cool to hold hands with his mom once in a while). He gives me strength and a reason to be strong. I know that as long as we stick together, everything is going to be a-ok. Yup, lady-luck was definitely smiling down on me 12 years and 10 months ago.

We spent the next couple minutes in silence. I looked over at the mascot's freckled face and wondered what he was so deep in thought about.

He looked back at me, eyes sparkling, and said:
"You know who *is* lucky? Babies. They get to look at boobies."


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tomato, tomato!

I checked on the garden this morning and discovered a tomato in a very preliminary stage of redness. Considering the fact that my tomato crop was a bust last year, this is very exciting news. I could be eating a caprese salad by this time next week!

In other horticulture news, the basil is doing very well (despite its numerous attempts to bolt), the strawberries have been surprisingly abundant (if you consider a dozen off one plant "abundant"), and there is a gigantic butternut squash blossom lighting up the garden. I am concerned that the squash won't have enough time to grow, but then again, I'm not completely against eating babies.
Baby squashes, that is.

(x-posted to Relish!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Map My Run...and tell the world.

What’s as much fun as running? Mapping it and seeing how far I’ve gone, of course.

I am a huge fan of Voomaxer to keep track of my running logs and post them to Facebook (& Twitter), but lately their routing function has been on the fritz. I don’t want to stop using Voomaxer, though, because the more people you tell about your run, the more calories you burn. Trust me…it’s scientific.

Now I’m using Map My Run to calculate my milage and I am loving it. Other than the general ease-of-use, the really cool thing about the mapping function is that it lets you “bend” your lines. This means less clicking and more accuracy…especially when charting runs down bendy streets. Try it yourself: Map My Run

* Yes, it’s a little goofy to have to use two sites, but I’m already goofy for never running the same route twice…and for mapping it after the fact. So, shush.

Monday, June 14, 2010


This past weekend, the mascot and I finally got the chance to plant our herbs, veggies and annuals. With the exception of the rock garden (RIP), which didn't have enough of a snow-cover to protect it, all of our perennials came up beautifully. The only thing that was missing was a little colour and a little flavour.

We added crazy-coloured Coleus to the front and back perennial beds, planted the pots on the front steps with petunias (thanks to our friends Em and Jason!), and brightened up the garden along the back of the house with a riot of annuals. That garden is also home to 7 or 8 tomato plants (early girl, tiny tim, yellow, sweet 100...), a new blueberry bush (what?), strawberries, and one, lone butternut squash (the mascot's addition). There are also random herbs, here and there; a rosemary in the old rock garden, thyme in a planter, and basil beside the tomatoes.

I can't wait to see everything fill-in and bloom!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Today's Meditation

Have I posted this one before? I don't think so, but if I have, it bears repeating.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. ~ Buddha

...and breathe...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Today's Meditation

Love is patient.

(Or, the way I see it - “to love is to be patient”.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

me & my boy

me & my boy
Originally uploaded by zenbecca
“Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom with the dishes.” ~ P.J. O'Rourke

Ah, but Mr O’Rourke didn’t know my kid. You see, in our house there is a well-balanced system of “I’ll load, you un-load” that a) keeps me sane and b) lets the boy earn his keep.

It’s not without its faults (90% of the items make it back to their correct spots and don’t make me mention the state of the Tupperware drawer) but, hey, it beats having to do it myself.

So, with Mother’s Day two short sleeps away, I would like to give a quick shout-out to the mascot; I wouldn’t be a mother without him, after all!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today's Meditation

Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent; a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. ~ Sutta Nipata

I think everything that I know about love, I have learned in the last 6 weeks. It all comes down to this: in the presence of real love, nothing is insurmountable or impossible to overcome. Give as much as you expect to get back and you'll have your bases covered.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Today's Meditation

The light at the end of the tunnel will continue to grow brighter as long as you stay on track.

Good lord, I hope so.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Today's Meditation

Just as the highest and the lowest notes are equally inaudible, so perhaps, is the greatest sense and the greatest nonsense equally unintelligible. ~ Alan Watts

Oh, I am going to have to spend some time wrapping my head around that one...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

holly go-lightly

holly go-lightly
Originally uploaded by zenbecca
This past Sunday, R and I were planning to go to a movie, but decided at the last minute to go for a bike ride instead. It was such a nice day; it would have been a crime to waste it by sitting in the dark. Even the promise of popcorn, Milk Duds and a soda the size of my head wasn’t enough to lure us away from the sunshine. After a quick detour to pick up my bike (the lovely Holly go-lightly, pictured above) and then back to R's to put a little air in our tires, we were on our way to the Forks.

I was so happy to see that the rest of Winnipeg was on the same wave-length - people were out in droves! Besides the sunshine and good-karma, it felt so nice to be on a bike that was actually going somewhere for a change. In 3 months of spinning classes, I have probably logged hundreds of (theoretical) kilometres. Sure the bikes at the gym have brought me closer to my goal of better fitness…but they don’t take me to the yummy rum punch that R and I had on the patio by the river.

Today's Meditation

The most important things are beyond language.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today's Meditation

It's more important to acknowledge things as they are and not as you want them to be.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Today's Meditation

You can make your day-to-day existence easier by accepting the futility of resistance.

...and breathe...

Flowing Gracefully

Have I mentioned how good my new yoga class is? So good.

There are a lot of vinyasas; but there’s plenty of time to really sink into the asanas, too, which is what I’m all about. I was worried that I would be a little rusty after my 18 month hiatus, but that wasn’t an issue at all - I’ve still got it! Whatever “it” is. (I think in my case, "it" is surprisingly good balance, better-than-average flexibility and freakishly-long arms, which are a huge help.)

My personal goal for the next 9 weeks is to concentrate on “graceful flow”. I know, right?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

25 things we can live without…or can we?

I found this list on the Planet Green website and thought it would be fun to post...with my comments, natch.

Plastic wrap -- Instead, use a container with a lid.
Agreed. I haven’t bought plastic wrap in, like, forever. I do heart ziplocks, though…and I reuse them to death, so it's ok. Ish.
Tin foil – Use an oven-safe pot or dish with a lid.
Disagreed. I heart foil. Used judiciously, it's a big help in the kitchen. It makes clean-up a snap…and it’s recyclable, too.
Disposable cleaning cloths, dusters, etc. – Use a microfiber cloth that can be washed.
OMG! Was there life before the Swiffer?!?! (Yes, yes there was. When I was a kid we would cut up my dad’s old t-shirts for dusting.)
Paper towels – Use a tea towel, instead.
Ermmmm…guilty as charged.
Disposable pens – Buy a good pen that only needs the ink well changed.
Ok, yeah no. I’m not there yet. I do, however, try to buy better pens so that I’m not constantly chucking out duds.
Paper plates – Washing dishes may be an effort, but it’s worth it.
Yup. And, really, if you have a 12-year old kitchen slave, it's no effort at all.
Plastic cutlery – Use the metal stuff.
Ditto. (Although I will admit that I have a secret fetish for plastic spoons.)
Disposable razors – Invest in a razor that only needs the blades changed.
I have a bone to pick with the razor companies – their constant “innovating” has left me with a box of obsolete razor handles!
Packaged fruits and vegetables – Produce does not need to be packaged.
Yes and no. I buy a lot of bagged/boxed produce that I wouldn’t buy if it was sold “loose”…like snap peas and baby spinach. Some stores (I’m looking at you T&T) go beyond silly with their saran-wrapped styrofoam trays of, well, everything.
Individually wrapped snacks – Snacks travel better anyway in a hard container.
Yes…and the same goes for individual yogurts.
Juice boxes – Put juice in a reusable container (not plastic).
Juice? Apples and oranges are full of juice. Eat one.
Electric pencil sharpeners -- Use the hand-crank version of days gone by. I want a hand-crank sharpener. (Although, I guess my sharpening needs aren't that great...I've been getting by with one of those little hand-held ones.)
Disposable diapers -- Cloth diapers aren't that much more difficult to use.
(Says the person who has never washed a bucket of dirty diapers or traveled with a baby.)
Disposable cloths – Fabric cloths can be washed regularly to avoid bacterial or viral build-up.
Key words – wash regularly.
Paper or plastic single-use grocery bags – Get a few reusable bags.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Bottled water -- Install a water filter on your tap or pick up a water jug with a filter.
We have broken ourselves of the bottled water habit. It helps that Winnipeg tap water is good.
Non-rechargeable batteries – Make the investment for rechargeable batteries and you’ll save money in the long run.
Will do…just as soon as I get through this case of IKEA AAs.
Electric can openers – Use a little muscle.
Lol. Again, is this an issue?
Single-serving pudding or yogurt cups – Buy a large container of yogurt or make your own pudding, and send it in a reusable container.
Oh, I spoke too soon. BTW...the big yogurts are cheaper, too!
Plastic cups – Stick to reusable cups.
I’ll see that...and raise you a coffee cup!
Disposable table cloths – Spills are a reality of life; just clean them up as they happen.
Better yet – wipeable placemats.
Antibacterial wipes – If you must, use a gel hand sanitizer.
I disagree, but for a different reason. I'm not big on anti-bacterial products. Just use soap and water.
Facial tissues -- Unless you have a bad cold, a handkerchief will work just fine.
Ermmmm…or a sleeve, if you’re 12.
Paper billing -- Switch to e-billing for your bank statement, credit card bill, utility bill, etc.
Or, better yet, pre-authorized payments. I have a problem with the “out of sight, out of mind” thing. I like to stay on top of my bills, but emails are SO easy to ignore.
Plasticized sticky notes -- Use the original paper sticky notes; they can be recycled when you're done with them
What? Is there such a thing? Are they for leaving notes in the shower?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Parting Words

Every morning, as I'm flying out the back door (literally), I tell the mascot "Ok, I'm outty...don't forget your lunch, your key, your bus pass...turn out the lights...lock up...set the alarm...have a great good to people...I love you...bye!"

Today after "be good to people", I tacked on "...don't take any crap..."

I think we'll keep that one in there for a while.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You had me at free.

Don’t forget – it’s free coffee day at Starbucks!

Take your reusable cup to any participating Starbucks location and have it filled for free! The offer applies only to brewed coffee, up to 20oz., on Thursday, April 15th only.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yoga, girl!

Who’s nutty enough to go to the gym twice in 1 day? Oh, that be me. Due to some bizarre scheduling (on my part), for the next 8 Wednesdays I will be book-ending my workday with an early-morning weightlifting class and a pre-dinner yoga class. It means that I have to be extra-prepared (packing breakfast, lunch, an outfit for the office and 2 sets of workout clothes), but it should* be worth it…

* I say should because I am not sure about this yoga class. I signed up for it based on time-slot, but I am feeling a little trepidation…it’s called “yoga for athletes” and I’m not sure I qualify. Tonight is my first one, so we’ll see how it goes. I might just surprise myself.

After this one, my next yogic adventure will combine a 45 minute spin-class with a 45 minute ashtanga class. That one I *know* I can do.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Garbage of NYC

Oh, we've all heard the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure". This project by NYC artist Justin Gignac is making me ask, "Can one man's treasure be another man's art?"

"What is art?" Ask 100 people and you will get 100 answers. Some people have their mind's made up on the topic and are unwavering in their opinions; others, like me, have yet to figure it out yet, or are unwilling to commit to an answer. As I write this, I am leaning towards the notion of "art is in the eye of the beholder". How's that for vague? My one caveat, though, is that in order for it to be art it has to evoke a reaction in the viewer. And something more than "oh, that's a pencil".

That's why the "Garbage of New York City" project had me scratching my head; is it art or is it just, well...garbage? On one hand, you could say "oh, that's a beer can". On the other hand, however, you start to see the beauty in the presentation. Removed from it's environment and placed in a protective casing, it becomes a charming little tableau; intreguing in its simplicity, really.

Or, maybe I'm overthinking it. Either way, if you can get people to pay $50 for a beer can and a plastic spoon, you are an artist. Con or otherwise. ;-)

x-posted to Everything is Ticketyboo

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ag in the City

Here in Winnipeg (and throughout the prairies), we are completely surrounded by farmland and yet many of us forget the impact that farming has on our lives. Agriculture in the City is looking to change that.

"Ag in the City" is a family-friendly event on now at the Forks that celebrates agriculture and allows us "city folk" to reconnect with the people who grow our food through activities, displays, cooking demos and more. Like any event worth its salt, they've got lots of "big stuff", too - from a giant yellow combine to a mammoth bowl of oatmeal. You definitely don't want to miss that!

"Ag in the City" runs all weekend and all are invited.

From the Ag in the City website:
Once upon a time most Canadians lived on farms. But now, we buy most of our food from the store. You can narrow the gap between the farm and your fork … at the Forks!
Kids can spy on a live honey factory, see where milk comes from, and check out the big yellow combine. Adults can meet local farmers, find new recipes or learn about food safety.
Agriculture isn’t only about food. Crayons, toothpaste and linoleum all have links to the farm. Find out what innovations are happening now, and how much we depend on a clean, healthy environment for our future.
Canada’s most vibrant industry is open for you to discover, March 19-21 at the Forks Market. See, touch and taste what’s new in agriculture. There’s nothing else like it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Project: mascot

The mascot has been working on a project for school and needed a backboard to display it on, but the idea of forking over $15 for one at Michaels sent me into a cold sweat.

a) When I was in school, we always made our own out of scrap wood or cardboard boxes.
b) fifteen bucks? Seriously?

I gave him the option of either spending his allowance on a backboard (as if) or looking for something suitable in the house. Doubtful that he would find anything, he went downstairs...and returned 5 minutes later with a huge grin on his face the box from our flat-screen tv. I was happy that his search was a success, but even happier when he said, "Mom, can I upcycle this for my project?"

5 minutes and some clever Xacto-ing later, the boy had a project that cost $0 and made him feel a whole lot prouder than if he had just grabbed one off the shelf. Looks like we can put that $15 in our trip-jar!

Pics of the project to follow!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Strong Body = Strong Mind

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. - Buddha

Buddah, I could not agree more.

That thinking, I suppose, is one of the things that gets me out of bed and into my gym clothes at 5:30am a couple days a week, and makes me late for dinner the rest of the time (save for my weekend workouts, which happen at a more civilized hour). I find that if I go to the gym on a regular basis, I am way better equipped to handle everything that gets thrown at me. Not only does it give me a chance to (literally) work out my problems, but I am left with an enormous sense of pride and self-esteeem when I push myself a little further or complete an especially challenging class.

The sore legs and arms that follow serve as little reminders that I *am* strong and I will get through. Knowing that my body can handle a little punishment and come out stronger gives me faith that my heart and mind and soul can, too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

One of my favourite places to scavenge for art/craft/decor materials in the city is the ReStore at 60 Archibald Street. Run by the fine folks at Habitat for Humanity, the ReStore is a tresure trove of new, used, reclaimed and salvaged building materials and hardware. They have everything in there. You need a lilac-coloured toilet? They got 'em. A bi-fold door? A can of paint? Cabinet knobs? Ceramic tiles? Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Like visiting any place of its type, though, sometimes you luck out and can fill a cart and sometimes you leave empty-handed. (Ok, the latter hasn't happened to me yet.) My one, piece of advice...make that TWO pieces of to be prepared - come armed with measurements if you are looking for something specific (like a drawer pull or a window), and don't forget to bring your imagination. That discarded cabinet door might just be the memo board of your dreams. Like this one.

Whether you are a ReStore regular or haven't been there (yet!), be sure to check out this special event: Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg's ReStore is excited to announce the launch of its innovative 1st Annual ReCreate: A ReStore Art Sale on March 11th.
An event that utilizes the creativity and generosity of local Winnipeg artists, recycles items in imaginative and inspiring ways, and is going to be an event not to miss.
ReCreate is open to public silent auction bids from Thursday, March 11th & 12th 8 am – 8pm and Saturday, March 13th 9am - 6pm. Bidding will close at 6pm on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's raining!

I don't want to jump the gun, but is it too soon to say that Spring has Sprung? Hmmm...maybe I should rephrase that. Spring is poised to, well...spring. It's been drizzling for the past couple of days, but, unlike the women at the gym this morning, you won't hear me complaining. I will be beyond happy to see the end of the snow, and if the forecast is correct, that might be as soon as this weekend. According to the Weather Network, it's supposed to go up to 9 degrees, which ought to do the trick. And, if not, it should at least be enough to melt the snow off the BBQ!

I do have to say, though, it was a really, really easy winter. I think we went through a couple good weeks at -30, but it was beautiful at Christmas and there was relatively little snow, compared to other years. In fact, the red hats on my little Gnomes in the front garden were still visible all season long, as were the solar garden lights in the back yard. Fingers crossed for a quick melt!

That said, it makes me wonder if it was just a fluke, or a result of climate change. I mean, while we were giving our shovels a rest, areas of the US that never get snow got dumped on. Weird, right?

Monday, March 1, 2010

I win!

Hi Rebecca,

Congrats! You are a winner in ECO Canada's Olympic Contest. You have won your own Olympic water bottle.

Eco Canada

Yay me! I will carry it and use it with pride!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Be the bigger person.

Who ranks as the highest? One who does not harm anything. One who never retaliates. One who is always at peace regardless of the other person's disposition. - Buddha

When it comes to the war-of-words, my fella is always reminding me to "be the bigger person". When hit with a verbal assault, my first gut-reaction is to send out a big "Oh, yeah...well, you're a _____!" But, really, what would that solve? I have learned to stop myself* and not strike-back. I have found that I rarely regret not saying something, but once words are let loose, they are out there forever. I would rather bite my tongue (or my fingers), than stoop to the lower level. Why bother adding fuel to the fire?

*Having a little mantra to repeat in my head helps, too. More about that later...

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Lack of A-peel

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the mall (a rare occurance, believe me) and found myself standing in the middle of The Body Shop. Drawn in by a window display promoting the return of "the classics", I started to load up my basket with 3 of my long-lost faves; banana shampoo, banana conditioner and passionfruit cleansing gel. I couldn't believe my luck; it's been years since I last had them on my shower shelf. I had it all worked out in my head - the next morning I would take a shower, then wrap myself in my big, fluffy red robe and, with my hair still wrapped in a towel, blog about how they were exactly the same as I remembered them. But, sadly, they weren't.

I worked at The Body Shop for several years. From 1998 to 200-and something, I stacked soap and refilled bottles at three locations in Edmonton, Oakville and Coquitlam. It was an interesting time for the company; still in the Anita Roddick years, but at the start of what we called "the coup". We promoted reusing, recycling, refilling and a myriad of issues - from self-esteem to fair-trade. All of us were proud to wear "the pod" and carry the torch for our red-haired, renegade founder. And then things changed. A little. The company started to shift to a less social-driven and more profit-driven agenda. Products became sleeker and glossier (glitter? what?) and favourites like my beloved banana hair products were phased out to make room for their pretty, new step-sisters.

In 2006, the company was purchased by L'oreal; a move that raised many eyebrows due to the new parent company's questionable animal-testing policies. It was around that time that I stopped shopping at TBS. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it just didn't feel "right". Fast forward 4 years and I have finally figured it out. The banana conditioner is a perfect example of all that went wrong. Gone are the random chunks of banana and the little black bits. Gone is the yummy scent and creamy, super-moisturizing goodness. Gone is the feeling that you are using a product that someone had whipped up in their own kitchen; braless and singing along to Peter, Paul & Mary. What I got for my $7 was a soul-less, yellow, banana-scented dissapointment. And it didn't even make my hair soft. Boo.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

...and nothing but...

"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love." - Peace Pilgrim

"The truth is more important than the facts." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


One of the highlights of my recent trip to Toronto was my dinner at Fresh on Bloor Street West. Located at the corner of Bloor and Spadina, this narrow little restaurant is known for its vegetarian and vegan food and generous portions. I found it warm and inviting, and despite the fact that it was very busy on the night of my visit, I was seated quickly at a cozy table along the wall and received friendly, attentive service.

Having already downloaded the menu the week before my visit, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted. Taking a peek at what my fellow diners were having confirmed my choice – the $21 prix fixe was the way to go. I had my choice of a juice (all green), appetizer (white bean and avocado dosas), entrĂ©e (green goddess bowl) and dessert (vegan cashew chunk cookie). I was going to treat myself to a glass of organic wine, too, but ran out of room.

I started off with a big glass of the “all green” juice was a blend of cucumber, parsley, kale, ginger, lemon and celery. It was tart and…zingy?...and very refreshing. And, yes, you could really taste the kale. Next up were the dosas – a pair of small, spiced Indian pancakes filled with an avocado and white bean mixture. The creamy filling was spiced up with a hint of hot chipotle and fresh cilantro. Not traditional Indian, by any means, but a great example of vegan fusion cuisine.

Looking around the restaurant, it seemed that the bowls were the big attraction. (Well, that and the yam fries, which I was able to resist!) With a choice of 10 varieties on either brown rice or soba noodles, it was hard to make a decision. After agonizing over the choices for several minutes, I finally went with the “green goddess”; partly because it sounded good and partly because it’s named after me. My bowl was a delicious combination of steamed broccoli, swiss chard, kale, bok choi, etc nestled on top of a bed of brown rice with tahini, nori, ginger and sunflower seeds. As if that wasn’t enough, it was also topped with slices of grilled tempeh. Whew! It’s amazing that I made it through my bowl, but even more amazing that I still had room for my cashew cookie and Americano.

I left happy and FULL. (And entertained – the couple next to me were the biggest whiners ever and argued throughout their meal. It took everything I had not to giggle, but bless them for finding each other.) My next trip to the Big Smoke will definitely include a return visit to Fresh.

x-posted to Natch!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I've created a monster...

I just received a text message from the mascot asking me if I would like "a really cool plant pot soldier" from the recycling room at his grandparents' condo. I'm almost a'feared to see the thing, but I told him to go ahead and bring it home anyway. If he thinks it's "cool", then it must be...right? (At worst, it can live in our garden.)

A few years ago, I was constantly teasing my mom for "garbage picking". She would go to the dump with a trailer full of stuff and leave with a trailer full of different stuff. I was embarassed, horrified and afraid that someone I knew would find out. These days, though, I have had a complete change of attitude. I mean, I won't bring home *garbage*, but it's hard to resist some of the cool vintage stuff that seems to keep popping up in backlanes and dustbins. In the last year alone I have scored chairs, a couple cabinets, a table...all in perfect (or perfectly distressed) condition. Now that the mascot is on the case, who knows what else we'll find!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Faves – The Shark Floor Steamer

If I am Ginger Rogers, then this is my Fred Astaire. It twirls, it glides, it gets my kitchen floors sparkling clean…ok, maybe it’s *better* than Fred. I mean, I don’t recall any Fred & Ginger routines that involved house-cleaning. I can only assume, given the time, that Mr Astaire didn’t do floors.

I heart my Shark. Not only is it easy to use, it’s actually kinda fun. As you push it around the floor, the back & forth action pumps the pressurized steam out through the soft, washable cleaning pad.

The best thing about my Shark floor steamer, though, is that it uses plain ol’ tap water. No soaps, detergents, chemicals…nothing. You just fill it up, plug it in and in 30 seconds you’re ready to go. Easy peasy…and because it uses steam to clean, and not water, the floor is dry in just a minute or so. Gone are the days of screaming “Get off the wet floor! I just mopped that!”

The Shark also comes with a 25 foot cord and is safe for all types of floors (even hardwood). There’s also a “carpet refresher” thingy, which I have yet to try.