Play CAA's Game of Life to WIN #CAAGOL

It’s back! CAA had such great success with last year’s Game of Life that they’ve brought it back and they’ve amped up it up.

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Game of Life 2013

This year they’re still offering a fun game but it’s BETTER!

  • Over 2,700 daily prizes to give away! Valued at over $200 each.
  • Bonus entries! Play games within the Game of Life to earn more entries
  • Mobile gaming! This year you can play on the go, grab your phone or tablet and you can play when not at a desktop.
  • Choose 1 of 3 trips for the Grand Prize; a Polynesian Escape, Florida Family Fun or Danube River Cruise.

 

How to Play the Game of Life

Setting up your profile to play is super-simple!

Register to Play the Game of Life by clicking HERE

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  • Begin by logging in, each player begins with $2000 game dollars.
  • You can use game dollars to purchase a game CAA membership which provides you with opportunities to move through the game with fewer bumps in the road.
  • Spin the wheel to make your move. You may gain or lose dollars, advance or go back on the board, win an instant prize or be entered into the Grand Prize if you happen upon an in-game challenge.
  • When your car arrives at the airport your game becomes an entry in the Grand Prize draw.
Looking to earn bonus entries? Try any or all of the following:
  • Share the contest on Facebook
  • Share all the Facts and Instant Prizes on Facebook
  • Tweet about the contest
  • Invite your friends to play and they register for the contest
  • Sign up to receive email communications and more information on CAA Magazine online and the CAA Member panel
  • Successfully complete a partner game play challenge
  • Share the CAA video

Grand Prizes

  • Polynesian Escape – 11-day trip for two people to French Polynesia (Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora) valued at $10,000 CAD
  • Florida Family Fun – 8-day trip for four people to Orlando theme parks valued at $9,000 CAD
  • Danube River Cruise – 11-day escape for two people from Prague to Budapest valued at $10,000 CAD

Who wouldn’t want to WIN these amazing prizes? Good Luck friends, I’ll be playing right along with you!

 

CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club which also offers travel dealshome insurancetravel insurance and auto insurance. There are more than 1.9 million CAA members in South Central Ontario and over 5.9 million members in Canada.

Sayin It Out Loud: I Like GOOD Toilet Paper! #LetsTalkBums

I know many of you are here because my title is just so far out there from the normal conversations we find ourselves having and you’re wondering if I’ve lost my mind. Frankly I know you all have preferences for toilet paper and today I’m going to be right out loud and tell you all what I think!

I HATE cheap, thin, rough toilet paper! There it is, I’m saying what many of us feel.

Whew it feels good to expect more and say that outright. So what is a girl to do when she is looking for bathroom tissues which she’ll actually appreciate? Well, I was sent some products from Cottonelle which have honestly changed my routine.

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Cottonelle Wipes Get Thumbs Up

Having two daughters one may think that bum talk isn’t heard around out home…but one would be WRONG. There’s nothing like toilet humor or complaints to get the laughter going. My girls have both had the chance to try out the new Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths and officially give them the thumbs up.

I will spare you the entire conversation but my youngest says that they don’t leave bits of paper on her butt and my eldest likes that they’re smooth and don’t “bug” her bum.

Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths—Sleek New Dispenser

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These wipes were designed to be used in conjunction with Cottonelle toilet paper. They really did leave us with clean feeling bums as advertised. My first question was about their impact on septic systems but they’ve been tested and meet the requirements of municipal  treatment so no worries there.

These wipes contain no alcohol, oil or soaps and the new sleek dispense is not only attractive but durable so it will last long enough to be refilled a few times.

Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths On-The-Go Soft Packs (10 count)

Cottonelle-Fresh-Care-Flushable-Cleansing-Cloths#LetsTalkBums Twitter Party

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Join us to chat about BUMS on October 17th at 8pm EST using the hashtag #LetsTalkBums. I can predict it will be a hilarious, fast moving party you won’t want to miss! There will also be some fabulous prizing from Cottonelle including party prizes of GC’s and a year supply of Cottonelle.

Hosts: @MyChaos, @SimplyStacie & @SoberJulie

For your chance to win, RSVP below and Please follow @Cottonelle and the party hosts. Then, jump on Twitter using the hashtag at 8pm EST on the 17th, don’t forget to use your Twitter handle url in the rsvp.



Tips for Protection on Social Media #ESETProtects

As a parent of two girls I was excited when I was asked to use  EST Smart Security 6 and share my findings with you all. Last month I focused upon the features that ESET Smart Security 6 provides and how to set it all up. You can see my review of that on my ESET Smart Security – The Protection We’ve Been Looking For blog post. This month I want to talk to you all about being protected while you’re using social media. October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and I don’t know that we all keep our security in mind while we’re watching YouTube videos or chatting with friends on Facebook or Twitter.

Personally, I spend copious amounts of time on Facebook and Twitter. It’s so easy to access wherever I am, there are times when I’m laying in bed, resting but still able to interact. It’s amazing how far we’ve come…the days when my chronic pain is too bad for me to go out and interact with folks aren’t spent in isolation because I can connect on social media. BUT there are risks involved with this development of technology which we have to be aware of and protect ourselves and our families from.

Tips for Protection on Social Media from ESET

Don’t give too much away…

Be careful how much you give away about yourself in your “About” profile (on the far left of your profile page). The more you add, the more an identity thief can learn about you straight away.

Many people like to say as much about themselves to make them seem more interesting. Resist this, your friends know how interesting you are! So no clues to your home address, mother’s maiden name, age or relatives should be given. You can add your phone number but this can be locked to friends only or even just yourself and Facebook. It can be useful for Facebook to know your mobile number as they can use it to alert you of suspicious activity.

Keeping your private stuff private

Facebook gives you the option to control your privacy settings, although by default it opens up your info to more or less anyone. So, let’s look at Facebook’s Privacy Settings in detail. These are found under the arrow at the far right of the Facebook window. Click on the arrow and then click the Privacy Settings tab. This opens up a menu bar that governs what Facebook can do with the information it holds about you.

Who can see your timeline?

Now go to Timeline & Tagging. This allows you to determine how much or how little of your timeline is seen by others and whether you want to be “tagged” or not.

Who can access your personal data?

This set of options is probably the most important on Facebook as it allows you to control what third parties can access to your Facebook profile.

A Facebook friend is not forever

Unless you are using Facebook for marketing purposes, think about the actual ‘friends” you really want to connect with. For example that guy who you kind of knew in the your first dorm room? The random woman you once met on holiday. Do you have any idea what they are doing now? Are they trustworthy? When was the last time you heard from them? You get the picture. A little pruning of the Friends list is a good idea every now and again. One more tip, don’t publicly announce holidays or other absences on Facebook and use Facebook email to communicate directly with friends.

Set the controls on YouTube

This deserves a special mention simply because of the popularity of the video sharing site among teenagers. Like Facebook, Google states that no-one under 13 should use the site. However the safest bet is to set up a child user account which will block any inappropriate content. You can also turn off comments to prevent your kids being abused or bullied by other users and stop them from doing the same. A quick review of the comments on virtually any YouTube video will demonstrate how nasty these can be – a practice known as “Trolling”.

With regards to social media safety tips, we have a recent WLS blog post that is great, and features Bieber (great for SEO given his high profile) which discusses Five Social Media Posts you should never click.

ESET provides a free tool called Social Media Scanner that can scan your Facebook and Twitter to protect you and your friends’ timeline, messages and newsfeed from malicious objects.

ESET Helps Protect Against Risks on Social Media

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When you purchase ESET Smart Security 6 you also get their Social Media Scanner. Wether you’re logged into Facebook or not, once you install ESET Social Media Scanner it protects your profile from malicious content by providing Facebook security scans of your wall, newsfeed and private messages. It scans these areas looking for any malicious links and if it finds any you’re immediately notified by email with instructions on how to clean the threat.

Installing the Social Media Scanner is very simple, I just went to this link:ESET Social Media Scanner. It asked me for approval to access my approval for the app to access my data and scan it. Next I was asked if it could post on my profile that I was using Social Media Scanner and finally it hit the main screen where I clicked to perform a scan.

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The scan was completed and I found I had not threats but there were some on my friends walls which I was notified of. Thankfully they weren’t actually threats, they were links I knew but if they were threats I could have the system notify my friend or I could directly.

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Tips to Avoid Theft of Your Device from ESET

Password-protect your computing devices.

While it sounds obvious, if anyone steals your device they will have to defeat your password to get at your data and accounts, which will significantly slow attackers. Although it is not impossible to defeat password protection on a digital device, it adds a useful layer of protection, buying you time to locate and recover the device.

Always backup your files.

Why? Even if you can’t recover a stolen device that does not mean you have to lose all your information and software. Regular backups are the ultimate defense against theft of your files. There are plenty of options for backup these days including online backup. Taking the time to setup backup really pays off if a device is stolen, helping reduce the pain involved in re-creating the sensitive content.

Use tracking software to help get your stolen device back.

Why? Getting your stolen device back is not impossible, particularly if the device itself can tell you where it is and you can communicate with it using a sort of “remote control” via SMS or other methods. You may even be able to communicate with the person who has it. (Here’s an example of how one piece of anti-theft software for PCs.) However, it is not recommended that you physically confront the thief for safety reasons. Always work with your local law enforcement.

Don’t tempt thieves with unattended mobile devices, particularly in public places.

Why? Leaving your computer or mobile device unattended in a car, airport or restaurant is akin to asking for it to be stolen. In a recent survey we found that 1 in 5 stolen devices were taken from a car, 12% from an airport, train, bus, or other public transportation, and 11% from a restaurant or coffee shop. (Here’s an example of anti-theft software for Android devices.)

Encrypt sensitive data

Why? Storing sensitive data in encrypted files prevents anyone exploiting your data if your computer is stolen. Note: File encryption is available free on recent version of both the Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X operating systems. This step is a lot easier than it used to be, so the pain level is low these days (unlike in years past).

Bonus tip. Think about removing sensitive data from your device.

Why? Your computer may interact with sensitive data but it does not need to store all of it right there in one place. Consider using encrypted removable media for sensitive data and carrying that separate from the computer. Maybe leave sensitive work files on the company network and access remotely over a secure connection. This way, if “bad things” happen, you’ll have much lower likelihood that the bad actors got off with critical information.

In today’s age it’s not easy keeping up with the changes and risks in social media but we ARE living our lives online and we must be sure that we’re investigating and protecting ourselves appropriately.

To find out more head over to the ESET Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter. ESET Smart Security received the esteemed PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Seal of Approval, the most publicized and highly recognized award seal in North America.

1236278_588610881184933_248625282_nFor a limited time, receive 15% off the purchase of ESET Smart Security 6, the first step to online security for your family.

 

 

 

 

Giveaway

Prizes:

5 Eset products (valued at $59.99 each)

1 x $100 Target Gift card

1 tablet preloaded with Eset software (Choice of Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Google Nexus)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

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WIN an Acer Iconia Tablet!

Lately I’ve had the pleasure of offering you all many chances to WIN some AMAZING PRIZES! The problem is that most have been for my Canadian readers but thanks to my good fiend Trisha at MomDot, today it’s all about my American friends.  How would you like to WIN an Acer Iconia 8.1″ 32G Tablet???

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Listen, I’m a total technology love and this tablet looks amazing!

The Acer Iconia W3 Series puts desktop PC productivity in a tablet, so you can work on the go more conveniently than ever. At 8.1″, it is compact enough to hold in one hand, yet sports a screen big enough for comfortable viewing. Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 and sporting 8-hours of battery life, this tablet keeps you in touch and productive while traveling, at work or play. Rounding out this premium mobile-productivity package are Windows 8 and a robust Intel processor.

You can find out more about the Acer Iconia 8.1″ Tablet HERE.

Entry is simple, just out the rafflecopter form below to enter.  This giveaway ends on October 11, 2013.  US only, winner will be notified via momdot@live.com and have 48 hours to respond before new winner is pulled. Please allow 6-8 weeks for prize delivery.

GOOD LUCK!!

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Why Do You Need Renters Insurance #RentersNeed2Know

When my husband and I were first together we rented an apartment for a few years while we saved for a home. I can remember the feeling of pride as we purchased our first few pieces of furniture and began decorating. We were living on a tight budget and weren’t exactly worldly when it came to realizing all of the responsibilities involved in renting. Sure, we knew we had to pay our rent on time but when my Dad asked us if we had renters insurance we were a pair of deer in headlights.

Why Get Renters Insurance

After a bit of research we were shocked to learn that we were responsible for anything that happened to people who were visiting us. For example if we had a guest who happened to slip and fall at our apartment they could actually sue us! WHAT?

As soon as we realized that we would be held responsible for this we decided to go ahead and get renters insurance. There were more benefits of course…these may seem obvious to you but for many of us renters insurance is something which we don’t think of.

Benefits of Renters Insurance

  1. As a tenant, you are liable for ANY harm caused to any part of the building and to others who live or visit there. This was HUGE for us; we had an incident when I had forgotten I was making something on the stove. Thankfully we caught the pan in time before a fire actually began but the reality of the situation certainly became clear to us.
  2. Your possessions have value. When we had that conversation with my Dad we laughed when he mentioned the value of our possessions, come on we had almost nothing right? Wrong. Once he began listing everything which was in our bedroom we began to see how much money it would take to replace it all. Just our wardrobes alone would be out of our budget. Renters insurance would help us recover the cost of any replacement items.
  3. Lawsuit protection. As I said above we were in no position to payout if anyone ever sued us for an accident at our apartment, knowing we’d have this kind of protection was important to us.

These are just some of the reasons why I’d recommend getting renters insurance to anyone who is renting a house or apartment. It’s not an expensive endeavour; Statistics Canada says tenant households that bought insurance spent an average of $309 on it last year — less than half the amount spent by those who owned their homes.

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To learn more, head over to the IBC website where you’ll find everything you need to know.

Isn’t your peace of mind worth it?

Disclosure:  Although this post has been generously been sponsored by IBC, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect The Insurance Bureau of Canada.

 

WIN a Year Subscription to Netflix & 2 Scholastic Books

Well it has been a week now and we’re officially into the routine of school. Whew, that wasn’t an easy week but thankfully our schedule seems to be in place and the family is getting used to it. We allow our children to watch TV in the evenings but we are pretty hard core on limiting access and the amount of time they get to spend watching.

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This school year, Netflix is helping families make the most out of their screen time by bringing popular television series and video content from Scholastic Media to the service.

Netflix subscribers in Canada can now stream The Magic School Bus, and several other Scholastic shorts and movies based on award-winning and best-selling books like: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories; The Babysitter’s Club; I SPY; and The Mouse and The Motorcycle.

This is the first time these beloved Scholastic titles have been available in the streaming format.

With the addition of these Scholastic favourites, parents can feel better about screen time routines and ensure little ones are exposed to quality entertainment.

Here are some back to routine tips for families:

  • Limit screen time: designate a specific period for screen time each night, whether it’s TV, on an iPad or other mobile device
  • Watch together: get into the habit of watching things together, that way you always know exactly what the kids are viewing
  • Bed time: reintroduce a regular weekday bedtime in the weeks before school starts to get into the habit before the first day school

 WIN a YEAR subscription to Netflix & 2 Scholastic Books

Our family loves Netflix as I’ve blogged about in the past so I am very happy to be giving away a prize which includes One Year subscription to Netflix and two books from Scholastic to one lucky Canadian reader.

Entry is simple, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends October 8th and the winner will have 48 hours to respond. Open to residents of Canada 18+.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

WIN an iPad Mini for Back To School #iPadMiniBTS

School has begun and we’re beginning to settle into a routine. As a celebration for the beginning of a new school year I’ve teamed up with Stacey from This Lil Piglet and Stacie from Simply Stacie to bring you the iPad Mini Back To School Giveaway.

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Why give away an iPad Mini to celebrate back to school? Well why not! I know someone will be thrilled to have this beautiful device, perhaps to steal a few minutes of their own to watch a movie on or surf the web when nobody in the family is vying for their attention.

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The iPad mini is a thinner, lighter, cheaper variant of the iPad as we know it, with a smaller screen and form factor that makes it even more portable than its larger sibling. Thanks to its 4:3 aspect ratio, the iPad mini is actually superior to 7-inch tablets with a wide ratio. That is due to the more surface area available on the device’s screen, which results in a richer web browsing experience

Win an iPad Mini

We’ve invited some fabulous bloggers in and we’ve decided to giveaway 1 16GB iPad Mini valued at $329. to one very lucky reader in either the US or Canada. You must be 18+ to enter, Winner will be drawn on October 5th and have 48 hours to respond.

I’m so excited, good luck!

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ESET Smart Security 6 – Finally The Protection We've Been Looking For #ESETProtects

As you may have guessed I am somewhat savvy when it comes to all things online…however this isn’t exactly the entire truth. I am horribly incompetent when it comes to online security. There’s it’s out there and I can’t take it back. It seems that the online threats change far too rapidly for me to keep up with, combine this with my 7 & 9 year old daughters’ natural gift with computers and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.

Up until now I’ve been using different software for different protection but recently I was asked to work with EST Smart Security 6 and it does it all!

What is ESET Smart Security 6

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ESET Smart Security 6 is an all-in-one Internet Security solution with new Anti-theft feature that locates your missing laptop and gives you tools to help recover it. Personal Firewall and Anti-Phishing keep your data safe from identity theft and other scams.

ESET Smart Security 6 includes fantastic anti-virus which allows me to relax while I’m online. It eliminate all types of threats, including viruses, rootkits, worms, and spyware. Cloud-powered scanning delivers a higher level of protection, speeding up scans and ensuring that your computer runs at its best. All removable media such as USB sticks, CDs and DVDs are scanned upon insertion for offline malware.

ESET protects my computer from theft. The comprehensive Anti-theft features help you locate your misplaced laptop, block access to your files and identify the thief by turning on the built-in camera. All easily accessed and managed through the ESET Anti-theft web portal at my.eset.com

My online identity is safeguarded. Powerful firewall, removable media and Anti-Phishing security features protect you against criminals trying to steal your personal information through online scams, hacking or by physically plugging a USB thumb drive into your computer and taking files.

It doesn’t affect my computer’s performance. Leaving more power to programs you use daily, these solutions let you play, work and browse the Internet without slowdowns. Stay unplugged and online longer with battery-saving mode and enjoy gaming without distracting pop-ups.

Includes parental controls and training. Parental Control blocks access to inappropriate websites so your child is protected from offensive material while the complimentary ESET Cybersecurity Training teaches you and your entire family how to avoid cyber threats, scams and hackers.

Installing & Using ESET Smart Security 6

The installation for ESET was seamless, with a few simple clicks it was installed and my first scan was running. You do have the ability to customize every feature but I have chosen the default settings to begin with and will adjust them as time goes along.

Running a scan and addressing errors/threats is simple

Running a scan and addressing errors/threats is simple

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Setting up the Parental Controls, there are many options for protecting your kids

My very first stop was the Parental Controls. I am able to choose different categories and levels of settings for each user ID on the computer. Each of my girls have their own IDs which makes the settings simple to initiate. I love the fact that I can block up to 20 categories, hoping to shield them from offensive content which is of course far too readily available. The last thing I did was set up a password which only my husband and I have access to in order to ensure nothing is changed without our knowledge. Ahhh the power!

How very cool that ESET can find a thief!

How very cool that ESET can find a thief!

Next I went to set up my Anti-Theft features which include all of the wonderful things I’ve listed above. I hope this laptop is never stole but oh you’d better believe I’d love to see the their on cam if it ever was.

Again, I have found ESET Smart Security to have all of the protection I thought I needed online and MORE!!

To find out more head over to their Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter. ESET Smart Security received the esteemed PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Seal of Approval, the most publicized and highly recognized award seal in North America.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

 

Beyond Bedding Giveaway – Open to US/CAN

I have had the pleasure to review bedding sets from Beyond Bedding more than once now on Sober Julie. Each time we’ve been highly pleased with the quality, style and performance of these sets.

Our first review was for Chelsea’s bedroom, the Pink and Black Sophia Childrens Bedding 4pc Twin Set was perfect for her girlie bedroom and is still in perfect shape after many washes.

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Next we were looking for a bedding set for Sydney’s bedroom but we knew pink wouldn’t cut it as she isn’t exactly a girlie girl. Sydney chose the Deco Dot Modern Teen Bedding set which fit her taste and bedroom very well. Again, it’s been over a year and the set is in great shape!

Beyond-Bedding

Beyond Bedding offers kids bedding in various styles which I’m sure would suit anyone’s tastes. Check out the camo crib bedding from Beyond Bedding, even my friends at Duck Dynasty would be impressed!

WIN a Set From Beyond Bedding

I am pleased to announce that I am a part of a giveaway with 10 other bloggers. There are 10 bedding sets from Beyond Bedding’s children’s, teens beddings sets line up for grabs!

That means 10 blogs, 10 prizes and 10 winners!

This contest is open to US and Canada residents, Canadian winners are subject to duty fees. Entry is simple just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Winners will be chosen September 23rd, GOOD LUCK!
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Wondering How to Clean A Dishwasher? #FINISHTHEDISHES

Our kitchen is the hub of our home, it’s where we gather and connect. When we moved into this home we actually ripped out walls to create an open style main area where we can be in the kitchen and still converse with people who are in the dining or living room. This means that you can see my kitchen from all angles, and while I don’t love the look of the cabinetry I have some pretty amazing appliances.

When we went appliance shopping we purchased high-end items, knowing that one day we were going to do a kitchen reno to match them. Although I love my gorgeous, top of the line dishwasher it’s just not up to snuff in the performance department these days. My dishes are coming out with a film, there are spots on my glasses and frankly there’s an odour.

How To Clean A Dishwasher

I knew I had to clean my dishwasher but I wasn’t entirely certain what the best method would be and when I was given the opportunity to check out Finish Dishwasher Cleaner I figured why not? I’d never figure out how to clean a dishwasher if I didn’t try.

The process was simple, I just peeled the sticker from the top of the bottle without removing the cap and placed it upside down on the bottom rack of the empty dishwasher. Then I ran the dishwasher on the hottest setting possible. When I opened the dishwasher I just wiped out along the edges of the door and voila, a clean dishwasher!

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FINISH JET-DRY Rinse Agent

Once I had a clean dishwasher I was ready to attack the film and water drops on the glassware. Apparently these are caused by food and chemical residue landing on the items during the rinse cycle. FINISH JET-DRY Rinse Agent rinses away leftover food and detergent residues for sparkling dishes, glasses and cutlery. Plus, as it wicks away the residue, it also helps the dishes become drier than when you use detergent alone.

I just loaded up the dispenser in my dishwasher and it releases it during the rinse cycle. The results were obvious.

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If you’re interested in more information, head over to the Finish Dishwashing Expert website for more videos and instructions: http://dishwashingexpert.com.

“Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Canada Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”