Worth It/Not Worth It: Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

Welcome to my Worth It/Not Worth It series where I give you my unsponsored, unadulterated opinion about certain household products. You’re welcome.

(Note: this post may have affiliate links which means I make a small amount to help support this blog if you end up purchasing the thing-a-ma-jig through the link on this post)

I abhor vacuuming. Hate it. It’s the chore that takes the longest, is the most cumbersome and as much as I love our dog, makes me question the day I thought it was a good idea to bring her home. The joke in our house is that if you open a can a beans, you’ll find a dog hair in it!

So. Not. Funny.


But my hair tastes so yummy!

Really, with four adult-sized humans living in our home, a dog, a cat and the intense Colorado four-season weather, our floors take a serious beating. The canister gets full to the brim every time and I vacuum twice a week. I have to lug the vacuum up and down three sets of stairs (what’s that? I think I hear the tiny house revolution calling my name!), untangle the cord, plug and unplug it, it’s heavy (I already have a gym membership thank-you-very-much), and before I’m finished, I always fantasize about buying a ticket to the end-of-the-line at the nearest train station.

Drumroll please…



Enter the Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum (SV1106). This baby has changed my life. I’m not even kidding you. Probably saved my marriage and prevents me from giving away my teenagers and pets. This vacuum is so freaking light, I worried it wouldn’t really work. It does, I’m happy to say. It works like a charm.

When I bopped around the house using it for the first time, I turned it off and exclaimed, “I think this vacuum just brought me back from the edge!” My family sat on the couch giving me blank stares. But you know what I mean, don’t you? This makes my life so much better! Totally freaking worth it.

I also bought the Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum for vacuuming the umpteen million stairs, the couch that the dog likes to sleep on, and the ottoman in the TV room (nacho crumbs begone!). Easy-peasy. I cut my vacuuming time in half with these upgrades. That’s more time to write blog posts, read, or whatever else. And you know my favorite saying around here, better is better. Huzzah! It’s soooo much better!

What household products make your life better? Share below!

p.s. I first learned about the Shark cordless vacuum from More Melody on Youtube. She’s got some great life hacks and I’m a sucka for a good life hack. I just can’t believe I waited so long to buy this.

p.p.s. I will try to remember to give a six or twelve month update, as I need the tools in my life to endure and it would disappoint me greatly if this broke suddenly, but I’ll let you know.

Edit (08/12/17): Not good for intense heavy use. Had to start cleaning it out every week=too much effort. Local vacuum guy said it is for light use only (like say, if you wanted to vacuum the crumbs from your kitchen floor, but not intended for whole house carpet use. I have to agree). Ended up buying the Dyson cordless vacuum on sale (still an exorbitant cost) at Target. This has further reduced my vacuuming time because of it’s brilliant engineering. The caveat? Runs out of battery quickly and canister has to be emptied frequently. However, instead of going outside like I used to, the canister is so small I just empty it over my compositing bin next to the kitchen sink (Did you know you can compost the dirt/dust/lint from your vacuum? You can.). 

Don’t Let Perfection be the Enemy of Good

I have an aerospace engineering degree from Purdue University. I don’t say that to brag, I haven’t used it in eighteen years. My point is that most people who’ve been trained in engineering suffer from a serious case of perfectionism syndrome. After all, you don’t want your planes and spacecrafts falling from the sky. It’s essential that your engineers are smart, responsible, organized and detail oriented. I am just saying we are predisposed is all.

Nothing is perfect

Part of starting this blog is to help remind myself that in daily life, better is better. Nothing has to be perfect, I no longer design satellites.

Good enough

Yesterday, I was cleaning our oven by hand (my life is so glam now!) because when I tried to use the self-cleaning part, the oven caught fire due to a globbity mess on the bottom. So I began the tedious task of scrubbing (I used How Jen Does It). Needless to say, it was messy and took awhile. Some of that nasty, crusty, burnt stuff got on my kitchen floor. My thought process went like this…

“I need to sweep that ash up before someone (the kids) gets it on their shoe and spreads it to the carpet.” Sigh. “I really need to vacuum the whole house and I should start at the top (we have four stories) and work my way down because that’s how you’re supposed to do it.” Sigh. “Really, I should dust first, then vacuum, then mop. That is the right way.” Sigh. “But that will take forever and I’m already tired.” Sigh. “Okay Cari, get over yourself and just clean up this mess in front of you and that’s it. That’s good enough.”

Do you see? It took some convincing myself to stop trying to make everything perfect. I’m getting better, but as you can tell, it’s still a work in process.

Most people suffer varying degrees of this. How to you deal with perfectionism syndrome? Can you relate? Comment below!

Stop Buying for your Fantasy Self

I used to hike many of the 14,000 foot peaks throughout the state of Colorado. It wasn’t uncommon for me to spend every weekend up at altitude. The common question amongst my friends was to ask, “How many 14ers have you hiked?” Racking up the hikes became the goal, and enjoying the outdoors a pastime.

Back then

Once I married and had two kids, I suffered from plantar fascitis and two knee surgeries that quickly curtailed the high impact sports I used to participate in. Recently, I needed a pair of light hiking shoes. I no longer hike 14ers but I do like to hike the moderate foothill trails in and around the county. A pair of trail running shoes would suffice but once I went shopping, the lure of hiking boots and fantasizing about my old way of life became hard to resist. So I bought both. One pair for “light” hiking (included in my budget) and one pair for “heavier” mountaineering (not included in my budget).

Three months later, I had not even used those mountain hiking boots. Oh sure, I had visions of mountaineering again but that fact remains that most of my free time is spent on bleachers somewhere watching my teenagers participate in athletics.

My life now

And when I get the odd day off just for me, I generally want to stick close to home and not wear myself out by hiking up at altitude all day. So I made peace with the fact that I’m not a mountaineer anymore, returned the hiking boots and haven’t looked back since.

Are you buying for your fantasy self? What do you find hard to let go of? Please share below!

Try “No Goals” as a New Year’s Resolution

If you’ve already let go of a New Year’s resolution then you’re gonna love this suggestion. I recently ran across Leo Babauta’s no goals post and found it intriguing. I’m really not that into New Year’s Resolution’s anyway. I figure if something is good for my life, then I should just start doing it. But there is a definite consensus that the New Year is a time for new beginnings and all that. In years past I’ve gone crazy in listing too many resolutions only to fail. But ‘No Goals’? I’m like, how do you get anything done? I live for my planner. I luuuuv crossing stuff off of my to-do list. I didn’t understand how this could work.

So, I thought I’d try it for a half a day as an experiment. Guess what? I got more done in that 2-3 hour period than I had all week. How’s that you ask? I’m not entirely sure. I know that once I decided on having no goals, I felt a weight being lifted off of my shoulders. It felt wonderful and uncomfortable all at the same time. Suddenly, because I didn’t have to do something, I just felt like to doing something. Weird, huh?

Start Small

My suggestion? Start small. Try no goals for a few hours and see where it gets you. If you just do nothing, I think that’s best. Doing nothing is the hardest thing to do in our production-oriented society these days.

I’m going to try this experiment again because it made my life seem a little better. And as you know, I think better is better.

If you try this, I would love to hear about your experience below.