Category Archives: Experiences & Reviews

Oliver’s Labels

I’m ashamed to admit I got some personalized, waterproof labels to try out, from Oliver’s Labels, quite a while ago. My apologies to the company for taking so long to review them. The upside, however, is that we’ve also had quite a while to really test them out.

I put one on the tag of my daughter’s jacket and after many washes, it’s still in there. I also put one inside her backpack and one inside her sneaker and both are still there, as well. I think it’s safe to say that after months and months, their personalized name tags work great for school-aged kids and all the stuff they tend to lose.

What’s really unique, however, is that when you order your personalized labels, you can be assigned a code for Oliver’s Labels’  Found-It™ system and have that code printed on all your Oilver’s Labels along with a URL for finders of your lost things to go to and report that they found it. You are then notified via email that your item was found.

Best of all, Oliver’s Labels acts as an intermediary between you and the finder so you never have to share any of your personal information! Though we haven’t actually lost anything yet, I’m really impressed by the whole idea of the Find-It™ system.

Tom’s of Maine: Silly Strawberry Toothpaste $100 Giveaway

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Tom’s of Maine.

We were recently offered to try Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste. Actually, my kids were offered the chance to try it and I agreed to videotape it.

I had a feeling they would like it and my suspicions were confirmed when my daughter said she liked it better than what we normally use because it’s not mint. She doesn’t care for mint; says it burns her tongue. How she can actually be my child is a mystery to me because I LOVELOVELOVE mint anything but regardless, she hates it and asked after we were done videotaping if she could use the Silly Strawberry toothpaste EVERY time she brushes. I’d say that qualifies it as an official hit with my older child.

My younger child is four and we still brush his teeth. While his ability to eat an entire box of spearmint Tic Tacs in about 9 minutes flat tells me he doesn’t hate mint, he was also quite keen on the Silly Strawberry toothpaste. Watch the video to see his ultra cute response to it!

Silly Strawberry Toothpaste! from Janet on Vimeo.

Overall, the Tom’s of Maine Silly strawberry toothpaste got a big thumbs up from both kids, while I like it because it’s got less chemical crap in it than your average toothpaste. I personally have not tasted it but the fact that the kids dig it is reason enough to consider buying it for them—anything that makes toothbrushing more appealing to my children is a WIN in my book.

Tom’s of Maine says: Only one natural oral care company carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance for a children’s toothpaste, Tom’s of Maine Anticavity Children’s Silly Strawberry with Fluoride. And because we care as much as you do, we’ve never tested it on animals or added artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It’s flavored with natural oils for a great strawberry taste they’ll love.

Tom’s of Maine Official site

Giveaway Info: To enter the $100 giveaway, leave me a comment below and tell us how you get your kids to brush – or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below.  The contest will begin at 12/15/2009 and will end 1/15/2010.  Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.


No duplicate comments.
You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
This giveaway is open to US Residents, aged 18 and older
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
Please see the official rules here.

HP Photosmart Premium Touchsmart Web All-In-One Printer

HP Photosmart Premium with Touchsmart WebMy HP Photosmart Premium printer arrived one fine day last month and the box sat in the family room for a week or so while I waited for my husband to set it up for me.

I finally got tired of waiting and decided to go ahead and set it up myself. Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant. It’s not that I have issues with technology so much as I have issues with reading instructions. They’re so dull and they’re all bossy, too, “Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t forget to do that!” *rolls eyes*

But I bit the bullet and proceeded to set it up. First I plugged in all the cables. Then I loaded the set-up CD and from there, it totally told me what I needed to do. It was, quite honestly, idiot-proof. I wasn’t even sure what options to choose for the wireless option but apparently I chose correctly because I was immediately able to print from my computer—WIRELESSLY. Printing WITHOUT wires!

Get the whole story »

The Penny Pinchers Club

The Penny Pincher’s Club by Sarah Strohmeyer is the story of a woman who decides to kick her spending habits when she starts to suspect her husband is contemplating divorce.

I was offered a review copy and unlike some of the other books I’ve received this year, I ended up really enjoying it. It was a light, easy read…perfect for the beach or a long trip and the characters reminded me of people I’ve known in real life so it wasn’t completely unbelievable.

There’s some romance and some great plot twists and turns but honestly, as someone who goes into a store for one or two things and comes out with a WHOLE lot more, what I found most fascinating was the way the members of The Penny Pincher’s Club saved money and controlled their spending.

In short, it was a cute book, it held my interest, I liked the characters and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys chick-lit or quirky, romantic stories.

Hot Wheels Harbor FAIL

My son just had his 4th birthday and he’s at an age where he now LOVES little cars (Hot Wheels, Matchbox etc) I mentioned this to a family member and so they got him the Hot Wheels Harbor playset. It’s one component of a whole Hot Wheels city and you can buy them all separately to make a complete city. At $39.99, however, I was less than impressed. For one thing, there are things mentioned in the instructions and pictured on the box that were either different or not in the box at all. Lame. Add to that the fact that the whole set is so incredibly flimsy that I’m putting it back together for my son every five minutes and I’m ready to trash the whole thing. That’s saying a lot because I’m a big believer in passing on or consigning toys whenever possible to keep them out of the landfill but this is one piece of junk I wouldn’t want to make someone else’s problem. Rest assured, if I’d had the foresight to keep the box, I’d box it up and send it back to Mattel with a note demanding they replace it with something of comparable value that won’t repeatedly fall apart and disappoint my son. The verdict on Hot Wheels Harbor? FAIL.

Linden Street at JC Penney

In a promotion designed to draw attention to their new Linden Street collection of goodies for the home, JC Penney teamed up with BlogHer and gave yours truly $500 smackers to blow on Linden Street gear.

The stuff? It’s way nice. Me? Way indecisive. My home? Needs more than $500 of help. And thus I had to really think about where to put that money.

At first I was all “Oooh! Oooh! I want some fancy new 300 thread count sheets!” but then I decided what I really wanted was this awesome leather chair…except that it was a wee bit out of my budget. Sooo…I decided on an area rug because the one I  have? It’s ugly. And it has stains on it—unidentifiable stains that won’t come off. And they embarrass me. So yes, a nice big rug by the name of Chelsea (in red multi) was ordered and delivered to my front door. She’s so purty. I love mah new rug.

But a new rug wasn’t all I got. Oh, heck no. There was a big old sale so I also scored a whole new bathroom ensemble. Ensemble? Did I really just type that? Anyway, it’s mostly a pretty rust color with some gold, brown and cream accents. The whole thing, put together, is really quite lovely. Oh, and now my bathroom doesn’t feel like a hospital anymore. Watch the video below and you’ll see what I mean.

Thanks JC Penney and BlogHer for this fun and very generous opportunity. Without you, we’d still be in stained, ugly rug/weird, sterile bathroom land :)

Flip Video

I recently got a Flip Video Ultra camcorder and to put it simply, I’m in love. It’s about the size of a cell phone (okay, a cell phone from 3 years ago) so it’s infinitely portable and it will take thirty to sixty minutes of video, the quality of which is far better than my little Nikon camera.

The kicker is that it plugs right in to your computer with a little USB thing that flips out of the side of it (it FLIPS! Get it?). NO cables or cords are necessary and get this — the software needed to get it into your computer and onto Youtube, MySpace etc. is built into the camcorder so no more install disks or any of that nonsense. It’s really so idiot-proof that anyone (you know, like your barely computer literate in-laws for example) could use it.

It also comes in different colors, for the style conscious, and a few different configurations for the price conscious. Additionally, Flip Ultra Video was recently touted by Oprah for it’s awesomeness and I recently heard someone on the radio talking about it, too.

I do believe this is THE HOT GIFT of the season and while I personally won’t be dropping $120-$150 on one for anyone, you can bet teens, tweens and proud new parents everywhere will be sporting one of these after the holidays.