Aug 29, 2010

Farewell

While "I Love These Products" had a short but good run, I'm done.  I no longer have the time, money, or interest in continuing to blog about stuff to buy.  I have spent the last two months desperately trying to simplify, organize, and eliminate excess in our home.  All of a sudden, this blog seems like a conflict of interest. 

Maybe I'll start a new blog someday.  Who knows.  I love to write without any restraints or obligations.  I can't see myself staying away from it for too long.  But most likely it will just be some daily rantings about whatever's on my mind at the time.  Hardly anything anyone else would want to read.  And as a true introvert, that's just fine with me.  Take care and...
LOTSALOVE!!!

Jul 7, 2010

What's Been Happenin...

Since I haven't blogged in almost a month, I decided to let those of you who are still remotely interested in my blog know why.  It's been a really busy couple of months and unfortunately,  blogging has taken a back seat as of late. 

To give you an idea of what we've been up to, here's a glimpse...

...the purchase, cleaning, painting, and general repairing of a cute little rental house in Temecula that will hopefully be the beginning of our real estate empire (hahaha) or at least a little money in the bank in the very long term.

...the decision to homeschool my two oldest in the fall and starting some of the curriculum with them in July to get a head start.  I'm already feeling overwhelmed.

 ...quitting my day job and starting a career as a freelance writer for Livestrong.com (and hopefully other nutrition-related sites in the future).

...visits from various family members from up north.

...swimming lessons for all.

...trying to finish up various sewing, decorating, and home improvement projects.

...training and running the Camp Pendleton 10K Mud Run in June, and now training for the Camp Pendleton half marathon in September.

...and of course caring for 4 kids and a house while my hubby is gone 12+ hours a day.

Whew!  I'm tired from just typing it all.  I'm still hoping to dash off a quick post now and again when I come across a great product.  And maybe someday I'll get back to doing this more regularly. 

Lotsalove!


May 19, 2010

Bilibo...A Very Versitile (and Unusual) Toy

I was recently given the opportunity to visit CSN Store's website and pick out just about anything I wanted to review for you.  Once I saw the Bilibo, I knew I had found something worth blogging about.
You know how very often, your kids have more fun playing with the box a toy came in than the actual toy?  In many ways, the box is better because in order to play with it, your kids need to use their imagination to define what the box is, what it does, and how to play with it.  The Bilibo is very similar in my mind.  At first sight, it's not obvious what it is or how a child might play with it.  But that's the beauty of it.  It can become so many different things for different children.  All four of my kids like to play with it and they range in age from 1 to almost 9.

Just a couple things my kids like to do with their Bilibo.

My son was pretending to be Darth Vader, but I think he looks more like this guy from The Return of the Jedi.  If any of you actually know this character's name, you are a big nerd I'll be really impressed.


The Bilibo comes in 6 bright colors and sells on CSN Stores website for $28.99 and right now, this item ships for FREE!  The recommended age is 2-7 but a one year old can have a lot of fun with supervision.   Enjoy!

May 8, 2010

Hercules Hooks Put To The Test

As usual, this post is long overdue.  I've decided that if I'm going to keep writing this blog (which I LOVE to do) I've got to stop feeling guilty about not posting as often as I think I should, and just go with the flow, letting the posts come as they may.  If that means I only post once every week or two, so be it.  I promise I'll do my best to make reading them worth your while! :)

So, as promised, I'm reviewing the "As Seen On TV" Hercules Hook.  In my teaser post, I revealed that I have a phobia about putting holes in my walls.  I'm so scared that if I hang something on the wall, I'll hate it and then I'll have an unsightly hole left behind.  As a result of this fear, most of the walls in my home are bare.  Case in point...here's my living room...

...my kitchen...

...above the piano...

...and even my bedroom. 
 Sad, I know.  My photographer friend has chastised me severely.

Just to prove I'm not a total lost cause, here are a couple pics of the kids that I hung in the stairwell using Hercules Hooks.  
Good for me!!!

So instead of using Hercules Hooks to cover my bare walls with an amazing display of decorating prowess, I decided to venture out to the garage where no one will care if I leave a few gaping holes behind.

To test the claim that the Hercules Hook can hold an incredible amount of weight without tearing through drywall, I pushed two hooks into the wall about 6 inches apart, and hung a bag I bought on clearance at Target for $8.  Nice.


...then,I started filling it with my free weights (and, yes, I actually use them so don't mess with me:).


The hooks held 49.5 pounds with no problem.  Impressive!  I thought I'd leave the bag for a few hours to see, if over time, the dry wall would give a little.

The result...
There was a slight give in the dry wall above both hooks, but I attribute that to the fact that I yanked pretty hard on the bag, just to see what would happen.   In my opinion, they held up really well.

I would definitely trust these hooks to hold up the heaviest picture, mirror, or anything else you decide to hang on your walls, as long as you use two or more for anything over 40 lbs to distribute the weight, as recommended.

I bought my Hercules Hooks at an "As Seen On TV" store in the mall and paid $12.99 for 20 hooks.   Amazon sells a 20 pack with a handy little laser marker for $12.86, not a bad deal.  They are also available at Bed Bath and Beyond for $14.99.  Whatever you do, don't order them from the "As Seen On TV" website.  Their price is higher and their shipping costs are pretty steep. 

Maybe someday, after much professional counseling, I'll get up the courage to use Hercules Hooks to adorn my empty, pathetic walls.  In the mean time, I'd like to wish you all a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!  Now go eat some chocolate.

Apr 23, 2010

Hercules Hook Teaser And...Shopping For A Bed?


Have you been in one of those "As Seen On TV" stores lately?  They sell much more than Chia Pets and Flowbees these days.  One of the coolest new products that caught my eye is the Hercules Hook (they're also sold at Lowe's under a different name).  I picked some up a few weeks ago after watching the infomercial (in the store) since my bare walls are in serious need of some decorating.  I have this fear of hanging things on my walls that I need to get over.  I've got some plans in the near future to put my Hercules Hooks to good use, and when I do, I'll tell (and show) you all about it.

BTW, (I'm totally changing the subject here) have you been looking for kids beds or any other children's furniture lately?  Then you've got to check out the above link!  They've got over 360 different types of beds for kids and you can shop tax free with free shipping on orders over $69, which can save you some serious coin!

Have a great weekend!

Apr 20, 2010

The Many Faces Of Magic Eraser

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a product I'm sure most of you have tried and love.  But did you know that this white, rectangular-shaped, spongy bar of magic can be used for soooo much more than just erasing your kids' works of art off of the wall?  You know that I love my multitaskers, and because the Magic Eraser is such an effective and versatile cleaner, it ranks near the top on my list of fave cleaning products!


I've compiled a little list of some of my favorite uses. 

Scours sinks, counter tops and cook tops
Cleans the inside of the oven door
Cleans textured handles and doors of appliances (mine are white and get so dirty from my kids, the magic eraser is the only thing that gets them clean)
Cleans the grease off the top of oven hoods
Removes scuffs off of floors and baseboards
Cleans white tennis shoes and doll faces
Cleans the grout in between tile floors and counters
Cleans any painted wood surface (it works wonders on my girls' white bunk beds and desk)
Cleans mini and wooden blinds
Removes hard water spots off of bathroom and kitchen faucets and fixtures
Cleans the greasy knobs and buttons on virtually anything we touch often (ovens, microwaves, computers, light switch plates)

The Magic Eraser is made of melamine foam, which, once dampened, disintegrates as you scrub and leaves behind a gritty film, so make sure you wipe the surface with a damp cloth after cleaning.  I would not recommend using this product on a wall or surface painted with flat paint.  It will remove some of the color.  To make your erasers go farther, cut them in half or in thirds and use in smaller sections.  I've tried no-name brands of this product and some work as well as Mr. Clean and some do not.  I've been most impressed with Target's version.

If you've discovered any other cool uses for Magic Erasers, please share!  All moms love a good cleaning tip.
Am I right!?


Apr 19, 2010

Food Pod Giveaway Winner! (better late than never)

This post is a few days overdue.  After 3 days away from reality, it was really hard to get myself back into gear.

Before I announce the winner of my latest giveaway, I just have to gush about Palm Desert.  I would avoid this place like the plague in the summer, but in the late winter and early spring, the weather is AWESOME!!!  Beautiful blue skies, bright sun and an abundance of wild flowers makes the desert an ideal place to rid yourself of those winter blues and get your body cranking out some serious vitamin D.  Throw in the great restaurants, fabulous shopping and an abundance of day spas, and you've got yourself a getaway fit for a goddess...which is what we all are, right?

I want to thank everyone for the kind things you said about my blog.  I really wasn't fishing for compliments, I just wanted some honest opinions about how I can improve my blog, but I'm grateful just the same.

So...the winner of the totally cool, jellyfish-like, extremely useful Food Pod is...

Krystal!!! 

Congrats Krystal, and have fun cooking things in boiling water!

Now that my blog is gaining a little momentum, I should be able to have these giveaways more often.  
Yeah for you!!!
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