Thursday, September 26, 2013

Scott Extra Soft TP

Today, I want to take you on a quick trip inside our lav.  We all have them, and we all like our private time in them.  We have our products and routines, and we can be stubborn to change them. 
Let me introduce you to one of my pet peeves.  TP.  Yep, those fantastic little squares of paper that we depend heavily upon in the 21st century.  Out with the leaves, in with the ivory swipes!  However, not all TP is created equal.  We have tried many brands in our household over the years, and it hit me today.  I LOVE the brand we are using.  No sheer layer to poke your finger through, no clumps of paper residue left behind, no large amounts of dust wafting through the air as you separate the squares, no rough surfaces to irritate delicate get the picture.

To make a short story long, for the past month or so, every time I've replaced a roll on the holder, I've said to myself, "Self, where did you buy this huge multi-pack, and what brand is it?  I like it!"  To which I replied, "Why are you asking ME?"

Well, this morning as I was preparing our guest bath for company this evening, I opened the closet to fetch some back-up rolls and I saw a box that contained a single roll that I had gotten a few weeks ago as a free sample.  "Great!", I said, as I quickly opened the box and got ready to load it onto the holder...Wait a cotton-pickin' minute!  That's the same soft, quilted pattern that I have been trying to ID for the past month.  It can't be.  I quickly grabbed the current roll and sample roll to compare them up close (well, not too up close, as my eyes are getting a bit strained in my mid-forties).  Viola, a perfect match and mystery solved. 
This is my brand for as long as they make it, or until a big box store makes them reduce their quality so as to be more price competitive with brands currently made from sandpaper pulp down in the jungles of who knows where!  It currently has a very soft texture, yet is very absorbent and strong.  I haven't noticed any big dust issues, nor straggler pieces left behind.  Give it a try the next time you need to restock your water closet.  :-)

 I can rest at ease, now.  As you were.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Herbal Essence Body Wash

Today I had the chance to try out Herbal Essence Body Wash "Body Burst".  Just like me, it's very fruity.  Who doesn't love to fill their steamy shower with sweet scents of fruit that smell good enough to eat?!?  Don't eat it, though.  It's not THAT good!  I'm surprised that no manufacturer has come out with manly scents, such as "bacon" or "beer".  Note to self - pitch cool marketing idea to Herbal Essence.  ;-)
The world is dirty, so LATHER UP!


Luster Premium White Wrap Up

All right!  Yesterday was my 12th treatment of Luster Premium White "Distinctly White" and what do I really think?  It's a pretty good whitening system!  It's easy to use, although I struggled with holding a mouthful of saliva that collected as I applied the gel and then waited for 30 secs before allowing gums/lips/tongue to come into contact with it.  Even after the 30 secs, I would spit out the initial saliva, but then be hesitant to swallow any new amounts for a few mins, as I kept thinking "Don't swallow...fluoride...poisonous."  There IS no fluoride in it, but what can I say.  But hey, that's a lot of personal take on my saliva, along with a revelation of an idiosyncrasy, so let's move on.

The taste of both steps is pretty mildly minty.  Maybe they could consider different flavors to spice things up.  How about some spicy cinnamon, or fruity strawberry?  "No, Julie, we made it minty because that's what we decided, and you don't work here."

The big question is how much did it really whiten my chicklets?  If I had some excellent picture-taking skills, you'd be able to see for yourself.  I am happy with the changes.  They are many shades lighter, and it would be nice to have some sort of color strip to match against so I could be more accurate.  Are they as white as my trim around my doors and windows,  no, but they certainly aren't as yellow as my delicious cup of joe, extra light, 2 small scoops of stevia, either.  Which reminds me of an important point to consider.  When I was a young prepubescent, the dentist commented on my nice yellowish teeth, saying that it was great to have hard teeth like mine because the whiter they were, they softer they would be.  I guess I can't expect Luster Premium White to whiten them brighter than what God Almighty blessed me with from the beginning.

                                                                      (after 12th)

My personal question now is how long will it last.  I'll have to keep an eye on it, and get back to you.  I have plenty of materials left to go another round of 12, and I may start it just for kicks.

Don't be surprised if, one day, as you pull up to a red light and look to your right, there's a crazy woman baring her smile (in all of its glory) for you to admire.  Be sure to wave politely and smile back, so I can see if this review inspired you to try this new product, too!  :-)

#GotItFree at

For those who are curious, here are the ingredients from Luster's website
ACCELERATOR MOUTH RINSE: Water, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Bicarbonate, Alcohol Denat., Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Sucralose, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Carbonate, FD&C Blue No. 1;

SUPER WHITENER GEL: Alcohol, Methyl Hydrogenated Rosinate, Urea Peroxide, Zinc Oxide, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Menthol, Sucralose

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rachel Hauck's "Once Upon a Prince"

Don't you just love to discover new authors who can weave a tale that touches those deep places in your soul?  Some authors are very skilled, and others are wading the waters as they learn how to best ply their trade.  I'll read all levels, most genres, and varying lengths from novellas, through series which I hope never end, but sadly do.

Well, let me tell you.  I scored a free book by a newly discovered author, Rachel Hauck, entitled, Once Upon a Prince.  (Although I was given this book by the author, she no request of doing a review.)  It seemed like a perfect summer book, you know the kind, something not too deep, maybe a little superficial, spot on for a beach read.  Yes, I really did enjoy this book, although I NEVER made it to the beach.  such a shame, as this summer in Massachusetts has been fab!  But I digress...

Rachel weaves a modern-day fairy tale of Cinderella that is relatable, while still tickling those fanciful imaginations of the little girl in us, the one who still dreams of life as a princess.  Hey, until I die, it could still happen.  Maybe my husband's genealogy will suddenly be revealed to be that of royalty, and we will be whisked away to another country to fulfill our royal obligations.  Stop laughing!  You may kiss my ring now...

So, this cute work of fiction begins with a character, Susanna, who is a determined, hard-working lady.  Not one born with that proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, she comes from a family of strong characters.  (This lends itself to a sequel, as well.)  I could sympathize with her struggles, and follow her irrational logic as she wonders what God is doing in her life.  She made me laugh, she made me tear up, and I found myself holding my breath at points where my emotions were engaged and making me feel like I was a fly on the wall of her life.  What would I do, how would I react, are we really so different?  If something like this could happen to her, could it happen to me?  To my husband, my child?  If God works wondrously on behalf of her, a mere fictional character, what is the deeper truth of Him being vested in my well-being?

Sure, the story is simple and sweet, and I appreciate that.  However, it was also highlighting an important spiritual truth for us.  In order to really live life, we have to stop trying to steer us where we think we should go.  God's plans are usually not the same as ours, and that's a GOOD thing, believe it or not.  We have a tendency to think we know what's best for us (and others) and so we put our hand to the plow and work to see it happen, fully expecting to receive the praise from others as they congratulate us on all of our success.  But is it true success?  Maybe as the world judges us, but that's not who we will all stand before, one soon approaching day.

It's so much better to let go of our life, and yes, "let God". 

Matt 6:26 "For what will it profit a (woman) if (she) gains the whole world and forfeits (her) soul?"

Until next time, thanks for reading!  Do check out Rachel's new book, Once Upon a Prince.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Luster Premium White update

Thank you for checking back to see how this trial is going!

I have two more pics to share with you, as well as to say that it's been pretty standard in the ongoing treatments.  No big finds to report, and no tooth sensitivity has developed.  I did have life interruptions for one day, which caused me to forget to apply once, so I'm a day behind schedule. 

                                                                  (after treatment #5)                                                          
                                                               (after treatment #7)

So, it seems like my digital camera is not great, but hopefully, after a full course of 12 treatments, we'll be able to see the difference between the start and end photos. 

Thanks for sticking with me so far, and feel free to leave a comment.  If you haven't already done so, would you be willing to join this blog to receive updates anytime I post something new?  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Luster Premium White

Today begins a new trial for Luster Premium tooth whitening system.  Who wouldn't like their yellowish hues to be magically transformed into twinkling ivories?  I'll post a blurry pic of my untreated chompers, and then periodic updates along the way.  Please forgive the very poor quality of the photo.  It's taken with an old digital camera in less than ideal lighting.  My nose is not really that large...right???

(starting picture)

This morning, I did the initial treatment, which is as follows:
1. Brush with my normal toothpaste.
2. Measure out 1 tbsp. of activating mouthwash.  (It would be better if the product came with a measuring cup/cap on the bottle so I didn't have to run downstairs to get my own spoon.)
3. Swish the mouthwash around for 10 secs, paying special attention to my front teeth (top & bottom).  At least it didn't taste funky!
4. Apply gel like fingernail polish onto front 6 teeth (top & bottom).  Be careful not to let your lips touch the wet gel for 30 secs.  If you get it on your gums, it will tingle.  This didn't bother me, but others have reported being sensitive to it.  You are going to be a drool machine and look like a freak as you tug at your lips to prevent them from touching any gel during this step, so don't let anyone in the bathroom with you that also has a camera phone...just saying.
5. After waiting for a full 10 mins, you can start over at step #2, but I'm going to do a slower pace and treat only in the mornings. 
6. Snap a picture.  Oh, I figured out that by stretching your lips out as far as you can, in order to bare your teeth for a photo shoot, it makes your nostrils flare.  Phew, that explains it, so now I can go back into my dream world where at least my nose is not disproportionate to my face!  See you tomorrow!

(after first treatment)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Kellogg's Special K Nourish

My very first review...I can feel the excitement!

I joined a website called BzzAgent, and after completing my profile and surveys, I sat back and waited to see what my first campaign would be.  Not long after, I was invited to join on to review Kellogg's Special K Nourish products.  I've never been a big fan of Special K cold cereals, but hey, things change, so I wanted to go into this with an open mind.  They sent me 3 Nourish cereal bars, and 3 Nourish hot cereal bowls. 

Honestly, the cereal bars, yuck.  The big push with these products is the inclusion of quinoa.  Not 'qwin-o-ah', but 'keen-wah'.  Yes, I completely get you on this.  So back to the bars.  Well, the flavor was lemon based and I was super excited.  I know quinoa is the 'in' grain right now, so I had high hopes for some lemony yumminess.  Alas, hopes were dashed.  I didn't even finish it.  I let my husband try a different flavor, and he didn't like them, either.  Oh well.

How about those hot cereals?  Well, quinoa-friendly products haven't been scoring high for me, but I wanted to be faithful to the BzzAgent campaign that I had agreed to complete, so I finally cracked open my first bowl, cranberry almond.  Expectations were low, but the product was easy enough to make.  It's just like regular instant oatmeal, add hot water and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.  I can do that, even before my first cup of coffee, so I was off to the races.  After waiting 3 mins, I noticed that some of the oatmeal mix on the bottom had not been penetrated by water yet, so I stirred it up, added in the cranberries and then put the lid back on for another couple of minutes.  I skipped adding the almonds, as I'm not a big nut fan (I didn't say I wasn't nutty, just not a big fan of eating them).  Drumroll, pleasssssssssssse:  it was fantastic!  I am so surprised that I actually enjoyed the quinoa this time.  The sweetness level is perfect, and I really enjoy the addition of fruit, not simply fruit-flavoring.  I'm sure the almonds would give the last kick for crunch factor, but hey, you buy your own and let me know what you think! 

There are two more flavors for the hot cereal, one of which, Chris already gobbled up (maple brown sugar crunch).  That leaves me with cinnamon raisin pecan for tomorrow.  Maybe that will get me out of bed a little easier.  Yeah, no need to raise false hopes with that, unless Nourish will be supplying a complimentary crane, too.

I definitely will be adding the Nourish hot cereal to my shopping list for our quickly approaching wintry mornings.  I'm going to skip on the cereal bars - you can have mine.  ;-)

Welcome to my weird & wonderful world!

Ohhhhhh, who loves to get things as free as a bird,
and then reviews products to all who've not heard.......

Thank you, SpongeBob, for that tune! 

Welcome to my blog where I'll be expressing my opinion on a range of topics, such as product reviews (whether I got them free as samples, or purchased them for the first time) as well as travel experiences (maybe I visited a new locale, or had a new experience at a known location I already frequent).

Thank you for stopping by to see what's new in my "exciting life", and who knows, perhaps you'll be intrigued enough to pick up something the next time you're in the store, or book a new excursion for your upcoming vacation!  We only have so many days on planet Earth, so let's get out there and try something new!