Thursday, November 18, 2010

Barilla Plus Pasta

I really was not ever planning on writing reviews on food but I thought this pasta was so good that it deserved a review. Last night we tried the Barilla Plus rotini. The Barilla Plus pastas come in penne, elbows, farfalle, rotini, angel hair, spaghetti, and thin spaghetti. These whole grain pastas contain protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.
By now you're probably thinking that these taste terrible. That was my thought as well. Most healthier pastas do. However, you could not even tell that these were any different taste wise. I was very very impressed with these and they are what we will be buying from now on.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reach Access Flosser

It's been awhile. I apologize. I'll try to get back into the swing of things. I'm also going to add an option to sign up for email updates if you'd like to do that.

If you have a strong gag reflex like myself the Reach Access Flosser is the way to go. By now, I'm sure you've seen these before.

When I first used the Reach Access Flosser, I was so excited to be able to floss my teeth without gagging/vomiting, that I immediately flossed them again. It was that good! It's lost some of it's appeal now that I use it every day. :-)

The Reach Access Flosser is designed like a toothbrush to allow you to get to the hard to reach places in your mouth, instead of having to stick your fingers in your mouth to floss. The floss comes in snap on disposable heads that are easy to get on and off but do not come off while using it. The floss comes in regular or mint flavored (go with the mint!)

Check out for more information.

Friday, September 10, 2010

On the 10th of each month, my dog Charlie is supposed to have his heartworm prevention medication. However, with my busy schedule and the fact that my dog has found his place near the bottom of my totem pole of priorities, it slipped my mind constantly. I started using the stickers that came with the medication and putting them on the calendar. Then I would at least remember within the week to give it to him. But sometimes I would find myself wondering if I actually had given it or not. Yes, I am that pathetic and scatter-brained! Eventually I stumbled upon and it was such a blessing! If it wasn't for this program, my poor dog would never get his medication.

With you simply register your animal(s) and their medication(s) and you receive email alerts on the day you are supposed to give it to them. On the 10th of every month, I am thankful for this service as I never would have remembered the medication on my own. It has been a lifesaver for both me and my dog, Charlie.

If you have animals that take medications I definitely recommend trying out this free service. Please spread the word!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Huggies Little Swimmers Diapers

When we first tried Huggies Little Swimmers diapers, we thought they were great. After all, the point of a swim diaper is to not absorb all the water and therefore not bulk up and sag on baby. But a diaper that does not absorb is simply that -- a diaper that does not absorb. Thanks to my incompetent parenting of leaving the pile of dry clothes and diaper at home when we went to the pool, we found out just how true that was.

I put my son in a Little Swimmers (simply because my husband had bought a package and I was trying to use them up) and we headed off to the pool. The diaper worked great, or so I thought, and when it was time to leave I stripped him down and dried him off, only to realize that I had forgot to bring his clothes with him. Luckily my mom had an extra Little Swimmers in her beach bag so we put him in that for the ride home. We spent some time at my parents house and when we were ready to leave for home -- less than an hour later -- my son was dripping all over the floor. The diaper didn't hold squat.

We quickly put him in yet another dry Little Swimmers diaper for the ride back to my house -- around 10 minutes -- and by the time we got home, his diaper, though not dripping, felt wet on the outside. I simply put a cloth diaper cover over top of him so we could have dinner before his bath. By the time we had eaten dinner, he was again leaking through the Little Swimmers underneath his cover.

So imagine what we are swimming in at the pool. I think I'll stick to cloth from now on! Not only do they not bulk up in water but they also DO NOT LEAK urine into the pool -- which is the most important part of a swim diaper, don't you think??

When I began this blog, I had intended to only do positive reviews on products that I used and liked. However, I feel strongly about this and felt that it needed to be shared.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nuby Easy Grip Utensils

My son is at the age where he wants to feed himself. The Nuby Easy Grip Spoon and Fork Set has been the easiest for him to use.

The chunky, soft, contoured handle makes it easy for him to grip and the unique shape makes it easy for him to get the food into his mouth instead of all down the front of him. The spoon is deep enough that he can easily scoop up what he wants as well. These are always the first utensils we grab out of the drawer for him when they are clean.

Additional bonuses about these utensils: They are BPA free and they are dishwasher safe :-)
You can purchase a 4-pack (2 spoons and 2 forks) for around $4.99.

Visit for more information.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Veria Organic Lip Balm

I'm a huge chap stick fanatic. I never go anywhere without a tube with me. Recently I was able to try out the Veria Vanilla Organic Lip Balm. This is quite possibly my favorite yet!!

This lip balm goes on very smooth and is the perfect thickness. It moistures my lips but doesn't leave them feeling dry moments later like many chapsticks. Plus it smells heavenly! It is also USDA Organic so I know I am not putting harsh chemicals onto my lips.

I never leave home without it now!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sterilite Ultra Wheeled Hamper

As someone with back problems, I am always looking for ways to make my life easier in that regard. Laundry was always a chore, especially when I would forget to have my husband lug our giant wicker hamper from the bedroom to the laundry room. Not only was it awkward to carry, it was also heavy. Then we happened upon the Sterilite Ultra Wheeled Hamper, on accident, and it was love at first sight. We bought it immediately and never looked back.

This hamper has wheels so you don't have to carry it and has a retractable handle, much like many suitcases have. It glides easily over carpet, wood floors, and tile (I know because I go over all three from the bedroom to the laundry room!) It is lightweight and has enough holes in the side that your clothes don't start to stink at the bottom of the hamper, but the holes aren't so big that socks and other small items go missing. The dimensions are: 21" L x 13 3/4" W x 28 3/8" H.

Visit for more information. This product can be purchased at Meijer, Target, or Amazon, among other places.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Diaper Genie II

Even though we use cloth diapers, we still use disposable diapers too. Especially since being pregnant with #2, I have not wanted to clean out as many cloth diapers lately (even though I still wholeheartedly LOVE cloth diapering) So when I know my son will poop -- bedtime and naps -- we stick him in a 'sposie.

We started with the original Diaper Genie and it was tolerable at first but we soon found ourselves hating it. It wasn't very easy to use and was near impossible one handed. The bag rarely cut properly and it didn't hide odors very well at all. So we decided to "upgrade" to the Diaper Genie II system. Here's what we found.

- So far so good on hiding smells
- Very easy to use, even one-handed
- Very easy to cut the liners and the blade is child proof
- Doesn't take up much space in the nursery
- Made in the USA

- Requires special refill liners
- Needs to be emptied frequently. I empty it at least once a week with only using two disposable diapers a day. Seems like if you used exclusively disposable diapers you would be emptying it daily or at least every other day.

Overall, I like this system. As mentioned, it is very easy to use, especially when compared with the original that we started out with. You simply push the diaper through the opening and it snaps closed behind you, trapping smells with it. When the canister is full, you open it on the side and it folds in half. There is a spot to pull the bag through to easily cut it (no holding down a scissor button while turning the top and hoping for the best like with the original) Then you tie off the ends and you are ready to begin again.

These can be purchased at a variety of retailers including Meijer, Target, and Babies R Us. Check out for more information about this product.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dropps Laundry Detergent

I tried Dropps laundry detergent because it is more environmentally friendly than your average laundry detergent. The packaging alone makes it "greener" as it does not use as much plastic and therefore has a smaller carbon footprint. (Reference this diagram for more information on the eco-friendliness of Dropps). The laundry detergent is also 6x concentrated as opposed to the standard 2x concentrated because they do not use water in the detergent. Not only that, it is much more convenient to carry a small, light package of Dropps than a standard heavy plastic container of detergent. I also like that they come in the pre-measured pacs for no mess laundry-ing.

This product was very easy to use. Simply toss one pac in the washer for a regular load or two pacs for a heavy load, pile in the clothes, and turn on the washer. No measuring, no mess. And my clothes came out clean and fresh. They are compatible with standard and HE washing machines and can be used with all water temperatures.

Dropps come in three different kinds -- 1. fresh scent; 2. scent & dye free; and 3. baby - scent, dye, & enzyme free. The kind that I tried was the scent & dye free.

Dropps can be purchased from their website at with a price ranging from $1 for a trial 2-load pouch to $24 for an 80-load pouch. I have also seen these at some local stores, including Meijer.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Safety 1st Baby Gate

The baby gate we bought was a Safety 1st gate. Since it was going at the top of our stairs we wanted one that attached right to the wall for extra stability. We also wanted one that was easy to use so we could easily go up and down the stairs -- even while holding a baby. We chose this rounded gate so we wouldn't lose our landing for foot space.

This is what the gate looks like from the bottom of the stairs.

This is what the gate looks like from the top of the stairs.

This gate is very easy to use. You simply push down and over a button on the side to open the gate. It can easily be done one-handed. This pops open the gate so you can swing it open and walk down the stairs.

Then simply push the gate closed. You'll hear a pop when it's locked. There is also a picture of a lock that is green and open when the gate is unlocked and red and closed when the gate is secured and locked.

This gate is very easy to use and very secure. Our son is 19 months and still hasn't figured out how to open it (he easily figured out our pressure lock gate at around 12 months) Because of the sturdy plastic front instead of the usual fenced look, he also can't climb this one (which he also did with our other one at around 12-13 months)

Visit the Safety 1st website for more information.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

4Moms Cleanwater Infant Tub with Digital Thermometer

This is quite possibly my favorite baby product we've tried. And the name says it all. 4Moms was created FOR moms by 4 moms. At first, this bath seemed a bit over the top and extreme to me. Unnecessary were my exact first thoughts. But we splurged after a disappointing experience with another infant bath and I cannot imagine using any bath other than this one!

The bath has a temperature gauge right on it so every moment of the bath you know the water is the right temperature. You don't even have to really be watching it as the background is green when the water is in the right range, turns blue when it gets too cold, and turns red when it gets too hot. It also will alarm if you've been in the red zone for too long or reach a certain level in the red zone. It also reads the exact temperature on the gauge so you know if you are starting to border on the too hot or too cold zones. We never had a problem keeping the water in the right range once we got it there.

The bath is designed so that clean water comes in from the faucet into the clean water reservoir, flows down into the bathing area, circles the baby and pushes the dirty water out of the holes. This was nice for the early days when our son liked to poop in the bath. He was never sitting in poopy water as it would flow right out. The unique design of the tub also means no infant hammocks are necessary as it can hold even the tiniest of babies safely. But it can also fit a larger baby as well. There are two water level holes to allow for this. We used this tub from the time our son's cord fell off at around two weeks old to the time he was about seven months old.

This bath fit nicely into our kitchen sink. It also comes with an extra piece you can attach if your sink isn't the right size to accommodate for it. And it can also be used in the regular bath tub.

This bath tub gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!!! I can't say enough good things about it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bath tub!!

You can purchase this bath from by clicking here or from by clicking here. Or check out the 4Moms website for more information about it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nubunz Pocket Diapers

Nubunz Diapers were the third type of cloth diaper that I tried and the majority of the cloth diapers we owned for our son. They are a one-size pocket diaper that is very similar to the BumGenius diapers that I previously reviewed, only they were cheaper to buy. They come in either velcro or snap closures so I originally bought 1 of each kind to try. Once I decided I liked them, I stocked up on an almost even number of each, with slightly more snaps. I am glad I went that route.

Nubunz Diapers are very reasonably priced, at only $9.50 a diaper (currently on sale for $8 each) I also loved that they are USA made diapers.

These diapers come in a variety of colors and are made with a soft fleece inside and a waterproof PUL outer shell. Each diaper comes with two microfiber inserts. These also make good swim diapers! They don't bulge out when we put them on our son in the pool.

Buying a cheaper diaper comes with some risks. Of course you can't expect them to be the highest quality. I have had a few issues with these diapers. The velcro has simply wore out over time. It took about a year for it to wear out, they really held up well until then. If I knew more about sewing I could probably fix them but I just don't. I also had some problems with the snaps coming off. When this happened, I contacted the company and they had me mail the diaper back, they fixed the snaps, and mailed the diaper back to me. They also reimbursed me for my shipping charges. I have to say I have been very impressed with their customer service. Not only for taking care of my few snap problems but they also have an email address and personally and promptly answer any questions through that.

You can check out for more information or to order these diapers. You can also find them on facebook here

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Infant Day & Night Handheld Color Video Monitor

I'll be the first to admit that buying an infant monitor was unnecessary. In fact, there is only one room in our entire house (which is down in the basement) where I cannot hear my son crying. But, try telling that to an overly-anxious first-time mom! All that being said, I do not at all regret our purchase of the Summer Infant Day & Night Handheld Color Video Monitor.

What I like about this monitor are very basic things. The first, it has a video. This was a criteria for us when choosing a monitor. Second, it is lightweight and can be carried around the house with us. Third, the camera is highly adjustable to get just the right angle. It can be set on a table or mounted to the wall. We started with it on the edge of our son's crib but as he got older, we had to move it up onto the wall. It is also portable and we brought it over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for his first overnight stay without us! A final thing that I really like about this monitor and didn't realize until after we bought it, was the sound lights which vary in color depending on how much noise baby is making. This was great for the early days when we left the monitor on at night but did not want to hear every noise baby made. The lighter colors, yellow and green, did not wake me but the higher color of red, did. This way I was able to turn the volume all the way down and only be woken up by the lights. Of course, as time went on we did not even turn it on at all but simply used it to peek on our little guy.... which, we still love to do! He is a year and a half old now and we just can't bring ourselves to putting away this monitor. It is so much fun to watch him in his crib and see what he is up to. It is also a big relief to overly-anxious moms like myself to be able to actually SEE baby is breathing in the early days when SIDS is a big worry.

The only down side to this monitor is the static. Depending on the position of it, we can get some static. It isn't bad anymore but it does play nasty tricks on parents with the sound lights. We also used to get some interference with another baby monitor in the early days but that has since faded. There are two channels on the monitor to avoid interference, but it does still happen.

Overall, I think this is a great baby monitor and was definitely worth the money we spent on it. It is actually one of the cheaper video monitors on the market but still high quality. It would definitely get a recommendation from me! I only wish you could buy an extra camera so we won't have to stop watching our son when our new baby is born! But I guess we have to cut the strings at some point.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash

Another great sample I received in the mail! When I was running out of my usual body wash, I was bummed. But I rummaged through my bin in the bathroom linen closet and pulled out a sample bottle I had received awhile back in the mail. I stuck it in the shower just in case I didn't get a replacement body wash by the time mine ran out. I ended up getting one the same day I ran out but decided to give this one a try anyway. It was very tempting sitting in there looking me in the eye every day! Pretty much from my first use, I was sold on it but I decided to test it out for a few days at least to see if I still liked it, and I do!!

Caress Evenly Gorgorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash is said to exfoliate, moisturize, and even out skin-tones. That is a pretty big claim for one body wash but I really feel like it does! My skin has definitely felt smoother this week and there have been times when, not thinking about the wash at all, I have thought it looked better for some reason! Then I realized it was probably from using this! And there are times, not always, when I feel like I don't even need to put on lotion after the shower. I mix this with a thick body butter for my lotion and I swear I would be good for days as far as moisture. I do wish that there was a matching lotion available but at this time there is not.

Another thing I like about this body wash is the smell. I am a person who is very sensitive to smells so this is a huge thing for me. The combination of burnt brown sugar and karite sugar is delicious!! But it's not so overpowering that it makes me sick, unlike lots of others I have tried.

I'd definitely recommend this if you're in the market to try a new body wash. It is available at most supermarkets, or The Caress Website has a section to enter your zip code to find a retailer near you.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheet

One website I like to visit is They put together lists of places giving out free samples that you can try. One sample that I received through there and recently tried was a Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheet. If you've never heard of this, what it is is a sheet that goes with your clothes in the washer as a laundry detergent and transfers with your clothes to the dryer as a fabric softener and anti-static.

I tested this product out on some new sheets that we bought. While it did its job as both a laundry detergent and a fabric softener/anti-static, and smelled really good, it is not something I would likely use all the time. For one, it cannot be used on any children's pajamas or other flame resistant fabrics and since we have a small child, almost every load we do has some sort of this material in it. And the other reason I wouldn't use it frequently (and this is silly) is because you have to start the water first, then add the sheet, and then add your clothes. This is completely backwards of how I do laundry! It definitely required some brain power on my part to do this.

That being said, I do think it's a good product, especially for those without small children. It is definitely more convenient to carry a lightweight sheet than a big container of liquid detergent. And more economical to buy one product than separate laundry detergent and dryer sheets. It would be ideal for traveling as well.

You can visit for more information or pick up a package at most local supermarkets.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bumgenius 3.0 One Size Cloth Diapers

This review will be null and void in a few days but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to write about my very favorite cloth diaper so far. I am sad to say, though, that I found out yesterday these diapers are being discontinued.

Bumgenius was the very first cloth diaper that I wanted to try but it ended up being the second cloth diaper that I actually did try. What I was attracted to about the diaper -- the fun, bright colors, the absorbent inserts, and the fact that, once stuffed, it was all one piece -- are what I still love about this diaper. Not only that, but it has stood the test of time... being the only velcro diaper that hasn't stopped sticking yet. And I have had it for about a year now.

Each Bumgenius diaper comes with two inserts -- a thick microfiber insert that can be adjusted to 3 different sizes, and a smaller newborn insert which can also be used as a doubler for overnight use or any other time you may need extra absorbency. These inserts easily fit into the built in pocket which has a flap that folds over, protecting baby's skin and keeping the insert in place. The shell of the diaper also has 3 size variations to adjust to fit a baby from approximately 7 to 35 lbs.

This diaper is the only diaper I would trust overnight on my son and also the only one we haven't had any leaking problems with ever (not even when we were early learners of all things cloth!)

Like I mentioned earlier, the Bumgenius 3.0 one size diapers are being discontinued (because the makers have a new diaper coming out later this week) but there is still time to get some while supplies last. I just ordered 6 new diapers today and I can't wait for them to arrive!! Click here to buy 5 and get one free!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Moby Wrap

Like many of the baby products I have come to love and adore, I did not discover the Moby Wrap until my son was older. I believe he was about eight or nine months old when I finally purchased one. There are several different kinds of Moby Wraps to choose from. The one I purchased was a turquoise colored wrap with UV protection.

Unlike the previous baby carrier I tried, the Moby Wrap was made up of one long piece of stretchy fabric (measuring 5.5 meters in length). Initially it seemed overwhelming to wrap this piece of fabric around my body in a way that would safely hold my son. However, I didn't struggle at all. It came with step-by-step instructions for how to wear the wrap that were easy as pie to follow. I did one practice round and felt comfortable enough to do it for real the second time.

There are many, many ways in which you can hold your child while wearing the Moby Wrap but the hold I used the most often was simply the Lotus Hold or the Hug Hold, simply because my son was so much older when we started using this. I look forward to trying out some more of the other holds with the new baby.

The best part about the Moby Wrap is not even how versatile it is, but how comfortable it is! As someone who has struggled with back problems for many years, it was important to me to have a baby carrier that gave good support on my back. The first baby carrier that we tried failed miserably in this category, leaving me with sore shoulders, neck, and back after less than 10 minutes of wearing it. Even as my son grew older and heavier, the Moby Wrap continued to give me good back support. This is because of the large piece of fabric that can be evenly spread over your shoulders and back, equally distributing the weight of the child to all areas instead of having his entire weight rest in the shoulders or lower back. I stopped using my Moby Wrap for now, not because my son became too heavy (as it can safely hold a child up to 35 lbs) but because as he became more active, he no longer liked to be held so much.

There are lots of great resources for using a Moby Wrap which can be found on their website. This includes video demonstrations on how to do various wrap techniques. The Moby Wrap is also machine washable making it very user-friendly!

Visit to check out the various colors, designs, and styles of Moby Wrap (including a Mini Moby for kids to wear with their dolls! Super cute!) and/or purchase one of your own. You won't regret this decision!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Neutrogena Sunblock

I always hated sunscreen. The smell of it. The feel of it. It was torture to have it put on and when I was old enough, I just decided not to wear it at all. That is, until I got a really bad sunburn. The kind that blisters. It was so bad that I literally screamed when I had aloe put on my skin and I couldn't wear make-up for at least a month.

As I got older and wiser, I realized that sunscreen was a must! And Neutrogena has been my lifesaver!

I use the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock SPF 30. It does not smell or feel like sunscreen. It offers me enough sun protection that I have never burned when using it (except when I miss an area!) but I still also get a little color with it on too -- which is saying a lot because I don't tan!

I definitely recommend this sunblock to anyone who also hates the way sunscreen smells or feels on their skin, anyone who breaks out from oily sunscreen, or anyone just looking for something new to try to keep themselves protected. Be smart and be safe!

Visit The Neutrogena Website to purchase their amazing sunscreen or have a look around at all the othr great products they offer

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bare Escentuals Makeup

I was never a make-up person. In fact, my mother actually had to force me to try it out when I reached a certain age. Quite the opposite of most kids around. It wasn't even that I was a tomboy or anything because I wasn't. I just didn't like make-up. She set up a consultation for me at our house and I tried the products and wore them for a short time before I went back to my old ways. Even all through high school and college, my routine was simple. A nice coat of facial lotion as my "foundation" and only eye liner/mascara and lip gloss and I was finished. The reason I was so anti-make-up? I couldn't stand the way it felt. I didn't like the heavy feeling of foundation or blush or any other product for my face.

Enter Bare Escentuals.

The store came to our mall and my mother decided to give it a try. I went with her for her free consultation where a make-up stylist worked with my mom's tones and put the make-up on her. She looked great! She was hooked. A few months later I asked my mom if she'd go with me for the same. And off we went.

I couldn't believe it! I had a full face of make-up on -- five layers to be exact! (foundation, concealer, bronze, blush, and mineral veil) and it felt like nothing was on my face. It felt weightless. The best part about it -- after using the all natural make-up, my natural complexion actually looked better the following day and continued to get better the more I used it!

We purchased a starter kit which came with 0.6 ounces of each: 2 tones of foundation(each with built in SPF 15), concealer, bronze, blush, mineral veil; as well as the 3 brushes I would need to apply these. It also came with "Skin Rev-er Upper," a facial primer full of vitamins and minerals. On top of that, we also purchased a facial lotion called GlyMed that is SPF 15. The 0.6 ounces may not sound like much, however, I received my Beginners Kit in December 2008 and have only had to replace two of the containers since.

To try Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals make-up for yourself, visit Bare Escentuals. I also highly recommend finding a store near you and having a free consultation done.


I have created this review blog for fun only. I do not get paid or receive any special offers from doing this. The opinions stated here are solely my own after using the products.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am also happy to try out new products to review so if you have one you'd like to pitch, send me an email.

opinionationreviews [at] gmail [dot] com