My sister has already started complaining about her stinky trash can...and, she hasn't even had it for a whole month. I told her I had just heard about the perfect product for her to try...the simplehuman carbon activated filter naturally absorbs odors.


Passed the white towel test

After years and years of never straying from Cetaphil, I have been making up for lost time by trying various facial cleansers. I am pleased to report that I have been very impressed with many of the product lines I have been checking out lately. I especially love Ole Henriksen's on the go cleanser. It produces a great lather and feels wonderful on my skin. It also removes every trace of makeup...including difficult to remove mascara. I use white towels and have a real appreciation for any cleanser that helps me keep them white and bright!


Sticking with ChapStick

I loved Tarte's fRxtion when I first got it, but I'm kind of over it now...I so loved the idea of it - sugar scrub exfoliator on one side and vitamin E on the other side. It sounded like a great combination for super soft lips. I also loved the packaging. But, now that I have used it for a few weeks, I don't think it is so brilliant. The sugar part is very dry and I have to use the balm first to get the sugar part on my lips. Because of this, I have used twice as much of the balm as I have of the sugar. I also tend to "over sugar" and end up getting sugar crystals all over my lips. The packaging is still pretty cool and I love the pop up mirror, but I don't really need a mirror to apply lip balm...it would be great for lipstick though...


In case you can't find me...

If I ever completely disappear, you can find me here...Four Seasons Ocean Residences.

Good news for your feet

I have not tried this yet, but will be getting it very soon...I have read several great reviews of it, but have also heard firsthand that Band-Aid Active Flex Blister Block Stick will "change your life"... I can't wait to try it with all the shoes in my closet that I never wear...


Tell me why? I don't like Mondays

Once a week, I drag myself out of bed singing that famous Boomtown Rats song, but it never seems to make me feel any better. The snarky greetings on Someecards absolutely helps get me through the day. I hope you are able to get work done this Monday...you could spend all day sending e-cards to everyone you know!

Fair warning...you will not find these cards funny if you don't appreciate sarcasm or if you are easily offended...


Chocolate...without the calories

From the name of their company (derived from the old no soap radio punchline) to their product descriptions, I love the attitude and sense of humor of the product line Not Soap, Radio. I recently tried their new Spa Chocolate and was amazed at how sweet I smelled all day long...I know I drove everyone crazy asking them to "smell my arm"...I smelled like a cupcake all day long! Check out all of their products...some of my favorites are the Say it with SUDS greeting card/bath gel and the I'm not here, I'm really... gift set for escaping to the spa, red carpet or beach.


Back to school in style

My new favorite product line for kids is Crocodile Creek. I bought a few of their placements for my nephews and love their balls and lunchboxes. This scorecard bib is hysterical. Although, I think the numbers are way off for my nephew Zachary...much more of his food ends up on the floor than his mouth!


Grown up products really are better

I don't remember learning how to shave - I only remember using a Flicker Razor and my Dad's shaving cream. Over the years, I have not made many changes in that area - other than upgrading to a razor with disposable blades and moisturizing shave gel for women. I didn't realize that combination wasn't getting the job done until I tried Whish Pomegranate Shave Crave with their body brush. I was so amazed by the results that I did a "taste test" the next time I used them...old regimen on one leg (including moisturizing with body lotion) and the Whish regimen on the other (including their Almond Shave Savour). The Whish products easily won! Was it the brush, cream or moisturizer? I can't be sure if it was one or all of their products (maybe I'll do a little more experimenting), but I do know that I have purchased my last can of Skintimate gel!


Mortar and pestle?

In theory, I know they are used for grinding spices and I've seen them used to make tableside guacamole, but I can't imagine ever having a need for one in my rarely used kitchen. My friend Susann has an extensive mortar and pestle collection, so I have seen more than a non-chef would ever expect to see...I've never seen one like this though and really like the minimalist design. At the very affordable price of $20, I may need to buy it from A + R and pretend that I use it all the time!


Wrapping for dummies...like me!

My mother owned a gift store when I was growing up and she taught me how to arrange tissue paper in a gift bag to create a nice looking gift. But, I can not wrap a gift using paper...it always ends up looking like a little kid wrapped it. Imagine my excitement when I heard about Olive Paper. They have coordinating gift collections with everything you need to create a spectacular looking gift - wrapping paper, tissue, ribbons, gift bags and boxes and they include gift wrap instructions with each order. For the more advanced wrapper, check out the extras and a la carte items.


Clean up your fridge

What are you supposed to do with all the artwork your kids bring home from school? You can't possibly put all of it on your refrigerator! And, let's be honest...some pieces are better than others. The Little Author is a great way to showcase the artwork that is the most meaningful to you. You send them your child's original artwork (sizes up to 11x17) and they will digitally reproduce it in a nice hand crafted book. They send the original artwork back to you too.


But, what if they never want to leave?

I love having guests stay with me and have the best intentions of doing extra little things to make them feel welcome...I think about getting fresh flowers, a cozy robe and luxurious bath products, but I never get around to it. I think the Guest Toiletry Kit from Well Dressed Home is a good option for my "tiny hotel".


A generational thing?

My mother can't figure out why my sister puts a new roll of toilet paper on top of the empty cardboard tube...she doesn't understand why she refuses to put the new one on the holder and thinks it is one more thing she doesn't get about "kids today"...I say why bother...I have been using a wall-mounted magazine rack to hold 4 rolls in my bathroom, but this one from Target is even better...it hangs right on the toilet!


Kiss my eyes

I finally tried blinc's Kiss Me Mascara, an alternative to traditional mascara that binds to the lashes by forming "tubes" around them. Their claim is that it increases volume and length, does not smudge or run and is easy to remove without make-up remover.

I don't know if it increased volume or length, but is did the best job of any mascara I've ever used at holding the curl I work so hard at getting from my trusty shu uemura eyelash curler. I also wear contacts, so I'm used to getting mascara flakes in my eyes...I rubbed my eyes several times during the day and it did not smudge or flake! And, it was very easy to remove...it did not come off in tubes as the instructions indicated - it actually felt more like acrylic paint to me, but was easy to remove nonethless...and, my eyelashes did not feel stiff and caky during the day, but the even better news is that they feel very soft right now.


Daily facial

My 30 (ish) year old skin is not quite as low maintenance as it was when I was in my 20's. I've been experimenting a bit with Dr. Hauschka Skin Care. Some of my favorites (so far) are the Cleansing Milk and the Facial Toner. The combination of these two leaves my skin feeling very clean and so soft...I mean really soft - like when I come home from getting a facial. Historically, I have secretly enjoyed using a product that totally stripped everything from my skin, but there is no going back now that my skin and I know the difference...


I wonder what my mom did when I was a kid

I grew up (like most kids) eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich almost every day. After years and years of not eating them, I had one again a few years ago. Wow! PB&J is one of those things that are still as good now as it was then. However, I have a tiny problem with the sandwich preparation. After spreading peanut butter on one side, my choices for the jelly side are to lick the knife (fine if you are single, but you can't ever offer it to guests), wipe it off with a napkin (ok if you don't mind wasting napkins and peanut butter) or use two knives (great if you want to run the dishwasher all the time)...the Cuisipro Peanut Butter & Jelly Spreader is kind of dorky, but sooooo going to end up in a drawer at my house.


Before he was Lenny Briscoe

I know I'm in the minority here, but I can't stand the movie Dirty Dancing. I do love hearing my nephew repeat the best line from the movie...he thinks it is funny to say it about his younger brother...I crack up every time he says it and wish I had found this Urban Smalls onesie sooner (not in pink, of course)...


Bye bye Nalgene

I am by no means living a "green life", but I am trying to take baby steps. I am so confused by the conflicting reports about the dangerous chemical biosphenal A (BPA) in plastic bottles and cans...and, don't get me started on bottled water vs. tap water - it appears that they are often one and the same.

I'm not totally convinced by the findings, but the reports are enough to make me think about replacing my #7 plastic bottles with the super cool Sigg bottles. Check out the findings for yourself, but if you are looking for good choices for kids, Z Recommends has great reviews of baby bottles and sippy cup BPA-free options.

And, while I'm being green...

I try to buy as much organic food as possible, but I never know which ones are the most and least important to buy in the organic variety. ConsumerReports has a great guide and the Environmental Working group has a produce shopping guide listing the fruits and vegetables with the most and least amount of pesticides.


Better than MacGyver?

I started writing this post three weeks ago, but never got around to finishing it...and then DailyCandy beat me to it! That will teach me, huh?

When my nephew has a cold, my sister tries to keep his head elevated so he can breathe easier...everyone has helped her rig something for him...books under crib legs, towels under his mattress, blankets under a wedge under his sheet...I just heard about Spacebabies® Baby Bed Blocks®. They lift one side of the crib in what looks to be a bit safer than the methods she has been using. They are available online at Baby Guru.

There is always a better way

My sister and I were shopping at Target with my nephew and knew he was a little hungry. We were crossing our fingers that the cereal we were feeding him would postpone a major meltdown. We were trying to get out of there as fast as possible and didn't pay enough attention to the Ziploc bag of Cheerios...until the entire contents of the bag landed on the floor...oh no! We looked at each other and then looked around to see if anyone had seen it so we could quietly sneak away...if only we had Laura Hamrick's brilliant OnTray invention! OnTray is a plastic container that attaches to a grocery cart handle and can hold things to occupy your little one and free up your hands to get to the real business of shopping. At $6.99 for one or $11.99 for two, they are affordable enough to get one for snacks and another for toys.

For the record, we did clean up the cereal mess he we made...


Better than duct tape

I remember a sketch from Saturday Night Live from years ago with Chevy Chase repeatedly telling his family to "put some butter on it"...I found the text and it wasn't as funny as I remembered, but I always think of it when I hear about a miracle product...So, I was a little skeptical when I heard about Egyptian Magic. It literally does everything...it is great for chapped lips, dry skin, burns and scars, eczema, hair conditioner, diaper rash...it is pretty amazing and is the rare product that I think is actually worth all of the hype. It feels a little greasy when you get it out of the jar, but once you rub your hands together, it feels great and you will want to put it on every dry spot on your body.


Mikey likes it

I am a huge fan of almost every kind of cereal - from Special K to Fruity Pebbles...I don't love to eat it for breakfast, but cereal for dinner is still one of my most favorite meals. I don't love the bowls I currently use, but I think I have found a great replacement! The Buddha Bowl from Flavour Design is a perfect choice. They are large enough for a proper bowl of cereal and they are designed to fit in the palm of your hand, which should make things a tad less messy for drinking the milk out of the bowl (something I will neither admit to or deny)...


Black Honey is still the best

My love of products first began with Clinique's Black Honey. I felt so grown up with my cute little green pot of lipstick. At that age, I did not mind sticking my finger into the pot and didn't have fingernails either so I didn't worry about it getting stuck under them...I haven't looked at any Clinique products in years, but was curious to see if they still made Black Honey. Well, color me impressed (yes, I just said that)...they have a grown up version of Black Honey in a long tube! No more little round pot of gloss! And, it is called Almost Lipstick, which is what it really was - not quite a lipstick, but enough to make the ten year old version of me feel like a grown up!


Because that's what moms do!

I was at my mother's house last night and overheard a conversation between my mother and sister as my sister was preparing my nephew's lunch for sports camp.

Sister: Should I cut the crusts off Nathan's sandwich?
Mom: I don't know. I don't think so.
Sister: Well, why did you cut the crusts off my sandwiches?
Mom: I can't remember...maybe you didn't like the crust.
Sister: I don't know...I think I should cut off the crust and cut them into triangles.

I told her that she needed to order the Good Bites 4-pack so Nathan could have cute sandwiches everyday!


A better ball

The most popular toy ever has been improved. At first glance it looks like a traditional ball, but when you take the small ball out, you will soon realize that you have two unique toys. If you put them back together, they will roll like a normal ball, but if you separate them (and buy more than one), you will have a great stacking toy. Check out Small Concept for more images of the Balbal Ball in action.


Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

My sister is moving into a new house and was talking about organizing her kitchen...I have to admit I was a little jealous when she starting talking about getting new shelf and drawer liners...I love storage and organization products and started looking around for good things for her to buy, but found something for my kitchen instead of hers. I have tried so many different spice organizers, but always end up moving two jars in order to get the one I really want, but this spice stack is so smart. It doesn't take up much space and I will be able to see each spice. I think I'll just keep them in alphabetical order so I will know what is in each tray.


Fun cupcakes

I read about this in Real Simple magazine and loved the idea so much I just had to mention it here...cupcakes baked in ice cream cones.

To make them, you just fill 24 flat-bottom cones two-thirds full with cake batter. Place the cones in a high-sided 9-by-13-inch baking pan and bake in two batches at 325° F for 30 minutes. Let cool, then frost with two 16-ounce cans of frosting.


Clean up on aisle 3

I love these adorable laminated bibs. They are very easy to clean and are machine washable. Check out the Bella Tunno site for lots of cute and original baby basics (bibs, burp cloths, changing pads) to help your little one show off their unique style.


Giant Connect Four

I have always loved Connect Four and think this giant version of it looks like so much fun! It isn't cheap, but if you amortize it...