Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Oreo Sour Patch Kids

Oreo has a new cookie flavor: Sour Patch Kids.  These are the same shape and size as regular Oreo cookies.  That my friend is where similarities end.  

Everyone knows the rule to Oreos is to eat the filling first, then dunk the cookie in milk and eat that. At least until you're a grown up - then you dunk the cookie and eat the whole thing together, as nature intended. 

The Sour Patch Kids filling smells very much like the powder in the bottom of fruity cereal like fruity pebbles or froot loops. There are little colored flecks or granules in the cream.  The cream itself doesn’t taste like anything - it's basically lard with a hint of sugar.  Oreo missed an opportunity there.  Texture wise, the cream is gritty due to the little colored fleck/granule things.  I thought they'd be like the sour granules on the outside of Sour Patch kids. Ya know, the stuff that makes the candy sour - and they'd burst onto my tongue with the fruity/sour flavors.  I was wrong.  There is no burst of flavor or sour. It’s more like a little tiny flavorless zing on your tongue as you wait for that sour that never arrives.

As for the cookie I expected something. 

Maybe a sour/citrus flavor? Or maybe a lemon or lime that might counter what should have been the strong sour coming from the filling.  I couldn't  have been more wrong.  Imagine a graham cracker that’s been dunked in pink lemonade and left out to dry.  There is just a hint of maybe pink lemonade taste. Barely a whiff.  It’s like eating a graham cracker and somebody across the street screamed PINK LEMONADE! Even that is being generous. 

Notably, given the lack of actual flavor - these cookies leave a weird aftertaste that I cannot describe.  Milk didn't help. I even tried Pink Lemonade as a chaser to see if that would be a flavor enhancer. It was not. I yelled SOUR PATCH right before I ate the second cookie. That didn't help either.  These taste like the Wish version of sour. They're not sour-ish, or sour lite. I wouldn't even describe them as diet sour.  They're sour deficient.

Overall, I think this is a fail for Oreo.  And that makes me sad, because I had hoped for an enjoyable cookie experience.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Gold Bond Healing

I got a trial size Gold Bond healing lotion around Christmas time. I was recently rummaging through a drawer for something and found the lotion.  Can I tell you, this is my new favorite lotion.

I honestly have a few lotions I use because what I detest is a lotion that leaves my hands feeling greasy, oily, or sticky, or that has a super strong smell.  I cannot tell you how many times I've had to go wash my freshly lotioned hands off because they were greasy or sticky or because the smell was so strong I started sneezing.  thank you allergies

Gold Bond healing is one of the few lotions I've tried that not only doesn't leave my hands gross feeling, they are actually softer.  I've used this 4 or 5 times now and honestly, I have zero complaints. It leaves my hands feeling soft, nourished, and has a pleasant but not overwhelming smell.  

Thanks to whomever gifted this to me. :) 

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Lays I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed

Lays, I'm a fan. Lifelong. I was excited when I saw the new Crispy Taco flavored chips. Genuinely excited.  

Salty deliciousness that I rely on from Lays + Taco flavored?  What's not to love? 

Let me tell you.  

THESE are not to love.  

I didn't get taco flavor at all.  I got something that reminded me of lettuce, then something almost sour, like maybe a hint of sour cream, but I thought there was also lime. Sadly though, the flavor I never got was actual taco flavor. 

As far as consistency, my brain could not compute the flavors I was getting, absent any real crunch.  I think my brain was expecting a corn tortilla flavored crunch that never came.  

Because true to form, it was a potato chip. Crisp yes. Crunchy? Not so much. 

I haven't been this disappointed since the first time I was tricked into eating styrofoam, er, I mean a rice cake.  

I'm disappointed because I wanted these to be good. I wanted to make taco dip and eat the whole bag while binge watching something stupid rather than working. Or cleaning.  

Instead, the only entertainment I got happened when I tricked my family into trying a chip and watching their faces fade from curious and hopeful to pucker and resentment.  

Final recommendation: stick to Taco Flavored Doritos.

Monday, April 1, 2024

I'm in a slump of some sort


I've been struggling with ideas lately. This happens when I'm overwhelmed at work.  Or over stimulated. Or lazy. I fall into a slump that is sometimes hard to get out of. 

My plan is to write up a brief review for a couple of books I've read the past month.  I'm hoping this pushes me in the direction of reading the other two books in the series. The series consists of four books written by Alice Hoffman, written about the Owens women through the generations.  

As many of us did, I fell in love with Practical Magic the first time I saw the movie, so so many years ago. It is now a quasi Halloween tradition as we watch it every October.  When I learned there were books, I was beyond excited to read them.  

I’m trying to get back into reading like I used to, back when I loved to read and get lost in a fantasy world.  I’d gobble up a book (or two) in a weekend.  Then law school happened and I’d read a couple hundred pages a night to prepare for class the next day.  Law school legit killed my desire to read anything.  I graduated in 2014. I was able to read a whole book (after starting it at least 11 times) in 2018.  Since then, I’ve read many books and the Practical Magic series is my latest grab. 

It is said that you can read these books in any order, because they all tie into each other but do not require reading one before the other.  Chronologically, however, the books flow are as follows:

Magic Lessons, set in 1664 tells the story of Maria Owens. 

The Rules of Magic, set in the 1960-70s, tells the stories of Franny, Jet, and their brother, Vincent

Practical Magic, is set in [probably] the 80s-90s and tells the story of sisters Jilly (Gillian) and Sally.

The Book of Magic, takes place after Practical Magic, involves three generations of Owens Women, including Sally's daughter, Kylie and involves the death of one of my favorite characters. 

I have read the first two books, Magic Lessons and The Book of Magic.  I was preparing to read Practical Magic and my dog ate the book.  Legit ate the book:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Conditioning Cleanser

So. I moved from the scorching desert back to a more humid climate and yet and noticed my hair was looking very dry and brittle. I don't really use heat on it so I was surprised. I decided it needed a deeper condition to re-adjust to Utah.

I was reading an article about cleansing conditioner and thought that was the magic trick to bring my hair back to life.  It was conditioner with a mild detergent so your hair would be free of harsher chemicals.  Bingo!

I bought Pantene Cleansing Conditioner.  I've always had good luck with Pantene products.  And I tried it for a whole week.  And my hair was very silky and soft.  Except that I also looked like a homeless person with an exceptional wardrobe and great shoes.  

Because here is what they don't tell you:  if you have thin hair, or limp hair, or oily hair or anything that isn't full bodied - thick hair, you're hair will look like you haven't washed it for a week. 

I thought it was odd that the instructions said "for a deep clean, use regular shampoo every three days." 

I thought the point was to avoid using the "regular" shampoo full of harsh chemicals, etc. 

Anyway, after one week I went the route of using a mild shampoo every other day and the conditioning cleanser on the odd days.  Except I'm trying to avoid washing my hair every day because that just creates more oil.  So I now wash my scalp with a mild shampoo and use the cleansing conditioner on my hair ends and tips.

So far so good.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Oh! A new Review!

So, I've been working on a Mac computer since July 7. For all intent and purpose, it does the exact same thing my windows computer did/does. I don't notice a real difference as far as how software runs or programs open/close versus using windows. I have noticed a few things that irk me:

1. Keyboard shortcuts. The CTRL button on Windows is the "command" button on a Mac. Easy enough. Except that I got tendonitis of my left thumb using the damn thing. I had to find and download a whole list of commands so I can function like I am accustom.

2. Programs that are sucking up the life of a computer and can be closed easily via CTRL, ALT, DEL and opening the task manager in a Windows computer, now must be accessed via command, option (ALT in Windows)and esc, which opens a small box of programs that are open (it tells you if one is frozen) and you have the option to "force quit" (stop) that program. But, if the computer doesn't think the program is frozen, and every window on your screen is stuck, you must pick which one you THINK is frozen, close it, and then via process of elimination fix the problem. Irritating.

3. The various programs I have open stack on top of each other in a most annoying manner. Then, I must give myself a small seizure pointing my mouse up to the right hand corner to see which window I want and clicking it, or I must point my mouse down at the bottom of my screen and chose the program I'm looking for and sometimes, just to piss me right the hell off, sometimes there will be a program down in that bar just bouncing up and down and distracting me like no child has the ability to distract me.

Consensus: I don't think I like Mac and because I am shallow and petty, my dislike is 100% stylistic.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cafe Rio - Chicken Breast Salad

image from
I love salad. I'd eat it every single day if it wouldn't result in protest from the family.  Today, I had the grilled chicken salad from Cafe Rio

One word:  Delicious!

It comes in a big flour tortilla "bowl" and has black beans or pinto beans, (I hold the rice), shredded grilled chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro, lettuce, tortilla strips and cotija cheese, with creamy tomatillo dressing (or you can choose cilantro lime vinaigrette). 

The sensation of flavor in my mouth is nothing short of symphonic.  My only complaint is that the ingredients are layered, meaning the beans are on the bottom, then the chicken, then pico, then huge leafs of lettuce and then a sprinkle of cheese and tortilla chips.  The guacamole is dropped in two balls on either side. 

I always run out of lettuce before I get to the bottom, which does NOT stop me from eating the whole thing it's just that halfway through it becomes (lettuce)less salad and more of a glob of beans, pico, chicken and dressing. 

Overall, I don't care because it's delicious.

The above product was purchased by me for my personal use.  I am not being monetarily paid for this review.  I will give my honest opinion and thoughts regarding said product.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Infusium 23 Miracle Leave-In Treatment

I have never been able to use conditioner in my hair because it weighed it down so much and by the end of the day it looked like an oily mess (even when I only used it on the ends).  Back in the day, I used to use Infusium daily because I had horribly over processed, over dyed, over permed hair.  Now days, my hair is only dyed to cover the gray and it stays pretty soft and natural feeling.  Perms went out along with
my stretch pants and leg warmers in the early 90s. 

So when I covered all the gray this last time, I opted for some random highlights and when the girl was done, I had a crown of flaming orange hair.  I thought I could live with it, but I could not so I called my cousin who agreed to fix it two weeks later and now it is beautiful brown again with subtle blond highlights.  But it is dry.  Very dry.

So I thought I'd try the Infusium 23 Miracal Therapy Leave-In Treatment because it used to work great. And while it does make my hair feel softer and less dry on the first day, the second day it feels like I've been rolling around in the desert and rinsing of in the ocean.  There is gummy, dirty, heavy feeling to my hair. 

So, for my hair, the new Infusium is a no go. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Culinary Dropout in Scottsdale

I have enjoyed every dish I've ever eaten at the Culinary Dropout. The hot pretzles and fondue are my absolute favorite.  The Moscow Mule is delicious (although they stopped serving it in a copper cup because apparently, get this, people steal the cups).  WTH? 

Anyway, while Culinary Dropout is one my favorite places to eat, my attempt to enjoy the Italian Wedge salad yesterday was a total bust. 

First, not a wedge of lettuce.  Not even iceburg lettuce.

Second, the peppers far out numbered the cheese, meat and olives overwhelming my taste buds. 

However, the oregano vinaigrette was delicious!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dr. Pepper 10


Because zero calories wasn't good enough for some people?

Marketed at men?

Tastes just like Diet Dr. Pepper to me.

I don't get it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hard Candy's Lash Iink - 4 day lash stain

The below mentioned product, Hard Candy Lash Ink - 4 day Lash Stain, was purchased by me for my personal use.  I am not being monetarily paid for this review.  I will give my honest opinion and thoughts regarding said product.

While browsing the department store a couple weeks ago I came across Hard Candy's Lash Ink 4 day lash stain, a product I thought for sure would be something I not only appreciated, but that I would also come to love for its pure conenience factor alone.

According to the Hard Candy website, Lask Ink - 4 day lash stain is
Mascara that won’t quit until you do. Flatter your flutter for 4 days straight! Hard Candy four day lash stain defies the elements. Paint Lash Ink on and don’t reapply for up to 4 days. Shower, go in the pool, cry, rub your eyes, or get rained on – your lashes will stay flawless no matter the circumstances! Perfect for a weekend away or partying all night long.

The first issue I had with the Lash Ink was that it came with no instructions.  At all.  Even el-cheapo mascara comes with some basic instructions - like don't poke your eye out.   There was nothing at all with this product.  I assumed that it was lash INK, not really mascara, so I was surprised when I tried to apply it.  The first thing I noted was that this was more like a horribly thin ink/mascara substance that came with a short/hard bristle application wand.  The wand does not evenly coat the eyelashes, nor to my surprise, separate them at all.

Second, and even worse than the wand, is that the product dries super fast.  So fast that before I even realised it, I couldn't do a second coat.  Which is problematic because I did the bottom half of my top lashes, and when I went to apply the ink to the top half of my lashes, thinking again that it was an ink and I would need to stain both sides of my lashes, the product caused my lashes to stick together like glue.  I tried to comb through them quickly with an eyelash comb but the product was dry.

And I was cranky.

Next I attemted to wash the splashes of color off my eyelid and under my eye, becuase it is a very thin substances that tends to spray when it is applied.  Let me tell you, when they say this product lasts four days, they're not kidding.  I had the hardest time washing it off my skin and had to ultimatly use some baby oil.

Now I was even more cranky because oil and my skin, they're not friends. 

I realized that the product did not wash off my lashes at all.  Which meant I had to do my other eye, so I didn't look like an idiot.

I attempted at first to just use regular mascara on my other eye but that did not work because a) my mascara does not clump my eyelashes together; and b) my left eye looked great, while my right eye looked seriously wrong.   When I tried to apply mascara on the eye with the lash ink, that turned into Epic Failure part deux.

Finally, I ended up washing my face in an effort to start over, and surprisingly, the mascara washed off.  But not the ink, and even worse?  Washing it made my lashes slightly more clumped together.  So I had to quickly comb through them as best I could to get some separation.

I have used it three times now, and I've gotten a technique down so it is at least wearable and I don't feel like I'm wasting my money (I paid $7.00 US).  But.  I don't have particularly full or thick or long eye lashes.  So while the Lash Ink did add some color to my lashes, it still fails to make them look like I don't need mascara on if I'm going somewhere other than grocery shopping.  They were still thin and short.  They were just thin, short and black.

So, all in all, I would not buy this product again.  Don't get me wrong, there is an upside:
  • I don't need to put makeup on all weekend if I don't want too AND I can answer the door without scaring the neighbor kids.
  • There was no smudging on my pillow or under my eye when I wake up.
  • This would be great for swimming, funerals or camping/boating trips.
  • I have severe allergies and there was no running or smudging with the constant itching/scratching I was doing.
I give it one Splat:


Friday, March 18, 2011

More Books I LOVE

I have read every (non-sports) book Mitch Albom has written.  Each seems to have an impact, to be apropos, to be eerily pertinent to that particular time in my life.

Since the books are short and sweet, I will give you a short and sweet review: 

Have a Little Faith. Auntie Monica (my BFF) and I have had an ongoing discussion regarding religion and blind faith and is it necessary today (religion and/or blind faith) and this book really hit the spot with me. It is not a bible thumping book, it is however a book about believing in something.  It is the story of two men, one a former drug dealer and convict, who as a very young man wanted to be a preacher and only found his way a grown man by preaching to homeless in an old church that is literally falling a part; the other an author who is drifting along in life after leaving his religion many years prior, until his 82 year old former rabbi asks him to deliver his eulogy. Not feeling worthy of the task, Albom sets forth to know and understand the man better.  This book helped me to understand that it is indeed okay to believe in something bigger than me.   

I read Tuesdays with Morrie right before we moved to the scorching desert and it helped me to gain and keep my perspective. It is about Mitch Albom again, and Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago, only now, Morrie is dying.  The two rekindle a friendship and re-learn about life in the process.  Albom originally wrote the book to help with Morrie's medical bills.  This book continues to guide me along the path of life with a slightly wider view and an astoundingly better understanding of the precious time we have here on earth. 

I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven around the same time my grandmother died.  The book is about Eddie, a cranky old man who used to be an optimistic young man.  He works at an amusement park and his days are filled with regret and loneliness until his 83rd birthday, when he dies trying to save a little girl at the park.  Eddie wakes up in the heaven – but it’s not a heaven Eddie had pictured.  It is the place where your life on earth is explained to you by five people who were in it.  These people could be anyone, and at some point, they changed the path Eddie had traveled while alive.   One by one, Eddie's five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: The story progresses while Eddie ponders that one question we all have, was my life a success or failure? Did I do it right?  Great book. One that made me think. 

I read For One More Day around the time my relationship with my mom was at one it its downhill points and at that same time, I found out my favorite Aunt, had died six months earlier. This book really hit home for me.  If you have ever wondered what you would do if you could spend just one more day with someone you love but lost, this is the book for you.  As a child Charlie had to choose between his mom or his dad.  He chose the latter only to be abandoned by him later on.  As an adult, Charlie loses his job and leaves his family.  He is an alcoholic filled with regret. When he learns that his only daughter does not want him involved in her wedding.  Charlie then decides to end it all and ends up taking a drive to his hometown, where stumbles upon his old house where surprisingly, his mom, who has been dead for eight years, is alive and welcomes him home where he finally has a chance to make amends.

I recommend each of these books to anyone who wants a good read that will also make them think after they put the book down. I've come to the conclusion that either Albom is really synced with the timing in my life, or (enter whisper here) I see parallels where there are none.

I bought these books for my own personal enjoyment. This review was not compensated or solicited in any way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Salsa Sensations

This review was made possible by Mom Spark  Media. I was compensated for my participation and time investment involved with this campaign. I will give my honest opinion and thoughts regarding said product(s).
Let me start out by saying that I live in a house full of salsa connoisseurs.  Not to brag, I believe my husband should sell his homemade salsa.  In fact, I said we could market it as Salsa by Some White Guy and be rich and famous.  He countered by saying that we wouldn't be rich because we'd eat the product and any potential profits to be had.

Sometimes he makes a good point.

And, now that he is working for the man, unlike the early days when he was the stay at home dad, he doesn't make salsa much anymore,  I have been forced to buy store bought salsa when we get the craving, for the past six years! I know: Tragic.  Needless to say, I was excited when the crew over at Mom Spark Media contacted me with the opportunity to review the three types of Salsa Sensations flavors: Mild, Medium, and Hot.  This is a new brand of salsa, being sold in 48 states exclusively at Wal-Mart in the refrigerated section (so don't look for it on the chips isle). 

As an aside:  when you're doing a review for salsa, it is wise not to try the hottest variety first. This really hinders your ability to get a good taste of the less spicy version.  Because your tongue is on fire; or severely impaired for a minute, or 17.  I gave up, resigned to try again the next day.  I learned a valuable lesson. And my taste buds thanked me.

As you can see, the Mild, Medium and Hot do not look different from each other.  I though, for a quick minute, of switching the lids and giving some to the screaming neighbor with the rude teenagers, but I didn't.

I started with the mild.  It was, well, mild.  And slightly sweet.  It had a good consistency and a very mild but tasty flavor.  Husband said he thought something was missing and daughter said it was just okay.

The Medium took a minute to register with my taste buds.  At first I thought it did not have any real difference from the Mild.  And I was disappointed.  Then as I was placing the lid back on and putting it in the fridge, the spice hit me. Not in a bad way.  Not in a oh my goodness I need some milk and bread way.  It was subtle, yet spicy. Warm would be a good way to describe it.  Not too spicy warm, because my 11 year old ate it.  Without complaining.  Which almost makes me want to kiss the recipe inventor because hallelujah there is something my kid likes!  

Next I re-tried the Hot.  It really is my personal favorite.  I like a salsa that makes my nose run.  Call me crazy.  Hot left a lasting impression on my taste buds and they were grateful. 

All and all, I liked these salsas.  I will buy the Medium and Hot again. The Mild was just a little too mild for us. If I had any complaint, it would be (in my humble opinion) that all three flavors needed more salt and more cilantro.  I did not find the Salsa Sensations to be too sweet, which I have encountered in some other salsa I have tried.  Another thing I was particularly appreciative of is that these salsas were all under $2.50 each. Granted, I bought them at Wal-Mart, but they were cheap enough that I can work them into my ever tightening grocery budget without feeling guilty that I am scrimping on some staple in order to buy a treat.  In fact, since salsa is a healthy treat, I can really convince myself quite easily to make room in the budget.  The three salsas are all made with real sun-ripened tomatoes, chopped onions, garlic, cilantro and jalapenos, and the Hot contains habaneros (which I love!)



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

iTriage Healthcare App for Smartphones

This is a compensated review from The Mom Blogger Club and iTriage

Being the person who probably most relies upon Dr. Google when I am feeling sick or when looking up symptoms related to a case I am working on, I was pretty excited to see the following headline:

iTriage Healthcare App for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and Palm. Coming to Blackberry Soon

The wealth of information at my fingertips never ends! It also feeds my junkie need for information.

Healthagen, LLC is the creation of two emergency room physicians, Drs. Peter Hudson and Wayne Guerra, and Healthagen has created a new app called iTriage ( that is a medical reference application for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Android, and Palm and coming soon to my beloved Blackberry! 

What iTriage does is allow you to search for symptoms, diseases, procedures and providers.  It also claims to offer “useful descriptions of the conditions, treatments, and medical tests, the app also offers support links to your insurer’s advice line.” 


And, as if that were not enough information at your finger tips, iTriage claims to “use the iPhone’s GPS to help you find nearby pharmacies, hospitals, and other treatment centers. In some states it gives ER wait times so you can choose which one to go to.”

I know that in Arizona, there are actually websites where you can check in to an ER and they call you 20 minutes before you need to be there.  Tehcnology. Awesome! 
Additionally, iTriage contains Information on more than 300 symptoms, 1000 diseases and 350 medical procedures; a nationwide directory of hospitals, urgent cares, retail clinics, pharmacies and physicians, nurse advise lines and even offers detailed quality reports from HealthGrades on hospitals and physicians as well as offering to help negotiating medical bills through an iTriage partnership with one of the most respected claims adjudication organizations

I have a blackberry, so I did not get to try the application directly, I have no reason to believe that it does not work as claimed and I know that I’ve bookmarked the site so once the app is available for Blackberry users I will download it and perhaps break up with Dr. Google once and for all. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You had me at woof

Literally speaking though, The Terrorist had me at lick. And that love story led to my stopping to ohh, and ahhh and look at that cute face! to every Boston Terrorist, I mean Terrier, that I see.  So, naturally, when I saw the cover of You had me at Woof, by Julie Klam, I had to own it.  And because I've been a very good girl this year, the Jolly Red Fat Guy gave it to me for Christmas.

And last Saturday, as I was reformatting my old lap top for 13, and moving all her crap off the laptop she used to share with 11, and reformatting that computer so they were both fresh and like brand new, I read You had me at Woof.  And it only made me cry twice. Well, three times if you count that first time, where, without warning of any kind, in the first sentence of a new chapter, The Love Of Julie's LIFE, Otto, dies. Period.  No explanation. No warning. No leading gently into the badness.  Just 34 pages of coming to love Otto myself, only to get slammed in the face with his death. Absent any kind of warning.

But I'm not bitter. 

And I kept reading.  And I'm glad I did.  Because Julie and I, we could be pals. She's kinda funny, those parts of her that come through the book, and she's sarcastic sometimes too and mostly, the thing that endears her to me is that she loves those little smooshed up faces and bulgy eyes as much as I do. And, as if the similarities between us were not already freaking me out a little (like how her Boston slept under the covers with her too; and shared her dinner; and sat in his own chair when they went out; and pretty much owned her like mine owns me) she grew up with ENGLISH MASTIFFS!

I know!  It's like fate.  Or not. Could be coincidence.  I mean, what are the odds that I have three English Mastiffs, as they are my first doggie breed love, and she grew up with them?  And what are the odds that she has a Boston and I have a Boston?  And she lives in New York and I wanted to live in New York once?  And she is a writer and I want to be a writer? And she fosters Boston's and I would but then I know I'd want to keep every one so I can't, but I like to think that if I won the lottery I would totally own property and take every stray dog that needed a good home; I could go on but I don't want to appear stalkerish.  Eww. Creepy.

Anyway, this book was a quick and easy read and I finished it in one day. Which could be a sign of my amazing reading skills or a sign of boredom and how long it really takes to reformat a computer and bring it current with updates and stuff or even a sign that I have a slew of other books to read.  Either way, I liked the book. I could relate to Julie and her family.  I loved her husband Paul and her daughter and I understand exactly what she meant when she said there are some dogs who connect with you on a different plane than other dogs, even though you love those other dogs too.

This book is about a girl and her dog(s).  And how she learned to love; share; feel; hurt; grow and a myriad of other emotions until she grew into the person she was always meant to be.  It is the journey of a girl who never thought she'd find true love into a woman who found more love than her heart knew how to handle and who learned along the way how to manage all of it and grow in the process.  

I really liked this book, even though it made me cry and hold my own Boston a little closer to me that day (and night) because it also reminded me there are bad people who do bad things to helpless animals and those people really piss me off. It also reaffirmed that there are good people in the world and I send a big fat hug and hearty THANK YOU to each and every one of them.

I bought this book for my own personal enjoyment.  This review was not compensated or solicited in any way.

(photo from

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I read a book last week. It made me cry. How do you look at a face like Oogy's and not want to immediately hug and love it and try with all your might to erase any bad that the poor fella had ever encountered?  That was my immediate reaction to seeing the book.  Once I read it, my feelings were confirmed and my heart was filled with happiness that Oogy found the Levins, who were 100% worthy of his love and affection and who reciprocated it threefold. 

When I first saw this book, I immediately thought of my little brother.  Not because he is a dog, but because when he was one year old he got a severe ear infection. The doctor treated him for an allergy to milk.  By the time he was two years old, the entire side of his face was dead.  It sagged down.  By the time he was six, he had the last of four surgical procedures, where the doctors took a piece of muscle 10 inches long from his thigh and made a sling that connected at his temple and then went down the middle of his cheek and split to go over and under his mouth in an an attempt to get some working muscle in his face.  Before the surgery, he could not close his mouth completely resulting in drinks and food spilling out the side.  His eye also did not stay closed so a gold weight was put into his eyelid in order to keep it closed while he was sleeping. My brother's face still looks like Oogy's. His right side has grown to that of an adult.  The left side not so much.  His bones have grown, but his skin, eye and mouth did not keep up. It doesn't matter to us. We, like the Levins, see past the scars and disfigurement to the unadulterated love that is underneath.

Oogy's story is one of rescue and love.  Used as bait when he was mere weeks old to train  a Pit Bull for fighting, Oogy was ultimately left for dead by his abusers.  Found by authorities during a drug raid, police officers transported Oogy to an emergency veterinarian's office where his wounds were cleaned and bandaged.  The next morning the officer manager saw Oogy and realized he was special and needed more care than he had received.  It was estimated Oogy had been left to die for approximately a week before being found.  He was severely malnourished. The office manager convinced her boss to spend many hours in surgery repairing what could be fixed.  Upon initial examination, even the Vet knew Oogy was special.  He did not wince in pain, although he must have been in severe pain.  He had a great disposition and a love in his eyes.  Several surgeries later, Oogy finally began to heal and gain weight and was fostered in order to be eventually adopted.

Only through the heartbreak of losing one pet did the Levins stumble upon Oogy. Or should I say, Oogy charged the Levin twin boys and showered them with kisses.  Oogy chose them.  Upon convincing his wife that this damaged Pit Bull needed their love and home, Oogy was officially adopted and this book is the story of his life. Oogy it turns out is not a Pit Bull at all.  Half his life, he was prejudiced against because of his looks.  This is the story of overcoming bad things and not allowing them to define who or what you are.  I can relate to this story on a personal level.  With regard to my brother and with my own life.

If you love animals, you will fall in love with Oogy too.  And he even has a Facebook page!

I bought this book for my own personal enjoyment.  This review was not compensated or solicited in any way.
Photo from Oogy's Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Page Rank and why it shouldn't matter

I have been blogging since 2005.  I have learned a lot during that time.  First I learned that to get readers/followers, I need to read/follow others.  Makes sense.

Second I learned that regardless of how much I might visit and comment and follow, if I don't have anything to provide a potential reader, I'm not going to have people come back for seconds or thirds or the current drama that I might be experiencing.  They may not come back to read about how I don't give secret family recipes.

Speaking of drama, the third thing I've learned is that people enjoy a good train wreck as long as they're not involved.  It's like a crash on the freeway.  You don't want to look, but you can't help it.  You might get to see some blood or a limb laying on the freeway.  You have to look.  Just like some people have to become involved in the sugar/corn issue or who is deceptive with baby formula.  Everyone has a cause or issue they feel strongly about.  And sometimes, that prompts some really good blogging.

Fourth, I have learned that blogging has changed.  Way back when blogging was the "in" thing, there were hundreds of blogs I visited.  There were new blogs cropping up every day.  Blogs of housewives and moms and people who just wanted their own little corner of the internets to say what was on their mind.  People blogged about what they made for dinner and how long it took them to clean the kitchen floor.  Now days I find less personal blogs and more bloggers who are wanting their piece of the commercial pie.  And why shouldn't they?  Hell, I have this review blog you're reading right now, as well as a personal blog over there.

I want to do something with my words too.  I hope to make a difference or give an opinion that can be trusted or even just give someone a heads up that Giant Cheetos are super yummy cheestastick and super gross, all at the same time.  I want to try new things and pass on that knowledge. I want to make a name for myself in the internet world too.  Law school isn't cheap yanno. 

I have developed a few relationships with advertisers and a couple non-profits (because I do believe in giving back).  I had a nice gig for some advertising that I lost because suddenly my Google Page Rank took a nose dive.  I don't know why.  I don't understand how or why.  All I know is that my blog and entries have stayed the same, but my rank went south.  This happened on my other commercial blog as well.  I've had that blog and this review blog since early 2007.  I have worked them both the same (this one considerably less than the other).  This blog has more hits and followers than my other blog and yet it has a PR of 1 while the other blog has a PR of 2.  The other blog has paid posts on it and at one point last year, Google yanked my entire PR. I was down to a zero, as if I had just started out new.  A virgin blog.  Except I had something like 750 posts at the time.  My personal blog, that is not indexed by the search engines, that has over 300 members and thousands of page hits per week, it has a PR 3.  And I've had it since 2005.  I don't get it. 

Mostly though, I don't understand why, if Google hasn't updated their page ranker since April of this year, PR people and companies are relying on such an archaic measure of popularity.  While my blog in no way compares to some out there, I certainly have a voice and followers and I can Twitter and Facebook and FanPage with the best of them.  Although I admit I have been slightly preoccupied of late.  That's all about to change however.  Because I want to be something when I grow up.  And while I'm in the process of that, I want to blog and review and have a little fun.  This is me joining a cause. 

To quote Lindsay at Lindsay Socializes, because she said it better than I ever will:
So, it’s time to educate the PR folks out there and remind them that just because I have a Google PR of zero does not make my blog worthless! I am still just as capable of working with your brand or reviewing your product as anyone else! As a matter of fact, let’s all get together and let the PR people know that we, as a blogosphere, do not want to be accepted or rejected based solely on an outdated algorithm. We would much rather be judged solely on our content, our traffic and our readership. If you like our work, then forget about PR and give us a chance!
Well said Lindsay.  Well said. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

BrytonPick Dental Floss

The below mentioned product was given to me at no charge for review. I am not being monetarily paid for this review (other than receipt of the free product). I will give my honest opinion and thoughts regarding said product.

For the past three weeks I have been reviewing a new product to floss my teeth. It is called the BrytonPick and I will be honest, I was hesitant to try it out. Not because I don't floss or because I am opposed to anything other than that crappy little string we all use. No, rather, the idea of a reusable flosser kind of grossed me out.

We all know the key to oral hygiene and prevention of periodontal disease is flossing and brushing after each meal.  I have been pounding this into my childrens' heads since they were old enough to brush.  Any product that will make the battle easier I am all over. 

What I like about the BrytonPick is that it has rounded edges so it does not cut your gums or lips (if you are careful and after you practice once or twice) and it is really flexible and movable.  It is also made of stainless steel so it is claimed to be germ-resistant and can be cleaned by wiping or rinsing it off.

The makers of the BrytonPick say it is reusable for up to 30 days depending on the space between your teeth and how often it is used. It is recommended to be replaced every 30 days to “ensure safety and cleanliness.”

To be perfectly honest, the reusable part is what grosses me out.  I use floss and I use those other plastic flossers that fit neatly into my purse (which the BrytonPick also fits nicely and comes with its own carrying case which does keep it clean) and then throw away when I'm done. I am not a horrible germaphobe like some of the folks we see on the televisions shows, but I am a germaphobe. I admit it.

Hello, my name is Usedtobeme. It has been 12 minutes since I last washed my hands.

But, as I always say, don't just take my opinion of this product. Get one yourself and check it out.  I will admit it makes flossing on the go much easier.  It also made the teenager especially happy that she could keep one in her bag and use it at school because she is at that age now where appearance is almost everything.  And she loves it.  So I will buy her more.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Simulated diamonds. What does that mean exactly?

I was approached by the nice people over at and asked to help get the word out about their website,  They say the site will eventually be an ecommerce store that sells earrings but for now, they’re simply trying to get the word out.  I was sent these beautiful earrings and asked to give my opinion about them.  

I received my heart shaped box containing the simulated-diamond earrings that are set in sterling silver and they have those clicks on the post so the backs don’t slide off (which always happens to me and why I always keep a pencil eraser in my purse).

The earrings are pretty.  I like the square shape.  I like the sterling silver.  Now, I’m no diamond snob, I own plenty of cubic zirconia, as well as the real thing.  Generally I cannot tell the difference between the two.  These earrings look like glass to me.  Not in a bad way, but I don’t believe they’d ever pass as the real thing. I’m not sure exactly what they are because the website says they are “diamond substitute such as cubic zirconia or similar.”  I don’t know what that means really.

I wore them for a week, slept in them and washed my hair in them and they’re sturdy.  They have not dulled or fallen apart (which I thought they might because they look like the prongs aren’t really holding on tight – but that’s my paranoia.  I have feared the same thing about my wedding ring for nearly 15 years).  They still look nice. 

But don’t take my word for it.  Get a pair yourself.  Right now, if you visit, they have a gig where you pay the shipping and handling and they’ll send you a pair for free.  All they ask is a mention on your website, blog, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc.  

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I could totally go Italian

I married an Italian man.  I married into a large Italian family.  The problem is that I'm not such a fan of Italian food. I don't like pizza or pasta.  It's not so much that I don't like Italian food.  It is more my dislike for anything with tomato sauce.  Tomato sauce reminds me too much of ketchup and I'm sorry to break it to ya'll, but ketchup is G.R.O.S.S.  So, due to that mild hatred of all things tomato saucy, I'm usually the one eating all the garlic bread and salad. However, since I've found Bertolli frozen dinners, I could maybe changa my minda. 

You see, I have found a new love.  

<---- that is Roasted Chicken Cannelloni.  And OMGee is it mighty tasty.  You may recall my raving over the Bertolli Chicken Parmgiana & Penne skillet meal and that is still a favorite in our house.  However, cannelloni is stuffed with cheese.

CHEESE people!  Little noodles (okay, pasta) stuffed with Cheese.  It's like an orgasm on a plate!

How could I not totally love that. 

The Roasted Chicken Canelloni (stuffed with CHEESE) is not a skillet meal.  It is an Oven Bake and that makes me love it even more!

See how easy it looks?  Pour the bag, put the pasta stuffed with CHEESE on top, cover with a lid or foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Walla.  That frees up another half hour for me to perform other necessary duties like email checking, television surfing, SwagBuck collecting and the like.

Life is good.  Especially with CHEESE!