Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Good, Bad & Ice cream


I didn’t get the Friday Haagen Dazs certificate up last week so we’ll start it today and I’ll draw a winner on Thursday. There has been talk around the blogosphere about bloggers reviewing products. In the interest of full disclosure, most of the time I talk about stuff because I love it or hate it. But now and then, through Mom Central, I am sent a product to review and tell you all about. Often, I receive the product and a $20 Amazon gift card for my time. Sometimes, as with the Haagen Dazs, the compensation is something else – a donation to a charity of my choice or in this instance the certificates for more ice cream (which I am sharing with all of you). I will never say anything I don’t believe and I only sign up to review products that interest me or are relavent to my life. I always tell you if I am reviewing a product that was provided to me. I’ve done just a few in the past year: Neosporin, Haagen Dazs, Horizons Organic milk boxes, and Clorox Green Wipes come to mind…there might be 1 other. Anywhoo, just wanted to get that off my chest.

Now, to tell you about stuff that no one gave me because I like to know what others love and hate so I know what to try when I am at the store.

eyelinerOther than foundation, I hadn’t purchased make up since – well let’s just say I had no fewer kids. With some coupons and some sales, I picked up a couple new things. I have worn eyeliner since the days of melting it on the curling iron so that the black went on nice and thick. I’ve obviously softened it over the years but I have always been unable to use anything but a pencil. No liquid liner or shadows for me. Until now. I love this stuff. The brush really does allow you to put it above and below your lashes without it going every where. (This is 12 hours after application.) dsc09604It gets my endorsement.

tintedmoisturizerNext up is the tinted moisturizer I bought for summer foundation. It is Physicians Formula’s new organic line. I have to give this a mixed review – mostly because it smells like ass. Okay, that might be a bit overstated…I couldn’t smear it on my face if it really smelled like ass but it doesn’t smell particularly pleasant. I love it for the first 4 or 5 hours I am wearing it and then it starts feeling rather greasy on my face if I don’t dust a little more powder over it. If your face isn’t prone to shine, you might like it.

moisturizerSpeaking of things that don’t smell great, I love love love Philosophy’s Hope In a Jar (Moisturizer) but they really could put a little something in it to make it smell better. I had to quit wearing it while I was pregnant because it was all I would smell all day long. When not pregnant, the smell is only a minor annoyance.

soapNot to harp on scent, but this stuff is horrible! It is Palmolive’s Spring Purity or something like that (neon pink with Oxy on the label). It smells like a funeral parlor (the flowers not the peeps) soaked in beer. And it is so strong, the entire kitchen smells like it when you use it. My husband repeatedly told me how much he hated it (yes he does dishes – and he’s all mine). I hated it enough to throw it away after using only 1/4 of the bottle. Blech!

coffeeOkay, on to better smells. I have been searching for a coffee that makes me sigh contentedly each morning like my Guatemalan coffee did. I’ve tried a bunch of coffee. I’ve tried 5 of Trader Joe’s and finally hit on one that is more than okay – Bali Blue Moon. It isn’t any where near as good as the stuff from Guatemala but it is pretty good.

brazilcoffeeBut even better than that? I tried 3 coffees from Camano Island Coffee last month (thanks to Metropolitan Mama). I wasn’t a fan of the Ethiopian – not my taste. The Guatemalan medium roast was quite good…just not up to my memory of Antigua coffee. But surprisingly, the Brazil medium roast was very good. It is my new favorite coffee. I’ll be ordering some more once I finish the Bali Blue Moon.

desertcomoAnd last but not least, we found a great deal on Woot.com for a Recar Como convertible car seat right around the time we wanted to move Tessa out of her infant carrier. These people design Nascar seats so they know safety. Everything I read said they were comparable to Britax seats in ratings. (Sabrina has a Britax Marathon and we love it.) We decided to give it a try. We’ve had it for 2 months now. I really like that the seat seems to cushion all around her – especially her head. There is only 1 complaint that I have – the damned straps. Why doesn’t every car seat manufacturer use the same straps the Britax does? The Britax straps are wider and thicker – having more substantial straps means they never twist. The Recaro straps aren’t awful but they are no Britax. Overall, we are happy with the seat – but I curse the straps at least once a week.

There you have it – a strange menagerie of stuff I’ve been meaning to tell someone about and you all are here. If you’ve made it this far (or scrolled down to where I shut the hell up), tell me a product you are loving or hating in the comments. I will randomly select a comment on Thursday after noon central to receive the Haagen Dazs certificate.

posted under Misc.
18 Comments to

“Good, Bad & Ice cream”

  1. On May 3rd, 2009 at 11:18 pm Holly G Says:

    I have the Physician’s Formula tinted moisturizer and I think it does a great job. It covers up minor blemishes great but you are right, it doesn’t smell the greatest but it doesn’t smell bad either. I’ll deal with the smell since it is organic. Besides, my dog is an atomic farter so usually I have the smell of HIS ass burnt into my nostrils long before I have to put the lotion on my face.

    Now onto my one true love…not as true as the love I have for my children but definitely truer than the love I have for Zo;) My Swiffer vacuum. I have a 130 pound German Shepard(the atomic farter) and he sheds constantly. I have hardwood floors throughout my house and I have to vacuum at least once or twice a day. Who wants to lug a huge vacuum all over the house twice a day? Not me.

    I have a Swiffer Vacuum downstairs and one upstairs, too. It charges up through a regular outlet and you unplug it when you want to use it…no cords while you vacuum. There is a little cup that collects the dirt and is very easy to empty out and the swiffer cloth still picks up any small amounts of dust that the vacuum does not get. I think I paid $25 dollars for them. I’ve had them for well over a year now and one is finally starting to lose it’s charge quickly but I will be getting another one soon. I’ve seriously considered taking them to bed with me on a few occasions…that’s how much I love them.

    Another thing I can’t live without is my Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I really do think they are magic. They easily clean things(refrigerator, tile counter tops, etc.) which would normally take a lot of elbow grease with a normal sponge.

    OK…one last thing. OxiClean…it REALLY works!!! I put a scoop in with each load of laundry(along with my liquid detergent) and since I started using it I have not had any stains on any of our clothes. Gia had a nose bleed a couple of weeks ago(“I picked my nose” she said) and her pillow and sheets were soaked with blood and most of it was already dried in. You wouldn’t even be able to tell anything happened after using OxiClean. I buy it by the 20 pound containers at Costco and I make sure I never run out.

    I just noticed that all of my favorites have to do with cleaning but if it makes my life easier, I’m gonna use…especially when it comes to cleaning.

    PS. We love our Britax’s, too. We just upgraded Gia from a Decathelon to a Regent(because she is so effing TALL) and she loves it, too. I especially love the velcro on the sides that you attach the straps to, so that they are out of the way when you put your child in the seat. I have heard good things about the Recaro.

  2. On May 3rd, 2009 at 11:29 pm Pattie Says:

    My latest kid purchase is a love/hate situation. We recently move N up to a booster (with 5 pt harness). I just couldn’t swing the extra $100 to go with Britax this time, so we bought a Graco Nautilus. He’s liking it pretty well, and thinks that the built in cup holder is awesome (he also thinks it means he is now old enough to drink soda….WRONG)! It’s a fine seat, well rated. But…..it’s not a Britax. I miss the Britax straps, but more than that, I miss the alligator style LATCH attachments. The Graco has clasps to LATCH that are the same as the top tether ones (like on the Britax). I just don’t seem to be able to pull these as tight. And, the harness….the straps are “ok”, but the plastic connector at chest height….let’s just say we’re taking bets on how long till it breaks.

  3. On May 4th, 2009 at 6:43 am Krystal Says:

    I really like reading your reviews! We currently have the Palmolive Oxy neon orange. I’m not sure what the smell is supposed to be, but it smells like wilted lettuce. I do like the squeaky clean feeling that the plastic cups have now though 🙂

  4. On May 4th, 2009 at 7:20 am typelittlea Says:

    Cosigned on the Hope in a Jar thing. I don’t even use it anymore. I got the When Hope is Not Enough Cream (not the serum, though i had that too) and it smells great.

    I actually LOL’d at the curling iron/black eyeliner thing. BEEN THERE. I actually use Bare Minerals and love it. Foundation, Eyeshadow, Eyeshadow as liner, etc, etc. Except I am wearing liquid liner today, just because.

    I had 2 carseats for Sabrina and loved one and hated the other. I loved the Evenflo (it was a lot cheaper than the Britax, and we were SO BROKE at the time) I loved that you could adjust the straps with one hand. The other was a beshitted Cosco Alpha Omega, which had a stupid interlocking buckle, and an idiotic way of adjusting the straps. Not convenient with a squirmy baby with a bulky coat.

  5. On May 4th, 2009 at 8:39 am mama k Says:

    hmm, stuff I love? I could make a loong list. I’m a BareMinerals fan through and through. I think I’ll give that L’Oreal stuff a try though.

    I am really loving Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder right now. It is unscented, but the clothes smell fresh and really clean. It has no optical brighteners or other stuff that hangs out in the fabric to irritate us sensitive skin types. I heart it big time! Oh and it’s economical and eco-friendly too. 🙂

  6. On May 4th, 2009 at 8:45 am melany Says:

    I’m so excited about the eye make up recommendation. I can’t wait to try it. I actually wear quite a bit of make-up (well – used to – no time now, sigh) but have something wrong with my face because it always falls off immediately. And then I feel plain. Oh well.

    Also – I’m off to Trader Joe’s today so I’m psyched about your coffee review!

    Finally – what have I got to offer?… Hmmmm… I’m addicted to the peanutbutter filled pretzel nuggets at Trader Joe’s… and I don’t even like pretzels.

    I really need more coffee. I’ll pop back in later if I actually think of a useful product for someone.

  7. On May 4th, 2009 at 9:39 am Vanessa Says:

    Looks like I’ll have to bring you back some Antigua coffee in December when I go! I’m not a coffee drinker but my hubby LOVES It too!

  8. On May 4th, 2009 at 11:19 am Bobbi Says:

    I can no longer live w/o my Keurig coffee maker. The coffe is yummy, and all I have to do is put in one of the little cups and 30 seconds later I have yummy coffee. Green Mountain coffee is who I have gone through, and they have fair trade Guatemalan coffee. It goes for around $100, but you can get it cheaper by joining the coffee club. It is so worth it.

    Also, am loving my blackberry storm (happ b-day/mother’s day to me!!) Though it is a bit big,and w/the touch screen I often mute people I love having everything at my fingertips no matte where I am,and the built in camera is pretty handy.

    Last year when the bank turned down our 4th mortgage for gas w/our Suburban we went to an outback wagon. With three kids, and two in seats it was tight. We invested in Sunshine Kids car seat. The thing weighs about as much as I do, and is the only airline approved seat. Though it will not be going w/us to Guat as Joe refuses to carry it and get a hernia, so our old one will go w/us. The straps are wide, the buckles easy, and the best part is that he has plenty of room and comfort all while saving a ton of space as it is narrower than any other seats.

    This is why I love your blog. You help me talk and think about other things than just mommy stuff!

  9. On May 4th, 2009 at 12:34 pm jane Says:

    Another fan of OxyClean here…but the laundry stain remover SPRAY. Takes out chocolate, strawberries, blood, dirt, etc…without leaving a ‘shadow’ of the stain behind. My sister owns a consignment shop and she brings items home for me to “work my magic” so she can sell them.
    I wish we had a Trader Joe’s nearby…

  10. On May 4th, 2009 at 2:11 pm Amy from JM Says:

    I have to second the post about the Kuerig Coffee Maker. I super heart it!!! It is wonderful and the K-Cups are so convenient and mess free. I usually get our K-Cups at Kohl’s because they are frequently on sale there.

    I am definitely going to try the Loreal Eyeliner. I used to be a Bare Minerals junkie, but I didn’t want to continue paying so much for makeup so I switched to Signature Minerals. They don’t contain Bismuth like Bare Minerals does and you get more product for less price. I love them and would recommend them to any Bare Minerals user! (You can only buy them online, though)

  11. On May 4th, 2009 at 5:16 pm Alleen Says:

    yup, another Keurig fan. I love the k-cups, but I also bought a little cup/filter thing that allows you to use your own coffee (currently, some yummy Guatemalan coffee!!!).

    I may try that eyeliner too.

    And thanks for again rubbing in the fact that we don’t have a darn Trader Joe’s…. When are they coming to FL??????????????????

    And I think I will be checking out the swiffer vacuum. thanks Holly!!! The cat hair is a serious problem here. If something were easier, maybe I’d keep up with it better.

  12. On May 4th, 2009 at 7:25 pm Jody W. Says:

    I find that particular scent of Palmolive rankly offensive as well. I have some Loreal Bare Naturals foundation I like okay. Maybe it’s just that I don’t like foundation at all? My sister said she got some Bare Minerals that’s better.

  13. On May 4th, 2009 at 7:48 pm Tina Marie Says:

    Oh pick me, pick me. I love love love ice cream.

    I’m a coffee lover, but usually grab what’s on sale. We bought the cheapest carseats we could find. They worked fine, although the straps did twist alot. Makeup, I still buy the cheap old CoverGirl, maybe I should throw down a little more cash & upgrade in that department. . .

    Yeah, free Ice Cream sounds great!

  14. On May 4th, 2009 at 8:02 pm Julie Says:

    okay I HAVE to try the make-up. I cannot get eyeliner to stay on my face, no matter what it runs — well liquid does not but I need something a little more subtle. I want to go out and buy that stuff right now.
    Thanks for the reviews.

    Oh, yes I have given up reading blogs — but your blog keeps me crackin up dang it.


  15. On May 4th, 2009 at 8:41 pm Laura Says:

    So, don’t count this in for the drawing. I got my vanilla fix last week. I’m actually searching for your review of the Flip. I’m considering the Flip mino. And, a suggestion. Since you do such a good job with your reviews, just create a category called reviews….but that’s just the librarian in me talking 🙂

  16. On May 5th, 2009 at 5:45 pm Martha Says:

    I too love my Swiffer! It’s a must with wood floors.

    I would love someone (that’s you Michelle if you know about either one) the Green Machine and the Spot Bot. Theres a couple gals at work who love love love their Spot Bots. From what I hear you can just put the thing over the spot and walk away from it while it works. My type of cleaning product!

    For Laundry I swear by Borax for extra oomph and Shout Color Catcher Dye-Trapping sheets. So many of Jamie’s clothes would bleed onto the other items before I started using them.

    And speaking of the best Ice Cream in the world (other than a blizzard from Dairy Queen) I pick Heavenly Hash, the Publix Premium brand is simply delectible.

  17. On May 5th, 2009 at 7:36 pm Hadyn Says:

    Because coffee is my life, I have to recommend Starbucks Casi Cielo beans. It’s from Guatemala, Starbucks only has it twice a year and when they do, buy several pounds immediately because it flies off the shelves (my suspicion is that the SB baristas hoard it for themselves).

  18. On May 22nd, 2014 at 5:30 am 2 girls teach sex tori black Says:

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    Michelle Smiles Blog Archive Good, Bad & Ice cream