Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Things I am loving right now


I haven’t done a things I love post lately. Just good stuff that I’ve discovered (I’m looking at you FCC…nobody gave me anything for any of this).

We stopped at Jungle Jim’s International Market when we picked up Sabrina after her trip to her grandparents’ house. Loved it! Love! I could easily spend an afternoon (and a fortune) there. It is so large they have maps at the front door. The oils, spices, sauces, salts, beer, wine – what a selection of all sorts of fun things. We bought some fun things that I’ve been enjoying experimenting with. Steve was in heaven because he loves birch beer (how random is that?) and normally has trouble finding it. They had 4 different brands. One of my favorite purchases was Joe’s Stuff. I’m not sure if it is technically cajun or creole but it is all YUM! It has a bit of a zing but I wouldn’t call it hot…just a lot of flavor. (My kids who have zero tolerance for flavor spice will eat things lightly spiced with it.) The 2 ways I use it so far are grilled chicken (a little olive oil on the chicken then sprinkle this on both sides then grill) and roasted red potatoes (a little olive oil, a little lemon juice, some of this, all tossed with quartered red potatoes – throw them in the oven at 425* until tender). I could eat chicken grilled with this every day for lunch. I also think adding it to a light cream sauce for pasta would be amazing.

I’ve made no secret about the fact that I get on kicks with food. Who can forget the summer of the ice cream sandwich back in Aught 2? The winter of the triscuit in ’06. The summer of iced coffee in ’07. The spring of the cantaloupe in ’09. I find something that makes me happy and stick with it until it doesn’t. (Disclaimer: ice cream and popcorn never lose favor – not together…just as general yummy treats.) My current favorite is entirely my mother in law’s fault. She left a bag of these Garden of Eatin blue chips after her last visit and you’ve been able to find them in my pantry ever since.

A friend told me about the Puddle Jumper flotation device for kids. It is a smart design – the portion that goes across her chest keeps her face out of the water but allows her to be positioned like she is swimming. She does not know how to swim but this allows her to feel safe and paddle around the pool pretty independently. (Obviously, she is never far from an adult.) We have one for Tessa too but it is rated for 30 – 50 lbs so she is a little small for it. She used it but we have to keep our hands physically on her in the pool – but we have to do that with any flotation device that she wears. I really love this for Sabrina’s age group and she loved it too.

Groupon – everyone has heard of this by now, right? And you all know that you can buy deals from other cities (either as gifts or if you visit there or if it is something you can order and have shipped)? I’ve recently purchased a Shutterfly photo book, organic meat to stock my freezer this winter, and some great deals at a local pizza place. It is a win-win. I get a great deal on a service or product I will use and I try out a business I might not otherwise try – they have the opportunity to win my loyalty.

CoverGirl OutLast all day lip color. Seriously, this stuff lasts all day if you put on the color and then let it dry for 1 minute before putting on gloss (I use Burt’s Bees balm instead of the super shiny stuff they include). It is actually a little freaky how well it stays on.

At West End catalog. I haven’t bought much in the way of decorative house items since we sold our house 3+ years ago. There didn’t seem much point for our temporary spots. But now that we are buying a house, we are both itching to make it our own. This catalog randomly ended up in our mailbox earlier this summer. We both love the majority of what they sell. It feels like Pottery Barn’s more hip and funkier 2nd cousin twice removed. I haven’t bought anything yet so I can’t speak to quality or customer service but look at this fun stuff:

posted under Shopping
6 Comments to

“Things I am loving right now”

  1. On September 10th, 2010 at 8:55 am Ani Says:

    Just catching up with you guys… Can’t believe Sabrina is 4!!!! I remember your referral day and time in Guatemala like it was yesterday 🙂
    Love, love, love the CG lipstick… they recently discontinued the one color I like though… Must go shopping soon.
    Happy Friday.

  2. On September 10th, 2010 at 3:00 pm Bobbi Says:

    I am a total food jagger!!! Right now it’s tuna. All the time!!! But, when I am done with it, it’s like an old toy. Long time before I touch them again

    Going to look into this groupon thing….

  3. On September 10th, 2010 at 7:55 pm Martha Says:

    We have had the puddle jumper for Jamie for 2 seasons in a row. it is getting too tight on her now, but she just learned to swim. I still feel more confident with her wearing it when we are both at the pool and especially the ocean. Jamie has a yellow ‘Ducky’ face. we call it her ‘Ducky’

    Love Groupon, but have to be careful. Can rack up some serious cc months with it!

    I need to try the cover girl lipstick, sounds like what I need, my makeup all wears off every day in this florida heat and humidity

  4. On September 13th, 2010 at 2:46 pm Shannon Says:

    We have a puddle jumper for Emily too. LOVE THAT THING. She swims all over the place with it, jumps in by herself and generally thinks the pool is THE place to be now.

    I’ve never heard of Jungle Jims, but i’ll be on the look out now!

  5. On September 13th, 2010 at 8:16 pm Tina Says:

    Ugh, the Trader Joe’s by my sister in law’s stopped carrying the blue corn chips. And that place was 1 -1/2 hours away from us. I haven’t found them in 3 + years. Could ya mail some up this way? Michigan Mama Missing Her Blue Corn Chips & Salsa

  6. On September 25th, 2010 at 3:52 pm Stephanie Says:

    Longlasting lipstick is the best, isn’t it? You can kiss little cheeks and drink out of sparkling wine glasses without leaving a smudge! 🙂