Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

Filtrete Water Pitcher

The Filtrete Water Pitcher fills super-fast!
The thin filter filters out large particles and improves the taste, and best of all it fills quickly enough that the water is ready to drink by the time the water is turned off.
That makes this pitcher something we will actually USE – every day.
Works for us!

Disclosure clause: No product or compensation was received for this review.


Filtrete Water Station

The Filtrete water station is perfect for families on the go!  I saw the water station in action at BlogHer 2010 in August and had to get to Wal-Mart to get my own right away!  We’ve been using it weekly or more ever since, filling up the boys’ water bottles for school and soccer practice, and one for Mama to have in the car while I’m shuttling them around!

The water tastes clean and fresh, and the water station (you’ll want to buy extra bottles, or use your own aluminium ones by holding them up to the spouts) makes refilling them over and over again very easy.

Thanks, 3M, for this great new product!

Disclosure clause: No product or compensation was received for this review.

Shutterfly holiday cards

You’re not going to believe this, but I’ve already got my holiday cards done this year.  Oh, not addressed and mailed or anything (it’s too soon!), but I have made and ordered them — and they might come today!

I’m so excited that I just had to tell someone! 

We did it the easy way this year.  Last week, we were all set to take pictures of the kids in their Halloween costumes.  They were so adorable – Widget was a tiger and Little Bear dressed up like a dalmation puppy, with gentle puppy barks “ruff! ruff!” as he held his paws in front of him and hopped like our puppies did this summer.  Since this is the first year the kids have worn costumes, I lined ’em up and took a picture.  Since Grandma and Grandpa were here, I popped them in the picture too.  Then we took a family photo, since we hadn’t since June when Amie took our photos.  They came out so wonderfully that I decided to use them in our Christmas cards!

I hopped on Shutterfly last Monday, uploaded three family pictures, and cropped them so that even though none were perfect, there are three awesome photos on the card – one of all four of us, one a close-up of the boys (that was originally a picture with Grandma and Grandpa), and one a close-up of the hubs and me (where the kids were just not looking in the same directions).  I chose a template featuring the word JOY, added our names, and click! Done.


(There’s a lot to be said for done.)

I chose the 4×8 glossy cards this year, because of the pictures I had available, but I’ve been very happy with the 5×7 cards in years past.  There’s even a new cardstock option that seems quite elegant.  I haven’t used those before, but I ordered one with a coupon code (CARD4U) that I found on their site, and the quality is quite nice. 

My holiday cards should come today, and I can’t wait to see them!

Disclosure clause: This post is part of Shutterfly’s blogger outreach for their 2010 collection.  By including these links in the post I was going to write anyway, Shutterfly will send me a coupon for 50 free stationery cards.  Hope you don’t mind — I’ve used Shutterfly for every Christmas card we’ve sent since the kids were born, so you know I really do believe in their product.  I paid for the cards I’ve already ordered myself.


Lymphediva, maker of fashionable lymphedema sleeves and gloves, has released a limited-edition sleeve with a gorgeous print that will make you feel good in several ways:

  1. Lymphedema control. That’s the key, of course, and the first requirement for a sleeve;
  2. Cool wicking fabric that keeps you comfortable even though it’s an additional layer;
  3. Gorgeous designs!
  4. For every YSC sleeve purchased, Lymphedivas will donate $10 back to the Young Survival Coalition, in honor of their 10th anniversary conference that Sarah wrote about here last week.
  5. And if you order before Monday, this fun sleeve is only $65 — but on Monday the price rises to $90.

I wore another pattern, the black paisley armsleeve, at my big meeting last week and I have to tell you, I felt totally badass. It looked like a tattoo sleeve! You know, if you’re into paisley tattoos.

Anyway, I feel like I just discovered a fashion secret for those of us with lymphedema, and I wanted to share. Lymphediva sleeves (Class I and Class II compression) and gauntlets are available at, Lymphedema Products, and from other stores that sell products to manage lymphedema.

Disclosure: I have no marketing relationship with Lymphedivas or Lymphedema Products, and I was not compensated for this post. Lymphedivas was founded by two young breast cancer survivors with lymphedema, and I’ve been following the company’s success for several years. Now that they make Class II compression garments, I can actually own one. Or three.

Wrapped in love scarf

I often get questions about what to do for friends undergoing cancer treatment, tests, or long bouts of recovery.  I’ve put together a page of ideas and links on how to help a friend, and, a year later, that page and the associated posts still get hundreds of hits a month.  It’s important stuff.  Today, I’d like to add to that list a little fun gift idea for friends in chemo, suffering a pregnancy setback or loss, or dealing with other tough stuff that no one should have to go through alone.

One of my new favorite gifts is the dressy wrapped in love scarf,  from Red Envelope.  This scarf is a linen/rayon blend, in baby pink, with the word love printed in varying fonts and sizes.  It’s a beautiful accessory, perfect for reminding those you love how very much you care, and it comes wrapped in the signature red box with bow that makes gifts from Red Envelope seem so special and out of the ordinary.  [Note:  This is the thin, dressy kind of scarf, not the warm and snuggly kind.]  An added bonus is that 10% of the proceeds are donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, so purchases support breast cancer awareness and research.  This isn’t the reason to buy it, though (as pinkwashing never is; a check directly to the organization will do just as well).

The reason I like it?  I can send it to friends who are going through a tough time, and it’s a physical reminder of the fact that I do care, very much, and I wish them well through this difficult time.  This scarf (or a handmade prayer shawl, a quilt, or a sweater, if you’re craftier than I am) is something that can be shared between friends, treasured, and held on to in difficult times.  The only thing I won’t do with this scarf?  Keep it for myself.  It was made to be given away.

Disclosure:  Red Envelope sent me this scarf for possible review. I am never compensated for reviews, nor do publishers, authors, or marketers have any control over what I write.

Good news for kindergarten teachers….

Leapfrog, the company behind the Tag Reader, is reaching out to schools and offering free Tag Readers and books to a limited number of kindergarten teachers who will use them in their classrooms.

Teachers interested in participating should fill out the short application form at by November 11, 2009.

Disclosure: Leapfrog has provided products for me to review in the past, but no compensation was ever received for their review or this post.

Speck candy shell iphone cases

Although it’s off-topic for this blog, I wanted to follow up on my recent tweets about looking for a new iPhone case. The speck candy shell iPhone cases came highly recommended by a couple tweeple, both for its soft inner casing and its hard plastic outside. The free screen protector was a bonus. I’ve used my speck candy shell case for two weeks now, and I couldn’t love it any more if I had designed it myself.

Love it, love it, love it.

Book reviews will resume this week; I have a ton of new children’s books that I’m anxious to talk about!