Friday, June 19, 2009

I Can Vouch for That: Part 2

A few months ago I did a post about products and things I liked. Seems you people like that sort of thing so I'm gonna do it again! I don't think I got quite as crazy as I did last time, but this is all real good stuff. You need all of it. Here goes....

Selected Sonatinas Arranged By Keith Snell: I bought this book awhile back and hadn't played out of it much. I just barely rediscovered it and really like it. It's challenging but not too hard and the songs sound pretty good. It's also extremely fun to play. If you like Sonatinas.

Spitz Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds: These have become a staple for me and Seth when we go out fishing. They are addictive.

Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar Cleaner: I like this because I can use it for just about everything. I COULD make my own cleaner using vinegar and such, but it stinks... so I buy this! It's reasonably priced.

Bottled minced/ground garlic and ginger: I love this stuff. Yes, I do have a garlic press but sometimes I'm just too lazy to peel ten million cloves of garlic. The ginger is a real time saver too. I've only bought fresh ginger once and it was the last time. I don't think the flavor is noticeably compromised, it's way better than dried stuff, and it's just as fast to use!

Dyson DC14 Vacuum: I've had this for several years and it is a great vacuum. I can't believe how much stuff it picks up in just one use (although... it probably wouldn't pick up as much if I vacuumed more than once a month...). The attachments are easy to use and if you've read all my earlier posts, it's also good at killing spiders. I really like that I can take off the canister and empty it in the trash. And the filter is washable so you don't have to buy anything! I've torn this vacuum apart several times for cleaning/maintenance and it was very user friendly.

Pampered Chef Bag Clips: My mom bought me a bag of clips from the Pampered Chef a few years ago and I love them. I always wished I had more, but for some reason never actually bought any. Recently my mom went to another Pampered Chef party and bought me some more! Yeah! I think they came in a bag of 10 or so in varying sizes. I thought I was set for life. But, I found that I kept grabbing them out of the drawer all the time to use on yet another open bag and what do you know? I ran out AGAIN! I could have 100 of these and use them all up! Anyway, they are very secure so I like them better than regular chip clips, and I haven't had any of them break on me.

Starkist Lunch-to-Go Tuna Salad Kits: I haven't ever brought these for lunch at work, but these things are AWESOME for hiking and camping. They come with a packet of tuna and mayo and relish packets, which you can dump out into the packaging and mix using the miniature spoon it comes with. It comes with 6 crackers too, but I've always just packed along a couple slices of bread so I could make a sandwich. It is a good amount of food and it tastes great. Plus, you don't have to worry about keeping it refrigerated!

Extreme Optiks Polarized Sunglasses: I have never been able to tolerate wearing sunglasses til I got these babies. I picked them up basically at random at Sportsman's Warehouse one day when we were going out fishing because I needed some polarized glasses. These were fairly cheap ($30-$40) and are really comfortable to wear. They stay on and don't constantly fall off my face like every other pair of sunglasses I've ever owned. I can even wear them running! I also like these because the tint is just right... not too dark, but dark enough to keep me from squinting and getting a headache. They may not be the sexiest or trendiest sunglasses in the world, but they're good enough for me!

Leatherman Juice Pocket Tool: This picture is actually of Seth's knife. His is the CS4 which has a couple more tools on it than mine. Seth carries his with him on a regular basis, and I use mine mainly for fishing. The straight edge blade is the best knife I have for gutting fish, and that includes all my fancy chef's knives. Both the knives fold out into a pair of pliers and have scissors, a straight edge knife, and flat head & Phillips screwdriver tools. Seth's has a couple extra things like a saw blade and a cork screw. What I like most about these knives are the colors. As you can see, Seth's is a beautiful royal blue and mine is a bright orange. Pretty cool.

Frozen Chopped Onions: Holy crap, these are my most favorite. Frozen chopped onions? Hello! Awesome. They taste as good as fresh and all the prep work is already done! It saves time and my eyes don't hurt for hours from chopping onions. I think they're around $2 a bag which to me is worth it.
Now, as an addition to the things I like, I'm going to add a few things that I tried and DIDN'T like. See? Aren't I so generous by saving you all from wasting money on crappy stuff?
The Big Red X List

X Silicone Bread Pan: I love silicone stuff. I have a silicone basting brush and spatulas. However, silicone bread pans really suck. I bought this bread pan a few years ago and it's the worst kitchen related item I think I've ever had. The silicone thing was what drew me in... who wouldn't want their bread to come out of the pan easier? While I'm sure other silicone pans work fine, the one for bread does not. The material isn't strong enough to hold its shape for bread. The sides bulge out and make the loaf look really dumb. Plus, I don't think the bread baked as well as is does in a regular bread pan.

X Blistex Lip Ointment: I'm not saying this stuff doesn't work on chapped lips. I just didn't like it because it doesn't seem to stay on my lips as long as other stuff. Plus it comes out white so if you put a lot on, you look ridiculous. Won't be buying this again.

X Organix Hydrating Tea Tree Mint Conditioner: Looks fancy doesn't it? That's what I thought. Plus I love the smell of Tea Tree. At $6.50 for 13 fl. oz., I expected this stuff to be amazing. It was the WORST conditioner I've bought for a long time. I have to use like 2 gallons of the stuff to fully condition my hair and even then it disappoints. My hair was constantly staticky when I used this. I was actually glad that the bottle was small so I could use it up faster. It reminded me of the really crappy super cheap $1 a bottle conditioner. There were 2 good things about this conditioner though. It did smell good... had a chocolate mint smell. Also, it came with a mail-in rebate that covered the full cost. I got my rebate. It's a good thing, otherwise, I'd be pissed.

X MAX Factor Lash Perfection Mascara: So, I usually get Loreal mascara. But, because I wasn't super impressed with my last Loreal purchase (see below) I branched out and got another brand. Now, this mascara wasn't all bad. I REALLY liked the brush actually. It was one of those fancy plasticy bristled brushes. The mascara doesn't clump and goes on really evenly. Probably one of the best brushes I've used. While it's not terrible, the mascara flakes off a lot more than the Loreal formulas I'm used to. Because of that, I won't be buying this again.

X Loreal Carbon Black Telescopic Mascara: This was the first mascara I ever bought that had the new style plasticy bristled brush. I was really hoping I'd like it. I LOVED the formula. Looked very dramatic and stayed on without flaking and didn't clump. The brush sucked. The bristles were very short, which I actually liked, but there were only 4 straight rows of bristles, so there were large gaps in between the rows. This made it so the mascara went on way too thick. Going over it again with the brush just made it worse. I wish I could use the brush from the MAX Factor mascara with this formula. I think I'll stick with Loreal from now on, I'll just be more careful to make sure the brush has lots of evenly spaced bristles.


heidi said...

Who DOESN'T like Sonatinas? They're irresistible. Today, at my bday party, my student Emily played an ORIGINAL composition of hers--"Cell Phone Sonatina", which involves actual use of the cell phone in the playing of the song, and, Seth's friend Cory who's now my friend too, counseled Emily to strongly consider doing a search on similar titles... Because, while she may be thinking that this composition is original, it might not be. Mozart may very well have been the original person to write "Cell Phone Sonatina."

Very helpful, that Cory.

You are too! Seriously. I liked all the things you liked, and am determined to hate all the things you hate. Although I am a bit partial to the Blistex in those little jars. But I'm rethinking that.


p.s. I can't help it. I love the word ver. words. New one: coyable. Am I coyable? Are you? I like the idea of being "cute and coyable." But NOT cloyable. That sounds bad. I think most of my students are pretty dang coyable...

Paul said...

You're right, that is TOTALLY random. Are the frozen chopped onions really any good? I've never even thought about using them, but if it kept me from crying ... of course I cry all the time so it may not matter. Just ask Heidi. I cried at our wedding, my sister's wedding, our friends' wedding, last night's episode of The Bachelorette. You know, the usual.

Karen said...

Heidi, I don't condemn ALL Blistex, just this one particular kind. I've used other Blistex products before and they're been fine... so you may continue your use. :D

Paul, those onions are actually pretty good. They may not be quite as potent as fresh ones, but I haven't noticed that they negatively affect my food in any way. Plus I usually just use them for quick meals like casseroles and such. Fresh is always better, but these are a VERY close second. Maybe you should stick with the fresh onions though... just keep one in your pocket at all times in case you start crying... then you have something to blame it on :D

heidi said...

I'm laughing... now I'm sighing. Oh, my poor sweetie. He's such a liar. He NEVER cries. But, I think his pain at knowing WHICH night the Bachelorette is on--and having, completely against his will, gotten somewhat drawn into this season's drama, IS tear-provoking for him. Or, maybe it'd be more accurate to say... Soul-crushing. The poor dear. He's been driven to dishonesty to relieve the tension. Speaking of relief...

WHEW! I'm relieved to receive your full permission to enjoy my blue Blistex... I'd feel disloyal otherwise, Your Highness! You cute loyal friend. Thanks for lookin' out for our needs, and conveniences...