As I march along through my domestic life, I discover, from time to time, products that perform exceptionally well, along with others that don't and are a waste of money. I thought it might be fun to share a few with you...kind an Emily's Stamp of Approval, or Disapproval.
Thumbs up to: Motsenbocker's Liftoff, a fantastic, easy-to-use paint and varnish remover. It is inexpensive ($8.79 at Lowe's) and works amazingly well.
Thumbs down to: Swiffer mop and Swiffer cleaning fluid. The cleaning fluid leaves horrible streaks on Pergo flooring. I did not realize how much dirt the Swiffer mop missed until I mopped with a traditional sponge mop and some Simple Green. So much less expensive than trying to maintain the Swiffer!
Thumbs up to: Simple Green. This environmentally friendly, all-purpose cleaner is non-toxic--a must when you have a curious 2-year-old in the house. It also smells really good.
Thumbs down to: The NASCAR Racing game for the Nintendo Wii. Just not fun, and a waste of money.
Thumbs up to: Burlington Coat Factory's selection of Easter clothing for children. They have a huge selection of beautiful dresses for little girls, and handsome little outfits for boys.
Thumbs up to: Jennie-O turkey. Jennie-O's wide variety of turkey products offer healthier alternatives to red meat. I use ground turkey as a tasty substitution for ground beef. Turkey sausage is delicious, and has much less fat than pork sausage.
Thumbs up to: Reef flip flops. Yes, they are worth the extra money. Reefs are comfy, offer decent arch support, and last for a long time.
Thumbs down to: Walmart's brand of diapers. They increase laundry volume, which rapidly eats up what you save by purchasing this brand.
Thumbs up to: Walmart's 1-hour photo processing. The quality is superb, the cost is reasonable. You can upload and edit your pictures from the comfort of your home. You can even convert them to black and white!
Thumbs up to: The Romalda Spalding Method for language arts. While Spalding requires more planning than many other curriculums, the rewards are great. Snapper's understanding of phonics and spelling is miles beyond what mine was at age 6.
Thumbs up to: Whole Foods' bulk hummus mix. At $3.79 per pound, you can't beat the price. Just add olive oil and water, and you have a nutritious, delicious snack. One pound of hummus mix makes 6 cups of prepared hummus. You can't beat that! Serve with flatbread, pita chips, and carrot and celery sticks.
Thumbs down to: Hobby Lobby's textured scrapbook paper. It is difficult to write on, resists adhesive, and will not be smoothly cut by the Cricut (personal electronic die cut maching).
Thumbs up to: www.allrecipes.com. This website has provided many delicious recipes for my family. There are thousands of recipes, most of which you can print for free. Create your own recipe box. Share your favorite recipes. Rate recipes you have tried. Get creative and spice up your menu! Many of the recipes include nutrition information, too! Best of all, membership is absolutely FREE!
Thumbs up to: BeautiControl's Bath Minerals. Oh, how good it smells! It makes your skin so soft, too! Kind of pricy, but totally worth it.
Thumbs up to: Hampton Inn. If you are going to be on the road and are looking for a moderately priced hotel, Hampton Inn is the way to go. Both Hampton Inns we have stayed in have been spotlessly clean (even the comforter smelled like bleach!), tastefully decorated, very comfortable, and they provide you with a full, complimentary breakfast. Lots of delicious food to choose from.
Thumbs down to: Home Depot. Don't go in there expecting service. Yes, they often have good prices. But you won't get much more than that. This has been my general experience in several different Home Depot stores across the country.
Thumbs up to: Lowe's. They will tell you how to install Pergo flooring in the most inexpensive way that does not sacrifice quality. They will mix paint to find just the right color match for you. They'll also tell you the best and most efficient way to go about refinishing cabinets. They will not try to sell you the most expensive product if a product of equal quality is available at lower cost. Lowe's rocks!
Thumbs up to: Your own bed. It beats other beds hands-down. That said, I think I'll go find my bed and pay it an extended visit.