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List of Reviews

* Wii Love Monopoly
* So Wanna Know Why I’m in Chicago?
* Butterball University, Just Like College Only With Useful Classes
* The First Turkey
* Thanksgiving 1994
* National Thawing Day

Can You Ever Have Too Much of a Good Thing?

I got an email from BlogHer asking me if I would like to review M&M’s. I was a little confused. Why would anyone need to review M&M’s? Hasn’t every one in the free world already tasted M&M’s? Have people forgotten that they exist?

I happened to mention it to my kids who were equally as incredulous. Incredulous that I would TURN DOWN FREE CANDY. So, I accepted the candy. After giving my children fair warning that once we divided up a package of M&M’s there wouldn’t be much to go around, I accepted the review.

I didn’t really think about it again. A few days later when the UPS man came lumbering up my driveway carrying a huge box. What did my husband order now, I wondered. Because I knew I hadn’t bought anything recently.

The UPS man put it down on the front porch and I looked at the label. That’s an awfully big box for a package of M&M’s I thought.

I cut the box open.

There was much screaming and yelling and rejoicing. “It’s like Heaven! In a box!” my daughter yelled.


The contractors who were working on my house came into the room to see what was going on. We gave them some candy. I think they wondered about my sanity, because who in their right mind would buy 35 pounds of M&Ms? Yes, that is correct. I have the weight equivalent of a chocolate toddler in my house. Five cases, each of a different kind of M&M, each case with 12 boxes. Holy chocolate, BATMAN!


The children are positively blurry in anticipation.

And these aren’t just M&M’s, the are PREMIUM M&M’s!


I loved the resealable packages inside of the box. Bless your heart, M&M people for thinking that I might not eat it all in one sitting.

So what did we think of the Premium M&M’s?

1) They are pretty. My daughter said that it looked like we were eating pretty polished finger nails. Um, ewwwwww. But she meant that in a good way. And I’d have to agree that they would look pretty set out in glass bowls at a party.


2) The flavors are more sophisticated than regular M&M’s. Did I really just write that? Don’t smack me. You aren’t going to want to shove them into your mouth by the fistful. (Unless you are under 14.) You will want to eat them one by one until the box is gone. The way fancy people eat their candy.

3) Mocha was the least favorite of the bunch. My son said it tasted like bad coffee. No son, that is the beauty of mocha. I am not a huge mocha fan. But if you are, you will like these.

4) Even though they are pretty candies, it doesn’t stop football players from eating them indiscriminately.

And just in case you haven’t read enough about M&M’s and want to read some more reviews, go here to see what other people did with 60 boxes of them.


I was asked if I wanted to try out JC Penney’s new Linden Street line and of course I jumped at the opportunity. Who doesn’t like buying new things without spending money? Who? No one, that’s who. I have never before shopped at JC Penney’s. It seems like a store filled with things my grandmother would like. And polyester, definitely lots of polyester.

But when I actually looked at the website I was surprised by how nice everything looked. The furniture and accessories looked like stuff I actually would put in my house.


I really liked this desk. And I have needed a desk for a long time, but it was $799, a little more than I wanted to spend. It is now on sale for $399, by the way, so you should go and buy it so I could live vicariously through you while I sit at my kitchen table elbowing my children out of the way and threatening them with grave bodily harm if they spill anything on my laptop.


This was the second item that I considered. I could use a table like this in my mudroom for storing things, but alas, it was more than the $500. (It also is now on sale for $299, so really you should go buy it and I can live vicariously through you while I trip over my kids crap all over the floor.)

I put various things in my cart and took them out, replacing them with other things, before ultimately deciding that I really need a medicine cabinet for a bathroom we just remodeled. It would be nice to have a place to put the toothpaste other than perching it on the side of the sink. not to mention I don’t feel like I can properly brush my teeth without looking the mirror. Not sure why… I do know where my teeth are.

But I still had most of the money left to spend. Towels? I love new fluffy towels, but that is something I would buy myself. It didn’t seem fun. Same with new bath rugs. The bedding was really lovely and visited my cart for awhile, but I just bought new sheets and they wouldn’t have matched.

Then I saw the light fixtures.

We have been renovating our house. Our upstairs hallway in long and has three hanging light fixtures. All of them different. All of them ugly. I have wanted to replace them ever since we moved into this house.

I found a pendant light fixture that looked perfect, exactly how I imagined the light fixtures that I wanted. And they were on sale for $99 each. A great price if you have ever been in the market for light fixtures. So I bought three.


Isn’t it lovely?

The packages came while I was away at BlogHer. The very large packages, I might add. But I did not think anything about it. I thought they were just packaged really really well. And that is a good thing!

The hallway had just finished being painted last weekend and Saturday evening my husband decided to hang the new light fixtures. He grabbed a box and unpacked it while I was in the other room.

“Chris?” I head him call, “Are you sure you wanted these light fixtures?”

“I ordered them didn’t I?” I sarcastically yelled back.

“You don’t think that they seem a little big?” he called back.

I let out a big old huff. “If you are going to complain, you should have ordered light fixtures yourself…” Here I may have gone into a long diatribe of who is and isn’t allowed to complain about things based on whether or not they actually did any work. I’m not sure, because when I waled around the corner and saw my husband with the light fixture in front of him, I shouted.

“Holy, light fixture, Batman.”

“Didn’t you read the measurements?” he asked.

“Um, I don’t know. I do know it did not say that it was sized for homes of giants.” Giants being the fairy tale variety, not the football team. Though who knows maybe some of them live in houses with 50 ft high ceilings.

I packed the light back into the box and will make the trek out to JC Penney’s to return them.

For the record, this what the website says as a description:

The bubble-glass shade is made of a special glass containing tiny raindrop-size bubbles for a unique, handcrafted look. 19″H; shade is 13-3/8″ in diameter. 68″ chain. Bulbs not included.

Maybe I need to shop with a tape measure next to me for reference from now on.

I opened the box for the new medicine cabinet for my bathroom and was surprised to see that it had to be assembled. It looked like a box of scrap wood, really nice scrap wood, but still there were lots of pieces.


Luckily it came with directions that made sense and HAD WORDS. Those of you who have shopped at the Swedish big box store that is notorious for its bad pictorial directions will understand why this was so exciting.


It took me less than an hour to assemble the cabinet. Overall I was thrilled with the final result. The wood is nice color. The shelves are sturdy. The molding detail is attractive. The mirror works. What else is there to say about it?


I can’t wait to hang it on the wall.


So Many Things To Caulk, So Little Time in This Lifetime

I live in an old house. An old house that is full of cracks that need to be filled. Before I lived in an old house I took many things for granted, among them:

a) doors that shut
b) windows that open
c) walls that were square to each other
d) floors that were level or at least not so unlevel that walking across them cause you to feel a change in atmospheric pressure and make your ears pop

I also lived in a world without caulk. I thought it was just something you used in the bathroom around the tub. Little did I know that over the next few years I would buy tubes of caulk. In bulk.

The problem with the traditional tubes of caulk is that you need to use the entire tube at once, or at the most within a weekend, because it dries up. The tip clogs and when you try to use it again one of the seams will split and send caulk all over you. Sadly, I speak from experience. And yet it never stops me from doing it again. Therefore, smaller caulking projects are always saved for a time when you also have a larger one going on. I can tell you that often by the time we have a larger project I have forgotten all about the smaller one.

The first project I tackled was a set of cabinet doors that belong to my hallway linen closet. They are original to the house. When we bought the house they were painted so thick, with so many layers of paint that it was difficult to see the individual pieces of wainscotting. We stripped them down to the bare wood and I repainted them. The problem is that the wood has shrunk over the years and the spaces between them are uneven. No amount of paint can hide it.


Oh door, you are showing all of your 100+ years, you need some DIY botox treatment.


Step One:

Tearing off the top of the package. And squeezing. Yes, it is as easy as it looks.


Step Two:

Really, don’t worry about being neat. Just get the caulk into the crack. You will smooth it out in the next step.


Step Three:

Using a damp cloth wrapped around your index finger, gently smooth out the caulk.


Wow, hard to believe it is the same door isn’t it?

Next I went to an upstairs bathroom.


Oh, yuck. No amount of bleach can help it. I have tried.


I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely the caulk comes out of the package. It is much easier to control that the traditional tube of caulk and caulk gun.


So easy. I did this during a blackout by candle light. After a tornado-like storm had knocked out our power leaving us to sweat in 100 degree temperatures. I am like a regular frontier woman. You know, if frontier women had indoor bathrooms, caulk, and digital cameras. I was so bored I had to resort to caulking for entertainment.

What you can’t see in the photo are the kids standing behind me pressing on my back. They too found caulking entertaining after 24 hours of no electronic stimulus. Or it could have just been heat stroke setting in, hard to tell.


From there I turned my attention to my front door. The trim surrounding the front door has a large crack where the house has settled. I have just bought a gallon of green paint to touch up the shutters and trim so I thought what better time to seal up that large, unsightly crack.


Need a close up? I aim to please.


After the caulking:


Once that is painted you will never see the caulk. Viva, la paintable caulk!


From here I wandered around my house looking for something else on which I could use the rest of package of caulk. This was another thing that surprised me about the caulk singles. They contained a deceptively large amount of caulk.


This is what happens when your screened porch settles slightly after building.


Here I demonstrate the TWO handed caulk application technique. Also, don’t be hatin’ my farmer’s tan.


Once I touch up the paint on the trim, which I needed to anyway, the caulk will be almost imperceptible.


I would highly recommend these packages of caulk. Especially for people who are just entering the DIY realm or those who are renting and have a small project they need to caulk and don’t anticipate ever having to caulk again. I found them considerably easier to use that the traditional caulk and caulk gun. They will never fully replace my caulk gun, because larger projects require many, many tubes of caulk. But the next time I have a small job to do, I won’t hesitate to buy one of these packages.

In the end, I used two packages of the Caulk Singles.

I used them to on:


Two cabinet doors


In front of shower in bathroom


Trim near front door


On the screened porch

Four projects down. Five million left to do.

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