Ten Things I Have Not Been Paid to Tell You About, But Still Love

I wrote a post not that long ago, sort of flexing my worry muscle about writing reviews, selling out, seeming insincere etc. The crux of the feedback I got was that YUP! Reviews seem pretty meh, but if I need to do them to get paid, well go ahead and basically you (the reader) will just skip them.

Which is well and good but I think my gut was right – this place isn’t a spot where I want to market things to people. Especially since most of you have all of 45 seconds to yourself and seriously? If you’re spending even ten of those seconds to check in with me, I’m not going to try to sell you anything. I pretty much recoil from sites where I feel like I’m in a showroom, and don’t ever want to turn Pistols into that.

So – full disclosure – today I’m writing about products I love for my family. Just stuff I love, that we use daily or at least regularly. I have not been paid or compensated or asked to write any of this. Basically, this is just a me-to-you-over-a-cup-of-joe kind of post (Kind of a bummer that these “Mommy Blogs” have turned into places where such clarification is needed, no? I’m over that. You probably are too.)

As most of my readership knows, I am friends with Lynn and Harald, the owners of Appaman clothing. Roan has modeled for their catalogues in the past, and Shepz + Smitty are the recipients of huge amounts of generosity from the Appaman company. But what I’m not sure everyone knows is that this company lives and breathes good karma. They are givers, in the extreme. There is almost never a time where they are not actively fundraising or donating to a great cause. So. Would I love their clothing even if it were made of fiberglass and razor blades? Probably yes. But as luck would have it, our Appaman shirts, hoodies, sweaters, hats and gloves are all made of exquisite fabric, in the best of colors. Their stuff lasts forever, and ends the sad sad song of mothers of boys who bemoan the fact that only girl’s clothing is cute. My boys look crazy cute anytime they’ve got their Appa-swag happening. The winter coats the twins just got are easily the softest most comfortable and luscious things I have ever touched. So much so that Roan tried to squeeze into one. They are awesome. I love Appaman as a concept and I love Appaman clothing as….eh…clothing!

This board book by Margaret Wise Brown has mesmerized Smith + Shep since they were around six months old. I do not know exactly what it is. The repetition and the cadence certainly are calming, and we have burned through two copies and need about six more. I do believe this may be the best children’s book ever written.

This. Thing. Changed. My. Life. The evenings were kind of a drag for us. Babies were getting tired, but since there were two of them, I had a hard time bathing them on my own. So they would complain and cry and barely make it until bedtime. Enter this crazy uncomfortable-looking plastic contraption. My sister Lori triumphantly entered my home one evening with one in her hand that she had found on the curb. (This is how we do in Brooklyn. Put things outside for others to take. Lori is particularly adept at finding awesome curbed items.) I spent $12.95 the following day on another one and voilĂ ! The evenings were magical. My twin boys would sit in these forever. And be happy splashing and cooing and laughing. Also, quite relaxing, as evidenced by the snoozefest happening in the pic. And they were totally safe! My boys lasted in these from around three months to nine months. I’ve had probably 30 emails from mom’s of twins asking what these are from when I’ve posted this picture previously. So here you go – the link is above.

  • Vaseline

Right? Like you don’t know? But this is for the cheap skate low-brow I cannot spend $100 on specialty moisturizer for my eyes woman. Listen. I’m probably the least-qualified person to give advice on skin care. I’m a Cetaphil cleanser girl, and a whatever is on sale face moisturizer devotee. I’d love to be a lady that could rub baby unicorn fetus infused cell regenerating serum inside my eyeballs to make me look twenty years younger but alas. That is not my life. So here’s what’s up. When I was in my twenties I had disposable income. I went to a dermatologist and asked her what fancy pants eye cream I should use so I could maintain my twenty-something skin elasticity. She told me on the down-low that vaseline was a great choice, around the eyes, at night. She also told me that some people couldn’t tolerate it, but that if it didn’t bug my eyes, that’s her top recommendation. So that’s my one and only beauty secret. Cheap. Easy. Just like me.

I go through way too many baby wipes to have some sub-par thing happening all up in that mess. They are essential in cleaning the rears of two dudes who enjoy plenty of fruit and I just don’t even need to tell you what that means, am I right? They also are a huge part of me being able to tolerate a day in any given Brooklyn park what with all the invisible (and even worse, visible) muck that my boys get into. These wipes seem to be the best for my needs. Not too fancy and thick, not scented, and a super convenient plastic package with a snap-close top. I just do not understand any other top. Also: cheap. Excellent.

I find these absolutely horrendous. Each of my children, as well as the neighbor’s children disagree. When I open up a fresh bag of Seaweed Snacks, it is gone in about 45 seconds. No lie. The toddlers love them. The big kids love them. And there is no fake-cheese residue stuck on their fingers afterwards. Win! (Because then I don’t embarrass myself by licking it off.)

We are always looking for a great series to watch with Roan. They are not that easy to find. It’s a difficult bridge to gap, that of holding an adult’s interest without being too intense, and holding a child’s without being too simple. This TV show has us totally hooked. Robert Carlyle nails a super creepy yet absolutely endearing Rumpelstiltskin. Streaming on Netflix and I think the second season is just about to begin.

So that’s actually seven things. In the interest of being honest, I’ll not change my title and just admit that I bit off more than I can chew. The babies just woke up and are having some sort of high-jump contest I can hear over the monitor. Roan, who is home with a mystery illness (I think he caught a case of “It’s-Monday-I-Can’t-Bear-To-Say-Goodbye-To-The-Weekend-ness”) is asking for toast, and I am not done. Yet, I am done. So, please help me – let me know your favorite household things. Things you use, regularly that have to do with the kids, with the food, with the anything. You in essence, will complete me. Thank you.

10 thoughts on “Ten Things I Have Not Been Paid to Tell You About, But Still Love

  1. We love the show Yo Gabba Gabba! Probably too young for Roan but perfect for the other boys. It has a really great list of musicians contributing, not to mention some members of Devo making regular appearances.

  2. We absolutely LOVE the Primo infant bath seats for our twin boys! You are very right in that it looks super uncomfortable, but they love them. It has certainly made bathing two squirmy, slippery infants all by myself not only possible, but enjoyable.

    I’m gonna have to check out the g’night moon book and the clothing company! It is hard to find good clothes that are cute for boys.

  3. I cannot believe you didn’t talk about an iPhone. The thing that I use the most with the kids, the thing that keeps them happy, the thing that makes me happy. You should do a post with top 10 apps for kids. I could list 100.

    I agree on Appaman, by the way and I don’t even know them. Our boys wear their puffy jackets and vests with a lot of pride. Nice to hear that they’re good people too.

  4. ARe you kidding me with the vaseline? Because my eye cream is actually my only splurge, and if a jar of vaseline is as effective i’m gonna be mad! But now I’m intrigued enough to try it. Oh, and the daily thing I love? Coffee, obviously. I have a Chemex brewer and it is my new obsession.

  5. Sound machine! We could not live (or travel) without ours. We’re on our third or fourth, my girls ar 9 & 6, and we still use it.

  6. I’m totally intrigued by the Vaseline/eye cream as well! (Long time lurker, first time poster, hello!) Just wanted to drop a line and say as a Korean person, we don’t usually feed our babies roasted seaweed. They have a tendency to stick to tongues/cheeks/airways, so Korean parents usually wait until their babies are a bit older. Although, if you haven’t had any problems so far, maybe it’s fine! PS, you can find packets of this seaweed at any Korean market for super cheap.

  7. As someone who is about to leave her 20s behind, and also is rather simple/simple-minded about a proper beauty regimen, how do you actually use the Vaseline? i.e. what does “around the eyes at night” mean in terms of specific mechanics? [Yes, I need this spelled out.] Thanks!

  8. Instead of Vaseline (which still gets around my eye area as I use it to remove my eye makeup)I use CVS brand cocoa butter stick with vitamin E. (Picture a giant chapstick tube) I apply it to my under eye area in an upside-down rainbow fashion (that’s for you, SR), use it on lips, scrapes, chapped noses, etc. It is amazing AND cheap! For the record, I have one labeled ‘face’ and one labeled ‘body’. Also, I love my tweezer-style strawberry huller.

  9. I will vouch for the vaseline! I am slightly (ahem) older than you Jodi, but haven’t hit 50 yet! I’m an olay girl, but I’ve read in so many different places about vaseline as eye cream that I tried it and it is SO true. I’m just starting to get that crinkly skin thing happening under my eyes, and I SWEAR that vaseline really gets rid of that! It’s totally soaked in by the morning, too. I also use it on my hands. My hands look like those of a grandma because as a nurse, I am obviously washing them multiple times a day. Vaseline softens them right up.

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