Category Archives: Stuff

$2 site? Hollar!

The update to this post is here.

I started seeing ads for Hollar on Facebook several months ago, and it sounded too good to be true. It was like an online dollar store!

I finally decided to place an order last week after checking to see if they had any Peppa Pig items (my daughter’s obsession)  and finding some cute stuff.  My order was placed on 05/05/2016, and I received my items on 05/14/2016.

Here is what I ordered:

hollar order 1


hollar order 2


After 9 days (hey, shipping is free, so I’m not complaining) I received a large orange box containing all of my items. Quite a few items were glass, but everything was wrapped in adhesive bubble wrap.

The two large beehive looking glass jars have metal lids, and both have small dings in them. Not worth complaining about, but something I would avoid purchasing if I saw them in the dollar store.

The jar with the red lid was broken when it arrived. A strip of the jar was not covered in bubble wrap and that looks like where the break originated.

The Pillow Pets mini light up puppy dog came new in the package and did not light up. I changed out the batteries (it requires 3 SR41 or LR41 watch batteries) and it still doesn’t work.

The divided plates are not as impressive in person as they look on the site but I’m ok with them. I like the two smaller jars with green lids, and the Peppa Pig hat is perfect.

I’ve emailed customer service about the broken jar and the nonfunctional Pillow Pet mini, I’ll let you know when I get a response. The customer service hours are Monday – Friday and it’s Saturday so hopefully they will get back to me on Monday.

As of now I’ll probably order from them again, but I’m not sure what I’d but. Probably more stuff for the kiddo. Check them out: Hollar.


Electricity: Just Thinking


Electrical (Photo credit: TheWhisperOfThisSoul)

Our new rental home is beautiful.  Spacious, airy and lovely.  I adore it.

One of the things I love most is that there are so many outlets!  Our last house was built in the 50s so outlets were minimal.  This one has them just about everywhere you can think of.  Most of the bedrooms have 5 outlets (with two plug places each).

Of course, this means a lot of those plug protectors to keep our little girl’s eager fingers from getting a jolt.

While I love all of the outlets, there is always room for more, right?  I don’t know if these exist in other homes but there are a few places I would love to have outlets where they don’t seem to exist:

1.  In closets.  The closet in the master bedroom has wonderful shelving, and it would be the perfect place to plug in things that need to recharge, like cameras, cell phones, etc.

2.  Linen closet / pantry.  I’ve got a Swiffer SweeperVac and a dustbuster that need constant charging.  There is a plug in the pantry here but only because it’s a pantry/laundry room.

3.  High up on the wall, near the ceiling.  Ever had a high bookshelf where you needed to plug something in?  Often you need an extension cord.  This would also be ideal in children’s rooms so you could plug something in up high and not have to worry about little fingers pulling out the cord.

4.  Under the sinks.  Again this is a good recharging space for things like electric shavers.

Any place I’m not thinking of?

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Product Review: Febreze Fabric Refresher Free

FR_FebrezeFree_LNote: I was not contacted or compensated in any way for this post.  I bought this product all by myself and wanted to tell you about it.

I’ve got a sensitive nose and sensitive skin.  I can’t handle really big smells, whether they be good ones or bad ones.  A subtle scent is ok, but when it comes to things like air fresheners, I have to be careful.

There was a coupon in the paper for Febreze fabric spray a month or so ago.  My husband wanted some Febreze to use in his truck (he is a smoker) and asked me to pick some up.

The choices were some flowery ones or the Febreze Fabric Refresher Free.  I picked up one of each, since I had coupons, plus a couple of car vent clips.  He used the Free in his truck and said it did a good job of getting the cigarette smell out of his truck.  He also put a vent clip in his car, but he hasn’t mentioned that at all.

Have you seen the Febreze commercial where they want to prove to the woman that the Febreze isn’t just masking odor?

It really works.  I’ve used it in my car (once while cleaning and again in the carseat after my daughter had a poopy diaper in there – she didn’t poop IN the seat, but the scent lingered for a couple of days before I finally decided to do something about it) and on our couch.  I pulled the cushions off the couch and sprayed the undersides as well as the cottony cover of the couch.

We had a friend come and stay a little while ago and one night he went out drinking.  He’s also a smoker.  So he had left this lingering scent of, you know, alcohol and cigarettes, in the room (he didn’t smoke in the room, it was just on his skin).  After he went home I washed all of the sheets and blankets and sprayed the pillows, decorative pillows and the mattress with Febreze Fabric Refresher Free.  It really, really works.

I love the fact that there is no scent, and the product itself leaves no odor.  Now if only they had this “scent” in a car vent clip, I would be so happy!

Royal Obsession

English: Diana, Princess of Wales, at the Cann...

English: Diana, Princess of Wales, at the Cannes film festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was almost 9 years old before I found out that kings and queens and princes and princesses were real.

My father came home from work one day and asked me if I wanted to see a real life princess.  He then pulled a People magazine from behind his back and showed me a picture of Diana Spencer.

I’ll admit I was disappointed.  She didn’t have long, blonde candyfloss hair like the book and movie princesses I had seen.

Still my father built up the excitement and even got me up early to watch the wedding on TV.  It was so beautiful and over the top!  I watched her life in the spotlight, watched her raise her boys, watched her funeral in the wee hours of the morning, too.

My husband doesn’t get it, but this morning when I woke up he came in and told me that Duchess Catherine was in labor.  I’m so excited!  It’s a combination of my new interest in all things baby-related (since having my own) and the birth of a new royal.

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Facebook or Chrome Bug?

I haven’t seen much about this anywhere, so I thought I’d write about it here and see if anyone else came across it or had a solution.  It’s a Facebook problem with Chrome or something.

One night I was one Facebook through the Chrome browser on my laptop, and when I went to click on one of my private groups, I got redirected to a site called  It looks like this:


It is and the message says Welcome Please click view a message to continuing to facebook:

Below that message are some ads (though they don’t show up for me because I have an ad blocker).  I didn’t click anything, I just typed Facebook in the address bar again and went about my business, though randomly throughout the evening I would get redirected again.

I did some Google searches to see if I could come up with anything and found someone with a similar problem in Ireland that posted to a tech website back in February and got no responses.  Not encouraging.

The next morning I logged on my computer and didn’t get the redirects. Then later in the day it started again.

The only thing I noticed that was the same from the night before was that I had Firefox open and also had Facebook running (in particular Candy Crush Saga) in that browser.  Whenever I did something in Facebook in Chrome – not every time, but quite a few times – I’d get redirected to

I don’t know is this is a virus or what, it just seems odd.  If you’ve got this same problem maybe I can help you find a solution, or maybe you can help me!


Record Player

Record Player (Photo credit: Arun Katiyar)

If my husband had time, he would probably become somewhat of a hoarder.  He has a real problem with letting things go.

He’s still got all of his old Ohio hunting licenses from the 1970s.  The frame to his very first car is in our back yard, and all of the bits and pieces that will, allegedly, make it into a working vehicle again are in our storage space.  He has about 10 tons of records (LPs, vinyl, whatever – it’s HEAVY stuff), a bunch of Chicago Bears memorabilia, a set of encyclopedias from the 1960s and boxes upon boxes of antique books.

Heavy stuff.  Stuff that takes up a lot of space.  Stuff that costs money and time to move.  He won’t part with any of it.

We’ve had a little success recently, though.  Over the weekend when we were at the old house cleaning, he had to pack up his side of the closet to be moved to the new house.  I suggested that he take the opportunity to sort though his hanging clothes and decide what he wanted to get rid of.  I had room in my car to take it to a donation box.

He actually did it!  Sure, there were only 4-5 pairs of jeans and about 6 shirts, but that’s 100% more clothing than he has parted with in all the time I have known him.

Hopefully this will open the floodgates to getting rid of more stuff.  I’m sure some of those records don’t have any sentimental value.  We could sell them on eBay or something!

Letting Go

Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night was a rough one.  The baby woke up at 1 am and refused to go back to sleep.  She finally conked out again at 5:30 am and by then I was a zombie.  All I wanted to do was sleep, so I fell into bed and passed out. I hoped she would sleep until 10:00 am or so, and I was willing to just forget all of my plans for today for a few precious hours of rest.

She woke up again shortly after 8 am, and I woke up feeling like I had been beaten enthusiastically with a blunt object overnight.  I think I actually might have felt better if I had.

She didn’t nap much during the day (which is her usual behavior) so there were no naps for me.  It seemed pointless to forgo my plans for the day so I unpacked a couple more boxes and then loaded my car with goods for donation.

Off to Goodwill went: 50+ pairs of womens’ shoes, assorted housewares, some handbags and a huge box full of books.  I was not sad to see any of this go.  In fact, when I came home and saw the empty spot where the boxes had been, I was relieved.

Never again will those bags of unused shoes be moved by us from one house to another.  We may move again in the next few years, but those things won’t be going with us.

Can you hear me smiling?

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here

Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.

Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold<
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchel
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I’ve read more than 6, but significantly less than I would have thought. I need to add some of these titles to my Kindle.

On Creation

Ghost Birds embroidery
Image by Follow the White Bunny via Flickr

OK, first… I want to announce that I got my very first pervy comment, and I approved it, so it is on the blog for all the world to see.  I’m ridiculously delighted by it, but then, I’m a little weird like that.

Irish and I went to the Arts Festival in town yesterday and were blown away by some of the art there, but most especially by some hand-embroidered art.  Just, wow.

When we left we stopped at Sonic on the way home.  It’s out of the way for us unless we are in town, plus it was happy hour, so we took advantage.  While there I got an email on my Blackberry with said pervy comment and I gleefully read it aloud.  I’m sorry, but it just makes me laugh.

In creation news, I haven’t done anything yet.  Boo.  I’m going to be playing with some photos in the next few days, though, and posting the results.  There was an artist at the festival that inspired me with her kaleidoscopy work, so I want to try it.  I’ll post if I come up with anything good.

I’m also going to force myself to write more.  My problem seems to be I feel very much like being private on some things, and so I just don’t write them at all.  However, I read somewhere about this site called 750 Words.  I signed up today and wrote 289 very private words so far.

The interface on this site is simple, but slick.  I know I will be using it in the future.  I was just checking out something other than the writing part and it informed me “You have 12 hours 45 minutes to write your 461 words. Let’s do it.”  Love that.

I hope your 2011 is proceeding as planned.  I’m a bit of a caffeinated zombie today because I was up too late last night fighting a printer.  Early to bed for me tonight!

Stuff About Me: Volume 1, No. 1

I have super-duper gadget envy.  I love new toys, and I want all of them.

Last year I considered buying an iPad just because it was the latest and greatest.  Tax refund was coming, which would have covered it.  We ran into a money snag at home so had to decide between an iPod Touch or a Kindle instead.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle. Unfortunately I bought it last March for twice the price they are going for now. Wish I had waited!

My friend ordered an iPad prior to the release date and I was GREEN with envy.  She showed me the order, so proud of all the expensive add-ons.  Then she cancelled the order at the last minute due to her own money issues.

Crisis averted!

Now my friend went out and got an Android phone over the weekend (prior to this we both had Blackberries and were on Blackberry Messenger all day every day).  I got a look at it at lunch today and it’s so sleek and cool I really want one.

Trouble is my phone carrier, service, contract, are all conspiring to keep me out of the shiny new gadget loop for another 146 days.  Damn them!  As much as I love my Blackberry it is no longer shiny and new!

I need a new toy.