Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Black Diamond WOW Review

February 8, 2010

“Black Diamond WOW”
Mop and Cleaners

PhotobucketMama Appah Reviews:

My IRL friend agreed to test out the Black Diamond Wow products. She has the cutest house, with a ton of wood flooring and plenty of tile to clean… Alas… I only have linoleum in the house we are renting (sigh). A big thanks to Mama Appah (and her daughter).

In her words….

I used the “Black Diamond Wow package this weekend. The package came with an easy put together aluminum pivot head flat mop that also boasts a machine washable pad. A total cinch to get going. After putting the included sprayer head in the wood and laminate floor cleaner, and I was in business and spraying away. I found It was best to work in sections, doing rows the width of the room, about 3 feet deep. I was done with the wood floors in my kitchen and living room in about 10 minutes, and that is 10 minutes with my nine year old helping!

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With Four kids and a dog, you better believe these floors were pretty dirty! I must admit that I don’t have any experience with floor cleaners of this type. For the past 8 years I’ve only steam cleaned my floors, with the occasional oil soap treatment; I was pretty impressed with the “Black Diamond WOW” cleaner. It didn’t leave a film on the wood floors, (I had been worried about that). The floors stayed clean for several days, and touch ups with this product were quick and so super easy.

I like that it comes with a washable pad, (hence the reason I never got into the disposable type mops). I also really enjoy the ease and functionality of quick clean ups! When my kids came in from playing in the snow and left trails of snow/mud/water I grabbed the mop and the tracks throughout the whole main floor were gone in under 30 seconds.

PhotobucketThanks for sharing the “Black Diamond WOW” cleaning kit with me! It’s something I Totally use on a daily basis!

GIVEAWAY: Patient Style, Gifts For Mom!

December 16, 2009


Improving the Patient Experience

Who in your life is pregnant and heading to the hospital soon?
What a perfect gift idea for that mom on your list! has a large selection of maternity patient gowns
I called my local birthing center and they totally approved of wearing your own stylish gown!

I’m not having any babies but I recently needed foot surgery and I would have loved a pretty patient gown to wear instead of the ugly paper-towels they clothe you with in the hospital?? Check out all the different designs of the PatientStyle gowns.

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A whole selection of pretty pajamas for the mom AND dad on your list (heck for yourself)!

Are these the bestest jammies ever?? I love the day glow pink bubble gum dots… and my 9yrold daughter is totally jealous!!

Every Christmas Eve we let the kids open ONE gift. And they already know what will be inside…. Pajamas! In fact I think they would be seriously upset if I sneaked something different into their one open gift tradition… they love it, even if they complain a wee bit.

Great gift ideas like for expecting moms, and an eclectic mixture of patient gowns, fabulous gift baskets, anti-microbial items, and my favorite: Pajamas!!

Diabetic Healthy Lifestyle Basket
11 Items – $75
I love this. I recently had a friend who’s child was diagnosed with diabetes, plus my husband is type I, and my mom is type II.

Snowman Pajama Set
Totally my favorite set on the site! giveaway contest


Patient Style is offering
one pair of Children’s Pajamas

to one GoodNCrazy reader!


REQUIRED: Please leave a comment…
Tell me Your favorite Christmas Eve tradition!

OPTIONAL: Click the tweet message below and share with your friends! (Leave a separate comment with your twitter time stamp.)

Win a pair of children’s pajamas from


Entries are due Saturday (December 19th) by 9PM PST. No purchase necessary to enter. Winners will be selected by me via Winner will have their choice of children’s selection of pajamas.
You may enter your twitter option once per day. Entries are invalid if there is no email attached.
The winner will be notified and have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If no response is received within 24 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to participants 18 years and older.

*disclosure: Patient Stlye provided a pair of Pajamas for me to test sleep.

Reusies: Re-use Reduce Recycle!

November 13, 2009

Review: Reusies Fabric Sandwich Baggy
Price: $8.75 (save 10% when you buy 3)
Size: 7.5″x6″
Exactly what it looks like! A fabric reusable sandwich bag. Can you say a green baggy?
(I mean orange… )
PhotobucketAha Factor: I stopped using any sort of throw away plastic in my kids’ lunch bags 2 years ago. But the bulky hard plastic sandwich containers take up a lot of room, leaving no space for the carrots and apples and such… I love that these fit in more spaces. And the AHA! part is that you can use the sandwich size Reusie for only a half a PB&J, it folds down over the whole thing and wraps to the extra piece of velcro on the back! (Bonus for my 5yrold.)

Plus you can throw the baggy in the dishwasher or clothes washer to clean after use. I know it seems like a fabric baggy would let the sandwich dry out.. but so far no complaints from the munchkins!

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PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: From a seamstress perspective, these are pretty basic in design, should be easy to make your own? But from a mom of three, keeping up with everything perspective, how nice to have a few of these on hand as gifts to give??

PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I’d have to go with feeling like these are a bit expensive. I’m wondering if they could bundle 3 or 6 up for a bit of a discount on the current pricing? I think I would be more likely to pay $12 for 3 or 4? What do you think?

PhotobucketReUsies™ are a re-usable alternative to sandwich/snack bags, each one has the potential to eliminate hundreds of plastic bags. ReUsies™ are 100% cotton lined with leak-resistant nylon and are secured with Velcro® closures. -from website
Disclosure: Product provided by as part of campaign.

Crayola: New Products, TONS Of Glow Fun!

November 10, 2009

crayola glow board children christmas gift idea learning toyREVIEW: New Crayola Products!

Crayola Glow Board
Price: $17-20
Size: 12″ by 8″ and 3″ deep. When the product is opened and set up it looks like a small easel & easily fits on table top, or can sit in child’s lap.

PhotobucketAha Factor: Took us a few minutes to understand how this baby works. But WOW! I promise once you realize that there are TWO coloring surfaces, and when you color a ‘changing’ image, then turn on the alternating lights… It Looks Like Your Image Is Moving!!!

I don’t think I can do this product justice. I’m serious. I think I’m more in love with this light/glow board/easel thing than my kids! We keep imagining new ways to use it! My 8yrold begged to take it to church for Pete’s sake! Crayola provides additional drawings and ideas on their website for download… and we’ll get to that but so far.. we are having too much fun drawing our own ‘moving pictures’….

PhotobucketExamples so far: A rocket taking off, a little kid swinging back and forth, and even a watering bucket that looks like the water is coming out on the flowers (leave it to my 8yrold budding artist to come up with this… but honestly my 5yrold draws some cool stuff)!

PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: The markers are kind of flimsy. (One of ours broke outright.) It says right in the instructions these will dry out faster than regular markers. And it says you can replace them but I’m not seeing them sold separately anywhere? I found them for sale directly on the Crayola Store site for $5.99 plus S&H.

PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I think this is a great price overall. Perfect for a gift, and suits really any age kid from 3 and up? I saw this advertised at Micheals for $25 but elsewhere for under $20. Replacing the markers could get expensive though so that’s a bit of a downer. But the fun and learning and creativity make up for it.

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Crayola Glow Station
Price: $20-25
Size: Box is about 14″ by 14″ and 3″ deep. When the product is opened and unrolled it lays very flat but is more than 2 feet tall! Plus it can hang on the wall. (We are LOVING that!)

PhotobucketAha Factor: My kids recognized the product immediately!
: “I’ve seen this on TV! Can we open it RIGHT NOW!!!” They were especially excited when they realized you can use ANY light source not just the glow wand it comes with. They ran and gathered up every flashlight in the house! They soon learned by experiment that larger flashlights deliver too much light and the whole board lights up!

My kids love this just as much as the glow board. I’m super impressed with the ‘science’ of the thing. They are experimenting with it in a completely dark room (yes the bathroom) and in a less dark room. What happens when they flip the light on? How long do the images last in a dark room VS a lighter room?

PhotobucketExamples so far: We took the whole thing to a group playdate at my church one night, and it was a total hit. They did a good job of taking turns. Using the stencils and cut outs to create pictures and writing ‘scores’ after kids were putting on dances and such! The other day I found they had hung it on the wall in preparation for a ‘play’ they had made up. When I walked down the stairs it said:

How cool is that?

PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: I’m having a hard time coming up with anything we don’t like about it? You have to change the batteries?? So far we haven’t had to though. The light wand can be fitted with a prism-like tip and the light bounces around all zainy brainy.. or without it the tip is fine and better for writing. I was on the Crayola Site and they had all these examples of games to play using the Glow Station. We are all over THAT!!

PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I think this is fabulously priced. $20 for hours of fun and no additional cost? I call that a winner. And worth every penny.

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GIVEAWAY and #GNO! is hosting a Girls Night Out via Twitter (#GNO) This Tuesday night! Join me I’ll be on the panel!

@Crayola will be there to offer up more Holiday creative gift ideas! Don’t miss it…. and… YUP. Giveaways included! Wow, TONS of Crayola products and even a Kindle!

Products provided by Crayola, as part of the MomItForward #GNO campaign.

Jumpstart LearnNPlay

November 4, 2009

Escape the Everyday
Use Playtime as Learning Time! has released a fabulous new Wii game!


And you do just that. You play and gather fun things and when you have enough.. you get to float away on a hot air balloon, Dorothy Style! And of course all there is so much learning while they are playing they hardly realize what they are getting out of it! #learnNplay baby!

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My 8yrold’s favorite part is the fashion show. {No wonder, I think}, she has been creating American Girl Doll dress up clothes for nearly 2 years now. She’s a regular fashion designer diva these days!

fashion show wii kids game

The 5yrold prefers… um. Everything. I asked him and he couldn’t decide. He is all about numbers right now.. so the math games rock. But he is seriously on the cusp of reading, so the library part is perfect!

And they all like the music!

What does mom likes the best? That they barely realize they are learning. Numbers, letters, shapes, music…. what could be better? Well besides brownies?

math skills kid game wii jumpstart

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And Guess what! is giving away A whole Escape Package. {Well THREE to be exact..}
Did I mention a $250 spafinder gift card for mom… uh huh, as in ESCAPE!

Plus they are giving away 50 copies of the new Wii game:
JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island

And here’s what the 3 Lucky Escape Package Winners will recieve:

  • 1 copy of JumpStart Escape from Adventure Island (rated E by the ESRB)
  • 1 Nintendo Wii console – to escape boredom
  • $250 in SpaFinder® gift certificates – to escape stress
  • 1 Flip™ Mino HD video camera – to record your adventures
  • 3 lifetime JumpStart memberships – 1 for you, 2 to share with friends
  • 500 virtual coins – to keep your kids’ online adventure exciting
  • JumpStart gear – to dress for adventure

Sorry don’t enter here for this amazing giveway! Goto the Blog to Enter.
All you have to do is answer this question:

PhotobucketHave you and your kids ever built a “pirate ship” out of couch cushions?

Explored the backyard in search of “fairies”?

Hunted under the bed for “buried treasure”?

We want to hear about how your family uses imagination to escape the everyday and turn life into an adventure! Tell us your story for a chance to win.

What are you wating for? Hurry! Ends Nov. 16th.

If you have any questions feel free to follow and chat with @Jumpstart_Erin

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Here’s how my family escapes….

On Sunday nights The Dad figure bakes cookies with the kids. They make a big giant mess and I get to stay OUT of the way. They learn: measuring, the importance of Dad time, and just how many chocolate chips they can pilfer before dad notices.

Another Dad activity is carving pumpkins. If it’s left to mom, they get a bagful of markers to decorate it. With Dad it’s all knives and designs and gross insides! They learn: Dad is awesome, big knives are sharp and sometimes make dad bleed, and pretending to blow chunks while holding pumpkin guts in your hand is hilarious!


What does your family do that encourages learning while playing? Tell the Jumpstart Team and win!

disclaimer: Jumpstart provided a wii game for the goodncrazy team to review. I participated in the #learnNplay campaign in the month of October.

Why Do I Love My Dyson?

October 21, 2009
Let me count the ways.

  1. No bags. Minimal Mess. This is a good thing for 30-something women as well as favorite vacuums! In fact maybe if I use my new vacuum often enough I can get rid of the under arm flappy bags… now THAT would be an awesome vacuum!
  2. Totally easy to take apart: Snap, Click, Open, DONE. From dumping the contents, to removing the brush head.
  3. Which brings me to: Easy to clean the brush head. I pulled out a quarter, opened the latch, pulled out the brush… and removed all the icky hair… (yeah, it’s a mom job).
  4. LOVE the ease of switching to the hand held telescoping vacuum arm. Upholstery? Check. Ceiling vents…oh yeah. Crack, Crevices, Stairs? All over it baby.
  5. IT AUTO TURNS OFF the brush head when (ahem…) I accidentaly suck up the corner of my kids’s favorite blanket! (ask me how I know)… The vacuum is still on but the brush has stopped turning… you know? That awful smell a vacuum makes when you suck up a shoe string or a plastic bag?? NOT this masterpiece. Kids can work it with no fear! (Moms love that.)
  6. Also there is a manual turn off for that same brush head, when switching to a hard floor from my hallway to my bathroom. Voilá, like magic! LOVE that! It also turns off the brush when you place it in it’s upright position.
  7. UNDER THE BED. Let me repeat. UNDER THE BED! I used the thing several times before I realized while using the extended arm with the really flat attachment, that DUH! If you turn the handle sideways the whole thing stays flat and will fit UNDER BEDS! Heck under my night stand! Dust Bunnies… be gone.

  8. Easily reach high places. Ceiling vents. And Cobwebs. And lighting fans. And dead flies. And anything else gross hanging out above eyesight!
  9. Kids can use it. Even better? MY KIDS do use it! Worth it right there.
  10. This thing is a BALL to use. Literally, there’s a ball on it to swivel around corners. Easy on my shoulders, and so far little stress on my back… I definitely don’t feel like it is knocking all my corners and cabinets either.

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I have racked my very clean carpet and brain… but honestly I can’t come up with anything I don’t love about the DC25 Blueprint?

The color? Nope. I love that mine is white and clear and like you want to match a vacuum to decor anyway??

The size? Nope. It’s lightweight and easy to carry up and down stairs.

I’ve got it! The extension coils on the telescoping arm are kind of tight… maybe like they need to stretch out a bit… but sheesh it’s so dang long I’m able to reach from the top to the bottom of my stairs enough that I don’t care about the tightness!

Next week… a few more things I’ve gone without in my 15 years of marriage. What have you gone without?

15 Years Is Long Enough…

October 5, 2009

This is from Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State… I had scan fail when I tried to scan a 15yrold photo from our wedding day… next week’s installment for SURE!

  • Long enough to not own a single piece of bedroom furniture.
  • Long enough to pay off the equivalent of a mortgage in law-loans.
  • Long enough to own 3 children ages: 11, 8 and 5.
  • Long enough to live in 4 states, but never more than 4 years at once.
  • Long enough to use the same dang vacuum all those years!


I have a vacuum story.
{Doesn’t everyone?} We sorta kinda bought a vacuum for our own wedding present…

Huh? When you live in a teeny tiny town, the traditions are a little off kilter.

The local hardware store (I know—I told you it was weird) was the only wedding registry in town. And friends and family purchased items from our ‘list’. The store wrapped it up pretty in silvery paper and delivered it to our reception.

And then they came and took it all back!

Crazy huh? They totaled the loot and gave us a store credit invoice instead…
Can you guess what we bought with our exchanged oven mitts, toasters, wrenches and spatulas?

A brand new vacuum.

And not to dis it or anything. I mean 15 years is a long time. But it’s seen better days. It wasn’t a fancy model, and it worked hard and tried it’s best to do it’s job. It also traveled across the country and back again… We tried very hard to follow the whole use it up, wear it out thing… and I think we did.

I’m afraid my old friend needs to be put out to pasture.


I’ve been looking for a new vacuum for 2 years. I researched online, I watched commercials, I even tried out a few of my neighbor’s suckers!

Last year my mom and my sister both got a Dyson Upright. And color me jealous. I test drove it. I vacuumed my mom’s new hardwood kitchen floor, and reached easily to clean her carpeted stairs! I fell in suction love.

I made my decision. I want a Dyson too. But dang… there are a lot to choose from?

Uprights with balls…

Handhelds that really suck

Cannisters with rockin’ names like Turbinehead

I have 3 kids (AKA walking tornadoes)!
One cat…
One husband… (AKA my tidy-er half).
And currently live in what feels like the dustiest part of Southern Oregon?
I have plenty of carpeted spaces, and all the normal hard spaces too…

I’m really excited to announce… that a Dyson DC25 Limited Edition Blueprint is in my family’s (much cleaner carpet) future!

Disclosure: Dyson is providing the vacuum. I’m providing the dirt.

Taco Del Mar: Have You Eaten Here?

September 30, 2009
$19 for all 5 of us to eat?
That’s a pretty good deal!

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5 GoodNCrazy Thumbs Up!
Way up.

Kid Quotes:

Sadie 11yrold: “I might burst.” “Luved it, it wasn’t spicy.”
Sassy 8yrold: “Why is it all decorated in Hawaiian?” “Good. I’d like to have it another time.
TK 5yrold: “Look at the SHARK mom!” “Yup. I loved it!”

And the Dad said:
“Fresh, with the right amount of spicy—the chicken was tasty!”

I shared my Mondo Fish Burrito with the 11yrold, cuz I could tell it was going to be WAY too much for me. And WOW. I don’t usually order Fish burritoes but before we went I asked the Twitter world to tell me what they liked the best and several tweeps said DO NOT LEAVE without at least tasting the FISH Tacos.

I am officially camped in the Fish Burrito/Taco side. I don’t know what was in the White Sauce, but make sure you get it on yours!!

Kids Meals $3 (great deal huh)?
Mondo Chicken Burrito $6
Fish Burrito $5
(And more than enough to share)!

We ate at the Newly Opened Wilsonville, Oregon Taco Del Mar. It’s right off the Boone River, what a pretty little suburban town. It’s 4 miles south of the Fancy Schmancy Portland Bridgeport Shopping area, and 11 miles north of Woodbridge Outlets (much more my kinda style).

Oh and cuz it’s totally important to my world: The bathrooms passed the smell test!

TK: “I didn’t like it. I LOVED it!”

Disclosure: Lunch was ON Taco Del Mar…

Shred Sled, Awesome Kid Skillz

September 28, 2009

Does she make this look easy or what?

We pulled the Shred Sled out of the box and I thought: Uh Oh, what have we done? Can we really use this thing? The kiddos took it straight out to the driveway and um…

Let’s just say we sucked.

Sadie (my 11yrold) tried it and she gave it a great effort but couldn’t see how to start-or move-or even get on it! My 8yrold is our more coordinated kid and even when I held her up to start out, it was a no go. (I admit I gave it a tiny effort, but dude, it’s harder than it looks!)

shred sled

At this point we pulled out the instructions… ahem..
It says:
use a wall when you are starting to Learn.
Well duh, that made sense!

I could see the sparkle-determination-in-her-eyes and Sadie spent another 30 minutes trying to teach her feet to say on the twisty-turny-not-quite-a-skateboard! Within about 4 days of her after school attempts. Sadie had it down. She can start (without the wall), navigate circles, and is having a blast!

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GoodNCrazy Thoughts:

They claim you can ride the Shred Sled uphill? So far she’s awesome on a very slight incline, and she’s dying to try it on a local skate park! She’s happy to zoom around with it most afternoons, and I don’t think she’ll really outgrow it any time soon. Which is awesome because it’s getting really hard to find fun gifts for her anymore?

It’s really only for older kids, my 8yrold still hasn’t mastered it, and that drives her kinda crazy. My 5yrold plays with it but only under serious supervision… And believe me you do not want to trip over this thing (ask me how I know…)!

Cost: $119.99 and comes in red, blue and black.

Legoland or BUST!

September 26, 2009

Join us in Southern California.
Beaches. Legoland. Sealife Aquarium.
And family vacation memories!

More stories at Legoland SealifeAquarium
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I dreamed of driving to Southern California with the whole family. This time the one place I was NOT going to miss was Legoland! Especially while my kids were still young and would enjoy the wonder and creativeness of the place. And bonus! I didn’t know SeaLife operates as a sister venue INside Legoland! {I do now.}

We absolutely adored the whole trip.
Well.. minus the broken arm but I’ll save that for later…

We stayed in a hotel near Legoland in Carlsbad. Making it simple and easy to get to the park right when it opened. We picked up our tickets (A BIG BIG thanks goes to Rebecca of SeaLife for providing them, and to Charity of VirtueIMC for making the connection to GoodNCrazy!) You can bring in your own lunch and cooler and that made it a lot easier for us to not worry about food. We have one diabetic in the family and 3 kids, so we really like having our own water and snacks with us.

We happily rented a double stroller even though we don’t have toddler kids anymore. Everyone gets tired sometimes and now we had room to hold the cooler and the camera and the phones and… you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

I was impressed with how easy it was to rent everything and even when we left the park for a short break and siesta time(another reason to stay close by), they put our stroller on hold and made it easy to get back into the park including parking.

Some of our favorite things in Legoland were:

  • The Coast Cruise and all the mini landscapes in Miniland
  • Aquazone
  • Technic Rollercoaster
  • EVERYTHING in Pirate Shores (BRING your swimsuit!)
  • Hideaway Slides and Play House (especially my 5yrold)

From my 11yrold who was happy and amazed at the creative use of Legos and fun rides all over the park, to my 5yrold who could ride most of the rides and loved the interactive water music areas… we all had a great time.

The park was clean and had plenty of shade with large trees everywhere.

Right now they have Brick or Treat going on… talk about a blast! Dress up and go play!

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In the hot afternoon we opted to head inside to SeaLife Aquarium. And my kids are such troopers. The oldest got totally into the scavenger hunt trivia game. The other two were happy to run around and ooh and ahh at the fish and other fun slimy things. Tidepool starfish anyone!

About half way thru SeaLife in a Tidepool exhibit area, a Lego Castle was set up and they allowed the kids to ‘help’ work on it. My two youngest stayed there and ‘worked’ for nearly a half an hour. We had to drag them away! This was easily the most liked and remembered part of the whole park, Legoland and Sealife combined!

Dad was a trooper too!

Can’t travel to San Diego and not visit the beach!

We had such fun, enjoying amazing things: the ocean, Legoland, Sealife AND then my little boy breaks his arm climbing a tree in our friend’s yard… oh joy. Welcome to our GoodNCrazy vacation!