August 11, 2017

my NORWEX review

I made a big-ish deal about buying a new refrigerator a few months ago.  The newness of the appliance hasn't worn off yet and I still consider it my third child.

Speaking of children, stainless steel appliances and children do not mix.

I know.  I was shocked too.

Luckily for me, my pantry is next to the fridge and my girls love to eat peanut butter on a spoon.

I'm sure you can imagine what the end result looks like.

Anyway, I found myself constantly wiping down the fridge.  But, it never looked good because every product, cloth, etc., I used left streaks.

And streaks are the worst.  Literally, the worst thing in the world.

Like, literally.  I'm only 20% joking here.

Not unlike that one time my floor never "felt clean" {true story}, I went on a mission to find something, anything, I could use to leave my fridge looking clean and streak-free.

It was around this time my friend had a Norwex party on Facebook.  Even though I had never purchased anything from Norwex, I was familiar with their cloth products that clean your entire house using only water.  I also heard they cure cancer, but that may just be a rumor.

Anyway, I decided it was worth selling my first-born child so I could afford to buy an EnviroCloth and Window Cloth.  

When my cloths arrived, I was skeptical.  I knew Norwex did not accept returns of used products {Side note:  why is this an acceptable return policy?  How am I supposed to know if a product works for me unless I try it?}, so either way I was keeping these products.

Well, I'm happy to state without hesitation that the Window Cloth worked.  Like, legit worked and left no streaks on my fridge.  I'm still in awe, and somewhat annoyed, that I was proven wrong.

I also noticed a few positive results when using the EnviroCloth on my countertops and glass top stove - they not only looked clean but also super shiny.  I also noticed they felt different - just cleaner, softer.  I feel like this part of the post is going in a weird direction, so I'm going to stop now.

Oh, yes, and in case you're wondering:  my kitchen looks like this 100% of the time.

So, if you've ever thought about trying Norwex as a way to keep your fridge streak free and your countertops looking shiny and feeling soft (which is NOT a weird thing to want), I'd recommend you give these cloths a try.  

Given the fact that this is not a sponsored post, and I have since lost the website I used to make my purchase, I'm afraid I do not have any useful information on how to buy your own besides Norwex's homepage.

If you do decide to try out Norwex, please be aware that there is possibly a package of the EnviroCloth and Window Cloth.  I added them to my cart separately, and I'm pretty sure I paid more than the package. 

Here's to streak-free fridges everywhere!

August 3, 2017


"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
-Romeo & Juliet

Several years ago, I was experimenting with a new medication for my epilepsy.  Dustin and I had decided we wanted to have a child, and my current medication was not recommended for women who were pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

After a lot of trial and error, I began taking a new medication that not only controlled my seizures but also had the least serious side effects while taken while pregnant.  And, it wasn't long after that, that I found out I was pregnant.

Not long into my pregnancy, I went to the pharmacy to pick up a refill.  I noticed that the price of my prescription was significantly less than it had been before.  When I asked the pharmacist about the price difference, he said it was because I was given the generic, not name-brand, medicine.

I was confused and concerned about any changes being made while I was still pregnant, and promptly called my doctor.  I was told that the generic medicine had the same ingredients as the name-brand and was safe for me to consume.

I've been thinking about that experience a lot lately and how it relates to labels.

Everything in our life has a label.

Products are labeled.  People are labeled.  Places are labeled.

And we put a lot of stock into these labels.

Sometimes a label really does make a difference.  For example, spending $$$ on a table from West Elm will more than likely lead to owning a higher quality product as compared to a table you would buy from Target.

There is nothing wrong with wanting products from high quality companies, especially if your budget allows for it.

The problem with labels come when we use them to elevate our own status or worth.  Am I a better person because I own a table from West Elm as compared to the person that owns a table from Target.  The answer is, obviously, no.

I think it's sometimes hard to remember that.

Owning a certain product doesn't mean you're better or worse than somebody else.  It just means you own a certain product.

Product labels are one thing.  But, what about labels we put on ourselves or other people?

For example, politicians.  How likely are you to justify a political leader's behavior so long as they belong to the same political party as you?  From my perspective, we will justify or shrug off or accept or even deny facts so long as the leader is labeled correctly.

The same is true for our family members, friends, celebrities or well-respected community members like doctors. 

I happened upon a conversation on Facebook between a man running for mayor and a voter.  The man running for office had a lot of great things to say.  He had good ideas.  He was well-written and appeared to have a genuine concern for the city.  The voter was only interested in one thing:  what party the candidate belonged to.  It was obvious the voter would only consider this candidate's ideas or concerns legitimate so long as he belonged to the correct party.

The candidate eventually disclosed his political affiliation and the conversation was over.

Keep in mind, his ideas for the city had not changed.  He still meant what he said.  But, because he now had a labeled attached to him, he was either liked or disliked regardless of the details.

I don't think there's really any way around labels in general.  Certainly, not when it comes to products.  But, it would be nice to see some changes with labels when it comes to people.

Some people with all the right labels aren't necessarily good people making good decisions.

And some people with the less-than flattering labels aren't necessarily bad people making bad decisions.

Some labels are inevitable, like our race or ethnicity...unless you're that white woman living in Seattle.

Other labels, like being cool because you shop at Trader Joe's, are meaningless.  A great example of this is when some frozen food line was recalled from Trader Joe's and Walmart stores.  I had a good laugh at that one.

I'm trying really hard to look beyond the labels we give ourselves or other people.  Whether we're rich or poor, male or female, married or single or divorced, we all have value.  We all have strengths that are needed in our society.  And we all have weaknesses that other people can help us with.  We're more similar than we realize.

And, at the end of the day, whether name-brand or generic, I'm not having seizures.  

And that's all that matters to me!

August 1, 2017

thanks, DONNIE! |august 2017|

There have been no shortage of hilarious gifs ever since Trump announced his presidency.  And sometimes you just need a good laugh.  I hope these continue.

So far, this is my favorite one.

Thanks, Donnie!

July 29, 2017


I made a goal for myself to read 24 books this year.  I search for new books and keep track of my progress using Good Reads.

Do you use Good Reads?  It doesn't seem like a ton of people I know use it.  I love it.  It's the main way I search for books.  I've read a lot of books I probably never would have had it not been for this website.

Anyway, below are the books I have read so far.

Rainbow Rowell is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  Her books are charming, funny and unique.  Of the two I have read so far this year, Attachments was my favorite.  Fair warning, Rowell's books can have a bit of language.

The Life We Bury, Everything We Keep, The House We Grew Up In and The Serpent King were all books I found by browsing through Good Reads.  With the exception of The House We Grew Up In, I would give them all 2 stars.  They weren't anything exceptional and I wouldn't ever recommend them to other people.

The House We Grew Up In was an interesting read.  I'm not exactly sure why I liked this book.  I remember thinking about the characters as if they were real people and looking forward to reading any chance I got.  Simply put, it's a story about how one woman's hoarding habit affects the rest of her family.

The Book Thief and Kite Runner are two books I had heard numerous good things about and figured it was time for me to read them.  Of the two, The Book Thief was by far superior in terms of story, writing, characters, etc.  But, to be honest, both left me feeling a little underwhelmed.

I enjoyed Room.  The fact that the author was able to convey the horror of the situation while still maintaining a level of innocence (due to being written from the perspective of a child) was quite remarkable.  I think having a chapter or two from the perspective of an adult would have added an element of depth to the story that overall was impossible to convey with a 5 year old as the narrator.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I'll admit, was a fabulous and delightful read.  But, I really only read it so I could keep on track with my reading goal.  It's a short read, but very profound and thought-provoking.

I really like Anna Kendrick.  Her book, Scrappy Little Nobody, was a fun read.  It's interesting to learn more about celebrities and how they came to be these famous people.  I especially enjoyed learning about her experiences as a child working on Broadway.  I will admit, though, that her sense of humor, at times, was vulgar.

And, last but not least, the classics:  Lord of the Flies and The Bell Jar.  I've talked a lot about my experience reading Lord of the Flies.  It was such a slow read for me.  I felt like the words were dripping with symbolism and I was afraid I'd miss something if I wasn't careful.  I referred to Spark Notes a lot during this read.

I loved The Bell Jar.  It is the best book I've read all year.  I can't even explain why I loved it so much.  I just did.  This is not a story for everyone, but if you have an interest in psychology, mental illness and feminism, I think you'd enjoy this book.

My current read is Murder on the Orient Express.  I remember watching the movie from, like the 70s, and really liking it.  When I learned a remake of the movie was coming to theaters soon, I decided it was time to read the book.

Let me know if you've read any of these books and what you thought of them.

Isn't read the bestest thing ever?

July 3, 2017

thanks, DONNIE | july 2017 |

"There are some men who, in a spirit of arrogance, think they are superior to women.  They do not seem to realize that they would not exist but for the mother who gave them birth."

Welcome to this month's edition of Thanks, Donnie!  For those of you who may have missed my original post, I made the decision to write one positive aspect of the Trump administration for each month Donald Trump is president.  I am hoping to suspend the series on January 19, 2021.

By now, everyone is aware that Donald Trump doesn't think too highly of women.  Everything from the Access Hollywood recording, his comments about Megyn Kelly and, most recently, his tweets about Mika Brzezinki all point to a man who views women as mere objects.

Objects that only have value so long as they keep quiet and look pretty.

This behavior towards women, of course, isn't anything new.  The fact that Donald Trump is the President of the United States proves there are enough people that don't think it's a big deal to be a complete and utter sexist.  

Don't get me wrong, being a sexist, isn't as controversial as, let's say, wearing a tan suit, but it's pretty darn close.

Fortunately, the president's behaviors toward and opinions about women have solidified my belief in the importance of women's issues.  Equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunity, etc.

I think Tina Fey said it best, when receiving the Mark Twain Prize, that she was grateful to be the third woman to receive the award, but hoped "women are achieving at a rate these days that we can stop counting what number they are at things."

That was in 2010.

Seven years later, we're still counting the things women do.  Most recently, of course, being the release of Wonder Woman.  The director of Wonder Woman was only the second female to ever direct a movie with a budget over $100 million.  And, of course, the Wonder Woman movie itself was the first female-led super hero movie in more than a decade.

Now, women in Hollywood is one thing.  There's also women who are victims of heinous crimes that get little to no justice.

Who remembers Brock Turner?  He's that one guy that was caught raping an unconscious woman, and as a result spent 3 months in jail.  He was actually sentenced to 6 months, but was released after good behavior.  Which, according to his father, was a steep price to pay for "20 minutes of action."

If our commander-in-chief has taught me anything, it's that some people don't believe these very simple truths:  

Women are strong and capable and should be treated with respect and dignity.  Women are not here for your viewing pleasure.  Women should be given the same opportunities as men.  Women are important.  Women are essential.

Never before have I been more encouraged to take action and speak up on this most important subject matter.

And for that I say, "Thanks, Donnie!"

June 22, 2017

Thanks, Donnie!

Over the last several years, I have had many conversations with people who did not vote for, did not like, etc. Barack Obama.  Living in Utah, it was the norm - especially after Obama won over Mitt Romney in 2012.  Romney is not from Utah, but since he's Mormon and has great hair, we claim him as our own.  And, to be fair, he currently has a house in Utah which makes having those elite, posh $1,000/plate dinners in Park City that much more convenient.

But, I'm getting off track here.  {See, I told you we Utah Mormons are obsessed with Mitt Romney.  Seriously, look at that hair?}

I have asked my less-than-thrilled-with-Obama friends if they could think of one positive thing he had accomplished.  Like, literally, anything.

Much like the NRA with regards to Philando Castile, the response was always silence.

And, that really bothered me.  Still does.

Surely, one good thing happened over the last eight years, right?  Osama bin Laden, anyone?

After Donald Trump was elected president {#2,864,974), I decided I was not going to be one of those people.  Because refusing to find the good in something you didn't choose is gauche.

My goal is to post once a month about one positive aspect of the Trump administration.  This is not going to be easy, but I find the exercise to be somewhat necessary for my overall well-being and sanity.  Plus, I expect it will foster a lot of creativity.

So, here we go.

Donald Trump's presidency has reminded me of the importance of being involved in local government.  I have learned exactly who represents my area, what their stance is on certain issues and how I can get in touch with them.  I also belong to a women's caucus for my county which provides opportunities for me to learn what is going on in my community in terms of volunteering, rallies, meetings, etc.  And, I've met many wonderful people along the way.

And, for that, I say "Thanks, Donnie!"

June 16, 2017

solicitors WELCOME

Years ago, a 20-something man came to my door asking if I would like to purchase a magazine subscription.  When I politely declined his offer, I assumed our conversation would be over.  I was wrong.  We continued to talk and he asked if I was Mormon.  I told him I was.  He then told me that Mormons never buy subscriptions {clearly, he'd never heard of the Ensign, New Era, Friend or Liahona} and attempted to make me feel like I was not fulfilling my Christian duty by purchasing 12 months worth of Sports Illustrated.  Once he left my house, I spent the rest of the day being mad and frustrated that this person had so unfairly judged me.

I decided a NO SOLICITING sign would be a worthwhile purchase.  I contemplated where I'd put the sign so that it was noticeable, but not tacky.  After a few days, I gave up on the idea and resolved to just not answer the door the next time a solicitor came knocking.

Fast forward to today and I officially made the decision to never display a NO SOLICITING sign on my house. 

As mentioned above, I am Mormon.  Officially, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  For the sake of simplicity, I'll refer to myself as LDS and my religion as "the church."

As of December 31, 2016, there were over 70,000 LDS missionaries serving worldwide.  Missionary service is strongly recommended for all able young men beginning at the age of 18 (after completing high school or its equivalent).  Young men (referred to as Elders) serve for up to two years.  They have no official say in where they serve, they pay their own way, and, besides weekly e-mails, they do not contact their families except for on Christmas and Mother's Day.  Young women are welcomed to serve missions beginning at age 19 for up to 18 months.

We Mormons love our missionaries.  We take pride in the fact that we send our young people all across the world to preach about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We love the missionary program so much that when the Broadway play The Book of Mormon hit the scene {you know, the play that mocks missionaries, an entire religion with over 15 million members, and then some} the church simply made this one official statement:

"The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."

When the production made it's way to Los Angeles, the church bought space in the playbill with ads like "the book is always better" and "you've seen the play, now read the book."  Considering the importance of the Book of Mormon and the missionary efforts to those of the LDS faith, these responses were pretty brilliant.

See, so not even an offensive, perverted, vulgar, yet acclaimed, Tony Award winning production brought to you by the same industry that demands inclusion from Mike Pence can sway us from sending out and loving our missionaries. {To be clear, #I'mWithHer}

But, here's the ironic part of it all.  Missionaries are solicitors.  One of the ways they meet, connect and eventually teach people is by going door-to-door.  Missionaries, of course, can and do meet people under different circumstances, but the fact remains that most of them knock on doors in hopes of finding someone who will listen to them.

My parents both served missions in Germany.  My husband served a mission in Canada.  All three of them went door-to-door practically everyday.  How, then, can I openly deny solicitors at my own house?

Believe me, I've thought of a plethora of reasons how to justify displaying a sign:  it's illegal, it's dangerous, it's inconvenient, people make cute signs now (seriously, google "Cute No Soliciting Signs") so I don't have to worry about my house looking tacky, etc.

But, then I think about my parents, my husband and the thousands of missionaries currently serving for a religion that I belong to.  When I think about them, an outward, physical declaration denying solicitors on my house just seems......unnecessary.  Wrong even.

I know I'm probably in the minority when it comes to this.

But, at the end of the day, I feel best inside when I say, "Solicitors, Welcome."
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