Honestly Finally.

About a year and a half ago a marketer sent me a big box of organic snacks and juices. The intention was to have me write about it, preferably mentioning how much my family loves it—blah blah blah—it’s the greatest yogurt on earth—blah blah blah—OMG you guys MUST go out and buy this stuff—blah blah blah.

EmSipping

Well, needless to say that didn’t happen. I just didn’t find the time to live up to my end of the bargain. What I did find time to do was consume every last drop of all that free stuff, especially the Honest Kids juice. And then after we ran out of the juice, I went out and bought more, a lot more.

Juice

And then more time went by and more juice was consumed and I felt even worse about never writing. I wrote her a couple of times letting her know that my kids loved the stuff, particularly the juice, and that I would write about it soon. And I meant it. I wanted to tell her about the time I served it to a child during a play date, a boy who isn’t allowed refined sugar. But since this juice is naturally sweetened (fruit only) he was allowed to have it. He thought the juice was the single greatest drink on earth. He was so into it, his mom and dad decided to pick some up as well. I meant to tell her that.

But I didn’t.

About a month ago, she sent me yet another package filled with their latest juices as well as a cool mason jar I continually drink from. The package also included a whole bunch of guilt. I was reminded of (yet again!) how I’d never written a thing. I mean, how hard can it be to throw something up here? C’mon, Michele.

juice

So, here’s the deal: I’ve promised many times before that I won’t ever become a blogger who writes reviews, or accepts free goods from marketers just so I can lie and tell you how great a product is (even if it isn’t). I am a terrible liar. I also don’t have a lot of time. I honestly have NO idea how other mom bloggers do this sort of thing and remain full-time moms. I started this post three weeks ago, and it’s just now going to see the light of screen (or so I hope). I just can’t keep up with it.

This is what happens when I try and do anything for longer than 15 minutes:

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I also don’t like feeling guilty, so I usually don’t agree to accepting free anything.

And even though to some degree advertising got both Toby and me to where we are today, I am not crazy about selling shit to people. I want people to make their own decisions based on their own tastes and needs. What do I know about what you like? Nothing. But I do know what I like, and I can and will discuss that.

And so…

Here’s the honest truth: I have been buying cases of Honest Kids juices since this particular marketer sent me her package. At first it was just a few here and there. But once we moved to the suburbs last October, and therefore discovered more storage, I started buying cases of the stuff. My mom buys it in bulk as well. She knows how much my kids love it, so it’s at her house as well.

I never wrote the review I promised all that while back and I’ve always felt badly about that. But what I have done is continue to buy the products she sent me. I became a loyal customer. My boys bring the juices to school for lunch every single day. If I forget to include one for some reason, I get an earful. We go through so much of this juice.

I’m even turning it into popsicles.

ElliotPop

My family will continue to drink Honest Juices for the foreseeable future. I’ve turned at least two other families onto Honest Kids juices. I have even handed these juices out to the workers who did our roof, cut down our rotting trees, regraded and seeded our yard, and redid our bathroom. I gotta tell you, watching hardworking men and women with filthy fingers sip juice through a kid straw is pretty hilarious.

It only took me roughly 17 months to write, but I suppose in the end, given how much we buy, I suppose in the end I did ok.

Pink Socks and Coconut Spray

There was a time I ran ads on this site. Then the organization hosting said ads (and making a killing from it) kept rotating popup ads when I explicitly asked them not to. Well, it continued, so I told them I was done making them a ton of money when I got so little out of it. (I made like 100 bucks a month and was taxed on top of that. It simply wasn’t worth it.)

Then there are the reviews. I get hundreds of requests to review stuff and 95% of the time I ignore them. Here’s the deal: I take a great deal of pride in how I conduct myself online. It wasn’t always that way! But it is now. I try and be honest and truthful in every aspect of my life, and my online life is no different. If I were to start agreeing to review stuff, I would have a great deal of trouble NOT being honest and not everything made and sold is awesome. I just don’t think I could ever lie about a product. So, instead of being faced with the possibility of NOT writing a review because a product isn’t all that, OR simply just lying, I choose to avoid reviews altogether.

Plus, given that the non-monetized, personal blog is becoming increasingly more endangered, I’d like to keep mine ad and review free.

Buuuuuut…

I did receive two items from two different marketers and now I feel obligated to write about the items. While I don’t intend on reviewing stuff here in the future (I had toyed with it) I feel I owe them a writeup. So, forgive me, fair readers. I’m about to tell you about two products sent to me for free. And I hope this doesn’t upset anyone too much.

I’ll start by saying that I don’t know the rules when it comes to reviews on blogs, but since I have nothing to lose—meaning, I don’t intend on writing any more reviews—I’m just gonna tell it like it is and be done with it. So, here goes nothing.

ITEM RECEIVED:

The first item I received is called CapriClear. (Here is the Amazon link.) It is an all-natural, spray-on, coconut moisturizer.

WHY I SAID YES:

I was drawn to this freebie for two reasons: it’s natural and it’s coconut based. I love coconut. Plus, it’s used to treat Eczema and dry skin. Since I am pregnant, and I am careful about what I put on my body, I figured the natural aspect would be perfect. Couple that with having just moved into a drafty house with radiator heat, and having excessively dry skin due to pregnancy, I took them up on their offer for a free sample. And, for the most part, it’s fine. It moisturizes and keeps what little moisture I do have in. Plus, it’s super easy to apply which is insanely important to me right now as I am huge. I like the spray-on applicator because bending over these days, or contorting in any way at all, is nearly impossible. I can’t even put on my socks or shoes all that well anymore. So the spray on feature was an added bonus.

However! I have to be honest, the spray tickles my throat! At first I wasn’t sure if it was just a coincidence: spray stuff, tickle, then cough. But it isn’t. Every time I spray it, I get a tickle and I cough. It’s not terrible, and I still use it sometimes. And it doesn’t make anyone else here cough. So, I’m left to assume that this is some weird pregnancy thing. Anyway, I’ve given it to Toby. When I’m no longer pregnant, assuming there is any left, I will try again.

My only other “complaint” is that I actually wish it smelled like coconut. It’s truly smell free, which is exactly what they were going for. You know how some companies say something is “odor free” and it so isn’t? (I’m looking at you, Tom’s of Maine deodorant!) This is completely smell free. And while that’s probably a good thing for those who need it, I love the smell of coconut, so I kind of wish they had an option that smelled like coconut. (Again: this is just a picky, little personal thing. Those with Eczema or other skin issues prefer things to be smell-free. And this is just that.)

ITEM RECEIVED:

The second item I received was a pair of socks called Heat Holders. I was sent hot pink ones. I love pink.

WHY I SAID YES:

I have something called Raynaud’s Disease. It’s not going to kill me, but it does annoy me. Basically, I have terrible circulation in my hands, feet, chest and ears (to name a few). This was truly awful when I was a skier. I was constantly battling the poor circulation in my feet and no matter how many socks I wore, or how warm they were, I was unable to stay out for very long. And I was a pretty good skier too!

It sucked. So when this woman reached out to me asking me if I wanted a pair of the warmest socks in THE ENTIRE WORLD, I said yes. (I’m exaggerating her stating IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, but dude.)

THESE SOCKS MAKE MY FEET SWEAT. They truly are warm socks. And I would LOVE to try skiing again to see if they solve my problem. But I can’t because I’m pregnant! I do, however, wear these socks around our drafty, old house. And they keep them cozy warm. So, yeah. Thumbs up on the warmth factor, Heat Holders.

My ONLY complaint about these socks is the packaging is pretty bad. (Sorry, Heat Holders!) You asked a graphic designer to review your product, which is a good product! But get better packaging!

People: packaging goes a long way. You can sell almost anything if it’s in a well-designed package. Heat Holders, while awesome, has ugly packaging. If they change that, I think they’ll sell a whole hell of a lot more socks. Because they work! I can attest, so can my cold feet: they work. Just upgrade the look and you’re golden, Heat Holders.

THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE

OK, so that’s all I have to say about all that. And I feel better for having written this after agreeing to free stuff. It didn’t feel right accepting their goods and not writing anything. And even though I don’t intend on continuing this line of writing, I feel like less of a chump now that I wrote something.

Thanks for reading! More about our slow-moving bathroom renovation in a few. We have progress!