Monday, September 29, 2008

Ocelo Sponges

There is nothing worse than a scummy, stinky sponge. In fact the smell of a nasty sponge is indescribable and oh so unique. As you can tell I hate that smell so I invested some time into finding a sponge that wouldn't make me gag. Picture me in the "sponge isle" in Target for a good fifteen minutes up to my elbows in sponges.

And then I found these:
The Ocelo sponges claimed to resist odors so I was wiling to try. At $2.49 for four sponges I was more than willing to give them a try. I put one by the sink, used it to clean off a bowl that wasn't dishwasher safe and some other odds and ends throughout the week. At the end of the week, when a normal sponge would be reeking, the ocelo sponge didn't smell at all! I kept the sponge in rotation for a couple more weeks and still, no stink!

Another thing I love about the sponges are that they are self drying. You just squeeze the excess water out of them when you are done and they are bone dry within a half hour.

As you can tell I recommend these sponges.
You can buy them here or at Target and there is a coupon for them here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Suite Francaise

Suite Francaise is a moving novel about the German occupation of France during WWII. The book looks at this time in history from many different perspectives which is why I enjoyed it so much. 
One specific point in the book that touched me was the moment in which the Parisians realized that they must leave their homes in order to stay safe. I found it interesting how people were forced to pick and choose which belongings they were going to bring with them. Often times there was not much room for many belongings but pepole would still focus on those things that they couldn't fathom leaving behind.
Full confession: I didn't finish this book. My main reason for not finishing this book is that I am working at my internship right now and I hear a lot of "heavy" stuff all day and it was hard for me to read about something so serious at night when I was relaxing. But otherwise, this is a beautifully written book that, for as far as I read it, totally recommend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Zivio vs. Motorola-When Headsets Collide

Another lovely give away at Blogher was the Zivio Bluetooth headset. California has a new law in which all drivers must wear a bluetooth headset if they want to talk while driving so I was so excited when I found out I would get one for free. The Zivio has a neat little extendable arm so that the microphone comes up to your mouth-thus cutting out on the outside noise.

The Zivio was really easy to set up on my phone and it everyone said they could hear me clearly-perfect right? Not so fast. Well the extendable arm started to have some trouble after about a month of extending and retracting it. Sometimes the little arm would fall completley out of the headset and dangle by its wires next to my face. Needless to say this was really frustrating.

About a week after the dangling act the wires started to fray and the headset stopped working all together. So I trashed the Zivio and traded up for a Motorola H12 Bluetooth headset.

I loved the retro look and the sleek design of this headset, plus it came with a bunch of accessories like a protective traveling case and a charging dock (above). The motorola headset may not have the fancy extendable arm but the quality is so good that it doesn't need it. Sure there are less buttons, bells and whistles than the Zivio, but it makes it easier to use.

Overall the Zivio is a no go but the Motorola gets a thumbs way up!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sensibly Sassy Interviews Richard Murphy

Richard Murphy, author of Confessions of a Contractor was kind enough to give me a quick online interview the other day. And now for you reading pleasure my interview with Richard Murphy:

1. How much of Henry comes from things you have actually experienced?

That’s a popular question. The book isn’t a memoir; it’s fiction that was inspired by my experiences. I encountered a lot of strange things working in other people’s homes over the years, but I was also very respectful of my clients privacy. I should probably just leave it at that.

2. Is there more in store for Henry-as in a "sequel"?

That depends on how well the book does. I’d love to follow Henry around on another adventure, but right now we’re just trying to get people to read this one, which has been challenging because as you said in your review, some people think the book’s cover is misleading. I suppose if enough readers and bloggers get behind it there’s always a chance for another installment. That’s the great thing about a book. Readers have all the power.

On another front, CBS has acquired the rights to this story, so right now I’m writing a one-hour pilot based on the book.

3. How did you make the leap from contractor to author? Was it a difficult leap?

Yes, very. I’ve always written. In fact, unlike my lead character it was the reason I moved out here. But it took me fifteen years just to get a literary agent to call me back, so while I was waiting for the phone to ring, I renovated houses and apartments. After I finally got an agent to sign me, I wrote studio films for about four years. While I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity, most of them got dragged down in development, which caused me to step back and stock in my life. That’s when I decided to approach this story as a novel.

4. What was it like to walk into a book store and see your book on the shelf?

Surreal, yet incredibly rewarding. Seeing something I wrote on a shelf other than my own gave me a sense of completion that has eluded me for years.

5. Do you have another book in the works? If so can you clue us into what it is about?

Yes. I’m starting to outline another novel now. I can’t really say what it’s about, other than it centers on three very different relationships, and how those relationships are all affected by the same decision

Monday, September 15, 2008

Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy

I picked up the book "Confessions of a Contractor" at Blogher as one of the many books we were given for free. The bright red cover and the slinky lingerie immediately made me guess it to be sensationalized fluff. And as I quickly read through the first fifty or so pages, well let's just say it starts with a bang.

After reading this particular "scene" in the book I figured this book would be appropriate for a bubble bath read. So I placed it in a stack of books to read and forgot about it for a while.

After having a stressful week I decided I needed something light to read  so I grabbed this book off of the stack.  A couple pages past the hot and heavy beginning the book actually surprised me. No longer was this book a Desperate Housewives deja vu, but a very well written story about a contractor, named Henry.

As salacious as the opening pages might have been, the rest of the book proved to have more to it. Murphy had a way of expressing Henry's thoughts in a way that sort of snuck up on you. Henry's thoughts were deeply personal and unexpected which really packed a punch to the reader when you didn't see it coming.  Murphy beautifully expresses how the things that we believe make us who we are, are also the things that may hold us back from truly becoming ourselves.Many of the paragraphs led me to setting the book down on my lap and really thinking about my view of Henry's predicaments (which ranged from women, money, family ties, pets and even deportation). 

Like I said, looking at the cover a reader probably expects something with little substance. And while there are some very racy scenes in the book, there is so much more. This book was a very well written and quick read.

Oh and P.S. this book has a really fun website check it out!

Official rating: Watermelon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Trudeau Pot Clip Spoon Rest

My journey through all gadgets fit for the kitchen continues with the Trudeau Pot Clip Spoon Rest. This may sound silly but on the rare occasions that I would cook or bake when I lived my parents I would always be agitated by the mess that placing the spoon in the average spoon rest would leave. Sure, the average spoon rest is handy because most pots do not necessitate constant stirring and you have to put the spoon somewhere...but on the way to the spoon rest you leave a trail of drippings (it's the worst when your spoon is covered in spaghetti sauce).

The Trudeau Pot Clip Spoon Rest comes in and saves the day! The pot clip is part metal and part silicone (I just love silicone cooking products) and attaches to whichever pot you may be using at the time.

This way there is no commute for your cooking utensil and no messy trail showing where your spoon has been. I was a little worried that the spoon could teeter off of the spoon click-but nope, it just stays put right where you want it.

At $6.95 this is one gadget that is worth every penny! You can find them HERE