Thursday, January 6, 2011

Edge of your seat? Yep, it's the Retail Beat

I don't know how long it's been, but an old feature here at NTB has been revived. That's right, folks, the Retail Beat is back!
So, here goes, a random list of products you might like to know about . . .
You know how fake Uggs are called "Fuggs"? The name for fake Girl Scout Samoas is "Famoas." Because I said so. Famoas are sold in stores as Keebler Fudge Shoppe Coconut Dreams. I've mentioned before that I am a Samoa lover so I am pleased that the quite tasty Famoas are available in grocery store aisles year round. I still plan to support the Girls Scouts with my cookie purchases though because buying and eating Girl Scout Cookies is practically patriotic-- "Am I bingeing on cookies that have seventy calories each? Nope, I am promoting self esteem, leadership, and team work in our nation's young women." With Famoas, it's just bingeing, but they are as TASTY as Samoas (aka Caramel De-lites) as far as I can tell.

Cracker Barrel Sweet Pepper and Apple Relish
One holiday miracle for our family this past season was my hubby's voluntarily stopping at Cracker Barrel on our way to St. Louis to celebrate Christmas with his family. I almost wept with joy as he pulled into the lot. We had a delightful meal and though I was allotted less than a minute to browse in the country store (which hubby calls "the crap store"), I grabbed this Sweet Pepper and Apple relish. Pour it on top of some cream cheese to spread on crackers for an easy appetizer or use it to add tangy flavor to your green beans or pork (have tried both recently). Very pleased with this impulsive purchase.

Totes Digital Cup-Holder Change Bank (unofficial but hopefully descriptive enough name)
I spotted these little banks at Staples and Kohls this holiday season and gave a few as gifts, including one gift from me to me. The bank fits into your vehicle's cup holder and counts your change as you insert it. There are little buttons on top to subtract what you take out. If you fancy drive-thru fountain drinks or live somewhere where parking meters still require change, this item is ideal. No more having to wonder if you have enough change to cover your Diet Coke and a small fry. Just check the top of your cup-holder change bank.

McDonalds Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
Speaking of drive-thrus . . . I recently sampled McDonalds new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. I found it quite satisfying, so much so that I tried it again today. Here's what you need to know -- order it with the brown sugar. The first time they asked my preference and I was all, "Yes. Of course. Sugar please." This morning, I ordered oatmeal with sugar, but there was some static, and I think they heard "without sugar." Anyway, without sugar, it's kind of crap, but with sugar, it's a home run (fitting metaphor as my McDonalds is across from Wrigley Field).

Busytown Mysteries: The Biggest Mysteries Ever!
If you take family road trips, this DVD could be your new favorite thing. I got ours for $5 at Target and just saw that it's the same price on Amazon. These little mysteries stories are really cute and watching them could just help promote important skills like paying attention to details and making inferences. Plus, there's a totally kicking theme song that plays at the beginning of each story. So good that hubby was singing along and doing jazz hands. Yep. One more thing -- did I mention that the DVD is over four hours long? Four hours for five dollars plus jazz hands. You can't lose.

What's on your Retail Beat these days?

TO BE CLEAR: No one is paying or otherwise sponsoring me to write about any of the above products. I bought them with my own money because I wanted them and am writing about them because I thought you might care.


Anonymous said...

I am loving the bounce sticks that you stick to your dryer. Have you tried them? I think it would be a hit.

My moms group had a greatest things meeting and everyone brings their favorite things meeting and everyone brings something under $5 and you leave with someone else's favorite thing. I ended up with chocolate that was way too dark, but I still thought it was fun.


Stacia said...

I love gifts from me to me. I think my next one will be a package of these Coconut Dreams of which you speak. How have I made it this long as a Samoa lover and not heard of these?? (Jazz hands!)

Mrs.Mayhem said...

I had no idea about fake Uggs. My daughter has a pair of fuggs. Too funny!

"...the crap store." That is awesome! I think I might love your hubby!

I NEED two of those change cup holders. My husband throws change all over the car.

dusty earth mother said...

Good list, Mep. Didn't know about the famoas! What a find! (although I won't tell any of my friends now, so that my kid can sell more GS cookies next month.)

By the way, Lady Jennie and I gave you a little shout-out on my blog today. xxoo

E... said...

Yum. Samoas.
I also purchased one of those banks -- for J. Kids love to give/take change from his desk, and thought it would be fun to keep track.
I have been wondering about the McD's oatmeal, and will def. check it out now.
O. loved the busytown guys, but now seems to have left them in the dust for digimon and other weird anime. For some reason N. has a serious aversion to them, so this great bargain will unfortunately not be a good one for us and we'll keep being disappointed by scratched up library dvds.
My new favorite purchase is honey wheat pretzel braids. Little bit sweet, little bit salty, definitely crunchy. I eat far too many of them after 9PM.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

The Crap Store? Nicely put. And he sealed the deal for an endorsement from Cracker Barrel, eh? :)

Looks yummy, though...

LAP said...

Sorry for my tardy response. All I have to offer is that I recently started purchasing the nail polish remover that comes in indivual just open one, wipe off your nails, and voila, all done. It is more expensive than the standard bottle with cotton ball method, but it is SO much easier.

I'm upset I didn't see one of those coin holders in the grab bag over Christmas. Would have been all over that...

Heather said...

Oh, but the store at Cracker Barrel is what keeps Gabe behaving at the table (you know, the promise of you can LOOK at the toys after you eat your food).

I finally bought a Swiffer Wet Jet, but I am so behind the times. I can't think of a new item that I love...

Steph said...

Yay, yay for Famoas! My fave, too.

CaraBee said...

I love that little change bank! I should get one for my husband, who somehow accumulates a mountain of change even though we practically never use cash anymore.

Let's see. My favorite things. Well, I've been using the 3-in-1 sheets for the laundry and quite like them. No need to measure out soap or worry about a separate dryer sheet. It's a little thing, but it's nice.

Fingerless gloves. I got a pair for a friend for Christmas and decided to get a pair for myself as well. LOVE. THEM. I wear them around the house, which is always cold. On cooler, but not freezing, days, I wear them out and about. I got them on Etsy and they are super cute. I recommend.

Sorry to be absent for so long! I've missed you too! I'm back!

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