We’d all rather spend money on fun family vacations and summer roadtrips than lemon products that look promising in the store but prove to be wasted money at home.
To help keep this from happening, check out our shopping guides with helpful products to buy (and which ones to skip).
July Shopping Guide: Starting Summer With Smart Product Choices
Review: These natural fiber sponges are made of 50% natural agave plant. The sponges don’t feel like regular sponges; they have a much more gooey and gummy texture. While a regular sponge dries out and gets hard or crunchy after use, the natural sponges don’t dry. They always feel soft.
I love the green clean because the Scotch Brite Natural Fiber sponges are also made from recycled paper! I tested them out to make sure they can go through the dishwasher for sanitizing just like a regular sponge, and the answer is yes. Clean green and happy!
Scotch Brite Natural Fiber sponges are more expensive than regular sponges, so make sure you buy them on Amazon with Subscribe & Save to get a discount.
Review: This sneaky little gel pad is so small that it doesn’t show in your shoes, but it makes all the difference between a day of pain from standing on your feet or pleasure from a better shoe fit!
The Dr. Scholl’s for Her heel liner is a gel pad with an adhesive backing. It sticks onto the inside back of the shoe, so that it sits against the back of your heel. It prevents your shoe from rubbing and digging into your skin so that you don’t get irritation and blisters.
The only downside to the Dr Scholl’s heel liners is that the adhesive is not removable/restickable, so you’ll need to buy a separate pair of heel liners for each pair of shoes. Once you put them in, you won’t want to remove them because the gel pad won’t stick again. I love Dr. Scholl’s heel liners and have them in all my flats and dress shoes now!
3. Almay Bright Eyes Collection.
Review: Check out my video review to see the good and bad points of this 3-piece makeup set.
Review: We all want a handy roll up yoga mat to carry back and forth to the gym. Unfortunately, almost all of the yoga mats on the market are made with latex. For those of us (like me) who are allergic to latex, there aren’t many alternatives for workout and exercise mats.
I managed to find a padded vinyl fold up mat at Target that also has handles. It’s not as compact as the roll up Pilates mat, but it gets the job done without rashes and hives for the latex-allergic. Added bonus: the vinyl fold up mat is padded for extra cushioning!
Review: The best ice cube tray ever invented, Orka will have you wondering why in the world you bought generic ice cube trays at the dollar store all these years! The Orka ice cube tray with a lid and silicone buttons is the Cadillac of ice cube making.
There is no more twisting and cracking the tray to get your ice cubes to pop out. Each oval has a silicone bottom which, when pushed firmly, pops out only the ice cube you want removed. Nothing else falls on the counter or floor; all you get is the cube you want removed.
My husband and I have been using the Orka ice cube tray for pureed fruit also (handy for baby food singles and smoothies too). The lid ensures your ice cubes won’t spill in the freezer or absorb smelly odors. Orka’s lid also has raised lines which allow you to stack multiple trays without them sliding out of place. You can even choose from tons of colors so that your ice cube tray will match your kitchen décor!
Watch Out! Products Not to Buy
Review: These washable first crayons for your budding artist are designed to look like a fun animal that is easy to hold. The cute red pig and blue panda disappointed me quickly – as soon as I took them out of the package, to be exact.
You are supposed to remove the “legs”, the base which the animals stand on, to reveal the crayon tip. With each My First Crayola washable crayon, as soon as I took off the base and held the animal upright, the triangular crayon fell out! Not only is this not safe if a 12 month old (the age appropriateness listed on the package), but you can’t color with the animal if the crayon won’t stay in. That’s right, I tried to put the crayons back into the animals and they won’t stay in.
Needless to say, these My First Crayola washable crayon animals either BOTH were defective or this is a flawed product design. I’m disappointed in Crayola, as I expect more hands on testing for their products for safety and functionality before release. I will be calling the Crayola Quality Guarantee line (1-800-CRAYOLA) to report that the product does not perform properly.
Disclaimer: This article has material connections. IS World Media (ISWM)received no fees for the writing or publication of this article. This article is a product review written by Danelle Ice and is her honest opinion. Samples of Scotch Brite Natural Fiber sponges were provided to ISWM at no cost to facilitate the review process. all other products mentioned were purchased by ISWM for review. This post contains affiliate links and readers may assume that HomeEverAfter.com receives compensation when affiliate links are used.