So What's An Aquaphor? Find Out Below & Enter To Win A Gift Basket PLUS $100 Visa Gift Card!

{ Tuesday, November 17, 2009 }

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Aquaphor.

Yes, this is a compensated review from BlogHer and Aquaphor, BUT! I would have totally written it anyway because I am in love with this product. In fact, I owned so much of it already that when I received the free samples I'm supposed to be reviewing, I gave them to my pregnant friend so that she could learn the joys of a diaper cream that doesn't smell AND that doubles as a heal-all for baby's skin.

That should be my review right there, but I'll actually go ahead and say more.

Growing up, my mom used the same diaper cream that everyone used. (I can actually conjure up that smell in my mind if I think about it.) When I got pregnant, I just assumed everyone still used smelly creams, and I was resigned to using them myself.


The day after we returned from the hospital with our darling daughter, and my visiting mother-in-law asked if I'd heard of Aquaphor.

"NO! WHAT'S AN AQUA FOR?" I replied, thinking I was clever. Because I was covered in spit-up and boob juice and quite possibly my own drool. I don't think my MIL was half as amused as I.

She explained that Aquaphor is the only thing her daughter will use because it is awesome AND completely odorless. And then just in case I wanted to try it, she went out and got us some.

I do not know if I am capable of writing what it's like as a new mother, freshly back from the hospital in a shocked-and-awed stupor, to use a product that just works.

Personally, it's not like anything went wrong when I got home...I just couldn't tell if I was doing anything right, either:

Is she eating enough? Am I holding her okay? Is she sleeping too much? Do I need to wake her up to change her? Is she too hot? Too cold? Is it okay that she fell asleep here instead of there? Should she be wearing a hat?

So the first time I saw the faint red marks around Eve's thighs where her diaper gathers, I knew enough to say, "Okay, this is not good." But I didn't know if that's what I was supposed to use the Aqua-for. (HA! I crack me up!)

I opened the jar and was relieved that there was no scent at all. I dabbed my finger into it and was relieved that it wasn't gross or greasy. I put a little bit on Eve's red marks, and then just hoped for the best.

Not much later, when she needed to be changed again, I didn't know what to expect. But you can imagine my astonishment when her red marks were totally gone. The truth is, I felt like Florence Nightingale. I was a healer! Something was wrong with my baby and I used the right thing and then the thing that was wrong wasn't wrong anymore! I AM A GREAT MOTHER! TA-DA!!!

(Yes, it was really the magic of Aquaphor but I will totally take the credit.)

But then? IT GOT BETTER!

One day while breastfeeding, I was staring at Eve's face, wondering when the skin on her forehead would heal. (Newborns go from being in fluid to being on dry land, and their skin can get/stay very dry as it "sheds" its in-womb properties. Regular grown-up moisturizers are not good for baby skin, and even gentle lotions aren't so good for babies' faces.) I looked to my side table and noticed the tube of Aquaphor just sitting there. I wondered...

The label said it protects and relieves chapped skin, so I figured I'd give it a shot. LO AND BEHOLD. Obviously it didn't clear up her dry skin in one shot, but regular application seemed to make it better. (Of course, her skin was a little shiny for a while, what with the ointment glistening on her forehead, but whatever. I'll take "glisten" over "red and flaky" any day.)

But once I realized what a miracle salve Aquaphor was, I started using it for everything. Sometimes Eve will still get pink patches of dry skin on her face, and I'll dab some Aquaphor on them and they clear up right away. (Note: VERY helpful for photos!!!) I smear the Aquaphor all over her legs when they get really dry and baby moisturizer just won't cut it. I also use Aquaphor to protect her skin from further damage/inflammation when she scrapes herself with her fingernails (which happens because I am still not very good at clipping them, whatever). I even use it on my hands when they get chafed (from my obsessive hand washing and sanitizer using -- it is flu season after all!).

And again, for the record? ALL of this was true before they ever sent me a single sample. Lucky for you, because now it's your turn to benefit!

Enter my "What's YOUR AquaPHOR"
contest below (Get it? What's your Aqua FOR? Does NO ONE find this amusing but me?), and you can win over $200 in cool stuff! Details as follows:

::::What You Win::::

Winner (chosen at random) will receive a use-as-you-please $100 Visa Gift Card. Just in time for the holidays!

More importantly, Winner will ALSO receive an Aquaphor Gift Basket worth over $100, stocked with:
  • 2 Aquaphor 14oz Baby Jars (these are the big daddys I have at our changing stations)
  • 2 Aquaphor 3 oz tubes (the ones I have in the medicine cabinet and next to the facial tissue in the bathroom)
  • 2 Baby-to-Go Aquaphor .35 oz tubes (for the diaper bags)
  • 2 Aquaphor 8 oz bottles of Gentle Wash and Shampoo
  • 2 Eucerin Hand Crème
  • Eucerin Original Lotion 8 oz bottle
  • Eucerin Original Crème 16 oz jar
  • Eucerin Calming Crème 14oz Tube
  • ...and a Rubber Ducky!

::::How To Enter::::

Leave a comment about how you do, would, or could use Aquaphor.

  • The contest will begin on Tuesday, November 17th and will end Tuesday, December 15th (at 5 pm PST).
  • No duplicate comments.
  • Make sure the email address you include/leave in the comment is correct.
  • You may receive ONE additional entry by linking on Twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
  • You may receive ONE additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
  • You can enter up to 7 additional contests by checking out the other BlogHer reviewers' posts!
  • This giveaway is open to US residents, aged 18 and over.
  • Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
  • You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
  • Please see the official rules here: Official rules
For more information, please visit Aquaphor's official website: TO SOOTHE, PROTECT AND HELP HEAL:


Check out the BlogHer Sweepstakes page! Join the conversation and enter to win $1000 from and Aquaphor!

This Dishwasher Will Save My Marriage! And Possibly Score You A $200 Best Buy Gift Card!

{ Wednesday, October 14, 2009 }
Be sure to visit my everyday blog: She Just Walks Around With It.
This whole "Part Two" thing will make more sense if you read Part One first.

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Samsung Home Appliances.

Unlike my first attempt, where I veer off course.

I never even once talk about my boobs in this review, for example.

So let's see. Where were we? Well okay, first things first.
  1. If you want to get RIGHT to the part where you can enter the Samsung $200 Best Buy Gift Card contest, scroll down. But know that I think you're a party pooper.

  2. If you want to buy a cool looking, cool sounding dishwasher that will clean and sanitize your ever-growing baby bottle collection in under an hour, I recommend this dishwasher.

  3. If you don't really care about the bottle thing but just want a dishwasher that can FIT YOUR WINE GLASSES OMG, I also recommend this dishwasher.

  4. If you want to know why bad dishwasher status will ruin your marriage or make it snow in your livingroom, read Part One of this review here.

  5. If you just read Part One and are all, TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR DISHWASHER LIFE, let's continue.


Despite our house being newly built and having some rather nice amenities, the dishwasher did not bode well for our marriage and eternal happiness. The dishwasher sucked. Suck, suckity, suck-suck sucked.

Sucked because:

A: It was tiny.

Forget fitting plates, whatever. Wine glasses did not fit in the top rack. Yes, there was a stupid thingy made for where the wine stems go, but that only worked with our tiniest wine glasses, of which we have maybe three.

Also? Ha, ha. Apparently the part of our kitchen that was "custom built" to house a dishwasher was not made to any sort of "standard" specifications and therefore doesn't naturally conform to any sort of normal dishwasher removal or installation. So while this is a different issue entirely, it took the Best Buy installer dude 3 seconds to say, "Oh yeah, no, sorry. You can't fit a dishwasher there."

Note: He said this while pointing at the dishwasher that was already there. Awesome.

B: It didn't, you know, WASH THE DISHES.

I don't ask a lot of my appliances. I understand that most appliance failing is my fault. (See: kitchen moat. Or did I ever tell you about the time I made a microwave shoot flames? While at work? No? Hmm.) But after repeated use by me AND my husband, I can say with confidence that it's not my fault. Our dishwasher just didn't clean dishes.

So to set the stage for my doomed marriage, let me restate. Yes, I have a dishwasher, but that horrid, plain, white, cheapo appliance would more appropriately be called A Small White Box That Sprays Some Water On The Six Dishes That Fit In Here. And Leaves Them Spotty.

Meaning, obviously, that without a better dishwasher, our marriage would sputter and spot and we'd eventually outgrow it.

Thus, when presented with an opportunity to get a NEW dishwasher, I leapt at the chance. Please don't suck! Please don't be tiny! And, upon further reflection, Please save me from divorce!

And here are the results.

The dishwasher is the Samsung Built-In Dishwasher (it's this model):

This is like, an Official Product Photo.

Oooh, even the inside is sparkly metal!

The thing looks awesome. Once we got it in (which took some doing because our "custom" kitchen is not set up to accommodate any sort of normal appliance), it looked beautiful.

Our kitchen cabinetry is all white, and our appliances all "match." Except I'm not a huge fan of the coordinated white appliances because, like everyone else in the world, I think stainless steel appliances are so much more elegant-looking and modern.

Our kitchen. Note the white microwave and oven on the right,
the made-to-look-like-a-white-cabinet fridge (to the left of where the counter ends),
and the white island, which is where the dishwasher lives.

Plus everything goes with stainless steel.

So until we can afford to replace all of our appliances with stainless steel versions, starting with the dishwasher was an excellent first step. It doesn't stand out as mismatched at all.

Next -- and I know this is a really random thing to say -- the dishwasher sounds great. It is a pretty quiet machine when running, but that's not even what I mean. I mean that the buttons make little sounds when you touch them, and they sound really cool. Especially the power button.

I know. I know you're not going to buy a dishwasher because the buttons sound cool. Probably. But I wouldn't put it past me to make a decision that way, so I'm pointing it out.

Isn't this a happy sound?

Oh right. Probably the more important thing to point out is that there IS a power button. Meaning the the machine doesn't stay on 24/7, like older models do. Having a power button makes so much sense! I don't know how much of an impact this has on the environment, but hey -- if I can save some power here and there, I'm happy to. No need for the machine to always be on, right?

Ooh! Pretty, fancy buttonry!

But probably you're reading along here and just want to know if the machine works well. Yes, it does.

For one thing, it's totally easy to use. Naturally, I ran the first load as soon as the installer guy left without even looking at the manual. (Probably not the preferred method of operation, huh? Sorry, Samsung!) Basically I saw a button that said "Quick," looked at the mounting pile of baby bottles (uh, and maybe empty wine glasses, who's to say?) and was like, YES. I opened the machine, marveled at the amount of roominess and top-rack clearance (is it called "clearance"? I mean, when you think about it, a dishwasher IS kind of like a parking lot, except for dishes...) and jammed it full of bottles and glasses and whatever else I could find. I hit the "Quick" button.

And nothing happened.

So I hit the button about three million more times.

Still nothing happened.

Do you know why? Have you figured it out? Well, that's when I realized what the save-the-planet "Power" button is for. The machine isn't ON until you turn it on. So I turned it on, hit "Quick" and the machine told me it had 38 minutes to go.

Not bad for a full cycle!

At the end of the 38 minutes -- which count down very visibly, by the way --

17 minutes left to go!

I popped open the machine and was mostly delighted. The dishes, glasses, and bottles were SO CLEAN. I maybe did a happy dance.

I must point out that I was a little surprised at the amount of moisture still left in the dishwasher, though. It was still very wet. I just figured that the "dry" part part of the "Quick" cycle had maybe been somewhat compromised in order to get the dishes done in under 40 minutes(?). Despite the dishwasher and dishes being a little damp, however, THERE WERE NO SPOTS ON THE WINE GLASSES. So, I'll take damp over spotty any day.

The next time I ran the dishwasher, I used the "Normal" cycle with a very full load of dishes that were maybe not very well pre-cleaned. Because, yes, I wanted to challenge my new machine. Again, the dishes were spotless. Every plate and glass was clean and unspotted, and the stuff we didn't wash off the dishes was nowhere to be seen (I guess is due to the thing's "hard food disposer" thingy?). AND the machine was a little bit drier this time.

I also noticed that the moisture seemed to be worse on the plastic pieces in the dishwasher (tupperware, for example) than on the glass and ceramic. There is probably some physics law for this, but la la la, clean dishes.

Lastly, we tried the "Normal" cycle and added the "Extra Dry & Sanitize" option and that helped with the moisture situation a lot. It took longer to do the whole load, obviously, but that's not really a big deal if you leave the dishwasher to run while you go to bed (especially because when the dishwasher's done, it turns itself off).

To recap!

  • Looks gorgeous (will make your stupid white appliances jealous)

  • Runs quietly

  • Makes cool sounds that will make you think you're living in the future

  • Incredibly spacious

  • Lots of "clearance" on the top rack, like a parking lot!

Here are two wineglasses (for scale). On the right, a very small, old-fashioned wine glass.
On the left, a gigantic red wine glass intended for reds like Bordeaux that
could not in a million years fit on the top rack of my old dishwasher.

Here is the dishwasher, open. Will Gigantaur The Wineglass fit?

It does! It's a dishwasher miracle!

  • Everything fits and the racks are even adjustable (though I haven't had to adjust them for anything yet)

  • Awesome "Quick" cycle (very helpful if you have company coming and you forgot to do the dishes!) (Not that this has ever happened to me!). Also awesome if you have a ton of bottles that could really use a power wash in a hurry.

  • Automatically shuts off, is not pulling energy 24/7, has a Power button (it's "Energy Star" compliant, but but that's not something I would notice by looking at it or using it, unlike the power button)

  • Leaves dishes a little damp unless you run it with the "Extra Dry & Sanitize" option

And of course, considering all the empirical evidence, thanks to Samsung, our marriage has been saved. And I can go back to writing about my boobs. Phew.


Not only can you win a $200 Best Buy Gift Card from ME, you can go peruse the seven other Samsung appliance reviews (even though they didn't write about their boobs, either) for seven additional chances to win.

See the review round-up and additional chances to win here!

How to Enter:

Leave me a comment about which Samsung appliance will change your life forever, rescue your marriage from certain destruction, or, you know, just look spiffy in your home.

(You can see from the review round-up above that you're choosing between a dishwasher, fridge, electric range, microwave or washer/dryer. )

I mean, feel free to write a whole blog post about which you'd choose and just link to that in your comment, too. You may be surprised at just how much you have to say about a dishwasher. I was!

The contest officially begins at 9:00 am PST on 10/15/09 and end 5:00 pm PST on 11/15/09. Sadly, I cannot accept entries that come in before or after these times.

Please be sure to leave a way for me to contact you in your comment (email, blog, whatever) or I can't count your entry as valid.

  • No duplicate comments, BUT
  • You may receive ONE additional entry by linking on Twitter and leaving a link in the comments to your Tweet.
  • You may receive ONE additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
  • This giveaway is open to US residents, aged 18 and older.
  • Winner will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to get back to me once I contact her/him, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
  • Please see the official rules here: Official Rules

For more information, please visit Samsung's website.

Thanks for visiting, reading, and entering! Good luck!