A mat to keep your pet occupied, reusable produce bags and stacking cups

Makeup remover swabs for a perfect eye every time
From Hecate: I am queen of the after-smudge. I finally get my eye makeup just right and my mascara drops on my lid or I find splattered shadow on my cheek. I use the Hollywood Fashion Secrets brand for their tapes, which work great, so I trust their products. These are cotton swabs filled with aloe vera and vitamin E to make little quick blunders without having to wipe the eye and start over. It earned 4.2 stars out of 52 ratings and an A on Fakespot Reviews suggest, “Also great to keep in purse or for travel,” and that, “If you travel or do makeup on the run they’re a must for quick touchups.”

An affordable strapless bra that will stay up
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From Hecate: I’m a fan of slouchy, off the shoulder necklines so I am forever searching for a strapless bra that doesn’t pull my breasts down (gravity’s already doing that, thankyouverymuch). One issue I have is I can’t bring myself to pay $65 for a bra (even though I know I need to pay more for the quality I’m looking for.) This Warner’s strapless got good reviews on a few Best Of sites and it’s closer to the price I pay for my Target bras. It got 3.9 stars out of 620 reviews and Fakespot gave it a B. Among the comments that sold me, “I’ve worn it all day several times and never had to adjust it,” and “It doesn’t fall down, which is a big problem with many strapless bras, and it cannot be seen through shirts.” Also, it’s a convertible bra and I like the versatility of convertibles.

A fun and flattering two piece bathing suit with sleeves!
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From Hecate: I found this suit on the #FoundItOnAmazon tab and I just love it. The bottoms are ruched and high-waisted for maximum coverage and the top is a long-sleeved, swim shirt crop top with molded cups. It comes in ten fun colors/designs and costs just under $30. Reviewers confirm, that it’s “Stylish, modest but chic at the same time,” and there are a lot of reviewer photos so you can see it on. I love being in the water but I hate swimsuits, I think this might just be the answer.

Stacking cups: the ultimate baby toy
From Hecate: I was thinking about this when I wrote up the Amy Schumer parenting hack of using a box as a toy. One of the things I didn’t know before I had kids is, “the simpler the better.” Hand to God, I took my son to Italy for a month when he was 15 months old without my husband (I was accompanying my parents who were attending a wedding and nervous about traveling overseas). Stacking cups were the only toy I brought. The set I had only had five cups. This First Years set has eight cups in different sizes and colors and holes in the bottom so they’re perfect for play time in and out of the bath. I swear, this will be the best $8 you spend on your baby. The only additional ‘hack’ I give you is buy two or three sets so if you lose any of the cups, you can replace them without the kid noticing. I did not do this and no matter how young your child is, I promise you, they know. Just in case my endorsement isn’t enough, these earned 4.8 stars out of 12,255 ratings and a B on Fakespot.

A special licking mat to keep your dog or cat calm and occupied
From CB: I was looking through the bestsellers in pet supplies and I found a product I didn’t know existed. The Lickimat is a special serrated mat you can put treat food on for your dog or cat. It’s said to be soothing and to help keep them occupied during stressful times, like when you’re leaving the house or vacuuming. People recommend putting wet food, yogurt, canned pumpkin, peanut butter, or banana chunks in it. It comes in different shapes meant for small to medium and large to extra large pets. This has 4.3 stars, over 3,000 ratings and a C on Fakespot, making the adjusted rating still very good. People say it really works to soothe their dog, that it helps slow down how fast they eat, and that it keeps them busy for at least 15 to 20 minutes. It’s also said to be easy to clean. Some pets will chew on it if you don’t take it away when they’re finished.

24 ounces of taco seasoning for under $5!
From CB: I still buy the individual taco seasoning packets for a $1 each, but this is 1/5th of the price! You get a full 24 ounces of taco seasoning for just $4.69. Nice. People say that it’s cheaper than at Costco, that it lasts a long time and that it’s versatile and can be used for seasoning chicken too. This does not have a great Fakespot rating, but I regularly use it as an individual product and it’s so inexpensive I think it’s worth a shot. You can also get chili seasoning in a 22 ounce size for under $12, which is still half the price of the packets.

15 reusable mesh produce bags for under $14
From CB: I usually skip putting my produce in the plastic bags and just leave them loose until they get home. These bags serve double duty at the grocery store and in your refrigerator to keep produce separated. They may also keep them fresher longer. They’re also said to be easy to scan through at the supermarket. These come in packs of 15 and in different size options, all under $14. They have 4.8 stars, over 3,600 ratings and a B on Fakespot! Sold.

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30 Responses to “A mat to keep your pet occupied, reusable produce bags and stacking cups”

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  1. Ahully1 says:

    Not a mom, but can second the love I’ve seen of those stacking cups from my kid friends! They’re one of the few toys my mom pal keeps for posterity & for when younger kids come over.

  2. ChillyWilly says:

    I’m going to get that Lick Mat for my kitties. They don’t like treats but this will be awesome for their catnip!

  3. RoyalBlue says:

    Likkimat owner here. My dog loves it and yes it slows down the gobbling and can keep him busy for 20 minutes and you do need to take it away right after. Well worth it.

  4. manda says:

    I’m buying that lick mat. My dog has recently started to have some reflux, and so we give her honey or peanut butter to coat her throat and make her swallow and drink some, and this will be perfect! I bought her a kong and she has no idea what to do with it, which I think is so funny

    I think that bathing suit is soooo cute and I am so tempted, but I bought a few new ones last year and can’t really justify. I’m going to put it on my wishlist though. Super cute! Last year, one of the affiliate posts had a really cute bathing suit that I bought. Who knew amazon had so many cute
    bathing suits?

    Also, the produce bags are great, I have them. I forget to bring them sometimes, but such is life

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Do any cat owners here feed their felines human food in addition to their car food? I’m really interested, because I’m having this ongoing back-and-forth with my youngest about expanding her diet, and I don’t want to. In the past, when giving her wet cat food, she’d leave ‘wet’ presents for us to clean up. She hasn’t done that since we’ve gone dry only.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t, other than a few leaves of spinach, which she always, oddly, begs for. Sometimes I’ll give her a crumb of cheese or let her lick my yogurt bowl but otherwise I don’t.

      She’s in a phase right now where she hardly eats and it’s making me nervous, though. She gets sick of her current food (dry and wet) and then I have to do a bit of trial and error until I find another one she likes. Finicky girl! Which the vet says is normal, btw.

    • Dee says:

      Be very careful. I had a cat that broke out because she was allergic to dairy. Hubby would set down his ice cream bowl; she would get itchy and lose fur near her tail. With male cats especially, having lots of water bowls in different places is important if you are only feeding dry food.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Good to know. I felt pretty strong about no human food, but Google kinda waffles. @Dee, the water bowl thing is super funny because I always set it beside her food bowl. She ALWAYS moves it out to, practically, the middle of the room. Not the food. Just the water. And not once or twice. I put it beside the food, and when I return, it’s in the middle of the room. Is it our Pepper or a poltergeist? Maybe Pepper’s the poltergeist.

      • Esmom says:

        That’s so cute! Cats are so funny,

      • Chanteloup says:

        This is because in the wild, cats go to great measures to keep their food and water sources separate to avoid having the food contaminate the water. Many cats also don’t like their water to smell like their food, which can happen if the water and food bowls are too close together.
        Ok – that was a direct quote from the web I didn’t copy the link to because I didn’t know if I was allowed to post links.
        I learned this a few years ago, though, and since then have always put my cats’ water bowls far away from their food – and they drink more!
        I love cats.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Well damn, I feel bad! Maybe I’ll just designate a separate water wall. It’ll be interesting to see if still ends up in the middle of the room lol.

      • Chanteloup says:

        lol, cats are very opinionated!

    • lucy2 says:

      My previous cat loved some people food, and if I made chicken or something I always made her some too (or she’d scream her head off). My current cats have zero interest in any people food, even stuff like turkey. You can probably find recipes online for home made cat food, if you want to try that.
      You have to be careful with dryfood only – it can be carb-heavy, and cats naturally get their hydration from food more than drinking water. Maybe talk to your vet about some different kinds of wet food to try?

    • Aang says:

      My cats eat chicken, fish, scrambled eggs, occasionally cheese. I have an older cat that will eat only one flavor of a certain dry food. When she got sick and lost her appetite it was tough to get her to eat because there was nothing to tempt her with. The vet said it’s a good idea to get cats used to a variety of foods when they are very young because they develop intractable tastes. When I got a couple of kittens I made sure I let them try everything. Their very favorite is jarred turkey baby food. So I give that very sparingly to keep them from getting bored with it and in the event they get ill I know I’ll have something they will eat. Of course cats can also have little a salami, as a treat (If you don’t know that saying look it up, it’s fun).

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        That’s what I read Aang. Mild, bland and lean meats, eggs and every now and then cheese. I might try one thing at a time every other week or so. She’s so weird about food. She hops on top of the trash canister’s domed lid to watch me cook, but she never tries to eat anything, she just smells and watches every little thing I do. But when I open the fridge, she darts in and puts her paw on her food container. Odd thing, we dump her dried food into an air tight container and store in the fridge to keep her out of it. Now, if we give her food from a fresh bag that hasn’t been in the fridge, she won’t eat it. Lmao. Goober cat.

    • nb says:

      I have one male cat that only likes dry/wet cat food and once in a while a bit of lunch meat. My other male cat loves almost all ‘people food’. I only give him very small amounts but he regularly gets bits of high quality cheese, steak, pork chops, ham, chicken, turkey, lunch meat, meatloaf, salmon, mashed potatoes/gravy, etc. He’s even tried watermelon, avocado, cucumbers, bananas and tomatoes. Every few days I put a teaspoon or two of coconut oil out for him and he loves that too. The vet said there isn’t anything wrong with it as long as it’s just a little bit, and actually said it’s good for them to have something like rotisserie chicken with the fat and skin on because it provides healthy fat and moisture. He’s at a perfect weight and his last round of tests came back great so I don’t see anything wrong with it if he likes people food treats here and there!

      • You’re right! Ive been raising and loving all sorts of animals, mostly cats, for 50+years and as long as it’s not their primary food, the fats and moisture in human food and heathy plant fats are essential to get happy, healthy babies.

  6. Esmom says:

    Great post! I’m going to order the mat and the bags right now. Brb, lol!

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I want those too. I need to find produce bags that prolong freshness.

    • JennEricaMS says:

      ETA: replied in the wrong place as this was supposed to be added to the cat thread above.

      I recently became a crazy cat lady at the age of 36 and I can’t believe how lacking my life was before then! I now understand why cats are considered finicky. I bought two pet fountains from Amazon and he won’t go near them. Instead he only wants to drink from our dog’s water bowl and the sink (which we keep full for him). Not to mention he has the palate of a gourmet chef! He loves Ziwipeak air-dried cat food as a treat and goes berserk when he sees the bag!

    • JoJo says:

      These mats are awesome. We have the orange one for our dog, and I use it religiously – every single day. I have to. Even after taking our high-energy dog outside for an hour in the morning, when I get back home, he wants to keep playing and won’t let me work. (I work from home.) We put peanut butter or plain yogurt on it and freeze it, so he has to really work to get it out. This consumes his mental and physical energy for about 30 minutes, and then he’ll go to sleep! We’ve used stuffed frozen kongs for years in the past, but our dog just gets frustrated and gives up when the food gets too low in the kong, and he doesn’t even bother trying to get the rest of it out. Since these mats are flat, he can get to all the food that’s on it. I sound like a walking advertisement, but I seriously rely on it!

  7. Juliette says:

    I have the mesh produce bags & they work really well. They don’t add any weight (or the amt is negligible) when weighing veggies at the store. Like that you can wash your stuff & stick it right in the fridge. The smallest one is quite small though, about half the size of a ziplock. The biggest one is excellent for broccoli,and carrots.

  8. Faithmobile says:

    This was a great post. I make wood toys and my most popular toy is set of wood dolls that nest inside of their color matching wood cups or stacked on top-simple. I’ve had that bathing suit on my list from last year I think it’s time to buy it. Anyone have tips for dogs with separation anxiety? My neighbors dog broke his front window trying to jump out and hurt himself.

  9. Hello says:

    I have the stacking cups. They’re great fun for my two toddlers. Definitely a good buy

  10. Snazzy says:

    Oh man I want that bathing suit!

  11. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    The swimming costume is very Mrs Maisel! Great idea for when you’ve overdone the sun on the first few days of holiday. Might have to invest…

  12. Adr1s says:

    I would advise against that stripey swimming suit. Maybe another color/pattern? As a little girl I used to have a bathing suit that had vertical white and black stripes. The first time I used it I ended up looking like a zebra because the white lines tanned WAY MORE than the black lines

  13. Jocey says:

    We have those exact stacking cups and they’re great. My now-five-year-old loved them, and I’m thinking about ordering another set for my seven-month-old because we lost a few of them between the two kids.