The Dryer Didn't Shrink It

So my mom and I have big issues - and haven't spoken in several months. Not one word. I still allow her to pick up the kids and do things with them, and last weekend she picked up the Princess to spend some time with her. (I don't involve the kids in grown up crap business - they need to spend time with their grandparents...almost as much as I need a sanity break.)

She picked up the Princess for some "girl time", and they did all things girl. Shopping, eating at Nordstrom's Tea Room, etc. I talked to the Princess Saturday afternoon and she was having a great time - and we made plans for her to be home Sunday.

When she walked in the door, she looked like this:

But I sent her down like this:

Would anyone else be mad at such an unauthorized transformation? Because I'm really annoyed pissed that my 9 year old was returned to me with such a drastic change - without being consulted first. The only good thing? The Princess donated the 8" of hair to Locks of Love.

What's your opinion? Would you be angry if your child came home from visiting someone - and had a drastically different look? Leave a comment with your thoughts - I can't wait to hear them.


Listerine Oral Care Challenge

Note: This may be the longest review in history...but I hope you'll find it worth your time.

I remember being a teenager - and I brushed my teeth a lot. When I had braces, I remember even taking my toothbrush to school so I could brush after lunch. I was so self-conscious about everything at that age - and so boy crazy - that I wanted to give off the idea that I had nothing "unbecoming" about me. (Then I had kids...and now I'm lucky to grab a shower every other day. And we have burping contests.Yep, I've apparently come a long way, baby.)

For some reason, my two teenage boys don't feel like that. At all. Getting them to brush their teeth pulling teeth. Especially since they got their braces.

My daughter is really good about it - and if it was up to her, we'd buy every product in the oral care aisle.

It was because of the lackluster interest of my boys, and my daughter's over enthusiasm, that I thought signing up for Mom Central's Listerine Oral Care Challenge would be a good idea. Like everything else, I wish I had known what I was getting myself into.

It has been two weeks of Agent Cool Blue staining my entire bathroom. (My boys found it fun to squirt their "mouth cooties" at each other after they've rinsed with Agent Cool Blue. And it doesn't come out of already-stained-off-white carpet so well.) The Princess thinks using Agent Cool Blue, the flosser, and Smart Rinse should be used every time she eats something...and will eat things just so she can use the items we received. Which sparked contests of who could come up with the worst tasting food to eat after brushing. (This is one way to get them to brush...and each citrus fruit. At least they didn't try anything but food.)

Listerine was very cool to send us a whole stash of awesome products. This is the loot we found in the box:

Above: Flosser and refills, dental floss, tooth stickers, a chart, and Reach Wonder Grip toothbrushes.

Above: Total Care (in Icy Mint and Cinnamint) and Reach Total Care Dental Floss Listerine Mint

Above: Agent Cool Blue (in Mint Shield and Berry Shield)

We all began with the Agent Cool Blue. Even though it's for kids, I wanted to try it - so I did.

  Cute, I know
I can see why the kids love it - although it's a little too sweet for me (and I'm a sweets fanatic), it tastes good. And it is pretty cool to see your mouth cooties in the sink.

After rinsing with the Agent Cool Blue, your teeth are tinted with coloring - showing kids where they really need to brush. It's a great concept - and similar to the pink tablets the dentist used to give us when I was a kid. The difference? While Agent Cool Blue tints your teeth, it doesn't stain them (and your fingers, and your counter, and your...) permanently pink. Remember how awful those were? (They were cool, but that pink color took about 72 years to wear off - even if you brushed really well.)

We poured the Agent Cool Blue into cups (heaven forbid we all use the same bottle), and the kids toasted the beginning of the Listerine Oral Care Challenge. (If they say I "forced" cooperation or enthusiasm, I'll never admit it.)

The mouth cootie wars not yet thought of, the childebeasts swished and swished for the 30 seconds. I tempted them to continue on for the full 30 seconds by telling them the longer they swished, the more mouth cooties they'd see in the sink. Those mouth cooties would also be much bigger if they made it to the 30 second mark - because they'd get all the mouth cooties out that were hiding. (Ok, so the boys thought I was dumb - but the Princess totally believed it.) I also liked that the Agent Cool Blue worked so well for the brace-face boy beasts.

Although we are all a little big to be using the Wonder Grip toothbrushes, to give a fair review I talked everyone into using them. Granted, for some of us it was like sweeping the Grand Canyon with one of those little hand brooms...but we all managed to accomplish the job.

The kids had all used Agent Cool Blue in the past (see the comment about the Princess "needing" every product in the oral care aisle), but this was the first time I'd used it. I have to say my teeth felt smooth and clean after being thoroughly brushed...and all the blue tint removed...even though it took quite awhile with the tiny little toothbrush.

After brushing, the four subjects moved on to the dental floss portion of our experience. As I pulled out a length the purple floss for the boys and myself, one thing was immediately clear: this was a different kind of floss. Not sticky, like normal flosses; not waxy, like other flosses; it's light and springy. Stretchy. Pliable. And it has a pleasant Listerine taste.

One thing I don't like about dental floss is the way it makes my fingers sticky as I floss. The second thing I don't like is how floss seems to be either too thick - or too thin. I either have to force it between my teeth - or it slides through so easily that I cut my gums. The Reach Total Care Dental Floss, with Listerine Flavors, didn't leave my fingers sticky. And it was wonderful sliding through my teeth while being gentle on my gums. The flavor was good, too. It isn't often the boys and I agree on anything - but all three of us really liked this floss. The proof? They actually ask to floss now. Absolutely unheard of before this yummy purple floss entered our medicine cabinet.

Nice clear picture of the mouth wire...My photo skills ROCK!
The Princess got the Reach Access Flosser. She put up quite the fight for it - I don't know whether it was the idea of the Flosser or the pink color. Whatever it was, she wanted it...bad. And like with everything else, she got it. (You don't mess with the Princess, lest you pull back a bloody stump!) This implement actually worked really well for her...her small fingers can make flossing difficult - and the Reach Access Flosser alleviated that problem. The Flosser acts like a toothbrush - which makes flossing a lot easier for kids. Besides, she thought it was neat to get rid of the disposable head and put a new one on. (Of course now I have disposable heads all over my house...but I guess that isn't Reach's fault.) The part I liked the most? She has a metal spacer wire along her bottom teeth that makes flossing impossible. She can't get the floss down as far as she needs to with the wire in place - and since the wire is soldered to her back teeth, taking it out isn't really an option. The few times she's managed to floss correctly, the wire has actually come unsoldered, creating this projectile object in her mouth. The Reach Access Flosser makes it possible for her to floss without breaking the wire...SCHWING!

Finally, we were onto the last step. (Has anyone else noticed it's taken me longer to write this review as it did to actually use the products, make the kids behave, and take pictures??) We ended the same as we started - with swishing. The Princess and Wix used the Smart Rinse - while Evanator and I used the Listerine Total Care. We were all really happy with the mouthwashes. Before we started, this was the step I dreaded most.

To be honest, Listerine makes me gag. I feel like I'm rinsing with a hospital ward. I don't like it, don't buy it, and won't use it. Period. The Listerine Total Care changed my mind. I really liked the taste - gone is the harsh, hospital-like taste. I'm not gonna lie - it still burns like you're swishing with liquid fire.

The directions say to rinse for 30 seconds - and this could possibly be the longest 30 seconds of your life. Seriously! After the Agent Cool Blue, brushing with Crest Extra Whitening with Tartar Protection Gel Toothpaste, flossing with the Reach Access Flosser - or - the Reach Total Care Dental Floss with Listerine Flavors, your mouth feels clean. Really clean. Then rinsing and gargling with the Listerine Total Care finishes off the job. Your mouth will feel clean and fresh - and your breath will smell awesome. Not medicine-y like with normal Listerine - but really good. The Listerine site says their new Total Care line of mouthwash has these six benefits:
  • Helps Prevent Cavities
  • Restores Minerals to Enamel
  • Strengthens Teeth
  • Kills Bad Breath Germs
  • Freshens Breath
  • Fights Unsightly Plaque Above the Gum Line
I am really happy we participated in this review. It's changed the products I will buy in the future. I know you all were dying to know the secret hygiene habits of the Royal Family - and now you do. I will throw in one little tidbit: I never mention this, but I smoke. I'm trying to quit - but that hasn't happened completely - yet. As a smoker, my mouth never feels clean and sparkly. That wasn't the case after using these products over the last 2 weeks. I can honestly say that my mouth hasn't felt cleaner than it has since I began using the Listerine and Reach products we received - and as a huge bonus, my breath has never been fresher. Ever. I have to admit I'm a convert - and I have no doubt you will be, as well. If Wix and Evanator now go to brush their teeth on their own at night - and it isn't a knock-down-drag-out - something is working. All three of them now brush twice a day, using Agent Cool Blue and Listerine Total Care Mouthwash in Cinnamint. (I prefer the Icy Mint.) I like the extra cavity protection - and removing the teeth brushing arguments is a great thing. (Don't worry - they've found something else to argue about to fill that time space.)  I have also found that talking to them in the morning has been much more pleasant - I no longer want to totally throw up from the smell of their breath. It's been a great change!

This picture cracks me up - is he showing me his teeth? Or is he a rabid dog??
I found that Listerine and Reach have some coupons for these products if you'd like to use them. You can also get more information about any of these products by clicking on the links. You've now earned a roll of gold stars for reading this far.

Listerine - Feel 100% Clean & Get a Healthier Mouth
Reach - A Cleaner, Healthier Mouth is Within Reach

My family and I were supplied with the Listerine products pictured above, in return for posting a review of these products. All opinions in this post belong to the Queen and are only that - opinions. I appreciate Mom Central giving me the opportunity to review these products. Sticker Giveaway

I have so much to share with you all - but it seems like the more I have going on, the less time I have to flap my gums. I am going to try to be a posting fool this week - so stay tuned!

There are so many things I use labels and stickers for. From branding my business to getting the word out about my blog...sealing envelopes to making my contact information really "stick" with people (oh come on, it wasn't that bad...was it?), and labeling various things for the family to marking prices and other information on my items at craft fairs and swaps, I can always think of a reason I need stickers. If you haven't ever checked out the sticker printing done by, you're really missing out. The range of shapes and sizes is enormous - and thinking about all the things I could have printed on them just makes me giddy. Then again, I can think of  dozens of uses for all the products put out by - just like I'm sure you can. Don't take my word for it - if you head over to UPrinting, you can see their insane variety of products and get more details. They make it really easy to to find just what you're looking for - so the problem isn't if you'll find's more like how to buy everything you want - and still pay your mortgage. Good thing their prices are extremely reasonable!

Some of the ways I use stickers/labels - besides those I mentioned above?

Labeling lunches
Providing a way for people to keep track of any change in our information
Sealing envelopes
Return address labels
CDs/Video games
"Tickets" for the childebeasts
Labeling shelves, boxes, drawers, etc
To/From on gifts

Company contact information
Sealing envelopes
Ingredient/content list for art
To make gift certificates "official"
Stuck on gift cards
Expiration dates of perishable supplies
Labeling shelves, boxes, drawers, etc
Labeling the things I take to classes/gatherings, etc
Media used and a message on the back of canvasses

I know you have a million uses for stickers/labels of your own - and wish I would hurry up and just tell you how you can score 250 stickers/labels for yourself. attention! It's super easy to enter - but the instructions have to be followed or your entry doesn't count...and we don't want that!


To Enter:
~ One Entry: Leave a comment telling me what you would use 250 fantabulous stickers for. If your email address is not easily found on your blog - or you are blogless - please leave it in your comment. If I can't email you, you can't win. THIS MUST BE DONE FIRST - OR NO ADDITIONAL ENTRIES COUNT!
~ One Entry: Tweet about this contest (with a link to this post: and leave a link to the Tweet in your comment.
Example (you may use this if you'd like):
The Queen Speaks is holding a great giveaway sticker/label - enter here:
~ One entry: Post a link to this post (short link to use: and a link to on Facebook. Please leave your Facebook name in your comment.
~ One Entry: Leave a comment with one thing you've learned about, and include a link to the page where the information is.
~ Three Entries: Blog about this giveaway. Be creative! In order to get three entries, you must include a link to this post on The Queen Speaks and

And the details/fine print:
Entry deadline is 11:59 MDT on October 26, 2009...Winner announced and emailed on October 27,2009.
Winner will be chosen via random draw done by the Princess. Winner has 24 hours to contact me once I have sent the congratulatory email. If there is no response after 24 hours, the Princess will choose an alternate winner. GOOD LUCK!

As a part of this giveaway, is generously awarding me 250 stickers as well. And all I had to do was host this contest. Thanks,!

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