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2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


Commentary: Confession of a 'Free Sample' Junkie
2012-04-23 22:53:08 (123 weeks ago)
Posted By: JWSmythe
I'd better begin by admitting up-front that I, like millions of Americans, am a free-sample junkie. I cannot resist taking a free sample of whatever is being offered, from those paper "thumb cups" for the food samples at the co-op or grocery store, to anything and everything -- well, almost everything -- offered by any store or vendor I encounter.

Most of the time, I don't really find anything worthwhile, let alone worth keeping; but it is that rare occasion when I'm pleasantly surprised by a free sample that is not only useful, but works at least as good as stated on the package, that makes sampling samples worth the effort.

So, I wanted to take a moment to offer a small amount of commentary on this basket of personal care items I recently received in the mail. I had visited this small table at a local arts festival recently -- I admit I was originally drawn to the booth by a "cake" made of towels at the front of the display. It reminded me of those diaper cakes you see at baby showers or linen cakes at bridal showers.
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I thought it a clever (and obviously effective) tool to draw attention to the vendor. Then I noticed the punch bowl, water pitcher, rolled hand towels, and a selection of various soaps and scrubs for sampling. I've already explained my problem with passing up free samples. What can I say? My curiosity got the better of me.

I started inquiring about the various soaps, scrubs, and lotions on the table that were available for sale and found that the products were natural, handmade, and website orders were made on-demand to ensure product freshness. I sampled two liquid soaps - one that was a true liquid and the other was like dessert gelatin - and two scrubs - one made of sugar and one made of coffee. There were only two natural fragrance varieties and two fragrance oil varieties available at the art festival, but it turned out up to 40 fragrance varieties were available via the website.

I reviewed the site for a few days, and found it easy to "shop around". Making my selections, I placed my order. The basket arrived in less than one week which I thought was quite quick considering all the products had been made to order.

I sampled two lotion varieties (one natural and one fragrance oil), three soap bars, one milk bath, and a sugar scrub. I found the fragrances to be quite pleasant, not overpowering, and felt good to use, which is something I can't say about a good many products I've tried.

This was very impressive considering the cost of the items is competitive. I find these to be superior in that they are natural, fresh and handmade. That quality and craftsmanship rarely comes at a comparable price.

I also admit a preference to spend my money locally, thereby helping the local economy. In this case, the vendor is a local artist growing the business organically and I now know my money went into the hands of a hard-working artist/businesswoman at the top of her craft. I will certainly be buying more.

You can see their products at: http://nicolemadethis.com/

Editor: Occasionally we will let our staff write their own commentaries for things that made them say "wow". Congratulations to Nicole Made This, you really impressed some of our staffers.
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