Bonne Bell lip smacker is dead

I am not sure I want to live in a world that doesn’t include Bonne Bell Lip Smacker, but according to the news, that’s exactly what will happen on March 29, 2015.

From Crain’s Cleveland Business:

The company plans to close substantially all the manufacturing and distribution operations at its location at 1006 Crocker Road in Westlake, resulting in the permanent layoffs of 91 employees there, according to a letter Westlake Mayor Dennis M. Clough received on Thursday, Jan. 29.

Berry Heavenly was my JAM!

Berry Heavenly was my JAM!

That’s messed up, man. How many Christmas mornings did you wake up to a candy-cane tubed filled with Watermelon, Strawberry and Dr. Pepper lip glosses? Or the uber-sparkly tubes that came out in the mid-90s? I could almost smell my angst when I recently popped open a rancid tube of silvery balm goodness.

Maybe the buyer, Markwins International Corp. (also owner of Wet ‘n Wild) will keep the shelves stocked with lip smacker; HEAR OUR PRAYER, MARKWINS!

But until we know the fate of our favorite flavored lip coatings, I suggest you revel in Netflix-enabled nostalgia to the tune of high bangs, caboodle loving teenage girls and everything that made the 1980s so God-damn amazing.

MV5BMTI2OTk5NTE5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODA0NTQzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_1. Pretty in Pink. We all know the plot. What you don’t know is that my friend in high school fell madly in love with a guy she dubbed “Andrew McCarthy”. They never talked or anything, but we spent many a night making mix tapes, slathering on our mom’s beauty creams and coating our lips in Bonne Bell lip glosses just because. I mean, Molly Ringwald’s lips are/were luscious, why couldn’t 13 year-old girls aspire to such great aesthetic heights.

I re-enacted this scene in front of a nurses station at Northwestern Hospital just a few weeks ago.

2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Yes, I admit this film is an unexpected choice, however, it was my first exposure to unabashed cussing. If you know my family, this fact is honestly more surprising than anything. Anyway, my best friend and fellow lip-gloss aficionado introduced me to the film and we felt like real badasses. Plus the John Candy/Steve Martin duo is unbeatable. Movies like this turned us from little girls into slightly bigger girls.

Don't tell me these ladies AREN'T wearing lipgloss.

Don’t tell me these ladies AREN’T wearing lipgloss.

3. Coming to America. I might have written about this film before, however, I don’t care – it’s just that good. Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Samuel L. Jackson (what? Yes) and SoulGlo. A prince moves to Queens to find his Queen and, as expected, 1980s-esque hilarity ensued. We watched this beast on repeat when moms and dads weren’t home whilst pressing on fake nails and lubing up our lips.

4. CLUE. OH MAH GAD. I can still hear the sound of the over-watched video tape grinding in the VCR while it played almost every weekend for the better part of the late-1980s. Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry and Michael McKean were but a few of this all-star cast. I considered it an educational film as I learned about french maids, deception and the definition of the term, “red herring”.

I find myself referencing this line weekly.

5. Clerks came out in my grunge phase when I desperately wanted a boyfriend, but had no idea how to go about procuring one. Watching dudes like Jay and Silent Bob “work their magic” probably wasn’t the best way to learn about the male species, but hey, it was high school and I was clueless. I still had fun though, which is all that matters.

I plan on reliving some of my lip-smacking glory days via streaming movies and suggest you do the same. Seriously. We have to cope with this loss somehow.

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5 Netflix movies you can stream with grandma this Thanksgiving

The holidays are upon us and you know what that means…watching sex scenes with grandma. Er, I mean, eating turkey and stuff.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have rented a movie, popped that sucker in and then coughed/rolled my eyeballs/used the restroom during inappropriate sex scenes and/or gross violence. Call me immature, but watching Clerks with my grandpa or little cousin doesn’t get me into the holiday spirit.

As a favor to you and your sweat glands, below are some movies you can stream via Netflix to avoid an awkward situation all together. Consider it an early holiday present from yours truly.

school of rock1. The School of Rock (PG-13).Jack Black plays a rock musician who refuses to grow up …much to the chagrin of others. He assumes his brother’s identity and lands a job as substitute teacher in a prestigious private school. Initially not wanting to exert too much energy, Black’s character “plays it cool” only to then enlist the “help” of his class to win a Battle of the Bands. On the way, he falls for Joan Cusack‘s character, an uptight-turned-awesome principal, and learns a lesson or two. The kids add a fun component and make this a family friendly movie.

Common Sense Media ranks this as a movie appropriate for ages 11 and up.

2 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (PG-13). I’m not going to lie, I often have trouble figuring out what in God’s name Johnny Depp’s character, Captain Jack Sparrow, is muttering. So, if you have someone hard of hearing joining in on the viewing party, this might not be for you. That said, this is a pretty solid film for everyone in the family. Romance (not enough to make you shift in your seat) + action + comedy = 2:23 minutes not spent listening to your great aunt recount her trip to Walmart.

Common Sense Media ranks this as a movie appropriate for ages 12 and up.

holes2003cdcover451883. Holes (PG). I love this movie. Based on the bestselling Louis Sachar’s novel by the same name, a young Shia LaBeouf is sent a youth detention camp that forces inmates to dig holes day after day. For what? I guess you and granny will have to wait and see. You should watch this even if your younger cousins are downstairs texting each other instead of talking like the post-mod freaks that they are.

Common Sense Media ranks this as a movie appropriate for ages 10 and up.

4. Scrooged (PG-13). Yes, this movie is from the 80s, Yes, it includes some gore (I mean, what Christmas doesn’t include massacres?) and mention of a third nipple. But I still think it’s a solid pick if only for the fact that Bill Murray is the leading man – good old Scrooge. It’s cute, festive and retro for your teen cousins who are SOOOOO into misusing the term “irony”.
Common Sense Media ranks this movie appropriate for ages 12 and up.

How_to_marry_a_millionaire5. How to Marry a Millionaire (NR). This 1953 film is just perfection, aside from that whole “women should marry a man for money” thing. Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe play three models looking to land themselves a millionaire. However, as you already know, choosing a mate based on net worth alone doesn’t always work out in one’s best interests. It’s a cute comedy that might be appreciated by the older generation hogging couch space.

Common Sense Media ranks this movie appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Feel free to pass along an suggestions for holiday movie-watching fun!

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5 hilarious Netflix shows that make you feel like less of a jerk

Sometimes I think I am kind of a jerkface. Or at least the television I enjoy watching is full of a$$holes which makes me think maybe I have a little of that in me? I mean, you don’t think smarmy humor is funny unless you too are kind of mean, right?

Still with me? Alright! Maybe you too are kind of a meanie. If so, I suggest you stream these Netflix goodies so you can let loose and revel in your bad attitude, nay, OUR bad attitudes.

1. The League.I found this show when I pregnant and bed-ridden. OK, maybe I wasn’t bed-ridden, but like I said, I am a jerk and faked it a little so I could watch these until my eyeballs fell out. I even took to using applicable League quotes as blog post titles because they are so effing funny.

Oh, and if you actually care about plot, it’s about a group of long-time friends involved in a fantasy football league.

A few of my favorites lines:

“Words are bullshit. They are just useless sounds that we make with our stupid mouths. Knives… That’s how stuff gets done.” (Raffi)

“No. If Sofia and I split up, 50% of my time, I would have to spend 100% of my time with my kid. Right now, I’m rocking, like, 50% coverage 30% of my time. You cannot beat those numbers.” (Ruxin)

“You are not just clients to us, but nameless strangers with money as well.” (Taco)

“This dog is real, your baby’s hypothetical. And, I think, a mistake.” (Andre)

The current season of The League can be viewed on FXX.

2. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If I ever need to feel better about my own asshattery, all I have to do is stream an episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny” and I am Atlas no more. It is such a profoundly offensive show. You know the cool/not cool scale where one can ostensibly be so uncool they are cool? Maybe this show…actually,no,no this show can NEVER BE inoffensive.

It’s great and horrible all the same time. Current season can be viewed on FXX.

yes. dear God, yes.

yes. dear God, yes.

3. Louie. Louie CK writes, edits, directs and produces this hilarious FX show (show-off is more like it. ) Playing a fictionalized character of himself, he is a recently divorced dad of two girls living the dream in NYC while working as a stand-up comedian. As far as making the viewer uncomfortable, Louie nails it. But I think that is why I love this show – because normalizing the awkward and absurd means you can’t take yourself too seriously. Watch season 4 on FX in winter 2015

4. An Idiot Abroad. Ricky Gervais is such a massive jerk – the kind of jerk I totally want to befriend. Short story: Ricky’s friend, Karl Pilkington, hasn’t traveled much outside of the UK. Enter Ricky and Stephen Merchant who plot out international adventures to “help” Karl broaden his horizons. Needless to say, Karl is often unimpressed – especially when Ricky and Stephen throw him under the bus.

It’s freaking hysterical. Plus Karl got a book deal out of the whole thing and a few extra trips to exotic locales.

5. Wilfred. Netflix’s description: This offbeat comedy follows the experiences of a depressed man who becomes convinced that his neighbor’s dog is actually a man wearing a costume.

So yea, it’s pretty obvious why I am recommending this sucker. Oh, and it’s also fairly inappropriate. Catch the current season on FXX.

6. Arrested Development. Listen, if you haven’t seen this show, I really don’t know what to say. I mean, I guess I can “I’m sorry for you. You have been robbed of joy and happiness. Whoever denied you such pleasure should be strung up and forced to listen to the people who drive down my alley honking day and night.”

Also, this is the meanest, most dysfunctional family and I wish Lucille would have adopted me instead of Hel-loh “Annyong” Bluth. I hate that kid.

I am also pretty angry at the FOX execs for letting this one go and IN LOVE with the Netflix folks who produced another season (you know who you are).

So there you have it. If you are in a dickish mood, or just need your wicked behavior validated, watch any (I suggest ALL) of these shows. I mean, you can’t be that terrible when you compare yourself to pretty much any of the above-listed characters.

5 must-see shows to stream on Netflix this fall

Oooh, it’s August and that means “holiday” time for our European counterparts. Alas, my vacation days dissapeared long ago..and thus I am not gallavating around some fancy land for a month. That and I have a four year old, so even if we are on vacation, we really aren’t “on vacation”.

Cue el televisió. Should I admit this? Whatever. Mr. Swirley has been traveling and I can’t always convince myself to go to bed at 9 PM, so  I get to sate my guilty desire to watch crappy tv on demand. Once again, Netflix gods, I bow to you.

Because I love you all so much, I want to share the crap that makes me squee with glee so you too can waste hours living the dream!



1. “Ringer” includes some intriguing character including Jason Dohring (aka Logan Echolls) from Veronica Mars and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Gist? It’s totally plausble. Twin 1 plotts againt twin 2. Operationa sneakypants and chaos ensues.

COME ON! It's the cutest dress ever. I can't believe i Just typed that.

COME ON! It’s the cutest dress ever. I can’t believe i Just typed that.

2. As a nearly 35 year old woman, I am not sure I can admit I heart Pretty Little Liars. That said, I totally sought out a dress worn by Lucy Hale‘s character, Aria, for a rehearsal dinner a few years back. Based off a YA book series, a group of girls are harrassed by the omnipresent “A” after their friend “Allison” is supposedly killed. And they wear lots of fun clothing. It’s definatley worth some guilt-inducing watching.

3. Royal Pains (hangs head in shame). Plot? Dr.gets in trouble, moves to Hamptons, falls in love with local, level-headed MD, deals with excentrc rich people, corner-cutting brother and “real mediicine”. Oh, and in case you are wondering, Dr. Hank’s hustler papa is “THE FONZ” aka Henry Winkler.



4. Another quality must-see USA show  is White Collar. Why? Because Matt Bomer. That and a the plot is cute – former con man makes good by helping the FBI catch less attractive criminals.

Last weekend I threw out a Spice Girls address book. Nearly 20 years after I received that sucker. Sweet baby J.

Last weekend I threw out a Spice Girls address book. Nearly 20 years after I received that sucker. Sweet baby J.

5. Spice World. If you haven’t seen this movie, you have no soul. I used to watch this while working at the Video Station in Madison, Wi with my girl Susie. A customer even requested to speak to our manager because she found it to be somehow “offensive”. WHAT? Good thing I worked with Gen Xers who could give a sh!t what anyone thought.

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want to watch on Netflix. I am still lobbying for Overboard. Come on, suits!

Behold – a Netflix inspired birthday party

It’s birthday time ‘round these parts. The theme, you ask? Oh, just a simple, My little Pony – Lego – Science – Space party. You know, the one EVERYONE is having this year. Don’t even ask me how this will play out – we’ll most likely end up with a collection of cupcake toppers and goo.

EK’s been hot on these topics for a while. Pony, well, you know he’s a brony. The kid would have been in heaven at this year’s International Comic-Con.

I want to say all of these interests stem from our constant reading of high-brow kid-lit, but let’s be honest…Netflix is our friend on rainy summer days.

Beakman’s World, the Magic School Bus (especially the Lost in Space episode) and animated Lego shows (mostly the Friends series as the others are a little scary) are in the top five requested shows…on repeat. Animal Mechanicals routinely make his brain EXPLODE.



While Mr. Swirley was away, EK asked me to explain lasers. Since that is more of my husband’s forte, I suggested we watch Honey I Shrunk the Kids and called it a night. Apparently lasers don’t really shrink people. Tomayto, Tomahdo.

Next time, don't leave a lesson in lasers to yours truly.

Next time, don’t leave a lesson in lasers to yours truly.

How to watch musicals with your kid and not hate your life

To say I am not a big of musicals is an understatement. At our wedding, I had three requests:

  1. NO ABBA
  3. Ginuwine’s “Pony” must be the last songs of the night.

But it didn’t always used to be this way. In high school I was in stage crew (don’t judge) for Fiddler on the Roof. I sang my heart out to Grease while watching it for the umpteenth time at my grandparents’ house.

Whatever my problem is with musicals, it’s not bad enough that I will deny my kid from enjoying them in his own right.

Recently we watched Frozen along with the rest of the free world. He loves the soundtrack from the Nightmare Before Christmas (3 seems a little young to watch the movie) to the point that my ears bleed – which, I suppose, is fitting. And now that he will set for an entire film (or most of it), I have been on the hunt for movies I can stomach and he can relish.

Cue my best friend, Netflix, and their insane number of streaming videos.

muppets1. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). I am 100% on board with this one. Nostalgia + talking pigs and NYC in the ’80s. I mean, Piggy and Kermie get married, for sweet baby J’s sake! Plus, you’ve got to start teaching your kids hard lessons like, “you can’t be a bunch of animal muppets who write a musical and expect it to play on Broadway without hitting a few bumps in the road.”

chitty chitty2. Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang (1969). I’m a sucker for Dick Van Dyke. So much so that I can sort of look past/loudly talk over the overt sexism displayed in this film.

Girls can fix cars, jerkface!

Maybe it’s because I live with an engineer, but the harebrained inventor is incredibly appealing and young EK likes the jams.

3. School House Rock! Earth (2009). Nope, this isn’t the one we grew up with. Instead, SHR has gone green. With all new content, this 43-minute animated musical focuses on 21st Century kids and the environmental problems their selfish parents (cough cough) have created.

Just love the ocean, man. Cool?

4.I don’t know if this one really counts as a musical, but I freaking love it.

Just listen to Monster Math Squad‘s (2012 – ) theme song, throw some thick-rimmed glasses and TOMS on your kid and you have a mini-hipster. Plus they sing a little in the actual show, so you’ve got that too.

Fine, maybe I don’t hate musicals all that much. But I still loathe ABBA.

*This is a sponsored post, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I mean, who would really want to own up to these thoughts anyway, right?

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Five 1980s movies that will make you ache for a rad rat tail + a Netflix giveaway!

Feldman on the Wendy William's Show in Oct. 2014.

Feldman on the Wendy William’s Show in Oct. 2014.

PEOPLE OF THE INTERWEBS!! Stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW. Today is the day you can finally buy Corey Feldman’s new single, “Mercy“. Awww yea. Did you know he has two others LPs?  I didn’t. One entitled “Still Searching for Soul” (1999) and the other aptly named, “Former Child Actor” (2002).

I love this for so many reasons. Mainly because it elicits a wave of nostalgia for my childhood crushes and hours spent watching ridiculous amazing movies on repeat while wearing sifting through my caboodle and eating frozen orange juice concentrate from the can. Don’t ask.

Lately I have found myself re-watching a lot of diddies streaming via Netflix because they are fabulous AND I can be interrupted a zillion times by a 3.5 year old and not lose my place in the film.

Let’s take a little walk down memory lane, shall we? And before I forget, want to check out these movies for yourself? Like Swirleytime on Facebook and post your fave movie that makes you wax nostalgic in the comments section to be entered to win THREE FREE MONTHS of Netflix streaming service. I’ll give a virtual high-five to the winner on April 30 via the Facebooks.

Coreys domination.

Two Coreys domination.

1. License to Drive. I mean, you can’t talk about  1980s movies without including the Two Coreys. Sadly, Corey Haim left us in 2010, but we can celebrate his career with films such as this this one. Boy meets girl. Boy is grounded. Boy doesn’t have license. Boy sneaks out and “borrows” gramps’ Caddy. Boy loses mind as his car is brutally battered over the course of an evening. Boy is forgiven. Boy gets the girl. How can you not appreciate a plot like this?

2. Spaceballs. I am willing to watch pretty much any movie that boasts John Candy as a cast-member. Even Nothing But Trouble, which is probably the most terrible film ever produced. But I digress…

Take every sci-fi movie I never watched and make fun of them, throw in Joan Rivers, Rick Moranis and that girl from Melrose Place, along with a a lot of sexual innuendo I didn’t quite understand, and BOOM!  Sign me up!

3. Grease. To be honest, this one now makes me gag a little; that’s how many times I watched it. I had a thing for those pink polyester jackets and Sandy’s spandex pants,OK?


4. Steel Magnolias. What 10-year-old girl didn’t love this movie? Family in-fighting, perms,  grumpy old ladies and an armadillo cake. Actually, I probably reference it once a week; I really identify with Ouiser (aka Shirley McLaine). “I’m pleasant. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton this morning at the Piggly Wiggly, and I smiled at the son of a bitch ‘fore I couldn’t help myself.”

5. Coming to America. Eddie Murphy with lumpy make-up, a giant fur coat and Soul Glo. Enough said.


But Netflix doesn’t stream all of the goodies from the 1980s. So fancypants execs, if you are listening, let’s get the following up and running so I can spend even more time ignoring my kid introduce my kid to the awesomeness that was the 1980s: Beetlejuice, The Shining, Jumping Jack Flash, Uncle Buck, The Burbs, Labyrinth, Little Monsters and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, Overboard.
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Netflix Enables Nerdiness

I recently joined up with Netflix‘s Stream Team to spend hours staring at the TV devote a reasonable amount of time checking out programs and blathering about them via the Interwebs. IT’S A COMPLETELY VALID EXCUSE TO WATCH TV, PEOPLE! How much better can it get?

In our house, we spend a lot of time watching “nerdy” shows. Like what? I don’t know…how about Mythbusters marathons so long we pop blood vessels in our googley eyeballs? I  guess it’s not much of a surprise since we went on a Robot Date Night a few months ago. And one of us is an Electrical Engineer (hint: it’s not me and my kid can’t yet tie his shoes).

Plus, who doesn’t like gingers and sexy berets?

Anyway, now that we have a kid, maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t promote experiments that end in mass explosions, floods or the general destruction of pretty much anything for the sake of fun science. Hypotheses about snow melting and the mixing of paint colors are about as nuts as we get up in here.

Tphoto(3)hus, I would like to introduce you to the newest members of our nerdy family: the Animal Mechanicals, who hail from America’s top-hat. Here is young EK explaining just how much he loves these Canadian characters to his preschool friend (lower left petal).

Basically, the little dudes get a mission, shape-shift into various tools, vehicles and the like, and save the day.

Dear LORD, is our kid obsessed. Every morning we discuss the respective names, qualities and skills of each character. And, if “we” listen throughout the day, “we” close out the night with two 12 minute episodes. I actually think it’s a pretty great show as it coincides with EK’s new interest in Legos and pretty much everything we do when it comes to home projects. See, friends, learning can be fun! Right?

Look at these cute little robot-transformer-tool-animal thingies!

Look at these cute little robot-transformer-tool-animal thingies!

Then we rush him off to bed so Mr. Swirley and I can watch the second season of House of Cards, HA! Who am I kidding? We binged-watched the entire delicious season its first week out.

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