Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers with NightLock Plus™ and Coupon Offer #ShareTheLuv #Sponsored

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Pro Parents know what’s up, and Pro Moms and Pro Dads use Luvs. Luvs diapers not only provide overnight protection for your little one, but they also have easy to use large sized tabs, which stretch to allow your baby to stay leak free when moving!  You can expect comfort and dependability from Luvs, with a money back guarantee to ensure not only a happy baby, but also a dry one! (That makes for a happy parent too!) Visit www.luvsdiapers.com for full details and to see all the products Luvs has to offer.  Luvs offers sizes from newborns through 6 and they come in fun designs, but they remain soft and comfortable on your baby’s skin.  Stop chasing after leaks and now only worry about chasing after savings!

 

 

Start Summer with a blast by saving $2.00 from home.  No need to hunt for newspaper coupons, or apps because you can simply print from the comfort of your couch:

 

 

  • Your coupon is good for 30 days from the date you printed your savings, so no need to hurry out in the heat because Luvs was kind enough to give you time to shop and start racking in the savings.
  • You can use this coupon at any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are being sold. All Luvs Diapers are included in this particular offer, except any trial/travel sized diaper packs.  That is one awesome coupon!

 

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Being a parent and budgeting when kids are off of school can get costly, but that does not mean you have to cut back on quality products.  Saving, is what we are all after because it allows us a break in our budget to spend towards Summertime goodies and Summertime fun for and with our kids.

Connect with Luvs at:

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I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.  This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine. 

 

BzzAgent: ClariSpray from Claritin Nasal Spray for Allergies #Review #Sponsored

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Most people only associate Spring as the worse allergy time since everything is blooming. Allergens differ with everyone and I myself suffer worsening of symptoms in Fall and late Spring, with Summer and then Winter a close second. Yup, I am a sneezy mess all year around and even though I take Claritin already for seasonal allergies, I need a boost when I am at my worst, so you bet I was eager to try an OTC allergy product and see how well it performs.

ClariSpray is made by Claritin but it does replace/substitute the use of the pill itself. The nasal spray should not been seen as being the same medication. ClariSpray, is a non-drowsy allergy medication geared towards combating outside allergens and directly with what affects the nasal passages. The spray in addition helps with pet allergies caused by exposure to cats and dogs, and indoor ones like Dust, Mold and Dust Mites. Being able to use another medication to fight inflammation and congestion, is what can give the user more relief. I take a decongestant and an allergy pill, but there are times that pills alone do not provide relief and this is why I started using a nasal spray and I went through many to find the one that worked for me.

 

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Verdict:
Having a new puppy is great and especially after we lost our dog to cancer in September. What is not so great about puppies in general, is they love to get into EVERYTHING! I may be hearing my own voice in nightmares saying “NO” because that is how I spend most of my day. I add some “stop it and drop that”, but pretty much trying to get the pup to stop playing with yard stuff. We have palms and they bloom beautiful smelling flowers that produce the most beautifully stuffed noses. Well, the pup loves those flowers, the grass, bougainvillea flowers and leaves are the biggest hit. Why buy toys when yard waste is the greatest puppy toy ever! Then puppy comes in and brings all the outside in with her and we are now bathing her every 3 to 4 days and usually until our noses and throats can’t take the garden the puppy seems to keep on bringing in with her. You bet I would try anything and even a nasal spray if it means I can get at least some rest from sneezing and blowing my nose countless times a day.

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ClariSpray contains fluticasone propionate and this medication helps to give quick relief and especially administered directly via a nasal spray. I tried the spray and the mist it delivers is not overwhelming or even too hard that it causes discomfort when used. Within 5 minutes, I felt less congested and within 15 minutes, I could actually think and start being productive. Yeah, that means a lot to anyone who suffers greatly from allergies. You can’t think clearly and just moving and bending hurts when your congested but at the same time miraculously trying to control a forever flow of mucus that seems to keep tissue companies in business. How I can be stuffed up but still have a runny nose is just one of my amazing qualities! The spray works and no prescription is needed. Being able to get medication that provides actual relief and not needing to make a doctor appointment to then go visit a pharmacy is a double plus for me. The holidays are approaching and a leaky nose is the last thing I want preventing me from actually enjoying them. Oh and what makes this even better…..24 hours relief!

 

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Makes us sneeze but we keep her because she is cute!

 

Connect with Claritin and check out the new ClariSpray at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from ClariSpray and BzzAgent. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

MomsMeet: Organic Nutiva Hazelnut Spreads and Buttery Coconut Oil #Review #Nutiva

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Hazelnut spreads are my weakness and when I saw that Nutiva actually makes both a classic chocolate blend and a dark chocolate……I knew what I would be baking up storm with this season (and the next). Nutiva, took the (my) hazelnut spread addiction a step further, by providing us with an organic option. This is a game changer as finding just natural products is difficult with these spreads and most contain artificial ingredients to even nasty ones that take the enjoyment of indulging away. This is why I stopped eating what I enjoyed so much as a kid. Hazelnuts are my favorite and you combine chocolate with them, well it’s a perfect marriage. I always wished they made a dark chocolate variety but in the end, I just kept wishing they added less sugar and sweet syrups to the spreads! My hazelnut spread was slowly lost as time went by and when the company was sold to another food company, I lost any hazelnut or even chocolate flavors that remained. I started just calling it the brown spread. Sort of sounded gross but it summed up how I felt about what I had lost.

 

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Nutiva comes in and saves the day…..heck, my childhood memories. My mind is running with ideas from truffles to cakes made with their spread. I was worried that I was building up the idea and would open up the jar to just find sadness. Nutiva was very generous with the kit they sent and I received:

 

Verdict:

 

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When it comes time to purchase coconut oils, I always resort to Nutiva as my go-to brand. The brand has never failed me when it comes to quality ingredients and they are constantly innovating the brand with the new products they added. Everything is always a must buy after I have tried it once. You can’t say that about many brands out there. Nutiva’s selection may not be as grand as others but knowing that what you are buying is not only made with premium and clean ingredients, you also know that it will taste good. I am all about eating well and organic when possible, but the taste and texture has to be there for me. I don’t like the idea of “eating good” but not being happy about what I am eating in the first place. Nutiva has made me a fan of coconut oil to now being able to add their Organic Buttery one to the mix. I was already at times mixing unsalted butter with my coconut oil in the first place but now I won’t have to. The best part, you taste butter but it’s not there. Nutiva managed to use sunflower to create this genius concoction. I assumed the butter was there when I cooked and ate a pasta dish I made but while eating, I started reading the bottle and noticed this is a “butter alternative”, not actual dairy. It’s even Vegan friendly! Pure genius and I will definitely be purchasing this mix again.

 

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Next comes the Hazelnut spreads. Um, they are back and can I even admit to being better than before? I taste hazelnut again. That was gone after my third jar of trying and I bought the third bottle from another brand by telling myself maybe the other 2 jars were bad batches. You know, made on a Friday at the factory and everyone wanted to leave early kind of batch. Cocoa is the second ingredient followed by Palm and then the nut! No skimping here and I feel the spread is smoother not only in taste but texture. No grainy or oily feel when consumed. The quality of the chocolate is present and no rancid weird taste of what I call “fillers” when not only hazelnuts are used. There is a reason the hazelnut and chocolate combination has been a hit for generations. It works and Nutiva did not mess with that. I finally can have my spread and they listened to me even though I never said anything directly to them, but like some magic Nutiva lowered the sugar. Yup, by 40% less than the leading brand. This is why the power of the chocolate and hazelnut is what you get at every bite……finally, less freaking sugar. I am not anti-sugar but like salt, just a touch so you can still taste the actual ingredients you want. There is also many advantages buying Nutiva’s spread where you get Omega-3 (450 mg), Fair Trade Palm oil, to Organic and a Gluten Free product. Anyone can eat this because the goal was to make the best hazelnut spread with the best ingredients and this is why (and others) agree that so far Nutiva has beat the competition by a huge margin!

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Connect with Nutiva at:

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nutiva and MomsMeet. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

MomsMeet: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups #Review #BobsRedMill

 

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As the days grow colder, like everyone, I tend to seek out warmer meals and this includes at breakfast time. I consume oatmeal through out the year and my way to change my selection, is by adding seasonal fruit to the cup. This way my cups change and I get to enjoy what the seasons have to offer. What can I say? Oatmeal can get boring as much as my granola does and let’s be honest, this is why I view granola as cold oatmeal! Adding dried fruits, nuts, seeds to even a dollop of yogurt can brighten up a cup on any day.

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I have been a fan of Bob’s Red Mill for years. They just never fail me. I started first by buying their flour decades ago and then as they released more and including meals (i.e. nut flours), I was happy to see them reach the west coast. It’s kind of nice not having to order online all the time and when places like Target started supported the brand….heck, I am thrilled.

 

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I was recently part of the Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups campaign from MomsMeet. They were kind and generous to send out samples to try and share and like the signature that runs so true to Bob’s Red Mill, they included additional products to share. Love them! Such a giving company and please take a moment to read about the company on their website, you will fall in love with how they treat their employees. There is true pride and respect for the products they make for us. The other part that I have enjoyed being a Bob’s Red Mill fanatic, is they eat like I do. This adding chia seeds to flax seeds to enhance not only your taste buds but your nutrition is something I learned from them. Yes, they taught me to care more about what I eat and always made it easy for me from offering flax seed both whole and in milled form. No excuses in being able to eat better!

 

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The Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups kit included:

 

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Verdict:
The Oatmeal cups are phenomenal. You can use the microwave direction or the add hot water to the cup one. I have been using a mix of nut milks and water to enhance the flavor and not that the cups lack taste, but I sometimes seek a richer background on those colder mornings. All the ingredients are real and clean, no fillers and even making sure to use gluten free oats. The Nutritional Boosters that you can also add are the protein powders to create a morning power meal. You can even go with the unflavored blend they offer online or why not start your morning with some chocolate. It’s is like having a hot cocoa and oatmeal in one cup and it is actually good for you. I make the “Choco-Monkey” blend with the classic oatmeal cup, a spoonful of Chocolate Protein powder, almond milk with water as the fluid, then after heating I add chopped bananas and walnuts with a spoonful of peanut butter in the center. It’s almost like a molten lava cake with that gooey peanut butter center and I feel sinful eating it because oatmeal never tasted this good. My guilt vanishes when I start adding up the protein and it turns out to be a cup filled with healthy nutrition. Eating well goes beyond opening a mealy tasting bar and going out the door in the mornings. The Bob’s Red Mill cups come with tops, so if you have time to pick up a latte, you have time (3 minutes) to give yourself a few microwave seconds to eat the cups as they come or enhance them to your liking. You are worth it and your family will join in because things that taste good don’t get questioned. They just make smiles 🙂

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Connect with the wonderful crew at Bob’s Red Mill at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bob’s Red Mill and MomsMeet. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Pampers: New Easy Ups Review, Coupon and Gift Card #Giveaway #PampersEasyUps #Sponsored

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As a parent, you don’t want to follow the easy way, that is not always the best when it comes to what your child needs. You need products that work because your child is in constant transitioning and learning. Like adults, you do your best when you are not limited by the products you selected. Pampers offers both protection with ease of use, for parents and their toddlers . Call it a 2-in-1!

Pampers Easy Ups make the period of change from diapers to underwear simple, so you need a product you and your child can depend on. Having a product that already offers the comfort of underwear but also the protection for those “oops moments”. Training pants need to be able to put up with a child on the move! No discomfort while your toddler is walking, running and exploring to even those unplanned adventures, a parent needs to be able to know their kids can have a positive potty training experience. It’s what makes potty training not seem like a mountain you need to trek with an impossible peak you can’t even see.

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Easy Ups by Pampers has thought of it all to make it a welcoming experience for the parent and their child:

  • Parents can depend on the 360 degree of stretchy waistband that easily can be pulled up or down by your toddler.
  • The inside is soft and just like normal underwear but with Pampers patent “Extra Absorbing Channels”, which provide protection against leaks when your kid is on the move. The Dual Leak Guard Barriers keeps the legs dry and leak free.
  • Parents also can easily remove Easy Ups when needed because Pampers thought of everything, so Easy Ups tear at the sides for easy removal.
  • You have 24/7 protection while they sleep comfortably because potty training should not be a battle, it should be just another adventure. You want your toddler to be able to get a goodnight’s rest and not be kept up by discomfort even when their dry and accident free.
  • Pampers Easy Ups come in several sizes from 2T-3T, 3T-4T, and 4T-5T.
  • Your toddler can also choose from popular character from Thomas the Engine to Dora the Explorer. You also have the brand-new Hello Kitty prints!

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What’s best is you can save by printing the coupon below from Coupons.com, to easily save $2.00 off one pack of Pampers Easy Ups in any print. Simply visit:

If you don’t have an account already, it is simple to open one up and start printing and saving.

Pampers also offers a Pampers Reward Program where you can get the latest information on current and upcoming products, savings and more. Let Pampers Easy Ups make the most of everyday for you and your child.  Make sure to connect with Pampers below via all the social links provided.  *Hint this will also get you ready and set for the giveaway!

 

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Pampers Easy Ups work and I can depend on knowing they are soft and comfortable for your toddler but at the same time when accidents happen, I can quickly remedy the situation and get back to potty training.  It’s from the elastic to the absorbing pads that make you and your toddler not be discouraged by an oops and a child can easily take control of their potty training by being able to easily pull down and up the training pants.  There is the reason why certain brands like Pampers becomes the go-to brand for many parents.

 

 

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Training Tips by Dr. Tanya Altman, a 14 year Pediatrics doctor with a busy practice in Calabasas, California:

Remember to make it fun to remain it being a positive experience.  Encouragement can come in many ways from placing the Pampers Easy Ups in their own drawer, as you would do with normal underwear.  This gets your toddler excited on the changes taking place.  Patience is key and that means for both the parent and the child.  Rushing potty training when the experience is still new and unfamiliar, is not best. Not all kids are ready at the same age but usually you start training between the age of 2 and 3.  Some kids may even show signs they are ready to begin, which is always a plus!  This can come in wanting to go potty like the bigger kids to how parents do.  This is where having a training pants like Easy Ups from Pampers helps.  A toddler can easily pull off and on Easy Ups, just like real underwear.  This helps in also alerting an adult a child needs to use the restroom. Being able to communicate is key and that means each child will have a way to inform a parent they need to go, so see what signs your kid gives.  Teaching them how to use the potty themselves is again another milestone they can achieve as they train.  Reward systems help, from a sticker, a song to a dance.  This lets your child know they are doing well and remember accidents happen.  You begin again and it is not something you discipline over because again potty training should be kept positive!

 

 

*****Giveaway Details*****:

Giveaway for a #PampersEasyUps prize package, which will include:

  • $50 AMEX Card
  • Pampers Easy Ups
  • Ilana Wile’s book, “The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting”

All you have to do to enter is-

  1. Please comment on this Blog post and share this blog post via Twitter (retweet)
  2. Follow Pampers via Facebook and Twitter.  
  3. That is all!

 

I even make it easy and you can use the Twitter button below that automatically completes the tweet, just add @Pampers.

Or copy and paste this- @Pampers : New Easy Ups Review, Coupon and Gift Card #Giveaway #PampersEasyUps #Sponsored http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-2k7

Giveaway ends on October 4th and winner will be notified that same day.  I will need the winner’s contact information by October 6th to provide to the sponsors.  Winner’s full name, address (no PO Boxes), Pampers Easy Ups size/gender, and a phone number for shipping purposes will be needed. Only one unique giveaway winner per giveaway allowed.  Thank you and good luck!!

 

Connect with Pampers at:

 

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Pampers Easy Ups. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.  #Sponsored

 

Rorabacks “Premium” 45mm Rotary Cutter

Since rediscovering my “crafty” nature, I’ve found there’s a world of tools and accessories that passed me by in the many moons that I was away. One of them, that has become nigh indispensable, is my Rotary cutter. And anyone who’s come to rely on a tool knows, you can never have too many of them lying around for the if/when one fails. I’m please to say the Rorabacks cutter should do nicely for most folks.

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Made from injection-molded plastic, with a rubberized “no-slip” grip, the Rorabacks cutter fit nicely in my hand, and the ergonomics felt good. The blade release slide was placed well, and can be reached easily without having to constantly adjust one’s grip. It’s large enough to get a sure hole on, but no so large to cause had fatigue with long or large products. The standard 45mm blade is sharp and cuts almost everything I threw at it with just one pass. The blade also has a coating of titanium (though it lacked the usual tell-tale gold-ish tint that most titanium coated blades have) should help with edge retention and keep the cutter sharp. It also accepts the plethora of “notched” 45mm blades for replacements. The price is decent (I not the lowest) for the quality and Rorabacks has a “replacement or refund” offer of indeterminate length, so they should stand behind their products.

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There’s a few caveats here, though. The blade has a fair amount of “wobble”, which could lead to losing your line on precise cuts, and anyone who’s worked with rotary cutters knows, once it wanders off that line, running it back can lead to disaster. Next is the blade cover. While the blade safely and securely retracts back to avoid any accidents, I tend to put a thin coat of machine oil on my blade when it will stored for a prolonged period of time (Thanks to Hubby’s almost obsessive oiling of his tools, it rubbed off on me). Putting the cover on is a great way to keep the oil from staining things in my craft box. But putting the cover on and off means your fingers come in contact with the cutting edge of the blade to seat the cover properly, and that can lead to cuts. Lastly, and it’s a common grip of mine, is that the Rorabacks Rotary Cutter is more expensive that the industry-leading Fiskars. Like them or hate them, they set the bar here (and elsewhere) for quality and reputation. and while it’s only a dollar or so, I can’t understand why you would be charging more than the one everyone knows and loves to get your foot in the door? And everyone knows every Fiskars product is guaranteed for life, no problems or questions asked. I can’t see ever recommending Rorabacks over Fiskers for those reasons alone. It’s a good tool and functions well but for the reasons stated above I would rank this item about a 3 & 1/2 star, rounded up to 4 because you can’t give 1/2’s on Amazon.

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Connect with Rorabacks:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rorabacks. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Moms Meet: So Delicious Dairy Free Creamers #Review #SoDelicious

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Who doesn’t love coffee? I’m one of those where coffee not only tastes good but I have found it helps me with other health issues, by increasing my circulation and giving me a boost of much needed energy. Plus, the warmth of a cup helps when my joints ache. What I don’t like are creamers. I mean I love how they taste sometimes, but not when it comes to the chemicals and thickeners, which take the joy of having a cup of coffee that is now more a loaded cup of sugar. I have been hunting for an alternative and when Moms Meet featured So Delicious, this is the brand I have seen in stores but sort of walked by (shame on me).

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The campaign was mostly focused on the creamers So Delicious makes. You have two non-dairy bases to choose from, Coconut and Almond milk, with the former being the more extensive items to choose from:

  • Coconut Milk in Original
  • Coconut Milk Barista Style in Original and in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in Hazelnut

You can obtain the above in pints and quart sizes

  • Almond Milk in Original
  • Almond Milk in French Vanilla

You can obtain the above in only pint sizes

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Retail Price Point: Usually under $3 for the pint and if you get a coupon, this creamer can be easily obtained for $1.50 with a sale/coupon combination. I purchased the creamers at Von’s, Sprout’s Farmers Market and at Target.

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Verdict:
I was unsure what to expect and with about 25 calories per tablespoon with the Coconut variety and 15 calories with the Almond kind (i.e. comparing French Vanilla), you control what you want to put in your coffee. Not filled with sugars or artificial ingredients, plus soy free. Now, the taste matters. I love them. They taste better than the original creamers I used both in liquid and powder form. I’m getting a shot of flavor and creamer, all in one. I liked them so much, that I kept buying So Delicious. I am not branching out to other products. My friend that tried the creamer with us, has now raved about the ice cream……so look at So Delicious and change your routine. There is no getting bored here when it comes to flavors and all the wonderful products So Delicious makes!  Go on-line and connect with So Delicious because they over sweeten the deals (not your coffee) with the coupons they always offer.

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Connect with So Delicious at:

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Moms Meet and So Delicious. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic Macaroni Casserole #Review #TryNatural

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Next on the list, is Kim’s Simple Meals and this is their Organic Macaroni Casserole. The product again is easy to make and assemble. You simply boil the pasta, which is gluten free and made from organic brown rice. You then mix the contents with water, blend and add it to the cooked elbow shaped noodles. Mix and in the oven the casserole goes. The Mac is soy free and made with GMO free ingredients. Vegan friendly and Kosher too.

Ingredients: Gluten free brown rice elbow macaroni*, oat flour*, sea salt, sugar*, dehydrated vegetables* (onion*, garlic* & tomato*), yeast powder*, natural smoke Torula yeast, annatto powder* (annatto extract*, maltodextrin*), citric acid, lemon peel powder* and natural hickory smoke powder [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent)]. *Organic

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Verdict:

The instructions were simple and because I tend to like more bite in my pastas, I did not boil the noodles as long as they suggested. When I blended the “cheese sauce”, it was very watery in texture and had an odd smell that was smoky. Kim suggests you can add your own meatless based meats, like a veggie based bacon. This time I decided to just go as it comes but I can see even adding vegetables. Once the pasta was partially cooked, I added the sauce and it did not thicken. It was more like the texture of a thin juice, versus any bechamel sauce I have made to make a typical Macaroni and Cheese dish. There is no real cheese here but I did notice this box is not labeled dairy free like the burger version. Why not add milk? I have no idea and it was not listed as a suggestion. Not even a nut milk that is unsweetened was not suggested, or even soy milk if you have no issues with it. The burger box had soy…..but I went forward and was thankful walnuts were not suggested like the video shared for the home-style burgers, and no oats! The house smells like something is cooking but it’s not like any Macaroni and Cheese I have had before. Maybe a pasta kind of dish but not Mac and Cheese. It comes out of the oven and it’s like one solid mass. I noticed this in the video also, when the serving was cut. The liquid was absorbed and you still smell something smoky-ish but I could not put my finger on it. Maybe fake bacon bits and along that area. I taste it and it’s not cheese and I have eaten many cheeses in my lifetime. This pretender is more like a rice dish, where the rice is shaped like elbow pasta and a yellow sauce. The sauce creates a pasta cake but no cheese and gooey texture you associate with the original. It was not awful but definitely not super delicious. The only thing that came to mind, is it tasted like that mystery dish where the label fell off the platter, which sat in a buffet/cafeteria line. Surprise-a-Dish! If you like surprises, this may be for you and adding vegetables or other items might spruce it up and make it less surprise-ish casserole.

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Connect with Kim’s Simple Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic and Gluten-Free Homestyle Burger #Review

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I celebrate Meatless Mondays, so I am always seeking out meat alternatives being that I do enjoy meat on other days. My goal is always to get 3 days out of the week where my protein source comes from anything else but an animal. This means I have had many hits and sadly many misses. My Husband is a carnivore and there is no bringing him to the lighter side of meatless meals, so I need something that is easy to prepare while I am making two different dinners in one evening. I am all for working and cooking, if the product delivers in texture and taste,

I had seen Kim’s Simple Meals at my local Sprout’s Farmers Market, but it seems the stock never moved. The boxes even began to gather dust, so when I received the invite to try the first of two, of the Kim’s Simple Meals…..I must admit my feelings were mixed. I looked at reviews and Amazon had a 50/50 ratio when it came to positive versus negative reviews. It took a while to get the coupon for the free product, and in that time Amazon dropped all the products and just carried the Breakfast Sausage from Kim’s Simple Meals. Sprout’s continued to support the brand and when the coupon arrived, finding it was a cinch.

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Kim’s Simple Meals differs from other products like it. So many use soy protein heavily and artificial boosters to gather a protein number worthy of advertising. Kim’s Simple Meals are Gluten-Free and Vegan Friendly, so no animal anything in this. Ingredients are also Organic, Kosher and Non-GMO friendly. Then there is other factors like these burgers being Dairy-Free. Lot’s of “free from” products and I worried if this meant free from flavor or even texture. The box states burger, so I expect a burger-like product.

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Ingredients: Oats*, garbanzo bean flour*, flax seed*, yeast flakes* (yeast autolysate* with rice flour* and sea salt), sea salt, tamari powder* [(soybeans*, salt), maltodextrin*, and salt], garlic powder*, spices*, onion powder*, dutched cocoa powder*, tomato powder*, natural smoked torula yeast, natural hickory smoke flavor [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent). *Organic  .  Soy ingredients is listed and I noticed it comes from the Tamari Powder.

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Verdict:
As you can see, this is not a soy filled product that can sometimes cause bloat and discomfort. Yes, you fill full but also uncomfortable. You have oats and a bean as a source of protein listed first. Next, comes other ingredients to even cocoa powder! Everything is familiar and real when it comes to the ingredients I recognize. The idea is just to hydrate the product and then make your burgers. Pretty simple. I notice water was listed and you can add ingredients to both add flavor and texture to the product. The biggest complaints I saw when it came to other reviews, was the lack of flavor and to the product being high in oats. Upon opening the box, I do agree the oats visible is higher than I desire. The video on Kim’s Simple Meals website, shows burgers being made with mushrooms, plus onions and other ingredients. You can even add walnuts it states. Barbecue sauce was another addition I saw too. So, I began to look at Kim’s Simple Meals as “starter meals”. I am not new to this method and think of quick bread boxes to even “starter sauces” you pick-up at the store. Same idea. I added red and green bell peppers, red and yellow onion, plus a medley of mushrooms. I even grated some carrots, added Edamame and I went more with an Asian style base versus an American style Burger. For me, the mix was already very far away from a Veggie Burger you get at the store or are familiar with, so why push the product into something it does not even resemble? I added a soy sauce and miso mix to create a hydrating base (water) that would not only plump the ingredients, but also add flavor. Everything was sauteed first and I then lastly added the Home-style Burger base from Kim’s Simple Meals. Okay, it smelled pleasant. I opted for small meatballs in the oven that I basted with Soy Vay, a marinade/stir fry sauce mixed with sesame oil. The house quickly filled with these smell of these Asian style meatballs and it smelled good. I basted a total of 3 times and this made the meatball move around, so it created a nice round shape versus a one-sided flat meatball. The oil allowed for a crisp exterior to build up when it was baking, and using the convection mode and baking on parchment paper, made the cooking process an easy clean up. The taste test? Well, they tasted very good and have a meaty/oatsy texture. I could not imagine using the box’s contents as-is. Like no way! It’s workable but I have to be frank, this was a boxed meal that I fixed up and these are ingredients I always have in hand, so it’s a great way to use up perishables but I am unsure if I would seek Kim’s Simple Meals burger box again. I found myself not craving it and I consider that a test when it comes liking a product. Yes, I made it work but should a product be worked up so much that it no longer resembles it’s beginning….because in the first place you read it never would? Probably not. It’s a start like I said and it’s a meal from a box that is better ingredient wise than others, but not exactly a yummy Home-style burger like it says on the box.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Social Nature: Organic Guru Energy Drink #Review #GuruEnergy

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When I think of energy drinks, the last thing I associate with them is real ingredients. So many are filled with ingredients and proprietary blends, which not only stimulate a burst of energy, but you come down crashing as fast as the energy lasted. I began just avoiding them five years ago but there are days where I was dragging and even the red colored bull was an item I went after when coffee failed me. I started now looking for better drinks that increase endurance with a slash of energy, just to make Mondays a little easier to deal with when I just can’t seem to start the week off right. Some of the drinks I pick now have ingredients like teas to even chia seeds.

In comes Guru drinks, they offer an organic alternative rather than a science experiment in a can. Guru also is only 115 calories for a 12 ounce can with 30 grams of sugar. I was also able to locate the cans easily at my local Sprout’s Farmers Market but I noticed you can purchase directly from the company or even via Amazon. Guru is not only certified Organic but GMO free, gluten free and even a Vegan friendly drink. But does it deliver the energy you need and desire like it’s other rivals?

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Ingredients: sparkling water, organic cane sugar, organic white grape juice, citric acid, apple acid, natural flavors, organic green tea leaf extract, organic guarana seed extract, organic echinacea flower extract, organic panax ginseng root extract.

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Verdict:
I put the can in the fridge overnight to have it cool and ready for the next day. I start hitting that wall at around 2:00 in the afternoon and decide to give Guru a try. I open the can and the sniff test is okay and not unpleasant. I decide to give it a try and this not only where the drink failed me. It tastes like cough syrup and not really good, even though I at least enjoy that the drink is cold on a very hot day. I continue to drink Guru and it has a bad aftertaste, that lingers and also thickens your saliva. That medicinal taste just intensifies the more I drink it and I try to not even hold the drink in my mouth because it even makes my gums taste weird. Not great when it came to flavor but if it gives me energy, I tend to be one of those people that can overlook taste a bit if the product works. I wait 30 minutes, nothing. Another hour passes and the taste is at least starting to go away or maybe I am getting use to it. Oh, Guru is an energy drink……and I have none. Twelve ounces of phlegm giving drink that goes against the mindset that if the taste is like medicine, it should do the opposite of thickening it. After some coughing, clearing of throat and so forth, the energy never hit me or even knocked on the door. I would have taken even one hour of reward after drinking 12 ounces of Guru but the Guru isn’t the giving kind. At $2.50 a can and it was on sale at Sprout’s, I can’t see buying it when other drinks with less volume provide at least some energy, even if you crash after. You add the poor taste and I have felt more refreshed after drinking cold water on a hot day and that never thickens my saliva.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from . I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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