Kikkoman House Party, Sponsored by Ripplestreet!

Kikkoman, around these parts, tends to be our go-to for Asian-inspired cuisine. There’s enough variety in the line that it doesn’t matter if you like sweet, spicy, or melt-your-face hot, Kikkoman has got you covered. In this case, with our party, quite literally. They sent these groovy t-shirts for everyone to wear, as well as tumblers for drinks. Everyone got a little something to keep, as well as a recipe guide & coupon to grab their favorite Kikkoman yummy, courtesy of Kikkoman and Ripplestreet. We provided they food, however…

Sometimes people think you can only get fresh, Asian-inspired meals from a restaurant. Be it fast food, take out, fast casual or sit down, Kikkoman wants to remind you nothing beats homemade. Yes, is might take a few more minutes than grabbing a bag and going, but the payoff when you’ve done it yourself means you’ll probably never look back.

We got a chance to host a Kikkoman party, courtesy of Ripplestreet, and show our friends and family you can make Asian style cuisine just as good or better than any place you can buy from. I’ll go a step further here, and say you get more control over what you use to make it just a little healthier too!

With all that said, everyone does hotwings and pizza for the big game, but we went a step beyond and made full plates of Asian inspired goodness straight from our kitchen. Fried rice, chow mein, potstickers, the whole nine. And one thing I can tell you, hands down, the food was MUCH better than the game or commercials. Much better.

Connect with Kikkoman via:
I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kikkoman courtesy of Ripplestreet. 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.
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Wild Planet Foods: Albacore Wild Tuna, Chicken and Wild Sardines #Review #Sponsored by #MomsMeet

 

​​I received the above product(s) free of charge from Wild Planet Foods 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.

 

Finding Tuna anymore that is edible and from a company that practices safe standards, well it is not that easy. I find many canned versions pretty much a “surprise-in-a-can” because you can’t see the product, so you have take that leap of faith that it will look good and not just be minced fish that should have been discarded. I have bought many brands that allege to hold high standards, to just be disappointed or worse, the only difference is the label and price tag, but the questionable source remains the same. I just stopped eating tuna! Not the best answer when I crave a salad or tuna sandwich, but it was my way to not even deal with it. I then heard many people stopped too because like with many industries, we found out how things are made. The pink goop that made nuggets, well call tuna the grey-ish soup that looked or tasted nothing like the fish. I don’t want to hide the fish with condiments, so why bother was my attitude.

Then came Wild Planet. Okay, I was skeptical because I saw the glossy pamphlets, the pretty pictures and read the materials. It sounds really good:

The company is all about sustainable resources and practices. The main part was traceable responsibility when it comes to the foods they distribute. Not only does Wild Planet have high standards when it comes to fishing, but also on the product they deliver to your family’s table. So, pretty much I don’t have to dress up my tuna to hide getting a not so good can. Wild Planet is a control freak! I like that because that is how I shop and how I would want someone picking my food for me. They are involved with all the fish they purchase to ensure quality, flavor and that texture remains as premium as it can be. No over handling, no hiding yucky questionable “flakes” of fish meat in a can, and making sure that if your can states Albacore Tuna, you get what is labeled.

 

Wild Planet also offer many varieties that come in canned, jarred or pouch versions.  You also can pick products that are packed in oil to no salt varieties.  Every selection is just the fish and no water added:

 

You can see the only thing that comes from a farm, is the chicken and that is even held to organic standards. The rest is all wild caught with strict guidelines like no long lines, no nets, no FAD (fish aggregating device) and turtle safe. Founded in 2004, Wild Planet respects the consumer by first showing the same regard to the seafood they catch. We hear about cage free eggs and how that misnomer is used, but there is no funny stuff when it comes to Wild Planet. They are open about the practices they keep and it has become the mantra the company proudly lives by. Wild Planet is based in my home state of California and all their products are part of the Non GMO project. Like I mentioned, there is really finally a company you can trust when it comes to seafood (and chicken).

 

 

Taste Matters: 

Okay, I missed the heck out of Tuna! The fish is fresh and the flakes are large in size.  Think of a fish steak that was kindly packaged in a can with little to no over handling.  You see how the natural fish is shaped and the “breaking of the flake”, that fish meat is up to you.  You want larger pieces for salad, you got that! Want to fork it and make smaller pieces for a sandwich or to enjoy with crackers, again you are in control of that.  I should have tried Wild Planet longtime ago but I did not want to take that leap……take the jump with both feet in and pick up a can, pouch and/or jar.  This is a can packed with fish and not water, oil, fillers or anything.  Just purely good seafood!

 

You can Connect with Wild Planet Foods at:

#WildPlanetFoods #MomsMeet

 

Nature’s Eats: Butterscotch and Almond Cheesecake Bars #NaturesEats #Tryazon

 

 

Lets Begin………….

Butterscotch and Almond Cheesecake Bars

  • Dry Ingredients:
    1 cup of Oats (Instant/Quick cooked)
    1 cup of White Whole Wheat Flour
    1 cup of Blanched Almond Flour by Nature’s Eats
    1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour
    1/4 tsp of Salt
    1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
    1/2 tsp of Baking Powder

 

  • Wet Ingredients:
    7 ounces melted Unsalted Butter (melted)
    1 1/4 cup of Butterscotch Chips
    3/4 cup of Brown Sugar
    1 Large Egg

 

  • Filling:
    16 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
    1/8 tsp of Almond Extract
    1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
    1/4 cup of White Sugar
    1/8 cup of All Purpose Flour
    1 Large Egg

Drizzle (optional): 1/4 cup of Extra Dark Chocolate melted. Takes about 15 seconds and I use the stove top and I add heat, take the pan off to stir, add pan back and then again stir until just melted. It is my way to avoid burning the chocolate.

You begin by using 3 bowls to mix the above ingredients. You start with the first bowl and incorporate all the flours, baking powder and soda, plus the salt. Set aside. The second bowl, you mix the melted butter, butterscotch chips and the brown sugar. You have the option to melt everything together over a stove top or you can easily microwave the ingredients by using 20 second intervals and mixing in between. The chips may not completely melt (1/4 left intact) and that is perfectly fine. Wait for the wet ingredients to cool off a bit before incorporating the egg. Set aside. The third bowl is for the filling. You incorporate the softened cream cheese with the rest of the ingredients and make sure to whisk until smooth.

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  • Assembly-

Start the oven and I baked the bars at 350 degrees in convection mode. I sprayed a glass pan with nonstick spray and I used a rectangular dish that measures 11 x 7 inches and you can easily use a larger dish for less thicker bars.

You add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well incorporated. 3/4 of the mixed bar batter goes on the bottom to create an even layer. I use a spatula to smooth it out and press it down a touch. Next comes the filling. You simply spread out the filling to create an even layer. The top layer is the 1/4 amount of the bar batter that remains. I crumble that on top because I do not want to smash or disrupt the middle cream cheese layer. By now the oven usually has reached temperature and in go the bars until baked. This takes between 28 to 35 minutes. Worried the top is over browning? Just add foil on top until the bars are fully baked and I use a toothpick to make sure the bar batter would not stick. You may get a smear of cream cheese but realize you don’t want to over bake the bars. Allow the bars to cool and then you can put them in the fridge. I gave them 4 hours to fully cool and you can even leave them in overnight. Drizzle time!! I cut the bars and find they cut flawlessly when cooled all the way. I tend to cut the bars in different sizes so guests can pick the size they desire. I then melt chocolate and I melted about 1/4 of a cup of Extra Dark Chocolate (Bittersweet). I like the more stronger notes against the sweeter ones the butterscotch tends to give. You can drizzle whatever you want from caramel, white chocolate or semi-sweet. Drizzling on cold cut bars allows the chocolate to harden quick too. I returned the bars to the fridge (uncovered) and within 20 minutes it was set. I then covered the bars in plastic and put them back in the fridge until serving.

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Options: You can add to the filling anything from nuts to dry cranberries, apricots, blueberries to fit any season/occasion. A fruit medley can even be added to give it that full autumn feel. Even though pumpkin everything is hitting the store shelves, we are set for a heat wave in Southern California. This was a pre-Fall treat that is not fully embracing the season because the weather has not gotten the memo! Let’s say I am easing into Autumn and hopefully the weather will too.

Enjoy!

Connect with Nature’s Eats at:

 

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nature’s Eats and Tryazon. 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.

Exuviance: Age Reverse HydraFirm #Review #Exuviance #HydraFirm #ARHydraFirm

 

I received a complimentary bottle from Exuviance of their Age Reverse HydraFirm cream. I tried the product out for a total of 2.5 weeks, so I could get an idea of performance, note any positive changes and overall how satisfied I was with the claims made.

HydraFirm contains Hyaluronic Acid with a proprietary blend called Prodew Triple Firming Complex, and Matrixyl. Think of the acid as a “plumper”. As always, we are chasing moisture for our skin and especially as we get older. Not just age affects how our skin retains moisture, elasticity, firmness and so forth. Weather changes can make a negative impact, the ever popular “s” word we are told to minimize called stress, to hormones and just plain genetics. When you have all these factors coming at you, this is why so many products will contain Hyaluronic Acid. The acid helps restore and allow moisturizers to perform at their best. You should see hydrated skin that is firmer, fuller (the plump effect) and be visually able to see a smoother and glowing appearance. You will feel softer skin and this helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles with regular use. Due to how well the acid stabilizes the skin, you can suffer from conditions like acne to rosacea where the acid will actually aid in correcting the effects on the skin from such conditions. Many people get worried about using acids thinking they will stress the skin and cause irritation and redness. This is why Exuviance combines the acid with other properties that allow you to reap the benefits, like Prodew that is registered as a amino acid blend. Matrixl, is registered as a peptide blend, which helps with building collagen and signs of aging (i.e. improving elasticity). Do still be cautious and always use SPF protection to avoid getting sunburned quicker, as acids will make getting burned easier. Plus, protecting with regular sunscreen use should be part of every skin care regimen 🙂

 

 

Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Acetyl Glucosamine, Maltobionic Acid, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Steareth-2, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Octyldodecanol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Silica, Isostearic Acid, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate/VP Copolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Alanine, Lysine, Arginine, Threonine, Proline, Saccharide Isomerate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbitol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Betaine, Cetyl Alcohol, Steareth-20, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Ammonium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Bisulfite, Parfum (Fragrance), CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 19140 (Yellow 5).

Retail Price Point: $78.00 for a 1.75 ounce bottle

Verdict:
I love that the bottle has a pump top. I just dislike jars because that means I need to reach for the plastic little paddle to insure my jar always remains as clean as possible. This means having to clean an instrument versus just washing my hands when a pump top is provided. I was about to jump ship on the third day of use and it was only for one reason. The product kept pilling up on my face after it dried. I tried one day with and without make up and both times had the same negative effect but this is why I like to try products for at least 2 weeks. My problem, the pump was pumping out a single serving that was more than I needed. The pilling was a side effect of heavy application. Yup, user error! I started to be kinder about how much I use at each application and 1/2 a quick pump was spot on. After reducing the amount of HydraFirm I applied, I not only saved product but I never experienced any offset of the product on my face. More never equates better and quicker effects, our skin can only “eat” so much product applied because each pore (I like to think of them as mini stomachs) can only absorb so much. The rest is literally wasted if you over use. Thankfully, HydraFirm was smarter than I and was trying to tell me to knock it off by literally trying to come off where too much was applied. I also never had negative effects like clogged pores, so again I am thankful to Exuviance for making products that did not cause an adverse effect even with my user error.

 

Now, that I am back on track and using what is only needed, let us get into how HydraFirm worked. I used the product in the AM and PM and by week one, I noticed the first positive change and that was visually (and also feeling) a more softer complexion. The acid and combo of effective ingredients were working because my forehead and cheeks are ultra soft and smooth. My pores appear smaller because my skin is hydrated. No blackheads or acne, even though I have months my skin just wants to play teenager and add bumps to my face that are not welcoming at any age. I will say the one thing you will notice immediately is that plump effect. You apply HydraFirm and your skin gets quick results that really does smooth out the skin’s surface, and gives your skin a lift. With continued use, the effects are more lasting than just a burst of hydration you get from initial first-time usage. Those pore “tummys” get use to the good food and the diet of eating well on HydraFirm, starts to show and beyond just the impact upon application. The smoothing out remains and that means my fine lines look finer (more like starter lines) and my wrinkles start not looking so tight and begin to blend out (sort of how my face use to look). Exuviance, again stays with uncomplicated ingredients that show scientific results. No weird gimmicks and the latest hot trend that fades out because the juice was not worth the squeeze. Each HydraFirm pump is providing what your skin needs, has shown to work, and just remember to be soft on the pump when using. This also means the product will last longer and that means a happy user with happy skin!

Connect with Exuviance at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Exuviance. 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.

The ALL NEW Farm Fresh To You: A Fruit and Vegetable Subscription Box Service #FarmFreshToYou #Review and #Recipe

Farm Fresh

Farm Fresh To You, is not my usual subscription box that is filled with beauty related products but in some ways this one is too. Think of this Organic box as a Veggie and Fruit delight filled with food that will definitely aid in not only wellness, health, but beautifying you from the inside out. Let’s not even overlook that I absolutely love vegetables and fruit. I get excited and I’m one of those people that says, “look at that ___________, it’s gorgeous and I then start filling a produce bag like it’s going to sell out that second.  I try to purchase Organic when possible, as long as the produce looks good, is not overly priced and easy accessible. I hunt everywhere and most times lose track of how big the fridge is when I’m stuffing Lacinato Kale bundles in the dairy case. I’m not a juicer and truly just love how vegetables and fruit taste like. I will purchase the unknown produce item, google it in the car, and then have plans for what I’m going to make by the time I get home. I’m a believer of not, “knocking it until you try it”, and this is when I was so fortunate in being able to try Organic produce delivered to my home by Farm Fresh To You.

This is how the Service Works:

You have boxes that fit your cooking, eating to family size to choose from. Don’t like a vegetable or fruit offering? You simply can exchange the product for another by using the allotment (amount you are spending on the box of your choice) to replace that selection. Simple! Some items are harvested in limited numbers, so I did find a few items I could not add more of but sharing is something I do well and I like that customization is available and user friendly when ordering.

You can order from the Boxes below and this is with delivery included pricing:

  • Mixed Fruit & Veggie Boxes– that range from $26 for the Small (1-2 people) to the Monster Box (6+ people) for $58.00
  • Traditional CSA Boxes– is for produce that only comes from their own farm and neighboring partner farms. You can pick a Regular Box (2-4 people) for $33 or the More Box (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • No Cooking Boxes– Options that fit the busy person and have items that are easily made or quick to grab and eat while on the go. A Small Box (1-2 people) is $26 and you have Regular Box (2-4 people) for $33 and the More Box for (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • Fruit Only– 100% fruit and you have a Small for $26, Regular for $33 and More for $46.00
  • Veggie Only Boxes– If you are Pro-Veggies 100%, you can opt for this selection. This one has two choices, the Regular Box (2-4 people) and the More (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • Organic Snack Pack– Like I said, no excuses and this service gives you the option for healthier and better tasting packs that range from $35 for the Mini and serves 5 office people, to the Large for $110 and serves 30 people.

Each area has a delivery day, so it depends which zone you fall in on what day of the week they deliver. Mine was Friday but the best part, they deliver between the hours of 8PM on Thursday and 8AM on Friday. Yup, you wake up to surprises and what a great way to end a week. You can even prep meals on the weekend to eat better and tastier next week. You can also add other items like fresh eggs, local honeys to nuts and other treats.

What did I Order:
Okay, I have to start by saying that it’s just my Husband and I (and a dog) and we eat fresh as much as possible. I rarely open a can in this house and it’s usually to do a shortcut meal when using beans or roasted tomatoes. I love to cook and I love to change my weekly meals, so eating fresh fits us nicely and it’s just hard to get off it once you eat everything with texture and flavors intact. With that said, I went for the Monster Box from the Mixed and Veggie selection. I then again have one of those moments where the pictures get the best of me and I added more to my box. I ended up with a total of $59.35 and the box retails for $58, but I got what I wanted. I did change my selection like lowering the count of Gala apples from 10 to zero and adding Honeycrisp, plus changing items so I could add Purple Bell Peppers and so on.

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When it Arrived:
I am not ashamed but I pretended I was catching up on my DVR when I was really just stalking my door. Farm Fresh To You delivered at 1:16 AM and not even a dog barked. The delivery person kindly placed two brown colored boxes by our gate and they were cold to the touch. The employees wear a bright colored vest and even the white truck’s engine was in “shhhhh mode”. If it was not for my “ninja at midnight” ways, I would have heard zilch.

My box was outside for 3 minutes. Hey, I had to first announce, “it’s here….it’s here, I’m not waiting for you (to my half asleep Husband) and I’m getting them”. It took energy and one minute longer to find my sandals because I was not stepping outside in my slipper socks 🙂

  • Box #1- Bartlett Pears, Ruby Crescent Potatoes, Honeycrisp Apples, Nantes Carrots, Broccoli, Assorted Lettuce, Red Pomegranate, Gypsy Peppers, Black Grapes, and Hass Avocado

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  • Box #2- Valencia Oranges, D’ Anjou Pears, Baby Bok Choy,  Celery, Lacinato Kale, Asian Pear, Mixed Medley of Cherry Tomatoes, Purple Bell Peppers, and Zucchini

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The four items I was eager to use from the boxes were the Medley of Cherry  tomatoes, the Purple Bell Peppers, the Gypsy Peppers and those adorable Ruby Crescent potatoes.

  • Rustic Sausage, Potatoes and Vegetables

Rustic cooking for us is cooking with what we have at hand and what comes to mind.  Simplicity at its best and you measure ingredients by your mood and cravings, no rules and let the flavors shine! It’s about enjoying each ingredient and not drowning it out.

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I decided to make a nice rustic dish of peppers, onions, tomatoes and sausages.  I used an Organic Chicken based sausage that was made with Sweet Basil and Roasted Garlic.  The sausage is pre-cooked but frozen.  I cut the larger potatoes in half and left the smaller ones as-is.  Added roughly chopped Green and Red Bell peppers, white onion, Italian Cubanelle Pepper and few garlic cloves.  I tossed everything with Olive Oil, salted, added dry tarragon, blacked cracked pepper, and dry lavender.  I cooked covered on the roasting setting (425 degrees) for 20 minutes.  This is to allow the potatoes to get a head start cooking and my frozen sausage to defrost.

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After 20 minutes have lapsed, simply add the softer and more delicate peppers, like the Gypsy and Purple ones, plus the tomatoes and toss with melted butter and parsley.  Remove the defrosted sausages.  The butter and veggie mix gets added and mixed to the previous semi-cooked contents.  You toss and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.  Then add the sausages back.  I left the 2 chicken based ones whole and then sliced a (pre-cooked) pork Italian one to give the dish that added flavor.  Cook another 25 to 30 minutes uncovered, or until potatoes are tender. Two minutes before taking the dish out, I tossed the fresh Rosemary t0 give the dish a slight hint of flavor and aroma from the herb.

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I then served the dish with a little cheese on top and a nice crusty loaf of bread.

This code gives you $15 off your first box!

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Farm Fresh To You.  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.

Revel Home’s Wyer Modern Industrial EcoFriendly Mini Pendant Lamp

I’ve needed to update a few of the fixtures in my home, and it’s hard shopping at big-box stores because they only want to carry contractor-grade cheap and make you special order anything nice. Shopping online for lamps and fixtures can be a dizzying, harrowing experience, what with the over-abundance of selection and and sometimes-questionable descriptions and pictures, you can end up with something you hate and live with or have to pay to return. Revel home comes to the rescue with products that not only look as good as the pictures online, I dare say the products exceed expectations and even look better!

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This is my second go-round with products from Revel Home, and while the last one, a counter-height barstool, was awesome, this lamp, to me, is even better. Packed well, made well, and looks like a million bucks installed, it was a dream to work with. The drop pendant style is my favorite, but sometimes Hubby has to mickey-mouse what I like to fit into our somewhat shorter ceiling heights. This time adjusting the drop was a breeze, just by adjusting the plastic cord “lock” inside the mounting plate. Installation took Hubby about 30 minutes, because we’v done these types of lamps before, but one huge oversight (which is probably just an anomaly) was the lack of instructions for installing. Thankfully, we know our way around them and it wasn’t an issue. The glass “canister” is thick and sturdy, and the antique-bronze looking metal accents are gorgeous. It swings free when installed so even if your ceilings are slightly uneven, your lamp won’t be. It also accepts incandescent, LED, and CFL bulbs and can be used with a dimmer as well. Revel Home even included a vintage-Edison-style LED bulb, which in and of itself can sometimes run you $10 or more, but Revel Home gives it to you for free.

Therein lies the only minus I could find, and it’s not a shortcoming at all of the lamp, but all of these style of bulbs cast a harsh yellow pallor over everything. When turned off they look stunning, and I have no doubt in the right environment there’s no issues, but in my cream-and white color scheme in the room I installed it in, every thing was yellow. Very, very yellow, and I replaced the bulb with a cool white LED just fine.  At $55.99 on Amazon it’s a little on the steep side, which stops me just short of a 5 star rating, because similar lamps can be had elsewhere for as little as half that price, but I adore everything else about the lamp and the company and recommend them highly.

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Connect with Revel Home:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge. 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.

Bouchard Chocolates 72% Cacao Fine Belgian Dark Chocolate

We are unabashed chocolate junkies in this house, and we usually don’t discriminate, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t discerning. There’s some really, really good craft chocolates out there, and some really, really bad stuff you can find at the supermarket checkout lane that shouldn’t (and sometimes even can’t) legally be called chocolate. But, in swoops Bouchard Chocolate to show you what’s good about good chocolate. And, sadly, what’s bad about a company looking to increase their presence in the U.S. but shot itself in the foot.

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To start, it’s a good chocolate, despite arriving during a now-customary California Fall heatwave. We’re talking 100+ temps in late September. I feared the worst, but most of the Napolitains arrived intact. More than a few were melted and toast, but I’ll use those for baking. The bag I received was simple cellophane, understated and all about the product within. It’s a dark chocolate (72% cacao content), but I can’t find a list of ingredients, nor did I get anything listing them, nor does the website list them…you kind of get where I’m going here. So, tastewise it’s pretty good. It’s comparable, favorably, to Green & Blacks, which is a pricey but good chocolate you can find almost anywhere. It’s smooth, not gritty, melts in your mouth without any lingering sugars after, and slightly bitter to the tongue, but in the way a good chocolate should be. The small morsels in the packet I got were good for a light snack when you’re needing that chocolate fix, but don’t want to gorge (yes, it’s happened here. Too often!).

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And that’s it for the good. The bad is that this company is doing a positively lousy job of getting to market. The company name and product has been around in some form or fashion since 1931. It’s roots trace back to the fine chocolatiers  in Ghent, Belgium with an award winning recipe for fine chocolate. But good luck finding a decent web presence, or price point, or e-commerce site for them. I couldn’t, and none was supplied for me to promote with. No ingredient list, no “Where to Buy”, just a lot of pretty pictures and florid prose, but no substance. In this country, we call that “All sizzle and no steak”. It’s a fine product, probably top 5 of all the chocolates I’ve had recently. And while they told me to mention that their product can be found in Costco Warehouses around the country, near weekly visits by Hubby has yet to locate any in the wild. Nothing on Amazon, Costco.com, no way to buy or even price. I can’t even tell you if it’s a value. And that’s a real shame. Since the company was acquired by Halloren Chocolate Group in 2014, they wanted to quickly get the name out there. That’s only a good strategy if you make your product readily available, and as of this writing, they have not. I’d love to recommend the chocolate, because it tastes divine. But I don’t know where to point you other than “Supposedly Costco”, and I can’t tell you how much it costs, what other types of products they have, what they’re made with… Ugh, so frustrating to see a good product doomed by terrible (or non-existent) marketing.

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Connect with Bouchard Chocolate:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bouchard Chocolate. 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.

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.

 

 

Dynamic Innovation Labs: Dynamic Sonic Instant Eye Lift #Review #DynamicSonic #EyeLift

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When it comes to anti aging products, we have a lot to choose from. You can go the slow and patient route by using a product like retinol that takes time to see results. With retinol the results are permanent only if you continue to use the product with the idea as you age, you will need to up the percentage and most times end up using a prescription grade formula. Then comes the instant changers, like I like to refer to them. Products that do not work on a long term basis that provide the changes that stay, but more like formulas that give you that pep (think what energy drinks do) and give you that “lifted” look instantaneously. The last options revolve around appointments, doctors, fillers, to surgeries and that is just not a route I am ready to literally face with my face. My solution is combo driven. Meaning I use acids and retinols to work on my face for more permanent results but I also use the instant type for when my face is sending out an SOS. You just can’t fake a goodnight’s sleep without the instant products there to save you!

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Dynamic Innovation Labs, is a company that provides OTC products that address both a instant and/or longer term solution towards aging skin. This is a company that is serious about skin care and no longer using the everyday formulas that just make fine lines and wrinkles giggle. Dynamic Innovation Labs is about annihilating any fine lines and wrinkles, including those we get from smiling and laughing too much. Yes, even being super happy comes at a cost! Hey, I prefer working on a overly happy face versus a moody one. Once you visit the site, the price points can be scary. Again, Dynamic Innovation Labs is not playing games and is producing formulas as a last resort before or even if you are considering any surgical enhancement procedures. Everything comes in these surgical looking vials that resemble a injector but minus the needle. They stand behind their products by even offering a free sample ($5.99 for shipping and handling) of their Instant Eye Lift . So, you can try before buying the full size tube.

 

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Ingredients (as posted on the website): Purified Water (Aqua), Sodium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, CI 77489 (Iron Oxide), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

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Verdict:

Price of a product never equates quality and/or results. This runs so true in the beauty world of products that most times many products out there have just found a fancy way to sell us water or a cheap oil for more than it’s worth! This angers me but anger causes wrinkles, so I try not to think about it 🙂 . When Dynamic Innovation Labs offered to send me their Dynamic Sonic Instant Eye Lift to try out…..I of course was excited. I want instant results and the Dynamic Sonic Instant Eye Lift has a rating of lasting 6 to 8 hours. That’s a lot of lifting for a few drops of product and I was not convinced. I receive the vial and use is simple, you just apply a few drops and watch the effects. Make sure not to rub the product in and the idea is to get a thin film on while holding a face with no expression. Yeah, act like a statue! Okay, it made me laugh but I had to hold it in to not be left looking like I am cackling 6 to 8 hours. Once the product dries, you can then apply make-up as you would any day but keep in mind in not messing (rubbing in too much) in the areas treated. I did just that and the formula did not interfere with my make-up. I actually skipped on a concealer!  Now, the results. I was surprised on how you watch your face sort of lose that tired look within seconds as the Dynamic Sonic Instant Eye Lift starts…..well, lifting. It does not take a lot of time for the solution to dry and you do see results. I look like I sleep well and my life is perfect if you see me! I like that. I don’t want to look like I feel sometimes and especially on days where 4 hours of real sleep is all I obtained. No other product in the instant category has ever lifted and worked like this one from Dynamic Innovation Labs. This is why I rarely ever review any instant anything on my blog, due to the high failure rate. No fails here. Yes, the product costs $395.00 or $375.25 with subscribe and save, but it 100% works. I have overspent more on products combined that failed in the instant and even the long term effects categories. You know how it feels waiting 7 to 10 weeks to see results and sticking to a beauty regimen that long and then seeing zilch occur. You then add time wasted and money……well, don’t get me angry because remember…..it causes wrinkles. At least order the sample and see for yourself the younger you again!

Get 25% OFF with this exclusive coupon code D888D

Visit Dynamic Innovation Labs at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Dynamic Innovation Labs. 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.

 

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