Tryazon: The Ritual of Sakura Skincare Set by Rituals Review #Tryazon #RitualsUSA

As much as we enjoy a day at the spa, reality is that sometimes the spa needs to come to us. Having products that help renew your space not only helps in creating a relaxing environment, but takes the home space to another level.

In comes Rituals, which provides an array of products that can be used at home or even when you travel. Stress relievers on the go! It is no longer not having time to book an appointment but stress hits us at any hour. It can be midnight and a soak in a tub can be enough to make you finish the rest of the week strong just because you took some time to give yourself some very much needed TLC. I have yet to know a spa available at midnight and going out in my jammies at such an hour becomes a drag if the idea of getting out the car comes into play. Stay in your pajamas and use that travel time at a place that has no waiting room, your home!

Rituals has many sets to choose from and products are sold a la carte or if you wish for a more economical idea, you can get a gift set that allows you try out four products from the same line. These are not only great for self gifting but make great presents because one thing we all share, is needing a touch of less stress in our lives. I opted for the set called The Rituals of Sakura. You will find on the Rituals site that they even have gift sets available in size small, medium and large, again accommodating for every budget and each set comes with a gorgeous reusable box. Men are also not excluded (hear they get stress too ūüôā ), so you can also find products for that special guy in your life. Make it a dual spa day!

 

The Rituals of Sakura Renewing Set Includes:

All products assembled in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and disturbed out of Delaware (USA)

Retail Price: $45 and the site advertises free shipping with orders $40 or more. You can also add an item and receive a free gift when you spend $50 or more. A pop-up window will come up and offers you sign up for emails and again offers a percentage off of orders, making the deals only sweeter.¬† You can also access Ritual products at Macys’s, Jet, Ulta, and Lord & Taylor

 

Verdict:
The scent in the Sakura collection is light and pleasing. The site advertises the scent of Japanese Cherry Blossoms, which is delicate and Rituals did get the fragrance spot on. The scrub has a soft almond scent that is calming when paired with the floral notes. The shower gel goes further than expected, so a small amount is needed when using. I worry as some gels can be irritating but this gel still had a nice scent that remains but is not overwhelming. I also found it nourishing to my skin versus how some gels tend to strip away moisture and leave your skin feeling tight. Not exactly a relaxing experience, but Rituals got it right where this is a foaming gel that lends itself in being kinder and beneficial to your skin’s surface. I was concerned the body cream would be overpowering as some fragrance enriched products can be. I don’t want to walk by someone and make them feel like I beat them with a cherry blossom tree! Again, a sweet cherry scent that is soft to the nose but does not linger to become annoying. The cream is not heavy and my skin absorbed it, leaving a nice even texture with zero dry spots. I would use this lotion daily and it takes the bore out of my no scent oatmeal one I had been using prior. The hand wash was a nice surprise. I thought it was that extra item in the set that I was not too ecstatic about but after several uses, my hands improved so the not so exciting item became a favorite too. Nice scent and cleanses enough that after cooking, I had no lingering unwanted smells left from making dinner. Again, it is nice when a hand wash with perfumes actually washes versus just give me scented hands.

Final Verdict:
I have purchased products from skincare and bath stores with same scents, but nothing has captured the Cherry Blossom experience as well as Rituals. The ingredients like rice milk aid in softening your skin’s texture, so this a true spa quality product versus just scented goodies that have no benefits.¬† Finally, a gift set where each item can be used with no throwaways included! I liked that not only for myself but when I gift a set, I know it is not just filler made to look nice and pretty. The ingredients are top notch, non-irritating, and scent wise it became a desirable fragrance I looked forward to using. This is definitely a must buy and will easily make it to the #2018GiftGuide this year!

 

To Connect with Rituals, please visit:

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

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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:

 

 

‚ÄčI 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.

Troy-Bilt TB22 Gas String Trimmer, Not quite ready for “Prime Time”

I’ve had quite a bit of experience with string trimmers. Gas, corded & cordless, I’ve used them all, my current outdoor tools are cordless. We wanted to see if we’d been missing out not using gas. I can say with no hesitation I’m sticking with my Ego Power+ Cordless tools.

I learned the hard way the grass isn’t always greener, pardon the pun. What moved me into cordless tools was the ease of start-up, lack of fumes & noise. Gas tools sometimes need many yanks on the cord to get going. Same with this one. This one took more than a few. With each successive stop, more yanks were needed. Then it started to sputter and stall out when idling, then I couldn’t get it started again at all. I checked the fuel mixture provided, & emptied and refilled, thinking I’d fouled the line somehow. I adjusted the choke. No go. I let it cool & went back to cordless to finish the front. When I tried to start it up again for the side yard, it took a lot of effort to get it running. By the time I got to the back grass, I could not get it to start or stay running. It’s brand new, it should not have given me these kinds of problems.

Hubby tried to fix it, as he can usually fix anything. He disassembled, cleaned, & reassembled the user serviceable parts & tried again, following the start-up instructions to the letter. It started up after some effort. He handed it over back to me & when I tried to get it started, it wouldn’t. I gave it back to hubby to try again, he couldn’t either. We were forced to give up. I went back to my Ego Power+ String Trimmer, which started up and ran like a dream, as it always does.

We used the provided & recommended pre-mixed fuel. The unit was new, had barely been used when it started giving problems. A online search to troubleshoot showed we’re not the only ones. I liked that you could build around the engine base with attachments like a blower, hedge trimmer, etc, but if the motor unit is this unreliable, all you’re left with is a bunch of stuff that doesn’t work. It’s loud, and creates a lot of fumes. It has good power to trim grass and weeds, beats corded by a mile in that regard. But it’s unreliable, even when it worked was difficult to start & keep running. I’m sticking with Ego cordless tools. They’ve never failed me. Troy-Bilt has now twice.

I received the above product(s) free of charge for the purpose of evaluation and testing for a review. 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 ūüôā

 

 

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!

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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.

Kenra: Platinum Snail Anti-Aging Hair Care Line and Kenra Platinum Snail CC Creme #Review #Kenra #KenraPlatinum #Sponsored

I really try to take care of my hair by not exposing it to heat and/or too many products.¬† My hair is pretty long, reaching down towards my waist.¬† At times it can be a fight with my hair when it is not playing nice like on a windy day and hair meets car door.¬† My extinct is to yank and say some unkind words but I’m working on it, just like I am working on trying to better my hair’s overall health and condition.
 
When Kenra offered a snail care line to review, my first instinct was ewww.  I imagined a slug at the time swimming at the bottom of the bottles sort of like you see a worm in a Mezcal bottle.  The idea sounded wrong until I quickly recalled the high priced creams with what was pretty much slug juice that many swore by.  I decided to read and the ewww factor quickly dissipated.
 
Things to know:
 
No slugs or worms are swimming in your products or if you are a pro-snail person, no snails were harmed in making this new Kenra Snail Anti-Aging hair care line.  The benefits stated by Kenra read like a dream come true if you are seeking what we all desire.
 
  • Shine restored
  • Helps with age related thinning of hair
  • Controls Frizz
  • Scalp Issues¬†
  • Dryness
  • Breakage from ends to just from over treated
  • Better manageability¬†
  • Helps strengthen your hair so it is just not appearing healthier, but actually improving your locks!

 

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I received the Kenra Snail Anti-Aging Shampoo and Conditioner and after trying the products for 3 weeks this was what I experienced:
 
My first wash was amazing.  The shampoo really lathers up with very little product needed.  When it came time to rinse, my hair did not feel dry or stripped.  Still clean but super soft.  Not weighed down but a smoothness that made you think I had added a leave-in conditioner already.  This is just the shampoo!  The conditioner made me fall in love with the duo.  You know how I said how soft my hair felt just after shampooing?  Well, the conditioner left my hair feeling like I never use a blow dryer.  Silk.  Pure silkiness and a shine that was instantly seen.  I was super happy but I always wait for how my hair appears when I use the hair dryer.  I am pretty good about not using it on super high heat and not over touching my hair to create frizz and static.  I applied a small dollop of the CC Cream provided in place of my usual leave-in hair product.  My hair was pretty tangle free because of how soft and relaxed the wash left it, which made distributing the CC cream easy.  I used my finger to get rid of some small tangles that unraveled the minute my fingers passed through.  I used very little of the CC cream because my hair felt great as it was.  Now, came drying.  Can I say I welcome less drying time on any day?  My hair took only 10 minutes to dry and not the usual semi-wet head I stay with before because I lazied my way out of doing it all the way.  My hair was like I wished I had time to dry it every time and soft.  Not a lion head mane but natural lift and body that made me love my hair how it looked and felt.  It was midnight and my hair looked so good I wanted to go out!
 
Verdict: 
As I used the products, I was expecting my first wash was as good as it gets.¬† Wrong.¬† My hair just got shinier and shinier and some people inquired if I got a new cut or was I using a new oil.¬† Nope.¬† The luster was amazing and when I was looking at our home security cameras to see if the sprinklers had come on that morning, I caught myself leaving the house that day.¬† I don’t usually give myself compliments but my goodness………,my hair rocks! The luster and the way it just moves makes you think I am getting a blow out once a week.¬† I was stunned at how beautiful my hair looked and how the individual highlights gleamed in the sun and realize I don’t dye my hair.¬† This is just natural highlights that I get during Summer.¬† I can’t wait for the Winter change where my hair gets a more deeper chocolate/auburn hue and how that will look.¬† I dumped my other regimen and have replaced it with the new Kenra Snail Anti-Aging line.¬† It costs less because I won’t be seeking deep treatments to restore my hair.¬† It is now part of my hair care routine.¬† I use the Kenra shaping spray if I desire a longer lasting style and some hold but not on a regular basis.¬† The spray is alcohol free and that means all the work the Kenra Snail Shampoo & Conditioner, plus CC Cream is not lost.¬† No worries of over drying because of styling.¬† You can also incorporate into your routine the Kenra Platinum Heat Block Spray.¬† This spray protects your hair up to 450 degrees and I used it once when I wanted to use my flat iron.¬† My hair’s remained the same like no hot iron ever met it but if you really want the best top 3 products, please splurge and treat your hair to the¬†Kenra Platinum Snail Anti-Aging Shampoo and Conditioner, and the¬†Kenra Platinum Snail CC Creme.¬† Your hair will thank you!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZvYgUC_p2E&feature=youtu.be
 
 
I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kenra. 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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Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers with NightLock Plus‚ĄĘ and Coupon Offer #ShareTheLuv #Sponsored

Luvs Box Product Shot

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!

 

Luvs Image

 

 

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:

Luvs Logos

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. 

 

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 ūüôā

  • 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.

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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.

1THE Water Filter System Review


We all want cleaner water, and we’re all sick of the hassle of buying water bottled, or the expense of having it delivered. And despite what our “benevolent” leaders would have you believe, I don’t think for one second the water that comes straight from the tap is fit to drink. What’s a gal to do?img_20161030_153802

One thing that has gathered steam lately is under-sink filtration systems. None of the expense and installation issues involved with a whole home system, and none of the waste of buying bottled all the time. I thought when this system was offered it was in in-line system, and indeed there no mention of the one thing that stopped me from permanently installing this setup is that as offered, you must drill a hole in your sink or countertop for the dedicated spigot. If you have an undermount sink, or granite countertops, the absolute last thing you want to do is start drilling holes in either. And while I’m certain Hubby has a larger-than-average drill bit that could¬†make a hole large enough to install the spigot, I don’t know that I’d want him to. So we did mickey-mouse the setup to run our household water through the filters temporarily. There was indeed a notable difference in flavor of the water, to our benefit. The multi-stage filtration looks pretty comprehensive, and there was no leaks from the system itself. But I waited for years to have my granite counters put in, there’s no way on this earth I’m going to start putting holes in it for this.

Another thing that gave me pause is that I don’t see where I can order replacement filters. Not on Amazon, and not from their website directly. Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, Osh…Nothing to be found anywhere. That’s troubling because one thing is the initial expense of the system (which at $144.50 is¬†not insignificant), but to be beholden to a company to offer replacement filters at whatever cost they want because they can’t be found elsewhere? Uh-uh. Sorry, that’s not a system I’d want to buy in to and make permanent alterations to my kitchen’s (or any other rooms) stone countertops and then be left with either a hole or a superfluous spigot. The idea has merit, and I’m not opposed to it, but the application, for me, is a non-starter, and I would not have purchased this unit with that information.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from 1The. 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.

TCP Global’s 7″ Variable-Speed Polisher Kit with 6 Polishing Pads


It is so easy sometimes to forget to take care of our vehicles properly, what with our hectic lives and lack of free time for anything substantial, like waxing and polishing our vehicle to properly maintain the paint and overall looks of something we paid 10’s of thousands of dollars for. And yet, we do, so TCP Global has something to make a tedious, mundane chore like waxing your vehicle so much quicker, easier, and simpler.

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And yet the TCP Global 7″ Speed Polisher with 6 Polishing Pads kit¬†can be as simple or complex as you need it to be, with multiple pads for different levels of waxing depending on the needs of your paint. Personally, I’ve been chewed out in my younger years for washing my car with soft soap and my hands before a big date, but Hubby came along and immediately put the kibosh on that, and showed me the importance of keeping the exterior or my car clean and properly maintained. This kit will definitely help you accomplish that, with variable speeds and a digital RPM readout screen to help you keep things even and uniform. There’s plenty of power in the 10 Amp, 1200 watt motor¬†here for tough “cleaning” waxes for neglected paint, even as far as cutting waxes for severely weather-worn paints. But it’s also gentle enough for a clear coat quick polish as well, with a setting as low as 600 rpm, or as high as 3000 rpm for a liquid-like shine. The seven inch polishing pad covers enough real estate to make even waxing our big honking 4Runner a quick 45-minute task instead of an “all afternoon” task. You can even vary the grips as needed, with a simple side handle (similar to an angle grinder) for vertical applications, and a removable top mounted handle for trunks, hoods and tops that are horizontal. The 8 different waffle-foam pads are textured for 8 different levels of polishing, depending on the needs of your paint, with standar hook-and-loop attachment. Add a convenient high-impact molded carry/storage case, and you’ve got a professional-quality tool for less than the cost of a professional detail job.

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And TCP Global stands firmly behind every product they sell. This¬†7″ Speed Polisher is comprehensive without feeling daunting for someone who’s just getting serious about automotive care, but not so over-the-top that a female like myself feels it’s “too much tool” for me. I’m glad I got to try it and can’t wait to see the results.

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

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