Red Vines: Fruit Vines Bites in Cherry #SweetSide #FrostyVoxBox

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As part of my Frosty Vox Box via Influenster, they included the new Fruit Vine’s Bites in cherry flavor. Why fight a licorice straw when you can just munch away one bite at a time? Keeps your hands free while you snack! I’m a huge licorice fan and liked the bite size twist, however I noticed the flavor was lacking. The fruit was not intense in taste and especially from a product called Fruit Vines. Once I turned the package over and read the ingredients, I noticed there is no fruit. Not even a percentage that is low in cherry just none but artificial flavors and the kind of things that I dislike, like artificial colors and sugars galore. I so wanted to love this sweet treat but when I see cherry…….I sort of expect even 1% to be there!

Retail Price Point: $1.28 to $1.79, prices vary by package size

Connect with Fruit Vines Bites at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Influenster and Fruit Vines Bites. 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.

~Nothin’ But Love for These Treats~

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Everyone loves cookies. Everyone. If you are some kind of space alien who doesn’t love cookies, boy howdy have you been reading the wrong blog. I never pass up a chance to try a cookie or three, so when Nothin’ But Foods offered up their granola cookies during summer diet time, I said “Thank you, sir, may I have another!”. What’s a few more crunches and a couple more minutes on the elliptical machine when it comes to cookies, amirite?

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I really stepped in it, though, because these are goooooooooood. Like, “Ohmahgawd, I ate how many?!” good. When one thinks of granola cookies, you tend to think of hard, dry, crumbly, crunchy cookies that don’t taste like much. I am thrilled to report that nothing could be further from the truth here. Chewy, moist, bursting with flavor is what Nothin’ But’s granola cookies are. I got to try both the Chocolate Coconut Almond and the Cherry Cranberry Almond varieties, and I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite between the two. But I have zero hesitation telling you that these are, hands down, far and away the BEST granola cookies I have ever had. Don’t just take my word for it though. Hubby doesn’t like either coconut or granola, and I had to hide the bags before he polished them off before I could review them. That’s how good they are.

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“Food from a kitchen Not a lab”. Nothing But Premium Foods boasts “100% Natural, non-GMO, gluten free deliciousness, with no fillers, eggs, butter, and made in an kitchen not a lab”, and they deliver in spades. 2 cookies are only 120 calories, with only 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving, all while delivering 2 grams of dietary fiber and 3 grams of protein. And here’s the trumpet card: You know, have heard of, and can pronounce every ingredient. Almonds. Oats. Honey. Cranberries. Cherries. Sea salt. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Espresso powder. I love when I don’t need a chemistry book to know what I’m eating. I love that I probably have 90% of these things in my pantry already. I love that it’s good enough for breakfast, yet tasty enough for dessert.

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Did I mention they make snack bars too? In the above flavors as well as Ginger Lemon Cashew and Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate? Yeah, hands off, hubby. Or you’ll lose a finger. These are MINE. There’s gift assortments if he’s interested, and behaves.

 

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Since 2008, Nothin’ But Foods has been making fantastic, wholesome treats, and putting the others to shame. Started by Jerri Graham after she got tired of processed, fake and nasty “foodstuffs” and wanting something better for her daughter, she decided to fill a niche in the market by making something good and making something real. She started small and grew with word of mouth and dedication. It’s gotten to be a chore to find real foods in the the center isles of the markets. So much processed, shelf stable junk passed off as food. Jerri started in her kitchen making these with love, and it shows in the quality, flavor, and simplicity. There is an old adage that says “Do one thing, and do it well”. So, well done, Nothin’ But Foods. Well done indeed.

 

Get your hands on some Nothin’ But today, but int he meantime, reach out to them via:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nothin’ But Premium Foods .  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.

 

Healthy Surprise: Subscription Snack Box filled with goodies and delivered right to your door

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Healthy Surprise is a company, which delivers snack filled boxes to your door on a monthly basis. The company also offers specialty themed boxes, like their Chocolate Box that is filled with anything and everything having to do with that cacao bean we all love. You also have different box levels and they just get fuller and fuller as you go up the scale:

  • Starter Box- $40.00 a month and filled with snacks for 1 to 2 people. Each box has 11+ full sized snacks to enjoy.
  • Big Box– $60.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 1 to 4 people. This box comes with 16+ full sized snacks to indulge in.
  • Combo Box– $95.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 2 to 6 people. The Combo Box is huge and filled with 27+ full sized snacks that will satisfy any taste-bud and then some.

All treats are soy free, gluten free, natural to vegan. Snacks are corn free and even plant based. I also found they research very carefully what they offer in their boxes from products not made in China to the ingredients used. You won’t find MSG to High Fructose Corn Syrup. Worried about allergies? Healthy Surprise hunts for dairy free, peanut free, shellfish free, no artificial flavors, dyes, color, to even no artificial sweeteners used in their health friendly boxes. No Partially Hydrogenated oils or yeast extracts to upset your taste buds! It’s munching but at a higher level of quality and some can same say less guilt. I’m always for feeling better and less guilty about snacking!

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One thing I dislike about monthly subscription boxes is the wait. You miss that delivery window and you are waiting 30+ days to get anything. Not with Healthy Surprise!  They even have a count down and I ordered one day in the early hours and I am not kidding, I was opening up my box within 48 hours. Healthy Surprise is a California based company, so I got quick delivery and so can you, as they ship for free anywhere in the U.S. You can also set when you want a box shipped and I like that level of control when ordering.

Now to the box we go! I received the smaller box called the Starter Box and calling it small is an understatement, with 13 items but does it live up to it’s price tag? Let’s see….

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  • Hail Merry Macaroons Blonde– The bag comes with 1.75 of puck shaped macaroons. They are small but packed with flavor and no skimping on the coconut. I loved these and ate them with fruit, then dipped some in chocolate and two macaroons swam in an almost empty jar of Fleur de Sel Caramel that was too good to waste. Love these and they are addicting. The product is gluten free and Vegan friendly. Hail Merry uses top notch ingredients from organic maple syrup, shredded coconut, extra virgin coconut oil to raw almond flour. You add vanilla and sea salt and that makes up the entire list of contents. Simple and delicious and I’m a fan. A bag this size retails for about $4 to $5.

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  • Gorge Delights, Just Fruit Bar in Apple Cherry 100% grown U.S. fruit, this bar is sort of like the “fruit leather” you find at Trader Joe’s. A little thicker and it’s made of apple puree, apple concentrate, and cherry concentrate. The bar is simple but delivers more of an apple punch than a cherry one. Due to it’s ultra minced texture, the bar is a little on the gummy side but not satisfying in texture like a gummy bear is. It’s more gummy and smashed. Was not a fan of the bar and stopped at two bites because the cherry was just not there for me and it started to taste like fermented fruit. I really wanted to like this bar because it does satisfy 2 fruit servings of your daily requirements and I would try it again but in another flavor. This bar retails for about $1.16 when purchased in bulk sizes (for retail).

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  • Oloves in Basil and Garlic These are natural green pitted olives and they have a touch of salt, sunflower oil, basil, garlic, vinegar, and acidifiers listed as lactic and citric acid. The pouch weighs 1.1. ounces and safely keeps the green olives intact. No broken or smashed ones and I added them to a salad, which made my dinner look like a beauty and my taste buds were 100% satisfied when it came to the flavor and texture. You get a nice brine that is not over loaded with acids or too high in flavor when it comes to the marinade. Oloves found the perfect balance where the other flavors compliment versus taking away from the olive. A bag this size retails for a little over a $1.00.

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  • Hail Merry Grawnola in Orange and Cranberry– Another hit for the Hail Merry family and this raw nut and fruit blend is packed with flavor that is perfectly balanced. Many orange flavored items are over powered with a poor tasting juice that smells better than it tastes, but not here. You get the hints of citrus and the granola is crunchy and not coated with that honey/orange juice glaze that gives you sticky fingers. You have ingredients like raw almonds, maple syrup, buckwheat groats, fresh orange juice, dried apples, raw pecans, and cranberries. The blend continues with raw sunflower seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and salt. Perfect and craveable, plus energy packed. Most ingredients are organic and this product is gluten free, Vegan friendly, grain free and packed with Raw Omegas. Hail Merry products make you look at the label twice and it’s not a trust issue, it’s that you can’t believe something so good is not doused in sugars and bad stuff! This 1.5 ounce bag retails for between $2.50 and $3.00.

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  • Buddy Fruits in Mango Passion & Banana– The drink comes in a resealable container and Buddy Fruits is simple in the ingredient list. You have pure blended fruit derived from Mango. Apple, Banana, and Passion Fruit juice…..that is all. The pouch delivers a taste just like you would imagine the fruit combination would be. Great product to drink as it is or even add to smoothies. I semi-froze mine to enjoy on a hot day and it got a nice slush consistency that made me wish I had 2 of these in my box. The 3.2 ounce pouch retails for about a $1.00 to $1.25.

 

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  • Freshly Wild Super Foods, Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard– Healthy surprise sent me another thing I’ve been dying to try, kale chips. Because let’s face it, everyone gets “munchy” from time to time, but potato chips are all kinds of unhealthy and bad for any diet in excess. From Freshly Wild, a small Portland, Oregon-based health food company, comes Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard flavor. Not just your average dehydrated kale chip, these are handcrafted and carefully dehydrated in a small kitchen “powered by renewable wind energy”. Cool. Gluten-free, non GMO, and vegan, three things that are quite popular right now. Using “… only the best juices, nuts, seeds and spices”, this little guy is coated in crunch and flavor, with little bits of nut and seasoning all over. Neat-o. In a resealable .75 ounce package to boot. Crispy without being crumbly, and a satisfying crunch that fills that “munchy” feeling I mentioned earlier. Tangy and sweet. Two things jump out at me: 1 is that unfortunately, a lot of the chips became “shards” at the bottom of the bag. And 2 is that for only an ounce, you’d be paying between $4.50 and $6.00 a bag. Yowza. Fortunately, a little bit goes along way.

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  • Snip Chips in Dill Pickle– This is a Parsnip and Coconut snack mix. I have never even sniffed a blend like this or much less had one but I’m a try it all and then decide type of gal. The product is parsnips, raw coconut, raw cashews, apple cider vinegar, dill, garlic and lemon, plus a touch of chipotle, mustard seed, and Himalayan crystal salt. I dive in and it’s not crispy but more of a dehydrated like texture, I have seen these at my local Sprout’s Market and they come in other flavors. I like dill pickles and found myself puzzled by the blend as I knew it.  I did go back for a second and third piece. The verdict is still out on this one for me as much as I tried to make-up my mind about it. I guess I’m in the middle about it, I don’t love them or dislike them but unsure if I will be having more. Sun Chips does have other flavors and maybe the cheesy one would be better. This bag at a weight of 2 ounces retails between $5.49 and $5.99.

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The Daily Crave Veggie Chips– Remember that “munchy” feeling I mentioned? The one that comes between meals and runs diets? Yeah, that one. Here’s another product that should make you feel a little less guilty about munching. Note that I said “should”. I’ll explain that in a minute. The Daily Crave is a snack food company that boasts on their website:

*100% All Natural
*100% Vegan
*No Artificial Ingredients
*No Dairy
*Non GMO
*No Artificial flavors
*No Artificial coloring
*No Hydrogenated Fats
*Perfect for Dipping

That’s a mouthful. And it’s got a neat package, a good price, clever marketing, what’s not to love? Well, a close look at the ingredient list reveals that these are not all that different from, say, those chips in a tube shaped can that stack so nicely. Potato flour, potato star hotel, and oil are the first 3 ingredients. And while there is salt and sugar, it’s thankfully in very small amounts. Almost as small as the amounts of actual veggies in these veggie chips. Now, that’s not to say they aren’t tasty, because they are. But for all they got right, they also got quite a bit wrong. Snazzy packaging and trendy buzzwords do not a great product make. A small filled bag at just 1 ounce retails for $1.33 (retail bulk price).

  • Snapz Premium Grilled Zucchini Crunch & Snapz Premium Pineapple Crunch– I hate being a snack buzzkill, so let me mention a couple of yummers that I loved. Snapz Crisps makes an entire line of gently dehydrated fruit and veggie crisps, so there’s something for everyone. They are a “Brand leader for non fried fruit and vegetable crisps, 100 % natural, not fried or baked. Using unique technology to ensure the products are very crisp (?) they combine the fun and enjoyment of crisps with the goodness of fruit and vegetables. Appealing to all ages groups — young and old alike.” I got to try both sweet and savory with their Premium Pineapple and Grilled Zucchini flavors. While I appreciated the subtle flavors of the grilled zucchini, a little touch of sea salt would have really livened it up. But the pineapple crisps were a hit all around. Too often there are added oils and sugars in dried fruit that completely drown out the flavors of the fruit, but not here. I love the one item ingredient list: Pineapple. Winner! Tasty, crunchy, tangy. Not oily, not overly sweet. What’s not to love? Fat free, gluten free, nut free, GMO free, sugar free, salt free, preservative free…can it be true? It is, but I came crashing down to earth when I went to buy some more: 12 bags (0.46 oz each) were over $17 plus tax and shipping at Amazon. That stings. I really hate that the closer you get to real foods the more it costs, but that’s the reality in America anymore. I will say I really, really enjoyed these and will be on the lookout for them when next I darken the market’s doorstep.

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  • Righteously Raw Chocolates in Mint, Rose, and Dark chocolate– The Dark has a nice creamy and intense cacao notes. It’s not perfume-y, just chocolate satisfaction all the way through at 83% pure cacao you can believe it’s good and no bitter notes at all. It’s the espresso of chocolates! The Mint version has 82% cacoa and it’s not your typical mint that is creamy, think more of a “dry mint” taste where your mint is derived from peppermint so you get the sharp notes combined with the dark chocolate. A good combination and I liked that it was different than the typical mint flavors I have tried before. Then comes the Rose. I love roses and have even indulged in pastries that contain rose water……I took a bite and the flavor was so off, that I quickly chewed and opened the Dark version for salvation. It tasted like something bad had been infused and not like any rose I have eaten or even smelled. The tricky part is the bar smells like just dark chocolate but when you bite, something bitter and sour just takes over your mouth. It says red raspberry powder, brown rice protein powder to red beet are mixed in with the chocolate. Rose hips is last on the list and maybe it’s the flavor combination but it’s a no-go on the Rose and I love chocolate and have even continued to eat chocolate that when asked how it is, I reply “ummm, it’s okay”, but continue munching. Could not do that with the Rose. Righteously Raw did well with the Dark and surprised me nicely with the Mint, so go there when buying this one. The 3 chocolates I received are considered “bite-size”, so finding a price point was a bit difficult but buying in bulk of a bag of dark was 16 pieces for $22.99 via Amazon, making it under $0.70 per bite size bar.

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  • A $25.00 gift card– was also included and can be used towards the purchase of a Healthy Surprise box, making the smaller one more than 50% off. Good company when it comes to continuing patronage with their customers.

I liked being able to try some brands I had never heard of, brands that I have seen but knew nothing about, and seeing the familiar ones like Hail Merry but trying new items from a company I know and purchase products from. Exploring is fun and The Healthy Surprise Company does the hunting while you do the munching. I believe every subscription company should at the very least be tried once and to get a good idea, try it a second time. I did feel some items were overly priced by companies but that is not Healthy Surprises’ fault. It did let me adjust my shopping list by making sure to add some companies to my list and knowing what products to just walk away from. If you are into exploring new items and new flavors, but in a “better for you” way, try Healthy Surprise. I found a great link you can use, which is via Groupon. For a limited time you can get the $60 box for $30!!!

Visit Healthy Surprise and get the Groupon deal at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Healthy Surprise. 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.

Epic Blend: Finally a Lip Balm that Works #Review #EpicBlend

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I reviewed the hemp products from Epic Blend in the past, which came as part of a beauty box, and the company was kind enough to send me their entire line and then some to share :). Epic Blend has 3 collections to choose from:

  • More Moisture Collection– They use seven moisturizers like organic shea butter, organic coconut oils, organic sunflower oil, organic castor oil, organic beeswax and a non-GMO vitamin E. You also have flavors to choose from like grape, green apple, cherry and even unflavored. This line gives your lips that extra punch of moisture without feeling greasy or looking overly shiny. My lips can still breathe and if your lips have damage from chapping or just dry from the wind or the sun, you get rapid repair. I felt the More Moisture collection made up for the times I forget or just plainly neglect protecting my lips. Epic Blend’s More Moisture collection forgives me for being not the best caretaker of my lips and I love not smelling like a medicinal oddity. I used to purchase every product on the market that promised to repair and make my lips healthier, to only just masking the problem while I wore the balm. Epic Blends products don’t do that! Who wants to also smell like you rubbed a muscle ointment on your lips……that’s just not very kissable 🙂

 

  • Vegan Collection– Epic Blend makes product to fit everyone’s needs and this line is 100% plant-based and free of beeswax. The base product is candelilla wax, which is a plant (shrub) and the wax is extracted from the leaves and stems. The final product is a very smooth balm that just glides beautifully over your lips. Epic Blend adds organic coconut oil, organic sunflower oil, organic cocoa butter and non-GMO vitamin E. There was no skimping on the quality to meet vegan standards and even though I am not a vegan, I would not pass up this lip balm. The flavors available are Wild Berry and a Pineapple-Mint variety. Your lips are left supple and not only feel wonderful, but are left healthy without a greasy feeling.

 

  • Hemp Collection– This is the lip balm that brought me to the party! The one that made Epic Blend a name in our household and the one I touted as the go-to for ending the cycle of chapped lips, dry lips, or if there is anything you dislike about your lips….try Epic Blend. The Hemp Collection by Epic blend uses hemp seed oil, which has antioxidant properties, is super nourishing, and is quickly absorbed by the skin. They round out the formula by using coconut oil, sunflower oil, beeswax, and a non-GMO vitamin E. You get to choose from Vanilla, Mint, Coconut and Citrus Kick. They also make a limited-edition flavors in Banana and Chocolate Rum…..the Choco-Rum as I call it, is just heavenly in scent!

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Price Point: A 4-Pack of Lip Balms is just $12.00, or $3.49 per flavor.  Your lips are worth it and at $3.49 a stick….it’s for a lip balm that actually works and not only looks great, but feels luxurious.  Give them a try!  They even have a “happy guarantee”, but it’s really impossible to be unhappy with Epic Blend because they stand by their products.  All products are petroleum-free, gluten-free, non-GMO and not tested on animals (cruelty free).

Many lip balms have odd colors (dyes, tints, food/bug based colors, ect.) that is not something a guy wants to use, or a that a gal wants to have to fight off if they want to wear a certain color of lipstick. Epic Blend is free of that, it goes on clear and leaves a natural matte look on your lips. It’s seriously non-reactive, so much so that I use it every time I apply lipstick or gloss as a base. My lips remain protected but because they are healthy and not sucking out the life of whatever I apply, my lipstick and lip glosses last longer. My lips are finally healed and look normal, something I did not think was possible. If I skip a day of use….it’s okay because I have healthy lips that can take it. I never thought I would get off the cycle of needing to smother my lips with creamy and oily concoctions to look normal. I spent so much on what I call “premium broken promises” because my former balms had a hefty price tag and promised to end the dry lips I had but all they barely did was mask it. My lips peeled and just were left unhealthy. I disposed of all my balms and I only have Epic Blend now! I highly recommend using any of their lip balms because I would have just overlooked them and would have missed out on being happy with my lips. Have Happy Lips with Epic Blend and you will not be disappointed with the results!

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Pick-up one or several flavors of Epic Blend at:

I received the above product free of charge from Epic Blend.  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.

BzzAgent: Fage Yogurts Fruyo

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I have been on a yogurt kick and mainly Greek and European varieties. They tend to be thicker in texture and not as sweet as other types, plus I love the tartness they deliver among the other health benefits.  In comes BzzAgent with their Fage campaign and I was excited to be accepted. I purchase at Costco the large variety pack, which comes in three flavors. The pack usually lasts us a good 2 weeks and it’s very economically priced.

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In our home, we use yogurt in many ways other than just eating it from the cup so getting the coupons for the larger size varieties fit us perfectly. I bake with yogurt as it tends to give baked goods moisture without the fats and calories. I have used it to make icings, fillings for cakes, to even a base for savory dips. Great to add to yeast doughs! My Husband mixes his whey protein mixes with yogurt when he is tired of using the mixes as drinks. It “ups” the protein content and I usually buy the 0% fat variety for those applications.

Fage strains it’s yogurts and this why you get a much firmer but still smooth texture. It holds up well to even freezing, so if you want a frozen yogurt without the guilt, Fage can come to the rescue. You can even add fruit before freezing and you get a perfect Summer treat.

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I also was able to try a new variety by Fage called Fruyo. It’s strained yogurt with pieces of delicious fruit and comes in several varieties. I purchased vanilla as I was curious about the taste. I have been disappointed with vanilla because as simple as a flavor it is, many companies resort to using artificial flavorings and sweeteners to augment the flavor and the results are not too pleasing. The worst thing when something is labeled vanilla or chocolate, is not getting the full real taste of it! As Fruyo is a fruit yogurt blend…….my curiosity was peaked.

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Fage’s Vanilla Fruyo has 7.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, so very nutritious but does it taste good?

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You have already a nice indicator this will taste good because it has natural vanilla flavor, plus ground vanilla beans. Zero percent fat and plain sugar and pectin used as sweeteners. A nice beginning to things when I can pronounce and know what each ingredient is. I found the thickness and richness still present like with the other Fage varieties, and you can literally take a spoonful of yogurt and hold the spoon upside-down, it won’t plop on the counter or move. Other yogurts have so much water that they also create that slime between the spoon and the product, which is not that great. Fage slowly dissolves in the mouth and I love their vanilla flavor. Not only does the product look beautiful with vanilla bean flecks, but the aroma and taste are there. I will be purchasing from their Fruyo line as they have Peach, Strawberry, Cherry, Pineapple and one I’m super curious about, Pineapple-banana cereals.

Visit their sites at:
Total- http://www.fageusa.com/products/
Fruyo- http://www.fage.gr/products.asp?cat=89&lang=EN

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I received the above product at no cost from BzzAgent and Fage. I am not obligated to provide a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experiences with the brand, which may differ from yours.

Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal+

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We start with Quaker’s Real Medley’s Oatmeal in Cherry Pistachio. This product took oatmeal to that next level and shook the boring out of the oats. You will notice the “plus” (+) in the label and that is because this is a product that contains other grains. You start with Oatmeal plus whole cherries, roasted almonds, pistachios, and multigrains. The multi-grain blend is as follows, whole grain rolled Oats, rolled Barley, whole grain rolled Rye and whole grain rolled Wheat. You get a nice jolt of fiber to keep you full and satisfied and at 290 calories per cup (for this flavor), it helps start your new year with a smile. It gets better, no cooking required or even a pot or bowl to clean. You simply add H2O, give it a loving stir so everything gets wet, put cup in the microwave and in 45 seconds you take it out. You stir, let stand for a minute and enjoy. Yup, that is breakfast or even a snack in under two minutes! The taste is wonderful and I enjoyed the whole cherries very much. I have added dried fruit to my oatmeal in the past but never thought of cherries, it’s like a pie in the morning without the guilt! This cup will not hurt your New Year’s resolutions or your pocket book because it’s just $1.79 a cup. @Quaker / #RealMedleys

The above article is based on my own opinions and none of the brand/companies require I provide a negative and/or positive review. My opinions are honest and based on trying the products at zero cost. My opinions may vary from yours and others.

Influenster VoxBox Holiday 2012 Edition

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I was a very good girl this year and the Influenster (@Influenster) Santa rewarded me with a Holiday VoxBox just in time to enjoy saying goodbye to 2012. I have mentioned before being thrilled with this program but they always find more ways to make me smile. Pretty soon I will need some anti-aging cream to get rid of these smile lines! http://www.facebook.com/influenster http://www.twitter.com/influenster  Let’s get to it:

The Holiday VoxBox 2012 contained seven dazzling items to make me look and feel my best!

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We start with Quaker’s Real Medley’s Oatmeal in Cherry Pistachio. This product took oatmeal to that next level and shook the boring out of the oats. You will notice the “plus” (+) in the label and that is because this is a product that contains other grains. You start with Oatmeal plus whole cherries, roasted almonds, pistachios, and multigrains. The multi-grain blend is as follows, whole grain rolled Oats, rolled Barley, whole grain rolled Rye and whole grain rolled Wheat. You get a nice jolt of fiber to keep you full and satisfied and at 290 calories per cup (for this flavor), it helps start your new year with a smile. It gets better, no cooking required or even a pot or bowl to clean. You simply add H2O, give it a loving stir so everything gets wet, put cup in the microwave and in 45 seconds you take it out. You stir, let stand for a minute and enjoy. Yup, that is breakfast or even a snack in under two minutes! The taste is wonderful and I enjoyed the whole cherries very much. I have added dried fruit to my oatmeal in the past but never thought of cherries, it’s like a pie in the morning without the guilt! This cup will not hurt your New Year’s resolutions or your pocket book because it’s just $1.79 a cup. @Quaker / #RealMedleys

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After I enjoy my Oatmeal, I must get my lips pretty and shiny so Influenster included the NYC New York Color Liquid shine. I was sent color no. 582 in Nude York City (get it! 🙂 ). This Nude color is perfect because it does not have those yellow tones that can cause hues that make you look more sickly than Natural. You get a nice dose of peach with a touch of pink….my perfect Nude tone! It goes perfectly with my skin and hair color and because it’s neutral, it goes with whatever eye color I wear. This is my third time getting this product and I love everything about it, from the price point at just $2.49 a tube to how this formula is not sticky but creamy. It floats nicely on your lips and when it wears down, you do not get those tint lines on your lips…it just wears away and you can easily re-apply. I have glosses I have shamefully paid $19 and up for one color, but NYC has 10 on-trend shades from natural nudes, to berries and even fuchsias. I’m a quality over quantity girl but because you do not skimp on quality with NYC New York Color lipshines, the math is simple- for the cost of about $25…you could own all 10! Yeah, you can’t beat that. @nycnewyorkcolor / #LiquidLipshine

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Tired of waiting for nails to dry? Kiss that problem goodbye with Kiss Nail Dress! You can choose from 21 different styles and your no waiting to dry manicure lasts up to 10 days. Instant satisfaction for just $6.99 and that supplies you with 28 strip bands. You pretty much get 2 applications per box and these strips can also be applied to your toe nails, if you wish to match. I so do not miss those toe wedges and walking on my heels because for some reason it always seems my toe nails take longer to dry than the nails on my hands. I loved being able to do my nails on the same day I had a function (New Year’s Eve for me) and not fretting about it. It took my 30 minutes and when I was done with my little toe, I did not have to wait and was wearing heels the next minute. No quick-dry top coat can deliver these results! The great part is that you can skip on applying a top coat because the stickers have it built-in! Kiss thought of everything!  @KissProducts / #KissNailDress

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I have not been as spiffy as I want to be since the holidays passed us and trying to de-Christmasify the house, plus everything that has to be done in the New Year….well I admit it (waves little white flag), I can’t hang like I use to. No worries because this is where Influenster must have heard my thoughts because they sent me EBOOST. I try to stay away from anything that has artificial stimulants because they give me pep for a few hours but then I feel worse than before I took the product. It’s like the worst regret you can feel and sometimes I even get a headache for what I refer to as, “trying to cheat my body and make it think it’s energized”. EBOOST does not do this! Yes, I can now cheat and get away with it, this what I wanted and needed! It clearly states on the package “Natural Energy” and I got to try the Natural Pink Lemonade flavor. Very yummy and not over sweetened at all. I actually felt it was better tasting than the other brands that come in package form (even in the same flavor). You get the full care package from EBOOST because it gives you energy and Immunity benefits. I like being taken care of and all I need to supply, is 12 fluid ounces of water! You don’t care for Pink Lemonade? EBOOST has super flavors like Orange, Acai Pomegranate and even Super Berry. I liked it and I did feel energized plus with the flu season always threatening to be worse than the last, I need shielding and an immunity boost wherever I can get it! You can purchase EBOOST for $28 and that supplies you with 20 packets or $39 for for box of 30. You also can opt for the box of 12 shots for $39. @EBOOST / #naturalenergy

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I cut five inches off my hair and my hair is still long but looks so much healthier. To insure my locks stay beautiful, Influenster provided me with what I call a brush and towel all-in-one. They sent me the Goody QuickStyle Brush in the “paddle” form. The paddle styler has microfiber bristles, which remove 30% of water as you style. YES!!! This means less damage from heat when I use my blow-dryer! Healthy hair that dries quicker not only saves you time but your hair will thank you. I also noticed my hair was shinier after I used the brush and I feared having little blue fuzzies after use but not one and even had Hubby check. It passed the test so much that I retired (trashed it) my former brush. At $11.99 for either Paddle or Half Round styler, I’m worth it! @GoodyHair / #QuikStyle

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This box is really a head to toe treatment. I not only have so far been fed, gotten my nails done, given energy when sluggish, but here comes the thing that every girl desires and doesn’t know why are so drawn to them, SHOES! Influenster and Sole Society teamed up and created a powerful offer that I can share with you. You want what pretty much equals to half off for certain styles of shoes? I do…I do… and here it goes: Visit http://www.SoleSociety.com and use code: INFLUENSTER25 at check-out to get $25.00 off your first purchase. I visited and bought a pair of black heals because shipping is FREE both ways. Yes, if the shoe does not work, no worries because you pay $0.00 to return it. I dislike being punished by an oopsie on size and because shoes vary how they feel and fit with so many styles, no punishment here. I love it!! I also love shoes and I was so hoping to not find a pair I liked because Santa gave me two pairs for Christmas but Sole Society had so many cuties, that it took me 3 days to settle on the pair I wanted to try. I will share when they arrive! They also have a buy-one-get-one free (BOGO) going so my closet will be colorful soon. With Spring and Summer coming….who am I fooling? I always find a reason to buy shoes! @solesociety / #PerfectPair

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Based on demographics, some Influenster members received the Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks. These packs cost just under $2! I know, it’s just too great to believe and they have so many to choose from so you are not stuck with a huge jar when you need another variety. I received the Fruit Smoothie in Crushed Raspberry. This product is a deep pore cleaning masque and smells as delicious as it sounds. It has Mango too! I entered 2013 with a less than bright complexion but after just 15 minutes, I had baby soft skin that glowed like I did not stay up too late on New Year’s Eve. I quickly googled and saw that ULTA has these and I drove out the next day and picked up 6 masques. I love the clays they use and my skin did not breakout the following day because it does not over strip your skin. I will be using the Montagne brand from now on because I’m a true believer that there are many great companies that can make you beautiful without emptying your pocket book! @MontagneJeuness / #FaceMasque

Later in the week, after I received my VoxBox, I received an e-mail stating there is a bonus box coming and it’s a book. Yup, now even my brain is being cared for by Influenster. You have got to sign-up for this company and realize all my products above cost a whopping $0.00. I have invites, so feel free to ask me and I shall share!

The above article is based on my own opinions and none of the brand/companies require I provide a negative and/or positive review. My opinions are honest and based on trying the products at zero cost. My opinions may vary from yours and others.

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