Not Your Mother’s: Beach Babe Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner #Review #NYMbeachBabe

I’m always game in trying out a new products for my hair because the more I tend to try, means I usually find something better than what I am currently using. I am not faithful to any brand but I will stick it out if my hair improves or I notice significant changes in how my hair feels. Having really long hair means I need to make sure what I use leaves no build-up and/or damages my hair because I’m already pretty good about how much heat from hair styling devices I expose it to.


NYM Brands, known as Not Your Mother’s hair care products, offers high quality products with the idea that they remain affordable. They want consumers to experience “on trend” products to everyday cleansers and conditioners, but again at a fair price point. I can respect that because price tag does not always equate performance.

I was sent two bottles from the NYM Beach Babe collection, a conditioner and a shampoo to try out.

Retail Price Point: $7.00 for each, so if you purchase the duo, it’s $14.00. Pretty fair price point!  You can also find the duo on Amazon for $16.85 shipped free with Prime membership

What makes it a beach babe was my first inquiry? The duo features ingredients like sea kelp and coconut oil, two products I am familiar with and currently use. The shampoo and conditioner is suppose to allow the user to achieve a beach tousled waves look but without depleting the hair from nutrients. Many volume adding products dry out your hair, so you may have gorgeous waves that are swept beautifully by the breeze, however your hair is left starving. The more you use the volumizer product, the more the hair dries out. Not with NYM and this is because this Beach Babe collection offers moisturizers. Your hair actually improves the more you use this product, do to the softening agents (oils) in the formula. Coconut oil is something I already use on my hair, eyebrows and lashes and I am very familiar with the benefits. I love them! It goes beyond the scent but what I love about this oil, is it cleanses out causing no build-up when washed and a little goes a long way when it comes to seeing results.

The Shampoo– Easy to achieve a lather and you just wash like with any shampoo, making sure to clean the scalp and being softer as you reach the end of your hair. After rinsing, my hair felt clean but remained soft to the touch. I love the scent and it was both welcoming to my hair and a little aromatherapy (because it made me smile) why I washed my hair.

The Conditioner– You leave the product on your hair for 2 to 3 minutes to achieve the best results. Again the more you use the products, the better the results with time. After I rinsed my hair from the conditioner, which comes out easily, my hair now feels ultra-soft.

I was kind when drying and I use a micro-towel to absorb the wetness out and I use a soft squeezing method, never rubbing hair strands against hair strand. I then allowed my hair to air dry a little before using a hair dryer for 5 minutes. My hair was soft and zero frizz due to the wonderfully balanced moisturizers in NYM’s products. I love them and love the price tag too.

Connect with NYM (Not Your Mother’s) on-line and find the collection that fits you best at:


I received the above product(s) free of charge from NYM via Influenster.  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.


Nutriva’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil


I’ve been singing the praises of coconut oil for a few years now. I use it on my skin, my hair, and my eyelids, especially after taking off my makeup. I also use it in cooking and baking, and it’s kind of become my go-to oil for almost everything. And when I was offered a couple of cookbooks and a jar of this wunder-oil from Nutriva to review, I was over the moon at opportunity.


Not all oils are created equal and this Nutriva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil takes the coconut experience to whole another level. Nutriva is the #1 selling coconut oil in the US for over 10 years, and it’s not hard to see why. USDA organic, non-GMO, kosher, non-hydrogenated, and no cholesterol, it’s made from freshly made from cold-pressed coconuts, with a light and pleasant coconut taste and aroma that is clean and pure tasting. I baked delicious cookies that were moist in the inside and crisp on the outside and the pineapple chunks just gave them that tropical burst I was looking for. Nutiva makes everything you can get out of a coconut from flours, sugars, oils to you got to check out what an “o’ coconut” is! Nutriva also carries hemp, chia and red palm derived products, but my favorite is, easily, their Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I got lost on their site just checking out everything they make! You can use it to pan fry and saute too, because it has a high smoke point to boot. And, OMG, it makes the best popcorn ever.


But the benefits don’t stop there. There’s an entire cottage industry springing up around coconut oil, and for good reason. Nutriva’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil has kept my hair and skin healthy, and hydrated without all the harsh, nasty chemicals found in most mass-marketed moisturizers. And, ounce for ounce, it’s also an incredible value. Just a little bit goes a long way, and after a full day of eyeshadow over primer, nothing feels better on tired lids than a smidge of Nutiva’s coconut oil. Especially since the horrible reaction I had to the reformulated Urban Decay products, my eyelids have never been the same, but Nutriva’s coconut oil has helped…a lot. I put it on a scar from a recent surgery and watched the angry pink and purple boo-boo turn into a minimally noticeable line on my leg. The only thing I worry about with coconut oil anymore, is, figuratively speaking, oversaturation. The health benefits and dietary pluses have been so oversold and overstated that I’m worried it’ll go back to a niche oil that’s difficult and expensive to find. Thankfully, for now, it’s affordable, shelf stable, pretty versatile and relatively affordable in all it’s forms. I definitely recommend that if you haven’t, you immediately give Nutriva’s Organic Coconut oil a try.


Connect with Nutriva:


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



SAPO: Organic Bamboo Charcoal Bar Soap #Review #SapoSoap


Beauty facial washes and soaps are a plenty, but most that are suppose to help with problem skin, end up containing fragrances and ingredients that cause build-up versus clearing up! I have 3 brands of soaps that I have ever found that deliver simple ingredients that help not only at cleaning your skin, but also improving it. Sapo Soap is that third brand!

Sapo Soaps are hand-made using organic ingredients. This bar is so simple when it comes to the ingredients:

Activated Bamboo Charcoal, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Shea Butter, Sea Salt, Oatmeal Powder, and Grapefruit Essential Oil.


The soap has a light lather but foams up enough to clean and safely clean the surface of your skin. The scent is just like sniffing a ruby red grapefruit with an earthy scent lingering in the background. Very welcoming and a perfect way to start and end my day when it comes to how it smells. Many charcoal and bamboo based products have a pungent scent that reminds me of clay and even mushrooms at times but this soap had none of that.

Retail Price Point: $10.99 and free shipping is available with Amazon Prime. The retailer also offers a 100% Guarantee when it comes to satisfaction with the product. I also noticed they offer a “VOLUME DISCOUNT” where you buy 2 and get $4.99 OFF ($8.49 each).


I used the soap for 2 weeks and was very happy with how well it cleaned because many oil based soaps tend to leave a film or give your skin that feels like you never washed it. Sapo’s soap did none of that. My skin remained hydrated and even though the soap’s price point may seem higher than others, the bar did not shrink much after use. I allowed it to air dry and used it by the sink, as I find this method versus leaving it in the shower in a soap box, works better. The soap dries quickly and keeps it’s shape nicely, plus this bar is larger than my Ivory bar. Sapo Soaps is made in the USA and when it came to performance, it delivered the same results as my tree oil based soap bar, which costs close to the same price and is smaller in size/weight. My previous bar kept my skin nice and clean but I found it would dissolve and shrink quickly. Yes, it lasted me a month’s time but Sapo’s Soap at this size and dissolving rate will last me longer. That alone with the results makes it a must buy for me. I love the convenience of a bar lasting longer and who doesn’t love clear skin? You can use this on your back and chest, and especially when sunscreen tends to clog my pores but Sapo makes up for it!

Connect with Sapo Soaps at:


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


Daiya Foods: Daiya Deliciously Dairy Free Pizzas #Review #DaiyaPizzas


Even if we are a household without dietary restrictions, I still like to mix things up a bit. Eating the same way is just utterly boring no matter how good the food can be. To not get in a meal rut means I need to introduce new foods and start weeding out the things we want to take a break from.

Daiya Foods Pizzas, is a leap of many kinds for us. For one, we rarely eat frozen prepared meals and/or side dishes. I do freeze meats in raw form and that is as frozen as we get, along with frozen veggies and fruits. You just can’t grab something from the freezer and nuke it……yeah, that comes back and bites me, so I made some tamales and the such for those days I want to actually use the microwave beyond just softening butter in it. Secondly, I have tried gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, to meatless but never really ventured into non-dairy, unless it’s a fruit based gelato or some kind of sweet treat. This means Daiya foods is eating a way for us that is entirely new because it’s taking everything we have tried before, but all in one dish and at the same time. I’m game!

I was offered to try out the pizzas and no one had ever tried anything from Daiya Foods, except for a faux cream cheese style spread. Some of my group admitted to seeing the cheezes in the dairy alternative aisle at Sprout’s, but never actually tried it. Okay, this is now an entire new experience for us all.

Daiya Foods makes 6 Pizzas to choose from and they all sound delicious and tempting:

  • Supreme Pizza, which includes a meatless sausage topping from Beyond Meat
  • Pizza Bianca Pizza, featuring a white bean sauce that has mushrooms and spinach toppings
  • Cheeze Lover’s Pizza, a simpler non-topping pizza, which features Daiya’s version of cheezes, like Mozzarella and Cheddar
  • Margherita Pizza, a traditional twist on a classic and comes with tomato chunks and basil
  • Fire-Roasted Vegetables Pizza, Daiya did not skimp and you have three bell pepper varieties, onions, garlic, tomatoes and even a dash of basil
  • Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza, even when it comes to mushrooms, Daiya makes sure you get something beyond the button kind.  You have shiitake and crimini in a blanket of roasted garlic and all nestled on their tomato sauce

I purchased two of the selections available, the Supreme and the Fire-Roasted Vegetable to try out.  This was what was available at Sprout’s and they were redoing that section when I was shopping and I grabbed the ones that looked more tempting.  I grabbed to of the veggies kind and one of the supreme.  First, one up to cook and see how well it is received is the Fire-Roasted Vegetable:

The pizza was easy to cook and even though the instructions stated to cook directly on the rack, I just got a new range and it’s less than a week old.  A few of the cheeze shreds were dangling off the crust, which I like when eating but not when cooking, so I opted to cook the pizza on my pizza stone just like I would any pizza.

The pizza was cooked and ready in 13.5 minutes!  You have the option to use the standard bake and convection instructions were listed, so I went with that cooking option.





By the seven minute mark, you could smell the vegetables and they smell as good as they look.  Daiya did not skimp on toppings and that is always a plus in our book.  The crust is crisp and upon slicing, you hear it cut just like a normal pizza crust would.  The dough has a darker tint that can be described as almost wheat-like in color.  It also tastes like a wheat crust but a good one!  Daiya nailed it when it came to how the crust tasted, broke apart when eaten and this made the eating of the pizza enjoyable.  The vegetables are out of this world.  We all agreed the freshness and texture makes you wish Daiya sold the veggies by the bagful.  They are roasted but not soft and a mushy mess from being frozen.  There is still texture and they are so good, plus the tang you get from the tomato sauce provides a nice balance of flavors.  The sauce is light and not super sweet, you just taste fresh tomatoes and a touch of basil.  Now, the only small negative is the cheeze.  The browned portions we all agreed tasted better than the whiter ones, so toasted on top is the way to cook the pizza if you desire this flavor profile.  The cheese does not melt and or string apart like normal dairy versions, it’s almost a little too soft in texture and one guest felt it was like sour cream in taste.  I did not feel the sour notes were present but I can see where the comparison in texture can be made.  This was the only downer but because the crust and everything else was top-notch, it would not prevent me from buying it.  It’s a pizza that I would say has that “rustic” taste but think of it more as a flat-bread pizza with superb toppings and cooks in 15 minutes or less!



The other positive is that 2 pizzas and I had boneless chicken wings to pair with it, filled us!  I still had dessert to serve and when it came to putting the third pizza in the oven (The Supreme), we were full.  I thought that is a good thing because 8 people were fed very well and we were satisfied with what we ate, so we opted to give the third pizza to the guest that is always late.  She also brought a third extra guest, so she could enjoy the pizza for dinner (versus lunch) when she got home.  Okay, I’m thinking if I give free meals away, people will start showing up late now 🙂 I’m also eye-ing those cheezecakes they sell and they have a Key Lime one……oh’ yummers!


Connect with Daiya Foods and enjoy their products at:

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







NutriGold: Organic, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil Gold Review #CoconutOil #NutriGold


NutriGold is a supplement company, which offers an extensive line of products to fit your nutritional needs. Most products you will find are organic and also Non-GMO certified. Your options are endless with NutriGold, as they offer anything from multi-vitamins to herbal and dietary supplements, and simple ingredients like the Coconut Gold oil I was able to review.

Coconut oil comes in many forms from fractionated, Virgin, Refined, Extra-Virgin, to Cold Pressed and others. The clear distinction here is that you want to sort on quality and also take into consideration what you will be using it for. You don’t want to spend on a high grade quality oil if all you will be doing is filling a jar with essential oils and only need a “filler” oil, and this is where fractionated oil found it’s place. When you will be applying the product to your skin and/or consuming the oil, this is where being picky and smart really comes into play, so doing your homework will insure you get what you pay for. I always resort in seeking out a trusted source first and then narrow down what they have to offer. Anyone can claim anything so this is key!

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This is where NutriGold comes into the picture because they offer a Coconut oil that is sourced from the Philippines and is unrefined. You get 100% Extra Virgin Coconut oil that meets the standard and practices to not only be classified as Organic, but also Non-GMO certified. In the coconut oil world, it is not like the olive one where extra virgin and virgin have clear definitions/standards but a “virgin” oil is commonly known to come from the first press. You have the flesh of the coconut that is in it’s fresh form, pressed to extract coconut milk first, and then comes the water and the oil. The oil from that first press is what you get in every NutriGold bottle.

Retail Price Point: $10.99 for one pound or two pounds for $19.99


The benefits come in droves when it comes to uses of Coconut oil. You start on the outside and you have a plethora of applications that fall under the beauty category, from softening and nourishing hair to your skin. I use it to nourish and replenish my eyelashes after wearing a waterproof mascara, that can be very drying to the follicle and surrounding skin. You can’t find anything more safe and natural than NutriGold’s Coconut oil and it works, plus my lashes grow beautifully since I started this practice. I have used it also as a nail oil in place of those little cuticle oil bottles that always cost more than meat at the market for a small little bottle! I use the same form of application but save money too. No hangnails to report and because it works, I continue my weekly regimen. Go into the Cooking category and you have an oil that has a decent smoke point for being virgin and produces a crisp on meats to vegetables that made me rethink the fats I use. Coconut oil does not leave a fruit flavor, so you can really use it in different cuisines. It has a light finish, so anything you cook leaves you tasting what you made, versus what you cooked with. No refrigeration is required once opening, so it’s not an oil that needs to take up space in the fridge to avoid it going rancid.


I was very happy with the one pound bottle from NutriGold that when this one runs out, I will be seeking out the two pounder!

Connect with NutriGold and their array of products at:

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

Majestic Pure Oils: Fractionated Coconut Oil #Review #MajesticPure

IMAG2273 In the world of essential oils and the like, many companies like to make things fuzzy by using terms as, Pharmaceutical Grade and/or Therapeutic Grade. Who grades or certifies these oils? No one! You have to trust the supplier, unless you get into food grades where the FDA grades and then you hear terms as Virgin, Extra Virgin and the like. When it comes to real certifications, where you pay an agency for them to come in, inspect and grade your materials, you then see such certifications like the “Non-GMO” and Organic labels. It comes down to sources and knowing them, so I am a bit critical when it comes to oils and I always think about what will I be using them for and the price point attached.

Majestic Pure Oils, is a company that carries an array of products and especially oils. They have “Carrier” oils, which get used in addition to essential oils. Think of a candle and the wax is the carrier, where the fragrance would be the essential oil. I was sent a bottle of their, Fractionated Coconut Oil to try. IMAG2274 What exactly is Fractionated Coconut Oil- You know how we have Extra Virgin, Virgin and then just everyday olive oil…..this is the latter. This is the oil that has been broken down and stripped down of certain ingredients. Stripping down is a way to simplify what is needed and in this case simple has it’s uses. You are left with an oil that does not go rancid or oxidize because the fatty acids have been removed. The oil has zero odor and this is why it mixes so well with essential oils that do. The oil is colorless and this means no stains and also lighter in form, so you do not produce those oil marks you would usually suffer from if it came in contact with fabrics. It’s light texture usually means your skin will not be aggravated, suffer clogged pores and is easily absorbed.

I used Majestic Pure’s Fractionated Coconut oil, for a period of 2 weeks to see how well it performed. The bottle came sealed and nicely packaged, with an additional “pop-open” cap if needed. I first used the product as a carrier oil for an essential oil blend I purchased to give fragrance to the home. A simple bowl suspended by iron, with a tea candle below will slowly heat the oils to create fragrance. The Fractionated Coconut oil was slow to dissipate and this is why I enjoy this kind of oil.  The oil comes with a manufacture date label and states it has a 5-year shelf life.  This type of oil will not solidify like virgin quality oils and will remain in clear liquid form. Retail Price Point: $14.95 for 16 Fluid Ounce Bottle with 100% Satisfaction Guarantee I used the oil in a purely topical application and like I mentioned, I am picky about what I ingest. Majestic’s Pure Oil is 100% Natural and not like other companies that do not have a “web presence” . They have many ways to contact them, are located in my home state and let’s not forget they have very favorable feedback. I like that and want that from a company and especially when it comes to the world of oils. The oil left my skin nice and soft with no residue and even though I may be wearing a tank top and it’s Winter in California, no one wants oil spots on them no matter the season! Connect with Majestic Oils and their selection of oils and soon to be Beauty Products at:

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

Swaggable: Alive Reef Safe Sunscreen from Sea Kind #Review


Sea Kind makes several products for the face and body, from sunscreens to bath salts. I received a tube of the Alive Reef Safe Sunscreen and liked that the product is advertised as being 100% natural. It’s a good start for my skin and especially with this summer being in the pool a little more than usual. The formula provides 20% Zinc Oxide and is broad-spectrum, protecting your skin from UVA/UVB rays. The tube came with zero information when it came to contents and oddly the product had no marker when it came to SPF. I know! A sunscreen tube that does not reflect the coverage of SPF was a first for me but this is why we have google 🙂

I seek and I find that Sea Kind makes only one sunscreen formula and it comes in SPF 30. You won’t see the number in the description on the product’s page and ready for ordering, but if you put your mouse over the bottle’s image….viola!

  • Naturally Derived Ingredients (from the website):


  • Price Point: $24.95 and again you have to put your mouse over the bottle’s image to see that it’s for a bottle that supplies 3.0 fluid ounces.



Being a Southern California native, I have tried mostly every brand and formula readily available. I look for a product that does not clog my pores, is long lasting and simply works. I always found the first two features present but working on my fair skin was always the issue. I can start tanning rather quickly with SPF 50 on me but not all are created equal. Looking lobster red is not cute no matter the bikini you just bought and let’s not get into how bad it is health wise and much less how it feels that evening and the following days. I was weary of trusting a SPF 30 product to protect me enough. I have even given up on being tint/oily free and found peace having a white film as long as I could swim and stroll without looking like a sea creature but I decided to test this out. You will notice the “Non-Nano” on the bottle and this means the product will not absorb into your skin. As stated on the site, “The 200 namometer size particles avoids the risk of absorption in the body caused by smaller nano particles”. The formula also says water resistant and I used the every 80 minutes rule when it came to reapplication because again this was not stated on the product or site.


I can state that the product is light, leaves a slight oil shimmer but not even close to calling it oily. It just looks like you applied a light lotion and my face remained protected with zero clogs or blemishes, so zero penalties for trying not to burn. I tanned but no redness so protection was there and this was being in the pool and surviving 3 tidal waves that my wonderful Husband claims 2 were pure accident but since I had already assigned blame, the third one was “just because” he was already getting the evil eye from me.

Final Verdict:

I like the product and wish I could have tried it longer but my test tube really satisfied 2 face applications. I like the formula and it’s claims. Being 100% natural is rare and working is rarer for me. I just leave it in your hands when it comes to paying almost $25 for 3.0 ounces. My application was light on the second reapply, and that equated to using .33 fluid ounces for 160 minutes of pool time and just on my face. I would purchase this to be seriously blemish and irritant free on the face but can’t suggest taking the plunge for total body application unless you don’t see the sun much and can make the tube stretch.

Checkout the entire line of Face and Body Products from Sea Kind:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Swaggable and Sea Kind. 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.

“MELT”ed Chocolate? Yes, Please!


I’ve been able to try every single kind of Rich & Creamy Melt Organic spread they make (feel free to take a gander at my review from a while back), and I have yet to find one I dislike, even a little bit. From the Original, the Honey, and now, the Chocolate. Oh, the chocolate. How do I love thee?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let’s start with, it’s chocolate.                                   Not that fake, weirdly sweet, waxy, sugary, nasty pseudo-chocolate that everyone seems to like to 3480use. No, I’m talking the real deal. To quote their website, it’s a: “velvety blend of rich organic cocoa”. Boy, howdy is it. It also adds wildflower honey to the mix, along with the Melt Organic to make a truly good and good for you spread. With just 1 gram of sugar per serving and being dairy free, vanillin free, and nut free,everyone can enjoy it. Each square of Chocolate MELT Organic is certified organic, non-GMO (Non-GMO Project Verified), kosher and made with Fair Trade Fair for Life certified virgin coconut oil and Rainforest Alliance certified palm fruit oil. Chocolate Melt is also soy free, gluten free, dairy free and trans fat free. Each serving of Chocolate Melt is a rich source of the ‘good fats‘ with an ideal balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 ALA (that are optimally metabolized with virgin coconut oil), and has 425 mg of Omega-3 ALA (or 26% RDA) and Vitamin E (or 15% RDA). Now that’s a mouthful, and a darn good one, too.

The best part is, since it’s good food that’s good for you, you can truly enjoy it any time, breakfast to dessert. Want to enjoy it on some toast? Aces. Want it with some fruit? Pile it high and deep. Want to bake with it? You had to know I was going to go there, and oh…I went there. But that’s for another post. 😉 Icings, filling, just drizzled on a slice of warm panetone bread. It’s something I can’t recommend enough that you try immediately. They even have coupons to print right from the website. It’s like it’s meant to be!! You really should dip a finger into their butter 2.0, it’s something you’ll wonder how you did without.



Connect with Melt Organic!!

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


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!


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….


  • 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.



  • 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).



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.




  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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:


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.

Smiley: Nature’s Bounty / Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies #Review


I’m always a supporter of finding ways to improve my skin’s health to my hair and nails. Smiley and Nature’s Bounty sent me a free bottle of their gummies, which contain Biotin and other supplements that feed your beauty. I was also sent samples to distribute with coupon cards to give away, a few beauty related items, like a compact and nail file, plus a couple of hair bands.

What’s in it:
This is for a serving of 2 gummies with a Daily Value (DV) based on a 2,000 caloric daily intake diet.

  • Biotin– 2, 500 mg (833% of your DV) > Biotin is usually found in our intestinal’s bacteria and our bodies usually produce more naturally than what our body requires (DV). Biotin is what our cells need to be able to grow, produce Fatty Acids and aid with metabolizing fats and Amino Acids. Now, there are people who may have metabolic disorders, in which enough Biotin is not produced. You will also find people that have a issues producing enough gastric acid be low on Biotin, as patients who are elderly, people who consume alcohol and/or smoke. Another cause is a Immune System disorders. Another culprit that may make a person deficient in Biotin is consumption of egg whites in their raw form and on a daily basis (functional Avidin). Avidin is destroyed by cooking. Symptoms of a deficiency is hair loss, skin disorders to even neurological disorders like depression, fatigue, lethargy to hallucinations.
  • Vitamin C– 15 mg (25% of your DV) > Ascorbic Acid, which is the source listed has been proven to help with oxidative stress. Being that it is classified as an antioxidant, people may see benefits in cardiovascular disease to even those who suffer from inflammation. Vitamin C also helps the immune system and is a natural antihistamine, so you will also find benefits when it comes to allergies.
  • Vitamin E– 15 IU (50% of your DV) > You have probably noticed Vitamin E in many beauty products and I personally use the vitamin in oil form to hydrate and protect the skin around my eyes. Vitamin E is another antioxidant and can help with protecting lipids, neurological function, to even reducing oxidative stress.

Other Ingredients listed- Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dicalcium Phosphate, Grape juice color concentrate, Gelatin, Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural Strawberry flavor, Black Carrot juice color concentrate, Maltodextrin, Fractionated Coconut oil, Carnauba wax, Beeswax and Silica.

Dosage: For adults, Nature’s Bounty recommends a serving of 2 gummies once or twice on a daily basis. They suggest taking them with a meal. A full size bottle comes with 80 gummies in total, so you will run short on a 30-day supply if you go beyond the minimum requirement (once daily).

The Flavor/Taste Test:
The gummies are Strawberry flavored and sweet, with almost a corn starch after-taste. Not your usually clear looking gummy but a more cloudy and waxy consistency.


Overall Performance/Results:
I took the product until I finished the bottle and I must admit I did not like being short on a 30-day supply if I took the product twice daily (total of 4 gummies). It’s just not convenient and not a manner I usually buy or take supplements. I like the amount of Biotin and Vitamin C and E found in the blend. I found taking 1 gummy in the morning and 1 gummy in the afternoon worked best for me because 833% of a my Biotin daily value in one dose is really just going to purge out with the amount of water I tend to drink through out the day. I prefer absorbing my supplements a little through out the day versus flooding my system with higher (mega) doses. I noticed changes mostly in my nails and the growth cycle did speed up. My hair grows quickly as it is, so I could not comment there but I did not notice any significance when it came to changes in my skin. I did not have fewer or more breakouts.

A few things I did find negative when it came to this supplement was the corn syrup as first ingredient, then more sugar, to the clear window where you can see the gummies from. Vitamin C oxidizes and becomes useless when exposed to light and this is why you always see the supplement stored in dark/solid colored bottles. I know people like to view products when buying but not at the cost of potentially losing a benefit when you are seeking to better your health. I know I m not Biotin deficient and could not locate studies where a person who produces, or in our case naturally produce more than needed; needed a mega-dose on top of that to see results in skin, hair, or nails. I have been drinking more water so I know that helps with the aforementioned, and it comes at a lower cost per unit, plus you don’t get shortened on a 30-day supply there 🙂

Price Point: 80 gummy count bottle retails for $5.79 to $7.99. I found the lower price point at Walmart, with Amazon being $0.10 more and Walgreen’s being the most expensive at $7.99.

You can save by signing-up to their Newsletter- $1.00 off coupon

You can also try the product and if it does not provide you with satisfied results; get your money back here:

I am glad I tried the gummies because I do believe in working from within to improve our outside. With the coupon and guarantee, I personally feel that it may be something you wish to try and see if you get results. It’s a win/win in my book!

To find more information on Nature’s Bounty and the above product, please visit them here:


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

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