Tryazon: Sterno S’mores Maker for Indoors and Outdoors Use #SmoresMaker

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I’m all for DIY cooking ways and what not better way to bring some fun, by being able to create S’mores at home. The weather is bad? No problem, as this Sterno S’mores Maker has no limitations. You can make S’mores it indoors, outdoors and at any hour. Yup, party any time and this is not just limited to giving kids smiles, you can even make “Gourmet S’mores” that are easy and even make it less messy. No longer do you have to try to hold the candy bar piece, you can literally make a chocolate bark topping that stays……yes, stays put on top of your graham piece.

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The S’mores Maker is brought to you by Sterno Products, the company that has been bringing heat to campers and the like for decades. They have created a nice line of products and kits, which make not only Summer funner, but you are not limited by the seasons when entertaining.

The kit includes:

  • 2 Roasting Forks
  • 1 Roasting Safety Screen for even roasting and protection from flame
  • 2 integrated S’mores Making Stations for an easy and clean way to make s’mores
  • Includes 1 can of Sterno S’mores Heat™ (also available for purchase separately)

I decided to make chocolate barks and all you do is make a ganache and/or melt chocolate and add toppings. Ganaches, use Heavy Cream and produce a more velvety texture and by using a 75% ratio of chocolate to 25% cream, the product firms up enough to not fall off the graham or cookie of your choice. You can also melt chocolate on low heat and then simply smear the chocolate on one part of the cookie, add your toppings and you are now pre-making S’mores!  When guests arrive, half the work is completed. I also find this controls messes. Nuts, coconut shavings and so forth can get sloppy when you are building the Ultimate S’mores sandwich. This way of building S’mores makes sure the tables and floors do not suffer from runaway toppings!

The toppings are endless and you can satisfy any picky eater by using these easy tricks:

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Now, this is how the set up looks and it took me an hour to pre-make all the cookies.  I had guests coming as I made them and my chocolate chip mini cookies were eaten up, but you can use more than just graham.  Even Shortbread minis!

 

The Sterno S’mores Maker heats evenly no matter the size of marshmallow.  Hey, I was worried the Giant ones (found at Aldi’s) would not heat up and melt in the center, they did and with ease.  The normal size ones that look like miniatures compared to the gigantic ones, those I purchased at Trader Joe’s.

 

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Verdict:

I was super excited and started purchasing ingredients before the maker even arrived.  Then it arrived!! It was beautiful and easy to assemble, meaning none was needed.  The red portion (holder) is dishwasher safe and because you can by the cans again and again, this means having a S’mores party is endless.  We will be trying more creations in the future and I can’t wait.  This is a must buy and at $35.16 currently at Amazon, it’s perfect for 4th of July or really anytime.  Make your own fun and creations.  The refill fuel cans retail for $6.99 and that is for two cans!  Each can lasts for about 45 minutes.  It’s a cinch to clean up and everyone had a blast.

 

Connect with Sterno and checkout the S’mores Maker at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sterno and Tryazon. 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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Sugar Creek Candles Company: Monkey Nuts Natural Soy Wax Candle #SoyCandles

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I have been a fan of soy based candles because they tend to burn cleaner and the amount of scent or how strong they are, is not affected by the soy base. Lately, I have been using a warmer and another one with a fan feature. We burn candles or melt wax on a daily basis. It keeps the house that cooks and bakes on a daily basis from smelling like food. Foods smells are great when they come from a baked treat like a cake, but a lobster tail that was grilled and then finished in the oven……well, not so great the next morning!

In comes Sugar Creek Candles with a decent array of scents to satisfy every taste out there. I opted for the Monkey Nuts variety, which has a tropical scent that is more like a coconut and pineapple blend, versus banana like the name may suggest.  I pretty much enjoy every scent out there from Clean Linens to the Spring floral blends because change is welcoming when you burn candles like we do.

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Retail Price Point: $14.99 for one candle and free shipping if you are an Amazon Prime member.

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Verdict:
I receive the glass jar, which also has a glass lid for when not in use. The candle is white in color and the scent was faint when I opened the jar to get an idea how it smelled. I figured some candles are soft when it comes to the fragrance notes they release and especially lighter scents, but they can still do their job of covering odors or just adding a nice smell to the air. This was not the case for Sugar Creek Candles. I burned the candle after dinner and I made Asian that evening. The candle burned for 4 hours straight and you could only smell it a few feet away. We have a high cathedral style ceiling in the family room, so I just moved it to the kitchen itself, which has a shorter ceiling. No difference and this was one weak candle. I blamed the food I made. Maybe the oils, chilies and everything combined was too big of a job for a jarred candle. The next day there was no residue left of the scent, so I again burn the candle for 2 hours. I stopped when I realized that as long as you are over the candle, you could smell it. Like so on top that you better not burn your nose (kind of close). I go outside to make sure I have not acclimated to the aroma and when I return inside, I realize this candle is just sadly a fail for size and price. It’s weak…..way too weak in scent and unless you want to burn a candle for ambient light, that is the only positive I could find. The jar is nothing special and the wax is white in color, so it’s not even a beautiful hue to look at but if it smelled like it should, I would have enjoyed and especially with the days warming up and now that we are in May, the tropical fragrance would have been perfect.

Connect with Sugar Creek Candles at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sugar Creek Candles. 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.

Fé Fit: Fé Fuel Gluten Free Protein and Energy Bars #Review #FeFit

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When I read Gluten free on a package, I really first think does that mean flavor free too ? So many products advertise a healthier option, however your diet is more based on avoiding to eat it, versus what the product delivers.  Not the smartest way to diet and going hungry because a product tastes so bad is also wasted money.

When I was approached to review the Fé Fuel bars, I liked the flavors and ingredients but I was a little fearful of what would come.  Is it going to be a dry hockey puck like many of these date based bars of today, or is it going to be a mushy mess.  I like dates.  Many products that are gluten free use it as a base for texture, moisture content and fiber intake……many failed at making good flavorful products that I started to question my liking of dates.  I can’t understand how a moist date can become so dry that it sucks any moisture out of your mouth.  Gluten free products should not dehydrate you!
The good news, you know how so many products advertise the “Best of”, well Fé Fit did not lie!  Their Fé Fuel bars are not only great for being Gluten free but I would eat them just because they taste good and have a good amount of nutrition to combat hunger, plus keep you going.
You start with three flavors to choose from and I opted in ordering the multi-pack to keep things interesting (dislike eating the same everyday) and also so I could taste all three bars.  The flavors are not only good tasting but not the typical Peanut Butter this and Chocolate chip that.
  • Coconut Pecan
  • Cacao Nib Almond
  • Apricot Cashew

All bars deliver only 140 calories and the first ingredient is Isolate Whey protein, with 10 grams of protein.  Then comes raw pecans and organic dates.  The aforementioned is the base product and it then expands to the flavors of the bars.  Everything is kept in it’s raw state, making this a Paleo diet friendly bar or for people like me that seek no processing.  Sweeteners range from Organic Coconut Palm sugar, Organic Coconut Nectar, to Organic Coconut Sugar and Raw Honey.  Simple list and the shortest I have seen on an energy/protein bar.  You will recognize everything on Fé Fuel’s ingredient list and it’s always a plus knowing what you are eating.

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Out of the bars I have eaten in any class, and by this I mean gluten filled or not, to different proteins from pea to whey, the Fé Fuel bar kept me the fullest.  It’s hard to comprehend because it’s small in size but it makes an impact.  I felt full and not bloated, just energy that kept me going and a sense of satisfaction.  I was happy because I was not hungry but had energy.  I kept thinking if the bar had enough because it’s 1/2 the size than a typical bar but it kept me feeling better in all areas.  I digested easier and some bars tend to make me feel bloated as I consume water, sort f like they poof inside me as I hydrate.  Not these bars!  Pure energy is all I got with zero unpleasant side effects.  I ate them crushed in yogurt to just grabbing one and going.  The texture is pleasant when eating and each bar tastes like the combination listed in the package.  If I was craving chocolate, the Cacao Nib literally nipped that craving because it had sufficient chocolate to satisfy my indulgence.

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Retail Price Point: $29.99 for a box of 12 bars.  24 bars is prices at $59.98 and 36 bars at $89.97 via the website.  You can save 20% if you subscribe for monthly delivery.  I also found that via Amazon, you can order 12 bars for $19.99!

No matter the diet you follow, these bars have a place in your tummy!  I found the Fé Fuel bars are what I have been looking for because in the end I don’t want hunger to stop me or worse, cause me a headache and I could keep going.  The bars are satisfying and great tasting like they should be. Fé Fit, also has an entire site dedicated to healthier living from fitness and diet plans that break down in 90-Day combo kits.  The Fé Fit company goes beyond just providing nutrition but also a way to change your body into a healthier you that I always find is a bonus and also to look better.  With Summer upon us, you can start eating cleaner and feeling better.

 

Connect with Fé Fit at:

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

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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

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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.

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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.

~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.

 

“MELT”ed Chocolate? Yes, Please!

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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.

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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.

Klout Perk: VitaFrute Cocktails by VeeV #abetterwaytodrink Acai Spirit #Review #Klout

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Another great perk from Klout and this one was one I have never heard of, Acai based spirits. The company VeeV has this great line of drinks that they call VitaFrute. The superfruit cocktails come in:

  • Margarita
  • Lemonade
  • Cosmopolitan
  • and with Coconut Colada joining the trio soon

The cocktails are organic and made with the finest ingredients. One serving is just 125 calories and these all natural drinks are considered to be made by the World’s first Acai Spirit Company, VeeV.

What is Acai?

I have been drinking Acai based juices and blends for some time now but not with an alcohol base. The Acai berry or fruit is derived from the Acai Palm tree. These dark colored berries are full of juice, which is considered part of the super foods and super fruits we are encouraged to be consuming. The fruit is usually cultivated from the Amazon and located where lots of water is available (i.e. swamps). The fruit is filled with antioxidants and many consume it for the claims attached to them. I do because I enjoy how it tastes and was rally curious about alcohol derived from it.

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I purchased the 2 bottles using the coupon from Klout and because they were on sale at my local Von’s, I was able to score them for free! I looked and hunted for the Coconut Colada variety since it would have been my first choice but I could not locate it but I did find the Lemonade and Cosmopolitan varieties.

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  • Lemonade– The flavor is perfect on a hot Summer day (or night) and I enjoyed the nice counter balance of alcohol and lemon. The combo was perfect and no mixing required. On my second glass, I added a little tart Cherry Juice and it was like a Pink Lemonade that was icy cool and delicious.

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  • Cosmopolitan– I have not enjoyed one of these in years and it’s almost the forgotten cocktail for me. I know I like them but never get around to ordering. I pour the Cosmo over ice and you can instantly pick-up the citrus and fruity notes. Delivers the same as it smells to your palette and definitely was my favorite of the two.

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VitFrute by VeeV contains 15% ALC/VOL (30 proof) and the bottle must be refrigerated once it’s opened. The taste is nice and clean, plus Agave is the only sweetener you will find in this drink. Fillers it has not! I enjoyed it so much that I will be making a Lemon Tart with the Lemonade version!  I shall get my hands on the Coconut Colada one day and when I do, I will post.  I have plans for that one!  The site has great recipe ideas to even a store locator so can enjoy a glass of cold VitaFrute too.

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Connect with VitaFrute by VeeV on:

  • On-line– http://veevlife.com/vitafrute/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/VEEV
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/VeeV
  • Instagram– http://instagram.com/veev
  • #abetterwaytodrink
  • #kloutperk

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I received the above product free of charge from VeeV and Klout.  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.

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